The Puzzle of Movement: Solved in 15 Steps

Getting active is and isn’t as simple as lacing up and getting out the door. Sure, to get out the door you just have to get dressed and lace up, turn the handle and put one foot in front of the other. It sounds simple right? Then why is it, that getting active is such an up hill struggle of a habit to establish into our every day lifestyles?

Excuses come up – often behind these excuses there is a reason that is stopping us from putting one foot in front of the other. Instead of inciting Nike and saying ‘Just Do It!’, which can be useful to a degree, it isn’t always an applicable attitude towards ourselves. Just Do It doesn’t harbour self compassion and reflection into why we can’t keep going out the door a few times a week on a regular basis to put one foot in front of the other.

This is a struggle I am well acquainted with. A year ago I swore I’d start running again and get active. It didn’t really happen on a regular basis and become part of my daily habit until February this year. So what was I doing for 10 months whilst I wasn’t exercising – I was engaging with a mental battle in order to get myself out the door to put one foot in front of the other – and I am 100% convinced that I’m not the only person to have undergone a journey just to establish the habit of movement.

I learned a lot during this period of time. I approached my hurdles with a problem solving mind-set, and trialled a number of solutions in order to conquer myself and the barriers that were holding me back from achieving my goal of running and climbing regularly. I have compiled a list of 15 steps that I took and learned of and from during this past year in getting active.

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Climbing Kisses and 3 Kilometres

Yesterday I went climbing. It was great. I haven’t been for some time, so my hands had softened up- as you can see from below and I forgot my finger tape. However, it was great fun and definitely great to try out a new centre as so far in my climbing journey I have only climbed at one centre, which is a very nice centre known at The Reach, but it was good to go to The Arch in Borough too.

As usual with climbers, the competition is with yourself, and helping each other out is the name of the game as a friendly fellow leant me some tape to cover my sores so I could climb some more. Dear friendly climber, it was much appreciated.  

This morning I ran my first 3km in my 10k training plan. It went quite well and I managed to dig a bit deeper to get a 7’47” average pace instead of the usual 8’36” which I feel quite pleased about. I feel slightly stronger in myself and hope to feel stronger by the time Tough Mudder and Rat Race Dirty Weekend rock on up in a months time. I am in my final month of preparation and I feel like I’ve only just started despite knowing this was going to happen for a year and a half nearly now. I had planned to be in peak physical fitness and shape, I can only laugh at how much that didn’t happen, but despite this, I’m trying..still. I won’t give up, I refuse.

When I weighed myself this morning I miraculously gained about 5lb in two days. Obviously this is some sort of joke that my scaled are playing on me. Ha ha scales, well done, good one. Hil-arrrrr-ious! Seriously, hilarious!

So I decided to start taking measurements using My Fitness Pal, which I use for nothing anymore other than recording my weight and measurements on charts – fun, I know. So here we go – for I am yet to be brave enough to do a before shot my measurements go as follows:

Hips: 37.3″
Bicep: 11″
Thigh: 25.2″
Waist: 32″
Weight: Late April Fools but usually 162lb.

I don’t know what measurements I would like to aim for, this I need to give some thought. I have a goal weight, but not goal measurements, but it would be nice to be a size 10-12 again so maybe a 28″ waist would be a good goal to aim for. Which isn’t unachievable, and the rest of the measurements will follow.

Lists That Beat Depression

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I’ve been depressed as of late. However, after about a week of sitting around moping about it I have decided to implement my coping strategies in order to try and get through this bout of depression, with the help of my team. I am due to see the psych for a med review, but there are also plenty of other things I can and have been doing in order to try and help my mind set in it’s presets to be depressed at the moment.

I’ve been running. Nothing overwhelming although I have a 10k race in a week, which is slightly overwhelming but I’ve been taking it easy with myself because at the moment getting out the door it a feat in itself. I’ve planned in a lot of exercise over the next few weeks to a) keep busy and b) try and improve my mood naturally as best I can.

I’ve made a plan and promise to myself to keep functioning no matter what state I am in. This means continuing to go to  my classes and groups despite how awful I may be feeling because if I don’t go I’ll only think myself a failure. Even if I’m sitting there, stinking with greasy hair and falling asleep – I’m there. I tried. I did my bit. If it helps my mood great, if not, then I tried.

To keep eating 3 meals a day. I was starting to fall into not eating habits which were soon followed by mega binges on junk food because I’d realise eventually that I was essentially starving myself.

Avoiding alcohol. Nuff said.

I’m going to start, as of today, practicing mindfulness each day in order to try and get some peace in my mind. I am not just low in mood, but I’m hearing voices as well – so hopefully mindfulness will help calm things down a little bit.

and finally, I wrote a list. Well, 4 lists really.
1. Things that are currently pissing me off.
This list includes Voldemort (voice), voices in general, mood and negative thoughts.

2. Stuff to look forward to THIS year. It’s quite long and exciting really.

3. Things I Have now to keep going for, is also longer than the ‘things that are pissing me off’ list.

and finally, 4. What I can do to cope, which includes some other methods I’ve not detailed here. But you get the picture. And I’m going to keep it in my Filofax so I can refer it to it every time I check my Filofax – which is about 20 times a day.