It’s been awhile since I did an update on the New Year’s goals – typically, it’s about now that most efforts to change get strewn by the wayside. I’ve been a little bit quiet on that front as I’ve been concentrating on the University side of things, but thought it might be fun to do a bit of an update for March/April.
Even though I’m officially one year post surgery, my quest to further improve my hamstring strength and conditioning continues. After my Mooloolaba triathlon disaster, I decided to head back to the gym and focus on strength and conditioning. I have been at it for a month and have seen some pleasing improvements, although according to the specialist physio I saw today that tested my hamstring strength and endurance, I still have a way to go. My left leg is at 83% strength compared with my right leg which is an excellent outcome surgically, however my right leg is also pretty weak. Every Monday and Thursday I toddle off to the local gym and I perform the exercises the physio has given me, plus some Liz specials and some upper body and core work – I’m actually starting to enjoy it. After a lot of work at Uni, I decided to shelve both the swimming and running until July when I’ll have 15 weeks to prepare for Noosa triathlon.
My cycling continues to improve – it’s as if I have literally turned a corner, as I have experienced some really good improvements in my climbing which has been a real thrill. I’m not quite where I used to be, but I’m showing promising signs and I’m certain that if I continue to train properly that I will get there and hopefully beyond. After Mooloolaba, my entire perspective about training changed – I realised that there is absolutely no hurry to get back to racing bikes and whilst I have done a few races, it’s been more about having fun and getting fitter than anything else. In fact, I realised that I need never race again to have a good time on a bicycle and it’s really nice to get stuck into training without the pressure of being ready to race when, in fact, I’m not ready to race 🙂
Psychology for depression and anxiety:
Everyone has different strategies for coping with life and usually as a child you cannot control your genetics or the environment in which you’ve grown up – and this is where I have started – trying to gain an understanding on what’s driven my own behaviours and how that’s tipped me into becoming depressed. Like many people, I’m a bit of a perfectionist – and whilst that can be a positive trait, I have discovered that have been setting myself such an unrelenting standard of perfection that I’ve been actually making myself “sick” – anxious, depressed and overweight in the process. Admitting such things is an uncomfortable process, however I feel that if I don’t face this issue, then I will never sort out the disordered eating patterns for good. I’m working on short meditation and a form of therapy known as “Compassion Focused Therapy” which, at this stage just feels odd – but I will press on.
I’ve had a bit of a stall in my weight loss and thanks to my visit with the psychologist am beginning to draw parallels with the notion of “because I’m not being perfect with my eating, I’m out of control”. Being perfect with my eating represents having the correct amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vegetables and fruit in each meal, and if it doesn’t happen and I buy a pizza, I’m somehow a defective human being. When I write this, I can see how unrelenting and hard I am being on myself and that I’m better off just eating regular old “food” without any value attached to it. I have learned that I can trust my body to know when it is hungry and when it is full and I can eat a wide range of foods from the perfectly proportioned to pizza and still be perfectly healthy and lose weight. I know that I can eat a healthy balanced diet within this framework without worrying too much about the individual components. With that in mind, I’m moving forward with just the first few core habits I have been working on and will assess in a few weeks. I’m quietly confident my weight will move in the right direction.
I am really enjoying the course so far – it’s a lot of hard work and I am learning a ton – but will leave that for another post.