Monday, 3 June 2019

Stronger not skinnier.

For most of my adult life I have had an interesting relationship with food, with my body and with my mind.  So many of us do, am I right? My body is never something I have been proud of, I have never really made it a priority to love it and to take care of it.  Same goes for my mind really, I let it overthink and obsess far too much never really taking care of my mental health.

Growing up I learned the basics of nutrition and exercise but I don't think that our generation were really taught about taking care of your mind.  Mental health was something that was almost scoffed at.  The word, 'stressed' was banded around a lot but nobody really seemed to take mental health very seriously.

If you've come across my blog before or know me personally you will know that my mum has suffered with anorexia nervosa for most of her life and therefore I grew up witnessing her daily battles.  This disorder also meant that although she tried her best to protect us from it, I developed an unhealthy outlook on eating and my body image.  I have never been anorexic, it just meant that over the years I treated my body utterly disrespectfully and allowed my mind to tell me I was fat, ugly and unworthy.  This in turn meant that I was never motivated to learn about the ins and outs of nutrition and only ever exercised in the pursuit of a flat stomach.

By 2012 I was living alone and was well versed on surviving on Diet Coke, sweets, the odd block of cheese, cucumber and a few other things in between.  I loved all the 'bad' foods and would deprive myself all day long so that I could eat that pizza on Friday night with my boyfriend.  In my head I was surviving and fitting in size 8 clothes so all was grand.  Looking back my mood swings were horrendous, my self confidence was non existent and often all I wanted to do was think about food or sleep.

Falling pregnant in 2013 meant that I had to start taking better care of my body in order to grow our beautiful daughter.  I was hungry/ HANGRY pretty much ALL of the time and boy did I eat.  Finding Sam and having our daughter did stop me from abusing my body and I began to at least respect it for taking care of my daughter for 9 months and delivering her safely into my arms on December 31st 2013.

Again, if you know me or have read my blog before then you will know that I quickly fell pregnant with our son 3 months after having Posey.  This meant that getting my body ready for our wedding went out the window and again I focused on eating 'well' for our unborn child.  We were blessed with our little boy 9 months later but it meant that I absolutely hated myself on our wedding day and unfortunately struggle to look at most of the photographs that were taken on the day.  - I feel it is important to point out here that our wedding day was still one of the happiest days of my life, I married the man of my absolute dreams with our daughter by our sides and our son in my belly.

Fast forward to 2019... I have just turned 30 and my husband has recently started hitting it hard at the gym.  He has always been active but has become seriously motivated to eat well, nourish his body and train like a beast.  I am so proud of him but it also turns out I am quite competitive... so I started following him to the gym.

The gym has seriously awakened something inside of me (so cheesy i know but it is true).  At first I was absolutely terrible at it and attempting to work out having not had time to eat much at work or drink much water.  I found myself feeling inspired to train harder and make my body stronger.  I am motivated to learn more about food and nutrition.  I want to know about foods to improve my skin, my mood, my fitness and my energy levels.  I want to learn about HIIT sessions that can improve my stamina and my strength not that can make me 'drop a dress size' or gain a beach body within a week!

The shift in my mindset is honestly incredible I am less frightened of food and far more willing to learn about my body and take care of it.  Instead of cursing it and hating my IBS I am trying different ways to appease it.  Instead of reaching for alllll the Diet Coke to get me through the day I am starting my days with a hot lemon water and drinking so much water - now don't get me wrong I am still me and I still love Diet Coke but there are changes around here and I am bloody happy about them.

Do I love my body now?  - no, it would be silly to say that I do but I am working with it now and trying to take care of it.  I want to be a mum that my children are proud of and one that has energy and good mental health.  I love to train with Sam and I honestly think it is working wonders in our marriage and basically I am just a happier, more motivated person.

I actually think that this change will stick too -  going to the gym is now something I really look forward to, I am enjoying learning about nutrition and bringing our children along for the ride -  and look, I am motivated to write again so I must be onto a winner.

If you are looking to change and become more in tune with your body's needs and your mental health and sincerely recommend you look up Sarahs_day - she is an Australian holistic health blogger and YouTuber.  She is massively motivating and has so much knowledge to share with daft sods like me who really didn't know a thing about taking care of my body and mind.

side note: thank you Sam for also being massively motivating and supportive - not only does he big me up and support me but he also bought me an Apple Watch and air pods last week to show me how proud of me he is! I mean #husbandgoals or what?!

Sorry for such a long winded post - I am just feeling motivated and actually possibly maybe just a little bit proud of myself!

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, 31 May 2019

A little life update...

It's the end of May, how is it already the end of May?! ... I know it is a cliché thing to say but the past two years have literally flown.  We are coming up to two years of living in the Middle East and our lives have changed so much.

When we decided to move out here we made a pact that love it or loathe it, we would stick our two year contract out and then see where we were at and how we were feeling.  Now we are reaching that first set of goal posts and I am actually very proud of us.  We left our friends and family in search of a better life for our children and that is what we achieved.  I mean don't get me wrong the #expatlife is far from perfect but when I sit back and look at our daily lives now I am pretty impressed.

Here is a little round up of what makes me most proud;

1. We can afford to pay for our children's music, ballet and rugby lessons all on our own

2. We have been able to ignite a passion for travel in our children.  Before we moved here the most exciting trip Posey and Lochlann experienced was a ferry trip to Ireland for a family getaway with my lovely in-laws (which was lovely by the way) but in the past two years we've lived in Abu Dhabi, visited Copenhagen and Bali as well as traveling back to the UK! - Posey and Lochlann now have places like China and Italy on their bucket lists!

3.  Our children have friends from around the world.  They are getting to learn about and experience many different cultures.

4.  Not only has our marriage survived, I honestly believe it has now begun to thrive - it took time to settle and to get used to being with each other basically all the time but honestly now I think we are stronger and happier than ever!

5. We have started to take care of ourselves a little better - eating better, having a healthier mindset (me) and working out together at the gym.

When reading those things back they all seem pretty normal, mundane things, things that I am sure many people take for granted in their daily lives.  But they're not small things to me.  When our children were very small our family helped us to provide for our children and give them all they need and whilst there is nothing wrong with that - we wanted to be able to do these things for ourselves.
I hated the guilt of knowing I couldn't always afford things for our children - only holidaying in Wales because we were fortunate enough to use our family's caravan.  The children only wearing the nicest of the cheap clothes because that was all we could afford or them having things bought by our family - I was so grateful but I yearned to do things our way - to take them to places we wanted to visit and for them to wear or play with things that we had chosen for them.
I am struggling to put this across in a way that doesn't sound like I am totally only interested in the materialistic side of life but I just mean that I wanted to feel like we could do things for our little family all by ourselves.  I guess I wanted to show what we could achieve even though we got together quickly, got serious even quicker and became parents within 18 months of being official.
I wanted to show that Sam and I were strong together, that we were meant to be despite it all seeming so rushed.

I mean between 2011-2015 we got together, fell pregnant, bought a house together (with help from our parents), welcomed our daughter into the world, fell pregnant for a second time, got married, welcomed our son & then moved house AGAIN!

Fast forward to New Years 2017 and you found Sam and I in our beautiful detached four bedroom home, the home we stretched ourselves for in the hopes it would become our forever home.  Sadly we fairly quickly got bogged down in nursery fees and mortgages repayments.  We have some really wonderful family memories from our time in our house but I vividly remember sitting down together in the New Year just after Posey's and Lochlann's birthdays and deciding that something needed to change. We knew our home wasn't what we wanted for our forever home. We were sick of working our butts off for little pay off and money always seeming tight.  Something needed to change.  We wanted to made our children's lives fulfilled with two happy parents, family adventures and a little spare cash to make life easier and that is what moving to Abu Dhabi has given us.

We arrived with two toddlers, one still in nappies and 8 rather large suitcases.  Two years later we've had two successful years in our current school, our children have both started school and really love it.  Now we are getting our little family ready for our a new adventure in a new school.

                               Us not long after we arrived...

                                Our first trip to Dubai
                                Posey is 3 here and little L is only two
                              On a desert safari for Sam's birthday

How long we will be here?  - In honesty I don't know.  Sam and I stick to our decisions and see them through. Our new contract is for another two years therefore we will be here for at least that.  It gives us two more years to save money and will see us move to another part of Abu Dhabi with new places to explore.

I do worry about the children not experiencing their childhood in England surrounded by our family but the opportunities we can give them here mean that they can spend summers getting in that quality time and the rest of the year living where our weekends involve guitars lessons, the beach and trips to the pool.  We definitely couldn't say that when we lived in Warrington!

                                                            Us now...

I am aware this post has been a ramble fest and possibly doesn't even make much sense but as these first two years draw to close I wanted to get my thoughts down.  There are honestly still moments daily where I still cannot believe that this is where we call home.

I am so glad we started this adventure, I love my little family so much.

If you've reached the even of this long winded post then thank you. 🙏

Friday, 22 March 2019

New Hair | March 22nd

Just a mini little post about my little hair change!

I have literally had it trimmed and colored but the difference in the style has made all the difference.  I love it, I have had so many lovely comments from friends and people on instagram... I know its superficial but it feels nice to have a little boost sometimes doesn't it?! 

I had my hair done at Swish in Al Bandar at Al Raha Beach and I really like in there.  The salon is beautiful, has stunning views over the water and the girls in there are just lovely. 

The photos to come are also from a try on session in H&M that I did yesterday.  They have so many beautiful things in store right now, I could have spent a fortune! 

Hope you like my hair :) 

Thanks for stopping by,