Jillian Michaels Broke Me

I can do this
I can do this

We want our kids to be healthy and active. Our boy is both he is partial to takeaways and the like but he is never still apart from the hours he spends talking to his mates and gaming in his pit. Warning Warning pre- teen boy it is beginning to get That Smell. 
 Our girl loves to dance, and has a regular exercise routine to help her with mobility, core strength and balance. Both have a balanced diet, we give them sweet treats and snacks. Our meals are mostly freshly cooked clean food. They drink lots of water and milk and have a good understanding of health and vitality.

I never had any issues with my health and weight at all throughout my childhood  right through until my early thirties. In fact during my days as a civil servant the office was based next to a gym and my friend and I would attend a class every lunch time, if we didn’t go to the gym we would go swimming up the road. Sometimes we went lunchtime and after work. Sometimes I would even go for the morning class before I went to work. My kit bag really smelt.

If only I had one of those time machine things where you could give the younger version of yourself a message … Mine would be you really are thin, fit and healthy and also fairly easy on the eye. Chill out, oh and forget the perm.

So what happened? I think life happened, got married – stayed fit but ate a load of rubbish if we are totally honest. Worked hard, stayed fit, then we stopped.
We stopped being active but we didn’t stop eating the rubbish.
The weight piled on and I think I used to live on the memory of the stick thin, fit healthy me and thought yep I can get back to that. Then I made a massive mistake. I joined a diet club, and I lost 3 stone YAY me – but the 3 stone was the same stone dropped and then put on again with a bit more for good luck. Now that stone is 4 Oh my word.

I knew it would happen. I recall seeing a medium when I was about 22 and she told me I would struggle with my weight once I hit my 30’s. Here I am well into my 40’s maybe I should go back to one who will tell me I will be a fit, healthy and attractive speaker very very soon.

But I digress. In order to be a good role model, I have embarked on a new fitness regime. Now I used to run, ok then shuffle. I liked it, stress relief, moving meditation and being out in the fresh air. However I am not very good at it. I have been known to be overtaken by people walking whilst I am out for a shuffle. Plus it’s not attractive my face goes red and my lungs seem to lose the ability to distribute oxygen around my body at a level that is required for the exertion. In all honesty the exertion is not that great.

So why put myself through this programme? (For programme read torture.)

A) To change my body shape I am uncomfortable and unhappy with it.
B) I want to finish it and complete the 30 days I have even marked off pretty colours on my calendar as motivation. Note to self pretty colours really do make up for the aching thighs.
C) To be a positive role model to our kids. Our girl has an exercise regime, Our boy does regular football training and is always doing parkour – He calls it that I call it running against hard objects and falling over frequently. So surely I should be doing something to show them being active and healthy is natural.
D) Since mum and dad became ill I want to take as much preventative action as possible. – The sugar reduction is a work in progress.

I woke myself up yesterday at 6.00am, switched on YouTube and found Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. Insert sympathetic head tilt here.
I went to see Jillian at Sheffield City Hall a few months ago to listen to her motivational tour. Believe me If I was going to see her next week I would throw rotten tomatoes, if of course I had the ability to raise my arms above shoulder height.

I've got the gear, got the enthusiasm, hoping the ability will kick in.
I’ve got the gear, got the enthusiasm, hoping the ability will kick in.

I managed the whole work out yesterday which I was proud of. Today it wasn’t a 6.00am start, but I did start. I must admit I did dip out with a couple of star jumps and thankfully my feet didn’t have to be raised so high off the ground for the ass kicks, but lets not speak about round three abs.

I have many friends who have posted on social media about the pain of doing said regime… funnily they start at day one and sometimes a week later we still get updates, I have maybe seen a day 15 update I can’t recall a day 30 update. I have therefore decided to refrain from putting daily no pain no gain updates on my Facebook page although yesterday I did post – Jillian Michaels I think you broke me.

I may be broken but I am not beaten. I will finish the 30 days. I am unhappy with my body and how bits wobble and move about without my intention or permission.

I will embrace the current aches and pains, I will celebrate the challenge of standing from the sofa (and the loo), I will happily hold the dustpan and brush for Mitch while he mocks my old lady stance.

I will endeavour to hang out the washing tomorrow without weeping silently into the sheets.


Breaking Free From Blah

Sometimes you have to reflect on what has been.
Sometimes you have to reflect on what has been.

I have a friend who has a “word” for the year.  I must admit it is something I have not done before and to be honest I am not sure if I have the attention span for a whole year. In her case it is always a positive, a word that she will strive to receive or provide in service for that year.Thinking about having a “word” it prompted me to look back. Moi? Looking back, it’s not something I do very often.  I am very much a live for today type of person. That is finished move on. No point in dwelling no point at all.  But look back I did to get some perspective and I began to think.

Let the navel-gazing commence.

So should I tell you this as a coach? Aren’t I supposed to be happy, smiley, bright and breezy, the cheerleader to keep you on your toes and confirm that you can do it?  Well yes I am, but I’m also human and honest.
So my word has been Blah.
Yep Blah.  And note I said Has Been!

Not that I haven’t had some fantastic times I so have. My sister got married on a beautiful summer’s day to her long term partner.  Most couples wait until the kids grow up to divorce they waited for the kids to grow up before getting married!

We also celebrated our silver wedding anniversary and my husband and I enjoyed a two night break at a beautiful county house hotel on the east coast. It was a time I will treasure our first break as a couple in over a decade. As a family we enjoyed a holiday at Centre Parcs one of our favourite destinations and the best thing was keeping it a surprise from the kids. We relaxed and had family time. Family has been a big theme for me always has been always will be and is probably my most consistent word.  The family times I wouldn’t change for the world making memories with my kids – It has not been about spending lots of money or having materialistic things but the time we have spent together at Country Parks, Castles, Walking in the woods, going to the cinema, playing games and sharing picnics. All times I have cherished and wouldn’t want to give up.

But then the Blah comes in. I messed up didn’t take note of my own teachings, beliefs and advice. .

I had lots of plans in action and many balls to juggle.  Personally I was looking forward to time with my family, building business and presenting lots of workshops and seminars to mums and women who wanted to find empowerment within. I was also so looking forward to sharing my Calm in the Class workshops in schools.

Then my mum was taken seriously ill and needed lots of help and care. Then totally out of the blue a friend of mine died suddenly. That hit me hard, We were the same age, had the same interests, our boy is the same age as her daughter, we had virtually the same career path.

On a hot summer afternoon when I should have been texting her or chatting via social media as we did, I was attending her funeral. That is almost a year ago time flies when you are having fun, well it sort of just goes on when Blah is present.

My meditations became few and far between, My energy levels plummeted and I stopped running, So I got flabby(er) Ta Dah there’s the Blah.

I stopped caring. Not for others of course I am really really good at that ask my friends and family.

I just stopped caring for myself didn’t have the time, energy or simply couldn’t be ar**d  as I perhaps felt so much of my energy was going into others.

I will tell people to think about the instructions on an aeroplane should disaster strike and you need to use the oxygen masks always take care of your oxygen first before attending to anyone else as without your ability to breathe you are no use to anyone.
Warning Warning – Failure to carry out this advice can lead to feelings of Blah,
Blah = low energy, procrastination and apathy.

Not only that but the family you love so much and care for so much can start to grate and what you may have found endearing and funny before the Blah, becomes irritating and tedious.

The Blah is manifested as snappy, mardy and tiresome. Not only that but physical ailments manifest too, bloated, tummy troubles, blotchy skin and tiredness. How fantastic are our bodies?? Don’t take proper care of it (rest, relaxation, exercise and healthy eating) and it will put the odd spot in the middle of the face, make your wobbly bits wobble, your hair looks lank and your nails start to peel. These side effects of Blah prompt questions from others that such as. Are you tied? Did you have a rough night? Have you got a hangover? Are you unwell? And my favourite (not) When are you due? Woah I’m way too old for that malarkey thank you very much.

So what to do to banish the Blah?

Get back to basics; practice what you preach and remind yourself preferably with a French accent as per David Ginola “you are worth it

Side effect of Blah = Apathy

Apathy is responsible for a lack of personal challenges and growth, usually I have a few physical and emotional challenges to facilitate growth but I have realised I had not carried out any such challenges.

First challenge ahead. I have signed up to a 30 day blogging challenge.  This is day one! It is a little bit of a cheat as this is a post I wrote at the beginning of the year when I was wanting to blog but I didn’t get round to it. So I’ve done a couple of tweaks and feel it is apt for a starter.

There you have it my time residing with the Blah. It’s not that bad, it could have been worse,  any longer, I probably would have been walking down the path with the black dog of depression. Thankfully I didn’t have the worst time ever.

But the key thing was I wasn’t following my true path. I wasn’t going with my flow and I was ignoring the whispers of my soul.

Now I’ve dusted off my soul shoes, to walk that path and am listening to my soul. Time to embrace the journey once more.

It is such a journey why wouldn’t I want to embrace it?

Grandad Knees

grandad knee
This is my Dad’s knee

Well it had to happen one of those calls.
10.21pm. I’ve fell and hurt my leg can’t move at all.
On my way. Arrive at Dads. His emergency bracelet still in pristine condition on the windowsill. Why didn’t you just press your buzzer Dad?
The question didn’t warrant a reply the look said it all.

His knee was swollen but it was his thigh that was hurting. He was grey, slightly breathless and obviously in pain. Now it’s a bit difficult to say when Dad is in pain as he is a bit of a drama queen. One of the kids nips him and we get dramatics, traps a finger in the doorframe and he deserves a bafta. But real pain that you or I would experience and he will do his best award winning performance to avoid any fuss. But the signs were there. Big fat signs in the fact. He couldn’t stand up, weight bare and he was quiet, even quieter than normal. So executive decision made and we went to A&E. He didn’t object that much either so we knew he was worried too.

Manhandled him into mums wheelchair and started our journey. Every single set of traffic lights we had to stop at eventually arrived at hospital registered Dad and then the waiting began.
It turns out Dad’s knee had given way around 9.00pm and he had managed to pull himself up into his chair and sit there for over an hour before calling me. So almost 3 hours after he fell the triage nurse saw him. She said he looked poorly and I presume he is defined as high risk patient she put him straight on a trolley and into a bay.

Last time I was in A&E it was with mum she was very vocal, very vocal indeed not happy to be there and wanted to go home. She shouted at anyone and everyone who would walk past her and it was a tad embarrassing. So here we were with Dad who doesn’t speak much anyway and coupled with the pain he was in it and the fact that he was in hospital the atmosphere was less than jolly.

Nurse came did observations, said doctor would be there asap.

How to pass the time on when awaiting a doctor in A&E on an evening?

First of all there was a Vic Reeves club singing orderly who was very entertaining for a short while, but it was a fine line between no idea what song you are singing and if he was accidently throttled at least he is in the right place. I was just glad the visit was with Dad and not Mum as she may well have
A) joined in the sing song or
B) been the one doing the throttling.

We played Eye Spy. Now eye spy is the last resort but here we were using it first. Very sad indeed for two middle aged sleep deprived women but needs must. It all started well and ended with my sister saying W. W, I assure you there was nothing – nothing at all that started with W. So randomly I kept saying anything that I thought may be within the vicinity of the ward nope it wasn’t  ward, it wasn’t whiskey which had obviously been consumed by the guy in the next cubicle and it wasn’t even wubber gloves.  Even Dad raised the corner of his mouth to that answer and the game finished as neither of us could think of anything sensible after that.

The answer was wall. Strangely I had felt like banging my head against it for the last two hours but failed to realise that wall was the holy grail of eye spy.

Requiring some action I decided to take matters into my own hands.
Just  like when you are waiting at traffic lights and holding the car on clutch control. Change to neutral and handbrake the lights change.
So I excused myself popped to the loo and the vending machine. I come back armed with choca mocca and a chocolate bar and like that green light the doctor had appeared to see Dad.

Now I say doctor, He was approximately 12and a half years old. I would have curled up and died if he had called me madam.

But he didn’t he was lovely with Dad and asked him lots of questions said he didn’t think it was broken but x-rays of hip, femur and knee would confirm.
He asked Dad are you in pain?
Dad replied with “well no not really”
Dad, your leg hurts doesn’t it? “Yes it does but he knows that”
On a scale of 1-10 what level is your pain? “I’m not sure I’m no good with numbers”
Fits of laughter from the naughty girls in the corner again.

So whilst I ate my vending machine treasure and drank the questionable chocca mocca, sis escorted Dad to x-ray.

On their return we waited, and we waited. There was some comings and goings, the doctor kept passing by our bay, glancing and smiling. We started to play Time O’clock Bingo. A game invented then and there in the holding ward of our local A&E. Nothing to do with Bingo but a catchy title you must agree. Feel free to play along at any times you feel that time is passing by slowly. You know that saying a watch kettle never boils? well a watched clock never moves. Time stood still and I witnessed it. Witnessed at 2.24 for what I am sure was so, so much longer than a mere 60seconds.

Rules for Time O’clock Bingo? Simply look at your mobile phone or watch and get the people in your company to guess the time. I assure you it is fun the sort of fun when you have nothing I repeat nothing left, no conversation, no letters left for eye spy and no chance of sleep … I am certain that that time from 2.02 to 2.38 was actually 4hours . It could even have been a decade or two because I witnessed the 12and a half year old doctor, grow a beard in those 36 minutes and age by at least a decade and a half.

So much so that he came back assured, steeled himself to talk to the crazy laughing old dears and their Dad. He said nothing was broken but Dad has basically no knee ligaments. And he has a very tired knee.
We know that it’s called Grandad knee and most of the family have it. Me my Grandad knees don’t like mornings, brothers are bad all the time, sisters are on an evening and nephews are after playing football. Niece had to have operation at a ridiculously young age to sort out her Grandad knee. We all know about Grandad Knee.

So they decided that because Dad lives on his own now. Yes we said it out loud and all looked forlornly at each other as we realised that mum was  in the nursing home oblivious to Dads fall and his current state of agony.

Dad should stay in for observation. Doctor asked Dad if that was ok?
Dad gave him the look. Doctor waited for response….
Sis finally put him out of his misery by saying. “that’s his it will have to be ok face”

Sisters dissolve into fits of laughter that you only get after being sleep deprived; have an overload of sugar and hysteria has set in.

Doctor made a hasty retreat and said they would arrange transfer to a ward.

So we waited and we waited. Time O’clock Bingo made a reappearance and at 3.13am Dad was transferred to the frailty ward.

My big strong, hero of a dad was described as being frail. And he was, he looked it. He looked tiny in the bed, he looked even more distressed that when we brought him into the hospital, and he looked frail. Had we neglected Dad whilst looking after mum and dealing with all her issues?  Yes probably. Dad was officially frail.

We left as the birds were chirping their morning song. We saw the sun rise as we drove home and it was light as we went to bed.