Books · Health · Lifestyle

2020 Goals and Resolutions

Long time no see…

So as I sit and write this it is the 3rd of January, and I’ve had a lot of thinking to do over the last couple of weeks. I had a serious think about whether or not I wanted to continue on with blogging.

I have been blogging now on and off for several years, and was building it up until about April last year when I moved out with my partner and had to start trying to balance a lot more in life. Many people do it, so I know it isn’t a big deal, but for one reason or another I found it really tough to get into a routine of having a busier schedule while also still trying to fit in reading and blogging.

Cant say that I’m at all proud for letting them both slip so much, but its just the reality of what happened.

That being said, I have been thinking about it a log, and have decided to really give it my best shot this year. We have so many really exciting plans that I would love to document on my blog, so I do want to continue on with it. Or at the very least really give it a shot!!

With all that in mind, I am setting myself a reasonable simple goal for blogging this year. I am not going to set myself any views goals, or any really stat goals; all I am going to set is that I’m going to aim to post at least once each week.

Now I know that that doesn’t seem like very much at all, as I know that at one I was posting three times each week, but while I’m struggling with the balance, that’s just not doable!

Of course with that being said, if I have the extra content over the one post a week, then I will be posting more. I just don’t want to stress myself by aiming higher, while currently I’ve not  been even managing once a month. So don’t worry, if I have an extra review, it WILL get posted.

That is about it for my blogging goals for this year, and that leaves me with only two and a bit more.

Firstly, it wouldn’t be a goals post without mentioning my goodreads goal. I completely failed on my goodreads goal this year, as I had committed to 50 books within the year, but only actually managed a total of 17 books. I am far from proud of that, and it definitely needs to be worked on.

That being said, my aim or the year is much smaller, but I may add to it if I get my act together. So my goal for 2020 is twenty books! I just feel that this is a good goal as it is reasonable compared to how I managed to read last year. Plus it has a nice irony of read 20 books within 2020- ah its a bit of fun!

My last and final goal for this upcoming year, is really one of two halves. The over all goal is that me and my partner are actively trying to conceive our first baby. I’m not going to go into too much detail about this now, as Im hoping as things progress that I will document more about it, but for the time being all Im going to say is this is presenting us with challenges. In other words, its not being as simple as do the deed and get pregnant. We are seeing doctors etc, and I will talk more about it in the future.

But the second half of this that I mentioned is that I need to lose weight in order to make this easier. One again though this isn’t always that easy with my health issues, and terrible habit of comfort eating, but its something I am working hard on. Just before Christmas I had managed to lose half a stone in little under 12 weeks- I know that isn’t great, but its something I’m proud of. Now I just need to brave the scales and go back since Christmas, which I will hopefully be doing next week!

That’s it for my goals of the new year, as I don’t want to overburden myself with things Im just not going to stick to.

Do you have any goals for the new year, or things you want to improve and work on? Let me know about them in the comments as I would love to know and support you!

Lifestyle

The Start of my Slimming World Journey…

This is certainly not the first time that I have talked about my weight struggles on this blog, and I know that it wont be the last. But at my heaviest ever, I have been medically advised to lose a significant amount of weight. Recently I have come off my contraception and that process showed some new potential health issues, all which may be being made worse because of my weight. Due to this, I was lucky enough to be offered a 12 week subscription to Slimming World for free by the NHS. This is a scheme they run for people that have tried to lose weight with little luck due to their health conditions.

I’m not going to lie, I found the first week really hard. You get given loads of really good information, but if you cant have dairy then it does require a little more research- I found this tough. Each day you are meant to have two ‘Healthy Extra A’s’- this is essentially just two portions of calcium. Of course you normally get your calcium from milk, cheese and other dairy products, but if like me you cant have cows milk this can get very difficult. Now you can have soya or almond milk as a switch for cows milks, but other than that there just isnt really the options. This doesn’t overly affect your weight lose I dont think, but it does mean you cant quite follow the plan completely. If you know of any other dairy free products that can be used as HEX A then please let me know.

That being said, I really did struggle in my first week. Like many people I am a massive comfort eater, and this time of year is a tough one for me. Week one saw a lot of issues with motivation, and just finding it easy to say ‘never mind the diet’, when I should really of been trying to make better choices. However with that being said, I did manage to maintain my weight in that first week.

Week two, I some how managed to lose 3 and a half pound; and yet I would still not say that it was a great week. The first half of the week ended up being completely off plan due to me having nasty reactions to antibiotics I was on, and you just cant be thinking about diets when you aren’t well like that. But I did try my very hardest to get back onto plan for the second half of the week. One thing I think week two taught me was that syns are good. Each day while I was on plan in week two, I purposefully used at least 5 of my syns, and that definitely seemed to aid my weightloss.

I actually got slimmer of the week for my second week, so I am definitely happy about that! We are now nearing the end of my week three, so I will update you on weeks three and four in a couple of weeks.

Have you ever don’t Slimming World? What were your go to meals?

Health · Lifestyle

Am I Back?…

Since I’ve moved in with my partner, I have lost sight of any and all organisation. Looking after my home, and building the future has take priority to the point that I think I lost myself a little. The blog was the first thing to go, but I think now I am ready to do all I can to get it back. Back to posting 3 times a week, every week, and giving myself some focus.schizo

Although in every possible way, this move is exactly what I wanted; I see the love of my life every single day, and we are moving forward to set up our own lives, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been stressful. Actually its been incredibly stressful, and I’ve been really struggling with it at times.

I am not one to deal well with pretty much any form of change. Consistency is most definitely my favourite thing, but I appreciate that change is necessary in order to move forward for the better. It is so frustrating the fact I know this, and yet change still scares the life out of me.

But lately not all the changes have been for the better. I have had a bunch of new health issues, some of which have changed my life forever, and that is a very hard thing to wrap your head around. I will talk more about these over the next few weeks, but finding out that your body is uncapable of something you’ve based your life goals around is a really tough thing to come to terms with. I will talk more about this in a post in the future.

So I am now on the path of seeking help for my mental health. More help than just medication- which is all the doctors seem to be able to offer me. But while I wait, I have realised that I need to be doing more to help myself; and that starts with me making time for the things that I get a sense of achievement from. Starting with getting the blog back to a consistency that I am happy with, and starting back at university.

Fingers crossed that I can get my head straight and organised from now on, as I feel that this will really help me in the long run of things. But I guess we will have to wait and see.

Health · Lifestyle

The stress of adulting!!

I still don’t really feel like I’m an adult. I now live with my partner, we have our own home, our fur babies, and have to do everything for ourselves now. Yet I still don’t feel like we (well at least myself) are competent adults. Everything still seems so hard and complicated and completely out of my abilities.schizo

This feeling of being overwhelmed is just making me really rather stressed. I hadn’t realised it until the other night when I was laying in bed (with Ash snoring as always) not able to sleep and then my brain went into overdrive.

The main pinpoint trigger for my stress lately has been because of trying to sort out our universal credit claim. Going into this move we thought that I would be able to carry over my disability benefits and just change the address, however we were only told otherwise about a month into having moved. Because of this we have gone almost two months with only having Ash’s wage (which isn’t great).

Although I can understand that they have to make applying an official process, what I don’t feel like they take into consideration is that the process is a lot to handle for those with mental health issues. Although we have been going through the process for about a month now, we are only just starting to get some idea as to how much we are going to be entitled to.  This has really been a stress to me as I have not known whether we are going to reasonably be able to afford to live alone.

I just briefly want to mention the  nightmare we have been having with citizens advice over these last two months. We have both grown up being told that when you are an adult, and you get into a situation where you don’t know what to do, you can go and get free and accurate advice from The Citizens Advice Bureau.

We did exactly this when we started to realise that we were going to have to make the switch to Universal Credit. After waiting for over an hour, we got to see the lady. We explained the situation, I took all of my benefit paper work and my medical certificates.

After we finished explaining she went of to talk to a colleague, as she ‘didn’t know about this’. She openly said that to us, and that wouldn’t of been a problem if she had come back with any advice from the colleague. But instead she came back and said go onto the citizen advice website and then follow the advice on there. So basically, she was useless. We had already looked online before we decided to go and talk to Citizens advice, so we had already done this.

In the end we had to just bite the bullet and apply for universal credit even though we were still unsure about whether this was the right thing to do. Its only been through doing the application and going through the interviews that we were advised by the assessment people that we should of gone a different way through the system and we then wouldn’t of had to jump through as many hoops. We also wouldn’t of had to go through two months without any support.

I guess what I’m saying is that there is no problem going to Citizens Advice for help when you get yourself stuck in life, however its not all its built up to be. They are only human, and often they don’t know the answers. I just wish they wouldn’t then point you to their website which you have most likely already looked at, as if you don’t have a brain cell and hadn’t already used your own common sense and had a google to try and work it out.

But anyway, that is it. I just felt like it needed to be said as that too often the benefits system causes way too much stress for those of us that already have mental health issues. In this time I have had to up both my anti-depressants and my anti-anxiety medication. I will be doing a bit of an off load post in the near future that will talk about the health issue impacts and some other things.

Lifestyle

Moving Update April ’19..

Well if I am quite honest, this is not so much an update, as a post to say WE DID IT!! After months of planning and organising, we have finally managed it.

There has been many hiccups and hurdles along the way, and definitely been moments when we thought it wouldn’t happen, but despite it all we got there. When you live off of only one income, and have half your household unable to work, trying to be independent really does produce its challenges.

We were on a very strict budget from the get go of house searching; yet we had very specific requirements. With Barney needing garden, and then my partners daughter needing a second bedroom; not to mention the need for there to not be stairs and just generally being mobility friendly, our search was not easy.

But we managed it, and found our perfect family home.

Officially we moved in at the start of April, and despite having a bit of stress getting finances sorted, we have not looked back. After only a week, it felt like it was our home; we have gotten into a nice routine, one where we share all the responsibilities and no one does anything more than the other.

We have been in for just over three weeks now, so there is definitely still an awful lot of unpacking and organising to do, but we are getting there together. Slowly I am learning all what is around in our new home; walking Barney regularly is meaning we are learning where there are nice looking pubs, and lovely park for little one, and even a church that do free child groups.

I have two clear favourite things from us now living together; walking Barney together when I feel up to it, and having dinner each night together as a family. It is the simple things that reminds me that this is everything I dreamed of. I am getting to live with the man I love, and its allowing us to start building our future together. We may not own a mansion, or have spare cash to throw around; but I don’t care, I know that we will have dinner together every night, and that we’ll wake up together every morning. I know that I can talk to him about anything at any time.

This is exactly what we wanted when we set out to move in together and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Once, everything is unpacked and organised, I will do a house tour. For now though, here’s Barney feeling right at home in our new house.

Lifestyle

Am I an adult yet?

Recently it was my birthday, I am now solidly in my 20s, and apparently that classifies as being an adult. But in reality, I’m still not so sure.

Being an adult is a complex classification in my eyes. As a child, I always pictured being an adult involving living on your own, having a serious job or career, and generally just knowing what you were doing with life. schizo

I can certainly say that I do not know what I’m doing. Okay, so I may know what I want to be doing, but when it comes to adult stuff I always end up having crawl back to my father, or try and work through the mind field that is google.

Fair enough, when it comes to cooking, cleaning and the pure basics of looking after yourself, I can just about get by. But anymore than that and I still rely on my father.

I might be able to do my washing and load the dishwasher, if one of the machines was to go wrong, I wouldn’t have a clue how to fix it. I don’t know how to change a lightbulb, unblock a drain or turn the power back on after a power cut.

A few times lately I have mentioned that I am working towards moving out, and it is just highlighting to me just how much of a child I still am. I had to fill out a how bunch of forms for various things to do with the move the other day, and overall it took me two days. Not because of any other reason than I was having to google or call for help with every other question.

I am determined and nothing is going to stop our plans for moving, we may hit bumps in the road, but we will keep jumping the hurdles, and battling our way forward. But it just proves to me how much it is that I need to learn, and sharpish. When you move you cant afford to mess up a piece of paper work, to fill something out wrong or miss an important piece of information.

As it is we have already had to make corrections to one piece of paperwork at the office, and then go out of our way to drop of further evidence that we forgot to hand in the first time around. But if that is the last the mistakes we make, or at least the worst of them then it is all good. I have confidence that we can get through almost anything, we know what we want, and we know how we want to get there.

So in the mean time I have a few more weeks if not months to work on the adult skills that I need to improve on. I need to learn to be an adult in more ways than just my basic care skills. I pride myself in being responsible and grown up, but I will put my hands up and admit that I am rather naïve in many ways.

Do you class yourself as an adult? What classifies as an adult in your eyes?

 

Lifestyle

Another Birthday, Another Year…

Once again I am doing great at getting posts up later than I want them to be, but oh well, the fact it is up is better than nothing. Its just something I will have to work on more in the future. schizo

As some will know, yesterday was my birthday, not that big a deal, just another day really. However it does always make me stop and think about what I want to achieve in the next year of my life. I guess I see my birthdays in a similar light as I see the New Years Eve, I see it as a time to focus myself on what I want to do, and what I want to achieve.

With it only being a couple of months later as well, it gives me the opportunity it kick myself into actually starting what I wanted to do this year. And I certainly haven’t been doing all that well with it yet. You can read here what I laid out at the start of the year as wanting to do, and my reading goals for the year here.  I especially need to step up my game on my reading, as I really am not doing anything near as well as I would like to be, having only read 3 books so far this year.

While I still hold every intention of completing these goals, I also now have another quite major one. I have not done a recovery update for a little while, but in the past couple of weeks I have found out that I am now classified as having Pre- diabetes.

Now my knowledge on this is really rather limited, but from chatting with the doctor, my understanding is that I need to start being careful about what processed food I eat, and watching out for sugars and fats (if I’m wrong PLEASE correct me!). Already I am rather big on eating clean food, and really minimalizing how much food is processed before eating it.

Currently though, I will still snack on probably not the best of foods, and I am definitely a big fan of chocolate. So I think I can see where I could focus on making some improvements, so will see how it goes, but I would love any advice that you might have for pre-diabetes, especially if you have any experience of it while being disabled and unable to exercise.

This year though I had a really lovely low-key birthday, after all I am currently suffering with Tonsillitis, so celebrating wasn’t the first thing on my mind. But I was happy to just spend the day with my Nan and partner, and then have a nice meal in the evening with Dad. I was most definitely very spoilt as well, so I truly could not ask for any more.

When is your birthday? Do you have any plans?