I used to be strong and fit.
I say used to because at one stage my social life was going to the gym twice a day, six days a week. Over the last couple of years I have barely done any exercise.
I used to exercise a lot because it was so important in helping manage my mental health. It’s no coincidence that over the last couple of years my mental health and overall wellbeing has been at its worst. This year in particular has been tough and that’s without adding Covid-19 into the equation.
I have realised that there is no point in me hankering after the person I used to be, I’m not in that position anymore and the scales certainly tell a different story. Instead my focus is on who I am now and what changes I can make to fit my life in this moment so I can get through each day.
So for the last month I have started exercising again and I’m finally putting to use some of the fitness equipment I ordered back in April – I’ve had a rude awakening of how unfit I am. I was embarrassed at how easily I gas out so I had to give myself a pep talk and be mindful of some important lessons:
⁃ Start small. I’ve started with tabata skipping so I have active and rest time that I do in 4 minute blocks. As I get fitter my active time increases, along with the number of blocks
⁃ Be consistent. I’m starting off with a minimum of twice a week training sessions, 3 or 4 sessions is ideal
⁃ Train outdoors where possible. It feels good to be outside in the sunshine (will grab it when I can!)
⁃ Include resistance and strength training in addition to my cardio
⁃ Increase my daily steps. I’m happy to be able to get back to the 10,000 mark the last few weeks, during lockdown this had dropped to about 1,500 a day and quite a few of those mainly consisted of trips from the lounge to the kitchen looking for snacks!
⁃ Intuitive eating. I am usually a big comfort eater and will eat my feelings. I’m being a lot more mindful of only eating when I’m hungry and being more aware of what I am eating (my crumpets & kettle chips consumption has been greatly reduced)
⁃ My training plan also includes mind training so I have started journaling and meditating again and I check in with my therapist as and when I need to
⁃ Reducing my time on social media and muting or blocking key words and accounts. This has been so important the last few months, there are so many angry and bigoted voices in the social media space, it was really starting to get to me
⁃ Daily gratitude. There are so many things to be thankful for
⁃ Find joy in each day. I have been taking a lot of pictures so I have reminders. They’re mainly of my cat at the moment
⁃ Be kind. I often berate myself when I’m not doing well at something. I don’t need to beat myself up about any of my goals and what it takes to get there. If I fail at something it becomes a lesson and it means I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and wasn’t afraid to try something new
I am learning to accept myself for who I am and what I am capable of in this moment. I also thank my past self for helping me get to this point in my life.