A Level results and mixed emotions

Today my eldest son did the nervous walk to school to find out his results and ultimately if he was going to get to go to uni or not.

I really feel for the kids today as they seem to be under so much more pressure that we ever were at that age at school. Pressure from the school, pressure from their peers and even sometimes pressure from their parents.

Neither my husband or I went to university, my hubby went straight from school into a job working in a photographic lab, then on to the MOD and from there into the Royal Air Force ( where we met) and then for the last 20 yrs he has been in the Met Police………….not a bad career for someone with virtually no qualifications. I left school and did a Youth Training Scheme ( YTS- remember those….I am very old you know) as a teacher’s assistant before joining the Royal Air Force, I then worked for the London Ambulance service for many years before having my boys and leaving work. When they got older I trained to become a Driving Instructor which I did before my illness took over……….again not too bad for leaving school with only 5 O levels, although I do have 2 A levels which I did at night school while I was still in the Air Force.

Today’s kids though have it so much harder I think. They are pushed from school ( especially from grammar schools) towards the university route from the minute they join, it has almost become the ‘norm’ to go to uni for everyone. I personally love the fact that apprenticeships are making a huge comeback and some kids are choosing to go down that route themselves rather than get into the debt that uni will inevitably land them in. Apprenticeships allows them to use and learn life and work skills whilst earning a wage and is a great opportunity covering a range of careers in all walks of life.

My son got his results today and was overjoyed to get what he needed to go to his first choice uni (Sussex). Some of his friends did not get the qualifications they wanted but still got places, but there were a few who didn’t get anywhere near what they needed and have spent the day in the ‘hell’ that is clearing. It must be overwhelmingly stressful and heartbreaking for them to be in that position, for some it’s almost like the end of the world where they can see no way out.

We were happy for my son because he was happy he got what he wanted. Either way we would have been proud of him regardless of the outcome. For us as parents, if he is happy then we are happy. We made it clear to him well before his exams that he could only do his best and there are always options if things don’t work out the way he wanted.

As super proud as I am, I am totally unprepared mentally for him to be leaving in less than a month! I purposely did not start gathering anything he was going to need as there would be nothing worse than all the excitement of getting everything organised to then not get the results he required. Yes that will mean a rush to get him sorted but I would prefer it that way, however, that means mentally I am totally unprepared for him leaving. I cannot quite believe he will be gone in such a short space of time. It will probably whizz past in a total blur and I will be left after the 12th September weeping into my wine that my baby has gone!

I will miss him terribly but I know he is so excited to go and I am very proud he got the results he needed. MASSIVE MIXED EMOTIONS.

I don’t know how I will cope initially, I know I will get used to it but the start will be very hard for me. He’s my first born, my baby and I just want to keep him close but I know the time is right for him to spread his wings and cope on his own in a fairly safe environment with lots of others in the same position ( I just do not think he even has a clue of what is coming!).

My heart goes out to all of those who were disappointed today and just hope they can see that it is not the end of the world, that these things happen for a reason and that there is always a way forward for them even though it may not seem like it at the moment.

If anyone has any tips for me as a parent, or to help me get him organised with what he needs ( if you have been through this yourself) please let me know in the comments- I will welcome all advice.

Slimming World- my week 2 results

So after last weeks weigh in and loss of 3lb I had a visit to one of those Ice cream/waffle places with some friends and thought I would treat myself!

kaspas ice cream

I did indulge in this caramel concoction which was worth every spoonful. This was on the Tuesday (the day after weigh in) so I thought that after this I would be strict on plan and hopefully it wouldn’t make much of an impact.

When i went to my Monday evening weigh in I was kind of nervous. I had been on plan ever since the ice cream and never really used up many of my daily sins that week. I was hoping for a 1-2lb loss if I am perfectly honest ( and I even turned down a take away on the Sunday evening as we had been out all day!).

Therefore, when I jumped on the scales at the meeting I felt confident that I had lost. It was quite noisy in there and I only heard the lady say ‘ 1/2 lb’ so I automatically thought it was a loss until she confirmed it was 1/2 lb ON!!

To be very honest I was absolutely GUTTED. Apart from the ice cream there were no other treats, my syns on a daily basis were under 5 each day as I was eating quite late so I was full for the night and didn’t need any snacks in the evening.

Still, I stayed for the meeting and there was another lady who had been going for 3 weeks who has yet to lose any weight and she has been posting her meals on the Facebook page and she seems to be sticking to the plan well. So I felt a little better as at least I have lost some since starting.

I will be missing Monday’s weigh in next week as I will be away but I have been on plan ( apart from a coffee shop ‘skinny’ muffin  and will stay on plan when away). So I will definitely be hoping that I lose at least 1lb over the 2 weeks.

Wish me luck

Slimming World week 1 my results

So, I completed my first week following the Slimming World plan, a fairly easy one to work out and follow in my opinion. I was able to be completely on plan all week as I wasn’t really anywhere or had any plans that would throw any major temptation in my way. I am a sociable drinker only so I don’t really sit every evening with a glass of wine ( although I can drink like a lush when I am out in company!). Therefore, for me the syns tallied on alcohol only matters if I go out. In that respect I found that I wasn’t using any where near my limit of syns per day so far.

My weigh in is on a Monday at 5.30pm although I think I my change to the Monday morning club that runs at 9.30 as I found that last night I didn’t end up eating until 8.30pm and took a migraine while I was at the meeting, so I do not want a repeat of that.

I have to say I was actually quite nervous when I was waiting to be weighed, although I knew I had been on plan but I still felt quite bloated ( although I don’t have a period I still have the joys of the bloating and pains!) and so I was preparing myself to have stayed the same.

Thankfully I had a loss of 3lb!  

I was overjoyed at this it is a great start,even though I felt like I had eaten way more than I normally would on a daily basis, but I guess it’s down to what you eat rather than how much or little that you eat. I can honestly say I never felt hungry throughout the week and really had to think about my HEX A and B choices. I will probably always use my A choice for my milk so I can have my tea and coffees but I can be flexible on my B choices.

**The one tip that helped me this first week was to measure my milk allowance everyday and pop it into a separate container in the fridge so I wasn’t estimating and going over, also use measuring spoons to measure any spreads- I have had Nutella and mayonnaise this week and I stuck to the measured spoons in order to count the syn value properly.

This week I should be on plan most days, however later this evening I am meeting friends at a local ice cream and waffle cafe…………………I am eating only speed foods in preparation! I will have a huge ice cream, I know I will, but I am happy in the knowledge that for the rest of the week I should be able to be ‘on plan’.

Bring on week 2

My decision to start Slimming World

I have been unhappy with my weight for some time, probably for a good year or so and my clothing now all resembles everything loose and flowy (which doesn’t help to be honest!)

The weight has slowly crept on over a long period of time, little by little, until I have gone up a size or two in dress size and now even those are no longer fitting comfortably. Everything I buy is cover up, long, oversized with a vest top underneath to help hold things in. I am on the short side at only 5′ 2″ so any extra weight at all has nowhere to hide! I have felt uncomfortable, fat and self conscious for a while and hate squeezing into clothes that never fit properly.

So why don’t you exercise I hear you all say. Well with my chronic illness M.E/CFS and Fibromyalgia means I am in a position where any sort of exertion can make my symptoms much worse. I still try to keep as active as I can, get out when I can, use the bus instead of driving (that way there is more walking involved) when I can but I do miss the days were I would go out running 2-3 times a week which kept my weight totally under control and let me eat whatever I wanted. I have recently found a great lady online at yoga_mybed_and_m.e who as a yoga teacher and an M.E warrior for many years has recently brought out some booklets with lots of modified yoga ( something I have wanted to try but have no flexibility) poses to help us spoonies even on our bad days. I have also joined my local spa back in Feb/Mar time after a review and try and go twice a week , although it is only once a week at the moment, for a gentle swim and a sit in their gorgeous steam room (which is just great for my muscle pain). So I am trying to stay active but getting older, taking meds that make you prone to weight gain, and obviously bad eating/ snacking habits all combined mean the weight gain is just increasing.

Therefore, having seen lots of IG peeps posting pics of their food I was inspired to join my local Slimming World group this week. So far I have found it an easy plan to work out and follow and I haven’t felt deprived of anything yet as nothing is off limits providing you count them as Syns. The only unfortunate thing is that my group meets on a Monday evening , not a great weigh in day just after the weekend  but I am sure I will get used to it.

Here are a few pics of what has passed my lips so far:

sw day 1 food

sw day 2 food

sw food

Looks good right? This is only my first week so I am excited and a little worried too to see if the plan works for me and I can shift some of the added weight. I can see it becoming a way of making better food choices most of the time but also that it won’t be the end of the world if I have a bad day and eat something way over my syn value.

I am going to be honest in the hope that it will help me stay on track :

Starting weigh in 11st 2lb

goal weight 9st 7lb  (9 st if I can manage to get that far!!)

My picture below is me today before any weight loss, not pretty I know, but I want something to look back at and hopefully see the changes and believe me this was a HUGE deal for me to publish here!!

I consider myself to be 'apple' shaped which means fitting into clothes is difficult- more often than not I am neither one size or another as it is difficult to get anything dress wise to fit due to my horrible middle area!

I consider myself to be ‘apple’ shaped which means fitting into clothes is difficult- more often than not I am neither one size or another as it is difficult to get anything dress wise to fit due to my horrible middle area!

So any of you also on a Slimming World journey I would love to hear any of your tips and feel free to leave me your IG name so I can also follow your journey.

The benefit of a bedroom upgrade

With the summer season now well and truly here, (although no sign of any summer weather yet) there is no better time to refresh the bedroom and it makes sense to ensure ultimate comfort for those nights when it is too humid and nothing but the window and fan will let you get some sleep. My bedroom is up two storey’s in a Dorma loft conversion so when the weather does heat up it can get rather humid and uncomfortable.

bed pic for post

Clearly, the main attraction of the bedroom is the bed itself, so this should be at the forefront of any update ideas. It is the type of purchase that only needs to be undertaken every few years, so getting it right is everything, although in all fairness once you have invested in a good bed frame it would normally be only the mattress you change unless you are having a decorative overhaul.

One way to make your bedroom classier and more elegant is to change to a leather bed. Leather beds are some of the best looking bed frames around, and add a look of sophistication to any room. Not only eye-catching, but it is also incredibly pleasing to touch – leather really gives a sense of luxury at any time of the year. Bedstar offer a great range of leather beds, and with a range to fit a variety of budgets, upgrading is cheaper than you’d expect. Their range incorporates numerous different styles and sizes, including single leather beds, small double leather beds, double leather beds and king-size leather beds. The variety on offer at Bedstar is also impressive. For those who want to spend less money ( or are on a budget), the faux leather option is very stylish, it’s the same quality and presentation is available at a lesser price, using high-quality materials for luxury on a budget.

As well as traditional beds, they also offer modern luxuries such as the TV bed. This clever piece of technology means that the television is hidden until it is called upon – at which point a remote control or push button means that it is revealed at the end of the bed to be used. Now I know for certain that both my teenage boys would love a bed with a hidden television, however, I know for a fact they would never get out of bed if we actually had one!

There are numerous other techniques available for a good-value bedroom upgrade. One simple trick is to add plants. Adding plant life to any room adds personality, whilst being a natural air filter all year round. Also, certain types such as the peace lily are easy to care for and can reduce stress. Another way of adding a personal touch to a room is to add some artwork, it doesn’t have to be expensive and could be by a favourite artist, or even an attempt by yourself but it really can add some real character, making the room feel homely and gives a chance to show off your unique taste style to any visitors.

I love to see how others choose to decorate their homes and looking online is a great source of inspiration. Some people can be so creative and ingenious when it comes to styling their homes and can give some of us less bold types the chance to see and maybe try some new and fabulous designs we may never have thought of ourselves.

So where o you get your home decor inspiration from?

 

*Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post