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A Journey That Will Take 12 Weeks…

Autumn is a time of change – and loss.

Back in March at the very beginning of the viral pandemic I was a pillar of positivity. I sensed the social pain, frustration and challenges associated with the practicalities of lockdown, but from a behavioural perspective understood the significant underlying and unseen problems there would be from isolation, social starvation and disruption to routine.

Behind the positive videos we produced, blogs and content I continued to produce to help maintain perspective on the uncertain situation, things were extremely difficult. Most of my income relies on people coming together in the form of conferences, events, broadcast filming and workshops here at the farm. As a result of lockdown and the subsequent covid-19 restrictions, within 7 days I lost 90% of my annual income and continued to watch my diary empty as future work was cancelled or moved into November 2021 at the earliest.

Like many businesses across the world, I had to let all but one of my team go, reduce outgoings and strip back to the bear minimum. An eye-opening exercise indeed and a learning curve that demonstrated just how little we truly need, which simultaneously exposes what really matters. Still trying to remain positive; my default outlook on life, I was unaware of just how much everything was affecting me.

This isn’t a sob story and I’ll spare the gory details (and there are many, believe me) but the result was that in those initial 5 months, I lost 2″ from my waistline as a result of stress and anxiety. My mental health suffered, too, and despite constantly working hard to maintain some sort of income, I began to burn out. Weekly there was something else that went wrong and throughout all of this my eldest dog, my wing man of 13 years, Zeus, finally had to be put to sleep. Around about the same time I met someone exceptional while dating, and fell deeply for them. Again, I’ll spare the details but imagine the most romantic and perfect love film you’ve ever seen. That recently fell apart, too, and I’m currently trying to manage the grief and immense guilt of my misguided actions that led to hurting that person so very much. I miss them deeply.

Aware of my weight loss and reeling in pain and loss and confusion I’ve embarked on a pretty special 12 week journey. This post isn’t really about me – it’s about all of us and the thing that unites us all: our vulnerability. We are only human and we each have flaws and challenges and I know that every one of us is impacted in some way by the current situation. Some are more resilient and buoyant than others but at times our vulnerability presents itself and we are perhaps a little more aware of core needs not being met; the uncomfortableness of uncertainty; missing friends or going on holiday, and even the simple things like not feeling true freedom of being able to do what we want to do, when we want to do it. Remembering a mask (or getting somewhere and realising you forgot it) even adds a subtle underlying stress.

Having a 12 week plan forcibly gives me hope; structure and a clear goal to aim towards. I’m not going to pretend the idea of 12 weeks is easy – I’m only on week 2 and I couldn’t feel further from progress, however, anxiety and loss of love doesn’t help eating well!

So, my 12 week plan is a plan of self care, ultimately. It’s a structured plan to gain weight and with that weight also gain some muscle definition through a workout plan. Added into that plan, which I’m working with a personal trainer on, I’m reconnecting with house plants, my garden (although it’s getting cold and wet, hence the house plants!) and other elements of self care that help make me feel stronger and more in control of how I feel.

I’m sharing it with you because what I see on social media is a growing trend of filters; falseness and disingenuous content. Since openly coming out this year, I’ve made the choice to be open and honest – if that’s not what you want to see, I completely understand. There are tens of thousands of other people you can follow who will proclaim to have a perfect life; consistently look beautiful in their photos and extoll the positive virtues of their life. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: that isn’t human, or honest and I don’t think it’s especially useful for our mental health. We should embrace our flaws because life isn’t perfect – and nor are we. To pretend we are is to hide from who we really are, and that will always – always – catch up with you in the end.

And that’s what I’ve promised myself – and you. If you’re not following me on social (instagram, twitter, facebook, youtube and Linkedin @ThatJezRose) please do so for an exciting announcement on Monday 19th October and to be part of an altogether exciting public journey.

15 Comments

You are still the amazing person who we loved tuning in to on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram (nice stalker here!). You’ve had a hugely turbulent few months and I’m sorry to hear your relationship didn’t work out. We’ve found you to be open and honest and if haters want to hate, we’re waving them goodbye along side of you.

Time to concentrate on you and restore yourself, taking it day by day. You have Marley to help you by jumping over you when exercising and all your ladies outside when you need a break and to check on honey production (albeit it slowing down now the cooler weather is coming in).

I’m taking a leaf out of your book by getting a SAD lamp as fed up being fed up with no motivation (big ball in the sky has long departed Glenrothes). Yesterday was a movie day: Karate Kid 2 and 3 along with multiple episodes of Lucifer on Amazon Prime. I need to decorate the house and continue to build projects so I need to “feel” 100% too. Procrastination and non-motivated are awkward things for me.

Drink plenty of water (not TeaPig 😉)
Eat often and nutritional food
Get 8hrs sleep (bed = sleep, not for thinking)
Use your SAD lamp
Do something everyday that is for YOU
Switch off social media few hrs before bed
Exercise will increase endorphins and tire you out, so hopefully you will feel better soon

One day at a time 😊

Donna Henderson

Thanks for your honesty, Jez.
I know we don’t know each other well, but I am always available for a chat if you want one.
Best wishes.

John Hayns

Thank you for your open honesty in your blog. I really appreciate all your humanness and wisdom as well as your frailty and vulnerability.
It is a real blessing to be able to communicate the truth of our lives. Your love for a meaningful life shines through. Despite all your stress and difficult journey you have helped so many others navigate through this last eight months including me.
For this gift I thankyou and wish you well in the next part of your life’s journey ❤️🙏❤️

Carolyn Rupcic

Hello Jez,

What an honest account.

Stay positive, I hope your plan is a success.
Thanks for roots and wings its brilliant.

Kind regards

Ian

Ian Hill

So open and honest of you Jez, to lay yourself bare like this displays true bravery. For one so mindful and positive in their outlook on life it’s refreshing to know we are all fractured and vulnerable. Turning your negative situation on its head and looking forward 12weeks can only be applauded. I wish you the best of luck.
Sarah

Sarah Skinner

Amazing read, I love the way you put words on paper Jez. Lots of things going on for you in your world right now. Keep working to find your happiness, you have so much to offer, looking forward to reading the next chapter

Vikki Strong

Hi Jez,

I’ve been following you for a while now, (not literally!) and I’m so sorry to read all that you’ve endured. Particularly since you’ve lifted mine and doubtless countless others spirits over the last few months.
I’ll be continuing to follow your journey with great interest, and willing you on.
Sending all good wishes and much love.
Claire and Michael Cooper

Claire Cooper

I saw you speak at the APMP conf some years ago and have followed you since. Terribly sorry to hear that this year has been tough and unkind to you. Refreshed to hear your honest and brave onward journey. Looking forward to trailing along and hearing your stories! Much love to you, MrsXmas xx

Victoria Christmas

Thank you for your refreshing honesty.

Alice

Hope is such an essential part of life. I’ve been thinking a lot about that recently, seeing people (young, very young and old) get it, long for it, and it slipping away again is painful.
I’d like to know what bees think about hope. Bees are good at community and I think there is something special about communal hope. Community and hope together seem to be at the very core of what civilisation needs. This diminishing is causing wellness pandemic. One that can’t be patched with wellness coaching, health and diet alone.
So I hear some of your pain and thank you profusely for again stepping up to the line and being willing to show people another way. I believe it’s the start of making a difference. And that matters.
Would be good to talk some time

Mark

Very brave Jez to out that out there. So sorry about your lovely dog. I remember him well from when we did a Panorama documentary in 2010 with my bulldogs.

Debbie Humphreys

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings and plans. Falling for the wrong person and splitting up is probably up there with one of the most stressful things to go though! And to also lose one of your best friends (Zeus) at the same time must have been awful.

I found your podcast with Adam over lockdown and love to hear your banter. I missed Adam in the last one but your random stream of consciousness was equally as entertaining.

Have you tried meditation at all? I do about 5 mins a day and I find it’s a very healing ‘time out’ for both the mind and the body.

Sending big virtual hugs to you and good luck wishes for your 12 week plan.

Pippa Barrett

Thank you for sharing Jez,
You’re always a inspirational person!
Your words told what any others have gone and going through.

Lorraine Lythe

Well done for having a self-care plan and sharing it on your social media channels. Good luck with the exercise routine. I listened to the Roots, Wings and Other Things podcast this morning and you are obviously hurting at the moment but trying so hard to work to improve your wellbeing. I was hoping to hear Adam on the podcast as well because he has gone quiet on Twitter and Instagram. I saw him on Gardeners’ World – I don’t know when it was filmed but he still has lockdown hair, so perhaps you could give him some hairstyling tips. I’m looking forward to seeing how Leaves & Co progresses this month. Maybe you could include something about growing edibles indoors, such as salad leaves which give a quick return.

AJ Farrell

Very moving Jez and inspirational in showing how to share and potentially face our different vulnerabilities. Didn’t see 19th Oct announcement? Best wishes with 12 week plan.

Gaynor

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