Monday, 25 May 2015

Taking Better Care of Myself

Up until a couple of months ago, I ate a lot of dark chocolate kit kats, drank about 6 cans of diet coke a day and mostly didn't worry about eating much fruit and veg (well, the veg was easy but I was never bothered about fruit).

My health kick is happening in stages, to help me to learn to take care of myself better, in the hope that it will help my body to stay healthier and to help my mind a little too (maybe, hopefully).

I started with my vitamins, I take a multivitamin with iron, b complex, calcium, omega oils and evening primrose oil, along with a vitamin d spray. I believe that some supplements can help me to function a little better and to stay well that bit more easily. The B complex and evening primrose are supposed to help with hormones, the omega oils may help with my brain and mental health and I've started getting more musculoskeletal problems so I have chucked in calcium.

I cut my diet coke by half. Yes, so I only drink about a litre a day, but that is half what I used to drink. I drink a lot more green tea - I let it brew for ages as that increases the health benefits, and I add cordial and drink it lukewarm or cold (classy but tasty!). The issue was never the caffeine intake, more the effect of consuming such large amounts of artificial sweeteners and phosphoric acid!

Now I have started replacing some carbs with salad and chocolate with fruit. I eat apple, red grapes and a bag of salad daily, which can only be good for me. For example, I've swapped crisps for a bowl of salad. I like the taste of salad so I don't feel the need to use a dressing or even mayonnaise.

Am I noticing any real difference? Not really, but I was taking the calories I was saving and 'spending' them on dark kit kats. I want to lose the 2.5kg that put on when my medications were swapped (badly) 5 months ago, basically because my bras don't fit and I liked being 57.5kg, that is my goal weight. My clothes will all fit and that's all I really want.

To curb my massive chocolate cravings, I am eating M&Ms through the day in small portions, 42g (a regular bag) divided in a tablet box. That's half the calories of a dark kit kat and is now a much more mindful way to consume chocolate.

The one thing I need to work on is my self control with the tubs of chocolates at work, I can happily munch my favourites out of a tin of quality street, no worries.

Dibs on the strawberry and orange fondants as well as the orange crunches.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

I caught myself a bit of glorious Technicolor!

Since the age of 17, I have had social anxieties. Ranging from not wanting to impose myself on people who were actually my friends, to not venturing near anyone who I didn't know was a safe bet. I'm 33 now, it's been half of my life.

At therapy, my therapist asked how social situations make me feel. The conversation went a bit like this:

'Well, I don't like to impose myself on people, because I think that they don't like me. However, I know that is fundamentally wrong, that I don't think mean stuff about people, therefore they don't think mean stuff about me'

He said 'So, have I understood you...being with people makes you uncomfortable and then you tell yourself that you are fundamentally wrong for behaving like that?'

'Oh shit!!!!!' I laughed, I giggled, my eyes had a few tears of actual glee and recognition. 'No wonder I get bloody depressed!'.

There you have it.

You see, the day before that session, I was talking to MrB saying that I didn't know what bits of how I behave are me, and what bits are the people pleaser, the depressive, the mummy, etc. WELL, it turns out that I was me all along. It's like when Dorothy walks out of her black and white house and into the glorious Technicolor land of Oz.

I am not kidding you. Since the conversation, I have allowed my gut reactions to take control sometimes (this takes self discipline and self compassion to do). This means I can reply with my wit, and self deprecation (obviously).

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows to all of you today xx

Monday, 18 May 2015

Home Made Bath Bombs!

Lush bath bombs are ace, the boys love lobbing them into the water and watching them fizz away. The drawbacks are the price, potential skin sensitivities and I'm pretty sure that some of them contain soya lethicin, which both boys are intolerant to (and I can't be bothered enforcing the "no drinking bath water" rule).

Ingredients (makes more than 10 small bombs)

Bicarbonate of soda - 2 cups (235ml)

Cream of tartare 1/2 cup (60ml) OR citric acid 1 cup (115ml).

Coconut oil (or another type of oil that would be good in the bath, sweet almond, canola, baby oil) - 1 tablespoon

Essential oils -20 drops of each one

Food colouring - a few drops

Water, coconut extract OR very strong herbal tea - I have used chamomile, but I have read about green tea, and I bet peppermint would give you a zingy bath - 1-3 tea spoons.


In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients.

In a separate smaller bowl or jug, mix the liquid and the oil.

Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well.

If it isn't sticking together well, add a bit more oil (or water, but water makes the alkali and acid react, so it steals the fizz from bathtime).

Lavender, clary sage and lime is nice, but you can really play around with scents, depending on how much you want to spend on the essential oils. Just lavender would be fine and you can pick it up quite cheaply at local pharmacies. I'm quite frugal, so I didn't buy chamomile oil but used chamomile tea instead.

Some recipes suggest using cornflour/ cornstarch, but I read that can encourage yeast infections so I ignored that!

The mixture should hold together when you press it into a mould - silicone bun cases worked well as it was easy to press them out: mould, pop out and place somewhere to air dry at room temperature.
They will be fragile, but as they dry they will feel more robust.

When they feel dry, pop them into a container and use them at will! Probably best to use them within a month though.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

I'm stronger than i'll ever realise

Quitting is for the weak.

Admitting that you can't manage something is a strength. It's a strength that you'd admit in a job interview.

I want to take the boys to classes. It's what mums 'should' do (spot the unhelpful thinking style).

I don't like play groups, rows of mums chatting as if they have known one another since school. Me, there, just being me, trying to look like I am happy-as-larry, engrossing myself in a 20 year old Little Tykes mountain play set, when really, I'm half little lost girl and half bored-adult.

Then I feel guilty for not liking playgroup, I want to like it, all the other mums seem to manage ok. It's just that the amount of strength I have to use for a class or play group is disproportionate to the amount of 'wellbeing' stuff that the boys get out of it. Please remember, 3 days a week they are at nursery 8-4.30, surrounded by their peers, doing messy play and basically being busy.

Today, I am quitting gymnastics. I have learned some bits for the boys' skill level but mostly I have learned that Ewan is rather shy and Noah likes to follow Ewan. Gymnastics put pressure on me to be somewhere at a set time, which I really wanted to help me. I thrive on routine, and MrB's shifts mean I have no consistency.

I'm not quitting gymnastics because it's hard work, not because I can't be arsed. I'm quitting it because it saps what little real enthusiasm I have for being a mum out of me. I don't need that. I especially don't need the coaches telling me that there 'isn't a problem' with the status quo and tat we 'should just persevere'.

I'm stronger than I know, I'm a lot stronger than they know. It's my strong personality traits that help me to string my life of work/ mum/ wife/ me together. I need that strength so i can give the unconditional love that my children deserve and that I know I can give to them.

I will miss it. Lots. But you can only change what you have power over.