I nearly vomited in the gym this week and it was on a God damn weights day.
I had it coming. I was still getting over a virus/head cold-flu-thing/sinusitis that knocked me for six.
I also took a lot of time away from exercise over the Christmas break, which I had planned to do (although to be honest, I ended up taking an extra week than planned and in hindsight, that was not a good idea). I do however believe that taking a break from the gym, even if you’re the fittest or strongest in the room (which I am never), is okay to do from time to time.
What I don’t recommend is whilst on your break, you eat the equivalent of a whole pig and drink enough alcohol to fill a bottle-o. As a result, your lungs will give up on you about 32 seconds into your first training session back. Fact.
I know you’re probably wondering “does this bitch every have anything positive/non-complainy to say?”
YES I DO! Plus sides:
- I’ve got endorphins flowing again (and man do they help the anxiety feels).
- I’m excited about training again.
- I’m back to eating human portions of food (well … mostly).
- My co-trainers have been kind enough to do demonstrations during F45 classes lately, because I have been legitimately scared I wouldn’t make it through without passing out. Legends all around.
On the topic of all these plus sides and getting back on track, I thought I would share some tips that are helping me and may help some of you ease into the New Year.
Hannah’s helpful New Year tips:
Don’t go cold turkey
How’s that no sugar for 2019 diet coming along? If you’re anything like me that ship has saiillledddd and you’re back to eating whole packets of Jaffa Cakes (get around them) and drinking vanilla milkshakes until you’re sick. Rather than cutting out sugar or carbs, becoming vegan, swearing to meditate five times a day and never watching trash TV like the Kardashians or Geordie Shore again – just take baby steps. Eat less sugar this week, say no 3 out of 5 times to the cookie jar at work, supplement butter on your bread for avocado (it’s delicious I promise), throw in an extra training session, take a walk along the beach or read a few pages of a book. You’ll crash and burn in a matter of weeks if you go cold turkey on absolutely everything.
Exercise your brain in multiple ways
I mentioned this in the point prior – READ. Read more than you have been lately. And I don’t mean Pedestrian articles on who Ariana Grande is dating (guilty). Set aside time to pick up an actual book. Or do puzzles, or attempt crosswords, or do something else that will force you to put your phone down and use your brain in a different way. If you’re anything like me you’ll feel a different sort of satisfaction and reward afterwards.
Get outside your comfort zone
As mentioned in a previous post this one is a bit rich coming from me, because I’m Qween of routine and safety. But I’ve come to a sort of rationalisation that if I kick the year off pushing my comfort zone at least a little bit, it will snowball into an awesome effect and hopefully keep kicking my anxiety in the dick. I tried stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) for the first time recently and damn, it felt good to stomp on my anxiety. That may be a little mild for some of you – maybe you could try surfing, or rock-climbing or skydiving (which I have also done and it’s awesome). If you wanna scale it down maybe try a meditation class, or try an exercise in the gym you always avoid, up your weights, go for a hike, try a new cuisine, speak to someone new at work or school – whatever. Just do something a bit different.
Set some targets
Me preaching about this is absolutely ridiculous because whilst I believe in goal-setting, I’m still learning how to do it well (I’m also reading a book by Derren Brown called ‘Happy’ who has mentioned goal-setting can be a really bad thing to do if we don’t do it right, but I haven’t got to the chapter yet). But I do know that we need to write shit down folks. We all know the saying: “a dream without a plan is just a wish”. As hippy as that sounds to someone like me, it’s pretty bang-on. You’ve gotta put timelines in place and steps and actually work on things if anything is going to happen. Turns out writing lists all the time but then never actually doing anything on those lists, doesn’t do shit ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Start letting go of your stories
This is a running theme in our house at the moment and also one of the main themes in the book I am reading. Derren Brown, as well as my partner Josh, are teaching me how to let go of the stories I’ve been telling myself my whole life. About the story I tell myself and others as to why I can’t do certain things or shouldn’t try certain things etc. As an example, I’ve included a short excerpt from the book – the passage is in relation to a somewhat famous friend of Derren’s who takes a photo with a young fan after one of his shows:
We are, each of us, a product of the stories we tell ourselves. Some of our stories are brief and inconsequential, allowing us to get through our day and make sense of other people: “I’ll do this and head to the shops and get that done, and then I’ll be able to completely relax this evening.” Or, “She was snappy because really she’s worried that I’m putting other people before her. She does that because she’s insecure.”
These are neat narratives that allow us to arrange complicated reality into a satisfying and tidy parcel, and move on with our lives. Without them in place, we would only see a mess of details.
Other stories become deeply ingrained and in many ways define who we are. We tell ourselves tales about the future: “Oh, I’m an awkward misfit who looks terrible and always will.” Or, “I’ll never have a fulfilling relationship.” Other stories are about the past: “I’m like this because my parents treated me in a particular way.” Or, “I’m an unlucky person – always have been.” Yet our entire past, which we feel (in many ways correctly) is responsible for how we behave today, is itself just a story we are telling ourselves in the here and now.
What sort of stories do you have to tell? Are they stories that should change?
I’ll be the first to admit that in certain situations (usually involving something I’m unsure of) I often think things like: “oh I’ll be terrible at this, I always have been with these sorts of things”.
I sense there will be much more to come on this topic, but for now, maybe have a think and see what sort of stories you’ve been telling yourself. Some of them may be good stories, whilst some may be holding you back a little. We all know the key element to my story and it rhymes with Schmanxiety.
On a final note …
Every part of my introverted brain goes against asking, but I’m going to anyway. If you could share my posts, sign-up to my newsletter, like my Facebook page or follow my Instagram page, I would GREATLY APPRECIATE IT. Hell, even if you just tell a friend and let them decide what they want to do, I’d be down with that as well. It terrifies me to even ask, but also makes me happy to think other people might get some enjoyment out of what I write.
In addition to that not-so-subtle plea for your assistance:
Visit the dentist regularly, get your skin checked and remember to drink lots of water. Make sure you’re up-to-date with pap appointments, check your body for unusual lumps (not obsessively), exercise, smile more, be kind and do your bit to look after the environment (seriously guys we need to pull our heads in. The Great Barrier Reef and polar caps are in a fucking state but those are topics for another day – another day soon I might add).
And if you can, try not to worry about what other people think of you. Fuck those guys. Seriously.
And for the love of God – travel. Whether it’s packing up for the day and going to a spot up the road or packing up your life to go across the world – just TRAVEL.
Travel somewhere with water. Water is good for the soul.