The first week of WIA5

This post is going to be a little bit more on the revealing and oversharing side of things, bear with me. Here goes…

On 8 March, it became very real that the challenge is here. I had my health checks done on the morning of, and everything was in acceptable and healthy-ish range according to the nurse. I also passed all my health checks for our medical aid, which was fantastic news to my husband because my points bumped us out of what he calls “loser range.”

For my before and after photo’s, I handed all responsibility to my trusted photographer aka my wonderful husband. Looking at yourself with a different mindset to change your lifestyle and eating habits, really does open your eyes up to a lot of things. I became content with the way I looked and felt about my body after Tanielle’s birth, but honestly, there is most definitely major room for improvement. It really irratates me a lot when women use the excuse “but I had children.” Your child did not make you gain weight, you made yourself gain weight. That little human in your womb didn’t send you e-mails informing you to go sit in the drive-thru of a take-away chain and eat that greasy burger. No, you did that because you probably told yourself, “Ag it’s fine I’m pregnant I can indulge a little.” I’m not judging, I’m being realistic here. I am definitely not without fault here, in both pregnancies I gave in to the odd craving here and there and at Tanielle’s baby shower I ate my slice of cake as well as the cupcake thank you favour afterwards. But you cannot continuously blame your children for your poor diet.

This is what I look like after having two children. My body sure does not look like the 22 year old version anymore, but it isn’t going to stop me from having a new and improved version of what  I previously had. Save my soul…
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See, all bodies are different! My blog is here to mainly motivate mommies, because you really can be healthier in all aspects if you apply yourself. I never had the opportunity to be a fit mommy in my first pregnancy, my doctor instructed that I lay off the running because of my low lying cervix (which could have been detrimental to our Sesame at the time), due to it possibly causing bleeding. Therefore I had to be very mindful of what I ate, but I never starved myself. Ever. I only ate healthily (with the odd burger or ice-cream in between), and luckily after the morning sickness passed, fish wasn’t so nauseating anymore.

Here is an insight of what my first week of the challenge looked like:

Day 1 (Wednesday, 9 March):
I started the morning with my normal breakfast of oats, teaspoon of peanut butter, drop of honey and a splash of milk. And we shall not forget my cup of personality.

Off to gym I went after dropping Tatum off (I looked like 90% of the Mom’s that drop their children off at the Primary school across from Tatum’s school). I did a Grid Fit class and a 5km run and even had a fleeting thought that I might have this fitness thing down.

Dinner was our usual Wednesday meal of freshly prepared chicken strips (which are an organic, gluten free eaters dream) and baked veg.

Day 2 (Thursday, 10 March):
It was more or less the same as Day 1 and I went to gym again. I think my medical aid is having a small little heart attack, because I generally do two gym sessions a week, sometimes that’s all I do for the whole month, and here I am already on three for the entire week.

I received my diet and exercise program from Sarah, my personal online coach that was part of my prize from Well I Am and Inside Fitness Magazine South-Africa. I’ll see what my muscles feel like at the end of the week, but it really is something I have to apply my mind to shift to if I am going to achieve the goals I have set for this challenge. The headaches also started today, and I remember them from last years challenge. It is just a sign that my body is adapting to the healthier and cleaner eating as well as the increased physical activity.

Day 3 (Friday, 11 March):
Breakfast is a HUGE meal, it consisted of my oats minus the milk and honey. Cup of personality minus the milk and drizzle of honey, as well as yoghurt, a fruit serving and egg white omelette. This is the breakfast of champions it seems. Really battled to get everything down in one sitting, but into my mouth it went.

Dropped Tatum off, and off to the gym I went to go test out this exercise routine. Oh. Dear. My. Dignity. By the second exercise, everything was shaking. My legs were spaghetti and I was still supposed to go upstairs in order to do the goblet squats with a kettle bell. After the first two exercises I went upstairs to do the squats and halfway up, I had to stop on the platform just to compose myself. As I got into the room those very familiar voices in my head with their negativity started, and I was thinking that if I quit it will be okay. Because let’s face it, who will know? I will know, I’ll walk away with the shame that I failed to complete my exercises. Do you know what I did? I pulled horrible faces, but I pushed through them. Pushed through the burning muscles and I DID IT. All of it, each and every single exercise.

Dinner sucked a whole lot. Friday nights are our cheat night, and it will consist of anything from Italian cheesy goodness, or what normal people refer to as pizza or my version of Quesadillas. My husband had Nando’s for the sake of my sanity, and I had my diet meal.

Day 4 (Saturday, 12 March):
On Saturday’s my husband usually goes for a very long cycling route, so I spent the morning with the girls. I was rather stiff from Friday’s leg workout and could barely move and it felt like the universe was torturing me. It felt like the girls dropped each and single thing they laid their hands on, and of course mommy duties do not stop when you have stiff sore muscles. I completed my exercise routine except for one exercise, which I just did not have the physical capability to complete. Stuck it out with the diet, although I was highly tempted to cheat and have something sweet. Yet, I didn’t because at that point I went onto Facebook and saw a post from the Well I Am Facebook page with the following message “Junk Food you’ve craved for an hour or the body you’ve craved for a lifetime?Your decision.” I’m pretty sure I don’t have to tell you what my decision was.

Day 5 (Sunday, 13 March):
Sunday was a little tougher than I anticipated it to be. I had serious withdrawal symptoms from not having my usual weekend “cheat meals” and my husband had a big sit down with me and explained the ramifications of what dieting does to your mind. The amount of food that I am allowed to eat isn’t bad, it’s the calorie intake to create a deficit that was getting to me. So I had one teeny tiny potato wedge, stolen from my husband’s plate to just make me feel “normal.”

Day 6 (Monday, 14 March):
I was a bit scared of what will happen at work due to the ladies in our office having some questionable ideas relating to health and dieting. It went pretty well, I might have had one cup of coffee more than I should have but I stuck to my diet even after being offered a cookie with my coffee. It does feel a little weird cooking three different dinners every night. One for myself, one for my husband and the last being for Tatum.

Day 7 (Tuesday, 15 March):
Maybe this fitness does suit me after all. In regard to dieting, I almost had half a biscuit . Without thinking I took the biscuit that Tatum didn’t want and popped it into my mouth. Luckily my brain is still fully functional and at that exact moment it decided to tell me to not start chewing!

Day 8 (Wednesday, 16 March):
It was my day off, and I missed the gym so much I actually went and ran a 2km run. Maybe this fitness thing does suit me after all. I had dinner by myself as the husband had a training session to calculate some higher grade cycling equation that I am still learning about, and there was no cheating involved in my dinner. Just dinner as stipulated in my eating plan.

Overall the first week went pretty well! Apart from the headaches that are becoming a little more dull and the stiff (really stiff) muscles, I feel liberated that I have pushed my body and my mind so far and I am hoping for even better things for the rest of the challenge. Hard work and dedication will pay off. Six pack here we come!

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Tomorrow is the start of 100 healthy days

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Tomorrow officially marks the first day of a 100 healthy days. If you’ve missed what the hype is around these 100 healthy days, you can read my previous post “You might be a mom, but you are still you.”

I had my health screenings done today at Dis-Chem, which comes included in your basic entry. I’ll admit that I was quite scared of having my cholesterol tested, only because when I entered the challenge last year it was sky high! As in way above what it should be for someone my age. Scary scary high. I’d like to report that all checks that were conducted, were in acceptable and healthy range. I am incredibly relieved about this because I really do not want to use medication to lower my cholesterol but rather use alternative healthy ways like making healthier food choices to lower it.

I really am ready for this challenge this time around. Not because of the enormous cash prize, but rather because I want to take control of my lifestyle. I’m tired of being the blimp in my husband’s shadow (he really is the epitome of health, especially for his age). When December rolls around, I’m going to have a rocking body that I certainly won’t want to hide under any wraps!

If you still need motivation, go have a look at the Well I Am website at http://www.welliam.co.za

You might be a mom, but you are still you

For quite some time after Tatum was born it felt like I had morphed into just being a mom and wife. There was no identity anymore. The person I once was, was non existent. I was sleep deprived, my boobs ached, I’m pretty sure my perfume didn’t even cover any poop fumes that clung to me and the last thing on my mind was getting my body back into shape.

I was given the friendly advice, which I refused to take, to not have my nails done anymore as I “won’t have the time.” But that was the only thing that made me feel well groomed. I soldiered on and started losing weight because my graduation was in February and there was not a chance that I will be plump or have a mommy tummy. I lost enough weight to fit back into my size 28 jeans, with only a little bit of excess love handles.  At least my graduation outfit was perfect and I even had to tailor the pants a bit. High five for me!

Six months later, I found out that I was pregnant again. I wasn’t prepared for a second pregnancy at all. I wasn’t ready to give up my body again, I just wanted it to be mine for a little while longer.

Last year I heard about the Well I Am Challenge, which I did enter but never finished. My mindset wasn’t right, I had just been retrenched and I was raising two babies under the age of two.

However, this time around it hasn’t been all that easy losing the baby weight. The love handles are a little more apparent when I wear tighter than normal shirts or dresses. And it’s time for them to pack their suitcases and go on an extended holiday somewhere far far away. That’s why I grabbed the opportunity and took a chance and entered a competition to win an entry into the Well I Am Challenge as sponsored by Inside Fitness Magazine South-Africa.

On Monday myself and another lovely lady was selected as the two chosen winners. Amd believe me, this time around I am ready to kick this body back into even better shape than it was before. I have something to prove to myself, but it’s not just going to be a flash in the pan kind of change. These 100 healthy days are going to be a change for the better in order for me to be the best kind of example I can be to my two girls.

Bring on the 9th of March, I can’t wait for the challenge.
So for the mommy wondering how to enter this competition, you can have a look at the Well I Am website and sign up for the challenge. A basic entry will cost you R549, and it gets you an entry into the challenge, two health assessments at Dis-Chem and a goodie box full of spoils to get you on the way to a healthier you. If you like them on Facebook, they are having a Leap Year discount that will run until tomorrow and an entry will cost you R349 for all of the above.

DISCLAIMER: I have not been paid to write this post, nor am I being sponsored by any of the entities as mentioned in my post.

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Keeping the kids busy – Homemade clay

I’ll admit this much, after a long week at work all I really want to do is be lazy in my pajamas and forget that I actually have something like chores that need to be done. Well, when you have kids you can forget about it. Unfortunately we are not in the position where we have a close enough support system in Johannesburg to look after our kids for a little breather.So all entertainment and babysitting is left up to my husband and I.

For Valentine’s day the girls and I spent the morning at home, because husband was racing the Dis-Chem Ride for Sight Super Classic. Tatum woke up in a fine mood and the plan was for us to finish all shopping and chores before G gets home. However, that was merely a plan and it quickly fell through. The girls then had their breakfast and morning nap, and I decided to start drafting a few blog posts.

So this is what we did…

We made homemade, edible clay. I have got no idea how much you have to consume in order for it to make a little person sick. But I can confirm that Tanielle did have a few bites and she did not have diarrhea or vomiting.

Recipe:

1 Cup All Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup Table Salt

1 Cup Water

2 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar

1 Tablespoon Canola Oil

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Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a pot over medium heat. It will resemble smooth cake batter once everything is mixed together.Stage 1
  2. Cook over medium heat until the clay starts coming together. The recipe states that it will become a ball, however, mine didn’t. It looked almost as if the clay was starting to harden and form crusty bits.Stage 2
  3. Scoop the clay out onto a baking sheet or cutting board and leave for 5 minutes to cool down. Once cooled down, knead the clay until it becomes a smoother.
  4. Add food colouring or glitter to the dough and knead until colour is thoroughly mixed into the clay.
  5. Give to the kiddies to shape and mould!

 

Tips:

If you do not want your hands to look like you gave a Smurf a happy ending, please wear latex gloves.

Keep all food colouring out of reach from little ones sitting in the Bumbo chair, Tanielle looked like a vampire after getting hold of the red colouring.

Store the clay in an airtight container and it will keep for a week or two.

 

 

The embarrassment of the terrible two’s (Part 1)

This post is dedicated to the mom I silently judged in the Woolworths two or so years ago. I’m really sorry for judging you.

As I’m sitting here on the couch drinking my coffee (because green tea just would not cut it), I’m evaluating the hectic week we had.

Our kidlings are both at a very “difficult” stage of development. Tatum is currently at the terrible two’s and Tanielle is going through a milestone sleep regression. The terrible two’s sucks. It sucks big time. The terrible two’s will sap every last bit of your sanity from you. So let me not beat around the bush and tell you what this stage is like.

Somewhere in my search to gain my sanity back, I came across the following tip to survive the terrible two’s:

“Do not put your toddler in a situation that might cause a tantrum.”
Now, to the author who wrote this, here is my predicament…

Tatum has always been a very headstrong little girl. She will tell you immediately if something does not suit her. And she can be adamant.
Last weekend was terrible. I got the girls ready to go out on our weekly shopping trip  and let me tell you, every single situation erupted into a tantrum (By the way, the rest of the stores in South-Africa can gladly take a page from Woolworth’s book and remove all sweets and treats from their teller queues). In the first store we went to, Tatum wanted the coloured popcorn in the vegetable aisle. Who puts coloured popcorn with the vegetables???

Then we go down the cereal aisle. O. My. Word… “I want monkey cereal, I want monkey cereal.”
Do not attempt to reason with a two year old. I tried explaining that we have a full box at home, that isn’t even open yet. But, to no avail. Then it was time to pay. Look, I’m no saint when it comes to giving Tatum treats, but it is always within limit and never before she has had something decent to eat. Curse you Smarties, curse you. Tatum’s tantrum was so bad, that a teller asked me what I did to upset my child (Honestly now, do you think I pinch my child for fun to make her cry?).

I deserve a medal for not losing my bananas all over the store.

So on we go to the next torture chamber. I mean store. There Tatum decides that she does not want to sit in the trolley. No, little miss has to walk all by herself. So I allow her to, as I want her to develop her independence. Off we go to pay, and it’s the Smarties scenario all over again. My patience only lasts that long and it was taking a lot to keep my cool and not strangle Tatum right there in the store. I snapped halfway on our way to the last store of our shopping trip and I did the unthinkable. I spanked Tatum. The worst part is not that I spanked her, but that I spanked her out of pure frustration and anger. I just couldn’t handle the constant moaning and crying anymore.

So, to the mom I silently judged in the Woolworths two or so years ago, whom I vowed I’d never be. I would like to apologise. I was you a weekend ago, and I now know what it feels like. I’m so sorry.

A happy but crappy 2015

We have already entered the second month of 2016, the rat race is becoming more and more real.

However, for me 2016 hasn’t really started. The reason for this is because I had so much of 2015 that spilled into 2016. It has really stopped me from starting to really enjoy the new year.

Like most people I had all the intentions of having a better 2016. Happier and healthier with bigger and better plans. However, I couldn’t go ahead with 2016 as 2015 was still dragging me down.

You see, not all of 2015 was bad. Our second baby was born in April, we celebrated three birthdays and our first wedding anniversary. The bad parts were really bad and brought my moral down immensely.

I was retrenched during my maternity leave. And although this is kind of illegal in the current South-African Labour Law, there are quite a few ways of wriggling yourself out of it.

My case was referred at the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation Arbitration and Mediation) and I was hoping that it will be finalised at the very first meeting. Unfortunately the second meeting, which was Arbitration was only scheduled to take place late in January 2016. Needless to say, working for HR Practitioners made winning my case a little bit more difficult.
Remember how I said how there are many ways to wriggle yourself out of justifying why you retrench someone?  That’s exactly what my previous employers did.

I received the outcome of my case on Thursday evening, and I was upset. Really, really upset. Maybe pissed off is a better description of the emotions that I experienced.

You probably figured by now that I lost the case. And this is why I got upset:
1. As an HR practitioner myself, I really have lost all faith in the system I have believed for many years to be neutral and unbiased. I guess that’s not the case. Maybe more, how one party can bullshit the commissioner more OR perhaps it was a case of “who you know.”
2. I still love my field of work. But, my previous employers made me realise that I never want to be as unethical as they are. And they are part of the problem of why employees dislike the HR Department.

My husband made me realise a few things. I now have a job where I am appreciated, not where I am picked on continuously even if my work is 150% perfect. I don’t have to drive and sit in traffic every morning and every evening. I have the opportunity to fetch our oldest and talk to her about her day at school. I’m not missing out on her childhood anymore. And although I missed out on a lot during my pregnancy and didn’t enjoy my second pregnancy as I had my first. I now have the opportunity to spend an extra few minutes with my baby in the evenings.

I’d like to thank my previous employers for retrenching me. It was a blessing in disguise. My quality of life has improved so much more since I am no longer your employee. Therefore, thank you. Thank you very much. One day the wheel will turn.

I am now able to move on with my life and put the seven months I wasted for them behind me. I can only count this as a learning experience in my life and accept the lessons learned.

2016 can from now on only improve and move on to better, bigger and greater things.

The realisation

Like the most things in life, any invention or great discovery was sparked by an idea. My blog become just that, a thought the night our second baby was born.

You might think that this is a weird moment to decide to start blogging, but allow me to explain.

I have always been a creative. Not artsy fartsy creative, I never felt like I belonged with the creative’s at varsity. But I need something as a release in order to escape from the everyday.

The Easter 2015 long weekend started off with me and my bump off to the hospital for our weekly check-up. The plan was to go to church afterwards, but like most doctor’s appointments, the gynae was a bit behind schedule due to an emergency C-section.

So the Church plan fell through and we decided to have our fish lunch and I started unpacking boxes (yes, we moved into our new place two days prior). Unpacking boxes ended up me starting to nest and I could not sit still. But, do not for one moment think anything was ready for the arrival of our newest addition. No, her crib was still in a box, no clothes unpacked into the chest of drawers. NOTHING. On late Sunday afternoon we finally went to church. Well, my water broke after church. Good timing right? Not so much, but everything happens for a reason.

I was admitted to hospital on 5 April 2015, already dilated. I spent half the night alone in hospital, as much as I would have wanted my husband there, he had to go back home as our oldest was crying for him.

After spending another long lonely day in hospital filled with check-ups and walking up and down endless amounts of stairs. Nothing much exciting happened.

The gynae decided to give me magic tablets to quicken my labour and around 19:00 the nurses moved me to the delivery room. After one hour and fourty minutes of full on labour, our newest addition entered the world at 20:40. Naturally. No medication.

And this is where the idea was sparked. My body had just endured a lot. As I got out of the shower, I caught a glimpse of my “new” body.

It was far from the body I had as a 21 year old. It wasn’t firm anymore; in fact my tummy resembled cookie dough. Mushy and soft from stretching for 9 months. My breasts weren’t perky anymore. They had grown to the size of a small melon preparing to nourish my baby.

In that raw emotional state I thought to myself: “Your body might not look like that 21 year old anymore. But in your imperfections you are actually still perfect.”

My body had changed. My life had changed for a second time. I was a mother again.

And that’s when it really sank in.

Nothing will ever be the same again, and this journey is just going to become more interesting.

Image found here.