Tag Archives: health

30 Day Flat Abs Challange – My experience 

So it’s been a while. Life has been a wee bit hectic revolving around job searches, interviews and general running around after the family. I haven’t forgotten about my blog I can assure you. Case in point, here’s my update for the #30daysflatabchallenge. 

    

 I have mixed views when it comes to my experience of this challenge. I didn’t finish it, so technically I failed, but I have found it beneficial. Long term readers of schoolrunbeauty.com will know that I have had problems with my back and left hip/leg. This is where I hit a bit of a snag with the challenge. I physically could not do some of the exercises. In particular the double leg lift and criss crosses. 

Notice the similarity with the two exercises, they both involve extending the leg from the hip. My left left just kept getting stuck. I tried forcing myself through the excercises but ended it up in so much pain I couldn’t excercise at all for a couple of weeks until the nerve irritation had settled down. For me, it just isn’t worth me doing these two excercises. 

I am pleased that I was able to complete the rest of the excercises and have seen some good results. I replaced the dropped excercises with a plank which I hate doing but is really effective. I always feel that my abdominal muscles have a great work out once I have completed them. 

So my opinion of these thirty day challenges? Great if you don’t have any underlying injuries or conditions, but if you do, definitely be more cautious about trying one out. If you are lucky enough to have a personal trainer or are under a doctor speak to them about it first. They may be able to help develop a challenge that is not going to cause further injury or the wrong kind of post work out ache. 

I may not have finished the challenge but I don’t feel this has challenge been a fail for me. I have leant some new excercises that are more effective than a basic an crunch and I will continue to do those. 

Have you tried a 30 day excercise challenge before? What was your experience? 

Learning To Allow My Child To Take The Lead With his Diabetes Management 

When you have a child with a serious medical condition it can become very easy to fall into the trap of doing everything for them. Whilst this is fine when they are young, and in some cases necessary,  as your child develops into a teen and then an adult this can actually be detrimental to the long term management of their condition.

It’s a given that as your child grows their need for freedom and independence increases, consequently as a parent you are not going to be there to hold their hand through every step of their journey through life. This is why from an early age they need to be learning about their medical condition and how to take ownership of it.
What does that actually mean though? Let me fill you in a little bit about our experience so far with our son.

Harrison has Type 1 Diabetes, his diagnosis was at the age of 6 and he is now 12 years old and has just started at secondary school.

We were very worried about the move from primary to secondary school as it meant he would no longer have one to one supervision provided for his medical care. He also would have to get the bus to school with his elder sister, which meant another snack time and possible injections unsupervised.

The change to his care was inevitable so we had to prepare him for this. Although I have to admit I was very reluctant to, this resulted in us the parent taking a step back from leading his diabetes care.

I can not begin to tell you how difficult this was, any parents natural instinct is to do their utmost to help their child however possible. Handing over responsibility to Harrison for his own care has actually been a huge challenge on a personal level.

Now before we go any further I just want to say that we haven’t washed our hands completely of any  responsibility for managing his Diabetes. That would be irresponsible. Rather we have allowed him to lead the way in decision making such as working out when  insulin injections are required and the dosage required.

I would be fibbing if I told you that mistakes have’nt been made. I would say Harrison is very cautious about taking extra correction doses and will leave himself occasionally running a little high at school. We have to remind him that he should be aiming for his target range of 4-6.5 mmol and to trust his smart meter. In time though with greater confidence I’m sure we can achieve this.

Harrison has also been very resistant to injecting in certain areas of his body. He has tried injecting in his abdomin but he has little body fat here and hates injecting there as he says this area hurts more. Harrison no longer injects in his tummy for this reason and that has been his decision.

Doctors have also brought up with him about switching to using an Insulin pump instead of Injections. At the moment he doesn’t want to, but he may change his mind in the future. It’s his body and his condition so ultimately the decision will be his. Our role will be to help him with finding out the information about how an insulin pump would work and to weigh up the pros and cons.

Harrison has always been very responsible about the management of his Diabetes and his Hba1c blood tests are good. If his condition was unstable then we would have to step in and guide him back in the right direction.

I anticipate a few challenges as we progress through his teenage years. I would be very naive if I wasn’t prepared for this. Rapid growth spurts, hormones and general teenage rebellion will all have an effect on his condition.

For now it is up to us the parent to provide the education about his condition and possible side effects of poor diabetes management. It is a sound knowledge about his condition that will help him live life managing his condition rather than the condition managing his life.

Yes he’s always going to be a little bit different but we wouldn’t hold him back from doing what he wants with his life. University? travel? The world is his oyster! I can only hope that his attitude to good Diabetes management continues into adulthood. It’s our role as responsible parents to prepare him for this and if that means taking a step back from leading his care then that is something I am going to have to find peace with. Processed with Moldiv

5 things to help aid a good nights sleep.

Lets talk about sleep, according to research 30% of us are not getting enough of it (NHS,2011). 

The amount of sleep that we actually need varies at different stages in our lives, it’s has been well documented though that the average 19-55 year old needs around  8 hours of sleep. 

I would say on average I get about 7 hours of quality sleep. 

Though I wouldn’t consider myself sleep deprived I can sometimes have trouble settling myself for sleep. I think it stems from having trouble switching off in the evening. My mind can be constantly working overtime. Sometimes it’s busy making to do lists for the next day, or it’s mulling over blog post ideas or worrying about my uni work. Other times I’ve just overstimulated my brain watching an exciting film just before going to bed, whoops! 

In the interest of trying to settle myself earlier for sleep I have begun experimenting with a few different techniques and rituals. Some of these have worked better than others. 

I thought I would share with you the top 5 sleep techniques and rituals that have worked for me. 

1. Switching to decaf drinks after 7pm – I’ve tried going totally caffeine free throughout the day but failed. I love tea and I love coffee! I’ve tried missing my pre bedtime cup of tea but find I actually lay awake missing it.

  

 A tea in bed is part of my wind down ritual. Instead I have chosen to compromise by switching my drinks to caffeine free in the run up to bed time, this has worked well for me. 

2. Pre bedtime rituals – If you are a parent you will understand the importance of a bedtime routine when it comes to settling your little ones. So it stands to reason then that as adults any set bedtime ritual will aid a better nights sleep. 

A repeated bedtime routine acts as a trigger signaling the brain that it’s time to switch off for sleep. 

For me this means carrying out my evening skincare routine, popping some lavander spray on my pillow and using my De-Stress blend hand cream from Nip & Fab. 

  If I’ve had a particurly busy day and I need a helping hand to wind down then I like to take a bath. Currently I am using Kneipp Sweet Dreams Herbal Bath Oil 

3. Keep a notebook  and pen by the bed – Do you ever find yourself lying awake thinking about everything you have to get done the next day? There’s that little voice banging on inside your head telling what you mustn’t forget.  

  If you have a notebook and pen to hand you can quickly jot down whatever it is playing on your mind. As I have written it down I know I’m not going to forget and feel far more relaxed for sleep. 

4. Hide that smart phone – I’m sooo bad at looking at my IPhone in bed. As I use it as my alarm clock it’s in the room with me providing temptation to check that twitter or Instagram notification that has just popped up. Late night scrolling in bed of smart phones, tablets or computer screens are huge contributors to suffering from delayed sleep. 

Recent studies have shown how the bluish light emited from such screens convince the brain that it is actually daytime and not time for sleep. (The Telegraph, 2015)

I am actively trying to avoid looking at my phone before bedtime. This has meant finding alternative activities that busy my hands such as knitting, or most recently I have invested in an adult colouring book. 

The phone has moved to my dressing table rather than my nightstand. It’s still in use as an alarm but as it’s out of reach I’m not tempted to look at it. 

The length of time it takes me to fall asleep has dropped significantly. 

5. Think about comfort – Is your bed uncomfortable and responsible for keeping you awake? 

We invested in a new mattress and since then my quality of sleep has improved greatly. I have been suffering from a long term back condition and used to wake up aching and sometimes feeling worse than before I actually went to bed.

 Thankfully our memory foam mattress provides great support for my dodgy back and those aches and pains are far less of a common occurance. 

In my opinion Investing in a comfortable bed is a necessary expense if you want a good nights sleep. 

Do you have any set bedtime rituals? How much sleep do you manage each night? Processed with Moldiv

Slendershake Progress Update

Hi, Guys! 

Last week I told you that I was going to be starting the Slendershake program, from slendertoxtea as a kick start to my pre holiday tone up.  

 I’ve decided to update you today, after 5 days with my progress as my experience so far has been very varied. 

Let’s just say I started out ok, but once my food reserves had been exhausted, I’m really hungry. No not just hungry, yesterday I was HANGRY! This is where I’m struggling with only having the meal replacement. My body is used to being fed regularly, skipping a meal is just making me cranky. 

Replacing my lunchtime meal is a big no no, It’s definately better for me if I replace my breakfast instead. 

Just the shake with water is not enough to leave me feeling full, but mixing it with a smoothing is working well. I still feel I’m getting some sustenance.   

 

It looks a bit weird on top of your smoothie but after a good stir you can’t actually tell it’s there. 

  

So far I feel I have have lost the bloated feeling that I previously had, but I can’t say I have seen any real visual results yet though. Still it is very early days. 

I will continue with this program as now I hope to have addressed my hunger issue it will be easier. 

I will check back in next week with a further update. 

Has anyone else tried the slendertoxtea slender shakes? How did you get on?

  

  

7 tips for Living with Vitamin B12 deficiency 

Today is very much a personal post. It is one that I wanted to share though as it is something that I didn’t know much about untill I was diagnosed with this condition, last year. 

Vitamin B12 is one of the essential vitamins needed to help keep the body’s nervous system functioning as it should. 

  

Someone who is lacking in B12 can experience several different symptoms including;

Extreme tiredness

Lethargy

Muscle weakness

Pins and Needles

Memory problems and difficulty with understanding and judgement 

Depression 

Problems with vision 

I could go on but I don’t want to bore you to much, these though are the main symptoms I have experienced.  

The natural source of Vitamin B12 is found from eating meat fish and dairy products. This is why vegans can be at a greater risk of developing a Vitamin B12 deficiency. If you are a vegan then it may be worth taking a B12 supplement to avoid this. 

I am not a vegan or a vegetarian, so the cause for me is very different. My deficiency is caused by pernicious anaemia, an auto-immune condition. Basically this means that I don’t have enough intrinsic factor in my intestines that is responsible for absorbing Vitamin B12 and creating healthy red blood cells, leaving me generally feeling like poo. 

This seems to be a hereditary condition in my family as, my little sister, mum and a couple of cousins all have it. 

Fortunately it’s relatively easy to treat. for me it involves popping along to the doctors every 8 weeks for a Vitamin B12 Injection. This usually sees me back on fighting form, though for the 1-2 weeks before I’m due my next jab it can be a challenge managing symptoms. I often feel like I’m running on empty and just getting out of bed in the morning can be a challenge in itself.

I have found there are a few things I can do that make this time easier, so I thought it would be a good idea to share a few tips on how I manage. You never know someone reading this might be struggling to manage their B12 deficiency and this may help. 

  1. When you have a burst of energy it can be tempting to rush about trying to get all those jobs that need doing done. Instead make a list and then prioritise, it’s easier to pace yourself this way and avoid burning out. 
  2. This may sound blindingly obvious, but try to get to bed a sensible time. A good night sleep will mean you feel better for it in the morning. 
  3. Don’t skip meals as this will depleat your energy sources more quickly. 
  4. Secondly don’t  skip your injections, these are so important. It can take time for a normal level of B12 to build up in your system, missing injections will lower your levels. 
  5. Originally my Injections were only every 12 weeks, I was getting to week 8 and would spend the next month exhausted. You don’t have to put up with this. I had a chat with my doctor and he agreed to let me have the injections on a more regular scale. I feel much better for it. 
  6. Don’t be afraid to speak to your employer and let them know that you have the condition, and how it can effect you. My employer was really understanding, I was able to take a small extra break if needed during my bad weeks. Most good employers would accommodate this as it means your not taking a sick day. 
  7. Some times when all else fails take that after noon nap. Don’t feel guilty about it. There will be times that you are so freekin tired all you want to do is sleep. Just don’t do it for too long or you will mess up you night time sleep pattern. Oh and if like me you have to do that school run set an alarm. Yup Ive been guilty of over sleeping and leaving the kids at school, embarrassing!! 

I do hope you found this helpful, if you have B12 and have any other tips feel free to add them in the comments section. 

Bye for now, Katy 🙂