Do you ever have moments when a teeny tiny thought comes into your head, and you think to yourself, 'I could do that'? It seems like a really little thought, but it changes your life? You're not really sure that you can do it, but suddenly it's a maybe? I suspect we all have them quite a bit and most of them we don't notice (thank goodnesss!), but some of them stick in your mind for some reason or another.
It won't surprise you that after my last blog, I started thinking about what made it the right time for me to diet. Okay, I'd been building up to it for a while, and I'd finally admitted I had a serious weight problem that I had to address. But what changed thoughts to action was the sudden realisation that my life didn't have to be like this, I could change it. And it's all down to Helen Mirren in a bikini.
Somewhere in my messy cluttered thinking about life was the notion that getting older meant I had to look and act like an older woman, not wear a skirt above the knee never mind a bikini! I was not supposed to be the physically active and energetic woman I had been for so much of my life, just the odd (very odd!) dance at parties. Seeing Helen Mirren in that bikini opened my eyes and my mind. I realised that getting older did not have to mean I had to act old. All around me I saw women my age and quite a bit beyond doing amazing things that were about who they were and who they wanted to be, not the numbers on their birth certificates.
This was heady stuff, and I can still remember the moment that I saw that photo and realised that I had options and choices, that there were still many possibilities in my life. I did Pilates, maybe underneath several inches of tummy was toned muscle. Maybe underneath my poor heavy and weary body there was a youthful exuberant one waiting to get out...
And reader, there was! As I lost weight, I found my youthful energy again and new possibilities emerged. One of the things I began to do was to jog, then run. When I was doing my success story for TescoDiets, I put down that I'd always secretly wanted to run a marathon but never believed I would, even when I was slim. That thought had been buried deep and suddenly, I was thinking 'maybe I could do that' one day. I was pretty doubtful, but it wasn't in my impossible box any more!
After I did the Edinburgh Half Marathon in April, I began to think that with training and patience, I could do a marathon and I've registered for the Virgin London Marathon next year. Gulp! Yes, it's scary. yes I am going to have to work hard, but yes, I think I can probably do it, if I can keep injury free and if I get in. Now that I've got the running bug, I have lots of amazing women runners to inspire me. The oldest woman in the London Marathoin this year was born in 1927 - 83 years old. And I'm going to run it for Parkinson's UK, for Dad, who would understand so well what it means to me and that inspires me.
Big life changing and wonderful things can start with a tiny but momentous moment when what was impossible becomes possible. It can be a tiny bit possible, and you can be hugely dubious, but in that moment life changes. Those are the moments we can change our lives, we just have to open our minds to a new possibility and see what happens.
So, seize the moments and let your mind open even just a bit to the thought that things can be different.