Monday, 27 June 2016

The Body Confidence Program - Week 2

So I've reached the end of week 1 on The Body Confidence Program, and I am very pleased to report that I have lost 4 inches in total! The weekly goal is 2 inches a week so I am very pleased with 4. I now need to keep focused into week 2, I often manage to be really good for the first week of a diet, have good results then let it all slip for the second week.

I have generally found the first week easy - I haven't felt hungry or really craved sweet things. The food has all been delicious and simple to prepare, although I do feel a bit like all I do is shop for food, prepare food and cook food - I'm hoping that this will feel like less of a chore as the weeks go on! What I particularly like is that it is all food that the whole family can eat, I just add a carbohydrate for The Man and HC. When I have done diets like The Cambridge Diet I get quite miserable because I am only drinking milkshakes while everyone else has proper food, so it is nice to still feel normal, and not having to cook food that I'm not going to eat - there really is nothing worse!

Things to work on for next week:

  • Keep drinking enough water - I find plain water very boring and struggle to drink a lot of it. I would usually add some squash to it, but this is not allowed on this plan, so I just need to put my big girl pants on and get on with it! 
  • Try to do some exercise - I have been very unmotivated with this for a long time now.
  • Get organised with my food prep as I go back to work next week - I have had 2 weeks annual leave. If I am to be successful I will need to make sure I have prepared all my meals the day before a shift.
  • Don't let treat day affect the days either side of it! I find myself thinking at 8pm the day before "well, I'll be eating this tomorrow, so why not now?" and at 8am the day after "I ate this yesterday, it will be OK to eat it now too..." 
  • Keep a check on my 65% protein/35% everything else proportions. It is easy to pile the plate high with all the veg! 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

The Body Confidence Programme - Week 1

So, on Saturday I started an eight week diet and lifestyle programme called The Body Confidence Program. It is basically involves a gluten and dairy free meal plan - which has helpfully been devised by Ru-Tee who has loads of relevant experience. There are also rules designed to instill healthy habits such as getting enough sleep and drinking enough water. The course costs £450 for 8 weeks of daily email support and a weekly phone call along with the meal plan and resources in the members area of the website - I have been lucky enough to be offered a free place in return for regular blog entries. So here we go!

I was really excited to start and the meal plan came through on the Wednesday before we stared which put many of my fears to bed - Would it be complicated? Would I like the food? Would I be hungry? The most exotic ingredients so far are a pea protein powder and coconut oil, both of which I purchased before hand via Amazon for a reasonable price. The meals are all super simple to prepare and cook and the menu has been thoughtfully arranged so as to use up leftovers. The food is also so filling, I can honestly say that I have not been hungry even once in the last 2 days - infact at least one I have had to make my self eat so as to avoid big gaps between meals - one of the tips to stabilise your blood sugar levels through the day. But most importantly the meals are so tasty, even The Man and Casper have willingly ate them!

Things I am finding easy:
  • Eating yummy, fresh food.
  • Preparing and cooking the meals.
  • Drinking lots of water.
Things I am struggling with:
  • Going to bed early - night shifts really ruin a sensible routine.
  • Not eating after 7pm - I often don't get home from work until 8.30, also night shifts are an issue again. I plan to bring this up at next week's conference call.
  • Chewing my food 35 times - you really wouldn't believe how hard this is when you have been used to rushing meals and not concentrating on eating! I am getting better but it will definitely take some practice.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Little Party Parcels Review

A couple of weeks ago we were sent a box full of products from Little Party Parcels to try and review. They are a company that sells pre-filled party bags as well as items to put in party bags if you'd rather pick your own.

There is a huge range of party bag fillers to suit every budget- they range from 4p for sweets to £7.50 for a magic set. There are toys, games, craft and construction kits and lots more to choose from - I'm certain that you could find something to please even the most discerning kids (and parents)! Included in our box was a set of pick up sticks (90p) and a metal pencil case (90p) which I think is very good value. I particularly like that you can buy the exact amount that you want instead of packs of 5 which often leaves you with lots of leftovers. Obviously you get what you pay for and some of the cheaper items seem like they wouldn't stand up to much wildness - but I personally don't expect expensive items in a party bag so it's entirely up to you how much you want to spend and what items you think your crowd would enjoy.

You can also purchase pre-filled bags, which are also very reasonably priced and range to suit all tastes, ages and budgets (60p - £2.90 per bag).Some arrived already packed in sealed cellophane party bags; others came packaged with paper bags which you need to fill yourself - I actually prefer the paper bags - they look and feel a better quality than the cellophane ones. If you are short on time or inspiration these are great, and there's still enough room for a slice of cake in the bags too! You can purchase empty bags as well, it really is a one stop shop for party bags - no more rushing around the local shops at the last minute!

Casper particularly liked the construction kit- he loves anything involving tools and this came with a screwdriver and a spanner! Under supervision and with a lot of assistance we completed the crane, the whole activity kept him interested for quite a long time - a real achievement! The sweets were also a hit!!!
The products came well packaged and in perfect condition. P&P is £3.95 or free over £30, delivery was quick and also trackable if necessary. Little Party Parcels comes highly recommended from me, I can't think of any where that provides such a good choice for party bags. They also do a range of wedding activities and bags which I shall definitely be looking at if we ever get married! 

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Sleep Talk

Since HC arrived in our lives nearly two and a half years ago sleep has been an on-going issue! Initially he only slept lying on me, so for 12 weeks I slept propped up on pillows and Casper slept on my chest. For the next 6 months he would only fall asleep being rocked by me, then he was put into his moses basket/cot and would sleep for a few hours, when he woke up we went straight to him and either rocked him to sleep in our arms or rubbed his back until he fell back to sleep depending on how upset he was and his age- as soon as he could roll he only slept on his front.

When HC was 9 months old I returned to work so he had to learn to sleep with The Man too, so the same routine continued, except that he came into our bed wen he woke in the night because we were both too knackered to persevere and keep him in his cot. Until he was about a year when I decided that he was too old to be being rocked to sleep so we sat next to him in our bed until he fell asleep, using various methods of restraint (generally a well placed arm), when he was asleep we moved him into his cot, but as he got older we ended up just leaving him in our bed as he always woke up in his cot and we weren't getting proper nights sleeps. In our bed he sleeps all night but The Man sleeps in the spare room as he is an awful sleeper too and struggles to sleep when we are all in the same bed.

Understandably this has done nothing for our relationship and things have got to change! So the next step is to take down the cot and put up a single bed in Casper's room and then we can sit with him in that bed or get in with him in the night if we need to but we can have our bed back and some actual adult alone time!!!

But as for baby/toddler sleeping in general I have 3 main thoughts:

  1. Take the path of least resistance - I do not believe that controlled crying is good for anyone in this house - obviously each family is different but I know I could not have done it and Casper has always been a very determined character and get hysterical very quickly.
  2. This too shall pass - I know that he will not be sleeping in our bed when he is 14 so eventually it will all come right. 
  3. It's only a problem if you think it is a problem - I always loved cuddling my sleeping baby, I quite like having him asleep next to me and I wouldn't change how we have got to this point. Everyone has got to do it the right way for them and you get so much advice about all aspects of parenting but you will only regret going against your gut instinct, so do what suits you and your family.
 Actually, this is what I think about most parenting issues! Pleas feel free to add any thoughts or tips in the comments. xx