Episode 075 – My unexpected month off (and goal success news)

Episode 075 - My unexpected month off (and goal success news)

This week I’m sharing with you the reasons behind my unexpected month off, and also sharing an update of a completed goal. 

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Transcript of episode

Hello loves, today I’m sharing with you the reasons behind my unexpected couple of weeks off, and also sharing an update of a completed goal. Although, now I think about it, it might actually have been a month that I disappeared for…

Many of you will know that back in January of this year, 2022, I had to have an open abdominal hysterectomy to remove 10+ very large benign tumours. We kept my ovaries so that I wouldn’t go into menopause. I’m 44, so we expected that I’d be peri-menopausal anyway. Turns out, I’m not. My ovaries, and therefore all the hormones, are fully functional and regular as clockwork, every 28 days, my body thinks it’s having a period, just without a uterus. I have the weight gain, the grumpiness, the higher temperature, and all of the tiredness. But I must say, I am grateful I no longer have to deal with any bleeding. 

Not long after my ME diagnosis back in 2009 I started to tri-cycle, or back-to-back, my contraceptive pill as a way to control the hormones and the exhaustion, and only deal with it a few times a year instead of every month. It made a huge difference. I no longer have that luxury. My cycle also seems to time in well with the hot weather we’re having in the UK lately. Last month it coincided with the 40c+ heatwave we had, and this month it was 30c+. It has absolutely killed me.

After the required amount of time, my surgeon cleared me to return to exercise and said I could start trying to lose some of the almost two stone that I had gained through the various health complications. I cut my calories within a sensible amount, and I started back at the gym. I still had some tenderness in my bicep and tricep from a complication with the IV in hospital, and we figured that with gentle exercise and massaging it, that would soon start to resolve itself. 

Because I have great self-awareness, and because I’d set myself a couple of very big goals, I got myself a coach to make sure that someone else was able to help keep me in check and make sure I wasn’t overdoing it. I soon realized that some arm movements were ok, and some were not at all. My coach and I modified my training plan, and carried on. The big goal of stepping on stage had to be sidelined, and we kept on working towards the photoshoot. 

The tiredness that came upon me mid-July during the 40c+ weather was insane. Most people were tired after that weather. We Brits are just not used to it. Add to it the hormones, a couple of weeks in the office, 12+ hours day and a four-hour commute, and before long I was pretty much asleep every moment I could get. I’d be nodding off on the train, whilst eating my dinner, and very quickly noticed the patterns of a relapse. I have patches of eczema that are several weeks old, and they continued to get bigger. 

I needed to step back, rest and recharge. Not that I realised this consciously. But when you’re always asleep, these things tend to happen. Hence my unexpected time off from social media and podcasting. I just couldn’t process. Some things had to ease. I’m now reversing my calories back up to maintenance because I have been in deficit far too long and it’s not healthy for any body, let alone a chronic body to be in deficit long-term. I’m not training my upper body.

I also took advantage of my private GP service at work, and found a female GP of a similar age to me, who was a physiotherapist before re-training as a GP (which fits for the arm issue), is a runner, and also into CrossFit, meaning she’d understand my need for keeping active to keep my mental and physical health stuff in check. But you know, the downside of finding a doctor who will completely understand where you’re coming from because they have similar lifestyle interests is that it also makes it a little bit harder to disregard their advice. I’ve also sought advice on why I keep getting these little eczema outbreaks.

The outcome? I have systemic inflammation, localised low-level infections, and, as I already suspected, in the beginning of a relapse. I now have some scientific research to study about plant-based nutrition to add emphasis to the plan to be less reliant on meat for my protein and to reduce inflammation in my body, and because she quickly sussed that I’m not interested in opinion, I’m interested in research. I will note that I am not becoming vegan, but am willing to have a lot more vegetarian-based and/or plant-based meals. I’ll continue to keep white processed foods to the bare minimum. I’m to put the heavy weight lifting on hold, and in a couple of weeks after resting and getting back into a regular routine, and sleeping a more normal amount, I can maybe re-introduce running. 

I also have a referral to neurology to sort out the arm. Thereby ending my brief period of 5 months of life without being under the care of a consultant for the first time in 13 odd years. Hopefully, the nerves are fine and I just need physio to get my arm back up to 100%.

Lastly, the photoshoot happened yesterday. It would be very easy for me to sit here and say that I wasn’t where I wanted to be, I had wanted to build a bit more muscle etc. because that’s typical of the human nature, to not be happy with what we have achieved. However, I lost 1 stone and 9 and a half pounds. I lost 3 inches from my hips, and 3 from each thigh.
I am proud of myself. I’m starting to fall in love with my body again. There’s been a lot of tears lately as more of the baby grieving has taken place, quite a few whilst I was trying to do my makeup for the shoot. Honestly, the most inconvenient time! I got to the shoot with a splitting headache, trying not to cry, and with a sore neck and arm, and really in the space of disappointment of how much my body has let me down with my illnesses, no baby, etc. But it has also tried. How else did I lose the weight if it wasn’t on my side? 

I had a great day, met some lovely people, survived being centre of attention at times, which was amazing prep for the centre of attention being a bride will bring, and I definitely stepped way outside of my comfort zone, and hopefully got some great photos, which I’m sure everyone will get fed up of seeing. And then, met James in starbucks for an iced mocha and cheese and marmite toastie, which was absolute heaven! Would I do it again? Absolutely! Just with a much shorter calorie deficit.
I have seen many changes in myself over the last few years, and this change is possibly one of my most obvious, and one of the things I absolutely love about coaching. I am now the size I was a few years ago, when a dear friend of mine and I decided to try body coach, and back then I thought I was huge. Now I can look at myself in the mirror and see so much that I appreciate. And I don’t see myself as huge.

I’ve been doing ok with the vegetarian diet, mainly because I’m still eating eggs, salmon, and most importantly – cheese! Honestly, the meal plan set for me by my coach was super-simple to follow, could be as easy or as elaborate as I was in the mood for, was adaptable to be able to cook with James, and yes I missed a couple of things, but I didn’t miss those sugar cravings! Because I had cheese every day it felt like I was having a treat! I had pineapple every day too, and all I needed was the cocktail sticks and a potato to make the hedgehog. And with that, I’m showing my age! 

If you’re UK-based and have any suggestions for some great protein alternatives, please let me know!

If you’d like to know more on how to redefine your life on your terms, reach out to me to see if my SHIFT to alignment coaching programme is a fit for you.  You can book a free introductory call via my Instagram link in my bio.  Or, send me an email or you can find me on Instagram, I’ve put a link to both in the shownotes. I can’t wait to see your journey.

Thanks for listening, and remember – you are worth it, and you get to choose.

Have a lovely day.