Friday, 13 June 2014

Everything changes but you

This is not the post I imagined writing next.

When I wrote my last post I was full of the joys of achievement, reflecting on the progress I'd made  over the last 12 months . My glass was literally overflowing. I was loving the gym, loving the results, loving life in general and looking forward to continuing my journey.

Last week I had my final teaching observation and ticked a lot of the 'outstanding' boxes, I had the results back for my last 2 assignments (both As), handed in the final assignment for my PGCE and my first after school languages club was a great success.

I was looking forward to a trip to the seaside, a long walk and a generally lovely weekend basking in the glory of it all.

Then somebody drove into the back of me.

Now I'm signed off work, stuck at home with whiplash and sciatica as a result.

And I've been told not to do any exercise of any description. That my goal should be to get back in the gym in 8 weeks...not be back up to full speed in 8 weeks, but to first step foot back in the gym to start building up to full speed.

I am devastated.

It's taken me a year to get to this place, not to mention the years and years it took to get to the place I started this year from and now I've got to sit out for 8 weeks.  That might not seem that much of a big deal but it is basically 48 workouts missed and then another who knows how many pansying around trying to build it all back up again. So it is a big deal to me, and to my waistline, and my motivation and my sense of self and my progress and my momentum and...

So here I am faced with a bit of an uneasy dilemma type thing.  Here I am, this quite positive upbeat person, in danger of calamitous thinking, but this is rubbish and I want to moan, even though I know it won't help. My last post was about being able to fill the glass back up when you're in danger of getting down...yeah, except I'd already discovered that my glass gets filled up by keeping active and going to the gym and now that's specifically what I absolutely cannot do.  I've also noticed that since I'm not going to the gym and being all bouncy and active and jolly, my eating has gone a bit southward as well.


This tells me a few things.  That my attachment to the gym is possibly as unhealthy as my attachment to food in a way.  I need to find a more healthy relationship with it, turns out I'm a bit too dependent on it for all manner of things, including my needs to be a part of it, not all of it.  I need to reframe it so that I go to the gym because I'm me, not I'm me because I go to the gym.  It's a bit ridiculous that everything else I value falls apart just because I can't go to the gym and am feeling a bit sorry for myself.  I need to find a way of internalising the whole healthy eating part of things as just a big a part of who I am as the exercise thing so that it can carry on going even when the gym bit can't - and especially when the gym bit can't.  Ironically, with a body full of inflammation eating well is even more important than the rest of the time.

Me thinks a little more 'inscaping' is required.

Having sat and thought about it for a few moments, I realise that all that moaning and harrumping feels a bit weird.  It's not really me.  It's something I used to do a lot of but I didn't really like it and as soon as I realised quite to what extent I was doing it, I stopped.  It's that old story again.  Why is it that when something happens to knock me off course a little bit I revert to the old story of me and not the new one...or the original one actually that just got drowned out by the old one?  It's like there are two tracks on the 12" and the slightest bump knocks the needle off the energetic, positive gym bunny track onto the whinging woe is me fat grump track.  Weird. Or not, haven't figured that bit out yet.

But it is quite refreshing to note that actually, despite how quickly everything changed, I am still the me I'd
been quite enjoying getting to know.

That me says, it could have been worse. Much worse.  It is only 8 weeks and hopefully the progress I've made to date will assist any recovery.  Had I not been signed off and made to sit still I would probably have got straight back into things far too soon and too intensely and just made everything worse.  As soon as the sciatica eases off enough I can get walking. I love walking and don't get as much opportunity for it as I used to.  Now's my chance to correct that.  Fingers crossed my physio agrees!

And I'm just going to have to make eating the new gym.  I'm going to treat mealtimes like my workouts. They're going to be carefully thought out and mindfully executed, designed for maximum recovery and nutrition and minimal lardacious self loathing. And delicious.  I shall eat when I'm hungry, eat slowly, eat well, and drink plenty of water and green tea (for a change).

me, beating this thing!
But I'm also going to be a bit kinder to myself.  I think it's ok to feel a bit fed up about all of this.  It's ok to eat a few commiseration cakes. But not every meal and not forever. The time for weepy wallowing is up!  But it's also ok if I get a few meals wrong, I know I'm not going to make perfect choices every single time but at least I can set the intention and give it a good go.  I also know some days are going to hurt more than others. Some days I'm going to be more knackered than others. Some days I'm going to feel better or worse.  I'll just have to ride them out and see what happens.  I also know the scales will go up  (they already have) but to just try and ignore them.  And the workouts will have to be scaled back a lot when I finally get back in the gym...but maybe seeing how well I can progress them again can be my new challenge when it comes to that.

To hold myself accountable, as that does really work, I'm going to create a separate page on here to log how I'm doing: What I'm eating, what activity I've been able to do, that kind of thing.  I suspect it will be intensely boring for everybody else hence it shall sit on its own little page somewhere else so as not to clog up the blog proper.  Feel free to read it as some kind of non-medicinal insomnia cure.

In the meantime, I'm off to ice my neck, this typing malarkey hurts.  Must find more whiplash friendly blogging position...

**Update** Feeding Happy is now live and accessed via tab above in pages bar :)


  1. I can't believe I just lost the comment I wrote!!! So for now I'll say this really resonated with me, especially about the danger making your worth or identity or sense of wellbeing contingent on outside factors.So I am truly in a very dark night right now and Id like to think that my fear of the unknown and "finding myself," taking responsibility for my life, will lead to excitement and freedom, ironically the thing I most feared. Love photography too, love your pics and how you have them displayed. Thanks ~ Kerri

    1. I'm glad it resonated's often the thing we fear the most that we also most need or want. Maybe it's the fear of it not working out or of not turning out to be all we had it set up to be? I hope your dark night ends soon but enjoy the journey into excitement and freedom...and keep taking the photos! :)


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