I’ve been trying to work out why I cannot seem to shift the last of my baby weight.

I have never really bothered with calories, as I’ve always been lucky enough to be on the small side, and I have always just assumed that eating less junk would give me a great body. Sounds reasonable, right?

Well, I’ve been eating brilliantly for the last month, and I do not have a great body. In fact my weight has stayed stubbornly the same even though I have cut out all snacking, all alcohol, trips to Costa and Starbucks, chocolate, sweets and cakes, and even lowered my fruit intake to a couple of pieces a day at most.

I have done all this because I am wearing braces and believe me – it is NOT worth the two minute pleasure of eating crap between meals when you have to clean your teeth and your braces afterwards.

Today I decided to track my food intake and see if I could spot where I was going wrong.

Breakfast: oats, mixed seeds, banana, whole milk

Lunch: kale, beet, apple juiced followed by baked sweet potato with an avocado and hummus, followed by whole yoghurt and sunflower seeds.

Dinner: homemade risotto and green beans

I plugged it all into MyFitnessPal which told me I ate 2,200 calories today. Today was a pretty average day, so that seemed okay to me. But then I looked up what science says I should be eating to maintain my weight. Apparently that’s around 1,800 calories, maybe just pushing 2,000 if I am really active (which I am mostly not).


Then I noticed that the majority of my calories come from fat. 104 grams of it today, to be precise. That seemed like quite a lot, so I checked that and yes – it should be more like 65g.

So I think I have my answer…

I can’t make sense of the calorie thing in my head. If you’re hungry, you need to eat, I always thought.

Sigh. I just don’t think I could put a cap on my food – it would just make me think about eating the whole time.

But it really looks like I’m going to have to make some adjustments because otherwise nothing is going to be any different. And clearly if I carry on eating what I’m eating I really am not going to lose those last few kilos any time soon.

Stress Really Does Make Your Hair Fall Out

I am losing a ton of hair. If you’re a mum you might have been through that stage post-partum where suddenly you are losing hair by what feels like the handful. Have you had that?

I had it several weeks after each pregnancy – it was particularly pronounced after the boys.

For the last couple of weeks my hair loss has been as bad, if not more excessive than post-pregnancy. There is hair everywhere. On the floor, blocking the shower, in the sink, tons of it in my comb and brush. It comes out in my hands if I run my hands through my hair. The kids keep finding it on their hands and toys.

I looked it up and apparently some of your hair goes into a premature rest phase during times of physical, hormonal or emotional stress. Then, around 2 months later, it all starts to fall out.

Steve moved out at the beginning of January, so I guess this is part of the aftermath of our separation.

It’s not severe enough to cause bald patches and I have a lot of very long hair, so I’m not too worried (yet), but it’s definitely noticeable.

Funny how your body is listening and reacting quietly inside to everything that happens to you. It’s so easy to dismiss thoughts and feelings as not affecting our health, but they clearly do!

Invisalign Checkup and Not Running

I went to the dentist/ortho for my first checkup. The brown staining I had was superficial and easily cleaned off. She told me some people just get more than others, but it’s not permanent and we’ll keep an eye on it. Back in two weeks time.

I’ve lost two attachments (out of 20 – I miscounted at the start and thought I only had 18), so they need to be put back. Otherwise everything is looking fine and my gums are also okay (phew). I’m more in the swing of it now and they no longer feel so huge in my mouth.

Everything Else

Toddler F has chickenpox.

I haven’t slept more than a two hour stretch in three nights. Today the spots are not as red, so I think (I hope), we are over the worst. She hasn’t had it too bad really. Most of the spots are on her body and most of them are small. We all slept in this morning until 07:50 so getting the boys to school was a rush as Ls bus leaves at 08:27 and we have to drive to the school bus stop. We made it although both boys are tired and C has had a dreadful cough for a week. School holidays start on Thursday, and we all need the break.

So, because of the pox I am housebound and have not run since last Thursday. I’m also exhausted, so need to catch up on sleep (again). I’m feeling really down about it because I was running so well last year and I hate the beginning stages, but here I am all over again. I feel like I can never stick at anything properly and I’m moping around with the feeling of how much work I have to do to get fit again. It’s the winter, I never run through it and it lasts so long here.

Sigh. Moan moan.

My Mum has been readmitted to the psych ward. She’s been in a week now and no indication of when she’s coming out. I was laying awake at 4am stressing about this. Back in 2005, 13 years ago, I was driving a six hour round trip every weekend (and working long hours in the week), to go and clean up the dog shit and mess in my mums house. She had two dogs but was in the psych ward in Peterborough. Her mother and brother lived down the road, but they couldn’t “cope”, so I was doing it. The dogs cried all week and my Nan (her mum) did a bit, but they still asked me to sort it out. I got her out of hosp, helped sell her house, moved her to be near me, got her in the medical system here.

She got a bit better. But she hated the flat we got her, and complained about all of it. I got her moved into a really nice social housing block, run privately and miles above the social housing alternatives. She was okay at first, but now she hates that too. It’s too small, the people spy on her, the warden is a bully.

And she hates being in the hospital. She says the showers don’t work, there’s nothing to do, she wants to go home. Home where she never eats anything and sleeps all day and stays awake all night long and makes herself ill.

I just don’t know what to do with her. I hate exposing the kids to this, but she’s on the phone at the weekend panicking that her rent is due. I have to leave the two youngest with Steve, drive down, pick her up, take her home so we can sort out the rent cheque (she’s allowed out with supervision).

Then she’s on the phone Monday. She needs to feed the fish or they’ll die (she says). So I’ve got to drive down again tomorrow, even though I’m knackered and F has chickenpox and I hate even driving into the car park with any of my children in the car because patients are allowed out (it’s not a secure ward) and I am afraid. Afraid that my sweet two year old girl or my lovely two boys might be a lure or curiosity to someone who might suddenly become aggressive or violent. I know I would kill anyone that tried to harm them, but I am still afraid. Like last time – the man who said he’d buy my daughter for £2 because he wanted a pet. I told him where to go, but then I was scared. I know that you shouldn’t provoke mental patients. They don’t think like we do.

I hate how psych wards smell of boiled food and self-loathing.

And most of all I hate that 13 years on I am still dealing with this.

My mum – it is a miracle that she had me and my brother and didn’t beat us. She was so badly beaten by her mother (with a dog lead, a broken table leg, a hairbrush, whatever was to hand), and I doubt she was ever really shown any affection. Why didn’t she do the same? I don’t know. Apart from a rare smack now and again, she never touched us.

But she never touched us affectionately either, really. My brother carries on the family tragedy, he did terribly at school. My parents couldn’t handle him as a child. They kind of gave up on both of us and left us to our own devices. I finally figured out (after a wobbly period where it could have gone either way), that university was an escape and I worked like mad to get there. My brother turned to hard drugs at 16.

So, the point of this is that I hate that I am still doing this, but at the same time I know that my mother’s childhood was so awful she deserves some kindness. So I have no real choice.

I don’t think she will ever have any peace from her demons. I wish there was something I could do to make it better, but I can’t take away what happened to her.

Somehow, as people get older they seem to get more hung up on the past. I see it in myself also. It’s not healthy and I think we need to stay vigilant, to look forward, to keep learning and exploring and enjoying life. In later life, if you stop and turn around for too long, the past can get a hold of you and never let you go.

First Run Of The Year

Oh my god. I have lost so much fitness.

I went out today to test the water – to see how much work I’ve got ahead of me if I sign up for this 10k. Dad is free to look after the children so it’s just a case of whether I can manage it or not…

I ran 2.34km today in 18 minutes. It was awful. Really horrible. For the first 500 metres everything in my body screamed at me to stop. My arthritis in my feet hurt, my lungs hurt, my legs hurt. And the wind was freezing cold, even though it was 9° and sunny. Then it was okay for about two minutes, and then the remaining time (which I mostly walked) was just spent calculating the shortest route home and wishing the wind would stop.

I cannot believe how fast you lose everything you work so hard to gain.

I planned to walk/run 3.9km, which is a circular route around our village, but I never would have made it.

Oh well. Maybe I’ll gain it back faster as it’s only been five months since I ran the Great South.

It was a bit of a much-needed reality check on how badly I have taken care of myself over the winter. Nonetheless, I am green-juicing again and I’ve done a run, so it’s all good. I’ve juiced every day this week so far and planning on continuing. Still not quite ready to commit to a big 8 week push to super-fitness. It makes me a bit nervous. But I know I really need it.

Invisalign Update and Doing It!

Two part post:


Invisalign is going okay. I switched to my second tray last Thursday. I was nervous, wondering if I would have five days of horrendous pain again, but it was fine. Some tooth tenderness for the first two days, but no headaches (or crying, ha!).

I am concerned that my teeth are looking really brown. Especially the ones with the attachments on. I drink a couple of cups of decaf tea a day, and have since I was a teenager, so I have two theories:

1. My enamel is more porous from all the cleaning and brushing and is absorbing the stains from tea.

2. The plastic is somehow discolouring my teeth.

Every Invisalign comes with free whitening, which makes me wonder if they don’t know that this happens to a lot of people? I didn’t read about it anywhere. I will ask the dentist when I go in for my checkup on Friday.

Doing it!

I am so fed up of having a post-baby body. I’m 43, so now I have a post-baby, middle-aged and getting-older-rapidly body and it just makes me feel so depressed when I look in the mirror. I know I am comparitively slim, but I am so self-conscious of the flabby tummy and the thighs that are far weightier than they used to be.

It shocks me daily how freaking old and tired I look. I should have started running again by now as I’m running the Great South in October, but the weather has been bloody awful (the daffodils are out and we’ve just had two days of snow – it is insane at time of year for it to be so cold).

It’s time I started. I was also thinking about how I have successfully weathered two and a half weeks of no snacking and hardly any junk food simply because I have braces in, so why don’t I build on that? I don’t have to go through all the crappy withdrawal and cravings at the start like usual – I could dive headfirst into a really healthy eating plan and hopefully see some real changes.

I thought that stopping snacking would see my weight drop a little, but no such luck. My body is clinging on to that fat like nobody’s business, so obviously just cutting out sugar and alcohol isn’t enough (that alone is totally unfair and depressing – sometimes I feel like how far do I have to go to see the changes I want to see?).


I’m waiting for confirmation from my Dad that he can have the kids in 8.5 weeks for a 10k run in his village that I have done before. It’ll mean couch to 10k in 8 weeks and some serious commitment to better eating but I think I am ready to do this. I don’t want to feel and look this way for the rest of my life – and lets face it, it’s only going to get worse.

My plan is something along the lines of:

1. Three super nutritious, balanced meals a day

2. One green juice/smoothie per day

3. Follow a beginners/returners 8 week running plan and include hills on my route

4. Ensure I do some form of strength training at least once a week

5. Set up an 8 week, weekly reward schedule for congratulatory (non-food) treats

6. Join an online bootcamp for support

7. Measure progress weekly

8. Blog weekly for eight weeks to stay accountable (obviously!)

I think, for me, the shorter term the goal is, the more likely I am to achieve it. I get distracted and side-tracked in life so easily. Can I stay focused for 8 weeks I wonder?

If I actually see results it will be easier – that is half the battle for me. I so rarely see any change worth commenting on. I think the only way my body will respond is total immersion, all variables at once. Otherwise the impact is so small so then I give up because it leaves me feeling it’s not worth it, which has happened over and over and over again…

I think I’m going to go for it. All in. See if I can actually see some real changes for once.

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