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Thank heaven that’s over!

I know I am not alone in feeling like 2016 was like an awful, dastardly  cousin (twice-removed) who is never mentioned in polite company.  I am pleased to shed the year-that-was and feel somehow lighter now that I am faced with a blank slate new year.

2016 definitely had some great happenings, but I had a dreadful flare-up of my autoimmune disease which left me with little energy and a pile of unwanted weight. Yesterday, on New Year’s Eve I handed in my resignation at work.  I greatly enjoyed the job – and my colleagues – but my little family has 3 tricky years ahead and it felt like the right thing to do.

This year D will be taking two papers a semester to complete his theology degree, and working enough hours to support us financially.  It may seem counter-intuitive to quit a job, when our income will drop (more on that later) but it is a sensible decision for me.  D will swamped with assignments and exams, and won’t be able to be as hands-on with the children.  I am happy to pick up the slack, but being an HSP I need breaks, which my little job cut into.  Like many jobs in the non-profit sphere, I worked much more than my paid hours in order to deliver a first-class programme.  So this year I find myself instead with a few child-free mornings to myself as Chip is starting kindy, meaning it will be much easier for me to be ‘on’ the kids in the afternoons and evenings thanks to those breaks.

In 2018-19 D will begin an internship with a church and then be ordained as a minister.  Our income will drop significantly, but if you make mega-bucks as a church leader then there’s something wrong!  In anticipation of leaner times ahead we’ve decided to live off what D will make as an intern this year, and save the extra money he makes at his current IT job.  This will leave us with a good cushion.  In this spirit I will be resurrecting the Dollar Diet, so expect weekly updates on my frugal efforts.  These updates really do help to keep me accountable.

One thing I aim to stick to resolutely is throwing my hat in the No New Clothes for a Year ring.  As the main clothing buyer for our family, this means everyone.  I’m quite confident that my tots will have plenty of great clothes to see them through 2017, thanks to hand-me-downs and savvy bargains I nabbed last year.  I have a closet of great clothes I aim to fit back into, and I know I have plenty of outfits for any occasion.  And D?  He’s already got a hefty collection of novelty print t-shirts to keep him clothed until the next decade so he’ll be fine too.  If you want to use your resources more wisely or stop a shopping habit, the Facebook group you will find at the link above is a great source of support and encouragement.

Towards the end of the year I started to get a bit more vroom again, and I aim to stick to the Trim Healthy Mama plan to shed the weight I gained last year, and more hopefully!  I know the plan works.  I can’t really explain why I drifted off it last year other than my AI flare-up sapping my motivation, but I’m back in the saddle again.  I’ll also be using some of my free time to exercise by doing a mix of walking, running and HIIT.

We ended up ringing in 2017 with an impromptu, low-key BBQ.  It was lovely. Great weather, great food, superb company.  We had a toddler disco, complete with a countdown at the respectable time of 9pm.

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All set to party (note D’s famous ginger beer on the deck)

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Toddler chow (I can say with complete confidence that the wine did not belong to a toddler)

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J and Sausage invent a new type of lying down dance

I guess you could call my plans for 2017 resolutions, but to me it feels more like getting back into a good groove.  I’ve done all these things before.  I enjoy living this way.  2017 is going to be a great year!

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Trim Healthy Thursday: Pluses and minuses

I have not had a good couple of weeks doing Trim Healthy Mama.  As I don’t normally eat sugar, my birthday brownie had the usual results: fatigue the next day, an all-day headache that painkillers won’t fix, and a couple of weeks of spiked appetite.

I’ve been sooooo hungry and eating everything in sight, including carbs.  I upped my protein levels in the hopes that that would do the trick, but going three hours between meals has been impossible at times.  I just need to ride it out as my appetite will get back to normal soon.

I definitely won’t be indulging in anything sugary for a long, long time as it’s just not worth it.

I have been doing great at exercising daily (I mix up running, HIIT, and yoga) so my abstaining from NOT working out seems to be working as a strategy to form a new, positive habit.  My HIIT workouts have really helped my cardiovascular fitness – running is much easier.  I’m enjoying my early morning workouts, and actually look forward to them(!).  My BFF and I have set ourselves the goal of doing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in December, so I will be adding stair climbing to the mix in preparation.

I was asked what the monitoring sheet I mentioned last week looked like, so here it is:

My 'PA'

My ‘PA’

It has been really useful at nudging me in other areas of my life, like doing daily devotions and keeping on top of all our laundry.  As I said last week, if that all seems rather pedantic to you, it’s probably because it’s a strategy that won’t work for your personality.  I’m finding monitoring my habits closely sure as heck works for me.

I weighed myself the other day and the result number was still depressing.  I have lost about 8 kilos which I know is not to be sniffed at, but still.  I feel like it should be more.  However, today I went to a local department store called Farmers, as I had a gift card from last year’s birthday burning a hole in my pocket.  I needed to replace a pair of jeans that are too big for me (a nice problem to have) and was delighted to discover that I no longer fit the Plus Size range – I can fit the clothing in the ‘regular’ range.  If you’ve never had Plus Size clothing as your only option, you cannot comprehend what a big deal this is.

All of a sudden an abundance of clothing becomes available, in shapes and colours that are actually fashionable and flattering.  Plus Size clothing manufacturers seem to think that fat women are just dying to wear shapeless sacks that look like your Nana has attacked them with her bedazzler.  Seriously, I could go on about Plus Size fashion atrocities for hours, but I will stop here.

As it was, I left the store holding a pair of skinny jeans two sizes smaller than when I started THM, and from the ‘regular’ rack.  Awesome.

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Trim Healthy Mama Thursday: Week 2

I’m dashing off this post before I head to the airport so I’ll be brief.

It’s working.

I know I’ve been losing weight since quitting sugar again in January, but at the end of my second week I’ve noticed several things:

  • My appetite control is snapping back into action.  This could be just a result of being sugar-free for a while now, but I certainly feel sated after eating most THM meals, and haven’t needed any morning or afternoon snack in several days.
  • My clothes are definitely looser.  I know this because I have lost weight around my ARMS.  How random is that!  I put on a t-shirt that was always a little snug around the arms, and this time it fitted fine.  I’m more than a little bit excited about this because normally the first place I loose weight is my chest.  If my bat-wings are slightly reduced, I’m rather happy.
  • While I have had moments of tiredness (in fact I had to take a short power nap today as my son woke me up very early) my energy levels have been pretty stable.

I’ve tried several more THM recipes which all turned out to be both easy and yummy, and I even managed to get two runs in this week.  I have been waiting for my son to get into a morning time wake-up routine, but have given up and will just try and get out there as often as I can.  I am doing couch to 5k again, and plan to do strength training in between my running days.  Once I’m at 5ks I will be happy – no plans to run marathons here, just a desire for fitness.