A Year of Maintenance!

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This time last year I had very little winter clothes coming into the cooler months! I had just reached my goal weight after losing around 13kgs in 6 months through eating healthy (basically cutting out the crap) and exercising (mainly running)! I’m happy to say that a year later I have plenty of winter clothes to choose from and they all still fit as I’ve maintained my goal weight!

Like anything losing it really is the easy part, it’s the maintenance part that can be challenging. It’s funny how the power of our mind is the key to all of this. When losing weight your mindset is quite different to when you are maintaining. You go from being very strict with yourself to relaxing a little and treating yourself a bit here and a bit there, but if not managed well, this can be the start of where weight creeps back on! Then you can go the other extreme and become obsessed to the point where you lose too much weight and start to look too thin – not healthy ….trust me I know I’ve been there and it’s not nice!

Last year after getting to my goal weight I lost a bit more and a bit more and then before I knew I was struck down with a terrible gastro bug for days which left me looking very unhealthy and very sick looking! I learnt a lot from all of that! It taught me to get myself at a weight where I have some reserves. Getting down to a weight that is too thin for your height is like living on the edge. You may look healthy and trim but what reserves do you have if you get sick?? It took me months to build my body fat and muscle back to where it was. But I did and a year later I feel fitter, stronger and healthier than I’ve ever been!

I still maintain a heathy eating diet. My rule to myself is be sensible Monday-Friday and enjoy my favourite treats on the weekend! I love eating healthy so to me it’s not a chore but a way of life. Just like my running. It’s not a chore it’s a part of my day to day routine and without it I wouldn’t be able to achieve what I do in a week! My exercise program at the moment for winter consists of 3 runs (approx 18-20km) a week and 2 walks. My way of life that I chose to live is what works for me. I think it’s important that when losing weight and maintaining it, you have to;
1. want to do it
2. find what works for you in the way of food and exercise
3. be consistent with whatever you chose
4. believe in yourself!

Anyone can lose weight and become fit. But the way we do it is completely individualised. We are who we are and we are all individuals breathing the same oxygen, but no one can force you to do something that you don’t want to do…only YOU can be the one to make the decision:) I believe before training your eating habits and body, you have to train your mind, because if your mind isn’t at it’s best nothing else will be!

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I AM the lucky one….

Three weeks ago I had my yearly echo and today I’m finally getting my results back! What a loooonnng three weeks it’s been. Hoping and praying that my results haven’t changed since I was diagnosed with a heart condition two years ago. All I want to hear today is that my aorta hasn’t dilated any further. I’ve worked hard this 12 months to maintain my fitness and weight loss, which gives me the best chance of keeping my blood pressure down. And have I lead a stress free life like I’m suppose to? As much as you can when you are a prep special Ed teacher and mother of 3 children who are 7,5 and 2!

As I sit here in the hospital waiting room I’m feeling sick and nervous. I was hoping that starting to write this blog would keep my mind occupied but it doesn’t completely stop me from feeling worried. I can’t believe another year has passed. It only feels like yesterday that I was here and another year before that, waiting in the same room. As I walked from the carpark to the Mater hospital and through the corridors, all the memories I’ve lived at this hospital come flooding back….birthing my three children, having a curette after my miscarriage, having half my thyroid removed and the biggest health challenge yet my heart! But with each memory lived the door was closed behind me, this door is different, it’s one that will stay open for the rest of my life. The Mater hospital will be a place I visit indefinitely……

Thankfully my name was called out about 15 minutes after I sat down, which was good as it didn’t give me much time to think! As I took a seat in my cardiologist’s office I felt calm and ready to hear whatever I was to be faced with. We had our usual discussion on how my health has been over the past year. He was happy with everything. My blood pressure was perfect and he is extremely impressed with my fitness and overall well being! AND the best news of all my heart is no worse than last year’s echo….to say I’m thrilled is an understatement!!!!!

As I thank god that I’ve made it through another year, I’m also so very thankful that I’m even aware of my heart condition. Each time I visit my cardiologist he reflects with me how lucky I was to have this picked up while pregnant with my third baby. It is unknown how or why my heart’s aorta is dilated, but he believes I was born with this condition and in most cases you are unaware until its too late. At this time of year I’m always brought to tears as to how different my life could have ended up if we didn’t have Mia…my angel baby!

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I will spend the rest of my life kissing this baby for saving me!!

Like so many people who are faced with health complications, some can be fixed and so many can’t. I feel so blessed that my condition is now known and I now have the chance to live a long healthy life! I AM the lucky one. Yes I have to live the rest of my life with a defect on the organ that keeps me alive, and yes I can’t do EVERYTHING I want to do from a physical perspective and therefore I must be extra careful and cautious, BUT no matter how I look at this situation I AM the lucky one and there are far more people worse off than me!

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So where to from here?…The next step in relation to my heart is to have an exercise stress test, to check to see what my blood pressure does while I exercise. Then I’ll be back to the hospital in March next year for my annual echo. I am to keep doing what I’m doing in terms of keeping fit and eating healthy and I have to keep as stress free as I can. I could lye down and not move and rap myself up in cotton wool, but that’s one: not a life and two: not realistic! I don’t look at this as I’ve been given a death sentence, I look at this as I’ve been given a second chance. A chance to take the best care of myself. And I will spend the rest of my life giving myself the best chance to live a long, healthy and happy life with my beautiful family.

Today I feel blessed. I feel like I can keep going for another year. I feel free again for a while. Free to live, free to love and free to enjoy the simple things in life! Cheers to my heart!

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My Direction Has Taken a Wrong Turn:/

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It’s quite ironic as I read my ‘Power of the Mind’ blog I wrote a week ago and my last few words read…..”I couldn’t be happier!” and now from my sick bed where I’ve layed for the the past 5 days I’m trying to be happy, but really I’m just feeling really crappy……

I was feeling so focussed, in control of everything I needed to be in control of! My job is so busy at the moment with reports and deadlines due before the school holidays. I was at the peak of my fitness and feeling really content in most areas of my life and then Monday night is where things took a wrong turn!

Of course my husband had a week of work to do away in Moree so it was single parent duties for me, but that’s ok I’ve done it before and I’m getting pretty good at it now:) I left work later than anticipated, but managed to pick Sie Sie up, got home cooked a big batch of bolognaise, bathed and fed the kids and myself, cleaned up, got all the school stuff ready for the next day and the kids and I were all sitting down by 6.30 enjoying cuddles and giggles together!

By 7.30 all were sound asleep in bed and then the time of day which I LOVE was about to be enjoyed. As I got all cosy on the lounge with my iPad and remote I suddenly felt cramps in my belly. I didn’t think too much about it as I thought I must have pigged out too much on dinner! I went to bed at my normal time after The Voice and the cramps were still there! Thankfully I fell fast asleep but then 1.30am approached and my wrong turn became a bad turn of events! I took some panadol and managed to get back to sleep until Mia woke up crying her little eyes out at 4.45am! When I looked at the clock I thought “Nooooooo!” Mummy’s cuddles got her back to sleep and I then went back to sleep and woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a bus:( I had an hour until I was to leave for work, so as much as my body was screaming “do not get up!” I knew I just had to do it!!!

So I did I got up did the usual – made the beds, got the kids breakfast, took one mouthful of my cereal and have pretty much been on my back since! I couldn’t stand up. I started shivering uncontrollably and once I made it to the lounge not one bit of soul in my body was able to get up! I was like this for 48-72 hours. I went from shivering to sweating, had severe body aches, fevers, cramps in my belly and of course the joys of gastro! I obviously didn’t go to work and thank goodness for my sweet angel of a mother, who came to my rescue until Kane came back from Moree, otherwise my poor kids would have done a lot of fending for themselves!

It’s day 5 now and I’m still not over this awful virus, better, but not a 100%! I’ve had a lot of time to think this week. This is the 4th time I’ve been sick in the last two months. Prior to all of this I hadn’t had anything bad since winter last year! I know it’s the season for it but four things in two months! And I’m the mum, I can’t keep getting sick. My poor little darlings ask me everyday “are you better mummy?” They are use to seeing mummy leading the pack, running, darting from here and there and the only time I reside on the lounge is after dinner at night!

I’m now left feeling weak, tired, drained and overwhelmed at the feeling of picking myself up and getting things back on track! I weighed myself….I’m down to my wedding day weight! Most people would be excited about this, but that wasn’t my goal! I was 24 back then and carried it better, now I look like a sick stick figure which is not what I was hoping to achieve! I have no reserves left and cannot afford to get sick again! I questioned: why me when I’m so fit and healthy? This is it….people who are fit are at risk to not being able to fight off germs and I look back now and I was always sick when I was younger and at the peak of my fitness! You can’t win really! I’ve gone from one extreme to the next where I’m now facing changing my eating and exercise plan to put on weight so I can get back to the fit and healthy me! So my advice is: when losing weight get back to a nice comfortable weight and have room for reserves if you get sick. I was that at my 60kgs, but I’m now playing with fire and have no reserves left!

I know I can do this and I will do this! My direction has taken a wrong turn, but I’m going to turn things around with all the strength and knowledge I’ve gained over the past 8 months and will be back in the right direction in no time!

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Good Riddens 10kgs!!!

On this day at exactly 6.ooam, I weighed in at my goal weight…..10kgs less than what I was 6 months ago!

Last year was one of the most challenging and emotional years of my life! The year started with the most precious gift born into our lives….Mia Natalie Trew! Her birth was so bittersweet. I was induced at 38 weeks as I had just been diagnosed with a heart condition and no one knew what was going to happen to me during child birth! Thankfully all went well, but mentally I wasn’t in the place I had been after having Bailey and Sienna! I felt robbed of giving birth the way I knew how to.  Instead of being free to birth how I had in the past, I was hooked up to machines, checked every 10-15 minutes and had every obstetrician who was on duty that day come and ask me the same questions over and over again…..all I kept thinking was “enough already, I just want to meet my little girl!” Knowing Mia is my last baby I was really disappointed with how my birthing days had ended:( This played on my mind for a long time, along with not knowing how my heart was going to handle recovering from giving birth!

The above photo is of me at Mia’s Christening July last year!

To add to all of this, Mia was my worst newborn out of all 3! She took at least a month or so to settle at night into the one feed routine and her days were never as settled as her brother and sister! She was always the baby who never had two days the same…..thankfully being my third, this didn’t stress me out too much! But between being emotionally drained and sleep deprived all the time, I turned to food for comfort! I didn’t put a gross amount of weight on when I was pregnant with Mia (not like Sienna….we won’t go there…lol) it was months after that my state of mind was in such a bad place I stopped caring! I would eat anything and everything! Sonny (our dog) would never get leftovers because I would polish them off! Kane use to make fun of me and say things like “you’re right I didn’t want any!” Obviously I was starting to make a pig of myself and this is not normally the person I am!

My journey to lose the weight I emotionally put on started back in October last year! Mia was 8 months old and still such a difficult baby! She had so many issues that we took a trip to a pediatrician who diagnosed her with reflux, but apart of finding out what was wrong with her, I had to go on a crazy rabbit food diet for 2 weeks to eliminate some things as I breastfeed her.  I literally detox during the course of the 2 weeks.  I had withdrawals so bad I wanted to cry all day and night! I had to keep busy to distract myself from eating…..it was SOOOOO hard! But by the end of the two weeks I felt so much better! I had lost a couple of kilos, my stomach had started to go down and I was feeling less tired already! This was a huge turning point for me, from that day on I knew I had it in me to lose the 10kgs that would get me back to the weight that I always was before becoming a mum!

The above photo is me 5kg down on Christmas Day….my first goal achieved!

I initially was only going to concentrate on the diet side of things.  Because I’m breastfeeding, I didn’t want to chance losing my milk so I was going to wait and start exercising when I stopped breastfeeding. I also had an 8cm stomach muscle separation after carrying Mia so I wanted to take a full 12 months for that to heal.  It’s funny how things change quickly! One afternoon Kane came home from work and I said “see ya, the kids have been feral and I’m going for a walk!” He looked at me and said “seriously!” That day I walked and did a lot of thinking and from that day on I have maintained exercising 5-6 times a week!

Thank you to my wonderful husband who always supports me with whatever I do!

It’s not easy, in fact it can be very challenging at times! Preparing meals that are lean and healthy, not snacking, exercising. But the end result is so worth it! My first goal was to lose 5kgs by christmas and that I did.  The next goal was to lose the second 5kgs by my birthday which is next week!  There are  still days where I want to eat anything in sight but my mental strength over takes and yells out NO! I haven’t reached that point with the exercising, that I am absolutely loving! It’s also not easy fitting in the exercise! I’m lucky I have a husband that is very supportive and doesn’t leave for work until 6.30. I get up BF my daughter and then I eitheFIFO for a 4km run or half hour walk.  I make sure each week I do a total of 3 hours worth of exercise.  A doctor on the Today show reported that a human exercising 3-5 hours a week is very beneficial to their body!  When I’m having a moment of weakness I think about the clothes I can fit into now…..especially my new size 8 skinny jeans – I’ve never worn size 8 skinny jeans!!! Most importantly I think about how all the good I’ve done is helping my heart not get any worse.  When I’m running and feeling like I can’t run another step (this was more in the early days of exercising) I think of the kids and how I birthed them with no epidural and they were massive 10 pounders!!!

I am very proud of myself for what I have accomplished in the past 6 months, cause not only have I reached my goal weight and am now as fit as ever, I am as mentally fit as I have ever been.  I feel like I could do anything….sounds corny I know, but that is just how I’m feeling:) But I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the love and support of my wonderful husband and children! Being a wife and a mum of 3 little children is awesome but exhausting and for too long now I used this as an excuse to not get fit and healthy!  Now I feel I am a better wife and mum as I have more energy and am in a really good place with myself!

This is me now 10kgs gone for good!

WEEKLY EXERCISE PLAN

Monday – day off, Tuesday – Run 4km, Wednesday – half hour walk, Thursday – Run 4km, Friday – half hour walk, Saturday – 5km run, Sunday – 4km run.

DAILY EATING PLAN

Breakfast – large bowl of cereal with rice milk, Lunch – ham/chicken and salad sandwich, Dinner – Meat and salad/veggies.

During the day if I am hungry I’ll have fruit or rice cakes.  Meals at night may also have rice or pasta with them. I also drink at least 2 litres of water a day and take a multivitamin (Natures Way – Rest and Restore).

Saturday is usually my one day I will treat myself!

Thought of the day…..Everything takes time, you put the effort in and you will see results!

Everything I do, I do it for you!