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All posts for the month January, 2011

Tuning in and hearing you loud and clear

Published January 31, 2011 by Crystal

Friday wasn’t the greatest day. I was tired, decided to have duvet day, lament my empty nest lifestyle, and lick my Zumba wounds (My muscles ached and ached after 6 sessions from Monday to Thursday). I felt lonely and alone. I’ve only just really started to notice how different my life is now all my children are at school and my days are quiet. I realise why I pend so much time on Facebook, craving human adult interaction of some kind!
Anyway, that was the start of the weekend, a bit of wallowing, and alot of eating!
The weekend went fantastically. A beautiful, albeit cold, day at Goodrich Castle, followed by a video night with my gorgeous husband and wonderful kids. Chips, dips, wine, potato skins, chinese, wine, more chips, a roast dinner, champagne. This was the run of the weekend, and whereas in the past I would have guilted myslef into dieting Monday morning, nowadays I’m more forgiving of myself, and am learning to “tune in” to my body and all its signals, and was fairly confident in the belief that come Monday morning my body would tell me what it wanted and needed after a weekend of indulgence.
But noone could be more surprised than I when this morning the thing I really craved was a carrot and pear juice! On went the juicer, and I was satisfied with a delightful glass of fresh juice!
Next came lunch, or rather, the lack of. There were no hunger pans, and I knew I definately didn’t want a sandwich, or any heavy carb based meal. But you need to eat, everyone tells you so, and there must be something to satisfy. So I set about making a soup, cooking up carrot, celery, and spuds in a convenient chicken stock I’d made last week. Ooh get me, domestic goddess in the making?! I left it to cook and got into an hour of Zumba with my brand new dvds. Even after the workout I wasn’t particularly hungry, I kept up with the water, but my appetite was still lacking. But feeling I didn’t want my body to panic I’d cut my throat I had a spoon of soup. And surprisingly it was more than enough, but lacking. I threw in some pearl barley and left to do the school pick up.
And I come to now. Throughout today all I’ve craved and felt I needed is a bowl of soup, a glass of juice, and plenty of water. I didn’t need to put myself in a vigourous diet. My body, if I let it, can dictate what I need and will benefit from, and goodness does it feel good. There’s no deprivation, there’s just trust.

What a feeling!

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Hotting up during the icy blast

Published January 27, 2011 by Crystal

The weather has turned, and it’s brrrrrrrrr outside. Snow is forecast, so where better to be than in the warm?
And today I can resits putting on the central heating for another hour as I’m about to feel the burn with a bit of zumba. I went to my first class 3 weeks ago, and it as fantastic. I was instantly hit, but after another class, showing my lack of coordination, and my realisation that for the moment I’d rather be hidden in my own home behind the curtains I opted for the idea of buying the dvds and dancing away in my own home.
So that’s what I’m doing now to get my endorphine hit, and to feel all my muscles working. I love the feeling I get from it. The time races past, and 40 minutes have pretty much flown by in the space of ten. I am trully trully appreciating the need and desire to exercise these days. But I hate the word exercise. I was never a fitness bunny at school. I was the last one walking around the field on the cross country “run”. While all the svelte girls were running around hitting funny shaped items over nets in the name of badminton, I and my other non gym bunny friends were gossipping in the weights room.
When I had the children I went through the dieting mill, but still never really grasped or enjoyed the idea of exercise. All exercise I chose was punishment and laborious. Yes I felt a benefit, and could see changes, but it never lasted long enough. I’d fall back into my couch spud type ways, and exercise and diet slipped away.
It was through intuitive eating and Beyond Chocolate predominantly that I started to appreciate the principle of “Move!”. Not exercise. But “Move!”. Whatever you do, enjoy it. From September to the beginning of this year my desired form of movement was walking up the nearby hill. Raising the heart rate, feeling I’d achieved something. But then it started to get tedious and zumba came along just in time.

It’s easy to listen to the athletes telling us how good they feel after furious running. I say easy, no it isn’t, I zone out. I listen but I don’t hear. I have no desire to run, even with the best possible sports bra (which was my excuse for some time). I don’t want to swim, I hate chlorine and the drudge of drying off and changing afterwards. I despise the idea of circuits. Endless stomach crunches and bench presses? No thank you. But while I loathe all these things, you may thrive in this situation, and that is fantastic! What makes your body sing? How do you most love to move and feel your muscles ache in that satisfying way?

January did not start well, and I’ve had some days where I’ve wondered what the point is. But I know that in an hours time I will be nicely exhausted, and relaxing happily having shaked my booty around the place, and having used those maracas that were given me!

Juicy Lucy.

Published January 18, 2011 by Crystal

I have a new obsession, it’s a Cookware Whole Fruit Juicer, and is super! I’m having a day of juice and feel fabby. Though I think it’s highlighted my absolute lack of ability to drink enough water on a day to day basis.
Now I’m not dieting, but today there is nothing else I fancy, so I guess I can say I’m Being My Own Guru, and going with it as it suits me. I’ve read several websites today, advocating this and that about juicing. The amount of conflicting advice, militant opinions. Why is nothing ever simple? Fresh juice is nice, tasty, and best of all, without all the preservatives and additives that make shop bought products last so long. Fresh carrot juice is wonderful, great with apple juice or pear juice. Who knew fruit could taste so great? And after the many years of diet clubs telling me how bad fruit juice is, with it lack of satiating abilities I’m coming to a new place of acceptance in my healing the diet demon past.

Intuition in all parts of life, even for new mums!

Published January 14, 2011 by Crystal

The news today has left me raging. Angry, frustrated, infuriated.
Mothers are being warned that breastfeeding exclusively for six months may not be best for their babies and could put them at risk of allergies, food aversion and even obesity. This is a paragraph from the news story on The Daily Mail, but you will find the story in every paper today. In fairness, today The Daily Mail gives quite a good article, and actually lists advice and counter advice about breastfeeding over the last 60 years. But this isn’t about The Daily Mail today. This is about so called experts touting their opinions as fact and adding confusion to what is already a minefield to new mums. They’re not arguing breast is best, but they’re telling breastfeeding mums that they’ll potentially put their childs health at risk if they don’t introduce solids before 6 months! Grrr and Argh! Do feed your child solids, don’t feed solids, do breastfeed, don’t breastfeed, do leave your child to cry, don’t leave them on their own in their bedroom, the “advice goes on and on”. I have to say I am very pleased to be out of the baby stage with the endless bombardment, but I feel so strongly for those new mums. It’s a wonder the planet has remained inhabited for as long as it has. Without all this useful advice we would surely have died out by now. But wait! It turns out that women have been giving birth for a while now. And they’ve followed their instinct and intuition when it comes to finding out what their child will benefit from. They also used to have the wisdom of family members to advise. Once upon a time we didn’t need the Government interfering. Once upon a time we managed.
Now there’s no problem seeking advice if you’re unsure. Sharing knowledge and ideas is part of human nature. But there’s a big difference between seeking it out, and having it thrust upon you. And a problem for new mums is that this advice is shoved at them from every direction, doctors, midwives, ante natal classes and so on.
My suggestion to a new mum would be to imagine you have a big big sieve, shove all the opinions and “facts” into it and filter out the bits that you feel are right for you. And then go for it! Enjoy motherhood, enjoy your new baby, and do what YOU feel is right, and if something goes wrong, you’ve learnt from it. But celebrate and don’t worry. Motherhood is wonderful, having a baby is a joy.
Peace out.

Queen for a day, but which castle

Published January 13, 2011 by Crystal

View from the roof of the castle

My mum, sister and brother in law brought Rob and I English Heritage membership for our Christmas present. What a fantastic gift! What brilliant weekends we’ll be able to enjoy, seeing many of England’s historical properties. Goodrich Castle is fairly close to us, and Kenilworth isn’t far either, so now I have to decide which way to take the kids! Or do we visit Stonehenge again, seeing as we won’t have to pay this time! And we’ll get free parking in Avebury. Oh the choices!
It will be a great way to get the family out and about, and moving together. Trekking up and down all those castle steps! Have you been to Dover Castle? Blimey the steps in that place! And the heights! I’m not good with heights, well more the fear of falling, so some spots I avoided. A beautiful castle though, and so worth the visit. The World War 2 tunnels were fascinating, the hospital recreated to give you the sights and sounds of what it was like 70 years ago. I look forward to visiting it again, and having family in Kent, means it won’t be too long before we can go again!
If anyone has any suggestions for English Heritage properties worth visiting, I’d be so grateful!

Sale Shopping, or not. Whatever, I guess I’m saving money!

Published January 12, 2011 by Crystal

One thing I always used to like about January was the sales! Shopping for the bargainatious top or skirt. But I don’t feel inclined this year, and also feel I’d be wasting money. While I agree wholeheartedly with the idea of wearing clothes that fit me now, I don’t want to go spending money on a top that might only fit for a month or two. But there’s the part of me that is setting me up for failure “Of course it will still fit. I’m destined to be fat forever more, no matter how much exercise I do!”
Damn this January funk. So instead I peruse the non clothing items in sales, hankering after stock pots and slow cookers, and kitchen appliances! And books. I love books.
Fortunately a friend has sent an invite for a clothes swapping party at the end of the month. Hopefully I can get a bit of a fashion fix there, without spending a dime! 🙂

Ch Ch Changes

Published January 12, 2011 by Crystal
Talk yourself into it!

The little changes make the big differences

Another wet, miserable day.  January at its finest!  Yesterday I didn’t walk the dog up the hill, what with the wet miserable weather, I preferred instead the idea of poached eggs on toast, a bit of internet surfing, and an exercise DVD later.  But I haven’t done an exercise DVD at home since we got our big rug in the lounge, and it turned out that feeling the burn with a bit of boxercise isn’t so easy when every time I jumped and kicked the rug slid impressively across the room!

So this morning I knew that there was only on real option, and one the dog would be grateful of.  The walk up the hill.

Now I’m not a morning person, especially when I haven’t got to bed til past midnight the night before.  And it’s wet, and oh so miserable.  And when I got into the school playground this morning, my walking buddy told me she’d not be joining me on the morning excursion.  Damn it.  Noone to encourage me along.  And it’s so wet.  And my trousers are so long I need ot roll them up, but evrey few yards they roll back down again.  You can see the precidament.  There’s a lovely warm house two streets away.  Or there’s a muddy hill.

But today I decided I had no excuse.  The dog deserved a good walk.  I deserved a good walk!  So off we went.

I can’t tell you exactly what it is that has changed in me over the last six months.  I’m not an exercise bunny by any means.  But I have learnt over the last 3 years that ultimately it’s movement that is going to really help keep my body in the best shape possible.  And it’s how you feel after some movement of some sort.  All those endorphins zipping around, that comfortable exhaustion, that moment you can sit down with a cuppa knowing you’ve down something beneficial for yourself.   But 6 months ago I would have walked back home on a day like today, thinking of all the reasons why a walk up the hill is a bad idea, and how much better I’d be at home.  I’m surprising myself with my new attitude.  It’s not constant by any means, and it did stop two thirds of the way up the hill today.  But it’s a change.  And it’s these small changes that do make the difference.  Tonight I’m off for another session of zumba.  I loved it on Sunday, moving vigourously to fast paced songs, shaking my arse, wobbling my wobbly bits!  I can’t promise myself that I’ll keep up the zumba sessions, but I can enjoy it while it lasts, and see the benefits that come from it.

It’s January.  The month of resolutions.  But when those resolutions are so radical and ridiculous, we set ourselves up to fail.  Habits take time to develop, and they don’t have to be big and impressive.  Over time they can still have a big impact!  Often we may find the small changes can be habits we can keep up.  Good luck with your little changes, and enjoy looking forward to your big results!