Starting again ... again.

I love summer! And this summer has been a particularly good one - hot weather, great family Christmas, fantastic, amazing holiday away ...

I did manage to get to the little lookout!
But just that amazing summer-ness can also be a bit of a downfall to the health and fitness regime. By the time you have a busy end-of-year, the crazy lead-up to Christmas, all of the food and drink of the Christmas period itself, a holiday where relaxing is in and routine is out, and the days at home where the small people are asking "what can we do today?", eating even vaguely sensibly and regular exercise just don't tend to be a happening thing - for me anyway. I admire those people who manage to keep a regime going through all of the other stuff, but I freely admit, I am not one of them.

So this week, having added two weeks of my first ever flu onto the end of my excellent holiday, and now being back at work, I have finally started to get myself organised into something resembling a health and fitness mindset.

And it really does feel like I am starting again. I am so knackered from being sick that I am not even trying to run; a walk is all I have managed on my two outings so far. And eating healthily is all very well, when you don't really feel like eating at all...

But, at the same time, I am trying, and that is the most important thing.

Because there are always going to be setbacks, or times when you just can't. The important thing is not to say to yourself that this is the end, but to remember that although it might take time, you can always start again, right from the beginning if necessary, and as many times as it takes. So,
  • be patient with yourself - just before Christmas I completed an insanely challenging off-road half-marathon and now, less than two months later, I can barely manage a 5km bushwalk. That's okay, I've until this December if I want to make that same event a goal again, and if I don't, I can work out what I do want to do, and then work at it. I have plenty of time, and it's not like I'm competing with anyone. 
  • be realistic - everything in life has great bits and meh bits. It is completely unrealistic to perform at a high level (relatively, for me) all the time, unless you are some sort of performance athlete, and I'm not. So, take the not-so-stunning bits and remember that they are the way back up to the better ones. Life happens too, and whether it's your job, or relationships, or hobbies, accepting the reality of ups and downs is important to be able to do. And don't stress about it.
  • be mindful - because my over-riding goal is my health, both mental and physical, that's what I need to keep in mind. The whole stronger, further, harder (or whatever it is) thing is all very well, and challenges and goals are important in terms of keeping things going, but they are not actually the point. My well-being is the point, and doing what is right for me, and what I am able for, is how to maintain that well-being.
So, I am not going to be hard on myself. There's no point. I am going to start again, again. I am going to set myself small goals. I am going to look for larger milestones. I am going to enjoy myself.

And I am going to accept what is, and run with that.


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