Category: Health

How giving up dieting changed a fat girl’s life

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I grew up thinking I was fat.  From day one really.  I don’t know why because when I look at those old faded photos with the white borders, I wasn’t.  But, I thought I was and that’s what counts.

I started dieting radically when I was 13.  I attended a slimming clinic where I was put onto a high protein diet and spent two hours a week a bit like a mental patient bandaged up with electrodes placed around my body to help burn fat.

To cut a very long story very short – I believe that crash dieting makes you fat.  I have through my life probably lost my entire body weight (not a small amount) at least twice.  I have mastered almost every diet known to man and woman.  I am an expert dieter.  I have got gold stars, stickers and even spoken as a motivator for a diet.  And yet as I crept into my forties I was fatter and unfitter than I had ever been.

Now, I know that it isn’t all’ dieting’s’ fault.  I have quite a few medical conditions including depression. Medication doesn’t help either.  I have also suffered from depression for a long time A couple of years ago I started changing my life and this is part of my journey.

Today, I am a little thinner, but a lot fitter – and fit feels good

After a three or four year period where I had just given up dieting (and surprisingly stayed the same large size rather than gaining weight), I made a decision that the time had come to ‘deal’ with it.

What made me so determined.  Are you ready? I wanted to feel sexy and feminine.  Each person will find their own motivator, but this was it for me.

My first step was to make up a mantra.

‘Nothing tastes as good as sexy feels.’

Everytime I looked at a chocolate or eyed up seconds I would repeat it in my head. I shared it with a few people and got varying responses. There were some who said they would go for the chocolate, and there were days I would agree. (and then I ate chocolate, and still do)

The next step was to get an appointment with a dietician.  The tiny lady who saved my life

Seriously!  Both that she is tiny and that she saved my life. Blood tests unearthed two very scary diseases – diabetes and pernicious anaemia.

I have always had this idea that dieticians shouldn’t be too skinny otherwise they might make the fatties feel uncomfortable.  Well my dietician is seriously skinny – but healthy.  You can see it on her face so after my first misgivings I started to listen.

I remember 3 things from that first consultation.

  1. Change only your lunch – nothing else.
  2. Small changes
  3. Have blood tests (including an iron test)

Blood tests unearthed two very scary diseases – diabetes and pernicious anaemia as well as a very low iron count.

I told her my mantra – still not sure what she thought.

The journey towards health started with small changes, primarily my lunch.

She had also said that I couldn’t eat lunch with my work mate.  We had got into a routine of taking turns making a nice lunch.  Which of course normally turned into a silent competition of who can put together the nicest  spread.  Speaking honestly we also rewarded each other with food.

Bad Day = Croissant or a danish

Good Day =  Curley Wurley (a dieters chocolate)

Boring Day = Long lunch with a pudding

You get the picture…..

The first month wasn’t hard.  I changed my lunch and made sure I was eating a protein at every lunch (not the easiest thing for a vegetarian who lived on cheese), and simply kept the goodies for the evening.

When I weighed in a month later I was 9 pounds lighter!!!!!!!!!!!

This was the first step in a long journey which as led to a complete overhaul of my eating habits and of course my path to fitness.

An extra message before I sign off from this post.  Compliment your children and give them a positive body image – I don’t know why I thought I was fat as a child, but after a long while I can look at these childhood pictures and realise that I was pretty and perfect!

Thanks for reading.

Kerry xx

My Word of the Year Idea – Balance!

Balance (2)I have always been the type of person to make new year resolutions, and to keep them as much as I can.  At th end of 2011 I decided to upgrade this and choose a word for the year.  A word to change my life, step at a time.  I am proud to say that not only have I kept this up, but I have inspired many people to choose a word a year.  This is going to be a series on my blog as I share my ups and downs and how this little idea has helped shape my life.

Four year’s ago my life was in a dark place, and a little self reflection made me realise that my life was completely out of balance.  Work consumed me,  it even defined my friendships and leisure time.  I realise now that I worked because it was easier to do this than think about the other areas of my life that were not  under my control.

My health was not good.  I knew that I needed to improve my fitness levels, and yet didn’t have sufficient motivation to do anything about it.

This was my first year with a ‘word’ and I had no idea how much it would change my life.

Before I continue, I want to ask you to close your eyes and imagine me at the end of the year, in my walking gear, having returned from a walk and having a staring competition while standing on one leg with my son.  I can’t remember who won, but it lasted for a significant amount of time.  No matter what you read below, and in the rest of the series, I have dealt with it and worked to overcome and be positive in everything.  And yes, there have been bad days and tears, but this is a positive story.

The impact of the word ‘balance’  wasn’t anything dramatic to start with, I simply thought about my word, meditated on in and started to contemplate how I could incorporate more balance into my life.  I was contemplating balance not in the physical way, but more in respect of priorities and emotions.  However, be careful what word you choose.

The first six months there were no huge changes, although I consciously started to put aside time for leisure related activities that were not work related.  I explored new friendships and rekindled old ones.  I stepped up my reading and looked for new interests and started an ongoing fascination with psychology.

My world started to rock when I started marriage counselling early in the year.  It was never really couples counselling as the counsellor quickly realised that the situation required individual counselling.  There is a lot more to tell about that, but I digress.

My doctor at the time always invited me for my birthday blood tests.  An annual reminder to check up a few things.  I have had an underactive thyroid for years and years, as well as some hormone issues, that needed monitoring.  A week later I received a call asking me to come into the surgery urgently.  I had pernicious anaemia.  I had to google the word pernicious – I hadn’t a clue what it meant.  (Not going to go into detail now, but it wasn’t good).  Two weeks later I was told that I had Diabetes.  A month after that I got Shingles in my eye.

All this added to the emotional turmoil set me more off balance than I was to start with.  I was really in a place where I felt as though I had no choices at all.  I couldn’t see a way forward, and I felt myself sinking backwards.

The doctor mentioned walking. I didn’t even own a pair of trainers!  The first day I walked, it was on Spiddal beachfront and I walked with a kind friend who encouraged me and said how well I had done – I think that this was what would now be a 5 minute walk or less!  Looking back it was the start for me.  The start of change and getting balance in my life, in all aspects of my life, including physical.

I have found writing this first post both positive and negative.  I am proud to look back and look at my journey.  I am also excited to consider what lies ahead.  To follow my story, come back and visit my blog.  I hope to put up at least three posts a month about my words.  More on balance, and then change, discipline and create.

Thank you so much for reading.

Kerry x

7 Essentials for a Fabulicious Bathtime

 

Bath like you deserve it! (2)I sincerely believe that we have to treat ourselves.  In the past (and sometimes in the present) treats often revolve around food. Cake or chocolate in front of the TV.  I am trying to change, as I continue on my  journey to improve my health.  One of my favourite treats these days is a luxurious bath.

A bath can become a home spa with a bit of planning.  A gift to the senses that is not only extremely pleasurable, but also really good for you.  Read this post and start planning ladies, we all need some me time! Loads of  lapping steamy water to luxuriate in and more importantly a complete switch-off with no interruptions.

In the rush of everyday life it is all about a quick shower, but you cannot beat a bath for pure indulgence.  I find that an evening bath has all sorts of added benefits including the fact that it really helps me sleep – I get into bed all warm and cosy and completely relaxed.  And, I am told that sleeping helps you loose weight so double win!

Here are my 7 essentials for a fabulicious bathtime.

  1. Scented candles.  I love the flickering glow and the gorgeous scent.  Tonight I indulged inUrban Apothecary London’s Peony Rose luxury scented candle from my Mother’s day treatment Glossy Box.  I light the candle when I start running the bath and keep the door closed so that the aroma of the candle and the bath oils treat the senses.
  2. Lots of hot water – maybe it doesn’t need to be said, but I am one of those people who top up during the bath and I need to know that there is steamy water waiting for me.
  3. Oils.  I used to love a good bubble bath but I am now a convert to oils.  The lovely Elmis frangipani monoi oil from my ITWBN goody bag, a gift from the Raddison Blu in Galway.  Although this is a body oil I find a few drops in the bath along with my cheat product (almond oil that I buy from the Asian food store) makes a really special bath.  Aroma and moisturising – double benefit.
  4. Music:  mellow jazz.
  5. A good book.  Yes, I am a reader and I love reading in the bath.  It is especially fun when it is a book that I can loose myself in.
  6. A fluffy soft bath sheet.  As I am not skinny I like a towel that can wrap around me and keep me warm while I dry myself.  If the heating is on I warm it on the radiator for an extra sensual experience.
  7. Luxury body lotion.  Currently Naobay body radiance lotion from my Glossy Box again.

And then when I am super relaxed, my skin hydrated, I hop into my warm bed.  Switch the light off and know that at least tonight I will get 6 to 8 hours sleep.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your bath!

Kerry x

If we didn’t have bad days we wouldn’t appreciate good ones

If we didn't  have bad days we wouldn't (2)We all have those kind of days . The days that put everything into perspective.

I have promised myself that this will be  a positive blog, but this post is about turning a negative into a positive.  Let me explain.

I have rheumatoid arthritis in my hands.  I am self injecting Methotrexate (which is one of the drugs from the chemotherapy cocktail).  It has been helping and his given me some relief from pain.  There are days however when things are not good.  Pain is severe and quite frankly it must makes me crabby.

I am definitely a glass half full kind of person, but when the pain gets really bad it is hard to concentrate, never mind think of the glass and whether it is full or empty.

Today was one of those days.  I felt myself becoming snappy, and if someone gave me a tiny bit of sympathy, I could feel tears welling up.  Not a good way to be, especially if you are trying to keep up your ‘fabulous’ and professional persona, and of course keep your invisible crown on your head!

At 4pm I gave in and reached for a painkiller.  I try very hard to steer away from them, but there comes a time, and this is my first piece of advice for dealing with those kind of days.

If you are in pain – take a painkiller.

The next piece of advice is to distract yourself.  After work I went silly shopping.  I wandered around the supermarket and bought easter eggs, and crazy dessert pizza.

The final piece of advice is not to wallow.  I was invited out by a friend and although my head was telling me to stay home and rest, my spirit said get out and live.  I had a lovely evening with good company and yummy food, and to an extent forgot about the pain.  (The pills I had taken helped a bit too).

My lovely sister called to find out how I was, and I think was a bit surprised to find me out and about.  I guess this post goes towards explaining why.

My philosophy is to embrace life, no matter what.   I embrace life, and try to be fabulous, regardless of the circumstances.

When I wake up tomorrow, the RA will still be there, and the pain might wake me up in the night.  No matter what in the morning, I will put my make-up on, position my invisible crown and find my fabuliciousness.

And when I have a good day, I will appreciate it even more!

Fit, fat and fabulous!

Life LoveLife (2)I had a fantastic day yesterday!

A little history first though.  I have always struggled with my weight.  I have also always struggled with my fitness levels, never really believing that I could do anything sporty.  I huffed and puffed and found excuses not to do sport at school.

A few years ago a health scare or two had me buy my first pair of trainers in years.  I started walking. At first I could only walk for a short while, but slowly I extended the length of my walks, and then the intensity.

I think I only realised how fit I had become when I went beach walking (my favourite type of walk) with my teenage son.  Off we went and the next thing I hear him behind me.  ‘Who are you and what have you done with my Mother?’, he said.

I will be honest here and say it is really hard to keep up with my walking and fitness.  Because of the health challenges I face there are days, and sometimes weeks where I simply cannot exercise.  I have however kept fit.

Walking is so important especially for diabetics!

  •  I walk whenever I can – even if it is to the post office
  • I have a mini-trampoline which has a permanent place in my living room
  • I have two flights of stairs in my house which I bound up and down many times a day
  • I go for longer walks whenever I can

Yesterday was one of those days.  A beautiful spring day and my friend Ruth and I off to walk on the beach. When we arrived I started taking photographs – some of which will be on my other blog very soon – Kerry Buí Creates.  We walked along the water line enjoying the chat and strolling along.  And then …..

Ruth suggested we walk on the dunes.  The new Kerry says ‘I can’ and then thinks about it so off I went.  When I struggled up the pebbled bank I worried a little but, when I got the dunes I really started to wonder if I could.  You can Kerry.  Up and down the dunes, sometimes wondering if I would have to resort to my hands and knees, we scrambled through the sand and grass.  At the highest point I stopped and realised that I still had a long way to get back to the car.  We did it though, and I was really proud of myself.

I am a fabulous curvy woman but that doesn’t have to stop anyone from enjoying and embracing fitness.

Roll on summer.

Thanks for reading

Kerry xx

Fighting the good fight against thinning hair

My hair has been something that I have always been proud of.  It has been blond, pink, brown, fire engine red and is now a coppery colour lightening by the month to cover the emerging greys.

Unfortunately life throws us curve balls.  I live with a number of auto-immune diseases, and a few of these have hair loss and thinning as a side effect.  I am being honest here when I say that hair loss is one of my biggest fears.

A year ago I was prescribed Methotrexate for treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.  And yes, you guessed it hair loss is a side effect.  Methotrexate is one of the drugs used in chemotherapy and although people with RA take it in a much smaller dose the risk is still there.  I have an underactive thyroid and Pernicious Anaemia too, both of which can effect the condition and thickness of hair.

As this is a positive blog, and a positive post I am not going to dwell on the negatives, but will simply say that my hairdresser confessed that 2 months into the treatment, she didn’t tell me how bad my hair was (I did realise it on some level).  She said she didn’t want to upset me.

Right onto the positives.  Despite having a smaller ponytail, my hair is back to looking shiny and bouncy – so how did I do it.

Starting from the inside …

  1. I take Biotin – I treat myself to a tablet every day – and I know that this has made a huge difference,  My hairdresser noticed after 6 weeks, and then she did comment and told me about the improvement.
  2. I also try to eat as healthy – lots of fruit and vegetables.  I am also a great believer in the health properties of yogurt.
  3. I don’t wash my hair too often.  Around once very 4 or 5 days.  I have heard that this is a good idea as it protects the hair.
  4. I use a thickening shampoo.  I have fallen in love with Elvive Fibrology Thickening shampoo. It has mixed reviews online, but I really think it makes a difference.  I tend to swop my shampoo every couple of months, but I am on my third bottle of this now.  I was away a few weeks ago, and used another shampoo.  I could really see a difference – my hair was flatter and not as shiny.
  5. Linked to the fact that I wash my hair every 4 or 5 days, I love dry shampoo.  It is my secret weapon.  I have tried a few and keep returning to Batiste Dry Shampoo.  I am convinced my hair sometimes looks better on day 3 because of this.  A quick spray – massage the roots and a blast with the hair dryer and I am good to go out of the door in less than 2 minutes.
  6. I also trim my hair regularly and of course colour to hide those greys.
  7. For styling I dry my hair with a blast from the hair dryer and then use my trusty heated curlers.  If I wear my hair up I protect it by using very soft rubber bands and hair pins.

A woman’s hair is her crowning glory and we all deserve to feel pretty.  I hope that these few tips will help those struggling with thinning hair.  I strongly believe that the Biotin is key to this routine.  Much of my other advice is cosmetic, but it is all about feeling fabulous.

Thanks for reading

Kerry x

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