Last October I got sick. It started with a stomach flu, which lasted a couple of weeks. No sooner was I recovering from that, when I caught the seasonal flu. That hung around all over Christmas and really put a damper on things. New Year came and my dose had morphed into a nasty chest infection, which needed an antibiotic to clear up. I finished the medication and started feeling a little better when I caught a bloody cold.
Long story short, I was sick for the entire winter. Nothing serious, thankfully, just a few years worth of common illnesses all in one go! I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything. And just as I didn’t want to physically spread my contagion, neither did I want to risk infecting my wonderful readers with my malaise! My energy levels were at an all time low. I couldn’t get excited about anything and honestly felt I had lost touch with myself. Who was this person full of negativity? I wasn’t sleeping well or eating well. My “self care” amounted to showering and the occasional fresh set of pjs. I was just a mess.
During this time there was a lot of other stuff going on in the background too. My poor dog started taking seizures. (We have started her on medication and thankfully it seems to be settling down, but I was beside myself with worry.) It was a very busy time in work, with budgets, audits and year end all demanding their fair share of my dwindling resources. Christmas itself is always hectic with shopping and visiting.
I was also trying to get Zumba with Arwen off the ground. It was hugely frustrating not to be able to give that 100%. I had planned that over the Christmas break I would be able to learn all new dances and start the year with a bang. As it turned out, I didn’t dance one step between finishing classes mid December and starting back in early January. I literally couldn’t. The first class back was like a near death experience! I was still on antibiotics and truly thought I would pass out at about the 45 minute mark. Mercifully, we all got through it, and I am not sure anyone even noticed. Each class has gotten easier since then, and I have even managed to get a few new numbers into the play list.
In early January, I was approached by a company looking for me to lead a corporate wellness program for their employees. I had worked with them the previous year and at any other time I would have jumped at the chance. This time was completely different. Full disclosure, I did everything I could to get out of it. Months of illness with no training and comfort eating (more on this in a future post) had left me out of shape. I am regularly plagued by impostor syndrome, but this time was worse than ever. I felt like a complete fraud. Who was I to offer lifestyle advice to other people when I couldn’t even get my own health on track? I literally had nothing to give. Or so I thought.
Luckily for me, the organiser of the program is a good friend of mine and she would not take no for an answer. Between us we managed to come up with a way of running the program to maximise the benefits for the participants, without stressing me out of my mind. I will be eternally grateful to her for giving me that push. The lifestyle challenge ended up being a great success and I feel privileged to have been a part of it. I think it was me who actually got the most out of it.
The last couple of weeks, as the days get longer and brighter, I have FINALLY started to feel like myself again. I am no longer shrouded in darkness. Once again, I am taking pleasure in preparing healthy food, and taking walks. My Zumba classes are a huge source of joy in my life and I look forward to them with impatient anticipation. As I have started to take care of my nutrition and get moving again, naturally my weight has started to come down. I am confident that I will be back to my fighting weight before long, but I am not putting pressure on myself to get there.
I have learned so much through the long, dark winter. I will fill you in on all of this and more in the coming weeks. I am sorry to have been away for so long. I didn’t feel I had anything to give, and you guys have enough going on in your own lives, without listening to me moaning!
It is definitely true to say that 2018 did not start the way I wanted it to. I was not where I wanted to be physically, mentally or emotionally. Part of me feels like the year is already a write off. But a bigger part of me knows this to be completely false. I know I shouldn’t need the symbolic turning of the year to reinvigorate me, but in the past it has always served as a source of motivation. So, I have decided to celebrate Chinese New Year on 16th of February. It is the Year of the Dog, after all! My audit is finished and 2017 closed out, so I can finally shift my focus to the year ahead.
Happy New Year! Be well xxx