Friday, 22 January 2016

Brass Monkeys

It's mid-afternoon and it's freezing and foggy and frosty. The crap winter sun can't penetrate the fog to melt the frost (or warm my bones up). Technically, and I like to be technical, it's below freezing. It has warmed up since this morning though, and now it's a balmy minus 2. This weather makes me want to hibernate! It also makes me want to fly straight back to Western Australia and hit the nearest beach with some classy cans of g&t, some tunes, and some trash crime fiction. In my fantasy I'm not lugging a baby and all associated paraphernalia behind me and I'm not on constant drowning alert.

On Monday we went swimming with Kate and her girls. Freddie is too independent for her own good - she can't swim yet and barely floats in armbands yet pushes me away and won't be held or helped until she's under and inhaling water. I must look like the worst person to be in charge of a child with this half drowned rat I keep having to fish out of the water. She hasn't managed to drown yet, but it's exhausting keeping her alive at the pool. I think we're going to sign up for some swimming lessons if they're not too expensive (we bought a car and now we're broke. But at least we have our own car now, we're not total scroungers).

Tomorrow I'm going to bath with 2 of my bestest girls for the weekend. It's going to be amazing (Kane is also amazing, it was his idea for a belated bday present for the three of us to go away for a whole weekend). Probs some drinks on Friday night, Spa and food on Saturday, then some more drinks, then lunch on Sunday and home. 2 nights of beautiful sleep in a bed without a small human! I also get to hang with the girls which is rad. Obvs. The only downside to the weekend is spending a good part of Saturday in a swimming costume. Eep.  I'm dreading this part but looking forward to the pools and massage and roof soak. 

The Body Coach diet is over for me for now. I submitted my first month and nothing had changed - not the numbers on the scales or the numbers on the tape measure - even though I followed to the letter. Maybe it's just not the diet for me, maybe I'm an idiot for being duped by all the amazeballs transformation pictures, who knows? So this week I went to Slimming World and signed up for 12 weeks. I had my first weigh in and stayed for my first "group" which was quite sweet but I imagine it's the same every week so we'll see how often I actually stay. I quite like the accountability of being weighed every week, even if I don't like to be weighed with any clothes on (I imagine the ladies of Mitcheldean wouldn't take too kindly to me stripping off). Nobody else sees your weight apart from the lady weighing you, but they do go round the room and share the losses and gains. I'm not too hopeful for a loss this week which blows, but there's drinking to be done at the weekend. I'll just have to try to make healthy food choices and maybe even stay away from cocktails. Gasp.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016


The kid has stopped eating again, which would be just about bearable had she not given up sleeping too. Apparently it's only at home that she looks into your eyes as she drops her food on the floor or throws it across the room; at nursery she's an angel and eats like a pro. At least she's having 2 meals a week, I suppose. She also now appears to be allergic to her toothbrush which makes brushing her teeth hard - we have to hold her down and brush when she opens her mouth to scream. It's awful and I worry that we're doing something really negative, but I've read that dental issues cause the majority of hospital admissions of under 5's. I know, I've read it so it must be true.

Waking up at 4am is getting old really fast. The latest addition to the way-too-early-mornings is waking up around 1am and spending the rest of the night kicking and tossing and turning and crying in our bed. Until we cave and give her a bottle to chew on (again with the sugar in the milk and the teeth and the not brushing and oh my god they're going to rot and fall out way before her big teeth are ready). She then wakes up at 4 and wants to get up and play. Kill me.

Another thing getting on my tits at the moment is this stupid Body Coach "diet". I've done a month of low carb, high protein, high fat (compared to my normal diet) and HIIT exercise, and seen ZERO results. Not a kilo or a cm lost from anywhere. I hate that I was taken in by the before and after shots on social media, and that I spent £147 on a plan that essentially told me to drop carbs, cook from scratch (already did), eat my weight in processed quorn (don't get me started on how shit the veggie plan is, or how eggs and dairy are included in EVERY SINGLE RECIPE of my "allergic to eggs and dairy" "PERSONALISED" plan), and follow workouts on youtube. According to the thousands strong 90 day sss FB group I follow, clean eating and cooking from scratch is a massive revelation (and a massive ballache) for the majority of people on the plan. I wonder if this is why it isn't working for me; my body isn't shocked by fresh ingredients and a bit of exercise. People spend hours and hours prepping their meals for the week ahead because they don't know how to do it any other way! It seems ridiculous. 

I've written to my "coach", who will no doubt send me another email full of copy and pasted paragraphs containing none of the answers to my questions and no reassurance whatsoever. The coaches have no nutritional training as far as I can gather, and the only thing that qualifies them to be coaches is that they've done the plan and love it. I did a year of a maths degree, this does not qualify me to be a maths professor. Just sayin'.

Unless I see some dramatic overnight results (and I won't hold my breath) this will be my last week on the plan. The next cycle is all about gaining muscle and I'm not ready to do that until I have lost some fat (and I have a lot to lose). My next port of call might be Slimming World - thanks to another of my FB groups of lovely ladies losing weight, mostly on SW - but it might not. I'm not sure how much I want to pay to be told to eat healthily and be weighed in front of a room full of strangers. I think I can manage to be accountable to myself, thank you very much, and ritual humiliation isn't my bag.

In other news, I have a girls weekend in Bath planned and I'm really looking forward to it. Spa, massage, wine, best friends. All good. My nutribullet and 4 bags of spinach will not be coming with me, nor will any guilt over wanting to eat an apple or a carrot with hummous. I won't be weighing 17 grams of chia seeds or 73 grams of avocado, or forcing myself to eat 0% Greek yoghurt whilst trying not to gag. Stupid fucking diet.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

New year, new me. Or not.

This year, 2016, is going to be better than last year. It has to be. I'm going to get even better, get thin, get a job, get some sunshine and get a life. We might go to Iceland (for a weekend), we might not. We might go back to Freo (for good), we might not. We don't need to decide right now, although I think it's on the cards. I'm trying to be objective and manage my rose tinted hindsight, but it's tough. The decision would be so easy if Australia was a bit closer, and if mum wasn't going to be so far away. We'd have to cope on our own, but that shouldn't be a massive problem as long as I don't get unwell again. 

Oof, lots to think about but there's time. Although at the moment it feels like we're in limbo so it would be nice to have a plan... As nice as it is living here, and we all love it, we are really isolated. I am really isolated. I want good friends nearby, I want to have things to do and places to go and people to go with. 

We saw in the new year with good people. Emma, Kristin and Tony (and Jack and bump) came to spend it with us and there was lots of food and fun and drink and a huge amount of fireworks. Freyja woke us up at 5:20 this morning, less than 3 hours after I got to bed. Managed to get her back to sleep in our bed with milk and she woke us up with kisses and 'mama's and 'dada's at about 7:30 - possibly the best way to wake up to a new year. (I got up even though it wasn't my turn because I'm made of tougher stuff than my husband).

Since Christmas Freyja hasn't stopped saying mama, dada, and nana; it's pretty cute. She's learning some new signs too (which means that I need to learn some new signs sharpish), and starting to play on her own a bit more. All up I think things are getting easier. I'm glad Kane has decided to stay part time at work though, we're so lucky to be in a position at the moment where we don't need him to work full time. It's rare I think for both parents to be able to spend so much time with their child, and Freyja loves it. He's an amazing dad. Also, I like having him around. I feel more secure and confident with Kane here so Freyja isn't the only one benefiting. The thought of Kane working full time at the moment scares me a bit - maybe I'm not so tough. 

What I am is tired. Happy New Year people.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Extra... Kilos.

Apparently, this last year of adulting has been about gaining 20 kg. TWENTY. That's a fuck ton of kilos my friends, a fuck ton. Now do you understand why I'm so angry about the drugs they put me on in hospital when they knew full well they would make me gain weight? Six months, they said, then you can come off them, they said. Lies... all lies. 

So I've decided to do something about it. I've changed 50% of my meds (potential give up date of March, watch this space for more lies) and I've started the 90 day SSS plan by The (lovely) Body Coach. The Plan is hard. Not the exercise part - 4 or 5 HIIT sessions a week is totes doable - but the food part. The plan is split into three cycles of 30 days, Shift, Shape, and Sustain. The food and exercise changes with the cycle, but cycle 1 is heavy on the HIIT and light on the carbs. ALL of the food you eat has to come from a set of recipes, low carb options, refuel options and snacks. Lots of cooking is involved and preparation is key (so I'm told, I wouldn't actually know). If I had a fridge full of containers marked 'breakfast', 'lunch', and 'dinner', I'd be incredibly happy - I also wouldn't have time to have a baby, a husband, a blog, 2 books on the go, a Facebook account or a phone. My shopping didn't arrive until Monday night and we were away all weekend so I didn't really give myself much of a chance. Maybe this Sunday I'll spend the day prepping rather than fannying about in London, although I did lie on the couch and plan what I would eat this week. Not much has gone according to my plan, but I'm sticking to The Plan. 

Low carb, mountains of leafy greens (MOUNTAINS. My fridge is full of bags of kale and lettuce), carb meals after exercise, 2 snacks per day and 3 litres of water. I woke up this morning feeling disgusting and decided to have a rest day. Then this afternoon I discovered that I wanted a bagel more than I wanted to sit on my arse so I rallied and did a HIIT session. Gorgeous sweaty bagel. Some of the food so far has made me gag, some is just about edible, and then there's the bagel.

Aside from being distraught when I had to submit my weight and measurements - I cried for ages - things are going pretty well in terms of depression, anxiety and psychosis. I'm not down, I'm not panicking, and I'm not seeing (mostly) or hearing things. A girl can't ask for more. I saw my psych last week and now don't need to see her until March; winning. 

Nothing else going on really. Nearly Christmas, the tree is up and looking Christmassy. I've finished my present thinking and buying and wrapping (little bit of making left to do), ordered the turkey (which I won't be eating), and decorated one room. Now just need the rest of my family to arrive and we'll be all set. Freyja doesn't have a clue what's going on. I think she vaguely wants to open the presents under the tree, and vaguely wants to pull the decorations off - who knew that letting her play with Christmas decorations in the bath (don't ask) would lead to her thinking that the Christmas tree is a toy? Anyway, she'll love the wrapping paper and the boxes and most of all the people and the attention!

Oh, I've applied for some jobs and Kane has had a job interview today! TBH they would have to offer him a good package for us to move. It's going to be tough to live on one wage - I know, loads of people do it, but it's something we haven't faced before. 

I need a bath. Peace out.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Head, Shoulders, Hand Foot and Mouth

I'm too tired to write right now. Freyja has hand foot and mouth and it sucks. She's teething too, which double sucks (for her mostly, but for us in terms of sleep deprivation!). I  think I must have forgotten how tired I was after she was born because each evening at the moment I think to myself "dude, I've never been THIS tired". It's not even 9pm and I'm hanging out to go to bed. Poor Kane has to get up at 5 tomorrow morning to go to work, so we'll probably be up at 5 with him because the house CREAKS and the baby hears everything.

Yep, we got up at 5:30. It was as awesome as it sounds - by 9:30 we'd played, had breakfast, played more, had a nap and were playing again. Days like that feel like they're never ever going to end. And not in the good way.

I'm way more chipper today. We went to Paris for a long weekend with my ma, bro and his girl, which was pretty rad but the whole experience pales in comparison to the sleeping tablet I took last night and the 9 hours of blissful sleep that ensued. Mmmm, sleep. Paris was good though, lots and lots and lots of walking, lots of eating good food and drinking in dive bars. Completely different experience avec baby, but mum stayed in with her on the Saturday night and the rest of us hit the dive bars hard-ish. What am I saying, anything more than one drink is a banging night these days and a banging head the morning after.

We're slightly quarantined this week due to aforementioned hand foot and mouth. No nursery, no Tumble Tots, no playgroup, no swimming... So today we bought some paints and brushes and painted everything except the paper. Crayola had better be true to their word - which was 'washable'.

I just bought a new laptop! Like, 5 seconds ago. It's awesome, would have been more awesome in gold but they're like gold dust so black it is. I can always give Freyja some gold paint and put a piece of paper next to the laptop.

In less exciting news, I hate my body. Looking in the mirror makes me feel sick (as does getting dressed, undressed, leaving the house, people looking at me, stepping out in Paris where everyone is thin and beautiful... But the absolute worst thing at the moment is seeing new mums who are thin. I can't stand it. I'm SO angry that I was put on stupid fucking medication that makes everyone fat when they KNEW I had body issues. I wasn't in a place to make an informed decision, so that was taken away from me and now I'm a UK 14 which roughly translates to WHALE. I'm about to start a 90 day plan, well I'd like to but it involves weighing myself and taking front back and side pictures, and I'm not sure I can cope with that yet. I've wasted so many years thinking "I'm so fat", and now I am fat I can't believe how thin I was sometimes. Gargh. Fuck.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Reality vs. Expectation

On days like this it would be very easy to pack up and move back to Fremantle. It's raining and foggy and miserable here. I miss my friends and my life and having a sense that I belong somewhere, and I worry that we made the wrong decision. It's been a bitch of a year though, and things are much easier with Mum around, so from that perspective it was the right decision. Today though, I miss my friends and my life and the beach and the city and I haven't had the time or the ability to do that yet. We were there, then we were here, and it's all a bit muffled - IYKWIM.

It would be nice to have a life again, but it's hard here in the middle of nowhere - as much as we love being in the middle of nowhere. We don't have the "amazing group of NCT friends" that everyone else seems to have because we weren't here. It's hard to make friends when you're adulting and not working (even when you are working your colleagues don't necessarily become your friends, I think I've been lucky). Mum and baby groups are all well and good, but just because you all have a baby or three doesn't mean that you'll be friends. I find those groups really uncomfortable and forced. I need a Mel here to go to all the groups and collect the best people to form a new group. Perhaps if we move to Cheltenham in the new year things will look up.

But what I think I might really need is a job. There. I wrote it down. It's difficult, because I didn't expect to feel like this, and it turns out that managing reality vs. expectation when they don't match up is something I'm not very good at. I thought I'd go all Earth Mother and not work until Freyja was at school, and even then I thought I might want to home school. But, no. Instead I feel like I'm running away from her because I need a life and I need more than a one year old for company. It might have been different if we'd stayed, because I knew other people with babies Freyja's age, and other people who were doing the SAHM thing, so there would be friends and babies to hang out with and do things with and it wouldn't be so lonely and draining. Constantly playing and teaching and touching and taking care of and watching and loving and keeping from harm and keeping occupied and trying and trying and trying is hard. 

So I'm going to go and think about contacting a recruitment consultant. I'm also going to think about staying home until Freyja is 2, and finding a life in other ways. And I'm going to be sad for a bit about the life we don't have any more and the friends and things and places that I miss. And I'm going to be mad about the weather here (just like my husband is) and the British Summer That Never Was.

Thursday, 22 October 2015


What's the deal with the mama guilt? The second guessing, never truly believing you're doing the absolute best thing, constantly worrying you could have should have would have done it better "if"? Every decision is accompanied by anxiety, and I'm almost sure it shouldn't be.

There are millions of things I'm not uptight about. I think I'm easy going, as parents go. But there's not one thing I've thought "yes, this is EXACTLY the right thing at EXACTLY the right time" and gone ahead without hesitation.

Freyja started nursery last week. Two mornings a week at a lovely little place a couple of miles away. There are a couple of staff and not many children - the most I've seen there at any one time is 4, but sometimes there are only 2 of them, so the ratios are favourable. Ha, I sound like an adult. Also very parent like is my guilt. I assume it's normal/natural/to be expected, especially if you beat yourself up as much as I do, but it's still a shitty feeling.

Un-structuring is hard. I always thought I was this free spirit, but it turns out that (at the moment anyway) I'm shit at being free. In a way, it's easier having a 9 to 5 job.

Of the three days a week Kane works, two of them Freyja is in nursery for half the day and the other my Mum is usually home. I'm not sure what that says about me as a mother. On  the one hand, it's good for Freddie to do other things with other people and especially with other children. On the other hand, I feel like I'm doing wrong by her by making her spend time away, Obviously the 1st hand won. It can't be good for a toddler to spend ALL of their time with their parents and grandparent, socialising is really important. It's only a couple of days a week. I'm not doing her any harm. UNLESS the childminders are awful people (we don't think they are, but without installing a spy cam in a button on a baby's cardigan, who really knows?). The facilities are excellent (hark at me adulting again), lots of outside space, a pond and a forest and three rooms for different types of playing, lots of painting and messy play, music, sensory stuff, a mud kitchen, log cabin, slides, books, song time and story time, cots for sleeping... 

So what am I supposed to do while she's there? I barely know what I'm supposed to do while she's here with me; when we're inside I feel like maybe we should be doing more outside, perhaps we don't read enough (we do), perhaps she's not learning enough, maybe our play should be more creative, maybe we don't have enough outings, maybe maybe perhaps perhaps maybe. It's shit. And it can be quite boring - the thoughts and the actual doing. It's hard to keep a demanding 1 year old happy and occupied all of the time, plus there's a complete lack of any sense of achievement. Aside from getting through the day. I watch the clock until Kane comes home, but then I don't run away and hide, I hang out with both of them, we get dinner together, eat, play, Kane baths Freyja and then she goes to bed. So why watch the clock? Part of it must be the desire for company other than that of my baby, although she's good company. Part of it is because I second guess myself all the time and when someone else is there the responsibility feels less, like I might not fuck it up so badly as if I were alone. When she wakes in the night I go to her, but often I wake Kane up first to check if I should feed her. WHY WHY WHY? She's hungry, just fucking feed her. That's what I think at this moment, but do I have a clue what to do when she's actually awake and hungry? Yes. Do I trust myself to make that call? Nope.

Back to being alone. So, Freyja goes to nursery and I have time for me. But I don't know who me is, or what she likes doing. I don't recognise her in the mirror (hello atrocious weight gain due to medication), and I don't feel like her. I do know that when I do have this "me" time if I don't use it constructively I feel guilty all over again. This morning I haven't hoovered or mopped or taken the compost out or changed the sheets. I've done all the washing, so that alleviates some guilt, but really Charlie, what did you DO all morning? I'm not sure I'm cut out to have all this "me" time without a plan. I'm trying to get onto a pottery course, that will give me some sense of achievement. But why do I need this, and is it a new thing or have I been kidding myself about myself forever?

Should I get a job? Am I ready?

Urgh. And I'm no good at all at being fat. When I stopped taking my meds a few weeks ago I started losing weight. I have since started taking other meds and the dose of my old ones has been upped, and I have stopped losing weight. I am hungry. Could be boredom too, now that I'm starting to function properly, as my psych nurse pointed out, but more likely it's the meds. So I want to stop taking them ALL. I've had enough. Just, urgh.