These last few weeks haven't just been about me burrowing away at my pile of unfinished patterns. What I wanted, needed, was some time to look after me. And that's exactly what I've been doing.
Remember me posting a few weeks back that I'd overcome a personal hurdle and had started taking Aran to nursery on the bike? Well, I've been continuing to do that (weather permitting - we still don't have a full set of bike friendly waterproofs) and this is step 1 in my 'being kind to myself' routine.
I'd been using Tom's mountain bike to get around. Except it's a high bar and damn awakward to get on and off, especially with the weight of a toddler on the back. So we went out and bought me a new bike! I don't think I've ever had a new bike before, but then I've never been much of a cyclist before.
And here she is. She's nothing fancy, one of the cheapest you can buy from Decathlon, and cost less than a months' membership at the local gym. She has no gears, no suspension. But y'know, I like not having gears. Tom's bike has gears and when ever the going got tough I'd just change gear and make life easy for myself. With this bike you really have to ride it and I like that, I can feel how much work I'm doing.
This part of town isn't especially hilly but there are a few slopes to be encountered on our route to the nursery, and a few long roads with slight inclines (the sort you don't even notice until you ride a bike without gears along them) To drop Aran at nursery then pick him up again is an hour all told.. an hour of exercise each day. Gotta say, I'm pretty chuffed with myself for doing this. I loathe exercise of any sort unless it has a purpose, it's just so boring. But this, this is great. Aran loves riding on the bike and we chat about trucks and cars along the way and we both get something out of it.
Step 2 in my 'being kind to myself' routine involves massage. Fantastic full body massage. Getting regular massages has always been one of my missions but in London I could never afford it. Silvia, my lovely model, has a very good friend who is a fully trained massage therapist, trained in a variety of techniques and practices, and she'll happily travel to the Yard for anyone in need. And for 25€ you get an hour an a half of one of the best massages I've ever had. Valentina knows her stuff - she's tuned into what my body needs and is all set to straighten me out. Better yet, she's booked me for weekly treatments on a Monday morning. I couldn't think of a better way to start the week!
It's not all about the pampering though. My back has never been knot-free and I've never been destressed enough not to need a good massage. Tom reckons we'll never get the knots out of my back but I'm determined to try, and I'd sooner spend my money on this than the rotten meds.
Step 3 is something that takes a bit more self control. After years and years of being on the medication I've gained 2 stone in weight. Add to that having a baby in your late thirties, well, you get the picture. I've never been particularly fond of my appearance yet right now the sight of myself in a mirror is enough to make me cry. Having never been one for diets, mostly because I never had too, I've started paying attention to what I eat.
At the start of my break I signed up with Spark People, a free website that helps you track what you eat & what you do and encourage you to make healthy lifestyle changes. I kept it up for a couple of weeks but I'm useless at this sort of thing and don't really need another commitment so it's kinda fallen by the wayside. It has though helped me understand just how much crap I was eating. I sort of knew anyway but this was the reality check I needed. So now, it's no more snacking for me - a nasty habit I've picked up from Mr Tom (who can eat chocolate and biscuits all day! And it's ok, I can blame him, I never bought or ate chocolate or biscuits until I met him ;) and so far, so good. I've a rough idea of much fat and how many calories I'm scoffing each day and I'm also keeping that under control, too. Couple that with the exercise and whole body kindness, I'm hopeful the excess weight will shift.
In years long gone, I've been anywhere between stupidly skinny and reasonably slim. Stupidly skinny is not on my wishlist but reasonably slim is. I still have all of my favourite clothes, the clothes that I used to wear during one of the only times I was ever happy with myself. They're my target clothes, my carrot; these were the clothes I used to wear when I first knew Tom. They're size UK 10, and I'm currently on the slightly larger size of UK 12. Dropping a size and a half isn't an unreasonable target, it's perfectly manageable. And I'd like to make it before my next birthday, when I hit the big four zero, in February next year.
See, it's not all been about work! For once I'm making changes for the positive, steps forward to help myself and the depression without the reliance on meds.
I can do it :)