Positivity #11

Positivity is the best way to start any week.

How to break the cycle of fear in habit formation

Recently we covered self care ideation and how there are practical and realistic ways to love yourself beyond the keywords and SEO. Today we will talk about aversion, procrastination and habit forming when it causes some fear response or avoidance behaviour. Being able to form new habits and behaviours is complex and difficult as it requires a lot of internal rewiring. So, we will start from the beginning of the process. We’ll talk about why this happens to begin with, what causes it and strategies to change it.

Why we do what we do?

There is no correct answer to this, as depending on the severity and context of the issue it can be one of many things. However, it all breaks down to one key thing – it is something that ultimately serves you. I’m reluctant to use the word benefits, as no one has depression or anxiety because it benefits them. In saying that, your brain is smart, and it tries to adapt to the environment and the chemicals it produces to function, even in states when it is not optimal.

But this isn’t an article about the chemical compositions of major and minor mental illnesses. It’s about habit formation, but it’s important to understand how these mental states can really affect your ability to form new habits for yourself, even if they are beneficial to you.

For instance, in my personal life I’m having a hard time keeping up with personal hygiene and other fundamental things to keep my body healthy. But my mind is so overwhelmed just existing right now that it’s just not prompting me to do things beneficial for my health. So, not showering – taking medication that involves touching myself or anything that requires an incision into my body. Even though I know – logically and emotionally that I need to take these medicines to be well.

It’s causing for me an adverse reaction. Even thinking about doing these things cause me a certain amount of physical anxiety and emotional strain. Thus, me not doing these things or thinking about them causes me to get that bit of a dopamine hit for not doing them as a reward. As far as my chemical body is concerned, it’s gotten me out of danger and therefore my body should be rewarded for running away from the reaction.

So it is now associating not taking my medicine and that running away from discomfort with a sympathetic chemical reaction.

This can work against us, chemicals in are body are impossible to reason with. They are the things that keep our body together and informs our bodies on what to do. If I continue this pattern of not taking my meds or fighting the urge to take my meds with success, it will only be harder to implement taking my meds because it’s chemically associating itself.

For me, avoidance is how these things manifest in me. For others, this can turn into something much harder to combat, which is fear or phobia. Have you ever wanted to do something so much that you ended up becoming just pure afraid of doing it or having any association with it? It doesn’t have to be anything to do with self care. It could be a fear of heights or spiders, which it is in my instance.

But what happens when you get to a stage where you are so anxious and upset around the thoughts of being in contact with things like water that you become hydrophobic? So, this makes drinking water, taking baths or showers far more complex. Fear increases the stress hormone cortisol in your system. If you have previously seen times like brushing your teeth or taking baths as something that was a relaxing activity but is now not sending those reassuring chemicals associated with calmness and relaxation and have been replaced with a stress response. This can be a challenging thing to overcome.

There are a few things you can do to change your associations around things that had been a source of relaxation and now cause you stress or anxiety.

Key among them is to be exposed to the thing you fear.

Exposure therapy in controlled situations is a well-researched tactic to combat some specific phobias. This does not mean that I’m telling you to jump into a pool to cure your hydrophobia! What you need is slow and controlled exposure in a way that you can incorporate it into your life without its existence being seen to your body and your mind as a threat.

A plan for treating hydrophobia and being able to work up to incorporate water-related activities into your life is by working on it step by step and this is something that needs to be done over months, not weeks or days. The risk of doing exposure therapy too quickly is that you end up building up that fear response instead of disarming it, which is what you want to do.

The goal is to reincorporate these instances into your life again like they have always been there are as little of a threat to you as a cushion you have on your sofa. Trust is a muscle. We build it up. It is understood or implicity given. For example, when you go to sit down on a chair you trust that the chair will support your weight and that you will not fall over because you’ve sat on chairs before and know what to expect. The same is what we’re trying to develop with building in a new habit or breaking free of something that doesn’t serve us.

In our instance with hydrophobia. For the first two weeks, all I’d want someone to do is to have a glass of water beside the fridge or bathroom. (Yes, even if you’re not cripplingly afraid of water) I’d want you to place it in a place where you go by it regularly in your day to day and you don’t have to interact with it. It can just be placed there without you really considering it and go about your days as normal.

That’s it. This is around changing the relationship of how we view something that threatens us. If we can prove to ourselves through non threatening exposure that things will not hurt us, that is the reassurance we’re giving to our mind and our bodies.

After a while, you’re not even going to notice it’s there. It will blend into the background, much like a piece of art on your wall. It’s just going to be there, and it’s all gravy.

When that happens, I want you to put another glass in another common place like your bathroom. You don’t have to interact with it; you don’t have to do anything with it. Just have it there and repeat the exercise till you feel you don’t even really notice its presence anymore.

How does this help me take a bath? You may be wondering. But much like all of this is manifesting for you didn’t just happen overnight similarly neither will the cure. You will build up your trust with a system is in place to help support you, and this should be a plan that you should curate as appropriate to your needs with the support of your personal support network.

This process has no timeline – it will take as long as it takes. But these are the foundations for changing your associations emotionally, physically and chemically to a phobia or habit that you are trying to change. Remember something key, emotion = motion.

If we can catch each other when we’re in a loop of emotions or frustration, we can change it by changing our state.

Tony Robbins goes into this a lot and this is because it physiologically changes what is happening in your body when you are feeling a set of emotions or doing something in a pattern.

An example I can give you is today. When I was writing up this article, I was just out of surgery and got diagnosed with another set of nasty stuff. It’s something I’m hoping to cover in another article, but I was ruminating a lot about Mark. There was a part of me that in some fairy tale imagined him being there when I woke up and that things would be ok. Then I started falling down the emotional rabbit hole of “what if he doesn’t come home” “I’m in so much pain and discomfort and I have no one here.” and I just was spiralling but at one stage I could catch myself and I stood up and at the top of my lungs I screamed NEXXXXXXT!!!!

And I felt better.

I could control and choose my state.

You can too. It doesn’t matter how able-bodied you are, whether or not you can stand. This is about changing your state, to change the chemicals in your brain from you keeping from patterning it out the way you normally do.

Mel Robbins (unrelated to Tony) deems this as pulling the emergency brake.

None of these responses are your fault, your body and brain do so much on autopilot that it has this in place for you because it’s trying to protect you from something. Or is making things as easy as possible for your daily brain to cope with it. But what is important to know is that through the right strategies and mechanisms you can control your life and make the changes you wish to see.

6 ways to start loving yourself the way you deserve to be loved

2020 has been a lot. 

It’s been a lot between the pandemic and how to cope with social isolation. And despite the huge upheaval of how we live our lives, it is important to take the time to acknowledge that this is a tremendous time of stress for everyone. 

With that in mind, there have been a lot of articles and blogs about how to make use of this time by either forming some habit. Or even worse, pressuring people to push themselves. That if you’re not using this time to learn 15 languages and become a gourmet baker, you’ve failed to use this time to the fullest. 

I’ve got another take on this entire situation. Which is: It is good enough that you are just alive. 

That’s it. No hot take, no additional statement. It is enough that you are alive and continue to exist during this time. 

I will give you 10 things to consider enriching yourself that should be an additive or something to consider loving yourself during this period. 

Accept where you are

This can be a hard thing to do depending on your personality and outlook on life. For people who are used to making business deals face to face, or whether you’re an extrovert and now working from home or a parent caring full time for your children – it is tremendously difficult and you can’t expect yourself to cope the same way that you used to. 

Things aren’t the same, and it’s ok to acknowledge that. 

I had gotten a job and then lost it because I wasn’t able to keep up the pace that was accepted of me during this time. I and my spouse have had a sudden breaking in our communication, and he’s no longer living in our home. It started just after the pandemic struck. 

People are responding to this in unusual, unpredictable and unprecedented ways to unprecedented levels of stress. 

It’s important to see things for as they are and not what you want them to be. I do not understand why Mark left – they left me with a note on my bedside table and that’s all I’ve heard from him in months. And I have to be ok with the fact that it happened and that what’s going on means he’s in pain. That I’m not meant to walk with him down the road that he is on. 

All I can do is believe that things will get better, that I will find gainful employment and that he will come home to me. In the meantime, all I can do is stop fighting the tide. 

These are important skills to learn to love yourself after this period is over and this will end. Nothing lasts forever and the only things you can be sure of in life is Death and Taxes. This too will pass, but it is possible to love yourself amid it. I promise. 

Accept your feelings

It is a complex time, with a lot of complex feelings and emotions surrounding everything. 

Here is a list of emotions ok to feel: 

  • All of them

I mean it. All of them. All the pain, loneliness, anger, fear.

Maybe you’re going through periods where this has been great for you. You feel motivated and driven so you wouldn’t have experienced if you hadn’t had this time to yourself. But you feel guilty in sharing that because of everything else that is happening. 

Letting your emotions flow is an important and healthy part of emotional and personal growth. 

There is a lot to go through, especially if you suffer from any form of disability. There would be a lot of unresolved feelings about walking away from work because of a disability than when the pandemic happening, work moving towards working at home. There is a lot of pain and anger – particularly in the disability world, and it’s understandable. For people like us who have always been taught that there is so much that we couldn’t do from home or things that required office time that is now standard – really hurts. 

So be kind to the people around you, we all deserve extra consideration and care with how we feel at the minute. 

Connect with People

Connecting with people, regardless of who they are or where they’re at, is exceptionally important like this. This can be tremendously isolating and confusion. Reaching out and being supported by the people who care about you is essential to keeping yourself afloat. 

I know how hard this can be, especially when you feel like the world has abandoned you. I’m minus family, a lot of my friends, and my husband during this period. It is the most socially unsupported I’ve felt during one of the hardest periods of my life. 

If it hadn’t been for the community I found on Twitter and TikTok and a stellar medical team, I know that this journey would be impossible for me to undertake on my own. 

If you feel like no one understands or that no one loves you, let me take the time to tell you I love you. I love you. We may never meet and I may never be an active part of your life, but I am here to tell you you have a purpose. You still have a lot to give to the world and this universe and you will find your way. 

Self Care – and not the cheesy kind!

While self-care can come as face masks and manicures, I want to talk about the more practical side of self-care. Self-care is defined as “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.” if you are on the preserving side of that self-care side – that is ok. 

Here are some practical self-care methods and practices you can take: 

  • Getting out of bed. I’m serious, it is a colossal achievement.
  • Bonus points if you can move downstairs or to an alternative place. 
  • Bathing
  • Bonus points if you can put on some deodorant or other nice smelling products!
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Bonus points if you can floss or use mouthwash.
  • Eating a piece of fruit
  • Bonus points if you can do that more than once
  • Stepping outside. I mean literally sticking your head out of a window or stepping outside your front door. 
  • Bonus points if you can walk down your road and back. 
  • Cuddle a pet
  • If you don’t have a pet – self soothe, that’s comforting to you hugging a teddy, wrapping yourself in a blanket. 

These are all things you can do to soothe your senses or preserve your health where you are at the moment, doing this – even one of them. These are all forms of self-care and you should be proud of the steps you can take to take care of yourself. 

Creative Activities

No one wants to see my house at the moment, and I mean nobody. I’ve painted my walls many colours, it’s not well blended, I’ve written profanities on the walls. All in the name of creative expression. 

I’m serious. The first thing you see on my wall are the words: 

“ Do not ask me if I’m gay, straight or whatever. I identify as a fucking threat.” – @lightboxgnome (https://www.tiktok.com/@lightboxgnome/video/6802270158644579590

While it might not be possible for you to paint your walls or write profanities on your walls, it is still very important to have an outlet. It’s also important that for this process you create a space devoid of judgement. 

Now, isn’t that a thing that is easier said than done right?! 

I spent a lot of my time trying to create my art and things, but being too crippled by fear allowing myself the space to make mistakes. But I’ve incorporated art into my life in a way where I’m not creating art, but I’m experiencing it. 

I have switched my focus from perfectionism and outcome to one of mindfulness. How will feel about how this paintbrush feels in my hands, how does the paint feel when I touch it, what does the wall feel like? Is it hot or cold? What colour do I want? What will it feel like when I put it on the wall, will it feel different? 

Journaling

Journaling is such a loaded term in the self-care community, isn’t it? It’s sometimes described as a cure-all to what ails you. Well, while I can’t promise that it will be a cure to what you’re going through, what I can say to you is that it can provide perspective. 

There is no wrong way to journal. 

You can use a guided journal that has prompts in it; such as our Pain Journal for pain management or The Happiness Planner that have more guided walkthroughs of what to expect. Paperchase also has a variety of reflecting journals available to go through depending on what you wish to focus on. 

But it could be as easy as grabbing an unused notebook or journal to write in. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it can be an old school notebook or a spiral-bound jotter pad. The most important thing to do is to get down your thoughts about your day in the best and easiest way to do so. That feels right for you.

That is ultimately the most fundamental thing in all of this, is to get to a stage where things fit into place and you can love yourself the way you need to be loved. There is no time limit on it, just keep doing what you can in the most authentic way you know how to. 

Losing my Uterus

I lost my fight to keep my uterus and my reproductive organs in January 2019.

I’m not sure how much of a surprise this would be to longtime readers of this blog, but I lost my fight to keep my uterus and my reproductive organs in January 2019. 

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to sit down to write about this and how I’m feeling now that I’m 6 months in recovery. I will say that it has been a genuine life improvement since before and after the surgery, there was a deep relief of not having to be subjected to the pain and mental anguish that I was suffering from while I still was menstruating. 

The visual difference is startling. I look healthier, more alive because of the surgery. There is something that shifted in between the time the surgery happened before and after the recovery. I can’t help but feel like there has been an exchange of problems. They are lesser, by all means, but as my dear friend Juan said to me – this will be a complete change of life for me and that it will take longer than 6 months to realise or even understand what my new life might look like – let alone feel. 

I didn’t understand the wisdom in that until I arrived at it. 

They’re a lot of things you don’t get told about the recovery process – that you will have a good 8 weeks of not being able to move because of true, utter fatigue. I don’t mean the fatigue of having the flu or even from running a good race and feeling tired from it. I mean the fatigue where you are walking and then you’re on your bum Harvest Moon Style from exhaustion cause you will pass out. Waiting on the ground on shop floors waiting for your spouse or friends to come to you with a wheelchair. 

I’m still not 100% sure that even after 6 months that I’m not past that stage yet. I still have days where I feel like I legitimately cannot go far when I walk or need to take breaks when walking because I’m not able to do a lot at one time. It’s easily one of the most frustrating things about the process as I’m an ambitious person by nature and keeping moving, focusing on what’s ahead is usually the thing that drives me the most into progress and success.

However, there is no rushing this process. There are no shortcuts. There are no tips or tricks or loopholes. There is only learning how to listen

Learning to Listen

Most people would tell you I’m a very good listener; I can judge between listening cathartically to someone who’s going through a hard time and someone who needs advice. I’m good at listening to the words unspoken by lovers and friends alike. Body language, the sense of space, voice tone I can pick these out regularly in the people I love. Even if it’s through text. 
I cannot say the same for listening to myself. 

I have never been the sort to claim that I have a true sense of myself – well, unless you count that time when I was 23 when I thought I had a decent handle on things. You only really know how little you know when life throws things at you-you are unprepared for. I would have told you I have a good sense of my body – I’d know when I would bleed. I knew when cramps were coming; I knew when my mental state was fading and what to do to combat it. 

I have no baseline for that anymore. I have no ques or learned patterns for what to expect and how to respond when things go awry. One of the side effects (if you can call it that) of having a radical hysterectomy is the fact that your bladder notifications go awry. So you’ll wet yourself for a good chunk of your recovery because you will just wee yourself. There is no sugarcoating it. None of this has been in any way glamourous or for those who are faint of heart. 

Same goes for hot flushes and other symptoms that come with menopause – it’s a natural thing that happens when women get older and stop naturally menstruating. Not in one big whack of a menopausal stick. 

Which I feel like it has beaten me with. 

It’s lead to it being nearly impossible to listen to my body when it needs things or when it doesn’t. Another thing that people don’t tell you about having a radical hysterectomy is the weight gain. I have stretch marks from my arms to my knees because my weight has ballooned since the operation. I was 82kg before I had my operation. I know that I’m closer to 113kg now (and that’s probably me being generous).

Physicians have repeatedly told me it is my body is out of whack completely with hormones and that it will get to a stage where things will settle down again. Friends who have gone through similar and others who are dealing with their own body positivity have confirmed the same. That it’s happened to them too. 

There is so much happening and I’m feeling so much that it’s hard to know what to listen to and when. This has led to anxiety and panic attacks I’m not used to feeling. Heart rate spikes of 120’s sitting down when my smart watch is poking me being like “hey you’re not exercising at this second and your heart rate is stupid high – lets take some deep breaths yeah?”

Learning to Trust

A very handsome personal trainer once had a serious philosophical conversation with me once about how I didn’t trust myself very much over my attempts of leaning onto a bench without feeling like I will fall. I left the session embarrassed at my clear failure to squat onto a bench without freaking out that I’d fall. He told me that trusting myself was something that he couldn’t teach me, he could tell me all day long that the bench is there but unless I will trust my body to the process, I could never do it. 

It’s something that I have been thinking about for years since that day. Did I really not trust myself at all? After everything that I’ve gone through with myself; did I really not trust myself after all of that? For sure, I lean on people where it’s appropriate where I can’t help myself. But I know that when push comes to shove, I’d do what I’d always do and keep myself safe. 

Isn’t that trust?

The truth is more complex than that. They’re both two very different things for me. I trust to keep myself safe – that is true. But I’ve learned it’s more akin to hitting the emergency brake rather than slowing the car down in time to learn how to stop. 

Learning how to stop takes time – anyone who’s ever ridden a bike or driven a car or had a skateboard will tell you that. It’s easy to go fast – it’s easier to keep going. It’s harder to predict when to stop or how to stop. You could keep jumping out of your car or bike or skateboard when it gets too fast and get yourself to safety. But you’ll never really learn how to stop correctly if you keep doing that, you’ll never understand when it is the right time to stop and when is good to continue if you keep thinking everything that crosses your field of view is out to damage you. 

There could be other things that could go wrong. You could focus on driving and stopping that you run out of fuel or you burst a tire. These are all things that can happen to you that are unrelated to your ability to break, but it won’t stop your brain from going to that place. Thinking jumping out of the way is always the solution when in reality – all you need to do is change your tire. 

Myself and Splintor moved into our first home recently, and it’s required me to learn a lot of trust. We got a new addition to our family in terms of a Newfoundland puppy called Cloud and a tortoise called Hubert. So I’ve spent a lot of time out in the back garden where we have a step and that is where I play with Cloud. 

I’ve been learning to use my legs to lift myself straight up from sitting to standing. No using my hands or anything else as support – just my legs. It’s been a process, the step is very low and there is a lot going on in my head when I try to do this. I spend a lot of time worrying about the action rather than doing it, and when I do it successfully, I’m rarely met with kind words from my mind. My brain would like me to believe that it is a fluke or that I’ll just fall over again and what is the point of it all other people can do it. 
However, I know better than most just what an asshole my brain can be with the little victories that I should take to heart rather than the shoulds and coulds. That is an exercise all in its own about learning what to trust and what to listen to when you’re lost at sea. 

Sometimes it’s trusting that the Sun will still rise to meet you and the stars will shine to greet you – whatever the path you’re on or where the road may take you. 

For now, I think that’s the only thing that I can trust enough – and for now; I know it’s enough.

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Couch to 5k – Week 3 Day 2

My journey from couch to 5k

Just finished week 3 day 2 of #C25K® on #Android with @c25kfree! #everymomentcounts #run #running #health #fitness #workout

Today was a super day. I’m so proud of myself I made every sprint without faltering and my time is an average 10:02 so I’m so close to getting it under 10 minutes. I’m so excited about my progress even though I’ve gained a good 2kg in the process. I’m not sure how or why considering I’m exercising and under my calorie count? Oh Well, I’m sure it’ll all work out. 

I haven’t managed to get any exercise in since Friday. This is between rain, family commitments and having a head cold thing that is messing with my breathing a little bit. So I don’t want to run (ha, run get it?) The risk of making myself super sick or having an asthma attack while I’m on my own for a run. So I’m waiting to see when I feel better how I’m fixed for finishing off my final day of week 3!

Modelling Bootcamp – PlusSize Model Mangement

Last weekend I decided to take a step out of my comfort zone. Modelling is something that I’ve always had a passing interest in, but I have never felt beautiful enough or the right size to do it. However, I have hit a point in my life where I have the opportunity to try new things and really try to embrace what I want to do with my life.

So I took a selection of photos and sent them off to some plus size modelling agencies and thankfully I got a good number of replies with organisations who were interested in me and wanted to work with me. Plus Size Model Management was one of them, and I got talking to Kate about their Bootcamp that they offer potential models to help get them trained.

For the price of the boot camp, I felt I got an awful lot out of it. The training was a full day 10 am to 6 pm which a lunch break in the middle and there was only a small group of us. (Where I met the beautiful GirlGotCurves and EmmaHelbertTextile) The day was broken down from teaching us how to walk a runway, hair and makeup tutorials, model deportment, nutritional and health advice, branding yourself as a model and rounding off the day with a photoshoot!

It was an intense day, with the majority of the day focused on walking and learning how to walk. Take it from me, professional models make it look effortless. However, there is an awful lot that goes into it. As you all know, I’m doing the couch to 5k at the minute so I would have considered myself to be pretty fit to be standing around walking for a few hours. It is far more physically involved than you would think. It’s best described as a battle between your head and your body. You have to put a lot of thought into what your body is doing – how it’s positioned if you are showcasing your clothes, what way you’d be walking on a runway, where the cameras are. All while moving poised and gracefully in heels!

After lunch, we got into the psychological elements of modelling and the mental stamina that is required to model. Through the right coaching, we were talked through how even while unmoving your state can change depending on what you’re thinking of. It was a perfect illustration of how your state will define your outcome – if you don’t think your pictures are going to turn out beautiful, then they aren’t going to. If you are thinking in your head that you’ve just won the lotto, then that is going to show on your face. Your state is your power.

From that, we discussed our motivations for wanting to plus size modelling. Here is the interesting thing though, Audrey didn’t want to hear the glamorous version of our story. While our motivations can be for other people, wanting to set a good example or be a role model. Ultimately these things are critical but not as important as wanting to do it for yourself. At the end of the day, doing it for yourself and doing it for you is the only investment you’re really going to make in yourself. That is going to be the only way you’ll ever be able to actually give back to the causes you care about.

For the nutritional and health element of things, we discussed the basics about health eating and balanced diet. Audrey also discussed the more taboo elements of plus size modeling which is “is this an advocacy for obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle?” which is a brave thing to want to discuss with a subset of new modles. So, she discussed the Plus Model Management ethos, which is healthy bodies come from healthy minds. She discussed a lot of the foundation principals of CBT and how your body tells you the areas where you may be out of proportion and how that may not be healthy, but that your body should always strive to be as balanced and healthy as possible. That is what they advocate for, they advocate for positive mental image and learning where in your body you need to improve. That modeling isn’t about how outwardly beautiful you are but what light you have inside of you that you’re able to bring out to a camera. That is what makes good models, and how good models get hired. They have that spark and that element that distinguishes them from the others. Frankly, I found this to be a very empowering message to women in general.

We then moved onto social media and how to build your brand as a model. We got told some horror stories about social media gone wrong in other industries and how that can ruin your chances of getting contracts or bookings. It was a testiment to the power that social media has on your career. Which is just a good message to reiterate to others, which is always be so careful a bout what you put on the internet, because you never know who is reading or looking at your profiles.

The last part of the day was a photoshoot, and I’m not going to lie I wasn’t super confident going in front of the camera. I do think I’ll get some nice shots out of it though, hopefully we’ll be recieving our shots in the next few weeks. It was a combination of standing shots and headshots. I know I was too busy thinking for the shots. I think that might come across in them, but I know that is what I need to improve on. I know I need to work on my physical presence, as I’m not certain yet how to show what I want to show on camera. I know that will take work and it will take practice, but I know that I’ll get there eventually.

The one thing I will say about Kate and Audrey is there absolute professionalism, and care for the people in their charge. They truly care about their craft and the people who are involved with. I’d recommend them for that alone!

You can find more information on Kate and Audrey at Plus Size Model Management on:

Website, Instagram and Facebook.

You can also find my friends:

GirlGotCurves on her Instagram & Facebook

Emma Helbert on her Blog & Instagram

 

Couch to 5k – Week 2 Day 2.

My journey from couch to 5k.

Just finished week 2 day 1 of #C25K® on #Android with @c25kfree! #everymomentcounts #run #running #health #fitness #workout

Today was a good run. I wasn’t feeling it going out today, but I’m glad I went. I finally got my time under 10 minutes today. It wasn’t a solid run, but I didn’t think I could do the full 5 90 second jogs completely. Though I do feel like I’m making decent progress. Tomorrow is another walking day with Mark, so hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up a decent walking pace when it happens!

Couch to 5k – Week 2 day 1

My journey from couch to 5k.

Just finished week 2 day 1 of #C25K® on #Android with @c25kfree! #everymomentcounts #run #running #health #fitness #workout

Ok, today was super tough, I got cramps in my side and in my knee. So I  had to walk a little bit through some of the 90sec bursts. I did manage to beat my time overall again today, so I’m happy enough.

I think that may have had to do with the fact that I didn’t eat before I went out today, but I’ll be sure to keep an eye on it moving forward. I’m not certain if I need to do more stretches, but I do feel like I’m warning up solidly before going out for the run. Though it may just be one of those things.

An Easter Sunday Run

What I cooked for Easter Sunday and a running update.

Kit:

Shoes: Brooks Adrenaline GET 17.

Fitness Tracker: Fitbit Charge 2 HR

Top: F&F Active (To be replaced)

Bra: Reebok High Impact Z63962

Trousers: New Balance Impact Carpri DAF

Today was more of a walk than a run today, I didn’t manage to break any records or anything today. My pace was overall slower today as I’m taking a break from the couch to 5k and just did a 30 minute brisk walk today keeping a steady 5.6km/h.

When we came home, myself and Splintor cooked up a really nice dinner. We had some thin beef strips, we roasted some carrots, parsnips and potatoes then we sauteed off some mushrooms in some butter and olive oil.

Everything took 40mins to cook in total and I’ll give the instructions down below.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Parsnip
  • 4 small potatoes  (about the same size)
  • 150g of thin beef steaks
  • 50g of button mushrooms
  • Olive Oil
  • Teaspoon of butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary & Thyme

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180° while you’re getting everything prepared.
  2. Put a tablespoon of olive oil into a baking tin and pop it in the oven to let the dish & oil warm up while you’re preparing the potatoes
  3. With the skin on take the potatoes & generously coat them in olive oil, salt & pepper.
  4. With oven gloves remove your dish from the oven and place your potatoes in the tray and pop them back in the oven leave them for 40 minutes.
  5. Prep your carrots and parsnips by cutting them into equal sizes and covering them with olive oil popping them onto a oven tray for 20 minutes. (Drissling a little honey over them for the last 5 minutes is a nice touch)
  6. Bring your steaks up to room temperature and then coat them generously with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them on a preheated skillet for 3 minutes total and let to rest for 3 minutes.
  7. Sauteé some mushrooms by cooking them in a pan with equal parts butter and olive oil for 5 minutes until a desired colour.

Day 3 week 1

My journey from couch to to 5k

Kit:

Shoes: Brooks Adrenaline GET 17.

Fitness Tracker: Fitbit Charge 2 HR

Top: F&F Active (To be replaced)

Bra: Reebok High Impact Z63962

Trousers: New Balance Impact Carpri DAF
Just finished week 1 day 3 of #C25K® on #Android with c25kfree! #everymomentcounts #run #running… https://t.co/gHP8kTh2H2
Ok, today was not easy. I feel like today while it was an improvement is also making me think I’m going a little too fast for just starting out. I’m not really too sure about the pace that I’m setting I think I might need to slow down a little bit in order to be more consistent overall.

I’m happy enough with the progress I made today, but I’m even happier with the purchase that I made today (which I tried on my run) which was a set of New Balance Running trousers. They have a pocket towards the back right side that is just big enough for your phone and your keys which is really useful. It’s also very well balanced. I don’t know what it is about it but I didn’t feel my phone on my run today. It really allowed me to focus on other things.

I will say this though, I really wish my Fitbit was able to change my music while I was running so I didn’t have to try and reach for it. After a while I didn’t bother but it is a little bit of an inconvenience. It’s something I’ll need to look into as I go on this journey.

But right now I’m gonna go enjoy the new episode of Attack on Titan and enjoy my dinner!