Tabytha's Universe

…somewhere for my thoughts, loves, rants, interests & inspirations


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Blogging Hiatus

Hello my lovely followers,

I’ve been putting off making the decision to take a break from blogging but I can’t put it off any longer.

Hubby lost his job again last month for the second time in twelve months and although I’m now on HRT, as you know, my symptoms are playing havoc. I’m trying to stay me but I can’t cope and rather than helping see me through this tricky period, blogging and going to Slimming World group have become demands that stresses me out.

I need to take a break.

My SW consultant, Carol, has been brilliant and has agreed to set my PAT to whatever I weigh on Wednesday. This means that as a target member I no longer pay the weekly fee and am not obligated to attend group.

I REALLY appreciate your support and I hope to be back in a few months. X


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Weight Loss Wednesday – Final Week of Countdown! Eek!

Hello Everyone and hello May,

This is the first Weight Loss Wednesday post of a new month. This year seems to be flying, why do I always seem to be playing catch up?! Lol! So, how has your week been? I’m loving the light mornings and evenings – not that I’m cramming the extra daylight hours with stuff but it’s still nice. 🙂

After last week’s 0.5lbs gain I decided to reduce those food triggers by keeping busier which would hopefully cut down (or out) those moments when I grab a high-syn snack or munch on more than my HE b breakfast cereal allowance of 40g. I am blaming the menopause for many of my physical ailments and my fluctuating emotional state. Before my latest slump, I was regularly attending my local Parkrun every Saturday morning AND using the NHS Couch to 5k running podcasts but I stopped. Slimming World says that exercise isn’t necessary to lose weight – I’ve copied and pasted their article below so that you can read it yourself – but I know that I felt better in myself when I was running; I felt proud that I’d moved off the sofa, I was enjoying trying to improve my PBs and I think I was happier. Don’t people talk about the happy endorphins when you exercise?

What do they say about best laid plans? Well, this week I’ve been no more or less active than last week but I must have snacked more than I thought because when I stepped on the scales tonight I had a 1lbs gain.

I would love to hear from you if you’re struggling on your weight loss journey or if you’ve found some successful strategies that work for you. What do you do to motivate yourself to get up of that sofa?

I hope you have a good week and make the most of the extra daylight hours.

x

How often have you thought ‘I only lose weight when I do Body Magic too’, or ‘I’ll lose weight next week because I’ll exercise more’? Not exercising often gets the blame when we don’t lose weight – it can be all too easy to assume that’s it’s our exercise (or lack of) that’s made the difference. Well it might surprise you to hear that if you Food Optimise without exercise – you WILL lose weight.

Misconceptions about activity and its effect on weight loss can often start to weaken our belief in Food Optimising – and we’re here to put the record straight, bust those myths and ensure you’re on the path to weight loss success.

Food Optimising and Body Magic, the facts:

  • If you Food Optimise without exercise – you WILL lose weight.
  • If you exercise without Food Optimising – you WON’T lose weight (at least, not much and not without a lot of hard work!).
  • If you’ve gained or maintained one week it won’t be because you haven’t done any or enough exercise.
  • By Food Optimising 100%, we naturally reduce our calorie intake to give us at least a 1-2lb weight loss each week – even if we are close to our personal target. If you still have some way to go, those weekly weight losses will be even greater.

To achieve that 1-2lb weekly loss by exercise alone, we’d have to jog for more than one hour every single day!

Food Optimising is absolutely what’s going to get you to your personal target weight. So why is activity important at all? Body Magic brings long-term benefits – and it’s important that, over time, we build it into our daily routines.

Activity can help maintain successful weight loss. Our research shows that 90% of successful weight loss maintainers have made activity as much a part of their routine as healthy eating.

Food Optimising benefits

Body Magic benefits

  • Lose weight without ever feeling hungry or deprived
  • Get the results you want quickly and healthily
  • Discover more energy and vitality
  • Help protect yourself from serious illness
  • Build long-lasting, healthy eating habits to maintain your target weight forever!
  • Tone up arms, legs, tummy and bottom
  • Maintain lean muscle which helps burn more energy – even when you’re resting!
  • Feel more relaxed and enjoy more restful sleep
  • Strengthen bones and joints
  • Build long-lasting, active habits to maintain your target weight forever!

Food Optimising + Body Magic = amazing life-long success

So how does Body Magic affect weight loss?

“I lost a lot of weight this week – it’ll be because I’ve done a lot of Body Magic”.

The great news is… your fabulous weight loss this week will be because you’ve been Food Optimising brilliantly. And by doing 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week in addition to Food Optimising, it will help you lose an additional 12-24lbs across a year. That’s an average of around ¼lb a week extra!

“I know what I’m going to do to lose weight: I’m going to go to Zumba three times this week!”

That’s real determination, and those three sessions will set you on your way to your silver Body Magic award, and all of those health benefits.

Without Food Optimising though you might not see the result you want on the scales. Is there anything that might get in the way of you Food Optimising 100%?

“I know why I’ve maintained this week, it will be because I haven’t been out walking so much”

The good news is… if you’re still near the beginning of your journey, by Food Optimising 100% you could lose 2-3lbs or more in a single week. And if you’re close to target, you could still lose at least 1-2lbs each week – even if you miss out on your walking again.


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Menopause Monday – Baby Steps to Improve my Wellbeing

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another Menopause Monday post, can you believe this is the final one in April!

If you are one of my nice new followers Hello! I would like to take a moment to explain to you what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – we’re back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal; my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies. I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born. If you are interested in reading any of my previous post, just search the tag #Menopause Monday or click here.

I have been on HRT for almost a month now and although my menopausal symptoms have seen various degrees of improvement, I’m still feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious all too frequently for my liking.

Last week, I re-blogged a very helpful post by the lovely Shaz about how to deal with stress and anxiety. I loved the advice that she included in her post so much that I started her Mindfulness Challenge the very next day! Shaz created a daily task check-list in the form of a calendar that can be downloaded from her blog; I downloaded it, printed off a copy and stuck it on our fridge.

What I like, is that none of the tasks are daunting – apart maybe no.8 Turn your phone off for 2 hours which I have to do tomorrow and no.26 No gadgets for at least 2 hours (and I don’t think switching it off when I’m asleep counts)- eek!!

I’m hoping that Shaz’s daily tasks will help eliminate my anxiety, stress and feelings of being overwhelmed; I will let you know if I notice a change.

Have you tried any mindfulness techniques? Have they worked for you? At school we use mindfulness colouring sheets to give the children periods of calm. I used to love colouring when I was young; perhaps I should allow myself time to do a bit of colouring down the week…

x


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My Heart Is Breaking.

Hello Lovely Followers,

I’m sorry but today I just had to share this upsetting article that I found on TES while looking for resources for our next topic at school.

I can’t believe how widespread this issue is – teachers report an increasing number of children are coming to school hungry – but I know that in both the primary schools I’ve worked in, I’ve given food (fruit or toast) to pupils who haven’t had breakfast, I’ve even sorted out a lunch for a KS1 child (7yrs old) who came into school with an unwashed lunch-box that had mould growing in the compartments and a mouldy mini sausage roll in the bottom section!

Suffice to say, in every case, procedures are followed and incidents like this are always recorded.

 

Exclusive: ‘Mum didn’t have any food’ – the rise of pupil hunger

Schools increasingly stepping in to provide food for children and families

Boy sad hungry

They are heartbreaking but all too obvious tell tale signs – grey-faced children and pupils rummaging through the school bins for scraps of food.

Teachers are warning that more and more children are coming to school ill-equipped for learning because they are not getting enough to eat at home.

Celia Dignan, senior policy adviser at the NEU teaching union, told Tes: “Teachers are telling us that they are increasingly seeing children coming to school hungry because they haven’t been able to have a nutritious breakfast.

The trend is confirmed by the results of a snap Tes online poll of teachers this week in which 88 per cent of respondents said that they had noticed a rise in the number of pupils coming to their school hungry. More than 90 per cent said had provided food for undernourished pupils.

Benefit changes were the most commonly cited reason, closely followed by parental neglect.

Caroline Rodgers, headteacher of Brockley Primary School in Chesterfield, said: “Sometimes the kid will say, ‘I have tummy ache’.

“You ask what they had for their breakfast – sometimes they’ll say, ‘Mum didn’t have any food.’ Other times you just get that stare, and they don’t need to say it.

Nathan Atkinson, the former head of Richmond Hill Primary in inner-city Leeds, knew there was a problem at his school when he realised his pupils were scavenging food from the rubbish.

You’d find that when you put fruit out, there were children who were putting three or four pieces of fruit in their pocket,” he said. “Or somebody had discarded a half-eaten apple, and another child had taken it from the bin and was eating that apple – what was left of it.”

After introducing successful initiatives in his school, from buying a toaster for every classroom to hosting a café on two days a week for pupils’ families, he founded Fuel for School, a not-for-profit company that sends unwanted food to schools to sell through their own market stalls via voluntary donations from parents.

The scheme’s success led to Mr Atkinson being shortlisted for the 2017 Global Teacher Prize.

At Medina Primary in Portsmouth headteacher, Howard Payne, has seen a sharp increase in the number of children arriving for school at the start of the week looking visibly hungry.

It’s a very sensitive issue,” he said. “You have to look for clues, one of which is children will look withdrawn and grey in pallor. The school tries to help families as much as it can, and as subtly as possible. For some families, we put food into a plastic bag and the children take it home,” Mr Payne said.“We’ve sent a letter to their parents, saying ‘This is available, if you feel you don’t want to accept it, please let me know.’ All of them have accepted it.”

This is an edited article from the 20 April edition of Tes. Subscribers can read the full article here. To subscribe, click here. This week’s Tes magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow Tes on Twitter and like Tes on Facebook

Source: Exclusive: ‘Mum didn’t have any food’ – the rise of pupil hunger | Tes News


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Weight Loss Wednesday – The Clock is Ticking

Hello Everyone,

This is the last Weight Loss Wednesday post for April. Goodness me, this year seems to be flying! So, how has your week been? Did you have a nice Easter Easter weekend? I’ve got to be honest and say although I loved spending time with my family, I didn’t do a great job of avoiding all the yumminess that surrounded me. 😦

My weight loss has definitely got a recurring theme at the moment; last week 1lbs loss and then when I stepped on the scales tonight I had a 0.5lbs gain. Why is it so difficult to recapture that initial focus and drive?!

I came away feeling even more low and depressed. I know that I haven’t been on plan for a number of weeks now and although I always come home from Image Therapy feeling positive, I know that I have to do better to see the losses that I am looking for. Once again this week, I am blaming the menopause for my emotional state and the subsequent high-syn foods that I’ve been grabbing. When I stepped on the scales tonight I had a ?lbs gain/maintain/loss. *sigh*

I need to get out of the funk I’m currently in; I said last week that I needed to have a plan and stick to it. I only have two weeks left in the 12-week Countdown I bought; my target is ?lbs away but realistically a 2-4lb loss is not unachievable if I follow Food Optimising 100% like I did in those first few months after joining.

I would love to hear from you if you’re struggling on your weight loss journey or if you’ve found some successful strategies that work for you. What do you do to stop yourself reaching for those high syn foods?

I hope you have a good week.

x


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Menopause Monday – The Demons of Stress and Anxiety

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to another Menopause Monday post.

If you are one of my nice new followers Hello! I would like to take a moment to explain to you what Menopause Mondays are all about. I feel that Mondays are typically quite a depressing day for a lot of people – we’re back to work after the weekend and the next weekend seems so far away – so one Monday evening back in January, I shared a post about being perimenopausal; my experiences, my symptoms and what I had found online about the causes and remedies (you can read it here). I found it quite therapeutic getting it all out there and decided to do it on a regular basis. Hey presto! Menopause Monday was born. If you are interested in reading any of my previous post, just search the tag #Menopause Monday or click here.

I have been on HRT for almost three weeks now but it hasn’t stopped my feelings of  being overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. Do you believe in fate? Well I was having a particularly bad day today – Easter goodies surrounded me while I’m trying (and failing) to stick to the Slimming World plan – but while I was checking my email and visiting some blogs I follow, I saw a wonderfully helpful post by Shaz talking about stress and anxiety. How did she know I needed this, now? I wanted to share it with you, so I’ve copied & pasted the whole thing, including her links which will open in a new tab.

I love the advice that Shaz includes and although I haven’t read all of her related posts that she mentions (yet), I’m already feeling more positive that I’ll be able to find a range of strategies to help with these blasted menopausal symptoms. I’ll let you know next week.

x

Source: How to deal with stress and anxiety – Jera’s Jamboree

 

How to deal with stress and anxiety

Stress is an important part of life.  We do need it! However, it becomes a problem if we’re continually on high alert and we perceive a threat where there isn’t one.  There are different ways to deal with stress and anxiety and, in my experience, we all have favourite activities that help us to unwind and step away, giving us time to look at a problem logically (rather than our primal instinct to survive).

My long-time favourite de-stressor is reading in bed.  I can’t just slip into bed and fall asleep straight away.  Thoughts whirl round in my head and make me restless.  I’ve tried making notes before going to bed but that just seems to focus me on the problems I want to solve!  We all know that a good night’s sleep goes a long way towards functioning appropriately the next day and reading is my panacea.  The good thing is that I step into another world.  Not so good is when I tell myself ‘one more chapter’ and before you know it you’ve lost a couple of hours of sleep 🙂

Crochet is another activity that helps me wind down.  The rhythm and movement are meditative and often a solution will just pop into my mind (even when I think I’m not focused on an issue).  Walking does that too!

Resilience is something we talk about a lot in my team at school.  We share different strategies with children helping them to build a tool kit in the hope that when life throws them challenges in the future, instead of reacting with fight or flight they can be in control of how they view the challenges and react in a different way.  Resilience is not innate, we’re not born with it but we can improve it.

April is National Stress Awareness Month so I thought I would take the opportunity of gathering together the articles I’ve already written on the blog.

A mixture of tips and resources on how to deal with stress and anxiety (mostly for adults but a couple for children too) I hope you’ll find something useful to help you.

How to deal with stress and anxiety

Articles on Jera’s Jamboree

Gratitude Challenge : Journal a positive mind

30 day Mindfulness Challenge


How to identify emotions and make a change

How to find your silver lining

How to turn a negative into a positive

How to find peace in a frantic world

How to take control of your life


Natural Mood Booster

5 tips to relieve stress and anxiety

Mindfulness Resources


Children and Emotional Health

How to help a child with anxiety


I recommend you check out the National Stress Awareness website.  It’s a fabulous resource for:

  • Explaining stress
  • Resources and guides
  • 10 step stress solution
  • Stress at work

What do you do to de-stress?

Do you have any tips to share?


Giveaway

Last summer I gave a shout out to my blogging buddy Kate’s new venture, Book Spot Box, a subscription box which has gone from strength to strength.

With reading being one of my favourite ways to de-stress, I’m giving away to one of my UK readers the April Book Spot Box.

Rivals theme from Book Spot Box giveaway in the article how to deal with stress and anxiety

The ‘Rivals’ box features some of Kate’s favourite fictional rivalries and is perfect for fans of ACOTAR, Shakespeare and The Wicked King. Each box contains 6 items (5 of which are exclusive to the April box), a paperback book, signed bookplate and a bonus item from the publisher.

The featured paperback was published in 2018 and is the first in a series. Set in a dangerous broken world, it represents the ‘Rivals’ theme beautifully with its split narrative and tension of all kinds. Kate literally could not put this book down! (Please note, this book is not suitable for younger readers)

Easy entry on the Rafflecopter below.  Please read the Terms and Conditions before entering.

Good Luck!

 


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Weight Loss Wednesday – Easter, Chocolate, Oh My!

Hello Everyone,

Here we are again, another Weight Loss Wednesday post. So, how has your week been? Are you looking forward to the extended Easter weekend? I’ve got to be honest and say although I’m looking forward to spending time with the family, I am very anxious about all the yummy treats that will be surrounding me. 😦

Following on from last week’s 2lbs gain, I came away feeling even more low and depressed. I know that I haven’t been on plan for a number of weeks now and although I always come home from Image Therapy feeling positive, I know that I have to do better to see the losses that I am looking for. Once again this week, I am blaming the menopause for my emotional state and the subsequent high-syn foods that I’ve been grabbing. When I stepped on the scales tonight I had a surprising 1lbs loss.

I need to have a plan and stick to it. I have three weeks left in the 12-week Countdown I bought; my target is 8.5lbs away but realistically a 3-6lb loss is not unachievable if I follow Food Optimising 100% like I did in those first few months after joining.

I would love to hear from you if you struggle, especially during holidays too. What do you do to stop yourself reaching for those high syn foods? If you haven’t got any tips, I hope you find this Slimming World article as helpful as I did.

Food is a huge part of Easter celebrations, and it’s super easy to make a Food Optimising version of the traditional lamb lunch.

When it comes to sweet treats and a special Easter breakfast, we’ve also got it covered! Enjoy them this weekend, safe in the knowledge that your weight loss will stay on track.

Hot cross baked oats

Traditional hot cross buns are a huge 9½ Syns each – and that’s without the butter!

The good news is there’s a way to enjoy that spiced flavour for as little as 4 Syns (using your Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice). Enjoy Easter breakfast in bed with these hot cross baked oats.

Soft-boiled eggs and dippers

This is a stunning Easter breakfast and a great way to enjoy tasty Speed Free Foods – you’ll never go back to plain old toast soldiers!

Serves 1
Free (or using Healthy Extras)

2 eggs

For the Free dippers:
Cooked asparagus spears
Cooked lean bacon or ham, trimmed of visible fat
Roasted sweet potato wedges
Cooked sugar snap peas
Cooked baby sweetcorn
Griddled courgette strips

For the Healthy Extra dippers:

35g halloumi cheese (Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice), sliced into ‘soldiers’ and griddled
50g rye bread (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice), sliced into ‘soldiers’ and topped with plain quark, smoked salmon and black pepper
2 Ryvita Original crispbreads (Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice), spread with Marmite

How to make:
Place the eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Pop into egg cups and remove the tops, then serve with your choice of dippers.

Tip: Duck eggs make a fab alternative to regular hen’s eggs – there’s lots more yolk for your dippers! Boil them for 6 minutes (depending how large they are).

Fruit flowers

The kids will love to help you make this impressive fruity centrepiece. Who needs chocolate eggs?

You’ll need:
Any colourful melon, e.g., cantaloupe, watermelon
Kiwi fruit
A whole pineapple
Blueberries or redcurrants
Strawberries
Green grapes

Flower-shaped cookie cutters
Wooden skewers, carefully cut to different lengths

  • Slice the melon, pineapple and kiwi into rounds, then carefully cut out flower shapes using the cookie cutters. Thread onto the skewers, adding ‘petal’ layers with the different fruits, and a centre with a blueberry or redcurrant.
  • Thread the strawberries onto skewers with the leaves facing downwards.
  • Create ‘stems’ by threading 4 or 5 grapes onto skewers.
  • Place the skewered fruit flowers into a vase or container and serve!

Chocolate choices at Easter

There are loads of options for getting that chocolate fix at Easter – without piling up the Syns!

  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with our Chocolate Orange, Rocky Road or Fruit and Nut Hi-fi bars. Enjoy two bars as a Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice or 3 Syns each.
  • Swirling a Cadbury Highlights 11g sachet into plain quark gives you a delicious dessert for only 2 Syns. Top with chopped fresh apple, raspberries or strawberries.
  • These Easter chocolate cornflake cakes are 4 Syns each

More egg-cellent low Syn options

  • Cadbury Mini Egg Nest Cakes – 9 Syns each
  • Lindt Bunny Paw, 20g – 5½ Syns
  • Cadbury Creme Egg Minis, 89g bag – 2½ Syns per egg
  • Kinder Mini Eggs, 75g bag – 1½ Syns each
  • Lindt Mini Gold Bunny, 10g – 3 Syns
  • Tesco Milk Chocolate Easter Lollies – 2½ Syns per 10g lolly
  • Galaxy Caramel Mini Eggs, 80g bag – 3 Syns per 12g egg
  • Cadbury Oreo Egg, 31g – 8½ Syns
  • MaltEaster Milk Chocolate Bunny, 29g – 8 Syns
  • Asda Free From Hot Cross Buns, 75g – 10 Syns
  • Maynards Bassetts Jelly Babies Chicks – 1 Syn each