So following on from the over doing it melt down I’ve revised my routine and taken some important steps to give myself more down time.
I took the plunge and requested part time hours at work, I have a wonderful trainee who needs to have solo teaching hours for two days a week and so it seemed perfect to hand over and sit in the wings and be there if required. So fortunately we managed to come up with a plan for me to continue to mentor her, for her to have the independence with the classes which she needs and for me to reduce my working hours.
This means that I still get to influence my students’ learning while letting go in preparation for leaving teaching in December. It’s a weaning away for me and for them. I love teaching but the politics are beyond me these days, especially in the sector I teach, it’s stifling, frustrating and to be honest everyone is becoming very grey and disillusioned.
I will still have training involved in my new businesses so I will still put some of those skills to use but this will be much more about doing something I feel is worthwhile and on my terms. So I’m excited and I could use some time to make more of an impact on my preparations before I’m ready to launch my business hopefully in January. I won’t so much be getting a break I’ll just be splitting my time more evenly and not squashing work into what should be ‘me time’.
So my routine now consists of a total day of rest on Sunday from work and from exercise. Can I just distinguish between what I now call exercise and what I call activity. Exercise for me now is the beasting in the gym, the kind of activity which is purely aimed at making me lose weight, reshape and tone up, the all out assault on fat kind of activity, that’s my exercise. Other stuff is always going to be a part of my every day life because I enjoy it and need to do it anyway, such as riding my bike at a leisurely pace for the purpose of getting from A to B, walking, swimming, except when it becomes a swim where I power at full pelt over and over again through water, that’s exercise, swimming is for leisure and is a couple of lengths, a slide down a chute, a jump in the waves.. that kind of thing. Dancing is another activity I enjoy and I’ll still be having my evening dance around to music, even if it’s while I’m cooking dinner prancing around the kitchen. Similarly tai chi and my new love Yoga are not exercise they are relaxation.
So Sundays I move but don’t exercise, Monday I exercise first thing in the morning at the gym with my trainer, Tuesday I move but don’t exercise and start off as I do on other rest days with Tai Chi or yoga. Wednesday I exercise with my trainer outdoors, this week that involved digging a massive hole on the beach and filling it back in again and carrying some rocks around. Thursday i move but don’t exercise and Thursday has become my spa day, when I go and have a leisurely swim followed by a steam, a jacuzzi and a massage and is now the day when every fortnight I visit a counsellor for a chat. Not a weight loss counsellor, just a lovely psychologist guy who listens to me make sense of myself.. Friday I exercise with my trainer in the gym and this is going to be combat day, it’s when I’m bashing, punching, kicking, throwing and chasing him around, this is anger and stress release through exercise day. Saturday is an open day. If I feel I want to go to the gym I will, if I don’t I don’t. I can exercise or I can move or I can do nothing, it’s entirely up to my mood.
Saturday is also food indulgence day. If I feel I need to binge during the week I persuade myself to put it off until Saturday, if I get to Saturday and I still want to binge then I indulge in something I’ve not had for a while, maybe something like a cake or chocolate or something like a nice juicy steak and potato wedges. I haven’t struggled with food yet but it’s good to know that if I start to falter at any point I have Saturday as indulgence day if I need it. It’s a strategy I used in the past and it worked. I’ve factored it in because I don’t know if I will always find resisting binges so easy, especially now I have nothing else to replace the addiction. My food intake is moderate, my exercise is moderate, my self indulgence in terms of pampering and relaxation is moderate and I’m hoping that it will all stay that way but I know that I have to excess in something it’s my personality and I’m pretty sure that when I have a bad day it will be food that meets the need.
I’ve also made my work hours moderate too, nearly forgot that one. So I’m for the first time in my life living like a normal person. There is no excess, everything is ticking along like a normal, non addicted person might have it ticking along, this is my first ever attempt at being in control of not controlling myself. That sounds crazy and maybe it is but I know what I mean. I really feel that I’ve let go, even though it sounds very plotted out, I have let go.I need a routine and that’s what the planning is all about but at the same time I have allowed for spontaneity which I need otherwise I feel stifled by ‘the rules’ and I rebel.
My counsellor, on our first chat, supported this idea of moderation in all things as a starting point to see how I go. As I said I already feel more free like I’ve relaxed the hold on the reins and I’m not depending on anything. I hadn’t realised how much I depended on food, how I then came to depend on exercise to make me feel strong emotionally. It’s good to put that away and see how I get on depending on nothing other than my emotional strength which I believed I was in possession of all along. Moreso it is about allowing my emotional weakness to shine through when it fancies it because being weak, admitting weakness at times doesn’t make me any less of a valid person, it won’t change how I feel about me or how others feel about me, it will just be a normal thing to do… and if I ever do feel emotionally weak who knows someone might help me through that instead of me thinking I just have to make out I’m doing just fine when maybe I’m not.
So here’s to the new plan. I like this plan and I like that it’s come now. This feels like a real transition point for me, it feels like a good time to normalise things and start to think about how I’m going to live my life after weight loss. I know there is a long way to go but it feels right to me to start on a path which is long term sustainable and about being a normal healthy happy fulfilled person and not an out of control control freak.
I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong, I needed that crazy frenzied approach to changing my lifestyle because I needed to lose weight to get to this point, I needed to get that huge size down, that big number on the scale into something which is more familiar to me, more manageable, to where I start to feel like me again. But at the same time I don’t want to be like me again, I want to be a better me and so now is a good time to switch things up to make sure I get there.
Let’s see how it goes.