I’ll admit it. I definitely used to be someone who never identified with exercise or any kind of healthy eating regime. Roll forward about 10 years and nowadays it is extremely trendy and albeit very much on our radar to be looking after ourselves and being aware of what we eat is what we are.
I found this regime when I got absolutely fed up with feeling the way I did. Overweight, never happy with pictures of myself, unconfident and generally not happy with the way I was feeling. It was the kick up the arse I needed to take my exercise and diet seriously and to understand that moderation is key and you can’t expect to fill your body with shite and then feel a million bucks (though I do know 1 or 2 lucky people who can do this!). When I finally realised my weight wasn’t down to me just being ‘big boned’ or ‘oh it’s in my genes’ I knew that these for me, were just excuses. However, it is very recently that I realise how important my exercise, and namely running, is good for my mind as well as my body.
I always knew that running made me feel ‘good’ and gave me a focus. And I finally understood what all those crazy people were on about when they said that exercise made them feel amazing. I know now and realise just how important running is for keeping me feeling balanced. And whilst mental health and feeling good and having an outlet for feelings is very much being discussed at the moment, it got me thinking that this is my therapy. Talking, laughing and lots of love and hugs help too so feel free to always give lots of that to me too.
Through recent experiences, I have seen so much good in people. And love is something in which you very much reap what you sow. No matter what I am going through I always try to be nice, have time for those that need me and always offer a laugh, hug and smile. Yeah of course, I have my off days like we all do when I can be a miserable cowbag (ha – this autocorrected to cowboy!) but generally I try to always be kind.
Someone once said to me, why do you always put yourself out for people at the expense of your own time and stress? My answer was simple (and cheesy). Because it’s true what they say – always be kind to people because you never know when you might be the one who needs that kindness in return – and lots of lovely hugs too. And fuck me, thats turned out to be so very very true recently, my closest and others who have become close, have been amazing. I also apologise here for my constant swearing, but I thought it was important and about time that my personality should come out a little more in my blog posts…
As well as all this amazing love and affection, running is what is keeping me from going a little more crazy. When I run, I feel like me. I feel revitalised and for those minutes I am running, I feel like I am slowly running towards gaining back control of how I feel. In times of extreme stress and emotional pain, you never ever know how you are going to feel until it happens. How you deal with it is personal to you, but the fact that you deal with it is so important. I don’t mind sharing a secret with you here, and its something I have eluded to in previous blogs.
When I was younger, I suffered from extreme blues. Some might call that depression, and perhaps it was, but I don’t like to bound that word around like a ping pong ball, because its a serious subject. For most of the time, I locked those feelings away. They eeked their way out in other ways and its only now I am older I realise its important to deal with those emotions. They aren’t weakness and they certainly aren’t something to be ashamed of. I have slowly worked through this over the years and I guess to meet me know you would never know, but thats how it should be. Because those times should be building blocks and stepping stones to help you gain strength, clarity and a sense of whats important to you to make you feel happy.
To me these emotions and thoughts are your mind and body trying to make sense of what is happening to you and it coming out as being extremely scrambled. Some of us find ways to un-scramble those emotions, for some they are far too extreme.
I have 2 big types of therapy (well actually I have 3, but it could be before the watershed when you are reading this, therefore I will refrain from talking about that…the Big O helps, so maybe I will write about that in another blog post…queue up that sex and the city music). It’s music and running for me. Oh and lets not forget the big stuff like love, travel, laughter, shopping, a big ole piss up and food. But when you are down you are down, and I love sex more than I love food, so you can imagine that when I am off my food something is very up. (Sorry to my Niece if you are reading this, I bet she is squirming in her seat!).
To combine music with running therefore is my ultimate euphoria. It helps me bring myself back to my inner centre of gravity. When I am feeling sad and very stressed, I get quite anxious and literally do not know what to do with myself. And recently this has been my biggest feeling. This is not an everyday occurrence thank goodness and thankfully I can handle a large amount of stress, but when it gets too much even for me, I have to move. Literally. I feel like running away, I feel like I can’t make sense of anything and literally want to run. So I do. For those that follow me on IG, you’ll know that recently things that have happening would have made me want to do this. Those big things in life which throw you completely into turmoil are not to be underestimated.
And thats ok. We are human, we can’t be expected to function 100% all the time and be ok everyday of the week. We have days when we aren’t ourselves and something will tip the balance. But if we learn to understand what makes the scales tip back the other way, it helps so much to feel like yourself again. And what so many people have said to me recently – its ok to not be ok. Its true. I am finding that the best way to deal with how I am feeling is to let it out, run with it and feel it.
Having just been for a run before I finished this post, I also realised when I was running just why it is so important to me. Because it’s just for me. The times when I am running it is ‘my’ time, it’s my ‘me’ time. It’s my time out, my zen, my time for my own thoughts and time when I am 100% dedicating something to myself. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.
So I am back to running and I am loving it, I am back to finding my happy places and this is most certainly one of them. It makes me less of an anxious bitch (the same as coffee, I endearingly call this my ‘bitch juice’). Even if I can only find 20 minutes in a day to do it, I will do it. It somehow re-balances me.
So, how do you find your happy place and what is it? There are many good things in life, sometimes we just have to look a little harder to see them when things are tough. So upon re-discovering this and learning recently just how important it is to me, I have booked my next half marathon – yep Bath Half in March next year baby! Training is on!
I really hope you have yours and if not I hope you find them.