Category Archives: Health & Fitness

transition, decisions and change

June is my time for transition, decisions and change – The Mind




June is time for transition, decisions and change.

June is a strange month. It has always signified transition, decisions and change all through my life. It sees the beautiful warm sun and heat return along with the longest day of the year. This year the 24th June saw a new moon which for me signifies change and new beginnings.

June 1993 – Aged 16

If we go back to 1993 24th June, 24 year ago it was my mum’s birthday. I got her some fine gold and crystal drop earrings that I still have in my jewellery box. She wasn’t feeling very well and didn’t do much for her birthday. She was weak and couldn’t walk far without getting out of breath. The heat of mid-June wasn’t helping. Two days later she had a heart attack and died a few hours later. The most significant time of transition, decisions and change kicked off there and then.



June 2013 – Aged 36

Fast forward to June 2013, twenty years later. I always seem to make big changes in June when I am at my most motivated and productive. Four years ago I set up my Mrs Mummypenny website whilst on maternity leave. In one day, I came up with the name (brain storming with wine and a brilliant friend is creatively lucrative), bought the domain name (.com and .co.uk), the Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google and YouTube. Boom. My fourth baby was born, very soon after my third!

June 2015 – Aged 38

June 2015 saw me leave my corporate job. I had returned to full time work after my maternity leave ended with Jack. I went back to my EE digital sales role, but quickly moved onto a promotion as a senior commercial manager for retail franchise (thank you digital director Dom for listening to my plans and helping with roles at EE). A tough job, really tough that saw me negotiating contracts and commercial terms with franchisee partners. It was a great job, I had a lot of responsibility and could make real change. I felt like I was doing good for both EE and the franchisees by brokering the right deal commercially for both parties to benefit financially – WIN WIN.




But alas things change. A new female boss came in and clipped my wings. She made me feel useless and incapable of anything. My thoughts were, do I fight or flight? Her thoughts were, Lynn, you need to make a choice between your family or your job. I am a big believer in choosing your battles. She was more senior than me and was seriously affecting my mental health. Im not one to create huge waves (unless you do something to my children!), so I chose flight. Flight with a nice compromise agreement and I left in June 2015.

June 2017 -Aged 40

Today sees me celebrating two years in the self-employed business world. Whoop to getting through the tough first two years of business. We have managed to pay the high mortgage and bills for two years. Okay we have amassed some debt, but that’s 0% and not the end of the world. You can read that story that appeared in the Huffington Post here.

This June saw me do a few things that have stimulated significant change. No 1) I had a meeting with a mentor who planted big seeds about investment in my business and making significant changes for growth and authority. No 2) I enrolled in a course – PR from the heart which is guiding me in my planning and objectives, the what for the next year. No 3) went on a perfectly timed trip to West Cornwall where I lived for the first 18 years of my life. I had some spiritual, enlightening moments on Sennon and Porthcurnow beaches.

west cornwall




These three actions/events have enabled me to work on a clear path for my business. They have also helped with the decision that’s been bubbling on for a year now about relocating. We are moving 100%, to Godmanchester, a village near to Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. New house and schools for the boys. It will mean we can go pretty much mortgage free with a bigger house and garden (moving 50 minutes north means houses cost £100/150k ish less than Knebworth). We will be 50 mins from London by train (we are currently 30 mins). The secondary schools are amazing, the primary school is brand new and opening in Sept 2017(a sports academy). We will be significantly closer to Cambridge where we go 4 to 5 times per week or football for the boys. It’s all looking positive, so we are off. On an adventure to a new location. Decision made.

Thanks to a few wonderful blogger friends who have helped with advice and posts on the subject of relocation, academy schools and new builds:-) Danielle of someones mum wrote this post about Academy schools. Katy of Katy Kicker and Chammy of CammyIRL had two very different views on the quality of new build properties. And thank you to Sara of Debt Camel for digging out an article from the guardian on new builds. Interesting reading on areas that I have never had to consider before.

Such a beautiful village. @ohneil and I took a trip to #godmanchester. We had a wander, ate lovely lunch at the white Hart. Walked along the river ooze. #gratitude to my friends, you know who you are who make my life so much simpler. Helping me to make decisions and help to download everything from my head onto paper/plans. #futureisbright #3positivethings 1) Loved my conversations today..particularly over dinner with Em. 2) Making some big decisions which feels great. 3) Got me a new logo and strapline..exciting. . . . . . . . . . #lawofattraction #loa #gratitude #dailygratitude #thankful #positivity #lawofattractionquote #moneysaving #frugal #ukblogger #ukbloggerlife #ukmoneyblogger #bloggingyourwaytoriches #cambridgeshire #relocation #makingdecisions #lunchwithfriends #friendsarefamily #rebrand #newlogo

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Do you have times of the year where you gain clarity and make big decisions? Was there an event that triggered thsi time of the year to be so significant?

transition, decisions and change



healthy body and mind

My Healthy Body and Mind Progress Update #2




My Healthy Body and Mind Progress Update #2

My aged 40 healthy body and mind regime properly started at the beginning of June. The mission began with this post, photos, measurements and an admission of self-loathing of my body. It struck a chord with a lot of people who have messaged me or mentioned it on the street. Now those same people are telling how good I look as my body starts to change. Keep saying it peeps, every nice comment knocks a tiny bit at that hag in my head telling me about my fat tummy or fat bingo wings. You can tell I am not quite there yet!

This is me. In a bikini. In the freezing Frinton sea on Sunday. This is a very big deal of a picture for me to post but I want to share with my followers the reality of a 40 year old 11 stone body. My weight has fluctuated my whole life from 16 stone to my now stable 11ish stone. I am working with a personal trainer, post coming later this week. I want to tone up and make the most of what I’ve got. Kane is helping me with nutrician, toning, fitness planning and mental fitness. I’m excited about the journey. . . . . . #fitness #personaltraining #nobullfitness #seaswimming #freezingsea #frinton #essex #postbabybody #40yearoldbody #what11stonelookslike #11stone #size10 #size12 #bikini #halterneck #instasummer #eatclean #toneup #fitfor40 #fitforty #swimming #prada #pradasunglasses

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Training Sessions

I have now had four sessions with Kane, with varying degrees of pain. The last session was last Saturday at 8am, the morning after a few Pimm’s the night before. A dose of milk thistle and a nutritious fruit, veg an ginger smoothie did the trick to give me energy. Dylan came along too. He had us rowing (I won), lunging and squatting (Dylan won), hill running (just awful, Dylan thrashed me) and then dead lifts (I was much better at lifting, Ilifted maybe 32kg).

The other sessions are always a mixture of working different parts of the body. There has been pulls ups, chin ups, strange stomach crunches (after which I ached for 5 days!), lots of rowing, lots of hills runs, lots of work with weights, bar and dumbbells. My body is changing, I am looking forward to remeasuring my body one month after the first time.

Other Exercise that is Free

I am ‘meant’ to be doing two other exercise sessions a week. But realistically I am doing one other formal one. I do a Pilates or Yoga session from YouTube. Channels like Psyche Truth are good.




I am also meant to be going for a run or a bike ride as well. But my current problem is that I ache for about 4 days after each PT session, making a run quite a challenge. I have been for a couple of runs sine starting the regime and my 5km times are impressive. So I do either a run or a yoga/pilates session.

Nutrition

Since starting personal training with Kane I have been sending pictures of everything I eat via WhatsApp messages. I am aware of a few things: –

  • I am not drinking enough water
  • I am not eating my 5-7 fruit/veg a day
  • I am eating too much red meat
  • I am drinking too much alcohol
  • I have a thing for crisps

But on a positive

  • My gluten/bread consumption is very low
  • I eat very little dairy
  • I love my fish
  • I start each day with a hot water and lemon
  • I only drink one coffee a day
  • I eat very few takeaways
  • I eat less than 2000 calories per day (but mainly because I miss out meals)

healthy body and mind

This week our session is going to be nutrition focussed. I know what I am doing wrong and am prepared for a little telling off.

Healthy mind

I am working hard to battle the demons in my head that always tell me about my fat tummy. I had a styling session with my friend Clare and she found me the most beautiful clothes from H&M which make me look fabulous and slim! I can look at pictures of myself and see that I look good. Pictures of me in a bikini or underwear are a struggle to look at. Although it doesn’t stop me wearing them, especially in this heat.

Getting new bras fitted also helped with my mindset, the new bras give me such a great shape and again make me look slimmer.

I have also been doing an online PR from the heart course, all about finding your business purpose from the heart rather than the head. Its helping me greatly to focus on the right things form Mrs Mummypenny and it’s also impacting my personal life and making me challenge everything I do and say. Is it from the heart or the head? I am being grateful and authentic at all times whoever I am talking to or what I am doing.

healthy body and mind




personal training in Hertfordshire

Personal Training in Hertfordshire for a healthy body & mind




Personal Training in Hertfordshire

A few weeks back I won two personal training in Hertfordshire sessions with Kane Allardyce, from No Bull Fitness. I was very happy and grateful to win these, I have been wanting to tone up for ages, since losing weight, but something was stopping me. Addressing my mental attitudes to my body and issues with food was also an important factor.

Introduction Session

I got straight onto WhatsApp and arranged my intro session, Kane works from a gym in a farm in beautiful Bennington. The first hour was mostly talking with 15 minutes of (very) extreme Tabata and squats at the end (after which I ached for 3 days, 15 minutes of exercise!!). I believe that people and influences come into your life for a reason and Kane came into my life for a reason, to help me.

I knew from that session that Kane is an expert personal trainer who know his stuff and cares as much about the mental side of health and well being as the physical side. We talked about all things from previous experience of fitness to my attitude to my body. From eating habits to lifestyle choices.

Body Image Issues

We had a big talk about me having spent 22 years being over-weight and not looking after my body. As I spoke it became clear that I am very negative about my body and my previous mistreatment of my body. Extreme words but I look back at pictures of me from the age of 16 to 38 and hate myself. The thing is, I used to think that I looked okay. My weight would always fluctuate from 12 stone to 15 stone back down to 13 stone up to 14 stone. There were times when I hit the dizzy heights of a size 14, but there were other times when I hit size 18. When I weighed 12 stone I thought that was my natural weight, my bones were big so I could never weigh less or be a size 10/12.




I was overweight and was hurting my body and mind. I know why it happened, my mum dying when I was 16 isn’t just a coincidence. I would automatically turn to food as a comfort, maybe because that’s what I remembered most about my mum her homely cooking and baking rock cakes together.

Dealing with my demons

I finally dealt with the demons at 38 and it was hypnotherapy that turned out to be the solution. I have written loads about it and how it worked. Cognitive hypnotherapy got me from 14 stone to 12 stone. Then I had some sessions with Helena a natural nutritionist who helped me lose another stone through clean eating. By July 2016 I was weighing in at an acceptable weight for my height. I am 5 ft. 5.5 inches and my weight should be between 9 and 11 stone, according to BMI charts. My lowest point was 10 ½ stone but I looked a bit like a lolly pop.

I have managed to maintain my weight and size at a consistent size 12. Yes, it fluctuates. Winter (and seasonal affective disorder) was a challenge where around 12 lbs went on, I very nearly hit 12 stone. But I was able to lose that quickly after my recent Vegas holiday and birthday celebrations.

I need to tone up

Now, when I am clothed I can finally look at pictures of myself and think I look okay. After 100 compliments (which I always gratefully receive) I know that people think I look slim. But as soon as I am stood in front of the mirror with my underwear on, then it’s a different matter.

I have so much loose flabby skin particularly on my lower tummy, my upper arms/bingo wings, I have loose empty skin at the top of my boobs, I have inner thigh fat. I also have good unsaggy big boobs, my legs are long and slim, I have great skin with beautiful freckles and very few wrinkles.




I can rationalise and see the good as well as the not so good. Working with Kane will help me tone up the flabby tummy, inner thighs and the bingo wings. But most importantly we can start to work on the mental attitude to body and learn to love myself more.

Personal Training in Hertfordshire

Kane and I will be working together for a few months with a PT session every week. I have had two full sessions and they are tough going, he makes me hill run, lift ridiculous amounts of weight, rowing at under 2 min – 500m pace, everything is about technique. It’s a different session every week and I always ache for days afterwards. My last session was five days ago, and my arms STILL hurt! I have also committed to two other cardio activities per week by myself. I will go out for a run/bike ride and do a class using my Flex online subscription, I’ll give HIIT a try;-). I am also sending pictures of EVERYTHING I eat to Kane so he can assess my nutrition.

Before pictures and Measurements

Before the exercise and nutrition regime properly kicks in we have taken pictures and measurements. The pictures were a challenge, I might have shed a tear when I saw the back view.

personal training in Hertfordshire personal training in Hertfordshire personal training in Hertfordshire

personal training in Hertfordshire personal training in Hertfordshire personal training in Hertfordshire

And here are my measurements, I found a great YouTube clip to copy the exact right places to measure. I am going to try my hardest to not weigh myself. Weight is just a number.

Right Arm Bicep – 12 inches

Chest – 36 inches

Waist – 32 inches

1 inch below belly button – 38 inches

Hips – 39 inches

Right Thigh – 21 inches

1 inch above knee – 16 inches

I will redo the measures and pictures every 8 weeks so I can track my progress and will share with you guys.

I am ready to accept my body and make the most of what I have got and be healthy at the age of forty. Did you see my Instagram profile recently? I post a picture of me in the sea in a bikini! Acceptance is coming. I hope that my story inspires you to do the same.

This is a collaborative post with Kane Allardyce who can be contacted on mobile 07446 943750 or found on Facebook. Kane’s personal training prices are £40 per hour or £175 for a block booking of 5 session (£35 per hour).



tena lady discreet

Burlesque Dancing & Champagne with Tena Lady Discreet

The Tena Lady Discreet

The day before my 40th birthday I was invited along to the most fabulous event, it was the kind of event that you simply cannot say no to. We were to head to Soho hotel for a champagne reception, a burlesque dancing class and then nibbles. We were to discover a fabulous new product from Tena lady that will literally give you the freedom to do whatever you want and have no issues with bladder weakness.

Now there are certain topics that I want to write about. Taboo subjects that many people are uncomfortable talking about, I am more than happy to discuss. When there is a product that helps with a problem like bladder weakness then I want to share it with the masses.

Back to the Event

tena lady discreetThe Soho Hotel is beautiful. I have lived in or around London for 22 years now and I cannot believe I have never been to this place. As you walk in you are greeted by a giant cat and you are surround by colour tena lady discreet and beauty. The chairs are stunning, the flowers are adorable. It even smelt good, I always think that’s the sign of a good hotel.

 

I met my wonderful friend Emma of Emma and 3 website in the reception and we took a few photos, of course we are bloggers! We were escorted downstairs to the burlesque room to meet Hannah and Camden from the PR agency. It was everything you imagined from a burlesque room there were feather, balloons, flowers, mirrors, great lighting and champagne.

tena lady discreet

We began with some strawberries dipped in chocolate and a glass of sparkles and chatted amongst ourselves. There were a few bloggers there, from fitness to lifestyle and parenting, all of us up for trying something new and getting involved.

We listened to a presentation about the new Tena lady discreet product. This is a fabulous new product that has been designed to be 20% thinner than existing Tena lady products. The thinness makes the pads more like the menstrual pads ladies will be used to using. And they really are thin. They offer Triple Protection against leaks, odour and moisture for complete comfort, security and reassurance. This feels like a huge step change for these products and will make them more accessible to the estimated ¼ of women over 40 who suffer from bladder weakness.

Freebie Alert

For free samples of the Tena Lady Discreet range visit here

The Burlesque lesson

tena lady discreetOur burlesque dancing lesson kicked off. We had feather boas and feather for our hair to get us in the mood. A couple us changed into heels, you need heels for burlesque dancing yes? We started with a warm up and then learnt some the classic burlesque moves from the Dita Von Teese and other burlesque dancers who’s name now escape me! We had to think of our own burlesque names, I chose Emerald Beattie. Apparently, a good burlesque choice is a gem stone and your maiden name..who knew?

We then put a whole burlesque routine together as a group to music. It was tena lady discreethilarious we laughed so much and such a great time. The routine was practised a few times and then recorded it on video, I look forward to seeing that. We took lots and lots of pictures and had a right laugh about trying something new and different.

We ‘retired’ to a dining room and ate the most amazing crab cakes, spring rolls and fish and chips. Followed by chocolate brownie and macaroons. We had a great chat over nibbles about our blogs.

This really was an amazing way to spend the last afternoon of my 30’s. And don’t forget to order your freebie trial of Tena Lady discreet.

Disclaimer – I attended this event free of charge.

How I lost 8 lbs in 5 days – and it cost me nothing!




How I lost 8 lbs in 5 days

I know, the drama of a blog title like that is a bit much..but its true, I promise you guys. Last Monday I weighted myself on Monday morning and I weighed 11 stone 12lbs. When I weighed myself on Saturday morning I weighed 11 stone 4 lbs. I had managed to lose 8 lbs in 5 days. I havnt got a full length picture of myself, but I am now the same weight as I was in this photo from my holiday last year.

Hypnotherapy recordings

First things first I needed to engage my conscious and unconscious mind to embrace the week of intended healthiness and weight loss. My problem is that when I diet I constantly think about food and what I am missing out on, then I end up feeling like I am missing out. The hypnotherapy removed this thought process. I successfully lost 3 stone of weight in 2015 with cognitive hypnotherapy . As part of that program I have 2 recordings on my phone to listen to whenever I need to trigger weight loss or to get back on the health train again. I listened to the recordings every day for the 5 days.




These recording reinforce what I wanted to achieve with the weight loss, things like me wanting to be comfortable size 12, being able to buy clothes in any shop, wanting to look at my body and like it. They also encourage me to do things like eat more slowly, only eat when hungry and make sensible choices with food at home and when out and about.

Drinking plenty of fluids

I drank a lot of fluids, mainly water. Each day started with a large mug of hot water and lemon. I then drank at least 2.5 litres of water throughout the day. I also drank a cup of macho green tea every day.

Clean Eating

I was fairly strict with the following clean eating rules:

No red meat, alcohol, sugar, dairy, small amount of gluten. I did have one cup of coffee per day and I was eating fruit, so natural sugar was fine.

What did I eat?

As I mentioned the hypnotherapy recording do help with the removal of thoughts of food so I was only eating when I was really hungry. So if this meant that I didn’t eat until lunchtime then so be it. I am not a huge fan of breakfast anyways, I only tend to get hungry at lunchtime.

For lunch I was eating snack things like crackers, with turkey and salad. Crab sticks. Fruit and Vegetable smoothies.

Dinner was more substantial..a bit of repetition here but I do really like sweet potato and rice noodles are so good.

Monday I ate rice noodles, salmon and stir fried vegetables for dinner. Was so yummy.

Tuesday I ate baked sweet potato, fajita spiced turkey and mushed avocado. Again rather good.

Wednesday I ate crab sticks, with crackers and left over fajita turkey.

Thursday I ate rice noodles, grated carrot, broccoli and roast chicken mixed in

Friday Again baked sweet potato, left over roast chicken and a bit of mayonaise

I had a couple of treats, on Wednesday Jack was at home with me and we made Amercian fluffy pancakes, I had one small one. Then on Friday I went to a charity coffee morning where  ate one small gluten free brownie and 1 mini scone with blob of clotted cream and jam. Just having these small treats meant I didn’t feel like I was missing out.

Exercise

The hypno recording also really encourage exercise. So I walked the school run every morning last week. Over the course of the last 7 days I have walked 61,000 steps. I also did three lots of exercise classes with the Flex online classes I am reviewing. I did Pilates once, Yoga twice and then Mash it UP dancing once.



So there you have it..how I lost my 8 lbs in 5 days. Could you do it?

If you are interested in hypnotherapy for weightloss then have a read of this post fore more information. Heather Hall is the lady who can help you out.

online exercise classes

Online Exercise classes from home with Flex – Social Home Fitness

Online Exercise classes help with feeling Angry!

I woke up today feeling angry. Not a good place to be starting the day. The children were quiet and good this morning which helped, they obviously detected the anger. We did the school run without incidence or shouting (I only felt like crying on one occasion). Once the last child was dropped at school I needed to dispel the anger. The school run is a 1.5 mile walk but I extended it by doing a bit of power walking and I had managed to get in 5000 steps by 9:30. I came home wrote an email of everything I was angry about and sent to my friend of 30 years and life coach Becky. That helped to get the anger out of head.

Then I did an online exercise class with Lucia on Flex, the class was called ‘experience the light of yoga’. It was a lovely 30-minute session live with Lucia where we did some empowering yoga, some beautiful salutations (my favourite) and ended with a meditation session focusing on the self and acceptance. This class was absolutely what I needed to put pay to the anger and continue with my day in calm and peaceful way.

Flex Trial

I have been trialling the Flex online exercise classes for 5 weeks now. In January I made the decision to stop my Pilates classes that I attended. Despite being a fantastic class that was doing a lot of good it was costing quite a bit of money, £40 a month. My class was on a Monday morning which I loved from a ‘getting set up for the week’ point of view but it was also a time when Jack wasn’t in school so childcare was an extra stress I didn’t need.

The new exercise regime I chose was to use Flex. Flex is an online fitness subscription where you can view live classes at any point in time with access to a huge variety of classes. There is everything from relaxation yoga to strengthening to high impact training to dance & barre. There is also a fab section for pre-natal and post-natal classes.

You simply find the class you want to try, there has been one starting within 30 mins whenever I have looked. The class will pop up on screen live with the instructor. You can watch it on the laptop or on a smart internet enabled TV. I have been using my laptop.

Flexibility & Variety

The thing I love about is that you can try new online exercise classes that you might have heard about, like ‘Mash it Up’ which I tried on Tuesday in the privacy of your own home. Mash it up, by the way, is a dance class of African origin where you jump around to African inspired dance music. You can see if you enjoy it and if it has the desired impact that you wanted. So far, I have tried traditional Pilates (I stuck to what I knew to start off with!), I then tried some Pi-Yo a high impact combination of Pilates and yoga. I tried Mash It Up dance class and today I tried a yoga class.

Variety is so important in exercise so I love how you can do three classes in a week and mix it up. Or maybe Thursday just doesn’t feel like a strength and toning day and you want some relaxing yoga. You can choose whatever class you want.

Social Aspects

Flex are trying to encourage groups of friends to join up together and do classes at the same time, so there is a strong social presence on the website where you can share your planned classes on social media with your friends so they know what you are up to. You can invite your friends to join in with the same class. You can also chat to the instructor during the class or afterwards. I just sent Lucia a message to say thank you for the yoga class, and got a speedy reply.

Perfect for busy, time poor people

This is a perfect solution in our busy lives to fit in exercise and well-being. We all know that we need to exercise to keep ourselves healthy and this makes it so convenient for you. Just switch on the laptop, find a class, do the class and you are done. No getting the gym or village hall. You can try so many different classes that you are never going to get bored as you might do with a fitness DVD.

I received a years subscription of Flex in return for this post.

How to deal with a weak bladder with Tena at the Savoy

A Weak Bladder?

A recent trip to the trampoline park prompted much discussion of a weak bladder on my Facebook page. I spent 30 minutes bouncing around had a wonderful time but had a slight panic about weeing. Half way through I must have lost control momentarily and had a wee moment. A little embarrassing as I was wearing pink leggings where it would have shown obviously! I quickly engaged core, dashed to loo and sorted out the situation.

A few people admitted similar experiences on my Facebook page when I posted a picture at the trampoline park. Situations like exercise, nights out drinking and lots of laughing mean loss of control and a wee moment.

A few facts for you

  • Up to half (47%) of women experience bladder weakness
  • 17% of women have confessed that the fear of bladder weakness stops them wearing their favourite underwear
  • 46% said they would like to see the topic of bladder weakness discussed more openly in public

These facts were supplied by Tena at a wonderful event at the Savoy in London where we got to try something new.13-10-16-weak-bladder-dr-hilary 13-10-16-weak-bladder-ludwigSomething new was making chocolate with the head pastry chef from Savoy, Ludwig. We sipped champagne, ate lovely canapes and chatted to Dr. Hilary of Good Morning Britain fame about all sorts. A really lovely man who you would be super lucky to have as a GP.

He is part of the Tena campaign to spread the word and get people talking about it and spreading awareness about the product that help people to cope with their bladder weakness from Tena Light pads up to Tena pants. He is also passionate about bladder weakness for men as well. Alas it’s not just ladies it affects.

1-10-16-5-frugal-things-post-3

Making Chocolate

We learnt from Ludwig how to temper chocolate, how to make truffle chocolate, how to make a chocolate flower and chocolate discs. We ate A LOT of chocolate. Emma from Mums savvy savings was there as well and she filmed this great video of us failing at our chocolate flower. Listen out for Dr. Hilary telling us we might be better off buying a Galaxy.13-10-16-weak-bladder-cocoa

Bladder Weakness

Bladder weakness is an extremely common issue particularly after pregnancy and/or being overweight. IN fact its more common than hay fever! Who remembers the NCT class or chat with the midwife telling you how important it is to do your pelvic floor exercises? And how many of you did it and how many of you are reading this post now doing your pelvic floor exercises?!

I know the extreme weight of pregnancy particularly with Josh, my 2nd biggest baby caused much bladder weakness during and after pregnancy. But once I had managed to recover from the birth and lose some of the weight I was able to improve the weakness.

Things to Help

There are lots of things you can do now to improve your pelvic muscles before they start to lose their strengths or improve weaker muscles, here are a few suggestions starting with my personal favourite

  • Pilates – a great low impact core set of exercises which create an incredibly strong stomach and core. I have doing Pilates once a week since January and have noticed a huge difference in my pelvic control.
  • Drink water. You might think that drinking water will make the issue worse but the concentrated, not enough water, wee will weaken your muscles.
  • Lose some weight. The increased pressure from extra weight will put more pressure on your pelvic floor. This could be the motivation you need to shed some weight.

There is a wealth of information that can be found on the Tena website which can be found here.

This post is unpaid, however, I did receive the chocolate experience at the Savoy free of charge along with my travel expenses.

 

My Gallbladder has been removed – my post op recovery story

My Gallbladder has gone

I am now 3 days on from having my gallbladder removed so thought I would update you all on how it went and how I am feeling. So if you are reading and just about to go through the same thing I can give you some tips and advice:-). And please share with friends going through it. As I have now discovered it’s an incredibly common operation and unfortunately a result of our extravagant/over indulged lifestyles. The common reason for gall stones are the 4 F’s, Female, Forty, Fertile and Fat. I have been over weight my entire life, I am 40 next year, and am definitely fertile and femaleL

Hospital Admission

I arrived at hospital at 7am Monday morning. Hubby and the boys dropped me off in the rain at the Lister hospital. The boys were not too happy at being woken up early to drop me off but they did at least give me a kiss and waved me off. I found the admissions ward, checked in and awaited my call through to the ward.

I was called through to a seated private area where I just had to sit and chill and wait. The nurse popped in to say hello and tell me what was happening. I was checked in, given my tags, had my observations taken. We checked out all my test results from the previous Friday and everything was good to go. My low platelets (I have ITP) had risen slightly to 104, these should be 250 to 400, but they only really worry when they are less than 80. The nurse confirmed that I was second on the list for Mr Gupta, my consultant, I was after a long 4-hour operation that had to go first.

I knew I was there for a few hours. I did a little bit of work, watched some I-player programs I had downloaded and listened to a money to the masses podcast. Various people popped in whilst I waiting. I saw the anaesthetist, a student doctor, the registrar and Mr Gupta my consultant.

Everyone pretty much asked the same questions, my name, address, date of birth, any allergies, medical issues, metal in body, was I pregnant. I had a long chat to the student doctor about all things medical history/parents. That kept me amused for at least 20 minutes. And I made the anaesthetist promise to keep me alive.

Theatre time

8-9-16-gallbladder-stockingsAt 11 I was rushed into the theatre waiting area, an hour early! I say rushed I had to wait a while once in there. I was now in my theatre robe and wearing my ultra-sexy anti blood-clot stockings. I was asked the same questions again 3 times. And finally at 12 I was taken through the anaesthetic room. The anaesthetist and his nurse assistant were lovely, they put at ease just chatting about stuff. We spoke about Mrs Mummypenny and my boys. They got the cannula in with no pain and I went under general anaesthetic.

I woke up at 1:30pm in a complete state of confusion and feeling sick. I can’t really remember much of the following 3 hours but I know I stayed in recovery for a while. I felt very sick, my face was so itchy, I kept needing to wee. I had a nurse looking after me 1:1 for this whole 3 hours. She was lovely and turns out her son also plays for Cambridge academy like Dylan, such a small world.

Recovery in the aftercare ward

At 4:30 I was transferred to the main ward, again really private and I was put right next to nurse station as I think they were a bit worried about why my recovery had taken so long. I just rested, drank water, attempted a few visits to the toilet to wee and tried to stay on top of the pain.

I was talking morphine for the pain and was having to take it every 2 hours. And I tried so many times to wee but couldn’t. I wasn’t allowed to be discharged until I had no 1 weed and no 2 got the pain under control.

At 8pm hubby and the boys turned up. Monday was the first day back at school and they had just been to football training, we had tried to keep the day as normal as possible for them. When they arrived I was allowed to go out into the waiting area with them which triggered me actually going for a wee. I felt better with the pain and they were very keen to discharge me (there were no beds available for the night anyways!) so I came home.

Home time

I was bruised and sore but at home. With 4 big holes in my tummy. I say big they’re not big. I have one under my belly button, 1 top of tummy and then 2 to right of tummy. They are maybe 1/2cm each. I got home lied on sofa and didn’t move except for a wee. I slept on the sofa with my legs propped up. Hubby slept on mattress on the floor.

Tuesday was a challenging day. I realised in the morning that my pain killers were not enough. I left the hospital with paracetamol and ibuprofen. Not enough and I was in a lot of pain as the day progressed. I managed to get to speak to doctor in the afternoon who prescribed codeine, my neighbour Lucy grabbed them for me from chemist.

On Tuesday we faced the painful task of changing the dressing. I was scared to see what was underneath, but it was fine. Hubby helped peel off the dressings and put clean ones on. He has been the perfect nurse and carer. All the wounds looked fine. I cried a bit as it did hurt at that point. But then fell asleep and slept well for 8 hours.

Wednesday was a good day, regular taking of painkillers meant that I was comfortable all day and even had a couple8-9-16-gallbladder-repair-food of friends Cathy & Marianne bringing flowers, gifts, digestion friendly food, warming autumnal soup.

8-9-16-gallbladder-flowers

It’s now Thursday and I have had another good night sleep. I am in much less pain and am going to reduce the painkillers a bit today. The new problem today is that I am constipated. Codeine and Morphine are known to cause constipation. So far no amount of aloe vera, movicol or prune juice has been successful in getting things moving.

Overall everything was fine and I feel okay

Overall I am feeling okay. The first 2 days were tough but that is to be expected after a major operation. I have had a piece of my body removed! I am looking forward to life without the gallbladder pain and not worrying about any new type of food I try through fear of what it may do to my stomach.

I am off to the UK personal finance bloggers SHOMO awards on Saturday. I am shortlisted for 3 awards so I am absolutely attending. Today I feel fine, life just gets back to normal. Next week will be okay to start walking around and I am to go see my GP just to check everything is okay before exercising again. I’ll start with light pilates;-)

I’ll report back again in a few weeks with a report on any further pain, how I can cope with food, what’s happened to things like my weight and when I can exercise again!

Gall Bladder Removal Operation is Booked

Gall Bladder Removal

Yesterday was one of those days. It started with a short to-do list of big time-consuming things. I managed to get most of it done hurrah. We then spent a fun hour at my local trampoline park where I got a phone call from my gall bladder consultant’s assistant asking if I could go into hospital on Monday to have the operation to have my gall bladder removed. Okay, wow that’s like 4 days’ notice. I replied to her in a panic, oh I’d better check with my husband…then I thought no Lynn, there will never be a good time just book it in.

Now I am on a mission to reorganise the whole of next week, get practical and not think too much about the fact that I am going into to hospital to have a general anesthetic and part of my body removed.

The Facts

My consultant is a lovely man. I liked him a lot from our original consultation. He was fair and considered and answered my firing squad of 30 questions very well. Before the appointment I wasn’t sure if I should have the operation. I was scared about complications and a potential 6 weeks off work. He assured me that he had done this key-hole operation 600 times and he has only ever had complications with 3 people, I liked that statistic. The complications included being severely overweight, I am alright at the moment;-)

This is the man who will be doing my surgery on Monday. Recovery time is 7 to 10 days. I am hoping for quicker. As after 6 days I want to be going to my personal finance SHOMO awards. I promise to listen to my body and only go if I am feeling up for it, and I certainly won’t be using the tube. I’ll give Uber a go:-)

The Fear

2-9-16 Gall Bladder Operation no FearBest to face facts and face the fear. And this maybe sounds irrational but I am scared of going under and dying. So I am thinking ‘OMG I need to call people to let them know I am having an operation, but then my human side of my brain takes over and looks at the facts and the probabilities and realises that this is very unlikely to happen. I did this when I had my C-section that was booked in with 14 hours’ notice. I called my sister and she cried down the phone, I ended up reassuring her that it would be okay, when all the time I was freaking out about dying!

I am truly worried about things going wrong, like being opened up, or losing blood (I have low platelets, ITP, so I could bleed a lot). I worry about needing several week’s recovery time, and not being about to work. If I can’t work I can’t generate income and then I can’t pay the mortgage and I have no insurance for this illness or loss of work/income.

The Reality

2-9-16 Gall Bladder Operation FearThe reality is that I will most likely be fine. I can put my last few questions to rest later when I go see the doctors for my pre-op assessment. This will make me feel better.

I need this operation. I have the fear every time I eat something remotely fatty. I have had painful episodes that are unbearable, and I don’t want another situation of 6 hours of pain in a Las Vegas hotel room not knowing what to do. Or 4 hours in A&E being checked out and dosed up with painkillers then sent on my way when the pain subsides.

So many people have told me I will feel better after the operation so I am going for it. I’ll let you know how I feel afterwards. I probably wont be moving much for a few days so I will writing a lot:-)

Gravity Force Trampoline Park – St. Albans

Gravity Force Trampoline Park

I have seen these parks pop up all over the country and have been really keen to see them in real life and try them out. So how cool is it that two have opened within a week both local to me in Hertfordshire and I get to review both for Mrs Mummypenny. This week I review the new Gravity Force Trampoline park in between St. Albans and Hatfield.

Launch Day Fun

Last week I was invited along with buddy Anita and our 4 boys (8,7,6 &5) to the launch day to experience the brand new park. It looked spotless and huge. Everywhere you looked there was trampoline after trampoline. Apparently 200 in total. There were a lot of mats where you jump from one to the next, dodgeball, basketball, sponge pit jumps, trampolines on wall, trampoline runs. Basically I have never seen so many trampolines and all in my favourite colour purple:-)

23-8-16 Gravity Force Trampoline dodgeball and basketball 23-8-16 Gravity Force Trampoline wide shot

So the boys went mental as soon as we got there and bolted off to give everything a try. Anita and I got a drink and chilled in the coffee shop overlooking the trampoline park, we know how to live;-). We chatted and tried to keep an eye on the boys, which actually we managed to do. The viewing gallery has a great view overlooking the whole park. They spent a lot of time in the dodgeball area, working as a team to take down the other children. They then moved to the trampoline runs. We wondered down to do some filming.

They loved the sponge pit jumps where you can jump off a ledge onto a trampoline then flip into a huge sponge pit. Take a look at the video where I managed to get them all in quick succession jumping in.

Us grown up didn’t have a go. The boys were having such a great time so we didn’t feel the need to, I definitely will next time;-) But only if I wear a decent sports bra and some sporty clothes.

At the launch party there were lots of very clever gymnast people, flipping about showing us all how trampolining is done. There was a free runner who was super talented and Anton from X-factor. That was a bit random??

The Cost

It’s going to cost you £9.95 per child age 5 and over for 1 hour of bouncing, this is more than enough time! You are also going to need special socks (£2) so make sure you keep them if you buy them first time around or from another park. This is not the cheapest of activity but it is a lot of fun and the children are going to be grateful for the experience, Josh claimed its his second favourite activity in the UK after football. They will be so tired out that 7pm bedtime should be fine;-) For the tot’s session it half the price at £5 per child and £5 per adult, and the adults have to accompany the tot.

Age Range

There are 2 age groups that can visit. The under 5’s can go to gravity tots first hour of the day every day. Then aged 5 and older can go to Gravity Jump. This is nice to split up the ages as it can get quite full on with the older children. I know Jack would love to come along with his little 3-year-old friends.

Other Activities

There is keep fit for grown up on a Sunday morning at 9am. I am absolutely giving that a try as I have heard 10 minutes of trampolining is the equivalent of 30 minutes running calorie wise.

There are also birthday parties. These cost £16.95 per child with a minimum of number of 10 children. This includes a party leader, food, drink.

Overall I was really impressed with the trampoline park and will return with the boys. I love an activity where they have brilliant fun and there is some tiring activity involved. This ticks the boxes.