Day 14 – Wednesday 15 March 2023 – 09:30 am (Day 10 of writing)
Been feeling like I have a bit more energy – finally. For so long, my muscles have been aching, my hip has been sore, my neck has been tense. Generally I have had zero energy and doing anything has felt like a big, big effort.
I have been 2 weeks now with very limited sugar as I am doing Dr Libby’s Shake Off Sugar programme. Do I still crave sugar, yes, a bit, but certainly not as much as I was. I had become a sugar fiend over the last few months, with having a daily slice of cake, biscuits or chocolate. Something that was not normal for me, but for some reason my sweet tooth had got out of control and it was nothing to sit and eat a full midsize bar of caramello on a night. When I gave up drinking, I let myself have any sweet treats I wanted, as I figured they were better than the alcohol. But I think you can almost become addicted to sugar instead. Neither is great for your liver or energy.
Anyway, the Dr Libby programme is not a diet, but a daily video sharing knowledge about how your body works and processes the food you are putting in. About 18 months ago, I did her Weight Loss for Women programme, which eliminated all dairy, caffeine, gluten and sugar, and felt great while I was doing it, but as soon as the 10-12 weeks were up, I just returned to my old habits. And the thing is I don’t think “I eat that badly”. This was the irony of this programme, Dr Libby shares a day’s eating of someone (like me) who thinks they don’t eat that badly, when they have cereal and yoghurt for breakfast, a piece of fruit, a bought sandwich at lunch, a mid afternoon snack, a couple of milky coffees and a regular dinner. It blew me away, just how much added sugar is in everything that we eat that is premade. It added up to something ridiculous like 60 teaspoons of sugar a day, when the world health org, recommends we eat less than 6 teaspoons. This was not even eating chocolate, a piece of cake etc, but showed how much sugar is added to stuff like cereal and yoghurt.
Good eating habits, always fall back to the same thing. Eat more vegetables and try and choose healthy proteins and carbs, eat good fats and don’t fry your food. It’s not hard is it, except when you are time poor and you don’t plan, it is so easy to reach for the convenient option or a takeaway. I am a fan of Dr Libby and her biochemical approach to eating to fuel or nourish your body. I know when I eat good ‘whole food’ I feel better and my energy levels lift up. I just struggle to make it all happen and fall back into easy/bad habits.
However, Phil and I have committed to going on a holiday later this year to play golf in Thailand and that is motivating me to eat better and exercise, as I don’t want to be tired on holiday. It will have been 7 long years since we went overseas together and I want to feel good – it is lovely to have something to look forward to.
Last week I managed to do yoga 4 times and play golf twice, which was an absolute bonus. I know that the yoga makes such a difference to how I feel and my posture too.
Have done yoga, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday this week – doing Yoga with Adriene Center – days 5, 6 and 7.
Yesterday I attended a transition zoom meeting for Mitchell with Providers in South Auckland. Learnt quite a bit about how this will work, and realise it is time to appoint a transition co-ordinator. Both the representative from Real World Living and CCS Disability Action seemed knowledgeable about the process, so will most likely start with them.
Day 18 – Sunday 19 March 2023 – 09:36 am (Day 11 of writing)
Not doing so well at achieving daily writing. It’s the norm for me to start a project with great intentions, but find it difficult to keep going. But I am still going to continue with my day count and how many days I actually get some writing in.
I have been revisiting my book idea again, as I haven’t been writing that for a while. My mind is such a fog that I don’t even remember if I wrote about that here lately, that instead of being a full on memoir, I would like my story to be more of a guide to Mums who are caring for a high needs child. This way I could still weave our stories into the book, but make it more of a niche self help book .
Day 24 – Saturday 25 March 2023 – 08:12 am (Day 12 of writing)
Slowly my writing rate has drifted out. No surprises there. This week I worked Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at Hartleys, then played pennants on Thursday. No carer Thursday night, so the whole week was just a blur. Yesterday I managed 30 minutes of yoga, so if I can do yoga today and tomorrow, I can still get 3 sessions in, albeit all at the end of the week.
The real reason behind no writing is that it has been a challenging week caring for Mitchell. After being in a good cycle, we have transgressed back to a challenging one. Constant asking of who is coming next – and there is only Sherlie. A bit of aggression, particularly with Phil – knocking his glasses off, hitting out at him and also pushing him away and wanting me. Wanting me, is somehow good and bad at the same time – it is nice to be picked as the one to go out for a walk with, but it also means he wants to have his bath, dinner, stories, drive in the car etc all with me, and there is no let down.
We have failed pretty miserably with our eating and diet this week with taking shortcuts around what is easy to make. When time is constantly interrupted it is hard to plan and focus and stay on track with a healthy eating plan. I notice I fall back into eating more bread, as it is easy and available.
Day 32 of 100 – Sunday 2 April 2023 – 9:22 am (Day 13 of writing)
I haven’t been writing, but I have been reading. 🙂 Started reading 2 books simultaneously. The first one is ‘Past Caring – Women, Work and Emotion’ by Barbara Brookes, Jane McCabe and Angela Walhalla. It’s a New Zealand publication about how caring is woven into the social fabric of being a women in society, and how we recognise, reward and do justice for women caring in our society. It is a series of essays written by women through history about caring experiences that rose due to the conference ‘Making Women Visible’ – a national conference held at Otago University in 2016. It highlights how our society and politics are still not doing enough to progress the value of care in the home and raises questions about justice, gender and morality. Some great food for thought on how and why women are continuing to take on the roles of caregivers in families.
The second book I am reading is another written by Johann Hari. I had enjoyed his previous book Lost Connections, so was excited to see another available in our local bookstore. Stolen Focus is about our inability to pay attention, and whether it needs to be tackled on an individual basis, or as a societal issue, due to the effects of social media, the internet, capitalist and economic reasons that we spend so much time online, which is bending our ability to focus. I’m about halfway through and so far, and finding it a very digestable read. As with Lost Connections, which looks at depression, he delves into reasons deeper than trying to fix our addiction with technology, and pares it back to ask, why are we needing or wanting to use technology so much to start with. There is a theme of although you can try to change your habits, there needs to be a bigger force at play e.g. government regulation around the way tech companies are using information to persuade, influence and create more unrest with regards to global political issues.
It is certainly making me think twice about my habits online, but as I am online half way through, I can not give a full assessment yet.
This past week we have recruited and started a new support worker for Mitchell. She will be working one night per week and some extra casual hours. It’s not enough, but it is a start, and we are grateful to have her in the mix, as the first 2 shifts have gone very well.
I have had a week in my new job as well and although it will take me a little while to get used to different systems, I can see that I will enjoy it.
I spent a bit of my free time watching a Korean Drama called Crash Landing on You, starring Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin. This one is set in both South and North Korea, and was a delightful rom-com, with a beautiful love story with fate, opposition, tragedy and a really interesting plot. This is my 3rd Korean drama series this year, but I should now take a break so that I get some creative hobbies happening.