Moose’s 30 days..day 4

This is a post dedicated to friends old and new. I’ve made more friends in past 12 months than in last 20 years and each one brings something different.

I’m part of an ever increasing social circle with people from the 30+ mens fitness group encouraging me to be more active and supporting me when I impulsively/drunkenly sign up for running events to offering an ear if required. Although I’m no longer in that program it’s great to see people have stuck around and continue to send kind words etc via Facebook and if I see them in the pub.

New friends and colleagues from the railway bell who I can have a good drink with but not only that I can talk openly about depression etc with many of them too

Lest we forget the faithful friends, those who didnt give up on me when I disappeared with no warning, those who would be there without hesitation if needed.

I’m very lucky to have them and in turn they all will agree (with enough persuasion) that having an awesome moose in their lives is worthwhile.

I’m thankful for all the friends in my life. The moosettes and mooseketeers who allow me to be myself while reigning me in when required…

Advertisements

One Tough Mudder Moose

Impulsive, reckless, brave, stupid and “what the fuck were you thinking?”

Just a few of the things said to me when I told people I had signed up to do a tough mudder.

I was also told that I’d never be able to finish it, told by my physiotherapist not to do it because of injury.

On top if that imagine how many times i tried to talk myself out of doing it. My anxiety and depression playing tricks with my head telling me that I wouldnt be able to do it, I’d chicken out and find an excuse not to turn up.

WRONG!!!

As my best friends will tell you this moose is one stubborn fucker when he wants to be. I had something to prove to a lot of people but most importantly I had something to prove to myself.

It hurt, it hurt a fucking lot. I had to push till adrenaline kicked in to take the pain away and ride it out.

I was with a group of around 100 men and women from the 30+ fitness community and foxes. If you need to find a family to push/motivate and encourage you to get exercising this is the place for you. They have female only groups too.

Go to https://www.30plusmensfitness.com/ and see if there are groups near you. I know there are some in Essex, Cardiff, Hereford, Berkshire and North London and cannot recommend them enough. It’s a family full of support not just for exercising but mental health support to. Without this group I would not have completed the hardest physical challenge I’ve ever attempted.

I did 10 miles yesterday and had an absolute blast and felt very proud of myself for not giving up and getting over the finish line. In 3 weeks I’m going the vitality 10k in London and it will be a breeze compared to the tough mudder.

I’m trying to raise money for Mind in these challenges if you would like to sponsor me please click here

On to the next challenge and maybe signing up for next years tough mudder…

Accountability and responsibility

Two key elements that have been disregarded since Christmas time. I pretty much downed tools and did the usual Moose thing in terms of self neglect, impulsiveness and recklessness. If I wanted to do something because the idea was in my head I would simply do it. For example one morning I woke up and decided to get my chest and back waxed, so I did. Never again lol and hats off to those of you who get other parts waxed! A new tattoo? Sure why not 4 hours later sitting in tattooists getting an awesome new but of ink, holiday for my birthday in November? Booked and nearly paid for within a few weeks.

Am I harming anyone? Hurting people with my actions? The answer is a resounding no.

It seems that it’s more about rebelling against the shit that’s happened over the years and living my life, my way.

So why self neglect? It’s about ignoring my mental health, and when I take my eyes off the prize I sink. This blog has made me hugely aware of triggers, signs and symptoms of the black dog taking hold and for 2 months I ignored it. I’m great at being there for my friends, and even strangers who contact me via this blog or the Facebook page and it gives me a huge amount of pleasure knowing people see me as someone they can reach out and be heard without judgement, and just be listened to.

It was one of the main reasons I started blogging and a huge part of why I returned.

Depression can make you feel like you’re the only person in the world with those thoughts and feelings and while it’s not seen as bad as bipolar, personality disorders etc it’s still something that affects so many people.

The point is that ultimately I am responsible for maintaining good mental health, it’s up to me to take my tablets regularly, it’s on me if I make impulsive decisions to sign up for tough mudders (what the fuck was I thinking!!???)

Accountability comes from taking responsibility for the things I have, or have not done. I need to get my arse back into exercising again, back on the healthy eating. If I want to look in the mirror and like what I see then that’s down to me to put the effort in and maintain the discipline required.

For the past 3 months I’ve been guilty of just doing the opposite of what made my mental health better.

I love my Saturday night drinks with karl, good music, dancing, women and cocktails and look forward to it. The difference now to say a month ago is I’m going there to enjoy myself and not to self medicate.

The tide is turning back my way again because I’m taking responsibility for it and full accountability.

Watch this space because I’m determined, injuries allowing, to get all that weight back off again and reach my goal weight by end of this year at the latest.

Exercise is very good for my mind even if it cripples my body. It’s the lesser of two evils. The injuries occur because my body cant handle the weight I’m carrying, yet prevents me from exercising properly to get it off. This means that diet is massively important.

The 30+ group will help, inspire, nag, motivate and drag me through the pain to reach my goals. Now I just need to get back on it…..

The 6 week challenge and why I love it

As my regular readers know I recently signed up to take part in a 6 week challenge. This was done on an impulse decision because I was unhappy with so many aspects of my appearance and lifestyle.

Without a doubt best decision I could have made….

The experience has been so rewarding both mentally and physically because I’ve had to push myself.

For the first time in my life I’m following a nutritional plan and eating 3 meals a day….but proper meals. Better foods.

When I started i was eating a bacon baguette for breakfast, a half pounder burger for lunch and as much shit as I could find in the evening after dinner…

I hadn’t done proper exercise on a regular basis for 5 years either.

I’ve loved it so much.

I had a mental wobble, it caused me to miss 10 days of the challenge and lost out on 3 sessions too but the trainer sent me an email to check up on me and that was all it took to remind me what I signed up for.

The group is fantastic. Lots of men encouraging each other, pulling you up when you’re flat out on your back from exhaustion and motivating you for that one more rep…

I feel like I’ve found somewhere I belong. The trainers push you out your comfort zone because ultimately they want you to succeed, they want you to better yourself and they actually treat you as a person not just a client.

The challenge has changed how I see myself, I’m certainly nowhere near as big as I thought I was in my head and I can look myself in the mirror and feel pride at the weight loss so far…. Without the wobble it would’ve been a whole lot better but that’s depression for you. I’m happy and looking forward to my final weigh in Sunday.

But its not the end there…..a new challenge begins on Monday as I have signed up to continue with 30+ mens fitness and continue this journey for a long time to come.

The buzz I get after each session does wonders for me mentally. I’ve made new friends and look forward to the pain of each session knowing its all for the greater good.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is “accountability” if i lose or gain weight, if i go to class or miss class then its no one else fault but mine. I will get out of this exactly what i put in and this journey has been life changing.

I’m hitting a new 30 day challenge hard next week. 30 days till I hit 40 and with the help of Russ, Chris, John and all the guys in this fantastic group im going to smash it even more.

Exercise is fantastic for depression and improving mental health. Find a group like this join up and I guarantee you that you won’t regret it.

I look so much better, feel so much better and loving Garry again.

One year on

Today marks a year since my world fell apart and I was hurt like never before. I could have broke down, I could have spiralled into a depression, I could have gone off the rails and I could have wasted 12 months feeling hurt, bitter, angry and sorry for myself…

Except I haven’t done any of those things…

I’ve just had the most productive 12 months of my life in terms of personal growth, development and re-educating myself on the great person I am.

I’ve rediscovered old friendships, rebuilt broken ones, made new ones and basically had a fucking ball as often as I wanted to.

Im living life my way, not being told how to do it, free from shackles, chains, gaslighting, abuse, lies and pretty much drama free and frankly the shit I went through needs to be thanked for making me the way I am today.

Do I get the odd bad days/weeks? Of course I do but the difference now is that I’m allowed to have them and ride them out in my own way.

I’m still doing this 6 week challenge and I’ve lost 14 lbs. Not as much as I’d like BUT, im happy with it as the 6 weeks comes to a close. I had to miss 3 sessions because of the black dog and took my eyes of the prize for a week or so. That’s my responsibilty…That’s on me.

This challenge has been amazing for me. It has given me a new direction, a new outlet, a new group of friends and today im loving life. I’ve even signed up to continue after the 6 weeks is over. Exercise classes 3 times a week minimum, healthier eating choices and a group of men who just encourage each other to keep going.

I will write more on the wonders of 30+ mens fitness in a seperate post over the weekend but suffice to say its been a great impulse decision…

And it’s rare my impulse decisions work out for the best…

I can look back on the last 12 months with a victorious smile

  • Holiday to Majorca
  • Reopening this blog
  • Working every shift with not one day sickness, no matter how black the clouds were
  • Losing a stone in weight…so far (More to come watch this space)
  • Finding Garry again
  • Learning to love myself again
  • Being a part of a great group of people
  • Remembering my blessings in life, friends, family etc

You tried to break me, you made me stronger, you made me become a better me again.

So for this reason I thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart because there’s one thing that will result from this last year and that is I will never again find myself feeling unloved, unwanted, unhappy again.

AND THATS HOW WINNING IS DONE!!!

And just like that….gone forever. No more bad memories, no more hating myself.

The 12 months is now all about the amazing memories I’ve made on my own terms and the future is looking fantastic.

And this time last year i couldn’t have dreamed being able to write something so positive now.

Don’t give up on yourself….

Week 2 completed and other musings

Another week down and its still going great. The body is responding and I’m improving my durability in terms of the physical aspects of exercising again.

Sticking to the eating plan is getting easier and despite nearly throwing up trying cabbage so far so good.

I’ve lost 10 lbs so far and I’m pleased with that yet i know there’s more to come from within and more limits to be pushed. For the first time ever im not over eating or binge eating. I’m excited to start week 3 and see more improvements.

I can see a difference already… can you?

Its not about just changing for 6 weeks though, this is about changing nearly 30 years of bad habits and with my new improved mindset im going to make this forever.

In terms of mindset and my mental health I can honestly state that this is the best i have felt in 15 years! Im liking myself again and what i have to offer. I’m not a victim to anything im a warrior and survivor.

I look at the man in the mirror and actually like who I see now. That’s a massive change. The years may not have been kind but the harsh reality is that I am 39 not 21.

The smile has returned, the eyes are sparkling with that little hint of naughtiness again and I feel amazing.

One more major hurdle to overcome and I’m back to the pre depressed Garry. To the person who i loved. Others not so much lol but them this moose is like marmite. You either love or hate. I care not either way and genuinely mean that. I’ve spent too long being a modified version of myself to please others.

I have no anger, no hatred, nothing negative in my head or my heart. I’m cleansed, born again and living the life i want with me as the actor, writer and director of the Garry show.

I may not be everyones cup of tea but im changing for no one. I’m a mental health campaigner, advocate, survivor of depression and fucking awesome guy.

Speaking of when I was 21 check out this photo….

Hair and one chin!! The good ole days 😂

Week 1 over

First week of the 6 week challenge is over already. I ache in places that have never ached before. My diet has never seen such a lack of burgers/chips and Pepsi max shares have fallen as I’m not drinking it either. Water huh? Who knew……

But despite the aches, the hunger and the lack of crisps, chocolate and junk food Im loving it.

I’m aching cos im active using my arms and legs properly not just to walk to the kebab shop (not that I walk there-i drive but you get the gist)

There is a great group of men all doing rhis challenge and all being very supportive throughout the sessions and on the facebook group and its been great for me mentally already.

My head is clearer than its been since I got back from Majorca and it feels great to be in control again.

I will get the results i want because i still have more to give. I’m cautious still, my knee is trying to stop me but I have to push through the pain whilst at the same time trying not to injure myself.

The hardest part so far is the frustration in my head at not being able to physically do what my head expects is possible…yet

I need to remind myself that im closing in on 40 so this will take time. What was easy 20 years ago isnt now. I’m not as active or fit as i was then but week by week i will improve.

This isn’t just about the 6 weeks its about changing 30 years of bad habits.

Food wise im eating smaller portions of better foods and I’ve already lost 7lbs…

Encouraging start but still long way to go and seeing the first result has given me extra motivation and belief in myself that I can do this 20lb target easily….

Big thank you to those supporting me on my Facebook page. Your encouragement really helps. If you haven’t visited me on there look me up, like the page and spread the word. There are some great people on there and I’m certainly more active and visible on Facebook than here….

Week 2 starts tomorrow BRING IT ON!!!!

Changing Moose

The past month has been hedonistic to say the least. Even Charlie Sheen called me and asked me to slow down. Its not healthy for me mentally and actually its just making things worse, fun as it has been.

When your friend feels the need to have a quiet word and you can sense the worried tone in his voice its time to wake up again and get head out of the sand and face reality.

So let’s call the last month my “Goodbye 30s blow out month” and never speak of it again….

As the saying goes “What happens in your Goodbye 30s blowout month stays in your Goodbye 30s blowout month”…..

Im affected by memories and anniversary dates and finally figured out why I’ve been off the rails so much lately and thanks to Karl’s well chosen words and support its time to move onwards and upwards.

As my old friend weegee would say “keep on keeping on”

There are just over 2 months before my 40th birthday and I need to find a new outlet. Random sex with strangers is not helping matters and I’ve run out of “I slept with the Depressed Moose” t-shirts to hand out so i need something more rewarding and challenging.

With that in mind I have signed up for a 6 weeks fitness and nutritional boot camp to get my arse into gear and hopefully be able to use the endophines to improve my mental health. Weight loss is the aim as well as getting fitter because the way I see myself now is getting me down. Even if its more in my head than how others see me I would like to be able to look in the mirror and like what i see rather than be embarrassed. Hell maybe even look down and see my toes again…

Its going to be a real challenge, I have to try changing my whole diet, my eating habits and lifestyle and truth be told I’m a lazy bastard who really doesnt think I’m worth the effort….

I had my weigh in today no getting out of it now so here are my facts as I start tomorrow

  • Weight 225lbs
  • Stomach measurement 43 inches
  • Chest measurement 42 inches
  • Hips measurement 43 inches

The target weight loss in 6 weeks is 20lbs which should be achievable but im aiming to at least be under 200lbs by the time this is up.

3 exercise classes a week and better food choices should make it easier.

I’m both excited and anxious. The last time I really exercised properly was 5 years ago training for the Bupa 10k run I did.

I need something and I just hope this is what I need….

Wish me luck and if you see me in Epping anywhere near a burger slap it out my hands quick!!