It’s time to treat ourselves with the love we deserve

Some of you will know that I was a fitness teacher for many years…it fitted well around my family and any other work I did; I really loved it. It kept me fit and helped me meet lots of fun people. This was back in the days before New day, new life; isn’t it time you had a good day, everyday? when my life wasn’t the bed of roses I pretended it to be, when life was often a struggle, when I battled with anxiety, depression, disordered eating and frequent thoughts of ending my life. Looking back, fitness instruction was one of the things that kept me going.

I had been brought up with a very strong work ethic and would never ring in sick unless I was really very sick indeed. I was real strong on ‘duty’ and amazing at the whole guilt thing so I often rocked up for a class very well below par… after a row I’d no doubt caused by believing my own stories…after starving myself or binging all day…or simply when I should really have been in bed with a hot water bottle and paracetamol.

However dreadful you feel, you have to smile when you’re teaching an aerobics class, so when I turned up feeling down, I’d have no choice other than to fix my ‘smile mask’ on. Awesomely, I always found, that part way though the warm-up, the smile on my mask had become a real smile. I’d faked it till I made it.

Talking of paracetamol….DON’T

This is a sidetrack but typing ‘paracetamol’ brought a lot of stuff flooding back. I had pain, including headaches, every day and every night of my life since I was a teenager…now I know it’s fibromyalgia. Some of the pain was really bad and I tried everything and saw several specialists. To cut a long story short I became addicted to painkillers. The problem with painkillers, I learned, is that they give you headaches; how crazy is that? So you end up with the ‘normal’ headache and the ‘painkiller’ headache! One consultant recommended I stopped taking them…I’m not sure why no one had advised that earlier, when I was taking way more than the recommended dose to keep the pain at bay. Anyway…he told me it would be very painful…more painful every day and then at 14 days the pain would stop. Boy was it painful! My best friend, who’d been begging me to give them up for years, begged me to start taking them again because she hated seeing me in such horrible withdrawal. I was determined, though, and the consultant knew his stuff; on day 15, I had no headache for more or less the first time in my adult life. I do take painkillers occasionally now but am exceedingly careful…please take care if you’re finding you’re hitting the (pill) bottle too often.

This is for me

Recently, for the first time, really, I’ve started showing myself some love and have invested myself. Go me on the self-love thing….hope you’re all with me. You might like to read Your relationship with you; love yourself. I’ve now got a business coach (the wonderful @lifecoachjulie aka Julie Maloney) and a lovely yoga teacher (Wendy Brooking). I decided it was time I gave back to the body and soul that I’d taken for granted for too many decades.

Why did you want to do yoga?

Wendy asked me the above, one session; I brushed her off and sidestepped the question. Sometime later that week, I started to give it some thought and I’d like to share with you the belated response I sent her.

For all of my adult life, until it got too painful, I exercised. My favourite part was probably the group classes, whether I was teaching or participating. I loved my body being fit enough to do as I asked. I loved the negotiations I had with it when it resisted. I loved how we worked and grew together, though, I admit, I thought of it as working for me rather than with me. Then it let me down…or rather I see now…I let it down by not listening to it. I’d pushed it too hard…expected too much…and it rebelled…big time. Much of our bond was lost; I missed it but didn’t dare dream I could ever again do anything other than my little rehab exercises at home. 

When my lovely daughter Abigail, @abigailsakari, told me about restorative yoga, I guess I thought it might be a way to make friends with my body again; it sounded like it would just be meditation in comfortable positions. I thought we both deserved it.

I found I really enjoyed the group relaxation meditation and whilst it was a bit of a shock, I liked the stretches too…and feeling my flexibility increasing.

I feel like I’m actually part of it. I love it.

Now I dare dream about taking it further….about how much closer my body and I can be if I start feeding her healthily too. I’m looking forward to a much healthier, balanced, kinder relationship with her. 

Are you your own best friend?

I now get on with my body more than I ever have. We look after each other and work together towards our goals. We’re really happy.

Not only am I tons more emotionally stable now that I understand the role thought takes in our lives, but whilst I can’t completely remove my physical pain, I find that by not focussing on it, by not giving it extra energy…it doesn’t hurt so much…or as often…or for as long.

How well do you get on with your body? Do you resent it? Dislike it? Punish it??

I can’t recommend too much, befriending yourself and treating your body and soul with the love and respect you all deserve. Self-love really is where it’s at.

Please reach out if you’d like to learn more….I can help you love yourself and be happier than you’ve ever been.

Next time I'm going to be writing about challenges and soul growth. Until then, have an awesome time and be sure to comment or contact me if you have any questions or input.

Please contact me for a chat if you'd like me to coach you happy.

Love Catherine x

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