A Healthy Me – June

Well flip. I’ve failed miserably. Last month I was 13 stone 6, and this month I seem to be 13 stone 9.

In the space of a few months I’ve put on half a stone. Not good. So I am being sensible about it – and have signed up with My Fitness Pal, logging all my food and exercise that I’m doing, in the hope I’ll work out where it’s going wrong.

Actually, I know exactly where it’s going wrong – I fell back into biscuits and meal deals, but not any more! The work biscuit tin is out of bounds, unless it’s my period, then I’m allowed one. I will also help stop feeding the bad habit by no longer spending £4 a week on biscuits to go in the tin – it’s all for sharing, but if I don’t contribute, then I won’t be as inclined to help myself. As for meal deals, I had challenged Shaun to get the greatest discount across all foods, and managed to win every time, but these are calorific things – I’ve gone back to the low fat options in Sainsburys, though will be checking M&S tomorrow. The cheese and celery sandwich was a bit too boring when I tried it a couple of weeks ago.

Of course, there could be issues with the batteries on my scales, but who am I kidding? So much for getting into that dress from Australia! Someone at work commented on how I’d lost weight last week too, so maybe it’s falling off my face and around my tummy…

Cholesterol spots – about the same, but I’m now trying a new beauty regime which involves under eye cream to take away the dark circles. I’m not sure if it’s working, but I’ve got enough cream for it to last a long time.

Exercise. Okay, this is a vast improvement. I am still going to the gym every week, and still doing pilates every week. I tried my first Pole Fitness class, though at £6 a class it’s pricey, so I’ve decided to build up my arms a bit as my wrists really felt it. Also, I wasn’t at all prepared to plank for a minute as a warm up, especially with my wrists, so it makes sense to strengthen up there. Watching the others in the class pick themselves up and twirl themselves around a pole made me realise how rubbish my core fitness is – and the pain afterwards lasted for three days!

Food. I’d say better – though there was one Afternoon Tea at my school reunion last weekend – but I hadn’t eaten all day so was starving. I now have my Spiralizer-a-like (a cheaper version) which has replaced pasta and noodles at mealtimes, and with me logging via MyFitness Pal I know I’ll see where I’m going wrong. It isn’t like WeightWatchers with all fruit and veg being ‘free’ – but I’ve got good grounding for logging my eating now, and if I can do as much walking as possible then I’ll get extra calories too – I’ve still got 200 left today. MyFitness Pal is free as well (good as we’re about to be quite skint thanks to a horrendous rent increase) – and works on Android and Apple devices.

The target is 1lb a week. If this doesn’t happen then I’m not sure what’s going on!

A Healthy Me – May

Things are not going well. My love of biscuits is not helping. At work we have a biscuit tin and a Co-Op up the road which always does deals on the best biscuits (Fox’s, Bahlsen). I weaken every time. I’m going to go back onto my Thinking Slimmer Slimpod, as while I didn’t lose weight on it, it was good for controlling my needs for chocolate.

It has been a busy month. I have been able to (mostly) keep up thanks to my back doing what it should do, with occasional twinges here and there. So I’ve been active. I’ve kept up my trips to the gym, and pilates classes have become a bit more challenging which is good. We’ve had lots of trips out and journeys into London with plenty of walking involved. My feet are not thanking me for this.

So… weight. It has gone up – 13 stone 6. But it has got me wondering – that point when the flab starts to turn into muscle, I need to measure myself as well. While I don’t think I’m becoming particularly muscular, measurements are important too – and my jeans don’t feel as tight. My waist is 37″, my hips 41″. According to the NHS this isn’t good. I have no prior measurements to go on, so it just needs to decrease.

Cholesterol spots. Possibly slightly less, but I need to get back on the lemon water again. I got a photo, and need to think about the dark circles under my eyes and how to make them disappear. I’ve read that coconut oil can help, so am going to start there. Let’s see how it looks next month… I promise to try and look less scary.  As a sidenote, one of my friends who is just a year older than me has just had a heart attack. He’s fine and well and recouperating now. Someone I used to work with who is the same age, died from a heart attack a couple of months ago and it has made me look much closer at me and my lifestyle. I should probably get another blood test to check my cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as I’m still at risk of diabetes.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Exercise. Quite a bit, actually. Going to the gym I’m meeting other mums I’ve got to know, and it has been nice to know I’ll have someone to chat to there. My stamina for running for the train has improved massively – good job really as I’m so knackered from doing everything I do, so I’m often running late for my morning train! The Rainbows events we have coming up will certainly keep me busy, plenty of walking and running around. I’m considering doing the Family Fun Run with Shaun and H at West Run London as it isn’t too far from us and I think is a good thing for us all to do together. So we’ll see.

Food. I’ve been eating quite well, occasional takeaways and less cake (but more biscuits). I feel like the junk food levels have gone right down again, which is a good thing for my cholesterol.

A Healthy Me – January

A new year, and things are different to last month. The evil cold finally shifted, lasting approximately seven weeks. I had a week off coughing which was bliss, I got some sleep and started to feel like I was healing and resting, and then H brought home a cough from school. So far the back is staying put, although I have noticed when things start to go wrong they seem to switch sides which is odd.

I managed three weeks without seeing my Osteo which is the longest, but my back clicked on my first day back at work, enough to get an appointment that day, fortunately.

Food – I’m still eating pineapple and apple for breakfast, and last week my Osteo said she could see better drainage around my back area. Every time I cough I am still tense something might go (which probably doesn’t help), but if my body is starting to do what it is meant to, then that’s a good thing.

Swimming/gym. Harder to keep up with now the cold nights are here. I make myself go to pilates, and I need to try harder to get to the gym. I may need to go this week anyway. H is starting new swimming lessons at my pool which has an added bonus in that I can use the pool at the same time with my membership. It’s a half hour lesson, so slightly longer than I would swim, but that’s time for me to sit in the steam room afterwards (while carefully watching H of course). Pilates is back again and helping again – I had a month’s break from it when everything was bad last month.

Weight. It’s stayed the same – mainly as I didn’t overeat over Christmas as I felt too ill. I hardly drank anything either as I was taking so much medicine. I’m still there at 15stone2 anyway.

Cholesterol spots. I’m still convinced they’re disappearing thanks to my increased vitamin intake. I’m taking a monthly photo over on Instagram, and sparing everyone right now, they’re hashtagged #cholesterolspots anyway. My eyes look very dark and shady, accentuated by the white spots.

Colonoscopy. I cancelled the procedure, mainly as I read the forms and realised I would need to lie on my left side for a long time – which with the current back issues would be unbearably uncomfortable. In addition I would need a minimum of three days off work so I’ve postponed until I’m a little healthier. I do need it, and they agree that with my dad’s history that I should be checked which is equally reassuring and terrifying.

I’ve started taking Vitamin D as over the holidays I was convinced everything was wrong due to a lack of it. I’m not sure if this is the case or not, mind. I was SO healthy in Australia, and didn’t feel unwell at all – I felt like a different person – and we had a lot of sun out there.

A Healthy Me – December

This month has been pretty rubbish, health-wise. I’m at the end of a six-week cold which has been pretty horrendous – pulled muscles, pulled back and twisted pelvis are three of the things which came with it; it hasn’t been much fun. Plus – it never seems to actually go away. Oh, and I lost my sense of smell and taste for three weeks too.

The worst thing has been my back. A violent cough knocked it out – I went to my old Osteopath to get clicked back into place so I could move again, which worked, but the coughing just meant I pulled muscles in my abdomen instead or just felt like my internal organs were popping out of my ribs – it was horrible. I’ve since found a new Osteopath and we’re taking a different approach. This time we’re looking at my body as a whole, and I believe it’s working and helping a lot. My next appointment is three weeks away now which is the biggest gap we’ve had between treatments (my bank balance is relieved). I’ve also got myself referred to a specialist for an MRI to look at my back. The colonoscopy is also booked for the new year.

Food – My biggest change has been my breakfast, having just pineapple and apple to boost my vitamin intake. I’ve noticed something because of this – my cholesterol spots seem to be going! This is a BIG thing, as when I asked my doctor about them, I was told I was stuck with them for life – to find that an even healthier diet could make them disappear is really motivating me – they WILL go away.

One little matter which has raised it’s head again, the old pelvic floor. Keeping my fluids up and coughing so violently has led to me keeping various companies in business on the old leakage front. Tena Lights now exist and you no longer feel like you’re walking around with a brick between your legs keeping your dignity intact. They’re really quite good.

Swimming/gym – I have had my induction at the gym. I can use the machines now – I started off gently with some cycling, a bit of cross training and some weights, but haven’t made it back since as I feel so tired. Five weeks of a cold with broken sleep and I need a proper rest – I’ll have plenty of time for that over Christmas – plus I can do it after eating my tea, rather than having to hold off with swimming. I feel like things are taking a turn for the better.

So yes, 2014 didn’t end that well, but I’m hoping 2015 will bring me answers and a much healthier me. I still weigh 13 stone 2 as well, despite this cold.