Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Time to {diet} {part 1: Planning}


It’s that time of year again.  I’ve enjoyed several months of food freedom but my ever expanding waistline has taken over and it’s now time to say farewell to the weekly {daily} cake run, the glasses {bottles} of wine and scoops {tubs} of ice cream.

Yes that’s right.  It’s time to diet. 

Booooo!

So where to begin on this journey of shredding these extra layers of cuddle {sorry}? I’ve tried several different dieting techniques over the years and although some have worked well for me nothing has stuck to become a way of life which is ultimately what I’m aiming for.  Not a quick fix {although it would be nice to fit into my size 10 jeans next week} but a lifelong healthy relationship with food which enables me to still have the odd treat.  Because let’s face it, my life without chocolate isn’t worth living. 

Heard it all before?  Me too.

So what makes this time different?  In truth nothing really except the fact that I know deep down that this is something that I a) really want and b) am sick to death of revisiting.    They say if you’re tired of starting over then stop giving up and I couldn’t agree more!
  

So why have I failed in the past?

  •          Unsustainable plan:  Too few calories
  •          Tiredness:  Vicious cycle of feeling sluggish
  •          Not facing/addressing reasons for comfort eating:  Mindlessness
  •          No accountability:  Why does it matter?  Avoiding situations like swimming
  •          Cravings/addiction:  Habit of comfort eating
  •          Unhealthy relationship with food:  Lack of nutritional knowledge
  •          Lack of time: Easier to get a ready meal/take-away
  •          Lack of planning/preparation:  Tied into lack of time/commitment to sit down and plan
  •          Giving into peer pressure/temptations:  Another birthday another cake
  •          Diet becoming all-encompassing and too much pressure:  An additional pressure rather than      way of life
  •          Going it alone:  No support/structure
  •          Over complicating:  Everything from scratch
  •      It's bloomin hardwork!


 So should I follow a {published} plan?



Before I started writing this post I dug out several books I’ve purchased over the years in an attempt to shift the pounds.  In order they appear in the photo above:

  •          Lean in 15:  This is a new book I’ve just bought by Joe Wicks.  I’m yet to read it properly and use the recipes and techniques he suggests but essentially Joe is all about the lifestyle change and banning the word diet by combining healthy quick to make recipes with high intensity interval training {HIIT} workouts.  Sounds ideal!  His 90 day tailored plan is a bit pricey for me but he has loads of workouts on his YouTube channel and quite frankly I could quite happily live off his chicken pie forever {bosh!}.  Definitely going to be incorporating this into my plan!
  •          The Diet Doctors:  I bought this book in 2008 and depressingly {according to my entries at the time} I weighed 9st 9lb.  And I thought I needed to lose weight?!  Anywho.  This book is based around a 12-week back to basics diet plan starting by making small changes to your diet then personalising your plan to cater for personal ailments such as hair loss, greasy skin etc and gradually adding in exercise, stretching and toning.  I really like the back to basics idea of this plan and I think it’s a really good place to start without going into crazy lady diet mode.  I also like the monthly rules.  Again something I’d like to incorporate.
  •          The Hunger Fix:  I bought this when I had an {oh my goodness I literally think I have a problem with food} moment.  I’m currently reading it so I haven’t yet got the total gist but basically talks about the theory behind and how to overcome food addition.  I’m hoping this book may help me deal with the underlying issues as to why I overeat.  Will update if it proves to be helpful!
  •         Detox Yourself:  I bought.  I read the first page.  It sat on my shelf for 5+ years.  Basically I wasn’t and still am not willing to be that extreme.  Juicing, detoxing, living off rice and beans {heeeey I’m a celeb fans!} just ain’t gonna fly with this mamma. 
  •          The Flat Tummy Diet:  I followed this diet plan back in 2011 to lose weight before we went on holiday and lost 8lbs in 3 weeks which was amazeballs but the only reason it worked for me was that I limited my calorie intake to 1,200 calories a day and religiously tracked everything I ate and every bit of exercise using the Myfitness Pal app {see my blog posts here and here).  It worked.  I felt good.  But it wasn’t sustainable for me.  But to be fair I probably skipped the chapter on maintenance!  Great for my lifestyle then but I remember feeling really weak and tired and now with two little people to run around after I just can’t put myself through that again.  Although I did enjoy the cake from Jane’s Pantry I treated myself to every Friday!
  •          Slimming World:  Ok so this isn’t technically a dieting book you can buy but this is the main book you receive when you sign up for SW.  I joined SW in November 2015 at the heaviest I’ve ever been (12st 2lb) and repeatedly lost weight to -16lbs by February 2016.  I then plateaued and it took me until April 2016 to lose another 1.5lb to reach my maximum weight loss on plan of -17.5lb (10 st 11lb).  This was still way off my target of 9st 7lb and from then on I fluctuated around the 11st mark until I finally stopped attending group in September 2016.  So what happened?  The biggest thing that helped me stick to the SW plan was being held accountable and staying to group each week.  This was fine when the boys were very young and would usually sleep through group but as soon as they started getting more active it became harder and harder to not only listen and get the most out of it for myself but they also started being quite disruptive to the rest of the group.  So I would go and weigh then leave straight away.  For me the accountability stopped as I no longer cared if I gained or lost and my heart and mind just wasn’t in it anymore.  5 months on I could no longer justify the cost of going to group when I knew I wasn’t sticking to plan.  And now the pounds are creeping back up.  I think SW is a fab plan and definitely something I’d go back to.  I’ve looked at going to a different group at a time when Mr H is at home to have the boys but we only get two evenings together a week at the moment and I’m not willing to give one of these up when we barely see each other as it is.   One day J

 Example of how my current week usually pans out {based on my SW week of Thursday-Weds}

  •          Thursday:  Weigh in.  +2lbs,  Have a fresh wave of motivation to be good this week - to sit down and plan our meals for the week, to try new recipes, to say no to cake and to lose the 2lbs I’ve put on.  
  •          Friday:  Friday treats!  Hot pork roll on my lunchbreak, cakes in the office, easy pizza dinner and chocolate for pudding.
  •          Saturday:  It’s the weekend so I can be a bit slacker on the healthy eating right?  Meet up with friends for a coffee {and cake}, treat the boys {and mummy} to a gingerbread man from Tesco.  Eat dinner of sausages, mashed potato and peas with the boys.  Hot chocolate and biscuits in front of the telly.
  •          Sunday:  Pop round to mum and dad’s – yummy lunch and pudding, tea and cake mid-afternoon before heading home.  Mr H arrives home ~6pm with a giant bar of chocolate and wine, too unorganised and tired to cook once boys are in bed so we order a take-away.   Was going to do a food plan and online food shop but watch Planet Earth 2 instead.
  •          Monday:  Work – didn’t make a packed lunch so grab my favourite spinach and ricotta pasty in town along with something sweet for pudding.  Starving by the time I get home so scoff some biscuits before dinner.  Eat a huge bowl of spag bol and garlic bread prepared by Mr H as a family.  Finish last night’s wine and chocolate.
  •          Tuesday:  Must do better today!  Prep a packed lunch which is eaten on the side of the road on way back from one of my work visits.  Hungry again once back in office so much on whatever biscuits/cakes are lying around.  Pick the boys up from nursery.  Shattered so eat bits of toast, biscuits, crisps, crackers all evening. 
  •          Wednesday:  Twins club – quick cup of coffee and a catch up with the twinnie mums before heading over to Sainsburys cafĂ© to give the boys lunch and grab something quick and easy to eat for myself like a panini.  Quick top-up food shop and more treats for the boys {mummy} then home ready to transfer sleeping boys into their cots.  Cup of tea and a cake before tackling the housework.  Dinner of whatever the boys are having. 
  •          Thursday:  Weigh in.  +2lbs

 Enough said!

What am I going to do differently this time?

  •          Review what’s worked and not worked for me previously
  •          Try something new!
  •          Ask my nearest and dearest to support me and sign up to helping me stay on track
  •      Be honest and open about the fact I'm trying to lose weight/be healthier 
  •          Focus less on dieting and more on a healthier way of life
  •          Make small changes
  •          Weekly food shop with limited top-up shops 
  •          Flexible meal plan with ideas somewhere prominent in the kitchen
  •          Be more accountable:  Weekly updates on the blog, ask Mr H to weigh me every week
  •          Keeping an honest food and mood diary for at least the first 4 weeks 
  •          Be open to reviewing and changing my plan if somethings not working
  •      Eat regularly and take each day {hour} at a time

Time to {diet} {part 2:  The Plan} coming soon :)

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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The twins at {18 months}

18 months!  Where’s that time gone?!  And who’s replaced my babies with two strapping toddlers?!
18 months feels like a strange milestone.  At 12 months the boys still felt very much like babies whereas now they’re confidently walking {running}, climbing {up big slides eeeeek!} and starting to talk and understand more and more every day {tractor! duck! hiya!}.  Suddenly they have an air of independence about them - putting on their own wellies or investigating new areas of the park, all of which brings with it huge changes for us too – trying to balance safety versus giving them space to explore and make {measured} mistakes.  Learning how to gently discipline and guide their actions whilst keeping our heads and patience {deep breaths} and re-arranging our house {again} as newly perceived dangers appear {how did you get THAT?!}  New territory again – no wonder my brain hurts!  But I have to say, for the most part I am LOVING it!  Bye bye pukey babies, hello daredevil toddlers!

Oliver and Noah {18 months}

Buggy-free walks:  So for us the buggy is still a must have at this stage but it’s also really nice being able to go out buggy-free {although I always have it in the car boot just in case!}.  We love to go for walks around the block or I might drive into town and we’ll investigate the lake and stop for a snack at the local coffee shop.  Even little things like walking from the car into twins club without all the baby paraphernalia makes life so much easier!  As I tend to be on my own a lot with the boys I usually to use reins but as I’m getting braver and they’ve actually really good at holding my hands so I tend to tuck them into their hoods and have them more as a back-up for when we’re near a road/water etc.  We use a combination of the Lindam reins and Little Life Backpacks, the latter of which I found better for when they were more sturdy on their feet.  I also love to let them have some independence too and will let them go ‘freelance’ whenever it’s deemed safe to do so. 


Talking:  Oh my goodness our boys have so much character, something which comes through even more so now they’re starting to talk.  They crack me up and make my heart swell all at the same time - in my mind there is absolutely nothing cuter than Noo saying "da-deeee" or Ollie "noooo-dles" {heart melting}.  They’ll say “hiya” to anyone and everyone when we’re out and about and Ollie will introduce his brother to people, pointing to him saying "noodles" haha!  They come out with new stuff all the time, usually mimicking {mind what you say!} but at the moment most things are a duck, tractor {including the postman’s trolley} or da-deeee.  On that note they are absolutely obsessed with daddy {rolls eyes}.  They’ll literally sit and stroke photos of him lovingly but when asked “where’s mummy?” they're like “who?”  So much so that my friend Alex and I have an ongoing joke that they actually think I’m their Nanny haha! 
It’s also true that toddlers understand a lot more than they can say.  If you ask Noo to put piglet in the wheelbarrow chances are he’ll do it and if you mention the ‘S’ {snack} or ‘L’ {lunch} word you better be sure you follow up on it because they will hunt you down until you give it to them!

Discipline:  Babies aren’t born with the knowledge of what’s right and what’s wrong.  This may sound obvious but it’s worth remembering as you step into the realms of how and when to discipline your child.  It’s up to us to teach our children what’s acceptable and what’s not {as well as what’s potentially dangerous} and every family will have their own take on how to tackle this subject.  As with most things it takes a bit of trial and error and you learn to pick your battles – somethings we were quite strict on to begin with we’ve now relaxed a bit on and other things {such as biting and hitting} have become ‘big no's’.  Staying consistent isn’t always easy but we’re trying to start as we mean to go on and even though an 18 month old may not be able to compute the whole “if I hit I will get told off and therefore I won’t hit” mentality, I’d rather start working on that now rather than when they’re older and running completely riot.  I’m also a fan of explanation and distraction, e.g. “we don’t climb the table because it’s unsafe, why don’t we play with truck instead?”, asking them to say sorry {through a cuddle or kiss if appropriate} and giving warnings such as “you've got 5 minutes then we’re going to go”.  Again they may not understand it all and nothing is fool proof but hopefully good habits to get into and above all remember that patience is definitely a virtue.  Losing your s**t in the middle of Tesco isn't fun for anyone {more deep breaths}. 

Sleep:  Sleep is still a contentious subject in the Hully household.  How our day goes is pretty much dependant on how well the boys {and mummy and daddy} have slept.  They still have one daytime nap {see routine below} and this still has the ability to make my anxiety levels soar.  9 times out of 10 they will go down to sleep at around about the same time every day and I'm pretty much on edge until they do.  I'm not even sure why I get so worried about it.  Eventually they will grow out of daytime naps but for now I still feel like it's a really important time of our day.  Same with bedtime.  They used to be asleep by 6:30pm no problem but since transitioning to an afternoon nap bedtime has become much more hit and miss.  Because of this I’ve changed their routine slightly to include more wind down time {no more nakey rampage} but the line between tired enough to sleep and becoming overtired is a fine one and we’re still trying to find a bedtime routine that works.  On an average night Ollie will take longer to go to sleep but will sleep through and Noo will be up once or twice in the night but will usually go back to sleep until 7-7:30.  This I can cope with.  When they are teething or unwell we can be up 3-4 times a night for ~20mins at a time and occasionally they’ll come into our bed when we’re too shattered to function otherwise.  Then come morning  toddlers have an uncanny way of waking up full of beans ready for the day ahead regardless of how much {or little} sleep you’ve all had and so life goes on.  Dig deep my friends!  And drink coffee.  Lots of coffee.  Worth also noting that they are still using a dummy at nap and bedtime.  This is partly why I think Noo cries in the night as he can't {be bothered to} find his dummy.  Rod and back comes to mind. 

- Routine:  We still have the boys in a routine for the most part although I’d say it’s getting easier to be more flexible as they get older.  So here’s how our day generally goes:
7:00-7:30:  Good morning!   Change nappy and put on PJ bottoms
7:30: Breakfast – 5oz warm milk in Munchkin 360 miracle cups followed by cereal and fresh fruit with splash of whole milk
8:00-9:00:  Playtime {mummy shower and dressed}
9:00:  Boys wash faces and dressed
9:30: Snack {like fruit or fruit loaf with peanut butter} and water
9:30/10:00:  Out for morning activity {twins club/walk/soft  play}
12:00:  Lunch {usually something simple like sandwiches, crisps, fruit and rice pudding}
12:30:  Nappy change {if not needed earlier} and play
1:30-3:00:  Nap
3:00:  Cuddles on sofa and snack {like malted milk biscuit or Organix Goodies soft oaty bars and water}
3:30: Afternoon activity {buggy-free walk or longer walk to the shops in the buggy, painting, gardening}
5:00:  Tea {something cooked like chicken pie, sweet potato mash and peas then yoghurt}

5:30-6:00:  Play and In the Night Garden whilst I get bedtime stuff ready
6:00:  Bath and into PJs
6:25:  Into sleeping bags, 6oz warm milk {in the 360 miracle cups again} and a story {or 2}
6:40:  Cuddle, lights out and night night
~7:15-30:   Asleep {in theory!}

- Top buys:
- Calpol vapour plug:  A bit costly but great for when they’re full of cold to help keep noses clear overnight
- Little Life Back-packs:  Double up as reins and they can carry their own stuff {as well as looking super cute}
- Puddle suits:  Keeps them warm and dry on rainy days and cleanwhen pottering in the garden and you can’t be bothered to change their clothes again
- Joie Aire Twin Buggy:  Lightweight, loads of basket storage and the boys love the space it gives them to sit up and {when the mood takes them} have a cuddle haha


In summary:  So as hard as having two toddlers can be I love watching the development of their little {big!} personalities.  They're boisterous and brave but also kind, helpful, gentle and empathetic.  They squeal with glee and giggle hysterically but also whisper and quietly observe.  They dance around the living room full of beans then pull their bean bags across the room to sit and look at books and share their snack together.  They wriggle and fight but then offer condolence when the other is upset.  They hold hands in the car and play peekaboo.  They wait at the bottom of the stairs whilst the other is still napping.  They are a whirlwind and a breath of fresh air all at the same time.  My two little pumpkins.

Best Buddies
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Wednesday, 3 August 2016

I’ll do it {when I’m slim}

Do you ever find yourself saying things like “I’ll buy that new pair of jeans I like when I’ve lost weight” {whilst simultaneously munching on a Kit Kat Chunky}?

That’s fair enough.  Why waste money on something that’s not going to fit in 4, 12 or 100 weeks time?
 
But let’s think about that differently.  Even if you have committed to losing weight the reality is that weight loss is not something that happens overnight {extreme dieting and liposuction aside}.  There is going to be an interim “active” phase before “maintenance” so why deprive yourself of something that’s going to make you look and feel good and is comfortable for the shape and size you are right now?

You don’t need to spend £££ and can save something really special for when you reach interim goals or target weight but I personally believe that weight loss shouldn’t been about deprivation.  I’ve already cut down on the chocolate and wine – there’s only so much a girl can take!!  When I feel deprived I feel unmotivated, frustrated and rubbish which usually leads to reaching for the biscuit tin.  Reflecting on this I’ve actually found that I’m a lot happier and in fact more likely to exercise and eat healthily if I’m not restricting myself unrealistically. 

It’s summer.  It’s hot.  It’s Britain.  Therefore it’s unlikely to last long.  So yes I bought a pair of {bigger than I would like} shorts because they are comfy and you know what?  I wore them with pride!  They may not fit me next summer but for £6 from Primark they’re worth every penny for the here and now. 

Does this purchase mean I’ve given up on my weight loss goals?  Absolutely not.  But it does mean I can look and feel good whilst I get there J

What else have you put off until you’re a slimmer version of yourself?  Trying out that new exercise class?  Going on holiday or applying for your dream job?

Reaching your target weight may be your destination but don’t forget to make the most out of your journey.  Buy that new shade of lipstick or those comfy jeans, play with your kids, try out a new sport, have a cocktail or go on that road trip!  Take action and join Slimming World {or equivalent} or buddy up with a friend to support each other on your weight loss journey.  Ask yourself why you really want to lose weight, identify your triggers and think about what inspires you.  And more importantly don’t beat yourself up if you fancy the odd egg McMuffin.  Remember you’re still you whatever the scales say.

Take back control and enjoy life – you only live once!

A few things I’ve stopped putting off until I’m slim:

-          Bought a new lippy

-          Planning a spa day

-          Started exercising again

-          Bought some new outfits for work

-          Making more effort with my beauty regime

-          Took the twins swimming

-          Planning a family photo shoot

-          Wearing shorts this summer!

 

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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Early days {the 4th trimester} {Part 2}


Oh hi there!  Ok so the fact that I haven’t posted on the blog for about 6 months is probably a good indication of how my life has been lately – busy busy!  If it’s any consolation I have blogged loads in my head – just not managed to sit down and actually post anything.  Is there such a thing as bloggers block?  So anyways, the boys are now 14 months old {where did that go ey?} and I finally feel like I’m ready to get back on track with my tales of a wanna-be perfect housewife {a life twintastic} J

So let’s catch up and go back to April 2015 where our new little family has just been discharged from hospital – eeek!

Ok, so long story short the routine we had going in hospital pretty much went to pot as soon as we stepped through our front door.  Doh!

The babies would still feed roughly every 3 hours most the day and nap in between but then any time after 4pm they would become really unsettled, cry {and cry, and cry}, then fed every 1-2 hours until morning.  We ended up co-sleeping with the babies on our bed – something we felt very anxious about, even after talking through with my midwife about how to make it safer.  To this day Mr H will still wake up in the night in a panic and check if there’s a baby on the bed we've forgotten about!  At first I tried to stay awake all night watching back to back episodes of Family Guy then try to catch an hour or so of sleep here and there during the day between feeds.  But then sheer exhaustion caught up with me.  We ended up co-sleeping until we managed to get them to settle for at least part of the night in their moses baskets when they were about 5 weeks old. 

In the morning it was an achievement just to get out of bed.  It felt like I was constantly covered in babies in a cycle of feeding, changing and cat napping.  Mr H would bring up a breakfast tray and I’d make sure I got showered and dressed {which by the way I can now do in like 10 mins} every morning whilst he took over baby duty.  We would then all eventually migrate downstairs with the babies in their moses baskets.  During the day we’d get back into our 3 hourly feed routine {still breast feeding then topping up with a cup of expressed milk at this point} and at night I’d breast feed on demand.  If they woke up I fed them.  The don’t call it a milk coma for nothing!  I kept a record of feeds in a notebook and fed them on average 12 times a day.  Each! 
 
My life with newborn twins!
Being a new mum is hands down the most amazing but hardest thing I have ever experienced.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I was Tired {exhausted} and at times it felt like all they would do is cry and I found that pretty soul destroying.  I didn’t know why they were crying.  I was waiting for my mummy instincts to kick in but no, nadda, nothing.   I was stressed and anxious.  My friends and family would offer to take the babies out for a walk so I could rest but I was too anxious to let them out of my sight and I’d literally hear them crying up the road and feel sick to my stomach. 

Mr H went back to work when the boys were 3 weeks old and my anxiety levels peaked.  I was home alone with the babies for the first time from anytime between 6 and 9am until ~11pm.  I’d be on the sofa with them asleep on me and I'd just sit there for hours.  I was constantly on google or messaging other new mummy friends for advice and comfort {oh hey Rose and my twin mummy pals!} .  Looking back now I’d like to think I’d be able to read their signs a bit better but at the time I didn’t have a clue.  It became a very lonely place to be. 

Luckily I have a very loving network of friends and family.  My mum {aka super mum!} took charge and made sure someone was with me to help out, hold a baby or just be there for at least part of the day every day whilst Mr H was working.  I would still get very anxious and upset but knowing someone would be with me at some point during the day helped more than anyone could ever know.  This is something I will be eternally grateful for!  I had some really dark days and you may be thinking – classic case of post-natal depression – which it may well have been.  Or it may have just been the fact that being a new mummy was bloomin hard!!  The fact that I found it so hard was a complete shock and in a way that was the most upsetting thing.  Looking back at photos I look like I’m on a totally different planet!  I loved these two little beings more than words can express but they were still also so alien to me.  Becoming a parent is life changing.  It’s 24/7.  It’s not all doom and gloom obviously but I have no shame in being honest about how hard I found those early weeks and months. 

As the weeks went on things slowly improved and my confidence grew.  12 weeks was a real turning point for us.  We’d still have really tough days and I still suffered from almost crippling anxiety but we were now getting into our groove and starting to get to know each other.  The mummy instincts finally started to make an appearance {it was about time!} and I was enjoying my babies J  People often ask me how do you do it?  But the reality is that, as with a lot of things, it’s hard but you just have to get on with it as best you can.  Even now when the boys are 14 months I get anxious but the good definitely out ways the bad and we're lucky to have two pretty awesome little dudes J 

One of the main things that really helped me was routine.  There are a lot of pros and cons when it comes to this matter and everyone has their own opinions but for me it gave me the structure and stability I needed so very badly and I think it has made my babies happier and more settled {more on routines coming soon}.  

Other things which helped was the realisation that our babies suffered from reflux and establishing a good nap and bedtime routine {more on bedtime routine coming soon}.

Top tips for new mummies:

-          Try to get washed and dressed every day.  You will feel so much better for it!

-      Ask for and listen to advice but then make up your own mind -  ultimately you know what's best for you and your babies

-          Get out of the house every day before you go insane!  Even if it's a 10 minute stroll around the block in your pjs!

-         Accept help and lower your housework standards.  You may be super mum but trying to do everything including keeping the house up to pre-baby standards is likely to be a losing battle without a little help. I think that our home is now much more homely and welcoming since the babies arrived.

-         Befriend other new mummy friends.  I was lucky that I was pregnant at the same time as one of my closest friends {hey sweetcorn} and we ended up having our babies a day apart.  3am messages were pretty much the norm!  I also joined a twins club and this was one of the best things I’ve done simply because, as you can imagine, having multiples brings its own set of challenges and I found it really helpful and reassuring having a network other twin mums to talk to J

-          I googled pretty much everything early on.  Sometimes it was helpful but probably more often than not it wasn’t. 

-          On that note – don’t be afraid of calling your midwife/health visitor/doctor for advice! 

-         Make sure you have your essentials close at hand.  Being stuck on the sofa covered in sleeping babies with the tv remote just out of reach and knowing there is a giant bar of galaxy sat on the kitchen work surface is not fun.

 -    Remember to look after yourself!  Eat, drink, sleep.  Sounds basic but you'd be surprised how quickly they go out the window with a newborn in the house!  Accept all offers of food and stock up on microwave meals.  You can worry about losing the baby weight later!

-         Everything is for a time and a season.  Babies change so quickly and the round the clock feeds, the sleepless nights and all that comes with it won’t last forever.  The challenges that come with parenthood may change but ultimately what you're struggling with right now you’ll probably have forgotten about in a few months!

 Top buy:

-          Buggy.   Your buggy will become your new best friend so it’s important to buy the right one for you. The research is worth it!

We bought an iCandy pear from friends of ours who also have twin boys which was ideal!  This was a ‘front and back’ buggy {as opposed to a side by side} which came with two flat pram inserts and two seat inserts plus had adaptors to fit two maxi-cosi car seats and make a travel system.  The base folded down small enough to fit in my tiny boot.  The large basket was really and inflated tyres meant we could pretty much take it anywhere J

We used this buggy for a good year before deciding to buy a side by side Joie Twin Aire as the twins had outgrown their car seats making the travel system redundant and I wanted something lighter and thought the boys would enjoy being side by side more now that they were older.  And I love it!
 
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Friday, 1 January 2016

4 {simple} things for 2016


2015 - you've been epic, life changing kinda epic, but also one of the hardest years of my life.  And although I'm truly thankful for the awesome times (welcoming our two little munchkins into the world and being a part of two of my favourite people's wedding to name but two) I'm also quite pleased to draw a line underneath you and start somewhat afresh in 2016.  Ok so a new year doesn't magically make you a new person, make your babies sleep or your clothes fit better but it is an opportunity to think about where you're at, where you want to be and if you're willing to put some effort into getting there.  For us 2016 signals more imminent changes in that I will be returning to work and with that we'll be learning, even more so, to balance life as new parents with life outside in the big baby-free world.  Scary.

So here are my 4 {simple} things for 2016:
 
1. To use more than 10% of my wardrobe
 
This also goes for beauty products, make up and jewellery.  I find myself wearing the same things day in day out and craving the ultimate shopping trip when actually I have a lot of perfectly good clothes etc right here.  The flip side to this is getting rid of stuff.  Do I really need that 10 year old green eye shadow?  Or those PJs that give me a massive wedgie and have been repeatedly puked on by the little people? Probably not. 
 
2. To be a better listener
 
I like to talk. A lot. And I've noticed that I've developed the bad, and rude, habit of talking over people.  I know when I'm doing it but I also get so excited I talk anyway.  Spending 24/7 with babies doesn't help in that any adult company results in me going into full verbal diarrhoea overload.  So here's a big THANK YOU to all my wonderful friends and family who listen to me talk about, usually, utter rubbish.   I would like to repay the favour, duct tape my gob shut and sit back and listen.  Or at least wait my turn before unleashing the blab :)
 
3. To be more adventurous/confident with food
 
Ok so rather than my typical I want to lose weight resolution this is actually more about achieving a healthy relationship with food for me and my family.  I joined Slimming World in November and have so far lost 10lbs (not too bad given Christmas!) and whilst I'd like to continue my weight loss journey I also want to do it in a sustainable, healthy way.  I've never enjoyed or had the mind for cooking and let's be honest if I could get away eating super noodles everyday I would. But now I have two little people who I need to feed and have a responsibility to make sure they start off on the right track to a healthy relationship with food. 
 
4. To start running again 
 
With the complete lifestyle change that comes with becoming a parent exercise, for me, has taken a backseat.  We go out for a walk pretty much everyday but I'd like to start running again not only for the fitness benefits but also to carve out a bit of me time.  Pre-babies I played netball twice a week, used the gym and went running.  Right now netball and the gym are not feasible but running could be.  It's free, with no set time, no set distance, I've got all the gear, it will give me the opportunity to have some time to myself and some head space, I can go with the flow or set goals, tap into the running social scene with friends and races - all with the added bonus of it being very good for you!
 
So there you go.  Happy New Year to you all and I hope you have a good one :)

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