Slimming World, Hormones & Me

As you have probably gathered from my previous posts, I am now doing Slimming World. I won’t refer to it as a diet, as in actual fact, I’m not being deprived of any food (or alcohol – and I think we can all agree I like a drink or 10)

For those of you not familiar with Slimming World, here is the basic concept. All lean meat, most fish & seafood, fruit & vegetables are what is known as free food, you can have as much of this as you like, this also includes potatoes, pasta & eggs. Yes you read that correctly, as my Mum often said when she was giving me her slimming world sales pitch “you can eat a whole bag of potatoes if you like” but it’s true (although I’m yet to try it) then you have what is known as healthy extras one list is made up of certain dairy products (milk & cheese) and the other is fibre (bread, crackers, cereals) you are to have one from each list per day. Then all other food is given a “syn” value for example a large glass of my much beloved Sauvignon blanc is 11.5 syns. When you sign up to Slimming world, you are given a daily syn allowance, mine for example is 12-15 per day. When you sign up you have access to an online portal where you can find the syn value of most food brands and restaurants and there is also a calculator for anything else. So I can, if I want, still have a large glass of wine every day if I like! Hurrah!

So I’m back on the slimming world wagon (after a 4 week Christmas break) I have lost 3.5lb in 2 weeks, in this time I’ve drank (too much) wine, been to an Indian restaurant (and ate with abandon) celebrated 2 children’s birthdays and not done any extra exercise (I walk 30 mins to Work and 30 mins home which I’ve always done) so I’m pretty much in love with the Slimming World concept right now.

I am not, however, loving my hormones. Sunday night I started to feel, well weird, like I’d had too much caffeine but fed up with it, jittery misery is the only way to describe it. I took Monday off of work as I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for people, this was a mistake as staying home watching Jeremy Kyle only made me more miserable and I was out of my routine. I was now blaming the crateload of prosecco I’d consumed over the weekend. Back to work tomorrow!

Tuesday morning was met with a Moany man banging on about my alarm being snoozed too much and waking him up (he had to get up anyway) I just wasn’t in the mood for his misery so I cried about it when he got in the shower, silently ranting at his cruelty of daring to tell me off when I am feeling so sensitive (like he knew about it)

Wednesday at work was uneventful but I still wasn’t feeling myself, whilst driving home from the station I attempted parking my car on my drive and hit the fence taking half of the back of my car off whilst my boyfriend stood and watched from the doorstep with his hand over his mouth, I just left the car abandoned across the drive, threw him the keys shouting “YOU DO IT!!” I stomped upstairs put my pyjamas on and cried for a bit. Fucking fence.

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Its my (blog) birthday

Today marks a year since I wrote my first blog here. Yay!

A lot has happened since then, diet & exercise regimes have come and gone along with a couple of “friends” but the most notable thing is my mental health.

This time last year I was on anti depressants wondering if I would ever be able to come off them, then I did and spent quite a bit of time thinking should I go back on them and finally, now I feel in a good place. I feel the most positive and happy me since god knows when. I am managing to stick to my resolutions/goals and am slowly learning how to actually look after myself without feeling selfish and its bloody great.

I am starting to feel like I am getting my act together, I have a nice little routine in place at the beginning of each week I make a meal plan and order my shopping in, I put a plan to exercise in for a few mornings per week, although I don’t stress about this too much as I do walk for 3 miles as part of my commute to work, I’ve set up reminders on my phone for silly things like to remember to take my lunch or vitamins (these are the things that really annoy me when I forgot as they are so little! But one forgotten lunch can equal a cheeseburger if I’m not careful!) Having a routine, for me, is a huge factor. Dont get me wrong, I like to be spontaneous every now and again, but just the fact that I have an idea of what is going on in my life, such as what I am going to dinner, is somewhat comforting. So tonight, I shall celebrate my blog birthday by going home and getting in my PJs, making a syn free cottage pie and if I am feeling really wild, I might have a muller light after. I can’t wait!!!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

I have to say, at the risk of sounding like a complete killjoy, I am glad it’s all over.

I am not going to write about the things I thought I was going to write about, such as how I have gone from being Mrs Christmas to Scrooge, or how I keep having very bizarre, vivid dreams. Nope, I am going to wipe the slate clean and look forward, instead of back.

So I admit it, I am one of those New Year, New Me people this year. I have set my goals for the year so I thought I would share them with you.

  1. Lose weight. Oh yes, everybodys favourite! Since meeting my boyfriend I have put on over 2 stone and it really gets to me. This year however, I have a huge incentive. I’m getting married!! Although I have ordered my dress and it looks lovely as I am now, I am not happy with the way I am. I don’t want to go out as much anymore as I never feel nice in my clothes and I hate shopping as it is but the awful feeling of trying stuff on and it’s too tight or just looks horrible does not help my mental state at all. I have been doing slimming world, where I lost 8lb but then have put half back on after having a few weeks off at Christmas, but I am confident that I can shift some serious weight, without starving myself, in fact I eat more now than ever!
  2. Get Fit. This actually has nothing to do with weight loss, this has more to do with my general health. My joints are aching and I don’t seem to bounce back from illnesses like I used to and once again exercise is good for the mind. The plan is to try to exercise 3 times a week and I would like to mix it up a bit by doing some running, HIIT sessions and even giving yoga a go. This is all in my diary to start next week, I prefer exercising in the mornings as if I wait until I come home I wont do it! If I feel like starting this week I will, I just didn’t want to put any pressure on myself to do everything New Years Day.
  3. Write more. I really do enjoy writing, often I will be somewhere and have the urge to write but am not always able to so I want to try to  make more time for this as I find it really therapeutic. Again I have scheduled some time in my diary for this, I am starting with one lunch time per week and can build it from there, so you should expect to see more of me.
  4. Have more me time. I learned a really good word last year. That word is “NO” It took me a long time to get used to saying that to people, I would feel guilty and end up spending time and money I didn’t have to spend. This year is going to be more about doing the things I want to do and less of the things I don’t want. It’s certainly not going to be easy but I know it will be worth it. I noticed that when I had a lot of things going on, my stress levels would go up and I would be a mess, then once it was all over the anxiety would arrive. More diary time, I’ve scheduled every other Wednesday as my boyfriend plays football on Wednesday nights and every other Sunday when he takes the kids to his parents for the afternoon. This gives me time alone to do whatever I want to.
  5. Be less anxious/stressed. I am hoping that the combination of all of these goals will really help with this one. I am finding that if I get stressed it goes from 0-100 it affects my sleep, my relationships, everything. The same with the anxiety. For this my plan is to do all of the above plus perhaps slip a bit of meditation into my routine, this can easily be done on my commute to work

I know it seems like I have put a lot of things on my to do list and in my diary but I am very much a routine person and once its in there I don’t even think about it. I have told myself I am not going to be too rigid, there are going to be occasions when I simply cannot do it all, but the aim of the game is small baby steps, if I find that something isn’t working, I’ll change it, just as long as I try.

I like to use tools and apps for everything too. For the weight loss I am a member Slimming World and got a lovely organiser for Christmas to help with this from Princess Planning I also set up my own Instagram account purely for my weight loss and that really helps, plus I don’t bore all my friends with my food pics as they go on there.

I downloaded the You App to my phone which gives you little daily tasks to do, I love stuff like this and there is no pressure to do them it’s just a nice idea.

I also downloaded an app called reflectly which is like a micro journal, it asks you a couple of questions at the end of each day, such as things you are grateful for and how you rate the day.

I also have a couple of books to fill in. I bought 52 lists last year and kept forgetting to do it so now I have a reminder for Sunday morning to take some time each week to complete my list.

And finally, the last thing I do before I go to bed each night is to complete my one line a day diary which my life coach friend bought for Xmas. I love it and already started it last  night.

So those are my goals for the coming year, what are yours?

 

The Hole

I haven’t been on here for a while, a combination of wedding stuff, work and being generally fed up. I recently had a conversation with my boyfriend about depression and the only way I could describe it is like this.

There is this hole, it’s always there, most days I’m sitting on the edge of the hole with my legs dangled in, the whole point of every single day is to not fall into it and it’s not as easy and you would think. Some days I am in the hole with my arms trying to hold myself up, these days are quite exhausting and I have to fight so hard not to fall, I get into a panic because I really don’t want to be in the hole. Other days I am dancing around the hole and some days I can barely see it, but its always there. Then, there is the inevitable day when my arms give up and I fall in, these are the worst days, there is no ladder in the hole, I know I will eventually get out but my mind is so clouded in panic or sadness that it seems impossible, nothing is good when I’m in the hole, it’s so dark I cannot see any light and I just want to curl up and stay there forever as sometimes trying to get out is just too hard.

I found having this conversation with him has really helped, he seems to understand more. I was walking to work the other day after a particularly sad stint in the hole and I had one arm out of it, I was struggling to find anything positive to think or feel when he sent me a text, just asking how I am feeling and telling me he loved me. It was like something yanking me straight out of the hole and up on my feet, I felt instantly lighter.

Dont get me wrong, I’m fully aware that this may not work all the time and sometimes it doesn’t matter what people say or do, sometimes you’re too far in the hole to notice but just because you’re in the hole it doesnt mean it’s forever, even though it feels like it at the time.

What really helps is someone knowing about the hole, so that when you are in it they can pop their head in and remind you that you’re not alone.

Now I have got to grips with this hole analogy, it does make things a little easier. I can address it and gauge where I am in the hole, I am being mindful I suppose. It’s not going to go away but I can hopefully shorten my time in the hole and maybe eventually stop falling in.

Return of the Baz

I’ve noticed something about my anxiety, which in turn brings Barry back. I’ve noticed that it seems to return when I have a lot going on or stress happening in my life. Thinking about it now it’s hardly a revelation, but previously I’d been so caught up in my thoughts that I hadn’t realised and thought my anxiety was permanent and even better than that it’s made me realise I can control it (yay)

Take this week for example, I am currently an agony aunt to about 3 different people, which I love as I love being there for my friends. My boyfriends ex is being a total pain and using the children as weapons again, one of his close family members is going through a break up and one of his friends has some mental health issues, we’re going away for the weekend with the kids which is always quite stressful trying to get packed etc as we always end up arguing and to top it all off I am struggling to stay on plan.

I woke up the early hours on Wednesday morning to thunder & lightening and then couldn’t get back to sleep as Barry was now wide awake. I decided to get up and exercise even though Barry was insisting I do it after work. I told him to shut up, I was doing it this morning. Yes I said it out loud.

I went downstairs, got the laptop fired up, Barry was still blabbing on, literally would not shut up to the point where I was crying, I was tired and usually in this situation Barry would have got his way, as I hadn’t had enough sleep and I felt crap, but I was determined to do this.

After forcing myself through the warm up I realised Barry wasn’t there, he’d gone! I felt like I’d won. I got through the exercises and my mind felt so much clearer so I decided to go over the things Barry was bringing up. Surprisingly I managed to come up with some rational solutions and felt a lot better for it. I decided that I’m going to take my running stuff away with me, if Barry makes an appearance I’m going to take him for a run and try and lose him.

On a side note, I found this six day challenge online that explains this all really well and you can get your own Barry

http://projectself.com.au/6-days-to-decisiveness

Needlessly Needy

After a very busy summer, autumn is upon us. There have been weddings, holidays, a witch (crazy ex girlfriend) weekend trips and another leg injury. I have also decided to join slimming world as I was unfortunately finding the 90 day plan unsustainable, I love Joe but it just wasnt working for me. Slimming world however has seen me lose 5lb in 4 weeks, although I did put 2lb back on after a little trip to paris, but that’s a given.

As the shorter days and darker nights are creeping in, so is something else, my insecurities. I am becoming increasingly insecure and needy and I absolutely bloody despise it, which doesn’t really help me feel any better about myself, it just gets added to the long list of “things I don’t like about me”

Take this weekend for example, my boyfriend went on his annual golf trip, he’s been every year since before we met and I was actually looking forward to having the house to myself. I had arranged for some friends to come over on the Friday night and see some friends for lunch on Saturday, giving me Saturday afternoon/evening and all day and night Sunday. This turned out to be a huge mistake.

I was fine until Sunday, for some reason I kept crying, I honestly couldn’t tell you why, what I can tell you is that I really just wanted my boyfriend, I mean how ridiculous is that? I am 36 years old, I’m a grown woman, yet here I am crying on the sofa trying to fathom out why, which then made me cry even more. As the day went on I managed to calm myself a bit and do some of the things I had planned to do (make a slimming world cheesecake for one!) then the cry baby in me came back again, then all of a sudden out of nowhere, a nice bit of paranoia just to mix up a bit. “Yeah he’s probably met someone else” Oh FFS brain. Do one.

When he did eventually get home just after midnight, I was emotionally exhausted, but couldn’t sleep. I gave him a big hug then told him I had missed him, then cried (again) I told him what had happened, although I gave him the very basic, light version, so as he didn’t know just how mental I really am.

I woke up today, thinking I would feel better, but sadly I don’t. I feel like I am needing some sort of reassurance, but I dont really know what for or why. I feel unbelievably sad, like just someone speaking to me in an off tone might make me cry and of course none of this is helped by the fact that I am tired as I went to bed so late.

I know I need to sort this out but my brain is so consumed with worry and sadness I can’t think straight. When did I go from being this independent, outgoing woman to this needy insecure wretch that doesn’t want to do anything anymore?

I did do some reading on this and read a lot about how relying on others to make you happy often brings unhappiness. I am hugely guilty of this, I am the type of person who thinks people think how I think, so when someone is thoughtless, even unintentional, it really bloody hurts my feelings. If for example, my boyfriend has had a bad day, I will make him something nice for dinner, give him control of the TV and just generally look after him. If I have had a bad day, the above still happens for my boyfriend, not for me. I know I need to realise that not everyone thinks like me, he may not even want me to do those things, he probably would just rather I sodded off upstairs and left him alone, but the truth is I do these things because that’s what I would like if I was feeling like that and therefore I am setting myself up for a fall as god dammit he doesn’t think like me.

So now, I am resolving to try my best and put myself first and not feel guilty about it, the guilt is another battle in itself but I do feel there may be some truth in it, how can I expect others to put me first when I am not deeming myself important enough?

So wish me luck people and I’ll let you know how that cheesecake is.

Cycle One, Round Two

I haven’t been on here for a while, what with a busy calendar, the last month or so has been a bit of a blur, which sadly hindered my 90 day plan further.

As you have probably already seen, since starting the plan back in March, I have torn a calf muscle, had the flu and several colds, had a birthday, had a weekend away,  come off of my anti depressants, had my best friends hen do, had my brothers wedding and then my best friends hen weekend.

I just couldn’t get a hold of it and felt something was always getting in my way. I bodged my way through cycle two, just, then got my cycle three plan only to decide that I want to start the whole thing again and this time I’m going to really give it my all. I finally have my mojo back after all this time and more importantly, I feel ready. Pretty sure having one month until my best friends wedding is also helping too.

I’ve got my life coach friend onto the books so its nice to have someone to obsess about the plan with. We also went along and helped Joe Wicks break the world record last week. I must admit I was swaying towards the idea of doing some drastic low calorie diet for the next 30 days, but going there and seeing almost 4000 people do one of Joes HIIT workouts really did inspire me to start the whole thing again.

I’ve decided that this time, I am going to avoid drinking alcohol as much as possible, which for me is going to be pretty difficult, given already this week I have a lunch and two dinners I’m going out for, but I have reserved the right restaurants where I know I can eat on plan and I am really going to try and avoid drinking alcohol in the week. I realise now I could have done so much more last time round which makes me more determined as I can clearly see my mistakes.

I got up at 5am this morning, did a 20 minute HIIT sessions from Joes DVD, made myself some protein breakfast muffins and my lunch and I am feeling pretty good.

So here goes round two of cycle one. Wish me luck.

Its so trying when I am always bloody crying

I’ve been off my anti depressants for just over four weeks now. I was pretty happy with the fact that I had very few withdrawal symptoms apart from feeling like my brain was moving about it my head constantly and some very vivid dreams, that was until week 3.

We took the kids away for the bank holiday weekend, which I was quite looking forward to. We had a good weekend, then it was time to come home. Usually I have the following day booked off so that I can catch up with washing and housework etc, but I only had 3 days left to take until the end of the year, so I decided as long as we left early enough I would be ok. So Monday came and as usual everyone is slowly going about their business and getting ready to go swimming, whilst I am frantically trying to pack everyone’s bags as we’re supposed to be out of the apartment by 10, this is at 9:50am. The kids are following me around and getting under my feet and my boyfriend is just wandering around aimlessly as usual. At 11, he was in the shower there was a knock on the door reminding us that we needed to check out. I was still in my PJs waiting to get into the shower. I was stressed! I just wanted to get home, we’d had a busy week the before and I knew the house was in a state and I knew we wouldn’t be home until at least 5pm as we weren’t leaving until 3pm.

My mind kept going over all the things I needed to do, I was exhausted, the walls in the apartment were so thin you had people up at 6am shouting down to someone 3 doors away and the guy next door singing (very badly to his kid) I text my boss and asked for a day’s holiday, I couldn’t cope with living in a pig sty until the following weekend, plus I only get 4 free days a month I didn’t fancy spending one of them cleaning, especially if the weather was going to be nice.

I had the day off and spent the entire day cleaning, I got up around 7 and sat down about 4:30 by that time I would need to start thinking about cooking dinner. I felt a bit resentful that I’d had to use a precious days holiday to do this. Although I felt accomplished I knew the house being in this state wouldn’t last long. I felt a bit angry, I shouldn’t have had to do that. Unfortunately, I did unless I wanted to sit in a mess all week and then give up a precious & rare Saturday or Sunday with my boyfriend.

The following day I woke up and felt so fed up to the point where I got out of the shower and had a little cry. I pulled myself together and got myself to work in hope that I would be distracted.

Distracted I was, it would appear that my colleagues had undergone some brain removal transplant and everyone had forgotten about stuff they needed and now everything was urgent. Usually I thrive on working under pressure I love being against the clock, but today I was not mentally prepared for this. I ranted and swore to my team about everyone’s incompetence and found myself at my desk desperate to burst into tears.

Fuck! I hope I’m not getting depressed again! This sent me into a panic. Whilst I was ok on the tablets and really didn’t have any qualms about going back on, I was disappointed as I had been doing so well.

I was angry and upset with my boyfriend, I felt so very unappreciated, I’d spent the last three bank holiday weekends doing stuff with him & the kids, I felt like I needed a break but I never got one as there was always something that needed doing. I had spoken to him several times about doing more around the house but it seemed to have fallen on deaf ears and now I was exhausted. I was tired of moaning to him about it as I was hurt that he couldn’t see how shattered I was, most nights I wasn’t sitting down until 8:30 baring in mind we don’t have the kids in the week. I felt this was all taken for granted. I felt angry that he would come in from work and I’d be cooking or cleaning and he would plonk all his crap on the dining table and sit down in front of the TV then when dinner was ready I’d have to clear the table (again) while he just sat there playing a poxy game on his phone or watching TV. I felt neglected.

There was only one thing to do and that was message my life coach. She was great as usual and just being able to get it all out really helped. My boyfriend had messaged me earlier to say he wasn’t going golf as he’d planned as he was too tired and wanted to come home to me. Whilst this sounds lovely, I couldn’t help thinking that his real reason for coming home was simply because he was tired and nothing to do with me apart from the fact he would be waited on as usual.

To my surprise, he came home with flowers for me as a thank you for cleaning the house. I felt quite happy and that maybe we were getting somewhere. We had a whole weekend together coming up another rare thing as we usually always have something going on, I had been really looking forward to it. Then he decides to say he’s playing golf on Sunday. He’s already said he wanted to do stuff around the house on Saturday so that would have left us Sunday to spend time together. I couldn’t hide my disappointment, I’m not sure I even tried.

He said he wouldn’t go, but that wasn’t the point. He WANTED to go. I’m not going to stop him doing what he wants to do. I’m just gutted that he doesn’t want to do something with me. Especially as I’ve been feeling so shite. But that’s what happens, I pull closer, he moves away.

Anyway, back to the crying. The following day was horrific. I felt like I was back to square one. I honestly don’t know how I didn’t cry. My work friend came over to me at lunchtime and my chin was wobbling I just prayed she didn’t ask me what was wrong! I felt a bit better after that and by mid afternoon I felt ecstatically happy. WTF?! Oh god am I bi-polar?

I decided to look it all up and to my relief it was perfectly normal to feel like this when withdrawing from the tablets. This actually eased my mind a little. Still bloody annoying tho.

The weekend went pretty much the same on a rollercoaster of emotions I was like a leaky tap, I apologised to my boyfriend saying that I knew some of the things I was thinking & were irrational. What I really wanted was to be comforted but I didn’t want to ask for it. I didn’t want to ask for any of it, I just wish he would do some of these things of his own back and not because he is asked.

We are not afraid, we are proud.

My thoughts are with all of those people who were affected by the Manchester attack this week.

Living in London as a child in the 80’s, I grew up in the times of the IRA bombings. I was always taught to be vigilant. Usually in the East End, if someone left a bag or package somewhere it would have been snapped up and you would never see it again, but times were different and anything like this was now seen as suspicious.

When I first started working in London at 19, having moved to Essex 5 years ago. My dad, who works in public transport, told me of a code they had at the station to alert staff of a suspect package and that if I was to hear this, I was to leave the station. Even though the IRA bombings had long stopped, I was aware that there were still threats around us.

15 years on and still everyday I listen out for the codes, I watch those around me and everyday I arrive into the London terminals wondering if something will happen today, its second nature to me now, it doesn’t interfere with my day, or my life for that matter.

This morning, after the terror alert had been risen to severe, my thoughts on my journey were no different, if anything I felt safer. I looked around me and saw everyone carrying on and getting on with their day. Everyone still barging past each other and walking so fast the soles of their shoes would probably be worn by the time they got to the office. I felt a huge surge of pride & gratitude, so much so that I wanted to hug all the police outside St Paul’s Cathedral but I didn’t think that was very appropriate. I felt truly grateful that there are people out there willing to put their lives at risk to ensure we are all safe. How amazing that we British, with our funny little ways, when it comes to it, will ALWAYS stand together. I am so very proud.

Getting Unstuck

I’ve been feeling a bit “stuck” I guess is the only word I can think to describe it right now. Its like there is so much I want to do, but I am being held back, I’m not even sure what by. Is it me? My lifestyle? I’m feeling quite frustrated but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Recently, I was doing my usual commute to work. It takes around an hour door to door, half of my journey is spent on the train. I’ve always loved working in London, I’ve been in the city for 16 years now (God I’m old!) The commute has never bothered me and I’ve had many different commutes in that time, including the Central Line, otherwise known as the Greenhouse on wheels. Yet the other day I decided that I wasn’t sure if the city life was for me anymore. I started thinking seriously about my career future. I’ve never wanted to be a big cheese, I had a supervisor role when I was younger and although I am admittedly very bossy, I much prefer to be able to do my job and go home, I could never be someone who works endless hours or takes their job home with them, well at least not this job. I want to feel that passion and excitement that I see in others.

A friend of mine has recently opened her own holistic treatment room. I admire her so much, she has a family, she is the same age as me, she knew what she wanted and she went for it, she took that leap. Her doing this really made me think, what do I enjoy doing? There was only one answer to this, it’s the only thing I have ever enjoyed and that is what I am doing right now. Writing.

My dreams and aspirations have come and gone, when I was in primary school I wanted to be a nurse, since then I have wanted to be an estate agent, a journalist, a hairdresser, a singer and an actress but one thing I have always wanted that has never ever faltered over the years, is to write books. When I was younger I used to “borrow” blank exercise books from school and write stories. I would read books and then have a sequel in my head on what happened to all the characters after. I remember finding a “choose your own adventure book” when I was younger, I was in heaven! All those possible outcomes in one book!! My boyfriend is always amazed at how many books I get through, he’s been reading the same one for months. Reading and writing has always been my passion, I get excited when I have a good idea. Since starting this page I have random thoughts about things I want to write about, it can at times consume me.

My ultimate dream is to make a career out of writing, work from home where I live with my then to be Husband and LOTS of dogs. I just need to make the leap (and time) to do this and get myself unstuck! Any tips on how would be gratefully received!