Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Big Momma Challenge 2011: week 5

A quick update this week, first of all to let you know that I've only lost 0.5lb which is not enough.  I'm guilty of complacency and losing focus, and this week has to be the week I get my fat backside into gear again.

Also, I noticed I had a new blog follower this week and I was intrigued by their name - The Fat Spouse. I had a good look around on it today and my goodness there's a lot of food for thought on there (pardon the pun). The post called The G-Word was very hard to read, but only because it's true.  "Gluttony is the single and only cause of obesity."
A very interesting and thought-provoking read.

Please leave your blog links and comments to let us know how you've fared this week, I hope better than me. I think I could do with some motivation, so I'd love to hear your tips too.

Have a good week everyone - let's kick some fat ass!

Silent Sunday ~ Cathedral

Silent Sunday

Monday, 24 January 2011

The Big Momma Challenge 2011: week 4

Apologies for the lateness of this post, it should have been done yesterday.

Sometimes, life gets in the way of good intentions and this has been a very difficult week. I had a visit from the black dog which stayed for most of the week. During that time I spent most of my time in a catatonic state on the settee, eating biscuits and watching Bargain Hunt and it took every ounce of energy to take Tessie out for a short walk. Then, just as things were improving at the weekend the angry ex decided to rear his ugly head again and caused a lot of upset Chez notSupermum.  If you were on Twitter last night you will have caught the gist of what happened. Needless to say sticking to my healthy eating regime has not been high on my agenda this week and not surprisingly I gained 3lbs.

But, onwards and upwards as they say.  I've had a bad week but I'm still ploughing on. I'm NOT going to say 'ah sod it, I may as well give up now' because I have a helluva lot more weight to lose, so failure is not an option.

Just in case you don't know this week is Farmhouse Breakfast Week (23rd - 29th Jan) and it's back for its twelfth year, with a brand new theme – “Shake Up Your Wake Up.  This year they're challenging all breakfast skippers to rethink their morning routines, and make time for the most important meal of the day. As many as one in four consumers regularly skip breakfast, so they're keen to raise awareness of the benefits that can be gained by making that little bit extra time for breakfast.

From my experience, if you skip breakfast you end up feeling ravenous by about 11am and then overeat at lunchtime. And there are other health benefits to eating a good breakfast too. Last week I read about a study by King's College in London that found that women who regularly have cereal with milk for breakfast are 36% less likely to experience osteoporosis. That's got to be worth breaking out the cereal box for hasn't it?

I'm a great advocate of having a good breakfast - I hate to leave the house without something filling and for me that's usually cereal such as porridge, muesli or cornflakes. During a recent trip to Kellogg's I learned that 1 in 6 children will go to school without having breakfast - and I've met many a child at school who hasn't eaten a thing in the morning.  When children come to school hungry they lose concentration mid morning and never seem to catch up for the rest of the day. There's been many a morning when we've looked for food for a hungry child, which in this day and age is shocking.

You can get some great breakfast ideas, healthy eating tips and information about breakfast events in your area from the Shake up your wake up website
I'm looking forward to hearing how you've done this week, and if like me you've had a bad week please don't give up. Life throws up a curve ball every so often and we have to learn how to deal with it and keep going. 
If you are taking part, you just need to post your link below or leave a comment saying how you've got on this week.  Good luck for this week!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Dispatches from the chalkface: part 4

When you work in a school there are always lots of anecdotes about funny things that the children have said.  These are both real events, one of these happened to me, the other to a colleague and I thought they were both so funny.

Me, during an RE lesson looking at an image of a baby being Christened: Can anyone tell me what is happening here?
Michael: Yes, the baby is being christened.
Me: Well done. What happens during a christening?
Michael: The baby is taken into church to be sacrificed.


Colleague (not sure what the lesson was): What would you do if you found a dog that was lost?
Alexander (aged 9): Well, if it was me, I would take it home, clean it up, feed it and use it for drug smuggling.


And finally, something Tall Daughter said to me last week:
TD: I'd like to start dance lessons Mum, can you find out if there are any around?
Me: Okay, what sort of dance class are you thinking of?
TD: I don't mind. (pause) But I don't want to go to one of those classes that's been set up by a mad woman who's been dumped by her boyfriend and is angry with everyone.
Me:  What?

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Silent Sunday ~ Use yer loaf!

Silent Sunday

The Big Momma Challenge 2011 : week 3

This week was much better due to the fact that I've finally got back into a sensible routine. I've cut back on the dreaded snacking and with the better weather and slight increase in daylight hours I've been able to take Tessie for some longer walks. As a result have lost 3.5lbs.  I've still got another 2lbs of my Christmas excess to lose and then I'll be losing fresh fat! Or is it stagnant because it's been hanging around for so long?

I checked my BMI (body mass index) again today and it's 32.54 which is classed as obese. I was surprised it had only gone down a little bit since this post from August when it was 33 and I've managed to lose over 20lbs since then, but it just shows how much more I need to lose to even be classed as overweight instead of obese. The overview of being classed as obese is this:

"You are in the range that is classified as obese and your health would greatly benefit from a life-long reduction in weight.

You may want to get specialist advice from a doctor and dietitian to help you do this. Being obese is linked with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, fertility problems, back pain, stroke, certain cancers and other types of illness.

It is very important that you don't gain any more weight and start to take life-long steps to reduce your weight. You will need to burn more calories than you consume. The best way to do this is to combine a healthy diet (for example, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, choose lower fat foods, watch your portion sizes) with regular physical activity.

Try not to be tempted to lose weight fast; body fat can only be lost slowly (aim for about 0.5 - 1kg (1 - 2 lbs) week). It is best to see your doctor before starting an exercise programme or if you have any existing health problems."

To be considered merely overweight, my BMI has to be between 25-30 but to get to the 'ideal' range the advice is to have a BMI between 18.5-25. 

There's still a long way to go, but this gives me a clearer indication of how I am compromising my healthy and longevity by being obese and how important it is that I'm doing something about it.

So, how has your week been? I hope you've managed to get your routine sorted and you're seeing improvements in your health and maintaining a positive outlook.

If you are blogging about your progress please make sure you include a link to my blog so that others can find out about The Big Momma Challenge and will hopefully join us, and include your link below so that the rest of us can visit your blog and offer support and encouragement.  I can't wait to hear how you've got on this week!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Bad Mother Club

Yesterday was not a good day. I felt tired, exhausted even,  and the Teenager was being, well, a teenager and pushing her luck. At the moment she hates her Dad (perhaps with just cause) and now she hates me too.

Last night I was trying to explain something to her and she started shouting at me. Because I'm a mature adult I handled it the best way I could - I shouted even louder. Much, much louder - more like a scream actually. She shouted "I hate you!" and ran upstairs to her bedroom, and I was left standing in the kitchen feeling really, really bad.

Later, I posted something about it on Twitter:

Within minutes I was getting messages from other mums saying how they often felt like bad mothers, so I tweeted this one:

I started getting tweets from other mums who listed their reasons for feeling like a bad mother. Here's a selection of them:
  • I scream quite a bit and feel like crap afterwards;
  • Just screamed at kids to go to bed;
  • Kids have gone to bed early to escape, I've been shouting all evening;
  • the longest I managed to breastfeed was for 3 weeks;
  • I worked full time after having my children;
  • I ignored all the shouts of help with hair washing to finish a blog post;
  • Wishing I could have time away from them to rest makes me feel bad;
  • Too many to list, but mainly guilt over working too much;
  • Working, not working. Being strict, being lax;
  • Giving them a cereal bar in the car instead of organising a proper breakfast;
  • feeling like a bad mum, I'm not cut out for this full-time mum malarkey;
  • I hated being a full-time mum.
It doesn't seem to matter what sort of Mum we are, being a Mum is a difficult job. But do we give ourselves a break? Do we hell as like, we beat ourselves up about not being perfect - whatever that means. If we work outside the home we feel guilty for not being a stay-at-home Mum. If we're a stay-at-home-mums we feel guilty about not enjoying it as much as we should be.  If we're strict we feel guilty, if we're easy-going we worry we're not strict enough. Not cooking every meal from scratch? Guilt. Not being able to breastfeed? Guilt.

Why do we do this to ourselves? We're our own worst enemies. Why?

So, I'm going to abolish the Bad Mother Club and I'm going to open another one - The Good Enough Mothers' Club, because most of us are good Mums doing the best job we can. And that's just fine.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Things I have said at work today*

  • no, I don't have any wiggly eyes. 
  • I like the idea of a glitterball.
  • Why don't you like trees?
  • Listen to the music, the elephant isn't running!
  • I don't want to see any silly kangaroos!
  • Sarah, it's not acceptable to say you're going to kill Robert because he doesn't like Justin Bieber.
  • Have you got your silly head on today?
  • Sam, you are amazing!
  • What did you have for your breakfast?
  • I'd like to speak to whoever comes to pick you up from school
  • You're a little superstar!
  • Yes, I love you too Peter.
  • how can you read your book when it's closed?
  • sit on your bottom! (about 100 times)
  • Would you believe it, Jenny is talking again (about 10 times)
  • Why did you drag him across the playground?
  • Perhaps you need to apologise?
  • Don't roll your eyes at me.
  • What have I just said?
  • Would you rather do the work during your breaktime?
  • you can only talk when you're holding froggy.
  • That's fantastic! Well done!
*I work in a primary school, did you guess?

Sunday, 9 January 2011

The Big Momma Challenge 2011: week 2

Week One was quite difficult for me, and I spent most of the week trying to readjust to going back to work after a two week break and getting back into a normal eating schedule. Instead of grazing all day I am now trying to keep to strict mealtimes. Not easy, but I'm getting there. As a result I haven't lost any weight this week, but also I haven't gained any either and for the first week that'll have to do.

After relaunching The Big Momma Challenge last week, there is now a little group of us doing it:

Very Bored In Cataluyna

I've found the support of other bloggers to be crucial in keeping going. For me, having to declare our progress and then also offering tips, support and encouragement makes it so much easier.

If you'd like to join in, please do - the more the merrier. There is no diet plan - this is not a diet it's a commitment to choose a healthier lifestyle - and you do it your way. You decide what your targets are and how you are going to reach them and then blog about it, or just leave a comment each week to say how you're doing.  If you do blog about it, please link to my blog in your post and then add yours to the linky below. 

I watched an interesting BBC programme the other day about achieving a healthy weight. 10 Things you should know about losing weight gave tips about the best ways to lose excess weight, which after all is part of having a healthy lifestyle.  It's worth watching if you get the chance as all of the points are examined and explained in more details,  but if not I'll summarise the main points here.
  1. Don't skip meals. Our brain is hardwired to search for high fat, high calorie foods if we miss a meal;
  2. Use a smaller plate. The simplest of ideas, but if you change your dinner plate from a standard 12" plate to a 10" plate you are likely to eat up to 22% less food;
  3. Making lots of small changes in your calorie intake will result in a big change overall. Seems obvious but it went on to explain that if we choose the low calorie option of our favourite foods we will see a massive decrease in our calorie intake, e.g. a coffee with skimmed milk instead of a creamy cappuccino; a thin crust margarita pizza instead of a deep pan pepperoni, and so on;
  4. Don't use the excuse that you have a slow metabolism. You probably don't, you are just kidding yourself about the amount of food you are eating. This was tested with a woman who felt she just couldn't lose weight no matter what she did, but it turned out she was conveniently 'forgetting' some of the foods she was eating on a daily basis and was also underestimating her portion sizes.. A very interesting experiment;
  5. 10% more protein in your breakfast will keep you fuller for longer and can mean you'll eat a smaller lunch.  There is a hormone in lean protein (PYY protein) that triggers a message to the brain that switches off your urge to eat;
  6. Soup keeps you feeling fuller for longer. It stays in the stomach for longer that solid food, therefore keeping the hunger pangs away;
  7. Our brains are hard-wired to look for variety in food. The wider the choice the more you will eat, so avoid buffets and meals where you have to choose food from a selection;
  8. Dairy calcium helps the body to excrete fat more efficiently. So, low fat dairy may help you absorb less fat from your food;
  9. Your body continues to burn calories long after you have done even moderate exercise.When doing exercise your body burns carbohydrates, but after the exercise has finished and the carbs have been depleted your body burns fat;
  10. You don't need to join a gym to burn off extra calories. Small changes in your daily routine can significantly increase the amount of calories you burn. Just stay active: take the stairs instead of the lift; get off the bus/tube one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way; meet a friend for a walk instead of lunch.
Good luck this week!

Silent Sunday ~ Memories

Silent Sunday

Friday, 7 January 2011

Dear So and So: New year, new moans

Dear So and So...

After a break for Christmas, it's that time of the week again where I get to have a good old moan. Pop over to Kat's blog to see the other moaners.

Dear Snow,
Enough already! You get me?
person with frozen toes.

Dear 2011,
you're doing well so far, let's keep it that way, eh? Deal?
a hopeful notSupermum

Dear Eastenders,
First of all I don't watch your show, far too depressing even with all those chirpy Cockernees in it, however it's difficult to avoid all the hoohaa in the meeja this week. From my point of view your baby death/swap storyline has crossed the line as far as taste is concerned. Is that supposed to be entertaining in some way? The cot death could have been dealt with sympathetically and may have even helped some people in some way, but the swap took it to another distasteful level.
A Corrie Fan.

Dear Teenager,
If you don't tidy your hideously disgusting bedroom this weekend I will post a photo of it on this blog. And Facebook. And Twitter. And your school notice board.
You listening?
your fed-up Mum

Dear Colin Firth,
an admirer.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Losing my anonymity

I started writing notSupermum during the summer of 2008 and at first I had no idea what to write about. For years I'd kept handwritten journals and when I realised there was such a thing as a blog I thought it'd be fun, and so I started writing this online journal to record the same sort of things I'd always written about - family, life events, everyday sort of stuff and news about my daughters.

It didn't occur to me that anyone would want to read it, but I remember being stunned when someone left a comment on my of my blog posts - the fact that they'd actually taken the time to do that was amazing! But then gradually over time other people started reading it, and lo and behold I even started getting followers!

For the first six months I published photos of myself (all since deleted) and wasn't as bothered about being anonymous, but when I decided to keep it that way I removed all details and images that could lead back to me.  However, as time has gone by my anonymity has been diluted somewhat. I've met a few, although not many, bloggers and hopefully will meet more if I get to the Cybermummy conference (I'm still looking for a sponsor by the way!) 

I've told a couple of friends about the blog, and I know they read it occasionally, and for a long time that was the extent of people who knew about my dark blogging habit. But as time has gone by I've felt compelled to tell more people that I write a blog, mostly friends - mainly to explain where the products we're asked to review come from - and my colleagues found out about my blog when I had to ask for the time off to take part in a trip and explain why I was going.  I suppose I could have made something up, but I'm not very good at lying. Only one of my colleagues, who's also a good friend, knows the name of my blog, although I think one or two have found it - I imagine if you know one or two details about a blog it's not that hard to find it.

Here's the thing: how do I continue to write this blog anonymously? It's hard to do it when I know some of the people who'll read it. It limits the subjects I might want to talk about, and perhaps might colour the amount of information I would want to share on here. How do I write a blog post about something very personal to me without somewhere in the back of my mind, wondering if they are reading it, raising their eyebrows and saying "well I didn't know that about her!" I can think of quite a few subjects I'm reluctant to write about now because of that loss of complete anonymity, which is sad really. Every time another person known to me finds out about my blog, I lose another piece of privacy. Another little piece of anonymity. Another outlet for my innermost personal thoughts. How do I get around that without deleting the whole blog and starting again? I don't want to start a second, parallel blog because I like the people who visit this one and leave thoughtful, helpful and witty comments. Do I want to start all over again?

Isn't it strange that I worry about my privacy yet I publish everything on a public forum? It's a bizarre contradiction isn't it?

I need to be anonymous because this is one of the only outlets I have for ranting on about my ex-husband. I don't criticise him in front of my daughters, and there's only so much you can say to friends before they start to roll their eyes, but on here I can say exactly what I need to about him, with no comeback. 

I don't know what the answer is but I'm definitely going to continue blogging. Blogging has made such a big impact on our little family, particularly over the last twelve months when we've been lucky enough to be offered some great opportunities and make some wonderful new friends, all because I write this blog.

So, what to do? I dunno. What do you think?

Sunday, 2 January 2011

The Big Momma Challenge : 2011 week 1

Regular visitors to my blog will know that last year I started doing something called The Big Momma Challenge which was my attempt to change my lifestyle to a much healthier one.  I wanted to avoid the word diet which was usually the kiss of death for me, and instead make different, healthier choices while getting fit at the same time.  I first accepted I needed to it in this blog post and the first week of the BMC is here. From July until the end of November 2010 I  managed to lose 21lbs and made some big changes to my fitness level, but then with my 50th birthday celebrations and the Christmas holidays I sort of put things on hold for a bit. Oh, and I gained 5.5lbs.
Anyway, after the Christmas and birthday hiatus I'm going to start again with a couple of changes.  I hope you might decide to join me each week, there is no diet plan because it's not a diet! It's a decision to make changes towards a healthier lifestyle.  You decide how you want to do it, blog about it each week and share your link below so we can support each other. This bit was vital for me as I found the support of other bloggers really motivated me to lose weight and stay focused, and other bloggers taking part also said the same thing.

So, let's start afresh - new year, new focus. I'm going to set a monthly target instead of weekly ones, and do something different each month to help me towards a new lifestyle.

This month's target = 10lbs weight loss

January is also going to be an alcohol free month. I was having a conversation with some other people on Twitter and we decided to give it up for a month - longer in some cases. I have two reasons for giving alcohol a wide berth this month, the first is that drink is a trigger for me to overeat. As soon as I have a glass of wine I start eating. Not good.  Also, I been noticing for a while that alcohol just doesn't seem to agree with me anymore, I get bad headaches after even a moderate amount of drink and can sometimes feel unwell for a whole day after a couple of glasses of wine. 

And if you need inspiration to help you choose a healthier way of living you might want to pop over to read Jag's Fitness Blog. This amazing lady has lost 50lbs in total and has lots of interesting and inspiring words to say about her journey.

I'll still be updating this every Saturday - please join in or just come along to keep me in line. I'm counting on you!