26 Jun 2014

Celebrating The Small Wins - Weight Loss

I did it! I lost all the weight I had put in during my pregnancy with Kai. All sixteen kilos of it ... gone ... in eight months. I'm surprised, proud of myself and celebrating by going to KFC later. Joking ... or am I?

I'm not back to my pre children weight, I'll need to lose another 5 kilos but I don't know if that's the kind of body I want anymore ... well that's the excuse I tell myself ... kidding.

I didn't think I could achieve it in such a short period of time. I told myself in March I was going to bring it and ramp up the exercise regime, and since then lost the last 5 kilos in three months.

The scales says I've lost all the weight I had put on however my body certainly doesn't look like it did just before I had Kai. They say a woman's body takes longer to recover after consecutive births and for me this is true. The excess skin I produced during my second pregnancy didn't shrunk back like it did after my first. I think the rapid weight loss has also contributing to how my body currently appears as well. 

Ok, enough of the nit picking and more of the celebrating ...

How I did it? How I ramped it up? I started doing some high interval intensity training. I started doing things my body hadn't done before such as weight lifting and gymnastic movements. And did cardio movements my body was not use to like skipping, burpees and box jumps. These kind of movements are all done when I started doing Crossfit.

I'm not here to show off that I do Crossfit; or talk about Crossfit, cause Crossfitters do talk about it a lot - I don't blame them and I'm happy to join in a conversation about Crossfit cause it is addictive.

But I do want to say something to those who say its a "fad" or roll their eyes when others do talk about Crossfit. Don't rain on people's parade if they're passionate or interested in something positive. How would you like it if people rolled their eyes if you started talking about your kids or that recent holiday you went on or how your basketball team won the grand finals. People could be talking about subjects far more toxic than exercise and fitness.

So Crossfit. It's not for everyone but it doesn't mean its only for certain people. The box I go to have a range of members who go, from very young to very old. There are those who look like Michael Angelo's David and those who look more like Santa Clause, everyone starts somewhere.

For me this was what I needed. Before I started I thought I was relatively fit. I'm a cardio girl but needed to mix things up with something my body doesn't usually do. I lack strength and was something I've been saying I wanted to address for years. Crossfit ticks all those boxes for me and obviously was what my body needed to drop the last few kilos. I didn't even really change my diet I still eat roughly the same just have less of it.

I've also noticed a change in my body too. The excess skin seems to be shrinking and isn't as saggy. My core feels tighter so I've notice I have better posture; and I'm starting to see mussel tone in places I never use to.

And today was the cherry on the top for me. I got an email from my trainer, (our box owners regularly ask for feedback and it was a reply to some I gave.) Amongst his response was this comment 
"You are improving everyday you come in! You were actually in contention to being member of the month last month but pipped at the post!
What, who me? There is about 100 members who attend my box and there are people who lift heavier than me, complete higher reps than me or finish the workout faster than me. And sometimes it can be a little frustrating when I can't do what they do, but yet my small improvements have not been unnoticed. It's definitely motivating and encouraging and makes me want to work harder. Even though I didn't get the title the fact that I was even considered ... I could not remove the smile from my face for at least an hour.

So that's my little win I wanted to celebrate and share today. Care to share your body improvement win or exercise motivation story? I'd love to hear it. 

12 Jun 2014

My Child Magazine

Having a child and being a parent is one of those things in life that changes you and your life forever so the fear, excitement and unknown can be overwhelming.  I wanted to know what was happening to my body at various stages of my pregnancy, understand the labour process and educate myself on trying to understand my newborn once he arrives. I wanted to research and take in as much information as I could from various sources.

I asked my friends about their experiences, I googled and purchased books on certain topics. Another great source of information was parenting magazines. Although I've I've passed the newborn, new parenting phase, I still gravitate to these magazines. They're always filled with a range of information, products and resources. 

But what I love most about parenting magazines were the feature articles. I enjoy an article that challenges my thinking and or opens my eyes to other forms of parenting and nurturing or educates me on something I didn't know before.

I've recently discovered My Child Magazine (although they have been around since 2006) and I love trolling through every page. My Child Magazine was created by Lise Taylor who, like all new mums wanted to be around for the first few years of her son's life. So utilising her 20 years of magazine editorial experience created My Child Magazine. Previously the magazine was printed quarterly but just this month moved to a monthly digital format.

What I love about this magazine is firstly, it's FREE ... I don't even need to explain why that's a bonus. Secondly, its in a digital format and those who know me personally know how pro-digital anti-paper I am; and I could go on and on about the benefits of having paper based information digitally. I even have this brilliant electronic receipt idea that I think AusPost is starting to roll out ... I knew I should've patent my idea .. but anyway I digress ...

I could go on about the quality of the articles published, products advertised and range of content this magazine covers but I'm going to be a bit of a geek and talk about the technology aspects that impressed me about this magazine. My background is IT (information technology), in particular systems and impacts to end users; and this magazine has really took that into consideration.

Every advertisement or product or company that is mentioned on this magazine has a (hyper) link already set up so that once you click on it you are taken to that company's website. No more writing the link down or trying to search for the company yourself on google, My Child Magazine has included the link for you.

The front cover and contents page has hyper links too so you can jump straight to the articles or sections you want to read now instead of clicking through every page or trying to find it via thumbnails. 

If you want to see how awesome this magazine is check out the June issue here. I highly recommend joining their subscription so you know when their latest issue is out, issued their newsletter as well as be informed about competitions and special offers. 

Finally a parenting magazine that's available online and for free!! 

Sponsored post by My Child Magazine

10 Jun 2014

Being Supermum

We hear mums being liken to superwoman. When I hear people call me one I take it as a compliment.

But since becoming a mother and now that my kids are becoming more mobile and adventurous I think I have acquired some abilities such as ...

Super Speed. Sometimes my husband teases me that I'm uncoordinated and one of the reasons why I actually took up sports in my twenties. I wanted to work on improving my slow reflexes and my "unco-ness". Since having children though my reflexes seemed to have sharpened considerably. Now I seem to be able to catch that plate before it shatters on the ground; grab my child out of the way before he is kicked in the face by another kid on the swing; or be quick enough to run from the other side of the room to the other to grab some sharp object just inches before a pair of tiny hands get to them.

Super Hearing. Since becoming a mum I seemed to have developed the ability to hear between walls. I'm always listening to gauge what my kids are doing, especially the eldest one. He's learnt that he can get away with doing things he likes if I can't see him. So now when he hides in his bedroom and closes the door I he's probably up to something. If the house is too quiet you can guarantee he's up to his cheekiness.

Super Strength. I have no body strength and probably the last person family would ask to help carry anything heavy. But despite this when I really needed to, I seem to be able to carry both kids at the same time. I'll make stupid decision, (which didn't seem stupid at the time) like not take the pram into the shops so I'm left carrying a 10kg baby, baby bag, 2-3 bags of groceries and keeping an active toddler close by.

Super Vision. I'm actually very bling without my contacts or glasses on but when I'm supermum I seem to be able to find that one object my child really wants but can't find .. even if it's right in front of them.

All super hero comes have their kryptonite and of course mine are my boys. No matter how much stronger mentally or physically they make me, they also make my heart softer. There's been too many times I've threaten the time out corner and didn't follow through; and I repeat "this is the last time" or "I'm only asking you once more" too often. Eli knows just the right time to say "you're my bestest friend" or "I love you sooo much" to his advantage. Kai knows when to hug a little tighter or pull his sad face so I won't put him down and he knows his deep stares entrances me and I live for his smiles. These boys are my kryptonite. 

What super powers have you acquired since you became a parent?

4 Jun 2014

Vivid Sydney 2014

The past couple of years Sydney has held the annual Vivid Lights Festival. It's a free event show casing lights, music, exhibitions and installations set up in various parts of town.

We decided to make a weekend out of it so that we didn't feel pressed to see everything as quickly as possible plus having two young children we factored in the unexpected.

First night we checked out the lights and installations at Martin Place. I personally liked the Urban Tree Project projection on the MLC building. Shortly after we arrived it started raining so we dashed back to our apartment. See what I mean by the unexpected? It didn't rain very long however when we did decide it was safe to venture out again Kai was asleep.

The following night we headed over to Circular Quay to see the light show against the Opera House and the MCA building; as well as other light exhibitions and installations they set up around that area. It actually didn't rain that whole day although it was forecasted to; and being a weekend it was no surprise the place was packed with families enjoying the festival. I once heard someone say that the purpose of Vivid was to get people coming into town during the winter season. That sure sums the festival alright .. crowded. It felt like New Year's Eve with the amount of people every where all edging to the water to watch lights projected onto some of our city's key monuments. The council did close a big part of George Street to make it more pedestrian friendly. 

Overall the light shows were pretty cool but it did freak Eli out a bit and Kai, well slept through most of it. Great way to get the whole family out and enjoy the city in the evening. 

Below some photos we took. We didn't bring a fancy camera or stand with us cause we're already holding two very important equipment each (the kids) so shots don't do the lights any justice ...
If you're in Sydney definitely worth checking out but its only on until June 9. For more information check out the Official Vivid Website.

2 Jun 2014

Dear Sleep

I miss you.

I'm talking about deep seven hours plus sleep. It's been awhile since I've had a decent amount of it. Previously sleep was a past time for me ... I could do it all day. It's not just the act of sleeping I miss it's how I use to fall asleep I miss too. The curling up in bed cause its raining only to fall asleep a few minutes later; or the falling asleep watching episode after episode of some tv series I'm currently watching.

It's expected with a new born and the three or so hourly feeding, getting a solid night's sleep goes out the window. So technically I haven't had a good night's sleep since July 2011. 

Then there's the technology distractions that I bring with me into the bedroom. I tell myself I only want to check out Instagram but next thing I know I look at the time and realise I've been surfing for an hour.

I log offline, lie there in the dark, but then start thinking about the following day and the tasks I need to tick off, how I plan to achieve them and start prioritising.

In the process some thought or event will enter my head and I just mull over it for ages. Whether its dissecting an incident at the playground, wishing I said something else in response to what someone said to me earlier that day; or recalling what I had for lunch because Kai's skin is a little red and wondering whether it was something I ate. 

They say getting enough sleep is very important. Sleep is what your body needs to recharge itself allow you to keep doing what you do. Getting a decent amount of sleep is linked to mood, concentration and weight loss just to name a few. But over time I learnt I could still function on only a few hours of sleep. So I just accepted those days of sleeping uninterrupted for hours and sleeping in were a thing of the past .... but I still miss it. 

I miss deep sleep. Now, when I sleep I feel like my brain is half awake. Like when I hear one of the boys wake up early in the morning. My brain has registered the sound and what it means but I keep my eyes closed hoping I'm wrong and or they return back to sleep so I can too. 

I miss guilt free sleep. Like not caring whether I should start doing the laundry in case the weather is sunny or whether to get up now so I can take advantage of the boys asleep and get on top of some things. 

I miss sleeping with no noise in my head. I need to stop thinking too much at night. Just like exercising too late at night can energise and awaken your body, I think working and completing tasks at night over stimulates my mind preventing me from falling asleep. 

Don't get me wrong I get sleepy but it's usually never when the boys are both asleep, not that they sleep at the same time often. And if I do get the opportunity to sleep while they both are, I probably only get a fifteen minute nap because one has woken up.

Today, after a weekend away with the boys, walking, playgrounds, shops, eating unhealthy food, dodging crowds, late nights, sleeping in an unfamiliar environment, meaning not really sleeping ... I'm exhausted. I'm tired. I could do with more sleep but my mind (and my responsibilities) won't let me. 

Hopefully one day I'll really sleep again until then, Sleep I miss you. 

Any tips on how to mentally switch off before bed for a good night's rest?
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