Which links very cleverly to my subject matter of the day - the F word - have you guessed it yet? No not the mutterings of parents who stand barefooted on stray lego, but even worse, dare I say it - FAT! Yes the time has come for me to finally get proactive and do something about my weight. My recent back injury has been the straw that has broke the camel's back - pun intended. I know my weight has exacerbated my injury and prolonged my recovery which has given me the motivation to challenge myself. Without disclosing my actual weight, which would be far too mortifying, I can tell you that I have put on 3 stones since starting on my anti-depressant medication, which is a whole 5 stones more than my pre-pregnancy weight. That is a depressing fact in itself, one which I have not been in a position to face until now. I have done and still do blame a good proportion of the weight gain on the meds, however as my GP so aptly (bluntly?) stated "the only thing that makes you put on weight is eating too many calories" and although I don't necessarily completely agree, it's a fair point.
I am not one to be overly concerned with my weight, I have actually always quite liked my womanly figure, hourglass shall we say (Marilyn Monroe in my head), child-bearing hips (proved when my second child was born looking up, which gives a wider diameter of the fetal skull than the natural looking down position - ouch); the product of strong Italian and Lancastrian heritage, genetically skinny I am not. I have never dieted, only the occasional teenage starve/binge/purge phases, in-between boyfriends probably. But now, with the help of a fantastic app called 'My Fitness Pal', I am calorie counting. It also links with the 'RunKeeper' app, which thankfully doesn't just Keep Runs but Walks too, so I can earn myself some more calories by having a nosey at the rest of the village of an evening. Just as I did not want to let postnatal depression beat me (I considered it a fight between it and me), I also do not want to feel the medication has such a hold on me that I feel disgusted at my reflection. I'm sure many people have experienced the intense hunger cravings some anti-depressant medication gives some people, and I am certainly one of them. It was a strange sensation to me as I have always weirdly enjoyed the feeling of being hungry, maybe it was the sense of control over my body. If that's the case then I feel the medication has taken away my sense of control of my appetite. I have found the hunger pangs actually painful, become extremely irritated when hungry and also cannot tolerate any waiting time to eat. It has given me symptoms of hypoglycaemia - shaking, sweating, and light-headedness after just 3 hours of not eating even though I have tested negative for diabetes. I am certain the medication has some sort of pseudo effect on my blood sugar/insulin levels, although I have no evidence for this. I do feel I know my own body very well and have experienced two previous episodes of significant weight gain, which I felt were caused by hormonal contraceptives, and were followed by significant weight loss back to my 'normal' when I stopped those contraceptives. Two attempts at coming off my medication, primarily motivated by my wish to lose weight, have proved extremely detrimental to my currently stable mental state and without wishing to get into the discussion about coming off anti-depressants and discontinuation syndrome, I have decided not to try again for the foreseeable. Common consensus is that it is still too soon for me.
Must continue later - the boys are back!
So I am now at the end of day 5 and despite going into the red with our tapas dinner, I have managed to get back into the black with an evening stomp up and down our nearest steep hill. That is what I love about these apps - you can see in an instant where you are up to and seeing the numbers right in front of you makes it so simple. Plus now I have written it down here, that means I have to keep going so this is another motivational tool for me. I am going to manage the hunger pangs better and choose my food more wisely. I watched a fascinating programme about foods that may aid weight loss this week, not that the title hinted at that at all - 'Britain's Favourite Supermarket Foods', worth a watch if you are interested.
Whilst I am recommending programmes - an amazing documentary 'Diaries of a Broken Mind' is must-see tv for those interested in mental health, if only to follow the story of Jess, who has Dissociative Identity Disorder - she is amazing! Stick with it despite the wobbly self-filming, it is worth it.
Finally my card therapy for the last few days has been working on a card for Mary Poppins (The Summer I'd Like To Forget). It is a bright summery card using my latest Spellbinders dies:
They are Whimsical Tree and Flower Burst and this is the first time I have used them. I tried about 6 different colours of tree and finally settled on this copper mirri card. Cut-rite is absolutely brilliant to use with these kind of dies - makes life much simpler. I added the sunshine-of-the-scene sentiment on some lovely orange Papermania card and die-cut that with Ribbon Tags Trio Two and attached it with WRMK washi tape. The butterfly was a wooden blank that I inked up with Dew Drops - Memento Morocco & Brilliance Rocket Red, and embossed with Wow! clear gloss and clear sparkle embossing powder. I've used a mix of powders for the brown body, just leftovers from a previous endeavour! I've also used Brilliance inks and finger sponges to colour the flowers. The paper is from First Edition Spring Drop. Hope you like it!
I would like to enter this card into the following blog challenges:
Wow! Embossing Powder Challenge - Summer & Sunshine
Polkadoodles Challenge Blog - Summer Fun
Thank you for reading. Enjoy the rest of your weekend whatever the weather!