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To ask you to tell me how you changed you unhealthy ways? Need inspiration!

(86 Posts)
450fromPaddington Sat 29-Dec-12 09:46:40

Im a working mother of 3 under-threes. I work 3 full days and have the children on the other days. My lifestyle is sedentary aside from pottering about with housework/looking after the kids.

My diet isn't ideal. Should probably consume less strawberry laces, biscuits, cheddar cheese, wine etc. I eat from a narrow range of easy options during the day (think cheese on toast) although I do make a home-cooked family dinner.

It's weighing on my conscience that I need to set a good example to the children now. I don't have the excuse of having a newborn anymore to excuse my lazy ways!

I have started going to the gym once or twice a week at 630 to do 20 mins on running machine and cross trainer to try to improve my flagging energy levels.

I need inspiration and motivation to make other changes though. Once the kids are in bed I just watch TV and chill out all evening. I can't find a thread on getting healthier generally as they all seem to be about weight loss and I'm quite thin as it is (Crohns disease).

Would love to hear your inspirational stories or any advice/comments.

forevergreek Sat 29-Dec-12 10:01:03

Try and only eat wht you would feed your children ( should reduce the amount it sweets etc..)

Also incorporate walks for energy whilst with the children. Make sure you all get out at least once a day for a walk somewhere. The fresh air seems to help with energy. ( is nicer ad easier in the summer as you can stay out after walks for picnics/ meeting friends)

Maybe take a vitamin d supplement ( your hardly getting any from the sun in this dire weather)

450fromPaddington Sat 29-Dec-12 10:07:40

Hi forever, you are right to say I shouldn't have different rules for what I eat and what the children eat. I need to improve my will power!
And yes, I'll follow your advice re taking a vitamin supplement.

I can't really do walks with the children because there are 2 one year olds who aren't walking and a two and a half year old. Although maybe if I used a lead for her I could do it. Would depend on how cooperative she was being

I like to watch a bit of tv in the evenings too. But if i watch a film and there is a commercial break, I jump up and do something around the house fold some washing, load machine, wipe surfaces, stack dishwasher.

Or I iron infront of a program I like.

Always have the fruit owl or salad drawer full. It's easier to snack on rubbish if there isn't an apple or cherry toms/carrot sticks to hand.

Pre-prep yourself some good lunches. Make batches of healthy soup and portion/freeze it.

And yes get out of the house, and go for a walk!

Fruit bowl. Although I think I'd like the idea of the fruit owl, dispensing fruit in the kitchen with a wise wink! grin

Mosman Sat 29-Dec-12 10:21:37

I think soup is the answer, make a big batch and whenever you want a biccy have a cup of soup instead.

forevergreek Sat 29-Dec-12 10:22:36

Do you have a double buggy? I have used a side by side with a buggy board before which works well. 2.5 year old can surely walk most the time and just jump on board as and when. ( have 16 month gap and refused a double so eldest had to learn promto I'm afraid here that he walked or didn't get to go places, had a board also. But now at nearly 3 he can easily outwalk me) practice makes perfect and all that

450fromPaddington Sat 29-Dec-12 10:27:48

GIBLETS those are good tips. Particularly using the TV breaks as a prompt to get up and DO something!
Also the soup. I have no excuse as I know I can make tasty soup easily!!! Thanks MOSMAN.

FOREVER - I think I have been making excuses for myself. You are so right about it being do-able to go out with a double pram! don't have a board. Will investigate.

450fromPaddington Sat 29-Dec-12 11:29:09

How do you motivate yourself to do the sensible things though?
Making soup for me, eating fruit etc are all easily done, but I find I'm thinking about what to feed the children or what housework to do, and then all of a sudden the day is over and I flop down and watch TV. No fruit has been eaten by me! I've peeled apples oranges and bananas for the children of course!

With the gym I just took the plunge and just started going which was easy. It's the changes with my behaviour when I'm in the house with the children that I'm struggling with. Why is this?

insancerre Sat 29-Dec-12 11:35:28

If you don't buy it then you can't eat it.
Stop buying the crap!

echt Sat 29-Dec-12 11:40:47

Get rid of the biscuits but beware of the fruit; you can eat too much sugar.

The answer to having a biccy is not to have soup, but possibly have nothing.

450fromPaddington Sat 29-Dec-12 11:51:28

Mmmmm, don't buy it is a good place to start insancerre. I always said I'd get rid of my sweet drawer when I had kids. But instead I've just changed to a sweet-high-up-cupboard.

echt What I do is to make ready-brek for the children but I will have had tea and a biscuit, sometimes two for my breakfast as I want something quick before I get them up. I don't let them see my bad habits but I realise they'll notice eventually which is why I need to give myself a boot up the ahem!!

450fromPaddington Sat 29-Dec-12 11:52:37

i dont really eat biscuits apart from breakfast time. At the weekends when DH is here I eat a proper breakfast as I feel I have more time/help

450fromPaddington Sat 29-Dec-12 12:18:28

Also, is there a motivational thread anywhere about this sort of thing? In the style of the Good Housekeeping Flylady threads?

I've looked under the General Health section but can't find anything

Many thanks for all the comments smile

forevergreek Sat 29-Dec-12 13:08:34

I'm sure it will be easier in a couple of months when the younger two can feed themselves easily. Then you can all sit down and eat the same breakfast together

I woul also not buy any crap as then you can't eat it

yousmell Sat 29-Dec-12 13:10:18

Food - load you plate with half veg. A quarter protein and a quarter carbs.

Eat a rainbow of veg and fruit.

Don't keep rubbish food in the house. Have a treat every Saturday instead.

Agree about big batches of healthy home made soup. Cheap, quick and yummy.

Give your kids the same food you eat. If there aren't alternatives, they will get used to the new tastes.

Stay away from saturated fat, processed foods and sugar. All are very bad for you in many ways and will effect your long term health.

Check your breakfasts. Porridge or eggs with rye bread are a healthy start.

Have a good daily multivitamin.

Look up some great healthy easy meal recipes and rotate

Nuts, pulses and beans are wonderful.

Eat good fats - avarcardo, olive oil etc. Butter is OK in small amounts

Use Pure margarine spread which is much healthier then other margs.

ViviPru Sat 29-Dec-12 13:14:58

Count calories with myfitnesspal. It makes it easier to Eat Less and Move More.

ConfusedPixie Sat 29-Dec-12 13:28:40

Ah! Nice to have another person looking for healthy living and not weight loss! I am quite slim but up until a year ago I had a very bad diet, and whilst it's improved my diet and whole lifestyle can change for the better still.

Soup is king, buy a few of those fresh soups from the supermarket in the plastic tubs when they're on special offer (usually found in the last minute type isles, nearly out of date). Freeze some, keep some in the fridge. Eat them and use the pots to store your on homemade soup.
Leek and potato soup is one of my favourites as it's so easy to make, and things can be added. I like adding peas. DP likes bacon.

Eat more vegetarian meals. I am a veggie but DP isn't, since moving in with me his diet has improved a hell of a lot (and mine has actually!) as he's realised that the meat used to fill him up and he'd not eat much of the rest of the meal. He's also more experimental in the kitchen and we've both learnt a lot from him eating more veggie meals!

For exercise, I've found fitocracy to be a huge help for me. I'm a bit geeky and love the idea of levelling up! From that I also found superbetter, which is also quite geeky and about seting goals and 'bad guys' to defeat personally. I don't use the latter that much but I'm a level 7 fitocrat!

I also joined and joined a 'go girls' group who do exercising events. I organise the climbing events for my local group now after months of being frustrated that nobody was organising them! I joined my local DofE scheme and that has got me out walking most weekends to prepare for my expedition. I am loving walking! If I do a particular walk I will post about it on the go girls group and have had a couple of women join me which made for nice company.

450fromPaddington Sat 29-Dec-12 13:48:15

confusedpixie - I've never heard of fitocracy but will certainly investigate. It sounds like you've sustained your positive changes. Can I ask what prompted you to change, and how did you remain motivated? It's amazing how many people are recommending soup so I'll certainly make more effort with that.

vivupru - thanks, I will check out myfitnesspal too. To be honest I'm not sure about the calorie counting though as my BMI is a bit low as things stand.

yousmell - I feel a bit rude calling you that when you've taken time to give me advice grin That all sounds so healthy! Can I ask if you've always managed to stick more or less to those foods? Or did you also call time on a less healthy lifestyle at some point?

forevergreek - thanks so much for the reassurance! I think you might be right about things being easier when the twins are self-feeding smile

SCOTCHandWRY Sat 29-Dec-12 13:59:57

OP, have you tried removing all wheat/gluten (all grains ideally) containing food from your diet for a couple of months? As you have Crohns, this may be well worth trying (if your symptoms, energy levels don't improve, you have lost nothing).

yousmell Sat 29-Dec-12 14:04:29

Yes I haven't always been fit or eaten well but have managed to turn things around these last few years. Hard work but I did lots of food research and various people really helped/advised. I learnt lots of things - like banana and potato have high GI counts and raise your sugar levels. I can run 6 miles now and I must say its a stress buster/addictive! My friend told me a long time ago to eat healthily 85% of the time and I just about manage that.

forgot to mention fish and water!

Debs75 Sat 29-Dec-12 14:13:08

Take it one change at a time and make it a manageable one.
Years ago I did weightwatchers and I stopped having a biscuit with my cup of tea. I didn't miss them and I even stopped buying them Now I only have a biscuit with tea if at a friends house.
This year when I started weightwatchers again I stopped eating chocolate unless it was weigh in day. That was a huge help and again I didn't miss it, until I started college and it became a must have to get me through the days.

If you make the kids ready brek then why not have that instead of biscuits? Or make a batch of bran muffins which you can freeze and have that each morning.

Do you have a reccomended diet for your Crohn's? If so just try and move away from one of the things you shouldn't have and replace it with one you should

450fromPaddington Sat 29-Dec-12 14:18:51

scotch - I have never tried this, no. Is there evidence that this can help if you have Crohn's? It would be very difficult for me to exclude bread from my diet, I eat so much of it, so I wouldn't try this unless there was a decent chance that it would help. I appreciate you taking the time to advise me smile Is this something which has helped you? I've no idea how I'd survive without toast and sandwichesgrin
yousmell I'm really impressed with your achievements. Any tips on motivation and sustaining change?

ConfusedPixie Sat 29-Dec-12 14:22:43

I was told a few years ago that due to health problems, my body would likely not be able to withstand a full term pregnancy when I do have children without needing bed rest for the last month or so and/or a wheelchair (I have joint problems, mainly knees). I was also told that I'd be in a wheelchair most of the time by the time I was 40 if things didn't improve. My diet wasn't helping and nor was my lack of constructive exercise.

At the time I buried my head in the sand and carried on living the way I was, planning to go travelling for a few years and so on. Broke up with my boyfriend (who I was supposed to travel with) in May 2011 and that spurred things on tbh.

At first I planned to do a long stint travelling, then I started seeing my best friend and by September I'd moved to Brighton with him and realised that I couldn't carry on the way I had been, especially now I was with somebody who I did want to settle down with.

I had no clue where to start but we moved into a vegetarian household, for me it wasn't a problem but DP was a full on meat eater. We both had to make huge adjustments to our diets and after two/three months of really struggling with food we both have ended up eating quite healthily. Once I started to get more energy, both from the improvement in diet and working part time (working full time drained what little energy I had from other health issues) I decided to do something about my joints and started by finding a climbing partner in May this year through the go girls group on meet up.

Sorry for the essay! It's been my life changing and attitude changing that has made me realise how important it is to be healthy so that I can lead a healthy life with children later on smile Talking to local MNetters at the meets has been a huge inspiration for me as they're all so interesting and knowledgeable and happy to listen to me rant as I try to work out what to do! Having supportive and food-knowledgeable bosses has helped (I'm a nanny), one set bought me a slow cooker last Christmas which has been amazing, best practical present ever! We've only made stews/casseroles in it so far but you can use them for anything, we plan to make a variety of soups in ours next year!

I've experimented a bit with alternative grains and flours as the children I work with in one job are grain free, I love using coconut flour and think it's well worth the expense! I use kara coconut milk instead of normal milk as I prefer the taste sometimes too. I've dropped a lot of gluten and dairy out of my diet by accident too but I realise now that too much gluten or dairy makes my gut go funny so I only have it a couple of days a week now (again by accident!), but if I'm having either in excess like my favourite lunch of cheese and a nice, freshly baked bread I'll avoid it the day before and day after.

I slip once a month or so. I'll go into Holland and Barretts and buy a load of veggie jelly sweets to eat in one sitting. Or eat a whole pack of dried mango in one sitting. But I don't see it as failure to be healthy any more, just me being human! I also listen to my cravings more, work out what I'm craving and work it into my meal as I now see it as a way of my body telling me what it needs, rather than stuffing my face with it!

We have a flexible menu plan too, we'll plan a weeks worth of food and that will last three weeks as we'll make something else with the ingredients if we fancy it and leftovers last us an extra day or two or our housemates will offer us food. We plan to be a bit firmer with the menu planning next year as we still don't get as much fruit and veg as we'd like!

ConfusedPixie Sat 29-Dec-12 14:26:36

I see somebody else mentioned gluten. Do you shop at an aldi or lidl? My local lidl has amazing breads that are naturally gluten free. They look like poxy little slices but they are really filling! I like sunflower seed bread with cashew nut butter. Very yummy grin

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