Waiting for the Almighty…I mean exam results

When your future lies in other people’s hands…

Waiting for exam results is one of the most horrid things you can do.  This week saw me get the results of an essay and an exam.  The essay was a pleasant surprise.  My best score yet for this year, on a paper that I had a slight worry I’d gone off track with.  It wasn’t enough to make me think I’d fail.

However; when your tutor had hammered on about how essential it was to include multiple details from the case study (which is referring to details that are 4 years out of date), and all your referenced information sources are giving total different answers because they are more current.  Yeah, you can start to think you’re going to lose marks.

Exam results

The business exam was my nagging issue though.  I dislike exams to begin with.  Not because I don’t know the information  or I haven’t studied, but that whole feeling of my future lies on what I can produce in the next 60-180 minutes.  I usually go blank for the first 10 minutes with a complete mind block; trying to pick out a question I can answer easily to get me started.

The exam threw everyone in my class, as the structure of it was nothing like we had expected.  We all knew about the multiple choice questions, and the fact that on some sections we had to go careful. If we got the answers wrong; we didn’t just not gain marks, we actually lost them too.  However; no-one was expecting the two essay style questions that were worth three-quarters of the entire paper’s marks.

Now I’m usually pretty reasonable.  I know I am good at what I do. I have a tendency to waffle (as you may notice); but on the whole I understand and retain things enough, so that waiting for assignment results means I’m expecting to pass.  It’s my own pride that wants it to be more than just a pass, and to be one of the top scorers.

For this exam though; I even got to the point I enquired about the procedures for re-sitting the module, I was that sure I’d flunked it.  My friends know that’s not like me, and it’s been a rough few weeks.  I tried to put it to the back of my mind, but failing would mean a change in some short-term plans I’m trying to arrange, and set me back in the longer term plans I have.

Guess this shows up one of my personal failings though, and that’s I don’t deal well with situations that are out of my control.  I’m not OCD over things in a major way.  Day-to-day I’m pretty laissez-faire in the fact if you can do something better than me, or want to do something different, then go for it.  Everyone’s life is their own to lead; if it doesn’t impact negatively on mine or my family’s, I don’t care what you do.

I just hate it when my future depends on someone else’s decisions that I have no control over.  Mainly for the fact that I lose the certainty factor of things being achievable, and doubts creep in.  Guess that’s why I do tend to have a more pessimistic view on life.  Not because I’m trying to be depressive; but more for the fact that I believe if I prepare for the worst, anything less is a bonus.

Anyway; after being told results were up on Tuesday for checking, and a few moments of ‘I can’t look.’  I went to check my mark, then sat in shock for the rest of the evening as not only did I pass, but somehow I passed with an A.  Several days later, and after a conversation with my tutor, I’m still bemused on how well I did.  Guess there’s something  in this 42 year old brain after all.

Yes I passed

Naked Workout

Pushing through the excuses

This morning I woke up and my body ached.  While I have been getting back into working out, some days I find it hits me harder than expected.  So as I lay listening to the kids getting ready for school (my kids are teenagers and it’s not often I get to lie in) I started to procrastinate.

I needed a shower, but there seemed no point before working out.  However I couldn’t be bothered with the idea of getting dressed to work out, to undress for a shower, to get redressed to go to work. (I volunteer in my local Barnardos donation centre on a Friday.)  Deep down I knew the way my head was going I’d get up, get dressed, make a coffee and start pottering around the house, avoiding the workout completely.

So my train of thought went to ‘I’ll grab a shower and workout tonight after work’.  Then I remembered that my daughter was having a friend over for the night, and I’d probably find more excuses to avoid my workout.  Especially when it’s the first time this friend has stayed over, and not been subjected to the swearing and grunting that accompanies me as I train.

At this point I realised it was now or never, so I dragged myself out of my bed and fell across the hallway to my gym.  I sleep naked, but I really didn’t care, there was only me in the house so who could complain?

Three sets into my first exercise I began to feel the burn and walked around the room in between sets to allow for a little recovery.  Problem is in every bedroom; one of which my gym is set up in, there are built-in wardrobes that have floor-to-ceiling mirrored doors.  My head was still not fully into the workout, and walking around meant I kept seeing myself in the mirror which wasn’t doing much for my mood.

It was then I stopped dead and stood looking at myself.  Yes; my breasts sag; and my belly hangs so low it looks like I’m wearing an apron, but I started to notice other things.  My arms don’t jiggle when I move, they’re not really defined, but I don’t suffer with saggy batwing underarm skin.  My traps are noticeable as are my calves.  My thighs may be large; but again while there is fat, I can see the muscle beneath.  My glutes are quite tight too.

Then it hit me; despite how I feel about myself when I look in the mirror there are positive aspects to my body.  I also have a man from halfway around the world who is waiting for me, and has been waiting for a long time because he loves me.  He fell in love with me when I was at my largest and even though I am not happy with the way I look; the training and nutrition advice he gives me is because I want to change, not because he thinks I should.  After that I went back to the rest of my workout with a more positive attitude in my head.

strength

I’ve talked to a few people over the years in situations similar to mine, and put simply it seems there are two major factors that enable someone to change.  The first is knowledge, and knowledge can be learned.  No matter how you want to go about getting healthier (weight training, crossfit, swimming, martial arts, dieting), there is always someone you can find who will help tutor you.

The second is willpower, and this is the hard one.  Willpower is not a skill you pick up in class or that someone can teach you.  Willpower comes from within, it’s the mental strength you gain as you see progression and feel good about yourself, but it’s also the driving force that pushes you into action when the last thing you want to do is train.  It’s the inner strength you have to look beyond the negatives to keep going; because no-one else can change you, except you.

My knowledge has never been an issue (though I still have loads to learn), it’s my willpower allowing me to put my knowledge into actions that has always failed me.  Having Bill does help as he points out the positives when I’m blinded by my own darkness, but writing this blog I hope will also help me to stay positive and keep driving forward.  It’s not going to be easy; there’s no quick fix, but I’m a stubborn woman and I will succeed because I want to.

Where to begin…

Welcome to my journey

It’s hard to know where to begin; but I guess I’m just looking for a new way to give myself some accountability, and also to remind myself that despite setbacks over the last 18 months I’m not where I once was.

Around 2010 I was morbidly obese with multiple health issues.  I weighed in at over 180kg, suffered with depression and had major family issues going on.  A broken marriage, three kids (two of who have varying autistic disabilities), a poor support network and no idea of how to drag myself out of the darkness I was living in.

birthday
Yup this was me; despite the smile on my face I was dying inside

Fast forward to today.  A lot happened over the past seven years; too much to put in here as my first post, but it will get touched upon over time.  The basic gist though revolves around meeting a guy (Bill); who despite living halfway round the world from me, has cajoled, sweet talked and busted my butt as he taught me to believe in myself and my abilities.

I could lie and say it’s been all open roads and plain sailing, but I won’t.  In all honesty it has been up and down over sleeping policemen, slamming into potholes, navigating diversions and hitting road closures.  The biggest hurdle being around 18 months ago when; despite the fact I’d just reached double digits (coming in just under 100kg) a multitude of issues saw me spiral back into my darkness, losing my way yet again.

Now I’m sat kicking myself; fluctuating around 125kg, cursing the fact that there are times I just can’t control my headspace.  It’s not all bad though.  Bill has been beside me all this time; and keeps believing in me, even when I can’t.  Now I’m ready to get back into the game and this blog is part of that.

Oh just to clarify; while I may speak about my weight, the reality is I have no target weight to aim for and I don’t believe in dieting.  I weight train and try to ensure my food choices reflect the lifestyle I want to aim for.  My journey is about body recomposition and a healthy lifestyle; not weight targets, fad diets or quick fixes.