Happy and Glorious – 2019 edition

Yet again it has been a year (near enough) since my last Happy and Glorious post! With being back in full-time work, extra study for my postgraduate qualification, the business of moving house and ‘setting up home, there hasn’t been a lot of time or energy left over for WordPressing. I’ve still been completing my ‘line a day’ journal which is a lovely, low daily commitment to journaling with a 5-year overview (once completed), as well as occasional updates to my personal handwritten journal; but writings of the internet variety have been limited to Facebook and a newfound love for Instagram.

Here is my list for the year – in the order I pull them out of my ‘Happy and Glorious’ tin!

Here’s the disclaimer – these lists are really for my reference and reflection but by posting them online it gives me a sense of accountability to keep filling the tin through the year. Read if you wish, ignore if you’d rather. These also only focus on the good bits, there have been not so good bits in between but that is not what this post is for, it’s for tallying up all the good stuff that has happened in the year. I may well have missed some good bits if I didn’t write them down quick enough after they happened!!!!

  • Cormac Maharu O’Beirne entered the world to upgrade some of my loveliest friends to one of my favourite families in the world (other than my own, of course!) : January
  • Seeing Captain Marvel at the Showcase Cinema Deluxe in Southampton (I may have a slight obsession with how comfortable the seats here are) : March
  • Met Cormac after ensuring I was completely germ free ❤️ : February
  • Shazam! Took me a while to get around to seeing Zachary Levi in his first starring big screen role: April
  • Surprise party for Diluki and a lovely weekend celebrating at Bath Festival and getting lots of cuddle time with Cormac : June
  • Reading about Binge Eating Disorder and through that understanding HOW my relationship with food is dysfunctional – this has helped me to manage my eating habits and loose weight : January/February
  • Got the keys to my little [rented] house in Devon : April
  • Moved in (properly) to my little house in Devon : April (a couple of weeks after I got the keys)
  • 6-months in the job.. they’re still happy with me and I’m still happy with them 😁 : June (also noted the same at my second 1:1 in February, I’m sensing a theme)
  • Dublin trip for Cormac’s naming ceremony and having some quality time with Diluki & Alan – a real treat… and proper Guinness too! It involved flying from Exeter airport and a flight path that went over my house : 28 June-1 July
  • Avengers: Endgame. Long awaited emotional couple of hours but overall a good end to the Avengers films : May
  • “I ❤️ my job. So glad I took the plunge and changed career” : Jan/Feb
  • Mum’s 70th Birthday Party. Helping to throw a lovely party, catch up with old family friends I haven’t seen for years (Jo Tanter, Wendy Miller & John & Joy) as well as raising enough money (mum requested donations in stead of presents) to buy a cow through Send a Cow! : June
  • “Having the best boss & employer” : November (supporting me through a tough time being off work with severe acute pain)
  • Baby Salt-Crockford arriving to turn more friends into a family ❤️ : December
  • Stevie Wonder (Plus Special Guest Lionel Richie) in Hyde Park – continuing Mum’s birthday celebrations : July
  • Getting my lovely kitten, Min ❤️ : July
  • The lovely Lucy, who I remember pushing in a pram back in the day, and Dom becoming a family with the arrival of Florence ❤️ : November
  • Romsey Show – being asked back to do the commentary for the sheep grand parade and generally having a lovely day catching up with friends from Mum & Dad’s ringside parking spot : September
  • Catching up with Ruth for coffee – been a scarily long time since we did that either in the parent’s kitchen or hers! : December
  • Catching up with Rosie C (yes, I have to clarify which Rosie!) : December (and possibly Easter-ish? I’m getting old, I didn’t write it down so I’m not sure when it happened!)
  • Catching up with Rosie M (see I told you!) away from all the madness of uni : September
  • Graduation! Made the transition from Graduand to Graduate on one of the hottest days of the year, in the full gear! : July
  • Getting out for a ride on Taoiseach and feeling great after not riding for a loooong time (I did take a precautionary hot bath and am on some hefty anti-inflammatories for the trapped nerve in my neck so it might not have been a true representation of my lack of stiffness post ride!!) : December

Still here!

Forgive me bloggers for I have sinned; it has been 11-weeks since my last confession….

But, oh! what an 11-weeks it has been!

My last post on here was 21st March; in which I was suffering a mild setback from “doing a lot”.  To say that my last bout of “doing a lot” will knock my previous record out the water will be an understatement… Continue reading

Turning the frowns upside down

I have mentioned before that a HUGE tool in the kit of dealing with CFS is positivity.  On days like today it is difficult to remain positive in the face of disappointments.  This is how I try to turn my disappointments into positive reinforcements Continue reading

Fast is the new…. Fast!

Forgive me friends it has been 66 days since my last blog.

Going back to my last blog, on 7th Jan, I was 7-days into the Fast Diet (or 5:2 Diet) and was feeling superb.  Fast forward to today and I am only just finding time to sit down and update you all on my progress. Continue reading

Absent Note

I’ve been trying to write loads of meaningful, insightful, highly intelligent posts lately but they have all failed due to lack of energy and brain-fuge.

However, I thought I’d better pop by and do more than read my feed: explain why I’ve been away for a while.  Firstly, work has picked up since the new year and I’ve been busy, busy, busy with phone calls around the world and stuff like that.  Secondly, and perhaps not unrelated to the first, Continue reading

Decisions, Decisions!

One of the most frustrating things about having CFS is having to make decisions on what I do and don’t do in any one day/week.

In my mind, now that I am out of the dark days of hypothyroid and CFS induced fugue, I am no different to how I was in my gap year (scarily, 17 years and half my lifetime ago now) before I had Glandular Fever where I would work shifts – either early 6am-2pm or late 2-10pm – ride the horse most weekdays as well as going jive dancing 2-3 times a week. Continue reading

Time and Motion

I’m away house/dog sitting again this week and, as happened last time, I realise that I have let my step-count dwindle since I stopped wearing my pedometer every day.  It is difficult when I am working hard to build up my business which is mainly desk-based.

I have always struggled with working hard at work and working to maintain my fitness; getting home (or leaving the home office) after a busy day leaves you reaching for the quick and easy choice for supper, which is not always the healthiest choice.  When dragging your tired body out of bed ready to start another busy day the last thing I want to do is jump on the cross-trainer, even though it is right by the bed (which I try and avoid looking at so as to not feel guilty).  You may have the time, but don’t have the energy or you may have the energy but not the time.

I have been keeping up with the riding, which at times has been the one thing that gets me going through the day: my “raison d’etre” when I wonder what all the hard work is for.  I’m really enjoying the ‘map my run’ app on my phone and using it to track the rides we go out on – especially useful for tracking the fitness of the horses too, giving top and average speeds and an accurate track of our mileage (then you realise that the dog has also been coming with us on our 7-8 mile rides).  Having kept up with the riding, which is good all over exercise, I’m not so unprepared for the dog walking I do when I’m dog-sitting but I do need to make sure that I do 20 minutes on the cross trainer every day.

I haven’t been doing my EAP exercises, although I have been trying to stick to the nutritional plan and last week I had lost another couple of inches although the weight hadn’t changed much.  Not sure what this week’s measurements are going to bring as I fell off the wheat wagon and am struggling to get back on the straight and narrow.  I always find it difficult with the change in the seasons, not that we’ve really had a summer to speak of, when the nights draw in.

Since receiving my diagnosis of CFS and getting set on the road to recovery, I have always known that I need to prioritise my fitness as equally important as my work because without maintaining my fitness, I will not have the stamina and energy to do my work.  I have always hoped to be able to work not-quite full time in order to devote some of the time that would normally be spent working to building and maintaining my fitness.  However, to get to that point working for yourself means that you have to work more than full time to initially build up your client base which adds an extra challenge.

I’m now 3-years on from my diagnosis of Hypothyroidism and CFS and sometimes can’t believe how far I’ve come: from someone who was not far off being bed-ridden to someone who would be considered ‘moderately active’ (or ‘Active’ when I keep up with my step-count).  I still have a way to go to get to the level of fitness I want but when I worry that I won’t be able to get there, I just have to look at what I have already achieved – and also at the determination that kept me going before my diagnosis – and I know I can do it.   I hope it doesn’t take me another three years to get there but if it does then it does and it’s still a great achievement.

Gone but not forgotten

I have been rather absent from here of late.  That is party because I had to take a halt in my pursuit of my healthy body circa 1996/1997 due to the decrepit nature of my hip (since identified as muscles of my right hip being chronically in spasm, severely limiting my movement and being a RIGHT pain in the arse – pun intended) and not wanting to advertise it to the world*.  Since then I have had the madness of pre-holiday, holiday and post-holiday to contend with as well as work and other ‘stuff’ that has got in the way.

Incidentally, it has actually been nice to have a break from doing the EAP as I have been able to appreciate the weight that I have lost and being able to re-claim a good portion of my wardrobe from storage in the “I’ll slim back into that one” section of the attic.

I’m going to be starting again on Monday, back at the start of week 1 having been working on my hip to try and avoid hitting the same wall after week 4.

In other news, Archy has been away to ‘boarding-school’ up in Swansea for three weeks to get him back in the shafts… sent up to a lovely chap, very kind and gentle.  However, we think the Welsh accent, and being away from home, rather stressed Archy out as he was wound tight as a drum when we went to pick him up.  The first time we sent him away to get him broken to drive (the time where he came back actually broken in body and mind) was to a Welshman – who was NOT kind and gentle – which is why we think the Welsh accent may have been a tipping point.  Anyway, he managed to progress in his training somewhat, in spite of being stressed out, and he has relaxed a huge amount since he has been back so all is not lost.  He has become more resilient.  Either that or he is just so relieved to be back here that he is on his best behaviour so he doesn’t get sent away again!!

* – no, I don’t think the world does read my blog, just that the the option is there 😉

Mixing it up

Yesterday was an enforced rest day due to my mystery toe…. 75% sure it’s broken but it’s not nearly as painful as I think it should be for a broken toe, however it does ouch something horrid if I use my foot correctly when walking (i.e. rolling from my heel to my little toe then across the ball of my foot to my big toe.  Consequently, am suffering an achy foot and a cramping calf because I am either limping or trying not to limp by rolling my foot directly from heel to big toe.

I also had some emergency dog-sitting so clients could go to Wimbledon so decided that I would take the day off and let my toe settle down.  Just some gentle walking with the pooch.

As a result, I have decided to shift my Friday exercises to Saturday, Saturday exercises to Sunday and use yesterday as Sunday’s rest day.  This is because I was feeling really disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to do my exercises yesterday, I was feeling like a bit of a failure until I told myself to buck up and that resting with a broken bone is not ‘wimping out’ but a sensible move.  Evidence of my guilt/disappointment/wimpish feelings about taking yesterday was the dream I had where I was scoffing down bread and pasta and all sorts of other Trot-list foods, EAP be damned!  It was horrid.

This is more like the me of 17-years ago before everything went a-over-t health-wise.  At last!!

In other news, last night I registered for a local K9-9K sponsored walk, with dog, for our local veterinary charity, the Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS) on the 21st July.  This is a Big Thing for me, being able to contemplate walking 9k (or 18k steps in pedometer terms) in one go.  This time 12-months ago, and even 6-months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to even think of doing this without coming over all fatigued.

On that positive note I will leave you to go and try my foot out in a Jodhpur boot

Conducting the music of movement

Sometimes when I’m riding I feel like my brain is a conductor putting on a command performance; with my body as the orchestra and the horse as the soloist. Especially when you are trying to correct your position! Keeping the pelvic floor and abs engaged to reduce the anterior tilt of my pelvis, making sure my toes and knees don’t stray out (although they are a lot less likely to do so since I started the EAP), not rounding my shoulders, but not tensing up either. Then you have the horse/soloist to think of, speeding up the orchestra or slowing down the soloist depending on what you’re trying to achieve!

Fortunately I have my physio sitting on one shoulder with her hints and tips, and Matt from the EAP on the other with more (whether I’m mounted or not) to keep my position in check! Fortunately this does not leave any shoulder space for that pesky demon whispering things like “chocolate, sweets, etc” in the style of the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

I’ve not had too many cravings for stuff on the “Trot” list (other than milk, I miss milk) over and above a brief ‘mmmmm’ when walking past the bakery with the kitchen extractor fan pumping out the smells of a fresh bake! With this crummy weather I have missed “stodge” for it’s warm and comforting properties. I did relent and get a gluten free ciabatta roll to have with my soup but next I think I’m going to try making some cornbread.

Speaking of the EAP, I’m now at the end of week 2, day 4 and it is still going well, had a sneaky measure and it looks like week 2 will continue the trend of a not insignificant inches loss! Scales won’t arrive until early next week so weight is still an unknown but that can vary so much due to factors other than how much you weigh that I’m more inclined to concentrate on measurements.

Quick tip for “spiderman’s hold” (or 4-point kneeling with opposite arm/leg lift) if you have trouble with an anterior tilt to your pelvis like I do, is to place a ball in the small of your back to ensure that you don’t either rotate your body when lifting legs or tilt your pelvis and go into extension when lifting the legs. Basically, if the ball rolls off you’ve got movement you don’t want: sideways exit = lateral rotation, concentrate on your core & pelvic floor to stabilise; backwards exit = pelvic tilt, don’t lift your legs so high and concentrate on the quality of the move in totality rather than the range of movement in the leg lift alone. I use a prickle ball because they are a little bit more stable and give you a chance to correct before you loose it.

Disclaimer: I’m not a trained fitness instructor, this is just advice gained from my personal experience.

Upcoming challenges: I think I have broken my little toe so that may prove somewhat of a difficulty. Hopefully I have only bruised the bone but it is still rather ouchy. With all the riding and exercise today, I only went and whacked it on my “mobile office” wheelie bag whilst doing my day job. How boring!