Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Well let me tell you something Mean Gene...

The training, the prayers and the vitamins.

Channelling my inner Hulk Hogan (without
all the steroids and lying and being a monster)
This week's blog reading music is Rose Tattoo by Dropkick Murphys.  I think I had a Dropkick Murphys track one week previously, but I love love them. It's St Patrick's Day as I write, I'm going to see them on Saturday and I actually have a rose tattoo so I think it's fair to double-dip.  On a different tip I'm going to see Squarepusher this week too, if you're more into mental drum & bass than you are Celtic punk then download his newly released track from his forthcoming album for free here, it's a stormer.

I've been thinking this week about the benefits of this healthier lifestyle I've been trying to follow the last 6 months or so.  You have the obvious health benefits of losing weight, getting fitter but there's definitely more to it than just the physical side.  I've always had problems with depression, low self esteem, emotional eating and a real problem with social anxiety.  I always get really tense and awkward in large groups, have trouble starting conversations, get tongue tied, frustrated... I hate it.  Give me 1 or 2 people I know and a dark corner and I'm in my element but take me to a birthday party and my skin will crawl and I'll spend the whole night looking at the clock.  I used to smoke and that gave me a great excuse to step out of social situations for 10 mins at a time and relax, now I don't even have that to fall back on.  Luckily, my social life's pretty much limited to interactions with the lovely Diana, (Bambo, our amazing cat) and a handful of close friends.

But I've noticed a difference.  I'm in the gym all the time at the moment, I'm so addicted, but I've been talking to people.  Not just passing the time with the trainers or one or two people I've worked with, or being polite and then moving on but actually enjoying talking to strangers and I realised I really feel different about interacting with people. I'm actively looking forward to going out to a couple of fights that are coming up with people from 12 Rounds.  Now, I'll never be a social butterfly but compared to a year ago there's a real change. I definitely have more confidence, a calmer approach and it's also been ages since my last depressive 'episode' and the difference, at a least a big part of, comes from the exercise and diet.  Now the atmosphere in the gym goes a long way towards this too, 12 Rounds go out of their way to make the classes feel inclusive and when we've done a body-breaking circuit together at the end of class there's always a sense on camaraderie.

But my body feels so much better so how could my mind not?  I'm eating loads of vegetables & protein, cutting down of carbs, supplementing with fish oil (good for the brain as well as the joints apparently) limiting my caffeine & sugar and cut out wheat and booze almost completely (it turns out when I get drunk I then get depressed a day or two later, took me cutting it out to notice) combine this with all the exercise and I feel legitimately better than ever in my head as well as my body, I'm motivated, positive and enthusiastic and doing my utmost not to be an annoying prick about it.  And on top of all that I feel like I can strike up a conversation with a stranger at the gym.

Maybe not in a pub though.  One thing at time.

Yeah, sometimes I still need pudding.

This baked oatmeal with apple and blueberries was much
healthier than an apple pie and was FUCKING DELICIOUS.

No cute cat video this week because I don't think any kitty could be cuter than this baby elephant having a bath, enjoy!

The next 12 Rounds Boxing fundamentals course starts 13th April, perfect for beginners if you fancy getting the gloves on.  Sign up here.

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