Diet and Exercise for Lazy People – Introduction

Hey all, happy new year!

As with the start of every new year, 2019 is full of promise to be an amazing year.  I have several wonderful events coming up this year that I am really excited for, and with the attitude make-over that I had in 2018, I know that nothing can stop me from getting what I want…  Nothing.  Apart from me.  That is where the title of this blog post comes in to effect.  “Diet and Exercise for Lazy People”.

Let’s not beat around the bush.  I am lazy.  There’s nothing I like best than lounging on my couch, either binge-watching something on Netflix, YouTube or playing on the xbox; but I have to get real.

Later on this year, we’re going to Disney World, Florida!  We went there for the first time in October, 2017, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  Well, since we’ve booked the holiday, I’ve watched our home video a couple of times, and tonight I mentioned to hubby, “oh, I’ll need to get myself some more shorts…  I like those ones,” referring to the beige coloured ones I had on in the video, “where did I get them from?  Bon Marche?  Does that even exist any more..??  I’ll have to have a look.”  Then the next photo appeared in the video.  Oh my God.  I have no shape.  I have no figure.  I am, literally, a walking blob with an overhanging tummy.

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This was the guilty photo…

It all started when I was about 21…  Maybe even up to 24.  I had given up with my weight and exercise, and I started to pile on the pounds.  Previously, I had always been a “perfect 14” (size 12 in the USA), and I was so happy and confident.  I don’t know why I decided to “let go”, but I did.

Several years and two boys later, I’m 38 years old, and I’m averaging a size 22/24 (USA 20/22).  It’s time to be honest with the world, as I’ve never really said this out loud.  I am not happy.  I have big legs, a big bum and big arms, but all of those combined don’t bother me as much as my “mum tum”.

With me, it’s not really about the food that I eat, because I can eat and stick to diets – it’s the fact that I don’t move  enough.

So, I’m now on the lookout for a suitable exercise plan that is effective but gentle for lazy sods like me.  

I’ll keep you all posted on my progress, but in the meantime I’d love to hear any thoughts that you may have, including any recommendations.



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To the mum in the school playground…

Dear smelly-cloud mum in the school playground,

Hi!  You have probably noticed me, spluttering and sneezing as you walk past…

I’m not saying that you haven’t had a wash for a while, but my gosh, what on earth are you trying to cover up with the amount of perfume you have sprayed??  It seems like you just don’t know when to stop…  Or which perfume to use, as I get that many scents when you walk past me, that I think you must have attacked a perfume shop.  I hate to say it love, but have you ever heard the expression, “smells like a whores handbag..?”  Yeah.

Here’s an idea…  Have a shower to get rid of the amount of spray you’re wearing.  Then, next time you come to school, if you really want to wear some perfume – please do!  But you only need a quick spritz…  That way, I won’t come home smelling like you.


Dear MAC expert mum in the school playground,

I wonder why you feel like you have to use a trowel to apply your make-up?  I can see that your foundation would have to be removed with a shovel.

Why do you need your eyelashes to stick out further than your boobs?  Which, by the way, I can tell that you have tried to contour the bust-line, as you haven’t blended it properly.

Wow, that’s a really pretty lipstick colour…  I’ve seen a couple of girls in Amsterdam wear the same colour.

I have to admit that I’ve seen your look before.  It was a specific episode of The Simpsons, when Homer invented a make-up gun.  Have you seen it?

More importantly, I can see your daughter with make-up on too.  She’s only 5.  Why would you let her wear make-up to school?  There’s plenty of time for her to wear it on a weekend, or even when she’s older – why rush her out of childhood?

My advice to you is just to step back.  It’s not even 9am, and you look like you’re going out on the town.  Try googling “day time make-up looks”.


Dear “clique” mums in the school playground,

Hi, err, excuse me, mind if I cut in..?  Oops, I can see that you’re in deep conversation about what you got up to at the weekend, but I just want to say a couple of things.

It’s great that you have such good mum-friends.  Those are really hard to find – especially if they are as close to you as they seem to be.  No doubt that you all get together of a weekend, and during the school holidays for day-trips and the like.  I bet you’re all even that close that you sometimes leave the kids at home, and go for nights out.

Wow, I have to admit – I am a little envious.

I just have one thing to to say…  You see that woman, standing over there in the corner?  She doesn’t have any friends.  She feels like it’s just her and her child.  She’s a lovely woman, with a heart of gold.  If you talk to her, you’ll realise that she’ll fit in with your group perfectly…  She just doesn’t have the confidence to say hello, and you make it seem like you don’t mind other people (like me) talking to you, but really, you just want us to go away so you can continue your gossip.

Just open your eyes.  That’s all.  I know it’s great having friends, but other people aren’t so lucky.


Dear mum who lets her 9 year old daughter take her 6 year old brother to school,

Hi.  I’m a parent of one of your son’s classmates.  I have never met you – I have never even seen you.

I don’t know what is going on in your life, and I don’t want to interfere, but I must say just one thing.

Our sons both started at the schools’ nursery at the same time.  They’ve been friends – not close, but friends, through nursery, Reception class, and now in year 1.  That’s 3 years that I have never seen you.

Do you even exist?  Do these lovely children even have a mum?  Has something happened..?

Both of your children are lovely.  My son often talks about your son, and I am pleased they do sometimes play together.  Your daughter always stays with her younger brother until his teacher comes out to take his class inside.  She then has to run out of the playground, down the road a short distance, and cross a very busy road to get to her own class.  I think she is always late – maybe only by a couple of minutes, but late, never-the-less.  I have never heard her complain.  Not once.  She is such a lovely girl, and I have watched her “tidy-up” her little brother, so he doesn’t go in to school with his shirt hanging out.

Let me tell you, mum, you truly do have two amazing children, but I am concerned that you let them take themselves to school without adult supervision.  Is everything ok?  Do you need help..?


Dear worn-out looking mum in the school playground,

Psst!  I can see you…  Hiding in the corner, in the shade, hoping that no one can see you.  Hey, I get it – you have probably been chasing your kids around the house, making sure they have eaten all of their breakfast, washed their faces, brushed their teeth, and were getting dressed properly.  “What’s that, beloved child of mine, you have lost one of your shoes..?  Again..?”  Yeah.  I know what that’s like.

I can tell you are trying to hide your quickly tied up hair, and I can see the stain on your t-shirt…  Don’t worry mum, you got your son to school on time, and he looks good, in his freshly washed uniform.  You’ve only got to take your little one to nursery, then you can go home.

Now, do yourself a favour, and go and put the kettle on, and take an hour or two just for you.  You’re doing a great job, mum, and you may not feel it, but you are allowed to take a time out.


 

Just say hello

As schools are back this week, I thought it would be a good time for me to take Donut to a play centre.  It’d be quiet(er), and there wouldn’t be any “big kids” running around.  I had decided on taking him to a lovely little play centre, called Playdays Cafe, which is in St Helens (Merseyside).

Now, I’m a member of several websites, that encourages mums to make friends with other mums – so I decided to extend my little party of two to be a mummy social.

One particular website I’m a member of, is (ironically) called Mummy Social, and does allow you to set up events, and invite other mums in your area (or further afield, if you wish).  So I did.  I set it up about 10 days ago, and hey presto!  My invitations were automatically sent out to those in the St Helens and Liverpool area.

It was the eve before my “social”, and no one had clicked the “attend” button on the site.  However, I wasn’t disheartened.  As I said – I was already planning on taking Donut anyway.

I quickly made a post on a local mums facebook group, extending the invite there, and I did get a lot of interest – 4 other mums said they would be there with their little ones.

This morning started off as usual.  Gning and Donut decided they wanted “milk and cookies” for breakfast, and as soon as they were ready, we were out the door.  I dropped Gning off at school (just started year 1), and Donut got really upset, because he wasn’t going to school (he goes to nursery, three times a week).  I explained to him that we were going to play instead, so he hurried me back to the car…

I arrived at the play centre early.  A lot earlier than I had invited the mums for.  I had said 10am, but I was there for 9:30am.

I’m one of those people who suffers anxiety, and I did have a mini panic-attack this morning, thinking that people would actually turn up!  What would I say to them?  Should I just say hello?  How would I keep the conversation going..?

Donut quickly ran off and started playing.  He knows this particular play centre inside out, and has a habit of climbing up to the tallest part, then starts crying.  He gets “stuck”.  He isn’t really stuck…  He just realises that he’s at the top, and can’t remember the way down.  This is exactly what happened at 9:55am.  He stood at the top of the frame, looking down at me, sobbing.  One of the girls who worked there shouted up to him, “are you ok?”, she asked.  I replied that he always does this – he just can’t remember the way down.  I stood up and went to help him, but the girl had beat me to it.  “Don’t worry about it – I’m used to going up and down this thing.  You just sit down and enjoy your coffee”, she said with a smile.  Brilliant.  Mother of the Year award goes to a complete stranger, who shot up the climbing frame quicker than I could pick up my cup.

Donut made his own way down, with guidance from the girl, and was so happy when he reached the bottom.  He did his little happy dance, and even “high fived” her, before she made her way back behind the counter.  Next thing you know, he’s up at the top again…  Only this time, he remembered his new learned skill, and was back down!

There were plenty of other mums, and carer’s of children, in the play centre.  I looked around, looking for any glimpse of familiarity in their faces.  Was that the girl who replied that she would attend?  I’m sure I recognise that little boys face…

One mum was heavily pregnant, and looked really stressed out.  She had a little girl with her – I’d say about 18 months old or so, and the tiny tot would not leave her side.  The bump had to climb over the 1.5ft barrier occasion on occasion to force her daughter to play.

Another mum was there, and had what looked like a 3 year old boy, and a baby boy – around a month old.  She looked a natural.  Laughing, chasing the child around, whilst “wearing” the baby on her chest…

Then I realised that Donut had disappeared again.  I thought that he was up on the frame again, but then I heard him laugh.  I turned around, and noticed that he was in one of those coin operated rides, with another little boy of a similar age, and the machine was on.  Mum of little boy was at their side, smiling.  I shot over to their side, and apologised that Donut was taking over her sons’ ride.  She laughed, and told me not to worry about it.  Her son doesn’t usually mingle well with other children, but he seemed to like Donut.

It was now 10:20am.  I was getting bored, sitting at the table alone.  If anyone had turned up from the Mummy Social site, or facebook group, no one had made an effort to try to find me.

I hastily posted a status on the latter mentioned group, asking if anyone was there, and if they were too shy to say hello – because I was in the same boat.  I did get lots of replies, but all were “sorry, I forgot”, or “I didn’t know you meant today…”.

I called Donut over, and asked him if he wanted to go home and see daddy, which he said “yes” to.  On with his shoes, and home we went.

I think the point that I’m getting to here is not about anyone else turning up, it’s about something much more.  I was sat on my own, and apart from the other two mums’, who seemed to be there without any other adult company, there were other “groups” of mums / child-carers.

Did you know that 4 out of 5 people would rather use the statement “I’m depressed”, rather than “I’m lonely”?

If you’re with a group of friends, and you see a mum sitting on her own – smile at her.  Say “hello”.  It’s not much, and takes no effort at all, but you may just bring so much more to that persons’ day.

Seek out the mum who is focused on her smartphone.  Most of the time they will say, ‘Oh, did you mean me?  Hi.’  A little eye contact, a little smile, a little victory for humanity.

You never know – you may just have met your new best mum friend by one simple word.

I am not a mummy

As you all should know by now, I am a mummy to two beautiful boys.  Gning was born in September 2011, and Donut in June 2015.  Both are my world – always have been, and always will be.

I always looked forward to the day that my first born could speak, and he would start calling me “mummy”, but that was never the case.

His first name for me was “mama”.  It then moved on to “mumma”, and I absolutely loved it.  It wasn’t going to be long before he could say “mummy”.

Gning was about 18 months old when we were in a hotel, at Schiphol (in the Netherlands) when it first happened.

Hubby, Gning and I had one room; and across the hall, my mum and dad had a room.  Gning kept pointing to the door, saying “nanna”; so I opened the door, and he toddled on through, and knocked on my parents door.  They let him in, and about 15 minutes later, my mum was knocking on our door with the baby…  I opened the door, and he practically jumped in to my arms.

“I don’t know what he’s trying to say.  He keeps saying “me me” and knocking on the door, pointing,” mum said.

I looked at hubby – neither of us had a clue what he was trying to say; but Gning kept hugging me, and saying “me me”.

It was towards the end of that week away when we realised what he was saying.

Hubby asked Gning, “where’s “me me”?”  Gning kept pointing to me…

Fast forward to when he was about three.  He was still referring to me as “me me”, although we had now adapted the spelling.  Well, it was actually Gning who confirmed the way we would spell it, as he had been learning how to write his name in nursery.

One day he came home from nursery with a card he had made for me.  Inside, it read:

“Mmymmy

love

Gning*”

*(real name was written – not Gning)

I asked him what the “mmymmy” said, and he replied, “me me”.

I think it’s funny, that people still ask “who’s me me?”  I am then able to relay the wonderful story that started in Holland.

It’s just stuck since then, and I love it.  I’ve never met anyone else who is a mummy, called “mmymmy”.  He knows that I am mum, and mummy, and he thinks he’s being cheeky now when he says “ok, mum”…

I have repetitively told him that it’s ok to call me mum or mummy, as I am all of those titles; and once he asked me if it’s ok for him to call me mum now.  I replied that of course it was, but he’s never changed it.

More recently, Donut has started saying “me me” and pointing to me…  It’s definitely stuck, and I just love it.

So, if you know us personally, and if you ever hear my boys say “me me”, they’re talking about their mummy.  Their mum.  Me(me).

To the mum feeling guilty…

To the mum hiding in her bathroom, needing peace for just one minute, as the tears roll down your cheeks.

To the mum who is so tired, you feel like you can’t function anymore and would do anything to lay down and get the rest you need.

To the mum sitting in your car, alone, stuffing food in your face because you don’t want anyone else to see or know you eat that stuff.

To the mum crying on the couch after you shouted at the kids for something little and is now feeling guilty and like you are unworthy.

To the mum that is trying desperately to put those old jeans on because all you really wants is to look in the mirror and feel good about yourself.

To the mum that doesn’t want to leave the house because life is just too much to handle right now.

To the mum that is calling out for take away again because dinner just didn’t happen the way you wanted it to.

To the mum that feels alone, whether in a room by yourself or standing in a crowd.

You are enough.
You are important.
You are worthy.

This is a phase of life for us. This is a really really hard, challenging, crazy phase of life.  I know – I’ve been there, and sometimes feel like I still am there.

In the end it will all be worth it. But for now it’s hard. And it’s hard for so many of us in many different ways. We don’t always talk about it, but it’s hard and it’s not just you.

You are enough.
You are doing your best.
Those little eyes that look up at you – they think you are perfect. They think you are more than enough.

Those little hands that reach out to hold you – they think you are the strongest. They think you can conquer the world.

Those little mouths eating the food you gave them – they think that you are the best because their bellies are full.

Those little hearts that reach out to touch yours – they don’t want anything more. They just want you.

Because you are enough. You are more than enough, mum.  You are simply amazing.

A Groovy Kind of Love – Phil Collins

Phil Collins, born 31 January, 1951 in London, England.  He started as a drummer for Genesis, and when Peter Gabriel left the band, he took lead vocals.

Let’s face it.  He can’t sing.  Well, he can, but he’s certainly not got the best voice.  However, ever since before I came in to this world, I was addicted to the sounds and voice of Genesis, and later, Phil Collins.

Their music was constantly playing whilst I was in my mothers’ womb, and right up until now, my dad still plays their music loudly.

If I had to pick just one song, that ever has existed, to be my favourite, it would have to be Phil Collins’ version of “Groovy Kind of Love”.  It literally gives me goosebumps, and more often than not, a tear to my eye, and I don’t even know why.

Here’s the lyrics – the video is below.

When I’m feeling blue, all I have to do
Is take a look at you, then I’m not so blue
When you’re close to me, I can feel your heart beat
I can hear you breathing near my ear
Wouldn’t you agree, baby you and me got a groovy kind of love

Anytime you want to you can turn me onto
Anything you want to, anytime at all
When I kiss your lips, ooh I start to shiver
Can’t control the quivering inside
Wouldn’t you agree, baby you and me got a groovy kind of love, oh

When I’m feeling blue, all I have to do
Is take a look at you, then I’m not so blue
When I’m in your arms, nothing seems to matter
My whole world could shatter, I don’t care
Wouldn’t you agree, baby you and me got a groovy kind of love
We got a groovy kind of love
We got a groovy kind of love, oh
We got a groovy kind of love

What a mummy to boys really wants to hear.

Dear fellow parents, grandparents, friends, family, the girl on the tills at Asda, and the man down the bottom shop.

By now you can probably see – or more likely hear since they aren’t exactly quiet – that I have two boys. Yes, boys. Other than me and a tiny zebra finch named Mocha, there are no girls in our immediate family. This is not necessarily the way that I pictured our family looking (I’ll admit, I imagined hair bows and twirly skirts when I was younger), but alas, this is the family that I have. And I LOVE it. I LOVE THEM.

I do not, however, love some of the comments that are said to or about my sons.

Let me start by saying that I understand that many of your comments are innocent and well-intentioned. Like when you ask us if we are trying for a girl – no, we’re more than happy with the children that we have. Or when you presume that because we have boys we don’t deal with drama queens or sensitivity – believe me, there is plenty of eye rolling and door slamming, dramatic tears and rage-filled outbursts, around here.

I also understand that many of the things we hear are small talk, chit-chatty things, like when you ask my son what sports he’s interested in. Some things might even be meant as a compliment, like when you say, “Wow, you sure have your hands full!”

I won’t get into all of the other comments that sometimes rub me the wrong way. Admittedly, I have been known to be a bit oversensitive at times. And the comments are nothing new, either; there are countless what-not-to-say lists out there. So instead of focusing on what not to say, let’s talk about what we can say, shall we?

There really is only one thing – ONE THING – we mums of boys want to hear. In fact, it’s probably the same thing that every parent wants to hear. And some days we’re downright desperate to hear it. There are days when we feel like we have no idea what we are doing. There are days when we’re just so sick of the noise and the fart jokes and the pee-covered toilet seats. And there are days when we can’t imagine not having boys.

When you get down to it, we just want to do right by our sons. We want them to be strong, sensitive, confident, curious, loving, kind, and caring boys, and we want to help them grow into strong, sensitive, confident, curious, loving, kind, and caring men. We want to know that we aren’t alone, that we aren’t totally f*cking this all up.

So what should you say to a mum of boys? It’s pretty simple, actually: Smile, ask how she’s doing, and then, regardless of her answer, tell her: “You’re doing a great job. You have wonderful boys, and they are so lucky to have you.

We will more than likely smile back and say “thank you.” We might blush a little or even brush your comment away.

Or we just might just hug you.

Because you have totally made our day.

It’s just that simple.

Sincerely,

A mummy to two beautiful boys x