Mental Health is the One True Wealth

A Princess and her Journey to Health

Category: Health

On the Up

Things have been looking up since I last posted here. I was at a very low low last time I wrote. My mental health was at its worst in a long time which prompted me to reach out and seek help. I’m still on the waiting list for counselling and I haven’t heard back yet but in that time I’ve started to be able to cope better. I’ve been going to the gym more frequently, 5-6 times a week and the difference that has made has been massive. My anxiety is reduced, my negative thoughts are not near as constant or overwhelming. All in all, I’m coping better.

I’m 5 weeks into the Get Shreddy Guide, by b-nd store and I’ve been loving it so far. It’s challenged me and kept me motivated. I was doing Grace Fit Guide for months and that did help me increase my strength but after a while it had gotten repetitive and I was losing interest. I would recommend Get Shreddy to everyone, advanced or beginner. The workouts are split into 2 lower body and 2 upper body sessions a week, with a core and cardio and lastly, total body conditioning. Going to the gym 6 times a week might seem excessive but it’s honestly so rewarding to finish that first week and the whole guide is only 6 weeks long. The workouts change every two weeks so just as your body gets comfortable, it’s switched up and you’re a beginner all over again! Sounds fun, right?

When I first started the total body conditioning was a big no from me but now it’s one of my favourite workouts. A good mix of strength training and cardio to really make you sweat and get shreddy for summer! I can’t actually believe next week week is week 6 and I’ll have completed this guide! I’m not usually a finisher so much as a procrastinator!

I’d say my weight has stayed in and around the same but I haven’t been very focused on being on a ‘cut’ but my whole physique has changed. I have definitely lost fat and become more ‘toned’. Proud of my quads and baby biceps in particular! I think for me, the biggest change has been with my mental health though. I’ve pushed myself and actually fallen in love with working out again rather than just doing it for the aesthetics. Totally helps that I’ve found a new gym bud too who has been amazing, whether it’s helping me with my form or just being there for a chat!

I’ve loved this programme so much I might just start it all over again! I’m looking into the Hanna Oeberg ‘Get Lean, Stay Healthy’ guide so if any of you have tried it, I’d be interested in hearing some feedback. Anyway, if you have a spare 6 weeks and you need a new challenge, Get Shreddy is the one.

 

The Longest Summer

This summer in Ireland is the hottest in my memory and I’m not coping with it all that well. As a fair skinned gal, let me tell you, I am melting. My skin has turned from blinding ivory to a beautiful shade of off-white. I don’t tan. I’ve barely left my house which has been providing protection from the sun and heat which means I’ve had plenty of time for thinking.

I moved out of my home house about 3 years ago and for the first time since then, I’m living back home again. So much has changed and yet, so much is the same. Last time I lived here, I knew nothing about life. I was sick and I was na├»ve. I’ve been out in the world now, I’ve been to college, I’ve worked, I’ve met my soulmate, I’ve dealt with an over-whelming loss. 2017 was by far the toughest year of my life, for myself and my family. I’ve experienced losing a family member, my great gran in 2016. We weren’t that close, I was sad and I’m an empath so I felt that pain in my family. Last year messed me up though. In all the time since my recovery this was the biggest hurdle I had to overcome. I lost my young cousin to suicide. I didn’t see it coming and it knocked the breath out of me. Collectively, my family were in shreds. So heart-breaking and so life-changing. I went into my familiar dark place for months. Piled on weight without even noticing, cried regularly. Couldn’t even speak about it.

I’m in a new space now where my heart still breaks to think about it, it’s still so fresh, but I know that life does not stop to allow you time to come to grips with these things. I have taken back control of my life and I’m looking for the goodness. Soon I’ll have my own home again, I have a wonderful boyfriend who would move heaven and earth for me. I’ve removed the one toxic influence from my life. Death has taught me how short life is and I won’t accept negativity anymore. I’ve learned to stand up for myself (without crying afterward). There’s a new strength I’ve found.

After 3 years I’m still struggling with body image, but all ED behaviours have been destroyed. I’ve joined Slimming World, I’m losing weight again and I’m becoming happier. I’m 8 weeks in and I’ve already made so many changes to my life. It’s been exactly what I needed and I’m going to keep it up. There’s no better feeling than peace in your own body and mind. It feels like summer 2015 again. Where I felt light and happy, like the world was full of possibility. I’m starting to make plans again. Plans for a future I so hope for and plans for a life that I didn’t even imagine before. Getting through the darkness makes you that much more grateful for the light. I feel like after the past couple of years I’ve had, I can get through anything.

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That College Life

So it’s been an eventful few weeks for me. I guess all along I did know college was gonna be tough. I took a year out to prepare, I thought I was ready for what was coming my way. But you could say I over-estimated myself. I underestimated how difficult it was actually going to be. I factored in early mornings, having to take care of myself and juggling with assignments. I forgot about some important things. I mean, when the longest you’ve ever spent away from home is two weeks abroad, moving out of home to a new city can be a culture shock. I didn’t factor in how lonely you can get in a big city when you don’t know anyone there. My family are crazy. They have no respect for privacy and don’t understand the meaning of the word quiet. So, moving into a new house with no kids, no chaos and no noise was well, for lack of a better word, strange. Silence is unnerving to me. Not having people waltz into my room unannounced is odd. I missed the noise. I miss the conversations I have with my mam, shouted from opposite floors of our house. The weekends can’t come soon enough, I miss home. I never thought I was a home-bird, but Dublin proved me wrong.

Dublin has already taught me a lot. It’s been an experience. I’m gonna be honest, the Dublin bus has been a nightmare. I’ve probably gotten lost/on the wrong bus up on twenty times the past three weeks. The city exhausts me. It’s impersonal, it’s fast paced and a lot of the time, it’s unforgiving. Buses won’t wait for you, cars will not stop for you and you’ll be damn lucky if a shop assistant is polite. I’m still finding my way, I’m slowly settling in, but it’s been rough. I dreamed of the big city, I was ready to be great and shine in a new place. Realistically, I’m quite insignificant. The world won’t stop for me there, I’ll have to fight to be acknowledged, but I’ll make my way. It’s still early days. 

It’s week two of classes and I’m already behind. My reading list is just building up and up and quite frankly, I don’t know where to find the time for it. Between classes, work and sleeping, my social life is non existent. I’ve made some great friends but having time to spend hanging out with them would be nice, if that’s not too much to ask! I made it back to the gym this week and after two weeks of questionable eating and zero exercise, it felt so good. The college gym is great. Very male dominated but I’ll work around that. Literally every girl in there Monday was on the treadmill. Gals, do your squats. Really. Stop being so cardio cantered. Try some weights, they’re magical. I spent two days crippled after leg day and they’re still not great on day three but it was the good kinda pain. It’s change. Serves me right for taking such a long break from my workouts. I made it to week 10 of the Bikini Body Guide but after such a long break, I restarted week one on Monday. Honestly, they never get any easier. How is that possible?? Kayla is queen. I’m looking forward to trying out more of the machines at the gym but I’m taking baby steps. I’m ready to get serious about my fitness and diet again because I noticed it really effects my mood, grumpy and frumpy isn’t what I’m going for. Gonna do my best and get my new friends to the gym with me and introduce them to The Kayla Movement. Having a workout buddy would be fab. 

I’m determined to make this week better for myself and set out a proper routine so I may have at least a fighting chance of making it to next weekend. Wish me luck! 

 

It’s my Turn

Tomorrow is a big day for me. That’s putting it mildly. Tomorrow is a huge day for me because it’s the day my college offers are going to come in. I’m sure that’s a big deal for everyone who’s going through it. But it means the world to me. My first choice is doing a BA in UCD. That, my friends, is my dream. It’s taken me a really long time to get here, but I made it and this is the life I choose for myself. It’s my turn. It’s my turn to think about myself, to put myself first, to pursue what it is that I want. I believe everything happens for a reason and that’s easy to believe, but when your whole future is thrown out into the universe and it’s a game of chance? Well, that makes me feel the need to really reassure myself. I’m nervous. My stomach is literally sick with nerves because I want this so bad. I want it with every fibre of my being. I want it because it’s the final middle finger to my eating disorder. It took so much from me, it can’t seep in and contaminate my future too.

Leaving Cert year was rough. Like, really rough. We’re talking going into school maybe three out of the five days in a week and when I got home, my evenings were spent sleeping instead of studying. Eating disorders put your body and soul through hell and honestly, bouncing back from that is one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with. Being in full time education and sitting some of the most important exams of your life doesn’t really help that. What I’m trying to say is, recovery and also trying to get an education are not a good mix. When you already feel like shit about yourself, do you really need exams to confirm how shit you are? The answer is no. The process of recovery is daunting. If you aren’t eating, you’re sleeping. Do you see the room for study and school? Nope, because there isn’t any. For me to survive the year (at all) I had to make a choice. I decided the best thing for me was to focus solely on recovery and tadaaa! As you can see I’m still here, breathing, living so yeah, success. A+. I did it. As expected though, there wasn’t a single A+ on my results sheet. I didn’t fail a single subject and I put that down to my natural genius (I kid), but I will forever be angry that I couldn’t just be the average teen sitting those exams. It’s frustrating knowing I could have done better if not for the circumstances.

But I got better. I got stronger. I now choose health and fitness and self love. I feel like I could take on the world, until that little hint of doubt creeps up. But I’ve gotten good at crushing that. Tomorrow, it’s my turn. Regardless of what way it goes, I’m going to go out into the world and be brilliant. I’m going to give college my all and hope it counteracts that last disastrous step in my education. Because I’m ready. I’ve had a year to sit and get ready for this. I’ve had a year to grow and really find who I am and I wanna take that outside of this town with me. They say not to put all your money on one horse and of course, that’s exactly what I’ve done. But I believe in the universe and I hope just this once, it’s gonna work in my favour. Good luck to anyone else out there waiting on exam results and college offers! No matter what, keep your chin up and be the best you can be.

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Working through Intolerance 

This past week I’ve been trying really hard to eat gluten-free because I found out the stomach cramps I get after eating almost everything could be caused by an intolerance. With a mixture of drinking green tea and eating gluten-free, I’ve seen and felt a huge change. I have had a stomach ache all week and my abs are showing through more because I’m not bloating. While I’m ecstatic that my pains are now gone, I’m also having a hard time. I’m a self confessed carb monster. Carbs are my favourite. Pasta, bread, you name it, I’ll eat it! I’m getting easily frustrated because of what I can and can’t eat. Gluten is in a whole lot of food that I love. Eating’s becoming so much hassle between looking at labels and trying to figure out what I can cook for myself. I’m starving in between meals because I’m trying to be careful. I’m in a low place right now, mood wise. I love eating and it feels like a lot of the joy is gone out of it now. I’m 100% a fatty at heart and that fat girl inside me is yearning for pasteries and pie. 

My goal this week is to dive into research about gluten-intolerance and learn what foods are okay for me to eat. I hope I find many. I’m gonna start trying to cook better for myself and hopefully I’ll learn to just accept this and grow with it. It’s another little hurdle placed in front of me but I think I’ll get over it. I’ve gotten over worse. I’ve always had a slight reaction to milk too and I’ve been on soya but for the sake of my sanity, I think I’m going back to good ol’ dairy. It’s either that, or live off dust! I’ve been especially irratible the past three days because I’m frustrated with food but I’m gonna take a step back and figure this out. Any of you lovely people reading this with experience with gluten intolerance, your advice/recipes would be greatly appreciated!

In other news, I’m starting week for of The Bikini Body guide and I’m loving it. Already I feel myself getting stronger. Three months ago I couldn’t even do one proper push-up, now I can do a workout with 30 included! Progress is progress no matter how small and I for one, am proud of myself. My baby abs are shining through and I’m losing inches. The guides are very cardio based in my opinion so I’m still incorporating some Blogilates because I don’t want to lose muscle! The way the workouts are laid out suits me so well and I think since I’ve started I’ve made more progress than the months of blogilates I was doing because the resting and stretching is making me more into it. Rest is really important for me! I’ll keep you all posted in coming weeks and I may even attach a progress pic!