Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

I’ve been very neglectful of my blog of late, so along with my resolution to get healthy (same one every year but hopefully this one will be different!) I am resolving to get my craft room sorted and to write a regular blog.

So, for now, I just want to wish everyone who follows me a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, I promise next year to try to be more on the ball and keep you all up dated with my weightloss journey, my crafting and my family – not necessarily all in the same blog LOL!

Sending you all love and hugs and hope you all have a wonderful time.

Chris

xxxxxx

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FIRST BLOG OF 2014!

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and are now getting back into “normal” life LOL!

I had a lovely Christmas, my son Rob and his son Charlie, came Christmas Day and we went to see my daughter, Lindsay, and her family in the afternoon. On Boxing Day, my sister Julie, her husband Cliff and daughter Lara, came over and so did Lindsay and family. Unfortunately Rob had to work Boxing Day and Charlie was with his mum and we missed them loads but still managed to have a good time, chatting, watching TV and of course, eating! It was great to all be together and to watchING the children enjoying opening their presents is always a joy!.

WEIGHTLOSS/DIABETES

I put on weight over Christmas, not unexpected, but Diabetic Nurse was happy with my blood tests in December and hopefully things will be fine when I have another check next month (they forgot to do a cholesterol test last time!) so I need to get motivated and lose the excess and a bit more! I have a very sweet tooth and being diabetic that isn’t a very good mix! I made loads of fudge to give away as presents but still have some left, plus some chocs and biscuits! It’s so tempting to pick at them but the time has come to stop being bad and start being a good diabetic!

If you are not diabetic it can be hard to understand what it means to be one. My late mum, my sister and my best friend are all diabetic too and mum and my friend both T2 insulin dependent and my sister T2 meds and diet. I had been glucose intolerant for years and so was not surprised to be diagnosed but it’s still a bit of a culture shock to realise that by my  being overweight, lazy and greedy my body had decided I needed to be taught a lesson that I will continue to learn till I either get myself together and put it into remission, or I die!

I belong to a couple of Facebook groups that offer support and advice and together with my friend and family, I am managing to keep things under control but need to do a bit more. I try to be careful and eat everything in moderation and although I’m a lazy person and hate exercise I try to move around a bit more. It’s also helpful if people don’t look at you when you are eating something sweet or starchy and say “You shouldn’t be eating that!  You’re diabetic!” Well, we can eat anything in moderation, being careful with carbohydrates of any type (not just sweet) is the way to go. So, being diabetic isn’t good, but it isn’t a death sentence as long as you live by the rules and are sensible.

I’m back to logging food on www.weightlossresources.co.uk, it’s helped me so much in the past . I’m feeling more focussed and think I’ve lost a few lbs over the past week. Have been cutting down on my carbs to help make sure my blood glucose levels are good for my next blood test and feeling like I’ve actually achieved something. I also joined a page on Facebook called Back to You – QVC which is part of an idea they had to encourage people to stick to their New Year Resolutions so I’m blogging, logging on WLR, posting on Facebook on the QVC group, a diabetic support group on Facebook and they’ve got a sub group for Carb counting and its great to have so much support so I can’t get away from posting my progress.

RETIREMENT/GETTING OLD!

We’re both trying to think of way to make a bit of extra cash and John has decided to start making candles to sell on eBay, they won’t make a lot of money but it’s another little thing to try to boost our income as we get older. We are lucky, we’ve made some good choices and have savings to keep us going but it would be nice to be able to have a few extras every now and again.

I am now getting an income from my state pension and my company one and luckily, I don’t get enough money coming in to pay tax so that’s a good thing! I’ve got my Freedom Pass and will make good use of it this year. We are careful with bills, although we both have mobiles we, are on very low tariffs with great minutes and texts allowance so we keep the bills down.

We get the winter fuel allowance and that will help when the big bill comes in but we still try to be good with putting the heating on etc and making sure that we turn lights off etc. If we get cold we put on an extra jumper or our dressing gowns! It makes sense to try to save money where you can. Every year we check compare all our insurances and our utility bills and get better deals, we also belong to Quidco.com and get cashback deals. We will never be wealthy but we own our home outright and we will be able to have holidays every now and again and we won’t starve (enjoy making soup out of leftovers LOL!).

Over the years we’ve made wills and we updated last year when Josh was born, now we’re looking at putting Powers of Attorney forms in place. We left it almost too late with mum and although we managed to get it sorted, she actually passed away before we could invoke it. Making sure our children are catered for is so important, when my dad passed he had no will and a business that was in a mess and it took us ages to get it all sorted and for mum to be able to move on. We don’t want that to happen to us or our children be left with nothing.

So, we’re now starting to declutter, a couple of old paintings are going to be valued (probably not worth anything but you never know!) and over the next few months we’re going to have plastering done in the living room and redecorate all through downstairs. 2014 is the year for us to get everything ready in case we’re not able to in the future, it’s not as morbid as it sounds, just sensible forward planning!

Health-wise things are OK, apart from poor old John has had to have a biopsy on his prostate. He had an op about 10 years ago for an enlarged prostate but now his PSA levels have gone up slightly so they are making sure that he’s OK. A lot of men don’t take care of themselves and I’m sure there are some out there who’ve never even thought about checking for lumps in their testicles, their moobs etc and problems with the prostate probably doesn’t even occur to them. Men go into decline when they have flu but something more serious they tend to ignore. Luckily John isn’t one of them and we are able to talk about things like this and we support each other at all hospital visits. We are also waiting for his two appointments for his tinnitus treatment – sound therapy and MRI scan.

HOLIDAYS

This year John and I aren’t going away, we are trying to get rid of our timeshare and will hopefully be able to give it up this year. But, I’m off to Paloma Beach Apartments in Tenerife in March with my friend Annie and we will be meeting up with another blogger, Meryl (Redqueenmusings) who was so helpful to us last time we were there. Really looking forward to a girly week and some sunshine and meeting up with the person who inspired me to blog in the first place.

I’ve started the planning, got my spreadsheet started and run off copies of all the documents I need, flight details, holiday confirmation, insurance etc. I’m only OCD when it comes to holiday planning. Then……. the other week I lost my passport! Well I thought I’d put it somewhere safe, I looked everywhere more than once and just couldn’t find it. Even went so far as to download a lost passport form from the internet! Then John found it! I’d put it in my holiday box, which I had looked through so many times of the previous couple of days! I thought I had put it there but for some reason I kept missing it when I was looking! It’s usually me finding stuff for John LOL!

So now its all systems go and getting sorted can begin in earnest!

Weightloss, Crafting and Life as a Senior Citizen

So where do I start this time? Lots of things I want to say and yet I don’t want to ramble on (like I’m prone to!) and I don’t want to bore people (been known to do that too LOL!). Right, I’ll do it in the order of the title of this blog!

WEIGHTLOSS

I’ve been fighting my weight for many years, basically, I’m a piglet – I eat too much and exercise too little. Make no bones about it, I’ve used lots of excuses in my time for not losing weight and none of them are good ones. “Oh, I’m big-boned”, “I’m not meant to be slim”, “I do eat properly” and many more.

Even though my mum was diabetic and my sister is diabetic, I had always been very complacent about the fact that I was glucose intolerant and yo-yo dieted for years, so that I could go to see my GP at various times and be lighter, only to put it all back on again. So when he told me in December 2011 that I was now diabetic, I wasn’t shocked or depressed, just disappointed with myself that I’d not lost the weight and tried to avoid it.

Following my diagnosis I lost nearly 2 stone, my diabetic nurse and my sleep clinic (I have sleep apnoea – that’s another story!) were so pleased with me. I felt amazing and promised myself I would keep it off and would get fit. Apart from being scared of flabby, loose skin (still am!) I was determined to keep on a healthy way of life.

I should never promise to be good! June 2012 went to Tenerife with my friend Annie (also diabetic). We ate healthily and walked and swam a lot and I still came home 7lb heavier! No idea how (well might have been the odd cocktail we had in the evening) but there it was, the scales don’t lie! Instead of knuckling under I became complacent again. My blood glucose, blood pressure and my cholesterol were all under control with my medication and I just let things slip.

So here we are October 2013 and I’m back trying to shift the weight. I now have 4 beautiful grandchildren who I want to be able to see grow up and so I’m trying again. No promises, no deadlines just adjusting what I eat and trying to move about a lot more.

My holiday on the Costa Del Sol was a success as I actually lost 1lb! So now aiming to get fit for mine and Annie’s Tenerife trip in March 2014.

Lots of people are trying the 5:2 diet – starve 2 days eat “normally” 5 days. Not something that I like to do as I need to eat regular meals. Some people are doing the very low carb or low carb diets which people keep saying that this is a diet that diabetics should follow as carbs turn into glucose in the body and that’s what we need to control. I’ve looked at that way of eating and although I can see for some people it will work, for me I know it won’t! How do I know that? Well, diabetics are more likely to suffer from heart conditions and kidney problems and I know that if I eat too much protein I get very bad tummy cramps, if I eat too much fat (another thing low carbers say you should increase) it goes straight through me (sorry TMI!). Also, I worry about kidney function and having had one result that said I had protein in my urine, I really don’t want to increase my intake.

So, what am I doing? Well, I’ve started to log everything I eat on www.weightlossresources.co.uk. It’s a great dieting website and for a lot less than you pay for Weight Watchers and Slimming World, you can have lots of online support and information. Logging what I eat is really helpful for me, as it makes me concentrate on what I’m putting into my body. I also log any exercise, and that can be as little at gardening, walking to the shops or a long walk in the country, swimming or whatever. It also shows me how many calories I’m eating, how many carbs, fat and protein etc.

I’ve also decided that I’m going to lower my carb intake to 160g per day and 1600 cals a day and so since Monday 13 October, this is just what I’ve done and so far so good, weigh in next Monday. Won’t post my weight, just my losses and hopefully it will help me to keep going by blogging about it.

So my first loss (14-21 October) is 4lbs! So pleased, except when I told John this morning he said “Don’t know how, you’ve not done any exercise!” I was very hurt but he later apologised, lucky for him LOL! I’m usually very placid but a tiger when pushed and I certainly bared my teeth today LOL!

CRAFTING

My hobby is cardmaking and papercraft. I’m not the best at it and I’m a very messy crafter but I’ve been doing it for over 10 years and I love it. I’ve got two really good friends (Annie and Jayne) who I craft with and my sister Julie also likes to craft (when she gets the time). It’s so relaxing and although I’m not artistic in any way, I find that I can make some very pretty and interesting cards.

I’m going to start posting some of my pictures of the cards I’ve done so that you can see, I’ll also post some of the wonderful cards that my friends have sent me over the years. It’s not a cheap hobby! There’s always new stuff that you need (not just want). I’m a magpie and love to hoard anything pretty, sparkly and so sometimes I buy things that I end up never using but I just love them and don’t want to get rid of. However, my craft room is now so cluttered that I’m crafting on the dining room table so I know that I have to get down to clearing it soon!

LIFE AS A SENIOR CITIZEN!

Life at the moment is great, I am now a fully-fledged Senior Citizen! Although I retired from work in 2011 (6 months before my 60th and after my mum left me enough money to get by on for a year), I actually only officially retired on 6 September. I had been counting the months down to retiring for years. I was told by the Government that my official retirement date would be when I was 61 years 8 months and 27 days old! It was imprinted on my brain LOL! I was actually on holiday on the day and celebrated with a glass of sangria!

Now I just look forward to getting my pension every 4 weeks (plus my company pension, which is very small, every 3 months) and being able to see a healthier balance in my bank. My savings are now not being raided on a regular basis and luckily I don’t earn enough to pay tax, so all my savings (including ISAs) have tax-free interest! Yay! Have told the kids that they will only have the house when their dad and I are gone as we’re going to live as well as we can (obviously not going mad) on what we’ve got coming in. John can’t retire till he’s 65 so that’s 3 years away and work is very slow at the moment but we economise where we can and we can survive!

We make use of moneysavingexpert.com, WHICH?, and comparison websites and get the best deals we can on everything. We’ve just done our electricity/gas and as luck would have it, our current supplier turned out to be our best bet for a 2 year fix (and they’ve not put up their charges yet so that’s a result). If we buy things on-line we use QUIDCO.com and I’ve got a Nectar card so it all helps.

Our wills have been updated to include our new baby grandson and we are now all set to make sure everyone is included.

The only problems we have though are health ones! We both have mild arthritis in our necks, we both have tinnitus – although John’s is really bad and he has an appointment at the hospital about it, I’m diabetic and have other odd things wrong but in spite of it all, we know that we are lucky to be where we are, own home, a car, holidays and most of all, we have an amazing family and brilliant friends so we don’t fear getting older, don’t like the idea of it, but it comes to us all eventually.

So, here endeth my blog for this month! Will put some pictures up in the next one, promise! LOL! Now on the countdown to Halloween and Christmas (oh and my birthday in December!).