Life Update ~ Where have I Been??

I realise that since August I have vanished off the face of the earth and I apologise for that. I could make 101 excuses but the reality is that I simply lost my mojo… I had plenty of time. In fact probably too much! The fact that typing is so much tougher added to lots of other Real Life battles for all sorts of things meant that my attention was diverted elsewhere and the longer I went without posting the harder it has been to come back to it…

The ‘Me’ that I was this time last year is well and truly gone.. For better or for worse! The reality being that her disappearance is probably for the better in so so many ways; but it is hard to deal with the fact that my life has changed so much especially given why. I continue to attend psychology services within the hospital and find it very beneficial. I think it will be the service I cling onto for the longest if I am given a choice! Its only when I try to live ‘normal’ life that it really dawns on me that 2014 has been so flippin’ abnormal!! I am still ‘stroke girl’ in so many contexts although that is gradually lessening… Or I’m getting used to the whispers and the stares and notice them less!

Updates:
Health:
I don’t need surgery – at least not yet! I will be re-assessed in March 2015 but the longer I go without any further issues the more hopeful it looks.

I had my first (and final) review with the National Rehabilitation Hospital and they don’t feel that I need to continue to be reviewed by them. I’m guessing the ongoing reviews by Beaumont are enough! My next review with the stroke specialist in Beaumont is May 2015 and I’m not back with the neurosurgeon until March 2015 so appointments are less frequent. As I said above I am still attending Psychology and I am was attending for Physiotherapy up until today but have now been discharged from that too. .

Outside of stroke stuff my health is pretty crappy at the moment! I’m picking up every bug going. I feel like 13 weeks of sterile environments has totally stripped my immunity!

Slimming World/Weight:
I have achieved my 1.5 stone loss with Slimming World but since then I have kind of stagnated a bit! I need to get a proper kick up the proverbial and focus again.
Overall, since I was hospitalised I have lost just over 3 stone (#dayzeroproject target achieved), my BMI has dropped by 10 and I am so much healthier than I have been at any stage in my adult life! The irony of that is by no means lost on me!

Life:
I am back to work… That was a real struggle and both getting back and being back have been tough emotionally! I’m on reduced days and what duties I do are very limited. It can be tough in that every day I see my workmates doing ‘my’ work and the reality is that I know I wouldn’t be able to take it all back on even if I was doing full time hours! I’m having to face up to the fact that I may never get back to that and it also forces me to examine whether I would really want to… I foresee changes!

I have also found myself with a very lovely gentleman in my life for the first time in a *very* long time… But not everything in my life is for the blog!

I just spent a very lovely weekend in Paris with my family. Another #dayzeroproject achievement.

In terms of the blog I want to thank those of you who have stuck with me… Readers and PRs alike. It is very much appreciated. I have a few posts planned and will try to post more regularly but I make no promises… I feel if I try to force posts the quality will suffer so I will blog as mojo allows… Hopefully the festive season and impending New Year will encourage me in that!

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#DayZeroProject: Cinema Trips

Part of the #DayZeroProject was to go to the cinema more… And I specified that I would go at least 4 times in 2014 which I have already achieved…

Calvary: I went to this with my parents on one of my breaks from hospital. I’m a massive fan of Brendan Gleeson and really enjoy the dark humour of the McDonaghs both in film and play form!

Begin Again: I went to see this on my own and rally enjoyed it. I think Mark Ruffalo is one of the hottest men on this planet and this quirky feel good story is really sweet and surprisingly not entirely predictable! A bonus was that I really enjoyed the soundtrack.🙂

Mrs Browns Boys D’Movie: Another film that i went to alone, I enjoy the series and fancied a giggle one of the days… so off I went! It’s exactly what you would expect with lots of giggles. There was one particularly rousing musical number and an impassioned speech at another stage that would honestly make you consider running off to become a Moore Street trader…

The Fault in Our Stars: Another film I went to alone, which was a good thing considering how much I cried…😥 A great film, based on the book but bring tissues – you have been warned! But if you didn’t know that already, what rock have you been hiding under?

Monty Python Live (Mostly): I’m not sure if this counts as technically it was a live streaming of a cultural event… But it was AMAZING!! So I am counting it – ladies prerogative! Again, I went on my own and i was glad not to have any distractions!

It’s great to have yet another thing ticked off my ‘To Do’ List… Are there any movies you would recommend? Would you go to the cinema on your own? Or do you think it is weird??

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#DayZeroProject ~ Girls Night In.

 

Back in my original Day Zero Project post I said I wanted to have a girls night in so thats exactly what I planned to do to celebrate my birthday last month. I wasn’t up to too much organisation so I decided to take the easy way out and scheduled an Ann Summers party. I found a rep online that covered my local area and booked in for the Saturday before my birthday; eithout even asking which of my friends were available as I knew I’d be able to get at least 6-8 of them together for a bit of craic and to celebrate my freedom and my aging process!

The party ambassador sent me out some catalogues in advance and advised me to create a wishlist of things I would like for myself as every hostess can get free goodies just by hosting the party. I was also able to give the other catalogues to friends who weren’t able to make it on the night…

On the night itself everything was very simple. The party ambassador arrived 15-20 minutes before the party was due to start and got set up while I was putting my face on. We all topped up our drinks and were given our novelty names for the night and the fun kicked off! We played some games and had some vodka jelly shots thatb she had brought for us and we had a look and feel of the lingerie, costumes and pyjamas the ambassador had brought as part of the ‘bringing the store to the door‘. Then it got on to the ‘juicier’ stuff when there were lots of giggles; but if this isn’t your thing your ambassador is more than willing not to demo the toys as part of the party and focus on the clothing instead.

There was no pressure to buy but the stuff was so nice that most of us decided we deserved a treat! I got €30 0ff my order as hostess and had 2 friends booked parties I would also have received an exclusive hostess gift worth €31. All orders were individually packaged when they were delivered to my house the following week and delivering them/having them collected gave me a chance to catch up with each of my friends again.

If you, or your friends would like a girls night in or a ladies only coffee morning with a difference I highly recommend Ann Summers as an option. You can contact Anne on 087-6729373 or  annsummersdub.meath@gmail.com to book a party… What are you waiting for??

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Five Favourites Friday #3

There are loads of things I am currently loving and as I missed two weeks I am going to cover some extra today…

1) Snapchat
I am loving this as a quick way to be able to send messages to friends where you just need somthing a bit more than words… I’d like to thank LilliWhiteRose, Kathleen from Squidgy Moments, Kat from Pretty Kitty and many non blogger friends for all the smiles and giggles it has provided me with!

2) My dogs.
I cannot emphasise enough how much I love these guys and how much it is breaking my heart that I cannot currently have them living with me! Phoebe in particular is very clingy when I visit them and I cannot wait to bring her home.

3) Monty Python Live (Mostly)
Also known as Monty Python: One down Five to Go. I went to see this in the cinema on July 20th and loved every minute of it! I also recorded it off the tv on Tuesday 22nd and have watched it at least 4 times since… I had forgotten how much I love Monty Python and being honest I think I have a slight crush on Michael Palin now! Or maybe I could be the next Mrs Cleese!😛

4) Devious Maids
Those who know me will know I am not a big tv watcher… In fact outside of Home and Away and Greys Anatomy there is very little I have to watch! Devious maids has now fallen into this category. I am so glad to know that there is at least one more series to come!!

5) Raspberries
These are now officially my favourite food. They are a super-speed food in Slimming World and I am probably eating at least 10 punnets a week… Those fruit sellers on the roadside will have me bankrupt but the Wexford ones are really the tastiest!!

Other loves still include
6) the Gym
7) Cooking. I am trying at least one new recipe a week to try keep my diet varied and not get into a rut!
8) Slimming World
9) Shopping my makeup stash and trying to use less loved items now its all organised!
10) Awesome friends – always a favourite!
11) Inspirational quotes on Facebook and Pinterest.

That’s all for this week! What are you loving?

 

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#ThinThursday #3

Apologies for vanishing… It wasn’t intentional but I kinda lost my mojo. Especially when on my third weigh-in I had a gain that I really was not expecting! It was only 1/2 a pound but as I had been going extra hard at the gym (including finding alternative gyms to go to when I visited my parents instead of taking days off and upping my workouts to an hour each time) and being really good with the food I really didn’t feel it was deserved. My leader explained to me that this kind of thing can happen as the body adjusts to an increase in exercise so I persevered and with great trepidation stepped on the scales last week… To have a massive 7.5lb off!!!!😀 This meant that I got my first half stone cert… And then at the end of the meeting I was awarded Slimmer of the Month for July – a massive achievement for my first month!!


Unfortunately this week I was up 1lb again but I know that its water retention so I can accept that, I know with a good week that it (and more) should be gone by the time I weigh in next week!! i really feel that Slimming World is working for me!🙂

The half lb gain I had made me really focus on NSVs (Non Scale Victories):

  • I am making healthier choices for myself. My body no longer tolerates processed or fatty food easily. My complexion has improved dramatically.
  • My blood pressure is consistently in the normal range.
  • I am rediscovering my love for cooking.
  • I can now do a full hour of cardio in the gym without melting into a puddle.
  • I have managed to do 1km on the treadmill in 11 minutes, and 6km on the bike in 14 minutes 45 seconds.
  • I have dropped a full two dress sizes since I last went shopping (pre-stroke). Even the newer smaller sizes are starting to get loose on me!
  • I am toning up all over as I am exercising as I go and friends and family have commented on the change in my body shape, this also means I am trying clothes I wouldn’t necessarily have tried before as things that suited in the past don’t necessarily suit now!
  • And while it is a scale victory of sorts since I was weighed on admission to the hospital on March 6th I have lost 2 stone 3lb/just over 14kg… Thats more than your average two year old weighs!!🙂
  • My self confidence is improving.

 

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#Thin Thursday #2

Apologies for being a day late, but yesterday was my birthday so I’m hoping it can be forgiven!

Brief update this week:

  • 2lb loss at weigh in.
  • Got to the gym 4 times this week.
  • Ate out twice but tried to make healthier choices each time and also had a fantastic party with snacks, chocolate cake, wine and mojitos!🙂

Feeling positive and motivated!

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Five Favourites Friday #2

1.) This week I have been cooking a lot. Slimming world is easier if you are making all your own meals so are in control of exactly what goes into them. Chiccken Chow Mein has been my favourite! I got the recipe off the app but this is it online. I’ve adjusted it using regular and brown noodles and adding extra ginger and chilli to taste!

 

Pizza was also attempted but not quite as successful!

2.) Slimming World is also a favourite. It was my birthday this week which meant one party and two dinners out – yet I still managed to lose 2lb! That brings my overall weightloss to 10kg since March!🙂 The gym is also a favourite as I’m convinced it was what kept a gain away!

3. Awesome friends. As I mentioned, it was my birthday this week. I had a girls night in/Ann Summers party last Saturday to celebrate. My friends showed up with EVERYTHING needed for the party so that I wouldn’t need to worry about anything. I’m talking dinner for before the party, snacks, drinks, balloons! I was thoroughly spoilt and had a great night!

4.) New makeup. Between treating myself and being gifted some lovely items there are some real treats in store for you with reviews!

5.) Organised makeup. I have finally got all of my makeup organised. Now that I can see what exactly I have I am spurred on to make more of my stash so I am hoping to do lots of makeup looks for you all in the next few weeks!

 

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