All posts tagged health

I’m dancing with myself

Published May 30, 2017 by reachandflexibility



December 31st 2016 (244lbs) – April 30th 2017 (201lbs)

That’s right. I’m still at it. As of today I’m at 194lbs so down a total of 50lbs. All through counting calories and working out. I eat around 1600 calories a day and track using myfitnesspal. For the gym I lift weights and do a bit of cycling to warm up. That’s 3 days a week. For the rest of the week I’m either walking the dog or being lazy. Today though I started c25k (its exhausting but I ran!)

I feel good. I’m sleeping better, when I’m not stressing about exams that is. I still get to eat what I want, just within moderation. And its all because of a little self control and discipline. I thought it would be harder. Like with pcos, you’re told that it’s practically impossible to lose weight and yet here I am. 50lbs down in 6 months. I thought it would be the impossible. People I know are saying I’m inspiring and quite honestly. I’m not sure why. It really is that easy to do…

Next goal is 179. That makes me a healthy bmi. For the first time since I was a preteen I’m sure. The last time I remember being weighed was at 21 and I was about 230lbs then… I’ve always been big. I’m very curious as to how my body is going to look in…jesus 15lbs…That’s really not that far at all. Still can’t get over how easy this has been. Where’s the catch?

On a subnote – Motivation music


A weigh in… Finally

Published March 2, 2017 by reachandflexibility

So I was going to update each week with our this weight loss thing was going. And then I got busy with university and parenting and you know life. But, good news! I’m still going strong.

I started January at 244lbs. Currently on March 2nd, after a week of being ill and my body holding all water weight, I’m 217! 27lbs down in total. The first 16 just dropped off me after I started to count my calories.the rest have been a slow rate of about 1-2 per week.

I also joined a gym like I said I would. I’m going 3 times a week for about an hour each time. This includes 20 minutes+ of cycling and then weight training afterwards. I’m really enjoying it. On weekends im walking the dog and I look forward to doing things. Not just sitting around watching TV.

It’s actually been very easy. I’m still enjoying some treats every now and again. But instead of buying every cake that I see, I’m actually making the choice as to whether they are worth it. I’m rewarding myself with new t shirts and things to help me instead of food.

The only hard part has been that my immune system has taken a beating. I finally had to give in this week and rest. I was back in the gym today but damn could I feel the break.

I need to add a progress picture as near on 30lbs has made a bit of a difference to my appearance, at least to my university friends anyways. Seriously so many questions and compliments. I’m not used to it at all.

But yeah, things are going really well. Here’s hoping to another loss soon!

1 week logging

Published January 8, 2017 by reachandflexibility

So my scales arrived and guess what! I was 10kg less than my midwife appointment 3 years ago so instead og starting this journey at 121kg, I’m starting it at 110kg! (244lbs for the Americans!).

This does make my calories a little lower for the days (I’m going by recommended TDEE, not just 1200 crazy) but it’s not so bad when I work out my meals. I’ve been finding some good recipes on google and reddit so last week got to try quinoa for the first time and suprisingly enjoyed it! My problem comes in the evenings when the meals are a little heavier and a little later than I could do with, but its something I’m willing to do so that me and my husband can enjoy time together. I just make sure to add it all in for the day and cut back.

At university this is easier as I’m kept busy and my mind always occupied but at home I’m driving crazy with boredom and as such with unneeded hunger. I’ve tidied my house this week, just to give me something productive to do. The joys of having a toddler means I can’t actually do anything I want to do. Crochet? Nope, she wants my yarn and hooks. PC? She’s escaped to try and kill herself with something. At least I’m running around after her then.

But Wednesday will be weigh in day and I’m excited. I’ll admit this week hasn’t been easy on some days. Just feeling like shit from the diet change. But other days I have felt amazing, So much energy, So happy. I’ve even signed up for a 5 week challenge for accountibility!

So roll on Wednesday!

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2017, Year of the cliche!

Published January 3, 2017 by reachandflexibility

Haven’t updated since August. I’ve simply been too busy. I have even had to make a timetable for when I can fit things into my life.

University is going very well. There was a hiccup at the start where I worried how I was going to manage it all along with being a parent but after some tips from a student counsellor I’ve settled in nicely. I’m completing assignments on time and even managing the fuck tonne of required reading (though with Christmas things have slowed down).

I’ve met a load of different people from all around the world and learnt so much about their backgrounds and cultures. Countries which before, I had little knowledge about.

I’m enjoying the subjects too. Though currently there is a lot of theory and I’m worried how it will work in practice but my friends seem confident so I will just hope for the best.

Beth is doing well. Her speech has picked up incredibly over the last month or so. She loved Christmas and has gained an obsession with dinosaurs. She’s still as loud and as active as ever though.

The active side will do me good though. I’m treating 2017 as the year I get shit done. Starting with myself.

It’s been 2 weeks since I had my last fizzy drink and yesterday I started my healthy eating. The last time I focussed like this it worked and then I got pregnant. So time to focus again. And for the first time in 20 years I’m going to own a pair of scales. Horray for new years as they were on sale very cheap. I’m going to do this. I have my before pictures taken and my apps installed and if my timetable allows it in February I will join a gym up town and start on that side of things. I’m not going to go crazy and rush into things, trying to change every little aspect of my life. That won’t work with me. I’m taking it bit by bit. Slowly merging it into my life so that it just becomes the norm. The only thing I wish was that I had a little more support from people around me. So hopefully this blog will probably become that base. Mostly so I don’t bore the pants off my husband (we got married in September by the way! I’ll post more of that at a later date).

So yeah, the old cliche. New year, new me. Well a more disciplined version of me anyways. And if anyone would like to join me on this journey then please do. As it’s going to be a long fucking journey. (No seriously. The last weigh in I had was when I was 12 weeks pregnant, 3 years ago! and I was a BMI of 39…) Long…Fucking…Journey…



Apologies for the dirty mirror ^^

One Smug Mother.

Published June 5, 2014 by reachandflexibility

Disclaimer : If you had a horrible labor and can’t stand the sound of someone who didn’t I would advise not to read on. If however you are a FTM with a fear of being strapped to a bed for days of struggle ending in some sort of assisted delivery then read on. What I got was not what I expected.

Now Elizabeth Marie was born at 00.19am Tuesday 3rd June weighing a surprising 7 lb 2 oz. (39+2)

On the Monday I had woken up a few times during the morning with mild period pains but nothing I would consider often or even painful. Having had heavy periods all my life these were nothing but niggles. At 6am I decided to get up for some breakfast when I noticed a trickle of fluid. This stopped start as I walked around or stood up but seemed to be like a heavy discharge. I figured this was the early/pre-stages of labor I’d been told to expect. I set myself up for a day on the sofa with Animal Planet on and a little Mass Effect 3. I’d planned to have the trilogy completed before she arrived.

Well the pains came and went but weren’t building in intensity and weren’t very regular. I’d been told this could go on for days and messaged friend J asking if this could just be braxton hicks as I hadn’t experienced them at all. I mentioned the fluid loss and was told that could have been my waters. Now I don’t know why but I expected them to keep leaking if it was and this had stopped from the hour or so in the morning. Either way I took her advice and called Kim and the hospital to say I just wanted to be checked out just in case. If it was my waters I didn’t want to run the risk of infection. Everyone couldn’t believe how calm I was about the whole thing. If anything I was a little excited to see how it would go. Well an hour later me and Kim went down the hospital where they hooked me up to a trace to check Beth’s movement. She was fine and my contractions had calmed down quite a bit and I wasn’t leaking. Dr’s and nurses took their time as I really was in no serious situation or hurry.

At 3,30 a Dr came in to do a swab test to check the fluid.  She was not gentle with this. It was like a smear test times 10. Not unbearable but I did mouth the words “What the fuck!” to Kim when she started. Well this is where things got fun. The rest of my waters proceeded to break all over the bed. I was more worried about making a mess of the floor than what was actually happening. This was it though. I was off to the labour ward and they weren’t letting me go home until I’d had her. I really didn’t want this. I had wanted to go home and watch Aliens and relax in my own space. I honestly began to panic a little just at being stuck in a hospital and strapped to a bed. Well I got taken to my room and told if labor didn’t start in 18 hours I’d be induced. Time to wait…

Sort of….

15 minutes later and a quick call to my mum to let her know what was happening and my contractions had built up in pain quite a bit and after each one I was feeling quite sick. I requested a anti-emetic to get past this. In between contractions and during most of them I was pretty cool though. 15 minutes after the anti-emetic and I was asking about pain relief as things were getting a little uncomfortable and quite quickly. Claire the midwife gave me some paracetamol and said they were just changing over staff and that my only option was pethadine until I was dilated enough to be moved to delivery. She said I seemed ok and calm though and not to worry too much, she’d see me when she was back in. I didn’t want pethadine due to already feeling quite sick despite the earlier injection. I decided to wait it out and see how I went.

Well 20 minutes later and I was sat in the bathroom feeling very very uncomfortable and trying to fight the urge to vomit, piss and shit at the same time. I was not a happy bunny and had Kim request a nurse come and examine me just so I knew how much I had of this left. Something was going on and I was beginning to panic – I dreaded being that first time mum who just screams for an epidural when they’re barely a centimeter dilated. You know those types from one born every minute who just scream and scream…ugh…The midwife who came in gave me the look as if I was one. Until she did the examination. She then ran off and called a colleague who checked me quickly and started prepping the bed for movement. Contraction over and I’m casually asking what stage I’m at. Could I have got to 4cm in the hour or so since my waters went? I was fully dilated and off to be delivered. So much for pain relief and the average 16 hours that I was advised I’d be dealing with. On wheeling down I had a huge contraction, did some moaning (not even screaming, I was just humming at one point to get through it) and again was resisting throwing up. Turns out that was being caused by dilating so quickly and I don’t think any anti emetic was going to beat that. Transition was a bitch it seemed. Luckily no embarrassing vomiting though! Not bad for the one with the phobia.

Anyways, I’m rushed down and moved to the delivery bed where the 2 new delivery midwives can not believe how quickly I’ve been sent to them. They’re checking my notes multiple times to make sure. Meanwhile I’m chatting away in between my somewhat short and irregular contractions joking about things from TV and really being somewhat cool with things. They say there is no point getting the epidural I had planned as by the time the Dr had it prepped and set Beth would be here. I figured what the hell then, let’s not bother. Well 4 hours later and she was still not there. My urges to push were near non existent and contractions too short to really be effective. I got hooked to the Syntocinon to speed them up. Now this, I dreaded as had been told it also ramps up the pain. I was coping fine as it was (without the gas and air I might add as simply didn’t see the point in it. All I wanted was to bite down on something.) Well it worked and during this final hour I was exhausted. I just wanted to sleep and was begging them to just pull her out of me. I even recommended they could do it like a sheep and tie her legs up and just pull. This was the finish though. They guided me with my pushing, telling me what I needed to do and got me through it. Kim was amazing keeping me calm and cooling me off when I needed. I honestly don’t know how I would have coped without them. She was born 00.19 on the 3rd. Luckily the day after my parent’s wedding anniversary and after the announcement of a friend’s engagement.

It turns the reason she was so slow from dilation is because she was back to back and elbow first. Somewhere along the line she had turned and so all pain was in my hips and spine. I got a tear (no idea how bad, but I apparently lost quite a lot of blood and am stitched from end to end) but after it all I can honestly say I was right not to be nervous of it. I handled it all like I knew I would do. I got told with any future children I should probably just have a home birth. I don’t think I’ll be going through it again any time soon though….

So for a first time mother advised that because of BMI I should expect a slow, painful delivery with a heavy child and some assistance needed I did everything the exact opposite. Yeah I’ve been smug….

This basically gives a sum up of the mood of my childbirth. Whilst being stitched up we were discussing Scottish porn…


100 left!

Published February 28, 2014 by reachandflexibility

So hello peeps. It’s the start of another week off and Kim actually has time off as well so we’re going to be painting Beth’s room and just trying to relax for once. There is 100 days of my pregnancy left and I’m counting down every moment of them. As of this moment this isn’t something I’d want to go through again. I’m still sickly each morning, I’ve got ongoing heartburn and reflux to the point where I’m drinking Gaviscon from the bottle and only in the last week have I started sleeping better. I’m still exhausted of course though. Add to that the stresses of college and the knowledge that I have my exams coming up I’m a little easy rattled. I’ll be 35 weeks when I’m doing them, This includes an hour dog grooming skills assessment which I’m having so much trouble getting to grips with already. It’s tricky with 5 people working on a dog and most of them already having experience. I’m learning very little.

On good notes though 100 days is a countdown point I can track. I’m enjoying buying bits of the baby items like the expressing stuff and little clothes. Just worries me financially of course. I’m really trying to avoid stress at this point, I know it’s not going to do me or Beth any good at all.

I’m worrying about my GTT still which I haven’t yet booked. I’ve felt pretty abandoned with the nurses and hospital over here in Ireland and feel any concern I have gets brushed off as crazy first time parent. Maybe they’re right but I feel I’m getting ignored. The morning sickness makes fasting impossible. I’m up at 6.30 each day to get food inside me before retreating back to bed or I just become a mess. Not to mention my terrible veins which I’ve brought up in previous blogs. This is going to make a 3 hour blood test a miracle to get through. If I’m sick they need to re book it. I’ve tried asking about alternatives like glucose strip testing at home, doing the 1 hour non fasting test or even eating something protein based before the test rather than anything that would increase sugar levels. All options were met with a “hmm, you’re just going to have to suck it up and do it”… I asked about medication for the nausea and got a nope. I’m not even allowed water or my gaviscon for 12 hours before the test which will equal acid reflux nausea, dehydration and morning sickness all in one package. The test so far is really looking to me like it’s not going to go ahead at all. I keep seeing the risks of gestational diabetes and get this feeling that I’m almost being emotionally blackmailed into doing a test that might be unnecessary if they would just do a 1 hour test instead. But can I question them or at least voice my concerns? They don’t have time for it. Not to mention I have to visit the hospital for this appointment and yet see my local nurse for my 28 week check up. They can’t do them both together which would be the logical option. Is my main worry the blood test in itself? not at all, that would make some sense. The problem is I’m an emetaphobe. I’m terrified of being sick, of people being sick around me. If someone even mentions they feel sick I go into anxiety mode straight away. The biggest part of this pregnancy has been for me trying to avoid being sick and trying to avoid getting ill. I’m a label freak on foods, I check everything I eat and I hate places where sick people will be. The less time I’m in the hospital the better. Now this is all an illogical phobia that I’ve had for many many years and a lot of people don’t understand it. You’d think I’d be able to get over it for a simple test that could prevent alot of pregnancy related problems but I really can’t. Since I heard of the blood test needing to be done it’s been a major worry on my mind and no medical professional will acknowledge it. I honestly don’t know what to do with it at this stage.

Apart from all this time has been going by quite quickly. We’re already nearing March when yesterday seems to have been Christmas and June is just around the corner. I’ll finally get to see my family again who I’ve missed so much the last few months. Really do wish I was back home in the UK at times.

On a lighter note I’m totally hyped for the new series of Hannibal later tonight. I’ve watched all the first series, gained an unhealthy obsession with Mads Mikkelsen and have been counting the days until the next episode would be aired. Seriously he is a better Hannibal Lector than Anthony Hopkins. Below basically sums up the entire show.

The pregnancy bit

Published January 29, 2014 by reachandflexibility

Right and second post. The pregnancy one.

I’m currently 21 weeks and 3 days. I’m still suffering with heartburn and morning sickness even though I had thought it had began to ease off. I realised this morning that it hasn’t. My hips are feeling pretty fucked. I’m struggling to hold my weight up with them at times and I just can not get comfy sitting down. I’ve got a bruise on my hip which is huuuuugeeee. Basically I slammed my weight down on the arm of a seat at college and have left a mark. Owy. I’m also RH Negative and fell on my ass the other day at home. Pup helped and licked my face as I sat on the floor clutching my aching foot. My instant question was, was it bad enough to need the Anti D jab? Now you get this for having a negative blood type. You need it so that your body does not produce antibodies or something. Well I decided it wasn’t that bad. I hadn’t bashed bump, I wasn’t aching anywhere in the midsection or back. Figured I would ignore it and will ask the nurse at my 24 week appointment. Hopefully I’ve done the right thing.

In other news my 20 week appointment was one of the most depressing experiences of my life. I went in expecting to be scanned and was handed a number. I sat down in the waiting area to be told you don’t get scanned at all at 20 weeks and to go wait to be called by a nurse. Well 10 minutes and a lot of anger later I got called for my blood pressure. (Which was now high due to the stress) The nurse ignored the majority of comments I made and seemed more focussed on getting me out of there. Typically they were busy despite it only being 8.45am. I was then told that I would need a blood test and to wait again with my number. A few minutes later I got called by the probably only pleasant experience of the morning. A lovely nurse needed to take my blood and optimistically stabbed in my elbow worrying about my warnings that it would be difficult to get blood from me. It of course didn’t work at all. I recommended my upper arm as this is where has been successful in the past. She uttered that she had never taken blood from there before and called over another pleasant colleague who too had never taken blood from there. They tried though. And with many giggles managed to get the vein and some blood about half way down the tube before it stopped and refused to give anymore. That’s right, the tube. Not even the vial. At this point about 20 minutes had passed and they were giving up. I offered the other arm which nobody has ever got blood from before. The second nurse looks at the back of my hand and goes yep we’ll try here. She stabbed as hard as she fucking could into the back of my hand. They managed a 3/4 of a vial. To note for each of these they used the smaller needles that they normally use on babies. My veins are just that shit. Again I was told to go wait and I would see the OB. Now I’ve never met my OB. It’s guy called John though I know that much. We waited and eventually were called by a small Indian woman. She told us to sit down and I can only assume she was the dr we would be seeing that morning. She asked if I was well, scribbled in my notes and asked if I had any questions. Yeah, where the fuck was the scan I was told I would have? Well she said she could do one for us and dragged us to her rubbish machine. She roughly handled my fat (Yeah, I did notice her lack of gentle manner) and quickly scans me. We ask about gender and she says she can’t tell at all. Barely looks really, says everything seems fine though and within 20 seconds we were done. She asked if I had felt baby moving and I said not really. It’s my first, I’m a larger girl. It will happen though. She scribbles on my notes and says be back in 12 weeks. That’s right I’m not seen at the hospital again until 32 weeks. Looking at my notes she had written “no fetal movement yet” and with a big arrow pointing to it wrote “High BMI” – Well she was fucking tactful. I left the hospital angry and upset and in the most classy way sat with Kim in the Tesco car park crying my eyes out at the experience. A nice day off to relax had been ruined by the professionals that are meant to care about people’s well-being. If you ever plan on having children, don’t bother in Ireland. It’s a frustrating experience.

It got better though. We rang a private clinic here in Cork (Babyscan) and asked if they could do a gender scan for us. It would cost but if it went well would make up for so much that the healthcare system had put us through. 18 months of waiting for a referral, cattle like systems of appointments, dr’s and nurses with just no time for you. They said they’d ring us with an appointment otherwise it would be Wednesday afternoon. Well Saturday afternoon we got a call back that someone had cancelled and would we like their place. We snapped it up and took the 20 minute drive to the clinic. It was quiet, relaxing and all the staff were pleasant. The receptionist couldn’t get my name right but with her accent I didn’t realise until she put it on paper. At that point I didn’t have the heart to correct her. We get called in for our scan after 15 minutes and it’s all smiles and excitement. Me and Kim are happy to announce we’re having a little girl. I have been convinced boy since day 1. I should have known with a family of all girls that a girl was more likely but I didn’t realise. We’re over the moon though. The appointment was exactly what I needed. It wiped out the majority of bad memories from the previous week. We’re having a little baby girl. Don’t know if that will ever lose it’s magic.

We’ve picked our names from before we even got pregnant. Elizabeth Marie. Beth for short. Found out today that a friend had had his little girl and called her Bethan. Was a little peeved that she will technically have the same shortened name we will but I just like to think that our Beth will be cuter, smarter and all those other things that parents believe about their children. Besides the names are family names so we get +1 to the choices already anyways. I’ve also been feeling her move a little more the last few days. Not like kicks or anything but like tickles. It’s difficult to describe but I know it’s her and it happens more and more each day it seems.

My next appointment is at 24 weeks with my local nurse. She’s nice and I’m hoping to god she can give me something for my sickness or I’m not going to make it through the GTT test I need. We’ll see how that goes and I’ll probably report back with all that too.