Happy Mum Happy Baby

Following on from my last podcast discovery The Parent Hood, I’ve now discovered Giovanna Fletcher’s Happy Mum Happy Baby.

Giovanna first came to my attention when she and her husband Tom Fletcher (McFly singer) posted a series of adorable You Tube videos documenting her pregnancy from announcement through to the introduction of their adorable boys. My eldest was born just a few weeks before their eldest so their journey struck a particular chord. However, then my own life took over and it wasn’t until I listened to Giovanna’s interview on The Parent Hood that I learned of her book Happy Mum Happy Baby and new podcast.

I wish I’d known about the book earlier. First time “mumming” can be lonely, daunting, overwhelming and a little bit isolating. I was really lucky to have great support around me but in the middle of the night when I’d tried to soothe my eldest to the sounds of Pretty Amazing Grace for the millionth time, I could have done with a bit of “Giovanna solidarity”. Because that’s what this book is – not particularly a book of advice or tips (although they are there) and certainly not an instruction manual, but it’s her account of motherhood in an easy to read and approachable fashion.

51oRcIkWqvL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

For her blog series, Giovanna has invited other celebrities to describe their motherhood experiences. I’m being a bit of a podcast junkie at the moment and listening whenever I can. So far I’ve heard Davina McCall and Emma Willis give their accounts but it was Alex Jones’ story which resonated particularly. Younger than me but “an older mum”, she expressed her fears for being that bit older than most first time mums and described how in the end she realised that we’re all in the same boat, whatever age we are. I’ve since bought her book Winging It (such a great title – I’ve often felt that’s exactly what I’m doing!)51zXeADNs9L._SX342_BO1,204,203,200_

The podcast with Jo Malone made me look at her in a whole new light – what a woman. Kimberley Walsh understood my stress at having two children far too close together (especially for a woman of my age!). The episode I listened to most recently was fairly traumatic with Elle Wright and Michelle Cottle recounting their experiences of stillbirth and infant death – too close to home to be comfortable listening but also good to know that none of us are alone. I cried too!

I keep wanting to speak back to whoever Giovanna is chatting to and exclaim “me too, me too”! So thanks Giovanna and guests. Please make another series before I run out of your back catalogue!

Advertisements

Herbalife – Week Three

84.0

Finally I feel like I’m getting into a rhythm and seeing it in black and white on the scales! After last weeks blip (and weight increase), I’m finally a smidgen away from a kilo down from day one (and a kilo and a half down from last week).

I’m making both my milkshakes in the morning and leaving my lunchtime one in the fridge before setting off for work. It’s much better to have it ready to go rather than risk being tempted by something quicker or easier (or quieter!) to make when I get home. Let’s face it, there’s nothing complicated about mixing powder and milk in a nutribullet but as I sometimes don’t get home for lunch till 4pm and am hungry, all reason can soon fly out of the window!

I was much more disciplined at the weekend. The weather was so glorious that it made you WANT to be good! I did indulge in my tomato on toast on Saturday morning but walked a little way to earn it and considered it a treat so didn’t feel I was depriving myself. On Sunday we took the children to the beach for a couple of hours with a snacky picnic and my protein bar fitted right in with their choccie biscuit bars.

My cheapie activity watch finally made a bid for freedom somewhere on Saturday morning. Timing was ideal as I’d ordered a Fitbit to be collected the same day and paid for with a gift voucher left over from Christmas that I’d completely forgotten about! We are gadget junkies in our house so it was going to happen sooner or later but I’m loving having something much more interactive to log my steps and weight.

And my sleep! It’s fascinating seeing the sleep stats! My sleep is all over the place which is hardly surprising with a 2 year old and a 4 year old. I must try and get my act together though and get to bed earlier rather than indulging in my hour of me time and TV time once the family is in bed, school bags packed and clothes laid out for the morning! The One Show presenter, Alex Jones, in her anecdotal book about becoming a Mum, Winging It, talks about how you need sleep to lose weight. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Her Teddy is still a baby so she’ll learn not to expect a full night’s sleep for another year or so!

Either it’s my imagination, or Herbalife is definitely having some positive side effects. Despite not a lot of sleep the last few weeks, I’m much more focused at work and in my other activities. I was asked to contribute a chapter to a book being compiled by Ali Meehan of CostaWomen and whereas a few weeks ago I would have put it off and procrastinated until the last minute, I knuckled down and got it done after the family went to bed on Friday night so that I didn’t have to dwell on it over the weekend. I’ve also been asked to edit a book on Mindfulness – a topic that’s not really crossed my radar before so I’m feeling positive about that one too. As well, being a distributor is giving me much more of a sense of determination and responsibility to try harder myself at losing weight and staying on track with my Herbalife lifestyle choice.

It’s another bank holiday in Estepona today celebrating San Isidro de Labrador so again it’s all about the children. Luckily I’m going out with my sponsor and her children so it will be a case of “I’m having what she’s having!” – God, I hope she’s hungry! Later on we’ll be going to town to watch the parade – this is one of my favourites with cows, horses, carriages and children in their colourful countryside style outfits.

familyday.jpg

Grace came home from school with this present she made for the family to celebrate Family Day which is also today

Have a great week everybody!

 

 

 

Herbalife – Week Two

My Herbalife sponsor always says if you have a bad week, think about what you did wrong and rectify it for the next week. So, time to think.

Actually, I don’t have to think that hard… I was a horror at the weekend. When I look back at how I achieved my goals before Christmas, I allowed myself a treat on a Saturday and Sunday which gave me a real impetus to get through the week. Instead, this weekend my “bad” was to grant myself two days entirely made up of treats!

Saturday started pretty well. I really wanted to go to the beach for tostada con tomate in the morning but resisted the urge. But then the husband decided to nap away the afternoon which, combined with a surge of monthly hormones and crossness that I had to do the weekly shop once again on a Saturday night, created a treat monster like no other. In fact, I remember feeding the children their dinner on Saturday night but I can’t remember having any myself so it was probably just a load of rubbish!

fan

Día de la Madre present for the littlest one

Sunday was a fantastic day with a trip to the zoo and pizza for dinner. Fantastic family time but not so great for the weight loss plan. It was Día de la Madre in Spain which meant that zoo entry was free for mums, as was a meal in their restaurant (didn’t choose the salad…) and when you’ve had such a great day that your four year old asks politely to go out for tea before going home, resistance is futile.

I had the Italian version of my tomato on toast (that I was still craving from the day before) while the husband gorged on pasta and the children picked on their pizza. My bruschetta was DELICIOUS but probably didn’t rate very highly on the protein/energy healthy option scorecard and so when we got home and everyone was asleep while I was preparing the school bags for the new week, still fighting those hormones, and the bag of marshmallows fell out of the cupboard… well put it this way, the children aren’t getting any marshmallows this week!

fuengirola pizza

When they’re good, they’re very very good

So, needless to say, the scales are probably telling the grim truth this morning. Hormones are still in residence so I’m going to allow myself some fluctuation for that and repeat the mantra of “must try harder”. Weekday treats MUST NOT HAPPEN. Weekend treats to be minimal, and only taken when in the interests of family harmony (ie. no late night alone snacking). A couple of other ladies have now joined as my Herbalife buddies so hopefully they will keep me on the straight and narrow. I’m going to check the Herbalife list of snacks as well to make sure I’m eating enough in the afternoon so I’m not so hungry at night.

Now where did I put that protein bar???

 

The Parent Hood

I mentioned The Parent Hood podcast in an earlier post but wanted to expand a bit more for those who haven’t come across it before.

Marina Fogle, wife of TV presenter and adventurer Ben Fogle, was recently interviewed on TRE, our local English language radio station here in Spain. She was talking about The Bump Class, her revolutionary antenatal classes, book and first series of podcasts.

My husband is a huge podcast listener, enjoying topics as diverse as football, news quizzes, comedy and history. We’ve often listened to Desert Island Discs in the car on long journeys (life before toddlers) but that was as far as my podcast experience went. But I decided to give The Parent Hood series a try.

Initially aimed at new parents, most of the topics centre around first year problems – teething, weaning, breastfeeding, sleeping and so on. But there’s also some really interesting extra topics including verrucas and teeth cleaning, as well as a selection of interviews with other famous parents asking how parenthood has changed their lives. I was particularly touched by the podcast where Marina and Ben discussed their pretty unconventional family life and how they were affected by the stillbirth of their third child.

The podcasts are not long – usually around half an hour – so perfect for dipping in to on the way back from the school run (or just when you’re hiding from the children or the Paw Patrol theme tune).

You an access the podcasts on itunes or acast. Give them a try!

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 17.24.07.png

 

Herbalife – Day One (Second Attempt)

84.9

I was “encouraged” to try Herbalife last September by a friend who had been converted to the Herbalife way of life after losing three stone. She has beautiful twins the same age as my eldest daughter and was not feeling good about the way she looked three years after their arrival. She has done amazingly well. Her perseverance and determination to change her life has really paid off – her new “outdoorsy” lifestyle, energy and joie de vivre is just incredible. She’s a real inspiration!

My friend has the luxury of a bit more time than me to join exercise groups and is now very committed to her training. Having said that, if I had the extra time, I’m not sure I’d be as motivated as she is to try kick boxing and all the other workouts she does. However, I am going to send my four year old to her for some roller blading instruction! Hopefully I can find a weekly exercise class not too far from home in the near future – one where I don’t feel too fatshamed to go back!

Image-1.jpg

Herbalife and I rubbed together pretty well from September. I found milkshake flavours that worked for me and added a banana to the breakfast shake and berries to the lunchtime one. Protein bars were my saviour giving me my daily chocolate fix. Some days were easier than others. Lunchtime commitments sometimes meant I didn’t have time to make my shake between work shifts and inlaw visits meant loads of temptation and not much time at home to get into my Herbalife routine. However, by Christmas I had lost 10kg and was very pleased with my progress.

But then it all went down hill…

Christmas is hard when you’re following any diet plan, let’s be honest. Add in the depressing element of being stuck in a sick house with poorly children and a husband suffering badly from flu and the willpower flew out of the window. And all that chocolate in the house!!!

Into the New Year I was back on my morning shake but that was all. Any excuse for me to miss the lunchtime one and I’d take it! Then it was getting a bit expensive, weather was rubbish, etc etc. Name the excuse and I’ve made it!

But, back with vengeance today 1st May. I’m thrilled to say that despite quite a lot of excess, I’ve only gained a kilo since my lowest point. That in itself is encouraging. So I’ve had my vanilla shake this morning with a banana for an extra boost. I didn’t lick the knife when I made the children’s nutella toast this morning and protein bars are ready for action later on. I’ll be making a mint choc shake for lunch before I head out to a children’s party (willpower tester) – that’s a new flavour for me so I’m hoping it’s as delicious as mint choc ice cream and won’t get too repetitive!

IMG_1455.jpg

My sponsor tells me I have to plan my day with sufficient snacks (the right sort obviously) – it’s not easy when you’re working full time and juggling two under-fives to find snacks that fit in but I’m going to try! Scrambled egg is one that’s recommended but it’s a bit difficult to make while you’re out on viewing with clients!

I know Herbalife isn’t for everyone and it has its “haters” as well as its converts but it’s important to find what works for you and I need something easy to follow that fits with your life. I’m not going to be making special dinners for myself or following it too rigorously at weekends – family time is too important to mess with. I heard a tip on The Parent Hood podcast the other day about pouring washing up liquid on children’s leftovers as soon as they’ve finished eating to stop mums picking at leftovers – that may be one to try!

Wish me luck!