184 articles Articles posted in Personal

Jayne’s Addiction…to the Coffee Machine!

Back when I started trying to get my weight in check and live a healthier life, I realised a few things. Firstly I realised that I had a fairly serious addiction to food, which might sound like a cheesy way of saying ‘greedy’ but it was more than that. Buying and eating food gave me a buzz like nothing else, so kicking the habit was going to be hard. However, giving up carbs seemed simple compared with the prospect of giving up my other love – COFFEE!

Coffee is something that I would seriously struggle to give up. I usually get at least one latte per day from the coffee machines at my local Waitrose, as well as using our drip coffee maker at home all day. I’ve recently also looked into buying a milk steamer so that I can have my own lattes at home, but the market is huge and I’ve struggled to work out which one would be best for me. The beauty of my diet, however, is that coffee is positively encouraged, so I’m okay!

As I’ve got older, I’ve got more of a taste for strong, properly brewed coffee from a machine; in the past, instant was okay, but I blame that on working in a lot of offices where freeze-dried coffee was the only thing that got us through the day! Now that I work at home, I’m able to be a lot fussier about it all.

The funny thing is, even though Burrito Baby is only 3 and a half, she already loves coffee! Just the other day, her lunch request was “plain toast and a cup of coffee” – I joked in Facebook that it was like having another 33 year old in the house! Obviously, we make her decaffeinated coffee because, you know, we do like sleep sometimes, but having coffee from a young age is pretty normal in other parts of the world. Husband’s family is German on one side and they think nothing of letting their little ones have a milky cup of coffee each day.

Coffee is proven to be beneficial in many ways. As well as being packed with antioxidant, which fight off disease and the ageing process, it’s also shown to be good for digestion and studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases. All of this seems like a perfect reason to continue my coffee consumption with gusto – I almost wonder if my lack of broodiness is because I never want to go nine months without caffeine again!

Are you a coffee lover? Do you use a proper coffee machine or is instant good enough for you? I’d love to hear from any fellow coffee addicts out there, so do leave me a comment below!

How to achieve your goals in 3 simple steps

All of us have a list of goals that we want to achieve one day. Even if you haven’t written it down, you know it still exists in your head. This includes all the things you want to do and become in your life. It includes a personality you look up to. Yet most people loose hope before they get close to reaching these goals, which only causes regret later on in life. So what do we do to make sure that our motivation does not fade while we spend our lives in the pursuit of everyday greatness that may not even matter a couple of years from now?

1. Write it down: For those of us who are not really sure about what we want, or who haven’t made out a list yet, now is the perfect time to write it all down. Sit down when you feel clear headed and think about all the things that you would need in a year or in five years or in ten years from now and commit to it in writing.

2. Understand the ‘why’: It is important to understand why you want the things that you want. So if your goal is to exercise more, remind yourself constantly as to why you need to do it. Is it to feel more active, to look more attractive, or to run in a marathon for a cause you care deeply about? The reason will act as a motivator and will definitely keep you moving when the going gets tough.

3. Celebrate: A great way to enjoy the process of achieving your goals is to celebrate them while you are at it. Treat yourself to a movie or play online bingo every weekend to celebrate after a week long of hard-work and effort towards your goal. Self appreciation will boost your confidence in a positive manner.

Boost Your Post-Baby Confidence

Boost Your Post-Baby ConfidenceI don’t know about you, but I am definitely not one of those women who wears pregnancy well. I carry HUGE bumps despite having small babies, suffer with problems with my hips and the closest I come to a ‘glow’ is wiping the sweat from my brow after a particularly nasty bout of morning sickness. By the time baby comes along, most of us feel well and truly battered and it’s basically the law that “normal” women feel a bit lost and frumpy in their post-baby body. I thought I’d take a look at ways to help you to give your confidence a little boost so that you feel more human and ward off those baby blues.

Get Some Exercise

I know. I know. Suggesting exercise when you’ve either squeezed or had a human cut out of your body is probably going to make you hate me, but everyone knows that exercise boosts happy hormone levels, so it’s pretty much guaranteed to make you feel better. I’m not suggesting you start training for a marathon a couple of weeks post-partum (unless you want to!) but trying a mum and baby exercise class or just going for a walk can really boost your morale and help you lose the excess baby weight.

Get a Hair Transplant

Okay, this one might sound a little bit bonkers but LOTS of women lose hair during pregnancy and for some people, it simply never grows back. Hair transplant cost doesn’t have to be astronomical and if replacing your lost hair gives you your confidence back, it’s priceless.

Make Time for Friends

Sometimes, being a new mum can feel incredibly isolating and months can fly by in a baby-haze before you realise how lonely you are. Making time to see your friends can be incredibly theraputic and just getting the chance to have a chinwag with someone over the age of ten can give you more of a boost than almost anything else.

Take Care of Yourself

When Sausage was born, I became obsessed with painting my nails. I bought dozens of different colours and my nails always looked great. There was something really soothing about taking ten minutes for myself while she was napping to make sure just one part of me looked good, even when the rest of me was unwashed and plastered in baby sick! It doesn’t have to be nails – shape your brows, do your make-up, whatever it is to perk you up, tale some time to do it.

Remember You’re Part of a Couple

I think it’s incredibly common for new parents to get so completely caught up in parenting that they forget that they’re also someone’s partner. If you don’t want to have someone else look after the baby, plan a mini-date for when baby naps and have an adult conversation with your other half. We went to Wagamama last week and there was a young couple with a tiny baby in a carseat, fast asleep on the table the whole time they were eating, but at least they were spending time with one another.

Parenting Groups: Five Reasons for Quitting

parenting groupsFor a fair while, I’ve been part of a few different parenting groups on Facebook, places where mums and dads can go to ask questions about anything from “does this rash look like chickenpox?” to “which shops have Hatchimals in stock?” and largely it’s been good. I’ve asked plenty of questions myself and try to help others where I can. But, as of yesterday, I’ve removed myself from these groups (all but The Motherload) because it’s just messing with my head. There are questions which get asked over and over and OVER again and they’re things which make me so cross that I can actually FEEL my blood pressure rising. Here’s just 5 of those questions:

1. Vaccinations

This was the one which prompted me to remove myself yesterday and it’s probably the one which makes me the MOST angry. Someone asked “Have any other parents refused vaccinations for their kids and has is caused them problems with school and nursery?”. The comments are full of people who think they know better than the World Health Organisation (despite the fact that they get their info from American websites with URLs like VacTruth.com and nothing with any basis in actual science). Just in the last month, I’ve seen people cite the inclusion of mercury and aluminium in vaccines as a reason not to give them as well as one woman who claimed that the flu vaccine contained MSG which is, WAIT FOR IT…WORSE THAN GIVING HER CHILD COCAINE. (FML)Another woman claimed that she knew all about herd immunity and it meant that her child didn’t need vaccinations, thus proving that she actually knew nothing about fucking herd immunity.  I was one step shy of spamming the group of pictures of kids with smallpox, so I decided it was best to step away.

2. Baby Names

I’m aware that what people on random parenting groups name their kids is absolutely NONE of my business, but every time there was a “can I have suggestions of names for my unborn child?” thread, I’d read through with my head in my hands, feeling really sorry for the future generation of children who were going to have names like “Aliviyah” (pronounced Olivia, just in case you were wondering) and feeling like I was living in a real life Idiocracy.

3. Nub Theory

“Oh hi everyone. Can you look at this scan picture of my baby (who is probably too young to have even properly developed reproductive organs yet) and guess what their gender might be based on a totally theoretical and unproven method of working it out?”. Nub theory is a THEORY. Asking strangers to guess the gender of your unborn child is stupid.

4. Keeping Up with The Jonses

Do you know what I found myself Googling the other day? Matching Christmas dresses for me and the girls. Thanks to the people on Facebook parenting groups who go absolutely fucking OVERBOARD every Christmas with their EXPERIENCES and their CHRISTMAS EVE BOXES and their “BOOK-A-DAY” ADVENT CALENDARS and ALLLLLLL the other overblown shit that everyone MUST do and MUST talk about at length so that they can lord it over everyone else, I am seriously considering matching outfits for myself, my eight year old and my two year old for Christmas Day. And I’m pretty sure that makes me a massive twat.

5. Nastiness

I’m aware that what I’ve written above may seem like a bit of nastiness but this is NOTHING compared with some of the vile behaviour I’ve seen from grown people in parenting groups. There’s a LOT of stuff which gets discussed that I don’t agree with but I always try to be respectful and give replies to people based on actual knowledge and not just knee-jerk reactions. Often though (I assume on days when there’s a full moon and everyone’s menstrual cycle is syncronised) things can get NASTY. Simple threads about bottle feeding can lead to struggling Mums being called c*nts and being left wishing they hadn’t asked in the first place and it’s that kind of behaviour that I just don’t want to be a part of.

Are you a member of any of these kid of online groups? Do you find that they enhance your life or do you step away from your phone or PC feeling like your head is going to explode? I’d love to hear from you!

No Time to Read?

Time to ReadAs soon as I was old enough to read, I became something of a bookworm. The Hobbit was the first “proper” book I read when I was about 6 and it was an ongoing love affair from then. When I was in my early teens, I’d wake up on Saturday morning, go into town to buy a new book and then spend the rest of the weekend reading it, usually finished by Sunday afternoon. My mother was so concerned by my lack of interest in being a street-raker that she actually consulted a doctor about my behaviour (although I think most  parents would be delighted by a child who chose to stay at home and read, but hey, sometimes you just can’t win).

The last time I read a book was a couple of years ago now. Carrie, by Stephen King if I remember rightly (which I highly recommend, if you haven’t already read it. In fact, read ANYTHING by Stephen King.). But since then, I’ve not picked up a book. I have plenty of access to books and I also have a Kindle, so that’s not the problem.

I keep claiming that I “don’t have time to read”, but that’s not really true, either. I have plenty of time for Facebook and Netflix and Candy Crush and all of the other things which hog my attention. I might CLAIM to be time poor but that only seems to apply when it suits me. I think the problem is inside my brain…what I once loved about reading is the thing which is making it hard for me now. Bear with me while I elaborate.

One of the appeals of reading a book was that feeling of slipping inside the story, losing myself in the words and in my own imagination and being taken away from reality into a finely-woven tale which could completely consume me. These days, I seem to have an absolute inability to disconnect myself enough to lose myself in anything. Even when we’re watching a film or TV show, I’m picking up my phone to browse Facebook or Reddit or occasionally Twitter (I say ‘occasionally’ because, is it just me, or is that place just tumbleweed central these days? No-one seems to chat on there like they used to).

People have noticed how attached to social media I am and it’s become a bit of a running joke, but it’s also starting to worry me. It seems like my FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) has become all-encompassing. It’s definitely a lifestyle thing; when I was young and single, I literally NEVER turned down a night out or a chance to socialise. I could be settling down in my pyjamas, get a phone call and be in the pub in half an hour flat because I couldn’t bear the thought that people were having fun without me, and I think Facebook has become a substitute for that – I can still be sitting in my pyjamas, not NEEDING to go out and still be connected to everything that’s going on in my friends lives.

I’ve seen other people take a social media detox and I genuinely wonder how they do it. Going on Facebook, either by app or desktop, has become almost like a reflex, something I do as a matter course and I really feel like I need to take a break. The main fear is that, because so much of my work is social-based or reliant on a social media scoring, stepping away means losing money but I think I need to give it a go and see before I let it consume me. From next week, I’ll be removing the app from my phone and only accessing Facebook via my laptop, and I’ll only be using my laptop during “work” hours.

I need to re-learn how to read. How to watch a TV show without picking up my phone every two seconds. How to interact with my kids and Husband without there being a screen between me and them.

And the stupid thing is, the thought of it fucking terrifies me.

“You Look Like a Girl”

boy dressed as princessThe other day, I needed to buy some new pillows so I went to the supermarket and was wandering around the clothing and home wares department having a browse. It was pretty quiet in there as it was only about 9.15am and there were only one or two other shoppers in the whole place. One other customer was a woman, probably in her mid-to-late twenties and her son, who obviously wasn’t quite school age yet, but still looked roughly 4-ish.

The kid was wandering around fairly unchecked and at one point started to try things on from one of those free-standing jewellery and accessory displays that turns – you know the ones, right? Anyway, he became particularly enamoured with a pair of novelty sunglasses which had red, heart-shaped frames. He put them on and after admiring himself in the tiny mirror for a few seconds, turned to his Mum and, with huge amounts of pride and happiness said “Mum! Look at me! I love these glasses!”.

The mother turned to him, narrowed her eyes and with pure vitriol in her voice said “Oh my god, take those off, you look like a girl”.

My initial reaction was one of sadness as I watched the boy, clearly deflated after being rebuffed by the mother from whom he’d so wanted a little bit of praise and affirmation, take off the glasses and put them gently back on the shelf. He looked really sad, and not in that “I wanted something and Mum wouldn’t buy it for me” way that kids do, but in a genuinely confused and upset way.  But the more I’ve thought about it, the madder I’ve felt.

Firstly, what is it about red, heart shaped glasses which is designated as a GIRLS ONLY thing? Even if you do subscribe to the (bloody annoying) notion that colours are somehow gendered, surely red is a pretty neutral colour? And hearts…I mean, do only girls have hearts?! Err, no.

Secondly, even if you do think that red, heart shaped glasses are ‘girly’, SO WHAT if he does look like a girl? How is that somehow a negative thing? Is it really so bad to let a child experiment with what they feel comfortable in and form their own notions of femininity and masculinity? I know loads of guys (Husband included on one or two occasions) who’ve worn pink and absolutely rocked it. They didn’t look like girls, they looked like MEN IN PINK, just like this little boy simply looked like a boy in heart-shaped glasses. There’s a big difference.

Also, I genuinely thought we were getting past the days of negative gender stereotypes? I see little boys on my friends’ Facebook timelines playing with dollies, pushchairs, vaccums, ironing boards; all toys which, even in my lifetime, would have firmly been in the girls toys aisle and equally, I see MANY girls playing with Thomas the Tank Engine – Burrito Baby got her own tool kit and farm vehicles for her 2nd birthday whilst Sausage’s favourite things are Pokemon, Match Attax and her NERF guns. But these are “boys toys”, no? Or, is it possible, that we can just have fun with things we like, regardless. Well, yes, obviously it is.

It makes me so sad to think that little boys are having their joy, their individuality and their creativity squashed by parents with an archaic notion of what it is to be a boy and I really dread to think about the issues that this could cause them as they grow up. As a parent, I strongly believe that, although it’s our job to guide our children in terms of morality, safety and care, it’s also really important to allow them to develop their sense of self.

What do you think? Would you allow your sons to wear red, heart-shaped sunglasses? Or do you think that boys should be boys and girls should be girls and that the old-fashioned line in the sand between the two genders should remain? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Almost a Third of my Life…

Today is a bit of a special day here in the MTW house – it marks the exact day TEN years ago that Husband and I became a couple. Ten years have passed, not without some major ups and downs, but quite honestly, I think Husband and I have basically beat the odds. No-one expected us to last as long as we did, especially when we announced our engagement just six weeks after meeting, but a decade later, almost a third of my life, one dog, two babies, eight house-moves, new careers and a whole load of life in between, here we are. As much as I’d like to remain dignified in my self-satisfaction, what I actually want to do is give a MASSIVE middle finger to all of our doubters.

via GIPHY

I think most people who’ve been with someone for a whole decade will agree that marriage takes work. Unless you’re one of those weird couples who never argue (and I’m not sure they truly even exist, if I’m being honest), there will always be friction. Sometimes that friction feels too much to bear and I’m terribly guilty of failing to communicate at times, but Husband and I both work to make sure our relationship stays strong.

What I will say, though, is that although we sometimes argue, although things aren’t 100% perfect all the time, I’m still convinced that I made the right choice. I still find Husband absolutely hilarious, I still love our shared interests and tastes in music and films, as well as our differences and the fact that we learn from one another all the time. And, obviously, I still fancy him rotten *blush*.

With all that in mind, in honour of a DECADE of not killing one another, I thought I’d write some new vows for the next ten years together, just because no relationship is completely unchanged after ten years and I’m certainly not the same person I was when I was 21.

I promise…

…to do my best not to turn into my mother.

…to try to keep my tendency to over-react and be passive aggressive to a minimum

…to avoid rolling my eyes when you tell me how much you hate washing up

…to try stay awake through at least ONE film per week

…to be considerate of the fact that you’re not a happy passenger in cars and not take it as criticism when you point things out when I drive

…to never use the kids as a weapon or use you as a method of discipline when you aren’t here

…to put up with your farts…as long as you put up with mine

…to serve you smaller portions of dinner because I KNOW you can’t not clear your plate

…to try to stay young at heart and enjoy each other as the years go by

Romantic, huh? Maybe not, but sometimes it’s the practical considerations that we make for one another that remind us how much we’re loved. The fact that Husband knows how I like my coffee, or when he hoovers the car out even though I’m the one who let it get disgusting, or when he listens to me talk endlessly about the dramas which have turned me upside down over the past couple of years, always remaining on my side. That’s love, that is.

So, here’s to another ten years with my best friend and the best Dad I could wish for, for Sausage and Burrito Baby. Now, if he’d just vow to put his clothes in the washing basket, life would be perfect…!

Maldives, August 2006Look how young we look! (Ignore the random Maldivian man in the background…!)

Raising Pragmatists – Parenting Without God

It’s pretty safe to say that religion is not something which factors very highly on mine and Husband’s list when it comes to parenting our girls. We’ve taught them the basics about what each of the major religions involve and have told them that, if they choose to, they’re welcome to explore faith if it appeals to them, but we certainly don’t follow any religion ourselves and usually strive to separate the girls from these kinds of teachings. While this may seem like our household is “lacking” in something because of our aversion to faith, I actually think that it makes our jobs as parents a lot harder, in two specific ways.

Firstly, there’s the issue of death. When Husband and I have broached this subject in the past with Sausage (BB is still far too young and is mostly only concerned with cake and Mr. Tumble), we don’t have tales of fluffy white clouds and angels with harps to pass on. Husband and I feel that humans have energy and that energy is reabsorbed into the earth when we die, but beyond that there’s nothing. It’s really hard to look your child in the eye and tell them that we won’t live on together in eternity, as much as I would love that to be the case. Expecting a child to be pragmatic enough to deal with the thought that, one day, we won’t be together anymore and we won’t be skipping around in Heaven together is really quite tough.

When my stepmum passed away in 2011, Sausage was just three. Lorraine was another pragmatist and had a Humanistic funeral, presided over by a minister who talked not about God but about people and life and living as a good person. When we spoke to Sausage about her passing, we were careful not to say “Lorraine has gone to Heaven”, both as a way to respect Lorraine’s wishes but also to convey our own views on the situation, but whenever anyone else mentions death around the kids, they tend to soften things by saying that the person had gone to Heaven. While I respect people’s views, I can’t help but wonder if they’re making things easier for themselves because they don’t have to broach the subject of nothing after death, just as much as they are softening things for the kids.pragmatism

The other issue, whilst still Heaven related, is the issue of morality. Husband and I can’t teach our girls that if they aren’t “good” then they won’t go to Heaven or that bad people get their comeuppance in Hell. They don’t have the looming threat of eternal damnation keeping them in line, they simply have to self-moderate and apply what we’ve passed on in terms of ‘how to be a good person’. Anyone who knows our girls knows that they’re both really decent little people, with kind hearts and mindful attitudes (again, I’m talking about Sausage here more than BB, she’s still a work in progress!), both of which have been achieved without religion. It makes me really proud of Sausage to know that, when she’s being a good person, it’s not for the sake of a Heavenly trade-off, it’s because she’s a genuinely good person.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing people who’ve got faith and pass it on to their children; I’m all for personal choice and as long as people respect my right to live without faith, I’ll respect their right to have it. All I’m saying is, religion must make certain aspects of child-rearing a lot simpler.

What do you think? Are you raising faithless pragmatists? How do you broach the difficult subjects without making things seem too stark or scary? Do you use the phrase “going to Heaven” even though you don’t believe it? I’d love to hear your views, please leave me a comment below.

Six Things They Don’t Tell You Before You Have Your Second Baby…

1. Having One Child Doesn’t Prepare You For Your Second.

In terms of the practical stuff, i.e. bum changes, making bottles, bathing what equates to a greased-up eel with no neck control, if you’ve done it for one kid, you’ve probably got it dialled in by the time number 2 comes along. In terms of every single other aspect of parenting? Good luck, because more often than not, it’s back to the drawing board. Sausage and Burrito Baby may look alike, and share certain traits such as their kindness and ability to share, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Sausage was one of those babies who was so easy going, she almost parented herself. Burrito Baby has needed every second of my attention since 11am on 17th February 2014. She is just about as high maintenance as high maintenance gets and her temper is genuinely scary at times. I’m not saying I’d change her in any way, but I literally learned nothing about caring for a kid like her from her elder sister.

2. You Will, Very Occasionally, Favour One Over The Other

Listen, having favourites is one of those big no-nos about having multiple kids, and I’m not saying that you’d ever genuinely choose one child over the other, but sometimes you do think “God, I wish you were more like your sister/brother”. Every kid has desirable and undesirable traits and seeing the bad parts doesn’t make you a bad parent, it makes you human. In fact, sometimes seeing fault in your children can actually make you a better parent as it allows you to approach parenting from a more objective point of view.

3. Sometimes Your Heart Wins Over Your Practical Side

It’s really easy to be pragmatic and practical about certain decisions, but there are times when your heart takes over and changes the way you see things. For instance, Husband and I have kept almost every scrap of Sausage’s clothing in case we needed them for a second child, to save money and because baby clohes are often barely used by the time they’re grown out of. However, when BB came along, there were certain things that I just couldn’t put her in because they were JUST. TOO. SAUSAGE. Seeing her in certain babygros seemed all wrong and even though I thought we’d barely need to buy anything new, we bought a bunch just to make it fair.

4. Parenting Them Equally Can Be Almost Impossible At Times

Husband and I said right from the get-go that if we ever had a second baby that we would parent them in exactly the same way as we did with Sausage, making all of the same decisions as we did before. In reality though, this hasn’t worked, simply because our lives are completely different now. Sausage didn’t leave the house until she was 6 weeks old. BB came with me on the school run at just 6 days old. Sausage ate only organic fruit and veg pouches when she was first weaned. BB has food intolerances which meant her diet was different and difficult to manage at times. Sausage was spoon fed with almost every bite of food until she was 3. BB is never happier than when she’s gnawing on a corn on the cob by herself. It’s never going to be possible to do everything  the same because they, and we, are different people.

5. You Will Never Stop Feeling Guilty

I hate to tell you this, but having two children makes your guilt function increase, not just two-fold, but exponentially. As well as all of the normal feelings of guilt that us parents get, you’ve now got the added guilt of spending too much time/attention on one child, not enough on the other, not doing things the same for them both, telling one off when the other never really needed telling off, dragging one out on cold mornings for the school run, spending all day with one while the other is at school, taking one to soft play while the other is grafting over SATS…the list is absolutely endless and it never gets better.

6. There Is No Such Thing As A Perfect Age Gap

There’s five and a half years between Sausage and BB, almost to the day, and at times, the age gap can be great. I get to spend time with Sausage while her sister naps, and she’s old enough to have been really switched on and pragmatic when it comes to helping me with things or understanding that sometimes, her sister needs me (although, refer back to point 5 in regards to that…). However, there are also things which aren’t so great. I think Sausage assumed that BB would be an automatic playmate when she came along but it’s only now that they’re 15 months and almost 7 that they’re even beginning to play together. Having said all of this, I know loads of people who had their kids closer together who’ve said that they fight like cat and dog and largely cannot stand the sight of each other, so I don’t think it’s possible to ever get it ‘just right’.

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!