Looking Backward, Moving Forward

IMG_0829If you are following my journey you will know that my life has been turned upside down by Graves Disease. You will also know that I have been making lifestyle changes that are helping me to control the disease. I have changed the way I eat – although I would be lying if I said I hadn’t fallen off the wagon a few times. There are days when I just cannot manage the cravings. I have never had a sweet tooth and when this insane craving for sugar (chocolate in my case) grips me it has me climbing the walls. When I do fall off the wagon though I make sure I don’t beat myself up too much and I get right back on. The relief of aches and pains and the lifting of my mind fog are enough to get me back on track.

In addition to the dietary changes I have also changed my lifestyle. I was always the one who was ready to go out and have a great night eating, drinking, dancing and staying up till the wee small hours.

No more!

During the week I am usually tucked up in bed by 10pm and on the weekends it isn’t much later. A late night costs me two days of recuperation.

I don’t drink alcohol anymore and I can’t cope with smoky environments. Looking back I think this has been the biggest change in my life and at first I struggled as I thought “What do I do if I don’t do this?” and “Who am I if I am not this person?” I soon realised though that there I was using tunnel vision and once I broadened my outlook I found so many new ways to so spend my time.

As you can imagine these changes have not been easy to make and, in fact, some of them have cost me friendships. There have been people who just cannot accept that I have made changes for my wellbeing and I think they keep expecting ‘old Jane’ to make an appearance.

Some people are uncomfortable around me when we go out and I don’t want to have an alcoholic beverage. My not drinking seems to make them uncomfortable and somehow places me on the outside of their world. I don’t judge, I don’t comment; I am not concerned with what anyone else is doing, all I do is take care of myself. And yes, I can have fun without drinking so it is not even like I am a drag to go out with because I don’t drink anymore…

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So, the next stage of my change initiative is to start doing some exercise and to make this into a habit.  But here’s the thing; this week I made a startling discovery…I am really scared to exercise!

This little revelation took my by surprise when I decided that it was time to get my body moving. Allow me to elaborate a little bit.

Even with the diet and lifestyle changes I have made so far I am finding it hard to sleep and I know that I need to get more physical activity into my life. I have a rebounder in my room and I will occasionally get on it and as soon as I start to bounce I have a little panic and get off.

I consider going down to the gym or having a swim and again I feel the panic rising. I have pushed this aside more times than I can count and so I decided it was time to get help. I managed to find a personal trainer who was willing to listen to all my issues and work with me and within my abilities.

He asked what my goal was and it was a really simple question to answer – I want to feel better! What I realised is that over time, with all of the aches and pains and general discomfort throughout my body as well as the fact that I had surgery on my back in August 2015, I had created a real fear in my mind.

I am terrified that whatever I do I am going to hurt myself. So knowing that it is all psychological, armed with a letter from my doctor to say I am “fit to exercise” I have my first personal training session this week and I am excited! I am changing those limiting beliefs and moving onwards and upwards.

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