Head Space

By telling myself that I hadn’t failed last week (because I drank all the wine and missed a run) I managed to go out and make great progress during week 5 of my couch to 10k. I was quite worried, thinking as I had missed that run I would be behind and had thrown my whole carefully planned schedule off kilter, and it made me feel worse. So instead I didn’t think about it, and when Monday rolled around I got up, put my kit on and went to the gym and ‘smashed it’ as those hopped up gym bunnies say.

It was great, after the run my problem was a teeny tiny little bump that I couldn’t even see, whereas before the run it was a looming, mocking blockade with ‘I knew you would fail’ scrawled all over it.  I didn’t need to follow that plan to a T in order to achieve what I wanted. I just needed to stay positive, keep determined and just do it. Maybe the creators of that Nike slogan were also anxious and hungover with a deadline.

For those of you who are not aware, week 5 of the c210k trainer includes a 20 minute, non-stop run, which for a n00b is a tough pill to swallow. I bloody well went for it though, which has been a successful attitude throughout this journey so far. I downloaded a new ‘No such thing as a Fish’ podcast (thank you, Lizzie) and went at my own pace. I am still bad at stretching before a run, so I started off slowly until my limbs felt warm and fluid, it is a hard feeling to explain, but when you get there you feel like you were built to run, like a well-made machine. I have been running outdoors a bit more in this sunny weather as the London Parks Half Marathon won’t be on a treadmill, and it is rather pleasant. Let’s hope the sun sticks around over Easter. x

How can hypnotherapy help me quit smoking?

Hypnotherapy sessions to help you give up smoking are a little different than 50 minute sessions to help you lose weight or eliminate stress. Firstly, it is one 2 hour session, so you will only need one visit. Secondly, the information used to help you quit is provided solely by you.

The session begins with a conversation about your smoking, which allows both the client and the hypnotherapist to understand your history and attachment to smoking. This makes it a very personal service, tailored precisely to you and your needs, giving it a much higher success rate.

After this information has been discussed you, the client, will be inducted into hypnosis. This is not as scary or sci-fi as the media makes it look, it merely means getting your mind and body to relax and be more open to suggestion. You remain in complete control the entire time. Using the information gained earlier, these personal reasons for quitting smoking are relayed back to you when you are in the right frame of mind for them to have a meaningful impact. This is incredibly powerful, and it works if you are 100% committed to giving up smoking.

After the session of hypnosis you are gently reconnected to the outside world and are able to ask any questions or discuss any feelings or thoughts that may have appeared.

Find out if this service will work for you.

Get in touch, begin the end of your smoking habit.

Mistake!

I have been quite pleased with my progress this week, I have fought the urge to lie in 2/3 times and ran a little faster and a little further. I have strengthened my mindfulness technique by focusing on a spot in front of me until it gets a little blurry which allows me to feel anchored. I then can focus on relaxing the muscles in my jaw, my back and feel my legs move more fluidly, taking my mind off of the fact that I am ‘working’ my body. My concern was how to feel anchored running outside with out a specific spot to focus on.

So on Friday I thought that I would postpone my run until Saturday and instead of running on a treadmill I would run, wild and free, along the Whistle Way in Narborough. I met my friend and her husband for dinner at The Gate in Osbaston on Friday evening, where we shared a bottle of wine with dinner, and agreed to continue the joviality at her home in Bosworth. On the way to their home we bought two bottles of wine. At her home we drank two bottles of wine. At some blurry point after this vodka and lemonade seemed like a rational idea and that is all I remember from Friday evening.

Honestly I did not know what physical shape I was on Saturday morning. I woke up at 8am, stumbled to the shop and bought bacon, a cob and orange juice. Retreated home, consumed items and spent maybe 5 hours trying to keep still and wailing like a wounded Chewbacca. Needless to say I missed Saturday’s run, but I know now not to overindulge on wine and that mistakes can happen. I recovered, ate better and drank my body weight in water and am now ready for Week 4!

 

Staying on my feet

Week 2 of my couch to 10k training is now complete. I feel I did really well on my Wednesday run (2.43 miles in 35 minutes) but on my Friday run I felt a bit stiff, and on reflection probably looked a bit like an un-oiled tin man for the first ten minutes. This has taught me to s-t-r-e-t-c-h before every run, as stiff muscles make it unnecessarily harder.

I have been applying for jobs as often as I can this week as the charity I work for, the Royal Voluntary Service, has not confirmed they have the funding to keep me on after March 31st. This in itself is very stressful as, I sure most of you can relate, money seems a bit tight, especially towards the end of the month. Running has actually helped me a lot, which is surprising to me. At the end of the day, when my administration role has left me snow blind from paper work and my mind has gone after rewriting my CV so many times, I feel useless, angry and fed up. However, reflecting back on the day or week those three runs I have completed are golden gems that make me feel like I have accomplished something, and it makes me feel happier.

Reflecting on your day or week could help lighten your mood too. Especially if you mentally hunt for situations or experiences you feel grateful to have had. I speak to a lot of older, isolated people through the Royal Voluntary Service, and it leaves me feeling extremely thankful that I have the ability to run and the opportunity to get out there and do it for myself.

What’s stopping you?

Week One Complete!

 

I have finally started training! After going through my calendar last week and finding out that the couch to 10k takes 14 weeks to go through, I decided I had better get going!

I will finish c210k in June and from there will continue to run 3 miles twice a week and alternate between 3 miles and subsequently longer runs until October 8th – Half Marathon Day.

Running is definitely all in the mind. I found on the third run of the week I was thinking more about my breathing, counting each in breath and out breath to keep them measured and trying to expand my diaphragm and breathe more deeply, and it seemed so much quicker than the first 2. Thinking ‘I can’t do this’ made me all wobbly on the treadmill and panic a lot more, so I’m aware that I need to control my thoughts a lot more. I have found focusing on a single point really helps, and not the timer.

Also, standing under an air vent is a must as BOY does my face glow after a 30 minute run!

Keep posted for more tales, and if you enjoyed reading this please contribute to my JG page.

 

Running…out of excuses

I have volunteered myself to run the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October, and I have yet to actually start training. In my mind I am a fast, graceful runner, breathing in the scent of nature as I run through a beautiful woodland path. In reality, the fastest I move is from my car to my front door as I scurry in from the wet weather. I have enjoyed two 3 mile walks this week and I have categorised that as ‘pre-training’, who says that isn’t a thing?

I have my running shoes, I have now set up my Just Giving page and donated £25 of my own hard earned money to confirm my place, now I just need to start. I have worked out a plan. I will start my couch to ten-kilometre run this week I will then be able to run 10k by mid-June. I plan to continue running 5k three times a week after that but swapping the last 5k for a longer run on alternate weeks. Gradually increasing my distance by a mile every fortnight and so I will reach 13 miles on October 8th. Sounds easy, right?

I am quite nervous about this, I don’t want to fail but I know I can walk if I need to. I am probably more worried about succeeding. I do not want to be an annoying half marathon runner, touting the benefits of running to uninterested parties, but I do want to get fitter and feel and see improvements in myself. Hopefully, once training begins I will tune out these negative comments.

I can use hypnotherapy here, by allowing my mind to relax and creating a scene where my friends and family are supporting me and cheering me on. Where no one feels I am talking down to them or showing off my running and exercise plan. It is incredible how powerful the state of relaxation is, the inner sceptic is silenced and my dreams of being a light, graceful woodland runner become tangible. leaving me feeling confident and accomplished. Everyone will have their own reasons for not achieving their goals, they will also have their own motivations for accomplishment. If you want to find yours, get in touch using my contact page, I am here to help if you want it.

If you enjoyed reading this please support me via JustGiving

Thank you for reading.

What does Hypnosis feel like?

Hypnosis is a conscious state of relaxation, this means that you are aware of yourself and your surroundings at all times. Have you ever been lost in a daydream where someone has had to wave their hand or click their fingers in front of you to gain your attention? That is hypnosis. A more familiar example is ‘Highway Hypnosis’. This is when you are driving and your mind wanders, thinking thoughts of dinner or something funny someone said at the office that day, and you find yourself pulling into your driveway and not remembering your journey home.

You can be guided into the state of hypnosis and use it to your advantage. To begin, you will be asked to focus your attention on one thing, depending on your personality and level of comfort. This could be your breathing or a specific mark on the opposite wall. Your attention will be set on this one thing, and you find that external noises seem to fade away. If you are staring at something for a while it may come in and out of focus and you find your attention moves between your heavy eyelids and the mark on the wall. The hypnotherapist will then suggest you focus on various muscles and let them relax. This was incredible the first time I was hypnotised. I was very sceptical and tense about the situation and didn’t realise that I stored that tension in my shoulders until someone suggested that I relax them. They must have dropped about a foot and I immediately felt more relaxed and comfortable.

The therapist will then suggest you relax each of your muscles in turn, allowing your mind to focus on one part of your body at a time until you have released all tension from each part of your body. This will leave you feeling quiet, calm and relaxed and yet still completely aware of your body and your surroundings.After a few moments of this, the therapist will suggest you bring your attention back to your breathing and move a part of your body, which reconnects you with the outside world.

This is how you can be consciously guided into the relaxing state of hypnosis. This ten-minute guide will leave you feeling relaxed and calm. A longer session would include a deepener to access your subconscious and help you address areas in your life that you are not happy with. I will discuss this in next weeks’ post ‘How the subconscious is involved’.

 

 

5 steps to run a Half marathon

It is Sunday 26th February 2017, due to a family gathering and a tasty dinner I am writing this much later than I thought, but I am writing it, I am beginning.

I have wanted to lose weight and get leaner for a very long time, it is pretty much in the start of every journal, the resolution of every year and by far the one thing that makes me feel like a consistent failure. I feel I have tried different approaches but I either lose interest or get side tracked, so I am trying something new.

I have chosen to run the Royal Parks Half Marathon on behalf of the Royal Voluntary Service on Sunday 8th October 2017. I intend to raise £300 by then for the charity, which provides assistance to people in Leicester age 55+ as they come home out of hospital.

This gives me 7 months to prepare for the 13.1mile run and I am not a runner. I have completed a 5km race for breast cancer a year ago, using the Couch to 5k App, but something clicked in my determination after that event and I just stopped running.

The POA (Plan Of Action)

  1. Firstly, writing here on this public space, committing my intentions to myself and to others in word form.
  2. Understanding my goal and why I want to achieve it.
  3. Undergoing the Couch to Half Marathon Training
  4. Reflecting on my weekly runs using this blog and planning the runs for the week ahead.
  5. Using my own Relaxation Therapy to motivate me and keep me focused every step of the way.

This week I intend to run on Tuesday 28th February, Thursday 2nd March and Saturday 4th March. It will be a challenge and I would love any support or advice anyone can offer me. If you have any questions please comment below and I will respond as soon as I can.

Be Happy, Healthy and Mindful!