Today I’m going to do something that I find really hard – ask for help.
Yesterday was my birthday – thank you for all your lovely messages and wishes, cards, flowers etc. It wasn’t a big birthday but it was an important one for me, because as a small child I decided that I would die at the age of 45. I didn’t want to be an old lady, getting forgetful or unable to walk properly. Much more sensible, I reasoned, to die at 45 which was plenty old enough in my opinion. Isn’t it funny how your definition of ‘old’ shifts over time?! Turning 46 yesterday, was therefore a pretty interesting experience…
I’ve been aware for some time that I’m making myself ill, burning myself out. I’ve thrown myself into the building of my business, just like I’ve always thrown myself into everything else I’ve ever set my mind to. But unlike any other job I’ve ever done, this one isn’t so easy to walk away from when I need to take some time out, when I’ve run myself ragged for too long. This is my business – I absolutely love what I do and I want to help as many people as I can who are overwhelmed by their businesses. So having watched myself do what I’ve always done, this time I’ve been trying to think about why I chose not to prioritise my health and why I run so hard and so fast all the time (just to be clear this is metaphorical running and not the real thing. Anyone who has seen me actually run would describe it as neither hard nor fast!).
I decided to take some action and went along to Leanne Spencer’s excellent and very thought-provoking talk this week where she discussed looking at not just fitness but also nutrition, sleep, mental health and several other aspects of ‘looking after yourself’. I felt quite pleased with myself sitting in the audience because I had already booked myself a personal trainer and have started making some changes to my diet to hopefully take me to a healthier place.
But this morning I had a rude awakening. The training was awesome. Gabriel met me on an area of grass right near where I live, overlooking the water. It was a sticky morning even at 6.30 am but I threw myself into whatever he asked of me as I always do with everything. I was shocked, but not surprised at how out of shape I am and how weak and feeble I felt. I love boxing so had great fun with that and I remembered that the stretching is absolutely the best bit of the whole workout for me (“Tell me when to stop….” – “Argggghhhh…. – love it!”)
I left him an hour later feeling absolutely fine, a bit out of breath and tired but in good spirits. In the literally five minutes that it took me to get myself home, that all changed and by the time I crawled through the door I was in pretty bad shape. My hands were numb and shaking like mad, my head was spinning and I felt like I was going to throw up. I tried putting myself in a cold shower but I just ended up lying on the floor of the cubicle wondering if I was going to pass out. I managed to get myself onto the bed, soaking wet from the shower, hands and legs shaking uncontrollably and my body going into what I can only imagine was some form of shock.
I wasn’t scared, I just felt sad. Sad because I have let myself get into this state. I’ve not taken care of myself and I haven’t prioritised being well and healthy. It took about 15 minutes before the shaking subsided enough for me to sit up slowly and put myself back in the shower. By the time I was out of the door, I was feeling on top of the world and already telling myself that things aren’t so bad, that this is what happens when you don’t exercise and then go at it hard for an hour in this weather. Which is true, but hardly the point. Which is why I need your help.
Next time you see me or are in contact with me, please will you ask me if I’m taking care of myself, if I’m eating properly and taking regular exercise? It’s really hard for me to admit this and ask for help, but I’ve learned the power of accountability over the last eighteen months and have decided that I can’t leave it up to me anymore. I’ve made the decision to look after myself and prioritise my health, but I need your help to keep me honest and accountable to that decision. Thank you and please take care of yourselves.
Lisa Zevi – July 2018