Saturday, March 01, 2014
It's been ages since I last blogged. Family time has taken a priority and I've neglected a few tings so it's time to sort it all out. I'm making a few changes, some gradual, some I'm just going for it. Here's why.
A couple of weeks ago I was at a martial arts sparring seminar and we finished off a hard training session by doing as many squats as we could in three minutes. One person sat on the floor to count while he other sis the squats and then we swapped. I went second and my partner did 102 squats, that is important because firstly I love numbers and I often cope with hard workouts and sometimes even stress by counting or playing with numbers. My previous best was 94 and I wanted to hit 100 so as I got to two and a half mins and had got to just over 80 squats I drew on everything I had and pumped those squats out. When I hit 100 I didn't feel relief and ease off I decided I wanted to do more than my partner and kept pushing really hard on my 105th squat my head literally exploded with pain and I fell forwards landing on my head. I've never experienced a headache like that and quite frankly I felt awful and I was glad it was the end of the session. But I still felt great for beating my target For the rest of the day I couldn't shift the headache even with paracetamol and ibuprofen. The headache continued for days until on Wednesday, four days after the session I went to the doctors. The doctor said it was most likely that a neck muscle (I have always had problems with my neck) had gone into spasm and gave me a low dose of diazepam to relax the muscles. He warned me to go back if it didn't have the desired effects because my symptoms could also relate to an aneurysm! The headache eased when I took the diazepam but I could only take it at night because I have a little one to look after. I ended up going back to the doctors on the Friday just to be sure everything was ok and thankfully it was.
The headaches continued to come and go and I didn't want to continue with the diazepam. So I looked up exercise for posture and started looking into Pilates and Yoga. Now anyone who knows me would laugh if you mentioned me doing pilates and Yoga. Mainly because I have always worked out and gone faster, harder, higher, bigger, better.... But pilates and Yoga has a more gentle approach. Now I'm not saying these exercises are easy, more like the pace is too slow for me, ask me to do one press up and my reply would be "but I can easily do ten!" But I went against these feeling and for the last few days I have done some pilates or yoga, sometimes both and I can already feel a change in my posture and the neck pain and headaches are lessening enough for me to go back to my usual martial arts class tomorrow and get back into the swing of my other exercises like running.
I've also changed the way I'm cooking and spend my free days (only two or three per week) cooking as much veg and soups as I can to last the three of us a couple of days. This means that we can all eat more fresh foods even with limited time. It also means I have to go to the shops a few times a week but Amelia enjoys a ride on her trike to and from the shops and she likes to choose a treat or herself too. Today it was chocolate but last time it was green grapes.
Talking of chocolate, I decided I didn't want to eat it for a while so they day after Matts birthday I stopped eating it altogether and haven't had any since. That was the end of December. I still choose to eat sweets or cakes but I have better self control with these things than with chocolate. It hasn't made any difference to my weight but I feel better and I'm sure it is an improvement to my health. I'm now looking for the next improvement to my diet and although I'm considering tracking again for a while I'd like to try one other thing first. My strategy is to eat only natural foods or homemade foods. This means I end up avoiding those sweet treats. Don't get me wrong I won't stop eating theses treats altogether or deny myself anything but I want to put a major emphasis on the natural foods. Then in a few weeks if I don't feel my weight is coming back to a reasonable point I will begin tracking.
Last time I tracked it was after having Amelia and my family were supportive, this time I now I wouldn't get the support, it's difficult to explain and would take a whole new blog entry so I'll leave that for another time.
I've decided to make more time for myself which will be a good thing for my family too but it also means that I will make more time to Spark, something which I've been missing for a long time, hence the long blog post. I'm hoping all my old sparkfriends are still around and doing well and maybe I can make a few new ones too. Happy Sparking
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
I have been absent from Spark for far too long. I miss my spark friends and I apologize to you all for my not even popping in to read blogs. Here's what has happened since I was properly active on Spark.
Around November a few things happened, I no longer qualified for a benefit which was helping us keep our heads above the water financially speaking (they called us high earners, I really don't know how, but won't rant because I can't change it anyway) I'm a hard worker and I've always worked up until I had Amelia. We had always planned for me to say at home. I know some mums choose to go to work when they have preschool babies and children, but me and Matt had discussed it for a long time before Amelia was born and we decided that we wanted her to be with family. We also realized that if we paid childcare costs that I would be working for very little and said it was last resort. But when this benefit was taken away things got so tight and we're quite frugal people so there was little room to tweak budgets to free up cash. Matt managed to sort the gas/elec direct debit to be reduced a little and I found some online earning opportunities, I was skeptical at first but I have been doing ok with then and all I need is to use the PC for an hour or two a day, either when Amelia is napping or after she has gone to bed.It's not big money, £100-200 per month but it's enough to take the strain off us.
Around the same time, winter crept in and the winter blues began to take over. It's only in recent years I have realized that is what is happening. But November is the last month I remember feeling really good and despite the money troubles I still felt optimistic. As the nights drew in my mood lowered and I struggled with everything, if I hadn't had Amelia there would have been days where I wouldn't have got out of bed. I struggled to keep up with the housework, my activity on Spark decreased significantly, at one point I had 175 unread emails, none of that was spam. At the worst point I abandoned me. Just little things, plucking my eyebrows, putting make up on dressing nice, they all became a mountainous challenge. My weight slipped and the winter blues became a vicious circle that I didn't have the energy to get out of.
Then the nights began to get lighter I felt a little better and began to link up the winter to my feelings. I started to get into a bit of a routine a the beginning of May, I'm finding it easier to keep up with the housework and exercise is more of a routine. (I always exercise, that's the fundamental part of me, although it helps, it never prevents these lows) BUT a few days into may I went out for a long run, long runs had pretty much disappeared, and I most of my runs had been 30 mins so when I found a 40 min run unbelievably hard I just told myself to get on with it and it'll get easier when I've done it a few more times. It was only later on in the day that I realized it was strange for it to feel hard from the very beginning of the run. If I had a problem with the length of the run then I should feel tired going beyond the normal 30 mins right? By 8pm I knew what the problem was, I had a very nasty tummy bug and spent the first night being sick every 30-60 mins, I was feeling faint too. That bug took me the best part of 10 days to get to the point where going for a walk was an option, it left me feeling so weak. Two weeks after the bug I went for a 1.5 mile run, then a 2.5 mile run and tomorrow I'm hoping to get a full 3.5 miles in (my normal 30 min run)
So that's where I am and now I'm feeling better in lots of ways I am planning where I am going again. I am preparing myself as much as I can now for this winter as I plan my goals.
June Goals (I'll make a start today though)
Blog weekly minimum
track food 6 days week min
get a new and fresh workout routine that fits the way life is now
get back using weights for ST
get back running biking walking as much as before
continue to replace milk with soy (back to my pre pregnancy preferences)
work on my emotional health by reading and blogging
Keep earning as much as possible
weigh (when I'm ready, I'll blog about that soon)
run a half marathon in less than2hrs
get my 2nd dan in Tang Soo Do
avoid winter blues
review goals monthly
I always like to end my blogs on a positive and I think these goals are positive, I promise to be back on Spark reading blogs more - happy sparking
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Just as a background to all of this, before I met Matt I was living with another bloke, he was a selfish person and spent all his time in a separate room playing Xbox or guitar. Even though we lived together for four years I would say only the first year was a reasonably happy one. During the last three years my relationship with food changed and I began to struggle with binging and laxatives or over exercising.
Fast forwarding to when I eventually plucked up the courage to leave him. I felt free and light and like my myself again. The binges became a thing of the past and so did my other issues surrounding food. Back in my teens I bordered on anorexia and I have always struggled with eating in front of others. I viewed eating as a sign of weakness and to allow other people to see me at that weak point was humiliating. However when I was with Matt things became different, for the first time ever I began to enjoy my food in company. We ate out but my weight remained stable. we even enjoyed indulgent treats together, like chocolate dipped strawberries. I felt like a normal person would with regards to food. Nothing has changed with me and Matt, well apart from marriage and a baby but you know what I mean, we are strong and happy together. But in the 6 years we've been together we have been through a lot together. A couple of years ago I got hit by a car when I was cycling (sorry if you've heard this bit before) After that I struggled with my weight and looking back some smaller binges began creeping in. But I had kidded myself that I didn't binge any more, I kept laxatives out of the house and exercised as normal. It was a hard time but 2 years later, after some therapy, I found myself feeling happy and carefree once again. The catch was I was pregnant, happily pregnant but I couldn't see if the weight would have naturally reduced at that point because my body was busy growing a baby.After having Amelia I lost all of my pregnancy weight and more I looked and felt great. But something has happened over this winter, and I'm struggling again. It's my mission to find out what is causing this problem to reoccur, but I am lost with where to start.
I am fundamentally happy, I love being a mum and a housewife. But taking cues off Amelia I think being stuck in the house it's easy to get stuck in a rut. I used to take her out in the pram every day but winter meant it was difficult to do that sometimes for weeks at a time. I live in Wales, we are famed for rain! I don't have the car during the day and I have been reluctant to go to places that cost too much because money's tight without me working. I have always wanted to be a stay at mum and as much as I am enjoying it I need more company, for Amelia too. I have been taking Amelia to bay swimming lesson which are expensive but we have decided to find the money for one more activity per week maybe baby music classes because she loves the piano. I'll take her to soft play more often too.
I have always thought I am a solitary person and like to be on my own a lot, but recently I am beginning to see that I actually like company a lot more than I thought. I also love to be outside more than inside, something I have alwasy known. I have the waterproofs and all the layers I need in winter and so does Amelia so there's no excuse really.
I also had a period of time, during this winter where I felt sad about losing my newborn. The feeling shocked me because I always thought I would struggle through the newborn phase and begin to enjoy being a mum when we got to the toddler phase. I knew that leaving behind the newborn phase wasn't a bad thing but I just didn't feel ready for it. Now Amelia is nearly one and I still feel sad that I'll never hold her in the crook of my arm again but I am loving watching her discover more about the world. I think these feelings had a lot to do with my eating patterns.
So the upshot is I don't really know exactly what the problem is but I am going to do what I can to take action and get back to feeling like me again, I am going to change my 'other goals' on Spark and track the following.
1) Get outside for 10 minutes per day regardless of the weather
2) Meet other mums
3) Have some baby free time every day (15 mins)
I am going to keep the following goals too
4) Eat 5 fruit/veg per day
5) don't snack mindlessly in the evening
6) Exercise for 10 mins per day minimum
Other plans include preplanning my meals the day before, hopefully preparing the meals too so I can just reheat them or take a salad out of the fridge. The other thing I want to avoid is not doing anything, this is difficult to explain becuase I don't want to be busy all the time either but I don't want to ever find myself bored. I have a baby to look after so that shouldn't be difficult but if I ever find myself watching her playing by herself for 10 minutes or while she sleeps, then I'll try to fill that time with something useful. It could be 10 minutes of housework, or 10 minutes of reading, all it needs to be is something to focus on and keeping myself occupied will keep the binge monster away.
I am also going to track my food until I feel these issues are gone completely and I feel like the strong old me again.
Anyway if you have go this far I am amazed this is probably the longest blog ever! And in the spirit of this blog, I'm off outside for today's ten minutes
Monday, March 18, 2013
I have really struggled over the winter months, I've felt low and food has not been a priority for me. I tried to track or find some way out but I always fell back. I know I can do this and summer is going to help me. I love fresh salad, veg and fruits and I love to grow them in the garden. Last year gardening was out of the question with a newborn to take care of.
Amelia's first birthday is in a few weeks and I am working hard on getting the garden ready for her to play in. Her Aunty is buying her a swing and Nana and Grandad are buying a Wendy house. We have no idea what we're buying yet but whatever we choose we need the garden safe and fun for Amelia. This means I can get going with some growing too but it has to be on a smaller scale than before. In previous years I have completely filled the garden with all sorts of edible plants and a few flowers. As much as I love flowers I prefer to eat the plants I grow!
As the spring is coming in I find myself craving the tastes of the garden and I am already spending a ridiculous amount on salads and fruits so I'll be ordering loads of seeds tonight.
Amelia loves flowers and points to them saying 'fffff' she really wants to say flower but its too hard for her just yet. She has plenty of words she can say, nana, gadad (grandad), that, tickle tickle, ducky and tick tock. I'm really impressed with how quickly she's catching on with her speech, this week she has been saying marmar for banana which is her favorite fruit. Her healthy habits are great given the choice between fruit and chocolate she picks the fruit everytime.
I'm slowly managing to get more organization to my day, I have several online earnings that I do as often as possible and fitting that in along with exercise and food planning is proving difficult for me. Theoretically I could spend all day with my online earning so I have decided to schedule 1 hour per day for now and see how that goes. Amelia is my priority but I still need to make some cash. (if you want to know details about online earnings, just sparkmail me) I think it's this that has got in my way over the winter period and along with the winter blues I have had difficulties keeping my motivation. I believe the key for me is more organization so I am hoping things will be in order by the end of the month.
I haven't been on Spark as often as I'd like and when I do get on its a brief visit to log something. Sorry I haven't read many blogs lately and I promise to catch up this week, I miss reading about my sparkfriends. I hope everyone is doing well with their goals, have a great week sparkfriends.
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