Moving on – lessons learned from last week

What a difference a day makes.  Truly.  As I sit here this morning at the start of a new week I feel so much better than I did on Saturday.  Unlike the Boomtown Rats (for those of us old enough to remember), I really do like Mondays.   I like that there is not just a new day stretched out ahead of me, but also a new week.  Full of possibilities and opportunities to make good choices for myself, to make positive steps towards my goals.

And today I get to make thousands of steps towards one of my goals,  I’m doing a 10k this eve! Don’t be too shocked – I’m not running it!  It’s actually the Leeds Legal Walk, to raise money for the PSU, a charity I volunteer with helping litigants in person in court.

I’m excited to be doing it, it feels like an important stage in my journey, not only as a marker to show how much my fitness has improved but also it marks being half way through the first stage of training to be a lawyer, 6 months left until my heart surgery, a quarter of the way to my weight loss target.  I’m so grateful to my personal trainer, Jennie, who is walking it with me and has signed up 5 others in the Set U Free crew to do it too. I’m really looking forward to meeting them and feel incredibly blessed to have such amazing support in my life.

So what have I learned from the last week?

1. I am stronger than the fat inside my head.

Despite feeling so anxious on Saturday, too fat to leave my house, I did eventually go out.  I got the bus into uni and did 3 hours of revision.  I may have felt sick while I was on the bus.  I may have felt like everyone was staring at me as  I walked through the city centre.  I may have felt completely paranoid. But with every step I took I could feel my strength on the inside growing and my body on the outside shrinking.

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2.  Good nutrition and exercise really do positively affect mental health. 

I know that this is not new news.  But because of last week I can honestly say that I now 100% know for a fact that it is true.  Well for me at least.  Last week I panicked when people started noticing I have lost weight, and old, unhelpful thought patterns started to rear their ugly heads.  This led to me skipping meals, and picking on sugary, fatty stuff, which meant I had less energy so less active, and so it went on.  The incredible thing is that I couldn’t concentrate as much either. I not only felt lethargic physically, but I also felt sluggish mentally.  And I very quickly started to go to a dark place.  But as soon as I have started eating proper meals again,  including good vegetarian proteins, complex carbs and fresh veg and fruit, I feel loads better emotionally, mentally and physically.

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3. I need to reorder my time to prioritise my health and fitness.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that last week I didn’t plan my meals, so struggled  to eat proper meals.  I also didn’t plan my exercise either.  My excuse?  Too busy with exam revision and work.  Real reason?  I hadn’t cared about myself enough to prioritise it.  I mean, I found time to watch tv, but surely I am more important than the tv?

The truth is that I can’t expect my health and fitness to improve by itself, it will take time and effort, but it will be worth it.  And so I have to choose to love myself enough to prioritise it even when I don’t actually feel that love for myself. Or I never will.

This morning I have planned meals and workout sessions for the week, done an online grocery shop, and booked a very indulgent non-food treat for Friday, a hair makeover. Eek.

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4. I need more time with friends.

I’ve realised that I’ve been hiding away a bit recently, pulled myself back from my social life, and not going to church as much.  I’ve been worried that I won’t be good company, and I don’t want to burden people with my feelings if they ask me how I am.  It’s sort of crept up on me.

So yesterday, I went to church.  I didn’t really feel like going, because I still felt fragile, but I forced myself.  I’m really glad I did.  I walked the 2 miles there (and back), which instantly made me feel better physically and mentally, and I caught up with some wonderful people.  I thoroughly enjoyed the time of sung worship and the teaching.  My friend (who had read my last blog) prayed for freedom for me.  I chatted to some new people.  Then afterwards I went with a couple of others to a friend’s house for lunch and ended up hanging out there until 7pm.  We had lots of laughs together.  I didn’t get any exam revision done yesterday but  the day really did do me the world of good.  So watch out friends – I’m coming back out of hiding!

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Love L x

 

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