The title of this blog is kind of ironic. This week seems to have all been up in the air – I have had no time to even start writing, however, this is the first night that I have managed to park my bum on the sofa at 7pm and feel I have the energy to write. Moreso, I feel mentally able to write as I always need to be in the right mood to express my feelings.
Soooo ….. time! When it comes to time you plough every little bit of energy into your child and on top of that you try to hold a job down and then be the doting housewife (or husband) …. it’s hard, isn’t it? We juggle so much and seem to think that we’re supposed to… after all, that’s just our purpose after all isn’t it? The thing is, this then leads to bad habits. We start putting the bottle of wine in the basket amongst the kid’s dinners at the supermarket just so that on an evening we can carve out some chill time or we may even choose some comfort eating as our guilty pleasure. This is something I am very familiar with.
Last year was tough, we had 2 school exclusions to contend with. The school couldn’t cope and I was getting dragged into the head’s office more times than we had hot dinners. We finally made a choice to keep our child at home due to the number of restraints being used daily on him – aged just age 7 years old. I felt like my life was on hold. Simple things like dog walks became a task as my boy didn’t want to walk far. The mornings at the gym had to stop as I had to be at home. My whole energy needed to be on my boy but I understood that this was temporary and one day I would make time for me. The thing is, I had more time on my hands than I realised and just chose to ignore it. A huge mistake.
In January 2019 I was weighing in at 14 stone 5 pounds and I felt ashamed of how I had let myself go. I knew where I had slipped up, the whole EHCP system and putting our point across for a specialist school isn’t easy and by god, it drains the hell out of you. I think it had been the toughest thing we have ever had to do … no one makes it simple. So “spare” time was spent drinking wine on an evening and being lazy to the extent where ordering takeaways each evening was easy as my head was too cluttered to start making cooking at home a habit.
I stopped caring for me. My whole energy was focused on what was going on with my son, nothing seemed to matter apart from sorting my child’s education. What I realise now is if had have made a little time for me, my head would have been fresher and my stress levels would have been reduced dramatically. It’s a vicious cycle.
7 months passed and I lost me. I kept telling myself that once this nightmare was over I would find me again … and with some false starts, eventually … I did just that.
September 2018 came and we had achieved our goal, we won our boy a place at an independent specialist school. I knew we would still have a bumpy ride with his transition but I also knew that things would be so much better and this was the time that I could focus a little more on me again.
I needed to step back in the gym. I hadn’t stepped foot in there for months and was so self-conscious. All the people that had seen the slim Katie all those months ago would be shocked to see the “new” Katie – 4 stone heavier. I am sure if asked they would say that they didn’t think this, but surely the thought would enter their mind! My personal trainer now tells me how shocked he was when he saw me enter the gym again. He says I looked a different person, he was sad for me but also proud that I stepped back into the gym, determined to make a change. I held my head low for the first few months, I couldn’t wait to do my 30 minutes workout and then practically run out of the door. I knew to make progress I had to just ignore the thoughts in my head and just get on and do it!
To minimise his anxiety, I was transporting my child to his specialist setting every day – this was an hour journey each way. So for 4 hours a day I would be sat in the car. I have a dog which isn’t used to being home alone for long, she would need walking for at least an hour a day. How would I find the time? I decided to take 30 minutes out of my schedule and try fit in three times a week for me. I started reading in an evening. Taking a bath and shutting the door to the outside world. Then my time seemed to expand, weekends I would try to grab some time and go for a run around our local reservoirs.
I found an online coach that guided me and checked in on me weekly to assess my progress, he believed in me and was happy to help, he created me a diet plan and the weight started to drop.
I remember talking to another mum about my weight gain, and she told me about her struggles. She explained to me how she stayed focused and told me that whilst she couldn’t control everything around her, the one thing she could control was her diet. Why hadn’t I thought of that instead of thinking that everything was being taken away from me? I knew then – I could be in control. It was simply a mindset choice.
Now, 4 stone lighter, running a photo booth business, transporting my child to school 4 hours a day, getting the dog out for an hours walk, juggling housework, writing blogs and helping others on my Facebook group. I still find the time.
During difficult periods it’s easy to think that all your time is being taken away when in fact there are always 30 minutes in the day for you. Maybe at the start, you may find there is no time but please realise that this is just temporary and you may need to ride a storm for a while. Just remember – storms pass whatever your circumstances. The bad times are temporary and always lead to better things.
To find out more on how I managed to achieve my goals follow me on Instagram @finding_me_katie