Or that’s what it feels like when you put yourself out there. And that’s what I am about to do.
Firstly though let’s get something out of the way. This is my blog post which means it is my opinion and mine alone. I am not trying to advocate to anyone what they should or shouldn’t do. I have my opinions and beliefs and ideas and so do you. So does everyone. And we are all entitled to them. If at any stage this blog post does not resonate with you I am not in any way offended if you stop reading it. I hope that what you get out of it is the general meaning behind it, but to do that I have to share my story. And it’s just that – my story.
So now that I have had my say let me start.
I am 45 years old. And I am the heaviest I have ever been – apart from my pregnancies and during those I felt like the side of the house. I blame those babies – they were huge it had nothing at all to do with the packets of Tim Tams!
I am not complaining, I am not comparing myself to anyone else. I am simply stating a fact. And with that fact is that I do not feel as good about myself as I would like to in terms of the way I look. But here is the anomaly. I have been on a bit of a food journey the last few years. And as food journey’s go I have tried, tested, stopped, started, gone back to old habits, read, researched and on and on it goes. With the changes I have made and how I eat the majority of the time (I will get to the minority of the time shortly) I feel amazing physically.
I had spent my entire adult life (and looking back most of my childhood) with what I called “stomach issues”. I won’t go into details but let’s just say that up until a couple of years ago the situation was getting so bad that I didn’t know how I would continue to go out in public for long periods of time. The situation was stressful (which added to the problem) and was severely restricting my life.
Taking a Different Perspective
There were two changes that occurred. I left my job – a situation that had always caused me great anxiety. This alleviated some stress and my issues seemed easier to manage. But the biggest change occurred when I started eating gluten free. Now I had tried to do this some years earlier, very naively I should say, buying all those expensive “Gluten Free” products in the supermarket and had had some success but not a lot and I didn’t maintain it, constantly cheated – because, you know, you shouldn’t have to give up everything and, oh well you can guess how it went. Anyway this time I gave it a good go, checking all ingredients and doing some research.
Your own point of view
Purely from my point of view and not a medical one within a matter of weeks I would say 95% of my symptoms had disappeared. I can’t tell you the difference this has made to my life. I would like to tell you that I went gluten free fully but I didn’t. As with all habits, good and bad, it has taken a long time to develop new ones. I still fall off the wagon. But I am kind to myself. I simply get back on the wagon and off I go again.
The key to not giving up
It’s easy to give up and it’s hard to keep going. But here’s the key. When you start to feel better, I mean really feel better and that piece of food that you know isn’t good for you, but you eat anyway, makes you feel so bad because you’ve been feeling so good, you start to avoid it naturally. You slowly change the good thoughts of that favourite meal, piece of food, whatever it may be, with bad thoughts – stomach clenching, no thank you thoughts. And suddenly it’s easy to say “No thanks”.
Now I have taken the food journey further, reading articles that interest me and I find myself – oh dare I say it? on the Paleo path. I know there are a lot of people out there who think it’s all crap, garbage and baloney, I used to as well. But that doesn’t matter. Because what matters is what I think. When I eat this way, I feel fantastic.
Feeling good versus feeling healthy
But a more important question we should ask ourselves is “What is feeling good?” Is feeling good being able to run for an hour in the morning? Or is it being able to play a game of soccer? Of course it’s different for everyone. But feeling good to me shouldn’t be about the things I can achieve it should be about how I actually feel. Ok so this is it for me – my “stomach issues” have pretty much gone away. I sleep really well after years of lying awake in the middle of the night with sore hips and back and stressing over things in my life. Headaches – not major, just small annoying, but regular – have disappeared. My skin is better than it has ever been. I’m not tired anymore – no yawning my head off after lunch and wondering how I am going to make it through the day. My moods have evened out (yes I know those closest to me would say there is room for improvement with this one!) and I am happier. I don’t fall into slumps so much anymore, feeling down and worrying about everything. Now when things catch up I take a day, be kind and nurture myself and things tend to look brighter faster.
Have you ever really thought what “feeling good” means and what we believe is normal?
So I guess what I am trying to say is that if you find something that resonates with your beliefs, ideas and is something you enjoy and above all else makes you feel amazing then do it. But this is what is important. Does it really make you feel better? Or is it something that others think is good for you. I’ll explain.
Finding what works
Not so long ago, me, the person who hated exercise and who never really did much my entire life started group training with work colleges at lunch time. Yes I was the typical newly separated, let’s lose weight and dress better woman overhauling her life! Very cliché I‘m afraid. Anyway, I hated it! But I toned up, got fitter and felt better with how I looked. But I hated it! I kept getting told that I would get to the point that I would feel energised, feel terrific and I would want to achieve higher levels of fitness and do more. I didn’t, I hated it. I felt absolutely wrecked after every session, I was always sore. It all ended when my shoulder started to hurt, then my arm was sore and finally I couldn’t even pick up my handbag with that arm. Six months of physiotherapy later and lots of money it was OK again. I tried to go back to training, but to be honest I kept asking myself why was I doing something that I hated. And that my body seemed to dislike. Because quite simply I was told it was good for me.
At the same time I also went to yoga. I loved it! How funny how some people laughed at this. “That’s not real exercise” they said. “Yoga’s easy” they said. I am pretty sure they hadn’t tried it. But it made me feel great. Unfortunately I also gave that up because there were too many things in my life to juggle and some personal changes were happening then too.
Have you ever really thought what “feeling good” means and what we believe is normal? The person who says they’re in good health and feel good but are popping indigestion tablets like lollies. Or the person who constantly suffers from sinus, colds and coughs because it’s a change in season or they got it from the kids. Or the person who wakes up groggy every morning and can’t wake up without coffee. Or the person who has aches and pains in their joints but just thinks it’s because they are getting older. Or the person wearing the knee brace because it started to hurt whilst running. I could go on forever. I thought being tired was a part of a busy life and that small, niggly headaches were normal. That having sore hips was just something I had because I’d had kids and a sore back was a genetic thing. I thought my “stomach issues” were just something I had to deal with and it was my bad luck in life because it ran in the family. So what really is “feeling good”? It’s worth thinking about, don’t you think?
Being the best
So I need to make sure I am the best I can be. Emotionally I am the happiest I have ever been and physically I am getting there. I am very happy with how good I feel so far but am looking forward to being even better. My stomach issues are really not an issue anymore. But I started this post by saying I am at my heaviest. I know that can be attributed to age (as much as we hate to admit it things start to change in our 40’s), as well as my body adjusting to being well after a lifetime of “stomach issues”, but it can also be attributed to what I eat the minority of the time – let’s just say chocolate and wine feature regularly!
I am busy. So busy at times it’s crazy. Don’t get me wrong it’s a very good busy. I have a 15 year old son who likes to provide me with challenges. My partner has three businesses (bit of an overachiever!), I have one business and am heavily involved in one of his. Being in travel I need to be in the best health I can to provide the experiences my clients deserve – long flights, jetlag, long, exhausting tour days need to be managed. My partner and I also run a monthly event where we are on our feet all night, with lots of prep work and organising behind the scenes – we need to get through them without feeling like a truck ran us over the next day. I have an elderly mother I want to spend time with and do things for and not feel too busy or too tired to visit. And I want to be able to fully enjoy my precious down time and not be tired when some precious “time out” pops up. At the moment there is a lot of juggling and sometimes the balls get dropped.
Asking for Guidance
So I have asked for some help and guidance. I love to cook so that’s a start, I have become very “grass roots” of late as I like to call it, making my own mayonnaise and dressings, chia jams, growing herbs and vegies and occasionally making batches of bone broth just to name a few things. But it all needs to be streamlined and I need to develop consistency and continuity. So I have joined a program that starts in a few weeks. I hesitated for so long believing I could do it myself.
But let’s face it, education is an ongoing thing in our life, or at least it should be, and it’s time to put myself out there. So I am starting with my health and diet, then will come exercise – something that I love so it doesn’t seem like exercise and whilst that is all going on I will start to delve back into educating myself more for business. It’s time to feel even more amazing. Bring it, as my son would say!