Monday, 30 May 2016

Success happens one pound at a time

eat less, move more

One of the unexpected repercussions of my daughter's illness, is that it's prompted me to take stock of my own health.

When you're a single parent and your child becomes ill it hammers home the message, more than ever before, that you are it. The buck stops with you kiddo, so look after yourself.  I've always know this, of course I have, but when you're faced with an uncertain future it really does concentrate the mind on what's important.

So I took a long overdue look at my health and more importantly decided to do something about it.

To cut a long story short I've lost 2 stone (28lbs) since January.  I could have probably lost a lot more than that, but I didn't want to do a diet plan or go to a weekly weigh-in class - just not my cup of tea - so I decided to try the 'eat less and move more' approach.

Nothing fancy required, no weighing out of portions, or counting points or calories, just quite simply eating less than I normally did and getting more exercise.   I take the dog for longer walks, and have recently started going to Zumba classes, which I love! (now there's a sentence I didn't expect to be writing this year!)

First of all I cut out unhealthy snacks between meals - all the cheeky biscuits, cakes, crisps and chocolate bars that I was in the habit of eating regularly had to go.

In their place came fruit, yoghurts and nuts.  I allow myself two snacks a day nowadays - one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and they're usually a banana or apple, and a handful of nuts.

For breakfast I eat the same as I always did - cereal, usually a bran flake type cereal, muesli or porridge - but I use semi-skimmed milk and I watch my portion size.

For lunch, I might have a sandwich, soup, or sometimes a jacket potato with a healthy filling, or my current favourite, poached eggs on granary toast.

For dinner, it'll be fish with plenty of veggies, pasta or a big colourful salad with salmon or tuna.

I still have treats at the weekend though - maybe a takeaway or a meal out, and a couple of glasses of wine - because it makes it easier to maintain the good behaviour for the rest of the week.  But here's the difference: I don't overdo it, and when the weekend is over I go back to my sensible eating plan.

eat less, move more

I still have a long way to go to get to my ideal weight (I want to lose 6 stone altogether, no biggie...)  but the difference is that I know I can do it. It's such a change in outlook to think that I have control over my eating, and that even if I have a bad day it's not the end of the world. I just start afresh the next day and keep going.  I'm taking control of my weight one pound at a time.

Eat less, move more. It's not groundbreaking stuff, but it works.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

When life throws you a curveball

Well, this is a bit of a surprise isn't it?

I wasn't expecting to blog for a while, if ever, after taking a prolonged break but here I am again. After an unexpected start to the year, I've had little time to blog, but recently as life as started to settle down again I've began to miss my little corner of the internet.

This year didn't get off to a good start for us.  In January my 16 year old daughter, aka Tall Daughter, became seriously ill.  It was all very sudden, completely out of the blue, and was a bit of a shock to us to say the least.

Out of respect for my daughter's wishes I'm not going to discuss her medical condition on here, so please bear with me for sounding cryptic, but all I can say is that thankfully it's not a life-threatening illness, but it is a life-changing one.

She was diagnosed and treated very quickly courtesy of our wonderful NHS, and continues to get excellent care and treatment. At the moment, she is at home and settled and we can see a way forward, but it's had some pretty devastating repercussions for her.

Her illness has resulted in her missing huge amounts of school at the beginning of the year and has only been able to return to a part-time timetable, which has meant missing some critical parts of the GCSE curriculum and most of the revision classes, yet despite this she has soldiered on and, so far, has sat all of her exams. She has a few more to go, so fingers crossed.

The last few months have been very difficult for her, and she's worried about the impact it'll have on her GCSE results.  We've had many long conversations about what she'll do and what will happen if she doesn't get her predicted grades, but her health has to come first and we'll just have to figure out the rest later. I'm incredibly proud of her.

You know that saying "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans"? That seems particularly apt this year.  We were just getting to the stage where I had lots of free time, with one daughter at uni and the other one due to start college, and both of them developing into very independent young women,   But this year isn't turning out the way we expected it to and, hand on heart, I can tell you that this is the hardest thing I've had to deal with as a parent.

But, we have a lot to be thankful for, and as I keep saying to Tall Daughter, everything is going to be okay.

Anyway, how are you? How has your year been so far?