First Slimming World weigh in of 2014….

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A new year and a new work situation have meant I’ve not been able to go to my usual Slimming World group since (*cough*) the 28th of November. Ridiculous, I know!

I finally took the leap yesterday morning and joined a new group – so welcome to Weigh In Tuesdays! (I know today is Wednesday/Thursday, but close enough, right?) Fat Fighting Friday will still be around as well as I want to continue putting up meal ideas, recipes and other motivational/weight loss posts.

So, armed with my dusty book I went along to class. I already knew the consultant as she is a member at the old class I used to go to so was looking forward to seeing her and getting back on plan again! On that note, it’s probably confession time.

I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas AND New Year. I ate a lot of stuffing. A lot of chocolate. And drank ALOT of wine. ALOT. So I had geared myself up to see at least a 7lb gain on the scales. But I didn’t.

I only went and bloody managed a maintain!!

I’ve maintained the same weight since 14th November last year. It’s a Slimming World miracle! But it’s filled me with confidence knowing that I can maintain my weight, whilst still enjoying myself. I’m obviously automatically sticking to plan without realising which again, isn’t a bad thing!

I’m now 1.5lbs away from my 3 stone award, and 2stone 1.5lbs away from my original target. I really want to get to target this year! We have our first family holiday abroad in April and I want to be able to feel comfortable and not worry that I’m resembling a beached whale (Paul, if you’re reading this, don’t try and be funny and yell that at me on holiday either.)

I definitely feel motivated for the first time in ages! I’m looking forward to getting back to cooking, and sorting out my meal plans and getting stuck in! The aim this coming week is to get that 1.5lbs off to get my 3 stone award. So, no wine. No extra bread. No millionaires shortcake (which I got addicted to over Christmas) and no takeaways. Straight forward, back to basics Slimming World. This week anyway.

As an extra “kick up the backside” I found this old picture of me from 2011 which, I am mortified to say, wasn’t even me at my heaviest! But I’ve come so far already and I definitely don’t want to go back there!

2011 vs. 2013

2011 vs. 2013

So here’s to a good week for everyone! And to all my new readers, Twitter followers, Instagram followers and YouTube subscribers, Hiya and thank you! Welcome to the madness 🙂

The Southside Girl x

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Saying Goodbye…

“A heart break isn’t always as loud as a bomb exploding. Sometimes, it could be as quiet as a feather falling and the most painful thing is, nobody hears it except you – Anon

On Wednesday the 2nd of January 2013, our lives changed in the most difficult and heart breaking way ever. I have spoken about this in previous blogs although not in detail, because I didn’t feel ready to share that part of our lives with the world.

But here we are a year later, and we are ok. We are living each day as it comes. We got through it. We are coping. And so I now feel strong enough to be able to share our story with you in the hope of helping someone else who may be feeling or going through the same thing, and to let you know that you can, and will, get through it.

On the 2nd of January 2013 , Paul and I lost our baby. 

I remember settling down to watch the new series of One Born Every Minute with a cuppa and some leftover Christmas chocolates. I felt awful, and had done all day, but put it down to an over indulgent Christmas and New Year.  Paul had just taken the boys up to bed and we were all looking forward to getting back to normal after the New Year break.

The theme music started. And after that,  everything is a blur.

Paul found me collapsed in the toilet about 20 minutes later. I was as white as a sheet, my clothes were soaked in sweat and I was drifting in and out of consciousness. I had lost so much blood. Too much blood. We both knew what had happened, but neither of us said it.

I remember the paramedics rushing up the stairs to me, being hooked up to drips and monitors and taken in an ambulance to A&E. I remember being so embarrassed by the mess I was in and constantly apologising to the paramedic, who couldn’t have been nicer, or more understanding. But the sympathetic glances, and the gentle “It’ll be ok” told me straight away that nothing was going to be alright.

I remember not crying. I just felt completely numb. It was as if I was watching this happening to someone else.

I remember lying in the cubicle in A&E, with Paul trying to make me  laugh (as we always do in the most awful situations) and just having a feeling of complete emptiness come over me. Helplessness. Guilt. Sadness.

And then the doctor came. And the tears came. And they didn’t stop for a long time.

We had lost our baby at a little over 12 weeks gestation.

We had no scans. No medical notes. Nothing, physically, to remember the fact our baby actually existed. But the loss of our baby broke our hearts. There was no reason. It wasn’t anyone or anything’s fault. But a part of us will never fully recover from it.

January, February and March came and went. I wasn’t living my life. I was simply getting through each day as best I could. I was dragging myself out of bed for the sake of my boys and Paul and getting to the end of the day before breaking down in tears again. The guilt was unbearable. You feel you should been able to protect your own baby from everything and anything. And I couldn’t. I didn’t.

In April, I started this blog with the hope of sharing our story and giving and receiving help and support from others who were going through the same thing. I have a post drafted from that first blog day that I have never been able to publish. I just wasn’t ready. I wasn’t coping.

But here we are, a year later. We’re stronger than we have ever been as a family. We got through it. And I feel I can finally post about this. About our loss. There are still days where the pain just hits you all over again.  We struggled at Aiden’s nursery concert in June seeing all the newborn babies. We struggled at the beginning of July around our due date. I have still never been able to watch One Born Every Minute. Maybe one day.

As for our family plans, we’re lucky to have our two beautiful boys. And we appreciate them every single day, and hug them even harder now.  But we will always remember our third baby. The little one who was there, but who never got to stay.

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Little Snowdrop

The world may never notice if a Snowdrop doesn’t bloom,
Or even pause to wonder if the petals fall too soon,
But every life that ever forms or even comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way for all eternity.
.
The little one we longed for was swiftly here and gone,
But the love that was then planted is a light that still shines on,
And though our arms are empty our hearts know what to do,
Every beating of our hearts says that we love you.
.

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Saying Goodbye is a charity offering support and services for anyone who has lost a baby in pregnancy, at birth, or in the early years. Saying Goodbye is for all parents who carried a child, but did not get to meet them. For those who held their baby, but did not take them home, & for those who did take their little ones home, but they did not stay. 

Saying Goodbye has brought to the UK the first national set of services – all services take place in cathedrals and are held by ministers. These are a fitting tribute to all babies who have been lost.

Please LIKE the www.facebook.com/SayinggoodbyeUK page

Web: www.sayinggoodbye.org

Twitter @SayinggoodbyeUK

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-Z0IrXDGVA

My best friend has decided to run the 10k on the 11th May 2014 and raise money for this amazing charity! If I can start my training soon I will hopefully be joining her! Every small donation helps and will go towards providing help and support for other families out there who are going through the devastating effects of baby loss. Please help her to reach her fundraising target by donating here, and a massive thank you if you do:

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/sharondownes1

If you have been affected by baby loss, in any way at all or at any stage of pregnancy, and just want someone to speak to, cry with or vent at, then please feel free to email me at thesouthsidegirl@gmail.com or get in touch with the amazing people at Saying Goodbye. The help and support they offer is incredible.

Goodbye 2013 … Hello 2014!!

As always, I’m ever so slightly late to the party with this one! I had the best of intentions to blog over Christmas and New Year but, to be honest, I had so much going on that I completely forgot!

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM US!

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM US!

So, Happy New Year one and all! For me, 2013 was definitely a mixed bag. It started off in the worst way possible for us, with the 2nd of January spent in the A&E of the local hospital with what felt like my whole world falling down around me. But from then on in, I felt like I finally found an inner strength to sort my life out and get back on the right track.

On April 25th 2013, I joined Slimming World. By far, this was the best decision I have made in a long time! Here I am now, 3 stone lighter and with a new found confidence that I don’t think I have ever had!

With this confidence, has come a fair few other positive changes in my life. I started this blog for one, and it reminded me how much I love writing. It has brought me so many fantastic opportunities and I can’t thank you all enough for continuing to read it! I’ve let it fall by the wayside over the past few months but I am hoping in 2014 I will be able to get back on track and build this blog into something I can be proud of and that you can all continue to enjoy reading!

 I have also (finally) returned to work and am absolutely loving it so far. It is not an amazingly paid job. It doesn’t have incredible prospects. But I look forward to going in every day and it doesn’t feel like a chore. Well, not yet anyway!  As much as I loved being at home with the boys, It is great to be back in an environment where I feel like I play an important professional part and have REAL LIFE ADULT CONVERSATIONS! It’s the small things.

I have also decided to return to study part time. I’m currently studying for my TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certificate with the hopes of at some point in the future going back to University and doing my teacher training. Until then, I am hoping to help out with a local charity who works with the children of European Immigrants, with the majority being Romanian, and helping them learn English and settle in to their new surroundings. Fingers crossed for that plan anyway!

What do I want in 2014? To have a happy year. To spend it watching my two boys grow and become even more mental. To have a “date night” with the hubby at least once a month. To laugh with my family as much as possible. To meet up with my friends more often. To get over my anxiety and live each day without constantly worrying about something silly (I’m a terrible worrier! I’ve constantly got that sick, anxious feeling in my stomach!)

Resolutions? Well, I’ve never been very good at sticking to these things. Or to anything, actually. But I do have a few:

  • To continue with my Slimming World journey and lose another 2.5 stone to get to target.
  • To complete my TEFL course and get my certificate.
  • To restart my driving lessons – that’s been a long 10 years coming!
  • To take part in my first ever 5k or 10k – even if I have to walk it!
  • To enjoy every minute of our first ever family holiday abroad in April!
  • To blog more often. At least twice a week. And write what I want to write. Not what I feel I HAVE to. Back to basics blogging.
  • On that note – to keep on top of my social media! I’ll pop all my links at the end of this post.
  • To get my YouTube set up and keep it going – any requests for videos or vlogs please feel free to comment below or email me! I will be uploading at least once a week (a Tuesday or Wednesday) with a Slimming World update.
  • To get my finances in order and start saving so we have some money behind us.

Overall, I just want to enjoy this year. I have so much to look forward to whether it be birthdays, holidays and one of my closest friends is getting married! It’s so exciting! It has all the makings of a great year! We’ve just got to smile and enjoy.

I hope your 2014 is filled with love, good health and happiness! I would love to know your plans for this year! What are your resolutions?

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The Southside Girl x