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

Moose’s 30 days..Day 2

Day 2 is all about pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Last month I took part in a tough mudder and the Vitality 10k in London.

I used to be sporty, playing football 7 days a week until I suffered an injury which took 2 operations to make worse ( not that I’m bitter about it of course)

In terms of exercising I can run about 200 yards before the pain kicks in. Yet I completed both events. I didnt quit despite every bone, muscle and joint screaming at me to stop.

10k and tough mudder completed

It wasnt about proving others wrong. It was all about proving myself wrong. Showing myself that if I set my mind to a challenge I can get through it no matter the hurdles, no matter the pain. The sense of pride I felt at the finish line made the agony worth it.

Having said that 6 days on from the 10k and I’m still walking like I’ve shit myself but sacrifices are needed at times.

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…

Exercise and depression…good and bad

It’s well documented that exercise can help with depression, producing endorphins that improve your mental health and for me personally my drop in good mental health coincided with an injury that stopped me going to the 30+ fitness sessions.

Despite my size I actually enjoy exercising and the 30+ group are wonderful. Banter, great group of blokes and very supportive coaches but the problems are that my body isnt as willing or able as the mind.

In this sense exercise is bad for my depression because I cant do it! And I’m desperate too.

I’m seeing a physiotherapist fortnightly to get to the root of 3 injuries, each one stopping me from doing what I want and need to do!

And its driving me fucking mad. Cant do boxing due to shoulder/neck problem, cant do running cos of knees and struggling to do too much cardio cos of my glutes!!

Back in the day I was a half decent footballer, before I became the shape of a ball, and I’m pretty sure without the knee injury and subsequent operation at 17 I would have made it as a professional. Therein lies the root of my frustration at my inability to do basic things like go for a jog without breaking down 200 yards later.

I want to exercise, I want to feel the euphoric buzz of pushing myself again. It makes my depression take a back seat and improves my mood, my self esteem and my faith in myself.

Are these injuries psychological? Dont get me wrong the pain feels real enough as my late night dash to A and E proved, but is it more a case of my head playing tricks on me?

All I know is that within the next 8 weeks I have to do a tough mudder and a 10k run and it’s going to kill me. I went for a jog (using the term loosely) and couldn’t walk for 2 fucking days. I WILL complete both events but at what cost?

It’s getting me down massively, I’m not working and my sleep pattern is shot to shit and I’m on a slippery slope and that’s why I need the exercise routine again for my own sanity. Obviously not being a fat bastard is a big incentive too but forgetting the physical aspects I need the mental health benefits more.

Its frustrating the hell out of me!!!

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…..

Going through changes

Since my last post ages ago life has turned upside down. I’m currently unemployed, without a car, suffering from numerous ailments and, as the title suggests, going through changes.

Things could be shitty right now couldn’t they? Every little thing that has gone against me lately could be multiplied in my head and become a reason for a massive spiral head first into my usual hedonistic devil may care lifestyle of promiscuity, stupid choices and all other manner of inane, impulsive decisions….

And yet…

I feel great!!

I feel like finally I’m free of destructive elements of the past, free from feeling paranoid that I’m being watched, judged and spoken about. Free to finally close a chapter of my life that barely entertains my thoughts now I’m out of harm’s way.

I feel excited about what’s around the corner, even if I have no idea what it will bring. I have 2 holidays this year to look forward to. Majorca and Tenerife, one on my own and one with Karl.

There is a new job on the horizon and while I’m waiting for that I’m recharging my batteries and improving my mental health daily by spending quality time with the special people in my life. Karl and Amy in particular are the best friends I’ve ever had, both of them are there no matter what and I’ve got very good new friends from my time at my local pub. I’m getting out there making friends, creating memories and no longer looking over my shoulder at ghosts from the past.

I must get back into the exercise routine I had before Christmas. The 30+ mens group made a huge difference to my mental health and shows how important exercise, banter and mates is to a happier stable moose.

I’m doing two events in May, a tough murder on the 4th and a 10k run on the 27th and if I can get back into training sooner rather than later it will make me feel more confident going into them.

With that in mind I’m raising money for Mind, which as you will know is a charity close to my heart, if you would like yo sponsor me please click

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GarryWilliams3

Half way towards my target and I’m very thankful to everyone who has donated this far. Believe me it helps me get over the finish line knowing people have sponsored me, makes me feel like they believe in me.

I need to use this outlet more, I keep saying it but writing is my thing, hopefully the talent is still there and the readers will return if there is more material available. I’d love to hit the 100k mark soon so the onus is on myself to keep writing.

Right now I should be sinking……

By the grace of God I’m not and I thank the special friendd in my life for that. Knowing I can pick up the phone and have numerous people available, supporting me, advising me, kicking my arse when needed and reminding me that despite how I view myself I am loved, valued and appreciated is an amazing feeling.

Here’s to the future, it’s looking bright again

Moose xx

Goodbye 30s…thanks for nothing

Tonight is my last night in my 30s and I can’t wait to see the back of what can only be described as a cluster fuck of a decade.

It started so well, newly married, baby on the way but has ended up a fucking disaster…

My 30s have consisted of…

  • Failed marriage and divorce
  • Depression
  • A suicide attempt
  • An abusive relationship
  • Losing too many friends/family
  • Losing myself

However lets turn some of it around. Despite all the bad stuff I’ve survived, at one point it was touch and go. I nearly didn’t see 35 let alone 40.

At the moment I’m going through an awful period mentally. The black dog is barking and biting hard and its been a real struggle. A combination of still having a chest infection for months, over working and being haunted by memories have dragged me down to a low dark place.

I remember things too well, something innocuous can send me spirraling backwards or into a tailspin that can take weeks to recover from.

When one of your best friends uses the phrase “doing a Garry” and follows it up with “When things are going well and looking up you suddenly feel the need to self destruct” you start to question things.

Is that what I do?

I mean all I really want is to find that special someone, live a drama free life and be happy and loved but am I so damaged that I’m subconsciously self destructing as a coping mechanism? A way of preventing opportunities arising to protect myself from anymore hurt and pain?

It’s not just the theory of one but of a couple of people, people that know me the best.

I’m lucky to have friends like these who see through the front, the bravado, the cockiness etc and tell me what I don’t want to hear but NEED to hear.

I need to find a way out of this slump. I want to get my arse back to the training again, I’ve made one session this month for various reasons.

If I could choose a gift for my birthday it would be the gift of self discipline, I need to reach down deep yet again and find a way to channel things into a positive solution. I’ve slipped backed into old dangerous habits and I know only one person can pull me out of it.

Yet behind the flirtatious, cheeky, did he really just say that persona is a man who just wants to find his passion for life again.

At 40 I should know what i want but still have no fucking idea, career wise, life wise. At which point does it become too late? I don’t want to lose my faith in the happy ever after BUT… It’s ebbing away slowly.

So as I start my 40s I want them to be spectacular, eventful, happy, joyous and life changing. No more hurting, self destructing, letting memories haunt me.

They say life begins at 40…. I truly fucking hope so because I can’t take another decade like the last one.

Saying goodbye to the people I’ve loved over the years and closing the chapter on everything thats hurt me since I hit 30, especially the last 6 years is the start.

Here I come into my naughty forties…..tomorrow morning Im going to wake up, smile, be thankful and spend the precious few days I have off work getting my groove back.

Moosey turning 40

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 😂