Wow what an amazing journey 2016 was. I started the year in a fragile state of health and have ended it in what could possibly be the best shape of my life. I started off joining the heart smart class in January where I had to slog out in the gym with Mark (PT). To be fair I wasn't that interested in getting fit again after surgery, my anxiety was probably at its highest and all it took was a look at the machines or the swimming pool to give my heart a work out. I was terrified of putting a strain on my heart and to be fair half of my chest, back and leg had lost feeling and at the same time the nerves that were still alive sent electric volts through my body at any given time. The last thing I really wanted to do was jump about on the machines. I managed to pull out of my first session. due to another kind session where I was celebrating the start of the new year, I somehow managed to pull a Bambi on ice scenario in the 3 hours of snow we had for the whole of last year, and ended up not being able to walk for a week, anyway thats a totally different story. Im pretty sure PT wasn't convinced I wanted to be there, to be honest I wasn't sure myself, I knew I needed to be fit and wanted it so badly I just didn't really want to put myself through the struggle. Anyway after weeks of attending the class I started to feel better, I enjoyed the company of the oldies, ok not that old I was just the youngest in the class. They really understood me. I was not alone in my anxiety, nor was I when I was worried to get my heart rate up, when I was scared to lift a weight, or do a press up, they had all the same health scares and worries I did. They all were heart patients that had all had surgery recently or within the last few years and used theses sessions to remain fit. We encouraged each other to keep going and that it was ok if we were having an off day. As my “compulsory” weeks passed I was finally classed as “fit” enough to start pushing my boundary's. I had stopped all medication and was finally free to start being myself again. Mark was ready to help me start pushing myself, testing my limits, physically and mentally. I was so blissfully unaware of the struggle ahead of me. I was travelling around the West Coast in the summer, and for the first time my aim wasn't for a beach body. My aim was to be as fit as I could be, to travel without feeling unwell, to embrace every opportunity that rose on this holiday. So I slogged away and from May Mark started to take my measurements and my weight so that I could see my progress. At first it was the slowest progress ever. And again I had the slightest suspicion that Mark couldn't quite believe that I wanted it that much. Again I don't think I did. I had a long hard think and to be fair I had to pull myself together. Mark was going out of his way, he really didn't have to take my measurements. He was helping me out from the kindness of his heart, the least I could do was appreciate it and not let him down.
I totally changed my attitude, I hit the gym as often as I could I upped my workouts sorted out my diet and stayed as positive as I could. I lost I gained I remained... I felt like my body was fighting against me. I worked harder than ever even attending the gym twice a day I was not going to let my weight and poor health defy me. If there is one thing I have learn from surgery was that I have been through one of the most horrendous experiences ever with every complication imaginable, my heart stopped twice. If I can come back from that then weight loss is nothing. I battled on with the gym and and healthy eating. Finally it was nearly time to get on that plane. I had done it I had lost a little bit of weight, I had lost inches and inches off my body, toned up and was healthier and stronger than ever.
I travelled across the West Coast, every day I walked a 5-8 km stretch in order to indulge on my vacation. I threw myself off a cliff over shark invested waters, I tried to workout in Muscle Beach, with the sand beneath my feet I strolled from venice to SantaMonica. Then managed a pub crawl back along the boulevard, we toured Hollywood and saw some of the most amazing houses, we behaved like children in Universal studios, stayed in the most beautiful hotels in LA. I Partied a little bit too hard in Vegas, I don't think I could have a mojito again. We hiked in Arizona stayed at a university, then headed to San Diego where I relaxed with yoga on the cliff top over looking the most beautiful sunset a perfect end to my travels.
After weeks of eating super sized and consuming more Tequila than the whole of Mexico, it was time to get the weight and health under control. It was extremely hard, when for the first time I was really living life, I was catching up on the last 30 years, I was hanging out more with friends and family, going to shows, the finest cocktail bars, late lunches, boozy dinners, extremely hard to watch the calories. Summer is really not a good time to start a healthy eating regime. It was hard at the gym again after a slight weight gain from over indulging, to be expected after any holiday. The gym was easily becoming my friend and finally working for me. I made friends with the familiar faces. I people watched and created nick names for those I didn't know, it was fun, a great place to expand my imagination.
In the gym I could be free. It really is the best place for me. It lifts any stressed, sad or anxious mood. It really does work wonders as that happy hormone is released around the body. People have commented on my body, the changes that are so obvious after the last year. They ask me how I am and my journey. It really has benefited my health, my social circle, my body and most importantly my mind.
Feeling more alive than ever I focussed the last part on the year on re-branding my business, re creating my logo and seeing what I could achieve next. I started with some time lapse videos and then finally got myself a youtube channel. I was creating all this around my clients and gym work outs. After a busy December of parties, christmas celebrations and the new year, It really is the busiest and most stressful time of the year. Work has been manic, I slacked a little in the gym, even resulting to taking the I pad on the bike with me to kill two birds with one stone, I was a little crazy trying to fit everything in. I admit I do put a lot of pressure on myself to be better to work harder. I am actually finishing this blog after spending a day at the hospital. It looks like I pushed my self a little to hard and no matter how healthy my heart really is and how fit I am I was terrified with the persistent pain in my chest. Maybe I was over cautious but with my history and the excruciating pain I was in, the doctor sent me straight there. No matter how healthy you are chest pains are not to be ignored, anything can happen to anyone at any time at any age. I guess theres nothing like starting the new year with a thorough blood count, ECG, chest x-rays the works. At least I know now that I really am starting the year in the best possible health. After everything I have been through I forget this is still a journey I am still travelling, It is far from over the pains come and go the numbness is still there, who knows how long it will take me, but if I carry on they way I am going, I will remain healthy. I cannot thank Mark enough for the support and encouragement he has given me, after all he has helped towards me getting my life back and definitely feeling better than ever.
I will be attending my Heart smart tomorrow and il take one look around and realise that It could have been worse.