Gym Update

As my training for the 10k run picks up pace (did I mention my run? have you sponsored me yet?) I am feeling pretty damn proud of myself lately.

In the past 2 weeks since I joined I have been to the gym 9 times, thats 9 days out of 15 which is pretty damn good considering my state of mind and physical problems.

I allowed myself a check on the progress I have been making and have, so far done the following

  • lost 2 inches from my stomach
  • lost 11lbs (or 5kgs)
  • shaved 10 minutes off my personal best for 5kms
  • spent obscene amount of money on running clothing! but seriously those running tights rock!
  • felt a new sense of self confidence about how I look

 

that’s not a bad list is! to be fair I am only walking on the treadmill as too much jogging sends far too much pain shooting down my legs so I stick to a brisk walk. In terms of the 10k run all I am aiming to do is start and finish. I have no time goal whatsoever, I’m more interested in raising some money for Mind and actually crossing the finishing line in one piece.

But it is rather nice to feel a sense of achievement for a change and going to the gym is certainly helping my self esteem!

yogamoose

Reflecting on yesterday

Not just yesterday as in Monday but all my yesterdays, when times were happier and simple.

But lets start with the big news from yesterday

I know what your thinking, Margaret Thatcher died, but that’s not the news I was referring too. The big news was that the moose went streamlined and removed lots of hair!

Haircut – check

Shave – check

Chest – check

Back – check

here is the proof

new streamlined moose

new streamlined moose

now if this does not make me run faster then I am afraid nothing will! It’s nice to finally be out of my winter coat!

After 4 bad days I actually made it out the house for longer than the 10 minute walk for cigarettes and headed over to the gym for an hour.

As expected once the black clouds had reappeared I found it difficult to leave the house and go training. despite the proximity of the gym. Although in my defence the more depressed I feel the worse my IBS is and I couldn’t risk any accidents on the treadmill. I spent most of these days laying down in bed feeling sorry for myself, it really is one of the things I hate most about having depression! The constant need for attention from people and the self loathing I suffer as a result of not getting any. It is never a case of people being busy in my eyes it’s always about people rejecting me and I struggle to cope with this ridiculous way of thinking because I know that’s not the case.

Recently I have been having the same dream, and it is rare that I even remember dreams let alone the same one each night.

In my dream I am 19 years old, it’s a Saturday and I am sitting in the dressing room of my football team enjoying the usual pre-match banter before getting changed and heading out onto the pitch and playing the game I love, pain free, injury free and carefree. My brother David playing alongside me, which usually meant me and him shouting at each other but don’t anyone dare try and foul him because I’d be there like a rocket! After the match we have a drink in the bar before heading home to get ready for a night on the Jack Daniels and coke. As I leave the house to go out bang I wake up!

every night for the past 5 days! even in my dreams I don’t get to go out anymore!

I guess it is a case of me wishing I could go back to the last part of my life when I was 100% happy with every aspect of things. I have mentioned before that having to give up football in my early 20′s has probably played a part in my depression because for the last 10 years I have had no real outlet to take my frustration away.

At this moment in time I cannot think of one thing that seems to be going right for me!

I am trying to push through the pain at the gym but there is a fine line between bravery and stupidity, bravery is signing up for a 10k run – stupidity is ignoring doctors advise and going through with it! but then I have not always been one to listen to advise!

I am conscious of the dangers I am posing to myself by pushing through the pain but feel like if I don’t at least push myself then there is no point in being there in the first place! However I do step off the treadmill when the pain changes from an ache to an “oh fuck my leg is gonna fall off” kinda pain.

In terms of my mental health benefiting from the exercise then to a point it is helping IF I can get over the feelings of anger/frustration that my body is letting me down! It would also be better for me if people were a bit more friendly within the gym environment. In the 10 days since I have been going I am yet to have someone say hello to me!

I am going to a yoga class this morning to see if that can help with the knee injury which my doctor believes is muscle related rather than the joint. This should be interesting as I have very little flexibility and am more likely to shit myself than get in any funky positions! Here’s hoping the IBS medication has kicked in before the class starts or it is going to be messy in more ways than one!

yogamoose

 

and on top of all the things going wrong for me lately tomorrow I have to attend the funeral of my great aunt who died last week!

And if I can make it through this rough patch I can make it through many more!

Gym Meet The Moose, Moose Meet Exercise

Having signed up for the gym on Monday I have completed 4 sessions this week so far. I woke up early again this morning and was in the gym by 9.10!

That’s almost 3 hours earlier than I would normally wake up so progress is being made! In fact most of this week I have been waking up early and actually doing something positive with my days.

Although £30 a month membership is quite a big chunk of my benefits (especially once the new changes come into effect) I am pretty sure the positives of being active, socialising and actually leaving home with outweigh the downside of more financial struggle. I will probably make the money back by not eating so much shit as I try to get myself back into shape!

Funny how people are so obsessed with having a six pack when I should be shouting about my 26 pack I currently have! surely seeing as 26 is much higher mine is more impressive?

The photo below shows just how far I have to go in order to get to the gym so I would appreciate a round of applause for making the effort just to get there! Bare in mind I am usually knackered by the time I get there :-)

Follow Black Line for walk to Gym

Follow Black Line for walk to Gym

Okay so maybe I can’t use the excuse that it is too far to go! But the plan is to take Lilybet to nursery and then hit the gym on the way home for an hour or more (knees permitting!)

They say exercise is good for depression but from my point of view it doesn’t help YET!

Allow me to explain

My knees are fucked! so far 7 minutes is the amount of time it takes before the pain gets really bad on the treadmill but I soldier on…

7 FUCKING MINUTES!! im only 34 for the love of God! I should be able to not suffer pain after 7 minutes WALKING on a treadmill! – This makes me depressed

I cannot do the things that I used to find easy! – This makes me depressed

I’m the fat guy at the Gym – This makes me really depressed

I am terribly conscious of the state of my body even worse because of the fact that I was a footballer once upon a time! now I look like a football. Seeing the posers strutting through the gym does my head in! “Hey look at me” walking around and not on any machines just strutting lol

And yet I am going to enjoy this little experiment of going to the gym and trying to get healthy! The great bonus is that I can count how many calories I have lost and reward myself with a Big Mac!

Moose getting ready to hit the treadmill!

Moose getting ready to hit the treadmill!

 

I spend too much time worrying about the here and now and not the bigger picture. Obviously deep down I know that I cannot walk straight back into a gym after 8 years and do the things I used to be able to! But that is not how my brain and depression work.

“You can’t do it you’re a failure!”

“Give up the pain is too much”

and many other phrases my mind uses to try and get me back home and under the duvet!

Trying to work through it all brings its own rewards though and the knowledge that for the past 3 days I have been on the treadmill for an hour at a time makes the pain worthwhile!

Just over 5k in an hour! a good start for a fat moose

Just over 5k in an hour! a good start for a fat moose

 

so although at the moment exercise is not great for my depression the future looks promising once I give myself time to see the results of the work I put in. Then I can deal with my body issues and feel pride in the effort I am making.

This is assuming I can stick to this once the bad cycles makes its inevitable appearance! Things are much easier to do when your feeling up.

That two minute walk from home to the gym could be the best little walk I have made in years!

And as always, if I can do this then so can YOU! meet me at the treadmill! I’m the guy with St John’s Ambulance men on standby.

The other good thing about the location of my gym is that we are in The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE) land so if I am wearing shorts and the IBS kicks in and I have an accident I can simply say that my fake tan has smeared down my legs :D

 

Pearls of Wisdom from DWP

I had an early night last night. Went to bed at 10 to watch The Godfather part 2 and fell asleep not long after and before I knew it I was awake at the crack of a sparrows fart!

Sometimes I enjoy waking up and watching the night turn into day, especially if there is a nice sunrise – I find it kind of symbolic in a “it’s a new dawn” kind of way.

The past few days since my last post have been pretty great. I seem to have a new found confidence and feeling of optimism that has been missing for a long time and I wake up each morning looking forward to the day as opposed to waking up tired and miserable. I must admit I like the way I am feeling at the moment and just up it lasts!

Yesterday I received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) with an update on the housing benefit changes that will soon come into force. Not only did they bring me the good news that they estimate I will have to find £50 a week to cover the rent but they also came up with some rather helpful suggestions for dealing with the decrease in housing benefit.

  1. Ask your landlord for a reduction in the cost of your rent!
  2. move into cheaper accommodation
  3. get a job and claim working tax credit

speechless? yes I was too when I read this. I can just imagine the laughter from landlords up and down the country as millions of people now ring them up and ask for cheaper rent! naturally they are all going to say yes and make the rent cheaper for us.

Here is an example of what will happen:

me: Hi Home group the DWP suggested I should ring you and request you decrease my rent as my housing benefit is no longer covering the full amount.

home: HA HA HA HA tell the DWP to go fuck themselves with that suggestion!

or words to that affect.

me: Hi Redbridge council, the DWP suggest I should move into cheaper accommodation

Redbridge: what? your already over occupied in your tiny flat as it is so there is no way we can move you into anything smaller and therefor cheaper. Besides your on the waiting list for a BIGGER property. Tell the DWP to go fuck themselves with that suggestion.

you get the drift.

It must be nice to live in the same world as government officials and agencies where no doubt unicorns fart rainbows and Iain Dickhead Smith is considered as a thoroughly nice man!

Add to this the new council tax bill that has been received and it all seems like the government is working hard to piss me off at the moment, but they won’t bring me down.

Yesterday I even went and joined the gym across the road from my flat. The exercise on referral scheme has inspired me to get back on track with losing weight. I was measure across my stomach and it was a staggering 46 inches! I need to do something about this. When I was asked what my goals were for the exercise scheme my reply was “to see my penis when I look down!” somewhat tongue in cheek but would be nice to actually feel confident about how I look for a change.

Now I just need to get my ass into the gym especially as my 10k run is 2 months away!

Speaking of my 10k run on 27th May who is coming to meet me at the finish line? Would be great to have some people cheering me on (or carrying the stretcher) especially if you all bring a big mac each cos I will need to eat something :D

Exercise On Referral Scheme (EORS)

Having had my initial appointment with a member of the exercise on referral scheme I can now provide you with further information, although remember that the prices I show may not be the same in your area so please do not quote me on them.

The scheme is a national service which relies on referrals from your GP to gain access to it, it is not something that has been advertised massively but has been running for around 5 years. All GP’s are aware of the scheme and can be signed up to it if they have not already done so.

The idea behind it is to help people gain the benefits of exercising but it is a lot more than that. As I spoke to Steve yesterday he emphasised that it is just as important to them to help people get back into the outside world again, and finding a new routine. This is ideal for someone like me who, besides shopping and the nursery run, rarely leaves home unless essential.

Having been weighed, blood pressure taken and hips and waist being measure we spoke about what goals and plans I have for the length of the course. The EORS scheme for me is 6 weeks long with 2 sessions in the gym a week. This means that I HAVE to go out at least twice a week, out of my normal comfort zone but it also gives me something to look forward to and we all know how much I love having something to focus on!

For the 12 sessions I have to pay £12, £1 a session, which is very very reasonable for attending a gym twice a week if you ask me!

Once the 6 weeks are up I get the option of discounted gym membership for 12 months, the fee is reduced to £17 a month, which gives me unlimited access to the use of the gym. This will be perfect for me especially with the 10k run only being 2 months away and I still have not been able to train! and £17 a month for gym membership is bloody cheap especially around these parts of Essex/London where some places ask for £70+!

So besides the benefits of exercising regularly, leaving the house more often and the feelings of increased self worth gained from my exertions what is the downside of this scheme?

If you can find one let me know because I cannot think of any. The instructor will not push me to levels outside my capabilities and is more worried about making me enjoy the sessions – what more can you ask for? no pain no gain is not something i believe in, pain = moose stops :D

Do you think this is something that may help you? Speak to your GP about the scheme and find out if it will benefit you, its not just for helping fat gits like me but people with depression/stress/anxiety as well!

And if it does not work for you then at least 6 weeks down the line you can at least say you tried.

As for me I can’t wait till my first session next week! The gym wont know what hit it!