The final happiness chapter: body fat re-balancing

Healthy shopping!
Healthy shopping!

I feel like my blog has come a full circle lately. I started blogging in 2007 because I had decided to get fit, and wanted to create myself an online log of my progress. In fact, that was the birth of a following and the start of a massive journey that took me to many exciting places that I would never have dreamed of.

So why do I think I’m back there again today? Because, quite frankly my last 18 months has been frightful, and it’s time I completed my ‘get myself back’ journey with the last massive hurdle: body composition.

Here is a summary of my last 18 months, to put you in the picture, put this in context, so to speak:


  • Moved house, countries, job, whole continents away.
  • Lost my mother suddenly to cancer, with only a fortnights notice. I didn’t get back in time.
  • Struggled with grief.
  • Struggled with new job, new country, new culture.
  • Struggled with workload.
  • Told I had to stop running, thus, had to retire from triathlon.


  • Got another teaching job. Still unhappy. Still struggling with workload.
  • Still struggling with grief.
  • Struggling to find a sport to replace triathlon
  • Decided to quit teaching, a career of mine that spanned 17 years
  • First time ever working in something other than education. Massive adjustment needed.
  • Knee continued to decline much faster than I ever imagined. Had to get regular pain medication.
  • Had to give up competitive cycling, which I had only just started (to replace triathlon)
  • Had to get walking poles to help me with tramping (hiking)
  • Diagnosed with depression, ironically on the same day that Robin Williams committed suicide.
  • Gave up regularly rowing, cycling and swimming, probably as a result of diagnosis (above).

All the things in the list above are facts. I am not being deliberately pessimistic, I am being factual.

I have struggled with my relatively recent diagnosis for the last few months. I am finally on top of things now. There seems to be a stigma attached in some people’s minds but in reality, it’s something than can befall anyone. In fact, depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It does strange things to your outlook. I actually managed to convince myself that the world would be better off without me. That is why I can empathise with Robin Williams. Truth be told, that is not a nice place to be in, at all.

I should have expected it, looking at the list above. I think, in all honesty, I struggled most with my mother’s sudden death. She was diagnosed with stomach cancer 4 days after I moved away from England. She didn’t tell me for 6 weeks, until my husband joined me in New Zealand. She died two weeks later, the day my plane left NZ to take me back to England to visit her. It had been an emergency booking. I was too late. She was only 67. It wasn’t fair at all. Only 2 months before I was waving goodbye promising to visit her the following summer.

That, with everything else that I had to deal with added on, put me in that place.

Back to the now: the winning mindset

That’s the past. It’s done. I am winning now. I chose to make some major life changing things to get me back again. The major one was to quit teaching. It has given me balance back, given me time to do all the things that I had given back, given me time to be happy, precious time for my family. I decided that money cannot possibly buy you happiness. I am now a lot happier, but also a lot poorer. The latter doesn’t matter at all.

I am retraining, have completed a coaching qualification and have almost completed a personal trainer qualification. I also have a few other job ideas and offers in the pipeline. I am doing things that make me happy.

The next goal

There is one more thing, though, that I have been choosing to ignore until today, though. My diet. And by that I mean the things that I eat, rather than a weight loss programme.

Like many others, I’m sure, I have neglected the balanced healthy eating that I practiced while I was an athlete. I comfort ate (and drank) and nevertheless have now got some added body fat that I do not want, or need. We have made a pact in our house: stop being lazy and cook / eat properly.

Diet imbalance warning signs

  • Veg intake drops
  • Alcohol intake increases
  • Sugary snacks become a norm, not a reward
  • You are never hungry because you always eat long before then
  • Chips and battered/ crumbed foods are included
  • Bread becomes ok
  • And many more I’m sure.

So, that means I now have some new year’s goals

Continue to make life choices that are happiness motivated.
Regain healthy eating balance.
Get back to my goal weight again.

I have taken a before photo. I also stood on the scales, for the first time in 18 months. The last time round I had a different problem: I hadn’t every done a stitch of exercise in my life and had a lot of excess body fat, plus was very unfit. This time, I am fit, I just have a bit more baggage than I should have!

I will blog my journey, as I regain the rest of myself, in the visual sense. That will complete my happiness bubble, inside and out. I might share the before and after photos at the end. I will detail my progress, how I change my heating habits, recipes I use, changes it make, and so on. Come with me, make the change for yourself too.

Join me, follow me, be inspired by me.

This time, I strive for happiness, health and fitness. Nothing more, nothing less. This is the last step, in my regain happiness journey.

Now, let’s begin!

One Comment on “The final happiness chapter: body fat re-balancing

  1. Pingback: Wording resolutions to guarantee success | Melanie Ryding – Ryding2Health BLOG

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