Hi everyone, now I know what you’re thinking. I talk about healthy this and that all the time. Why am I posting about getting healthy now? Here’s the thing, I hate the fact everyone talks about healthy lifestyles in January. If you aren’t spending the first few days of January living off leftover Christmas treats, I question your life choices. Most people aren’t feeling their best after the festive season and even if you are, most people fall into a little January slump. So, this is a February reset if you will; a few things I’d like to improve about myself this month and how I’m going to do it.
I’ve briefly mentioned a few times now that I have an awful sleeping pattern in January. This is down to two things. 1) I’ve had insomnia since the day I left the womb 2) Tennis. I’m a huge tennis fan, and when I say huge, I mean I haven’t missed a single match Roger Federer has played at a Grand Slam since 2009.
That includes the Australian Open, which for those of you who don’t know, airs from midnight until about 10am here in the UK.
As a natural insomniac I very rarely feel tired and can easily stay up all night and feel zero consequences the next day. I’ve reached a point now where I can sleep most nights, even if it’s just for a few hours, but it’s a habit that was very hard to establish. For the last two weeks of January I basically don’t sleep, I catch an hour nap here and there between matches. The day session ends, quick nap, the kettle goes on and I’m back up and ready to watch the evening session. I’m well aware this isn’t healthy, but I do it every year. And I can’t see that changing anytime soon.
While I find it easy to stay up, I find it incredibly hard to start sleeping again when the tournament ends. It takes me no more than a day or two to fall into the rhythm of staying up most of the night, after all that’s basically my natural body clock, but it takes weeks to be able to fall asleep before 4am again.
February goal #1, attempt to start sleeping at around 2am. Which in insomnia land qualifies as an ‘early’ night.
It occurred to me at the end of January that I haven’t had a ‘normal’ week of eating yet this year. As I said in the beginning, the first few days of January are still about chocolate and Pringles in my house. This was then followed my very much unwelcome monthly visitor, which leaves me with very serious bread cravings. As someone who struggles with gluten this is always a problem. Then I did my grocery challenge, which was fun but incredibly difficult and not exactly what I’d usually eat. Then there was the fortnight where I slept one hour a night, or not at all, and was eating my meals at a very strange time because of that.
I haven’t gained weight or been eating awful foods, but I haven’t been eating in a regular way and my stomach is definitely aware of that.
February goal #2, eat like I normally do. This shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve now that I’m attempting to get my sleeping pattern under control and Christmas is long gone, as is the chocolate.
February goal #3, no processed gluten for the month. As I have a sensitivity rather than an outright intolerance I don’t struggle too much when I eat flours like rye, or oats, but things like wheat pasta and bread cause me problems. I can manage with my lentil pasta for the month. No bread is a harder challenge.
I run. Or at least I used to. I was training for a marathon. Hoping to get a place in the London marathon for this April (surprise, surprise, I didn’t get in) and planning on doing the Manchester marathon if I didn’t get in, I was strict with my schedule. Five days a week, without fail.
Then well, this happened.
Sprained my ankle tripping over my dog’s toy and couldn’t walk for about two weeks. https://t.co/ORbSMN1VS8
— Sophie (@glowsteadyy) February 1, 2018
What that tweet doesn’t tell you is that it was a really bad sprain. I couldn’t run at all for nearly three months, then when I could run again I was taking it ridiculously easy because I was afraid of reinjuring myself. I got back up to 5k in an acceptable time, far from my best, but not snail pace either. By this point the only thing that still caused me pain was wearing heels, which was a major inconvenience because I’m just under 5ft 1” and relied on heels to look slightly older than 12 in my day-to-day life. There was a family wedding at the end of August, I wore heels for the first time since my initial injury, and I wore then for 12 or 13 hours. What I shock this ruined my ankle again and I was in pain for weeks, hardly able to walk again.
Fast forward to November and I started to run again, on a treadmill so it was softer on my joints, then that kind of stopped over Christmas.
It’s now early February and I haven’t ran outside since last April. I will be entering the ballot again for the marathon next year and I will have the same back-up plan of doing Manchester when I if I don’t get in.
So, February goal #4, get moving on an actual pavement again and move the rest of my body slightly while I’m at it. I downloaded the 30 day fitness app to do some other light toning exercises too. As I’m doing this alongside my runs, I’m starting with the easy plan to ease my body back into it gently. And now I’ve shared this with you I kind of have no choice other than to carry on.
There we have it, some February health and fitness goals. Do you have any health and fitness related goals for this month? And how do you feel about the idea of a February reset?
I’ll see you tomorrow,