2 Spuds in a Pod

Looking after your mental and physical wellbeing.

Tag: changes

Gratitude

With all the bad stuff going on in our lives and the world, it is easy to forget that we all have a lot to be grateful for. This ties in with my reflections over the last years, and how positive I now feel about the future.

2 years ago

2 years ago I was not in a very good place. I had been signed off work with depression/low mood and we had moved from London to Scotland without any plans regarding housing or employment. At this point I was very much crying every day, getting upset for every little thing or nothing in particular. Everything became a real struggle, everything stressed me out and I found it difficult to to the simplest of things such as cooking and food shopping. Most days were spent at home, not doing anything at all apart from waiting for Helen to come home from work.

Changes made

I was lucky to be able to make 2 fundamental changes: move away from London and eventually resigning from the police. It is so clear now that this had such a negative impact on my mental health, with the job that I did being the main culprit.
What has also become a lot more important, which we have both recognised, is the need for me-time. This can be anything: reading, listening to music and drinking coffee. It simply means doing all the good things that you love to do, that makes you tick, that you’ve stopped doing because you’re too stressed or there is just not enough time in the day.

Physical health

Exercise had gone out the window completely. I went from cycling/running to work with several yoga and gym sessions in the week to doing absolutely no exercise. I am now going to the gym on a semi-regular basis, and I make sure that I get as much time outside as I can, be it gardening or walking or simply drinking coffee in the garden.

Mental health

Looking back I believe I have always been anxious but have managed it well, and as we know anxiety and depression always go hand in hand. When this all kicked off I was crying several times every day, often for no reason. I was prescribed anti-depressants which really do help, and I am now also having CBT sessions as well as seeing a counsellor every week. There is definitely a change in perspective happening which means I am now feeling a lot more hopeful, happy, energised and excited about the future.

Work and home

I enjoy the work that I do and I no longer dread going back to work after a few days off. Where we live outside Glasgow is so much nicer than where we were in London, and it also has a garden. Going from a small flat on the second floor in a house between the 2 flight paths into Heathrow (yes this means there was a plane over our head at least every 30 seconds) to our current place is magical (and quieter).

Gratitude

I have so much to be grateful for! We all do, and I believe we need to make a habit of recognising this. Rather than complaining about all the bad stuff, which brings you and everyone else down, appreciate and acknowledge what you have. If its not what you want then you need to have a serious conversation with yourself/those around you and bring about changes. Simple. But very hard.

I hope you all have a great week. Practice being grateful.

-Rosita

Weight loss

Let me sum up a weight loss journey for you in two words:

It’s hard!!!

There you go. It is as simple as that. A weight loss journey is hard. Your meals, your exercise, your life, your body, your family and so on all change. Now, I wish I could sit here and say that there was a magic way of doing it but seeing as I not a multi-millionaire there isn’t. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and changes to do a weight loss journey.

How badly do you want it?

This is a very true statement. I have been asking myself since day one of the journey and I will quite often ask my clients who are on a weight loss journey:

How badly do you want it?

How badly do you want to achieve your goal? Are you prepared for it to be a long hard slog? Are you willing to make changes? If the answers to these questions are yes, yes and yes then you are ready to get started. If you waiver or say no to any of them then you need to think really hard about those answers.

Sustainable vs quick fix

As we said at the start of the journey we made more of a lifestyle change that a little, non-sustainable change. We changed the following: diet, meal times, meal prep, food groups, portion sizes and exercise programme. With IVF you could be in the service within a few months or within a couple of years depending on your provider. We wanted to do a lifestyle change so we changed everything, therefore, making it sustainable. Of course we could have done a crash diet and restricted our diet and done tonnes of exercise. But this is not sustainable. It can be done for a holiday in a month or so and it can be done as a quick fix. However, as soon as you go back to your “normal” diet, portion size and exercise the weight may pile back on within a few weeks. A lifestyle change means you will still be on the same diet, doing roughly the same exercise (depending on intensity) several years down the line.

What have we changed – diet

Where we used to have sugary cereal it is now Weetabix, porridge, yogurt with fruit and sprinkle of nuts. Lunch which was normally a sandwich, crisps and a yogurt is now a fried egg wrap with fruit or something else egg related or a salad with ham or tuna. Dinner where our portions were too big is now a much smaller affair and we will now rarely have treats afterwards. For dinner we have wholemeal pasta, chicken and rice, a massive salad, baked potato with beans, tacos, naked hamburgers and so on. If we need a sweet treat it is either an apple, banana, strawberries or yogurt (depending if we have had it in the day or not). I used to drink masses of milk as well but now it is a much smaller glass. We have treat days on Saturday nights where we have a small chocolate bar or share a dessert from the supermarket. Saying that we now make almost everything we eat from scratch. We are now masters of the kitchen. We make spaghetti bolognaise, tomato soup from the tomatoes in the greenhouse, stir fry where we make our own sauce, Sunday roasts which lasts us Sunday and Monday. We are forever on food websites, watching the food channel on TV and reading magazines about food to get ideas. We try most things. Some work out and are tasty whereas some do not and we don’t make them again. As Rosie says I have come a long way from supermarket bought salad and supermarket bought ready made chicken. I will often kick Rosie out of the kitchen as I create my newest delight.

What we have changed – portion sizes and alcohol

We have also made a massive change to our portions and we eat much smaller ones these days. With alcohol I was never a big drinker but over the last few weeks I have barely touched it. I think I have had 1 beer in that time. I tend to drink more water now and if I feel I need a change from water then I will splash out and have some fizzy water instead. Again on Saturday treat nights I may have a fizzy zero drink but before where Rosie and I would go through litres in the week it is now a 330ml can every few weeks.

What have we changed – meal timings

The biggest change for me has been when I eat my meals. Before the weight loss journey, I would eat 2-3 meals a day whereas now I eat 4. This means that my metabolism is continuing to work. On the old way of eating it was not effectively which means as much as I was exercising my weight was not really moving anywhere. You need to have a working metabolism to do a weight loss journey.

What have we changed – exercise

If anyone read my previous blogs on exercise then you will know I already get a lot exercise with the work that I do. However, that did not stop me carrying it on. I aim to get 1000 minutes of exercise a week but do not get too fussed if I don’t meet it. If it is 800 minutes I make a note to try harder the following week and if it is 900 I say well done to me and see what I want to try the following week.

The biggest change – exercise

The biggest change I think for me has been hiring a personal trainer who is working with me at the local gym on high intensity training. I find if someone pushes you on high intensity training you get a lot more out of it. On top of the personal trainer I will always try to find a Zumba class (or 2, or 3, or 4) in the week as well as other high intensity classes. It is said that if you have a good level of fitness that high intensity can push you on to the next level. We also try to walk as much as we can.

Please speak to a gym instructor or even you GP before getting involved with high intensity training.

Rosie’s workouts

Rosie is a bit limited at the minute with exercise due to her hand but still she manages (under supervision) to go to the gym and cycle, walk on the treadmill and do some leg weights. It helps her mental health considerably which at the end of the day makes her happy.

Conclusion

As you can see Rosie and I have changed a lot. However, at the end of the day we want our goal. We want to progress with the next round of tests with IVF and eventually have a child to call our own. We will continue and it will be hard but we are off to a great start and we will see what the next few months to years bring.

-Helen

Previous blogs on exercise and BMI

Zumba
BMI and my challenge
Exercise
An even bigger challenge
First challenge is complete

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