Fit Not Thin

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I know that in the past few months I’ve slipped a little on my fitness. I’ve still got a strong appreciation that I can use my body after the accident, but there were a bunch of reasons I just lost motivation. You could say they’re excuses, maybe they are, but they’ve impacted not only my motivation but the way I felt about myself. I started reverting back to old ways, attempting to cut out food and give myself tiny portions, which made me absolutely miserable. I hated having to log everything and feeling guilty if I went out for dinner.

I like food, a big part of hanging out in my office revolves around the local burger place and I don’t have to tell you that sitting and eating some rice and possibly chicken if my calories will allow it is no fun when the guys are tucking into some beautiful burgers. I have the willpower, I’ve done it before but back then I didn’t mind, it was the only way I could control my body and the way I looked, now I have a little more scope for fitness and less time to faff around with calorie numbers.

I came to the conclusion that I need to separate being thin and being fit. I’ve been self conscious about weight since I was bullied at school. I was not fat, not at all, but I had a little puppy fat and most of the popular girls in my year were naturally very thin, I had curves and was frequently told to go to weight watchers. I used to get stressed about food, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t now sometimes. I don’t like salad and fruit on its own makes me really nauseous (no idea why, it just does), so eating lunch at school was a nightmare. Now it’s better I can eat vegetable soup or something where the veg is in a sauce (I know, I’m like a baby) but then I could eat the mush from the canteen or my packed lunch, that was it. I fretted and stressed because I didn’t have a ‘perfect body’ and hid under baggy clothes and jumpers whenever I could. Part of this was teenage insecurity, honestly though the picture below from my 15th birthday I hated and thought I was ‘fat’, I very clearly wasn’t.

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Anyway, back to the focus of this post. I realised I had some of these thoughts again, panicking and stressing about food all the time, it’s not fun and it’s not how I want to spend my life. I’m going to focus on being as fit as I can whilst recovering from my spine still. I don’t want numbers to dominate my life, because I’ve been there and it doesn’t always create the right results. I refuse to let myself have scales in my house because I know I’ll just get obsessed with some numbers and a BMI chart, where’s the fun in that? So there it is I’m going back to the gym, the workouts and just wanting to be as fit as I can.

Fighting Fit: When Your Body Won’t Cooperate

Fighting Fit- When your body doesn't cooperate

It might have been well over a year since I broke my spine but sometimes it throws a bit of a fit. I’ve been really busy for the past few weeks and travelling to things, boxing up the flat and all that jazz, meaning that I’ve put quite a bit of strain on my back. This evening I’m sat with a big fluffy pillow resting, writing, reading and just feeling a bit frustrated. I’ve come a really long way in the past year but sometimes I try and do too much and pay for it later. I don’t think there’s anything more frustrating than when your own body lets you down.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the accident and my injury lately, more than I normally would. With the warm weather coming and my friends heading to fun days out, theme parks and long walks I can’t help but feel a little jealous. It does still get to me but more than anything I get really self concious about it in public. There are still times when I get a limp on my left side because after doing too much I’m in a lot of pain or my leg will start to go numb. When I go to Comic Con or any big event like that, I sometimes need my crutch just to relieve some of the pain. As someone who wants to be seen as strong, who is used to getting up and getting on (just like getting up straight after I fell) it’s hard to let people see me on the days when I am a little more vulnerable. This is particularly the case when I’m getting to know new people, such as at my new job.

That said, I know that these frustrations are just a part of recovery and of having to take things one step at a time. I found a lot of comfort in a TED Talk I watched yesterday (click here for 7 TED talks you need to watch!), it reminded me that while my body is still working hard and healing, it’s not the only thing I have going for me. My body being in pain and breaking took things from me, but it gave me opportunities too. It taught me a lot about myself and what I want, it taught me to appreciate every step I take because I could so easily have lost the ability to walk.

In all of this, the good days, the bad nights, the medication changes, the occasional limping and the jokes that I make to make others more comfortable I realised that I need to keep my mind fighting. I can’t let myself go into a place of wallow and self pity. I can’t let myself give in when I’m sick of physiotherapy or don’t feel like going to the gym or when the doctors try and palm me off with silly answers. Keeping my mind strong is what will, in the end, keep my body fighting, even on the worst days.

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

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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!

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

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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!

Sometimes positivity isn’t that easy

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Sometimes trying to be endlessly positive is exhausting, right? There are days where no matter how hard you try you just feel like everything sucks and your best friend is your bed, your phone needs to be switched off so you can ignore EVERYONE and any chocolate that you can get your hands on is yours. Ok, that might sound like a PMS day, it probably is partly to do with hormones and stuff but today ended up like that.

I’ve been feeling down, I had another doctors appointment today and I’m not lowering my depression medication, my doctors not comfortable because of how much stress and pain I’m in, it’s not the right time. On top of that my pain levels have been pretty up and down too. Basically as soon as I left work this afternoon everything just splintered a little. I felt upset and angry about my spine, I noticed people staring at me again in town (you think I’d be used to it by now) and anything that is slightly said to me in the wrong way makes me feel useless. At the same time though I have laughed, I have smiled. Maybe this is what it feels like to go mad, I’m kidding.

When I’m around and talking to the people I love I’m happy. Usually I’ll pick myself up, go for a swim or a walk, go do some food shopping in the car or get on to some promoters about shows. My spines really limited me for the past 2 months and I’m not ashamed to admit that sometimes I don’t know how to handle it. So as much as I try sometimes I depression gets it’s own was over my positivity.

BUT this isn’t where I want the people I love to worry, after having my freak out I’ve calmed down, accepted things and I’m ok. I’m planning a few things I can do and have decided if I can’t swim I might as well go and get one of the tattoos I wanted as an early birthday present to myself. Just a small one, to remind me to keep smiling and I’ll be ok, all shall be revealed soonish! Sometimes you just need to let out all of the hurt, upset and frustration.

Tomorrow will be a better day, I’m going to make sure of it.