Hello there, Hellions!
It’s been a while since my last update, hasn’t it? It’s been hard to try to put together something that I think you all would be interested in reading. The last few months have been a balancing act of both mental and physical health.
When it comes to stress contributors, there are some that we must face, and others that we choose to face. They’re optional.
One of the biggest stress contributors in my life for the last two years has been an ongoing project at my day job. Over the last few months we’ve gotten down to the nitty-gritty pointy bit of the project’s end, and I had to make some pretty big decisions about where my effort and time was allocated.
The day job comes first. It pays the bills. It’s the thing I have to give a fuck about first and foremost. It’s lucky that I enjoy what I do, so I really don’t mind. But it is stressful at times, and these last few months have been way up there.
I’ve had to make some pretty tough decisions. For the last three months or so I have had to pull myself out of writing mode. I’m at the tail end of my next book, and on the cusp of starting a new project. To me, I like to think that my writing mode doesn’t ever turn off, so it’s been pretty difficult to come to terms with the fact that I’m not actually working on anything right now.
The books are still bubbling away in the back of my mind, and I’m thinking about them constantly, but I’m not actually writing anything outside of notes.
My focus has been on my work, and my health. Once my health is on track, then everything else will fall into place.
I look at it this way.
If I focus on my health, I’ll have the rest of my life to write books.
On the flip side, if I focus on my books, I can write them for the rest of my life. However long that might be.
If you take notice of the scales, I’ve only lost about 2 kilograms over the last few months.
But my weight is not where I’ve noticed the biggest difference. It’s in my fitness, my strength, and my stamina. It feels like I’m building muscle faster than my body is burning fat. So while my weight itself is not moving downward as fast as I would like, I can feel my body changing for the better.
I can run up stairs. I probably look silly doing it, but I don’t give a fuck. I can do it.
A few months ago, I would walk to the South Bank train station after work to catch my train. That was about 2 kilometres, and by the end I’d be sweaty and sore and out of breath.
Now, I do a 4.5km loop from my workplace, around the Botanical Gardens, across the Goodwill Bridge, along the South Bank river walk, then over the Kurilpa Bridge to Roma Street Station.
I was occasionally doing this walk earlier in the year, but by the end I would feel like I’d run a marathon. Now, I love it. It feels like any less of a walk is a waste, and the reasons I couldn’t do it regularly before have melted away.
I’ve come to the realisation that I have to work my Hobbit-like nature into my fitness routine.
I fuckin’ love nature.
Walking outside with a goal, I can push myself however far I need to go. But the moment I’m caged and inside and on the treadmill, I start to go loopy. It’s barely twenty minutes on the treadmill before my brain starts screaming at me to get off. Sometimes I can distract myself with ebooks, audiobooks or TV shows, but there’s something about just walking on a treadmill that my mind and body hates.
Maybe it’s because walking outside, I have a goal. I have somewhere I need to go. A destination. But on the treadmill, it’s just an arbitrary quota. I guess that says something about how my mind works.
So the gym is going to be good for strength building and toning as I go forward, but the majority of my cardio will be outside.
The most important thing to realise, when you’re trying to make a huge change in your life, is that you’re only answerable to yourself. You need to make judgements about what’s best for your health and well-being, and sometimes you need to ease off the accelerator and take it slow.
If you run your engine too hot for too long, she’s just going to burn out.
Sometimes it’s hard to see progress in the mirror if you look at it every day. But looking back, I can see how far I’ve come.