Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Wandering around Bristol

I’ve said recently I’ve been restless and not quite feeling where I am living. Don’t get me wrong I do love my house and being near all my friends, but there is something about it that is not quite working for me at the moment. It’s too quiet! I love quiet, but also I want to live a full life and love exploring and where I currently am, doesn’t have the things I want on the doorstep. My sister lives in Bristol and I head that way quite a lot and I keep thinking about maybe, possibly, in the future, moving there…

I don’t know for certain, but a big part of me at the moment want to live in a city. I loved Vancouver, Edinburgh and Cardiff, even if I was just there for short amounts of time. I love how you can walk everywhere (pretty much) and there is usually something new happening or to explore every week (maybe month). There is a sense of life to those places. I get the same feeling in Bristol and with my current job that could work as a place to be…

This last weekend my sister and I were meant to go sailing, but the wind was not in a kind mood and we are fair weather sailors, so we changed plans and went out for a walk around Bristol Harbour. We have done this many times, but as it was heavy showers forecast all day we went out expecting to top for coffee and in places all day, and that we did.

First we went to lunch at a new cafe called Mokoko.  I introduced my sister to flat white and the coffee bean menus even though she took the piss out of me for being so interested in coffee! We had a lovely lunch and I would recommend it as a place to go if you’re in the area.

We then started our walk, got about 500m and it poured down so we went into the M-Shed to learn about the history of Bristol. It’s free and it was interesting, but both of us were annoyed that there was no logical flow to the information and instead it was in themes, which was interesting but confusing!

After that we started on our walk again and go a bit further – to the cafe outside the SS Great Britain to be exact! It had started to rain again and we went for a cuppa. As it decided it was going to carry on for an our we decided to into the SS Great Britain as neither of us had actually been inside ever!

I was quite impressed. I loved the being able to walk around the ship and go below into the dry dock. The dry dock was the best part and I found it much more interesting than the reconstructed interior.

When we got to the deck the sun decided to make an appearance and it was beautiful to see colourful Bristol come to life.

Did you know you can get married on this ship?

Nor us! We were wandering around and suddenly there were lots of smartly dressed people heading into the lower deck which was all set out theatre style. It would make a unique setting that is for sure!

We then carried on our walk around the floating harbour, stopping for another coffee when it decided to pour down again and then headed for an early dinner at Pho. I am now obessed with Vietnamese food! I want to learn how to make Pho and rice paper rolls and have already spied that I can get the ingredients I need from my local shop. It was so fresh and filling, but light and tasty all at the same time.

Just one day in Bristol and I explored new things and went to new cafes and restaurants that just isn’t possible where I currently am. I am so tempted, but at the same time I don’t know whether I want to spend the money on moving. I have only just got to a place financially where I can afford to do the trips I want to do (Hello Japan!) and I really don’t want to give that up. I need to think hard about whether I can do both, but it might need to wait until I progress in work a little further. I’m excited to think about it though. I can start creating the future I want now, but only if I know what the future I want looks like. (I haven’t been reading a leadership book at all!!)

Hitting diet bottom

I hit diet rock bottom a while ago. It came on gradually. Each new attempt to diet started with one last supper, which got bigger each time. The cycle of diet and binge escalated to a point I was not happy with at all. I found myself slipping into a new depressive low and hated every minute of it. I found  excuse after excuse – busy at work, not feeling well, not training for anything – basically anything where I could blame my own willpower.

However I have since realised it was not my willpower that wasn’t working, but rather the diets themselves. Each diet was harming my body, biology and self-worth. So I needed to find something different and though a number of blogs found Intuitive Eating.

This book has been an eye opener so far and I’m not all the way through. I have found something that resonates with me on a deep level. Everything the diet industry is telling us is designed to impact our self-worth and self-esteem. We keep being told that failing a diet is our fault, not the diets. Even my doctor has told me this. I no longer believe it. I believe that the diets I have tried have all been about deprivation and that does not suit me. Now I am not suggesting I am going about to eat everything and gain as much weight as possible, but rather I need a lifestyle diet where my relationship with food is not based on what is considered good or bad. I don’t want this any more and I refuse to adhere to the societal norm that is:

“Good behaviour, in our society, means starting a new diet, or having good intentions to diet”

This has led to a no-win situation in my life where I no longer feel in control or trust myself around food and this is no way to live:

“Every diet violation, every eating situation that feels out of control lays the foundation for the diet mentality”

So I am breaking up with diets…

I am going on a journey with this book and I’m not going to say it’s easy. It’s bloody hard to change from an ingrained sense of self and rules that come from family and society. But I am going to keep working on this. I am taking the shift off losing weight and focusing on how my body and mind connect. Already I feel less stressed about food and am becoming more self-aware that I ever thought would be possible.

First up I’ve been Ditching the Diet Mentality“dieting has been a way to cope with life” – I’ve been doing this through widening my reading to be aware of the damage diets cause to the body and mind. This has been fascinating and scary, but worthwhile. I’ve also been starting the journey of self-awareness by tuning into my thinking habits and behaviours traits that support the diet mentality. This has been interesting to observe, but not easy to change as these have been ingrained into my way of life over years they have become automatic. I’ve also gotten rid of all the diet tools in my home. I’ve cleared out my twitter, instagram and blog feeds of weight loss inspiration and instead focused on positive people who share things that really matter or that are fun and inspire me to enjoy life.

Secondly I’ve been trying to Honour My Hunger. This has simply been about listening to my body, thoughts and feelings when I’m around food. I’ve been trying to eat when I feel hungry, rather than give into the to the rules I’ve made around timing of meals or snacks. I am asking myself two simple questions – “am I hungry? and what do I fancy to eat?” – these have been easy (ish) to implement and are really about checking in myself and noticing the times when I want to eat when I am not hungry, but I am still working on why that is. One step at a time.

The third aspect I’ve been introducing is all about Making Peace with Food “the forbidden object is elevated to an overvalued level of specialness” – This is an area that is very important for me as I have so many rules around specific food and so much guilt and shame associated with meals and people who make food very negative. The main aspect of this is to give yourself permission to eat and that is exactly what I am trying to do. I’ve bought chocolate and snacks that I used to think of as bad and keep as much as possible in the fridge so that I do not run out. I’ve challenged food I think of as bad and added them into my meals to see if I really like them. I’ve found I don’t need as much of things as I know I can have more of them if I want. This is something that I never thought would happen. I still over eat on chocolate, but it’s definitely emotional eating.

“When you know the food will be there and allowed, day after day, it doesn’t become so important to have. Food loses its power.”

“This is not about knowledge of food, but rather rebuilding experiences with eating”

I feel these three principles are really important building blocks to create the relationship with food that I want. It takes time and I am going to allow myself all the time I need to work through these aspects of the book. Building trust takes times and care. I am not only rebuilding my relationship with food but also my relationship with myself.

I’ve just moving onto the fourth area which is all about Challenging the Food Police. This is all about continuing to build self-awareness. It suggest an intuitive eating journal. I struggle with this concept as it feels too close to tracking that diets ask for. However this is very similar to what I am trying to do with therapy so I am going to focus on emotions and noticing them and combine this with my therapy work using an emotion wheel and emotion wave that I plan to use to help understand and articulate what I feel.

Taking the pressure off needing to lose weight has been hard, but pivotal to this approach. So ingrained are these habits that I always automatically jump to needing to lose weight so go on a diet every day for some random reason – clothes, food, fitness, chairs, lifts, – pretty much anything can make me jump to this. However I am stopped reacting and just begun noticing. I haven’t quite gotten to the no judgement part, but I am working on it. This feels the right approach for me and combined with therapy it is the journey I need to go on. There are still a few more principles in the book I need to work through and I will keep re-reading the ones I am working on above as I need them to become normal for me in my new world.

It feels good right now!

Restlessness

I’m restless right now.

I love a lot of my life right now, but at the same time I know I want more. I love my house with my cats and the freedom I have in my new job and the future travels I have planned. But, I’m having a severe case of small-town syndrome, which started late last year and hasn’t disappeared.

Part of me wonders if it’s another symptom of everything not being quite right with how I am thinking about things. I wonder if it stems from wanting to jump into something new to distract from the things causing me discomfort right now. I need a bit more time to work through things in therapy before I make any life changing decisions, but at the same time I can try to calm my restlessness by looking at options.

I’m currently on a contract with work so there may be an opportunity next year to move form my small town to a city. I want to live in a city just once. It might not end up being right for me, but I want to try it out. I also want to try out living by the coast and up in the mountains at some point in my life. I’ve come to realise I don’t want to stay living where I am forever and I’m okay with that. I like a base, but after a few years I need to move onto something new and that is exciting.

It is about being brave and stepping out into the unknown every so often. I need to take myself out of my comfort zone to make sure I am living my life to the full and not becoming complacent. 

My heart has not yet found it’s permanent place and it may never find it. I’m not a nomad, but I want to move around and experience different things. I thought I would be living abroad this time 10 years ago, but I didn’t go after it. My dreams have changed and that is okay, but I won’t ignore them any more or let the everyday distract me from what I really want to live my life for.

I am curious about what life can hold. I’ve made decisions about my life already that mean I need to find my fulfillment away from the norm. I don’t want to conform with a traditional way of life. This might be my way of rebelling against the life part of me thinks I should want. I really want adventure and exploration! My versions of these are probably very different from other people’s and again that is okay with me. In the end as long as I am living the life I want to live what else is there to be concerned with?

Balance and Accountability

Life is all about balance I believe.

I seem to have lost my balance in the last few years. Okay, so maybe not my whole balance, but rather an overall balance in life. I’ve had to focus on my mental health significantly and that has thrown other aspects off kilter, but in a way that is because before that I didn’t focus on it at all!

At the same time it is important to not try and do absolutely everything!

I suppose it is really about priorities and finding the right balance at the right time for all your own priorities.

I think this is why I have found changing my lifestyle for the better hard, as I have not prioritised to balance. Instead I have prioritised to the extreme with an all-or-nothing approach. This is not a sustainable way to live and I flip from one side to the other repeatedly.  I don’t feel very accountable at the moment, not even to myself. I know I have spoken about this before and stayed away from the subject as felt I was failing, by not making progress, when that is not true. Every day we make progress in our lives. It is not about the destination, but rather the journey we need to be enjoying.  My cats are a huge part of my life now and that has changed how much I want to be away from the house during the day and they play a big role in keeping me mentally healthy.

What then, are my current priorities?

  • Healthy eating
  • Being active
  • Career progression
  • Balancing my time being social and being alone

Other things I need to keep an eye on:

  • My mental health
  • My swimming goals
  • My finances
  • My blog and social media

So I am taking inspiration from Ashley over at Healthy Happier Bear and am going to post my weekly swEATS! This will include everything I’ve done that is active and everything I have eaten. I really want to be aware of my snacking as I think this is my downfall. I also want to be able to take a good look back at what I have eaten so I can see what does and doesn’t work and what adaptations I could make to improve things. Activity wise I want to get back to doing something active everyday as I have lost this habit and it is so hard to get back.

I’m So Excited!

January is going to be a fantastic month!

  • I turn 30!
  • I am going skiing to Italy!
  • I am going to see Jillian Michaels in Cardiff – FRONT ROW VIP!

I am actually looking forward to turning 30 and leaving my twenties behind. The last decade hasn’t been a great one for me. I have learnt a lot and will be taking a lot of things forward in to the next decade to make it a good one. I feel as though I will be entering the next phase of my life and there are lots of possibilities for where my life might go.

I haven’t been on a proper holiday since before I bought my house, so I have always planned to go away for my 30th. I chose skiing as it is something I enjoy, but don’t get to do too often. Plus it makes a perfect January holiday destination. My sister and I chose Italy as we love that country, but have never been skiing there. I go on my actual birthday and will be spending the first week of my thirties enjoying myself in the mountains.

Then last night I received the email to say Jillian Michaels is coming to the UK for her Maximise Your Life tour and I had to get myself a ticket. I went on and had a look at costs and then found I could get a third row ticket and then got really excited. I then realised there was a different link in the email and got a middle front row ticket with VIP meet and greet and couldn’t turn it down. It’s on the pricey side, but I have been a big fan of Jillian Michaels for a long time and have followed her tour through her podcasts wishing she would come over to the UK.

All of this has given me determination and motivation to get myself focused on my nutrition and to build my fitness base back up so I can enter my thirties with the results I wanted from Project Lifestyle in the first place. I am feeling really positive and in a good place. I still have low moments, but I have the tools in place to make sure I come through them and learn from them. I am being more social then I have been in a few years and although I choose which events I go to, I am excited about finding new friends and enjoying my fitness clubs. Volunteering for events and swim coaching has been a fantastic thing for me. Getting my kittens has my house feel like a proper home. I really feel like the last year of my twenties I have stepped up my game and focused on the things that really matter to me, and stopped fretting about the things that don’t.

So as you can probably tell I am really looking forward to January!

I am also looking forward to December as I love Christmas too!

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