2023 round up

2023 Round Up

Another year nearly over and a feeling that progress has been made, at least since June and my last post. I won’t regurgitate what happened in the first six months – life’s too short, as they say.

Once I’d moved on to working a 2 day week (Sat & Sun) I’ve used Mon. to Fri. to restart my web design/development and image consultancy businesses. The idea is that I replace the income from my weekend job with web design, but mainly image consultancy for the MTF transgender community.

It’s been tiring working 7 days a week for the last 6 months and as of now I’m taking a break until the second week of 2024 to recharge my batteries, then it’ll be full steam ahead.

In the last 6 months my back pain has improved very slightly, but I’m still nowhere near my former capabilities – it’s been hard accepting that! But the aim has been to get in 3 40km rides a week albeit at a much slower pace. It’s frustrating, but at least I’m getting out.

On the mental health front, the CBT concluded and overall I feel it helped (it was focused on anxiety), and the Sertraline medication helped even out my moods, although because it seemed to work so well I stopped the medication without telling my GP – big mistake. After a month, the anxiety returned and I realised my mistake, and I’m still not at the mood level I was before ceasing the meds – but getting there.

As part of my depression I had no motivation to do housework and the home was, quite frankly, a tip – at a level that made me feel ashamed to invite anyone round. The good news is my cycling buddy, Derek, suggested he help me every fortnight with the housework. In return, I help him with his gardening. And I’m delighted to say the house is now clean and tidy and I’ve kept it that way, which really helps with my general level of depression which has improved somewhat. Win win, as Derek’s garden is looking much better.

Now some good and not so good health news. I recently had a free health check carried out by my GP practice. The good news is my blood pressure is amazing for my age – 120/60.

The not so good news is I’m pre-diabetic. Some family and friends were really surprised given my leaness and exercise habits, but I wasn’t as I knew I’d been living off a very high sugar diet and ready-meals. My reasoning that I exercised a lot and was quite lean gave me the false security that I could eat anything – not so.

I was notified of my pre-diabetic status last week and since then I’ve cut out ready meals, pain au chocolat, raisin swirls, chocolate biscuits and bars, and I’m eating more protein and veg. As a result, I’m not getting huge energy swings and I’m not feeling hungry between meals. By replacing a fruit and fibre and muesili breakfast, with porridge oats (not instant), summer fruits and a banana I no longer feel hungry again by 10am – and I’m still not feeling hungry at lunchtime!

Being pre-diabetic is totally reversible and since I have no intention of being a type 2 diabetic I’ll have no problems with sticking to these lifestyle changes.

Unlike last year, although this year has had its challenges, there has been a significant improvement and I have no wish to consign 2023 to the dustbin.

Roll on 2024…

And on that note, I’ll sign off for 2023 with best wishes for a happy festive season and an amazing New Year to one and all, Alex xx

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