It hasn't been the best start to 2015, with poor old Bertster getting so poorly, but onwards and upwards - we are just so thankful he has made a speedy recovery, and is back to his (incredibly cheeky) self.
Back at the start of January I set myself four goals to try and achieve throughout 2015, and I thought it being the first of the month, it would be a sensible time to update you as to how I'm getting on 1/6 of the way through the year.
GOAL 1: Be Kinder To Yourself
I'm definitely getting the hang of this one, and boy am I enjoying it! Whether it be an hour to myself (while Bert naps, usually) to read a book or flick through a magazine, or time invested into teaching myself a new hobby, I am thoroughly enjoying every moment of this goal. I feel happier too, and I'm hoping my happiness shows.
I am planning regular social events, nights/days out, and mini trips away throughout the year to give me lots of little things to anticipate and look forward too. This weekend, I headed away to Nottingham with some lovely fellow-blogger friends for a night's escape from the rat race.
We wandered round the shops, had a leisurely lunch, got dressed up and headed out for a lovely dinner, sat up chatting until 2am, and enjoyed breakfast and a little more shopping together before parting and heading back to our families.
It is amazing how rejuvenating even just one night away can be: not only do you completely relax but yet manage to fit a million things into such a short space of time, but you also find yourself missing back home, and looking forward to seeing everyone again - I couldn't wait to give Bertster a big squeeze, and see his face when I presented him with a Daddy Pig Weeble toy I'd picked up for him as a treat. I also think it's important for Liam and Bert to get time together just the two of them, as they rarely get that, and good for Bert to be away from me a little bit, so as to ensure he doesn't suffer too much anxiety when I have to be away from him for a while - the more regularly you do it as a parent the stronger you all get. Plus, it's good for home to soldier on without you for a while, I've found they tend to appreciate what you do for them so much more when you leave them to their own devices ;-)
While in Notts I thoroughly relaxed and enjoyed a mooch around the shops, a little retail therapy (it would have been rude not to treat myself to a few lovely things), and some lovely meals with even lovelier friends. As soon as I arrived home from Notts on Saturday afternoon I headed straight out again to my lovely friend Amy's 'Bump Party' (think baby shower but less American!). She is due to have her baby boy this month, and it was lovely to share an afternoon/evening with her, our good friends, lots of cake and Hotel Chocolat tasting (YES! Us British know how to do a baby shower in style!) After the lovely weekend I've just had I feel refreshed and ready to face anything March has to throw at me.
A little glimpse into what me being kind to myself looks like - my weekend in pictures!
I'm also very much enjoying my newest crafting hobby - crochet. I taught myself to crochet a granny square, and all the other necessary skills needed to make a granny square blanket (attaching the squares to each other, sewing in the ends, and eventually doing some crochet edging) using amazing tutorials from blogger Sarah-Jayne over at Bella Coco. Her YouTube tutorials have been a godsend, and I'm so proud of my new hobby and how fast I've picked it up (thanks to Sarah-Jayne). I'm working using 100% cotton yarn, which feels amazing, and I've chosen my favourite colour combo of grey and yellow - the aim is to make myself a big blanket, for snuggling on the sofa in front of the TV at night - a thoroughly selfish make - which is very in-keeping with the theme of this year's goal.
My newest hobby: crochet! I'm making a gorgeous yellow & grey blanket in 100% cotton.
GOAL 2: Reach My 10 Stone Weight Goal
So, I started 2015 at 11 stone 7 lbs, and since then I have managed to shift 11lbs - I'm pretty happy with that! I now weigh 10 stone 10 lbs which puts me officially into the "normal weight" category on the BMI scale for my sex/age/height, and that is a big achievement for me, having always been classed as 'obese' or 'morbidly obese' my whole adult life.
I'm pleased with the steady losses throughout the last two months, especially considering I've had weekends away, meals out and parties to attend in the past two months, and we had the horrendous stay in hospital to contend with as well. Slow and steady most definitely wins the race when it comes to weight loss, and I absolutely know I can get to my 10 stone target in the first half of this year for sure. Then the rest of the year will see me concentrate on getting to grips with maintaining within a 7lb range, and enjoying my new sized body.
I continue to count calories every single day - I don't always stay within my calorie goal, but when I have days that I go over, I make sure that other days in that week I am under in order to balance it out as best I can. I try hard to make sensible, healthy choices as much as possible, and on the whole I think I manage temptation well.
So, I have 10lbs left to lose until I hit my very final target weight - exciting stuff. I'm hoping I'll be able to get to my goal in another two months, should I carry on the way I've started. So, by the end of April, hopefully I will be done with weight loss, and welcoming the maintenance phase of my healthy life style with open arms.
10 stone 10lbs and loving life right now!
GOAL 3: Drink More Water
I'm getting there with this one, but it's going to take a few more months before I'm doing it easily and just as part of my usual routine. After two months I'm managing to drink a glass of water with each meal as a minimum, and I'm trying to make sure I drink a glass in between each meal as well.
I still drink a lot of tea, but try to balance it with a glass of water for every cup of tea I drink - I'm not always managing it, but I'm certainly drinking a lot more than I was in 2014.
I very rarely drink carbonated drinks (other than fizzy water) and I never ever drink squash or fruit juice. I really like low calorie tonic water (especially the new flavoured varieties such as cucumber, lime, elderflower and jasmine) and mostly I drink still, cold mineral water straight from the fridge.
It is a work in progress, but I'm definitely improving, and hope to have this habit honed very soon!
GOAL 4: Read More Books
I've almost managed my 'book a month' challenge - in January I read 'Before I Go To Sleep' by SJ Watson, and my February read has been 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding - I've almost finished it, and will be moving on to my third book (of which I haven't decided on yet) as soon as I'm done with Lord of the Flies.
I still find it hard to fit reading into my daily life - by the time Bert has gone to bed I'm too tired to concentrate on a book and prefer to veg out in front of the TV with some crochet (or chocolate! ha!) and during the day there's not a chance to read - Bert literally takes the book out of my hand and says 'no'. Kids!
I take a book up to the bath with me, and read a few pages trying desperately not to drop it in the bath water, and sometimes manage to grab twenty minutes here and there when Bert is asleep, or being occupied by his Daddy. But it still doesn't fit brilliantly into my day to day - must try harder.
So, Ladies and Gents, that's my little update - all is going according to plan, and I'm ready and willing for whatever the next couple of months might throw at me.
Bring it on.