Who Am I?

I have wanted to write this post for some time, but the mixture of baby brain, complete tiredness and no free time have meant it’s fallen by the wayside, until now.

So, today my little miracle girl is 9 months old. I can’t believe it. It’s been a complete whirlwind. Every day is filled with laughter, cuddles and new experiences, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. It hasn’t been easy though. For the first 6 weeks I was constantly anxious. I was convinced she hated me and that everything I did was wrong. I couldn’t see passed the next bottle, let alone the next week or month. But, I got there, slowly, but eventually.

I now love every day we have together. I still don’t really know what I’m doing, but that self-doubt, endless worry and feeling of hopelessness have subsided. What’s left however, is a real lack of identity. It feels as though everything in my life has changed, and most definitely for the better, but I can’t remember what I was like before my daughter arrived. I was still anxious and full of negative comments about myself, but I knew what I was doing. My routine is so different to when I was working, which isn’t a bad thing, yet I feel as though I’m in a kind of no man’s land. I can go from loving life to dreading the future in minutes. I have no filter anymore. If someone pisses me off I’m much more likely to tell them. I don’t have time for pretending, or worrying what other people think, and yet at the same time I dread people thinking badly of me. I’m a walking contradiction.

One of my biggest issues is the way I look, always has been. I have no confidence, and seem to base a lot of my self-worth on body image. I have no idea when, how or why this started, but it’s deep rooted and really does impact on me every day. I then get so angry at myself for thinking like that. I mean I have qualifications, I have a good job, I think I’m pretty funny, I’m extremely loyal and protective of my friends, and I care, about everything, except myself. I can’t even say it’s a ‘Mum thing’ as I’ve always been like this. I know lots of people have similar issues, and I’m not writing this for sympathy. I am just much more aware of my lack of self-worth and I am desperate to fix it.

Becoming a Mum has made me a stronger person in a lot of ways, and I think even more resolute, and yet if someone paid me a compliment I would be so uncomfortable that I would want to run away. Sarcasm is my defense mechanism. Ironically I’m often told I come across as confident, but I know that is because I deliberately put myself in situations I am comfortable with. If I was out of my comfort zone I doubt those who know me would recognize me.

So, is this ‘just’ a new Mum thing, or is it more than that?

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I Forgot

How could I?

The realisation hit me last night, and I feel floored. Our little angel would have been 2 this week, and I forgot. There is no excuse.

Losing that baby was the worst thing to ever happen to me, to us. We were broken for so long. Then in July of last year our miracle rainbow girl came along and saved us. But until this week I’ve never forgotten about our angel. I feel horrible realising what I’ve done. If it was someone else saying this I’d be telling them to not to be so hard on themselves, but this is me, queen of being too hard on myself.

So, I’ve had major anxiety since I realised. My stomach is in knots, that awful unsettled feeling that won’t go away. I couldn’t sleep last night. My mind was working on overdrive, so today I feel like utter shit. I feel sick. Not like normal nausea, but that guilt ridden, anxiety sickness that hasn’t been around in quite some time.

I could quite easily sit and stare into space, as long as I don’t have to do anything or move. I have no energy. I’ve gone from 100 to 0. I’m sure this is just a blip but god it’s horrid.

Hoping tomorrow is a more positive, and less anxious day.

Nutri Advanced 30 Day Energy Boost Programme – Outcome

Just over one month ago, I started a 30 day programme to work on improving my energy levels with Nutri Advanced. I was so desperate for any kind of help to give me some sort of energy that I had very high expectations of undertaking the programme.

Let’s be honest, there’s no quick fix. However, I have to say I do feel better. Looking back on my first post, I am happy to say I’ve pretty much stuck to all of the principles of the programme, and felt the benefits. I still need to drink more water though! As a reminder the 5 principles of the programme are:

  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake by half
  • Set a consistent going to bed and waking routine
  • Aim to do 30 minutes of exercise 3 times per week
  • Take MegaMag Energen Plus daily
  • Follow the Top 5 Food Tips and stick to energy-increasing foods

At the start of the programme, I completed the health symptoms questionnaire. This involved rating my symptoms from 0-4 (0 being never and 4 being frequent) based on my typical health over the last month. My total score on day 1 was 121, and that wasn’t good! Unsurprisingly my worst score was for energy. The very good news is that after 30 days of following the programme I completed the questionnaire again and scored 56, and the energy score had decreased from 42 to 16. I’m really pleased with this especially as I had completely forgotten what my first score was, so there was no way I could cheat!

My aim is to continue to stick to the 5 principles of the programme, and introduce more exercise into my daily routine. I also might just make another batch of that delicious peanut butter granola too.

I want to say a big thank you to Nutri Advanced for including me in this energy boost programme. A great way to end the year!

Nutri Advanced 30 Day Energy Boost Programme

I am one tired Mama! Happy, but very, very tired. Thankfully, the lovely people at Nutri Advanced have invited me to trial their 30 day energy boost programme, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

Since becoming a Mum at the end of July my previous routine has well and truly disappeared, and my current one obviously revolves around my daughter. This has meant that my diet is all over the place, as is my sleep schedule. I am permanently exhausted and have seemingly forgotten how to look after myself properly. I’m not complaining, that’s just how things are for the moment. So this opportunity to work with Nutri Advanced is very welcomed. It means finding the time to read through the programme, plan my food and be a little bit selfish even for just a few minutes each day.

Before starting the programme there is a health symptoms questionnaire to complete, and my results make for pretty bad reading! I have to fill the questionnaire in again at the end of the 30 days, so it will be interesting to see if there is any difference. Fingers crossed!

There are 5 essential principles to stick through during the programme, which are:

  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake by half
  • Set a consistent going to bed and waking routine
  • Aim to do 30 minutes of exercise 3 times per week
  • Take MegaMag Energen Plus daily
  • Follow the Top 5 Food Tips and stick to energy-increasing foods

After 9 months of almost no caffeine I have to say I’ve enjoyed drinking full strength tea, but there’s no difference in the taste of decaf tea or coffee, so I’m hoping that won’t be too difficult. I am expecting headaches though! My going to bed and waking up time revolve around my daughter, who is fairly consistent. More sleep would always be good, but I have to be realistic with what’s possible. I take her out for a walk every day, for at least 30 minutes, so that won’t be a problem. I do want to get back to my gym routine, but again this will take time. I have just started taking the MegaMag Energen Plus. It comes in both raspberry and orange flavour. I have the raspberry and it’s not too bad when mixed with water. I have used MegaMag Energen Plus before but this time there is a full programme to follow, so although I had good results last time, due to my current circumstances, I am very interested to see how I get on.

The top 5 food tips are:

  • Start the day with breakfast and aim to eat every 2-3 hours, made up of 3 meals and 2-3 snacks
  • Choose energy-increasing foods
  • Drink more water – 1.5 – 2 litres of fresh filtered water per day
  • Get sugar savvy
  • Choose energy-boosting combos

These tips are all things I know I should do, but can honestly say I don’t stick to. This is why this programme is going to be really useful for me, as it’s a daily reminder of what I should be aiming to do to help me. It may sound silly, but I don’t think I’m eating enough, so the idea of eating so often is quite daunting. I’ve never been someone who ‘forgets’ to eat, but at the moment finding time to make something nutritious is difficult. Let’s be honest, toast is quick and convenient and you can eat it with one hand, something you become very good at when you’re constantly attached to a baby. But this needs to change. I know the way I am eating is contributing to my level of tiredness, and I also know that more colourful and fresh foods will improve this.

So, for the next month I will be sticking to the programme as much as possible. I will be honest now and say I’m sure it won’t always go to plan and I’ll miss things as my brain seems to have permanently left me, but I will keep you updated on my progress. I have some great recipes to try, and will post the results of these when I get round to making some of them!

Wish me luck, and send energetic thoughts my way!

Self care as a new Mum

Before my beautiful little rainbow girl arrived at the end of July, I took a lot of little things for granted. For instance:

  • A hot shower. I know, mad right! But OMG it is hard to find the time, plus the Mum guilt! I cannot even begin to tell you how bad that is! If I leave her for even five minutes I feel bad, but she’s either with her Daddy or her Grandma, so why do I worry?! Anyway, back to the list.
  • Manicures! Oh I miss my lovely, sparkly nails. They have been replaced by chewed stumps. I’m not over exaggerating. They’re a mess!
  • A lie in. OK, I knew that one would go, and I hadn’t had a proper night’s sleep in months, due to feeling like a beached whale, but the sleep deprivation is probably the hardest one to get used to.
  • A hot drink. Once that beautiful bundle is in your arms, you don’t want to put them down, so if someone does make you a hot drink then chances are it will be lukewarm at best by the time you get around to drinking it.

The above might seem trivial, but the message behind it isn’t. Becoming a parent is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, but it’s also the hardest. I wouldn’t change it for anything, but I have realised the importance of looking after yourself. It is far too easy to keep pushing yourself to keep going and going, but that’s only going to end one way, badly. You have to give yourself a break, even if it’s just ten minutes to have that hot shower. You will feel so much better afterwards.

I think one of the best things you can do for yourself is talk to someone if you’re struggling. I have a few friends who had babies around the same time, and being able to tell them all of my neurotic worries always helps as they’ve usually had the same ones. I still have lots of freak outs about whether I’m doing things right, but when I manage to think logically for more than ten seconds I realise I am.

At times it can feel incredibly lonely as a new parent, but there is such a huge network of people out there willing to listen and help, including me, so remember you are NOT alone, and you CAN do this.