19 June 2013
I've written before about my weight issues. It seems so obvious - if you haven't got an eating disorder - that to lose weight you should just eat less bad stuff, eat more good stuff, and be more active. If if were that simple I would be a size 10. If it were that simple no one would be overweight.
Dawn Walton is a Cognitive Hypnotherapist. She is also my friend and wants to help me become as healthy as she has become. In the last year or so Dawn has gone from a size 24 couch potato to a size 12 marathon runner. She is an amazing person who has dropped her emotional baggage along with the weight. You can read Dawn's story in her book, Nothing Needs to be the Way it has Always Been.
Dawn has recently developed a Weight Loss Coaching Programme and asked me if I would like to review it, free of charge. Of course I asked myself the question What have I got to lose? The answer would seem to be only weight. So I agreed. I am writing about my experience of this programme now, at the beginning. I will also give you updates throughout the twelve weeks.
It sounds simple, but it is not easy. Change is hard. Dawn explains more about the programme on her personal blog The Moiderer. When she suggested the idea to me I knew that she could help me. She helped me before when I had pneumonia. [Edited to add: Dawn had also helped me lose some weight last year when she was training to be a Cognitive Hypnotherapist, she also got me to the point where I was ready to join Slimming World where I lost a load more]. Then I got nervous. What if it didn't work? The worst that could happen is that I'll just carry on going to Slimming World and lose ten minutes per day listening to a recording. Then I got even more nervous. What if it did work? Could I really change my relationship with food that fundamentally that food becomes a fuel and nothing more?
What if I really could be slim, fit and healthy?
I would love to be a normal size. I would like to eat like a normal person. I would like to wear normal clothes. I said this to Dawn at our first Weight Loss Coaching Skype session and she asked what I mean by normal. I surprised myself with my answer. I want to be unremarkable (a strange admission for a blogger). I don't want people to look at me and feel sorry for my children as they clearly have a fat and unhealthy mum - the biggest mum at the school gate. I hate it.
I've been following Dawn's programme for nearly two weeks now. I listen daily to a personal download that Dawn has recorded for me. This is simple, it's ten minutes of relaxing with my headphones in. I also write down three positive changes that I have noticed each day. This is easy as I am noticing so many changes. I am walking quicker and doing more. I am choosing - mostly - to eat healthy foods. When I eat 'bad' foods I'm not enjoying them. CURSES!
The part of the programme that I am find really difficult is eating mindfully. I am used to doing six things at once. To stop everything, to close the laptop, to move anything with writing on, and just eat is torture for me. I'm finding I am eating less because I want to get back to doing other things. I know I still have a long way to go as when I'm eating a 'bad' food I forget to eat it mindfully. That's just taking away all the fun of the binge. I'm sure Dawn will have something to say about this at our weekly catch up...
I'll keep you posted.
17 June 2013
Children love to feed the ducks. The ducks (and swans and geese and moorhens) always look starving and are so grateful for the scraps of bread that the children throw at them. There isn't much in life that's funnier - for a child - than to hit a duck with a tiny chunk of bread, or have them catch it in their beak.
But should we feed the ducks? At Furzton Lake in Milton Keynes there is a feeding platform. We take one slice of granary bread for each child, already torn into bite-sized pieces. Once it's gone, it's gone. We shake out the bag for the sparrows.
I have no idea what was going to through the minds of the people who threw into the water whole naan bread, half a loaf of soda bread, the whole rolls or the massive pieces of French stick. Idiots.
I've always felt uneasy watching other families arrive with whole loaves of white bread. I really dislike plastic white bread and can't imagine it does the ducks much good. I decided to find out.
A quick Google threw up a great website called Duck Rescue Network . They have all the answers. Sadly we shouldn't be feeding the ducks at all. Any type of bread is bad for their health. If you must feed the ducks they can eat greens, defrosted peas, grapes (cut up) or grains. We'll do that next time.
The LEGO Duplo Number Train 10558 is a fantastic addition to your Duplo stash. It's a toy train that you build yourself. It comes with a driver and a dog.
The scope for imaginative play is huge. Where is the train going? What is it carrying? Where will it stop? Can you build a station?
It's educational too, and helps little ones learnt their numbers and aids counting.
Best of all it's only £12.99 which I think is great value for money.
This is Presley building a station.
Our children are 5 and 4, so they're at the upper end of the Duplo age range. They have regular LEGO, but they're still happy to spend an afternoon playing with Duplo. It never dates, it's a wonderful quality toy.
Over half term the LEGO Roadshow visited the Centre MK in Milton Keynes. Sadly Cash had a vomiting bug the night before, so instead of going to the Roadshow we were in A&E to rule out concussion (he had bumped his head the day before).
We were so disappointed to miss it. The children could play with LEGO CHIMA, LEGO FRIENDS or LEGO DUPLO and every child received a goody bag.
Here are some photographs of the day:
Look out for the LEGO Roadshow coming to a shopping centre near you this summer.
Disclosure: we were sent a LEGO Duplo Number Train to review. We also received a few other LEGO goodies from the PR when she found out the boys were ill. Thanks, Kelly.
Posted by Sandy Calico at 10:40
Last year the boys were lucky enough to review Mini Micro Scooters. This year we were given the opportunity to join them on two wheels. We were sent a Micro Sprite Scooter to review. I say 'we', but Andy was willing to volunteer to put it through its paces.
They went exploring, looking for all the play areas in our village. They could cover ground quickly and managed to scoot for three miles with minimal effort.
The aluminium Micro Sprite Scooter is suitable for ages 5 to adult. It is lightweight and foldable and excellent value for money at £59.99.
Are you a teacher?
Micro Scooters also sent through a press release. I don't normally publish press releases here on Baby Baby, but I made an exception for this one. It makes for fascinating reading.
Teachers Who Scoot To School Gain More Pupil RespectPilot Study Finds Scooting Improves All-Round Teacher PerformanceA pilot study by Micro Scooters UK has found that teachers who scoot to school not only make better teachers but also garner greater respect amongst their pupils and the pupils' parents.The month-long study took place earlier this year in the West Midlands county town of Worcester. It involved 8 primary school teachers scooting to-and-from school each day versus a test group of 8 who made their journey via car.Conducted by sustainable transport expert Steve Fox of Fox Consulting, the study found the scooting teachers performed twice as well as their peers when it came to:
- Self esteem
- Road safety
- CommutingCOMMUTING• Scooting paid for itself after two weeks• Scooting made the teachers feel more positive simply by using their cars lessFITNESS• Scooting provided the teachers with a convenient way to improve fitness that was compatible with their lifestyle• Scooting kick started their motivation to get fit• Scooting helped them to feel fitter and encouraged them to continue a fitness regime even when the study had endedRELATIONSHIPS• Scooting allowed teachers to meet new parents and interact with them on a daily basis• Scooting improved relationships with both children and parents• Kids think teachers who scoot are coolROAD SAFETY• Scooting helped teachers understand what drivers need to consider when driving near scooters• Scooting made teachers further appreciate the need to wear a helmet• Because pavements are congested, scooting taught teachers to be more aware of other users• Scooting made teachers more aware of the need to teach road safetyMOTIVATION• Scooting made teachers feel more motivated in the mornings• Scooting made teachers look forward to getting to school• Scooting increased teachers energy levels• Scooting ensured a better relationships with the kidsSELF-ESTEEM• Scooting gave teachers more energy and improved their fitness giving them an overall feeling of well being• Scooting enabled teachers to speak with parents from whom they got good feedback making them feel good.• Scooting made them feel less likely to complain about smaller issues• Teachers with children at the school scooted in with them and they had fun on the journey rather than the stress of drivingCommenting on the scheme, Micro Scooters UK business development director, Ben Gibson, said:“We know from customer feedback that scooting makes for happier children who perform better at school. It seems the same is true of their teachers. As well as extending the scheme to other schools throughout the UK, we’re also planning schemes for other stressful professions such as nursing to see if it can improve their well-being too!”
What an excellent idea. Do you fancy scooting to work?
I'm still recovering from pneumonia, but hopefully I'll soon be scooting to school with the boys every day.
Disclosure: we were sent a Micro Sprite Scooter to review.
Posted by Sandy Calico at 10:36
10 June 2013
This collection of photographs is at Milton Keynes museum. It made me sad to think that in even the smallest town there used to be a cinema.
I've always loved films and used to go to the cinema a lot. I remember my dad taking me to see Star Wars in 1977. We had to queue around the block to get in.
Going to the cinema used to be a cheap night out. I've always liked going on my own during the day. There's something rather indulgent about it. When I was travelling it was a great way to pass the time, especially on a rainy afternoon.
Things have changed. When I went to the cinema last year, it was the first time in over five years. I was shocked at the price of the tickets. A night out at the cinema for two adults, including a babysitter, is about £50. Also films are much longer than they used to be. You can now go out for dinner, or go to the cinema - but you can't do both
I took four year old Cash to the cinema for the first time at the weekend (his brother simply refuses to go). We went to see Epic. I booked online to save 10% and it was still £15.
Luckily I had a voucher for a free popcorn. We'll never eat all that, we said. Erm...
We occasionally turn our lounge into a cinema. We pop our own popcorn, line up the teddies on the sofa and close the curtains.
A couple of years ago, when we bought a new television, we received a free subscription to Lovefilm. At first we struggled to find enough films that we wanted to watch, but - and this may surprise you - new films are released all the time and they only take a couple of months to arrive at Lovefilm. I think we pay £6 per month for unlimited films. Now every Saturday night is date night. It's not the same as going to the cinema, but it's a pretty good alternative.
Have you seen any good films lately?
Posted by Sandy Calico at 13:03