Things I did this weekend…

Woke up before 5am on Saturday and this morning (WTF!) But at least I had a nice sunrise to welcome me and encourage me to…

Photo 01-07-2012 05 41 26

…run for 3.5 miles at 5.30 am and enjoy it! Not my planned 10 miles but I have a lot more to say on that in a mo…

Ate kabocha squash…

Photo 29-06-2012 18 43 02Roast squash with courgette noodles and tahini sauce

…lots of it…

Photo 30-06-2012 20 21 59Vanilla kabocha smoothie topped with peanut butter and cinnamon

Chopped up a pair of old jeans into shorts ready for Kendal Calling next month…

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Baked some courgette, date and pecan bread

Photo 01-07-2012 07 31 25fat free, sugar free, sticky deliciousness! Recipe to come.

Enjoyed strawberry, basil and coconut milkshakes…

Photo 01-07-2012 06 30 32Inspired by Lara :-)

Got dressed up just to go to Sainsbury’s…

Photo 30-06-2012 08 28 28

Photo 30-06-2012 08 27 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OOTD: leather hooded jacket: Topshop, loose sweater: H&M, floral dress: Vintage, grey tights: Accessorize, black boots: New Look, necklace: Warehouse, rings: Topshop and Primark, bracelets and bangles: various, watch: stolen from James (love men’s watches!)

…then spent the rest of the weekend in sweat pants.

Drank iced coffee constantly…

Photo 30-06-2012 07 29 36

Made some vanilla roasted salted sunflower seed and cashew butter…

Photo 01-07-2012 08 45 39Looks like cement, tastes like heaven, especially spread on that courgette bread!

Had some major realisations and made some big decisions…

Just to warn you this bit is extremely long and wordy so feel free to skip if its not your thing!

In January I blogged about my ‘lady problems’ which most of you will have guessed is Amenorrhea, or loss of periods. Its been almost a year since my last period. As I said in January’s post, I have never been an underweight BMI, but what the amenorrhea has made me realise is that I was clearly demonstrating unhealthy habits and my weight was too low for my body. I have been checked out at the doctors and my hormone levels are all normal and an ultrasound has shown no signs of poly cystic ovaries. I’m guessing that what I have is Hypothalamic Amenorrhea based on the causes and the fact that nothing else appears to be wrong. Weight gain and exercise reduction tends to be the best treatment for this, and from the research I have done, women that have previously been overweight like me, generally have to gain more back than someone who was not previously overweight. In January I changed my workouts to be less cardio focused and I’ve gained around 17lbs on my weight since this time last year, so quite a considerable amount. 

However, over the last few months I have gradually increased my running as I have the Great North Run Half Marathon coming up in September, a race I have already ran twice. I want to run the race again this year as I enjoyed it so much the last two times and it is the Olympic year so extra special. I told myself that I would not be focusing on improving my performance and just wanted to train injury free and enjoy the race itself. As I have discussed, my training has been difficult and now that I’m up to longer distances in excess of 6 miles it has been tough. I have purposely not trained in the same way I did for the last two years to try and not ‘set myself back’ when it comes to healing my amenorrhea, but I have still been running – and although it has been slow and fairly relaxed, it has been very difficult when compared to previous years.

All of these things came to a head for me this last week. First of all I have had to admit to myself that I am just not enjoying running like I used to. 3-4 mile runs are absolutely fine (I loved my run yesterday morning), but I’ve started to hate longer runs and I don’t enjoy them one bit. I have tried to power through and see if it was just a motivation issue or because the weather has been so poor but I think its deeper than that. Reading my recent posts I think its clear where my exercise passions now lie – hot yoga, classes like Body Pump and strength training.

In addition to this I’ve also been doing a lot of pondering about life in general and where I’m going. I think its something to do with approaching 30 ;-) I have some ambitions when it comes to the future, including a slight career change – I want to be a health coach working with individuals and community groups, at least part time, and I’m committed to pursuing this, but over all its about being happy and healthy.

I’ve been reading some of the excellent resources on The Art of Non Conformity and I came across a paragraph in A Brief Guide to World Domination that really struck a cord with me. It said you should be living your life now in a way that is conductive to achieving the future you want to create. I realised then that I’ve been kidding myself for a while. I want to be happy and healthy yet I am training for this race, putting in hard workouts which I do not enjoy at all, and that are probably not good for my health right now, doh!

I had a chat with James, my Mam and my best friend about this and I they all made me realise a few things; I am a stubborn cow, I care too much about what other people may think (in this case that I am a failure and a quitter) and I judge myself far too harshly.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that I’m not going to force myself to train for this race. I’m not saying I’m not going to do it, but I’m taking that pressure off myself. I need to start living in a way that is conductive to the future I want; to be happy and healthy. I need to get back to where I was in January, reducing tough workouts and possibly gaining more weight. I need to be focusing my energies on the things I enjoy the most – following my bliss in the most literal sense.

The plan from here regarding workouts is to go with the flow, I think I’ll be continuing to do the workouts I enjoy that aren’t extremely strenuous like yoga and hot yoga, strength training, classes, gentle cardio and possibly some short, slow runs if the fancy takes me. I’m also going to keep on eating as I have, including lots of healthy fats (and not so healthy sometimes!) and continue with that for a few months to see how I go, reducing workouts further if needs be. The reason I’m not stopping working out altogether is because I know my mental health would suffer, and I believe that would have a worse impact on my body than continuing some lighter exercise, at least in the shorter term.

As I’ve said before, reducing workouts and gaining weight especially being part of the healthy living blog community, is really bloody hard. I would love to eat clean and train dirty but that just isn’t good for me right now and I have to accept that. I’ve allowed myself to become defined by my weight loss and exercise regime (in my own eyes) when I am much, much more than that. I may not be able to kick ass in the gym, but by God I’ll be kicking ass in other areas of my life!

With that in mind I have also made a pretty huge decision. I’m going to sign up with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and become a certified health coach! I’ll talk more about this soon as this post is already long enough!

I always want to be as honest as I can be on this blog, its not always unicorns and rainbows and I think its important that you get the real picture, too many bloggers seem to have perfect lives when that simply isn’t true. However, I strongly believe that its not what happens to you that makes you happy, its your perspective. As Kris Carr said in a recent newsletter you have a choice and you know what? I choose to be positive and I really do love my life!

If you’re still reading after all that thank you!

Wow, I feel like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders! Have you ever had to take a hard look at how you are treating your body? What’s the last big decision you made for you future?

I’ll be back tomorrow with my usual month recap and another vlog! Hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday :-)