I May Be Unemployed but I’m Feeling Empowered

Sorry for the lack of posts in the past week… I’ve been busy tying us loose ends at my own old job.

Last time I blogged I had just quit my job and I had a week of writing 16 page reports. What I have learnt is that 16 page reports are completely pointless and can easily break you.

Wednesday was particularly challenging as I woke to the news that one of our rabbits had escaped and eaten the TV wire AND the WiFi wire which is ideal when you’re trying to work from home!

That did push me over the edge on Wednesday and I spent most of the day crying. Chronic stress can truly rob you of any coping skills eh.

Friday came and I finished my work and switched my computer off for what I thought was the last time. Unfortunately my boss got caught up in stuff and I now have to do my handover on Monday (no doubt unpaid).

However, the relief I felt at 5pm was indescribable. It wasn’t just a ‘I quit my job’ sensation but definitely ‘I just quit my career’ and I truly could feel 6 years worth of tension beginning to unravel. Which is good on one hand, but not good if you have epilepsy. The imagery in my head of the tension leaving my shoulders really reminded me of when the Beast becomes the Prince again in Beauty and the Beast. Very Disney esque.

This weekend I have been trying to control my anxiety. Waiting to see if I have a seizure but also relieved I’m no longer an OT. Tim’s parents are here and I would really like to not ruin their weekend by having a seizure.

Tim meanwhile, has been an absolute angel. His love for me must be unquantifiable because I must have been a nightmare to live with and he’s just been so protective.

I’m nowhere near better yet but I’m definitely improving. My sleep has DOUBLED and according to my Fitbit, my awake time is the least it’s ever been. Definitely letting my poor brain rest.

I have also decided two further things in my quest to have a lifestyle overhaul.

1) I’m going to take up yoga – the tension in my body currently means I can’t even touch my toes and my right hamstring is the the tightest thing EVER. I feel sore every time I move and I’m only 31. I’m pretty sure it’s just tension based and I think I could really get into yoga.

2) This decision has not been made lightly. I recently posted on Instagram how I’m not a fan of water. This is partly due to associating it with indigestion and tummy issues as I had a hiatus hernia growing up. Secondly, it’s just got a really metallic taste to me which isn’t pleasant. Thirdly, I need to drink with liquids that have another dimension (bubbles or a thick milkshake) – definitely sensory related.

However, I’ve been reading up on Cola and I hadn’t realised that much about the impact of the acid – I feel so much emphasis is placed on the sugar or sweetener content but I definitely feel the acid has impacted on me the most. Starting Monday I am going to start reducing my Cola consumption. This will not only impact my sweetener intake but also my caffeine intake so I’m very excited about the impending headaches…. however, with all the plastic in the sea, I feel like I need to get my habit in control to reduce my plastic waste and and I can also take care of myself. If I’m honest, my love for Cola hasn’t been as strong for a while, so now is definitely a good time!

3) I’m already half way through my first module for my Advanced Diploma in Nutrition and a Weight Management and it’s only been a week. I’m hoping I might be able to start my case study in a week’s time (I’ll be doing it as well as my mother). I’ll be regularly blogging and instagramming about how it goes as obviously it will be the same formulae I’ll be using for my clients in the future and I need to see if it works!

With all this stress knocking around it’s definitely impacted on my weight and I can’t wait to get back in control of everything.

I still have about 20lbs to go (at least) and it will be an 8 week programme. I can’t tell you how excited I am about it!

Today we off are to take Tim’s parents sightseeing in Edinburgh (although the sky is looking a bit grey). I’d love to chill and lie in bed but that will have to wait til Tuesday.

For now, have a good Sunday and I’ll catch up with you guys in a few days!

Career Update: I Think I Have A Plan

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As you may know my career and I have hit a bit of a rut and I’ve been busy planning/panicking about my next move. Last Tuesday I ended up having a bit of an epiphany at 1am.

Over the next few months, you may notice this blog may change a little as I have grand plans to create my own business and this will be the perfect platform to support it (considering I’ve paid for it and all).

Back to my epiphany. As usual, I was at my parents and I couldn’t sleep. I knew something had to change and I didn’t know what. So I said to myself ‘what do I spend most of my spare time thinking about/doing?’

Duuuuuh. Nutrition and weight loss.

My ultimate goal is to never use the word ‘diet’ on any of my posts or social media. My relationship with food has changed SO much in the past two years that the word ‘diet’ is now quite alien to me and the more I think about it the more I loathe the word. We will never successfully tackle obesity by using the word ‘diet’ as it is associated with deprivation, misery and implies a temporary solution to a long term problem.

I won’t deny I have become a huge convert to eating healthy and in part this is because of my yeast intolerance. It means I can’t eat the pizza and the bread, which makes it easier for me. But let me talk you through my history with food and why I’m a fan of a bit of spinach (avocado is a work in progress).

Growing up I always had a sweet tooth and I still do. I never enjoyed my meals except for cereal in the morning and most of my weight gain came through the consumption of Maltesers. That was until I discovered take away BBQ pizzas.

Anyway, my food was often freezer food – chicken grills, burgers, frozen chips, ready meals and packets of ready made pasta. I never enjoyed my meals – they were pointless. I remember being little and my Mum PLEADING with me to eat. But essentially food didn’t do it for me. Except those pesky Maltesers.

Fast forward to 2018. I can’t eat that food anymore (except the Maltesers) and most of my meals are made from fresh because of my difficulties with yeast (the consequences really aren’t worth it). A few years ago I would have judged the person I am now. Who can be bothered to make fresh food?! Chia seeds? What a snob.

However, I really enjoy my meals now. I enjoy thinking of new recipes, cooking them from fresh and knowing I’m not eating any extra crap to ensure the food is preserved(I’ve concluded that preservatives are pretty gross to eat). I enjoy the fact I can make my meals as mild or as spicy as I want and I have a recipe repertoire that is forever expanding. I’ve also discovered that I’m an alright cook. One thing that does make me a bit sad is that I continue to crave processed food but I’m massively aware of how bland it tastes when I eat it so it’s always a disappointment.

One of the things I want to discuss is sensory aversions and sensory seeking (can’t resist a bit of occupational therapy here). The biggest thing I’ve learnt is a lot of the food I eat is defined by what my mouth is seeking sensory wise, and if the meal isn’t providing it, I will go and seek something afterwards (which obviously increases my calorie intake). By having stronger flavoured meals, spicier meals, different textured meals, my need to seek out chocolate bars has reduced dramatically. In fact I’d say I’m down to 1 or 2 small bars a week rather than per day. It’s been really quite significant.

Anyway, I’ve hugely digressed. Back to my plan.

I have signed up to do an Advanced Diploma in Nutrition and Weight Loss! I’m hugely passionate about this area and tend to spend most of my evenings watching weight loss programmes or on Instagram looking at all the weight loss stories. Why not turn that hobby into my career?

Needless to say I didn’t get any sleep that night and I’m now working hard to make this dream come true. I’ll keep you updated.

PS If you’d like to know more about sensory and food, please leave a comment and I can always do a post on it.

PPS Just so you know I remain in touch with reality – I had a bun-less cheeseburger and cookie dough milkshake last night. The milkshake was INSANE. The burger, less so.

PPS I will be completing a nutrition plan for myself and following it so keep your eyes peeled for further updates.

I Lost Weight, Felt Great and Met My Soulmate

I Lost Weight, Felt Great and Met My Soulmate

Firstly, I’m really proud of the title of this post. Very satisfying.

Anyway, we are not here to sit and oggle at true art but instead discuss the above. I had always contemplated having a weight loss blog and no doubt as it evolves, more health and fitness will sneak in (you know, when I actually manage to make it to the gym and stuff).

I have been battling with my weight really since I was about 11. I had a hiatus hernia from birth and therefore spent my childhood throwing up most of what I ate. Suddenly I stopped throwing up and the weight piled on. I looked like I’d been puffed up with air which wasn’t great for my self-esteem and nor did it make me popular with the boys (I don’t mean at the age of 11 by the way ha).

I have tried 99% of the diets out there; probably the only ones I haven’t tried is the cabbage diet and that one Beyonce did with the lemons and the honey. Still not sure how I feel about cabbage or drinking weird stuff.

The first time I properly lost weight was when I was diagnosed with gallstones at 19 (it’s only as I write this do I realise what a sickly person I am!). Anyway, fat consumption pisses off gallstones, so I cut out all fat until my operation meaning that I was only really eating 800-1000 calories a day and I lost about 10lbs in 6 weeks. Three weeks after the operation I started eating fat and put it all back on (and some more).

In 2012, I went back to uni to complete my masters at a university in London and although the Fitbit hadn’t hit the shelves at the time, I’d guess I was walking at least an hour every day. I also had the love bug (pre-Tim and in hindsight wasn’t remotely love) which meant I wasn’t too hungry and was eating betweeen 1000-1500 calories a day.

I should probably mention at this point that I’m a short arse at 5ft 1″ so probably don’t require the recommended 2000 calories a day.

Anyway the combination of walking considerably more and eating less SHOCKINGLY made me lose 35lbs! At the time I wasn’t consciously trying to lose weight and it was about 6 months before I realised what had happened (players be keepin’ me busy with their games). I had shrunk from a size 16 (pushing an 18) to a size 10!

Post the 2012 situation with a boy or two, I decided to knuckle down and find myself a husband. I will discuss how I did this in another blog shortly. I was feeling good about my size and my weight and it paid off as I got very lucky and managed to locate Tim who put up with all my boy issues and still managed to fall in love with me. That boy deserves a medal.

For our wedding last year I was conscious of toning up for the shores of Aruba (by the way, I’m really sorry I keep banging on about Aruba but I’m still grieving as I miss it so much) so I signed up to Joe Wicks 90 Day SSS Plan. Although I only lost officially 2lb, I managed to shed 11 inches overall (and I didn’t even finish the plan) which meant my wedding dress did up (THANK YOU JOE!). It was Joe that actually got me into doing HIITs and if you’re going to make me exercise I’m either going to swim or I’m going to do a HIIT.

Joe is another one that rarely uses yeast so again very useful for providing me with some tasty recipes and I have since gone on to adapt for normal living. His plan is really designed for you doing several HIIT sessions a week and with all my crazy driving and my complicated love/hate relationship with my job, I’m just not motivated at the moment.

I’ve managed to maintain that weight loss for the past 5 years but have noticed the scales starting to creep back up so I’m intervening quickly. So far I’ve lost 5lbs since the middle of March which I’m rather chuffed with.  I’ve signed up to Weightwatchers and I’m doing their No Count plan which is kind of like Slimming World but not. Perhaps a little more strict on the sweet treats dare I say. You can keep up to date with what I’m munching on on my Instagram page if you’re really interested.

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PS Confession time – whilst I’ve been writing this post, Tim has literally been feeding me chocolate. He doesn’t even know what I’m blogging about! Hilarious.