Wednesday, 17 July 2013

What is holding me back - Excuses!

Since yesterday's blog I've had a few people say to me 'You write exactly what is in my head'.... I'm thinking today's blog may just be one that a lot of people identify with.

I love pre-season, because the first of the tasks makes you face up to all of your bullshit excuses. I have a truckload of them, some bullshit - some genuine. Still. After all this time I still make excuses if I don't want to do something. For the last several months, I have not wanted to eat well or exercise, and I have a mountain of really valid 'reasons' not to do it. They're legitimate reasons....right?

Looking back I'm not too far off being the woman who 12 months ago started this blog after signing up for 12WBT last year. I couldn't look in a mirror and the few times I braved reflective surfaces, it usually ended in tears. I spent the vast majority of my time sitting in a house that was so chaotically disorganised I was in a constant state of sensory overload and overwhelm. Simply walking through the door was enough to send me into the fridge to search for solace. I was so tired, all the time - completely unable to do the simplest of things without getting tired, deep down into my bones kind of tired. I was not the mother my children deserved - I spent more time in front of a screen than I did spending quality time with them. My fibromyalgia was a constant source of pain, chronic pain that was with me every moment of every day - my head was a fog, my brain unable often to preform the simplest of cognitive functions. Worst of all I hated myself for the shell of a person I was.

Fortunately - I am not back there completely, but it shames me to say, I'm not too far away from it. My house is less chaotic (mostly due to getting some domestic help) my kids are getting much more of my time and screens in all forms are getting far less. One major thing that is keeping me from falling back into the hole is my job. My job has also been my biggest excuse as to why I am like this again. I guess the other thing thing that keeps me from falling completely back into a pit of self-hatred for allowing myself to become a pathetic shell of a woman is how I felt last year.

Last year I got off the couch. Last year, I threw away my excuses, I followed 12WBT - I lost 12kg, I trained daily, sometimes for 2 hours - I learned to run. I lifted weights, and I felt great. I was a workout machine. I went from being an overweight blob with less than zero fitness and a dodgy heart.  You see just over 3 years ago, after a major car accident, my heart stopped, several times. This lead to a stay in a CCU, a cardiologist, an electrophysiologist, tilt table tests, and the possibility of a pacemaker at the ripe old age of 31. So when I say I had zero fitness and a dodgy heart I mean I was too scared to even break a sweat walking in case I had a heart attack. So I am not back THERE - I know my heart is strong, I know my body is capable....but any desire to become the workout machine left the building when I started back at Uni at the start of the year.

What stopped me - my excuses. Some of them were actually probably valid enough to be called reasons, but most of them were excuses. At the start of the year, I started back at Uni full time - and with 2 Aspie kids and a farm to look after, the full time study consumed every second the kids and animals didn't take up. Then about a month into the study, my now employer calls me in for an interview. I had already been knocked back for a job by the organisation twice, and was sure I had no real chance of actually getting the job, so I thought I'd do the interview for practice. I was still feeling pretty good about myself at this point and decided, 'What do I have to lose'? So I got the job, which is casual, but with pretty much full time hours. I cut Uni back from full time to part time (and have actually taken a semester off) and work is starting to slow down after 4 months.

Living out of town, and having kids who travel to town for school I need to be there to get them on the bus, and I need to come home when I've finished work because it's dark. That primarily became my excuse to stop. It is valid - and I can't actually see any way around it. My daughter and I even tried getting up at 6 a couple of times to go for a run, but it was pitch black and really dangerous - so it lasted all of 2 days.

My fibromyalgia is really playing up - and mostly I know it's because of what I put in my mouth. A lot of mornings I'm so intent on getting the kids a good healthy lunch and getting them on the bus that I forget to make my lunch, which inevitably leads to me to buying shit for lunch. I work in a big office for a small city - but it has all the good stuff, soft drinks, chips, chocolates and lollies. We all know that if we have a big KFC binge for lunch, that by afternoon tea break we need sugar to get through the afternoon. Sometimes, I need one an hour after lunch. The more sugar I eat, the more I crave, the more I need.... then I eat more sugar to help my brain work, to help me get through the day - there is just not enough sugar to satiate the craving. I try and of course then I feel like crap - I know it's 'bad' it's 'wrong' to eat these foods, so then the food guilt starts - followed by the pain. People with fibromyalgia shouldn't eat sugar. It causes pain. It stops pain. Briefly, while you're sugar buzzing... the pain goes.

Last year, I really enjoyed looking at my excuses, because ultimately most of them were just bullshit excuses. Made up because I was fat, lazy and ate my emotions. I watched the video online and then proceeded to spew out my excuses - then easily found solutions to the excuses. This year I have not done this task. I have thought about it a lot, and have pondered the solutions to why I will have a hard time getting around my excuses this year.....  I will do it. I have to say,  it really is a lot harder to find solutions to your excuses when they are legitimate reasons. This will not stop me. My job is keeping me off the couch, putting me back into the real world - but it's also keeping me from training when I'm used to. I will work out how to work around work - work around and include kids - and hopefully get a few workouts with the Warrior chicks, because I know we've lost our mojo, but I also know we'll find it again.

Now, I'm off to make a list and to work out some solutions - before the next task is unlocked tomorrow!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Friends or Acquaintances?

I quite enjoy blogging, I'm not entirely sure why, perhaps because I feel like I'm 'getting it off my chest' or maybe just because it helps me to process my thoughts and feelings. One thing I am sure of is I love knowing that I'm not the only person who gets benefit from my blog. A lot of the feedback I receive is from people who don't want to comment publicly on the blog for one reason or another but they still want to tell me how reading my blog has affected them personally.  That is why I guess I write this blog. To share the love, to share what I learn.

Yesterday's post got a great response. I am struggling, that is common knowledge - and I feel quite alone at times. In this world of social media we are usually surrounded by people, followers, fellow pinners, tweeters or bloggers - so we have millions of friends around us, right? When we have a problem, our friends all stop what they're doing, they close down instagram, they stop pinning, they don't tweet  - they call you, or text you or message you to find out what's wrong and how they can help. When you have hundreds of friends on facebook and you're having a shitty day people and let the world know, friends let you know they care......don't they?

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, because when you feel all alone, you start to wonder - do I really have any friends? Or do my friends just have so much going on they don't have time for me? I like to think I'm a good friend to people - if I think they're upset, in pain, struggling, need help, need a laugh or need anything - I'm there for them. So why don't they have time for me? I think it all comes back to social media - people being 'friends' with everyone, but not being there for anyone.  Maybe we've become conditioned to believe pressing 'like' to acknowledge that we've seen a post means we actually care? I am starting to look at the individual relationships I have with people and trying to decide if they are really friends. I am starting to see many are not.

Some friends you see are acquaintances. People you occasionally spend time with, usually in a group setting and have a laugh with - usually you have a shared or common interest.  Acquaintances are a lot of fun, but not really friends. They don't care much if you've had a bad day, week, or month - usually because they're too busy with all their other acquaintances, you know all 685 of their 'friends'. Often they'll even do nice things for you - especially if it gets them a tweet or status update or an awesome instagram in return - because let's face it, nothing in this world really exists until it's been acknowledged publicly. It's like my biggest pet peeve - people who donate to charity for the qudos. I think a lot of good deeds done by acquaintances are done only to receive acclaim from other acquaintances.

It turns out - since yesterday I have discovered I have a lot more friends than I thought.  I have had calls and messages to let me know that they're still there for me. To let me know they miss me and that they love me. To let me know they are there to help me. Conversely, I also have seen quite clearly that I have many more acquaintances than friends. They happily continued to ignore my pain - because the sweet siren song of social media called strongly to them, and it was more important than me. To some people I am just a 'friend' on facebook - one of many hundred people that they can share a reality they've created where they are the worlds greatest family, living in the worlds greatest home, cooking the greatest food, being the greatest parent........ you all know the type. In reality, they're nothing like the illusion they create - but desperately seeking approval, likes, comments etc.  I don't want to be a number - someone to like their picture, someone to get jealous of their perfect children, or their perfect home - I want to be me, a person - who is valued and loved.......

So how does this realisation affect my journey toward good health? Easy - any road is easier to travel when you have friends travelling with you. Instead of spreading my time as thin as a crepe by giving time to friends and acquaintances - I am taking the time to work out who falls into which category. The time I have to give will be given to my friends. The ones with who I have emotional reciprocity - the ones who care if I fail or succeed. The ones who love me. The ones who compliment me privately because they notice changes - not the ones who do it publicly to be seen as a supportive friend. The ones who genuinely want to see me succeed. The ones who don't just take, but the ones who give.

So what does this all mean - will I go cold turkey on social media, will I stop looking at photos of peoples kids, homes and families? Will I stop caring about my acquaintances? Will I 'un-friend' everyone on facebook because they don't love and support me? Shit no!!!! Some of my acquaintances are the coolest and most fun people I know. I love spending time with them. For the most part, I love seeing the things they post. I love laughing with them and sharing mutual interests with them. All it means is this - I will try to remember 'friends' aren't friends. I shall endeavour to spend less time on social media. I will give the majority of the time that I used to give to acquaintances to real friends. I will do my damndest to support the people joining me on the road to Wellness.

Today I really want to thank some true friends - both old an new. Each of you has told me things about how this blog has helped you and I really appreciate you letting me know.

The one who is always there - Thankyou. I still can't believe this blog is where it all started.
The guy who adopted me - Thanks for telling me that I was your inspiration to live healthier
The girl who is Darcy's Mumma - Thanks for telling me you love the blog and that it inspres you
The one who paints - Thanks for always responding to my posts - and coming for coffee when I'm sad - I love our chats
The foodie who invited me out Friday - thanks for letting me know you feel alone too P.S - I think Friday night sounds great....I'm working on making it happen! ;)
The one who sparkles - thanks for letting me know my blog helped you to look at your drinking - I love your honesty and hope you are doing well
The one with the Miss Indi  - I love knowing you read and it starts conversations between us all the time!
The one with the needles - you are always there when I need an ear, you are awesome

I'm sure I'll upset a couple of people with this post - and perhaps people will think it's about them specifically. It's really not. I think I'm just fed up with a world where people think 'friends' are more important than friends. I plan to make sure my friends know how much I love them. I think then I will be able to approach the next 16 weeks of my life with less baggage knowing the difference between friends and acquaintances.

Finally to my friends - knowing I have you when I'm struggling is what keeps me going. I hope you know that there is unequivocal reciprocity. I would do anything for you guys.

M x

Sunday, 14 July 2013

A big bag of crazy

Today I am a big bag of crazy. My first thought when I woke was 12WBT. I decided I was going to weigh myself officially for pre season launch - so I did the usual wake, wee, weigh - and then spent the next 10 minutes sitting on the side of my bed, bawling like an idiot.  I then proceeded to watch the Welcome Video that was launched today on the site.... and began to yell at Mish like a crazy person when she said that 'we're all in this together - and we're a family'.

You see, the headspace I'm in, I'm pretty much alone - I have my kids of course and I have my bestie who I can spill all my feelings and crazy to - but aside from that, I'm pretty much alone.  In reality, we're all pretty much alone, lets face it, with all the junk we have going on in our lives, does anyone really have the time to care about my Nan dying, or me not getting my dream job, or me having all my shifts cut at work, or me having a fall causing me daily agony, or stressing about Dad's surgery.... of course not. They're all to busy worrying about their own stuff, kids, jobs, depression, craft, weight problems, marital problems..... we all have our stuff. So when my real family and friends don't really have time to worry about my trivial problems why would Mish. So it's apparent, I'm already in a shitty headspace going in. I'm not a moron, I know that ultimately 12WBT is a business, there to make money, but then I'm reminded by said bestie after about 3 insane messages this morning - yeah, it is a business, and she doesn't care about you personally - BUT THE PROGRAM WORKS.  She has lost over 50kg on the program, I have lost 12 on the program, we have seen people in the 30+ crew who have lost well over 50+ kilos. The program works. So I will lean on Mish, the program, the bestie and the 30+ team and the Warrior Women - I will do everything I can to support the other people going through the struggles I am, because perhaps their friends have stuff going on as well.... perhaps they need someone to lean on as well.

So the bestie 'Ms R' right. The program works - at the moment I don't. So I need to work on that. My mind is totally in the wrong spot. I had to go into town this morning, and I needed to grab a couple of things from the supermarket. I walked in the door and all I could see was the things I couldn't have - so now I know where my head is..... it's in deprivation mode. Whenever I'm in deprivation mode, I don't see wonderful wholesome nutritious foods in front of me, the foods that will heal my body and make me strong, fit and healthy. Shit no! I see the cheezles I can't eat, the lollies I can't consume, all the packages and boxes that I'm not allowed to eat out of convenience after a long day at work. I see the coke I'm not allowed to drink. That still breaks my heart. (side note - this morning, while I was in the shower I asked my baby girl Miss J to tip out the remnants of a bottle of coke and thought of you smiling Tan.) While I'm in deprivation mode, everything is harder. I don't focus on the can's but the can not's.

I remember for me last time I did 12WBT the changes I underwent in preseason. I am trusting the program - I am going to do all of the pre-season tasks, and I am going to try my hardest. I know I won't be perfect and that I'll slip up on the way, but I know I'm capable of being more than I am now.

Wish me luck this time round guys, I'll need it. To Ms R, the 30+ crew, and the warriors - I will try my hardest to be there for you to be a shoulder for you. I know it's hard when we have stuff going on in our lives, but I will do the best I can.

Now I'm off to check out the first pre-season task...........

M. xx

Never say never!

I am not good at failing. I have very high expectations of myself - and I don't like it when I don't meet them. With my weight I have not met them. Last year, when I began 12WBT I was not a happy woman but  I did pretty well. I lost over 12 kg and I lost nearly a metre in measurements from my body.

12 months on, and I am 1kg less than I was when I started. Those of you who know me, know I've had a hard time recently - and that I'm using all the old crutches to cope. Last time I did 12WBT I had issues, and I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to do another round, but to be honest - I've hit rock bottom again. Last time I felt like this it was Michelle who helped me to find some mental clarity, throw away my excuses and JFDI.

I seem to have found a whole lot of excuses with the extra weight - and I need to let them go. I was blessed to meet my dearest friend through the program, and she has promised to do it with me - so I have an accountability buddy joining me on the journey.

I am going to try to blog more as a way of staying accountable to myself, family and friends. Tomorrow is pre-season kick off - tomorrow, it all begins! Let's hope this time I find the what it takes to stick with it.

I never thought I'd go back to 12WBT or any program to help me lose weight or become healthy again.... I was so confident that I had it all under control - good thing I believe in never saying never!