This is the card I got for my youngest son this week at he turned 19!
We bought the card as joke which he loved, but as I keep looking at it the reality has actually hit home.
My eldest son is 21 and is still away at uni. My youngest decided against uni and is taking a year (while he works a part time job) to do as much solo travel as possible before actually deciding what route he wants to go down.
I’m extremely proud of how both my boys have grown and support them fully in choosing their own paths to walk down.
However, for me as a mum it’s bittersweet. I literally have ‘grown ups’ now instead of children, and with that comes a level of enforced ‘mum redundancy’ as they branch out and need us less. I have much more time for ME and whatever that entails and this year I have really struggled with that if I’m honest.
Those of you that know me from Mum in Meltdown will know I haven’t written on there for a long time as I simply fell out of love with that site. Each time I went on there it became apparent I had out grown the Mum in Meltdown label. My boys are no longer younger teens (which was my main focus on that blog) and no longer happy to be talked about………..which is absolutely right and understandable.
So I deliberated for a long time not quite knowing whether to continue blogging………..I mean what the hell was I going to write about. I blogged the teenage years because it’s an absolute brutal minefield that will send you right over the edge on countless occasions. Yet, at the same time I was engaging with people in the same boat, going through the same struggles and therefore, it made me feel……………..well, almost normal.
So, the last few months have seen us endure some pretty horrific terrorist attacks around the world as well and 3 in 3 months in this country alone, and I hear more and more people online sharing their fears for their children’s future in such a world. I too share those fears even though I have older teens now I wonder what will become their ‘normal’ in say the next 20 years with regards to terrorism, policing and our country’s safety. What will they be bringing their future children into in many years to come?
However, I am from Belfast, born in 1970 and lived my youngest years into my teens throughout the height of ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland. The absolute full extent would probably never have been covered in the national media forums unless it involved the mainland itself, but still it continued on a very daily basis in my area as well as many others. My parents back then probably had the exact same fears about our future as children with armed police and the Army patrolling our streets and wondering where it would all end up.
Any of you that have been following me for a while will know that I have ME and Fibromyalgia, which in lay mans terms means I am permanently exhausted and have constant chronic pain (with lots of other symptoms but the list is too long to mention!).
I was diagnosed in 2009 and after being initially referred for a 12 week management program in London at the start my Borough decided they would not pay for me to go out of borough for treatment even though there was nothing similar in my area. So, after being diagnosed I was then left with no input apart from pain relief from my GP. I spent years on Tramadol until my body totally adjusted and they were having absolutely no effect. Last year when the pain became to difficult to handle my GP switched me to Morphine (slow release) and Oramorph for breakthrough pain during the day. Again as my body adjusted they had less and less effect and the dosages where increased to a point where my GP could not authorise another increase without referring my to a Rheumatologist.
This was probably the best thing that could have happened. I had an appointment in February and she confirmed 18 tender points of Fibro around my body alongside all over body tenderness ( that means my body feels bruised so wearing clothing/ shoes etc all hurts as though someone is pressing directly on a bruised piece of skin!). From there she referred me to the Fibromyalgia clinic and I had that very long appointment yesterday. It takes all afternoon as you see three separate specialists in different areas who all work together to approach the illness from different angles.
Last time I updated you I was very, very close to my target. Well guess what? I only went and bloody done it!
Yes, I reached my new target of 9stone with the fabulous help of Slimming world. I have taken to this plan like a duck to water when I joined back in August last year. As I have mentioned before ( or maybe not!) I do not have the busiest of social life thanks to my ME and Fibromyalgia. It means I am not out surrounded by temptation every weekend, which has obviously been a good thing for me, however, it has also meant my weight loss has been a slow but steady journey due to the fact i cannot conventionally exercise.
But it’s true that slow and steady wins the race in my case.
I have just today got all my summer clothes out ( wishful thinking on my part maybe!) and while sorting out my wardrobe I realise that actually not a lot fits me anymore. Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way complaining, it’s a great problem to have.
First of all, yes I am still following Slimming World although I haven’t updated for a while as you can tell.
Just to remind you my weight loss is kinda slow, not because I find it difficult to stick to the plan ( I am one of those sad people that actually ‘enjoy’ being on it!) but because I am unable to help my weight loss with exercise due to my M.E and Fibromyalgia. I do what I can when I can activity wise, this could be a little ironing one day, a short walk another day or even taking things up and down the stairs can be like a marathon for me. The down side is that I do have days where it’s physically impossible for me to do anything other than try and hold myself upright on the sofa!
Anyway, it’s been 1/2lb here and there with the odd 1lb or more thrown in on a very good week. I have never had those big losses that others get along the way but in all fairness it has all gone in the right direction however small the loss and they have all added up to the grand total of 2 stone………………YES………….2 BLOODY LOVELY STONE! Ok putting it in perspective it has taken me since last August to do it but never mind I have gotten there nonetheless and it shows that all those little losses, however disappointing, all add up to a big amount.
Over the years whenever I have started a diet or healthy eating plan I find myself extremely determined and aggressive at the beginning, meal prep and enthusiastic organisation takes over when the determination is strong. Inevitably along the way, like most of us, life catches up and we find ourselves at the office without lunch as the kids were running late for school and there just wasn’t enough time, or getting home late from work with no dinner planned. This is usually the part where we give in to ordering takeaway, allowing the cravings for pizza and carbs to consume us. If we look at eating out in a different light, perhaps those crazy days of no meal planning won’t result in diet ruin.
I reached my 1 stone mark that has been alluding me for a few weeks now. I cannot tel you how chuffed I was considering I have been doing this for 11 weeks now and going to group every week listening to people losing 3-4 lb a week and having to make do with 1lb here and there in amongst slightly higher and lower loses and even a gain or two along the way.
However, that was a target I was desperate to get to because it’s easy to say you are losing weight but another to stand tall and say you have lost a stone. I also said I would treat myself to a proper slice of cake when I reached that mark. I have been really on plan most of the time with maybe just a meal or a few drinks out that I have factored into the plan along the way, so I wanted a proper piece of cake when I got to this point.
My eldest baby left us on 12th September this year to start his university adventures. I didn’t want to write about it straight away ( or before) as my head was literally all over the place with a huge mixture of emotions. Yes I was unbelievably proud of him, but I was, as most mum’s would be, absolutely terrified that he wasn’t going to cope! It was so hard to leave him there on his joining weekend although we are lucky enough to be relatively close enough to go there for a day visit- which we did the next day to take him for a final family meal before leaving him properly.
Almost a month into his new independent life and I am super pleased to say that he is not only coping very well but he is also loving his new found freedom. He has done several weekly shops now ( he loves the fact that he has an Aldi near him) and also done a few clothes washes too…………….this probably amazes me the most. He has also got himself a part time promotions job as well so is now earning a few extra pounds here and there to boost his weekly spending amount.
I thought I would catch you up on my last few weeks of my slimming world journey.
As you may know I weigh in on a Monday morning (which can be an absolute killer for food mishaps over the weekend). Last week I knew I had been really good on the lead up to my weigh in, but strangely I was still nervous ( what is it with my bloody nerves on a Monday morning!) Anyway, very happily I lost 2 1/2lbs which I was overjoyed about. I think anyone on the plan will openly love anything over a 2lb loss any week. I had also had a very busy week where I had something going on everyday which kept me moving ( although that pushes me to my limit illness-wise).
I have learned from staying at the class each week for the ‘chat’ that when going out to eat etc, it is better to be prepared by knowing what’s on the menu and plan what you are going to have before you go. I think this has worked for me in some respects as with another trip with friends to one of those dastardly ice cream places……..however, I looked up the menu and decided I would opt for the fresh strawberries but have Nutella with it but separately on the side so I could be in control of how much of it I ate. I also wanted a couple of G+T’s afterwards so knew if I was careful with the pudding I could still stay within my syns for that day.