All About ME! · Food · Happiness · Health · Personal · Weightloss.

My Weight Loss Journey

belly-2354_640I’ve written on this blog SO many times about how I need to lose weight, need to get fit, need to improve my lifestyle. In fact, I’ve written it so many bloody times that I’m bored of the same old self-motivating stuff that never really works and I’m not going to even link to any of the old posts here as they’re all bobbins.

Here’s the thing; over Christmas, I was really ill. The whole family was, in fact, BB and I spent about 70% of Christmas Day asleep on Husband’s Aunt’s sofa, so it was a pretty rubbish day for us, despite our family doing their best to cheer us up and make us feel better. I dragged us all back to the doctors on Boxing Day and the GP decided to send me for some tests as the illness had been lingering for a few weeks by this point and he thought I might have Glandular Fever (Mono, for anyone reading in the States). By the times the tests came back though, it became clear that GF wasn’t the issue. In fact, the reason I wasn’t getting better was that my other conditions (type 2 diabetes and an underactive thyroid) were being so poorly controlled that my immune system just wasn’t strong enough to fight off the germs.

I was sent away with an additional diabetes medication (alogliptin) to take alongside my metformin, my thyroxine dose was upped and I was also put on cholesterol medication (atorvastatin) as my cholesterol had crept up too. I was also advised that losing weight was something I needed to seriously consider. My GP drew a graph to show me what my current state of health was doing for me (which I’ve skillfully recreated in MS Paint…):
Diabetes
The straight line represents what my blood sugar control should have been like, in an ideal world, for the last 7 years. The squiggly line is an approximation of what my control has actually been like over that time period. The red striped area in between represents actual damage that has been done to my body in the time that my condition has been poorly controlled. For a diabetic, that translates to damage to the retinas, heart, kidneys and other organs, as well as reduced healing times and potential shortening of life in the long run.
That little graph scared the crap out of me. 
So, while in the past I’ve written posts containing platitudes about how I MUST lose weight and I WILL take control, this post is being written from a slightly different angle. You see, that was all about 8 weeks ago now and in that time, I’ve actually managed to lose 18lb already. There are two things which have been a great help, so far; My Fitness Pal, where I log every single thing I eat and keep track of how many calories I’ve consumed (I’m allowed 1610cal at the moment) and the Pedometer app on iPhone which I’ve been using to try to up my daily step total to 10,000. I’ve walked the school run instead of using the car and at least 2 days a week, I’ll walk a super long way home instead of coming straight back. A couple of small changes to my lifestyle and I’ve already made a huge difference.
Something about seeing the potential damage done to my organs, drawn crudely in a free biro from a drugs rep, on the back of a blank prescription has given me the kick up the butt that I so badly needed. I still have a long way to go; I need to lose another 40lbs to get anywhere near a healthy weight, but losing the first 18lb with such small effort has made me realise that it’s not as hard as it seems. My willpower has slipped once or twice, but instead of throwing the towel in like I have in the past, I’m moving past each minor blip and seeing it as reinforcement to my will to complete the journey.
Also, I need to up my exercise game – if anyone has any recommendations for home workouts which won’t make me keel over or run away screaming, I’d be super grateful for them!
Days Out

The Cheltenham Festival – 4 days of racing madness!

Horse RacingEngland has some of the world’s biggest, brashest and most ebullient horse races. The Epsom Derby, Grand National and Royal Ascot are all spectacular celebrations of our racing culture and heritage; but theres one upcoming event which stands head and shoulders above the rest – The Cheltenham Festival; this year held on March 10th-13th.

Big racing festivals attract bigger fields and faster horses; making them incredibly exciting for racing fans. These big events are also important for bookmakers – at Cheltenham, for example, an unbelievable £600m will be bet over the 4 days! Tipsters and “men of the turf” will also be busy studying form and fields as their tips for Cheltenham can make or break reputations.

Preparing The Festival is a year long operation involving thousands of staff. Organising, securing and running an event like Cheltenham requires rigid planning and preparation – even a tiny deviation from schedule can be a huge revenue loss if it prevents a race been shown on TV. If a frost is predicted all of the 21,120 feet of track and covered by plastic sheeting to avoid damaging frosts and workers have been busy installing new phone masts to cope with the surge of traffic generated by over 80,000 daily visitors.

Cheltenham, North West of London and close to the Welsh border, is one of the most easily accessible English racetracks for Irish horses to reach (with easy access to the Holyhead port) and so attracts many champion thoroughbreds from the Emerald Isle. Cheltenham’s association with Ireland is also bolstered by the fact that The Festival is always timed to fall over St. Patrick’s Day – this year celebrated on Thursday 12th March. I wouldn’t describe the atmosphere on St. Patrick’s day as “child friendly”, but it will certainly be a loud and raucous affair, fuelled by pints of Guinness liberally served in their sponsored tent.

The Festival closes on the day of its most famous race – The Cheltenham Gold Cup. It is run over a long, 3 mile 2½ furlong course with 22 hurdles (jumps) to navigate along the way. It is one of the richest and most prestigious English races, attracting only the very finest jockeys and mounts. Every year the Gold Cup winner writes an incredible story, and all eye this year will be on the battle between defending champion Lord Windemere and super steed Silviniaco Conti.

Horse racing is a sport which flies under the radar most of the time until one of the marquee events brings it back to our attention. Although The Grand National gets us all taking part in office sweepstakes; to most fans Cheltenham is racing’s unmissable event. Single day tickets start at £22 and if you make it to Cheltenham you’re unlikely to forget the experience quickly!

Baby · Fashion and Style

Clarks Shoes for Babies

Up until recently, Burrito Baby only ever wore socks on her feet when we left the house; more often than not she was in her snowsuit, which covers her feet and doesn’t allow for shoes, but now that the weather is warming up slightly, she’s happier in a coat which meant that the time was here to buy her first shoes. We didn’t want to just go for soft pram shoes, as they wouldn’t be useful if she wanted to be on her feet, so when Clarks asked is we’d take a look at their cruising range, we were happy to oblige.

At first, I wanted to go for something like the Halcy Pop, which would be pretty and comfortable for BB.

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However, Husband being the wise fellow that he is suggested that we go for something with a little more ankle support for our new little walker, so we considered these cute pink desert boots:

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In the end we opted for the Alana Erin, which we felt would give the best combination of comfort and support for BB, along with style and practicality. These boots go with pretty much every outfit BB owns and look like they’ll stand up to a good bashing from our toddler!

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We were really impressed with how extensive the Clarks range is for babies and toddlers and will definitely be going back for BB’s next pair of shoes. She’s still finding her feet in her new boots, unable to decide whether they’re the best thing ever or the weirdest thing ever, and she does look a little bit like Bambi on ice when she first puts them on, but it’s all a learning process!

We can’t wait to see BB’s proper first steps, where she’s not holding onto anything for balance and we feel confident that Clarks shoes will be a great help to her as she starts her new walking adventure.

Baby · Family · Maternity · Maternity Matters · Mental Health · Parenting · Personal · Pregnancy

Maternity Matters Week 4 #maternitymatters

I can’t quite believe this is the fourth Maternity Matters linky already! We really hope you’re enjoying the process of sharing and reading so many great posts as much as we are. Seeing how pregnancy and birth experiences vary so much from person to person is as beautiful as it is informative and that uniqueness is exactly what’s at the core of Maternity Matters.

As usual, we’d love it if you displayed our badge, either on your individual posts or in your sidebar, and we’d also be grateful for anyone who isn’t already to follow the Maternity Matters Facebook and Twitter accounts.



MaternityMatters~ Mum's the Word
Health

Using the right safety glove for proper protection

latex glovesSafety gloves can be used for a wide variety of purposes. From the construction site to the medical ward, professionals of many stripes use gloves to guard their hands against injury and the insides of their bodies from the infections that can enter through even a small opening in the skin. Whether sterile or not and for several different types of allergen avoidance, safety gloves are a good way to protect oneself. Particularly in a medical environment, protective gloves are necessary in many ways.

Latex Medical Gloves

Latex is a traditional material that has been used in medical gloves for many years, and unigloves are a brand name that you might recognise. Traditionally, there have been two types of latex gloves, and using the right safety glove for proper protection involves selecting which glove is best for the purpose at hand. The types of gloves are exam and surgical. While exam gloves are useful for a host of different types of procedures, typically surgical gloves are used primarily for their intended purpose.

Exam gloves tend to be changed more often, and traditionally these involved the use of powder to lubricate the gloves and make them easier to don and doff. Surgical gloves are made via a different kind of manufacturing process, which makes powder unnecessary. Since powder tends to get in the way of healing if it comes into contact with a wound, even if it is a surgical opening, it is not employed in surgical gloves. In the modern day, even exam gloves are not made with powder to the extent that they once were.

Sterility is the other major variable that has been a part of the distinction between exam and surgical gloves. While exam gloves are only sterile from the package in some cases, surgical gloves are almost always sterile. Either type prevents the transmission of dangerous pathogens from patient to medical professional or vice versa.

Nitrile

Nitrile is one of the best types of hypo-allergenic types of gloves found at The Glove Club. Nitrile gloves are thicker than latex gloves, and as a result are more readily textured. This texturing provides greater control and better dexterity to the individual wearing them, particularly at the fingertips. Many kinds of nitrile gloves also feature beaded cuffs, which make this type of glove less likely to roll downward during strenuous work. While medicine is the primary time when people wear these types of protective gloves, auto shop workers also wear them to protect themselves from chemicals, oil, dirt and grease.

Nitrile gloves are excellent for people who have latex allergies. These gloves allow these people excellent protection without causing them to have an allergic reaction the way latex would.

Nitrile is not only hypo-allergenic. It is also preferable to latex because of the visibility of tears. When nitrile gloves rip, it is easily visible and makes changing the gloves a quick process instead of accidentally exposing oneself to an infectious or dangerous agent. Since nitrile gloves have a solid resistance to many types of chemicals, this early warning is a good way to avoid careless injuries.

Vinyl

Vinyl gloves are useful for many types of more extended contact. While they are not strong against organic solvents, they are very resistant to amines, peroxides, fats, oils, basic and acidic compounds. These gloves are also quite useful for more intense work, as their resistance to abrasions means that one can continue working for an extended period without as much risk of wearing through the gloves as with other types.

There are several types of gloves one can use. Selecting the right type of glove depends on the work to be done.