June 2019 will be the point where I stop thinking about who I want Michael Patterson to be and how he will be different to Michael Mckellar. From June 2019 forward I will focus on turning who I want Michael Patterson to be into who I actually am.
1. Michael Patterson will be a lot more confident. In time I will learn to think less about what other people think of me and more about how I can improve my life. I will learn to be brave enough to follow my own path.
2. Michael Patterson will make the most of each day. Once I finally get an official diagnosis, I will learn to turn my mental health issues into a driving force instead of allowing them to hold me back.
3. Michael Patterson will not be taken advantage of. I have frequently been told that I am too nice or too humble. One of the reasons I was given for being made redundant by the Meridian Leisure Centre was that I was too humble. I personally feel that humility is a strength. I know that I am one of the best Fitness Instructors the Link Centre, Meridian Leisure Centre and City of York Council has/ will ever have. I do not need to tell everybody how good I am.
4. Michael Patterson will stick to the recovery plan. Every three months I will learn something new, visit somewhere new and try something new.
5. Michael Patterson will be more positive. I will reduce my exposer to negative situations/ people as much as possible.
6. Michael Patterson will only ever have a Plan A. If something doesn’t work I will learn the lessons needed and apply them to Plan A before trying again.
I am two weeks into my DDP Yoga journey. In that time, I have lost 1kg in weight and feel a bit more positive about how my life is going. Part of this will be because I will be moving into my own place in five days. Part of this will be the DDP Yoga programme itself. At the end of each workout I feel really calm which is great for my mental health. As well as providing motivational workouts the DDP Yoga programme also provides nutrition advice, motivational video’s, an easy to use mobile app which I am using and the option to buy the programme in DVD format. I also like the fact that throughout the workouts DDP reminds you to make the workout your own, meaning you can modify some of the exercises to match your ability.
Although I am following the DDP Yoga plan I am continuing my weight training. I am using the DDP Yoga plan to enhance my mobility, core stability and strength. Each DDP Yoga workout I have completed has been twenty to thirty minutes long. This suits me well as I like to keep my weight training and cardio sessions short and intense, usually between thirty to forty-five minutes long. Before I started DDP Yoga I would usually spend twenty minutes stretching after each workout, so by turning that time into a yoga workout my overall workout time is broadly the same.
I intend to update everybody reading every three months on my progress. In time I am sure that I will soon see the physical benefits as well as the mental ones.
Over the last month I have been talking to some of the few people who have broken through my barriers and they helped me realise that I needed to make some changes in my life to get me back on track. Sometimes we need somebody to kick our asses for us to remember why we started on our journey in the first place. In this instance the person in question helped me realise it was time for me to find my own place again instead of living in a house share. A house share was fine when I left home at seventeen, however I am in my mid-thirties. I had my own flat when I was living in Louth and it was great, since moving back to Swindon I have been living in shared accommodation which was fine to begin with, however it is time I had my own space again. Another person who was able to break through my barriers said they were impressed with how quickly I can make changes in my life when I need to.
Changes in life to make them better do not have to be as dramatic as moving to a new house or in the case of when I moved back to Swindon moving 250 miles on a weeks’ notice. It can something as simple as taking up a new hobby. Whatever it is you choose to do in order to improve your situation give it your full attention and be prepared for the potential of set backs I missed out on the first place I looked at, however I did get the second so now its simply a case of waiting till June 22nd to move in.
A family member recently asked me for nutrition advice. Nutrition is one of my passions, so I was happy to help. Nutrition is an important factor in any well-balanced fitness plan. I personally feel that the saying of 80% nutrition and 20% training is complete rubbish. For me there are four factors to a successful healthy living plan, and they are equally important. These are:
• A goal specific exercise plan.
• A balanced nutrition plan.
• Rest between workouts.
• Getting enough sleep.
If one of the above four are not considered, you are setting yourself up for failure.
• To lose ½ kg of body fat a week you need to burn 3500 calories a week more then you take in. This works out to 500 a day. Use smaller plates to reduce portion sizes and be more active in your day to day life.
• Keep a food and activity diary such as myfitness pal.
• Keep processed foods and drinks to a minimum.
• Eat a rainbow of different coloured fruit and vegetables.
• Choose fibre rich food sources to feel fuller for longer and to increase bowl health.
• Aim for lean protein sources.
• Don’t avoid fat, choose healthy fat sources. Healthy fats are usually liquid at room temperature. Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature. The World Health Organisation suggests that fat makes up roughly 20- 25% of total calorie intake.
• Take a refillable water bottle to work with you and keep it on your desk.
• Sugar in its natural form is fine such as the sugar found in fruit. Processed sugar should be kept to a minimum.
• Try to reduce alcohol and caffeine intake.
• Steam veg and fish when possible, grill meat and make your own dressings with olive/ rapeseed oil and add herbs or spices to taste.
As part of my fight back from my latest relapse I am conscious of the fact that I have lots of barriers I need to learn to let go of. I have a constant battle in with my own head with Anxiety telling me all the things that could go wrong and the version of Michael who went to Japan by himself for a month in 2007. This version of Michael was able to hold back the Anxiety and try new things.
I have spent a lot of time recently reading the Dalai Lama’s book of wisdom and watching videos by motivational speakers. These videos are based around the concept of the Loan Wolf, something I have always found interesting as Wolves are pack animals. I guess that is the point of the Loan Wolf, breaking out on your own and being true to yourself instead of following the pack out of fear of being alone. Letting go of my barriers and allowing myself to be vulnerable is one of the hardest things I am going to have to learn to do. I can only count on one hand the amount of people I have let through them. Some of these people are still in my life and for that I am forever thankful. I guess that might explain why I can be an absent friend at times. I might not call or text my friends every day, however they are always in my thought’s. I also need to learn to listen to my own advice. I have lost count of the amount of times I have said to others that if somebody is worth having in your life, they will like you for who you are. This is probably the biggest barrier I need to learn to let go of.
Yesterday I took part in the Prostate Cancer UK March for Men. It was a 10km walk around Blaise Castle Estate in Bristol. I completed the course in one hour forty minutes. Yesterday turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far which made it harder to keep my pace up. Prostate cancer kills one man every forty-five minutes in the UK. That is the equivalent of one in eight men. Like all cancer’s Prostate Cancer is curable if it is caught early enough. I suspect that one of the reasons many men are reluctant to get tested is because of the way Doctors check the Prostate. Having somebody put their finger in the anus to check the Prostate is not a nice thought, however I am told that it is the most accurate way of checking the Prostate.
I have a personal reason for wanting to take part in this fantastic event. Christmas 1999 my Grandad lost his battle with Prostate Cancer. He was 85 years old, a World War 2 Veteran and one of the greatest people I have ever known. All the way through I kept on telling myself that this march was for him. I had no doubt that I would complete the event and that I would complete it in under two hours. It was simply a way of keeping up my pace.
If you want to know more about Prostate Cancer simply visit the Prostate Cancer UK website.