365 Day Blog challenge Day 158 The Wheel of Life #365daychallenge

Yesterday in my development course we had an exercise called the Wheel of Life. In this you have a wheel broken into 8 sections. In each section are 10 dotted lines and you have to rate each section as to where you think you are. The purpose being you can then work out which areas of your life need extra support and attention. I first did this exercise in 2015 just after an anxiety based breakdown. I’d been diagnosed with a sever anxiety disorder.

These days I’m at my happiest and I feel really good. I know I have anxiety but I believed I had it under control for the most part. I do know my social anxiety has got the bets of me a little bit but actually when I compare the two charts I can see I’ve been deluding myself a lot.

One good thing about yesterday was the chance to talk it out with people who challenged me a bit on the subject and really made me thing. This was part of the course as we had to really discuss what changes we wanted to make in our lives and how. Then we had to have honesty discussions with each other as to how likely we will stick to the actions we’d set ourselves.

Looking at my 2 charts my work score has gone up. Understandable as I was in a job that I’d lost the love for and had no support, now after a lot of hiccups along the way I enjoy my job and have a lot of support. My health score went up 5 points! That’s down to the diet and walking I’m doing, the positive results and holding myself accountable in this blog. It makes me hyper aware of what I’m doing.

Money and personal growth are the same. I’d just started the repayment plan and so I think that score will be low until it has finished and I am always looking at new ways to grow in knowledge.

The rest went down and if I look at the categories they are all things influenced by being sociable; relationships, fun, friends and so on. Again in this blog I’ve talked about my social anxiety and how sometimes I think my finances have impacted on it but it’s harsh to see no positive change in 3 years. I trust myself with my physical health now to not dwell on it too much so the mental health side must be something to focus on for the rest of the year. I don’t want to check in 12 months time never mind in 3 years and have the same feelings.

I’ve taken some strides; following on from the flirtology book I’m getting quite used to chats with strangers now. I now need to take this forward more. I finally found a book club I enjoy and feel comfortable with. There is though, so much more to do. I need to sit with pen and paper as I think better that way and come up with some actions. I’m at a point where I refuse to let this take over my life any further and in a place where my will is ready to do battle with my brain and not let it control me. Now all I need is a plan.


365 Day Blog challenge Day 116 Animal Kingdom #dietgoals #365daychallenge

This morning I stood on the scales and found out I had hit my first weight loss goal. I wrote in the Wonderland  blog that as I had a lot of weight to lose I wanted to split it into 5 sections and had given all but the last one (Wonderland) Disney park names hence reaching Animal Kingdom.

This weight is significant for 3 reasons

  • There’s a 30 year high school reunion in the summer. I was this weight at the last reunion 3 years ago. I remember feeling good about myself as I’d lost 7lbs, my clothes fit and I was so happy that I could get my rings on again. Then the breakdown happened and I put those 7lbs back on plus another 10lbs taking me to the heaviest I have been in my life
  • 3 years ago I had the final breakdown so it feels like getting back to the weight I have finally vanquished that period of my life. I’m back to a time before I got anxious, sad and teary. To a time when I thought I had so much to look forward to that got taken away for a short while

But thirdly, when I first put on weight in the mid 1990’s I went to a slimming club and was the same weight as I was this morning. That was the heaviest I’d ever been in my life up to that point. I was mortified I’d let myself get to such a stage. Today I’m celebrating getting back to something that once disgusted me. I’m still going to celebrate as it’s a great achievement however I need to keep that 1990’s feeling that I need to be healthier and fitter and keep going.

I’m on target with the steps challenge I set myself this week. I’m feel quite Zen and in the mood for positive change. Although my next official target (MGM studios) is about another 15lbs away I’ve some smaller ones leading up to it. 4lbs will mean I have lost a stone and a half, 5lbs will put me in the next stone weight below (in UK we tend to weigh in stones and pounds rather than just pounds)

I’ve also got some mini target rewards. Having lost 14lbs I am going to have my 2nd set of ear piercings re-opened (one is fine but one has healed over so just going to tidy it up). When I hit 21lbs (stone and a half – 4lbs away) I will have the one in my upper ear re-opened.

Once I’ve lost a further 14lbs after that I will get the 2 tattoos I’ve wanted for a while. I never see the point in saying I will treat myself to new clothes. When you lose weight you need the new clothes anyway. It becomes necessity rather than treat.

Overall I feel really good today. While I wobbled a couple of times knowing the target was coming up using this blog daily kept me on my toes and far more conscious of my behaviour than in previous diets and it was easier to pull back and re-motivate.

My step-mum asked me yesterday what diet I was doing and was a bit surprised by my answer (she has been a member of a diet club or another for nearly 40 years – for maybe 10-15 years she has been at her goal weight). I said I gave up sugary foods, quit the fizzy diet drinks and blogged about being fat. No clubs, no paying other people to weigh me and for the first time in over 20 years I’ve proven to myself that I can do it myself by just being sensible.

365 Day Blog challenge Day 113 – Getting Out #365daychallenge

Finally! I managed to get out and start joining some clubs. I wanted to do this last month but…you know…snow. And then more snow so it didn’t happen.

I’ve been trying to think of things I like so I can work out how to do them in a less solitary way and meet up with people. My world has shrunk to revolve around books and I found it really hard to write a list of what I enjoy but I’m slowly getting there.

So tonight was a crime book club. At first I was a bit worried as apart from the host everyone was a pensioner but after a few minutes a couple of people closer to my own age turned up. It’s was quite a well attended club and very chatty and noisy. As a group I really liked it and it’s great to leave my comfort zone. Everyone made me feel welcome.

I will keep going but it was predominantly older people so who I can’t see accompanying me to the local arena for some heavy metal concerts but you never know who will turn up from month to month so I wont make too many assumptions 🙂

I’ve another crime one at the local book store in a couple of weeks that I’m also looking forward to so that’s 2 new things. Woo hoo. I will spend a couple of weeks looking at making my list longer and see what else is out there.


365 Day Blog challenge Day 105 – Memories #365daychallenge

The last in a small themed weekend I hadn’t planned on social media and for once not me ranting about the negativity 🙂

I changed phones at the beginning of the year and while all my photo’s are saved onto dropbox they didn’t carry over onto the new phone. I was looking last night on Facebook to download some older pics of me for various reasons. I could take new selfies but I’m not yet at a stage where I can let go of the criticisms whenever I see myself on camera.

Looking through the FB ones there are very few left from pre-2010 (when I had breakdown number 2 of 3). Of those that are there I tend to ignore or swiftly move past them. Last night I went down memory lane and had a good look at them. I’m not in touch with the majority of the people in the pictures. The friendships ended badly after the breakdown and I think that’s led me to just dismiss the period of age 23-38 as lost depressive years.

But one thing I noticed on these pictures was the smiling. For a start I hate my smile these days – part of the constant self criticising inner voice and I’m sure it will go in time. On these photos where not pulling funny faces I was beaming. I looked so happy. And my over-riding thought was ‘We had some good times’.

And that’s made me think a bit. I think I’ve got stuck defining those years as the depressed years but it wasn’t all that bad. I’ve a tendency to look back and see fog but actually life was very much the cliche of roller coaster. I had foggy days and I had days of joy where there was no fog. I need to try and reconnect with some of those memories and feelings.

I block out a lot of good when I say that I was depressed to the point of actually forgetting things. By focusing on purely the bad I’ve lost sight of the fun and good times and that’s not fair on anyone even the ones no longer in my life. I unlocked some teenage memories with music – a really cathartic day of being immersed on 80’s & early 90’s tunes. The mid-years memories will involve endless movies, Chinese buffet, wrestling and late 90’s/early 00’s dance music. I can probably do the movies and Chinese but don’t fancy the others much any more.

I actually think they’ll come more with acceptance and embracing memories as they come with happiness rather than sadness. It’s a huge part of my life and one I don’t talk enough about as quite understandably the last few years after the last (and final – say it enough and I’ll achieve it) breakdown have dominated. I’d barely done my grieving and moved on from number 2 before the 3rd happened. I think, going back over the last 100 posts I’m in a good place to re-visit this time and put some ghosts to bed.

365 Day Blog challenge Day 102 – Comparisons #365daychallenge

One of the things about being addicted to The Biggest Loser is it makes me think. Past life me used to watch it by barely glimpsing at the TV screen and stuffing my face with pizza. These days I try and take on board information.

Currently Sky are showing season 11 of TBL Australia. They’ve just introduced the newest round of contestants and my first impression was they’re not as huge as usual contestants. That’s probably because the last few series of both Australia and America have had 500lb people on there.

But then they showed this woman who’s goal is to wear a bikini on the beach when she goes down with her husband and child. At the minute she goes to the beach wearing leggings and a knee length cardigan. Watching it at first I was baffled why she was on the show. Her weight and body size looked completely ‘normal’. She didn’t seem overweight or look ‘fat’. Why was she even there????

Then they had her in her underwear and showed her weight and I had a massive shock. We’re the same weight! And very similar in shape. I completely identify with her feelings. There’s no way I’m wearing a  bikini. I’m not even sure I’d wear a one piece. The funny thing is I see her and see someone with a normal non-exercising body shape. I see me and see a frump, overweight and bodily ugly. Yet we’re the same!

It’s odd how we see ourselves and how we compare ourselves to each other. And comparisons are dangerous. They can be so damaging to self esteem and our moods. But I’m now sure how we stop. I gave up showbiz magazines a long time ago after I saw 2 magazines side by side where one named a famous woman and said how happy with she was with her body. In the magazine next to it the exact same picture and headline how she was disgusted with her body and about to start a huge transformation. How are we, the general public, supposed to understand that?  It’s so damaging. Easy to give up following these magazines, harder when it’s a neighbour or person in the street.

So new challenge to add to the others. Time to stop comparing. Time to learn to love my body no matter what size whilst learning to give it the love it deserves through healthy eating and exercise.

365 Day Blog challenge Day 100 – 100 Day Review #365daychallenge

Wow I’ve managed 100 blogs in a row. That’s quite the milestone and 100 days into my 365 daily blog challenge. I’ve been thinking about a review of the last 100 days and any changes I can spot. I spoke yesterday about a lot of them.
When I started I worried about what I’d be able to write and if I could keep it up. By focusing on me and the changes I want to see I’ve found the content comes easy. I was worried I’d have an over reliance on memes when I got stuck but I don’t think I’ve done that very often.
I’ve been able through daily writing to really look at my behaviours and see the changes I want to make and actually do them. I think there’s also a level of honesty in the blogs that wouldn’t be there if I had simply kept a journal. It’s easy to lie to yourself but less so when someone else is to read your notes whether that is 5 people or 5000. You never know who may have similar issues or looking for similar answers. So by lying you’d not just be fooling yourself but others too. It’s not always been pleasant to see my negatives in black and white but it has helped to start the process of change.
I’ve also learnt to see the big picture. For example I’ve lost maybe 2lbs this month after last months excellent start. Past life me would have seen that and given up, probably eating several of those giant share bags of chocolate whilst doing so. Yet looking back over the daily blogs I can see my foot steps are going to be higher this month than last month even with 3 less days. I’m still chocolate and fizzy pop free. I’ve had some amazing feedback at work. I started my Flirtology and conversations. 2lbs is disappointing but looking at the big picture I’ve achieved an awful lot over the last 3 months and seeing it written down stops my negative thinking.
I’m looking to the next 100 days. I’ve had a chat with my manager today so there’s lots of development action to happen. I’ve got more conversations to have with people. I’ve more sugar to avoid and steps to walk and I really should get my act together and do some proper exercise. Plus I want to challenge myself by going to some new places. I’m quite excited to see what changes occur this time