Breakfast for cold mornings, and training routine is back on!

Shortly after my previous post I caught a cold virus which after a week turned into a horrendous cough. Today is actually one of the first days when I feel back to normal again and I am so very happy about that. I really don’t do being ill, as I am not a very good patient due to my lack of patience. This cold and affiliated side effects came as a big surprise since it must have been well over two years since I caught a cold virus. It has been so long that I somehow also had managed to forget how utterly boring it is to be in ‘house arrest’ and too weak to do just about anything. But I’m not going to bore you with all the details of my past two weeks, because it is all over now and today I have (of course!) been to the gym for an ‘ease back into it’ session. It was lovely! However the gym was a lot easier on the body than the cardio session, but it’s okay as I am not fully back yet. Soon enough I will be able to push it a bit again, cannot wait to hit the roads…or wait, what am I saying? It is 💫trail running💫 time now – woo – no more pollen, perfect autumn air and a forest that is a lot less crowded by people than during the summers.

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I do love outdoors running above all else, but honestly guys, this year (at least here in Germany) the weather truly decided to skip out on autumn and instead jump straight into winter temperatures, brr! It is bloody cold outdoors, so very cold that I have decided that it is time to head off to the shops tomorrow and invest in yet another pair of warm running pants. Along with cold mornings my ‘winter breakfast’ has also re-entered my life, warm oatmeal porridge and whichever fruit or berries I may have in the kitchen at the time.

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Today I decided to use up some American blueberries that were in desperate need of being eaten so it was a perfect match this morning. When it comes to fruit and berries I don’t tend to keep exact measurements as I believe that the immense health benefits outnumbers the potential extra calories. I suppose if you are on a low sugar diet (including fructose) it may be a different story, but I need a little something in my oatmeal to spice it up a bit.

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I have to be honest here and tell you that I actually do not love oatmeal porridge like many people do. As a matter of fact I tolerate it and at times I am even able to enjoy it a bit. This may seem a tad strange, why eat something that I don’t love? Well, because I still know that it is healthy for my body and because I know that I have a tendency to eat the same thing every morning far too often. Contrary to what I sometimes try to convince myself; my body does not only appreciate variation it actually depends on it. I wish that I could love oatmeal porridge because it is such an easy and quick breakfast, with numerous health benefits. But its something about the texture of the porridge that sometimes makes me less keen, however it is the ultimate student breakfast as it is rather cheap and you don’t need much to feel perfectly sated. Additionally, in these cold October mornings this breakfast is warm and lovely and I can almost feel how very gentle it is while traveling through my body.

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I usually add about three table spoons of cold milk as well, I know that it is not recommended to consume any milk products in the morning if you suffer from Hashimotos. Keeping my milk intake at minimum is therefore important to me personally, but I simply cannot eat oatmeal porridge without milk. I guess it is because it is how I have always ate it since I was a child and my father used to serve it during winter mornings. Perhaps that is yet another reason to why I so stubbornly continue to eat this breakfast, because it is affiliated with a person that is no longer here and as such it is almost like a tribute to him in itself. Who knows, what I do know is that oatmeal is perfect for those days when I need something a bit ‘heavier’ that will keep my body busy and happy for a bit longer. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning can easily keep me going past lunch time if I need to.

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Anyway, oatmeal porridge may not be my everyday breakfast routine but every now and then it is nice to be able to cook something that is warm, quick and easy. The fact that you can add fruit and berries is a bonus as well, my favourite is actually grated fresh apples and then cinnamon sprinkled on top. Yum! Pretty much like eating an apple pie, or well more or less anyway.

Autumn is here and I am…well, tired.

We returned back home from our engagement trip to Greece the other week and since then I have truly struggled to get myself back into my former training routine. Not due to a holiday blues or anything along those lines, instead I think it has to do with autumn all of a sudden being here and all the stress related to the upcoming study year. I suppose the darker evenings is another contributing factor to a bit lower energy levels. Not quite sure how to break this rather sluggish uninspired feeling. I did however head out for a run yesterday but I didn’t enjoy it and even ended up walking (!) for about 500 meters because I was just bored and had no motivation. I did manage to pick myself up though and keep on going to finish my session. But it was a drag, a real drag.

Anyway, tomorrow is a new day and I will head off to the gym, hopefully it will be a bit more enjoyable than yesterday run. If nothing else I have to keep my fingers crossed that the training mojo will return in a couple of weeks due to keeping at it and not giving up. Not much else to do right now, I cannot not train so I don’t have much of a choice really. Hopefully my doctors appointment on Thursday will bring good news and the they will be able to sort out my thyroid problems properly. That would be truly brilliant!

So, this happened!

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As you may have noticed, I have not been too active on 365evermore in a while and this is the reason! I have simply needed some time to process all this amazing that has happened and rightly so I would say. Though this proposal was no surprise, as I actually really dislike surprises – the feeling when the ring arrived was a lot more overwhelming than I could imagine. I am a very rational person in general, I love science and believe that an engagement and marriage is something that should be discussed, decided upon together as it is a huge commitment both emotionally and financially. The emotional part I had no worries about as we have been a couple for over a decade and as such are pretty darn sure that we want to spend the rest of our lives together. Though I do like some benefits of marriage, I wholeheartedly dislike other parts. My main problem with this institution (i.e. marriage) is the part where the government and society all of sudden will start to have a significant part in our lives.  Sorry guys, I warned you I am not much of a romantic and extremely rational when it comes to decisions like this. If you have read Elizabeth Gilberts book ‘Committed‘ you may understand what I am talking about, if not, go read it as it is a fabulous book but also very thought provoking when it comes to the ‘socio-cultural’ and political concept of marriage. Another point and a valid one, is that neither of us are actually religious and as such have absolutely no ‘natural’ relationship to marriage as a religious institution manifesting the union of husband and wife.

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However, evident of the proof above, we did eventually come to the conclusion that we did want to get engaged and eventually married despite not agreeing with everything that marriage represents. But during this time I also realised that I don’t have to agree with it all, I don’t have to view it as a ‘religious tradition’ or rites de passage. We are free to define it however we like. And to us, not too different to many others I would imagine, it is simply a beautiful way to celebrate and further manifest our love to each other- and to society as a whole. And I must say, wearing the ring is absolutely fabulous, because even though very little has changed, I still feel somehow different. I can only imagine how I will feel when the second ring is in place!

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Let me just say a little about the ring as well, because we were quite particular when it came to material, gem and goldsmith. We both are huge nature- and wildlife lovers who enjoy many outdoorsy activities such as swimming, climbing, snowboarding, skiing, hiking, mountain-biking, trail-running and so on. Currently we are very fortunate and live in an area of Germany where there is a huge national park with plenty of trails, beautiful nature and fantastic wildlife in general. It is simply gorgeous and something we treasure immensely. To me, this love and appreciation goes hand in hand with taking an environmental responsibility. Buying an engagement ring was no exception to that rule. It was vital to us that our ring and gem left the smallest environmental dent as possible. This firstly meant that we wanted the ring itself to be made out of recycled gold. This is an environmental issue that sometimes is forgotten in the ‘engagement and wedding industry’, the disgraceful disaster that the gold mining industry is causing the environment. Secondly, we wanted to avoid using diamonds, because as most people are aware of today, there is many ugly problems related to the diamond industry and as such it was never really an option for us. It is important to realise that it can never be fully guaranteed that a diamond is conflict free (including those that are labeled as such) unless the gemstone is produced in a laboratory. Though I personally steer far away from diamonds I do actually love ‘shiny’ things (very much like Gollum and crows I suppose) and really wanted a beautiful gemstone in my ring. So when my partner introduced me to moissanite, a lab-grown gemstone which was first discovered over 100 years ago on a meteor that struck earth, I fell head over heels in love with both the gemstone and its marvellous history. To us there is no other gemstone that could be more perfect, or more romantic. So there it is, our story. An end to the former and a new beginning to all beautiful things to come!

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For anyone that would like to get in contact with a fabulous, kind and much talented goldsmith, then please head over to Kristin Coffin’s webpage. You will not regret it!

Sunday Confession | To push yourself or not.

This has been one crazy week, training wise I have been fine – better than fine actually as I had my best run to date on Thursday. Legs were in perfect symbiosis with the heart and lungs and I felt as if I could have gone on forever, and I almost did. Until I remembered that I have very little to gain from that, and the importance of keeping to my original plan and as such hopefully stay away from unesessary injuries. My boyfriend and I often speak of this as he has much more of an ‘all in’ kind of personality, whereas I prefer to plan, research and I much rather take baby steps than jump in at the deep end. Though I realise that sometimes a gentle push into the deep end before you feel fully prepared is the right way to go, I do find it quite difficult to push myself at times. Or rather, to know when exactly it is the right moment to do so and when its time to hold back. I often think about how I as a former equestrian had to prepare both myself and the horse for the jump, how absolutely everything had to be carefully calculated. Every step approaching the obstacle was counted for, the pace and intensity was controlled and the intention of what was about to happen was introduced to the horse with the help of my own body, how I distributed my weight and movements. It is that very knowledge I am looking for in my current training, to simply know when to hold back and sit steady in the boat and when to bring up the sails and go full speed ahead. I suppose that it is as with everything else in life, with extended experience – deeper knowledge and understanding is also gained.

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But in all honesty, are we not all searching for the perfect balance in our lives? I certainly am, and for most part I must say that I have found it. Or rather, I have come to the conclusion that perhaps there isn’t a balance that is ongoing forever-ever, but instead a deeper, inner balance that is apparent in a more subtle way such as how we choose to handle mundane everyday situations. With this in mind, I suppose that it at times may be a-ok to keep on running some of those days when my body whispers ‘its ok, we can handle it‘. To allow myself to trust my body, though I am battling it (the Hashimoto bit) at the moment – I should still allow myself to believe that though my body may be troublesome it is also capable of creating those marvellous moments of magical ‘runners high’. And for that I am tremendously grateful.

How do You approach the concept of pushing yourself? Do you trust your body to hold it together just because your mind says so? Do you jump in with both feet first at the deep end or do you prefer a slow start with the ever so helpful inflatables? If you have the time, feel free to leave me a comment with your thoughts on this subject.

Monday, and I love it.

I love Mondays, and the feeling of a whole blank new week ahead of me that I can shape however I please. Of course this is the privilege of someone who currently does not work, and yet have some time off until the ‘real’ student year begins. Monday equals a sweaty gym session for me which I love, I must say that I find great satisfaction in lifting and noticing the change in my muscle strength and body composition in general. I firmly believe in strengthening the body not only because it helps me during running but more importantly because it will keep my body healthier (and stronger) as I grow older. It is definitely my main drive behind training, to do my part when it comes to providing the right tools for my body to build a healthy frame.

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A couple of years ago I discovered a lump in my breast and went through half a year of stressful doctors visits, numerous examinations until it was resolved and declared a-ok. Going through a health scare like that definitely made me reconsider some of my previous dispositions towards various things in life. It made it easier to remain focused on where I want to go in life and what I would like to achieve in relation to a healthy lifestyle. At this point, I genuinely thank my body everyday, not because I think that my ‘body’ understands what I am saying, but because my mind does. And if I learnt anything from being ill myself, and sitting by my father as he was terminally ill, what we think – the thoughts that we cultivate – can make a world of difference. Positivity is key, and that does not mean to always and only be positive (or be a constant ‘yes sayer’) sometimes saying no is the most positive thing you can do for yourself. Positivity to me means that I remain true to myself, humble towards everyone else and grateful for the opportunities, struggles and wins that I encounter in my life. It is as simple as that, and it is Monday and I happen to love it.

Breakfast and Beetroot Juice.

Sunday, and I started my morning with a lovely breakfast and some beetroot juice. Must say that I had a rather lazy morning actually, much deserved after yesterdays kickboxing and static strength exercises. I love that kind of exhaustion that happens after a tough workout. I don’t think I ever feel so alive as I do during the full on, give it all I have circuits when my breathing is ‘heavy’ and theres a constant river of sweat dripping off my forearms, chin and forehead. I love it. Though I currently train to beat Hashimoto’s I would never and have never trained for the sole reason to get or be fit. I train because I love it, because its a part of me as much as I wish to be a part of it. The energy boost I am granted during and after training is fantastic. And the satisfaction of going to bed later on in the evening and have the best sleep ever due to my body being at peace is gold. Simply gold.

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Anyway, this morning I felt like giving my body a bit of a nutrition boost, not that I feel ill or anything I just like to keep my immune-system on its toes. Much needed when you suffer from an under-active thyroid as well, since it is an autoimmune disease and anything and everything you can do to help your body out in these situations is a good thing. Though I don’t use juicing as a mean of ‘weight control’ I still swear by the many benefits it has for your body (not to mention the enhancement of your bowel movements if you have problems in that area) as you get to consume large amount of vegetables, fruit, berries in the many different juices.

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Love the gorgeous color of the beetroot, fresh and vivid. I prefer to buy them ‘raw’ like this and peel them myself instead of buying them ‘prepared’. This way I know exactly whats been done to them, i.e absolutely nothing. Just the way I like it. I also believe that the whole point with juicing is to use fresh products, which is something I cannot get my head around when it comes to the current ‘smoothie’-trend. So many people seem to use frozen (packaged) products, something I would not really want to do if I could avoid it. However, I am not big into smoothies so perhaps there is something to it that I simply don’t get. As of now, I much prefer juicing as it is an excellent way to boost my body with plenty of nutritious benefits from raw vegetables and fruit.

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If you find it difficult to stomach the ‘earthy‘ taste of the beetroot (I did to begin with) then you can add a lemon in the mix. My experience is that it neutralise the overly earthy taste quite well. And I suppose most people know how fantastic lemon juice is for the body – yum – unfortunately not so awesome for our teeth so should be consumed with some caution for sure.

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So this is just about what I put into my beetroot juice, sometimes I add celery as well or any other green veggie, but as I didn’t have any at home today this had to do. I will also eat a very green lunch today so will most definitely get enough green vegetables in my body.

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Some of the finished product, don’t you just love the popping color? Not only the color is beautiful, the taste was as well and I am sure my body thanks me for the many health benefits. To borrow a slogan from Marks & Spencer, this juice is certainly… one that wows!

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Accompanying my juice I also had a lovely breakfast, scrambled eggs, cherry tomatoes and some avocado – would have loved a bit more that, but it was a tad too ripe unfortunately. August can be a bit tricky when it comes to keeping vegetables and fruit. I always seem to forget and keep on purchasing the same amount and then have to make the most odd food combinations because I really don’t want to have to throw anything out. Anyway, I hope you all are having a lovely Sunday – I am heading out for a run later on tonight, fingers crossed it will be a fabulous one!

If you cannot eat the rainbow, at least eat your veggies.

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Simply cannot get enough of this dish at the moment. So ridiculously simple, so tremendously good. You have seen it all before, cherry tomatoes, yellow pepper, leek, courgette, aubergine, sun-dried tomatoes and once finished topped with some low-fat feta cheese. Heavenly good.

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I have spent a good amount of time at the gym today, focusing on legs mainly. It was very busy, which is rather unusual during the summer but it was a ‘nice kind of busy’ if you know what I mean. People were focusing on their training and simply channeling that kind of ‘good’ workout energy. Normally I prefer to train alone, unless its with a Personal Trainer, but I love the company of other gym members. I love to learn from watching the super-fit people, the talented lifters and the splendid runners. They all serve as fabulous inspiration and motivation in my own fitness journey. But I also adore the beginners, the sometimes careful and insecure ones that seem to want to disappear into the walls when the machines make odd noises or when they cannot figure something out. And I love the many seniors, sometimes strong as oxes and more often than not they outrun me on the treadmill without breaking a sweat. I love the gym-family, when it is a good one. And I happen to be a member of a gym that has a lovely down to earth attitude, professional staff that also take the time to get to know you as well as carefully looked after machines and training areas. After all, the gym does serve as my second home, and it is important to me that it is a place where I as well as everyone else who spend time there, feel equally welcome.

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Anyway, post gym, I always want to eat something quick and healthy. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I tend to eat lighter during the day so a vegetable-based lunch is all I need really. I don’t feel the need to add another protein source, except for the feta cheese, as I hit my protein goals just fine every day. However, please note that I cannot be used as a general example of how you should eat, my diet is carefully controlled by my general practitioner due to my Hashimoto. If you struggle with weight loss or if you simply want to know what diet would suit you best, I recommend you to contact a professional (dietician, nutritionist or your GP) for adequate advice.

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It has been a lovely break to write this entry, but time flies and I have to get back to my psychology books for a bit. August is here and my next study year will ‘unofficially’ open up in September so it’s about time to get properly started now. This summer has disappeared in a heartbeat really, but somehow I still feel quite energised and happy and ready to take on another year. My second last one, kind of mind boggling to be honest, halfway there and through plenty of hard work and determination I have managed to get distinctions only up to this point. Hopefully it will be a lasting trend, I would love to finish with a first!

Early morning run.

Woke up at 6 am this morning and could not go back to sleep for some reason, so naturally I went out for a morning run. As you do. Was quite tired in my legs since Sundays run when I pushed both pace and distance further than normal and on top of that I had a rather tough gym and cycle session yesterday. But it is all good, sometimes that ‘drowsy’ feeling in the body is the best start because I believe that I can actually feel how every inch of my body wakes up during the warm up. How the muscles realise that ‘oh right time for that again’ and how the heart and lungs recognise the breathing pattern, adjusting themselves accordingly and pushing me into ‘awake’-mode. There is a beauty in early mornings and slowly waking up your body with a gentle jog, plodding on leaving any worries behind enjoying the moment. I also love early mornings due to the silence of the world, the empty streets and the beauty of the botanical gardens which I have the pleasure to run past. Though today did not turn out to be my fastest run, it actually became my longest one as it was that enjoyable and I didn’t feel like stopping.

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Once back home, I fed the cat (we are taking him to the veterinary today as he’s had a cold for a bit despite being vaccinated so we are very worried about him as he’s getting quite old and also suffers from Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) and decided to cook myself a warm breakfast containing mushrooms and sundried tomatoes (obsessed!) so incredibly good and simple. I love anything and everything quick when it comes to food, though I wish that I had more of my fathers skills and patience in the kitchen as I really do not. In my opinion, as long as I have ate my greens, kept within my calculated calories for the day, well then I am one happy little bean really.

Weekend plans.

Summer is here and I cannot help myself but spend most of the days outdoors. It is far too beautiful to stay indoors in front of a computer. Don’t really want to focus on anything else but this fabulous season and the gorgeous weather! To recap a bit though, I received positive news from my medical doctor in the sense that I do not have diabetes type 2. My thyroid levels on the other hand were all over the place. Cannot say that I was too surprised about that as I have been feeling slightly odd as of late. But hopefully it’ll be sorted in not too long, in particular since I will get to see a specialist at the end of September. Fingers crossed!

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In other news, I have been very busy training this week and absolutely loved every minute of it. Though it is super hot here at the moment I have kept my routine and done my runs, gym sessions, cycling, yoga and kickboxing (yep that is a new one and I am in love to say that least!). At the moment I really enjoy trying out new types of exercise I think it is because I am yet far from the form I used to be (mainly due to Hashimoto and the weight gain affiliated with this disease!) and as such I am trying to find the right balance – at this point in my life – where training will remain fun, enjoyable and yet challenging. I have always liked quite intensive training a lot more than slow paced ones, but lately I have started to see the beauty in the many fantastic challenges that yoga contributes with. The complete body knowledge and control in addition to the more ‘spiritual’ connection between muscles, body and mind is truly beautiful to experience. However, I am a rather restless soul whom find it difficult to queue and stand still for too long, I like the constant forward motion in general and I suppose that it is apparent in my training as well. Nonetheless, the mix of different training that I enjoy at the moment suits me perfectly. The only thing I miss is my hikes, but I will have to wait a bit longer till the pollen is gone and its safe to venture into the depths of the majestic forest. I miss it tremendously, and if I cannot find my calm anywhere else, I never fail to find it there.

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Anyway, it is Friday and I have a fun weekend ahead of me – a bit of studying (I am preparing for next study year, yes total nerd always have been! ♡) run tomorrow evening, kickboxing and yoga on Sunday and then on top of it all there is a triathlon this weekend in the city where I live so I think I might pop down to town and cheer the boys and girls on! If nothing else it will get me even more motivated to keep on going with my training. I wish you all a lovely weekend!

A small update.

Last week passed by in a flash! I managed to squeeze in a few runs and gym, but the weekend was spent celebrating my boyfriends birthday. As such it was a very busy but lovely week and I must say that we had a fabulous time celebrating in the weekend. Lovely weather and plenty of sun (30 degrees) most definitely helped to perk up the mood even more than usual. Perhaps not the most pleasant weather to train in for a Scandinavian polar bear like myself, but I have solved it by getting out of bed insanely early and do somewhat of a ‘sleepwalking run’. Haha, not really, luckily I am an avid morning person and really enjoy heading out in the early morning when the streets are empty and silent. Of course it makes me terribly sleepy in the evening, but that is a price I happily pay. Theres nothing like starting the day with exercise and get that boost of energy straight on, I love it.

If last week was a success, this week had a rather depressing start as I went to my general practitioners office and have now been told to book an appointment with an endocrinologist (at last!) since my general practitioner finally realised that he cannot solve my thyroid problem. Though it makes me rather sad that I have had to wait for a year to get this referral I am still happy that it has now become a reality. However, I also handed in new blood tests where the normal levels will be checked (T3 + free, T4 + free, TSH etc) but also diabetes type 2. This, because my medical doctor told me, for some reason, a year ago that type 2 diabetes had been checked when it in fact had not. Rather shocking right? I actually cannot begin to express how utterly upset I am about this. It is a huge deal, not only because I am not keen on having yet another lifelong diagnosis, but also because I have seen first hand how horrible type 2 diabetes can be.

Additionally, my medical doctor has had over a year to sort out my thyroid problem OR refer me to specialists and still nothings happened until I went to see my doctor on Monday and by chance ended up seeing a different doctor at the same office whom was shocked and rather appalled that I had not been told to see an endocrinologist and an eye doctor. Apparently all thyroid patients should at least once consult these two specialists once diagnosed with hypothyroidism (and Hashimotos) to make sure everything is alright. So yes, I have in vain (when it comes to weight loss, not when it comes to general health of course!) spent a whole year fighting super hard to lose weight though I obviously have an extremely sleepy metabolism. Not only does it make me cross because the lack of weight loss due to my thyroid medication not being on pointe, increase the potential of developing type 2 diabetes, but also because I really want to get back to my old self again. Additionally, as my boyfriend usually says, ‘it must be horrendous to put in all the hard work, train, eat health consciously, never drink alcohol (not that it is must but you know what I mean!) and never be able to reap the benefits of all that hard work’. And that is exactly it, its easy to lose motivation and heart when you do absolutely everything you can but at the same time over and over be let down by the very institutions that is supposed to care about your wellbeing, efforts and sacrifices made to become well. Hopefully I will get the right kind of help in September when I get to see a specialist for the first time. But for now; Bring on tomorrow, bring on the verdict and give me strength to embrace it no matter what it may turn out to be.