Two things are really bugging me at the moment; one is my fitness (or lack of) and the other is the amount of reading I’m not doing.
I bought a Kindle a couple of years ago because carrying books around was becoming more and more difficult, which meant I was reading less. I love a long train journey with a good book, but when given the choice of reading the latest Hilary Mantel (it’s on my wish list – hint hint) or being in slightly less pain, I will always choose less pain. Hence the Kindle purchase, the answer to all my woes.
But something sad has happened; I no longer love books. Something about the Kindle has taken away my excitement of buying a new book and I want it back. I know I’m not the first person to say this and I definitely won’t be the last, but it’s not enough just to spit out my dummy and agree with the masses. I want to change it. But how?
Whilst you’re mulling that one over, here’s problem number two.
As anyone with Fibromyalgia or a similar condition will know, exercise is tough. We all know small amounts need to be done to prevent our muscles shriveling up into prunes, but when you’re in pain the very last thing you want to do is move unnecessarily. However, let’s assume for a minute that you drag your sorry arse out of bed for an hour ready to conquer the fitness challenge, the far bigger problem in my book is the type of exercise I can do. Pilates and swimming are the best options for Fibro sufferers, but when I’m busy in my head and feeling anxious I want nothing more than hardcore cardio. I want to dance, I want to kickbox, I want to do aerobics to cheesy pop music and grapevine my way across the floor. But how? See how much fun they’re having! Especially that woman on the right.
How do I, a mentally busy person who doesn’t understand words like “calm” “slow” and “relax” embrace the softer (but equally beneficial) sides of exercise? And how do I rediscover a love for reading e-books, or cope with carrying the good old paperbacks? Well I don’t know if this will work, but I’m going to set myself a bit of a challenge and see if it sticks.
A wise man told my friend and I last week that we were too fixated on making big changes, which we would inevitably not stick to and would then beat ourselves up when we failed. He suggested small, baby steps to get in to new routines. Now, I’m not an idiot, I know he’s right. But, also, I am an idiot because I can’t really get on board with baby steps. I would like to take some big massive giant steps, and achieve what I set out to do, and then tell you all how wise I am. I know, I know, this is sounding more and more unlikely to be a path of success…
So it’s time to find some middle ground. Here are my top five achievable steps for change – or so I hope.
#1. Learn to relax
I hate baths, really I do. Why would you want to lie and sweat in your own filth? That said, this looks pretty calming so I’m going to try it.
#2. Stop thinking
I might print this off and stick it on my fridge. And by my desk. And on my walls. And on the ceiling above my bed. You get the idea.
#3. Shut up and do Pilates
Once I get on the mat and start stretching, my body starts bubbling with happy vibes; I don’t know why I then let six weeks pass by before I go again. That’s not true, I do know. I’m lazy. And laziness combined with flare ups makes my bed look awfully appealing. So yes, I’m going to shut up and do Pilates. Or at the very least I’ll just do Pilates.
#4. Find a short book
Apparently short stories are making a come back. The Color Master by Aimee Bender is supposed to be good, and I figure short stories are a good way to get me back into the habit of reading on a daily basis. Plus there are only 240 pages in the book, so its a good way of seeing how feasible it is to have a book in my bag every day. See, I’m a woman with a plan.
#5. Eat less crap
I know, I know I keep saying this. (It’s a good job I didn’t set out to write a blog that inspired the masses isn’t it?) It’s easy to eat less crap, so I’m going to do just that. This is something so easy even I can make it, so I really have no excuses.
So that’s my plan to tackle the two issues of the moment. I’ll let you know how it goes. If any of you have any other tips, feel free to let me know. I always welcome a new plan.