Change isn’t the enemy!!

Isn’t funny how we can give others advice and encouragement but we don’t give to ourselves? You look beautiful, you’re doing so well, you can do it!!!

It’s no secret on here and around the people I love that I struggle with my weight/body image, so almost 8 weeks ago I had a life changing moment.

I attended a friends boots camp she’s starting her own business and had asked me to come. I have always had a strong aversion to group exercise as I feel self-conscious and judged even though people actually don’t give a shit as they have their own lives to deal with. However I decided to get my arse off the couch and go, I loved it…well I hated every moment I was there but I loved it. Emma is so positive is so motivating, she’s had two kids herself although you’d NEVER tell so understands that maybe star jumps may actually…erm.. be a problem. She doesn’t pick on you or name and shame, she doesnt’ use embarrassment to motivate you., you want to work hard cos she’s working hard with you. Anyway at the end of the session I got on her fan-dangled scales that pretty much weigh everything!! The results we’re shocking, the visceral fat (the fat in my abdomen and surrounding my organs) percentage was dangerously high, I had no skeletal muscle, so I’m pretty much Mr Muscle with a tub of lard around his middle. I went home and I cried, I was so disappointed with myself, how did I do this to myself?especially as the first time I started weight watchers I was only 8 1/2 stone!! That was nothing, my bra size was 3 cups smaller than what I am now, it’s ridiculous.

I didn’t cry for long, I decided to take charge and sign up for more of her boot camp classes and her personal training sessions, yes I can hear you now “not everyone can afford a personal trainer” I know they can’t and to be totally honest I can’t either but I will gladly sacrifice a couple of nights out a month if it means I end this battle I have with myself and my weight!!

After Two weeks here I am IMG_5525

I’ve weighed myself a couple of times but now avoid the scales where possible as they’re toxic for my mental health, I go by how I feel , which most of the time is positive.

At 4 weeks here I am,

I want to be clear, I’m not writing this for compliments or gratification from others, as to be honest I don’t care what anyone thinks of me, thats the whole point.

I’m writing this as I want to get this running commentary out of my head.

10011690_10154073623275341_2627472222527810807_o

8 weeks on I could probably be a hell of a lot smaller (if Emma hid the duck pate) but I refuse to diet, if it takes me two years I will do it and I will do it the hard way. At the beginning I could barely do 1 press up but yesterday I did 75!!!! I ran around the park in Boot camp without stopping, ok I finished about 10 mins after everyone else but it didn’t matter. All I got was encouragement from the others, encouragement  that I achieved something big. I can encourage and give advice to everyone about how great they look so why can’t I listen to myself? I’m having a bad week this week in the fact I’m letting the mirror/scales define me define my success…..why I am I doing this?

What I am doing is so good, I haven’t touched my meds in 4-6 weeks, I smile so much more, my sugars are stable, I have more enthusiasm to get out with my kids…Its funny how we’ll always focus on the negatives we feel.

These girls I exercise with are amazing, we’re all normal and go about the school run after our post boot camp rituals, I just feel that I should maybe dedicate this post to them and Emma, as without you all I would have given up after a couple of weeks.

I really hope that my story or moan what ever you want to call it will inspire some to get moving, change the things in your life you don’t like. Trust me, coming from the laziest person ever, I would seriously rather eat a bag of mini eggs then go to boot camp. However isn’t that being selfish on my part? “Sorry kids mammy brought you into the world but she didn’t stay long cos she just didn’t love herself enough to be healthy”

Harsh? maybe….but true!!

Anyway here are the GIRLS ONLY crew, you ladies rock!!10007067_10153921528175058_2003863973_n

Half term!

Before this week, the above words used to make me shudder with fear at the thought of it, and to be honest it was a week I was dreading. However, it has been very pleasant. We made sure we had something planned everyday. We got to the park and played with friends, both new and friends from school. LPV loves the park especially our little local park, it’s not huge and it only has one entrance/exit so I don’t have to follow him everywhere. I just place a blanket in the middle for Miss C and me and I can see him in all three playgrounds. He’s at a great age where he’ll talk to other children and make friends too. So I’ve lost the dread feeling that my child is only one who’s playing on his own.

We went to to the cinema watching the Lego Movie, a bit of quality time with me and my boy. Of course the box of popcorn all over the floor had absolutely nothing to do with us…..honest!

We’ve had a couple of playdates at our house too, Liam’s friend OB no not wan  kenobi, unfortunately, came round to play trains as they’re both huge Thomas and aeroplane fans. I love how well he gets on with these children, he has no idea that he spent the first 18months of his life with them.  Miss C has been happy but unfortunately she hasn’t made a full recovery from her ear infection I think it’s still bothering her, as are her teeth (we still only have two!!) She loves the park too, she’s getting brave and venturing off the blanket but is quite hilarious in how she crawls on the grass trying not to touch it.

I think I was dreading half term as during the run up to it I was working, unfortunately that’s no longer the case. It really wasn’t working for me and I had no choice but to quit. I didn’t want to but for reasons I really don’t want to discuss I quit. It sent me out of sorts for a while, being a bit mad and upset that I lost the thing that was mine, my little bit of independence. I’ve been a bit low too, as I just can’t remember to take my crazy pills of late, I’m saddened that I still so dependant on them for my moods. The Dr says I shouldn’t look at this way, he says I it was medication to for a condition such as diabetes I wouldn’t feel ashamed to take it so why should I be now. I do worry about the long-term effects of them too, that’s me though, I don’t think I function properly unless I have something to worry about.

Anyway I haven’t given up entirely on working, next week I have 3 days teaching at LPV’s pre school, I’m covering a holiday. In actual fact this does suit me more, I can drop LPV off in breakfast club and pick him up at 1:15 from late class when I finish, then my afternoons are free for them and I’m not sat at the computer or with my phone in hand trying to be a good a good Mammy & good employee but failing terribly at both.

Yesterday wasn’t so great but one day out of 5 can’t be bad, I had to leave LPV with our  babysitter, which I’ve done before but when he’s been sleeping. Miss C had a baby beep class and I didn’t really want to miss it. However I received a text saying he was crying and looking for me, it’s a tricky decision to make, should I have left him to “man up” so to speak I wasn’t going to be that long? Or should I have left straight away and came home? I chose the latter. I couldn’t bear the thought of him being upset. I came home and he was fine, soaked wet through and drowned the garden with the hose pipe. I got a little mad to be honest with both of them, all I wanted was an hour for me and Miss C.

LPV appears to have mellowed out a bit during these f*$king 3’s, the cheeky answering back has subsided but now we’ve entered the sensitive zone…….duh duh duh!! He cries a lot at the moment, I think it’s for attention as although I DO NOT favour one over the other. Miss C does get a lot of attention, but she needs a lot of attention. It’s not just about us though, she gets lots of attention where ever we go…”Hi baby” she sits there beaming up like the “Lady of Quinny Manor”, LPV stands there and says “hello” so I always try and put lots of emphases on him too. Parenting is difficult but parenting of two is even worse, I’m constantly worried that they’re both ok, feel loved, safe, are they eating enough nutrients…blah blah blah

The worries just go on forever!

Heres a few pic from our half term fun

A new line in baby hats

A new line in baby hats

weeeeeeeeeeeee

weeeeeeeeeeeee

Playing ball

Playing ball

Lego movie fun

Lego movie fun

Fabulous ears

Fabulous ears

World Mental health day: Postnatal depression

Today is world Mental health day, so many of us take care of our bodies with what we eat, exercising however we tend to forget our mental health. With cases of depression and other mental health conditions on the increase and discussed negatively by the media it’s so important to raise awareness. To end the stigma surrounding Mental health, so people can seek the support they need, to stop the feels of isolation.

3yrs 4months, 2 children later I’m still taking medication for postnatal depression, with the stress and upheaval in my life of late it’s reared its ugly head again. I’m disappointed, well devastated to be honest, I so wanted to come off my medication this year, however it looks as though 2013 isn’t going to be my year to do this.

I’m trying to exercise more, for health reasons I’ve stopped eating chocolate which has helped my mood, a few months ago I was approached by a woman called Marcela about a guest post on my blog. She’s written a great piece on vitamins for PND, quite fitting for today!!

Read, enjoy and I hope it helps

The Best Vitamins and Mineral Supplements to Help Combat Postpartum Depression

Motherhood should be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life, yet the commonly experienced phenomena of postpartum depression can send new moms into tailspins that can potentially lead to serious, and even dangerous, complications.

Psychiatric medication is generally effective, but many women would prefer natural alternatives—an especially wise choice for breastfeeding mothers. The following are vitamins, minerals and other natural supplements that are recommended for anyone seeking optimal health, but even more so for moms in the throes of emotional instability.

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Pregnant_woman2.jpg

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/
File:Pregnant_woman2.jpg

B Vitamins
The various B vitamins are some of the body’s hardest workers, keeping a stable metabolism and boosting energy levels—both indispensable for avoiding wild mood swings. Moreover, B-rich foods and B-complex vitamins are vital in converting tryptophan into serotonin, a natural chemical that tells your brain to feel happy.
In addition to supplements, seek out legumes, nuts, lean meats and cereals.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3s are highly effective in warding off depression of all kinds. In fact, they are even known to keep acute symptoms, such as bipolarity, in extended remission. Additionally, the omega-3 EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is a crucial support for eyes, the brain, and the central nervous system, making it a must for mothers during pregnancy and lactation.
Walnuts and fish—especially tuna and salmon—are great sources of omega-3s; however, mothers in particular should be vigilant against toxins, such as mercury, that may come along with seafood. Because toxins can be eliminated in the refining process, here is one case in which supplements might be preferable to nature’s way.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium has been shown to be extremely effective in combating postpartum depression, but it relies on a symbiotic relationship with vitamin D for a maximum delivery system. For lactating mothers, no more than 2500 mg of calcium should be taken in conjunction with 400 international units of vitamin D.
Vitamins are absorbed particularly well through diet, so look to green vegetables, fortified breakfast cereals and dairy for calcium; milk and intermittent, safe exposure to sunlight for vitamin D.

5-HTP

While there are long-term clinical studies of 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), also called oxitriptan, this amino acid and synthesizer of serotonin and tryptophan yields great results among clinically depressed patients, often within only several days of use (due to its ability to promote regular sleep). Although it is a naturally occurring chemical, it appears only in negligible doses in foods, therefore, you’ll need to visit a good health food store for supplemental capsules.

Vitamin C

One more vital way to convert tryptophan into serotonin. Citrus fruits are an obvious source of this vitamin, but for those sensitive to the acid levels of such juices, a 1 gram/day supplement is sure to reduce depression in less than a month.
Folic acid
Although technically a member of the B vitamin family, folic acid has benefits that warrant singling out. It has been shown to be effective in countering severe depression (and even schizophrenia), and of additional interest for mothers, it may be crucial in preventing neural tube defects.
Zinc
Zinc is not a direct defense against depression, but since it does reduce crankiness and increase appetite—a positive collateral benefit, given the positive effects of a regular diet on moods—it is highly recommended for new mothers. Wheat germ, whole grains and meats provide great sources of zinc, in addition to supplements.

DLPA
DLPA, or phenylananine, is another supplement that addresses several symptoms that will be of interest to new mothers. In addition to being a known mood-elevator, DLPA pumps up your endorphin levels, making it a great pain killer with no risk of addictions. As it also curbs cravings for carbs and sugars—and enhances libido—DLPA is a great one-stop for postpartum blues.
Niacin and Iron

Whether from food intake or supplements, both niacin and iron are powerful enemies of depression, as they too help your body increase its serotonin levels. As new moms can be highly vulnerable to dips in iron levels, making supplementary intake is even more important.

Because both have recommended dosage ceilings, consult your doctor on the right intake for you.
St. John’s Wort
Herbal remedies, such as St. John’s Wort—a yellow flowering plant that can be taken in tea form as well as an extract—are also worth considering as a natural route of feeling good. Unfortunately, while reviews of this time-honored remedy are glowing, product dose levels may vary, so it may take some experimenting to find your appropriate intake level.

Whether you are going to be a new mom or have already experienced the beauty of motherhood, you will want to be sure to include the necessary amount of vitamins and supplements into your diet in order to increase your chances of preventing PPD.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Southern California who writes on a wide range of topics, from marketing to technology, as well as health, nutrition, and fitness. As a mother of three, she understands very well how motherhood can affect a woman’s state of mind