My mama feelgood mission

I’ve got that tingly, ‘almost spring’ feeling, the one I get every year as I wait impatiently to cast off winter. It makes me want to run around, find armfuls of daffodils and throw open every window in the house in celebration of the new season.

This is even more the case this year. It’s been a long few months, with lots of illness and little sleep. I’ve got through mainly by eating copious amounts of chocolate and cake…

It can be easy to loose yourself as a mum sometimes, especially when the going is tough and you retreat into survival mode. Well, no more. I’m ready to reclaim ME and have set myself a series of mini missions to find my feelgood factor again.

Feelgood mission no. 1 – to eat more healthily

chicken dishes

I’m consciously avoiding the word ‘diet’ as I don’t want Little Miss A to pick up on it. But… I have three stone to loose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and a family wedding in the autumn!

The easy place to start is to cut out all the sweet treats – well, easy to say, not so easy to do! The more tired I am, the more I crave sugar, and I’ve been bloody knackered recently. I’m slowly reducing the treats, though, and switching to healthier snacks such as fruit and nuts. I think it’s time to follow Slimming World again for some structure, which I found great after Little Miss A.

I’ve also been trying to cook more of our meals from scratch, as we’ve been relying on some ready prepared short cuts for dinner, such as jars of sauces, the odd ready meal, things full of sugar and excess calories. Our meals could do with a bit of a shake up, so I’ve had a look at all those recipes I’ve been pinning and have picked out a couple to actually make – this lemon chicken fettuccine, which looks like a delicious, fresh twist on our usual pasta dishes, and a healthy chicken fricassee.

This month’s challenge: Loose a stone (ambitious, moi?!) and try out those yummy looking recipes.

Feelgood mission no. 2: to start exercising again

My post-pregnancy body is more than a little creaky, especially my lower back. Thanks to some physio work after Little Miss A, I now know all about my core (the muscles around our middles that *should* hold us tight, like a girdle) and how a lack of strength there can cause all sorts of aches and pains elsewhere.

After all my previous hard work, it feels like I’m back to square one again (maybe square two). So, I’ve been trying to slot in just ten minutes in the evening of some of the initial exercises my physio suggested last time, such as this swimming kneeling move (or ‘Superman pose’, as my physio called it!) to challenge my core, the clam to work legs (plus core), the bridge, bringing arms up over the head (more core!) as well as a few squats for gluts (which will help my knees) finished off with some stretches, including this cat stretch.

I fell in love with pilates after having Little Miss A and it really worked wonders for me, so I’ve also invested in this 10 Minute Solution – The Pilates Collection DVD with a variety of ten minute workouts to do at home, until I have time to escape for regular evening classes.

This month’s challenge: Keep up the daily basics plus slot in at least one workout a week of pilates or my Davina postnatal dvd. I’ll be working up to more but for now my cardio will have to come from taking part in running races and dance routines (latest obsessions) with Little Miss A!

Feelgood mission no. 3: to get active outdoors

Fun at the beach

It’s been tempting to hibernate inside over the winter, especially when we’ve all been battling illness. But we’re really an outdoors family and Little Miss A is absolutely at her happiest when running free! I’ve been adding more outdoors time into our week again but best of all was a family trip to the beach, which really cleared the cobwebs. Little Miss A did some excellent rolling down the sand dunes and we had fun sloshing in the waves with our wellies on. Definitely good for the soul.

This month’s challenge: Get out and about whenever we can, plus visit somewhere new as a family (that should be easy at least as we’re off for a weekend in Cornwall soon!)

Sea

Feelgood mission no. 4: to look after my hair and skin

Months of sleep deprivation – check. Tired, grey skin as a result – check. To brighten it up a bit, I’ve been using an instant radiance facial exfoliator (from the Pure range at M&S) in the shower a couple of times a week, which really does leave my skin with a glow and feels lovely. Next on my list is to start using my eye cream (Clinique All About Eyes), which sits on my dressing table untouched every day!

My big obsession this year, however, is my hair. That post-pregnancy hair fallout has started happening and my hair has been feeling and looking noticeably thinner, agh. I’ve started using L’Oreal Elvive Full Restore shampoo, which I’m really impressed with. And I’ve hopped onto the coconut oil bandwagon a little late, investing in a jar of the stuff after reading how it can help improve hair health. We’ll see…

This month’s challenge: Try out that jar of coconut oil. Start using my eye cream regularly. Get more sleep. (The last one is just wishful thinking!)

Here’s to a feelgood few weeks ahead!

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