You may remember back in August I was feeling really really tired and had a gruff hoarse voice. Something hadn’t felt right since I’d had a nasty throat infection in February. My doctor even sent me to an ENT specialist to check for cancer (once you’ve had cancer, I think GPs are particularly vigilant). It all came back clear. Whilst a relief, it didn’t really help with the exhaustion (or voice). I had felt that it had to be linked to the February infection but on a whim I looked up exhaustion and hoarse voice as a possible menopause symptom. To my surprise they were! Who knew?!
Anyway, whatever the cause, it was getting harder and harder to keep up with every good thing I had built up regarding my health. In a rather cruel twist, my healthy habits were not making me feel any healthier. As you know, I slowed down on all things healthy over August, too busy with wedding prep and also just not feeling well enough to do all I had been doing. The weight loss stagnated and I stopped feeling as proud of myself…yet again my efforts to improve my health floundered. Why could I not get this right?
Good Habits Tend to Stick Around
What I hadn’t realised is that good habits, genuine good habits which you have done relentlessly and faithfully over time, don’t just disappear. My son encouraged me to just do a bit. So I did. I kept eating my incredibly healthy super charged porridge each morning. Walking the dog still happened, it was just over shorter distances. My morning routine may have been unachievable but my beloved bedtime routine still routined…
Slowly but surely I began to feel better. I honestly think I had the remnants of an infection in my throat which was making talking hard and also was contributing to the exhaustion. Time was all I needed, and maybe a little break from the intensive routines I had set myself.
New Habits, Same Results
As I slowly started to feel more myself, I added a little bit more and a little bit more (habit stacking, if you will). Before, I was doing much of my walking in the early morning, walking for about an hour. Now I walk Harv round the block in the morning and then take him for a longer walk at lunch. I still walk for an hour in total (in fact, I think it is a little longer than that) but changing the timing has helped. Although I’m not really sure why. I’m getting more sleep because I do not need to get up so early, so maybe that’s why?
Going forward, I would like to tentatively add more things in. This time, I will be looking at my day as a whole rather than a sequence of blocks. This will hopefully ensure more balance. For example, a walk at lunch breaks up sitting at my desk. It is also giving me much more energy for the afternoon (traditionally a low energy time for me). And it stops me eating lunch. I eat breakfast at 11 so don’t really need lunch. However, if everyone else around me is eating lunch then I will too regardless if I’m hungry. I’m hoping this might help with the weight loss.
I am so pleased to be feeling more myself again. Suddenly it doesn’t feel like I am walking through treacle. Every task I do doesn’t feel hard anymore. And best of all my voice seems to be back to normal. So not menopause, after all!