New and Improved

26 May

Project Proposal: Sharon 1.2

Prepared for: Sharon Falconer

Prepared by: Sharon Falconer

Saturday 28 May 2012

Executive Summary

I find myself at the age of 45 with two failed marriages behind me; the heaviest and most unfit I’ve ever been; supporting two mortgages and with a realisation that I am prone to depression that probably should be treated but is coupled with a massive aversion to the idea of drugs or counselling (even admitting it here is a huge step for me to take).  On the positive side, I have the support of some amazing friends who have stood by me.  ‘Stood by me’ is an inappropriate phrase to use as it doesn’t even come close to describing what they’ve done.  It’s far too passive a phrase to cover drinking copious amounts of  wine and/or coffee with me; dragging me out of my cave; encouraging me to laugh uproariously; jumping on a plane with me; trawling garden centres; suggesting gym to join; dancing like I’m 18 again and countless other activities that aren’t anything to do with standing.  Anyway, I digress and this executive summary is turning more into executive waffle.  So back to positives: I’ve got a job (no mean feat in this day and age), I’m healthy & I’m fairly resilient. Taking those positives, I have a base to build on.  Taking as an assumption that I’m going to live til at least my 90s, I’m only half way through, this is my plan for Sharon 2s, the reworked model with a few new features.

Objective

To be in a state of balance, where I’m happy with my life in whatever form it takes,  able to deal with forks and obstacles positively.  By forks I mean forks in the road.  I know how to use cutlery and can deal quite well not only with forks but also spoons and knives, though those weird shaped fish knife things still slightly confuse me.

Goals

In no particular order (which will vary on a daily basis or hourly depending on whether I’m trying to get dressed for a hot date …. And there will be hot dates – see that positive thinking coming in already):

  • To feel comfortable with my body
  • To be financially stable
  • To be ready to start a new relationship
  • To have coping mechanisms for when plans are derailed

Solution

To feel comfortable with my body

Diets and exercise have a long running relationship with me, but more like that relationship with someone you know and like but don’t see all that often, but when you do it’s all very intense for a short period of time then disappears to nothing.  Actually, maybe diet&exercise are fuck buddies with me?!   I need to develop a more mature and sensible relationship, where we meet regularly, respect each other & want to build a future together.

I tend to be an all or nothing person, so will have a few weeks of strict food restriction & lots of running, replaced by the neighbours thinking I’m having an affair with the Dominoes delivery guy as he calls round so often.  Solution:  go for balance.  Appreciate the good things about my body already (pretty good rack, healthy) but work towards having more things I like:  being a size where I can put jeans & vest on and feel comfortable; able to run 10 miles; using food as nutrition & fuel rather than reward/punishment (that fuckbuddy relationship may have an S&M quality to it).  Timescale – end of 2012.

Short term plan: fill cupboards with healthy, nutritious food.  No takeaways for two weeks. Meal plan for two weeks of tasty but energising food.  Stop weighing self. Get in three sessions of exercise a week for two weeks.

Medium term: be running three times a week plus a stretch class (Pilates or yoga) and weights or swimming session. Have established routine of taking lunch to work & cooking in the evening

Long term: run ten miles; have a relationship with food where I don’t turn to carbs and sugar for stress relief.

To be financially stable

Without dwelling too much on the crap that goes with a breakup, suffice to say I’m not quite where I hoped to be on the financial scale.  Paying a mortgage here and in Spain isn’t easy, but, I know I’m better off than many so I’m not going to moan.  Instead I will look at what I can do to improve things.

Short term: set a budget and, here’s the important bit – stick to it!   No more ‘ooh, got to have a (insert name of latest gadget)’ or takeaway rather than cooking (note to self – see previous aim as well).   Second note to self – that includes not immediately googling the camera that links to iPad that lady who runs the coffee shop just mentioned and which you thought would be great for spying on the dog, then justifying it to yourself as an investment as it might help you tackle his issues which cause him to eat your furniture!!

Medium term: rent out place in spain as holiday let; get a lodger; save; get promoted (note how I throw that one in like it’s easy.  Whole separate plan needed for that one.)

Long term: when Spain sells, reinvest.  That does not mean the 21 day hiking and kayaking in Vietnam trip you keep looking at, it means buy to rent!!!

Second long term: if you want to do that 21 day tour of Vietnam – save!!!  Dammit, why does it come back to saving,  I’m so much better at spending than saving.

Be ready to start new relationship

Not really sure where to start on this one.  Issues so numerous to mention: lack of trust, lack of self-confidence, feel ugly, don’t know any single men, never meet any single men, did I mention that lack of trust and no confidence.  Think I can only go short term on this for the moment – get self to a stage where I don’t actively dislike myself (see the body thing above).  Not going to say any more on this bit for now otherwise I’ll be climbing on the pity train, which is fuelled by tears and as I’m typing this in coffee shop that would be a bit embarrassing!  It would also water down the coffee and that is never a good thing.

Have a coping mechanism for when things are derailed

I like to tell myself that I’m flexible – not physically, hence need for Pilates or yoga classes – but that I can adapt to situations.  To an extent I am – when I found out about ex-husband, we were separated and I was living in my new house within 5 months.  I don’t hang around.  But on a smaller scale, things that can seem insignificant can have huge effect on me and plunge me into some weird pit, where I lash out at the people that least deserve it in an attempt to push them away and so prove my hypothesis that I’m a horrible and worthless person.  To a logical outsider, the suggestion would be ‘seek help’.  But I have an underlying fear that I’ve only got as far as I have because noone has found me out yet, so if I speak to an actual professional they might realise that and lock me away.  That in itself may sound irrational, but to a person who regularly sits in meetings and wonders why I’m sat with lots of grown ups when I should actually be in play school, it seems quite rational.  Instead I’ll focus on tapping (more another time), relaxation techniques (back to that yoga) and running.  Lots and lots of running.   One thing I’ve realised, when you’re running you can’t think about anything else other than how your body is feeling, the next marker post, breathing without puking, avoiding muggers & drunks, avoiding puking on muggers & drunks, avoiding muggers & drunks who are puking (Bedford is a great place to live and run, really).

Conclusion

The aims I’ve set myself are very achievable.  Most are interlinked in some way.  I’m resilient – I’ve been through similar situations before and come through it.  I’ve got a great set of friends who support me.  So I’m going to set myself the short term challenges and start recording how I progress – the good bits and the bad bits.  By the end of the year, who knows where I could be, but by the end of a couple of years I’ll be walking in Vietnam, feeling comfy in shorts & vest and liking me very much.

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3 Responses to “New and Improved”

  1. Kim Gower June 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    So love your honesty – cracking piece of work xx Keep up the positive side of life x

  2. Dale DOUGLAS June 22, 2012 at 6:25 am #

    I guess that’s not the Sharon I knew, buti guess that’s the whole point. Friends, be they new or old, should only wanna see you happy. Lovin your life op order girl. Grab it by the throat and kick ass! Lots of love xx

    • sharonb0087 June 22, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

      Thanks, Dale. The old Sharon is still in there somewhere and she’ll be back!! big hugs, sweetie. xx

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