25 July 2013


After the recent weeks when we've travelled backwards and forwards cross-country to spend time with my poor darling Mum, and the last week since we lost her, which has brought a welter of decisions to take and preparations to make, I'm exhausted. We're away again this weekend to finalise some of the details to make Mum's funeral the very best we can achieve.

Last week's phone call (heck, can it really only be a week?) to let me know of the rather sudden decline in Mum's health came late on Wednesday afternoon - just as I was leaving work. We set straight off in the heat of a very sticky day after throwing a few random bits and bobs in the car, getting there in the early hours. All the next day was spent with her, holding her hand, stroking her hair and talking to her, even though she wasn't responding to voice or touch or anything - not even blinking. Still, I think she was somehow aware that we were with her and that we loved her very much. She finally slipped away from us late in the afternoon.

Understandably, I am (like all of the family) feeling like I'm missing an essential part of me. I'm tearful, sad, heartbroken, bereft - all the words you can think of really. Although I knew in my heart that we wouldn't have my darling Mum with us for much longer, and as much as I had tried to be prepared, this has all still come as a shock.

Last night I had a small melt-down when I was in the midst of creating an order of service sheet for Mum's funeral. Now, Powerpoint is something I've used lots in the past but, last night, my skills seemed to desert me and I kept making really silly mistakes. On came the waterworks and I cried and cried. Being the perfectionist I am, and wanting to make this last thing I can do for Mum absolutely perfect, I did the obvious thing. I started blaming myself and calling myself stupid. Dumb as a bag of spanners - that's definitely how I was feeling last night.

Oddly enough too, although the scales are vehemently denying this, as well as  understandably down I suddenly feel fat (hmmm, perhaps bloated is more accurate). Almost as though I've suddenly gained a stone or two - even though I haven't - and that I'm dragging this with me everywhere I go. I guess feeling 'weighed down' is sort of what I mean and that doesn't do much to make me feel better about myself, or the situation we are dealing with.

Sure, sure, the 'logical' bit of me can rationalise it as a response to bereavement, tiredness and stress, and knows that it is 'probably' only a fairly temporary feeling, but... my emotions do somewhat get the better of me at the moment. Is this part of grieving?

What's more I've found myself doing quite a bit of the 'hey, let's beat myself up' thing for some time as, with all the travelling we've been doing, my regular exercise habits have taken a bit of a battering too.

Some of the constant negativity and non-constructive self-talk is, I'm sure, all part of a generally emotionally 'low' period (fuelled by long standing worries and now losing my beloved Mum). This seems to be a time where I'm seeing all partially-filled glasses in my world as half-empty not half-full.

None of this bodes well. My nemesis, that old black dog, lurks right there in the wings just waiting for an opportunity to jump on me and give me a bit of a savaging. So, it's about time I took an honest look at what I have been doing and AM still doing and give myself a bit of credit.

So, to the confessional - the exercise part. OK, here goes - I am not getting on the rower each morning. You'll already have figured out that I really don't like this at all. I do want to get back to it, but I just can't do it right now. My almost constant dragging tiredness just cannot be totally ignored. Yep, the fat lass is knackered and yet a full-night's undisturbed sleep still eludes her! Typical, eh? Another aspect of the grieving process, maybe?

But... what I AM doing right is to:-

1)  take time to think about and follow my darling Mum's guidance and count my blessings. Even in the finality of her death, there are positive nuggets to be found, if I only search for them. Yes, I've lost her, but her spirit lives on and she will never, ever truly leave me.

2)  stick with low-carb and sensible portions 'most' of the time - with no spiralling descent into the perils of wall-to-wall comfort eating.

3)  stick with my daily walking, though it's hard at times. That's mornings and evenings with the walk to and from my bus journey, and lunchtimes to get out and about and moving for an hour whenever possible (even in this heat, 'cos sweaty I can deal with).

4)  stick to my morning abs exercises... in fact, I've increased them a bit and added a variation or two.

5)  incorporate some weights work for my arms to my morning routine. This is a relatively new venture which I've just started, but I aim to continue doing this about three days each week. Basically, this consists of sets of biceps curls (with a 4kg dumb-bell for now) and triceps overhead extensions and one-arm kickbacks (with just a 2kg weight... until I can track down a 3kg one).

So, fat lass... listen up and take this 'positive' stuff on board.

  • You will ALWAYS have Mum with you.
  • You are NOT the lazy mare you've been calling yourself.
  • You are NOT 'stupid' nor that 'failure' your mind sees.
  • You have NOT stuffed up completely like you've told yourself.
Yes, there's been a blip, but that's what it is... a short-term blip with some pretty deep roots in a lot of stress and worry. It will pass and, in the meantime, I must keep reminding myself that life can still be good.

So, stop trying to be 100% 'perfect' for 100% of the time, and stop hating yourself for anything less. Start loving yourself for the positive things you've achieved and are still achieving, and for the good in you that comes from the lovely lady your darling Mum was!

OK, self-talk over. Onwards, if slightly tearfully, ever...


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