I’m back! After the unbelievable response from my previous blog post I had so many people tell me to keep writing – and well, considering I’m still unemployed then why the heck not? Yes, I’m still taking the p*ss out of myself.
This time I don’t want to get AS deep and intense, but I do quickly want to thank everyone for their lovely messages and responses to my last piece. I said that if I could help just one person feel like they’re not alone then I would be happy. To my amazement, I had such a reaction from an unimaginable number of people. People you would never think had anything remotely wrong with their life. People who always seem so happy and have the world at their fingertips. These were the people relating to my story in different ways – from the anxious poops, panic attacks and the medication…although, not so much the Indian elephant. Anyway, I just want to acknowledge everyone I have spoken to and the people who aren’t quite ready for that yet – and that’s more than ok, you need to take it at your own pace!
So, a quick update of where I’m at. Currently feeling a lot more positive and settled but I’m searching for that dream career which is becoming increasingly difficult, especially living in Lincoln *insert Inbetweeners joke*. Don’t get me wrong I love Lincoln, whilst at university I used it as a sort of retreat from Newcastle when I needed a break…its small, rural and everyone pretty much knows of everyone! But I’m really starting to miss Newcastle and having that independence you don’t really get living at home. Plus, there really isn’t many opportunities unless you want to become a farmer (huge exaggeration but you get the gist). Having completed a business degree, I do want to carry on in this area but more specifically media events coordination, which is very limited in Lincoln. So, at present I’m looking at relocating to one of four areas; Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle or London. Any advice is very much welcome!
Now, back to business and slightly interlinked with my previous post is how I’ve used exercise as a focus and a coping mechanism. It is a known fact that exercise produces endorphins which reduce pain and calm the negative effects of stress, so I thought it would be worth a shot to incorporate it into my daily life. Initially I aimed on going to the gym 2/3 times a week – mainly attending classes to work myself up to getting in the gym! Classes are great, full of energy, a sense of achievement and especially everyone you get to meet and have a laugh with. You soon start seeing the same people each week and develop friendships outside of your daily life that you wouldn’t have had otherwise! From all ages and walks of life, for that hour or so you all share a common interest and come together to reach your individual goals.
I still try and get to 1/2 classes each week but I’ve become more focused on my personal goals. After my first body fat percentage measurement, it came in at around 28% which is about average for my age and height. By no means do I think I’m fat or dislike my body but my goal is to get to 20%. For reference, I have inserted a rough chart to show what body fat percentages look like – but the way it is distributed differs from person to person so you may look completely different to those shown, for example most of mine is in the legs and glutes and isn’t representative of the pictures shown! (naturally women hold more fat than men).
One thing I’ve made sure I stick by is to ensure I don’t become obsessive and unhealthy in the ways in which I go about achieving my goals. I do my research and talk to as many people in the gym as possible about advice exercise and diet wise. The ultimate goal to reach 20% is by losing fat and gaining muscle gradually and safely. At the minute I’m going to the gym on average 5 times a week and eating between 1500-1700 calories depending on which days I train. Having said this my diet is definitely the area I struggle with! For example, I should be having roughly 135g protein, 125g carbs and 55g fat – but last night I ate 10 jaffa cakes in one sitting…it’s all about balance, right?
As you can see there’s plenty to focus on which definitely keeps the mind active as well as the body which is a great distraction and release from daily life. Sometimes I think, can I be bothered? But making the conscious decision to get up and go is the first step in reaching your goals – plus the feeling you get after a good workout is one of the best. A great way to get into the gym if you’re feeling nervous is to go with a friend. I’ve been going with Haigh for a few months now and its great for motivation, especially if one of you is struggling you can learn to encourage and push each other to keep going (as much as the other might hate you in that moment). I’ve seen such an improvement mentally and physically since I started in September and would encourage anyone to do the same!
And if none of that convinces you, well…