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The good news days

7 Sep

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I’ve moaned a lot recently about how tough it is living alone. How punishing it is to get through a stressful day, get a bunch of bad news, and go home alone to let it all marinade in your own brain with nobody to talk to. 

Well, today I’m mixing it up. Today I’m taking about the other side of things: the good news days. 

I’ve been quite down this weekend despite keeping busy swimming, walking, clearing my flat, and learning how to make origami animals (I’m getting particularly good at penguins). Today I had made my mind up: I was going to step things up a bit and go to a grown-up yoga class.

I’ve been going to the same yoga studio since May now. It’s very chilled out. The teachers are great. But I’ve been sticking with beginners’ classes. And the schedule just doesn’t have that many beginners’ classes that I can go to. For example, there are none at all on Sundays. (I guess they assume those of us less committed to yoga are busy partying and being hungover at weekends. Which is funny. Because I didn’t even speak to anyone yesterday except a man who stopped to help me when my swipe card wouldn’t work at the pool.) So, yes, back to the point in hand. I decided to go to one of the classes that are explicitly “not for beginners”.

Ivengar yoga was at 1, which suited me just fine. I trotted along, feeling weirdly anxious about the whole situation. 

I needn’t have worried. First let me tell you that the people in the grown-up classes are so much friendlier than the beginners. I got talking to a few of them before class – all nice, all normal, and (I absolutely need to tell you) all with killer bodies. 

The teacher was totally understanding of my non-superwoman yoga abilities, offering a few tips and alternatives along the way. But I did the whole class. The whole 75 minutes. And I did everything just the same as everyone else. OK, I’m sure I looked more like a baby elephant than the graceful swans who they appeared to morph into, but I tried. I even finished up with a perfect shoulderstand. 

There is something so empowering and confidence-building about trying new things and learning that you can do them. 

After class the teacher told me I’d done great. Wow. I felt like I was back at school and had just come top in my class.

I left feeling like I was floating on a cloud, stopped for a fro yo, and walked all the way home with a huge Chesire cat smile on my face. 

Now, the thing is, it would be lovely to have someone to come home to. Someone who I could tell all about this achievement. Someone to get crazy excited with me looking at the yoga schedule for the next week and planning every class I want to go to now I’ve broken than glass ceiling into “not for beginner” territory. 

I don’t have that person. 

But, for some reason, it’s easier to deal with keeping good news to yourself than bad. 

And, you know what else? If I was still with my ex, the chances are I would never even have tried yoga. 

I had a similarly intimidating situation at work on Friday last week. I had to run a workshop for a client, had done very little preparation, and had never run one of these workshops before. It turned out great. I think treating them to a spread of cookies and M&Ms helped dramatically, but I managed to put everyone at ease, make them laugh, and get them excited about the creative process. 

Clients. Workshops. Yoga. Going through life alone.  

I guess sometimes the things that scare us the most are the most rewarding. 

Which is good to know. Because I find life pretty scary right now. 

 

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Roar

22 Jun

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Roar.

That’s me making an angry noise. Because I’m working at the weekend again. And I’m a tired, tired cat.

But I’m also releasing my inner lion because something has kicked in very recently. I don’t know what to call this thing. It’s a feeling of being back in control. It’s a feeling of being good enough. It’s hard to put my finger on, but – damn – it feels OK.

I went for a run this morning, which I’ve started doing every morning. (Note to all break upees – run, run and run some more. It has done wonders for my mood and my sausage arms.) Anyway, usually in the mornings I just get my ass in gear so I only run a mile or so. This morning I just kept going. Like Forest fricking Gump.

I got back to my flat looking like a tomato, ever so sweaty, and feeling pretty f***ing great.

“What’s changed?” I hear you ask.

Who knows. My mood has been so up and down for the past ten months, that the slightest work stress or hiccup in my social life sent me spiraling into the doom. But right now I’m about as stressed as I can get about work. I’m not sleeping great because of that. I’m working long hours. But I feel OK about it. Yup, definitely OK.

Running has helped. I’ve also got myself a pedometer and make myself take time out every day to get at least 10,000 steps in. Just so you know, yesterday I did over 18,000 – check me out. I’ve been eating right. Using a lot of essential oils and things to try and lift my mood. Buying myself peonies every single week. Making plans for the rest of the year. I’ve made a great new friend who’s like a little injection of sunshine into every day (thank you). And – what’s more – it’s actually sunny.

I remember last year, post pizza of doom, crying on a friend about how sh** my summer had been between the stress of him going away, him acting like a c***, and then him finally ending things right before I started my new job. Yup. Summer 2013 sucked. My friend said, “Just think how great next summer will be.”

Maybe she was right.

Time will tell. But, as you know, every moment in my life needs a song from Nashville to accompany it. So here’s one that simply says ROAR.

I need to lose half my bodyweight! Immediately!

28 Mar

Well, you know, buddies, I’ve been feeling pretty sorry for myself of late.

And I still do.

I still think it’s ridiculously unfair that I am a thoroughly nice girl with a good sense of humour, a good job, and lovely hair, and yet I have nobody.

But I have also come to realise that moaning and worrying really doesn’t get you anywhere. So I’m wondering what else in my life (aside from being a lonely cat) I would like to change.

I would like to be thinner.

There it is.

Blame the fashion magazines. Blame the MTV. Blame what you will. But I really think there is nothing wrong with aspiring to be leaner version of oneself.

Will it make me happier?

Yes, it definitely will. And it will open up a huge new range of wardrobe choices.

But here’s the thing, I am just not prepared to get crazy about this. I cannot and will not count every mouthful and every single itty bitty calorie. I’ve been down that road before and it only leads to meltdowns over scrapings of peanutbutter and an overreliance on ice lollies. That’s a sad way to live.

I want to get some kind of exercise schedule going on. Which is ironic, because I just cancelled my gym membership. But it’s springtime now and I live opposite a huge park.

However, I’ve never been very good at getting into an exercise regime. And, by “never very good” I mean “pretty awful”. I tend to go nuts for a few weeks and then get in a mood with myself and decide not to do any of the exercises that I’ve worked so hard to build up to.

So, this time I’m throwing it open to you, my blogger buddies. Any suggestions for workouts, routines, circuits etc. that can be achieved at the park with nothing more than a skipping rope and weight resistance band thingie are most welcome.

I have five weeks until I go to Florida. I would like to be able to run on the beach and not risk being mistaken for a manatee who has swum ashore.

(Although, how cute are manatees?)

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Just keep breathing

12 Oct

I went to Pilates for the second time today. I’m really enjoying it, and how light and stretchy I feel afterwards. I am also pleased to report that there are no intimidatingly skinny people in the class.

Last week I left class on a high. I grabbed a pumpkin spice latte, I went shopping. I felt great all day. And I hardly thought about him. This week, I have to admit, I felt good after class, but my mood plummeted. For some reason he is back in my thoughts almost constantly. It’s so damn tiring that not even a pumpkin spice latte could pick me up.

But something I’ve already learned from Pilates is that my body is capable of more than I know. Just when I think I’ve stretched as far as I can – inhale – and on the exhale and I can stretch even further – inhale – and on the exhale further still. I can do all kinds of things I didn’t think possible if I just keep breathing.

I’ve mused before over the fact that, through the greatest pain I’ve ever been through, I somehow kept breathing. After the pizza of doom I didn’t feel like I could get through the next hour, let alone make it to the end of the year. Now I find myself in mid-October, and somehow I’m still here. It hurts. Every day. But – inhale exhale – if I just keep breathing I will make it to the end of the year.

And 2014 is going to be fabulous. I won’t let it be anything but.

Sweating it out

30 Aug

In school I wasn’t the kid who got picked last in gym. But I was the kid who got picked third from last. Sports were just never my thing. As an adult, though, I’ve realised you don’t need to be on the hockey A team to enjoy a bit of exercise. I run, I go to the gym, and I work out with a personal trainer once a week doing boxing and general fitness.

These past four weeks, my PT sessions have really helped me. My trainer pushes me. I sweat a lot. But the squats, burpees (ugh) and press ups are interspersed with trash talking my ex. It gets me all riled up and ready to box. I think I’ve been pushing myself harder than ever since the pizza of doom. In a way, physical pain or discomfort just doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m unafraid because nothing could hurt as much as this break up.

This morning we did a 90-minute session. 90. Minutes. Dear. God. I thought I was going to puke more than once. But it’s quite incredible how good boxing feels when you are full of anger and frustration. (No prizes for guessing who’s head I picture.)

Now, back in my flat, showered, coffee in hand, I feel amazing. In fact, I’m watching ‘Say Yes To The Dress’. And I am not crying.

I know the science; exercise releases endorphins. But I believe there’s something else going on here. I feel in control. I feel confident. I feel strong. 

To my break up buddies out there, find a boxing class and start sweating out all that negative energy. The release is so relaxing. Plus, it’s good to know you can throw a mean jab, jab, cross.