Taking Control

Recently I celebrated my 38th birthday.  The countdown is now on until I turn 40.  Getting older hasn’t really ever bothered me.  Getting older while being overweight does.

I’ve been overweight for most of my life.  Except in my late teens/early twenties when I only ate one meal a day (assisted by an evening shift job after uni and sleeping lots – I couldn’t sustain treating my body that way now); and before we had Squidge when I lost quite a bit of weight via Weight Watchers  by correspondence (it seems sooo long ago!).

I’ve set goals and seen them sail past.  I’ve tried motivating myself by not setting long term goals but rather short term ones like, I’ll eat very well today.  Day by day.

Makes me sound like an addict doesn’t it?  Taking one day at a time. In a way perhaps I am.  Instead of dealing with anxiety and stress by drinking or drugs I reach for food.  On days when I feel anxious I can eat and eat and never fill a void that I truly feel in the pit of my stomach.  And over time it’s become a habit and one that I need to break.

One thing I remember about the period when I didn’t eat or when I was achieving success via Weight Watchers was how good it felt to be in control.  I controlled what I ate and when, rather than blindly giving in to the urge to eat.

Why now?  There’s more and more evidence linking being overweight to disease such as breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes and the list goes on.  I carry a lot of my weight above my belly button – close to my heart.  And the simple fact is I don’t feel good.  I don’t feel attractive, or sexy, or confident.  I feel lumpy and awkward.

I know what I should do – eat fewer calories and expend more via exercise.  Sounds simple yet I don’t seem to achieve it.  But I’ve decided to take back control.  It is as simple as saying No.  To others when they offer me sweets or biscuits.  But most importantly to myself when I reach for food I don’t need.

What tools will I use to help me in gaining control?  Well outing myself on the interweb is one – I hope it makes me accountable.

What I really enjoyed about Weight Watchers was the thinking was done for me – I had meal plans which told me what to eat each and every day for 3 months.  It’s harder now that I have kids and have to take into account their likes and dislikes come meal times because I just cannot make multiple meals for the family.  The other thing it did was encourage me to keep track of the food I was eating.

I can achieve the same thing for free via Calorie King.  You set how much weight you want to lose and it sets a target calorie intake for a day.  You record your meals against for that day and see how you are progressing.  There are recipes, articles and forums.  The database of food is pretty good.

There’s also Weigh It Up – the group that was behind Channel 10’s Million Kilo Challenge earlier this year.  I’m sure they are connected to a health brand (Swisse from memory) but it sets out meal plans and exercise for 8 weeks of weight loss.  I’ve taken ideas from here but found it hard trying to juggle the various dietary requirements in the house.  And just recently I subscribed to Healthy Eating Planner on Facebook – they have weekly menu plans and regular motivational posts.

So how did I go today?  My calorie budget was 1460.  I snacked on a banana and mixed nuts but had lunch at a local cafe of a chicken burger with a few chips.  I came in at 1419 calories.  So far, so good.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Real Life Wednesday

Hypothetically speaking….

What might happen when a child gets an imitation brand birthday gift that’s not as good as the real thing?  Normally the mother might say nothing and encourage her kids to see the good in what they got (after all the kids get invited to so many parties and the mother understands that it can get expensive).

What happens then when the imitation brand gift is from someone who brags about their several investment properties, and clever tax accountants who ground her husband’s very substantial income down so low she gets the Child Care Benefit?

It’s just possible that when putting this gift together the mother remembers this and could be inclined to mutter about the rubbish instructions, the poor design, the fact that the pieces won’t stay together and in some instances fly off all by themselves.  She might even be heard to call it cheap.

What happens when the recipient of this gift is at another child’s birthday party and spots the very same present given to this birthday boy?

He might be heard to tell the giver of the present “You shouldn’t buy that stuff, it’s cheap and doesn’t stay together”.

His mother might be heard to say his name sharply and then shake her head at him and later on explain why he shouldn’t say those words and instead focus on the things he really like about that gift.

Hypothetically speaking of course.

I’m linking up with Kate from Picklebums for Real Life Wednesday.

Real Life Wednesdays

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Making a community

There was a horrid ad on the radio tonight.  Someone pretending to be an old woman, bemoaning ‘today’ and fondly remembering the past.  When you could leave your back door unlocked, when you knew your neighbours – blah blah.  

We moved to our suburb in the year Squidge turned two.  We didn’t really know anyone.  We nodded at our neighbours, said hello but had no real connections in the area.  While the suburb isn’t a new one, it’s taken a while for it to take off and it’s only in the last few years that we have a little shopping centre that we can walk to.  Before that, everyone drove out of the suburb to get what they needed, even just if it was milk or to post a letter.

I met a lovely lady at the park one day – both pregnant with our second child.  We chatted, found out we lived near to each other and later on that day dropped my phone number in to her house.  She’s moved out of the suburb but we’re still friends.  Our boys started kindy together, our second babies born 2 months apart.  Our children still go to the same school.

It’s been through school that we’ve made most of our connections.  First with Squidge’s class.  The connections we made in kindy are still strong now which is good – for us and the kids.  As Squidge progressed through school his friends often resulted in friends for us in their parents.  And now Bruce.  It didn’t really happen in kindy like it did with Squidge, but in pre-primary I’ve again found a lovely group of people to connect with and forge bonds that I think will last a long time.

We’ve grown close to some of our neighbours – again the bond being our children, their strong desire to play with their peers ensuring the parents connect (the occasional Friday evening drinks on the front lawn don’t hurt either!).

I love that I have friendships which mean I can call on them or they me to collect kids after school because something’s cropped up.  I love that our children can, to some degree, wander freely between houses on our street and we know they are safe, having fun and are well fed (always well fed).

I really enjoy our little community that we’ve found ourselves in and have built around us and I appreciate that my boys, through making friends, have in turn made friends for us too.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Real Life Wednesday – Ew

This is a linky to Picklebums and Real Life Wednesday – “…those crazy little things that happen that make up the every day”.

DB does the school drop off and pick up twice a week.  Bruce‘s class has reading before the school bell and parents are encouraged to stay and listen to kids in the class read the books they’ve taken home the night before.

DB enjoys this.  The kids enjoy it as not many dads have the opportunity to do it – it’s fun getting to read to Bruce’s Dad.

DB noticed one of the girls in the class looking a bit glum and asked her if she’d like to read to him.  She perked up immediately, headed on over and gave him her book.

Before he’d even had time to say hello she said:

“I’m going to the Doctor today because this morning I wanted to vomit”.

Real Life Wednesday Ew.
Real Life Wednesdays

It’s been HOW long?

There are so many weeks when I get to the end of them and think, it can’t be Monday already?

The same can be said for the past 21 years since I left high school.  On the weekend, some of the class of ’91 crashed a reunion that the class of ’92 were having.  Fortunately one of the ’91 guys had the good sense to marry a lovely and very organised ’92 girl and it turns out that ’92 crew are entirely more able to organise a piss up in a brewery (or a  pub as the case might be) than we are.

I regularly keep in touch with 2 of the people from my year that were there and via the wonders of Facebook have a fair idea of what some of the others had been up to.

In the end, the slightly awkward, so what have you been doing preamble could be summarised as – kids? work? what do you do?  Of course today, the day after the reunion, I have my answer.  Married to a lovely man for 12 years, 2 kids, a dog and 2 chooks, work part-time. Yesterday though it was hard to summarise the last 21 years.

Just where has it gone?  Uni –> job 1 as a receptionist for a small oil & gas company –> job 2 for a uni –> job 3 for a different uni.  Been there ever since in different capacities.  Been with the same lovely fella since 1994.  Built a home & life with him.  2 beautiful babies.  Time just FLIES.

I guess the people who I’ve really kept in touch with are the ones I was most connected with, I still count several of my high school girl friends as my closest friends who can pick-up where we left off, regardless of whether it has been a week or 12 months since we last saw each other, but it was great seeing the others.  Our school was a small one in a small country town and it’s wonderful to know that they’ve built their lives in their ways and we can still re-connect after all these years.  But damn it’s hard trying to condense 21 years into a few words!

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net