Category Archives: results

It’s been a while!

Well it’s certainly been a while since I have been on here!

It’s not like there hasn’t been anything going on for me to write about it’s more like I haven’t had the urge to write, but lately that has been changing. So rather than bore you will loads of catch up posts I thought I would do a quick run through everything that has been going on.

So this year I have had more hospital imput for my M.E/ Fibromyalgia than I have over the last 8 years since being diagnosed. Finally I managed to get physio treatment for the Carpel Tunnel in my left hand which has helped ease some of the numbness at least. I have also been referred onto a pain management course due to start late September for 7 weeks and I hope that helps me with at least pacing any activity I do ( I am absolutely rubbish at saying ‘No’ to anyone and generally end up overdoing things and then crashing afterwards!). The course will run me up to almost Christmas when I have been told I may get referred onto an exercise class suitable to help with my illness.

Excitingly, earlier this year a ‘dream job’ sort of fell into my lap via a good friend of mine. Dream job in the fact I can do the job in my pj’s, at anytime of day, keeping my own time! Sounds bloody good eh? It comes in the form of running a social media account for a local clothing boutique called Kimmicass (would love you to come and give us a follow) that sells amazing womens clothing that you just cannot find in the high street shops (and will be looking to expand and sell online as well as open more shops too). This one account actually led to a second account for a London florist who lives locally but works independantly for clients like the V&A! This account is a slow burner and is not fully up and running but is definitely getting there and should be more active before Christmas. So how great is that? Literally a dream job for me as with my illness its difficult to predict health wise how I will be feeling on any particular day, but this job does not require me to be anywhere in particular for any length of time! So I get to work from home in my pj’s which I am loving ………….total result!

Also, we had an amazing surprise with my youngest’s sons GCSE results. His plan was originally to do a Level 3 Early years Childcare course at college which he needed 5 passes including English and Maths. Now hes a clever boy so we knew he would get the 5 passes unfortunately his worst subject is maths so we were extremely concerned ( as was he) that he wouldn’t pass that and therefore not be able to do his course. So the results morning was literally the most stressful time ever and I had lots of contingency plans running through my head should he not get his maths. Well talk about a total surprise, not only did he get a level 5 in his Maths ( the new marking system is numbered!) but he also passed ALL 10 GCSE’s and did so well was offered a place back at the school’s 6Th Form!! He was so gobsmacked he literally didn’t know what to do with himself and although he still went over to the college to enrol he ended up taking the place at 6th form to do A levels instead. As you could imagine it was total surprise all round so we ended up going out to his favourite restaurant to celebrate………….it would have been rude not to!

alex meal out

Then it was birthday celebrations for my husband who was turning 50 at the end of August…………….50!! Now he’s not one for big parties etc although is more than happy to go to others he hates being centre of attention himself. So I came up with a cunning plan to use the money that a big party would cost and instead take him away to somewhere I know he has wanted to go to for a long time- ROME! So I managed to find a little family run boutique hotel in the centre of Rome for 4 nights and booked that and some flights etc for early October for the two of us. However, because this was going to be his only present , except for a few bits from the boys, I wanted to make it a little special. So, I came up with the idea of putting some clues together to put inside a cabin size suitcase and then wrap it all up. So I numbered the clues…

  1. A picture of a fountain and some Euro coins (for the Trevy Fountain)
  2. A spanish style fan with a picture of some stone steps ( for the Spanish Steps)
  3. A rosary (hopefully making him think Catholic!)
  4. A dvd of Sparticus with a small Italian flag!! (The Colosseum obviously)

Each clue was wrapped up and numbered and then his present was a gift of 2 guide books for Rome with the flight tickets inside.

present box

suitcase clues

suitcase pic

Now my hubby is not one for showing emotion at ALL but as he opened the guide books his eyes did well up and his hands were physically shaking which showed me he literally had no clue up until that point of what his present was. I had even gone behind his back to one of his work colleagues to help me book his time off work and get it approved (he is in the police so it’s not an easy thing to do without him finding out)……………..BUT I BLOODY DID IT!

rich and present

It was a tough thing to make all the decisions on my own with regard to the flights, the hotel and when to go so I was actually quite relieved when it all seemed to work out. Thankfully now I can relax as I know he will sort everything else out from here- he has already done our medical cards and booked airport parking! The only time throughout that I gave myself a total heart attack was when my Mum asked me on the phone if our passports are in date! For anyone who doesn’t know us we never go away anywhere abroad as we cannot afford it normally and the last time i used my passport was when he took me to Venice for my 40th birthday 7 years ago……………………………………..SO THANKFULLY THEY WERE IN DATE!!

**So if anyone has any recommendations for Rome please let me know**

We also took my eldest back to uni last weekend (sobs) and helped him move into his new shared house ( which is a total state and will be another blog post on its own!) so I am missing him already sitting with us for dinner etc.

Next up is my youngest 17th birthday in a few weeks time before we can get really excited about our trip.

Anyway, it’s lovely to be back and have the urge to put things down in black and white again and would love to hear what you have all been up to. If

My Slimming World results week 11 and 12

I did it!!! I only bloody did it!!

1-stone-award

I reached my 1 stone mark that has been alluding me for a few weeks now. I cannot tel you how chuffed I was considering I have been doing this for 11 weeks now and going to group every week listening to people losing 3-4 lb a week and having to make do with 1lb here and there in amongst slightly higher and lower loses and even a gain or two along the way.

However, that was a target I was desperate to get to because it’s easy to say you are losing weight but another to stand tall and say you have  lost a stone. I also said I would treat myself to a proper slice of cake when I reached that mark. I have been really on plan most of the time with maybe just a meal or a few drinks out that I have factored into the plan along the way, so I wanted a proper piece of cake when I got to this point.

On the day though I had got a lift there and back to group by my FIL so I didn’t get to go to my favourite cafe on the way home as planned. However, my little bestie came to the rescue when her son ( who is a chef!) made some GBBO style french fancy cakes and that very evening I had text her to say I got my stone award she knocked on my door with these little beauties………

homemade and beautifully sweet!

homemade and beautifully sweet!

Well it would be rude not to wouldn’t it. So I enjoyed one of these with my evening cuppa totally guilt free as I knew for the rest of the week I would be on plan with no real plans to go eating out or socially drinking. So I savoured absolutely every last mouthful as you can imagine!

The next week flew past to be honest and I was unlucky enough to have a few of my rough days sprinkled in there which meant very little activity so in all honesty I expected a non loss week when I went for weigh in. I was totally shocked and gutted to actually put on 1/2 lb! I had totally eaten on plan apart from my french fancy the last weigh in day and surely that couldn’t have had that affect a week on. When it came to my turn at group it took all my resolve not to bloody cry………….now that will sound absolutely ridiculous to you but it had taken me so long to get to my 1 stone, I then stayed 100% on plan and although I had a few days of inactivity on the sofa due to my illness I truly didn’t even contemplate a gain. So just chatting in the group helped as someone asked me if I ate much fruit- well I eat tons of the stuff, literally tons and it was suggested that maybe because of the sugar content in the fruit that I should maybe opt for more veg and salad this week and still have fruit but maybe restrict it to 2-3 pieces a day.

When I got home I googled about the sugar content in different fruits and decided when I went shopping that I would opt for the lower and medium sugar fruits and include much more salad and veg over this weeks dinners, which I have managed to do. I also picked this little bargain up in Matalan for £5 that should help me drink more fluids as I do tend to stick to coffee/ tea/ green or peppermint tea now the weather has turned cold.

my £

I have this sitting around me all day and have drank 2 of these a day so far since buying it so that is a definite improvement on my fluids anyway

I am due to be weighed tomorrow but I am having to miss it due to the fact I will be in hospital for the day having a couple of procedures that I will be sedated for. This in itself will knock me off my feet for a few days due to my illness as it takes my body much longer to recover. So I will look forward to weigh in next week and hopefully the little changes I have made will show on the scales in the right way………..WISH ME LUCK

My Slimming world results week 9 and 10

As you may already know I weigh in on a Monday morning ( which is a killer straight after a weekend!) and this can be a good or a bad thing depending on how the weekend has gone.

I have had a very slow few weeks socially so it has had the advantage of me sticking to plan 100% but before lasts weeks weigh in I had a few rough M.E days which saw me in my pj’s on the sofa. I know regardless of me sticking to plan or not if my activity levels drop the so does the weight loss unfortunately. Therefore, it was no great surprise when I maintained my weight from the previous week, expected but still a little disappointing if I am honest. On the up side I won the raffle again!!!! I know……..again! My husband keeps encouraging me to buy the Euromillions ticket now thinking I have the lucky touch. I had my MIL with me that week and she paid for the raffle tickets so it was only fair we split the prize ( as she wouldn’t take both items lol) so it was another fab little microwave jug for me to take home.

This week though I had very high hopes of a decent weight loss. I stuck to the plan 100% (again!) and I even reduced the amount of potato, pasta and rice that I would normally have on my plate substituting them for more speed food. I even resisted any temptations when we visited our son at Uni on Sunday and all went for a meal out. While my MIL went full hog with scampi and chips I opted for a grilled chicken breast and salad ( only because I am so close to the 1 stone target I didn’t want to spoil it on the day before).

So, weigh in morning comes and to be honest I was fairly confident I had managed the 2 lb weight loss I needed to reach my 1 stone………………however, it was not to be and it was only a 1lb loss. To say I was GUTTED was a total understatement. It really feel like I will never get to that 1 stone mark, it is so frustrating to say the least. I had promised myself that if I got to a stone I would treat myself to a lovely piece of cake from my favourite coffee shop…………..that has been put on hold again *sobs*.

Our group is a really friendly one and everyone is really supportive so when it came to my turn to talk everyone was chipping in with ideas. After all the chat I have some SAS sheets from the group leader to help me make sure I am following the plan right plus I have decided to give the EESP a try for this week. So today is day 2 of that plan and it seems to be going well, with the extra HexB and the fact I had already cut down on the carbs last week means that cutting out any pasta/rice or potatoes shouldn’t be a major issue.

I have set a 2 lb loss for this weeks target, I will have to try and be active most days ( which is easier said than done with having M.E- but I will try) and my head is totally in the zone to get that loss as I would still love to lose another 1/2 stone before Christmas if I can.

So please, send ALL your lucky vibes my way I am in desperate need for next week’s weigh in!

 

Slimming World results week 5 and 6

After my +1lb gain the previous week after my cousins wedding blow out I got straight back on track. It’s amazing how just that single gain can totally focus you back to the plan!

I decided in my head that I really wanted to get past the 1/2 stone mark this week and had planned to stick rigidly to the plan and even cut down on the ‘free’ pasta/ potatoes and rice with meals and substitute them with things like carrot chips, cauliflower rice ( which is my new favourite thing by the way) and more speedy free veg.

THis is a HUGE bowl of cauli rice mixed with corgettes, mushrooms and tomatoes (all speed free) with 'free' ham on the top!

This is a HUGE bowl of cauliflower rice mixed with courgettes, mushrooms and tomatoes (all speed free) with ‘free’ ham on the top!

I was also able to keep my syns to a bare minimum by filling up on free food instead. The strictness paid off and I had a fabulous 3lb loss! I will be honest and say it gives you a massive boost  when you have a loss like that and it definitely spurs you on for the next week. This loss also took me over my 1/2 stone mark and made my weight loss ( for me anyway) something that I can definitely do, if that makes sense.

sw-half-stone-certificate

From that weigh in day on the Monday I then managed to come down with the throat infection my eldest had before he started uni! So a full weeks course of antibiotics were prescribed but for at least 3 days I couldn’t eat properly. Effectively you would think this would be fabulous for weight loss, however I had to rely on the ‘free’ foods that were easy to eat but filling, so I stuck with mashed bananas and pots of yogurt. This meant no speed food at all for these few days and then a day or two of eating cautiously while my throat recovered. I definitely relied on the free foods and didn’t have enough speed in my diet. I also wasn’t able to drink as much as I normally would as anything cold would really sting my throat and warm drinks seemed to help, which meant I drank much more tea and coffee.

I was a little nervous today at weigh in and although I wasn’t overly happy with a 1/2 lb loss it was still a loss, so going in the right direction at least.

To make up for it though I won the weekly raffle…………again and came away with some fab goodies that will definitely come in handy.

sw-raffle-win

Now it’s onward and upwards for next week. I have set myself a target of 1 1/2 lb to get back on track…………………………so wish me luck as I have my son’s 16th birthday on Friday and we are going out for a curry!!

 

 

How to Prepare for Your Driving Test: Top 5 Tips

Having been a qualified driving instructor ( until my illness took over) I know how difficult it can be for anyone to transition from a provisional to a full driving licence, the driving test itself can often be a very daunting prospect. Both the theory test and practical test are actually very straightforward, but the pressure often makes these tests more difficult than they should be. My son has recently passed his theory test and hopefully will do his practical test quite soon ( when he gets a break from uni).

So, If you’re taking a driving test soon, these next five tips will help you prepare better in no time.

Take Advantage of Online Mock Driving Tests

There are many ways you can prepare for a driving theory test. You can read one of the available books on the UK driving test and learn more about the highway code and other knowledge. You can also use the tests at the end of those books to practice. The best way to prepare for the actual test, however, is to take a mock test online. I always advised my pupils to do what they think will be enough ( especially with teenagers!) and then do lots more!

There are a lot of sites that offer mock driving theory tests for you to try. Taking the online tests will help you prepare for the actual test mentally too, which is why it’s the best way to get ready. You can learn from your mistakes more effectively this way.

Timing the Test

Never take a driving test at a time when you feel stressful. For instance, you shouldn’t take a driving test on the same week as a school exam or any other stressful events in life. You have all the time in the world to get the driving license you need, so time your test correctly.

Get Enough Sleep

As mentioned before, it’s the pressure of taking the test that often make you fail. The test itself is very easy to handle. It is very normal to be nervous, but do not allow the nerves to take over, think of all the people already driving on the road they have all had to pass the test! To avoid feeling stressed on the day of the actual test, get enough sleep the night before. You should also avoid drinking too much coffee (or worse, energy drinks) before the test. The high level of caffeine will make you feel more agitated than usual.

Get There Early

Arrive at the test centre early. There is nothing worse and more off putting than rushing through the test centre doors with only minutes to spare.  Give yourself at least 20 minutes to get used to the test environment and catch your breath. You will feel so much better when the test starts and you’ll have no trouble at all passing the test with flying colours.

Getting to the test centre early will also help you prepare for the test mentally. Take deep breaths and visualise completing the test. Be positive about it and you’ll feel so much better – and so much more prepared – for the driving test. The examiners are normal people ( I know it’s hard to believe!), they are not there to fail you I promise.

Take the Necessary Documents

Last but not least, make sure you have the right documents with you. Most of the time, you need your driving license and your theory test pass certificate. Don’t wait until right before you leave for the test centre to prepare these documents. Have them ready the night before. If you do not have the appropriate documents you will not be able to take the test, so please be prepared.

You are allowed to bring someone to the test. If your child is taking their driving test, it is always a good idea to go with them and sit in the back of the car during the practical test. You’ll be providing a lot of moral support and your kids will have an easier time in general.

If you have a specific tip that helped you on the day of your test please share it with us as it could help someone else who is feeling very nervous about their upcoming test.