This is, I think, my fourth attempt at a blog. Inspired by the movie Julie and Julia – where a young woman blogs about her attempt to complete all of the recipes in a particular cookbook in one year – I started my first blog in the lead up to the Race for a Cure: Asia Challenge that I went on in 2010. Disappointed that there was no one following/commenting on my blog I gave up even though I wanted it to be my virtual diary that I could look back on (I still do read it, but I stopped writing – you can find it here: http://mychallengeraceforacure.blogspot.com.au/). Then just before I went away, I got a second wind and started again (second blog: http://mcfi-race2010.blogspot.com.au/). I didn’t think anyone was following it – there were a couple of comments this time – but I was enjoying writing about the different world I was seeing as we raced and explored our way through Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. When I came home and had proper internet access again, I found a stack of comments on my facebook page but when I returned to training with my tri club, I found loads of people had been following my trip and it had even become a topic of chat at one of the post-bunch ride coffee’s. By that stage I’d been offline a couple of months and I didn’t really get back to it.
Last year I began preparing to take on Mt Kilimanjaro to again raise money for and awareness of Cure Cancer Australia – my charity of choice. I started a new blog (I can’t even find that one), but it lasted maybe a week because I kept getting sick. In the end I had to pull out of the trip – I felt like I’d failed and still do feel that way – I’m still having trouble with migraines which I had during the previous challenge but I didn’t know that’s what was going on.
Anyway….I’m now on beta blockers and anticonvulsants that I take twice a day and I’ve now also had 2 sets of botox injections into several points in my head (yes it hurts and yes botox actually has medical use beyond cosmetic – one of many articles available can be found here). The migraines mean I won’t be able to take on Kili or Everest base camp, but a new challenge has come up that is a swim one and I have my own challenge of completing a half ironman to keep me busy.
Meanwhile, through all the inconsistent training and the changes in medication, I have piled on the weight. I have tried, like blogging, to stick to a pattern of when I do things – routine used to work really well for me and after all, it’s the easiest way to change a habit right? I keep hearing and reading in different places that it takes 21days to create a habit, so I always try that with new things. Doesn’t seem to work with my diet because I never seem to be able to sit still/say no to opportunities “Fiona do you wannna see a movie tonight?” “Fiona are you up for a lake swim?” “Fiona we’re riding down the clyde (on motorobikes) this weekend – wanna come?”…..Even if I’ve packed food and have nothing else on that day, by the time it comes to eating lunch or afternoon tea, if I haven’t devoured it already because it looks great, then I don’t always feel like eating it (she says looking at her nectarine and wanting to want to eat it).
Then there are the different types of diets and support tools. If you google coachmcfi you’ll see I tried SparklePeople in 2006 and I had a crack at Biggest Loser too – I actually did quite well on that but then the whole migraine thing took hold. I’ve gone for high protein diets and no sugar diets (mega fail – I’ve never made it to a week never mind 21 days I’m so absent minded at times). Currently I am just trying to make healthy choices as often as possible and I have a new focus. I am reading a book by Barrister Ruth Fields (no not a sports practitioner) “Run Fat Bitch Run” which, as you can tell from the title, is a no nonsense book about running. I’m not far into the book, but the more I think about it, the times I succeed the most at things are the times I’m mentally prepared which includes all of the different sports I’ve competed in, jobs I’ve applied for, studies I’ve undertaken and even housework! The preliminaries of the book are about getting your head in the right space and I’ve had to laugh, as a Triathlon Coach, I feel really silly that some of these things haven’t occurred to me before! Ruth’s fantastic books (there is also “Run Fat Bitch Run Marathon Plan” and “26 Reasons to Run” amongst her work) are available on iBooks & Amazon and very possibly a book store near you!
So what do you find works for you when you are creating a habit or making a change? Can you teach an old dog a new trick? Should I start a sweepstake to see how long I’ll keep blogging?