Monday 30 January 2012

A life time battle

Thanks to those that take the time to read my posts. It does mean a lot to me, and it keeps me accountable for my decisions, both good & bad!

I have struggled with a weight problem all my life. A bit dramatic you might think, but since I was about 5 or 6 I have been overweight, obese, even morbidly obese.

It's not fun, living a life ruled by what you put in your mouth. Food & the choices you make, control every aspect of your life. It's a constant battle between what I SHOULD eat and what I WANT to eat. Add to this wonderful battle emotional and mental problems like PND and depression and boy it's one hell of a ride! As a kid it's as simple as "I don't wanna eat that, it's gross!!! Can't we have.....instead?? PLEASE?!!" as an adult it's more "why did I eat that?" "I shouldn't be eating this" "just one more bit...oh, what the hell, I'll just eat it all now & then it will be gone"....

I have always been an emotional eater. When I'm upset or depressed or had a stressful day, I have always eaten something they makes me feel better. Phrases like "you have earnt this" or "you deserve this treat" are my mental dialog. This then spirals as I get depressed about what I have eaten so I eat more or I "may as well" finish that off now I started. This is a life long habit, it's INCREDIBLY hard to break. It's not something you can just go, ok I'm not going to do that anymore. It's not that simple.

I have been a smoker in the past. How did I quit? I went cold turkey. I just stopped. I had one or two hiccups, but I just stopped smoking.

I have been a drug addict (wow, I've never admitted it like that before, but it's the truth). It smoked pot, took things like speed and ecstasy on a regular basis. How did I stop? Again, I went cold turkey. This was a lot harder a road than the smoking, but I still did it. I simply stopped taking the drugs.

For me, food is like an addiction. Only, unlike other addictions, you can't just stop eating. Well, you can but eventually you would be rather unhealthy. You can choose to only eat certain kinds of foods, sure. But that's like only taking marijuana instead or heroin. Eventually you want the good stuff again.

This is something I have only learned over time, from failure upon failure. That's not to say I haven't succeeded in the past. I have. I lost 20kg before I fell pregnant with Maddi. More recently I lost 30kg, but I have put 20kg back on since having Molly. At my heaviest i was 130.4kg. At my lightest as an adult I was 84kg.

So this time I'm determined it's going to be different. No crash diets. No restrictive diet that doesn't allow sugar or fat or carbs. This time I'm doing it differently. I watching what I eat. I'm having the things I love in moderation. I learning NOT to eat emotionally or out of boredom. Fitting exercise into my day. No, not a 2hr gym workout, that's not me. Practical everyday exercise like walking for a purpose, like meeting maddi at the bus stop or delivery pamphlets for extra money. Wii fit, cause it's fun! Making the housework energetic rather than slow & boring. Dancing around the house with the girls. Playing with the girls. I joined the 1 million kilo weight loss challenge. I have not 1 but 2 online groups to help & support me along the way.

It's a slow process, & I expect hiccups along the way. Already, I have had a few as I battle with a mental issue, the likes of which I've never dealt with before. It's something I will go into detail about another time, when I am more comfortable discussing it. When I understand it better. These hiccups mean that my weight loss has not moved as quickly as I hoped, but it is moving. From 121kg, I'm now down to 119kg. A LONG way to go, but Im just taking my time. I have a 10 months still to shift it. For those of you who don't know. My goal by our wedding in November is set at 85kg. I'd love to be a skinny 65, bLolita refuse to set myself completely unrealistic goals lol!

If you are battling a weight issue, remember to be kind to yourself. It's not enough to just eat healthy food & leave it at that. Look after your emotional & mental state. Over time change your inner dialog & learn to love you just as you are. Then, in my opinion, you are well equipped for permanent weight loss, & not years of yo-yoing.

Friday 20 January 2012

Time Management???

2 blogs in 1 day....what is going on? Oh well, lots to say today :)

I love the term Time Management. It insinuates that you can control time, make it bend to your will so as to get everything done. As a young single person job hopping in the Admin world, it was a term I loved to use. "Excellent Time Management Skills", "great at managing task in a timely manner", "able to prioritise and organise daily tasks". All those things meaning, I'm good at managing the time. times have changed!!

Now, if I "manage" to get out of bed, eat some breakfast and get dressed all before Miss Molly's morning sleep "time", then I know I might just accomplish something that day, and that to me is time well and truly managed! 

Well and truly managed means leaving the house with clothes on. It does not mean they match or are fashionable (that would suggest I have time to find out what is actually fashionable then find it in a my size, wash it, hang it up and locate it in my wardrobe to actually wear it! MY wardrobe where Narnia could and probably does exist, you just can't find it under all the mess!). It doesn't even mean they are clean (if I want to leave the house, then I expect the clothes I have managed to find will have baby chuck stains, a bit of weetbix stuck to the sleeve, and maybe a drool trail from carrying bubs to the car). It doesn't mean I found the time to brush my hair, but I at least managed to get it up in a bun where Molly can't grab a hold of it. It means I have managed to get out of the house with the billion things needed for a 5 min trip to the shops to buy milk. I have spare clothes for Molly, and me, nappies, wipes, food, bottle, sippy cup, toys to aid distraction of the fact that she is bored, bonjela, several dummies, followed by a quick trip back up the home road for the wallet and sunglasses that belong to me and got overlooked!

Seriously. When I was younger I thought I was busy. Wow, I used to say. I don't know how I find the time to commute to work each day, go to the gym, get the housework done and have a social life. Well, younger me, I have your answer....YOU DONT HAVE KIDS!!!

Kids are the experts at wasting time. They play for hours, accomplishing nothing but their own amusement. And even worse, they do it in such a way that is totally adorable, drawing us in, in our sleep deprived state, into a trance. Watching, with joy and wonder I admit, at how they play, how they learn the littlest thing, simply by picking up that yellow ball and putting it in the yellow hole, over and over and over again. THIS is where all my time has gone. THIS is why I don't have enough time to get the housework done, exercise, socialise.....

Not only do they occupy your time, they make you so tired, you don't want to "waste" valuable time cleaning, washing, or cooking when you could be doing that wonderful thing called SLEEPING!! 

So now Molly is getting older, I need to find a way to fit more into each day. This is fun, I often laugh at the optimism in my TO DO list everyday... I have several lists, all happily stored on my phone for easy access to remind what I haven't managed to get done in the last week, so I can move tasks from one list to the other, without actually doing them!

There's the must do everyday list:

load of washing
Tidy toys in lounge/dining/Molly's/our rooms
Make lunch for Molly and maybe myself
Cook something for dinner
Clean Kitchen
30-60 mins of exercise
1-2 hours of sewing

There's the weekly list:

Wash towels and sheets
Steam mop tiles
Clean bathroom and toilet
Weekly family shop
Clean Molly's outdoor play area
Spend min1 hour quality time with Maddi
Spend min 1 hour quality time with Shane (yes, I have to add these to the list or they don't happen!)

Then there's the Wedding plans, endless errands that seem to pop up everyday, visits to the doctor, banking, the OMG we are out of Milk/bread/my specific brand of deodorant, and no mum I can't just use yours, yuck! trips to the shop. There's the Molly is driving me insane trips out for lunch just for the sake of getting out of the house! So many things to "manage" so little of that valuable commodity "time".

I am not claiming that I attempt to get all these things done alone. Without Shane, there is a very real possibility some days that absolutely NONE of the tasks would get done. I allocate tasks when I can (and being as stubborn as I am, this is not easy!), the rest he will attend to either without being asked or after my subtle suggestions.....yeah, subtle....

So, now I'm off to fill out the weekly plan of things to accomplish next week. I will inevitably forget something important, but hey, who cares when there isn't enough time in the day as there is....

Procrastination has become my most vital time management skill. With it, everything can get moved to tomorrow's list, and today I will just sit and watch Molly and Maddi playing together. :)

Love my family so so much

When I take a moment to stop, and smell the roses so to speak, I realise just how lucky I am. I wish I could/would do this more often, as there are many people out there without the sort of family support I have. I have a BIG family, and coming from a family as an only child, that in itself is an accomplishment!! Not all these family members are relatives, which makes them extra special, these are people who are amazing and who I am proud to call family, they are the family I choose. Not to say that my own "real" family members are not amazing, because they ALL are!! So I am going to share a little bit about each of my family members and what makes them special. 

Of course to start with my fiance, Shane.
What an amazing man. He came into my life via the internet, a dating site. Who would ever have thought you can actually find a decent man on one of those!! But, if you are willing to take the time and sift through the....less than admirable people....there are a few genuine ones out there! He is patient, to the point of stubborn! He stuck by me while I said yes I want to be with you, no I don't, yes I get the picture! Anyhow, there is a WHOLE history shoved into that 2 years...
What I makes him special....He is loving, patient, kind, geeky in such a cute way. Then there are all the little things, like how he rubs my hand when he holds it, insists on kissing me nearly every time we pass each other in the many things, I simply cannot list them all, or we will be here all day! But he makes me feel whole, without him I feel empty, lost, with him I have direction and purpose. And when I'm dealing with the PND demons, or whatever the hell is going on in my head, he is there, a constant tie to reality, safety, normality. He is happy to hold me til passes and I am me again...not everyone is able to that, and that tells me he loves, unconditionally....

And, I just have to share....Shane just came into the bedroom with the excited look of a kid who just got the much coveted pony for their birthday, to share all about Comic Con, how much tickets are, who will be there....I love how much he loves his SciFi stuff!!!

Back to family members.
My 11 year daughter Maddi.
Wow, there is so much that makes her special. She was my surprise from a less than loving ex. But the love and joy she has brought into my life outweighs all that bad history! She is bubbly, excitable, gentle and caring, loves animals and music. When she decides she is "into something" it consumes her, becomes her passion! We grew up together in a way, it was just her and I for the longest of times. We were mother and daughter, but also in a way, best friends. That is a bond that can never be broken.....I hope. (lets wait til she is a teenager!). The fact that she accepts and loves Shane as her Dad, despite him only coming into our lives 2 1/2 years ago just shows you her capacity to love. In fact, the fact that she has accepted ALL the changes in her life over the last 18 months is just amazing! Sure, she has hit some bumps in the road, but she just picks herself up, dusts off, and keeps going....I really admire her ability to do that.....

My beautiful bubba Molly
She has only been here 9 months, but wow, what an impact she has made on our lives! She has been one of the most difficult and demanding babies I have ever met! That sounds negative, and it probably is, I would be lying if said bonding with her was easy. It wasn't. I had always thought Maddi was a tough baby, but she doesn't even come close to Molly!
What makes her special...her ability to make me laugh, even when she is naughty, the innocent joy she gets out of the simplest things, the way she just stares at the trees moving in the wind as if they are the most amazing things in the world, her intelligence, which at times is far beyond her years (I could get all proud mum here and tell you all the amazing things she can do, but I won't!), the way after bath time she will rest her cheek to mine, wet head and all, and cup my other cheek in her hand and stare at me with pure love. Again, so many more things I could list. Yes, she has been difficult and trying, but I wouldn't have her any other way, because then she wouldn't be my Molly!!

My Dad...
I don't know where to begin. I didn't really know him as a child, because he worked 2 jobs, then when we moved, he worked long hours in Sydney (a 2hr drive each way). His only "me" time was his cricket and soccer. As a teenager I resented him for it. As an adult, I understand, and appreciate all he sacrificed for his family.
Why he is special....He loves me, even though I know I didn't turn out the way he wanted, he still loves me. He never hesitates to help us out when we need it. He bought our family home, so we could all live together, so once again, he could provide for his growing family. The way he watches Molly grow, the joy he gets out of it. He knows he missed out, and I am proud to provide him with the opportunity to watch his little Granddaughter grow up. They way he looks at Maddi, with such pride when she does something, no matter how small. His love for his family, the way he puts family first, that is what makes my Dad amazing!

Ok....extended family, adopted family...I will try to keep it a little shorter!

My new Mum & Dad....
I am still getting to know them. We have only known each other 18 months or so really....but I can tell you what makes them special to me :)
Firstly they have adopted Maddi as their Granddaughter. Not many in-laws have to capacity to love enough to take on a child that isn't their blood relative. Then there is the amazing support and genuine caring they have shown me. They never hesitate to help us with Molly. From an early age, as soon as they realised we were struggling a bit, they started taking Molly over night. Now its saturday night every second weekend, and whenever I need a break. My health has been far from perfect these last 12 months, and they ALWAYS step in and help out! Their love and desire to help and support their family, and extended family (and its NOT small, I can tell you!), is what makes them simply amazing!

There is so much that is amazing about her, I don't know if I can fit it into one small paragraph! We have been friends for about 10 years now. We have held each others hands through some pretty tough times, and laughed ourselves senseless at some pretty great times too. If there is such thing as Soul Sisters, then I have found mine! 
What makes her special. Her ability to care, beyond anything I have ever seen. She is able to push aside her own problems, no matter how big and care for others. Her empathy, which, sometimes is a curse, but still gives her an amazing sense of understanding and love. She held me up, when my life fell apart, not once, but twice. First with a drug addiction, and second when I lost my Mum. I doubt very much I would have survived either of those events without her. I have let her down during her greatest time of need, and I cannot take it back, I cannot make it ok, but I can make sure it NEVER happens again. Despite that, she still loves me and calls me sister. Like my Soul Mate, I don't know what I did to deserve such friendship, but I am so very lucky to have it, I know better than to question it!

Kathy... (cause one Katherine is never enough!!!)
This lovely, crazy person, I have known since Kindergarten! We weren't always friends, but circled in the same groups for years. When did we become best friends, family? I have no idea, but I am proud to call her sister. 
What makes her special...Her ability to make me laugh, her ability to force me to be silly and have fun, even when I don't want to, but need to! Her ability to smile through the toughest of lifes challenges. Her ability to brush herself, get up and keep going when life kicks her in the guts. Her strength. We have a life time of memories, of crazy fun filled trips away, these memories always make me smile no matter what!

We have been friends since high school. Dealt with the highs and lows of the teenage years together. Attempted, and somewhat failed to share a best friend. (for those of you unsure, 3 is definitely a crowd!) But I wouldn't change those years, no matter how difficult, cause they are part of what brought us to here & now. You are my sister, as much as anyone from a different family can be a sister.
What makes her special. So many things. Her faith, and her ability to share her faith with everyone and anyone. Her love of God is such, that you cant help but admire it. To hope to someday attain that same love and trust in our God. Her quiet, or sometimes not so quiet, support and advice. Knowing I have someone I can call at 2am if I'm simply worried about something, not that I ever would, but knowing I could. Her guidance and caring nature, her willingness to help others, to get in there and simply do what needs to be done. Her love, despite all our ups and downs, we love each other, as sisters do. We drive each other crazy, as sisters do. She steps in and mothers me when I need it, as sisters do...

Ok, so that will do....I'm sure I've bored you enough lol! If I haven't included you in todays blog, that doesn't mean you are family, aren't special or that I don't love as much as I love everyone else. These are simply some the family who I hold close to my heart & treasure. If I stop and smell the roses more often, then maybe, just maybe, I will slowly get better.

<3 <3 <3

Friday 6 January 2012

Going to the chapel

Time for a happy post, made while on my phone with a sleeping baby in my arms :)

In 301 days, shane & I will stand before our church pastor in the gorgeous rainforest setting and say I do. I do love you and always will, I do want to spend the rest of my life with you....I do want to grow old with you....I do want to be your Mrs Edman.....

That used to scare me. The idea of finding someone and going "yep, you'll do, I'll spend the rest of my life with you. Sold!" That was of course, until I met Shane. Now it makes sense. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with him, it's not "you'll do" but "you are the one".

I often wondered if it really existed, that kind of love where you know they can make you happy forever. I have lover before, I didn't think it got better than that. I was wrong. I used to think people were crazy gambling forever on that kind of love. There are people out there that do and they are crazy!!! Wait, I tell you!! Wait!! you will see, it can be so much better!!

So he asked me to marry him in September, while we were on the gold coast on our first family holiday. It wasn't over the top romantic, no dozen roses, no limos, no fancy restaurant or sky writer...just him, my love, as if I would spend forever with him as his!!!

So now we are in planning mode! In November we will be married. We have the ceremony & reception locations booked (convienently in the one place!). We have our church pastor doing our ceremony, which we both love the idea of...he will make it fun while not taking away from the emotion of the commitment we are making before our God friends family.

The other details are fun...meetings with videographers, photographers, make up & hair artists, cake decorators, venue decorators. Appointments for trying on dresses, bridesmaids dresses, flower girl dresses. There is so much to do, you just don't think about it all til
you get into it...ring bearer cushions, vows, speeches, mc's, jewelry, lingerie....phew!

We could do it cheaply & simply. Simple ceremony in a local chapel, backyard reception at home...Buuut, I have waited this long, I only plan on doing it once, and I have an amazing father who is in a position to & more than happy to help, so why shouldn't I have my dream

So our wedding party is eldest daughter is my maid of honor, 3 of my dearest friends are bridesmaids, our youngest daughter & my God daughter are flower girls. Our nephew is our page boy, if we ever remember to ask his mum. So far Shane has a best man...but hey, men always leave things til the last minute! Right? No really, they do right???!!!

The only thing I really wish I could have for my wedding, is the one thing that simply cannot be....I want my mum to be here on my wedding day, helping me get ready, ensuring a steady but not over supply of champagne, tearing up at her Shar finally getting married, making sure I dont get cold feet and reassuring me that all is well...BUT...I know she will be watching over me, crying like a big sook with happiness. I know she had something to do with Shane coming into my life....after all how many people are THAT into Star Trek!!! So instead I will have my amazing friends, my sisters, helping me get ready & maybe, if she would like to, shanes mum too. They can hold my hand & encourage me until my dad comes o takes me by the hand & walks me down the aisle...

I totally cannot wait!!!!!!!

Wednesday 4 January 2012

Post Natal Depression and other fun stuff!

Post. Natal. Depression.

Its funny really. I have suffered from depression on & off all my life, well, since I was a teenager. But as soon as I started seeing the signs after Molly was born, I went to the doctor and said I think I have PND. Maybe I shouldn't have labelled it, as looking back, perhaps it wasn't & isn't PND. Maybe its just an extension of my "usual" depression, just appearing in a new & more keep you on your toes type format.

  • Was I depressed I had a baby...No. 
  • Did I feel I didn't want her....No.
  • Did I have no bond with my new baby....No.

  • Did I freak out & think I can't do this....Yes! 
  • Did I have panic attacks every time the evening came fearing the lack of sleep, because I know how badly I cope without sleep....Yes!
  • Was I over emotional & over reactive as a result of lack of sleep....Yes!
  • Did I cry a LOT for no obvious reason....Yes!

Now maybe the above are signs of PND, I'm not a doctor or a psychologist. But for me, they are "normal" parts of my personality & normal parts of my depression, just presented in a slightly different way. I have self esteem issues, even with an amazing and adoring fiance and I tend to panic before things happen, or over things I can't control (my baby shouldn't scream for hours on end, she should stop as soon as I change her nappy/give her a cuddle/feed her)

The only thing I had NOT experienced before was the "disassociative" episodes.They usually happen in the evening, brought on by overwhelming feelings of EVERY emotion....fear, sadness, extreme happiness, inability to cope, anger at myself for not coping, desire to love and protect my baby, desire to provide DD1 with the same level of love & attention she is used to, panic at not being able to control the situation, and all fed by the usual new born parent lack of sleep. These episodes last anywhere from 30 mins to several hours. I'm not sure why, but afterwards I feel calm & relaxed. To describe it to my psychologist, I used an analogy....The emotions get to a point where i just can't cope and it's like a door opens in the back of my head. If i go through that door, all the emotions just stop I don't feel anything. I can still function enough to care for Molly, and apparently became a LOT more protective of her. But nothing "here" can effect me emotionally. All the emotions are just gone, just peace and calm is all I feel. There is a temptation to stay there and close the door. I could do that. Who wouldn't want to feel calm and peaceful all the time? It's a concious decision to return to the "here" each time I do. It helps that my fiance is there holding me hand encouraging me to "come back". When it first started, when Molly was just 2 weeks old, I had no control over it, it was like that door was a black hole, it would just suck me in and spit me back out whenever the hell it felt like it! Now I have control, I can control how far I go, when I come back.

As a teenager I used to self harm. Nothing intense, but i would cut my arms or legs, because the sting, that pain was something i could control, unlike the emotions i would feel, that i had no control over. The disassociation seems like an extension of that. I don't want to hurt myself, but I do want the emotions to go away, to stop overwhelming me, I want to have control of them.  

Now, I am off the anti depressants, and I'm mostly doing ok. I'm happy & content in my life. In fact, I am happier than I ever have been. I have 2 beautiful girls and an amazing fiance, who for some crazy reason, loves us all as much as we love him! I have a new extended family that most wives-to-be would be jealous of, and rightly so!! They are all lovely, and supportive too! My Dad is an amazing man. It breaks my heart that he is so weak. He has Parkinson's disease, and despite his best efforts, it is quickly progressing to a point where he needs care. I don't like it, I wish it was for a different reason, but I love spending this time with him. The joy on his face each day as he watches Molly grow, as he watches Maddi develop into a young lady, and as he sees his only daughter happy is awesome, and often makes me smile too!

I have more to post, but that is for a different topic on a different day! Have a lovely week to all those that take the time to read this :)