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I’m not what you expect me to be, but that’s okay…

This isn’t a self deprecating post I promise!!

In our (and any) Society, certain norms are established by popular consent, and these days, by social media. People are expected to fit into certain moulds, and if they don’t their validity is questioned. It is pervasive throughout society, that if you don’t act/look/feel a certain way you are judged.

You know the type of thing:

  • A regular gym-goer must be either Strong and muscular (male) or petite and only interested in cardio (female)
  • A gym goer / exercise doer who is not one of the above stereotypes must be trying to lose weight
  • Women must at all costs want to be mothers.
  • Eating any food deemed unhealthy by society, must be prefeced with the words “I know I shouldn’t really…” or “I’ll go for a run later…” or some other such thing to offset the perceived sin of eating food.
  • You must look young at all times, without appearing to be trying to look young
  • In addition to looking young, there are countless lists of things that people over 25/30/40 etc must stop doing (for example you aren’t allowed long hair after 40 according to some people)
  • A person with a talent mustn’t just come out and say, “yes, I am good at things”
  • If you are in anyway over society’s percieved acceptable weight limit you must be on a diet or planning a diet or unhappy with yourself
  • Women must be quieter and less aggressive than men, their opinions must be stated in such a way that they don’t upset anyone.

This is just a short list of Societal norms that it is difficult to stray away from.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with conforming to these norms, as long as it is a choice.

However, I have realised (or re-realised I should say) recently that I don’t conform to most of these, and you know what…it is ok!

What has brought me to this realisation I hear you ask (well…I don’t but I am imagining it…). Last week, in one of those perpetually awkward obligatory conversations which take place while making coffee in the work kitchen, I happened to mention that I had been to the gym in the morning. I went on to mention that it was something I do regularly. At this point, the person I was talking to, looked me up and down from head to toe and then got a slightly dubious look on his face. It was a quick look, so quick that I had carried on the conversation before registering it, but it was definitely there.

It stuck in my head, it made me angry, it made everyone I told angry. It was rude and unthinking and quite probably unknowing, which goes to prove how ingrained these norms are. It wasn’t a comment, it wasn’t overt, but it was an indication of an associated thought process, it was an indication of a judgement however unconscious. I was angry about this for about 6 hours. I was plotting subtle and not so subtle revenge on the person in question, until in the process of discussing it with people (I was angry…I told everyone) I realised that it didn’t matter.

I remembered that I don’t care what he thinks.

any excuse for a Terry Pratchett quote…

I remembered that the opinions of people who are not important in my life don’t matter at all!!

I remembered that I am awesome. I am doing the things that I want to do without feeling the need to conform to any stereotype that doesn’t apply to me!

I realised that I had been bogged down recently with worrying about insignificant things, I was extremely close to falling into bad diet plans and habits because I started to believe the hype about weight loss being the only worthy goal. Well, it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I am not going to complain about losing some fat, but I am not going to be cowed and justification-y before it happens. I am going to walk tall (well as tall as possible for a 5’4.5″ person) and remember that I am not defined by other people’s opinions!

I am good at the things I do

I am strong

I am fit enough to dance in a mask

I am not a stereotype, I am not quiet, or non-aggressive, I am not what people expect, but quite honestly I don’t want to be!!

img_6258

any excuse for a selfie 😀

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There will be flamethrowers!

Apparently it is Mental health awareness week. I am fairly aware of mental health (or lack of it) but I am also aware that others aren’t.
I thought it would be a good time to reblog this post. It took me a little more time to take back my head, but I am definitely winning against the psycho at the moment!

Midsummer 365 Projects

In a short break from my normal blogging topics I thought I’d tell you about anxiety and how it relates to me.

It is relevant really because a heath and fitness should refer to all aspects of health and fitness, and certainly all aspects that relate to the blogger!

I will start with a bit of back story… in the dim and am distant past (about 10-15 years ago) I had depression and anxiety and it caused me all sorts of problems…

but I fixed myself, with some help and support…

Anyway, it doesn’t ever go away fully you just learn to live with it and stop it becoming a problem. So well in fact that I could quite easily forget I had it which is pretty dam awesome.

Until recently.

Recently anxiety has risen up and made a home in my head…

it is a bit like this:

I…

View original post 1,000 more words

Long overdue update (and a new old thing)

Hi everyone, I know I have been neglecting this blog in favour of time travelling otters and a developing poetry habit, but general distraction isn’t my only reason so I thought I’d come along and tell you why I have been silent on the subject of exercise.

It is because I haven’t been doing any.

Well that isn’t strictly true, I have been doing some, just not the volume I would like or I promised. I am not making excuses, I am also not apologising. The hardest thing to do sometimes is to accept that things don’t always go to plan and move on from that.

So this is what has been happening… a while ago, I wrote a post about anxiety. Go have a look if you want… It knocked me down completely. I have been trying to fight and trying to use all the strategies to get rid of it that my logical brain knows but I couldn’t. I fell down and I couldn’t get up…which is why I have been doing a lot less.

However… with a bit of help, and a bit of luck, and a few descisions, I am coming out of the other side. I finally feel in control of my mind again 😀 I have increased the exercise again, and have been enjoying it again which is important. I can also think through a whole idea / thought without being derailed which is nice…

As part of this taking control, and by a strange coincidence, I found a Savate club that has a class on a day I am free at a time I can (just about) get to 😀

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From a savate competition I was in about 10 years ago… (neither of those are me though…)

For the uninitiated, Savate is French kicckboxing. It is an awesome form of fighting sport that I was involved with about 7 years ago and I absolutely loved it. The club I used to train at only has classes on a Wednesday, which coincides with Mythago practice. So I haven’t trained in Savate for 7 years,

Until last Monday.

Brighton-Logo-page-001-150x150Last Monday I  turned up at Brighton Savate club (late because it is in Brighton, but late with permission) and jumped right back into training! I was a little rusty, but I was amazed at how much I remembered!! I loved it so much I am instantly hooked again! It is so much better (for me at least) than other martial arts. I can’t explain why, but I love it. So, that is Monday nights for me from now on…mad dash to Brighton to kick people 😀

The other thing I have done recently is remember how much I love lifting. I have been neglecting strength in favour of running, but I need to find a better cardio / lifting balance as I miss the heavy things!!

In short (no really I can do short honest) I am back. I feel like myself again and I am going to make some plans and set some goals. I don’t know exactly what they will be yet but I will keep you posted. They may coincide with new year, but that is an accident of timing rather than a sudden need to make new years resolutions…

There will be flamethrowers!

In a short break from my normal blogging topics I thought I’d tell you about anxiety and how it relates to me.

It is relevant really because a heath and fitness should refer to all aspects of health and fitness, and certainly all aspects that relate to the blogger!

I will start with a bit of back story… in the dim and am distant past (about 10-15 years ago) I had depression and anxiety and it caused me all sorts of problems…

but I fixed myself, with some help and support…

Anyway, it doesn’t ever go away fully you just learn to live with it and stop it becoming a problem. So well in fact that I could quite easily forget I had it which is pretty dam awesome.

Until recently.

Recently anxiety has risen up and made a home in my head…

it is a bit like this:

I don’t really know where to start, it just feels important to write this down. It is not good pretending it does’t exist.

However, the first thing anxiety does it tell me that this is not worth a blog post. It tells me that I am just whinging over nothing, things are not really bad in my life after all. It tells me that noone wants to read this and that this is pointless.

It is actually right now this minute telling me that I should delete all this and not bother.

The reason I am carrying on with this is because it is important that people speak about these things, there is too much stigma attached to conditions such as anxiety and depression. The more people speak up the better. I also think it is going to help me to tell you all…

I can’t tell you exactly what triggered this, i do have a pretty good idea actually but it isn’t for here. Suffice it to say some people (not me…) did some things that shook my world view and made question a lot of things. It came to my attention around christmas and since then I have been attempting to process it. Anyway, it has triggered some anxiety I had almost forgotten that I had.

What I want to do is describe the things that this anxiety does to me. People have the perception that anxiety is extreme worrying or nervousness about situations and panic attacks. Well those things do happen, but they are not all or even the main part of anxiety for me.

This is what anxiety does to me:

It takes away my ability to trust my own judgement, it takes away my ability to accurately asses situations, it makes it impossible for me to know what I feel or believe what others say.

If I text someone, and they don’t text back immediately the psycho in my brain starts doing this…

“You are annoying them”

“They don’t want to talk to you”

“Why don’t they like you”

“You are not interesting why would they answer”

“Stop texting”

“Just check to see”

“Why wouldn’t they just tell me to go away”

“I hope they don’t tell me to go away”

“Why would they want to talk to you anyway”

“They would rather talk to anyone else let’s be honest”

And more and more to that effect all in the space of seconds…

All the while the logical sensible side of me knows none of this is not true. It counters with:

“They are at work”

“They are busy”

“Even if they forget it doesn’t mean they hate you”

“Stop being ridiculous”

Then the psycho picks up on “ridiculous” and starts of with:

“You are so ridiculous”

“Everything you do its stupid”

“You are kidding yourself”

Again all in the space of seconds…

this carries on until it is so loud inside my head that it feels like it will explode.

So I text people again and again and again then I know I am annoying and start apologising for being annoying over and over again…

I did this yesterday to more than one person…

It doesn’t matter that I know that is is all in my head, I feel powerless to stop it!!

The really stupid thing is when they do answer the email or text the psycho starts off with

“You guilt tripped them into it…”

“They answered to shut you up”

It is exhausting!

Then there is the thing that happens when something good happens…

you get super happy and excited for a few seconds then the doubts start..

“You have no reason to be this excited it’s not a big deal”

“Other people do this way better than you it should be them”

“It has been a mistake”

This sort of second guessing and negative self talk happens for everything, every conversation (almost), for every event, for every time I step on a scale or decide on food, for every decision I have to make!

(Except dancing…this doesn’t happen at dancing for some reason)

This is what anxiety does to me!

I can’t pick up a phone to make a phone call without about a day of procrastinating.

I can’t go to a new thing with new people without giving myself a constant pep talk. Yes there have even been times when I can’t do things at all.

I rarely get panic attacks. I rarely give outward signs that this is going on… but it is there!

I can’t tell people because I don’t want to bother them, the psycho me tells me they don’t really care anyway…

I need to point out this is not all the time!

I am generally ok even now. It is happening more at the moment for some reason, but it is not all the time!

I am not telling you this so you (if you are one of those I speak to away from blog world) will text me back more often or more quickly…

I really do know that you all have lives and things to do!

I really do know that one missed text doesn’t mean you hate me!

I just felt the need to write this down because it happens to me sometimes.

I am winning over the psycho and I will not let this stop me from doing stuff!

Doing stuff helps!

Dancing helps!

Lifting helps!

Running and cycling helps!

Art helps!

Blogging helps…

So all I have to do is keep doing and find a way to stop listening to the psycho on the occasion that they creep in!

I am even second guessing publishing this post because I don’t want people to think I am guilt tripping them into liking me!

I am not! This isn’t what this is!

This is me saying no more!!

No more psycho no more monsters no more sitting alone in the dark!

This is me taking back my head!!

There will be flamethrowers!!

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