An anniversary…of sorts…

Today is my friend Jordi’s birthday and tonight we have celebrated with schnitzel and spritzes at Boopshi’s and it has been lovely.

What today also marks is the anniversary of the thing that (dramatically) nearly shuffled me off this mortal coil. This time last year I arrived at Jordi’s birthday party at Honey & Co and promptly burst into tears on my friends because I felt A Bit Unwell; my chest hurt and I couldn’t breathe properly and it was all a bit weird and scary.  And then I decided to ignore it for two weeks. Probably not the most sensible decision I’ve ever made, but sod it – I got to spend a week on holiday with my mum at our cottage when I would have otherwise been in hospital.  I had a fabulous birthday, with lots of wine, a spectacular tasting menu and presents, when I would have otherwise been in hospital.  I was also around to be made godmother to these gorgeous girls, before I admitted myself, later that night:

So I have no regrets about waiting two weeks before I submitted myself to nearly a week’s residency in hospital and 6 months of stressful, weekly(ish) hospital appointments. (DISCLAIMER: obviously if you get chest pains and can’t breathe, go to A&E sharpish, yes?  I do not encourage flippancy.)
So I’m a year down the line and I haven’t felt like blogging much because I haven’t had a lot to say.  It’s safe to say that it’s been a strange year, full of highs and many deep lows. The months after my pulmonary emboli were very, very dark.  I was very unhappy and really quite shocked by what had happened to me.  I had always known that I was overweight and unhealthy and, if I’m honest, I’d been waiting for something bad to happen, but I didn’t really think it would actually happen to me.  So it took a lot of adjusting.  Happily, it was only really 6 months of true hideousness and I came out the other side feeling pretty invincible.
I was given one hell of reality check.  I’m naturally a fairly fatalistic person – I think that when it’s your time to go, it’s your time, and had that happened to me last year, so be it.  I’m OK with that – I was then and I am now.  BUT. But.  Patently, it wasn’t my time.  I’ve been given another chance and – however wanky this may sound – I feel very strongly that if something or someone has dictated that I’m going to live, I’d better bloody start living a bit better, because I was making a real hash of it.  I was lazy, depressed and unappreciative.
I struggled for months to find my way until my dietitian said to me in a particularly dark moment “You know how to diet.  You’re just not doing it.  It’s time for you to throw some money at this.  You need to try a personal trainer.”  I did a bit of crying – frustration, patheticness – and then I contacted someone that night and I have never looked back.  That was about 3 months ago and, let’s not be under any illusions, I’m still a fatty, but I’m a little bit less of a fatty.  Jordi even said I looking thin tonight (LIES, but I’ll take what I can get.)
I am now seeing my personal trainer twice a week and those hours are absolutely my favourite hours of the week.  I’d see her daily if I was loaded.  Do you know how much fun boxing is?  And weights?  I’m a bit of a hard-ass and strong so it’s FUN.  I’m getting fitter and stronger and more determined which is all good and great, but the best bit is I’m HAPPY.  Or, at least, happier. I always thought it was bullshit when people said that thing about endorphins from exercise making you happier, but it turns out I’m the stupid one because it’s absolutely true.  We’re going to start running soon and apparently we’re going to sign up to a 5k race in September/October.  I’m lucky – my personal trainer is rapidly becoming one of my most favourite people, so she makes it easy.
And my diet is starting to get better again. I’m working slightly silly hours at the moment and I spent a few weeks living on spaghetti and instant noodles and feeling so carby bloated, until I bought this guy:
I don’t care what anyone says, Tilda microwaveable brown rice is brilliant. Ditto Innocent’s Thai coconut veg pots. And the absolute king of foods?  Unearthed garlic prawns.  Mixed with half angel hair spaghetti and half spiralised courgette, they are the ultimate fast, healthy food that makes you happy.  I can also heartily recommend mini magnums.  170 calories of pure, unadulterated joy and one really is enough.
And I have a goal for this diet malarkey.  DECEMBER 25th.  Yes, it is the day that the baby Jesus was born and when we get to overeat turkey.  It’s also the day that I’m flying to Australia to go and visit my sister and her family in Melbourne.  This will be my third trip to Melbourne and I am DETERMINED that I won’t be fat when I’m there, if only because it could be over 40 degrees celsius.  I cannot even begin to fathom how hot that will be (London was 27c today – I WANTED TO DIE), but it probably means that thick black jeans and long sleeved black tops won’t be weather appropriate.  So, the challenge is set.  I’m (mutter mutter) XXX stone and 8 lbs today.  I have 161 days until my holiday and I’d like to lose 3 stone in that time.  That’s 42lbs which is nearly 2lbs a week which is probably a tad ambitious, but hey.  AIM HIGH.
And in other positive, uplifting news, I appear to have a date (or two) in the pipeline.  Watch this space.
Life is on the up, I think.

11 thoughts on “An anniversary…of sorts…

  1. Fran this made me well happy to read. I am so proud of you – I remember realising the same things – of course you’re strong. I thought you looked markedly thinner when I saw you yesterday. But more important than that – you’re happier. Its ace.

    • Jordi said I looked thinner too which is weird because I haven’t lost any weight really. I think I’m changing shape a bit though which I’m LOVING.

  2. Hi! I’m a total stranger but having seen your face here and there on the blog I’m pretty sure it was you I saw in the changing rooms at the gym recently, and I thought, YAY Fran!
    Also, great stuff with the weights. I love doing weights; it’s great to feel strong and you do burn more calories as a result of more muscle tone. GRRR etc.
    Good luck with the goals and remember with running (which I kinda hate a lot of the time), everyone has days when they feel like they’re running uphill, but any running is better than no running, so get out and plod, baby.

    • Really?! At Canary Wharf or in the City? What a small world! I really need to get my arse to the gym more, but it’s just not as fun as pottering about in the park with my PT. Thanks for the well wishes!

      • The city! Yeah the gym’s a bit of a bore, I probably only go twice a week, the rest of the time I cycle or run. Outside always better – I find looking at screens makes the time drag, plus you get more endorphins from the great outdoors, even when the weather’s a bit crap!

      • I really need to go more but I just kind of hate the gym. Swimming I love but it’s such a ballache to do after work. If you see me there again, say hello!

  3. You rock. What a great update to read. You will get there I’m sure – and you’re already bound to be tonnes healthier

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