Sensational SensatioNail

Once you have sashayed over the pre-parenthood line, from having all the time in the world, to having every second completely commandeered by your small human, certain things get left by the wayside, like manicures, pedicures, getting my hair coloured and blow dried, showering regularly (surely not just me?)

  Jokes aside ( I do shower regularly!) I used to love getting my nails done, and in the 16 months since my little boy has graced my life, I’ve found the time to do it once. I used to be regimental about my nails being done, infills every 2 weeks, removal and replacement once a month. This was because for six years I had been in a job which hadn’t allowed me to wear any kind of nail enhancements, so I was in my element when I could finally get it done.

Not only do I not have two spare hours to spend sitting in a nail shop, the cost I cannot justify, not when I now run my own home, any spare money is money to be saved.

I wanted a way to paint my nails where I wouldn’t spend hours not able to touch anything for fear of smudging the fresh paint, was quick and easy to apply, and was relatively cheap, well relative to £20-£50 per time nail application (depending on where I went).

A few Christmases ago my Sister and I were gifted a SensatioNail by Nailene Starter kit from our Dad. It is a UV Gel polish system to use at home. I used it a few times, but while I could still get my nails done I wasn’t too interested in spending time doing my nails myself.

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However this kit since having Noah has really come into its own. I love it so much. It’s quick and easy. There is absolutely no chance of me smudging my nails, and I can get on with my day straight away. There is a great range of colours avaliable, which is good for someone like me who likes to change things up regularly. The kit is also kind to my nails, they have been stronger since using the kit, and the gel polish is really easy to take off.

The kit is so easy to use, it came with easy step by step instructions on how, and when, to use each of the products in the kit, we also had two nail polishes and two Glitter FX puffers (only the gold pictured below), and the UV lamp required to cure the polishes.

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I love how quick it is to do my nails now, I can quickly do my nails during Noah’s nap time, which would have been a brave undertaking and would have most certainly lead to smudging had I used regular polish. Now I can even change a nappy straight after application without worrying about ruining my nails and that’s sensational.

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Vanilla Chai polish with Gold Glitter FX

This post is not sponsored, any opinions are my own.

Finally Ready

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The image above is what has spurred on this blog post. I have started this post several times, I have slammed the lid of my laptop in frustration of not being able to find the words but really wanting to share this journey I have been on.

SO you may ask what does some sun in the trees mean in terms of a blog post, well let me explain…

I took this photo on a walk home through the park with my little boy, even though it was not particularly warm, the sun was streaming through the trees. As Noah was asleep, walking through the park gave me some thinking space to myself. Looking at the view it reminded me of spring, the warmth of the sun on my face with a slight chill in the air, of things coming to life and changing after time in hibernation. That is what I have been doing, working on myself, changing myself, and now I’m ready to come out of hiding and share it with everyone.

Before any of my lovely family and friends say you don’t need to change, I do. Since having Noah, I have ruined the health of my body, I became ashamed of what I had done to myself, through lack of respect, bad eating and zero exercise. I was most ashamed of the fact that, before I had Noah, I had lost a lot of weight and had taken real pride in how looked. Obviously pregnancy changes a woman’s body, which I fully take into account, but after given birth to Noah, I fell back into really bad habits, secret eating, several snacks a day which were definitely not healthy based, making excuses not to do any exercise (I’m tired, I’m recovering after having Noah, I don’t have time).

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Me before pregnancy

This went on for months, my health declined, and so did my general opinion of myself worth.

Then during a mother and baby class, we had a group talk from a lovely lady from Crawley Wellbeing, to give us some simple healthy eating tips, and ways to start getting active. At the end of the group session we were offered the chance to join Crawley Wellbeing, and have a full body composition done, on some very snazzy scales called “Tanita”. I took this opportunity because for me I had reached the end of my tether with myself. It was time for change.

I started in April 2015, I had the Tanita body composition check, and got the shock of my life. I had put on 4 stone on my pre-pregnancy weight. I had put it in a two stone ballpark, but reading those measurements was a shock, and made me realise I really needed to try and get my health back under control.

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Me at my heaviest 18st 8lbs

During my meeting with Crawley Wellbeing, I was offered the choice to join a Weight off Workshop (or WOW) I jumped at the chance, though I didn’t eventually go down this route I was offered another alternative, I was just looking for a little direction and help with how to change my lifestyle.

When it came to signing up for the WOW, I was sent the forms for that course, or for a more intensive group called Why Weight. This is usually only available for people who are thinking about bariatric surgery, I am not going to have surgery, but my BMI meant I was a candidate. I chose this route because it felt more personal reading through the pamphlet, rather than a class where I felt I could hide in a group.

This group has changed my life completely. I have worked on my relationship to food with counselors and dietitians, in terms of emotions, and why I reach for food at certain times, sometimes without thinking or realising, using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to change the way I interact with food and learning what a portion size really is. I also have been seeing a exercise coach who gives me tips and helps me find the direction I want to go with exercise so I don’t get bored, and so I can also make it work with my life as a single parent.

At the time I write this I can’t tell you what I weigh exactly, I get weighed once month by my dietitian, in my previous appointment on the 25th of January I weighed 17 st 4lbs. I’m not ashamed of the numbers anymore because I know they are numbers on the way to a new me, a healthy me.

I know size and numbers don’t make a healthy person on their own, but for me I need to work on them. I need to bring my BMI down ( my blood pressure is tip top, no complaints there), I need to make my lifestyle healthy so I can show Noah how to eat right, how to fuel his body properly, and not just turn to eating because he feels emotional and wants it for comfort.

Before I round up this blog post, I want to say to anyone that is looking to lose weight or change their lifestyle, that you need to learn to love yourself first. I didn’t start my weight-loss journey at a point where I loved myself, I hated what I saw in the mirror, and was stuck in an awful spiral where I nurtured that hurt with food. I have reached that point though, because if I don’t learn to love myself as I am right now, I will never have the respect to give my body what it needs, and accept the changes that happen.

I am going to keep you all updated during my weight-loss, the ups and downs, and any techniques that I have used. I am not professing to know all the answers, I have muddled through the last 9 months and have fallen off the figurative horse and got back on it again, but now I feel in place that I feel confident and motivated. I will welcome any tips you have or any healthy meals, I will be sharing a few with you too in future posts.

Lastly if you made it to the end of this biopic and you wish to contact Crawley Wellbeing for a Wellbeing Check and take a turn standing on Tanita for your body composition here is a link: Wellbeing Check

Starting a little late…

2016

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I’m starting my first blog post of the year a little late. I have reached the blogger-sphere behind all the “New Year- New Me” posts, the plans and resolutions for how the rest of the year will pan out. Yet I’m okay with this.

My first post was always going to be a little late. The beginning of January brings a whole load more celebration, not just the New Year festivities, but my birthday (week) and my dads birthday. I was focusing on spending those special days with my family and friends.

Then I had found time to settle down and get myself sorted. I did want to have more of a plan when it came to my writing. There is so much more about myself that I want to pour into my writing and this year is going to be about exploring that. Asking You as my readers to give me feedback on which content works and what content falls flat. I treated myself to some beautiful notebooks from Next, and got myself straight onto planning different posts, and themes that I want to explore.

I then took some time for myself after receiving some awful, completely unexpected news, which was shocking for myself and many others. I didn’t feel like I could sit down behind a screen and write a happy dappy blog post, when all I was feeling was a little lost. I lost motivation in a few areas, I have been very slowly trying to change my lifestyle into a healthier one, something that I want Noah to follow. I want him to learn my good habits, rather than my habit for food binges and bad choices when choosing food that really isn’t going to fuel my body. I fell back into a bad eating pattern, didn’t want to exercise, or try and hit any of my personal daily goals.

Now I have found my motivation, I have given myself time and space mentally and physically, to try and rein in my mind which felt as if I had scattered it into the wind. I now sit behind this computer screen so excited to write again. I have so many plans for this year, and I cannot wait to share them with you all.

So here’s to the rest of the year.