Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Monthly Challenge: July

Happy last day of July everyone! I think I say it every post but WHERE IS THE TIME GOING?! Apologies for the late post today but I've been playing the Sims 4 recently, specifically, to do the 100 Baby Challenge. It may seem silly but for this months challenge, I wanted to what so many YouTubers have been trying to do.

The 100 Baby Challenge is where you have one matriarch that has 100 kids to 100 different men. You're not supposed to use cheats of any kinds BUT this is me we're talking about so of course I was gonna cheat. I created a sexy red headed vixen by the name of Addison Drake and the baby dance kicked off with an adulterous start when she conceived a boy with a married man. Two daughters followed next, also to married men but then we got twin boys to a single man. One more son to a married man and honestly, I was sick of having to meet new dads every few days. It was also getting frustrating that most of the men she was meeting, were married. That just complicated things. So I altered the rules once again and created a handsome bachelor named Cairo to come in and father the last 94 kids. So I'm not doing the challenge as it's supposed to be done but my word, it's still taking a life time to do.

I am two real world days into this challenge and my current children tally sits at a mere 26. Most of the time I use the random name generator and get some great results like:
Maverick, Lyric, Armani, Ezra, Forrest etc. I've named a few myself: Indigo, Hazel, Josephine etc. This challenge is definitely living up to its name and I tip my hat to all the YouTubers and fellow gamers who have managed to do it properly with no cheats and 100 different dads but honestly, I just don't have the time do it properly. I probably shouldn't have left this challenge so late into the month to start but I wanted to wait until Vala was away so I had a lot more free time to get stuck into it. Naturally, that means I haven't completed this months challenge but I am quite enjoying it. Guess I'll update you another day if I actually manage to make it to 100.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Monday, 29 July 2019

Summer holiday struggles

Good morning everyone. Monday is upon us and I definitely have the Mondayitis bug today. Not that I actually have to do anything that I'd normally do on a Monday, like the school runs, but I have a bad case of Mondayitis nonetheless.

We are on day three of Vala being away and I had said in a previous post that I wanted to be really proactive in terms of getting back to plan with my weight-loss and increasing my fitness etc but so far, I've not managed to do any of that. Not surprising. Saturday and Sunday it never stopped raining and since I've been dealing with the cold bug that Jordan gave me, I really didn't want to get outside in the rain. Today is mucu nicer; there's plenty of blue skies, the temperature is warm but I still don't want to go out. I just feel rough and really tired. Flynn being up is the only reason I'm awake right now. I think I'm sorta at the tail end of this cold now but still just rough enough that I want to stay in bed and sleep all day. I haven't slept well all weekend. Including last night, where I came to bed at 9pm because I was shattered but then didn't fall asleep until about 2am and then woke periodically between 2am and 4:30am. Jordan then got up at 6am for work which woke me as well, so today I'm feeling very tired and I do just want Flynn to go nap so that I can nap too.

I said today I'd get back on plan diet wise as well and stick to food optimising but I'm so tired right now that I can't even be bothered to do that. I just want toast and coffee right now and I'm not in the mood to cook a big lunch at all. I also really want chocolate right now. I've been craving a Milky bar since last night. I said that when I started back on the Slimming World plan, I wanted to try and go at least two weeks without eating chocolate. I can have chocolate on Slimming World but it's my trigger food. I've been a chocoholic for as long as I can remember and I couldn't ever just have a little bit. So if I'm going to over-indulge every time I have chocolate, I'd rather just allow myself to have it every other week or once a week or whatever. That's not a Slimming World rule, it's a me rule. I'm trying to have some self control.

So yeah, I'm supposed to working hard and focusing on my diet and exercise but I am already struggling. Not sure if it's the cold I'm fighting off or if it's a case of the holiday lazy's but yeah, I'm knackered, feeling lethargic and I just want to stuff my face with white chocolate before going back to bed. I am going to try and get out for a walk with Flynn later though; after his nap. Hopefully the weather holds out.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Friday, 26 July 2019

Goodbye Vala

It's finally Friday but I'm not feeling as cheerful as I thought I would. For right now, we're in the car on the way to Vala's dad.

We try and send Vala down to either her Nanna's or dads place during the holidays but during the Summer holidays she goes to both. That means we're not going to see Vala for 16 whole days starting from today. Obviously we'll video call her but I won't get any of my favourite Vala cuddles and I'm going to miss them. Normally, I'm looking forward to sending her away for a week because it gives me a little break from her teenager attitude and temper but she's been so good this week and I've been so happy and proud of her that I'm not looking forward to her being gone for so long. I genuinely feel sad sitting in the car right now. I'm going to miss her so much!

I'm trying to focus on the positives though. Less stress for the next 2 weeks and I vowed to go hard and heavy on the exercise and dieting. I also want to try and work on my novel some more too. I've even got my netbook with me in the car to work on it a little during this 6 hour round journey but it does have limited charge unfortunately. Anyway, 2 weeks without my beautiful Vala Bug. Here's hoping it goes by quickly and productively.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Vala's last day of reception.

The time has come to say goodbye,
Each day has been filled with fun,
Always extremely busy,
But our time together is done.
We have read such a lot of stories,
And sang many a different song,
From start to finish, so many different weeks,
What an adventure we've been along.
Going home covered in paint,
Or being top to toe in mud,
The endless choice of activities,
Has simply been so good.
But now the time has come,
We really must say goodbye,
Onto your next adventure,
I must let you spread your wings and fly.

Happy and bittersweet hump day everyone! This was the poem I received from Vala on her last day of reception. It's about her teachers saying goodbye and her moving on to the next year. I know it's just a generic poem, given to all the kids but yet it still feels so personal and it's broken down to tears. I knew today was Vala's last day and that she wouldn't have these teachers again, but seeing the words "The time has come to say goodbye", "our time together is done" and the last line of "I must let you spread your wings and fly" just broke me down to this blubbering mess. It just feels so final, like she'll never see them again.

She has done so well this year and her school report was glowing. She's grown so much and learned so much and my heart is full of pride. I can't thank her teachers enough; Miss Martin, Mrs Smith and Miss Bingley for everything they've done for Vala this school year. I had really hoped to get a photo of Vala with her teachers, just like I did on her last day of nursery but sadly all three where in various locations as the students were allowed to come home early due to the heat today. Pick up was madness and I didn't even get chance to personally thank her teachers for all the time and care they took with Vala. We gave them all presents this morning on behalf of Vala and myself but I really wanted to personally thank them when things weren't so hectic. Miss Martin especially as she worked ao hard with Vala and accommodated for her Delayed Processing in her lessons. Vala made so many wonderful memories and many new friends this year and whilst we're sad the classes have been split for the next school, both Vala and I are excited to see what the new class, new teachers and new friends will bring for her. Goodbye Diamonds 3 class. Hello Summer!

Monday, 22 July 2019

Getting ready

It's Monday again! What a Monday it is as well; 26 degrees and glorious sunshine today. It is so warm and bright outside that I'm not wanting to spend much time in the house. I've got the school run to do soon but I wanted to try and get today's post out quickly because once Vala is home, we won't be spending much time inside.

This week though, is seeing me getting ready for the weeks ahead. Vala finishes school this week and is then off to her dads for a week, followed by her Nanna's for a week. We'll be Valaless for two whole weeks and in that time, I've made the vow to really push myself hard(er) to achieve some good weight-loss results. I'm hoping to get to the pool with Flynn twice a week and since Vala won't be home, I can pretty much do what I want whenever I want. There a days where I can't bring myself to Zumba because I ALWAYS have to shower afterwards and if it's too close to school pick up time, I won't even attempt it. With no morning school run either, I can take my time in the morning and have a proper breakfast where I can sit down and eat it slowly. I can then take the day at a leisurely pace and go for longer walks whenever I feel like it. Opposed to rushing out the door, doing the school run then walking to the shop and back quickly so I'm home in time for Flynn's morning nap. It's only two weeks that Vala is gone but I'm hoping to really utilise that time and be more active and eat better while she is away.

Once Vala is back though, we have a lot already planned with trips to the seaside, a trip to visit our friends who just had their baby, a weekend trip to visit my aunt/uncle/cousin and multiple play dates with Vala's school friends already pencilled in. We're going to be kept pretty busy and been out and about will keep me from overeating or eating the wrong foods. I'm hoping I'll find it easier to keep to my syns but then again, it can be difficult when doing long drives. Still, I'm feeling really optimistic about the two weeks Vala is away. I just need to push myself harder than I have been doing and to finally get back on plan. I'm heavier than the last time my aunt/uncle/cousin all saw me so I was desperate to lose a few kilos before our trip to see them. Hopefully that trip will be the driving force behind my motivation whilst Vala is away.

I'm pumped! I'm excited! I'm anxious to get started and I'm genuinely looking forward to the summer holidays now. Bring them on!

Until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Friday, 19 July 2019

Self-Help

It's Friday! Friday! Gotta get down on Friday! Remember how bad that song was? Yet, we all still think of it whenever someone mentions it's the last day of the working week (for some). It still pops into my head most Friday's if I'm totally honest. We've got a bit of a jam-packed weekend ahead of us with Vala having both swimming lessons and a birthday party tomorrow, my best friend staying with us all weekend and probably a family outing on Sunday. Better be kept busy than to sit around the house bored all weekend though. Despite all that fun we've got ahead of us, I am also planning on squeezing in some "self-help me time".

Last post I mentioned that I have some deep-rooted psychological issues that are causing me to sabotage my efforts and preventing me from moving forward. I also said that ideally, I should go to a therapist but that the practicality of doing that causes quite a few stresses. That is primarily because of the kids. Obviously, I can't take them into the sessions with me so I would need someone to watch them. Some days Vala might be at school, but depending on session times, it could clash with school pick up. I would need someone who could watch the kids and that's the problem because we have limited people who could watch them and all those people, have full time jobs. Jordan's mum works 12 hour shifts, his step-dad works 2 hours away and even Jordan's irregular shifts are so hard to swap, he totally missed my birthday last year because he couldn't get a shift change. We have looked at options but as I know from past experience with my ex, CBT sessions are rarely ever at the same time on the same day each week. My ex also had no control over when his sessions were, they were simply when his therapist could fit him in. So I'd have maybe less than a week to try and get family to change shifts or whatever so they could babysit. Again, some of you are probably thinking "why not just get childcare" and two main reasons: Money and Vala. I'm not even going to pretend we're well off financially, so childcare would just be adding another cost onto our bills. We almost live month to month as it is. I'm lucky enough to be able to put aside £100 into savings each month, childcare would take that saving away and we would be living month to month. This is one reason why Jordan is looking for better paying work. Secondly, of course would be Vala. If my session was 3pm-4pm, obviously that is going to cause issues with the school pick up and I would need to arrange someone to go collect her. Basically asking people to switch their shifts again. It's just complicated and stressful and honestly not an option for me at this time.

Having said and explained all that, I have still been looking at my options. I have been looking at online CBT which allows me to correspond with a therapist either via e-mails or phone appointments and they give me worksheets to do each week. That has been a little frustrating because it seems different places in UK have different online services. As I said last post, I found a great one which I do all online and can have one on one time with a therapist any time I want; but it wasn't available in my area. There is one available in my area but they still want you to actually come in for sessions. If I could easily do that, I wouldn't be looking into online CBT in the first place. I'm still looking though and in the meantime, I have picked up this book titled 'The Little CBT Workbook". It was recommended for people who are waiting to start CBT and for those who have recently finished it. The reviews I read for it were pretty good so I ordered it and it arrived yesterday. As per the books instructions, I am reading it slowly. Sometimes reading certain parts multiple times. I've also done two of the exercises in it so far. I'm taking my time with it and I'm taking it seriously. I know it's not going to "cure" me or fix all my problems but it's me actively trying to take a step in the right direction. There's no point sitting in the mud while I wait for the right time to seek therapy to come along. This is simply the first step of many; hundreds even. I know it is a long road ahead of me and I can't possibly do it all on my own but at least I'm proving to myself and the people around me that I do want to get better; I do want to change. Jordan's very proud of me for picking the book up and for how honest I was in the exercises. It's only been one day but honestly, I woke up today feeling more positive than I normally do. I know it's because I'm actively taking steps now. Just taking that first step, no matter how small it might be, has been enough to make me feel remotely good about myself today. I know deep down, that I'm going to get better. There's a fire burning inside me today and I'm gonna keep fanning it to keep it alive.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Brain Farts

Happy hump day ladies, gents and individuals of the internet! I hope the week is treating you well. The weekend is fast approaching, we just need to hold out a few more days. Now, I'll be totally honest, actually sitting down to write this post today has been harder than it should be due to a series of brain farts I seem to be having lately - and they're affecting multiple aspects of my life.

If you were to ask me what I really want to achieve right now, I'd tell you that I want to lose weight and finish my novel. They are the two biggest things I want to accomplish. However, I keep sabotaging my weight-loss and I keep putting off working on my novel and it's been frustrating me because I don't know why.

Recently, while reading the latest issue of Slimming World magazine, I read about a woman who identified an underlying, deep-rooted psychological issue that was the cause of her weight-gain and also the reason she wasn't losing weight. That got me thinking, what is my under-lying issue? Why do I keep sabotaging my weigh-loss efforts? Why is it so much harder for me to stick to a single, easy to follow plan, compared to others on the same journey? I started trying to find methods of self-help to try and get to some sort of resolution. Ideally, I should go to a therapist and undertake CBT but there's a whole of stresses that comes with that, so to start I was hoping to find online CBT that I could do myself. I did find something that would have been perfect but unfortunately it's only available to people living in a very specific place in the UK, which evidently, I don't live in. I've not managed to find something that works for me yet but I'm still looking. In the meantime, things like working out, eating better and working on my novel have become a lot harder. It's almost like the moment I came to the conclusion, there must be a deep-rooted issue that needs addressing, that my brain just shut down. I cannot sit down and work on my novel and I cannot workout because these brain farts occur.

The other day, I had planned to workout with my kettlebell and do a short Zumba session. The moment I walked into the living room, everything shut down. My whole body went lethargic, I felt zapped of energy, my mood dropped and worst of all, my brain completely fogged over. I don't remember moving from the doorway to my pc or loading up World of Warcraft. I just suddenly went from standing in the doorway, planning on getting my kettlebell to running around in Azeroth within the space of five minutes. Once I was in WoW though, I couldn't leave so to speak. My mood had dropped so dramatically and I felt so tired and so lethargic that I didn't want to do anything. It's not a gaming addiction or anything because I autopilot to other things as well. When I want to write, I usually gravitate towards my bed or the sofa and just watch youtube videos about anything. I don't know why. My brain just farts up a fog cloud and I end up doing anything but the things I wanted to. This literally started after trying to find some self-help methods to get to the root cause of my psychological issues. It's like the issues have installed a self-defence mechanism within my brain, that prevents me from actually being productive. It has made things a lot harder but honestly, it's just making me more determined. The more someone or something tells me I can't do something, the more likely I am to try and do it. I've always been stubborn like that. I know there is a deep-rooted demon that is fuelling my low self-esteem and self-loathing and I'm going to find it, evict it and get my frikken weight down and my book finished. I know deep down, there is a part of me that can do this and I just have to get through these mental blockers. These brain farts stink and they need to stop.

This new mental battle will be a work in progress so watch this space and witness me make this psychological demon, my bitch!

Until next time,
Alli xo

Monday, 15 July 2019

"Beach" Fun.

Happy Monday everyone! We're at the half way mark through yet another month and I hope everything is going well in your lives. As per usual, our family has its up and downs but yesterday we had a pretty big up. We did something that made everyone happy and everyone being happy during a family outing is rarer than a blue moon.

Yesterday, we took the kids to the man-made beach in the town centre. It opened last Friday and will run until the new school term starts in September. We take the kids every year but this year, Flynn was able to appreciate properly and so could Vala. Both kids made a B-line straight for the "ocean" pool and despite that fact it wasn't heated water, they both had so much fun splashing about and getting soaked! A year ago, Flynn hated the water and would scream any time we gave him a shower or a bath but now he has become such a water baby that he screams when we get him out the water now. He was very much in his element playing in the pool. He wasn't too happy about coming back out of it but the joys of playing with sand soon grabbed his attention. He was covered head to toe in sand and enjoyed crawling through it. Vala had managed to make a friend and the two of them built sandcastles beside us while Flynn stuff sand covered chips into his mouth and Jordan and I enjoyed some very delicious BBQ burgers. The weather wasn't the sunniest or the warmest but it was still really pleasant to be out in. It was about 19 degrees, overcast with a cool breeze but in a way that made it feel more like a genuine beach with the sea air cooling you down on warm days. The kids were both free to do whatever they wanted without the worry of time constraints or many rules and it wasn't long until Flynn was taking Jordan by the hand and leading him back towards the water whilst I stayed with Vala making sandcastles. We stayed at the artificial beach for about an hour and a half before venturing just outside it to the rides.

First, Vala accompanied on a grown ups ride that she both enjoyed and was a little scared of. It's a ride that spins around whilst bouncing you up and down. She would cheer excitedly but as soon as the big bounces came, the small amount of air we were getting was enough to make her think she was falling out. She was very brave though, in my opinion. After that, she took Flynn on his first ever ride. Every year when we visit the beach in town, Vala always goes on this same ride. It's just little cars being led along a looping track by a train. Usually Vala wants to be in the pink Barbie car but yesterday she wanted to lead the pack in the train and she and Flynn sat together and chugged the train around the tracks. Flynn loved the ride so much that he had the first and only (minor) tantrum of the day. In his defence though, he was shattered. He'd tuckered himself out with all the running, swimming and sandcastle destroying. He fell asleep cradled in Jordan's arms as Vala went on her third and last ride of the day. With Flynn fast asleep on Jordan, we knew it was time to call it a day and come home. We grabbed Vala a quick rainbow slushy before we set off and then walked the long trek back to our car. Poor Jordan's back was killing him by the time we reached the parking lot. Once the kids were back in the car, Jordan gave me a huge hug. Normally when we go out for family trips, one or both kids gets stroppy, acts up or throws a tantrum and I usually end up getting really stressed dealing with it all and I never get to enjoy the "fun" day that I plan out for us. Yesterday though, I finally got to enjoy a family trip out along with the others. Everyone had a good time and Jordan's hug was his way of telling me that he was happy to see that I was happy and that I got to enjoy the day. I know stress-free family days are rare so I savoured every moment of the day and captured many beautiful photos. Like Flynn, I tuckered myself out and fell asleep in my computer chair for 30 minutes after the kids had gone to bed. It really was a great day and I hope we can have more days like them in the future.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Friday, 12 July 2019

Awesome things are happening today.

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE! I'm writing that in all caps because today seriously is an amazing day. So many good things have happened and it's not even 1pm yet.

Firstly, I woke up to one of my closest friends announcing that his wife had gone into labour. Their little man isn't even due until the 30th but just after 10am, they were on their way to the hospital. Whilst being glued to Twitter for updates, I had an Amazon parcel be delivered which contains multiple presents for the kids for their birthdays and Christmas. Shortly after that arrived, a Twitter update simply said "He is nearly here, very close now." I start squealing with excitement and could barely keep still. That's when I heard the post be delivered. Not expecting it to be anything important I took my time to go get it but when I picked the two letters that had come through the door, up off the floor, I could feel a small plastic card in one and a small passport sized book in the other. My heart jumped and I raced back upstairs to open the letters but before I could, there was another Twitter update... little Logan had arrived. At 11:56am, he entered the world. Proud dad literally posted the birth announcement 2 minutes after Logan was born and shared a photo of him on his mums chest. I honestly started crying with happiness. I was bouncing up and down in the chair, wiggling with giddy joy as the tears filled my eyes. I am so unbelievably happy for my friends and I so cannot wait to see them, give them both massive hugs and to give Logan so many snuggles.

I was so caught up in the announcement of Logan's birth that I totally forgot the two letters on my desk. Once I calmed down though, I opened the passport letter and thankfully my passport did make it back in one piece. I then nervously opened the second letter. I could feel there was a plastic card in there but still a teeny part of me was worried I was about to open a rejection letter. Thankfully that wasn't the case and I have in front of me, my first ever drivers license. I never learned to drive in Australia and never even went for my learners permit so to have this provisional drivers license in my hand right now, is a major first for me. I am so happy that my application wasn't rejected and now I actually have a UK drivers license. This mean I can now apply for my Australian birth certificate, which later means I can apply for student finance and start studying next year. The first step has been ticked off and I can now move onto the next one. Things are starting to come together and honestly, today I am feeling on top of the world. So much good has happened in such a short amount of time today that I haven't even gone and weighed myself yet today. I'm expecting to maintain this week and honestly, I'm ok with that. I am too happy right now for anything to bring me down. My friends are parents, Logan is here and he's healthy, my drivers license arrived.... like seriously, today is a bloody good day! I feel so happy right now.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Fitness sessions on my mind

Happy hump day everyone! Amazingly, I've managed to get a blog post out on time! Crazy, right? At first, I didn't think I had anything to really blog about but I've had a few things moseying around in my noggin and figured I'd get them out in the open and on record.

So, I've been looking at my fitness situation and the walking is going well. I mean, I smashed my 25 mile walking challenge last month and snagged that sweet medal and I've already made great strides into my 50 mile challenge this month. However, in order to effectively lose weight, I need to step things up a notch. So, while I was thinking about what I should add to my fitness list, my local leisure centre posted that starting on the 26th of the this month, they're holding "Sweaty Mama" classes. That is an exercise class that you can take your baby/toddler/pre-schooler to and work out with them. That screams perfect for me! I can go get a proper workout without having to worry about who's going to watch Flynn. I'll be holding him in my arms whilst working the pounds off. I'm so pumped to get involved but I'm not sure if I can do it straight away. They say you book in 6 week chunks (1 class a week for 6 weeks) so presumably, like with Vala's after school football, you start on selected dates and if you miss one start date, you have to wait for the next. I could be wrong about that but it is something I will have to go find out about because unfortunately for me, the 26th is the same day that we're taking Vala down to her dads. Now, if the class was in the morning, it wouldn't be an issue, I'd go and workout and then we'd drive to her dads (which is 3 hours away, one way) afterwards. But no, the class runs from 1pm-2pm. By the time I got home, showered, dried and dressed, we probably wouldn't be setting off until sometime around 3:30pm-4pm. With the distance, that would see us getting home around 11pm at night; if we didn't stop along the way. So, basically the 26th is out for me. I'm hoping I could just start the following week but again, I feel like they're going to be 6 week chunks that you can't just come and go from. If that's the case, I'll have to wait until September 6th for the next round of classes.

I suppose I can wait if that's the case. In the meantime, I am seriously looking at swimming. Maybe not, proper laps or anything to start with but instead, taking Flynn swimming whenever they have free-for-all swims or parent and toddler swims. Just getting in the water and paddling up and down with Flynn is a small step up from just walking. Especially if I walk to the pool with Flynn and then home again afterwards. The only problem with that is finding somewhere safe to store the pram. There's a lot of fiddly details like that, that I'd have to work out but at least while Vala is away (which is for 2 weeks), if I try and go to the pool any time they have a free-for-all or parent and toddler class, I could end up swimming with Flynn 5 days a week. Of course, this is me we're talking about so I hardly doubt I'll go to the pool 10 times in two weeks but realistically, I'd like to get to at least one parent and toddler class and one free-for-all swim each week. To start with at least. Working things out in my head and if I do the swimming and the Sweaty Mama class when it's available to me, then I'd be at the leisure centre on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Combining all that with the walking and fingers crossed it could help give me that little extra boost to my weight-loss. If it does and my confidence starts to increase, I'll probably try and up it to either an Adults Only swim on Wednesdays or a Aqua Circuits class on Mondays. Either way, it's me trying to take a step in the right direction to lose more weight. I keep shying away from my weight-loss journey, probably because of some unresolved psychological issues, but it's well and truly time that I step up and give it my all. I owe it to myself and my family to be the best possible version of myself that I can be. I'm both excited and totally terrified of taking this next step. So, err...wish me luck!

Until next time,
Alli xo

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Slimming World Update.

Hola friends, I'm going to try and keep this short and sweet seeing as this post was supposed to come out yesterday but instead Friday's post came out in place of this one. I'm bad with schedules. Anywho, here's a quick Slimming World update for you all.

Firstly, my weigh-in on Friday was quite an eye opener. I didn't think I'd done anything to lose weight over the week and expected another gain, or at best, to maintain but to my very pleasant surprise, I'd dropped 0.5kg! I didn't think the result was right at all so weighed myself multiple times. I even took a photo of the result and sent it to Jordan at work because I couldn't believe it. The only conclusion I could draw was that the weather was responsible for my weight loss. With it being so much warmer, I've been guzzling down more water and sweating more. I can only assume what I lost was a bunch of water weight. I'm still counting it as a win though, water weight or not.

Also, I achieved my silver Body Magic award which is 90 minutes of exercise a week, spread out over at least 3 day, for 4 consecutive weeks. Getting my silver award was a teeny motivation booster and I've started working towards getting the gold award (150 mins a week, spread over at least 5 days for 8 consecutive weeks). This means that I've decided to renew my Slimming World membership at the end of the first 12 weeks. I like having this little goal to work towards. I know its just a logo on a screen but as anyone who's ever played World of Warcraft with me will tell you, I'm an achievement whore. I have to get the achievement no matter how pointless it might seem. They make me feel good and accomplished for a brief period of time. Working towards completing an achievement is usually the most focused and motivated I get. So the Slimming World membership is staying in my life for a couple months more. Here's hoping for another good result this week as well.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Monday, 8 July 2019

Vala's Sports Day 2019

Hi all! Sorry again for missing yet another post. This is the one that was supposed to come out Friday, however I was out the entire day and obviously, never got time to sit down and write it but here we go...

Friday was Vala's second ever Sports Day at school. It should've been her third but last years was cancelled due to heat. This year they also had less races for the kids to do despite splitting the classes sports days over 2 days this time. Vala's first year they had 5 races with every class from reception (3 classes) and year one (2 classes) taking part. This year the year one joined the year twos on Thursday leaving just the three reception classes on Friday. Despite less kids, they still only did three races. A normal running race in which Vala came second last but still ran like an absolute champion. They also had an egg and spoon race which Vala came fourth in and only dropped the egg twice. Most of the other kids in her race held the egg on the spoon and ran with it, therefore just running a normal race but Vala and the few that finished after her all ran the race properly; balancing the egg on their spoons. It was only the final race; the balance a bean bag on your head race, that Vala "cheated" at. I don't think the kids understood the concept of balance as 95% of them, Vala included, all held the bean bags on their heads and ran with them. Vala came in second during that final race and was so proud to show off the awesome stickers she'd got from each race. I was proud of her too. I didn't care what place she came in, so long as she showed good sportsmanship and had fun. Vala can be a very sore loser so it was good to see that she had fun and didn't have a strop when she didn't win.

After all the kids had run their races (of which Flynn really wanted to join in with), the teachers held a couple bonus races for us. The first one was a toddler race where all the little ones who'd been patiently watching, could have a go. I thought it was perfect for Flynn who'd been wanting to run about so much. I got him to the start line and he threw a paddy! He didn't want to move. We got a few steps passed the line and then he just went dead weight on me and sat on the ground. I gave him a bit of encouragement and waited to see if he'd get back up and follow the other toddlers and their mums who were cruising off ahead but he was having none of it. So, in the end, I had to pick him up and carry him to the finish line. Naturally, we came in last (5th) but he still got a 3rd place sticker. After that they had a dad's race and then a mums race. I didn't participate in the mums race though as I felt doing the toddler race was enough for me.... mainly because I didn't have to run it. Maybe next year, if I manage to shed quite a few pounds, I'll feel brave enough to try joining in the mums race. We'll see though.

To celebrate Vala doing so well and because the weather was so amazing, we spent the afternoon/evening at the park and treated the kids to McDonalds. This is why we got home so late and why I didn't get the post out on time. I plan on putting "todays" post out tomorrow for you so I'm back on schedule.

Until tomorrow,
Alli xo

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Little positives.

Happy Thursday everyone! Also, happy Independence Day to any American readers. As promised, a little post today to make up for the lack of one on Monday. Still trying to get my head around the fact the week is nearly over already but whatever, I'll get there eventually. In light of all the stress and negativity (stemming from myself) that's been circling around me lately, I wanted to take a brief moment to reflect on the little positives that have been shining through my grey clouds.

Firstly, Vala got her Year 1 class placement the other day and yesterday had her transition day. She moved up to her new class for half the day and absolutely loved it. She likes her new teachers, has a bunch of her friends with her (including her best friend) and she loves her new classroom. I'm really happy that she's happy and that her and her best friend have been kept together. They've been together since the first day of nursery and have developed a close bond which is lovely to see.
The next little positive is that my Race at your Pace medal arrived this week! It's bigger than I expected it to be but it's beautiful and I love it. I wore it around the house the other day and have the certificate that came with it, on my desk. I've started the 50 mile challenge this month and I'm eager to complete it so I can get another beautiful medal to feel proud about.

On the boys front, Flynn is still his usual cheeky, mischievous self but he is learning more and and more each day. He is starting to identify parts of his body and can now accurately point to his belly button and nose when asked. He has also started singing more and the house is often filled with the sound of his loud voice. I wouldn't have it any other way. Jordan is pretty much the same as he always is but he did apply for a new job which is a plus. We're still waiting to hear back about a potential interview but I am still proud of him for applying. Applying for new jobs makes him anxious as he, like me, doubts himself and his abilities and never feels like he'd be good enough for the job. So the fact he found the strength within to throw his name into the hat, is a big positive that deserves recognition.

There has been a lot of stress on my mind lately and my mood definitely hasn't been great but I know that as long as I keep an eye out for them, little positives are all around me. My family are my little rays of sunshine that get me through dark days. I love them all so much and I'm really happy to see them all doing so well.

Until next time,
Alli xo

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Slip, stumble, crash!

Hello everyone! It's hump day already and I am very sorry that I missed putting a post out on Monday but in my defence, my sense of days is way off at the moment. Vala had inset days on both Friday and Monday, meaning she had a four day weekend and Jordan was off work both Monday and Tuesday. I got turned around so much that I honestly thought Monday was Saturday. I also assumed yesterday was Monday when Vala returned to school. However, I'm all caught up now, I know what day we're on and I plan on putting out a post tomorrow to make up for the absence of one on Monday.

However, short post today just to touch base on how my Slimming World progress is going and in one word....bad; it's going bad. I slipped off the wagon, stumbled to find my feet but crashed hard onto the ground. Without even meaning to, I reverted back to my old habits and pretty much having kept to plan for the last week and a half. I usually allow myself a cheat day on Saturdays (the day after my weekly weigh-ins) and that pretty much just consists of me not counting my syns that day. I don't go all out, stuffing my face with everything that's bad for me, I just don't monitor myself and just have an anything goes kinda day. However, cheat Saturday carried into Sunday and then Monday and then Tuesday and before I knew it, it was Thursday and I hadn't tracked my syns or eating Syn-free/low-Syn meals and I'd reverted back to skipping meals (mainly lunch) and snacking. As a result last Friday's weigh-in saw me gain 0.2kg which bummed me out but also didn't surprise me. I vowed to be better this week but again, my sense of time has been so warped that I ended up having cheat Friday-Tuesday. I've got two more days until weigh-in and if I knuckle down today, hopefully I can prevent any further weight gain and maybe even get a maintained result. I've stocked back up on syn-free speed foods like blueberries, spinach, strawberries etc and have some Slimming World frozen ready meals to have for lunch. I want to get back on track because I'm seeing family in a month and a half from now and the last time they saw me, I was 14 weeks pregnant with Flynn and also 7kg lighter than I currently am. I want to get as close to the same weight I was when they last saw, as I can before I see them next month. With how my track record has been going with weight-loss, I'm not feeling overly optimistic but I need the kick in the backside. Hopefully this visit will be that boot for me.

I have decided though that once my 12 week membership with Slimming World is up, I probably won't renew it. Not because I don't want to continue on with Slimming World, but because I'm not really utilising the website or engaging with the online community. I'll continue to track my syns and eat a Slimming World diet but I don't see much point in paying £20 a month for an online food planner. I'll just print out some recipes and keep going on my own. Of course, I might change my mind in the next six weeks (when my membership ends), but for now I don't see much point continuing with my paid membership. Hopefully though, I can knuckle down and show much better results in the next six weeks than I have in the previous six. I just gotta stay strong and not quit on myself. Gotta kick myself into proper action. No more talking; doing!

Until next time,
Alli xo