Powerful Vision. Powerful You – a Personal Touch!

How was 2018 for you?

I would describe my year as ‘transformational’.

My new keynote presentation is called Powerful Vision. Powerful You and I’m having great fun making people think. Do you have a vision? Have you thought about the energy and dare I mention wellness that you will need to achieve it?

I mentor entrepreneurs and managers who have set out on their big mission, only to get ill, or burn out before they have seen it through.

When I started my own business venture in 2010 I threw myself into it, only to suffer a stroke through stress three months later. I share my whole story in my book, Rescued By The Coastguard. In my keynote I share a potted version too.

At Discover Your Bounce we speak to people every week who have a story of bouncing back. People truly are incredible!

Once we’ve bounced back and are feeling better there is a huge sigh of relief, phew! We love feeling better and jump back into life.

Sometimes though, we need to bounce again…

In July 2017 the menopause hit. When I say hit, I mean from the odd hot flush to six or eight flushes a day, sweaty, sleepless nights and a wave of doubt that took my confidence and memory. I have heard people talk about the menopause and I knew it would happen. I know some people struggle and others sail through, so I hadn’t really given it any thought. This, however, took the biscuit – how the actual heck was I supposed to run three businesses or even be a human?

Joy of all joys, over the following few months I put on a stone and a half, without changing my diet. I felt unsure of myself, bloated and miserable.

By Christmas 2017 I was hiding under floaty tops and living in elastic waistbands. I always had to have a myriad of layers on, even in full winter I could be seen in a vest top. Presenting workshops and talks was a challenge when a flush hits and the sweat drips down your back while trying to look professional and maintain your concentration!

Being a wellbeing expert I set out on a mission to get this sorted out…once I realised what was going on! It wasn’t just about looks, it was about how I felt. My BMI had also gone up two points, my cholesterol was creeping back up after all my hard work getting it down after the stroke. My blood pressure was a little high too. After getting so in tune with my body recovering, I could feel that extra blood pressure and I wasn’t going to let it stay high.

Step one – hot flushes suck!

I started taking Sage tablets, knowing that nothing works immediately. Over time though, the flushes started to diminish – hurrah!

Step two – I was in pain.

The extra weight was playing up my back and knees. After getting really fit for a charity walk in March, I had gone from walking 8 plus miles three times a week to nothing. I was afraid I would break!

My sister in law is a PT and so I enlisted her help. Initially we took baby steps and it was amazing to find someone who knew when to coax and knew when to push me a little. Gradually my breathing improved and I lost a couple of pounds. I started to get muscle tone and over time my knees and back stopped hurting – result!

After six months I was exercising three days a week and noticed the flushes and night sweats had mostly stopped. The sage? Fitness? I stopped the sage tablets to see and the flushes stayed away. Ooh! Perhaps exercise really is a thing?

Step Three – that extra weight stayed.

Despite exercising three days a week I had only lost two pounds. What would it take to make a change? I had heard someone say that the weight would come off when the menopause finished, but that could mean I had ten years to wait – I knew I had to try something else.

I decided to look at what exercise I had loved growing up. I joined a local gym that had a pool, jacuzzi and sauna (well we all need a bit of luxury right?), plus they did ballet classes! After 32 years off, my body took to ballet like a duck to water – who knew? I joined the Zumba class too and had to laugh as my feet and arms flailed about not quite in time to the music. I now swim and gym twice a week and ballet and Zumba on a Friday. I began to get way more muscles and the beginnings of a six pack. But…

Step Four – that pesky extra weight was still there!

A friend went to a local Slimming World class. I told her I would join after Christmas. I then had a little word with myself: this was the 1st of November – it was eight weeks until Christmas. How about I seize the day and get started now?

The group was lovely, Kelly who runs Slimming World in Keynsham was very supportive and before I tucked into a slice of turkey I was ten pounds lighter!

My BMI was down the two points, blood pressure in check and cholesterol – I’ll let you know soon! I felt comfortable in my own skin and finally gave away the size 22 top I’d hidden behind the Christmas before!

Feeling happier!

I now feel happier than ever, bouncier than ever before and I am sleeping like a baby. I have hit my target weight of losing a stone, which I genuinely felt was impossible.

Was it easy? Of course not! I had to learn a whole new way of eating. It was all about swaps and treating myself with things that are good for me. It was all about getting up at 6am and heading out to the gym in the dark no matter what the weather. It was about waking up with aches most days – good aches, but still aches!

Mostly though it was about taking back control of my body. It was shifting my internal language about myself from really, really negative to positive. It was learning new things about me – turns out five to six hours exercise a week suits me! It was knowing that I can make a difference – my mission always when I work with others but I have reaffirmed that I can do this for me too.

It can be hard, but if you really mean it you will find a way!

Before to after:

This year’s challenge: The Frenchay 10k! I have walked marathons, but running? Not me! Being a Trustee of the charity Paul’s Place changed all that when they were named as the receiving charity. You can read more here.

Big thanks to:

Michelle Matthews PT

Kelly Watts Slimming World

 

 

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