Well, after such a great holiday where I was exercising every day I have crashed back to my sedentary life. I am putting on weight and have been during the last lockdown. The combination of weather and dark skies meant I struggled to exercise as much as I needed and with the cold weather comfort eating I have piled on the pounds and really need to get rid of it. I thought my job was bad for me as I sat around in an office desk most of the day but at least I did get some movement, being at home has reduced my activity levels to non existent. I enjoyed my holiday and I got out and about enjoying the exercise but I also noticed how much additional weight I am carrying and I so need to LOSE IT!
I am a woman of a certain age which means I am now going through the menopause which is wreaking havoc on my body and mind. I started getting symptoms a few years ago and part of the reason I left my last job was because I couldn’t function due to the brain fog, anxiety and fatigue due to insomnia. ( I have read a number of articles on women leaving the workplace because of menopause. I was hoping not to be one of them but have joined the statistics now. There was no help available at my last place. Their view was get on with the job or leave. – They had no new projects and they didn’t want to pay me any redundancy, so leaving did them a favour. – Cynical I know ! )
The brain fog meant I was struggling to think sometimes and was being bullied and generally derided for not being ‘on the ball’. If I forgot something I was seen as incompetent. The workplace was unforgiving and I had panic attacks brought on by my anxiety which was reducing my threshold levels so things I could do with my eyes shut became major anxiety generating events. God – I felt so stupid and thought I was going mad. I couldn’t cope with the negativity and panic attacks and when the project finished I decided to leave and have some ‘Me time’. I have worked continuously for over 25 years so a break was well overdue. I have found that the brain fog has actually started to get worse, I had a really bad day while on holiday where I just couldn’t think at all. I was just responding with “I don’t know” all the time as my brain was just frazzled, I just couldn’t think straight.
The insomnia did start to ease once I left my job and I was hoping that I would recover enough that I could consider getting a new job. But – during the last few months the insomnia has come back with added intensity. I have been trying to sleep but do not want to resort to medication as that is not good over the long term. I wondered how I would be while on holiday as I wanted to use that as a control and see if the lockdown was a major cause – I still had sleepless nights but due to the exercise I was managing to sleep a few more hours than before. A step in the right direction, so how to I improve it even more?
I looked for something to help me. I have started a sleep course. I am using sleepio and have a free sign up, it is used by the NHS and was created in the US, it is a CBT self-help course which lasts 6 weeks, it can be access for free via some UK GPs. I managed to get a free link.
Free signup link here : Use the code : G69JAN
I am hoping this will help me get back to a decent level of sleep and help me on the road to recovery. I didn’t know this but lack of sleep / poor sleep can also make you put on weight so as well as trying to increase my exercise levels to reduce weight I also need to improve the quality of my sleep. I am only a week into the course so no idea if this will help or not, time will tell.
I also need to improve my fitness. I want to be able to cycle more and look at some longer cycle rides and possible do some cycle touring in the UK as a way of travelling while COVID restricts holiday options. Now the weather has improved I need to get into a fitness routine and crank up the exercise to try and get rid of the excess weight and feel better about myself. I have never been so overweight or so down. I need to find ways of motivating myself and improving my outlook. My self confidence is at an all time low. I guess I am having post-holiday blues. I need to get myself into a better mindset and be more positive and regain my self confidence and self esteem. I have started some yoga and kettlebell sessions using YouTube channels to get some variety in my sessions and get into a routine. It is giving me some focus as I try to work out what to do next. I feel like a write-off but need to give myself a kick and motivate.