I was so happy to be at home for Christmas this year, and most importantly well enough to be able to enjoy it. I was able to take part, to help out my Mum and Dad, to be able to visit and spend time with my friends and my family, and to just be able to take it all in and enjoy the simple things about Christmas.
As the darker colder weather begins to creep in from September onwards it’s somehow easier to endure and put aside that change in weather because of the whole exciting lead up to Christmas, however, it’s after Christmas when I tend to begin to struggle. January and February are so dark, cold, wet, and just so dreary, the January blues definitely start to kick in, once Christmas is over I feel I really need something to keep me going until March when Spring is upon us and it starts to get brighter, warmer and cheerier.
I have to say I really over indulged with junk food during Christmas, I absolutely fell in to the “Ah sure it’s Christmas” mentality and it really backfired on me. As soon as December arrived any resilience I had just disappeared, my sugar cravings worsened due to a bad spell of fatigue. By the time Christmas came around it was actually beginning to really get me down, I was eating so much junk food, it was time to make a plan! I didn’t want to be stuck in a rut with January looming. People often say how Christmas is all about over indulging and I do agree with that, but if it’s a case it starts affecting your mental health then it’s definitely food for thought.
Exercise & Healthy Eating
It’s quite simple, after the overindulgence of Christmas my plan was to use healthy eating and exercise as a way to give myself that boost I needed. My aim for January in terms of exercise was for 3 runs a week for the month of January. As for the healthy eating, no crisps, sweets, chocolate or alcohol for the month of January, I guess alcohol doesn’t really count because I very rarely drink anyway, but still, the challenge was set, and I did it!
The challenge went great! To be honest I found it relatively easy, the exercise part was never a doubt unless I was feeling unwell. I managed to get my 3 runs a week in for the month of January so I’m absolutely delighted with that. I feel like my body is finally starting to get stronger, and importantly I feel that I can trust it a lot more now. Needless to say I’ll still have bumps along the way but if it is a case that I come down with a cold or flu, I have more confidence that my body will fight it that bit better than it would have last year! My specialist told me that it would be 2 years after the transplant before I would have any sort of an immune system, so I just need to clear this winter and I’m there.
As for the healthy eating, I found it quite easy, I had no treats whatsoever during the month of January, just healthy eating, healthy snacking, and any sugar was down to natural sugars from fruit. I might just keep it going for another few weeks too until I have that day where I feel it’s time to treat myself!
I can’t tell you how much better I feel after such a positive month, the healthy eating and exercise has really given me the boost I was looking for! I’m delighted with my consistency with my running, and feel happier now that I have returned to healthy eating. I was really not looking forward to January as I thought it would just be a disastrous month but it’s actually turned out to be such a positive one. Roll on February now, I hope to pretty much do the same, and just hope that I can maintain that consistency with the running.
February is a very significant month for my girlfriend and I. The 23rd of February will mark 2 years since I was admitted to St James’s Hospital for 5 weeks to have my bone marrow transplant, the last resort to getting me cancer free again!
The 28th of February will mark my 4 year anniversary with Niamh, to think we were together just 6 months when I was first diagnosed, here we are now after my 2 battles with cancer, having had to fight an extremely difficult time in our lives and our relationship and we’re still going strong, we really didn’t have it easy but we’ve managed to come out the other side and we are now starting to enjoy our lives again and really trying to live it up, as they say, we’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time.
I often say that getting out running outside puts me in such good form, it’s what keeps me going most days and something I really look forward to. At the end of every single run I do I always make sure to stop, and do my cool down stretching in the fresh air looking back over the park and just enjoying being here and being able. As you can see from the picture below, I’m a happy runner right now, I achieved my January goals, now roll on February.
I hope to run the Lusk 4 Mile road race at the end of this month as my first race of 2019, so that’s my next target. I have a number of small targets set each month leading up to my Never Give Up 5k, so time will tell how it all pans out, but it’s definitely been the start to 2019 I had hoped for 🙂
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