April 2022 – Head down, crack on!

April went in a bit of a blur really. It got to the 1st and I realised that a workshop I was delivering was in less than three weeks, plenty of time to prepare, however, I had to account for the long Easter weekend during this preparation time.

I look back at my calendar and every day I’ve simply written workshop!! It was on my mind 24/7! For some, this might feel stressful but this is when I’m in my element as I know the long days and late nights will be worth it when I deliver a fantastic day of training.

I have this single vision and determination to ensure every detail of the training is as I want it to be, I work tirelessly to achieve this and probably become a bit obsessive about it at times.

The workshop was on the 20th April nearly a month ago now and in a way I still can’t believe I pulled it off!! Even though I’ve been a trainer for over two decades I still have my niggles of self-doubt and the mind gremlins get rather shouty leading up to an event. The feedback I received was excellent and got a score of 4.33 out of 5 for the workshop overall. I was so proud of what I had delivered.

It took me a good week to recover as I ended up doing over 22k steps and walking 16km during the day. I was completely spent by the time I got home.

Other than this my month was a little bit frustrating exercise-wise as my knee was still not better! It was getting better but then this workshop put my recovery back as my knee certainly didn’t like being active for over 12 hours! And every time I thought about going back to the box/gym I lost my nerve a little.

However, on a plus side, I was generally feeling a lot less fatigued than in the previous few months and was still taking the herbal tincture that Hannah had prepared for me.

I also started doing a 100-day challenge in the run up to my birthday in July, since my birthday last year I’ve been writing a daily blog about transforming my life in 365 days! In April I realised that it would be 100 days until my birthday so why not challenge myself to do something every day as you know I love a challenge!!

March 2022 – Brighter days are coming…

March has been quite a tough month for me emotionally, the first half of the month I was feeling pretty lonely, not really sure what caused this but tears flowed most days! I’m always so happy for friends when they share the good news about their lives be these engagements, pregnancies and birth announcements but it is tinged with sadness for me as I wonder if any of this will happen to me. Admittedly, I don’t do much to help myself in terms of looking for love as I’m still don’t feel in a place where I’m ready and mentally strong enough to go on the dating apps & see if I can find someone to share my life with.

At the moment I don’t feel great about the way I look as shallow as that sounds and feel that I don’t want to be judged just for how I look as is the case with dating apps. I shared how I was feeling with some very good friends and they were so kind in their response but ultimately it’s me who has to love myself and see my own beauty to feel it and live it.

I also injured my right knee mid-month, god knows how I did it, just one day woke up with severe pain and was unable to straighten my leg without shooting pains in my knee, eventually, I listened to my body and rested from Crossfit and any high impact exercise. Thankfully, I was still able to go swimming at the lake without being in pain and hoping that the cold water may help with the inflammation. I managed to see my physio at the end of the month who reassured me that they thought I’d not done anything too serious and probably just pulled my ACL.

This is frustrating when I’ve only just got my mojo back for exercise but I guess it’s one of those things and I just have to see past the temporary and know that if I rest up (as best I can when I still need to live, run a house and work) it will get better.

This month I had a herbal medicine consultation with the very knowledgeable Hannah who runs The District Herbalist as I wanted a second opinion about what’s going on with my health and wellbeing, she gave me the space and time to talk about what’s been going on for me and gave me some answers, again reassured me nothing serious is going on, made me a restorative tincture to take for a month to see if it will help with my symptoms.

So here’s to a better April, onwards and upwards as they say!!

February 2022 – Mojo where are you…

God knows where this month has gone, I probably say that every month!!

The beginning of Feb was a real struggle mentally as recently I’ve lost all motivation to exercise and it was getting to me.

I’ve been into exercise for as long as I can remember, at school, I played whatever sport I could and fell in love with hockey, I played this during my time at college and through my twenties and into my early thirties, finally giving it up when I lost the love for it, I supplemented this with going to the gym regularly and found CrossFit seven years ago which I’ve done on and off ever since. I also love swimming and when my gym had a pool I would be a regular early morning dipper and now I swim in lakes, well any body of water that is safe! I qualified as a personal trainer 20 years ago this summer (fu*king hell, didn’t realise it was that long ago) and although I don’t do much PT’ing now my love for exercise and training people hasn’t wained though 2 decades, now I just have to hold my tongue when I’m at the CrossFit box as have to remind myself that I’m not one of the trainers!! However, in late January and into February I simply lost all my mojo for exercise, not sure what caused it but I just had no will to do anything, not even lake swimming (which is my usual go-to thing if I need some mental breathing space).

A lot of people won’t know this but I’ve suffered from constant fatigue since my late teens, I got Glandular fever when I was 17 and don’t feel like I’ve ever fully recovered from it. Most of the time I just drive through it, just get on with life. But I think during this time of lost mojo I decided to ask for help. My first port of call was my GP, which was a pointless exercise really as they took some blood and then told me that all the blood tests that might indicate the cause of the fatigue had come back “normal” and then closed my case so to speak.

I bought a book called decode your fatigue – I am reading it but after a quick flick through it realised I’m already doing most if not all of the recommendations in there.

As a nutritional therapist, I know what to do to look after myself, I take the supplements I know will support my health, 95% of the time I eat really well, I hardly drink and I have a good sleep routine but still, the fatigue persists. Thankfully, I know complementary therapists who I can turn to for a second opinion as to what’s going on, I’ve got my own suspicions but would be good to hear their thoughts too, I’m determined to overcome this and live a life free from fatigue.

By the end of the month my exercise mojo had returned, not to the level I’m used to but I’m taking each day as it comes and just listen to my body.

January 2022 – Being Authentically Me

Here we go again, another year to achieve our dreams!

Like lots of other people, I find January a little overwhelming, all the talk about what will you achieve this year, plans and activities just tires me out thinking about it! Don’t get me wrong, if this kind of planning works for you then great but I often feel like we set ourselves up for a fall and I know that I’ve done that many times.

For a good number of years now I’ve not made new years resolutions, however instead what I have is a word of the year, I’ve probably talked about this before and it’s basically about having a theme for the year – in the past, I’ve had balance, abundance, openness, love… and quite a few more that I can’t remember!! Usually, the word comes to me at some time in late November, early December & it just sticks in my head, that’s when I know I’ve chosen the right word.

This year my word is AUTHENTICITY.

For the past few months, something inside has felt a bit off, not really sure how to explain it really but I felt like I wasn’t being true to myself. And in all honesty when I thought about “being true to myself” I wasn’t really sure what that actually meant or looked like.

During December and over the Christmas period I had a number of conversations with friends about life, hopes and dreams as you do over a few glasses of wine & knowing you can speak from your heart and openly without fear or judgement. During these conversations something hit home & many friends said the same thing to me.

When you talk about food/nutrition, you come alive, your eyes light up, your energy & enthusiasm is through the roof”

And they are right, food, food technology, food hygiene & safety, cooking, eating, nutrition, food marketing, food manufacturing, food packaging you name it and it is what makes my heart sing, it’s been part of my life since I was 6 months old (yes I know it’s been part of all our lives as we need it to stay alive!!!), at 6 months old my parents started their own food business and traded in different guises until I was 18. However, even as a child I know that at times it was tough going for my parents, they changed and adapted their business to survive and maybe some of this struggle as rubbed off on me in a way.

I don’t consciously shy away from food work, however, sometimes wonder if I can make a living out of it as it was such a struggle for my parents. So look to other skills I have to make a living. But… food work always comes back to me as it’s something that comes so naturally to me and makes me happy so this year I’m going to embrace it!!

The aim of 2022 is to be more authentically me – what this looks like is beyond me right now but all I know is that I will do more foodie things be that posting on social media, develop new recipes, trying new foods, eating at new restaurants and just see where it takes me.

I won’t lie and say that I’m a little scared as society tries so hard to tell us not to be ourselves so feel like I’m going against the tide but those who know me well know that most of the time I tend to furrow my own path in life so watch this space…

Until next time, say well xxx

December 2021 – Catching my breath

December this year has been a time I attempt to catch my breath so to speak, for the last decade I haven’t really taken much time off at Christmas as I felt that if I wasn’t working I wasn’t earning money and that freaked the hell out of me.

For most of the month, I was wishing away the days, this is not something I usually do as I want to make the most of every day and I love what I do at the uni as well as the business but I had started to feel really tired as the year drew to an end so I was counting down the days to when I could just mooch around the house and have no plans!

This year is slightly, well if I’m honest massively different. Having some part-time work at the uni gives me some financial security so feel more relaxed to take time away from work but also after many years of therapy and working on myself in terms of limiting beliefs, lack of self-belief and confidence I feel more relaxed about my whole life situation and that’s it’s ok to rest.

I’m not one for sitting still for long so over the festive break I decided to do some house sorting, clearing and cleaning as well as make my reading room (AKA the spare bedroom) cosier as I want to use the room more.

I bought some fairy lights that can double up as sidelights when people come to stay, I bought a bed desk and a fur blanket to snuggle under as I tend to feel the cold when I’m reading or meditating.

The week between Christmas and New year, I spent quite a lot of my days in this room, it was glorious, I read books, I journalled, I made plans for 2022 and I meditated.

When I started to clear out cupboards and draws it made me realise how much I love my house and how lucky I am to have the space I have, over the last few years I had fallen out of love with it as it felts tired and full of stuff (quite reflective of how I was feeling I guess!), I refurbished the house when I first bought it 15 years ago and have done very little to it since and it felt a major job to sort it but as I started doing some of the little DIY jobs, I realised that I just need to tackle one thing at a time. I replaced downlighter bulbs some of which I think have been out for probably a decade and the house feels so much lighter (Doh!! It’s amazing what you get used to and become blind too over time isn’t it!!) and I had this really strong feeling that I need to clear old energies out the house and start to look forward to the future that re-visiting the past.

The last couple of years have been hard for everyone in so many different ways and I felt that December 2021 gave me time to reflect on my own journey, the lessons I’ve learned and what I can leave in 2021 and what I can take into 2022.

I’m so excited for 2022 and all the things I will achieve… Eyes forward, one step at a time!

November 2021 – Alien in New York

November was a month with so many conflicted thoughts and a mixed bag of emotions, a real rollercoaster of a month.

Not sure the reason for such a mixed month as in general everything is going swimmingly really, well apart from exercise (have just lost motivation for this, more about that next month!) but work at the uni is going well, the business is ticking along nicely, however, for most of the month I’ve had a nagging feeling that something needs to change… I’ve probably had the feeling for a long time but not really been able to put my finger on quite what it was.

I’ve never been one to follow the crowd, doing my own thing was who I was, most of the time I don’t give it much thought as I just get on life and do things that feel right for me at the time.

However, there are times when I feel like an alien, the odd one out, a loner for want of a better word. I just feel like I don’t fit in with any group or tribe and this gets to me sometimes. I have some amazing friendships and enjoy spending time with people on a one to one basis, in the past few years I’ve shied away from social situations as feel like the spare part, feel like I have nothing in common with other people and not sure what to talk to them about, that I’ll sound dull and that people won’t want to speak to me…

I feel like I’m not living my authentic self most of the time as I confirm to fit in, to be accepted, to be liked and this is so very tiring and saps my energy daily…

Half of me doesn’t want to fit in as want to be unique and my own person and then the other half is like you’ll end up alone so need to change to fit in!!

As the year comes to the end my thoughts turn to how I want to change to make the coming year better, I’m determined to change some of my habits that don’t serve me well, November was the start of this by making a list of all the things I want to change in my life.

In 2022 I want to be more my authentic self and be completely confident in showing this self to the world, shout it loud and proud and not be worried about the people who don’t like it!! I know this will be a challenge as it changing beliefs that I’ve had for 44 years but I’m willing to give it a go. The hardest thing will be is working out who that authentic self is!!

This will be my mantra for 2022!!

Tick tock, the ticking clock…

This is quite a hard post to write but feel it’s time to share something that is really close to my heart and am writing it through tears streaming down my face…

The above phrase I’ve heard a couple of times in the past week when I’ve been asked if I have children, I don’t know why people think it’s acceptable to ask me if I have children in the first place but I won’t have a rant about that now but it’s a question I’ve been asked for years.

The assumption most people come to about me is that I’m career-focused and therefore didn’t/don’t want children. This is not true, yes I am driven and career-focused but I actually would have liked/would like to have my own child(ren) if I could. And the fact is you can be both, I know plenty of friends who are both mothers and have had successful professional careers.

As the days, weeks and months pass I am more aware that my biological clock is ticking down to a point where it is not possible for me to have children biologically and it’s heartbreaking. Every time I see people post about their pregnancy or birth news I am genuinely happy for them but a bit of my heart breaks off knowing that more than likely it will never be me making this kind of announcement.

Yes, I know there are other means to being a “mum”, however, the thing is I would like a child but would like to share that life and journey with someone else too. I’ve now been single for over 10 years and if I’m honest it sucks as shallow as that sounds!! Yes, I’ve had a few flings and short-term relationships but always something isn’t quite right so it ends, usually with my heart broken.

I put a brave face on most of the time, however, as time goes by I lose hope of ever meeting my happy ever after. I’ve recently swallowed my fears and registered on Match.com, I find it so alien, uncomfortable & impersonal so am kind of struggling with it. I signed up for 6 months but am feeling all a bit overwhelmed right now and might just deactivate my account until the new year.

Fairytales only seem to exist in movies and imagination…

October 2021 – In a blur

I know I probably say this every month but October is just a blur to me!!

At the moment my life is rammed full of doing, for most of October I worked full time at the uni to help the team out as well as run the business. At the time of being asked to go full-time tempoarily the business was fairly quiet, I was in the process of reviewing what I do with the view of moving the business forward I had invested in some marketing support from a great friend who runs a strategic marketing agency and was excited about the potential. As soon as I started full-time enquiries for the business started to come in. I’m not in a position to turn down work so had to say yes to it all and workout later how I’d get it all done!! I got it all done…

However, this meant working 12-14 hour days for over 3 weeks straight even at the weekends!

Eventually, I realised it wasn’t sustainable and had taken on too much and as much as I love the lecturing, the team I work with, and my students I realised that my heart was firmly with the business, and lecturing part-time is what works for me and although this might be the tougher path to take, I’m up for walking along it.

With working so much my exercise routine went out the window, managed to maintain my eating and sleep routine quite well but was far too tired to do anything other than work, sleep, and eat.

I don’t feel like I’ve had time to take a breath at all this month, it’s all just go go go! It’s a nice problem to have, having work coming in as it is, it’s just finding a balance between doing and being!!

Hopefully in November that balance will come…

September 2021 – Broken Record

And just like that, we’re through 3/4 of 2021!!

September was a full-on month with work and business activities, the days and weeks just seem to go by in a blink of an eye, which is awesome and so pleased with how this area of my life is developing, however, it comes at a cost as I just about managed a double-figure number of workouts and not a lot else.

This month I have become very frustrated with myself, I often feel like a broken record – saying the same things to friends & to myself and yet not doing anything about it…

After my birthday this year I set about doing a 365 transformation challenge and two months in I’ve not made very much progress at all, everything else seems to get in the way or I’m just avoiding doing the work that needs to be done because:

Working on your mind as with the body takes hard work and dedication – I kind it strange that I want a few things so badly yet, I don’t do the work needed to get them, they are within my grasp if I really really wanted them! I procrastinate, I make excuses, I berate myself, I beat myself up, I waste time! I do the easy stuff and avoid the hard stuff and then wonder why I’ve still not reached my goals!

I have to remind myself about taking small steps consistently and I’ll get to where I want to go!!

So my goal for the rest of 2021 is to sort out my head and find a way to do the hard stuff without it breaking me or me dropping any of the balls I need to keep in the air that is just living life. Creating habits that are sustainable even with sh*t hits the fan and life throws you curveballs.

August 2021 – A decade of Firecracker

This month the business has got crazy busy which I’m ecstatic about as have felt for a long time that it might be time for a complete change, my belly fire is still burning bright but my head was saying something different these feelings were heightened this month too because Firecracker celebrated being 10 years old too, a decade of self-employment!!

In the last 10 years so much has happened and there have been some massive highs and some heartbreaking lows, and although I did celebrate this achievement it was tinged with sadness too.

I know deep down over the past ten years I’ve given my heart and soul to Firecracker, will continue to do so and smile at all the people I’ve met along the way, especially the ones I’ve been able to help and support in their life journey/story. I really hope that they smile too when they remember the interactions we had.

I had/have big dreams for Firecracker and felt that I should be further down the line with these goals than I am after ten years of plugging away at it! While the belly fire burns bright these dreams are still alive so I know not to give up hope and my time will come soon enough…

I had planned to have a quieter month in August, as mentioned in my July post I felt like I needed to rest and had some annual leave from my Uni work (having paid holiday is still something I am getting used to!) So yes I had annual leave from the Uni but I didn’t get any time off as I was busy working on Firecracker stuff, in fact, if I hadn’t had the time off I don’t think I’d have delivered all the work I need to do in August and I didn’t get as much done as I would like have liked due to…

…getting ill, I had a cold for about a week (this could have been due to being run down, or just picking it up from somewhere) – don’t think anyone likes getting ill, however, I always kind of give thanks to my body when I get ill and subsequently get better at its awesome ability to heal itself and know that my immune system is in good working order! But it was a timely reminder to look after my body and health. Personally, I believe there is nothing wrong with getting ill every so often as it’s being human, but I do think we need to do all that we can to support the body and mind to be healthy most of the time.

My big life transformation is still happening although due to the above it has kind of stalled a bit. But I’m determined more than ever to make this happen.

I did make progress on the garden though with a little help from some friends – so that’s progress towards the transformation.

While I was ill I did have a couple of slow days when my brain was a fog and tears flowed so had time to think about my life, there are times when I just want to run away and be done with adulting and all the responsibilities that go with it but mostly I smile about the life I have, the friends around me and the opportunities that come my way! Recently I’ve forgotten that…

Life’s for living and food is for eating… need to start living a bit more!!

Until next time stay safe and well xx