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Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Walking on eggshells!

Tuesday 30th June 2020 
Keep your head up, keep your heart strong.

Yeah walking on eggshells was the theme of the day yesterday, happy nice mom has been replaced with borderline demon and so far this morning it looks like we're in for a similar kind of day - yay NOT!  

In other news, check these out, 

I'm easily pleased, I've just enjoyed them for my breakfast, poached eggs are not my forte but I did it and they egg was so runny and delicious, it made me smile.

Well the dogs just thrown up, third time this week, I've just lost my temper with the world because the heatings on full blast, the gas fires on, I'm menopausal and melting so I think we can safely say today could be a crap one too from an atmosphere point of view, but right now I've come upstairs, which will pee her off also, but hey I'm already the horrible one so who cares.

I'm online for a virtual workshop at 8, so I need to get stuff done, (find link in Wolverhampton Connect group on the WW app), it's not all bad lol.

Good stuff, because there is always positives, 

1) Went walking with Vicky and we put the world to rights.
2) Bumped into my sister whilst walking this morning and she's making me dinner for me ;) 
3) I'm getting goat and mutton at the weekend, thanks to the lovely Amanda Smith who's taken to cooking her deliciousness and selling it, she won Come Dine with Me once and I've been to a dinner party at her house which was so good.  I've shared her post on my facebook timeline if you're interested. 

4) and this is a good one, today I'm going to do a risk assessment at the church in Bloxwich so we can get my workshops back up and running in the second half of July, express workshops but still one step closer to some kind of normal.

I'm also doing a crochet course - there's number 5, I got it at a reduced rate and yes I know I can already crochet but I'm interested in the design side and that's included in the course so I've sped through modules 1-5 which were actually still interesting and taught me a few things, and now I'm at the design module which I'm really looking forward too and will take my time.

See always good stuff.  I do need to knuckle down though and lose a few pounds before going back to work or I'm not getting in my trousers, I'm roughly the same weight as when we went into lockdown but my shapes changed because I've not been so active loading and unloading my car burns calories and tones muscles and I've not been doing that have I! 

Here's to a day on track, ending June on a high and looking forward to a July filled with zero heroes!

Mwah, luv ya 

love me x 

Monday, 29 June 2020

2020 Part 2!

Monday 29th June 2020
Focus on the step in front of you and not the whole staircase.

4am start, bless her, she's had an unsettled night, we were looking for her glasses at 1am, turns out they hadn't fell on the floor they were in her bag, she must have been dreaming.  Almost another trouble free day but at 5ish she just started to turn, like a switch  had been pressed!  She asked if Anne could come round but then wasn't that pleasant when she arrived.  With a bit of cajoling we stopped her going completely to the dark side and eventually got her back, when Anne had gone we watched a couple of episodes of My Family then went to bed.  There really is no rhyme or reason to any of it, you can't make sense of this disease as much as I try. 

I'm good though, I've just done a 20 minute Yoga body flow which made me proper sweat and I'm sat here remembering the fact I managed to make good poached eggs yesterday morning, might try to do the same again today - I love em but I usually mess them up! 

We completed an entire 500 piece jigsaw yesterday - well when I say WE, I mean mostly me, she was getting frustrated by it so I started to help her but it became evident that she was struggling with this one for some reason so I got it done asap.  Maybe that's what led to her starting to turn.  Maybe it was because she was frustrated at not being able to do something.  

Mmm, possibly because all of a sudden she's in the kitchen trying to clean my recycling bin after I'd said it wouldn't come clean - she'd got it in the sink with bleach and told me to leave it to soak.  I've given it a scrub this morning and it is a hell of a lot cleaner than I've bothered to get it before.  She got to prove she's not helpless or useless as I think she feels a lot of the time thanks to the disease.

Well my lamb became Alfie's lamb, I thought I'd bought a shank in mint gravy but turned out it was shoulder and it was the smallest piece you've ever seen with a good 2in dollop of lamb fat in the gravy, he enjoyed it and saved me a few points I guess!  

I'm doing a crochet project where every row is different for 35 rows, then you repeat 18 rows , 7 more times, it's gonna take some time, especially as I keep pulling it back cos I keep making mistakes from not paying attention!  Hopefully it'll be worth it when it's done.  I'm trying to use up my stash of wool I bought from Aldi last year so I have room back in my wardrobe, this should use up all the cream.  I hope I'll have enough of that colour, otherwise it may end up with another colour mixed in, it's all good. 

I'm hoping to hear more about when I can return to workshops this week, it's all dependent on the venues etc, my boss said she'll call me this week, poor woman has almost 100 coaches to get in touch with, earns her wage for sure!  

We're officially in the second half of the year, it's week 27, only two more days of June, I don't think anyone believed they'd have had the year we've had would they!  

Who knew everyone would become Zoom experts, the first line you'd say at the start of any meeting would be 'can you hear me!' and that we'd finish all our emails and messages with Stay Safe!  Things have truly been different.  

I've enjoyed not having to rush so much but I have missed being able to get in my car and nip to the shops, I was limited with when I could do that before but obviously like everyone else, even more so for the past few months.

Now we're starting to ease lockdown, what would you like to achieve in 2020 Part 2?  What would you like to focus on?  Let's re-evaluate your WHY, at WW we talk a lot about the importance of finding your why, how it's different from your goals, and how to use it to fuel your journey. 

Get yourself a pen or use your notes on your phone because writing down your why can make it even more powerful.  It can change over time and with everything that's happened this year already, maybe yours has changed and it's time to update your why?  

So what is your WHY? 

Look back over the last few months, let's reflect.  

What's something you've felt really good about? 

How did things go with your goals?

Whether things went well or not, let's look forward, set yourself a goal for the week, keep it realistic, mine is to include more zero foods.  Ooo I've not weighed yet!  Hold on, I'll go do that now.....

Phew, I've lost 2lb of the 3lb I'd gained last week, I'll take that as I haven't been to the loo yet today!  TMI? Meh, you lot tell me all sorts of things I'd rather not hear so I'm just repaying the favour ;) 

Anyways I'm gonna get off, things to do, places to see (not), although we are walking this morning me and V which I'm looking forward too.  

Here's to a great day, mwah, luv ya 

Love me x

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Early one here!

Sunday 28th June 2020
What you tell yourself every day when you wake up will either lift you up or tear you down. 

Well we've been up since 3ish, mom woke up too hot and wanted to get up, she went back to sleep in her chair and is still snoozing, whereas I was wide awake so I've done a lovely yoga session and am now ready for my day, I've a virtual workshop this morning but then the day is mine to do whatever.  Although I know it involves a pile of washing up! 

Another almost stress free day yesterday, she started to turn just before bedtime but thankfully she chose to take herself off to bed and that helped.  It was the tv that affected her though I'm sure of it, I've realised we've been watching much easier to watch, light stuff this week and she's been really good, last night I was watching 'The school that tried to end racism' and this I think was affecting her, not just that she was getting angry about racism but it was also reminding her of when she moved to Wolverhampton from Yorkshire and the children at school were mean to her because of her accent, they gave her a tough time and I think those memories were triggering her mood change.

We'd had a lovely day up till then though, she'd spent money on my credit card buying jigsaws, she'd even been okay whilst I worked upstairs, so yes this week has been 100% better than last week!  Long may it continue.

This weeks technique on the virtual workshop is 'break up with your sitting routine', at first read I was like 'WHAT' but having read it and put it together, I'm like 'Oh yeah, I need to do this!' I will be making a conscious effort this week too, make sure you join us on one of the virtual's to find out all about it.  I'm support Amy this morning at 10 in the Stafford Connect group on the WW app, then mine are throughout the week, 

For Tuesday 8.30am, Wednesday 5.30pm & Saturday 9.45am Use the link in the Wolverhampton Connect group 

For Thursday 8.30am (& I'm supporting Hayley at 10.30am) Use the link in the Dudley & Walsall Connect group 

If you've let your membership lapse, now's a great time to get back to it, check the website for offers, workshops are going to start opening up for weigh-ins from July 5th, not all of them immediately because of venues but the virtual workshops will continue thankfully. 

Ask yourself what do you want to achieve in the second half of this year? 

What habits do you want to form?  What changes do you want to make? 

Working on those healthy behaviours are what will help you succeed.  Be realistic about what you can achieve, what you're capable of doing?  Don't overestimate your future motivation!  It's easy to sit here reading this on a Sunday morning thinking "yeah I'm gonna do this, I'm ready, let's get 2 stone off by Christmas." doing it on the other hand, isn't going to be a walk in the park - although a walk in the park would definitely help and is something you could easily do!

Focus on behaviours you can work on, things like drinking more water, walking 30 minutes a day, eating more zero foods, keep it real.  Choose to work on behaviours you can do on your hardest day!

Let's think about that for a minute, when I'm at my best I can easily do all the healthy stuff like yoga in the morning, followed by a huge glass of water, a couple of pieces of fruit, a dog walk, but can I continue to do all them when my mom wakes me up at 3am in the morning or when she's having her worst day and I'm stressed to the max and not feeling the love?  

Actually yeah I can, because I choose behaviours to work on that I can do even on my toughest day.  Now the behaviour I'm working on at the minute is giving me a little more leeway 'eat more zero heroes' notice I've said 'more' rather than putting an amount on it.  That way if I have a bad day and don't manage to eat many because I make bad choices then I haven't failed, I've still eaten more on the other days.  

I'll leave you with that thought, if you chose to work on behaviours you can do on your most difficult days - what would they be? 

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx 

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Gotta love a good day

Saturday 27th June 2020
Don't be afraid of what hasn't happened yet.  Love what is.
Yesterday was a success, instead of 4 hours, I suggested the respite carer stayed for 2 to give mom the change to get used to her, she also suggested that I find something they can do together as 4 hours is a long time.  I'm going to get a few more jigsaws for sure, I will so the lady how to get youtube on the telly so they can watch old music videos and have a sing song because both of them like that.  Entering the weekend in a good mood house which is fabulous news.  My personal stuff that I've not been able to talk about is also starting to be resolved, step one done anyway so bonus.  I've got to try and not 'celebrate' too much this weekend causing me to gain weight when I've been quite good this week and managed to lose those few pounds I'd gained (I know I shouldn't weigh more than once but jumped on this morning to hopefully motivate myself to stay goodish). 

I've got a tub of yogurt that needs using so I think I'll be making me some home made houmous today, I have the chick peas, lemon, and I've got some frozen garlic - boom, whizz it all together and there's yummy zeroness, which I can put on the last Warburton bagel thins which at 4SP each, I won't be bothering with again, I'd much rather have a Warburton toasting muffin for the same points, they are my absolutely favourite new things. 
So how did I spend my 2 hours - oh are you ready for this, I went for a drive in my car so the battery doesn't drain again, then nipped into Poundstretcher and the Co-op.  It gets even more impressive, you ready for this, are you sitting down (especially you Tina D) I hoovered the inside of my car!  Oh yes I did, I actually don't think I've done that for a good ten years!  It was too hot to even contemplate doing the outside too, so that'll have to wait.   It was just nice to be able to get a few things done without having to worry about mom. 

Alfie and I have just shared hard boiled eggs for breakfast, well there were 3, but I reckon I only got 1 of then because he was obviously enjoying with them and I can't resist him, he's so fussy with food I have to let him have it. 

Well it's the last day of the working week, my final virtual workshop is at 9.45am this morning, we really end our week on a high, not only do I get to work with two cracking good coaches (Elle & Kate) but it's also the busiest of the week, some prefer to sit in the background and just take it all in where as others are more interactive and share some great ideas, if you haven't already and you're ready to spring into Summer and make it a season to shine, come and join us.  We'll be on from 9.15 if you need a wellness check-in.   You'll find the link in the Wolverhampton Connect group on the app.

I better go, Alfie's staring at me for a walk and it's almost 8.

Catch ya laters, 

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx

Friday, 26 June 2020

Friday Feeling?

Friday 26th June 2020
Be there for others but never leave yourself behind. 

Well that was a warm one wasn't it!   

That more or less summed up my day yesterday, it all revolved around us trying to stay cool. 

The workshops on the morning were enjoyed, lovely to catch up with everyone each week, setting our goals for the summer.  My focus for just is Zero Hero's, I may not be being a brilliant WW member right now but I can eat my zero's, I've had hard boiled eggs for breakfast.  We've already done our walk although he didn't want to go far and I'm sat next to mom, she's just reading the paper to me.  

Will we be having a second wave just as we're all supposed to 'officially' be coming out of lockdown?  All these people on beaches more or less touching, then those celebrating last night with the football.  It's all a bit scary for sure.

Lot's of water being drunk too, it's so important to keep hydrated whilst it's this hot, even too hot for me to crochet yesterday, I'll do a bit more of updating my recipes on my happyowls.co.uk website today I reckon. 

Mom's coping with it better than I expected, plenty confusion obviously but no aggression for a few days thankfully, big of frustration but nothing I can't handle.  The carers due at 12 again today, not sure how she's going to react to her, but I'm going to let it happen and see.

This is week 26, which mean's we are officially halfway through the year, are you happy with what you've achieved this year? I reckon everyone will make this Christmas the best ever and I don't mean with lots of gifts, I mean with get-togethers. It's family and friends people have missed most this last 12 weeks.  How's your WW journey going? Do you need to refocus? What's worked for you this Spring? What do you need to focus on this Summer?

I'm trying to decide whether to take up an offer to do a couple of courses for a bargain price or if a bargain price is a waste of money if I pay and don't do them!  Decisions, Decisions.....

Just like everything, paying for something is pointless if you don't use it!

Here's to using that WW app you're paying for, exploring everything it does, check out the Connect groups, there are so many different ones, but one worth looking at is the WW virtual academy which has zooms to help you get to grips with the app and the different plans. There's also experiences at home which has things like cooking zoom demo's or there's WW healthy body, healthy mind where you can find zoom exercise and dance classes.

Yeah get using the app you're paying for.

Right I'm off, I'm ready for my mug of tea, moms snoozing so I might get a little work done sat here, let's have a good day.

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me x

Thursday, 25 June 2020

In a rush!

Thursday 25th June 2020
Work on you for you 

Well I managed to convince her to go to the doctors, I said it was to see if any of her medication was causing side effects, that seemed to work.  If you'd been there you'd never have believed there was anything wrong with her!  However the doctor has prescribed some new drugs for her memory which the chemist have had to order in so hopefully we'll have them today.  Memantine I think it's called but as the piece of paper with all the side effects is downstairs I can't be 100%.

We had mostly a good day yesterday, she got herself worked up over going to the doctors, but she's always been like that, okay once she's there.  The heat is bothering both of us, so I'm surprised she wasn't a lot worse yesterday and thankful. 

I did celebrate getting her to the doctors by enjoying these crispy duck pancakes!  Aldi £4, thanks to the member who mentioned them, you were right, a great alternative to a takeaway.  3SP per pancake or roughly 19 for half the pack, I however did cleverness and let Alfie have all the skin which would be where the majority of the fat was, I also cooked it on a rack as suggested so loads of fat was left in the baking tray underneath.  I really enjoyed it, I love hoisin sauce.  

Now I'd like this make with chicken to save loads of points!  I've just looked and I can get the Chinese pancakes for £1.10 in Sainsbury's and 1SP each, Hoisin sauce is 2SP tablespoon and the chicken would be zero as would the cucumber and spring onions, sorted, I'll be doing that one day next week when my delivery comes. 

Yep yesterday was a good day, enjoyed the virtual workshop on the night too, they constantly help to remind me that I may not be being 100% but I am focusing on something and this week it's those zero heroes, I've jstu had my apple, got a couple of Satsumas here too, a big salad today with chicken I think as I have a chicken which came in my delivery but it's use by today so no saving it for the weekend.  

Anyway, I've just clocked the time, Alfie had me out walking for a good hour this morning so we're behind and I go on virtual at 8 and it's twenty to now, so here's to a great day, enjoy the sunshine.

Please don't be one of those mugs on the beach within inches of each other, I don't want any of the people I know catching this dreadful disease for the sake of a bit of sun.  Stay safe, stay out of this crazy hot sun, sit in the shade in your garden or somewhere where you can keep that distance. 

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Enjoy the sunshine

Wednesday 24th June 2020
No rain, No flowers.

Only a couple of bad hours with mom yesterday and that was because the nurse rang to confirm the appointment today and she heard and refused to go.  She's got it in her head they think she's crazy and want to lock her up and nothing I could say was making a difference.  Eventually she calmed but adamant she wasn't going.  Vicky popped round in the evening to collect her shopping (we share a slot) and mom loves her and when we got onto the topic of the doctors she convinced her to go, whether that'll still be the case today who knows.  But we have a plan, Vicky is going to come half hour before to look after Alfie and to try and remind her she'd agreed to go!  Wish us both luck lol.  Worse case scenario, the nurse has said they'll have to come here but it'll be the end of the week, when I talk to her though I could suggest a zoom call.

I tried to jumpstart my car, it wasn't having any of it, so I had to call out Green Flag, then I drove round in it for an hour once he'd got me going.  Let's hope it starts again today, I' going to try it this morning and drive round the block a couple of times, then I think I'll have to start doing that daily to stop the battery draining again from being left too long. 

As I know right now being a WWer isn't the easiest thing to concentrate on, I'm working on a tweak each week, rather than feeling like I'm failing at the weight loss lark - this week it's focusing on including more zero heroes.   It's building those healthy habits that will help me long term as I know as difficult as this situation with mom is, it won't last forever, so I will use this time to do what I can when I can. 

Yesterday I really enjoyed this; 

 The whole pan was 6SP, that was for the delicious sauce and it was only 50p to buy too, which is a bargain, my sister had got me a bag of stir fry veggies and I had some leftover chicken breast so a good, cheap, quick meal, it was ready in 5 minutes, it'll take longer to wash the pan than it did to cook it. 

I'm going to make a nice salad today, it's going to be a hot one isn't it, plus I want to spend as much time as possible with mom so she's happy when I try and get her to go to the doctors!

It's great to hear that from July 4th you can visit other households, so many people need this, mom loved speaking to Vicky, but if that was doable with Vicky actually being able to sit down and be comfortable, that would be so much better, plus maybe she will want others to visit, hopefully she'll like the carer coming on Friday again, we shall see.

I'm still toying with buying a freezer for my shed because even that stir fry was serves 2, if I had frozen stir fry, I'd be able to just have the portion I wanted, decisions, decisions.  I'd have to tidy the shed up too and make space - that's another consideration. 

Yesterday's virtual workshop saw more faces I haven't seen for a while and I'm so glad members are getting their head back in the game, it's been such a difficult time for everyone, even more of a good reason to focus on a tweak each week.  Ask yourself what can you focus on today that will help you feel better in yourself.  I've just done my yoga which was relaxing, I'm trying to work out ways to relieve the stress that moms illness is causing because that's not going to go away.  Last night I had water instead of wine, because too much alcohol isn't going to help at all.  The yoga is relaxing, as is walking with Vicky, although we're not doing that today because of the doctor thing and trying to not stress mom.

I've just had a google and apparently certain smells can relieve stress, they suggest lighting a candle but I still have some scentsy so I might look see if I have any that match this list; 

  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Vetiver
  • Bergamot
  • Roman chamomile
  • Neroli
  • Frankincense
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang ylang
  • Orange or orange blossom
  • Geranium

Using scents to treat your mood is called aromatherapy. Several studies show that aromatherapy can decrease anxiety and improve sleep.

Reducing caffeine is an obvious one, I have cut down over the years and drink more water, but have been drinking a few more mugs since working from home so will refocus on that. 

Write it down - One way to handle stress is to write things down.  I already do this, you're reading it!  Blogging helps me get my thoughts and feelings out, I've always been very open and honest about everything that happens in my life, I'm just always surprised anyone wants to read it. 

It's also great to write down things you're grateful for, things that make you smile, that bring joy to your life and sunshine in your world.  I find this really helps on days where everything feels like it's all a big pile of poo!  There's are always positives you just have to look for them a little harder on days like that. 

Oh course an obvious way to reduce stress is to spend time with friends and family which is why so many of us are stressed at this time because we haven't been able too!  Use Zoom, it's the next best thing.  

Laughter is the best medicine and I truly believe this, I love nothing more than to make others laugh and to laugh together with my tribe.

Yoga, mindfulness, deep breathing, listening to soothing music, spending time with your pets, spending time in nature.  Find what works for you because we all get stressed at time. 

After saying all that, I'm feeling pretty chilled this morning, I'm about to have a shower, then gonna walk Alfie before it gets too hot - please don't walk your dogs in the mid day sun, I drove past a lady yesterday, it was much too hot by then.  

Here's to a delicious day, 

Have a good one, hope to see some of you on my virtual workshop 5.30pm (link in Wolverhampton connect group on WW app)

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me 

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Breathe in - Breathe out

Tuesday 23rd June 2020
Happiness is not the absence of problems, it's the ability to deal with them.
Well yesterday started well, zero scrambled eggs on a slice of toast and a walk with my bestie.  I also called and left a message for the dementia nurse after moms before last week, with the hope they could give me some advice.  

Then it all went tits up!  First the stuff I could do something about, turns out I'd left my freezer door a little open and stuff had started to defrost - BOO!  2 slices of my sisters home made cheese and onion pie defrosted - oh ma'an and I'd planned a really good on track day.  Plus all the bread slices and breakfast muffins from the top tray, guess what I'm having for breakfast today!  This kind of drama doesn't bother me if I'm truly honest, it's a little annoying because I don't like waste but hey it's just stuff.

Sadly around 4 mom suddenly turned, but this time I couldn't get her better, I couldn't talk her round, 3 hours followed of her wanting to go home, insisting on going outside to look at her house 'next door'.  She became extremely aggressive, I had to call my sister round because she was having none of it, she wanted her daughter not me!  

Will you come with me to my house? This is our house mom. But how do we get in it? We are in it mom, this is our living room.
So if I go upstairs that will be my bedroom?
Yes it is.
Can I go upstairs to look?
Of course you can mom, we can do anything that helps.
I can't get up these stairs, they're too difficult.
Can I got and have a look at it from the outside.

this continued for what felt like hours, it was probably an hour, I suggested I took lots of photos of her bedroom so she could see it was hers, that helped a little. In the end I managed to get her to take her tablets in the hope they'd calm her down and suggested we went and sat in her bedroom together. She said it was too early to go to bed but I said we're not going to sleep we're just going to relax in your room.

When I finally got to bed I was emotionally exhausted. The nurse did call me back, in the middle of moms outburst when my sister was there, we've got an emergency appointment for tomorrow afternoon, I'm just hoping I can get mom in the car! I can't imagine how my mom must be feeling, her poor brain must hurt, so much confusion but still being lucid at times.

I'm afraid I ate the cheese pie, I also drank wine in bed, I will try to do better today. At least I've ordered salad in my delivery so I can eat healthier.

Let's hope she has a better day today, she's just getting up now, so fingers crossed.

I'm looking forward to working this morning, a bit of normality!

Hope to see some of you at 8.30 for our virtual workshop (Wolverhampton group) links on the WW app.

I'm off to make a healthy breakfast, I will not be defeated, going to bed emotionally drained does not mean I don't wake up ready for another day. I've done my yoga, drunk my water and now I'm off to find me an apple!

Mwah, luv you

Love me xx

Monday, 22 June 2020

You can always ask for help x

Monday 22nd June 2020
Find a way or fade away.

Well my day started emotional yesterday and not because of my mom for a change.  One of my BeYOUtiful members logged into the virtual workshop for a wellness check-in, there was only the three of us on there so we could talk openly and honestly.  I ended up crying because of what was being said, as I know so many of my members are struggling with the situation right now and here I was speaking to one I hadn't seen for 12 weeks, who didn't think virtual workshops would help them when we first went into lockdown but now realised they needed something because the situation wasn't improving.  I felt like I'd let them down a little, but hopefully now I've got them back on the workshops we can improve the situation.  I've seen a lot of faces over the last week, I haven't seen for a while, I think initially a lot of people didn't think it would last this long so were planning on waiting until we went back to 'normal'.  That's not happening even when we get back next month, it'll be weigh only with talks continuing to be virtual and I'm loving this one, it's Springing into Summer and it's helped me again.  

Time to stop making excuses, 30 minutes a week to sit and join a virtual workshop, you don't have to travel anywhere to do it, if you need somewhere quitet go sit in your car on the drive or hide in the loo, have your earphones in so only you can hear if privacy is a problem and if you're concerned about how you look don't have your camera on - but remember I know what you look like, I've seen you in real life and you are BeYOUtiful. xx

Oh and if it makes you feel any better, I've gained 3lb this week and I'm once again back to my start weight, actually I'm 1lb heavier than I have been but I'm okay with that, my mental health is coping with this situation and my mom extremely well, all things considered.  I'm gonna blame my sister for buying me chocolate eclairs from Iceland yesterday lol, obviously she can't be blamed for all 3lb, but hey passing the buck helps ;) 

Joking aside, it's been an extremely emotional week all round, I've got mom and her problems, I have other personal stuff going on I can't talk about, then there's the hormones - oh the hormones.  But I'd like to thank another member (you know who you are) for giving me a giggle yesterday morning as we privately chatted during the virtual workshop for giving me proof I'm not the only hormonal wreck who has meltdowns over the most stupid things, it is worth a complete meltdown when your wok won't fit in your cupboard, sister I can't even find my wok, it's either in the shed or I got rid of it when I had my kitchen done and there's no way I'm climbing about in that shed until the rain well and truly does one! 

The good news is, it isn't all bad, that same hormonal sister has been losing weight week in, week out during lockdown proving we can handle those hormones, problems and lockdown if we try.   She's inspired me to continue making those tweaks each week and sorting myself out.  I've got the water / fruit / yoga / walking in place now, so now I need to sort the eating/drinking out.  This week I intend to track properly and track everything so I can see what's causing the most damage, then work on cutting back and making changes. I'm okay with my gain from an emotional point of view but I don't want to continue that trend, I'd like it to start coming down now please and to make that happen I need to make more changes.  

Zero heroes - yeah that's going to be my focus this week, including more of them!  I proved to myself yesterday I can be beaten lol, I cooked a mushroom chow mein and I couldn't finish the plate.  Now the truth is, I should've only used one portion of noodles not too, this worked out at 16SP but would've only been 10SP if I'd used one portion of noodles.  My excuse was I'd put too much soy sauce in so needed to dilute the taste - yeah whatever! 

The recipe for this is on my Happy Owls website, I've started updating the points on the recipes so they have all 3 plans, I've done A through C, will do some more each day.  I'm going to start cooking more of those recipes from my site too because I know they're all good as I've cooked most of them. 

There's lots of other things on this site too, so when you're bored, give it a look.

I've got 2 corn on the cob in the fridge that should've been eaten by 20th but I'm going to see if they're okay to eat today, plus they're zero and when I do my shopping today I shall be ordering zero heroes, get some salad I think.

Here's to making Monday matter, looking forward to my walk with V, I need to offload so hope her ears are ready! 

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx 

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Here's to a good day

Sunday 21st June 2020 
Do one thing every day that makes you happy.

The true definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  Albert Einstein said that apparently and he was a clever bloke, not that I knew him personally of course, but how powerful is this image; 

I ended yesterdays workshop with that quote about madness, it came to me because prior to logging on mom and I had what can only be described as a very emotional hour, I'd walked the dog and walked into hell again, but I couldn't spend an entire day in that atmosphere, I know she doesn't know she's behaving a certain way sometimes, I know it's the Alzheimer's but it's just so uncomfortable.  I decided I'd make her talk instead of sit there sulking and yes there were a lot of tears but there was also communication.  See the thing is mom hasn't completely been take by the dementia, she's still in there and in her times of clarity you can't even begin to imagine how she must be feeling, which is why I needed her to talk not just sulk and shout.  It was extremely difficult conversation at times, she considers suicide to escape what's happening to her (I'm going to call her dementia nurse tomorrow to ask about medication or help with this), but then we made breakthroughs too as she told me she used to be able to pass the time watching tv but now she can't follow any story lines at all because within minutes she doesn't know who anyone is, no wonder she sits there and suddenly gets annoyed, it must be so frustrating for her.  Add to that the dreams she has which feel like reality, it must be exhausting for her.  Yes, there were lots of tears but at the end of it there was nothing but evidence of the love between us.  Instead of watching tv yesterday we started a jigsaw, my sister sat with her whilst I worked and I could hear them chatting away downstairs. What started as a dreadful day ended up good, she even watched some episodes of Our Family and laughed through them and was happy to go to bed.  That day could've turned out so differently, I'm so glad we talked and made changes.  Here's to looking at things differently as and when necessary. 

I'm looking forward to this weeks virtual workshop topic, Spring into Summer, I already know it's going to me as well as our members, this looks fab to and with the rain outside, I think I'd rather be on a virtual tour of Prague - you'll find the link in the Experiences at Home Connect group on WW app, enjoy if you go and if you're coming to see me and Amy first, we're on at 10 in the Stafford Group, so you'll have plenty of time to grab a cuppa in between. 

Oh so back to that quote, what are you doing over and over again hoping for a different result?   What do you need to change or start, or accept?  I accepted a long time ago, I can't be a 100% perfect WWer all the time and since I did that I don't beat myself up on my bad days which means I get back to my good days sooner and feeling better.  I started my yoga realising I needed a form of exercise which wasn't going to hurt my body like I have done with other exercise in the past.  Oh and I've realised going at all of it like a bull at a gate has never worked for me long term, hence me now working on building one healthy habit at a time, changing my behaviours over time rather than waking up on a Monday and stating 'I'm on a Diet and I'm going to do it 100% and get to goal by Friday!'  

Today I plan to enjoy my workshop, I'm going to go and clean the kitchen beforehand though.  Then I'm planning on a stir fry for lunch, looking forward to that, might even do a little video depending on moms mood.  Then mom and I can do some jigsaw, I better get ordering another one, they're fab, I'd bought large pieces ones which are easier for her to see and at 500 pieces it's just big enough not to be too difficult.  I finished my crochet project yesterday so need to decide on my next one, I think I'll go look at which of my yarn I fancy using and then choose the pattern.  But looking at Alfie lying on his chair and the weather out of the window I can't see us going very far.  I will get dressed though, I'm going to go jump in the shower, get dressed and make me a cuppa, enjoy it whilst sitting with mom for half hour before tackling the washing up.  

Here's to a delicious day!

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me x

Saturday, 20 June 2020

If only weight loss came in a bottle!

Saturday 20th June 2020
Self care is how you take your power back.

That first mug of tea in a morning is like a liquid hug and I've just had mine.   

You know that feeling when someone buys you a gift in a big box and it's wrapped lovely with a pretty bow on and you are so excited and can't wait to see what's inside it.  Then you open it and it's a rubbish gift, your entire body deflates and you go from buzzing to flat.  Yep we've all had that moment ain't we, well the carer coming for respite yesterday was a little like that.  It sounded like it was going absolutely brilliantly, I managed to walk the dog and do a conference call (which didn't help the mood) then the minute the lady had gone, mom turned, she doesn't want her coming again, she wished I'd asked her first.  If I'm fed up of her, then she'll leave and I can get on with my life!  Stuff like that, the rest of the day was like sitting in a very awkward, miserable hell as her mood couldn't be turned so 4 hours of freedom was followed by almost 6 hours of misery because she wouldn't go to bed either.  YAY, that gift  had a turd in it!  

Then I foolishly commented on a post selling 'lose weight' products, I should've kept out of it, not my circus - not my monkeys.  I just hate to see people being manipulated, both the customer and the seller to be fair, she's just trying to earn a living right now when times are truly tough and they're desperate to lose some weight.   

The truth is there is no quick fix, up to 2lb a week is what you'll lose following the WW plan - but that's only if you actually follow the plan. There are no short cuts, magic formulas, lotions or potions. Yeah you can cheat the system, take what feels like the easy way - it's not healthy though and you won't keep the weight off. To be successful at weight loss you have to make changes that are permanent, changes that you'll keep in place. 

Success isn't in the grand gestures, it's in the to your routine and changes to your eating habits. 

How do I know?  Because I've lost weight so many times if I'd kept off every pound I ever lost I'd be a key charm by now!  

Most people have lost weight before, myself included. Then life happens and you put it back on, for me it was my mom being diagnosed with Alzheimer's and my world being turned upside down as I became a full-time carer. Right now it's people who's lives have been changed by lockdown and everything that is COVID-19, we are reacting to a situation we have no control over and some of us have been looking for the cure in the kitchen or at least looking for something to cheer our life up a little. 

Anyone can lose weight by changing how they eat and adding some exercise into the equation. However if you feel you could do with some support and a plan that makes the eating side of it all less complicated, then WW is an option, it's the one I chose and I will continue too.  They believe in themselves so much that this week they've been offering 30 days completely free, that offer ends tonight so if you know anyone who needs a little help and encouragement, share the link www.ww.com/uk, maybe you've had to cancel due to finances, here's your chance to re-engage. WW really does work and the group support helps more than you can imagine.  I'll be online on my virtual workshop at 9.45 this morning with support from Elle and Kate, we're always on from 9.15am to have those 1-1 conversations and check-ins.  I'm also always there via the phone whilst we're in lockdown as support too.  

I know members can't wait to get back to in person workshops and WW are doing everything they can to make that happen, it's all government dependent, July 6ish onwards is the hope for weigh only workshops, let's hope that happens! 

If you are struggling right now with losing weight, don't give yourself a hard time, start today and just start with trying to improve your eating habits, don't stress about losing weight.  Downsize the portion a bit maybe or re-evaluate the plate, more veggies to fill you up.  Swap the odd bag of crisps or chocolate bar for a smaller one or better still a bit of fruit.  Go for a walk round the block.  Little tweaks each week, that's the answer, realistic changes you will find easy enough to do.  The one thing I can promise you about a WW workshop and the coach is they passionately care about their members, yes it's their job and they're paid to do it but that's not why they choose to role (there's much easier ways to earn a living) they choose it because they empathise and want to help.  

Right I'm off to try and get Alfie to walk, to attempt to practice what I preach and to hope that mom's in a better mood today.  I had tears from her Thursday morning which just broke my heart and made me think I should give everything up and just be her carer so I can be there all the time for her.  I HATE ALZHEIMERS! 

Anyway, moving on, let's make today delicious, 

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx

Friday, 19 June 2020

Food glorious food, gotta love a fakeaway

Friday 19th June 2020
Make yourself a priority, if not at the top, at least put yourself on your to-do list!

Stop waiting for tomorrow if your weight is bothering you today!  If you're not happy with how you look or feel, start to do something about it, if your weight doesn't bother you then stop worrying about it and just focus on being the healthiest version of yourself.  

I know as a coach I should want to lose weight but the numbers aren't my priority, being happy and healthy is, don't get me wrong if I lose weight as a side effect - happy days, but I don't look in the mirror in a morning and hate my reflection, I love who I am and my body doesn't define me. 

I've had lots of messages over the last week from people who are struggling, they want to get back to the weighing workshops of Pre-Covid but until we can, we can't just put everything on pause.  The email that went out to members from WW was that workshops would start to re-open from July 4th, it's all dependent on venues and government etc.  This is why it's so important to stay in touch with your coach through the virtual workshops and yesterday's proved that to those that joined and were struggling and left feeling more focused and positive. 

After talking Takeaways/Fakeaways in the workshops, I spent yesterday updating the Fakeaway document on my website so it has the points for all 3 plans, I hope to add some more recipes to the document as I find them.  Lisa mentioned a Fanta Sweet & Sour chicken, I've never made it myself but sounds worth a dabble; 

Fanta sweet and sour chicken (zero blue / purple or 5SP green)

3 chicken breasts – cut into strips
330ml can of Fanta zero
4 tbsp on passata
1 chopped onion
1 Veg or chicken stock cube
1-2 Tsp vinegar
sweetener to taste (optional)
Shake of dried chilli 
Chopped red pepper (add any stir fry veggies you fancy – mushrooms / beansprouts)
Drained tinned Pineapple chunks – add as many as you like – they’re zero points!

1.   Fry onions until they are soft, then added the chicken pieces and brown.

2.   Add ALL the other ingredients, except pineapple and simmer for approx. 20 minutes, remove lit half way to start to let the liquid reduce. 

3.   Once cooked, add pineapple and serve.

One of my favourite fakeaways which I guess you wouldn't consider to be one but if I'm having a day out or going to Ikea or the Garden Centre I'm always tempted by them is hotdogs, I bloomin look hotdogs with ketchup and mustard , mmm.  I'm going to add them to my to eat list for next week; 

4SP per roll
1SP per roll

and don't forget to point the ketchup too!

Be careful with canned onions, these ones are 9SP a can.

I like to cook my onions in the brine water from the hot dog can, absolutely delicious and definitely going on my to eat list now, that's Tuesday's shop day meal sorted, nom nom.  Cheap meal too. 

Don't ya just love food and eating!   I'm hungry now, better go find me a bit of fruit, got me some strawberries in the fridge, will take them out and let them get to room temperature, not a fan of really cold fruit. 

Well we've got a respite carer coming in today for 4 hours, not sure how it's going to go, two ladies came yesterday to fill in forms and mom was okay with them until they'd gone!  Every time they mention the word 'carer' she gets stroppy, companies need to think about that and use different language, carer makes mom feel old and helpless.  I keep telling her the lady is coming to give her a bit of company, a different face to talk too, I really hope she enjoys it.  I'll be staying here, will go up to my office and start sorting that.

Roast chicken dinner on my menu today, I fancy some gravy deliciousness, sprouts and cauliflower will be the veggies and I'm hoping to make a chow mein tomorrow with some of the leftover chicken, then use the rest for the risotto, if there's any left after Alfie helps me out.  

Here's to a delicious day, 

mwah, luv ya 

Love me 

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Thankful Thursday

18th June 2020
Fill in the blank.  Today I will be ........

I've just done a Gratitude Yoga practice, 35 minutes long and it made me think about all the things I am thankful for which is important to me right now.  Focus on the good stuff, it distracts you from the not so good. 

I was chuffed to realise that having done my yoga daily for coming up to 9 weeks on Saturday I can do some moves that I struggled with at the start, my flexibility is improving and I realised getting out of bed in a morning is a lot easier than it was earlier in the year.  I'm thankful that mom seems to be okay with me saying, 'I'm just off to do my yoga', her usual response is 'no problem, take your time', she did call me a few minutes after I'd started this morning to turn the tele off but overall she's pretty good with me doing it which is brilliant.  Shame she's not like that about everything lol.

I managed to have an hour in the kitchen yesterday, made a stew with the beef I'd found in the bottom of the freezer, that'll be eaten all day today, thankful for not having to cook today.  I also found a pack of mince beef so made a cottage pie mixture and added a packet of puy lentils at the end to bulk it out and use them up, I'm not a fan and this will hide the texture of them.   That'll go in the freezer for quick go to meals, I topped some with mash and left some so I can choose what to serve it with.  Slowly working my way through the freezer, the weekend will be fish as there's plenty of that too and a chicken dinner Sunday, then the leftover chicken is going to be used to make a Roast chicken and pea risotto.  

Here's the recipe; 

Serves 4
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

1 leftover chicken carcass, plus any leftover chicken ( you'll need to weigh any chicken to point)
2 onions 
olive oil (5SP per tablespoon)
300g risotto rice (30SP) 
200g frozen peas (5SP on green)
1 knob of unsalted butter (25g = 9SP)
60g Parmesan cheese (9SP) 
extra virgin olive oil (5SP per tablespoon)
Optional: 2 large handfuls of rocket

To make your stock, strip all the meat you can find off the chicken carcass, shred and put to one side.  Place the carcass and any bones in a large pan and use a rolling pin to smash them up.  Cover with 2 litres water, bring to the boil and simmer for at least 30 minutes, skimming away any scum from the surface.  Keep warm on the lowest heat, and sieve before using. 

Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the onions and put them into a large pan on a low heat with a lug of olive oil.  Cook for around 15 minutes, or until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the rice for a couple of minutes, then turn the heat up to high and add a ladleful of stock.   Let it sizzle and reduce for a few minutes, then once it's evaporated, add the remaining stock a ladleful at a time, only adding more once each ladleful has been absorbed, and stirring regularly for 16 minutes in total.  Add the frozen peas and any leftover chicken if you have , and cook for a few more minutes, or until the rice is cooked but still holds it shape, adding a final splash of stock or water to give you a losse, oozy consistency. 

Nows the time to beat in the butter, grate in most of the cheese and season the risotto to perfection.  Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and leave to sit for 2 minutes, then stir well. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, grate over the remaining Parmesan and serve with a good sprinkling of rocket (if using) on each portion.  

Note: You can use cheddar instead of parmesan
I'll use less oil, I don't want that final glug at all! 
If you have a bottle of white wine you want an excuse to open, add 10ml before you start adding the stock and cook it away before carrying on with the recipe.  This will add a wonderful perfume to your risotto.

It's a high Smart Pointed meal but will be delicious for a treat and use less oil and butter if you want to bring it down.  Enjoy zero foods the rest of the day to balance it out! 

Now all I need are some onions as I used all mine yesterday, I could leave it till Tuesday when I get my shopping delivered and make the dinner Monday, see we can live without going to the shop every day, I've been doing it for months now.  

Let's spend today being thankful for Thursday and noticing all the good stuff, I'm looking forward to two workshops this morning, 8.30 and 10.30 in the Dudley & Walsall Connect group on the WW app, hope to see lots of you.

Here's to a delicious day.

Mwah, love ya 

Love me xx

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Wednesday ain't it!

Wednesday 17th June 2020 
When life gives you LIMES rearrange the letters and SMILE

I loved my dinner yesterday, not only was it delicious, but cheap too, oh and only 4 ingredients, quick, easy & veggie.  Not forgetting healthy! 

Put a packet of gnocchi (Tesco 75p, Aldi £1.19, Asda £1.35 Morrisons £1.50, Sainsburys £1.70, - I've just checked those online, so it shows prices do vary store to store, but the days of wandering round to get the bargains are gone for now aren't they) into an ovenproof dish, add a couple of handfuls of any frozen veg and top with a can of condensed soup, refill can almost to top with hot water to swill out rest of soup, stir it all together and top with 45g mature cheese. Whack in oven for 25 mins on gas mark 6, 200c or fan 180c. I split it 3 ways (& a little portion for my mom) total points 40SP (so between 10-13SP per portion depending on size) and cost around £3 to make.

You can use up fresh or canned  veggies in this and any can of soup too, it doesn't have to be condensed, you just wouldn't add the water.  If you're unsure of gnocchi you could use a bag of fresh pasta.  It'd be delicious with some tortelloni just adjust the points accordingly.  

I've frozen the other two portions and will defrost, then reheat in oven, nom nom. 

I've started sorting through my cookbooks, got a few recipes to try, typed a few up to share.  I really need to get on top of my website, it needs updating for points for blue/green/purple, it's one of those jobs I keep putting off.   At the minute I'm looking for cheap, easy and delicious recipes and I'm finding a few or having ideas of my own, I'm working my way through what I've got first though before I buy any special ingredients for recipes.  I enjoyed a jacket potato last night, forgot how good they are, so much so I might have the same today for lunch but with a WW chilli pot on the top.  I do quite like that and on blue it's only 2SP.  I know I have one in the cupboard. Don't forget if you order anything from the www.weightwatchersshop.co.uk website to use my code I7IA5I, they're capital I's not ones. 
I'm really surprised that Tesco was so much cheaper, I wonder if that's just an odd product that's cheaper or if they're all much of a muchness. At the moment I'm just grateful that I can get a delivery once a week that's for sure. 

I cleaned the kitchen yesterday so will hopefully get to have a potter in there today, moms had a cracking night sleep which is always a good thing, no walking today as Vicky's got flooding problems so has enough on her place so I'm gonna be productive.  Although I can't cook too much as still not room in freezer to store it quite yet.  Oh I have curry for lunch I forgot, I defrosted it yesterday gonna make cauliflower rice to go with it.  

Meal planning is definitely the future, it's got to save money hasn't it when you think about it because you only buy what you're going to eat, you don't have to necessarily eat it in a set plan but have the healthy stuff in.   It starts with the shop, if you only buy healthy stuff you can only eat healthy stuff.  One of my member commented yesterday on the price of eating healthy and she's right fruit came be expensive, so you have to think differently and use ways to bring those prices down.  I've found that I like tinned pineapple, a small can from Sainsburys that does me one portion was about 30p, I've just gone to look and they've only got the 50p ones now!  Not being able to get supplies isn't helping at all.  But even at 50p, that's £3.60kg, the mango I bought works out at £8.33kg because I bought a big pack, smaller packs work out at £10kg, I can get frozen mango for £4kg.  Buying frozen or tinned can cut the cost a lot, or buy what's in season to save even more.  

I think cheap, basic food can be absolutely delicious if some thought goes into it.  I've got diced beef in the freezer so I'm going to make a nice stew, the beef was bought when reduced so saved money there too.  Can't beat a Whoopsie as long as it's something you'll use.  Actually I'll get that out and make a stew for tomorrow, that'll keep me satisfied and as I work tomorrow morning, I'll have my dinner ready afterwards.   

I've missed the offers that I usually get because of this lockdown, I was chuffed to see the dog food reduced yesterday so I doubled up on Alfie's stash.

All this talk of food has made me hungry!  I'm off to do something with eggs and a courgette!  Watch this space lol. 

I'll be online later in the WW Wolverhampton connect group, 5-6, workshop officially starts at half past. Hope to see lots on. 

Here's to a delicious day.

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me