1 down, 1 to go – Fitness and Weight Loss!

945868_10154487228543206_8282972789076296096_n

I’ve been really honest about how my injury has impacted my life in loads of different ways. I’ve really been trying to work on building up everything in the gym and not overdoing it. That said I was a little worried over christmas because there’s so much food and everyone is offering you ‘just one more’. I both did and didn’t want to see how my progress was going and I was pleasantly surprised.

On the right is before and the left is now, 1 stone lighter! I’m very strict with myself about checking my weight I mentioned it before  that I wanted to be careful and that I didn’t want to get obsessive and controlling again, like I was in my teens.

I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve here and it’s all been in a healthy way. There have been no crash diets, no cutting out food groups, unhealthy amounts of exercise or not eating. Everything you see has 100% come from portion control, healthier eating and 1 hour a week exercise (the only exercise I can do at the moment).

I wanted to share this with you all because before I didn’t believe in this. I thought I was stuck the way I was and the whole exercise and  small portions wasn’t something I could do but I did and I actually really enjoy the gym. Thank you for all the support I’ve received on my blog, Twitter,  Facebook and Instagram. I can’t wait to carry on my fitness and share it with you!

Workouts and Willpower

IMG_5884

Work it!! 

For the last 6 weeks I’ve been trying really hard to get fitter and healthier. As soon as I was told that I was allowed to attempt a little more exercise I wanted to work on it. I went to physio religiously and only missed one week because I had the sickness bug and wasn’t allowed to. I’ve never really had the kick up the butt I needed before, but after the accident I had a huge appreciation for, you know, a working body.

Now I’m at home it would be easy for me to say ‘oh well! I’ll just start again in January!’ and then eat everything, ignore my routine and then cry in January. I refuse to forget my progress. So, a few weeks ago I called the biggest gym enthusiast I knew and asked if he could be my gym buddy once I was home. This morning I was picked up by my Gramps and we headed to the gym for my induction and his work out.

It is very weird that my Gramps is so much healthier than me and while I was being shown around, he was on all the machines! Eventually I got started and we were doing some of our exercises side by side. It’s nice because we’ve always been super close, to the point where I wouldn’t sleep as a toddler until he’d come home from work, so having this to do just the two of us was nice. Hopefully I’ll get at least 2 more sessions in before I go back to London.

I left feeling energised and really proud of myself. No one forced me to go and work out today I wanted too and felt so good after. My new gym buddy was pretty pleased too. If 16 year old me had been told I’d love the gym she would have fainted (I’ve never been sporty at all, riding was the only thing and, well, you know how that went).

Now, the other thing I need to work on over the holidays is not over indulging on sweets, chocolates, my Mum’s amazing cooking and my sisters delicious baking. Over the past few days I’ve been very good. I’m using my app and still eating my recommended amount of calories but it is hard. I don’t want to just not eat but at the same time I don’t want to seem rude. It’s a tough balance and on days like today sometimes I don’t want to eat because I know I’ve done so well, then I quickly remind myself that I’m not getting into that cycle again. I’m doing this the healthy way or not at all, hence why I won’t have any scales in my flat.

IMG_5880

Mine and Summer’s Gingerbread House…looks so yummy!

My willpower is being pushed to the limit but so far, so good. I feel healthy, happy and actually really accomplished that I’m sticking to something I’ve found so difficult in the past. Unlike a lot of the ‘new year, new me’ types that will head into the gym January I’m not doing this to lose that big of extra weight or because I ‘should’, I’m doing it because I’m really proud of my body. After all the healing and growing new bone after so much damage (some of which may be permanent) I’m going to treat it as well as I damn well can.

 

Starting December right!

It’s been a pretty positive start to the week and now the month, just what I needed! There’s been some really shitty parts to this year, especially in the last few months so I’m determined to send 2015 off in a positive year and look forward to 2016…even if I am a little bit terrified of it! I wasn’t feeling particularly great about today, I was anxious about my gym class because of the pain I’ve been having but it turns out I didn’t need to be. That said I was already in a good mood from last night after having a long and lovely Skype conversation with Eleanor, it’s hard with her being all the way in New Zealand but we’re making it work.

Of course today is December 1st (I know, how is it December already?!?) so it’s advent calender time but since I haven’t been back home in a while I had no advent calendar this morning…the first time since I was 1. Luckily Mum text me a picture this morning of a maltesers advent calendar all for me, yay! I also picked up Star Wars ones for me and Ali too because IT’S FINALLY STAR WARS MONTH AND MY TICKETS ARE BOOKED, AHHHHHH.

As always I trekked to the hospital for 9am *sob* for my morning gym recovery class. I’d had a rough week last week so I was lucky I could talk to Mum before going and try and get in a good mindset before going in, got mistaken for a student nurse (I wish!) and got told that ‘surely I still have time to grow’ after I complained I was so tiny… the people in the class thought I was in my teens. Of course the real reason I was nervous was pain but I tackled all the machines, including a new one, and I kicked butt! There is no better feeling for me at the moment than coming home covered in sweat and knowing I’ve worked hard to get better, even if I do pay for it later. Oh and because my physio instructor for the gym is amazing I got given a sticker because I worked so hard…being the youngest has its perks!

12291695_10154402286228206_3416615908035043908_o

Another really amazing thing is that as I’ve mentioned before I’ve struggled with the fact I’ve put on weight because of the accident and recovery, as well as the implications of my medication. As I wrote before I won’t mention numbers on here but I can confirm my healthier eating habits and gradually building up movement is working I’m finally losing the weight I gained!! I’m really proud of myself for doing something healthy and my strength in will power!

I ended a good day with a great evening at The Fighting Cocks with Ali, Charlotte, Rhys and later Joe. I got to play in the quiz, laugh a lot, get drawn on and just get out of the house with no expectation to get drunk which was really nice. It also helps that whenever me and Charlotte hang out we can’t stop laughing.

I’m stupidly excited about this start to December and I hope more than anything it carries on!

I’m a teeny bit competitive

41f3124fc57216fd65ffe15ec96f3119

I am a competitive person. I have been for a long time and since being at uni it’s definitely increased. Partly my need to achieve and be the best is to shut up my anxiety and depression who like the tell me that I’m shit but it’s got to this competitive stage, even though I’d never be mean about it. The person I’m the absolute worst to is myself, I am super competitive with me!

Today I was in my 2nd gym class and I’ve started taking into account the little exercise I can do as well as keeping track of what I’m eating and trying to control my portion sizes as well as make better choices. With that in mind and the fact that I already had physio yesterday I did something a little silly, I pushed myself too much. I was getting so happy to see the numbers going up and just the thought of being able to fit into some of my favourite clothes just spurred me on a little too much.

I’m pretty sore right now but I’ve learnt my lesson and I won’t over do it again. I’ve been very strict with myself about numbers, I don’t need anything else negative in my life or anything I could control in a bad way so I banned scales. I don’t have any in my flat apart from kitchen ones on purpose because I know that I would just constantly weigh myself, compare myself and get stupidly anxious over it and then cry and be unhappy, no matter how thin I was.

So in a way I’m doing this blind, there’s no number here. I have a rough idea of what I weighed a while ago and after the end of my sessions I will try on my dress and possibly look when I’m at my parents house but there will be NO obsessive checking because I got absorbed with weight as a teenager. That’s the lovely part of being a teenager, puppy fat, bullying, being told to go to weight watchers, all lovely stuff. The best thing about this recovery is there’s no pressure, just support. I chose to take the class, I’m choosing what I eat and what portion size I want and when I want a day off and a take away.

So maybe I need to work on being a little less competitive for all of this to work and stop being so hard on myself. After all this is recovery, not the Olympics and hopefully it will do wonders for my stress levels too!

The Gym: Let’s do this.

IMG_5440

This morning I crawled out of bed after being awake for most of the night. I was tired, nervous and excited. After 7 months of not being allowed to push myself, of having to watch for signs that my legs were giving up and tense doctors appointments I got to go into a supervised gym class with a physio instructor. I wrote about my body  and its changes this week as well, which had such an incredible response from all over the world. I knew I had to write about this too but I was so nervous. I really didn’t want to have to stop after a few exercises or for my leg to go completely numb so that I fall over.

I turned up in my matching gym clothes and was the youngest one there, mostly OAPs, one man who I’d say was in his 30s with a leg injury and a woman in her 30s who came in later. To say I was self conscious was an understatement and when we started warm up I started to panic, it was painful and I couldn’t keep up very easily.  As we moved on to the machines I needed a little bit of help going through my routine.

For now it consists of 2-3 minutes on each machine/ activity and I mix them up with how I feel:

Cross Trainer

Exercise Bike level 3

Balancing on a ball board (I don’t know the proper name for this)

Marching while doing weights on a trampoline

Holding my balance on an exercise ball while lifting weights

Sitting on an exercise ball and catching a ball that is either thrown to me or I catch after throwing it at the wall

Rising on my toes (aided) holding and going back down

While this week I had to do them in burst and I could only do each one once in the session each week I will build this up and by the end of my 6 weeks I should be able to do all of them a few times in the session! I left completely covered in sweat, tired but really happy. I finally felt like I’d achieved something and although I was pretty sore I was ok, I could still walk which was a bonus. I had about an hour to get back, have a shower and be on the bus to uni, believe me a shower has never felt so good in all my life.

My next stop was the university doctor, again. I have reviews pretty regularly for my medication and generally how I’m doing. This time it was another increase in medication, this time to help me sleep. The pain in the day I’m pretty much stuck with and just have to take both the good and the bad days, do my physio and wait it out. Not sleeping because of the pain is an entirely different thing, if I don’t sleep it affects my mood, I quickly get very depressed and lose all motivation to do anything so making such I’m not kept awake all night is a priority. My dose of both my Dihydrocodine and Gabapentin have gone up at night and I have another check in two weeks.

IMG_5457

I also made it through my lecture without falling asleep too although I wasn’t really myself. All aside this spine focused day has given me some hope and don’t tell anyone but I actually quite liked going to the gym to start my day. When I have a bigger place/ am better I would definitely like to get a Cross trainer for me at home. So that’s the start of my gym time done and I’m kind of looking forward to next week although I may change my mind on that tomorrow…

I miss fitness! My thoughts on ‘being brave’ and keeping going.

IMG_2649

Now I’ve said before that I’m not a health and fitness fanatic. If there was an option between a healthy snack and something covered in chocolate I’d bite your hand off for the chocolate. I made some healthier choices this year, I walked to uni most days (unless it was a Thursday morning, early starts after a late night are not a good idea), I swam occasionally and for the first time in my life I embraced a sport and did it every week. I’m also stubborn and have a rebellious streak. Normally if someone told me that I wasn’t allowed to ride I’d prove them wrong and get on, going twice as fast. I can’t do that right now.

To say that all this stress hasn’t been easy is an understatement. It’s not in the way that people see it. I keep getting told that I’m brave, that I’m so inspiring. To be honest I find it incredible that people are so sympathetic to me fracturing my spine but 6 years of mental health problems didn’t get any cards or bravery speeches, but that’s another blog post. I mean yeah I suppose to other people they really can’t imagine just getting on with life after breaking a vital part of your body, but do I feel brave? No. I just feel like I’m getting on with it. It’s something I spoke to my parents about the other day after people were told about me and just were amazed. It was nice and they were lovely people but I just said to my parents, wouldn’t everyone just get on with their lives? Apparently not, but I was raised to just battle on through.

So after yesterday’s post it’s clear that I’m still up and down, still getting there. Today a low decided to hit. I think it’s post festival blues, combined with stressing about the future and being tired from my back pain. It was relatively normal stuff and I wasn’t miserable or ‘meh’ all day, it was more when I was alone. I realised that the things I’d normally do when I feel bad, I couldn’t do and it just made me want to curl up under my duvet and cry. I didn’t. I finished the book I started reading last night and spoke to a few friends.

I never realised that exercise was something I’d miss, but then again I suppose you don’t until it’s something that you can’t do. I want to do some sit ups to get rid of a little excess weight, I want to sign up to gym, run around with the kids at work, swim without worrying I won’t be able to get out of the pool. Hell I’d like to be able to have a bath without worrying that I will get stuck!

The one thing I have though is writing, writing this or songs or fiction. I have to get out of the clouded stage before I can write anything but I can feel it lifting more and more as I type this. I am struggling a little bit with my exercise and little walks to clear my head. I suppose it’s one of the biggest challenges to my mental health it’s all the things I’d usually avoid. If I try and search for a positive in all this I suppose I can see that I’ve been there once and even though I’ve spent a good amount of time on my own, I’m currently missing my friends like a limb and I deal with physical pain every day I’m getting through it one day at a time.

I know this is a long blog but I can almost bet anything that someone out there will read this and understand. That someone will understand the both freeing and unnerving feeling that I have to go through this low without my normal strategies. I’m ok though, really. I have a good few days lined up and for once I can remember that these lows don’t last forever.

Thanks for reading guys, as usual I’d love to hear from you. Oh! And thank you to every single one of you following me on twitter, another 100 followers in the past few weeks! It really put a smile on my face!

Frustrations and Fitness

This year I finally got to a point with my depression that I could embrace some exercise to let off some steam. Now, I still can’t run and look like Phoebe from Friends when I try, so that’s nothing new. But I found riding and I found swimming, I could take control of one part of my body when another part was letting medown. I could only do so much with my mind, with the black cloud that wanted to suffocate me.

My plan for this summer was to swim a bit more, make my riding improve and right before the accident I was considering joining the gym…my arch nemesis. I’m not a gym bunny, I don’t enjoy running or exercise that doesn’t involve a horse or water. I just wanted to do something with my time and try and help me mentally and obviously now that’s been taken away. IMG_1855

Headed to the pool on one of my lows was a big relief

I can’t push my body the way I did, I can’t go on my long walks to clear my head or swim things off. I just sleep a lot and think, not always the best combo. It’s weird I never thought that I’d miss any fitness of any kind but I do. I want to go and see if I like the local gym, go back to the pool and getting on a horse has a while to go yet, just because of the risks with my spine.

I’m trying again to be positive, which is hard. I’m exhausted most of the time and just walking up the stairs can leave me a little breathless and struggling with pain. I’m going to have to try hard to slowly build up my fitness again once I’m recovered, so I’ll exercise my mind instead. I will probably document the build up too so you can all come along!

I have lots of ideas being scribbled, writers to work with so you shall all wait and see!

🙂