This websites uses cookies, by continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. View our privacy policy.

Avalon news and views

February 2019

Resetting my goals ..

To be honest, the past few weeks have been rather strange, hence my delay in blogging. After a rather stressful 2 years of a masters’ level course, I took my final exam – a huge relief to the whole family as it’s been quite tough on all of us. I thought I’d take the weekend off, maybe start my diet again by the middle of the week.

I began by enjoying a break from the usual routine, but then I found myself struggling to re-start the disciplines I had been enjoying and benefiting from. My Pilates Class had a break at half term and then both my dogs had to be quarantined due to illness. Unable to fulfill my key sources of weekly exercise, it led to an excuse of drifting into 10 days of inactivity – totally lacking motivation to do anything, especially exercise.

What I think happened was a build up of expectation, that once the exams were over, I would feel relief. However, as I won’t get the results until mid-March, I’m feeling bereft and I’m experiencing feelings of being directionless and lacking purpose – why aren’t I enjoying doing nothing? 

I’ve mostly kept to my diet but slackened off during this period which resulted in me gaining 4lbs, as I wasn’t bothering to monitor my points. Not disastrous, but in combination with the lack of other activities, it was evident that having no structure to my week really wasn’t good for me.

My usual reaction to this is frustration, which as we know, is always counterproductive, so this time around I have tried to embrace it by looking at the positives to come out of this “downtime” period. Firstly, I’ve decided to try something new this year and learn to ski, and have already had 2 lessons with a third booked next week. Secondly, as you can see from the picture above I have bought a few items to create my own make-shift gym in the garage; a bench, a few kettlebells and a suspension training system, all for under £70.

So, I’m going to set a new goal of 10 minutes in the gym a day, 5 or 6 days a week. Either some load bearing exercise based on the 7-minute workout or a short Pilates routine my instructor gave me before half term. If you’re interested in finding out about the 7-minute workout idea, google it, there’s plenty of information out there and it’s quite basic so the information is pretty reliable.

It’s all been a very useful experience. What surprised me most was just how long it took me to work out what was happening, but once I had, it was quite fast to change. When you expect relief and instead get a sense of loss, it’s disorienting. It’s ok to feel this lack of motivation and sometimes you don’t have the energy to fight against it, but there’s a fine line between going with it for a short time and allowing yourself to get caught up and ending up wallowing in it. Luckily this time around, I managed to catch it before it took hold. 

Posted 26-02-19

Reframing failure as success…

Something that didn’t really go to plan over the past month, was my attempt to carve a wooden spoon from a block of wood cut from a friend’s eucalyptus tree. I’d been enjoying the process but had put it to one side for a couple of weeks as I was beginning to get irritated with the fact it wasn’t turning out as I had expected.

It turned out, that I had made some fundamental errors. In the book I had read, called “Spon”, the author talked about using soft, wet wood (ie, freshly cut), as it’s easier to shape with a sharp knife. As it turns out, eucalyptus is a hard wood and over the 2 weeks I was handling it, it had become very dry, hard and quickly blunted my knives.

Feeling quite disappointed, I was going to abandon this piece of wood until I inadvertently broke one of my old wooden spoons (shop bought) whilst mixing sourdough. One of the advantages of making sourdough is that it doesn’t require kneading, you just mix it and time and chemistry do the rest. It looks like this and is very stiff, sticky and requires robust mixing.

It then dawned on me that what I, actually, needed was a dough ‘paddle’, hence resurrecting my abandoned spoon. If I couldn’t finish it off with my knives, I could use a sander to finish the job. Rather than seeing this as a catastrophic failure of my hand carved, meditative ethos, I accepted and embraced it - half an hour later I had this.

Ok, it doesn’t have the same rustic look, but I like the asymmetry. I decided to leave the handle part rough as I think it’s pleasingly tactile and it’s really very functional. The smoothness stops dough sticking into it, the sharper edge helps with mixing and the rounded edge helps scrape the bowl. It’s really strong and doesn’t have a concave bowl (which is what makes a spoon a spoon) as it doesn’t need one.

In a way, what I’ve done is fail at my original intention and inadvertently ended up with something that I really needed without knowing it. I think this only happened because I didn’t beat myself up over my lack of progress, or just throw it away and start again.

This is only a tiny thing, but it fits in with what I’m trying to do overall. One of the reasons I started this process of reflection and change, was out of frustration with myself after I kept moaning aloud to my family about being overweight. Then one day my son asked me if he was overweight and at that point, I decided to shut up about it or take positive action as it was giving out a negative message to my son’s idea of body image.  It’s about taking action and doing something about it, whilst not beating oneself up when things aren’t going to plan. We’re often quick to focus on our shortcomings but find it difficult to celebrate successes. Doing that and being open to the possibility of changing direction, in this case, brought me to something new.

The next thing I need to address is exercise. My weight loss, 11lb or 5% of my body weight, has gone well but seems to have plateaued. As the original changes now feel like I’ve adapted to them, it’s time to build on this and add something new that will improve my fitness and help burn calories.

Posted 05-02-19


Bishop Sutton

  Monday: 8am-12pm   Tuesday: 8am-4pm   Wednesday: CLOSED   

Thursday: 8am-6pm   Friday: 8am-12pm


  Monday: 1:30pm-5:30pm   Friday: 1:30pm-5:30pm

Mid-week evenings and weekend mornings are available by appointment only

Book Now

01275 268001

Avalon Osteopathic Clinic, Unit 2, Westway Farm, Bishop Sutton, Somerset, BS39 5XP