Sunday, March 22, 2015

Self Confidence

Self confidence is something I find interesting.

Mine often depends on context...  I am confident in my intelligence, my ability to do my job, my physical strength.

Confidence in the way I look is generally low.

This weekend it got a surprise boost.

I was walking from the station to my car Friday night and a teenage boy (maybe 15/16) called out to me as he walked past...  and it was a compliment!  His words were 'You're beautiful'.

First I wondered what he said and I misheard...  then I wondered if maybe that is what he had said.

I mentioned it to my husband when I got home.  He looked me up and down and said something along the lines of 'long blonde hair, knee high boots, great legs...  yeah teenage boys like that'.  I should mention that my husband often compliments me...  but it seemed to sink in more coming from a stranger with no vested interest.

I realised that to a stranger walking past those things might be what they notice first.  Good legs, long blonde hair blowing in the breeze.  

Unlike when I look in the mirror and notice stomach, arms, chins.... usually before anything else.  I check that my clothes are 'flattering' and hide my faults while enhancing my assets.  But I don't see an attractive package.  I see a set of parts.  Some bad, some better.

I am going to try and see in the mirror what a teenage stranger saw on Friday - an attractive 44 year old woman.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The tale of my right hip....

So this story starts with my left knee...

Way back in January 1994, my lack of coordination led me to a cross country skiing 'accident' where I 'hurt' my knee.  No scans were done, no tests really.  I used crutches for a week or so, limped very obviously for a few months, had no more pain and so moved on.

During the next 9 years I allegedly had a mild limp, but was unaware of it and was totally pain free. I did a 3 month hiking/camping trip around Canada and the USA.  I walked all over London for 3 years while I was car-less.  Never gave my knee a thought.

In about 2003 I was at a pub.  And yes I had been drinking (from memory that pub made me a special "Fiona" cocktail...  something purple and fruity...).  Anyway, I turned sharply and apparently finished the ACL tear I had started all those years before.  This involved landing flat on my face.  In the pub.  Twice.

Later that year I had a knee reconstruction.  This was followed by lots of rehab and the first regular exercise I had done in years.  After a while I started getting soreness in that knee.  So I stopped running.

In January 2008 I was back in the UK, engaged to my English man, and planning to return home to Australia in March.  In time for the 15km 'run4thekids' walk that I loved.  So I started training.  Without even considering my shoes.

That is when my hip started hurting.  A lot.

So what I imagine had happened was my right side started compensating for my left knee weakness way back in 1994.  I imagine it got really good at it over the years!  Then I put my body through one thing too many (long walks in shoes not designed for walking) and my hip had had enough.

Being me, and obese (so some pain is expected), and me...  I did the 15km walk anyway.  In a lot of pain.

Then I finally sought treatment.  I saw the physio who had helped after my knee reconstruction.  No help.  I saw two more physios.  I saw an osteopath.  I had cortisone injections.  I tried 3 more physios.

3 years on and I was catching a tram the 500 metres from the station to work as my hip was constantly sore.  I was wearing flat shoes as heels made it worse.  I wasn't exercising at all.

My Dr and I had run out of ideas, and she was going to send me to a surgeon to get an MRI (cheaper MRI that way).  A lady at work suggested I try her myotherapist as the clinic he worked at specialised in 'hard to fix' pain.  I was willing to try anything, so I went and saw Matt.

And guess what?  After several months of weekly then fortnightly treatments, and lots of heavy weighted squats and deadlifts, I was pain free (most of the time).

3 years on, and I still see Matt, especially if I am planning to do something like my 60km walk.

The past month or so I have become really aware of the pain in my hip for several days after wearing heels.  I could just avoid heels....  but instead Matt and I have started 'operation high heels'.  

We are going to finally and completely fix the inbalance caused by so many years of knee issues!