Me and my weight: update #1

So, I have been on a mission. It’s not been easy, and I haven’t been perfect. But I am so pleased with where I am.

I started back on weight watchers online on 27th June.

Many reasons why I have changed to weight watchers. I have done both over the years so know pretty well the ups and downs of both plans. For me, right now, weight watchers offers me the flexibility of being able to eat whatever I need to, in order to get through the day, and also help me understand my portion sizes better.

I was a little hesitant, having had a literal one day attempt last year, and then I just ate absolute shit and got even heavier. However, I logged back into my account, and I got on those scales. It wasn’t actually that horrific. Well, it probably was but I was sure I weighed more.

I was worried about sticking to points. The first two weeks actually, were super easy. I even had 4 or 5 points left over each night! I was pleasantly surprised at the portion sizes I could eat and things were not as high in points as I’d feared. I think my attitude to food has changed somewhat over the last year, especially having to feed Nancy. Fruit and veg are something we eat at every meal, so I am filling myself up nicely.

So, first week, I lost 3lbs. I was very happy with this! It seemed so easy.

Week two, I lost a pound. I felt good about this as it was a difficult week – difficult in that I had a few evenings out.

Week three, I lost 2lbs! Which I was thrilled about. It was a difficult week in that I was busy, didn’t have much time to prepare lunches and sometimes had to make food choices on the spot.

So in total, I have lost 6lbs so far.

Wobbles

I have had wobbles, and I have had 2 meals out which has meant I had to really think about what I ate. I have chosen a salad wherever possible and my choices have definitely changed in that respect – in the past I would’ve said “ah, sod it!” and just had whatever.

I had one day where I went to Costas and I stupidly chose to eat a muffin. It was 12 propoints! I then had to buy a prepacked sandwhich which was another 11 propoints. Without thinking, I’d nearly eaten my whole allowance on 2 items! It was tough, but I stuck to my points and got through the day. Those types of days are ones where I usually crack and again say ‘sod it!’ But I am trying my best to stick to the plan, and also be honest with myself.

Some people have said to me, doing it online and not going to a group, how can you be honest with yourself? And I think, well, if I can’t be honest with myself, on the scales, and eating what we need to on my own, then there’s no help, is there?

Snacks

Some of my favourite snacks and what I have been eating when we’ve gone out recently have been these:

Walkers Pops crisps 2pp per packet

Curly Wurly 3pp

Reduced fat houmous 60g pot 3pp plus crudités

Nakd Cocoa and Orange bar 4pp

Going Out

Nandos – Caesar Salad with 1/4 chicken breast 11pp

Pizza Express – Superfood Salad plus chicken approx. 11pp

McDonalds – sweet chilli chicken wrap 13pp

So that’s it! My recent update. I am determined to keep on and I am feeling so much better already. I have taken my measurements so hopefully now will be able to see the inches being lost too!

The Judas Scar by Amanda Jennings – Britmums Book Club Review

The Judas Scar is the second novel by Amanda Jennings. I’d heard good things about this book and the plots really intrigued me.

Here’s the blurb:

Scars. We all carry them. Some are mere scratches. Others run deeper.

At a school rife with bullying, Will and his best friend Luke are involved in a horrific incident that results in Luke leaving.

Twenty-five years later their paths cross again and memories of Will’s painful childhood come flooding back to haunt him. His wife, Harmony, who is struggling after a miscarriage that has hit her hard, wishes Will would open up about his experiences. But while Will withdraws further, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic stranger from her husband s past, and soon all three are caught in a tangled web of guilt, desire, betrayal and revenge.

I was hooked on this book from the moment I picked it up. The tension and suspense is created right from the beginning, and the relationships of the characters are very quickly revealed to be not as they seem. The fallout of having a miscarriage, and Harmony’s emotions following this tragic event, are played out alongside events when the past comes back to haunt Will. It almost feels quite intimate to be acquainted with these characters at such a raw time, and it is well described.  I felt like I knew these characters, I was invested in them and I wanted to find out more about them, and their actions caused me to be almost shouting at my book at times!

The tension is further increased when Will meets someone from his past, and this brings back memories from his childhood, which centre around his public boarding school and the bullying he and his friend Luke was subjected to. His issues regarding the miscarriage and the events of the past seem interlinked in some way, in that Will doesn’t feel good enough to be a father. It is also clear he has his own complex feelings about his own father. It soon becomes apparent that this resurfacing of old memories is affecting his relationship. As he tries to battle with his own feelings regarding the past, and as secrets are revealed, he pushes Harmony away, and both characters seem to be on a path of self-destruction.

It is very hard to talk about this book without giving a lot away, so I am trying my best. The decisions both characters make, whilst both seemingly out of character, you can see as a reader why they are making these decisions, and just know things will not run smoothly. I found the character of Luke to be dark, moody and you just know that it isn’t a coincidence that he has come back into Will’s life. All the characters add something to the story, and extra layers of personality.

All the while you are wondering what happened in the past, and why, and the tension builds to a great crescendo. I wasn’t disappointed by the ‘big reveal’, and there is something of a twist within a twist, which I also thought was good – I didn’t see it coming. The book ties all these ends nicely together, and the ending of the book, whilst nothing too explosive, did surprise me a bit. I like the fact that everything within the book is believable – it doesn’t extend beyond the realms of reality, and that is refreshing and also makes the book believable, and raw. You can believe that things like this actually happened.

This book is dark, there are parts that are so well described it is almost painful to read on. It really does conjure up the image of what the public school life and bullying must have been like and also the heartache of a couple who are torn apart by the things that happen to them in life. I was so engrossed by this book, I could have happily read it all on one go, it was compulsive and I would say, addictive.

I would gladly give this book 4 out of 5 stars, in my opinion it is a must-read. I am eager now to read Amanda’s other book, Sworn Secret.

I was sent a copy of The Judas Scar as part of the Britmums Book Club. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

How NOT to anger a toddler

And so it begins.

I have the makings of one angry little person on my hands.

Here’s 15 golden tips to make sure you never anger your toddler:

1. Never offer them crayons or pencils of any kind especially if they have to be put away at some point.

2. Make sure whatever you’re doing doesn’t ever end.

3. Don’t give them anything that can be squeezed or squished in an angry fist

4. Give them whatever they want, whenever they want

5. Don’t let them see any other child or what they are playing with

6. You must leave the cafe/restaurant as soon as they have eaten.

7. Don’t get them dressed. Ever.

8. Play the theme tune to the Tweenies on a loop all day

9. Know instantly what ‘bouga boyga da Gaga’ is

10. Never ask them if they are tired

11. Don’t put the giraffe on the train

12. Let them rifle through the kitchen cupboards

13. Don’t wear shoes

14. Don’t ever ask about the nappy

15. Make sure tables and other high furniture is available for climbing

Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Digestive Biscuits Review

As someone who loves tea, it is not unusual for me to have a biscuit at the same time. I have spoken before of my love of biscuits, so this is no surprise. When I was asked to review the new Weight Watchers Dark Digestive Biscuits, how could I say no?!

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These new biscuits are 1 propoint per biscuit or 51 calories a biscuit, compared with other digestives which are over 80 calories.

The biscuits come in a handy resealable packet, which did work (other resealable packets I have tried in the past have ripped or not been sticky enough!).

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I am not normally keen on dark chocolate, so I was a little hesitant when I tried these biscuits. However, they were really nice! The biscuits are thin and the chocolate layer is thin also, I got a lovely taste of digestive biscuit and chocolate, but the dark chocolate flavour was not overpowering as I have found with other biscuits.

The biscuits, whilst being low in calories, are not a teeny tiny size as you sometimes see! The biscuits were a good size and shape, and didn’t feel too ‘diety’. They were great for dunking.

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They went very nicely with my cup of tea, and as I have recently started back on Weight Watchers, the fact they are 1 propoint each means I can still have my biscuit fix and keep within my points.

I was sent a packet of weight watchers dark chocolate digestives in order to undertake this review. Al thoughts and opinions are my own

Hands

I have held many hands.

Hands rough with work and wear

Hands soft and smooth

Hands that have cared.

Hands that are shaking

Hands that earthquake tremor

Hands that wipe away tears

Hands that cannot remember

Hands that feel no more

Hands grasping for answers

Hands wringing and wrought

Hands, tiny and delicate

Hands soft and new

Hands praying, forgiveness

Hands praying, for answers

Hands to rub and soothe

Hands waving and frantic

Hands slapping

Hands clapping

Hands into fists of anger

Hands thumping and hitting

Hands on laps,

Hands, palms held up

Hands cleansed with water

Hands thick with dirt, yellowing nails

Hands do not lie

Hands tell our stories

I have held many hands

Let me hold yours

Riding in Cars with Toddlers

I used to feel like a superstar driving down the highway.

Now, everything’s changed since I have had a child. Riding in a car is akin to an endurance test, or possibly torture.

It starts like this. I strap her in, and make sure she has items to hand – drink, soft toy (usually Upsy Daisy) and some bits of plastic, or whatever her favourite thing is that day. At the moment it’s a blow-up head cushion. (Don’t ask).

I get into my seat and start the engine.

I start humming away to the radio, we get to the end of the road, and it starts.

“Justin”

“Justin! Justin!”

“JUSTIN!”

My heart sinks.

“JUSTIN!”

I go to switch off the radio and put on the Cbeebies CD. Which I must have bought whilst having a breakdown.

Justin’s house blasts out of my car. It ends. I breathe a sigh of relief and open the window. I try and not have the wndows open whilst we play this CD. Stopping at traffic lights with my windows down and Justin blasting out is just something I can not bear. Unless it’s really hot and then I realise I have no street cred now, and likely no dignity either.

“More! More! MORE!” She screams in the back. And I have to replay the damn song again. And again.

By the time I’m on the motorway, I am either crying or laughing hysterically. Or probably both, at the same time.

Then, I have an idea.

“Look!” I shout, “look! A lorry!” As I try to distract her and switch on the radio. The big red lorry glides past, and she shrieks with delight, waving and smiling.

“Lolla! Lola!” She shouts. Great, I think, this is a great game. I smugly relax a bit and start to enjoy Radio 1.

“More” she says.

“MORE! LOLLA!”

Erm. I look around and find that for once in my entire time driving there appears to be no sodding lorries on the road.

“More!” She commands.

“They’ll be more soon….oh, look, a car! A van! A tree!…..A crisp packet!” I start to get desperate.

“LOLLA!” She shouts.

“Look! Grass! Buildings! Oh look here’s a CD to hold….have this A-Z of Southampton!”

“More! More! More!” She starts chucking everything around the back of the car.

It all goes quiet for a moment. I glance in the mirror and find she has managed to extract the wet wipes from the nappy bag which is next to her seat in the car, and the back seat is awash with wet wipes.

“Oh dear!” she says as she starts to wipe the window. I sigh.

And then…..

“Haaa! There! There! Look! Look! A lorry!” I wave and scream in delight as the Tesco lorry goes past the car. I feel like I’ve won the lottery.

The lorry driver glances sideways at what must appear like a manic woman smiling and waving at him, with a child cleaning the windows with wet wipes in the back.

“Yay! LOLLA!” She shouts, wet wipes flying everywhere.

We travel on in a happy silence.

“More!” She shouts.

I admit defeat and put Justin’s House on again. On repeat. For the next hour.

The clown who came for tea

I came home today to find a visitor in my house.

Gymbo.

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He is a clown that is usually at Gymboree, a toddler class we attend weekly. Bubs loves going,but most of all she loves Gymbo. She will do anything for Gymbo. Gymbo is on his summer holidays and visiting some of the children that attend. (Gymboree is a great little class by the way.)

I must admit, when I first went to this class and saw Gymbo, my heart skipped a beat. There’s just something about a clown that gives me the heeby geebies. He’s innocent enough, but his eyes follow you around the room…..and that smile…..

She went to sleep straight away last night. Straight away! That kind of thing is unheard of. But she needed to have Gymbo with her.

However, I can’t help thinking that Gymbo is slightly…..freaky.

When she went to bed last night, and I checked on her before I went to bed, all I could see were Gymbo’s eyes looking at me in the dark. I sat him on the floor, and that just made things worse. He looked like he might get up at any moment.

Images of IT flashed through my eyes….my heart racing slightly. Trying to shake off the crazy clown scary stories that are flooding my mind. I am being ridiculous, I tell myself.

My sister hates clowns so much. When I showed her a photo of Gymbo she said: “who the hell gave her that!?”

But Bubs loves him! She got up this morning and just wants to hug him.

We need to take Gymbo out on adventures and take photos to show them all at the class. I need to be creative, I can’t just take him out to Sainsbury’s. It’s nice I guess as it means we will plan a nice trip out and I know Bubs will love it. I just have to think of where. Oh, and to carry a toddler sized clown soft toy everywhere with me.

Gymbo is just a toy, an innocent, slightly creepy looking toy, and he makes Bubs smile. We have 6 days left with him. Not that I’m counting.

Do your kids love weird toys, or toys that sort of give you the creeps? I’d love to know!

Thinspiration?

What is this new word being bandied about?

Thinspiration?

I don’t know what to make of it really.

There has been a lot of publicity about this word recently. People are questioning the use of this word. People are questioning whether magazines are using this word, and whether their intention or not, they are encouraging young women to lose weight. This word is used within pro anorexia sites as some sort of mantra, some sort of way of encouraging each other to get thinner. I understand why there is such a backlash. People want others to not use this word. Anything that can glorify such awful conditions such as anorexia or bulimia should not be splashed about the pages of a magazine.

But how do I feel as someone clearly obese and clearly not very thin when I see words like thinspiration?

Are these words, these articles, aimed at me?

I wonder why anyone would get ‘inspiration’ from being thin?

What does thin mean anyway?

Can someone get ‘fatspiration’? (To be honest this just reminds me of being fat in the summer and sweating).

I have never liked magazines or newspapers that glorify weight as if it is the holy grail of life. The be all and end all for a woman is to be really thin. Really? I don’t actually feel anything when I see these words. They don’t hit me in the eyes, they don’t insult me, in a way I mentally roll my eyes and walk on by.

I guess it’s because those women, they have never been my idols. I have never tried to be as thin as them, as I have never in my life been as thin as them. I have never had a stomach so flat that it disappears when you stand up. I’ve never had a thigh gap. I’ve never been able to fit into their clothes. Nothing about them makes me want to buy things they wear, or to be them. It’s just too unattainable for me.

But I know, for some people out there, they are the sort of people they want to be. And that’s where people are coming from.

I may have never idolised these celebs, but I know how your weight can make you feel anxious, stressed and pretty shit. Trying clothes on used to cause me a lot of sadness. I can see how these images and words can upset people, or push them over the edge.

Why can’t we be celebrating people’s talents on these front covers? Photographers, artists, writers, people who have achieved things other than getting into a size 6. Why is it always about diet, weight, celebrity-ness?

I know it’s not always the slimmer celebs that get the column inches. Magazines seem to either highlight how much weight a celebrity has supposedly lost, or highlight how much they’ve supposedly put on. Fat or thin they just love to tell us all about it. They even have their own diets and success stories from readers.

I know. They wouldn’t write these magazines if people didn’t buy them. (Ps. I don’t buy these magazines). I can’t help feeling though that these magazines have a responsibility, they can set the agendas, if they took initiative and started to do things differently, slowly but surely things could change.

Why can’t we just be inspired by other women, and what they have achieved, rather than what the numbers on the scales say.

Happy writing

I love pens. I do, honest. I love a nice pen to write with. At work, I keep a close eye on my pens in case they go walkabouts.

I was ever so pleased when pilot pens got in touch to ask if I would be interested in writing down those little, special moments with Bubs down in a journal. Using their fab pens, of course!

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There is something about writing something down, with a pen in my hand,that makes it real. It’s a true memory stored away. Yes, online I can record so much but the actual physical act of writing can lock it into my brain.

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I have really enjoyed writing something each day, and looking back over the last month now, there are so many of these little things I’d completely forgotten about! I am definitely going to keep writing down these little moments as it’s such a lovely record to have!

Writing them all down with the fabulous pens I have been given has been a pleasure. The Frixion pen is lovely to write with, very smooth and flows well. I also love the fact you can erase with it! All the pens have worked straight away with no annoying scribbling-on-a -scrap-of-paper-to-get-it-working and they are fab colours. So basically, I love them. I take them everywhere with me!

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I think it would make a lovely gift for a new mum – a little notebook and a pen – I wish I’d had one right from the beginning. You get a lot of thoughts pop into your head during night feeds! Just to record all those little moments, I can’t believe how many things I would have forgotten if I hadn’t written them down.

Sometimes it’s just nice to pick up a pen and write, it’s something that we do less and less now computers are everywhere. Pick up a pen and write something today!

I was sent a small notebook and some pens by Pilot Pens in order to take part in #happywriting. All thoughts and opinions are my own

You Were Mine for Nine Months

You were mine for 9 months.

No-one else knew you, but I did.

Now you will never only be mine again.

You are being stolen from me

in front of my eyes.

You have their blood, but I do not

You breathe their lives, into your lungs

You see things only your eyes will see.

You are a piece of me-

I feel my heart is being cut out.

What have I done to my soul

Shattered into pieces

Dispersed across the universe

The wind will wind and weave

Dance down the paths we tread

I let go of the ribbon

A balloon into the sky

You were mine for 9 months.