No #vlm2016. But a bit of @combinedfitness and who knows! #bambicurse

Published October 3, 2015 by Crystal

I have made a promise to my husband.  The next 6 months will not consist of training walks or runs towards a Difference of 26.2 miles.  Last year was the London Marathon. (An event I celebrated with my beautiful bambi, who represents my constant ankle issues)


And for two years before that it was the London Moonwalk



To not have a plan ahead is a little daunting.  To not be pushing myself in some way for a big event is actually quite scary.

But then my week started like this


Which quickly became this







And today, after a week non weight bearing, and then a seven hour shift it is like this


So maybe it really is time to give my bambi ankles a rest!

It is not the end of the world.  I have been wanting to surf for years.  Not training at weekends means maybe the odd trip to Bude is possible.
And on Monday I start a 60 day course with Kerry Eddie. A mind and body programme to turn around the negative thinking and make good changes.  Maybe I don’t actually need big goals to work towards.  Maybe I can scale things down, and still find satisfaction. 

This week has been tough.  It has felt like a week of failure and I have felt very emotional.  But then looking back I can accept I have achieved much.  And that will keep me going.  For a while at least.  I am now off the duloxetine.  And this week is a year anniversary of the start of recognition of a horrid depressive episode that was sucking me under, and however crap this week has been, it has not been quite that bad. Yes I have cried.  Yes I have felt a failure.  But I haven’t stayed with those feelings.   And that in itself is something to celebrate.
So 2016. What is ahead.  It is a little bit exciting because for once I really have no idea!  

The Bambi Curse. An unexpected Sunday @devilmudrun and @combinedfitness

Published September 28, 2015 by Crystal

My attempts at fitness each year wouldn’t ever be complete without some sort of injury.  It’s just a shame that this one happened in the first few hay bales of the long awaited Devil Mud Run.
I was looking forward to it.  A very different challenge to any previous experiences, and with such a lovely group of women. 
So we took part in the warm up, which was fun and crazy, and tiring!  And we were off.  Three or four hay bales, I forget now.  Hopping onto and over.  Until the final.  On fine, off with a pop.  My ankle had gone in, the pop was loud, I staggered two steps and collapsed in agony.  My lovely team were there calling for marshals and paramedics, but to be honest I can’t remember much except pain and panic. I do remember a lovely military fitness guy who was very calming and medical folk taking off socks and shoes and an ankle already swelling.  I also remember the offer of an ice pack and if the selling went down fairly quickly I could do one of the final waves with the marshals. 
Alas it was not to be.  I know I was panicking.  I have a new job.  I have s paranoia about weight.  And I have previous experience of a broken ankle.  A few minutes in the medical tent and husband got the car and took me to hospital.  Everyone I encountered at The Devil Mud Run were wonderful, and I can’t thank Mr Military fitness enough for being a calming voice.
Thankfully, THANKFULLY after four hours and x rays I have a sprain.  Though it is a very shitty sprain and is bloody agony AT LEAST I don’t have to deal with breakage as well.  Minimal weight gain for five days.  RICE treatment and a physio referral. 



I think it is safe to say the Stroud Half isn’t happening this year.  But I am already eyeing up future mud runs.  Next time I might make the second or third obstacle.  I might even get a bit muddy!
And this time I am determined to do what exercising I can in a few days.  Nothing on my ankle.  I’m not going to be an idiot.  But something to keep muscles moving!

Well done to the Combined Mudders who all completed it!  Truly amazing womenfolk!

#duloxetinewithdrawal Day 6, think I got away lightly! And #Fitcamp with @combinedfitness

Published September 24, 2015 by Crystal

Pretty sure the omega 3 is a little bit magic, or I was never going to suffer that badly!

Problem is it’s been time of the month, or was it an advantage in that I was going to feel pretty crap anyway? But the dizziness has pretty much gone, brain zaps were few and far between the last couple of days, and the tiredness could be down to mother nature.

Today I have a crappy cold, though.  So I’m somewhat miserable.  But fortunately it is my day off and I have nothing to do except laundry and dishes and all that mundane crap.

I also have my lovely floppy soup  to enjoy.

I have to decide whether to give fitcamp a go, or take it easy until the evil mud run on Sunday, or do one last fitcamp.  The other problem (gawd I sound like a moaner today, because, basically, I am) is that I have a small lump on my achilles tendon, and having been here before, I know how bad it could get pretty quickly if I’m not careful.  I’m meant to be training for a half marathon at the end of October too.  I think I am an example today of how not to do anything!

On the Fitcamp subject, if you live in the Cheltenham area, I would highly recommend Kelly Eddie as a trainer, motivator, encourager, and generally lovely person.  I love Fitcamp classes.  I may not love them at the beginning, but by the end I am so happy I have completed, which is why I am in a quandary as to whether to go tonight!  And now I have a new job, I am wondering how I am going to be able to keep going in some way.  I may have to move across to her video classes, which won’t be so easy as being in a group, but then I know the support is there.

Anyhoo.  I’m off to pay attention to Eddie Izzard, and drink lots of hot drinks, and lament the passing of summer, under a blanket.

Floppy soup! #slimpodLemon

Published September 22, 2015 by Crystal

A determination has arisen.  Hopping on the scales didn’t or did help.  5lbs gained in a week.  Yes it will be fluid to a large degree, but whatever it is needs to shift.  Vintage clothes aren’t known for their stretchy properties, and sweats and t shirts aren’t my long term style!

So Operation Slimpod 6 Week Challenge steps up a gear.

I started my day with eggs on toast, plenty of fluids, and a feeling of bleurghness.  I am very bloated.  I am very uncomfortable.  A friend and I were briefly chatting about our bodies falling about, and how I am aware all too well of how much better I felt when I was walking or running most days.  That in itself has to happen again with a half marathon coming up, never mind the Mud Run this coming Sunday.  But it also seems my body is crying out for some good food.

With the new determination, and a new delivery from Abel and Cole, I decided to make myself a big stash of Floppy Soup.  You know the sort.  All that veg in the fridge that is limp and tired.  Purple carrots looked sad, the cabbage was crying out to be embraced, and the runner beans desperately wanted to run out of the fridge.  A bit of tamarind paste as stock base, some basil and oregano thrown in, a couple of acorn squashes roasted and added last, and the result is a rather tasty purple soup!

Couldn’t happen on a better day, either, with miserable clouds, cold rain, and a desire to hibernate, soup is the perfect option.

Duloxetine withdrawal won’t have the better of me.  And nor will the sweatpants!


Oh, and more inspiration and motivation?  How about the desire to look like Maria Von Trapp on Christmas Day with this beauty?

Duloxetine Withdrawal, Day, ummm, 3? Or is it 4? Squirrel!

Published September 22, 2015 by Crystal

Thought I would share my symptoms over the few days after my last tablet.

Brain zaps, not so many, just the odd one. Dizziness, not so fun.  Been feeling like I’m on a very long ferry ride, and it’s led to the kind of Nausea from one of those really long very rides.  Dreams are still ridiculously vivid.  Last night I rang Goodwood Hotel to book a room for the revival, and it all went wrong, and Lord March was about to get the longest complaint letter of his life.  My poor brain.  And poor Lord March!  Aaaanyway.  I am a little dizzy this morning.  Exhausted from the vivid dreams, but over all I feel all right.  The Omega 3’s do seem to have helped with the brain zaps, unless I wasn’t going to suffer them much anyway.  And I am about to take a dose of Super Greens, will see if I notice any difference.

My snark and sarc buttons seem to be easy to push today….Not sure the family will notice the difference though.

Going to drink lots of water and green tea and try to flush the body.

Appetite seems to be less today.  Not sure if it is connected to nausea.  Oh, and one thing that was horrendous yesterday was heartburn.  Absolutely hideous.  Not felt it so bad in some months.

Shall try to remember to keep you posted, blog reader.

Anti depressants and Weight Gain

Published September 21, 2015 by Crystal

I’m taking myself off the Duloxetine.  Weaning off it is apparently a nightmare.  Capsule sizes don’t match the need.  Some people seem to count beads and buy in empty capsules, and spread them out, and so on and so forth.

I have been on 30mg, which I now think is a blessing, but in the last few months my weight has ballooned, and I feel out of control.  So I have decided enough is enough.  Part of my depressive issues are heavily linked with self esteem and body issues, so when the tablet one is on is having a detrimental effect on weight, it can become a negative spiral.

I made a mistake today though, and posted in a group that I was going cold turkey.  My bad.  Everyone is an expert.  A concerned expert, but an expert nonetheless.  So I ended up deleting the post and berating myself for an idiotic move.  “Have you tried other anti depressants?” “Cold turkey is dangerous” “You must talk to your doctor”.  All valid statements.  Don’t get me wrong.  I guess part of the problem with this current medication is that I have very little emotional connection.  I just don’t care.  So instead I get irritated.  Does that make sense?  I know it doesn’t.

Anyway, then comes the wowser statement that pisses me off, especially when the person talking has little to no experience of anti depressants “Medication doesn’t tend to cause weight gain.  Eating more causes weight gain.”

Oh Gods.  Please.  No.  Google any number of anti depressants and you will find stories of weight gain, and depression as a result of that weight gain, and so on.  It may be that people feel happier and eat more.  But judging by the huge number of stories I have read, I am pretty sure it is just not that simple.  I have gained a stone in about 4 months.  It’s not good.  And I am not happy.  I preferred maintaining to this.  And the anti depressants have played a part.  Somehow.

I have no answers.  I just wanted to post and get other people’s experiences, really?

Withdrawal symptoms currently are those brain zaps, and dizziness.  I didn’t initially realise the dizziness was a withdrawal symptom when I had it the other week.  I’d just forgotten to take a tablet, and it turns out the half life of duloxetine is very short.  But then hopefully that means these crummy side effects will be over soon enough.  Back to running, and being more mindful around food and drinking loads and loads of water.  And listening to the Slimpod.

My Fat Story

Published September 20, 2015 by Crystal

I’ve decided to come off the Duloxetine, as it is starting to really bother me that my weight is increasing, and no amount of sensible eating and exercise seems to help, which then of course causes me to sabotage and gain more!  Gah.  Seems I am not alone, and the medicine isn’t as weight neutral as I hoped.  Source: My Fat Story

#Thinkingslimmer Slimpod 6 week challenge

Published September 10, 2015 by Crystal


I have had a bit of a gain this summer.  The most significant in over a year.  All my once comfortable clothes are snug to say the least.  And I am not happy with staying at this size.  At the perfect moment Slimpod popped up on my timeline with a 6 week challenge.  I love the slimpod.  I have just been lax in listening since the London Marathon.  It wasn’t miraculous, but my mindset was changed and it certainly helped keep weight off.

The challenge started this week.  Groups of people organised, and a place to chat and motivate and encourage each other.  I’m still following Slimming World, but this is helping me make commitments to fitness and eating and hobbies that I have yet to start!

Soon it will be Christmas, but meh, after Christmas will be the threat of Summer!  It’s not about that.  It’s about getting into a more positive place for myself again!

If you are interested in slimpod, look here

Back in the playground? Does it ever go away?

Published September 1, 2015 by Crystal

I’ve been avoiding blogging for a while.  Summer holidays have been busy, and there’s not really a lot of time to reflect on events and situations.

But then I remembered the title of my blog “Stepping into yourself” and a recent situation needs to be discussed.

I’m mid to late 30’s.  I think it’s safe to say I am a grown up.  Not always, but most of the time.  I raise children to be their own people, to make their own decisions, to find friends who support them in their development, but who, in turn they support and lift up.

A friendship ended a couple of months ago, and after much soul searching and reflection I have come to the conclusion that it ended (abruptly, by them) because I didn’t adhere to their rules of friendship.  I dared to disagree with points of discussion.  I dared to question motives and reasons, not aggressively, but because that is the sort of person I am, and I have many friends who do likewise with me, and I appreciate the candour.  Sometimes it can cut, or call me to question myself, but I feel it makes me a better person.  Sometimes it has been the cause of huge rows, but those friends continue to be friends 20 years on, so something works.

But the final reason, I feel, for the abrupt finishing to this friendship is that I dared to nurture a friendship with someone they loathed, a friend who they had in fact cut off when that person had made a relationship choice they did not approve of.  I had been tentative in this friendship, initially, not wanting to step on toes, and not wanting to upset anyone.  But as time went on I started to feel like I was being controlled over who I should and shouldn’t have in my life, and it is only now I reflect that I see how controlling the friendship was.

At a bbq the other day, while discussing this situation, someone jokingly asked “Is there anyone you haven’t fallen out with?”  Around that table were friends with whom I’d argued, disagreed, lost contact with for several years, but who were all there because they were happy to come and spend time with us.  Big fall outs may have happened, but they have always been resolved, and the friendships have become stronger as a result.

I have had big falling outs.  There are people I know longer talk to.  Don’t we all have those?  But ironically, the three most significant ones have all failed because of a control issue, and the lack of another person being able to control and manipulate my choices.

I’m not a quiet person.  I’m not meek and mild.  I have opinions and ideas and can clash with fireworks.  But as time goes on I know myself more, and these things do not make me a bad person.  And choosing not to be controlled and manipulated does not make me a bad person.

Friendship is a two way street, and I’m happy to say I have friends who have moved on from the childish mentality of “You can’t be in my gang if you are friends with them!” which is essentially where this bullshit situation came from.


So, onwards into September.  I’ve a mud run at the end of the month, best get my act together and get that fitness up once more!

Personal Responsibility

Published August 2, 2015 by Crystal

Several weeks ago I wrote this blog entry Beauty and Jealousy about comments made about me by someone who claimed to be a friend.  Since that entry, that person has cleared me from their life.

I’m ok with that.  At first I was hurt, because what had I actually done to merit their behaviour?  But a week on I am ok.  People come and go.  Some are keepers, some aren’t.  Some bring the best out in you, others get every hair bristling with their words and activities.

Truth is I often felt put down, often felt criticised, regularly felt they rewrote history to make them look good while everyone around them looked less than.  And it begs the question why we sometimes keep up with these friendships when we feel exhausted and ridiculed and criticised.  And I don’t really know the answer.  I’m not the first, I won’t be the last.  Some people have a magnetic personality, which, when you get closer you realise isn’t so magnetic.  And I’m not perfect.  I can be proud and opinionated, and I won’t always stand down in a discussion.  And I make my own mind up as to who my friends will be, which in this instance was the proverbial nail in my coffin.  I had started to socialise with someone this friend had hated, someone she had dropped in a rather similar way to the way in which I was dropped.  Rather than hide my socialising I shared photos on the evil of Facebook.  Within 3 days I was blocked.

It’s been a slow demise, and it is something that maybe we should both be grateful for.  I did start seeing less often than we have in the past .   I don’t want to be judgemental of friend’s life choices. I don’t want to feel I have to bite my tongue for fear of my opinion angering them.  I don’t want to be an competition for who has the most successful life. And I had started to feel our meetings ended up being more these things than just relaxing and being in good company.

One thing though, that angered me, is the statement that a friendship with me (which was not worth the effort) had caused them to neglect other friendships.  It might be funny if we lived in each other’s pockets, but we did not.  And we had not seen each other in many, many weeks.  Yet the friendship with me had strained their time so much that they had not invested in other people, people who were better friends.  I am sorry, but on this I call ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT.  There are some friends I rarely see, but when we meet, the lapse of time is of no consequence, and we pick up where we left off.  There are other friends who I see more often, because they are more local, or have more time, and we can catch up over half an hour.  Not one of my friendships cause me to neglect another (more important) friendship.   We choose who and what are our priorities.  WE CHOOSE.  She CHOSE to neglect other friendships, friendships that she has now decided are more valuable to her.

But the situation did send me into a place of insecurity.  Maybe everyone thinks so little of  me?  Maybe my depression has warped me so much I am forever broken?  Thankfully, the friends who stick with have said otherwise, and one friend down, is not the end of the world.   Facebook can be a wonderful place.  It can bring about a huge slap in the face, but it also gives up the opportunity to catch up with old friends, and touch base with them sometimes.  I’m not going to make empty promises about making more of an effort with friends I haven’t seen in ages.  I know I don’t need to.  Time is precious, yes, but time and distance don’t alter a friendship based on a solid foundation 🙂