Getting Active Again

So I am now “one of those people”I have started Couch to 5K ( a 9 week running programme) This won’t sound that remarkable to most people. A lot of people have exercise integrated into their lives, but it has taken me a long time to get back into it.

Spoiler: this post does not contain any before and after pictures, neither does it contain any inspirational quotes.

Why have I bothered?

I used to run when I was at School – always long distance. People thought I was mad for liking cross country but it was something I could do relatively well; running for my district and my county sometimes. But I didn’t keep the exercise up while I was at uni which was an error. I forgot the positive feeling of running and when I discovered my body wasn’t as healthy as I thought it was  in my early twenties I had kind of resigned myself, rather sadly, to never putting my trainers on again. I did yoga and the like but I didn’t really see myself as the regular gym going type.

I envied my friends who seemed to always be out on their bikes, or doing marathons and other amazing things, tracking their exercise and living by their fitbits but was never compelled to try and follow suit – seeing this level of activity as unattainable now my body decided it wanted to act as though I was an old lady. To this day, whenever I find my body struggling to do basic things I refer to it as being my old lady body or OLB for short.

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Healthy body, healthy mind?

In addition to my physical health, the prospect of going to the gym, running in public and the associated little/no make up look that often goes with it was also daunting for my mental health as well! I did try the gym for a while pre-instagram boom and anxiety had me in a state where I was convinced as soon as I left the gym people were laughing at me for even trying. I told myself that if I couldn’t do a ‘reasonable’ stint at the gym (what does that even mean?) It wasn’t worth going at all.

But here I am, almost on week 3 of ‘couch to 5K’. Going to the gym every other day, I have even having managed going running in public more than once. Week 1 I felt constantly shattered,  asking myself when I would feel like #thisgirlcan  and “I don’t sweat, I glow”. I wondered where the boundless energy associated with being healthy, could be located. But I have pushed through and I now think that doing something is better than doing nothing.

We live amidst an instagram frenzy with almost everyone on there and tons of lifestyle and fitness posts. I already notice a difference in gym goers. The guys are more muscly and the girls are leaner-more power to them but that is kind of intimidating as I kill myself on a treadmill.

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I get the impression that there is increasing pressure on young people to look good or to be living life in a certain way. I used to think the pressure was mainly on women but now I can see guys are expected to look a certain way as well. I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone who aspires to look like the instagram posts we see and is battling inner demons like the ones I have described above. I’m surprised at myself and am apprehensive that I will hit a wall sometime soon, but I’m no longer making excuses.

This post isn’t meant as a brag, I’m just happy my body is currently letting me get out of bed and more. I’m feeling a tad more positive and as though I now earn any time I choose to sit on the couch and do very little.

My next step is to make sure I couple this exercise with some decent, healthy food before/after the gym. Any tips on that would be gratefully received; @eemaalou 

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So it’s been a while, I have some news

Last time I wrote a post here I had been to an interview and had been feeling very frantic. Since then I had another interview I may blog about later (I was approached via social media which some people don’t believe can happen) but first; I HAVE SOME NEWS

I have been made permanent in my position at work

After having worked here for nearly 3 years my contract has gone from fixed term to permanent. I am seriously happy. This doesn’t mean I will stay here forever and I will continue to pursue opportunities for roles I am interested in BUT it does give me some stability. For the first time since graduating 4 years ago I feel I have something sorted. I have earned this.

The latest job search actually had me feeling more stressed and anxious than usual and I think that was clear from my last post. I’d like to thank all my friends who have listened and picked me up during this tricky period.

I have yet to decide whether to keep this page up. I had started it as a means of fine tuning my skills, then to try and help students learn more about certain job titles . I also try and share the great posts I enjoy reading a lot of which are written by friends of mine. Now I find myself increasingly tempted to blog about the things I am passionate about. Which may or may not be good for my online professional profile, I have definitely shared a lot with you. But there have been work related posts too!  However I will admit I got a little bit hippy-dippy around new years. I guess what I am saying is, it’s hard to see where to go from here…

SO HELP ME OUT PLEASE, INTERNET 🙂 

If any of you feel inclined to write a comment below telling me the kind of posts you’ve read on here and found interesting/useful or which kind you think I should keep writing that would be great.  hint… click the links above if you’re not so familiar.

How can you say no to that face?

 

 

Thoughts before, during and after an interview

So back on the job search and I was lucky enough to get an interview with a VERY good institution. I didn’t leave feeling completely confident and so on the train home, going over and over in my head how it had all gone I decided to jot a few of my thoughts down.

This could potentially reveal a lot about my anxious mind set when it comes to looking for jobs…I may have exaggerated some of these and these thoughts may or may not come with GIFs…

Before

Man I’m nervous, since when did my palms sweat this bad? I can’t shake hands with anyone like this.

Oh God, I’m early, better kill some time

I shouldn’t have had that coffee… I am PUMPED

OK, time to go… I could nail this/I’m pretty good.

I shouldn’t want it too much though, they will be able to tell if I want it too much

*waiting in reception* I am earlier than they asked me to be…I already look too keen

OH MY GOD I’m being greeted, pick up bag and look ready to go

*they’re not ready for me yet* I picked my bag up and looked like a total idiot. Poker face, officially gone.

During

*Has admin test to do* write two emails? Pffft, please! I’ve got this!

I have finished with 10 minutes to spare… could it really be this simple?

Re word that bit… no don’t …. no re word it

Maybe I should start over?

Re word that bit… no don’t… no do… no leave it

*Awkward conversation while we wait for panel to be ready*

They will see me now … OK breathe. There are four of them when they said there would be three?!

They all look super straight faced… this table is way too big for me to shake hands with them

My answers are way too long, better make them shorter

My answers are way too short now they are staring at me expectantly

Why didn’t I practice?!

After

I THINK I had the best rapport with the potential line manager, that’s a good thing right?

Oh God they thought I was stupid

I didn’t even get the chance to be enthusiastic about working with students!

I didn’t get it. I thought I would walk out of there like people in movies do walking away from explosions like “nailed it” … not so much

Now I am waiting to hear from them and in two minds about how I feel about it all…

No news is good news right?

I would have loved to have made this into a vlog but I am rubbish on camera and poor at editing…I’d also love to be able to give some advice about how to keep your cool, I use deep calm breathing (thank you yoga) but I think I need to avoid writing like I know it all… one thing I will share was that during the awkward conversation before the main interview the guy there shared some stories from when he was in recruitment where candidates let nerves get the better of them, safe to say there was no danger of me repeating what they had done. Wow. If you want to know more find me on twitter @eemaalou

I went to town on the GIFs in this post…sorry about that.

 

 

Don’t lose your head

So at the moment I have lots of things going on. Lots to think about and organise at work and lots of different things happening in my personal life. Not all of them bother me all the time but there seems to be an abundance of people doing rather grown up things! Some of the things I have to look forward to/go through in the next couple of months:

  • I have a hen do to go to in London 🙂
  • One of my closest friends is BUGGERING OFF sorry going away to Australia for like – ever so I have to do goodbyes with her 😦
  • One couple we know is getting married (hence hen-do)
  • A friend of mine announced she was pregnant yesterday
  • My best friend is buying a house!
  • I have an operation to endure (2nd one in 18months) recover from and seamlessly go back to work again afterwards.

With all of this in mind I needed an opportunity to stop. I was lucky last night as I went to see Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake with work colleagues and aside from being AMAZING it also managed to chill me out and make me forget about lots of thoughts buzzing around my head.

The music and movement was quite therapeutic. I also admired the amount of strength and control the dancers had -you could see the sheer concentration on their faces. It reminded me of when I used to do yoga (still yet to get back on that horse but I have a note – honest!) and how if you don’t focus and concentrate you will topple instead of looking like a strong tree or indeed a graceful swan. So although I have a lot on my mind I need to maintain focus and make sure I don’t get overwhelmed by emotion. I also need to make sure I don’t try and cross bridges before I get to them.

Serious skills

I know these posts have started to get a bit philosophical, personal and deep but I think it’s important to put yourself first and look after your health both physical and mental in order to get the best out of any kind of work you do. I am incredibly lucky to have great support from my boss and I think it’s important to be open and honest about your limits.

I hope that all the different things going on in my friends lives will bring about new and exciting changes but I also hope I keep their support as well. I am assured by older friends that even if you feel like you’re losing people because they move away, ABANDON YOU FOR AUSTRALIA, get married or have children there is always the possibility you will stay in touch even if you’re miles away.

Opportunity and progress

This weather makes me feel so positive so I thought I would share some positive vibes on here…

So recently I haven’t been so great at posting on here. It’s partly because I have been busy at work and also pretty bad at taking time away from my desk or to do something for myself which includes taking a proper lunch break.

I am faced with a challenge. I will be coordinating events in London. I will be travelling to Canary Wharf  twice over the next two weeks. I am excited and nervous. I find as I write this I keep typing “in London” after things lots. That’s because I haven’t traveled to London on my own before – something which might sound pathetic and make you think “aww cute” or “get a grip!” but you’ll also note from a previous post ( https://easea.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/the-only-one-standing-in-your-way-is-you/) it is something that I have not been brave enough to try. And that’s because I struggle with anxiety, something that will come as a shock to a lot of people who know me. I have thought about blogging about how anxiety impacts me at work but I’m not sure I’m that brave… I will say one thing though, yoga is fantastic for combating stress and anxiety and I really need to get back into that!

Shout out to my colleague at work who pointed me in the direction of the tubemaps app 🙂 I feel a bit better already.

Needless to say I don't ooze confidence like this guy
Needless to say I don’t ooze confidence like this guy

ANYWAY I hope that coordinating these events will be progress. And help build my confidence and generally make me feel like a more capable, professional person. A quote I found online the other day rang true with me…

Nothing ruins your twenties more than the thought that you have to have everything figured out – Unknown

I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to have all the answers and have everything in hand. It seems strange that an opportunity which I know I am perfectly capable of grasping and succeeding in could throw me off balance.

So here’s to sucking it up and going to the city. Wish me luck – details on how it all goes to follow