222 – All the feels

Tonight I was invited to go with the Deputy Principal to watch one of my Year 12’s give a speech at the Outstanding Student Awards, for those students who have participated in Project K. Project K is a leadership and mentoring program run by the Foundation for Youth Development in Auckland and they provide an incredible service. Of the 7 students from across Auckland who spoke tonight, 3 of them will be selected to go to speak in front of the Governor General at Government house. Lord, did I have the feels.

The students who spoke were so different, from all different backgrounds and came from all ends of Auckland. The one thing they had in common was a need, a potential being wasted, a disengagement with school and their surroundings – for whatever reason. They spoke variously of truanting school because they didn’t ‘see the point’ in school, of not knowing who they were, of suicidal thoughts, of ennui.

All of them so positive now, so engaged, so motivated – one boy now literate and visibly shaking as he read his simple yet powerful speech.

Oh lordy – my eyes were a wee bit leaky.

One of the fundamental aspects of the program is the mentor relationship. The students are assigned a volunteer who is vetted and actively engaged with by the Project K folks and it is that ongoing support and guidance that all of the students spoke of. Having someone there for them, someone to collect them and take them to the gym, someone to talk through their fears and aspirations, someone to be a cheerleader and check in with them at school. The students spoke of these people with such love and gratitude.

Oh and oh my goodness. I was so proud of our grrl – she spoke so articulately about her struggle, she honoured both her culture and her journey to find where she was placed within it, she spoke of her goals and the reality of the challenges she will face – and she spoke of perseverance and support systems and how wonderful her mentor Sheryl is for her.

Such a great night.

And the funny thing was that because Chelsea Sugar are great sponsors of Project K (they even encourage members of their staff to become mentors in the program) they hosted the event and gave goodie bags to peeps who attended. I got given a bag of all different types of sugar! After a week and  half of being sugar-free and having the withdrawal headaches to prove it! Universe! C’mon!

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183 – We made it!

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We made it to the end of term! I know I disappeared for a minute there this week but I was trying to stay sane whilst keeping everything I needed to remember in my head at the same time – no room for superfluous thoughts or word usage.

As we crawled closer and closer to 3.20 this afternoon I could feel myself slowly giving up on all fronts. Gut-healing restrictions all GONE, will to get out of bed in the morning for boot camp GONE and capacity for original thought GONE. Long blacks with cold milk – takeaway – have become my best friend. Whittakers chocolate my secret lover. Boot camp my arch nemesis. The fitbit has been an experiment in sadism. And yet I have been a chipper, chatty poppet.

My poor office mate has had to put up with me babbling away like a beauty pageant contestant in her ear all week – all sunshine no substance. That’ll be all the sugar I reckon! I also have a big, round, sugar belly.

And I have been thinking about wine. The photo at the top gave you pause eh? Especially if you’ve spoken to me recently and heard me babbling about how the only things I have managed to stay off were gluten and alcohol (that’s my stubborn streak). And the photo is of the mantelpiece in the music lounge yes.

I have been thinking about wine this week. Red wine. The wonderful kick in the back of the throat that a good(?) red wine gives when it hits it for the first time. The satisfaction of cracking the seal on the twist top (ahh so classy). The ‘legs’ on the side of the glass when you swirl it. Fuck me this mamabear loves wine. And it’s my birthday next week – surely I’ve been saying to myself, surely I could have a glass for my birthday? after all I won’t be (insert number dangerously close to 40 here) ever again! So the seed has been planted. But I’m a stubborn fucking biatch. Look again;

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That’s right ‘alcohol fucking removed’. Whaaaaaaaaa?

I was driving home after ringing a million homes to find out why half of my cohort was not at school. I have been hearing variations on ‘Oh I’m sorry Ms Dean but my daughter is on holiday already in samoa/america/hamiltron and will not be returning until next term now’ all week now (apparently the school term means nothing and the credits she might have gotten today in the Maths assessment can go to hell because cheap fares and a teenager free house is more important THAN YOUR CHILDS EDUCATION thank you very much).

I digress. Where was I? I was driving home and I needed/wanted/craved/could think of nothing but Wine. And then suddenly Eureka! They are always trying to con pregnant women in to ‘alcohol free wine’. They wouldn’t make pregnant women drink stuff that tastes NOT like wine and call it wine would they?

I stopped at Glengarry’s and went and asked the friendly wine lady if they had a decent non-alcoholic wine that actually tasted like wine. And then without even thinking I LIED and said it was for my pregnant friend coming round for dinner. What the fuck?! Why did I lie? Obviously I am ashamed of my teetotaler status. And I want the strangers in the wine shop to like me? Because I care so much. Because…..    I think that’s a whole other blog post. Jebus.

What was the ‘wine’ like you ask? Hmmm. I can’t say it didn’t taste like wine. But it did taste distinctly like sour juice. Which I guess is what wine is – except the good stuff has the alcohol and it makes your teeth tingle so good.

I have had one glass and it wasn’t awful. I will probs not buy it again deliberately but it’s like the whole gf thing – you have to forget what ‘real’ pasta tastes like before you have gf ‘pasta’ or it will be bloody terrible. I haven’t forgotten yet what real wine tastes like. I will just have to find another way to scratch the super-tired-at-the-end-of-term-mama-needs-a-treat itch.

Tomorrow I sleep in – School Holidays woo-fucking-hoo!!

132 – bleurgh

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Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. I’m fucked. Sorry for the potty mouth straight out of the gate. But man. I am faaaaaaarked. A combination of hard-core work stuff, extra grumpy Dutchman (not smoking so he’s SO grumpy) and sugar withdrawal. I am not sure how I am sitting here right now awake after 8pm.

That’s a lie, I do know how I am still awake. The GD went and bought cigarettes didn’t he, and in his guilt(?) he has offered to go and get something sweet for me to have with my cup of tea after the boys are asleep. I am waiting for this treat to materialise in front of me. Because I’m weak. And although I nearly died from my head-splitting headache on Thursday – first day without sugar – and have suffered since; and I when I talked about it I said stuff like ‘the headaches are good because it reminds me what I have started and what I don’t want to start again‘ and other optimistic things. But I am weak.

I bought myself pity chocolates on Mothers day because no one else had. I received beautiful hand drawn cards from my children but apparently I am still a four year old at heart and wanted a ‘proper’ present. It was just an excuse. I ate them all over the course of the afternoon and evening (a small box mind you). And I was kind to myself but disappointed. Because I had survived three days added sugar-free at that point. Not fruit or high fructose free but all of the added crap.

There are side effects to the lapse in diet of course. I have a preggy belly again, and the silk muu-muus are good but I have seen my students looking sideways at me again and I can feel a ‘Are you pregnant miss?’ coming. My skin is farked. My energy levels are all over the place and I am slower at boot camp. My head is covered in allergic sores under my hair. I feel pretty. Oh so pretty. These are all good reasons to stick at it.

I am eating better though in general, and am resolved to be sugar-free again by Friday. Wish me luck!

90 – no regrets, just lessons learned

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I went to Te Warewhare tonight to buy easter treats for my Form teachers. 14 foil wrapped easter bunnies. Add to that an Easter egg each for the lads, one for the grumpy Dutchman and assorted mini eggs for the chase on Sunday morning. Annnnnnd then throw in the basket a packet of six pineapple lump marshmallow eggs. Which I happen to know are gluten free.

They never left my thoughts. I had decided weeks ago that if I wanted an Easter egg for easter I would have one. That last year the beginning of my downfall was the Easter break. I tried to drown out the cravings and ignore them but I ended up exploding and eating ALL the chocolate. It was the slippery slope that meant the end. This time I decided to be kind to myself, no denying and to just see how I went.

There are no pineapple lump marshmallow eggs left. I feel sick. I have a headache and a horrible taste in my mouth and I am overheating.

These are good things to remember. I will not beat myself up over this but I will pay attention to my body and how it reacts to this overload of sugar. Now I will go to bed because I feel awful.

Peace out my peeps.

Day 78 – the best bliss ball recipe I know

So I finished the block of dark chocolate. It was inevitable. Over the course of the week and when I think about it, it may have been the cause of my unshakeable headache all week. But I don’t regret a single square. I enjoyed every second of it and was ‘mindful’ of every bite.  (you see what I did there?) Part of my reckless lack of food-guilt came from having logged in to the forums on IQS today only to find like-minded women who were not in fact skipping through fields of tall grass and flowers all skinny and glowing and feeling all unburdened from their hopeless addiction to sugar. No. Like me these women felt pretty much the same. No real weight loss to speak of. Skin the same, spotty or not, and mostly they were staring down the barrel of a lifetime without Whittakers and thinking about ending it all. Like me their cravings had not in fact fucked off in to the dark and gloomy past and they were having little tiny battles with themselves every day.

These women, like me had been logging on intermittently to the forums – which are described to subscribers as a great support and most of what we are paying for – and finding testimonial after testimonial of ‘AMAZING RESULTS’ and ‘I HAVE SO MUCH MORE ENERGY NOW I RAN A MARATHON BEFORE BREAKFAST’ and ‘I USED TO BE 300 kilos BUT NOW I’M ONLY 34 kilos AND I AM SO MUCH HAPPIER NOW’ (even if my body can’t support the weight of my head). Disheartening to say the least when, like me, you are plodding along and every thing feels sort of ‘Meh?’.

Please don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed the change up of food, and I mostly signed up for food ideas – not weight loss and glowing skin – but a girl can dream can’t she? And the temptation to beat myself up over not doing it right somehow has been strong. But reading the thread gave me heart. I think it is helpful to hear all of the experiences – not just the ones that serve to promote the program itself and I have to acknowledge the respectful and – yes supportive – way the moderators of the threads let the conversation happen and the legitimacy they gave to the way these contributors were feeling. Not everyone who gives up sugar will lose weight, not everyone who gives up sugar will notice massive changes in their health, not everyone will start glowing like a pregnant supermodel on a macrobiotic diet.

And probably there are a multitude of reasons but I think what you were eating before you start the program has a lot to do with it. One man was drinking 6 cans of pepsi max a day. A DAY! And he lost 32 kilos in 8 weeks. No fucking shit.

So. I am going to try to keep sugar out of my diet. I am going to keep cooking some of the family favourites out of the program and I am going to remember the headache I have had all week from the dark chocolate. But I am not going to beat myself up over the odd slip. I am not going to see my lack of weight loss as failure and I am going to share with you the best bliss ball recipe I have found on the magical interwebs. I can’t take credit for this one and I can’t remember where I got it – sorry! I haven’t been making them this year because they have dried fruit in them (strictly banned by IQS) but I have decided these are better for me and the fam than shit, nutrient deficient junk sugar and if I am going to ‘slip’ I would rather it was something I had made myself.

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You will need;

  •  1 cup of medjool dates (pitted and chopped)
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup of raw cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds

Soak the dates in warm water for ten minutes if they are hard (don’t bother if they are soft and squishy). Add the nuts, cacao, shredded coconut, coconut oil and chia seeds to the food processor and blitz. Add dates to the mixture and blitz again. Let the mixture sit for ten minutes. Roll into balls (about a soup spoon worth each time). Roll the balls in more shredded coconut. Pop in to the freezer for about an hour before eating – I keep mine in the freezer – best place for them!

They are just the thing after dinner or for a mid morning snack – yum!

Ooooh I almost forgot! Guess what arrived in the mail today! Almost a good enough reason to take up coffee again ha ha

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Day fifteen – giiiivvvvvveeeeee mmeeeeeeeeee suuugaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrr

ARGH. You’d think that being home would be great and that I would be loving hanging with my little family again, and to be fair last night it was sooooo great to see them but right about now they might be regretting having ever picked me up.

Oh my god my body aches. All over but especially my legs – and my ankles feel swollen but they look just the same as usual. The day started ok, I woke up and master four was in bed giving me a snuggle, I went back to sleep and woke up to Master four bent over, naked from the waist down asking me to inspect his clean up job after pooing. The first thing I saw was his asshole. ‘Yay!’ I thought ‘back to parenting’. Then when I got up there was no food in the house that I could eat and nothing that they would eat. So we walked to Trinity on the corner and got breakfast. And of course after mangling mine and pronouncing it disgusting – finally leaving me to eat my poached eggs and mushrooms in peace, they ate one single bite of their breakfasts and wanted to go and play. It’s fine, I told myself as the red rage crept over me, breathe and negotiate – you remember how to do this – you’ve only had 7 days off. And this formed the pattern of my day.

The lads would do something, or not do something depending on if it was a specific request from me – and I would get angry and either swear and carry on like a pirate on shore leave OR I would breathe and count to ten and effectively put myself in time out. Everyone has felt my wrath today – the MIL who helpfully did our dishes but then put everything away in exactly the opposite place to where it goes – leaving me confounded as to how I could be losing things – and leading to an episode that would put a Tourette’s sufferer to shame. Thankfully the boys were off destroying things in another room so they didn’t hear me ranting at thin air. It also led to me re-arranging our kitchen drawers and throwing out all of the horrible plastic detritus that ends up floating in your drawers that you will never use again – so there was an upside.

Food shopping – fucking hell it is expensive to get fresh fruit and vege – let alone meat and dairy! We try to only shop ’round the outside’ anyway, so it’s all fresh unprocessed stuff on the main and jebus. If we weren’t both working and earning a decent wage between us I don’t know how we’d survive. It’s all very well pointing the finger at people who feed their kids crap food making them fat blah blah blah but it’s bloody hard to afford decent food. It’s not just education about nutrition it’s the reality of how much it all costs. I swore a lot in the grocery department. You won’t find me judging what you fill your trolley up with love – fark no.

All this time we are trying to get to the zoo and it’s the only thing I have that I can bargain with the lads i.e. ‘if you don’t shut the HELL up right now we won’t go to the zoo’ sort of thing. But things keep getting in the way. Master 7 had his Ukelele lesson (he’s quietly kicking butt btw and will be the next muso in the family I reckon), we came home to eat and see if Master 4 would sleep – nope.

Then we got to the Zoo – yay! and it was closed. By this time I had given in to the aches, and realised that I was being such an impatient bitch because I am withdrawing from sugar. Doesn’t make it any easier. We jumped out of the car and went for a two hour play and walk round springs instead. Of course the boys found every prickle in the grass as we went – but that’s what you get if you ignore 67 requests to put your shoes on before we get in the car. It’s Karma little dudes.

So now I’ve picked a fight with the Grumpy Dutchman because he looked too happy and I am sulking and ‘blogging’ while he cooks dinner after a full day at work. He he, I ‘blog’. That’s hilarious.

Anyway, the point of todays blog was to check in with the WOF results, my ‘starting point’ as it were. The idea is that I will do it all again in three months and see what effect my dietary restrictions are having on it. If at all.

Here goes;

  • weight – 70kgs – not that I am actually checking this, and will only be interested as a point of comparison in three months. Its how my clothes fit that matters.
  • B12 – 452 (range is 170 – 600)
  • Calcium 2.32 (2.10 – 2.55)
  • Iron 49 (20 – 190) This one is good – my last test had me at 3!
  • Magnesium 0.93 (0.70 – 1.0)
  • Coeliac antibodies 14.9 (<15.0)
  • My thyroid is not within range and my white blood cell count is low

This is what my specialist said;

‘Yes antibodies are a little raised despite of course being completely gluten free – this can, however occur due to lowered immunity over all from the Coeliac disease.
This also explains neutropenia (low white blood cell count) and increased thyroid antibodies…..  ………B12, magnesium, iron & folate otherwise looking good!’
So actually I am quite happy with that, and the stuff I am taking three times a day is working on my immune system as is this diet SO things are looking up in that respect. It’s the first time in as long as I can remember that I have had any iron, magnesium etc in me at all so it’s good.
No Yoga today as planned – too hot and too achey. I’ve got boot camp in the morning and that will be a good way to ‘shake it out’ I reckon.
So, this grumpy bitch is signing off, I wonder if the GD cooked me any dinner?