Tag: mental-health

25 weeks pregnant.

I found this week of my pregnancy to be rather overwhelming (forgive me if every week’s update starts out like this – not that I would notice because baby brain). I may have increased my weekly quota of mental breakdowns from one to two haha. I say ‘haha’ now but I wasn’t really laughing at the time. Eek.

The good news was that the weather started to dry up. I don’t know if it was the change in weather or just a combination of things I was trying, but my PUPPP rash started to feel a tiny bit better at one point. Some of the patches on my skin actually felt drier and tighter. I would liken it to that feeling when you’re slightly sunburnt. Without the sunburn of course (please be safe in the sun everyone). For a rash sufferer like me, this actually felt amazing. I’ve decided that wet, muggy weather is not my friend.

The bad news is that my body was mad at me for making progress and the rash started to fight back even harder. That’s the thing. I often have a couple of good days, followed by an utterly shit week. My legs were being eaten alive by this and my belly was starting to be affected. I started to feel like there would be nothing left of me. I’d just be a walking rash. This really badly affected my self confidence and my body image. I was especially worried about the rash on my right arm. It looks hideous. There are sores with soft scabs (not those nice dark dry ones that look clean even if blemished), red patches, the works. I thought people would think I was some kind of contagious, flea bitten leper or something. Hiding my arms was not as easy as hiding my legs. I got really down. The negative thoughts were as relentless as my rash.

A few deep and meaningfuls with my mum and husband were much needed at this time. I may have cried in the bath a few times too. I felt well and truly mental. And I don’t say that jokingly. I was really starting to think I’d need to reach out for mental health help (and I still might at some point).

It was probably a tough week because Mr Unprepared was going to be away for the whole weekend on a big bike ride. I was trying to be a strong, supportive wife and let him have that time out with his mates, but I won’t lie – it was really difficult. I needed my wind down time and I couldn’t have it. By the time he got home, I was an emotional wreck. It kind of set the scene for the rest of the week. Because Mr Unprepared was tired and recovering from his ride and trying to play catch up at work too, it was not easy. That was a wake up call for both of us, I think. I might not be in my third trimester yet, but I am definitely quite needy haha. Instead of being embarrassed by this, I really had to learn to ask for more help.

Which, with Mr Unprepared’s help, led me to the awesome gesture by my inlaws to have the Little Mister on Friday afternoons, in that time after school but before he plays cricket. It was all proving a bit too much for me and everything was at an awkward time. Now I get to claim a couple of hours a Friday for myself. I am guaranteed a bath and a moment to just sit in the quiet. Mr Unprepared gets to have special bonding time with the Little Mister at cricket. Everybody wins.

I also made the commitment to take part in the #100happydays challenge because I want to see out the rest of my pregnancy with as much positivity as possible. This should take me to the baby arriving (and maybe beyond if I have my way haha). Even if I don’t get to finish the challenge, I think it will be good for me. While I don’t want to create a fake memory of this pregnancy or give the false illusion on social media that everything is fine when it’s not, I do want to remember the good things too. While the shit times are real, the good times are as well and I shouldn’t disregard that. I’m trying to help re-wire my brain. It might not solve everything but I do know that I never want to feel like I did this week again if I can help it. Sometimes there’s a fine line between not coping and coping. This is just one of those little things I can put in place.

At least my arm didn’t photograph too badly. It just overwhelmed me in person. My usual instinct would be to stop looking at myself in the mirror if it upsets me but that’s hard to do when you literally have to inspect your whole body for rash sites twice a day to apply ointment. I found that frustrating. 

 

Fellow mamas, don’t ignore your mental health…

I just realised that it’s world mental health day today. Which feels timely for me because I’ve been thinking a lot about my mental health lately. See, being pregnant has not come easy to me this time around (you may have read all about the emotional roller coaster I experienced with secondary infertility and IVF which was thankfully successful). And pregnancy itself is sadly not all unicorns and rainbows for me either. I experience a severe and at times distressing rash known as PUPPP and last time I was pregnant, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes – something I am trying to mentally prepare myself for this time around. I also can become more anxious than usual, because that’s what hormones do to me.

Being pregnant for a second time around has really made me reflect on how things went last time (all the way back in 2011), compared to how I hope things will go this time.

A couple of times throughout pregnancy, most Aussie women will do a short quiz to help with the detection of depression/anxiety symptoms. Last time I was pregnant, I made a big mistake. I lied.

I was feeling stress in my relationship, I was suffering awfully from living with my rash and the gestational diabetes diagnosis just felt like the icing on the cake. I was depressed. I was feeling a horrible horrible guilt for some of the dark thoughts I had. One of those thoughts was wishing everything would just go away – pregnancy included. Of course I did not mean that one bit. I loved the Little Mister before we even conceived him and I knew I loved him while he was inside me – not every single moment was awful. I knew I would love him when he arrived earth side. I just felt so distressed and down that my mind said mean things to me sometimes.

I was desperate and crying a lot.

But when I walked into my appointment with the midwife, I lied. Because I didn’t want to deal with it. I felt overwhelmed at the idea of having to talk to someone about what I was feeling. I already felt like I was busy enough growing a human and trying to survive the day by day. I knew what they were looking for in that quiz so I manipulated my answers just enough that I wouldn’t be confronted with offers of further support.

When the midwife told me that I was showing some signs of depression, I lied and told her that it was just the rash getting me down – everything else was fine. She had to take my word for it. I was an idiot.

If I had accessed support groups or counselling or even medication, I might have fared a bit better for the rest of my pregnancy and what was to follow.

While being a new mum, having a slightly traumatic birth, feeling a bit like you have no idea what you’re doing, you’re so tired and the hormones are wreaking havoc is part and package of being thrust into new parenthood, I now know that the almost crippling anxiety I suffered from after the Little Mister was born, was beyond ‘normal’ or ‘healthy’ – for me. I felt that my husband didn’t know how to support me emotionally either (in fact even he will admit he was terribly unhelpful in that area), which made it worse.

So this time I will be honest. I have already had some pretty tough moments. It’s really hard work staying chipper and positive all the time. I’m constantly having to talk my anxious side down. It’s a hard fight and it can be exhausting trying to keep yourself strong. When I take that quiz again, I will be brutally honest with myself and with my caregivers. That is my promise to myself. I will also reach out if I am struggling after the Little Miss is born. I will do what it takes to be a healthy mum to my kids –  it’s what they deserve. I won’t pretend I’m fine if I’m not. I will not make excuses about why my mental health needs to come last. I will not let my fears of what other people may think influence my choices as a parent. Even if that means having to make myself vulnerable and put my hand up and say, “LITTLE HELP OVER HERE, PLEASE.”

I want to enjoy these special moments and while I was lucky to share such a strong bond with the Little Mister from the beginning, which helped enormously in getting me through, I know I did cheat myself out of having the peace of mind that comes with looking after your mental health for almost the whole first year of his life. I agonised over so many little decisions as if they were all life or death (they weren’t) and I isolated myself more than I’d like to admit. You can imagine how exhausting that was day in and day out.

So my message to all my pregnant or ‘new mum’ friends out there is to be honest. Speak out. Don’t try to be perfect, like Mrs Snootybitch over there on Instagram. Don’t be afraid to let someone know when it’s all too much. I know there’s a lot of judgement and stigma out there, but we can only beat it if we keep trying. Keep looking for your tribe – I promise we’re out there. Use resources such as beyond blue. Speak to your community nurse at your baby’s check ups. Your midwife. Your doctor. Tell your partner when they’re being really fucking unhelpful (you might not want to use those exact words ha ha but you need support so ask for it – a baby is the quickest way to highlight issues you may have already had in your relationship so maybe you both need some help together).

Please don’t make the mistake I made my first time around. Look after yourself. You’re the heart of your family. It is so important that you do what you need to do to get better. Make time. Speak out. If you’re surrounded by arseholes, then find people who make you feel good about yourself and don’t expect you to be perfect. Don’t put yourself last – mum guilt is not an excuse. What Carol Whatsherface on Facebook said once about selfish parents or parents who give up on breastfeeding or mums who struggle a bit harder with becoming parents for the first time, is not a good enough reason to not ask for help. Carol Whatsherface is a fucking moll.

I am sending so much love to everyone out there who has struggled with their mental health at some time or other. Take care of yourself – you’re not alone.

PUPPP rash: Round 2.

I feel like I’ve mentioned this a lot lately, but I have this pregnancy rash called PUPPP – again. I had it when I was pregnant with the Little Mister and very nearly went insane. Actually, I think I did go insane – I just pretended I wasn’t. Now I have it while expecting a Little Miss 6 years later. At first I thought maybe I was just sensitive to heat and hoped like hell it wasn’t what I thought it might be. But now I know that it is indeed PUPPP.

Having it for a second time around is like a double edged sword. On the one hand, I feel like I know what to expect and I know which mistakes I do not want to repeat: waiting too long to get help, seeing doctors etc who are not experienced, keeping it to myself and stressing all alone. I know which treatments are most likely to help and which suggestions from well meaning people and websites are probably going to make things worse.

On the other hand, because I do know what to expect, I freak out a bit because the reality of having this condition has come flooding back to me and I have to separate my anxiety about it getting much worse from the reality which is that it seemingly isn’t as bad as last time…yet.

The first time around, I used a steroid ointment prescribed by a dermatologist. This time I am using a slightly weaker cream to start with, as well as taking antihistamines before bed each night. I think these things are helping to keep the rash contained in its hot spots for the most part. Some parts of me have completely cleared up (they may have just been heat rashes all along just to confuse matters). I don’t think these treatments actually prevent me from itching, though. Especially at night or in the late afternoon, when things are quiet and I have no distractions.

I find that stress has been a factor in making it feel worse. The more I think about it, worry about it, or get myself into an anxious state, the more itchy I feel. The more itchy I feel, the more unattractive and embarrassed and hopeless I feel, the more exhausted I get. The more exhausted I am, the more likely I am to be vulnerable to anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle.

Often I wake in the night, scratching. I will struggle to fall asleep. I will feel everything. Every bit of fabric rubbing on my skin. I will think that this is surely a sign that things are getting catastrophically worse. Then in the morning, I will look in the mirror and realise that the rash hasn’t really changed since yesterday. I try to remind myself of this every subsequent night.

Here are the things that are helping me this time around:

Talk it out – get help fast – don’t let embarrassment stop you

You can get itchy with PUPPP in odd, embarrassing places. It can make you feel like a freak. But I have learned since last time that talking/blogging about this, tweeting about this, joining an online support group about this, admitting when I’m feeling mental, helps. Nobody can help you if you pretend everything’s fine. When people ask how I’m feeling as a pregnant woman, I’ll be honest now. Oh, I’m so so excited about this beautiful baby girl on the way, but I am struggling at times with itchiness – I’m actually allergic to her DNA or hormones or something! Sure, the person who asked how I am might be getting more than they bargained for, but I owe it to myself (and others) to be honest about it all. I am not one of those over sharing during small talk kinds of people, but in this instance, a simple sentence like that really helps me to feel like I’m not hiding or pretending.

I rushed to get help this time. I didn’t double guess myself. I knew the rash could be nothing but it could be PUPPP too. It was good to get my knowledgeable doctor’s take on it right away. I truly believe that early intervention has helped me to feel empowered and has maybe even slowed down its progress.

Wear breathable clothing/sleep on good bedding ASAP

No more jeans or leggings! Dresses, skirts, fabrics that feel soft on my skin. Things that breathe. It has been a challenge as the weather has been so crazy lately. Going from sunny and spring like, to cold and rainy and windy and back again. But I have minimised the amount of fabric worn on my legs in particular (the upper thighs can get really irritated from tight pants etc). I have a cotton slip for underneath sheer items of clothing (why is everything at the shops see through these days?) and I have ordered a whole bunch of cotton undies. I am currently researching mattress toppers made of bamboo or cotton, to try and improve my comfort when I sleep. I know the weather is only going to get more sweaty and hot with my baby due in February.

Beware a lot of ‘home’ remedies – there is no quick fix

Last time I was pregnant, I panicked and googled every remedy I could think of to soothe my PUPPP. I made the mistake of thinking there might be some magical cure out there. I bought every product ever mentioned and I probably confused the hell out of my skin. What works for some people might not work for others. In reality, the rash cannot ever just disappear (until you have the baby usually). You just have to manage it until it’s run its course.

Now I am more realistic. I won’t ever feel fully comfortable in my skin, but I can soothe it and I can calm myself psychologically which is honestly the most important thing to me right now.

For example, I had a freak out yesterday. I felt a bit manic and I wanted to cry. This made me feel more uncomfortable. I was a bit anxious because my inlaws were going to have the Little Mister for a couple of nights to enjoy some bonding time and give us (mostly me) a rest during the holidays. It was so kind of them and I was happy for everyone involved to do that, but the reality set in that I would have no positive distraction in the form of a loveable child who needs me to be strong. EEK.

I came home from dropping him off, to Mr Unprepared having heard the panic in my voice over the phone. He’d been to the pharmacy for advice (where he was lucky enough to get advice from my amazing mums’ group friend who is conveniently a great pharmacist), he’d run me a bath and lit some candles. He had a soothing Spotify playlist ready.

We threw some Pinetarsol wash in the bath and as soon as my body hit the water, I felt instant relief. I smelled like someone’s grandpa but it felt so good. I knew it wasn’t a cure this time around, so I just enjoyed it for what it was – as opposed to when I tried something similar last time and felt mad it didn’t fix everything. My skin felt smooth and clean afterwards. I tried to take that chilled feeling with me all the way to bed time. I slept better than I had in weeks.

Knowing people had my back and lowering my expectations really helped. You cannot underestimate the power of the mind in this situation. I know this well and learned a lot about this since my first pregnancy.

Keep busy – dress up and show up

It can be hard to find a balance between staying distracted and being a burnt out pregnant person, but I have found that if I keep moving, I can go a whole day without feeling itchy. To me, it’s important to dress up and show up. I isolated myself out of embarrassment and anxiety during my first pregnancy and I don’t know that it did me many favours. Of course I will also have to be mindful of my limits, but generally, having nice maternity clothes to wear, doing my make up, styling my hair, helps. I can’t let myself become scared to leave the house. I cannot sit around without distractions, feeling more depressed and itchy.

There’s nothing like a rash to make you feel very unattractive, very fast. Even looking at yourself in the mirror naked while you apply your rash cream can make you feel a bit confronted every night! My rash isn’t actually very visible outside of my every day clothing, but it can make you feel quite unsexy!!

Dressing up and showing up when I can makes me feel productive, empowered, less itchy, and more connected to the real world. Sitting at home thinking negative thoughts about my body does not help my mental health.

Have a mental health/self care plan

After last night’s little panic attack moment, I realised I need to be proactive so it doesn’t strike so badly next time. I started to think of things I can do next time I feel anxious enough to want to rip my skin off.

Things like:

  • take another bath if I am able to (because I have a kid who is still learning about privacy haha). If not, I can use the Pinetarsol or Calamine lotion on my skin before showering quickly to soothe myself.
  • Pick everything/everyone up and head to the beach (which is luckily right down the road) – don’t slow down to talk myself out of it. Get into the fresh air, see/feel the ocean (it’s my happy place). Distract distract distract!
  • Talk talk talk. Tell SOMEONE I am struggling. Even if it’s a stranger online in a support group.
  • Make a contingency plan to get more medical help if necessary. For example, if this isn’t better after trying all of the above, I will commit to making a doctor’s appointment ASAP and I will not put it off or make excuses. That way, I can feel a bit calmer knowing I will get help no matter what by a certain day/time. Even if it’s just making contact to say I’m not OK. Never isolate.

Have you ever had PUPPP? Did you have it more than once? What helped you? x

Kez Gets Physical: Term 1, 2017!

Oh my goodness. As I type this, the Little Mister is having his first day of pre-primary. His first year of full time school is beginning (although he’s only attending two days this week). I have just spent a few minutes walking around my house in awe of the silence. It’s kind of nice being able to move freely without having my every move questioned and being nagged while I’m in the toilet – the last couple of weeks of the holidays damn near broke me haha.

So. Term 1 has begun for the Unprepared household and that means it’s time for me to kick my arse into gear with my Kez Gets Physical routine. Basically, I commit myself to making good nutritional and exercise choices for a whole school term at a time – no excuses, no ‘cheat’ breaks (unless I literally cannot make a better choice in the environment I’m in – or it’s the first day of my shark week – because that’s a given).

I eat low carb, no junk (i.e. confectionary, desserts, overly processed foods, snacks I don’t need etc).

I did this for the first time in the last school term of 2016 and it went swimmingly! I am so proud. I lost some weight that I hadn’t shifted in the longest time (we’re talking years) and I challenged my own self defeated belief that I would never be able to do it. I even enjoyed it! Which was a pleasant shock to me!

Throughout the summer holidays, I relaxed this regime so I could take part in the festive fun without worrying too much. I became addicted to carbs and sugar again and I struggled to exercise regularly due to fatigue or logistics. BUT…because of the good work I’d done beforehand, I managed to maintain a 4kg weight loss that I’d achieved (I initially lost more than 5kg but I think I got off very lightly compared to usual). YES!

I felt better in my clothes throughout the summer and I even wore my bathers (without boardshorts!!!) publicly without any cover ups quite a few times! I am still no Sports Illustrated model, but I love the confidence I gained – more important than the number on the scales. I felt better – lighter (both metaphorically and literally) and more happy inside myself.

I don’t ever want to lose that feeling!

Also, while I don’t have any actual figures to back me up, I swear I saved SO much money last term just by eating right and saying no to the ‘naughty’ extras. Who knew this could be good for the budget?

So here I am again.

Term 1 will be interesting to say the least. I may have to go through some challenging medical procedures (on a secondary infertility journey right now if you’re not familiar with my story yet) and there is also a short interstate family holiday planned, which may throw some hurdles my way, but I will definitely do my best to live healthily and be active when I can.

Now that the Little Mister will be at school full time, I will have more time to balance exercise, work and the stuff I need to get done at home. Yay!

I have 4.8kg to lose, before I reach my goal weight (something that is achievable and within a healthy BMI range etc). I’d love to knock off some more kilos before the end of the term. This would be incredibly exciting as I’d be pushing through some plateaus and making some great progress. I will be so excited when my body fat % is in the 20s again (I’m so close)!

I admit I almost caved and ate some crap today. My body wants everything that is made out of potatoes right now. Not gonna lie. But I’m going to push on through and start how I plan to continue! It gets easier every day and I always feel better (mentally and physically) for it.

I love that I’ve proved to myself that I don’t need fad diets or crazy expensive nutrition and exercise plans to lose weight and feel better. I can’t wait to get back into it.

Are you working hard on making healthy choices right now too? What good habits do you swear by?

You can follow my progress with the hashtag #kezgetsphysical on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook ??

Mood boosting music.

I know I probably sound like a broken record, but END OF SCHOOL HOLIDAYS – AM I RIGHT? I am trying to find anything I can to keep myself limping to the finish line! I love love love my kid and for the most part we’ve had a lot of fun together since school broke up, but I am tired, I can’t remember when I last had any decent time alone in the quiet and I’ve started to fantasise about doing impossible things like getting my nails done, having a hair appointment (something I rarely do even during the school term), going to the toilet without anyone panicking that I’ve fallen off the face of the earth, time to work out alone, a sleep in, watching TV shows/movies that are rated higher than ‘G’ (yes I have night time to binge but you see I fall asleep so early ?) … you know, ridiculously lofty ideas like that.

I know I’m probably the biggest first world problems whinger right now. I know my life is objectively quite good. So many people have it worse/harder. But I’m betting I’m not alone!! The struggle is real!

Anyhow, one thing that doesn’t cost anything (and may or may not even temporarily drown out the sounds of whining child/ren) is music. I don’t have to be alone to listen to most of it (hastily skips over the cuss heavy songs before my child realises). It motivates me. It lifts my mood. Gives me an energy boost. Hey, sometimes I even get a mini (not really anything close to a real) work out from dancing around the kitchen like a dickhead. My kid doesn’t mind it. YES.

I have thought about which songs never fail to make me feel better when I’m feeling flat or frustrated.

Here are the ones I can remember off the top of my head:

Bliss and Eso – Addicted (language warning)

Macklemore – Can’t Hold Us

The Little Mister calls this song the “Can Holders” song. He thought it was about can holders! What are can holders anyway? Things that hold cans, I guess?

Lion Babe – Impossible

Wombats – Let’s Dance to Joy Division

The line “Let’s dance to Joy Division, and celebrate the irony, everything is going wrong, but we’re so happy…” always makes me grin. Because if everything’s going to shit, you can still dance and take the piss out of yourself and hopefully one day laugh about it.

Sia – Cheap Thrills

Not only is Sia a freakin’ genius, playing this song when I’m feeling a bit strapped for cash makes me feel better LOL.

Drapht – Dancin’ John Doe

Illy – Catch 22


A while ago, I asked my friggin’ amazing Facebook followers for their fail-proof mood boosters and here were their suggestions:

  • The Darkness – I believe in a thing called love
  • Justin Timberlake – Can’t stop the feeling
  • Pharrell Williams – Happy
  • Seth Sentry – Vacation
  • Katrina and the Waves – Walking on sunshine

So there you have it. A ready to go playlist! Hope some of these songs boost your mood too!

Anything you’d like to add? 

5 ways to recharge (and stay sane) before Christmas.

Oh my goodness. The end of the school year has had me beat! The kids aren’t the only people who are exhausted! I have been so tired. I mean, I’m always a bit tired (because duh I’m a parent and also *ahem* a wife to a lovely but annoying man hahaha) but lately I’ve found it harder to keep bouncing back and to just push through!

I’ve decided to put together a little list of things that, based on past experience, might help me to survive this busy time of year. Things that will hopefully revitalise me a little so I’m not a worn out bitch by Christmas day! I want to enjoy this time of year because it’s my favourite time of year! I’m like Will Ferrell dressed in a fugly elf outfit, yelling out random things about loving Christmas at strangers. But not until December 1st, because I’m not crazy or anything. Geez.

I’m a bit special.

Anyway, where was I?

Right-o. List of things that help me to recharge when I’m bloody exhausted…

Make your bedroom feel like a glorious place to sleep. 

Better sleep makes you less tired! I know. What a revelation. Who knew? Last night, after a sleepless week and a whole bunch of quite frankly overly realistic and terrifying nightmares, I decided to do something about it. We declared it clean sheets day. I aired the room out and let a lot of light in. I lit a couple of gorgeous candles I’d forgotten about (and blew them out before bed time because of safety and shit).

Last night felt like heaven and I slept a lot better. The air/energy in the room felt so much lighter and not murky and stuffy. No nightmares! Yes!

I won’t go on about it because it’s all been said, but go to bed early when you’ve got nothing on. Rest up so you can enjoy other things later!

Let yourself get dumb in your rare down time. 

I used to get made fun of for always watching mindless trash TV or movies that didn’t exactly evoke deep thoughts or complex mind gymnastics. People like to say things like, “Why do you like that mindless junk? It will rot your brain!”

But to be honest, that’s the exact result I’m going for! I spend a lot of time overthinking things, reading about everything that’s going on in the world, dealing with the every day complexities of life. I consider myself to be pretty clever and a not so bad critical thinker. Sometimes I just need to switch off – something I’ve been crap at doing lately!

Ever since I explained that to my trash TV hating people, they have understood and left me to it. I’m always a heaps better person after spending a while being all like, OMG WHUT HAS KHLOE KARDASHIAN DONE TO GET THAT ARSE? HOW IS KYLIE JENNER HER OWN STEPKID’S AUNTY?

Basically, I don’t meditate (probably should) or do yoga (shut up Mum), but watching the shallower stuff really helps me to unwind!

You know, I need a break from being so damn clever all the time! ?

Drink more water and eat healthy things. 

I have been rattling on about this stuff in my Kez Gets Physical updates. I am really appreciating being fuelled by things that don’t make me feel sluggish and gross. You don’t have to do it for weight loss, just do it to feel energised and in a better mood! I love to have a green juice when I feel like total crap (I know I sound like a wanker but it really really works). I also think water is the bomb diggity. It wakes me up in the morning (I know you coffee lovers are looking at me like I’m a freak) and brings me back to life when I am feeling exhausted.

I can always feel the difference between me having a decent salad for lunch, versus the times I’ve indulged in less healthy options (they’re so tempting when we feel like crap and want something quick and we just want comfort food). Not falling into a food coma by 2pm really helps me get through the afternoon!

Acknowledge your exhaustion and communicate well.

I am the crabbiest cow when I’m exhausted. I’ll admit it! I get cranky and I find it sooooo exhausting to be bothered telling anyone how I feel. But it’s worth doing. Things always go better when I confide in my husband about how burnt out I’m feeling, what he could do to assist (martyr shit is pretty much banned in my house) and just give him the heads up so he’s not shocked by my lack of excitement about life or my slightly stabby moods. He can do the same with me. It’s better than both of us just throwing our weight around like angry bears. It’s not a perfect system (we’re only human and life gets crazy) but we try.

Also, I have never fallen into this trap myself, but I have a feeling some people get on the internet and let their crabby moods affect the comments they leave on social media. Dudes, realise it’s your tiredness and stress talking and nobody wants to be on the receiving end! The other person might be exhausted AF too! Don’t fight with people just because you’re tired. That in itself is a waste of energy! Ain’t nobody got time for that! Switch off that screen or walk away if you think you won’t be able to resist!

Be in touch with your feelings, y’all!

Get outside.

I love this time of year. So much sunshine (and Vitamin D). Fresh air is so revitalising. Even if you just stand outside for a few minutes or go for a short walk, you will feel a little better. Exercise is great for building stamina and getting those endorphins, but if you just don’t have it in you (understandably – trust me I’ve been feeling it), just get out for no other reason than to be in the outdoors. There doesn’t have to be a point to it or a task to complete. Just go outside and stand there or sit and have a drink or better still, lie in a hammock if you have one. I need to try this a whole lot more.


Nothing I’ve said is particularly revolutionary, but I hope it helps. This time of the year can be stressful and I think that if we can all practice a little bit of (realistic) self care and be kind to each other, we’ll see the year out in a really positive way (regardless of whether it was kind to us or not)!

What do you do to stay sane during the ‘silly’ season/end of the school year? 

Kez Gets Physical: Week 2 Update.

It’s been a big week for me, emotionally. Some of the (in)fertility stuff has done my head in and I spent a lot of time feeling utterly drained. Still, I am glad to be coming out of that headspace and after the Little Mister let me sleep in this morning (it was AMAZING), I feel ready to take on a new week of better health (mentally and physically)!

So here’s my update for Week 2 and may I say I really am glad I’ve decided to document this “journey” (sorry – had to use the word) on my blog because just thinking about what I would have to tell you at the end of the week kept me on the straight and narrow!

Where I’m at

This week, I lost 0.9kg. I am quite happy with that! It’s almost a kilo and still above 0.5kg (which is what I’d consider a healthy weekly loss). In total, I’ve lost 3kg! I had a look back through my Fitbit stats and realised I haven’t weighed this low since 2014!

An interesting thing to note is that I’ve basically lost the weight I gained since we started trying to conceive a second child (yep we’ve been trying for over 2 years now). It feels really therapeutic to shed all the weight that came with comfort eating and feeling at odds with my body. I feel like I’m stronger now and I love that my body is reflecting this.

I had a goal of 70,000 steps for this week, but I admit I fell short with 60,185 (at the time of posting this).

Good choices I made this week

I ate out on Friday night with the girls. I knew this could possibly be challenging (so many temptations!), but I was ready to rise to the challenge of picking the healthiest thing possible for me from the menu. I managed to not eat spring rolls, prawn crackers or rice (while eating low carb suits me I am not preaching it to anyone else – you do you)! I had garlic prawns and mixed vegetables – delicious! I felt full and satisfied afterwards. I even weighed less the morning after! Awesome! Although, maybe I was also a little dehydrated after enjoying my first cider in ages haha.

I think generally that my nutrition was on point all week. I had to visit a delicious food truck for work mid week, but I had a very small (very delicious – highly recommend) portion and then went home for a salad I’d prepared earlier! I’m finding it’s getting easier and easier to say no to things that aren’t the best for me. I think I must really be in the right space to create better habits for myself at the moment. I’ve tried similar things in the past and failed to sustain them. I really hope I can keep this up.

I went clothes shopping during the week, because I didn’t want to get caught out with nothing at all to wear when the weather gets good. I enjoyed trying on clothes (although my bank balance did limit my haul haha) and while I haven’t dropped any dress sizes or changed dramatically in appearance yet, I loved that I wasn’t bloated or feeling awful about myself. It was a great non food reward for my big efforts too. I had a revelation that if I keep these habits up, I won’t ever have to feel that worry that an outfit won’t fit one day because I ate the wrong thing the day/hour/minute before I put it on. I look forward to feeling consistently OK when trying on clothes, all day/night long (in a store or at home)! How freeing!

Here’s a rare mirror selfie of me…I felt good that day (and I bought the skirt)!

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Things I could improve

I might be feeling all empowered and generally quite good about myself, but I noticed that on Saturday after I’d had a bad (in)fertility appointment with my doctor the day before, and was feeling confused and tired and sad, I looked in the mirror and, for the first time in two weeks, thought I looked ‘fat’ and ‘gross’ and that I clearly wasn’t getting anywhere. I was surprised by such negative thinking. I realised that it was just my subconscious disappointment in my body – that it hasn’t been doing what I have wanted it to do for so long. I noted this and I realise I’m going to have to work on being kinder to myself during stressful times. I am realising that you can lose all the weight in the world, but if you don’t feel good about yourself on the inside, you will never appreciate it. How many times have we looked at a photo from 10 years ago, thought ‘wow I was looking good’ and then remembered that we thought we were fat and gross the day the picture was taken? I am going to try harder to see myself through kind eyes ALL the time.

My step count was obviously just under 10,000 down from what I’d hoped to achieve. I think I let stress and fatigue get to me on occasion and I do still need to figure out how to keep active on days when I’m working a few hours at a desk. I will just keep on trying. Any tips? I’ve tried walking on the spot during commercial breaks while watching TV at night, but that’s about it!

I think I’m doing well with my cardio, but I would like to start to incorporate some more strength exercises into my routine too.


How are you doing? You can follow my efforts with the hashtag #kezgetsphysical on social media! I’ve also jumped on board with BabyMac’s hilarious hashtag #notafatmoleforchristmas ?

5 ways I currently don’t have my shit together.

Recently, I’ve been living with the frustration of feeling like I just don’t have my shit together. It’s just been one of those years (so far). It’s only May, but I’ve been sick twice with awful lingering colds, had surgery (currently recovering from that one), become a school mum (a test of any parent’s organisational/social skills) and have had to deal with endometriosis and secondary infertility throughout it all – all of which involves times where you’re physically and mentally stretched to your limits.

When I found Kelly Exeter’s post ‘5 ways I currently don’t have my shit together’ on her blog A Life Less Frantic, I felt really relieved. If someone who has all the inspiring advice on how to get your shit together, also has times when she feels like she doesn’t have her shit together, then maybe I’m not such a big fail after all! Nothing like the comfort of feeling less alone!

Here are the 5 ways I’ve been feeling less than on top of this life thing:

I am sick of being sick/less than at my optimum physical condition, sick of thinking about it and sick of talking about it

When I’m not at my best physically, it can be very tempting to do a lot of navel gazing. I mean, I have had a lot of time to myself having a pity party about the lack of a ‘life’ I feel like I have. I don’t want to bore everyone with the details all the time, but I also feel a responsibility to tell people what’s happening if it’s affected my ability to be present/on top of things. It’s so god damn tiresome. I’m sick of it. I feel like a big, boring wet blanket. It’s not who I am and these times do not define me, but I am well aware of the fact that if it’s all that seems to be going on with me, that perception may be out there.

I try to be positive and balance out my ‘sick/lame Kez’ stories with other stuff, but then I get annoyed that I don’t always have much else to talk about when someone asks me how I am or what I’ve been up to. Maybe I’ve been a little bit depressed (not using that term lightly) and haven’t realised.

Even writing about it still gives me the irrits. Even more than the word ‘irrits’ does!

I mean, I hate how people have way worse things going on with them and yet I feel consumed by this crap. I feel embarrassed about that and a bit pathetic.

I feel stupid at the school gate

I am a really involved, loving parent, but being a school mum does not come naturally to me (does anyone/everyone/no-one feel the same?) and I feel so awkward standing around before and after school with all the mums – even though they’re all so nice and I know they’re in the same position as me (i.e. they’re standing there too)! Sometimes I feel like I’m running late so I rush in a bit flustered. Other times, I don’t know how long to chat or when to just get the eff out of there. I’m in awe of the mums who look like they’ve got it together and are wearing actual proper ‘outfits’ and not just the first thing they found in their floordrobe that seemed OKish. It’s worse when I’ve been dealing with some physical stuff and it really challenges my ability to seem ‘all there’. I still feel like a school kid scared of breaking the rules – what am I doing there as a parent?! Who let this happen??

I am shit at committing to things

This seems to have been a big side effect of the physical stuff I’ve been dealing with (as outlined above). I seem to have lost faith in being able to say yes to something that is happening in a couple of weeks’ time and know that it’s going to actually happen. It’s like I’ve decided that I should be psychic, able to account for everything that might possibly happen between now and then. Or else just give up and say no.

So I end up not participating in my life as much as I could or flaking. I hate being a flake. I hated flaky people until I became one. Actually I still hate it. Now I just get mad at myself. I cannot apologise to people enough.

In turn, this affects my social confidence and the cycle goes round and round.

I am working on this.

I never feel like a ‘put together’ woman

Thanks to my endometriosis, I have had the skin of an awkward 14 year old for a while now. It’s a bit difficult trying to feel like a grown woman, when your skin is wildly fluctuating from dry and almost flaky to oily and filled with zits.

I feel like it’s rare that I turn up somewhere and my outfit is polished and well put together, my make up/skin looking nice/normal/age appropriate. I know that sounds really shallow, but the ritual of putting my outer self together is important to me these days. My confidence is tied up in it more than I’d like to admit. Maybe it’s a control thing. I feel like I can’t control what’s happening inside of me so I have started to become obsessed with cosmetics and nice manicures and properly styled outfits.

I did not even make the connection until I literally just typed this and it spilled out of me – Aha moment!! OMG. Note to self: revisit this!

I can’t ever exercise regularly for more than maybe a week or two at a time

I am always banging on about my Kez Gets Physical mission and while I am fairly accepting of the fact that life (and emotion haha) interrupts our best efforts at exercise and nutrition sometimes, my ability to do focused exercise is very important to me. My mental health relies on it and my physical health has so much potential that I am not able to tap into right now.

No matter how much my mind is willing to keep up a consistent lifestyle of fitness and exercise, my body has refused to cooperate. I am hoping this stuff will get easier now that I have had my surgery, but you can understand my frustration, I’m sure!

The thing is, I could dwell on how awful these things are. But I am not going to do that. I refuse. I am so ready to take life by the balls (what the hell saying is that??) and push on through. I’m a fighter and I am strong. Now that I’ve identified 5 key areas where I feel like I do not have my shit together, I can do something about them. I can’t fix it all overnight but I can take some steps that will make me feel empowered when I see progress. I have to celebrate the small wins.

I feel like recovering from last week’s surgery has been a pivotal moment for me. I’m taking this chance to start afresh. I will surely experience many more stumbling blocks moving forward (that’s life), but I feel hopeful about my future and my health for the first time in a long time and I am relieved to re-learn just how resilient my spirit is.

Here’s to always remembering that nobody ever has ALL their shit together ALL the time and not worrying so much. Here’s to not forgetting to notice what we’re getting right too! Here’s to always being able to find something we CAN do, when there are so many other things we can’t.

How are you? Do you have your shit together? What areas are you struggling with? 

Endometriosis.

I want to have a little chat about endometriosis. Because I have just been diagnosed with it and, quite frankly, I am still learning about it. In some ways it’s a big relief to know I’m not just being a wuss each month – when I’m not leaving the house when it’s at its worst, and dreading my period like you would not believe. In other ways, it’s tough because it’s a relatively new problem to me (it seemed to get really inflamed a few months ago – going from a really small ‘not seen as a problem’ cyst to my current diagnosis) and I just want it to be gone.

So what the hell is it?

Here’s my most concise definition, gleaned from my basic internet research (i.e. Wikipedia – my old uni lecturers would not be happy haha)…

“Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows outside it.”

Simple right? Apparently my main issue is the endometriosis in my left ovary.

Here are some of the symptoms I’m primarily dealing with…

  • Bad cramping both before and during menstruation.
  • Very heavy period – to the point where I can’t even comfortably leave home for a few days. Trust me, you don’t want to know.
  • Obviously it’s not helping with fertility (I feel like that’s an understatement).
  • Social and psychological effects. I’ve been a hermit recently, when I’ve had symptoms, and it does get you down. Also, talking about periods all the time is considered to be quite gross, so it’s a bit embarrassing. You don’t want to be all, “Sorry everyone – can’t make it to that thing because I’m BLEEDING EVERYWHERE.” Thank goodness I at least have a name for it now. I also feel really guilty because I often don’t know how well I’ll be until the day of an event, which makes me look like a big flake when I have to cancel at the last minute. I hate letting people down and I hate the fear I have of being excluded next time or not having people understand. I also suffer from a lot of mummy guilt because it can affect whether the Little Mister gets to do fun stuff with me or whether he gets stuck at home too. Another psychological issue is the pure dread I feel about getting my period. It weighs on my mind for at least half of my cycle because I know it will disrupt my life so much and it affects the choices I have to make and how I plan my work/ school mum/exercise routine/social life. I don’t like it taking up so much of my time, energy and brain space. It’s stressful – things feeling like they’re up in the air, pending more symptoms, when I know my period will be due on certain dates (although I’m grateful to have a fairly regular cycle).

As you can see, the psychological stuff is what I’m struggling with almost more than the physical stuff right now.

I am booked in to have laparoscopic surgery for it next month. I’m nervous, but I am starting to really come around to the idea, because I just want my life back. I am really hoping it will help me. At first, all I could think about was the fertility side of things, but right now I just want to feel better each month. I guess we’ll figure out the rest later. If I let my mind dwell on the setbacks, it’s not a good place to be. I’m trying to just take all of this one step at a time.

If you have any of these symptoms, don’t feel like you have to soldier on like it’s normal. I’m lucky I’ve been closely monitored, but if I wasn’t already having really regular check ups/scans, I probably would have been less kind to myself, thinking I was just not matching up to those girls in the tampon ads – the ones who can do kickboxing and go clubbing in white pants, even though they have their periods. It can be hard enough to do the shopping or turn up for work sometimes! I can’t give you medical advice, but do get things checked out if you feel like your period is ruling your life.

If you have a friend who has a similar diagnosis, please be kind and patient. She’s not just being a princess complaining about her period. It probably is everything she says it is. Every case might be a little different, so try not to compare her unfavourably with others. Try to find other ways to make her feel included, if she has to cancel on stuff or feels like she can’t commit, knowing her period is due. Don’t stop inviting her out. If she’s like me, she might be feeling insecure about being a lousy friend. Check in. We need to have more conversations about stuff like this and shake off the awkwardness.

Thank you so much for reading. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that I am better by the weekend – I have a super rad trip to Sydney coming up and I plan on enjoying it!

Have you ever had endometriosis? Just wanna vent about being a lady in general? I’m all ears/eyes x

How I cope with winter illness stir-craziness.

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I am not a winter person. I have learnt how to embrace it and try to enjoy it anyway, but it is a time fraught with danger. Germs flying about everywhere. No place is safe. No person is safe!

It’s just par for the course, really. Winter = cold and flu season.

As an adult, I’ve been getting a flu shot annually and while it doesn’t work for everyone, I feel thankful that it has seemed to work quite well for me. Mr Unprepared seems to have mixed results, but nothing too full on has hit him since he started having them, so that’s probably a positive sign.

But the Little Mister? Germ machine.

Since he started day care this year, he’s had a cold almost every second week. Some strains seem really mild and give him nothing more than a snotty nose for a couple of days, others seem to linger forever, along with an annoying cough. I am so lucky I work casually and can be flexible when he needs to stay home, but it’s starting to get a bit inconvenient! If I don’t work, I don’t get paid damn it!

BUT…

I am very passionate about not knowingly spreading germs around. I hate when I hear about work places that pressure their employees to turn up sick. I hate when someone turns up at the playground or social gathering, casually saying, “Oh man! I/my kids am/are so sick right now!” while their child is practically slobbering all over you/your child or you’ve just agreed to split a plate of finger food with them. A little warning might have been nice!

WHAT THE HELL? GO HOME. Is your FOMO really that bad that you’re willing to infect ALL the people??

I mean, sometimes it’s not a super big deal. Germs are everywhere, anyway. It’s just nice to know ahead of time so you can make an educated choice on how you choose to protect yourself or your child (we personally had to warn my family this past weekend about the Little Mister’s cold and blessings were given for him to turn up with a few extra precautions taken)! But generally? If you’re all germy, then don’t turn up! These things are unavoidable. People will get over it.

I even keep my errands to an absolute minimum. You’ll only ever see the Little Mister having a little cough at the shops if I have absolutely no other choice, but I promise he’ll be coughing into his sleeve, keeping his hands to himself and that pocket sized bottle of sanitiser I keep in my handbag will be making an appearance!!

But I get it when people say they’re stir crazy. It starts to feel like you’ll never leave home again. You can feel very isolated and it’s not great for anyone’s mental health. Not to mention, when your child is bored and unstimulated and it feels like the days are moving at snail’s pace. I was talking to a friend about this and she was saying they hadn’t been out in weeks, due to her son having a lingering cold. I myself had only just emerged from a loooooong week in myself. I remember the days when it would go on for months if you had a bad run of it!! I never feel comfortable asking for babysitting so I can get out either, because I don’t want the Little Mister to infect anyone else! So, everyone at home it is.

It messes with your head. Especially if you get a sick partner too (they always seem to go down first right?).

So I’ve decided to share some ways that I try to minimise the stir crazy factor…

Get some fresh air…somewhere we can be alone together.

If it’s a sunny day, I like to grab the Little Mister, rug him up in his coziest clothes and take him down to our local beach. It’s a great spot that is never highly populated (much less in winter) and we can go for a walk or build a sandcastle together. Obviously we have to avoid anyone getting wet and cold, but it’s totally doable. No-one else gets infected, we get a bit of Vitamin D and the Little Mister feels like he had a fun outing just for him. In turn, I feel like the best mum ever again.

Phone calls/internet time.

This can be a double edged sword. Sometimes these things can make you feel worse, with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) rearing its ugly head, but sometimes being able to chat online with your mates and feel connected can be a lifesaver. You can commiserate with your friends who are also stuck at home and keep each other company, virtually!

I also catch up on my favourite blogs and immerse myself in tales of the outside world when I get a bit of down time. Usually, when the Little Mister is snuggled up watching a movie. Gotta love movie time on sick days, right?

This week I joined Periscope (user name @KezUnprepared) just for the hell of it. Yet another new thing to eat up my down time and get me feeling creative. I feel like this should be its own little point too – try something new (read a new book or learn a new skill you can practice at home or research some stuff or plan a new project you could try during or after the current illness jag).

I like to have a good chinwag on the phone with my mum too. It’s nice to connect. Speak to an adult.

Clean EVERYTHING. 

Usually, I am no domestic goddess. But when everyone’s been cooped up for a while and the germs are so irritating, you swear you can see them having a party on every single surface of your home (living or otherwise), it’s cathartic to just start washing and cleaning and tidying ALL THE THINGS.

After the last outbreak of gastro, I went nuts washing bedding, towels and anything my husband had ever touched. Afterwards, the house looked and smelt nice and fresh. Psychologically, this really gave me a boost. I stopped seeing my house as a tiny, claustrophobic germ incubator and more as a sanctuary again.

I will be doing another vigorous cleaning session this week, after dealing with the Little Mister’s latest snotty, coughy situation. It’s gonna be great!

Obviously, it’s a good way to minimise the chances of reinfecting everyone over and over.

Have a secret stash of ‘sick day’ activity materials.

I have a craft box full of cheap stickers, pipe cleaners, cotton wool, kids’ craft glue, coloured card, felt animals hidden away for when the Little Mister gets really really bored and I start to feel like a crappy mum because we haven’t done anything but sit around for days. I also have colouring books and other activity books sitting around that he’s not really aware of. I pull something out when things are getting dire (I’m talking all out desperation) and it can keep him amused for ages! None of those things cost a lot and I just throw a little something in my shopping trolley when supplies are a bit low or I see something on sale.

Snuggle. 

Just give in. The Little Mister snuggles more when he’s not well. He gets so docile and cuddly. I just try to forget everything else and sit and snuggle with him when he needs it. It’s nice. I swear it is easier when I stop fighting it (‘it’ being my busy mum brain).

 

Kids are such troopers, aren’t they?

Look, my go-to strategies might seem a little obvious and might make you feel pretty stabby if you’re feeling at the end of your tether. Trust me, I get it. Sometimes I try all of these things and I will still feel like absolute shit. Hang in there! It won’t be forever. Summer will come again!

You got this! x

How do you survive lengthy winter sickness jags? Any advice you can add for other stir crazy parents?