Year 2 week 43

22nd – 28th October 2017

This week has been quite an emotional week. For about a year now our church have had a women’s mission trip to Serbia planned. Nine women were on the team and I was one of them.

We were going to do a women’s retreat and help surport a charity called Choose Life. It’s a charity that helps young pregnant women.  There aim is to prevent abortion and help the mothers with there babies. 

When it was booked Matt was going to go on a cycling trip for another charity called The Message Trust. His trip was in Israel and he was to cycle from the Red to the Dead Sea.

Matts trip was the beginning of October and mine was near the end it meant we could both go on these trips, so we booked in. Since booking Matts trip changed to the same time as mine. He left about 5 days before I did though.

We did try and look for someone to stay in our house but to no avail. It meant that I was leaving for Serbia and the kids were going to be home alone for 5 days.

Before I left I was freaking out. The thought of leaving the kids home alone was not helping my nerves at all. Even though 3 of them are teenagers and are old enough to look after Jake who is 9 it didn’t stop me worrying. The nearer it got to me leaving the more freaked out I was getting. By the time I left I was a nervous wreck. 

My week in Serbia was amazing the retreat went really well. At the retreat I got to speak and share my story on becoming a mother all about our road to adoption. I think a few people from our team learnt alot of things they didn’t know about me. I got to learn a lot about them too.

I also got very creative there too we got to do a few workshops that were fun. It was just good to meet new people.

One thing I went to Serbia for was to paint a picture on the wall of the Choose Life centre it was a picture I drew about 4 years ago and since then I have dreamed of painting it on there wall. They were excited about it and I thought it was an honour to do it. 

The lady who runs the charity asked me to name her. I decided I wanted to call her Nada which means hope in Serbian.

While I was away I hardly had time to worry about the kids and what they were getting up to at home. I called a few times But I just decided to trust them and enjoy my time away.

I am now home and I was very happy to see that the house was still standing, that I still did have 4 kids intact and they hadn’t killed each other and that basically there wasn’t any problems.

I think the moral of the story is to not worry about what you can’t control and trust that it will all work out. As a family we have a bible verse we abide by it’s in

Matthew 6:34.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I think I just forgot for a while there.


Day 252

Thursday 8th September 2016

With the kids going back to school, I can get back into some kind of routine. That means seeing some people I haven’t seen since the beginning of summer. 

I felt over the summer I tried hard with very little results. I went on a few bike rides – one that was 23 miles – I climbed Snowdon and I went on many walks, some of them quite challenging. I have done more activities this summer than I have ever done before. 

I have even eaten a lot healthier over the summer. I went away a few times and I still watched what I ate. I was very conscious that I didn’t want to ruin all my hard work up until that point. Putting all this into consideration I felt that I hadn’t lost any weight. 

So why all of a sudden are people shocked by how much weight I have lost? Some people say that they are hardly recognising me. 

I know deep down I am doing well but I just can’t see it. To me I am the same only I have more energy, my clothes are baggy and my health has improved. I just can’t see what everyone else sees. 

Today though I had a shock

One thing I was shocked about was that I decided to look back at what my weight was at the beginning of the summer. I thought I had not lost any weight but it turns out that I have actually lost 5lbs. Ok, so it’s not brilliant but it’s definitely better than nothing. 

I spend my time looking at what I was yesterday but when I actually looked a bit further back it turns out to be a lot better than I thought. 

Another thing that constantly shocks me  is when I go shopping for clothes. I would go for a 16 comfortably but I have been known to buy a 14. Yesterday I had to buy a 12!

Today I went shopping with my sister in law and niece, Kate, and I tried on a coat. I have always found that with coats I need to get bigger because of all the clothes on underneath. I got a 16 thinking I would need to go up a size but no, I had to go down a size. I couldn’t believe it. 

So there’s me thinking that I had made no progress whatsoever over the summer but really I think I achieved a lot!

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 7.4lbs. ⬅️➡️. 67.6lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

105kg. ⬅️➡️. 31.5kg⬇️total

Day 228

Monday 15th August 2016

This morning I woke half expecting to be in pain from my bike ride yesterday. I thought that I would be so stiff that I wouldn’t be able to walk or I would really struggle. 

However, when I woke up I had no pain anywhere – I was not stiff at all. I needed no help whatsoever. 

I have had a bad shoulder for a long time and usually when I cycle it hurts for a few days afterwards but not this time. 

I have noticed though that the more exercise I do the more I am putting on weight. This is not really worrying me at all because eventhough the scales are going up I feel thinner so I must be putting on muscle. 

But I am sure that the scales will come back down soon because I know I am not putting on weight by what I eat.

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 8.4lbs.     0.6lbs⬆️.     66.6lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

105.4kg.        0.3kg⬆️.      31.9kg⬇️total

Day 227

Sunday 14th August 2016

My 3 older boys have gone away for a few days leaving me, Matt and my youngest son,  Jake. The house is very quite. 

We find when Jake doesn’t have his brothers around we are the ones he comes to for entertainment. Matt thought that we should take him out for the day. 

When Matt was younger he went to the Peak District to a place called the Tissington Trail a number of times. It’s an old railway line that is now used for walking and cycling. 

He thought we could cycle down it and make a day of it. I thought it was a good idea because an old railway track sounded flat and easy to ride. 

When we arrived I saw a sign that showed how many miles the next villages and towns are away.

I thought I would like to get to Alsop but if I reached Hartington I would be really happy. 

The trail was a lot tougher than I thought. I wrongfully assumed that it would be flat but it had a steady incline all the way which made things harder. It also wasn’t smooth to ride on like the roads which also didn’t help.

I had to stop a few times on the way not because I was tired but because my fingers were going numb and I had saddle sore. Matt thinks that I need to start relaxing into my riding rather than being tense. I was leaning on my handle bars which is why my fingers went numb. 

When cycling if I take one hand off the handle bars I end up wiggling all over the road so I have always kept them firmly holding on. Today was the perfect time to practice taking one hand off. I think I got it by the end.

I am really happy to say we made it all the way to Hartington. 11 1/2 miles of peddling up a gradual hill

Eventhough the tracks are now gone the stations and signal boxes were still there. 

The cycle back was so much better. 11 1/2 miles down a gradual hill – I hardly peddled at all. Going back was so much more enjoyable – it made the first part worth it. We ended up cycling 23 miles by the end of the ride. 

Considering at the beginning of the year I wouldn’t even get on a bike and 8 months later I have done 23 miles makes me immensely proud of my achievements and I actually can’t believe I did it. It shows you what you can do in such a short space of time!

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 7.8lbs.       ⬅️➡️.    67.2lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

105.1kg.          ⬅️➡️.        31.1kg⬇️total

Day 225

Friday 12th August 2016

We have been back from our holiday over a week now. Since being home it has been easy getting back into a normal routine. 

I have managed to go on a walk everyday this week but I haven’t been out on my bike though. 

I really enjoyed my rides on holiday but since being back I can’t seem to get motivated. Matt asked me if I wanted a bike ride – I did want to go but I just couldn’t be bothered. I had that attitude that I couldn’t be bothered to do anything. I get that sometimes when I am bored. 

Matt however got his assertive head on and said “get changed we are going on a ride”.  I am glad he did as I think I would have sat around and done nothing all day otherwise.

I thought I might just go around the block a few times. But while we were out Matt kept asking if I wanted to go further. As we had gone to the trouble of getting changed and out there I agreed to go further and I’m so glad we did. 

It’s lovely cycling in the countryside because you get to appreciate the scenery more than when you drive around the lanes.  England is really lovely when the sun is shining. The views can be really amazing. However this was my view!

I felt by the time I got back that I’d had a  descent ride. I found it quite a lot easier than I normally do and I didn’t seem to get as tired either. I think it must be because it wasn’t as hot as on holiday and I felt like I had more energy.

I ended up really enjoying my day. I could have sat around and done nothing all day like I wanted to. But I feel I have made good use of my day and I have really accomplished something. 

I think the moral of the story is that if you don’t feel like doing something but you end up doing it the rewards are so much greater!

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 7.2lbs. ⬅️➡️ 67.8lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

104.9kg. ⬅️➡️. 31.4kg⬇️total

Day 211

Friday 29th July 2016

Today is our last day at our villa in France, but before we get packing I wanted to do one final bike ride. 

Even though I have been on a few bike rides this holiday I haven’t done one with the whole family, which was one of my goals.

However we have come away with only 3 of my 4 kids. My eldest did not come this year. Which means I couldn’t totally fulfill my goal. 

So today I went cycling with Matt and my 3 sons

A lot of fun was had by all. I really enjoyed seeing the kids enjoying themselves. They would spend most of their time overtaking each other and then giggle as they got the lead. 

What made it extra special was that I would never have had that time with the kids if I had kept on the road I was going down before. 

I am getting so many benefits everyday from my new life. I just wish I did it sooner so I could have done more activities with the kids while they were growing up.

No weigh in

Day 208

Tuesday 26th July 2016

A few months back I went to a conference. One of the reasons I was there was because there was an artist doing a workshop. She does a lot of prophetic art. As I am really into art I went to her workshop. She gave us blank cards that we were to write something to someone in the room. I didn’t know anyone else but I wrote my card and handed it to a lady. I got a few back in return. All were very relevant to my situation. 

One card said though “you are digging deep, but dig deeper still.” I have no idea who gave me that card and I don’t think they knew me and what I was going through this year.

That phrase “Dig Deep” has cropped up so many times since people have been using it to encourage me, to keep going. 

Today Matt has done an amazing challenge. We are staying in France near Mt Ventoux and the challenge is to cycle up the 3 different routes to the top within 24 hours. It’s 5000 meters of climbing in total over 140 kilometres. He did it in 8 hours. For Matt to even succeed in this challenge he had to really dig deep – especially as he was by himself for much of it. 

There were times that he wanted to quit. There were times he had absolutely no strength to continue. But he really did dig deep and he succeeded. He battled the steep inclines, the isolation, the heat, even the rain at times! Now he looks back and he is really proud of his achievement. He knows alot of cyclists but hasn’t come across any that have completed that challenge. 

I found Matt’s achievement very inspiring. The sheer grit and determination I saw made me so proud of him. 

I am finding that for me to succeed and get anywhere near my goals I think I need to start digging even deeper just like that note said. 

It may be hard but the rewards will be worth it when I succeed. 

No weigh in 

Day 206

Sunday 24th July 2016

Matt asked me if I wanted to go for another bike ride. It was the last thing I wanted to do. But as I have said that I would say yes to everything health related this year I said I would go. 

We went to the village again and this time I caught up with the cyclists in front. It’s amazing the feeling when you are going faster than the other cyclists. It really gave me a boost to get back up the 3 mile hill afterwards. 

I went over half way up without stopping. I seemed to get myself into a rhythm and there was no stopping me. I was buzzing and I could have carried on but Matt and Jonny, my son, were behind. So I stopped and waited for them. 

When I got back on I didn’t do quite so well but I did it! I was very happy with my achievement. 

Matt said later that my legs are getting really thin and I am starting to look like a flamingo. 

He said this because flamingos have really thin long legs and a big body and joked that if I keep up cycling it will get worse! 

He didn’t stop me from feeling really happy with my achievement. 

We then went to the Camargue region in France for the day where there were flamingos which I thought was a funny coincidence. 

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 11.8lbs.     ⬅️➡️.    63.2lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

107kg.          ⬅️➡️.           29.5kg⬇️total

Day 203

Thursday 21st  July 2016

Whilst on this holiday I feel that I have done ok with my eating. There is always room for improvement though. I feel that even though I am eating healthy I will not lose much weight because I have done absolutely no exercise. 

I was planning to swim lengths of the pool. This pool you swim 2 strokes and you are at the other end. I would need to do a thousand lengths to make it beneficial. 

Jenny told me before I left for my holiday that if I walk, cycle, swim or do any kind of activity  I am not to class it as exercise but movement. Which means that I can’t eat extra food for doing some activities. 

I have had one day that I walked 15000 steps, and I have been cycling. Our villa is on a hill and the nearest village is 3 miles away. We cycled down to the village and I don’t think I had to turn the peddles round once. I could really pick up speed all the way down. I loved it.  That to me is what cycling is all about! However I have learnt that what goes up must come down         and vice versa. 

3 miles cycling solely  up hill is a killer especially in a 35 degree heat. I felt like everything around me was melting 

I had to stop for a drink a few times but I am very happy that I did it. I wasn’t sure I could do it as it was a lot steeper than I have done before. The heat got to me a little but I didn’t overheat like I normally do. 

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 10.8lbs. ⬅️➡️ 64.2lbs⬇️total

Start weight 136.5kg

106.5kg. ⬅️➡️. 30kg⬇️total

Day 171

Sunday 19th June 2016

Its been over a week since I last got on my bike so I thought it was about time I did again. 

Matt took me to a place where the roads are quiet and not so many steep hills. As it was my first time out on a proper ride he said he wanted to ease me into it gently. 

It all started well I even got the bike on the highest gear. My bike has 22 gears. Matt said though that when you are learning to ride properly when going up a hill you need to anticipate it more and go to a lower gear, spin your legs faster but keep the momentum going. Spinning my legs faster will also help with my fitness. Pushing a big gear just builds strength. So I’m learning to use the correct gears so I don’t exert more energy than I need to. 

Matt said we were going to do about 10 miles. After 7 I was aching, I wasn’t tired it was just painful in one area

One word could describe it OUCH !!!!!

Leaning on my wrists was painful too. After 10 miles he said that we still had a few more miles to do. 

I thought ‘typical’ but I could do nothing but continue. He would also say that this is the last hill but of course that wasn’t true ether!

I have to say that even though I did a few extra miles, a few extra hills and was very saddle sore, I really enjoyed it.

I was also very pleased with myself that I didn’t get off once and I cycled up every hill. 

The worst was afterwards when my hayfever got really bad and an hour later  I was incredibly hungry and I had to wait a few hours before I could have my dinner!

Start weight 21st 5lbs

16st 13.4lbs.     0.2lbs⬆️.  . 61.6lbs⬇️total

Start weight 135.6 kg

107.7kg.          0.1lbs⬆️.     29.1kg⬇️total