Sunday, 2 March 2014

My Clean Eating Experience

It's no secret to people who know me that I was very overweight after having my second baby. I put on 50kg whilst pregnant, and retained about 20kg of it afterward. I weighed 100kg. I was unhappy with that, so I set myself a weightloss goal in October of 2009 to lose 10kg by Christmas. I did that, and kept going losing around 25kg by the end of the following year using the CSIRO diet. 

I felt great! But there was that last 5kg I wanted to budge, and a bit of a baby belly still there that I didn't like. We all have our body hangups. Mine is my stomach. It really bothers me emensely, but I'm slowly accepting it now. Anyway, I digress. I wanted to lose the last 5kg, but couldn't. So, after a bit of googling, I discovered clean eating. 

I was a clean eating convert overnight. I switched my morning weetbix to a smoothie made with water and a little fruit, stopped having all dairy, only ate whole grains, and started surviving on 1200 calories per day. I preached about my new eating habits, and amazed people by the fact that I didn't eat bread or eat any sweets. And you know what? I lost the weight. I got down to 72kg and started wearing size 10 clothes which was a huge achievement for me. I was happy with my weight loss. I was achieving what I wanted and that was exciting for me.

But you know what? I was afraid of food. I was afraid that if I ate dairy (other than Greek yoghurt) I would turn into a balloon. I was afraid that if I ate bread, I would feel bloated. I was afraid that if I didn't eat every 2 hours, I would ruin my metabolism. I never had massive bingey cheat  days because I didn't want to ruin my progress. So I chugged on at my clean eating journey (we'll call it a journey, everyone else does). 

In May 2013 I started to feel really tired, I was the thinnest I'd ever been, and I loved what my body looked like, even my tummy was going away, and baby abs were starting to show. I never got 'too thin', but I missed feeling good about food. I missed eating vegemite on toast for breakfast, and I missed being able to fit food in to my daily plan and run with it, like I'd learned when I originally lost weight. I didn't want to binge out. But I did want to eat a cookie, made with real flour, without feeling bad. I have so many limitations to my diet already due to allergies, and I was restricting myself further and I was miserable!!

It was at this time that I discovered how to count my macronutrients, and a way of eating that would not cost me my goals, but would allow me to work toward them by fitting my foods into my daily allowance. I sat down and worked out what I was supposed to eat, and discovered that I should be eating a minimum of 1600 calories a day (with no activity). No wonder I was exhausted!! I put on weight to start with. It was only a few kilos, but I noticed. I started to notice my body leaning down again after a few months though, and I'm really quite happy with my body and it's progress now.

I'm glad I made the change. For the first time in my life, I am in control of what goes in my mouth, and I know that I am eating correctly for my body's needs and my body goals. It's okay to eat bread, and milk, and Ice Cream and cake. It can be made to fit into my daily intake and still be balanced to suit my body's needs. We need a balanced diet to stay healthy. You might ask, how does cake fuel my body for the better? Well it probably doesn't, but... You feel happier knowing you are allowed to eat it of you can make it fit. After all, no one can survive on broccoli, chicken breasts, and brown rice alone. Although these foods are part of a balanced healthy diet, so is cheese and bread and lollies!

Do I regret my experience with clean eating? Not for a second. I learned that I am very stubborn and have more dedication than I knew I did. I learned about new foods, and how I can fill my nutrient requirements with them. I learned to cook with new ingredients, and I discovered Hulk Pancakes! I know now, however, that there is more to being healthy than the food you eat and that depriving yourself from certain kinds of foods, even if it is in the best intent, is not healthy. Because having a healthy relationship with food and your body starts with feeling good about food, not being afraid of it. 

Now, if you are a clean eater, and that works for you that is fine. This is my own experience, and I'm not saying you should change. But think about this... Why restrict yourself with food when it isn't poison, and you aren't allergic to it?

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

My Goals for 2014

Seeing as I have not really been in attendance over the New Year period, I thought I would do a little more catching up. I am not a New Year Resolution kind of girl. I think resolutions are made to be broken. But I am a goal setter, and not just in the New Year ;)

In January, I sat down and asked myself what I wanted to aim for at the moment. You know, with uni going like crazy, and all of those other things to keep me occupied, why not have MORE goals?!?! I like to set myself goals because I like to be living with purpose and because I always seek to improve myself in little ways. So when I sat down on that day I didn't pledge amazing, mountain-moving goals that would take heaps of time. I sat down and asked what I wanted, what it is that I think will make my life happier, and my family's too. So here they are; my goals for 2014.

Goal #1: Family.

 I want to make more time to spend with the kids. Over the Christmas period, I locked myself in a room and worked on assignments for days at a time whilst the MR looked after the kids (bless him). My goal is to have more time to spend with them, and do the things that they love. Read books with Miss R, and play counting games with Mr O, because they love these things and I love them. 

Goal #2: Study.

I want to stop studying on the weekends. I overload at uni. This means that I do more subjects in a given study period than is recommended. I do this for a few reasons, I want to finish my degree faster, and I have the opportunity to not work and study instead at this time. Last year, when Olly was in Kindergarten, I was able to use my time wisely and only study when the kids weren't home, or when the MR was home to look after them. This worked well, but with both kids in school full time this year, it is my goal to stop studying on the weekends, use my time without them during the week to study, and have more family time on the weekends. I am also aiming to finish my degree this year, and undertake my internship in term 1 of next year. This is a big goal, and it is going to be hard work, but I am committed to making it happen.

Goal #3: Fitness & Health.

It is no secret that I am a bit of a gym junkie. My current goal is to go to the gym five days per week. Being fitter, stronger, and faster is important to me, not only because I want to look good naked (and have abs), but because it is important for my health. I have arthritis in my spine, and being strong is a step toward being pain free. I want to be stronger than ever, especially in my core, as this will give me the ability to do things I haven't been able to before. As another part of this goal, I am being more strict with my nutrition. Carrying extra weight makes the joints hurt, and eating the right things gives my body the energy it needs to workout five days a week, run around after two kids, and keep up with uni. Sticking to a healthy, flexible, balanced diet is an important part of this goal too.

Goal #4: Me.

We all pledge to look after ourselves, and give ourselves time to relax. My 'me' goal for this year is that I will find time to do the things that I love. Playing my guitar, singing without abandon, take photos, knit, and sew just to name a few. This is an important one, because it is part of maintaining sanity in this crazy life that I am pushing on through.

So those are my goals. I have already started working toward them, I know that things wont slow down this year, and I don't want them to! What are your goals for the future?


Monday, 17 February 2014

Catching Up...

It has been a while between drinks here at my old blog. Whether anyone even comes here to check if I have posted I don't know. But I do post a bit on my Facebook page, if anyone ever is searching for me, and wants to get in contact. I intend to do a bit more posting on here, a few times a week when I have time.

Monday is a nice, quiet day in my house now. The kids have started school, so after the weekend of hectic running around, Mondays are nice. I must admit that every day when I drop off Oliver at his classroom and then walk out of the school yard empty handed I feel a little bit strange. It is like two little pieces of me are missing. Mind you, when I get home I find plenty to fill my time while they are gone, but it is strange being away from both of the kids all day. I do enjoy pick up time.

Last week I started uni holidays again. So I have been sewing and playing games and reading. I only have one year left now. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. I really can't wait. I think I will be spending some time over the next few months working on my portfolio, so that I can get some work as soon as I am able.

I have been getting into a bit of photography. I went to a half day photography course a few weeks ago and learned how to use the manual settings on my camera. I am actually really enjoying taking photos, it is a new skill to perfect. A few photos I have taken lately...

I hope your week is beautiful.


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Growing up...

"Princesses don't wear pants". This is what I was told on a daily basis by Miss Ruth when she was younger. 

The struggle I would endure to get her into pants was so frustrating. I am sure all you mums of girls know exactly what I am talking about here. We had stockpiles of leggings and stockings because come winter, that summer dress was what she wanted to wear, and some battles are just not worth fighting.

Yes, that is trackpants underneath a dress... 

I remember the tears that fell over the fact that the school uniform was not pink, and that she would actually have to wear shorts on some days as that was the sports uniform. She was also completely devastated that I refused to purchase the hideously expensive Winter dress and she had to wear trackpants all Winter to school.

Somewhere though a transition happened... she started to complain less and when it was practical she started to wear shorts or pants out.

Now she chooses to wear jeans and a hoodie most of the time. She has to be begged to wear dresses and skirts. And yesterday morning she groaned at me when I told her she had to wear her school dress. 

And don't even talk to me about the fact that she asked not to be called a princess anymore. I think this little miss is growing up. I am not sure I am ready, but I guess I will just have to run with it. Then call her princess anyway, because I am her mum, and well, its my job to annoy her right??

Is your daughter a princesses don't wear pants kinda kid?
Are your kids growing up too fast?
Are you not ready either?

Monday, 11 November 2013

Summer Sewing Inspiration

As I mentioned the other day, I am embarking on a Selfish Summer Sewing Spree for the next couple of weeks; using up some of my fabric stash, and moving it into my wardrobe. 

Today I have been trawling google images having a look for some inspiration. I like to wear clothes that are super comfy, but can be dressed up if need be. I like my jeans and t-shirts, but I love dresses, skirts and shorts as well.

 Here are a couple of the things I've found that are inspiring me.

What's inspiring you this week? 
Are you sewing this Summer? 
What's your Summer style?

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Digital Parents Blog Carnival

Head over and have a read through some posts from other blogging parents. You never know, maybe you will find a new favourite (you know, second favourite, after me...)

Friday, 8 November 2013

Oh... look at that!

My old friend the sewing machine has made it out onto the table a fair bit lately. 

I took part in the Kids' Clothing Week Challenge. Well, at least in part; I had awful arthritis pain that week and was unable to sit in certain chairs around the house.

I made myself a dress. Which I am yet to blog. Actually I am yet to take photos of myself in it at all, I should put that on my to do list.

I made a whole lot of medal vests for Ruth's calisthenics friends.

You could even (almost) call me someone who sews again. I am starting to remember the joy that comes with creating with the machine and thinking that I really should get stuck into thinning out my stash and sewing. The thing is... I don't want to sew for anyone else...

Does anyone else suffer from handmade selfishness? I want to sew a few things for myself. Not the kids, not the Mr. In fact, when they ask me to sew their buttons back on, I feel like saying "well - there is the needles and thread..." 

So I am thinking of starting a Selfish Summer Sew-a-thon and sew myself some nice new items for my summer wardrobe. I think it sounds awesome, and I hope that the kids get jealous.

What selfish summer projects do you have planned??