The Loveliest Day.

Last Sunday Chris unexpectantly had a day off work. He came home early on Saturday after a long set of shifts and we were so excited to see him with the added bonus of having home with us over the next two days. Saturday evening we had a chat about what we'd like to do. We spoke about maybe heading off out to the woods for the last day of the school half term holiday, but we ended up changing our minds as the boys were happily playing outside in the garden the following morning.

I headed off out to the shop for a few items we needed and came home with two small games (£3 each) thinking they'd be great for entertaining them and something we could all join in with. The boys recently have been enjoying stacking up blocks as high as they can before they fall down and so I told them about a game called 'Jenga' that I loved as a child and promised them if I ever saw it I'd grab it to play with them. It was by pure luck I came across these and they were so excited, wanting to open it as soon as they saw the box.

We had lunch and played it outside, several games and it was just such a lovely atmosphere. Everyone laughing and just enjoying watching each other squirm and cheer as we took turns. I also bought Connect 4 and as these are smaller versions of the original they'd be great to take on a holiday or on a day trip. Later we decided to head out for a walk and ended up at the park not far from us - we're very lucky that in our village there are 3 parks to choose from.

It really helped that the weather was beautiful. We all were grinning and enjoying each others company without a care in the world. I felt so much relief seeing Chris walk through the door as it had been a testing week. It's difficult when I'm juggling everything alone so when he's there it really feels as if we're more even balanced. Life just feels that bit easier with a friend for support. It was also the morning after reading about the London terrorist attacks and boy, it was tough going at the start. I felt so sad and scared for us all that I just wanted to curl up, but I'm so glad I didn't give in as it was the loveliest, calmest day with my tribe of boys.

I'm so glad that I thought to snap some pictures that day as it'll forever be one of my favourites to look back on in years to come.

Joining Up To A Slimming World Group.

Saturday 18th February. It's been roughly 10 weeks since I gave birth to Arthur, so it felt about time I faced what I had gained during his pregnancy. 
Before falling pregnant with Arthur I was following Slimming World and lost just over 1.5st and once I found out I was expecting, I began to struggle. I felt quite ill throughout and I didn't really stick to plan at all by craving all the 'bad' stuff. There were days I stayed on plan or even a few - but I just couldn't stick to it long term so I slowly pushed it away and thought I'd face the music after.

I went through my wardrobe and looked at all my pre pregnancy clothes. All the clothes I wore fitted loosely nearly a year previous. Looking back on it now I knew it was a silly idea, it hadn't been that long post partum but I felt better in myself and I felt ready to try and get my head back in the game, but I just couldn't. I knew I wasn't in a good place as I'd been living in leggings and loose items, or my pregnancy clothes thinking 'ooh these feel loose' - but of course - pregnancy clothes! I needed the shock to shock me back. So I did it, I pulled out the items I knew fitted me perfectly and loosely beforehand. Well the Jeggings I couldn't get up to my thighs. My thighs were huge. They're the one thing I knew were the slimmest part of me and well, these weren't slim. My tops hugged my tummy in the most unflattering way and wow, so tight on the shoulders. I felt like the Hulk trying to squeeze myself into clothes that just wasn't going to do it.

I sighed. Felt really crap and upset. I just knew I was a long way away from where I used to be and felt like I had to do it all over again - but I just couldn't get the motivation behind me to do it at home, so I wondered about maybe trying a different tactic - group. I asked on my food diary Instagram if group would help me. Would it be worth the money and time, to attend. Nearly everyone screamed 'Yes! It'll be the best thing you'll ever do!' I looked up the groups in my local area and saw my options. I decided to head to one on a Monday evening after discussing with my mum how I felt and she sent an encouraging text saying 'If you want to do it, see about doing it' so I rang Mark, my to be consultant and he came across as really friendly and there I was. I was signed up and went to my first group two days later.

I was bricking it. This was totally out of my comfort zone and I wasn't sure what to expect. People kept saying it'll be friendly and it'll change everything. I was really scared walking into that room and sitting amongst people who knew what they were doing and how to be. But I did it and I joined at nearly my highest weight. I was absolutely flabbergasted to be back there again, but I knew it to be true.

So I went home feeling so determined, if I was paying, I was going to lose it. I want to get back to where I was nearly a year ago - because at that time, I felt amazing. (P.S I got back there way sooner than I was expecting!!) It made me turn a corner, the thoughts of that Saturday, not being able to fit in any of my clothes and feeling all alien in the mirror - I didn't want to be there but the healthy, happy version of myself.

Week 2 : Half Stone Award
Week 5: 1 stone award
Week 8: 1.5 stone and Club 10 (10% of my starting body weight lost)
Week 10: 2st award

Week 16: 2.5 stone award

I've worked my way through 16 weeks. 4 months. Losing myself 2st 7lbs. I've gone down 5.7 on the BMI calculator. A dress size down.

Looking at statistics has been such a brilliant way to keep me spurred on. I've really enjoyed being determined and enjoying tasty good food again. I'm the chef in our house so it gives me such freedom to cook and experiment. I also do the washing up so however much I do it's down to me and I like it, there's no struggle for the meal plan; I guess that's what makes the whole eating better thing easier. It really suits our lifestyle - plus Chris and Noah will eat most of it too!

I've changed so much regarding habits. I know how I gained all the weight over the years and I'm now more conscious of what I put into my body. I still of course enjoy my favourite treats but it's in serious moderation and actually, I enjoy them so much more now as I plan for them and I look forward to that meal or evening etc without a worry.

It's been quite scary at times where my willpower has come out in full force! I've learnt when a treat is worth it or have the mentality of 'if I have that treat now, is it worth it? Or should I wait for this other treat' and it's working. It's quite empowering for someone who has always just given in without a second thought. I want to fill my body of good foods and see my shape changing into a body I'll like and respect a lot more. I wasn't happy at the start, I never want to go back to that state where I absolutely loathe what I saw back. I want to be a good role model and not worry how I look so much for the boys. I want to live the best quality life I can and fit into those clothes I want without wondering where they'll snag.
I grabbed my 2.5 stone award tight on Monday after a 3lb loss. I was thrilled as I'm now currently at a weight I haven't seen since before Freddie was born and that feels absolutely gobsmacking. It's amazing how losing weight can change so much. I'm much more comfortable walking and running around, I don't feel heavy and tippy when I bend down and I don't worry I won't be able to cross my legs. There's simple things like quick strolling would've left me embarrassingly breathless but now I can keep up with the best of them. I can run up the stairs without a bother too!

I'm going to keep at this and see where I will end up. I have 3 stone left till target - I wonder what I'll look like there!

A Birthday Afternoon Tea.

28th April. 6 days after my 26th birthday, I got my birthday surprise.
Chris told me weeks before that he had planned a surprise for my birthday and he didn't let me in on a single detail. It was really quite nice to have something under wraps as not very often as a mum do I get many surprises (well apart from a poo explosion or a sudden trip over). It was lovely to feel special and thought about beyond the minor thank you's.

As the day crept closer I did start to wonder if it could be afternoon tea as I've told Chris many times that I've never had one and would LOVE to go!

I was so impressed he pulled this all together, by hand with the help of his work place to create something rather lovely for us all to enjoy. And boy, did we enjoy it! It was later shared that he had been going in an hour earlier to make some things for it - aww!
The boys got dressed up looking smart, I had a buck's fizz (went totally to my head since I haven't had a drink since Arthur had been born!) and we ate till our hearts were content. Not all of it got eaten and I honestly couldn't eat any more after.

The husband has a big job to pull a better present off next year! ;)