Lacking Grace

Hi guys, it’s been a while, and for that I apologise. We had a surprisingly lovely Easter holidays, despite me booking the wrong week for annual leave, and I have been super busy in the garden, and as this is not supposed to be a gardening blog I felt I shouldn’t bore you too much with those specifics. I have also been pretty busy, and pretty resentful about working so much, but don’t really want to moan on about that one either. I’ve just realised that despite working in the same job for nine years now, every two and a half years I’ve had a year off for maternity leave, which has really helped me regain the love when I’ve been getting totally fed up with it all. Now, with no new baby on the horizon I will just have to work my way through the wall and find the love again even when it can feel like a total slog. I’m sure it will get easier, my first step is to stop saying yes to extra shifts all the time.  I need to give myself a break.

I am not a natural exerciser. When leaving school I won the ‘award’ for the least sporty person in my year. As a small child I did dancing, and was terrible at it, and absolutely adored it. I did the lot, ballet, tap, contemporary, any class I could, and was equally bad at them all. The fact that I was, and still am, ridiculously tall, meant that I had very little control over my crazily flailing limbs. I was also a foot taller than anyone else in my class, just emphasising the fact that I was always the oldest in each class as I was rarely felt ready to take exams and proceed to a more advanced class.

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This sense of physical awkwardness has continued with me throughout my life, and is actually the cause of my blog name, I felt as I had absolutely no grace outwardly, I should actively try to at least have some inner grace. Not certain I achieve it, but it reminds me to keep trying.

I was always academic, and apart from the dancing I very much lived within my mind. In fact for a long time I didn’t really want to even think about the fact I had a physical body as well. Becoming a doctor within a very practical specialty has helped me integrate my mind and body slightly, and then going through pregnancy, birth and years of breastfeeding it has been pretty much impossible to forget I have a physical, rather knackered body, that I have to take into account also.

The glorious weather recently has motivated me to be out, working, in the garden at every possible opportunity. Strangely I have been feeling, so strongly, and for maybe the first time in my life, that I am really connected with my body, and really enjoying moving it more. I am getting real satisfaction not only from how beautiful my garden is looking, but also how it feels to bend and stretch and squat and reach and lift, whilst working in it. It has felt just wonderful to be able to do that, especially with the spring sunshine on my skin. Since recognising this feeling I have found myself more keen to move generally, and often find myself dancing round the kitchen, in the shower, with the kids, just because I want to move and love how it feels

This increased joy of movement, combined with staying at my mum’s house where there are mirrors everywhere has made me decide I should maybe actively try to look after myself better. In our house we have no mirrors, except the one I bought specially to live in the hallway so I could check my baby was properly wrapped on my back before I left the house. I only catch glimpses of myself in reflections in windows normally, and it is easy to ignore those.

With both babies I have naturally lost all my baby weight, plus an extra stone or so, when they were about 18 months old. I’m guessing it’s hormonal because neither time did I try to lose weight at all. I had a similar experience when I had my implant taken out, I lost almost three stone without even trying. Sadly though after each of these natural losses I have put all the weight back on again just as easily. I am now the heaviest I have been except when pregnant and with my increased awareness of this fabulously useful body of mine, I feel like I should do something to help it out.

To this end I have signed up for a six week internet program with health, diet, and exercise, aimed at mums with kids who need some extra help to look after themselves whilst trying to look after annoying, distracting, exhausting small humans too. I have never actively tried to diet, and I don’t intend to now either, but moving more and eating less magnum ice creams would definitely be a step in a positive direction. I think there is also quite a focus in this program on core strength and the good old pelvic floor. I have to say (too much information alert!) that after a third degree tear and then a 10lb3 baby, mine has pretty much left the building. I did get referred to a gynae physio (just the very thought of it makes me shudder) when my first baby was about six weeks old. Now seriously, at that point I was still pretty much crying every half an hour and had forgotten what sleep was. My entire life had crumbled around my ears and I had no idea what my name was. I was in pretty much constant pain and my baby cried if I didn’t bounce her up and down for sixteen hours a day so that was probably not really the time to be thinking about Kegels. I never went back, and have been hiding my head in the sand ever since.

I’ll let you know how I get on, don’t go expecting miracles! But I will hopefully at least have a beautiful garden to show for all my energies!

 

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