He’s been gone for 5 days already and it’s been difficult without his help 🙁
Being 3 months pregnant and having 2 little kids to manage has been challenging but I’m really fortunate because I have supportive family to help me through.
I’ve been home alone to run the house and if you’ve followed my story, my husband Leki is responsible for our morning routine in our little house.
I am understanding how hard it can be for women who are home alone with their kids while their husbands are Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) or in a professional trade where they are away for long periods of time.
I remember when I was a child my Dad who’s a plumber sometimes was away for a week because the job needed them far away for a short time.
As a kid I missed my Dad but I never thought about how much my Mum had to work to keep the family afloat.
I’m at the other end with my husband away and I’m wondering what my kids are feeling with Dad being away, not cooking breakfast, not being there to be the playful Dad, not being there to help with the wind down routine at the end of our day.
Its a big change for my little guys 🙁
This is a short post appreciating what our husbands do for us and acknowledging Mums who regularly drive their household while their husbands are away.
I can’t wait for Leki to come back because I miss him but also because I appreciate the work we do together in raising our children together.
To make things a bit easier on us we decided to move 30 mins closer to Melbourne and resettled in Gisborne. A lovely village town less then an hour away from the CBD!
We were also continuing with this theme of small regular holidays for a reboot of the system and to enjoy our family while we can! We prefer to make small trips to local Big 4 camp sites but I had 3 x overseas trips within 4 months. Thailand in June, Tonga in September and Bali in October! This is not a usual thing believe me!
The trip to Tonga was especially difficult because my Grandmother passed away very suddenly. If you would have told me that the last time I would spend with Grandma Taina was in May 2018 I wouldn’t have believed you. She was so strong and happy at 87yo. I miss and love you Grandma! 🙁
One of the biggest challenges I worked on this year was being happy.
Together with the support of my husband we’ve talked about how we can have more time to do the things we want.
One of the biggest transformations I’ve made over the year has been my weight loss.
But the biggest change has been my way of thinking.
I’m not worried about losing weight anymore because I’ve achieved all my goals – numbers wise.
The next thing I’ll be focusing on is having more energy.
I’ll explain a little more further on 😉
In my family, November is a very busy month.
The Melbourne Cup public holiday, my birthday, Mum’s birthday, cousins, nieces and nephews also celebrate birthdays and being the middle of Spring everyone feels the warmth of summer around the corner!
Having a lot of celebrations mean challenges with food choices and trying to be disciplined.
Often the conversations I have with my husband Leki revolves around how we are maintaining our discipline with our food choices and decision making.
For example, when we celebrated our ‘collective November’ birthdays at a local pub Leki and I looked at the menu earlier in the day and discussed what would be the best option for us.
We talked about the portion size, whether I’d go steak with vegetables instead of chips and Leki would go a burger with chips and we’d share. That way we don’t over indulge on the bad things but we still have a bit of fun.
Or another example is when I’m at home and planning a day out with my kids.
I purposely eat what’s been prepared at home and take a few little snacks like fruit to make sure I’m ‘happy full’ at home and avoid being tempted while I’m out.
It’s the little things that over time give you a BIG result.
Last month I wrote about wanting to have more energy available to do the things that I want.
⇒ Energy to be more patient when I’m frustrated
⇒ Energy to wake up and attack the day
⇒ Energy to take setbacks and bounce back to my feet
⇒ Energy to address some of my mental health worries like not feeling good enough
Part of having energy is recognising when something is not good for you.
∗ Have I been spending too much time watching TV?
∗ Am I on my phone too much?
∗ Have I had too many snacks today?
∗ Do I really need to eat this cake?
∗ Is gossiping really good for that relationship?
∗ Is it healthy to always be thinking negative thoughts?
∗ Am I staying up too late at night?
Here are 3 things that I’m planning to do to create more energy for myself:
Stretch out my fasting window
Reconnect with long lost friends
Start new relationships
My Fasting Window
I have been practising intermittent fasting since April 2018.
It is the pattern of eating where you only eat within a certain window and then you fast for the remaining time – fasting window.
Traditionally I’ve been eating in an 8 hour window from around 8am to 4pm.
I then fast (miss dinner) from 4pm to 8am the next day. A lot of the hard work is done when I’m sleep 6-8 hours which is still apart of my fasting routine 🙂
The interesting thing is I still had my 3 x meals within my 8 hour window.
My first meal (breakfast) was at 8am, then my BIG meal was lunch at 11am then I had a smaller meal (dinner) around 2-3pm before having a snack or something light before my 4pm cut off.
Later at night when we’ve put the kids down to bed I have a cheeky glass of red to relax and enjoy a nightly program with hubby.
Exciting post for you today as I’ll do my best to compare two very popular holiday destinations for Australians.
Bali in Indonesia and Phuket in Thailand.
This is our personal experience and your results may vary although we had a heap of fun at both 🙂
I’ve been fortunate to travel to both hotspots within 4 months of each visit earlier this year in 2018.
I’d like to present a comparison from the perspective of a family of 4 – Mum, Dad, 3yo Emelina and 9mo Kyneton.
Apart from accommodation – flights are the one of the biggest costs of a holiday.
Phuket in June 2018 for 10 days
Cost us $6,000 for a couple and 3yo (our 9mo was free)
Flew with Jetstar (although we had almost a year to plan this trip)
Flight was $2,600
Accommodation was $2,125
$1,500 for spending money
Bali in October 2018 for 6 days
Cost us $5,500
Flew with Garuda (we planned this trip in 2 months)
Flights were $2,116
Accommodation was $2,240
$1,000 for spending money
Garuda offered a full service and we definitely enjoyed the shorter 5 hour flight!
Jetstar was a struggle. Although it was clean and comfortable the 9 hour flight with 2 little kiddies was a massive buzz kill!
We were big fans of the food on the Garuda… not so much Jetstar 🙁
Garuda to Bali is definitely the winner here!
Bali 1 – Phuket 0.
We stayed with my family at the Graceland Resort in the northern beaches of Patong (Thailand). It was clean, the staff were friendly and we were a short walking distance from everything you need like markets, food stalls, massage parlours and the beach.
We’ve just returned from Padma Resort Legian (Bali) and it too was clean and close to everything.
In terms of what both resorts offer – they have a lot of activities for families and the pool facilities were awesome.
I must say the pools, extra curricular activities and general set up of the Padma Resort wins out here again for our little family.
They have a fully staffed kids club where your kids aged 4+ can be supervised and entertained while making new friends as the parents relax and unwind.
The pool areas within the Padma was also superior.
There are 3 types of slides that kept our little 3yo Emelina very busy and Leki also had his fair share of fun too 🙂
The entertainment and in-house restaurants offered within the Padma were great!
We participated in themed dinners like a Full Moon festival with cultural floor shows, a Japanese night and cuisine and a local Indonesian dinner.
The biggest kicker was the babysitting services available at The Padma Legian.
We hired 2 x babysitters through the Hotel to look after Ky and Eme for 3 hours while Leki and I finished off our shopping and got an hour long massage together 🙂
Although we were a bit tentative we were relieved that it all went to plan and both Ky and Eme didn’t even notice we were gone!
Bali 2 – Phuket 0.
In Phuket we managed to visit the markets in Patong, Karon and Kata beaches. We also travelled to the night market only available on Friday nights.
I was able to fit a lot of fitness clothing, tops and sets for the kids, shoes and bags. The cost range from <$5 for an item (small tee shirt) to ~$40 for 4-6 items.
It was helpful to walk around with the calculator and dividing every Thai Baht number by 25 to convert to my Australian currency.
In Legian we visited the local market plus travelled to the bigger Kuta market.
Not as many things to buy compared to Phuket but the shop keepers were a lot less aggressive which I enjoyed.
Sure they want to make a sale but as you turn to leave they allow you to leave without trying to hassle you down the street like they did in Phuket.
I’d give this one to Phuket just because they have a larger range of things to buy.
Bali 2 – Phuket 1.
Let me just start by saying that as a family we’re not super picky about what to eat.
We have preferences to eat things that are healthy and will give us energy rather then take our energy away (like sugar and bad carbs).
The great thing about both Bali and Phuket is the fresh food!
The fruit platters, fish, vegetables and juices are all freshly supplied by locals.
You can taste the difference and it gives you more energy to attack your day!
A little note – our 3yo Emelina developed a mild allergic reaction to (we think) satay or peanut sauce and we woke one morning in Bali to swollen eyes!
We were able to source some steroids (in liquid form) which quickly settled her symptoms after the Clarytyne didn’t help.
The major deciding factor for me were the readily available fruit and crepe stalls that are around every corner in Phuket.
In Bali you can order all sorts of drinks and food within a restaurant but I really missed the roadside carts.
Close one but I’ll give this one to Phuket 🙂
Bali 2 – Phuket 2.
Both areas are prone to Mother Nature and drunk people.
In Thailand most of the recent ‘troubles’ have been in Bangkok not so much Phuket (which is a southern island).
I would say Phuket is definitely the busier night scene with dance bars and Bangla Road being a crazy part of Patong!
Bali is mostly a Hindu region but Indonesia is a 90%+ Muslim country.
Many Australians in both Bali and Phuket are respectful and courteous but there were some Aussies that didn’t do the right thing which reflected poorly on the rest of us.
End of year footy trips and the boys were getting to drunk and rowdy, others were bogans from the suburbs, some didn’t show any polite etiquette being plain rude.
I hope the locals understand that not everyone behaves like them!
The road traffic appears chaotic with cars driving in the opposite direction, bikes zooming and weaving between cars and people jumping out of nowhere to cross the road.
We saw the crazy traffic in both Phuket and Bali.
Although it seems random there is a sort of ‘give way’ courtesy that the drivers offer one another.
It’s like they know when they should wait and give way or when it’s their turn to move forward/turn. Funny to watch!
At the entrance to both Resorts (Graceland and Padma Legian) there’s always a security check and they verify every car and taxi that enters the resorts.
This always helps keep things in good order!
With all that said I felt safe in both locations.
Bali 3 – Phuket 3.
If you’re after some night spots with a group of friends or a nice quiet drink with your partner Phuket would be my recommendation. It caters to all types of people.
We have travelled to Phuket as newlyweds, with a group of young adults and with a large group booking with many families and kiddies.
Thailand caters to all your entertainment needs.
Beach activities, family activities, adventure tours, relaxation, massage, bars and beaches it has you completely sorted.
I got the impression that Bali is a little more conservative with their way of life.
You can see it in the market stall vendors, the friendly staff that wait on you at a restaurant or the guys at Padma.
The Balinese just seem nicer.
There may be a lot of entertainment available in Bali but we didn’t see it.
We were happy to mostly stay within the Padma resort and be entertained there 🙂
Given that we are a family of 4 and been to both locations I would call this one a tie.
But, if I was a single girl wanting a big week with the girls or travelling with a few friends and their partners I would most likely recommend Phuket just because there’s more to do.
If I was older and wanted more a relaxing holiday minus the hustle and bustle I would recommend Bali.
This one for me is a tie.
Bali 4 – Phuket 4.
It really depends on what you want.
Given that we will be in family mode for the next little while if the opportunity to go overseas presents itself we’ll most likely pick Bali over Phuket.
A big factor is the 5 hour flight and it’s cheaper spending wise in Bali.
The flights and accommodation are pretty much the same unless you pick up a great deal 😉
We don’t mind missing out on the adventure and party stuff for now – we’d prefer a nice family resort like the Padma Legian again in the future.
But, once the kids are old enough and it’s just Leki and I again… we may have to return to Phuket and have a party LOL
There’s been another reason why I’ve been wanting to lose weight.
It’s to fit nicely into a bikini while I’m in Bali.
When am I leaving?
Yep, I jump on the plane with my family and we’re having a little getaway with my in-laws (my hubby Leki’s family) staying at the Padma Resort.
I’ll have more feedback for you about the resort and how we find Bali because we are big fans of Phuket (have been 3 times so far) and it’ll be interesting to see what the differences are from one to the other 🙂
I like reporting on things that were helpful and challenges with my weight loss strategy.
It helps to keep me accountable by reporting things to you plus I like being able to review the story especially when I find things are difficult.
I’ve been fortunate to be on this journey with my husband and together we can ‘hack’ was works and what doesn’t work for us right now.
So… I’ve reached all the goals I’ve set out since Jan 2018.
♥ I’ve lost weight
♥ The lovely size 10 summer dress is around the corner (no thanks to my frumpy pear shaped body)
♥ I’m in a bikini and feeling sexy
Well, after a little bit of thought about what I want to achieve next – here it is:
I want more energy
⇒ Energy to do things I want
⇒ Energy to be more patient when I’m frustrated
⇒ Energy to wake up and attack the day
⇒ Energy to take setbacks and bounce back to my feet
⇒ Energy to address some of my mental health worries like not feeling good enough
Who couldn’t do with more energy?
So how will I get more energy I hear you ask?
Here’s a little insight into how my husband and I will make it work:
Given that my husband Leki is very active with driving our health plan I’ve invited him to write about it. Enjoy 🙂
I work in the health field as a physiotherapist and I can tell you that a love of learning can help.
I’ve always been a curious person and when I finished playing competitive sport as a 29yo I noticed that my health was not as sharp as it once was.
What made it worse was when we had our first child – Emelina – in 2015.
I knew drastic measures had to be taken and quickly as both Belinda and I were getting quite unhealthy!
Belinda has written about our first weight loss effort in 2015 – HERE.
So what are our couple goals 3+ years into our health journey?
My goals are about longevity and quality of life and Belinda’s is to have more energy to do the things she wants.
So how do we achieve these goals in a cost effective and timely manner?
With monitoring the quality of food that’s on our plate.
Let me explain.
Early on in our health loss plan our primary interest was to lose weight.
Now we have lost weight and both our bodies have achieved something called ‘adaptation’.
Adaptation means that our bodies are able to tap into multiple sources for energy consumption efficiently.
Our bodies can run on carbohydrates, fat and/or protein depending on what we have in supply.
If your primary energy source (food you eat) is from bread, wheat, rice aka gluten foods then your body’s primary fuel source is from carbohydrates/sugar.
If you subscribe to a low carbohydrate diet (paleo/keto etc.) then your body will be using fat/ketone bodies as your body’s fuel source.
There are many studies showing the benefits of a low/no carbohydrate diet producing benefits such as:
Once we had the discipline to stick to our paleo/wholefood diet and then layer intermittent fasting on top of that we were able to achieve adaptation pretty quickly.
We can cycle in and out of being in a ketogenic state (using ketones as our primary energy source) because we have achieved appropriate adaptation.
For example, if we are ‘good’ for 5 days of the week from Mon-Fri then we can afford to refuel carbohydrates aka cheat meal(s) because our bodies are very efficient in using up the newly supplied carbohydrate energy source (over Sat-Sun) and then we can revert back to ketones over the working week.
I hope that makes sense.
To achieve our set goals of losing weight (Belinda) and longevity (Leki) we both agreed that it should be ingrained into our lifestyle.
It shouldn’t be a chore, it should be something we are excited about.
We are genuinely happy to prep our meals together.
Yes it can be repetitive and a drag spending 2 hours on a Sunday cooking meals but we look at it as a wise investment of time.
Investing 2 hours cooking on a Sunday will give us 4 hours of freedom every work day = 20 hours for the week to pursue whatever we want.
If you’re a stay at home Mum – think about the prep time to make lunch and dinner everyday… it takes a toll on you and your time doesn’t it.
After time well spent on the weekend all Belinda has to do is pre-heat our prepped meals and away she goes!
For me – I get to eat good nutritious food which will keep my mind and body happy plus I save money on spending on take away food.
Another big part of our week is our exercise routine.
Granted, we both could be better with our efforts but we try and get regular movement going daily.
Belinda’s ranges from walking to the local park/shops for 1 hour or her home-based HIIT exercise program.
I really enjoy my body weight training and all the guess work is taken out of the equation as it’s a ‘plug and play’ type system.
To be honest it is a struggle to bring you new information because the theme is still the same.
I’m trying to lose weight.
I’m currently 69.5kg which is AWESOME as my target was to reach 69kg by the time I fly away to Bali on 24 Oct and fit into a size 10 dress by Christmas.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED 🙂
Not to sound ungrateful but I’m struggling BIG TIME!
So much so that I find it helpful to put my main struggles down so I can work on them.
SHOPPING FOR CLOTHES
Our newborn son Kyneton is 9 months and is a terrible little sleeper… compared with our 3yo daughter Emelina.
He’s down at 8pm, gets up for a feed at 10pm, cries for some comfort at 1am and again at 3am before the morning hang out time with my hubby Leki at around 6am.
This might be the ‘normal’ routine for some babies according to the local health nurse but it’s such a difference from Eme.
She slept all the way through the night from 8pm to 8am.
I just assumed that he’d be the same – guess again!
Something I’m looking to play with is expressing for bottle feeding.
I’ve been slack in trying to express after each feed so I can feed him with the left over when he’s hungry or so Leki can help.
Another thing I need to think about is the food Ky eats. He now eats what we do but it’s mashed through our Vitamix blender.
If I can get him ‘full’ with food and then load him up on breastmilk then I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that he’ll be more settled at night and I can get my sleep!
I’d really love your advice on what works for you if baby isn’t sleeping too well at night! Send me a message on Messenger please – love to hear from you 🙂
It is the SAME THING I keep complaining about.
I just get lazy when I start thinking about any type of exercise.
In my mind I think that I’ve been busy enough for the day and if I’ve been really good and disciplined with my food then I’ll be ok.
I know my hubby Leki keeps reminding me of the other health benefits of regular exercise even in small doses.
But, again, I always think it’s such a bother.
Some people struggle with the food discipline but that’s the easy part for me.
I’d probably struggle to exercise even 1-2 times a week at this stage.
What’s your exercise routine? Is it something that you just love to do and look forward to everyday?Little help! I’d love to hear what works for you hit me up! 🙂
I have always hated clothes shopping.
I have this figure that’s frumpy around the waist but skinny in the arms and legs. Pear shaped is what they say. I’ve written about my struggles with online shopping because of my funny body shape – HERE.
Well, as you know I’m going over to Bali in late-Oct with my in-laws and I’ve been slowly getting some summer clothes and swimsuits to take over!
What a struggle!
Trying to fit into something that makes me feel sexy and not reveal my unflattering parts (tubby stomach and muffin top) is always a challenge.
On top of that having an active 3yo and a sooky 9 month adds a bit more difficulty trying dresses on in the little cubicles.
Part of my weight loss journey is to feel good but in all honesty the majority of my efforts is to look good!
When I get an outfit that I like and I snap a quick picture to send to Leki I know he’ll tell me the truth. If it’s ugly he’ll tell me, if it makes me look fat he’ll tell me and if he likes it he’ll give the green light 🙂
I like shopping at the big retail shopping centres so I can have a good look around and try things on. My go to is usually KMart, Target and Forever New for everyday things but for nicer dresses I like Myer.
Where do you shop? Let me know if you found a place that good for frumpy Pear shaped ladies! Where are my pear-shaped ladies at 🙂
I’d like to lose another 2-3kg and be around 67kg heading to Christmas!
After Christmas on Jan 2019 I would have kept this weight loss journal for ONE WHOLE YEAR! Read my very first edition on Jan 2018 which was 4 days after I gave birth – HERE.
Last week I wrote about my primary goal of maintaining high quality breastfeeding with the secondary goal of losing weight down to a size 10 summer dress.
The real struggle has begun!
The main issue I’m finding is the reward is NOT married to the effort.
What does that mean?
In my early days with the baby fat it was ‘easier’ for that to come off me.
All that was required was a little effort with my food choices and a big effortwith discipline.
So what’s changed?
Now that I’m back at my ‘healthy’ weight it’s a harder task to lose more weight.
What’s required now is a big effort with my food choices and a bigger effort with my discipline.
Where to from here?
Let me start with what’s worked for me
I always come back to the same ideas that seem to work for me.
Once I acknowledge what’s been good I then think about what hasn’t been that good or what I can improve on.
Good things first:
Modified paleo/wholefood diet
Simple High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) routine
Things to improve on:
Negative self talk
Seeing other people’s results and making them my own
Letting other people enjoy their own well being journey
Sometimes when things don’t go your way it can be easier to blame other people, other things or just blame the situation.
In those testing times it can be the self talk that determine the outcome.
My natural tendency is to blame other people, blame things or blame the situation.
Negative self talk has been my go to strategy. Not good 🙁
Something that I’m actively working on is asking myself “is this as bad as it seems?” or “what does that mean?”.
Example no. 1 – Seeing that I’m not losing weight
If I try and ask myself those questions then helps manage those inner feelings of frustration, anger and hopelessness. So if I ask myself “is it as bad as it seems?” then I can see that’s it’s simply just numbers on a weighing machine. With time and persistence these numbers will change.
Example no. 2 – Ky crying at night
I’ve written that I’m struggling with settling Kyneton at night. Rather then get upset I ask myself “what does that mean?”. I try and work on the questions I ask myself so that I can arrive to better solutions rather then accepting things as they are.
Social media is not real
The interconnected online world is not real.
A simple photo on Instagram does not show the struggle.
A short video showing you my best angle is not the real me.
My freckles on my face really irritate me.
My thinning hair and the fact that I may become prematurely bald worries me.
These are some of my many self perceived ‘problems’.
In Facebook-land or Instagram you don’t see those things… just a good things.
Imagine the image that people online may or may not be showing you.
What’s my point?
Don’t measure your happiness with what you see online.
Find happiness in real places like what’s inside you, people around you, at home, a sunny morning, drinking your coffee… you get the idea.
A bit preachy I know but I hope you see the message.
I follow all types of Mums online.
Some are funny, others are passionate about things and others are really fit and healthy.
Sometimes it can feed into my negative self talk.
So next time you see the gorgeous girl on Instagram, feel guilty with images of that Mum sweating in the gym or just plain feel uncomfortable about where you are in your journey don’t make things worse by comparing yourself to someone else.
Run your own race 🙂
Let other people enjoy their own well being journey
Don’t get me wrong I am proud of the results I have had since I started in 2015 (after baby no.1).
I’ve grown A LOT.
I have lost a lot of weight.
I try my best not to judge you.
I try my best to keep an open mind.
I appreciate that we are all on a different path.
I appreciate that you might have a different game plan.
I need to learn that you’re on your own journey.
My results are unique to me and if you find it helpful – that’s really cool 🙂
Modified Paleo/wholefood diet
I’ve written at length about our family food choices.
We believe in eating a paleo/wholefood diet meaning that we try and eat things that come directly from the land or from animals.
Basically we try and avoid things that are manufactured or come out of a box.
There are a lot of free materials available to assist you in your ongoing self education but I would point you to who we follow – Dave Asprey and Dr. Berg.
Since we have changed our eating habits our bodies are now very efficient with the type of food we eat we are optimised for ketones.
What’s ketones? Basically our bodies use ketones (healthy fats) rather then carbs (sugars) or protein for energy. Think of it as the body using all the fat (in storage on the love handles) for energy rather then carbohydrates or protein.
I highly encourage that you educate yourself on this because this is the key for lifelong health.
This means that we practice cyclic ketosis where 4-5 days throughout the week we are in ketosis and the other days we cycle out of ketosis. There are many factors on why being in ketosis is beneficial not only weight loss but it’s really good for your insides. (I can elaborate on this later.)
We just eat a varied wholefood/paleo diet (food source). This food source is high in good carbohydrates (vegetables), moderate in protein (meat/fish) and very low in sugar (fruit/treats).
Since we have chosen this wholefood/paleo food source it allows my family to use ketones (healthy fats) as the primary source of energy.
When we have a treat on the weekend and eat some takeaway with family or have something ‘out’ it will take us out of ketosis although we can return to our optimised selves within 1-2 days.
That has been the result of hard work and I would encourage everyone to start your own journey TODAY!
I’ve written at length about how I fast for the majority of the day and that my 8-hour eating window is typically at breakfast until late-lunch/early dinner. From 8am-4pm is my eating window.