Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Time to {connect}

This morning I hurt my back.  I've struggled with lower back pain on and off for years - at it's worse I can hardly move or pick up even the lightest object without excusiating pain and I resemble Quasimodo as my back seizes and inflames. Thankfully this doesn't happen too often and I've gotten pretty good at reading the signs that I need to take things easy before doing any real damage.  Since having the boys I've hardly struggled with my back so when I woke up this morning feeling that familiar ache and sense of weakness before a sudden painful tweak I was pretty gutted and the prospect of being home alone with twin toddlers all day was looking pretty bleak.

But instead of retreating to bed and feeling sorry for myself {as would have been the case pre-baby days} I checked we had enough supplies for the day, sent Mr H off to work, dosed up on painkillers, got my heat pad out and got semi-comfortable on the sofa.

That was over 5 hours ago and 3 things have occurred to me since:

1) how generous people are with offers of condolence and help when you're a friend in need

2) how I've been forced to go cold turkey off chocolate and biscuits due to the fact we have nothing tasty in the house and leaving said house is not an option {this has been tough. Especially when feeling sorry for ones self}

3) how this has probably been the most connected I've felt with the boys for ages!

We're all busy and when juggling a family, working and keeping on top of house chores it's so easy to go through days and weeks on autopilot without really taking stock to connect with those around us.  We work, we prepare meals, we do the housework and laundry, we go to our exercise class, we change nappies, we get ready in the morning whilst simultaneously answering emails and eating breakfast, we organise play dates and catch up with friends then rush back for lunch, we kiss our children goodnight when they're deep in the land of nod then get up and do it all again.

I've realised that I have such a strong fear of the boys not being 'entertained' that I pack our day with so much we hardly get the opportunity to just be. Today we didn't get dressed up, we didn't go to twins club, we didn't pop to the shops, we didn't do housework, we didn't have a complicated lunch then rush around picking up toys before nap time. Instead we cuddled, read books, watched twirlywoos {very educational}, we chatted {in toddler speak}, we got their gardening tools out to play with, we chilled.  And it's been lovely!

The boys have been really good and patient - maybe they sensed mummy wasn't feeling good and took pity on me. I've not raised my voice once. Maybe they didn't feel the need to play up as they had my undivided attention. The house is a tip. My housewife radar is going crazy but I actually don't care. All that can wait. This must be what daddy daycare feels like {hahaha!}  

I'm not saying we don't already do these things or that I'd want everyday to be like this but it's been quite releasing to ditch the to do list and have a total lazy day {something which used to be saved for hangovers!} The boys have gone down for a nap and I'm totally chilled {possibly due to the pain killers....!}. We've got fish fingers for tea which they will love and if we end up watching the Gruffalo 500 times before bed then so be it.

Everything else can wait until tomorrow.

 photo elliesig_zps47aabffe.jpg

Friday, 20 January 2017

Time for {health}

Following on from my Time to {diet} blog post back in November I’ve decided to change tact and re-focus on my no.1 goal for 2017 – Health.  So instead of part 2 of Time to {diet} here’s a restart with Time for {health}.

I’d still like to lose weight and use aspects of different diets such as Slimming World and the Diet Doctors but centre everything around a healthy lifestyle rather than just my weight alone.  Health encompasses a lot more than just how you look and that’s the mind-set I’d like to shift.  Health is about how you feel, attitude and mental well-being. 

What does health look like to me?

-          Clean
-          Clear skin
-          Shiny hair
-          Slim
-          Confident, relaxed, happy persona
-          Well fitting, styling clothes
-          Fit and toned
-          Fresh colourful food
-          Energy
-          Simplicity
-          Sitting in the garden with a tan and denim shorts, a salad and glass of wine watching the boys play in the sunshine.  Hair thrown up in a bun, make-up and care free J
-          Walking into work fresh as a daisy in a well fitted outfit and heels ready and focused for the day.
-          Lazy Sunday mornings in a clean un-cluttered bedroom drinking coffee and catching up on the news/planning future blogs/emails. 
-          A family wellie walk in the forest before meeting friends for a pub lunch.
-          Running along quiet country lanes getting into a rhythm listening to my favourite tunes, feeling the wind and sun on my skin. 
-          Friends and family sitting round a table full of home cooked food and delicious wine {have I mentioned wine yet?!} laughing, chatting and reminiscing. 

On holiday in 2011
Reflections on health

-          Keep it simple, de-clutter
-          Surrounded by positivity and beauty
-          Believe
-          Focus
-          Organisation – top 3 tasks
-          Me time – time to indulge in favourite things, pamper
-          Build fitness into everyday life
-          Run
-          Watch the pennies – take control of money
-          Meal plan and weekly shop
-          Home cooking, new recipes, variety
-          Ask for help when needed
-          Take time out - head space, time to process, seek guidance and reflect
-          Time for mental health
-          Less stress, more patience
-          Slower pace of life
-          Quality over quantity
-          Practice patience and positivity
-          Hydration 
-          Music and dance – let your hair down!
-          Avoid negative, high maintenance relationships
-          Create memories
-          Keep learning, career development
-          Fresh air
-          Take pressure off
-          Balance
-          Family
-          Friends
       Be kind
-          Be honest
-          Be present
-          Be loving
-          Be confident
-          Be creative
-          Be thankful
Running my first 10k in 2012

-     The way forward

-          Be open about my health journey
-          Ask family and friends to support
-          Make small everyday changes
-          Drink more water
-          Use basis of Slimming World but focusing on health rather than dieting
-          Monthly weigh ins – shift mind-set away from just weight management
-          Start running again {will be easier as spring approaches!}
-          Take a packed lunch to work
-          Weekly food plan
-          Keep a food and mood diary
-          Don’t have unhealthy treats in the house
-          Start to de-clutter and simplify
-          Make more effort to be organised
-          Home pamper sessions
-          Set goals – write them down somewhere prominent as a reminder
-          Look into furthering my education and career development
-          Take pressure off myself

Joe Wick's Thai Green Prawn Curry
So basically {as my brother pointed out} I want to be a yummy mummy {haha}!  I want to make my boys proud and bring them up in a healthy, happy household. I want to wake up feeling good and positive rather than sluggish and demotivated.  I want to see this through and not give up when the going gets tough but also not to put so much pressure on myself that I crumble. 

Just remember – you can do anything but not everything! 

Quality time with my little people
Good luck everyone!

  photo elliesig_zps47aabffe.jpg

Sunday, 1 January 2017

4 {simple} things for 2017

The start of a New Year brings with it an opportunity to reflect.  On years past and hopes for the future.  A New Year, a chance for new beginnings, to start over.  You may well poo poo New Year resolutions which inevitably fall by the way side by spring but I think there’s something nice about taking stock and mindfully looking ahead to a potentially more fulfilling life.  No matter how big or small your resolutions may be - to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or have a weekly coffee date with yourself it doesn’t really matter.  The point is you’re taking the time to look forward positively.

Reflecting on 2016

2016 has been quite a year.   One of the major adjustments for us has been my return to work after maternity leave and balancing this with life as new parents {blog post coming soon}, I lost my baby weight {plus some}, then regained a few pounds, I trained for and completed a 10k trail race, celebrated the boys’ first birthday, celebrated 3 weddings, made new friends and reconnected with old ones, had some amazing days out and continued to navigate the ever changing landscape of parenthood whilst sneaking in the occasional date night and baby free latte.  It’s been another emotional  rollercoaster of a year and, as with the year before, it’s one I’m very thankful for but also happy to draw a line under and start a fresh in 2017.  

So following on from my last New Year's post - 4 {simple} things for 2016 here are my 4 {simple} things for 2017:

1. To focus on health

This is my main goal for 2017.  I don’t want to diet. I don’t want to restrict. I don’t want to slave away at the gym.  I want to be healthy, eat and live cleanly and hopefully reap the benefits there of.  I’d like to gradually introduce healthy habits and exercise into our daily lives - drink more water, walk, get to bed earlier.  The reality is I don’t have the time, energy or motivation to commit to anything more than that.  So why beat myself up or set unrealistic goals?  I’d like to look after myself, to take pride in how I look and feel and also focus more on mental health.  Watch this space {or takea peek at my latest Pinterest board}.

2. To be more adventurous

I’ve just painted my nails black.  That may sound very mediocre but for a girl who hardly ever ventures away from pinks and pastel this is quite a feat!  And I love it!  So this year I’d  like to try stepping out of my comfort zone and be more adventurous, take more risks, big or small and embrace change J  

3. To have regular family days and date nights

Life is busy.  Mr H has been working 6 days a week for the last ~6 months and his only day off is for daddy daycare {!} whilst I’m at work.  It’s great that he gets to spend a whole day just him and his boys but we hardly ever get to spend any proper time together as a family or just the two of us.  This is something I feel quite strongly about as, you may be shocked to know, I quite like my husband and miss spending time together on a regular basis.  Marrying a chef you expect the unsociable hours and being passing ships in the night but that doesn’t make it any easier.  This year we will be celebrating being together for 10 years – a whole decade {who knew anyone would choose to put up with me for that long?!} and to spend time together is precious. 

4. To blog more regularly!

This year I’d like to commit building up the blog with regular posts and social media.  Why?  Because it’s my outlet, my therapy, it helps me think more clearly and focus.  It helps my confidence, shares experiences, allows self-exploration and connects me with people.  It documents our life and shares our hopes and dreams.  It makes me happy and is something I think about a lot even though I  haven’t been posting very often J  One thing I’m not going to do it put pressure on myself to post every week etc but I definitely want to commit more to posting more regularly J 

So Happy New Year to you all and may 2017 bring you health, peace and prosperity.   

 photo elliesig_zps47aabffe.jpg