A duty of care?

As a mother, wife, daughter, daughter in law, friend I feel that I have a duty of care to all of my friends and relations who mean so much to me, to do my best to help them out. Of course, the extent to which they need my help varies widely between, for instance, my sons and my friends, but the principle remains the same.

Today, another thought occurred to me. If I am trying to live by this principle of doing the best I can for the people I care most about, surely that means that I should be doing the best for myself as well. Not because I care about myself as much as I do these other wonderful people (I don’t, by the way, and often wonder how I’ve managed to¬†gather such a great group of people around me!), but because if anything were to happen to me, it would rebound onto those I care about. For instance, quite apart from my sons and husband not having a fully capable mother and wife respectively, I wouldn’t be able to take my mother to do the shopping, or share the many moments of laughter we enjoy over the silliest of things. I’d be unable to make cakes, biscuits and preserves to share with, well, all of my nearest and dearest, as none of them ever turn food down! I’d not be able to help Jo out with the pigs and chickens on the occasions when she needs a hand. And many other small things which I like to think make a (very small) difference to these people’s lives.

In line with my new year theme of discipline, I’ve once more decided to try to lose my excess pounds, and take more exercise. It would definitely benefit me greatly, in both mind and body, but it feels so self-indulgent to spend that amount of time on myself, rather than on the hundred and one other things I’m sure I could find to do. But maybe I’m looking at it all wrong. Perhaps I should think about it like this; if I take regular exercise and get fitter, if I lose weight, I will be better able to live the sort of life I’d like to lead. If I manage to give up my bad habits of excess snacking and a fairly sedentary lifestyle it will undoubtedly improve my health in the long run. I am healthy now, but who is to say what troubles I am storing up for myself by staying that couple of stone overweight as I am?

So maybe taking the time to look after yourself isn’t purely selfish, but slightly selfless as well when you consider that it benefits the people around us as much as it does ourselves. And I really don’t want to give up my snacking and neither do I enjoy exercise, so I definitely won’t be enjoying my new lifestyle, at least until I’ve settled into it! In my book, that counts as not at all selfish if you’re not having fun!

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Weight loss progress

There won’t be a graph for your perusing pleasure today. I have decided that I’m not going to have a weigh in this week as I gave myself the weekend off the diet to celebrate my wedding anniversary. We had a chinese takeaway on Saturday night, as well as sharing half a tub of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream. We then had croissants for breakfast yesterday, followed by a roast dinner at lunch time cooked by my mother in law, and then a chocolate cake for dessert. So, although I’ve only had that day off, I think that the weight which would show today would probably be inaccurate and not indicative of my progress overall. Therefore I’ll weigh in again next Monday, after a week of my diet being back to normal and I’ll be proud to be able to tell you that I’ve lost more weight, I’m sure. I plan to start up my exercise this week again, which will all help.

So much choice, so little time (and money!)

So, I have a decision to make sometime in the next couple of weeks. A very important decision and one that has been playing on my mind a lot during the last few weeks. An extremely tricky decision which I have spent many (I won’t deny that they were vaguely pleasurable) hours deliberating.

When I started this latest diet officially at Easter, I told myself that when I had lost a stone I would allow myself to buy new shoes. And not any old new (I know, that doesn’t make sense) shoes. Not tremendously sensible black-leather-waterproof-last-for-years shoes, not bargain basement sale shoes but shoes that would be a treat. My thinking was, what is the point of spending money on clothes which I will shrink out of in the near future (see, the optimism is still in play!); I have too much (admittedly cheap costume) jewelry, most of which I don’t wear anyway and I don’t want to buy myself food for a diet reward! So shoes seemed to be the way to go.

Which leads me further into my dilemma. I can’t for the life of me decide what sort of shoes I want to buy. I can rule some kinds of shoes out, which I suppose narrows down the search a little. I want to buy shoes that I can enjoy every day, so there is absolutely no point (whilst I am doing school runs twice a day and can barely get into presentable clothes, let alone make an effort) in my buying high heels. Summer seems to have passed our island by this year so I won’t be buying sandals. Boots are all very well and lovely, but they generally don’t fit around my calves. So casual shoes seem to be the way forward. Now, for a while I’ve been thinking about buying some Converses, but everyone seems to have them now and I want something a bit different. Along the same lines of thought, when I was a teenager I always wanted some coloured Dr Martens (they would certainly work with the weather we’ve been, umm, experiencing recently) so maybe now is the time to invest in a pair. Or perhaps I could consider some Skechers, as long as I chose something that didn’t look too plain and boring.

The problem with all of these ideas is that I’m not smitten with any of them. I want these shoes to be special. I want them to fill me with the sort of happiness that my flowery ballet pumps from Qube inspired when I bought them last year. And I want to love them so much that each time I look at them I am filled with renewed energy and vigour to follow my weight loss plan. So, not too much to ask from a pair of shoes then!

Now that both my children are in school for the whole day, I plan to take myself off to town next week at some point and search through all the footwear outlets for that one elusive pair of shoes which will fill my soul with gladness at the very thought of wearing them. So, if anyone is able to provide me with food for thought between now and then (I’ll take as much of that as you have to offer, as it is generally very low on fat and calories) I would be very appreciative.

Update on the diet, end of week 4

I’ve lost a couple more pounds this week, which takes me up to nine pounds overall! I’m very happy with that as I’m still just short of the end of my first month, and as I had a target of losing seven pounds a month I’m two pounds ahead of target. And so I’ll move on to next month’s target – I hope to have lost a stone by the end of September! The children start back to school next week, which I hope will facilitate my being able to do more exercise. I’ve not yet decided whether to try to go back to the gym or just to focus on cycling and walking. I’m leaning more towards the cycling as I can fit it in with other daily tasks like fetching bread and milk from the shop and suchlike. Ah well, time will tell. I just hope that my will power keeps me on track for another couple of months at least so that I can start to see a real difference in myself.

I was very proud of myself yesterday. We went out with two of my husband’s relatives for Sunday lunch to a pub in North Cardiff. They all had roast dinners but I managed to avoid the temptation and had a chicken and bacon salad. It was really nice, and I didn’t miss the roast dinner at all. I think that it tasted nicer because I knew that it was a healthy choice and that I wasn’t damaging my diet by eating it. I’ve noticed that I’m definitely not enjoying things like pizza at the moment, even when I’m actually eating them, because I constantly have on my mind that it is a bad food choice if I want to be slimmer by next year. I’m glad of that though. This is what I’m trying to educate my brain to tell me, rather than accepting the ‘quick happy fix’ that junk food and snacking has to offer.

In other news, visits to my blog went past the 20,000 mark yesterday! This is great, especially as it was only in about March that I reached 10,000 and I thought it would take until about Christmas to get to this target. So thank you to you all for visiting and helping Jennieworld Today reach this target. Roll on 30,000!

Update on the diet, end of week 3

I’m content! I’ve lost another 1.5lbs this week, bringing me up to a total of 7lbs or half a stone in three weeks! I’m a week ahead of my target to lose half a stone a month, so I can get stuck into next month’s half a stone a bit early!

I’m especially pleased as I had a slip on Saturday night and gave in to the temptation of Dominos Pizza. However, it was a slip not a slide as I managed to get it together before having lunch with my husband’s family yesterday – I only had a drop of gravy, lots of vegetables and no pudding. And then quiche and salad for tea. So I feel that I redeemed myself yesterday!

This week I’ll be happy with another 1.5lbs if that’s possible. I’m hoping that the weather will be better than last week so that I can get out with the children and go to the park a few times. They’re old enough now that I can take them swimming on my own, so I might try that either this week or next as well.

I’m so glad that my will power has kept up this week – it’s such a good feeling to see the chart going down!