Am I Past It?!

So my Mum and Grandma were chatting the other day, and they were talking about family or something (I wasn’t there, my Mum told me afterwards).

They recalled how Grandma’s mum had promised to stay alive to see her first great-grandson, and died soon after my brother was born.

My Grandma then remarked, “Well, I’ve given up on great-grandkids, our R&R’s knocking on a bit!” – Thanks, Grandma – I’m only 23!

The truth is, even though I am only 23, I am worried that I’m letting the chance of having children pass me by. I’d always planned on being settled in my career, married and having had at least one child by this age. Unfortunately, life doesn’t seem to have any regard for your personal plans, and I am unmarried, childless and without a career.

Both my mother and my grandmother had problems and had to have hysterectomies at relatively young ages, and I believe that my Grandma’s mother died of ovarian cancer. My biological father’s mother had cervical cancer (although I don’t know much more about this side of the family).

So, I guess you can’t blame me for worrying. Some days it gets so bad that I actually convince myself that I’m barren. It just seems that it’s guaranteed for me to struggle to have children, since I so desperately want them! I have known all my life that the reason I am here on this Earth is to be a mother. It’s the only thing I know without a doubt that I will be good at, and it’s the only job I will be able to do – all other jobs interest me for the time being but I know in my heart that they’re not “forever jobs”. It also seems that many Christian couples (in my church, at least) have had struggles with fertility.

I don’t know – I’m not even old enough to go for my first smear test; you have to be 25 in England, unless there are problems – so I guess we’ll wait and see…

Grandma did get me worried though! And I don’t know why she’s so adamant about it right now anyway, she knows I need to be married before I even think about realistically having children (and preferably, settled in a job and house!)

~ R&R

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How Long ’til Retirement?

Well seeing as I haven’t been here to update you all, you won’t know that I’ve got a job. It’s just temporary for 3 months (until the end of July) but it’s full time and I’m exhausted!

I leave the house at 7.40am and get home at 6.30pm – I’m grateful that it’s summer because I’d hate to be going and returning in the dark!

My job isn’t too difficult – I work in the Pharmacy Department of my local hospital – but it’s strenuous. I’m on my feet all day and having to carry and lift heavy boxes (difficult for a weakling like me!) so it’s physically draining – I come home and it takes all my energy just to have a shower and eat my dinner. I’m often in bed just trying to keep my eyes open from 8pm until an appropriate “adult” bedtime!

It seems that most other people are fine with full-time working, and can even go to the gym or out with friends after work – I don’t know how they do it! Apparently I’ll get used to it but it certainly doesn’t seem like it at the moment!

I’m enjoying the job itself, but the people are difficult. It’s mostly women, and there are obvious “cliques” so there’s lots of bitching and gossiping. I’ve taken to putting away the stock, the storeroom staff seem much more laid back and the atmosphere is much nicer – I enjoy the monotony and solitude – but it has become another source of bitching as they think I’m just “skiving”. It bothers me that nobody says anything to my face but they’re obviously dicussing me behind my back.

9 more weeks and I’m done there! I can’t wait!

I just do’t think I’m cut out for full time working, unless I can be alone, or in charge!

~R&R

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Pinterest and Weddings!

I joined Pinterest!

I am constantly boomarking webpages to come back to later, and then forgetting all about them, so I thought this would be perfect for me.

The only problem is, it’s so addictive!

I started off with around four Boards, and they were just the general ones Pinterest suggest: “Dream Home”; “Just Things I Like”; “Fitness”; and “Recipes”. Needless to say, I quickly added more and more and now I have 24 Boards, and counting!

My boards are all still very general, and unoriginal in terms of names, ranging from: DIY and crafts; fashion inspiration; pretty shoes, boots, hairstyles, handbags, nail art and makeup; movies, books and music I love; places I’d love to visit; cameras; gift ideas; eczema and allergy things; beach body inspiration; and the obvious ones such as cute animals, engagement rings and wedding ideas!

Wedding? I hear you ponder! No, you haven’t missed a surprise announcement. Mr R&R is still only Mr R&R on here and not in an official capacity! The truth is much more mundane, and slightly more disturbing, if you agree with certain peoples’ opinions…

I have been planning my wedding since I was a child. Probably aroud 6-7 years old! Mr R&R knows and I’ve even shared parts of my Big Wedding Book with him (yes I have a BWB!)

The official line in this regard is: I’m allergic to just about all metals. My dermatologist has said that I should be OK with either platinum or stainless steel. I have spoken with Mr R&R and suggested that we: a) don’t bother with rings; b) have plastic, wooden or other kinds of rings; c) just have a plain stainless steel ring.

His response was firm, but very sweet – he has the perfect proposal already planned and it needs a ring. He’s very traditional and wants to do it properly. If that means we have to save up so that he can afford a platinum ring, that’s what we’ll do. If that means we’ll be waiting a few years as he’s still at university until July and has acquired lots of debts, so be it.

As long as we’re together and I know it’s forever, I’m happy. It’ll happen when it happens, and by then I’ll have already planned just about everything! And yes, you’ll be the first to know!

Now I’m off to look at more wedding favours!

~R&R

 

 

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OCD?

So I was commenting on a board post on My Fitness Pal earlier, where a lady was discussing her cleanliness OCD and asked if anyone else had similar tendencies. Naturally, I wanted to be involved and even though I’m not the cleanest (well, tidiest) person in the world, I have a different type of tendency. I’m not sure  if they’d count as OCD though!

  • The volume on the TV, some people have to have it on an even number or a multiple of 5, etc. I have specific numbers I can have it on. Its usually: 5, 7, sometimes 8, 10, sometimes 12, sometimes 13, 15, 17, sometimes 18, 20, 22, 25, etc… it depends on how it feels (A lot of people won’t understand “the feeling” unless they’ve experienced it!) It truly makes me feel sick and anxious if it’s not on a number I can have!
  • Also, and this one has haunted me all my life, as long as I can remember. I have to have equality and balance. So say, my left hand touches something, I have to touch it with my right hand too. Even to the extremes, so if I actually hurt myself, maybe I cut my toe, I have to have the same sensation on the other foot, not necessarily cutting it, but just pressing it against something sharp so that I get the same sensation. My family think it’s funny and tap me on the knee or something and wait, in hysterics, for me to touch my other knee… it’s so upsetting because they don’t understand (even though mum “claims” to have OCD – more on that another day!) Sometimes I spend hours in little whirlwinds because I can’t get the same sensation right and I’m standing there, tapping both arms on different objects because it’s not the same sensation, so then I’ve got to equal it back out and still try to get the original sensation! Does that make sense?
  • I’m not as bad with objects, but I do like to have things spaced equally (The coathangers spaced equally on the rail when I worked in a clothes store caused me some trouble as I spent too long tidying!) I also like to have two or three of the same item, so that I can have one on either side of a shelf, or one in the middle and one on either side. I remember doing a silimar thing as a child, where I couldn’t just have one of something, because it would feel lonely. A pencil sharpener, lonely? Really?

Some days are worse than others… But I never really thought it counted as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – maybe I’m just a bit quirky and have a strong sense of balance (crazy, as I can’t balance to save my life!) Anyway, it’s not as if I think my family will die if I don’t get it right, it just maks me feel sick!

Question: Do you, or anyone you know have similar tendencies/compulsions? And what do you think of mine?!

~R&R

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New Type of Shopping!

As you may know, I’ve taken up a new “healthy lifestyle”. It’s going pretty well but I’m struggling with some areas, most notably the “trying not to eat sweets” area!

As you may also know, I’m mega broke. I had to leave my nursing degree for health reasons and although I have a new job (working with adults with learning difficulties) I haven’t started yet – they’re waiting for my CRB and references to come back. Also, it’s only on a bank/as and when required basis when I do start. So yes, I’m mega broke and the healthy food is so much more expensive than multipacks of chocolate, crisps, sweets, etc! Not to mention the new equipment I’m going to need…

Here’s what was on my initial list:

  • Proper running shoes
  • Sports bras
  • Heart rate monitors
  • Proper exercise clothes
  • Ankle support
  • Knee support
  • Bicycle light
  • Bicycle helmet

I had a major struggle in finding running shoes – I have high arches and apparently I quite severely underpronate (which means that I walk on the outer edge of my foot – very painful!). There’s a lot of shoes out there for neutral and overpronators but very few for underpronators, and the ones there are are “neutral-to-underpronator” shoes – not so brilliant if you’re a more severe than slight underpronator! Anyway, I found some Asics trail running shoes for £80 (Gel Trail Lahar Gore-Tex 3, to be precise). Mr R&R got a pair of Adidas Response Trail 18 sunning shoes, too. He paid £75 for them.

I wore them for the first time properly yesterday. We walked over the Trans Pennine Trail near where we live and walked for 7 miles. They’re a lot better than my old Reebok fashion trainers but I’ve got a blister or something on the underside of my right pinky toe! I’m going to power through though and just get used to them!

We also bought heart-rate monitors, just very basic ones to start off with – they’re not too bad but get a bit uncomfortable around the chest after a while!

I have dodgy joints. I’ve started to take Cod Liver Oil capsules but they’ve not really made any difference as of yet. My hips have always caused problems but my mum told me it was “growing pains” as a child – I’ve stopped growing now but the pain in still there! I have weak ankles and my knees are a bit dodgy too sometimes. So this is why I’ve bought a knee strap. I hope it helps, as it’s my knee that causes the most problems when walking (hips are worse whe cycling but I don’t think there’s a hip-strap!)
Mr R&R has quite bad ankles – he broke his ankle a few years ago and then damaged it again around New Years (the doctors weren’t sure if he’d broken it again or not, due to the previous injury) so he needs an ankle strap, especially when walking long distances.

 

Here’s the bicycle helmet I got – I’ve only used it twice due to my bike seat being so uncomfortable that I just don’t want to go on my bike anymore! I decorated my basket though

At the moment I’m just wearing an old pair of Adidas tracksuit bottoms or some black leggings, with a vest or football t-shirt. When I eventually start work, I’ll get some proper workout clothes! I really want to take up Yoga, too, so I’ll get a Yoga mat and block and some nice clothes, which will make me want to work out more often!

 

Who knew I’d be so excited about shopping for exercise equipment?!

~R&R

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It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle Change

So if you’ve been following my (ever dwindling) blog, you’ll know that Mr R&R and I have started a “healthy eating”/”weight loss” kick. firstly, let me apologise for being so distant from you all for such a long time, I have no excuse other than pure laziness and I feel that I have abandoned WordPress somewhat due to my newfound reliance upon the My Fitness Pal message boards! In honesty, I simply struggle to remember to visit more than two or three websites at any one time and now that I have joined up to Pinterest and Etsy, as well as Endomondo and MyFitnessPal, not to mention the ones I already had – Facebook, Twitter, eBay, LinkedIn, etc etc, it does get very difficult for my tiny little battered mind to process!

Anyway, enough of the groveling, if you’re here, thank you. If you have decided to leave me because I’m emotionally unavailable, I apologise and hope that we parted ways amicably.

So we started our new healthy lifestyle on 25 February I believe and so far, I have lost 4lbs and Mr R&R has lost 9.5lbs. Our weigh-in day is Saturday so I might be sat here slightly lighter but it doesn’t count ’til Saturday!

We haven’t really done anything differently. We’ve started walking more often, trying to get a little walk in every day, whether it’s over the Trans Pennine Trail or just to the supermarket (still a 2-mile round trip!). I started Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred but I was aching so much the next day that I didn’t want to do it! Mr R&R did the Insanity workout and really struggled so we’re going to start off again with the 30DS  tomorrow. I’ve had a go at Yoga too, but I fail miserably as I’m the most inflexible and balance-challenged person in the world, with no upper body strength whatsoever! I’ll keep trying though!

Food wise, we’ve not really been eating less, we’ve just been eating better. Logging our daily food (and exercise) intake on MyFitnessPal has proved very helpful, as we can see how much we’re eating and how many calories/fat/protein, etc, there are in everything we eat. I’ve discovered that I don’t take in enough “good fats” and calcium.

We bought new running shoes (I think I’ll do a post dedicated to them tomorrow – it was a bit of a kerfuffle!) and heart-rate monitors, as well as sports bras (just for me!) and ankle and knee straps (I think I’ll elaborate on that tomorrow too!)

Unfortunately I still crave chocolate, biscuits (cookies) and bread but I think that’s going to be an ongoing struggle for me! My mum shakes her head everytime I weigh out a portion of raisins or margarine and tells me “you’re fine as you are!” but it’s not like I’m doing a crash diet – it’s a lifestyle change, I don’t want to become obese and cause more strain on my heart, hips, knees, back, ankles….. I’m not undereating and I still have the occasional treats, I’m sat here right now looking at a piece of chocolate caramel shortbread that I’m going to devour with a cup of Yorkshire Tea shortly!

And yes, I might be happy being overweight but I was never truly happy. It’s all too easy to put on a smile for the world but cringe inwardly when you see yourself in a mirror (something I once loved!) or try on your favourite pair of jeans and struggle to fasten them! So yes, I’m happy, but I could be happier.

Namaste,
~R&R

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Weight Loss Challenge

So last week, Mr R&R and I decided that we’ve both put on way too much weight and agreed to make a change.

The weight has been gained quite steadily over the course of around two and a half years and I am hoping to get back to my weight as of three years ago. So I’m aiming to lose 49lbs and Mr R&R is hoping for a 55lb loss.

We’re not being silly about it and have aimed to reach our goal weights in 12 months. This is how it’s going down…

We identified our problem areas as:

  • Too many takeaways and eating out in restaurants
  • Too many treats, including snacking and desserts
  • No set mealtimes and eating one meal a day, late at night, accompanied by lots of naughty snacks
  • Lack of exercise and leaving the house in general
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Not having a regular sleep pattern (bed at 2am, waking at 2pm!)

Our plan of action is:

  • To take regular exercise, including walks, both with and without our dogs, and cycling, at least three times per week
  • To substitute unhealthy snacks and desserts for fruit, and to only buy chocolate and sweeties when we’re desperate, and only the miniature treatsize versions!
  • To set ourselves achievable targets
  • To eliminate nap-time (more my issue than his!) and to establish sleeping patterns
  • A maximum of 1 takeaway or eating out in a restaurant per week
  • To drink at least 2 litres of water every day
  • To have weekly weigh-ins on Saturdays at 8am
  • No eating after evening meal, so after around 8pm

It’s been a week since we started and as of this morning, I have lost 2lbs and Mr R&R has lost a whopping 6lbs!!

Our target for the first month was to lose 5lbs, so he’s already achieved that and is doing brilliantly, and I am certainly on my way!

As for exercise, we’ve only been walking. Granted, we’re walking around 4 miles at a time and we’re walking quite briskly, every day. We’ve also started keeping track of what we eat and I’m allowing myself 1250 calories per day and Mr R&R has an allowance of 1590.

We’re using Apps on our HTC phones to help us and have found the MyFitnessPal and Endomondo very helpful

I’ll keep you posted on how we get on!

In the meantime, I might not be posting very many baking stories – too much temptation!

~R&R

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