Getting Fitter To Get Better

In the bad old days (many years ago now) I subsisted on tea, cigarettes and rum.

In slightly better days this changed to tea and wine.

Now it’s water, the occasional cup of tea and wine.

I’m still not eating enough and I always seem to be unwell.

After the jump, I’ll explain why…Food and Drink


Well for a start; my diet is awful. I survive mostly on fresh air and can go for days without eating or even wanting to eat. I miss out on the proteins and vitamins, carbs and calories that keep the human body in decent working order. I survive mostly on the empty calories that come from pink alcoholic stuff (white zinfandel) and that is Not Good Gemma! That is really not good at all. Breakfast and dinner mostly consist of my epilepsy meds, some multi vitamins and some fish oil; this has got to change.

So what is the solution? You can’t fix an eating disorder, but you can try your hardest to stay on top of the situation. I like fish and green leafy vegetables. I love salads, chicken and food from all around the world. I only eat breakfast when I’m away at Hope Orchard, whereas years ago my day began with BBC News 24, two cups of strong tea and as many slices of Marmite slathered toast as I could eat. In all fairness I would then cycle to work and then spend twelve hours hefting elderly people and heavy medical apparatus around, and would be starving again by eleven o’clock (dealt with by guzzling glass after glass of milk because I didn’t know I was lactose intolerant) and was known as “Hollow Legs” with good reason, and I’m not performing those activities now, but I know that this doesn’t excuse me not kick-starting my system in the mornings.

I am well aware that, when I had breakfast, I would always be ready for a midday snack even on a lazy day because my metabolism was working properly. I think I ought to return to tea and toast of a morning. I had some ginger soup this morning (I have chest flu and am not feeling well) and do actually feel as though I might manage some dinner tonight – even if it’s kiddy food such as fish fingers and mash. It’s a start – and proof that breakfast does indeed wake your body up.


Google Images

Google Images

There’s an easy answer to this: tea. I don’t mean chugging back ten mugs of Builder’s Breakfast every day, but real tea that you savour. I do begin the morning with Assam, English Breakfast or Earl Grey, but rarely do I have afternoon tea, if ever. Not even the Chinese teas that I love so much!

Solution? Find new and interesting teas to drink, Gemma! You have a Holland And Barrett points card – use it! Your sister has recommended a whole batch of lovely sounding herbals if you don’t want to become addicted to caffeine.

Glass-of-Water-1-1In my defence, I drink a lot of this throughout the day.


The reason that I am so unhealthy and often falling sick is this: I don’t do much. Breaking my arm in August means that this year has been a complete bust for me on the general scale of activity, but there’s nothing to stop me wandering across the road to the library to read and chat to some of the volunteers, is there? What can possibly happen to me in a library that is worse than catching a cold? I’ve decided that I really must build up my physical strength – and therefore my immune system – by doing more. Actually eating all of those lovely pickles I make would be a start in giving me more energy to do things!


This is a real sticky wicket for me, because of the epilepsy. I can be doing quite well (as I was doing early this year) and I will then be laid low by a seizure and so I lose all impetus and find myself afraid to leave the house again.

JoggingJogging is completely out of the question for me – I never was able to run anyway and my balance is all wrong; I also suffer from tendinitis across the bridges of both feet. I also no longer own a bicycle, and am not certain I’d feel confident riding one now anyway.

I had to think about this one for quite a while, as I can even get myself into danger at home using my Wii Fit Plus… and then it occurred to me.

LightbulbHey Gemma; you have a walking stick! Four of them actually, from when you broke your toe!

Bingo. I can limp around the neighbourhood until I’m fit enough to ditch the stick and walk without it over time. Thanks to my sister I now know that I feel so sick after a short walk because my body isn’t used to it, and that I just have to build it gradually so that the times between setting out and feeling sick become further and further apart. There’s actually a local walking club that I’d like to join in time, so that’s a goal to aim for. I can also do the yoga program on my Wii and eventually build up to more advanced techniques.

The WalkI put a few walking apps on my phone – including the one pictured (by Six To Start; it’s the sequel to Zombies! Run) to make things more pleasant as I potter along, but I’ll still be on the lookout for the Blackbirds, Robins and cheeky little Wrens that are all over our neighbourhood – also Lady Sparrowhawk in case I need to suddenly duck!

So basically Gemma, remember this to yourself: lay in some healthy cupboard supplies, and next time you want to flomp out on the sofa with a glass of wine and Doctor Who when it’s not even 2PM?

Put on your running gear, grab your phone, your inhaler, your water bottle and a healthy snack and get out of the house. By the time you get home you’ll be ready for a nice cup of delicious herbal tea.

Wishing everybody a wonderful new year, and I would love to know what your resolutions are!

About Missus Tribble

Media volunteer for Epilepsy Action (UK) and advocate for both epilepsy and autism awareness. Would like a Tardis when I grow up.
This entry was posted in 2014, Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, Attitudes, Body Image, Body Parts, Diet And Fitness, Disability, Disability Aids, Disabled Gardening, Discomfort, EDNOS, Epilepsy, Exercise, Food, Health, Neurological, Refusing To Be Beaten, Resolutions, Seizures. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Getting Fitter To Get Better

  1. willowdot21 says:

    Keep up the good work!!

  2. paulaacton says:

    I fully intend getting fit this year as well the cross trainer WILL be used for more than hanging clothes on lol

    • Missus Tribble says:

      I need to work on my arm some more yet, even though the bone’s healed (stupid rotor cuff muscles), but in the meantime chasing escaped crickets around the living room isn’t bad exercise lol!

  3. Best of luck, Gemma. I’m trying to get in better shape too. WIshing you good health and happiness in the coming New Year!

    • Missus Tribble says:

      A happy new year to you too Naomi – and thank you for sticking around in spite of my summer radio silence๐Ÿ™‚

      • That’s the beauty of the blogosphere! Real life must take priority, but then you know how to find us when you are ready and able. Best wishes–I’ll be sending good thoughts your way.

  4. serenalesley says:

    Familiar post title is familiar!

    I’m looking forward to our treadmill arriving tomorrow. Not that it’ll replace ‘running outside’, because I love that too much! But being able to run DESPITE gales and torrential rain, without setting off an ME/CFS flare-up, would be nice.๐Ÿ˜‰

    Tomorrow’s training run is an ‘easy 9 miles’, with ‘easy’ referring to the pace rather than the mileage. I will be able to do this easily because it’s only slightly more than I did last week, and I’ve been doing hill intervals since then. It’s amazing how much you can improve over time, just by improving a SMALL amount every week from following a proper training program. You get there better if you do it slowly and properly. Overdoing it leads to injury, as you now know, and doing too much, too soon, is a trigger for tendonitis.๐Ÿ™‚

    It was less than 2 years ago that I could barely walk unaided. It was less than a year since I started my ‘couch to 5k’ training. It will be less than 3 months before I run a half-marathon. I got there in the end, and so can you, if you do it properly.

    Glad to be somewhat of an inspiration.๐Ÿ™‚

    • Missus Tribble says:

      Haha, it was something you said to me when we met up before Christmas that inspired the title of this blog – it seems to be your mantra and I thought it would be a pretty motivating one to adopt!

      My main issue is the epilepsy, but you and I discussed that too, I think. I seem to recall you saying something about trying too hard and psyching myself *into* a seizure, which I hadn’t thought about before, so thanks for that!

      I shall definitely be starting on The Walk as soon as my rotor cuff muscles are sufficiently recovered so as not to hurt my arm too much when I’m active.

      Enjoy your treadmill, and have a wonderful 2004!

  5. Littlesundog says:

    Best wishes to you Gemma… just being cognizant of what you need to be doing to eat healthy and keep fit is a big part of the battle. FD and I started the Paleo diet about 2 weeks ago. I wasn’t too happy about it in the beginning but already I am feeling so much better and have more energy. I think that is the reward.. just feeling better. Keep after it girl… Happy New Year to you too!!

    • Missus Tribble says:

      Thanks Lori! I know quite a few people on the Paleo diet but know very little about it – but I’ll be asking my sister how to go about detox at some point in 2014.

      Happy new year, dear friend!

  6. The Heretic says:

    Happy New Year! Hope for a lot of positivity your way!

  7. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Hi Gemma, & happy new year๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m thrilled the changes you’ve made from years ago – I mean, cigarettes & rum, tea to these days: that’s wonderful. I never fully realised though that you don’t eat for days. OH MY GOSH. I don’t know how you do that, really don’t, but yes you would definitely be losing vitamins.

    Love the focus here though, & that you’re so positive & forward reaching๐Ÿ™‚. Came by to say happy new year and got this great post! Cheers & to your health.

  8. y_ddraenog_goch_2 says:

    Happy New Year, Gemma!

    I hope your flu will be gone soon.

    Good luck with building up your stamina and fitness. To be honest, I reckon my lack of energy at the moment may well be due to my not being active enough physically too.

    I don’t make New Year’s resolutions as such, but I will try to do something about my lack of activity too, by getting out of the house more, instead of sitting at the computer or the radios as much as I currently do. I’m thinking of perhaps taking the camera (and a handheld radio :-)) out with me on walks, and trying to record more than I usually do of the signs of spring, then in due course summer, developing around the garden, the village, and other places. Buds bursting; queen bees buzzing around looking for a nest site; the first flowers appearing (can’t be long now before the snowdrops come up); birds getting frisky, and gathering nesting material…

    Whether all this will actually come to pass remains to be seen, but you’ve certainly set me thinking!

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