It’s mid January – most New Year’s Resolutions are just about hanging in there, but statistics show they’ll be petering off as the month ticks by. I wanted to save this post for now as a reminder and encouragement to those looking to stick to their resolutions.
I didn’t want to set firm ones that I’d feel guilty over if I quit, or stress if I didn’t follow something to the letter. What I did want to do was write more; and finally start listening to my body. I turned 30 in 2016 and decided I was tired of being at war with myself. At war over food, at war over my body, at war over fitness.
I’ve had a similar journey to some – always struggled with weight as a teen, an eating disorder that spanned my teens and twenties meant my weight was always up and down. I discovered cycling a few years ago which led to racing in 2015 and I got such an incredible high off of it and the confidence it gave me was a brand new experience for me.
However, I still wasn’t reaching that goal of ‘happiness at X weight’. I was still placing too much value on a number. An injury at the start of 2016 meant racing was off the cards – I gained weight, lost fitness and was constantly frustrated or mad that things weren’t going as I wanted. Then midway through 2016, I developed intense heart palpitations apparently brought on by stress and anxiety. Trips to A&E, doctors and specialists all had me realising I needed to take a step back and get my life sorted.
As a result, about 4 months ago, I discovered the Thrive program and had an incredible therapist guiding me through. I know we’ve heard it before, but I truly learnt that happiness is an inside project, not external. As a result, I’ve noticed a shift in my thinking and how I treat myself.
I stopped fighting it all. I embraced new things -Yoga! Dancing! Seeing old friends! All things I’ve always loved but without the pressure to do X miles a week on the bike, I was able to revisit old flames. I’m back riding now but in my own time and without agenda. I started a pseudo Whole30 this month so my body can be nourished as it should, without the hangover from food intolerances. I say ‘pseudo’ as I’ve done a few in the past without straying from the rules one bit. But life isn’t meant to be lived in a box of Right or Wrong. If I want a glass of wine, I’ll have it. If I overeat the almond butter one day (it’s a slippery slope amiright?) that’s ok. I’m listening to my body and accepting what it needs from one day to the next. Sometimes that’s smashing it on the bike and hitting the weights in the gym, and sometimes it’s going for a nice walk after dinner with my boyfriend. Letting go of control isn’t as scary as I always thought – it’s freedom.
Happy 2017 ya’ll – it’s set to be a stellar year.