Let’s Get Healthy: Life Got In The Way

In my post Let’s Get Healthy: Identifying Obstacles, I broke down my goals and worked out the importance of each one and what could get in the way of achieving them. I hit the publish button feeling good about myself and raring to go. But I forgot to add in one major obstacle:

LIFE.

Life has thrown me in the deep end the past couple of weeks and I wasn’t prepared for it.  I’ve been dealing with a sick baby, sleepless nights and a couple of huge weeks at work, it’s made it difficult for me to find time to write, let alone make my plan of attack to get myself back into a healthy lifestyle.  The few times Zombie and I have had a chance to breathe we’ve both fallen asleep pretty quickly instead of being productive.  I know that this is all part of being a parent and that it will pass, but the timing is far from ideal.  I imagine that this will usually be the case though.  I guess it’s just more proof that I need a Plan A and a Plan B for when things go pear shaped so that I can still keep on track.

Basically, I need to get to a point where I can’t make excuses.  Not to say that these things aren’t genuine reasons to get behind or a little slack. Most of this past week I averaged about 3 hours of broken sleep a night due to looking after poor Bubble overnight when he was struggling to breathe through his blocked up nose and feeling miserable.  I’ve slept in a lot which has meant skipped breakfasts.  We’ve spent most of our time outside of work sticking close to Bubble who will currently only sleep if he’s being held, and while he is still his happy bubbly self he’s also gets grizzly very quickly and cries a lot which is another thing we’re not used to from him.  In turn this means we’ve had rushed dinners at 9pm in the evening just to make sure that we’re actually eating.  Fish and chips, sausages thrown in the oven with chips, just easy things that don’t take a lot of time or energy because when sleeping becomes a luxury, so does everything else.

It hasn’t been all bad though.  Last Sunday I made a meal plan and then made my shopping list from that. After shopping I went home and made my lunch for the entire week.  My snacks are ready to go items also, yoghurt, carrots, nuts, things that I can grab in the morning instead of preparing.  So, I have eaten better overall, just mostly at work.  I have stuck to a couple of the meals on the meal plan and for the most part I’ve only drank water this week (aside from the two coffees when I found myself almost falling asleep at my desk).  And despite not going for any intentional walks or exercise, I’ve hit my step goal each week, exceeded it a lot some days too.  It’s a start.

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Lunch experiment.  Kumara and carrot hash rolled around spinach and ham topped with egg

Plus a lot of the groceries we brought last week have gone unused which means I’m already halfway there in terms of planning for next week.  Now that Bubble is on the mend and I’m also getting used to him being needier than usual and not sleeping through the night anymore which means I’m managing better during the day.  This may also be because I’ve been healthier overall than previous weeks.  Even small changes can make a difference.

I still need to make my plan, but now I need to include a more extensive backup plan as well.  I need breakfasts done ahead of time that can be eaten on the run.  More simple dinners that take less effort but still more nutritious than my go to back up dinners.  There’s not a lot I can do about Bubble being sick and waking constantly during the night.  It may pass as his health improves or it may continue for a while.  That’s sometime I’m going to have to deal with but how I cope the following day can be improved.  Should I have some back up breakfasts in the freezer for if I sleep late?  With my track record of sleeping late, yes.  Should I make a weeks lunch on Sunday?  Definitely, that was a life saver next week.  Should Zombie and I eat more basic foods such as meat and three veg that are less fuss for us to cook?  Absolutely.

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There was coffee

Bubble seems to be getting better.  He had a rough night of sleep last night but since 4am he has spent most of the day asleep, waking for feeds and cuddles, having a small play then going back to sleep.  His little body must be exhausted and the best thing for him now is to rest and give his body a chance to catch up and mend.  It’s also given me a chance to sit down and relax but not automatically nap which is great.  Plus I’ve been able to write an entire blog post!

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The whole family is pretty knackered

In the next few days I’m hoping to complete my health plan and share it and get started on it.  I’m not prepared enough to do it now and jump right in, I may still have another night of broken sleep and pacing with an upset baby ahead of me, but one thing I am certain of is I will be a lot better prepared for the next time Bubble is sick, both mentally and with backups for keeping healthy.

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie

 

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Parenting Anxiety, In My Dreams Now??!!

It’s been a big week.  A long week, despite the fact that we are only three days in and an exhausting week.  It’s been stupid busy at work, there’ve been a few challenges at home and I’ve had a bunch of headaches that won’t go away, but it hasn’t been a bad week.  It’s been a good week, just tiring and a little unsettling.

Bubble has started commando crawling.  On Monday he could only roll to get where he wanted, or pivot on his knees by pushing his arms on the ground to face a different direction.  On Monday night he could commando crawl slowly and with extreme concentration.  On Tuesday night he chased Zombie’s fish and chips across the lounge and then the hallway.  He’s fast.  Not the most co-ordinated, but it’s become clear that the days of putting him down to nip to the bathroom for a minute are gone.  We have mobility.

It’s actually pretty cool and I’m super proud.  It’s daunting though.  In no time he’ll be full on crawling.  Then probably running.  I doubt he will ever walk, he seems too energetic for that kind of nonsense.

Speaking of energy, I don’t know where he gets it considering he’s decided to start waking up three to four times a night out of the blue.  We’ve been very lucky.  From just over two months old Bubble started sleeping through the night.  Before that he woke up once a night (except for three nights where he woke up twice).  But this week he’s decided that sleeping is not his thing.  He wakes up crying every couple of hours and will only settle down if I’m touching him.  As soon as I move my hand away, even if he seems to be back asleep, he’ll start crying again.

I’ve taken to cuddling him for half an hour until he’s definitely asleep and then putting him down again until the next time he wakes up.  It’s exhausting, but it’s actually really nice.  He’s too busy during the day for cuddles.  His world is full of new and exciting things to explore and it’s hard to pin him down.  But overnight when he wakes up all he wants is to cuddle.  I’m just not used to the sleep deprivation since he’s been such a good sleeper up until now.  I figure it’s just a phase he’s going through.  He has a tooth now so that could be bothering him, he also has a cold, so it could be that.  At the end of the day he’s a baby.  Babies wake up at unfortunate times.  I’ll learn to live with it.

When I have slept this week, it’s often been filled with weird and vivid dreams.  Dreams with people I haven’t even thought of for years popping up randomly halfway through then disappearing again.  Dreams where I have to climb metal walls with all sorts of hooks and handles just to buy some meat for a BBQ.

And the awful dream this morning where Bubble was dead.

It was horrible.  In the dream I was distraught but no one else was really bothered.  I don’t want to dwell on it, even writing about it is just about bringing a tear to my eye.

When I woke up I was disorientated and freaked out.  I rushed over to the cot to find Bubble fast asleep and fine, but I couldn’t shake the awful feeling the dream gave me.  When he woke up crying a few minutes later I picked him up and held him closer than ever before and silently cried for a while.

After he went back to sleep I decided to hit Google up and see if I was going crazy (honestly, what did parents DO before Google?) I was expecting my search to come up with lots of mothers forums, like all the other random searches I’ve made (including ‘can sneezing while pregnant hurt my baby.  Apparently I’m not the only one who worries about these things).  Instead it came up with websites dedicated to defining dreams.  I reworded my search several times and eventually found the forums and some other information.

Apparently it is very normal to have dreams about your child dying or being in some sort of trouble that you can’t fix when they reach a new stage in their life, like starting school or in my case, becoming mobile.  I guess it’s some sort of symbolism for the end of one stage of their life as they enter the next.  I spoke to a workmate who has kids years and years older than Bubble and she said it’s ongoing.  Bubbles caregivers mother apparently used to have a recurring dream that one of her children was taken from her.

Okay so it’s ‘normal’, but it’s still awful.  I don’t even want to have a dream like that again.  Losing Bubble is my worst nightmare, as losing a child would be any parents nightmare.  The pain I felt in that dream reminded me of how I felt when my father died and the tears I cried after he woke up and that are falling from my eyes right now are real.  I’m looking at him and I still feel that devastating feeling I felt in the small hours of this morning from my dream.  I’ve had nightmares before, but none that have affected me this bad and from the sounds of it, I’ll have dreams like this again.

It’s just another thing to add to the list of ‘things to get used to/deal with when you’re a parent’ but this one hit me out of the blue.  Of course I’ve worried about Bubble a lot, it’s my job as a mother to constantly think about him and if he’s okay and hope that nothing bad ever happens to him, but I never knew it would hit me in my sleep as well.  That might sound naive but I think a lot of parents come across a few things as they go that they had no idea would happen.

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Sleepy cuddles are the best cuddles

Bubble is fine.  He’s currently on the floor in front of me, laughing at and playing with one of his beanies.  He’s happy, healthy and most importantly alive and I feel like after last night I appreciate him even more.  So I guess in some ways the dream was a good thing.  I’m just not in a hurry for the next one.

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie

Parenting Anxiety: The Cot

My regular readers will know all about me and Anxiety and how I can go from zero to ‘worst case scenario’ in a matter of minutes, but when you’re a parent, it’s even faster. My brain will runs on overdrive worrying about little things that could be bad for wee Bubble. Not constantly, I’m sure a lot of parents out there would agree that this is pretty normal, but sometimes a thought will cross my mind that makes me even more nervous and not always out of the blue.

Just over a week ago we moved Bubble from his bassinet to his cot. He was starting to roll over in his bassinet, despite the fact that there wasn’t much room for him to do that and I was concerned that he would topple it over. 

I’m not mentally ready for Bubble to be in his own room yet, so we set the cot up next to my side of the bed. It turned out I wasn’t mentally prepared for him to be in his cot either.
I worry about him rolling onto his stomach in his sleep. Since before he was born we have been bombarded with messages about placing babies on their backs to sleep, without toys, smoke free house etc and it gets ingrained into you. Well for me it did anyway and I always put him to bed safely. So sometimes that goes through my head and I mull over it for a while or sometimes Bubble gives me a hell of a fright when I walk in to check on him or wake up to see him on his stomach.

He’s taken quite a liking to sleeping on his stomach. Thanks mate!

Rationally, I know he will be fine. He can roll over very easily, he has excellent control of his head and he is strong. Plunket, friends and online forums have told me that he will be fine and that’s it’s normal to worry and take a bit of getting used to them sleeping on their tummys. I’ve seen every time he’s on his stomach that his airways are clear and once he falls asleep the toys are gone as well.

It’s hard not to feel nervous about it from time to time though. And then feel nervous that maybe it’s not healthy thinking like this. The anxiety spiral. But it is normal and he will be fine and in time, I will get used to seeing him on his tummy.

Bubble loves being in the cot and he can  be hilarious in there at times.

Anxiety and parenting go hand in hand and as he grows up Bubble is going to give me plenty of reasons to worry about him and I’ll need to find a way to deal with each of those occurrences. For now it’s the cot, but I have to admit I feel calmer about it than I used to. I’m already coming to terms with the cot and the fact that my wee man is not a little baby anymore. 
Smiles and Sunshine

Katie

Let’s Get Healthy Part Two: Identifying Obstacles

After deciding on what short term goals I need to focus on in order to smash my long term goal, I need to decide the best way to attack each goal, when to attack and what to watch out for.

Obstacles can come in many different forms. For example, I’m currently on holiday from work for a week and during this time we have some of Zombies rellies (including Bubble’s Aunty Kimba and cousin Boyo!) here from Australia, plus a lot more to do than a normal holiday; catching up with people, Plunket appointments, Grandparents to visit… So many things! Add to this the fact that Bubble is experimenting with solids and has recently sprouted his first tooth, it’s made for a fast paced holiday with not a lot of time to relax or for making effort towards getting healthy.

I’m the kind of person who needs to be prepared in order to completely stay on track and a routine definitely helps. It’s for this reason that I’ve given myself this week as a chance to ease into it. We’ve had takeaways with the family but I’ve also been on my feet way more than ususal (my average daily step count has gone up about four thousand steps) and through the simple act of keeping water in the fridge and buying some broccoli and kale which I haven’t done for a while. I’ve also eaten more vegetables and less flavoured drinks.

I’ve taken each goal that I made and broken them down, finding if there will be any things that could disrupt my intentions and what I can do instead. After this I’ll start making a weekly plan, something that has room for movement in case life gets in the way.

  • Get back into yoga
    I’m going to put this one on the backburner for a few weeks so that I don’t have too much to jump into in one hit.  I prefer to do yoga first thing in the morning and at the moment I’m far too sluggish in the morning to get anything else done.  Once the healthier eating hits in and I have more energy I’ll be able to start incorporating yoga into my days.  I’ll be doing this from YouTube.
  • Make flavoured drinks a treat only
    If there are flavoured drinks in the house, I’ll drink them, but at work we have a water filter that delivers ice cold water. I’m not a huge fan of water unless it’s ice cold, so there’s a simple solution, keeping water in the fridge for when I’m at home and buying flavoured drinks once my holiday is over. This one will be easy for me.
  • Stop relying on caffeine
    I get caffeine mostly through cola which I need to cut out completely (no two ways about it, I just shouldn’t be drinking it) and coffee. I only drink coffee at work, it helps me keep my eyes open at my desk, but it’s also starting to become a habit. There have been days that I haven’t actually ‘needed’ one yet I’ve still gone and made one after the 9am meeting. The sooner I cut coffee the better, but it’s a bit of a catch 22. It helps me focus during the day, but those one to two cups are enough to help with maintaining my morning drowsiness. I have quit coffee before and I found that for me, cold turkey was the only way. After a week I even noticed that I didn’t need it anymore. So next week when I go back to work, the aim is no coffee.
  • Make time blog about how I’m doing each week

    Writing is a favourite pastime of mine, but as I don’t have a lot of spare time anymore it’s something that has gone on the backburner. I do tend to jump on my phone as soon as I have a few minutes spare thoughe. I’d like to start using this time to blog before I play a game or look at Facebook.
  • Drastically lower my sugar intake
    Probably the most important goal, the one that’s the main cause of all the energy loss and pain, this one I’ve already started on, since just before Christmas. Chips and chocolate are no longer on the grocery list and once all the Christmas treats we’d been given were out of the house that was it, they were staying out. I’m having trouble saying no at social events though but I think this one is going to be baby steps. I need to start cooking dinner every night and using less packaged goods such as stir fry sauces. Some soy, Worcester and sauteed garlic makes a much healthier option and is just as easy. But for this, I’ll need to plan ahead of time with backup ideas in case the unexpected happens.
  • Increase fruit and vege intake
    Something else I’ve been doing for a few weeks now. By taking ten minutes out of my morning to sit down to porridge, fruit and some nuts, I’ve not only been able to up my fruit intake but it’s also nice to have that time to sit and do nothing but eat before everyone gets up and I have to function. It’s a good way to start the day. If there are vegetables in the house I’ll eat them but for months now we’ve been doing the groceries without a list. This is not a good habit to be in and will require a weekly plan. Aim to start, Sunday of this week (grocery day). Bubble has started experimenting with solids now which means I’m making vegetables and fruit for him, I eat the leftovers to avoid food wastage
  • Make walks and physical activity a regular occurrence
    At this time of year I don’t really have a good excuse not to. Zombie and I want to kick a ball around the backyard a couple of times a week and I’d like to go for more walks. Sometimes it rains, this does put me off, but there’s no reason I can’t spend some extra time in the kitchen or dancing with Bubble on these days to make up for it. Some days are too hot? It seems to be one or the other at the moment on alternating days but this is as simple as going for a walk later in the evening when it’s cooler. It’s so pleasant walking through a quiet neighborhood when it’s nice outside at twilight.
I see more days like this in my future

If you’re on a healthy journey this year how are you going to do it? Will you join a gym, Weight Watchers, or participate in a Biggest Loser competition with friends or workmates? Will you count calories, start swimming or will you try and do it by yourself like me, following your own plan?
Let me know in the comments!

Smiles and Sunshine

Katie

Let’s Get Healthy Part One: Setting Goals

​After last weeks post, I’m Not Healthy Anymore I’ve decided that in order to keep myself motivated and on track, I need to blog about it a lot, as much as I did with my elimination diet.  It worked then, the support I received from my readers, sharing their stories with me and encouraging me, it felt like a lot of us were working towards the same goal of a healthy life and it was good.

So I’m starting at the beginning.  I’ve was always the person who did everything at the last minute (to some extent I still am) with no plan or goal in mind and I’d always end up failing within a few days and giving up.  Weight loss, quitting smoking, being a tidier person, all of these things I’d decide the night before were just going to happen, just be a part of my life from then on and I’d be surprised every single time that it didn’t work out after the first few days.

But no more.  I’m going in this time, like I did with my elimination diet, with realistic expectations and a plan of attack.  This means goals. I’ve only made goals once before, and that was in 2015 which was one of the best years of my life as far as personal growth goes, so I’m taking my lead from how I got through that year.

Goals are not the same as New Years Resolutions.  Resolutions are things like ‘I’m not going to eat junk food this year’ or ‘I’m not going to smoke after January 1st.’  On paper these are great, but just how are you going to achieve that?   There’s also plenty of evidence that New Years Resolutions rarely get stuck to.  I personally think maybe the reason behind that could be because resolutions are just too restrictive, too final.  They leave no room for wiggling which for a lot of us means the slightest temptation we will jump to because we feel like we are missing out.

Based on my personal experience I think making goals and giving yourself time to achieve them is a good way to make changes in your life.  Goals are a point where you would like to get to, something you would like to achieve.  When I make a goal it’s something I’ve thought about a lot, made sure it’s realistically achievable and also something that will actually benefit me instead of making me spend all my time freaking out about breaking rules or letting up on myself occasionally.  So with that in mind, I’ve decided this year to have a few short term goals and a long term goal that will result from them.

Long term goal:

  • To be happy, healthy and back on the wellness bandwagon again.

Short term goals:

  • Get back into yoga
  • Make flavoured drinks a treat only
  • Stop relying on caffeine
  • Make time blog about how I’m doing each week
  • Plan and prepare lunches/snacks in advance
  • Drastically lower my sugar intake
  • Increase fruit and vege intake
  • Make walks and physical activity a regular occurrence

It’s going to be a lot harder this time around, with wee Bubble so dependent on Zombie and myself plus working full time, but with him in mind I know it needs to be done.  My father died when I was eight for health related reasons, I don’t want Bubble to miss out on a parent just because I couldn’t control myself for a while.

Looking forward to being able do this again

This isn’t about losing weight.  Obviously with healthy changes that will happen, but mentally I’m still in the same place as I was when I wrote I’m Not Ashamed Of My Body.  This is about being able to sit on the ground with my son without needing help to get both down and up in the first place.  It’s about having the energy to keep up with him, enjoy my life, climb the stairs at work without getting puffed, freeing my mind of depression and anxiety, about standing up after sitting for 10 minutes and the weight not killing my feet… It’s about having a quality life that I can enjoy.
The next step after goals is to make a plan, I’ll be blogging about that soon.

What do you think about goals vs. resolutions?
Is there anything you want to achieve this year?
Do you think I’ve missed any short term goals that could help?

Let me know in the comments!

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie