Constant Craving

This is never a great time of year to try and lose weight. Last night, I had to make biscuits, and yes, I had to eat one because it won’t kill me. I love my daughter a great deal but right now this is roughly akin to telling an alcoholic to stop complaining and drink that bourbon. All I crave right now is sugar, and all I want to do is eat. This does not contribute to positive mental health, and frankly will only end in tears. Therefore, I’m attempting to introduce mindful eating into the routine: thus far this morning it is meeting with a measure of success.

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Because I know the sugar has to happen, and will via fruit sugar regardless (I eat porridge and pomegranate to satisfy two of my five a day) I put a small amount of honey in my tea for a mid morning snack. I then made myself take time and consideration over drinking, trying to remind brain that the only way all this long term change is truly affected is not by me binging and going backwards. That means I can treat myself to a box of chocolates for Christmas but not eat them all in a couple of sittings. I reduce the experience to two, maybe three chocolates at a time, and savour each one. It stops being just about consumption to make me feel better, and becomes a means by which I slow body and mind down.

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I’ve begun to grasp that there does not need to be more food consumed to have the level of energy required to work harder. The last few days have demonstrated that eating at a level that is sufficient to lose weight also gives me plenty of energy to run and exercise. So, knowing this, it becomes about looking at things and getting out of the ‘oh I’ll just eat and worry about it later’ mentality. Of late sugar has not been the problem, but empty carbs via pasta and bread. Both these things are quite dangerous, it transpires, as is the case with pastry. So many potential Christmas treats I could nosh and pretend its okay because its okay there’s no sugar is not going to work any more. I gotta be hard with myself, but this does not mean I have to stop eating bad stuff.

I just have to be honest over consequences, which has not been the case for a while.

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I can no longer pretend I’m being healthy, when the calories ingested aren’t then balanced with exercise on the other side of the scale. This is the massive change in outlook from previous years. It is the hardest thing to do, on top of more hard stuff, and then it is really easy to grasp why others don’t bother and kill themselves via obesity.

This time, failure will not be an option.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow it is December, of a year that seemed insurmountable this time last year… except here I am, a world away from where I started. It is traditional at these junctures to look back and forward, review what came before and anticipate the future. I’m really only interested in living the now as it stands, because if anything has become apparent  this year it is the fragile nature of my existence, of our precarious relationship with nature and each other. Being here, now, is what matters most.

Once that can be done without fear or consequence, then we might consider a longer term view.

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This week has been full of lightbulbs, moments of comprehension that move forward things that before I could not shift. It isn’t perfect, and there are still obstacles to overcome, but this is like a completely different world for me. I’m only now beginning to understand the complexity involved in making myself cope with what is here, and being able to do so, day in and day out is the biggest takeaway from the last 12 months. I function infinitely better as a human being. I can express myself in a fashion that did not exist this time last year. Most importantly of all… I’ve stopped being angry at everything. 

Now only certain things grasp my ire. Everybody else is off the hook.

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When I’m done here, I’m going to wrap myself up warm and walk to the Gym, lift some heavy stuff, run a bit and then come home. After that I’m gonna write a ton of things and schedule others and be ready to enjoy a Festive Season in a way that has not happened for probably close to a decade.

When you finally grasp you’re the problem and not everybody else, life really does get a fuck of a lot easier to cope withn.

Still Alive

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Yesterday, I stopped caring about something that used to matter to me rather a lot. This morning, when I woke up and realised that was the case, there wasn’t any real feeling about it either, just an acceptance that this is the right way to react. I’m sure there’s probably some inspiring stuff I could stick in here about growth and acceptance but it would all be a bit hollow. My daughter would undoubtedly consider it something that was largely pointless and was only being said to try and create some kind of inspirational speech about ‘moving forward’ and she’s absolutely right.

Sometimes, there is no need to mark progress, except to know that it happened. [*]

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There are also some people right now I don’t want to be involved with, but unfortunately I have no choice in the matter. This is an unwanted consequence of professional progress and will only continue to get worse as time goes on. It might be an idea therefore to deal with it in the most adult manner possible: don’t upset anybody’s feelings, try your best to just be polite, and move forward. I don’t know whether it is a shortening ability to be patient or heightened sensitivity to my environment but stuff is creeping me out far more than usual. By stuff, I mostly mean people. When you know you don’t like someone nearly as much as they appear to like you online, what do you do?

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This is the moment when ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’ taps me on the shoulder and reminds that even if there is a difference of opinion, you don’t need to say it. It is becoming abundantly apparent that some people can’t grasp subtlety, and have no desire to. They hold no real comprehension of grey, the subtle shading that I’ve relied on for decades. You are either right or wrong and never the twain shall meet. Trying to explain to these narrow-minded, blinkered individuals has become a waste of time, and I have better things to do now than point out shortcomings to those individuals who won’t listen to begin with.

It used to matter a lot to me, and now it doesn’t.

If I want to get all this new, exciting stuff done, arse needs to be far more geared than currently is the case. You people can carry on without me.

There’s a path here I need to start running without you.

[*] Irony grasped. Stop staring.

I Don’t Care

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This morning, I have woken up with attitude.

Late birthday gift to myself. When I give the finger now, I fucking MEAN it 👍

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Once upon a time, being angry was often just a way of hiding how frightened and confused I was. Now, I am a lot more relaxed than was ever the case back then, but stuff still pisses me off. My husband will undoubtedly complain that this ring is too masculine for me but I like the bulk, feel happy with it on my finger. Delicate has never been anything I felt comfortable being, yet for long periods of my life it was I ended up projecting. Well, not any more. No, I’m not hard as nails and if I frighten you that’s your problem to deal with and not mine. What I am now is strong and comfortable with what I have become and if you don’t like that?

Not my issue. I’m not here for that.

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I have a number of people to thank for this improvement in confidence, and I’ve been thanking them by name this month on my Twitter feed. Andrew’s honesty is one of the overriding reasons that I’m more robust as a person, because when we were thrown together by chance (and a 10th Anniversary gift I didn’t want but he was keen on) he didn’t like me that much. He was honest enough to tell me that, too, yet over time has become one of the most interesting ‘strangers’ I have now met and communicate with online. Knowing I do not have to compromise has been a revelation I am incredibly grateful for, but it does not mean that doesn’t happen, because it does. To make life work is undoubtedly give and take, but what I now know is that the fundamental essence of what you are does not need to alter.

I will accommodate, listen and appreciate criticism. I can be flexible and find the means by which better communication is possible. This does not mean I have to compromise what counts as me, or feel the need to bend to every individual whim or request. The reality of living well, and as a functional member of society, is to find the unique combination of factors that works for you. If you are lucky enough to pitch up in a group of people with whom your outlook matches, this is considerably easier long term. However, and this is the kicker, you may never get as much helpful advice or criticism as would be the case if the situations are more challenging or difficult. It’s that adage that reminds that you have to fall down in order to learn how to get up.

This has been the best year of my life, as was the case the year before. That can only be said because, regardless of loss, the gains have altered what I will now be going forward. Only by a constant, considered evolution do we ever make better lives not only for ourselves, but those we leave behind.

She Needs Me

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The youngest is home sick today, therefore I am in Nurse mode… or I will be when she wakes up. Last night was not hugely conducive to the get a better night sleep plan but things are definitely improving. Now I’m working between being needed.

A remarkable amount of stuff has been done as a result. Time to not lose the momentum.

Money for Nothing

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Yesterday could have gone better.

I’ve woken up, as a result, mentally exhausted. It will, of course, be remnants of my body regenerating blood. The worst day last time was Saturday, and I can recall my energy levels dropped quite considerably during that week before I returned to a semblance of normality. It didn’t help matters last night that I had to lay down the law a bit with the eldest. Youngest gave me 6/10 for presentation and effectiveness. That’s a REALLY good score.

Now I have to hope some of what I said actually registers.

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I’ve also been really struggling with the food goals this week. I blame the two Orange Clubs I had after giving blood… I should investigate next time taking my own ‘healthy’ snacks as sustenance. Maybe that’s the issue here, that I’m now so much less dependant on the sugar rush… or it just could be that weeks worth of physical change (and the lack of a gallbladder) will be making my body react differently. This is the point where my husband would appear and tell me I’m hugely overanalysing everything, and I should go and have a cuppa, which seems like an excellent idea.

Whatever happens today, I’ll do something at the Gym. I could really do with the mental break it gives me, that I can switch off my brain and think about something else. Or, as seems to be the case of late, I think nothing at all and concentrate on breathing and lifting heavy weights. I have, effectively, become Spongebob Squarepants in that episode where all he thinks about is fine dining and breathing. There are days when I wish my mind had the capacity to switch off. Fortunately (and possibly as a result of my changes to lifestyle) they are far rarer than used to be the case.

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I’m hoping, if nothing else, this wakes me up and allows my brain a chance to string together some coherent sentences for NaNoWriMo. I think there might need to be far more caffeine in my system to make that happen.

Time to fix that.

Begin Again

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Life is too short to wait until January to instigate change. All this stuff about Resolutions following a month of utter excess at Christmas… nope. It isn’t an attempt to be edgy or somehow innovative either. Every day I sit and do nothing will never be given back. That time isn’t suddenly more relevant when a new year starts. All that bollocks at wishing 2016 away was completely counterproductive as if forgetting the bad stuff existed will somehow negate the stupidity. Everybody holds individual responsibility for the life they lead, and the choices made.

It is time for me to step up and really start changing the World for the better.

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This task, undoubtedly, will be fraught with potential Drama [TM] as a result. I already know there’ll be someone who, after a month of being positive to those who I know have brought me to this point, will attack me for not thanking them. The point of choosing these 30 people was not to exclude you. This attitude will be typical of the problem that makes the Internet the cesspool of negative wankery that it inevitably becomes when you can’t get your own way. If you assume importance in my life to the point where such a slight is enough to make you angry, you’re really not getting the reason why I did it.

Maybe we can all learn from that and move on.

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Nobody says any of this shit is easy. If it were, there’d not be the level of noise and angst in the world. It is, in simple terms, the difference between eating breakfast at 7 am and being hungry until 11.30 am. Today, I don’t eat at my normal time and write this post, before I go and do 45 minutes of Yoga, to help the body recover from blood donating on Monday. Then, I make breakfast, which effectively becomes lunch. Sometimes, you have to accommodate change. I’m awful at it. That’s part of my long-term plan for November. Become more flexible in mind and body. Bend like the reed. 

I will never know how much time I have to become better, so maybe it is time to just do what needs to be done NOW and not hope it all gets better on its own.

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This month, I want to try and inspire everybody I know to look at themselves with a more critical eye. PLEASE NOTE I am not expecting or asking for change. That’s not my job to do: I’ve come to that conclusion now, after a long time where I hoped others would see sense and do the right thing for themselves. There is no way to get someone to do something if that thing is not attractive to them. Only by a cold, hard look inside yourself can change be affected. It’s why I have no desire to be evangelical, or rebrand myself as some kind of Inspirational guru. Telling people to be happy is bollocks. Reminding people they matter is only ever any use if they will believe that themselves.

Maybe, if you say the same stuff enough times and show it works for you, other people might consider the possibility they’re not alone. You don’t make money from that or sell it as an Instagram-style aesthetic. You just stop fucking about and do shit.

That’s the plan for November. Let’s go.