So, I have reached the end of my 6-Week Crossfit Challenge at The Box, Ystradgynlais. It has been a tough six weeks but where am I? Well, I:
- am 17lbs lighter;
- have reduced my body fat by 6.9%;
- dropped 2 inches from my waist;
- increased my muscle mass by 9lb; and
- can perform a proper press-up (burpees, however, still require work).
Whilst those are great results, they are not the most significant change. My mindset has changed so much during this time. I realised that I am in a competition which has only 1 participant; me. At first I thought that that realisation was only about exercise and fitness, but I now use the same perspective on all aspects of life. I can only do my best, not anyone elses.
I now look at exercise as a challenge as opposed to a chore. Yes, some days I had to juggle things about so that I could attend, but it was still relatively easy to do. It is 1 hour a day. That time allows me to help both my physical and mental wellbeing. I ponder things whilst working out.
I have also changed my relationship with food. Before, I could easily polish off a pack of Oreos in one sitting. I would start ‘diets’ on a Monday and as soon as I fell off the diet wagon, that would be the end of the diet. I now look at it as a blip (I even plan these blips sometimes) and just get back on the horse.
It was also really nice to get a shot of feeling good when someone mentioned how they had noticed that I had lost weight.
I mentioned in a recent post that I had been having a hard time with my mental health of late and that I’m back in counselling. Thankfully, I am now feeling much more levelled out. It was strange as I can usually put my finger on the trigger of a low mood, but I really struggled this time.
After a lot of contemplation, I have come to the conclusion that I had been having a higher than ‘normal’ mood as everything was going well in my life and I thought this was my default state. When my mood subsequently fell to a more regular level, I mistook that as the start of a continued dip in my mood. This in turn caused me to worry, which affected my sleep and started a vicious circle of negative thinking.
This got me thinking about how, for a long time, I thought I didn’t deserve to be happy. My self-esteem had been non-existent for years, so every time I was feeling good, I would have associated guilt and this would take that happiness away. That toxic thinking really affected my quality of life and when I was diagnosed with depression, I felt guilt every time I laughed.
I am lucky that I can now combat that negativity with the rational thinking I was taught during an Emotional Coping Skills course. It meant looking for the evidence for those negative thoughts and where there wasn’t any I would reassess the thoughts. When you’re in a depressive state it doesn’t mean you can’t have moments of happiness, they can occur but become more difficult to hold onto.
The image for this post is the bracelet my awesome wife got made for me for completing the six weeks. It reads “I am the storm“. She is cool.
Anywho, I will sign off here as I have to get to food prep for the week. Take care.