Progress report

Well, I’ve had my Fitbit now for almost 3 weeks and it’s time for me to take stock of my progress towards my health goals.

It has definitely made me think more about my movements. I’ve still got aΒ  long way to go to be hitting my (currently low) step target every day, but I’m getting closer. I’ve also been considering how to fit more walking into my daily routine once term starts again. I’m not good about going for a random walk from home without a purpose (I have a tendency towards walking to shops and spending money…)Β  so I’ve downloaded some OS maps to my phone and I’m going to try driving into Epping forest, Paringdon Wood or to the river at Dobbs Weir after dropping the children to school a couple of times a week. I have downloaded an app which will map my routes as well so I can see how far I’m walking and gradually try to increase that too.

Weight-wise things aren’t so good. I lost 1.5 lbs in the first 5 days of tracking… then it went a bit wrong… I suppose starting a calorie tracking plan just before going on holiday with limited data allowance on my phone wasn’t the smartest idea, though with hindsight (what a wonderful thing…) I could have tried to write down what I’d eaten even if I didn’t know the calorie content would have kept me more on track. Anyway, I’ve returned home weighing more than I started… doh! I was rather down about this on Saturday, but I’m trying to just pick myself up and get on with it. I have the tools to get myself healthy, I just need to keep myself focussed and plod on. This isn’t going to be a quick process.

I’m going to finish this post with a photo to remind me I’m not just doing this for me. I’m doing it for these precious people as well. They are amazing in so many ways and really deserve the best wife and mother who has the energy and fitness to look after them and do the things with them they want to do. That’s not me at the moment, but one day it will be.

Family

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10 thoughts about school holidays…

10 thingsAs we hit the middle weekend of the Easter holidays I thought I’d note down 10 thoughts about school holidays… both positive and negative!

  1. πŸ™‚ No school runs! A fabulous break from driving 5 mile each way three times a day to drop off or collect the children from their schools. (a break for the pocket as well as 30 miles a day uses a lot of petrol!)
  2. πŸ™‚ No structure so we can do as we please each day – whether it’s snuggling up on the sofa with a dvd, playing with scooters in the garden, colouring in, reading or building mammoth train tracks
  3. 😦 No structure so we can do as we please each day – yes, I did intend to write exactly the same statement as number 2… Having a child with an ASD means that the lack of a structure or routine can be upsetting, and for R she has been a lot more excitable and needing more control of what B is doing.
  4. πŸ™‚ We’ve been able to sit and eat lunch all together at the table each day (well, without the husband as he’s still been at work). We’ve been able to chat, B has seen us all eating the same meals and today we had a huge breakthrough – he ate a whole bowl of rice, chicken and carrots! He has always complained that he doesn’t like rice but today he realised there’s not a lot to it, and on a spoon with other hings he likes he’s been quite content to munch away at it.
  5. πŸ™‚ We don’t have to worry about B refusing to get dressed. If he won’t clothe himself then he just stays in his bedroom until he realises he’s hungry. We have a rule in this house that unless you are properly poorly you must be dressed before coming downstairs. A grumbily tummy soon gets him moving!
  6. πŸ™‚ The children have been able to play together when they’ve not been too tired from school to tolerate each other.
  7. 😦 The children have been able to play together when they’ve not been too tired from school to tolerate each other… this can get very loud! While I’m still not 100% after last week’s virus I don’t tolerate loud silliness very well.
  8. πŸ™‚ B can have a nap in the afternoon to help him get over the virus without me worrying about picking R up from school. R is very good about playing quietly in her room if she knows someone else is trying to sleep, I think it gives her a very good excuse to get lost in yet another book.
  9. πŸ™‚ I have time and energy to cook ‘real’ food for myself and the children at lunchtimes and healthy teas for them in the early evening as well. This is really good for all of us and is helping up the fruit and veg intake of each of us.
  10. πŸ™‚ No school means no worries for R about noise and unpredictable other pupils and no worries for us about how suitable the work for her is both academically and accounting for her ASD and how she interprets the instructions she is given. This isn’t to say we’re not happy with the school, we don’t know another one in the area which would be better for her, just that school isn’t easy for her.

Trying to spend less on food

I’ve been reading a lot of thrifty living blogs lately and I have been inspired by some of the ideas I read.

Cooking an evening meal from scratch for us all doesn’t work in the week in our house. The husband doesn’t get home from work until a similar time to the children’s bedtime so a meal for all four of us doesn’t work. I prefer not to cook from scratch twice in the evening and have come up with a solution that helps my husband and I eat healthily, reduces the amount I spend on food and is also really easy.

Whenever I see a really good offer on meat (chopped beef, lamb or chicken breasts) I will buy some and then create something in the slowcooker either with a cheap jar of curry sauce, a tin of soup, or a carton of chopped tomatoes as a sauce base. I’ll add lots of vegetables and extra garlic or spices depending what I’m aiming for.

So far I’ve created:

  • chicken dopiaza (a jarred sauce with added peppers, onions and a carton of tomatoes)
  • beef madras (another jarred sauce with added peppers and onions)
  • chicken korma (a jarred sauce with added mushrooms, spinach and sultanas)
  • creamy chicken, leek and carrot (using a can of condensed cream of chicken sauce as a base and a little bit of smoked bacon and garlic for extra flavour)
  • a rich chilli, tomato and bacon pasta sauce (4 cartons of chopped tomatoes, lots of garlic, chilli and basil and a box of Sainsbury’s basics smoked, chopped cooking bacon)
  • garlicky chicken and mushrooms (a can of condensed mushroom soup, half a bag of frozen mushrooms, a couple of rashers of smoked bacon and 5 cloves of garlic) – this didn’t look appetising as the sauce separated a bit but it was gorgeous, very garlicky and lovely with some frozen spinach and a little grated italian hard cheese stirred though a portion
  • paprika beef (this came from a large box of reduced chopped steak late on a Sunday afternoon and was cooked with chopped tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers, carrots, a beef stockpot and a lot of paprika) – it smelt amazing, but sadly due to the number of peppers put in it I couldn’t eat it 😦

These have all been boxed in individual portion foil trays (just like you get from a takeaway – but I bought mine on Amazon), clearly labelled with the date and contents and then frozen. They can be defrosted in a pan with a little water as the rice/pasta/potatoes are being cooked. The trays may not seem a cheap option, but I kept dropping plastic boxes out of the freezer and breaking them. The trays I bought worked out at ~12 pence each, which doesn’t seem cheap, but even including that cost I have been spending less on evening meals for my husband and I than I was.

My husband and I can have easy, healthy food on the table within 30 minutes of him getting home (or us getting the children into bed). We’re eating more vegetables (no bad thing!) and getting to sleep sooner due to eating earlier (which is definitely a good thing!).

Decisions, decisions…

I’ve not made a great start to posting two or three times a week… but to be fair to myself it’s not been the easiest of weeks.

I’m still battling the after effects of last weeks flu. I’m easily tired, and when l get too tired my IBS kicks off, which in turn makes me more tired. l was so tired this afternoon that I fell asleep on the monkeyboy’s bed at about 2 o’clock when trying to get him to nap. l didn’t wakeup until 3:30… I was due to pick the monkeygirl up from school at 3:15! The monkeyboy had crept out of the room and was merrily playing in the living room.Β  WhenΒ  I arrived at school the monkeygirl was being entertained by her class teacher the head and the year 5 teacher. The staff were very good about it, maybe being a governor and hence being well known by the staff has its benefits!

The monkeyfather and l sat down this morning and made some decisions about the house and moving. We’re going to stay here for a bit longer and use an unexpected inheritance to do some improvements to make the house more saleable/ rentable.The monkeyfather’s office move won’t be happening for another year or more so there’s less of a rush to do anything.

That is definitely a bit of a weight off my mind. The uncertainty was really not helping my depression. I need stability and a clear path ahead rather than something else to worry about. I’m very grateful that we have sorted this before the Christmas break, we really need a proper rest then and not to worry about too many things.

Yawn…

A very long day today… an early start with choir for the monkeygirl before school and a very long governors meeting this evening. I’m shattered despite having a doze on the sofa in between the afternoon school run and an early dinner.

Hopefully I’ll have a good sleep tonight before counselling tomorrow (which is always tiring, though has been very helpful so far).

Sniff

My nose may have been dripping 90% of the time(sorry if that’s too much information…), but it has been a productive day – depending on your definition of productive…

The kitchen may be a bit of a tip (again!) but I’ve researched and booked a holiday for us and managed to put two children to bed without shouting (from anyone!). Hanging the washing out to dry was a challenge due to an inablity to breathe when bending over; but I still managed to finish it – I did need to lie down briefly afterwards though.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be breathing more easily as I’m chairing a meeting in the evening and that will be a challenge if I’m feeling rough.

Not a lot

We’ve had a quiet day today. A much needed discussion with the monkeyfather (still no outcome!) and time packing up shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child with the children (well, the monkeyboy didn’t last long, it was just the monkeygirl and I really). We all needed some rest. It’s been a long week (part of a rather long month and year!). It should be a nice day tomorrow, we’re heading up to Cambridge after church for a late lunch with some of the monkeyfather’s family who are holidaying not too far from there.