Weight Part 2

So after looking around at different options, including a life coach, psychologist, counsellor etc, I decided to join the Bariatric Mind Mastery Course. I had a life coach a few years ago and whilst it was good, the work didn’t manage to get my mind on board with itself, and I didn’t lose weight. I have had a virtual gastric band via hypnotherapy, which at first was great but then I put all the weight and more back on again. I have tried all the fad diets, I have tried weight watchers so many times and slimming world slightly less, all work initially but I felt deprived and that meant it wasn’t sustainable and as soon as I got fed up/disheartened all the weight and more piled back on. I was tempted to go private to a counsellor/psychologist but it is very hard to know online who is actually going to be any good. I am under the NHS weight loss service, that pretty much shut down with Covid, except for the lovely exercise lady, Steph, she has been fantastic throughout. If I am honest, I feel very let down by the service, if it wasn’t for Steph I would have given up. I was referred to have a Psychology assessment and the Psychologist felt I needed to do some psychological work in order to move forward with my journey- this was in May 2019. This year in June they finally started virtual group sessions, on a Thursday which I have to work every week as other nurses are already off. So I was not able to attend. To say I was disheartened would be an understatement especially as I had been told they would more likely be on a Friday, which I could have worked around. I got dispondant, Covid was smashing through, stuff was going on with hubby’s job, I couldn’t see loved ones and I put on weight getting to my highest ever weight. Cue crying and self hatred going through the roof, which led to overeating to smoosh down such horrid emotions.

I got in touch with a company which specialises in gastric balloons, they offer one for a year and it has an 18month support program after which I felt would be beneficial and necessary. I clearly could not get into the right headspace, I was frustrated with people who said they had gotten fat during lock down, maybe putting on a stone or two. That added to my self loathing, if they hated two stone they must think I am disgusting and awful. My head wasn’t a nice place to be.

I am a member of two bariatric support pages on facebook, and have been for a while, these are for people who have bariatric surgery which I have been toying with for a couple of years now. One of my biggest fears, was getting surgery, it being life altering, yet I put all the weight back on because it is a tool and won’t fix my brain. The NHS weightloss group are clear that I wouldn’t be a candidate until I could prove I could lose weight on my own- ironic as the reason I was part of the group is because that is my problem! Emotional me finds that upsetting and frustrating, rationale me understands that to make this tool work I have to think differently. There is very clear evidence that says that people who are morbidly obese will find it extraordinarily difficult to lose more than a stone or two without drastic steps, such as surgery. There are many reasons for this, including that our bodies will have stopped producing the I’m full hormone, so even if we eat less we won’t get that full signal, our gut bacteria is often full of unhelpful bacteria which craves sugary food, and because we are used to huge portions etc it is just so hard to manage. There is more about this that I will waffle about at some other time!

So anyway, one of the facebook groups I am in, is ran by Debbie- The Shrink on Your Couch. I have seen her advertise her Bariatric Mind Mastery courses several times and toyed with it. She uses DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy) as a cornerstone to the course, DBT focuses on emotional regulation and understanding behaviours. I have used it in my professional role on a small scale with people who self harm and suffer with suicidal impulses, and it has worked well when implemented as it taught them how to understand themselves and work on other ways to cope. So I decided, fuck it, its £473 (500$), I am worth that small investment and worst case it won’t bankrupt me if it doesn’t work- I am so optimistic!

I love this course, I love it. Debbie had a gastric sleeve, she was obese, she struggled with her mind like I am, she gets it. Other’s think they get it, but they don’t. I said to my dad, I know you think everyone is the same, but they can’t be, or else they would all be morbidly obese like me! It felt so validating to read someone else felt similar, and the first week of the course was eye opening. A new chapter is released weekly over eight weeks and I have just worked though week 3. I don’t feel like I am dieting, I feel like I am just thinking it through, if I want cake or chocolate, that is fine, if I want wine, that is fine. But think about it, examine any feelings and emotions that are showing up, do I want it, or am I suppressing a feeling? Its a wonderful, complex topic and I would like to share some of the things I have learnt going forward, I feel this could be it, whether I will still need the assistance of a balloon or surgery in the future or if I can do it alone, I don’t mind.

Debt busting!

Last night we paid off our credit card! £3800.88 of debt, poof, gone!

We decided to use the money we had saved for New York to do this, as we have no idea when we will be going, but also, I don’t think we will be doing a big road trip if we do go next year. We have no idea if the Wedding we were due to attend out there will be squeezed in next year or not, but I know the bride to be doesn’t like the cold so it would likely be in/after June 21 if it were to happen. We should be able to save £2k by then and we have a voucher for the previous flights so will only need a hotel and spends.

So in a couple of months, we have managed to pay off our car- approx £2700 and our credit card! I still have the 5k loan (untouched) and hubby has a long lasting 0% credit card for his truck. So those two and the house are now the only debt we have. Probably equating to £8.5k.

It feels good to know that what we have saved so far this year enabled us to have paid off two debts. Due to hubby’s job change we aren’t able to roll the saved payments into any other debts, the £100 I spent on the card can go over to the house, but the car is part of the loss if income from the new lower wage. I am interested to see what his first wage will look like and how it will affect our savings/outgoings. We have money set aside for the cars MOT and Service in Oct, I have paid the house insurance in full and we are doing ok.

We have our holiday booked in Jan to Florida- everything crossed that this will go ahead, we have fully refundable car hire paid, hotel paid, transferable flights and disney tickets so worst case we should be able to rearrange. Would be sad though! No holidays planned this year, just some pottering out as we are still being very careful with Covid.

Stay safe!

Lose one debt and gain another!

So in exciting news, we paid off the car loan last week and recieved confirmation in the post yesterday. We will be getting £56 back, and possibly £186 as we paid that as well as the whole balance, the person on the phone was unsure if it had been counted or not.

So we own our car outright! It doesn’t save us any interest as it was a set sum, but it’s nice to know it’s gone! Hubby has his new job and this means that he won’t have to pay the car anymore and goes someway to help with the fact he will be earning about £400 less a month. We will also, sadly, be reducing the mortgage overpayments to £50 until we get used to the reduction in wages, and then hopefully we can play around a bit and increase it again. That is another £200 less to find so this and the car loan should cover the loss of earnings.

So, whilst we have removed the car loan, I have got a £5k personal loan as I am going to have a gastric balloon fitted to help me with my weight loss issues. Part of me wonders if I should just bite the bullet and have the gastric bypass, but that is life altering (and over double the price) and if I can have the balloon and learn to change my eating behaviours (this company offers 18months psychological support) then I won’t need the surgery. That is my plan anyway. And I can afford my loan and pay a small chunk off the credit card every month, without it impacting on the house account or Hubby’s contribution.

So one giant step forward for the car, one small step forward with the mortgage and a step backward getting a personal loan- but ultimately if it can help me with my eating issues, then it will be money well invested.

Take care everyone!

Jodie

And I’m back….

So I went AWOL again, I feel like life has just been weird and constantly full of mild anxiety. We had a horrible time with hubby’s work, my work has continued and we have lost some lovely elderly people (at work, not home, not covid, just end of life stuff) and covid has had my moods swinging like a flag in the wind!

We have continued to over pay the mortgage, pay down the credit card, then added more onto it (more on that later), put on weight and moved less, then started to think about food again and move more…

We made a veg bed and are slowly filling it with gravel, then will come the soil and I can plant plants, I have been infusing vodkas, fun! Hubby now has a new job starting in a month which will see our incomes decrease, and hopefully stress levels decrease. We have booked to go back to Florida in January, have no idea when the wedding we were meant to be going to in New York is going to be so thats on pause.

Little dog developed a lump and has been lame on his front leg, apparently a fatty lump and probable arthritic changes, can do an x ray but he is such a stresshead and treatment won’t change so not doing it. He has tramadol in the mornings, metacam in the evenings, and we continue on yumove. Big dog just seems to be getting so much older, makes me sad, love them both so much! We lost our last three rescue chickens- all different symptoms and vets with no clue over two months, and adopted two more, Florence and Gertrude. They seem pretty happy and healthy, and they lay eggs! From reading, I think that unfortunately ex battery chucks don’t tend to have long lives as they have been egg laying machines. Hopefully they had a lovely two years.

Phew, that is life for the last few months! I am feeling more positive at the moment, so I am hoping to come back and start boring you all! I am also thinking of dedicating part of this blog to my issues with weight as this is a huge part of my life and difficulites and can feel complex and isolating.

We will have some actual money based updates soon too!

Hope everyone is well 🙂

March Money Madness

I just wanted to use some alliteration there 🙂 It hasn’t been too mad.

I haven’t been able to logon to Tesco since December, very annoying, I try randomly and with everything going on in the world, am not going to ring up to check, presuming it is all linked to being moved over to Halifax. Hubby and I have been discussing stopping the overpayment with the current climate, including the uncertainty and fear around his job. Though as we are both earning this month, we decided that April should have the £250 OP still and we will play it by ear from there. We are hoping we can carry on as ‘normal’ if nothing changes financially.

I have made a guess that our mortgage should be around: £150,675 if I have paid £600 capital off a month, which I had paid previously when overpaying £250. I am happy with this, wish I knew precisely, but whatever!

We had to take a chicken to the vets and paid £56 for antibiotics and the consultation, sadly, despite treatment beautiful Echo passed away. We syringed her water and the antibiotic but she didnt make it. Blue, who was the first poorly one, got better really quick and is doing great, now Charlie is poorly. The vet wasn’t concerned it was anything contagious to other animals which is a relief and we are treating them all with antibiotics now. Today I will be collecting the dogs prescription then getting them filled, this will be an expensive day! Completely worth it though. £56 for the anti inflamatories and Desmopressin prescription, a further £123 for the prescription to be filled. Need to explore if we can get this cheaper somewhere else, plus they never have 90tablets in so I will have to go back again to collect the rest. What a pain in lockdown, plus I am working 12 hour shifts. Hopefully hubby might be able to go.

Hubby got a chimney sweep in- £70, he (hubby) has capped the chimney pots as birds then tried to nest in the clean chimneys! Got the caps for free, and some stone for the hearth for free. Paid for the fireboard which he has now installed. Unsure of the cost for this! Our current flue is too short, hubby’s dad left his spare outside their house, so when hubby was out with work he could collect it and not break any lockdown laws! This might mean that we can get the fire up and running! We are having issues with the underfloor heating, we think the boiler needs an expansion tank or something, can’t do anything in this situation though, plus the house is still heating just not well.

The shower downstairs has loose tiles which have been letting water in, so hubby has taken them off, this is another job that will need doing. We have been discussing re-doing the upstairs bathroom, getting rid of the downstairs shower and making a small utility area there instead. Luckily, even though the upstairs shower is crappy compared to downstairs, it is water tight and usable. The concrete floor in the lounge is loose in parts, so need to investigate this at some point. Possibly ouchies to the wallet all round!

This month we also paid hubby back what was owed from Florida, and have only had to pay for gas once. I have moved money across which includes £250 holiday, £150 that Aran had been paying on the old credit card that we have paid off, and then paid himself back with and finally £82 that we have saved by cancelling items during uber frugal jan! So we are moving money, the key is to keep it! Or keep saving to pay for all these things we keep finding wrong!haha. After all the bills go out tomorrow I will do a tilly tidy and work out whats left and what we may need to spend for the month.

In April, we may need two lots of gas, its hard to plan in advance as we don’t know what the weather will do! Got away with only one order in March, so we are probably very close to a new order! We will need to buy more raw dog food and treats, about £40 which lasts over a month, Council Tax will be going out again, boo!

Hoping April will bring the peak and decline of covid19, and some semblance of normality will begin to come back. I hope you and yours all safe 🙂

Ideas for the lockdown!

My lockdown might be different to many, as a Nurse I cannot work from home. My fabulous residents still need me, so I am still going to work, caring for my residents wih my wonderful carers, domestics and handyman, fellow nurses and management! It only feels a little different to me, more phone calls from family, rather than face to face visits. We have the ability for families to skype with their loved ones, so that is helpful as well. On the three days I work 12 hour shifts, the days fly by and everything feels a little more normal! My four days off do feel weird though I am a home bird and have a lovely large garden to feel free in. Here is some of my thoughts on how to help during this very strange time!

  • Make a plan! I am a bit pants without a plan, my day just seems to disappear and I can feel like it has been wasted. If I make a plan, it helps to focus me on achievements, such as, play on the sims for 2 hours, then put a wash on, then watch something on TV, do some online learning, research something interesting etc. I like to tick things off a list, I like to see that I have made something of my day, even if it mostly consists of playing the sims!
  • Build fun in your day! I won’t lie, just before we ended up in lockdown, I had ordered Sims University and Parenthood as they were both on offer. This worked well, as I have thoroughly enjoyed getting lost in this fantasy world, it is a great way to pass time without noticing it passing. This could be the perfect time to finally complete that game on the X-box (hubby), watch that TV series, read an entire book collection. All the things that normal life makes us feel bad for doing, as there are more ‘important’ things to do, but realistically, what is more important that relaxing and doing something fun? No guilt! Though, I was getting stressed trying to make my sim child a well rounded individual, flipping hard work, will stick to dogs in real life!
  • Create a work space. If you are lucky/unlucky enough to work from home, I think it is really important to carve out some space, even if its making a make shift desk from the ironing board! Make sure you take regular breaks, stretch out, make cups of tea, wear whatever you want, listen to music if appropriate. Make work hours and stick to them! If you are an early worm or a night owl, if you can tailor your work day to suit, you may find productivity increases! If hours are rigid, suck it up and get it done 🙂 Do work in a different room to where you relax, try and claim some space where you can walk away from when it is finished to help with switching off.
  • Recognise negative triggers. I cannot stress the importance of this, I honestly found the news too overwhelming, I deleted facebook off my phone, it is all too biased, people spread fake news, people get really angry about irrelevant things, the world starts to feel like it is full of mean and angry people. Deleting it off my phone was great. Not watching the news is easy, I very rarely watch the news, it always triggers negative emotions in me. I am part of a union, they send me daily updates about any changes to government rulings etc, I have the statistical website page on my phone where I can check for actual facts and stats on covid19, I will research any specific information I want to know actual facts too, this all helps my headspace. The more I know, the more fake news and fear can be fought! I still use Instagram as I love this app, I am filling it with dog pics mostly! This is also a good time to delete people from apps who bring negativity, or snooze them for 30days! The other thing I have done, is delete my countdown holiday app from my phone and put all my holiday books away, currently it is very unlikely I will be going to New York, whilst travel is usually a good escape for me, it is currently making me feel trapped and sad. So moving it away until I can get my joy back!
  • Allow feelings. Do not berate yourself for feeling any emotions, it is absolutely normal to feel frightened, angry, sad, frustrated, elated, happy…any emotion is normal when nothing makes sense. Do not call yourself selfish for being gutted your dream holiday, which is all paid and planned may not happen- me- that is understandable, that doesn’t mean you are not taking covid19 seriously, or somehow you are belitting the loss and suffering of those infected, it means you are human. Try not to act on emotions that can be negative, allow the feelings to be present, but then let them go, distract yourself, do something productive, make a cup of tea and think about something else, call someone to chat, research something and most of all, don’t make yourself or others feel bad for having strange and fluctuating emotions at this time!
  • Look after you and yours. You cannot control other people, best will in the world! The sooner you accept this, the less other peoples behaviour will impact on you. Neighbour not adhering to current guidelines? Ask yourself, does it affect me and mine? If yes, then be productive about it, if not, move on. My neighbours can do what they want, as long as it doesn’t impact on me or increase the chances of me spreading illnesses to my residents. Humans are inquistive and naughty, we push boundaries, it is how we continue to develop and learn, so of course some people will push against the current guidelines, people that have the capacity to make choices, can make stupid and dangerous ones. As long as the majority work on themselves and protecting those who are vulnerable, we will manage and get through this crisis even if bob and his family insist on visiting each other and coughing in each others faces, hopefully if they get it, they add to herd immunity rather than adding to the ITU beds!
  • Exercise. Whether you wish to do this indoors, or with your hours allowance outside, do it, exercise helps to reduce stress, it will get rid of tension, it will make you feel more normal, it is good for our immune system and helps to keep us both physically and mentally well. Find an app, use youtube, make up your own routine, there is lots of info out there curently for free! I am still working on this, exercise is something I don’t do enough of, but am trying to do more!
  • Pets. If you have pets, use this time to be with them, snuggle them, pet them, teach them, entertain them, stimulate them. There is so much enrichment out there on the old interweb, things you may have never thought of before, that might just make their lives a bit better during this time and long after! I have heard lovely stories about people fostering pets whilst they know they are at home, what a bloody gorgeous thing to do!
  • Keep in contact with people. I am now part of two family whatsapp groups, it is quick and easy to check in, I have groups with others and will just check in with them intermittently or as I wish. I have seen lots of things shared like ‘pay attention to who contacts you during this time’, but can’t help but think, communication is a two way street, have you contacted them either? It works both ways! Bob hasn’t text me all week, but wait, I didn’t text Bob either! Maybe he is sat at home thinking the same about me! Call people, facetime people, do a group meal over facetime, have a glass of wine whilst chatting together, walk around the garden with a friend on the phone/tablet, we have the capacity to communicate in so many ways now! Be clever, be adventurous!
  • Overhaul your finances, get on moneysavingexpert for all the info on making sure your money is being smart! Use this time to look at spending and working out if you are saving money, and how, what are you not buying? You could come out of this financially better, maybe, possibly. Though money is very strange, hubby’s job is very unsafe right now and that could throw us a curveball. But by doing this overhaul, we will be in a better position to deal with things as they happen.

Most of all, stay as well as possible, uncertainity breeds fear, fear increases stress hormones which makes us more susceptible to being unwell- not just covid19. Sending love to all!