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I miss sleepless nights, doing a grown up job on 3 hours sleep, hungover and pissing blood.  I miss the standard ‘I’m sorry’ text after I’ve drunk too much and got moody, aggressive, tearful or rude.  I miss not caring about what I put in my body – booze, fags, drugs, meat, dairy, boys…  Doing no exercise and not caring, craving the weekend so I can party and pass out on sofas.  I miss only caring about myself, never recycling, not thinking about other people’s feelings, and not knowing my existence has an impact on others.

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I miss my DVD’s and CD’s, not having the internet and moving every year.  I miss making terrible life decisions, picking the wrong boy, the drama, the chaos, the debriefing my often eventful weekends on a Monday with my best friend. I miss being spontaneous and not caring or even thinking about my future, maxing out credit cards and not understanding that I have to pay back a graduate loan!  I miss not feeling anything, detachment and wandering off into my own fantasies.  I miss not knowing about human behaviour, self soothing and the patriarchy.

I think I mostly miss ignorance.

I needed to have a vent, I’m getting really frustrated with this fucking judgemental Gwyneth Paltrow clean life style going on at the moment.  One I’m very much part of – I’m a charity working, vegan, nonsmoking, minimal drinking (most of the time), recycling, gardening, married, kombucha drinking, fermented food eating reflexologist.  For the most part I love it and I actually wouldn’t want to go back to my old life but at the moment I’m feeling smothered – no soy, no sugar, no meat, no dairy.  Yes yes yes I know we have choice but I’ve learnt too much to know that I consciously and morally can’t eat meat or dairy, I know that fags and drugs and too much booze just make me feel horrific and anxious and depressed, I know that buying stuff, boys and detachment isn’t going to cure any low self-esteem I may be experiencing.  They say knowledge is power well sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, to me it feels more like knowledge is responsibility.

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I’m not going to change any of my lifestyle, it’s beautiful and I’ve worked hard for it but I’m going to stop subjecting myself to all this clean living media instagram bullshit for a little while… Right, I’m off to have a green tea and homemade bircher.  #FML


10k race tomorrow morning! ☀️

I’ve been really struggling to pick my speed up recently. Long and slow I can do, short and fast -ish I’m ok, but 10k just short of a 5k pace feels insurmountable… 

So I’ve got a plan. In order to get me round the course in under 60minutes tomorrow I’ve put together this playlist, that is no longer than 1 hour long. I’ve decided that, this way, if I’m lacking motivation I’m gonna have no choice but to drag my ass round as nothing is worse than running, knackered without any tunes. I’ve tried running “unplugged” and it’s not for me, in fact it added 30 minutes on to my half marathon PB when  I trialled it last year. Never again. Clearly I’m not the sort to be at one with myself or Mother Nature… 
So here’s the playlist and a selection of this months top tracks that’ll I’ll be running to tomorrow morning! I’ll let you know how I get on! 

Spotify February Playlist No.4

1. Zayn and Taylor – Loving this song. Great to come in mid run for a bit of a boost from these sexy babes… 

2. He smashed the BRITS now he’s smashing on to my playlist. Stormzy comes in to the playlist 5x! Grime. Just so for a moment I feel down with it, 21 and not 32 years old.

3. Now, I always shuffle my playlists so I don’t get used to hearing the same songs at the same stage. Having said that Rag and Bone Man, Human, is high on my list for getting me through that last km. On my last 8 mile run I managed to scoop an 8 minute mile for the last mile with this tune blaring out. Just don’t want to waste the momentum you get from this tune to early! 

4.Little Mix – slightly uncomfortable that their fan base is no older than 16…. but hey, they’ve got three songs in this list… they’ve got something that gets me moving! 

I’ll let you know how I get on and what song takes me over the finish line! Here’s hoping for a sub 60 10k.

E @ Reflex PT

Welcome to 2017.

Video Messaging, Women Vote, Electric Cars, Instant Worldwide News, Cancer Curing Drugs, Diving to New Depths of the Oceans and Test Tube Humans! Tell those born in 1920 that didn’t have televisions or telephones that in 2017 we have advanced significantly and I’m pretty sure they’d say that’s an understatement.

But then also mention War, Poverty, Donald Trump, Tampon Tax and by the way shhhh…. keep your Mental Health to your self. It’s only then that you realise the advancements are actually technological rather than anthropological! 

It’s weird how we’ve got so much better at finding and fixing broken bones, curing physical (visible) illness’ and pretending to know more about mental health than ever before. But how can we know more about it if there are statistics that say things such as 57% of people who suffer from generalised anxiety disorder (me) & 59% of people who have OCD don’t ever seek treatment! The main reason, time and time again in study after study is… wait for it… fear & shame.

What is going on! Imagine if over 50% of those people who broke their legs in the world didn’t get treatment because they were so afraid or ashamed. It makes me so sad. More so because I’m one of those stats. Only 18 months ago was I finally brave enough after years of difficulties to tell the Dr I was struggling. I was mortified, to the point I even wondered if I was making it up. I cried before my Dr said that she was pretty resilient as a GP but even she would be stressed in my particular situation (job especially). I was so lucky to have her compassion. She said that after 5 minutes of speaking to me she could tell I was intelligent, resilient and I had a real sense of humanity about me. Eh?! But I’m soooooo anxious. How could I have exuberated the warmth she was getting?! My anxiety was, and is sometimes so physically clutching that it takes my breath away from me. I stop breathing and my heart feels like its outside of my body thumping and pumping. Sometimes I get it when I’m due to speak in a board meeting, other times when a cleaner asks me my name. There’s not much rhyme or rhythm to it but it’s often just waiting quietly in the background like a guard dog ready to pounce. 

I think what took me so long  to speak out is the thought that I was less of a human. Less of a strong woman. Less of a success. Less in general.

So, I’m talking about it now. Only just and I’m going to try and talk more about it because I still have work to do to normalise and rationalise my behaviour. I have just read a few things recently to spark this total disclosure, a book by Bryony Gordon called “Mad Girl” and an article in Women’s Health which focused on anxiety and the related meds… some of which I am prescribed – propananol AKA Beta Blockers. I read Bryony Gordon’s book ‘The Wrong Knickers’ a few years back (amazing and funny – it’s proper laugh out loud stuff) and therefore lent it to most of my friends as a must read, this funny, life living, twenty something was familiar to all of us! Her latest story is slightly different, its regarding her own battle with Mental Health and the associated shame. AGAIN very familiar. Both this and the WH article has inspired me to be a bit braver. 

Gemma Correll Artwork

I went to the toilet at work the other day to take my prescribed tablets. That’s shameful. I take them because it chills me the fuck out. Same reason you take paracetamol, it takes away the throbbing. It takes me down a peg or two and actually gives me focus and clarity when I’m talking and thinking. I don’t catastrophise. I don’t panic. I don’t stress. I do this thing where I tell myself if I take one tablet that I’m then allowed no more for the rest of the week. It’s like I’m treating myself to three hours of relaxation that I don’t really deserve. I tell myself one day I will have built enough resilience to not need to take these anymore. But I’m the sort of person who phones up the utility company who have overcharged me by hundreds, to then spending the next three days wondering if the bloke I spoke to thought I was stupid…. when he couldn’t have given a shit 2 mins after putting the phone down. I know this logically. But it doesn’t stop those thoughts. They’re intrusive and relentless. 

My fitness has been the one thing keeping me strong when I’ve had bad days, weeks and at times months. It’s a routine and an outlet for me to spend my nervous energy. I know when it’s been a tough week mentally because my legs are heavy, my heart is heavy and I feel just a bit crinkled up, but I know it’s critical to get me sorted! Even when I’m training other people I get that same buzz, it’s an hour of mindfulness as far as im concerned. An hour where you think of nothing else other than your own performance or your clients. 

I’m going to try and keep you posted on my progress and my propananol. I’ve decided not to resist taking it anymore. Why be so tortuous. It’s prescribed! I’ve been diagnosed. I’ve just got a little fracture in my mind wires at the moment. They’ll mend eventually I’m sure. In the mean time I’m not going to let those few broken wires become my identity because through those wires my Dr was able to see the real me she said I had humanity after 5 minutes of talking to me. If there was ever a compliment that was one! If I’m going to be defined I think that overrides the shizzle going on in my mind or the packet of tablets in my handbag.


If you’re suffering, I would advise you to pull on you confidence cap and go and speak to a Dr or even a friend or colleague. 1 in 4 of us will eventually suffer so chances are you’ll be sharing a problem. We need to lower those stats of people who feel fear and shame to get treatment before we can really say we’ve advanced as humans.

E @ Reflex PT

 

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I’m struggling on how to start this blog and how I can constructively convey what I want to say.  I’m feeling very passionate about the topic and unfortunately I’m unable to discuss things I’m passionate about in an adult ego state.  I tend to rant and rave and simply annoy whoever I’m talking to or sadly I push them into taking an opposite stance due to the human polarity response.

Anyway, here it is… I grew up with 4 brothers, I spent a lot of time with them and their friends and most family pictures look like there are 5 boys!  I struggled with female friendships and have had many periods of conflict with all of my girlfriends (thankfully they are really good at female friendships and have always salvaged it for us).  At uni I hung out with about 10 boys and described myself as someone who ‘gets on with blokes better’.  My mother was the first one to observe that I just find men easier to manipulate! That cut deep!

So… in 2010 I started working with some very forward thinking, intelligent, no bullshit people who clocked my number pretty fast.  One in particular has taught me to not be so full of shit, to get over myself and most importantly the beauty of genuine female friendships.

Unknown.jpgI now class myself as a feminist (I was going to drop the F word sooner or later so deal with it).  I attended the women’s march in London which was a beautiful experience and I’m about to start facilitating a training course on feminism.

What I’m learning is actually how to treat women as a woman!  We, like our male counter parts, are very competitive with each other, we fight over sexual partners, we have to be the thinnest, prettiest, most fashionable, coolest, (I’m a ‘cool girl’ – what does that even mean?) and most successful (financially or whatever that means to you!) – and all of this is to impress or compete with OTHER WOMEN!  Most of us women spend more time looking at other women on the street or in magazines, and I know I think about what I’m going to wear to get a reaction from my female friends.

What feminism means to me right now as a woman is to treat other women with respect, to not judge what they look like, or feel more superior because I think I look or am better than them, to listen to them and acknowledge what they say, to challenge them when they express guilt or shame for having an opinion!  I love all the men in my family but they can sometimes be utter misogynistic arses, I haven’t quite worked out the vocabulary yet to challenge them or the energy so for now I’m going to work on respecting myself as a female and supporting all my female friends to do the same!

If you’re an 80’s baby like me, you would have grown up as artists like Britney emerged to smash the pop out of popular music. I really cant workout without some good tunes, it transports me and lifts my mood!

So fast forward 15 years, yes its been that long since Brit was delivered to us and we’ve now got the likes of Bruno on the scene. But who did it / does it better?! I have put together a 35 minute workout to help you decide if you are TeamBritney or TeamBruno?!

Have fun, link to the Spotify playlist below!

 

Britney V Bruno Playlist

Do Somethin – 3.23 minutes of work (warm up)

  • Use first verse to jog on the spot, circle those arms and twist that torso to warm up your whole body.
  • Chorus – smash out those high knees, push through at the end.
  • You should be warmed up by now!

Uptown Funk – 4.30mins

Lets get that heart rate up. 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest

  • Star Jumps
  • Speed steps
  • Star Jumps
  • Speed steps
  • Walk it out for the last 30 seconds grab some water

Me against the Music – 3.44mins of work

Leg circuits – Do each exercise for 30s and then have a 30 s rest

  • Jumping Squats
  • Lunges
  • Side lunges
  • Rest and repeat

Treasure – 2.59 minutes

Each exercise for 40s and 20 second rest

  • Superman
  • Plank
  • Crunches

Crazy – 3.17 minutes of work

Do each exercise for 20s and have 20s rest

  • Burpees
  • Boxing Punches
  • Squat and High kicks
  • Rest and Repeat

24K Magic – 3.46 mins 

  • 1 minute squats – 20s rest
  • 40 seconds of Burpees
  • 30 second rest
  • 1 minute of squats and rest

Outrageous – 3.26minutes of work

  • Glute Bridge
  • V Sit
  • Cycle Crunches
  • Rest and repeat

Chunky – 3.07minutes – 

  • 40 second Jabs 20 second rest
  • 1 minute scissor jumps
  • 40 second jabs 20 second rest

I love Rock N Roll – 3.06minutes of work

  • 30 seconds of Mountain Climbers/Plank, 30 second rest

Grenade – 3.43 minutes – and rest….

  • Stretch it out with some bent knee glute stretches
  • Standing Hamstring Stretch
  • Standing Quad Stretch
  • Seated Hamstring (leg straight and grab those toes)
  • Tricep stretch
  • Neck roll

35 minute work out. DONE. Right now i’m off to workout!

 

E @ Reflex PT