January ends

I know there is another day left in January, but I’m in an airport waiting to go to Spain to visit my sister, so I might as well write this summarising post before I leave.

It’s been a great month.

My PhD is going really well. I’m writing loads. I’m currently at a particularly emotional part of it. I sometimes wish I was doing a PhD in fisheries or ferret husbandry or management information systems in the cement industry or something like that, and then I wouldn’t end up getting all emotional while writing up and analysing these stories. But I enjoy my PhD-related feelings (or PhEelings as I’ve christened them) and tears too.

I’m writing so much that the other day, my supervisor said, “You should read this, but I don’t want to hold you up.” LOL. Him hold me up! I’ve merged everything I’ve written so far into one big document. I have an actual document on my computer called “Thesis”. I’m actually going to finish this thing.

I’ve had an article shortlisted for a journal. I’ve been in college on Saturdays working on my PhD. I’ve got six books with lots of hard words out of the library. Like a PhD boss. I’m having difficulty believing it.

And I’m exercising. I’ve kept up the walking. And I’m not using the lift at home or at work. And I love it. My legs feel so happy when I’m walking. And I went swimming for the first time this year on Monday. It always makes me feel good, even though I still can’t really swim. But The Fear, oh The Fear. I’ve had my swimming gear with me every day I’ve been college this year, but I’ve only worked up the courage to go once. I don’t go swimming in the college gym. It’s too full of young and beautiful people with perfect bodies and I can’t work up the courage to go back there yet. It takes enough courage to go to the Markievicz pool, where most of the patrons are over sixty and there’s an awful lot of sagginess. Two different people talked to me at the pool on Monday, a lifeguard and a girl in the sauna. Both times, I was surprised. “Can you not see my giant, blubbery, stretchmarked belly and my immense and wobbly thighs?” was all that went through my mind. I barely heard what either person said to me. I still feel so out of place in exercise contexts. But I will go back to the college gym and I will get back to a place where I see myself as an exercise person. Fuck the Fear. And I’ve done enough walking now that I’m confident enough to start the Couch-to-5K next week. Yay! Catch me if you can! (Note: you can.)

And improv classes have been going well. I really do like performing. I was telling someone who I don’t know that well that I was going to improv classes the other day. She wasn’t surprised, but she was surprised that it was a new thing for me. She’d presumed I was always into acting and stuff, as I’m “confident and charismatic”. I nearly shrieked and squeezed her. Someone thinks I’m charismatic. I think I’m chronically awkward.

And food. What can I say about food? I haven’t been perfect. But this has been the best month of eating in at least four years. I lost two stone. I did ten days on a juice fast. Since the fast ended, things have been trickier. I tried another five-day fast last weekend and that didn’t really work. It was torture and I only lasted two days. But that’s fine. Let me list my food-based successes: This month I’ve had about seven bottles of Diet Coke. Last year, I was averaging two to three bottles a day. I haven’t once sprinkled salt on my food this month. I’ve been trying to cut this out since a doctor told me to because of my blood pressure two years ago and I’ve finally managed it. I HAVEN’T HAD A SINGLE BISCUIT THIS MONTH. Last year, I regularly had an entire packet before bed. I HAVEN’T HAD A SINGLE TAKEAWAY PIZZA THIS MONTH. Last year, it was my dinner four or five times a week. I’ve eaten fruit and vegetables every day this month. Last year, I often went whole weeks without any fruit or veg. I haven’t binged once this month, even though I’ve been very, very close. I haven’t had more than three meals any day this month. Last year, I regularly had a second lunch.

I’m not perfect but I have so much more control than I did.

Never, ever let anyone tell you that change isn’t possible.

And I’m happy. I’m randomly hugging people in the streets. I’m sleeping better. I’m so much more relaxed. I love January.

And, of course, I’ve brought the blog back. I’m communicating with the world again. I only have about a quarter of the readers I had before I closed it down, but that’s probably for the best.

Happy February everyone!

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