[UPDATE] Losing Weight After Having A Baby (Pt.IV)

[UPDATE] Losing Weight After Having A Baby (Pt.IV)

Hi all.

Thanks for dropping in 🙂

This is the 4th episode of my weight loss journey which I update monthly. Click below to review the story so far!

Episode #1 – Jan

Episode #2 – Feb

Episode #3 – Mar


The goal of this chain post is to track my weight loss but maintain breastfeeding for my newborn son Ky for over 12 months.


Why all the effort?

Well to be honest – it’s because I want to be in a bikini by late-June 2018 for our overseas trip to Thailand!

By this time my newborn son will be almost 5 months old.

So my goal is to get from my starting weight (94.9 kgs post baby) to my pre-baby weight (75 kgs) and ultimately to my super duper goal of 69 kgs by June 21 2018!! 🙂

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Apr 2018 – Weighing 81.5 kgs after 120 days in!

Top 3 Talking Points

  1. Ky is getting a bit irritable at night
  2. I’m running low on breastmilk
  3. Not losing as much weight per week as I would like

1. Ky is getting a bit irritable at night

Kyneton is now 3 months old and he was doing very well. Averaging 6-8 hours at night and feeding almost every 2-4 hours during the day.

Suddenly in the last 2 weeks I have had a couple of nights where he slept for 4 hours then would wake and cry to feed every 2 hours. This happened probably twice at home and a couple of nights when I stayed at my parents place during the week.

I’m not sure what changed as my diet, exercise and breastfeeding volume has been pretty good and consistent. My only idea is that he’s getting more hungry and pretty sensitive to noisy siblings 🙂

So I will be thinking about starting to puree some solids soon – broccoli, sweet potato and other goodies! I hope that helps to settle him. Wish me luck 😉

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Apr 2018 – Waist circumference now 110cm. Down 10cms after 3 months!

2. I’m running low on Breastmilk

As I flagged in my last post (3rd edition) I have started intermittent fasting (IF) and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

My food intake has been consistent meaning I still eat 3 x meals in an 8 hour window: 8am-4pm then I fast for 16 hours.

I eat breakfast at 8am, have a heavier lunch at 12pm then a lighter dinner at 3/4pm.

I also have some great healthy snacks and smoothies during my 8 hour window with plenty of water.

I’m not sure if it’s Kyneton hunger that’s demanding more milk from me or if he’s ‘ready’ for solids but our Maternity Nurse suggested that newborns are ready for solids between 4-6 months.

So I’m going to be monitoring these next 4 weeks very closely and I’ve decided to stick to my health plan, eat well, practice IF and HIIT twice a day.

The only change is that I will double my breastfeeding ‘power smoothie’ intake. One at breakfast and another at the end of my 8-hour window.

I’ll let you know of my results next month.

Ky will be 4 months old and might be ‘ready’ for solids but I need to do more research on that!

SIDE
Slow and steady!

 

3. Not losing as much weigh per week as I would like

In my first episode I put it out into the universe that I want to lose 1.2 kgs per week so I can achieve my goal of 69 kgs by June 21 2018.

At the time of writing I should be 79.1 kgs if I continued to lose weight at that targeted rate.

I’m currently 81.5 kgs.

Don’t get me wrong I’m really happy with that effort and how I’m looking and feeling but I’m not losing quite enough.

I notice that despite all my effort I’m losing about 3 kgs per month or 750g per week.

So if I continue at that rate I’ll be my pre-baby weight of 75 kgs by the time I get to Thailand. Not a bad prize for second place 🙂

My husband Leki also promised to buy me an outfit for Ky’s Christening coming up in May if I reached my target of 79 kgs. That was another incentive to push for my goals.

Hopefully I can get a consolation prize off him LOL

FRONT
Shrinking waist line 🙂

So the game plan right now is to work on my mindset and general well being.

Sometimes when things don’t go your way you can start to beat yourself up and blame other people because it’s just not working.

My main goal over the next period of time is to be consistent.

No one wants this more then me.

No one is responsible for the results except me.

Only I can decide how I react to good and bad news and how I can move forward despite being disappointed.

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My little man 🙂
Again, I would like to reaffirm my primary goal which is Kyneton continuing to feed happily and sleep well at night.

By the look of how he’s putting on weight and filling up I’m VERY happy with my results!

More to share next month as we’re getting closer and closer to Thailand 🙂

#64DaysToPhuket

 

With love,

Belinda xo

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Hi guys,

I hope you guys had a great long weekend celebrating Easter.

This is a time of the year which we can all afford to slow down and be appreciative of the all the wonderful things like Family, friendship, health and time we can spend with people we love and those who are close to us.

Being raised and a practicing Catholic I know my faith has received a lot of criticism recently but I enjoy the community and structure that it provides me on my daily and spiritual journey.

Every Sunday when we attend our church service I use that time to reconnect with my Family and give thanks for the all the good things in my life and try and be forgiving of the things that are testing my patience.

This Easter we managed to organise an Easter Egg hunt for both sides of the Family which was great to see all the little kiddies hunting for eggs!

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Fun times with Leki’s siblings and their families

We started Easter off on Good Friday by participating in ‘The Stations of the Cross‘ which was a long walk to many ‘stations’ around our town. Great way to start this long weekend 🙂

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Stations of the Cross around Kyneton 🙂

Soon after the Good Friday church service we caught up with Leki’s siblings in a National State Park (Brimbank Park)  and had our first Easter egg hunt which was a success!

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The kids were very happy with their haul this year!

It was great catch up with with Leki’s family and we chatted about plans for the end of the year and planning the next family holiday which should be very exciting for early 2019!

On Easter Saturday we decided to stay in and make use of some of the local things available to us. Christmas 2017 we were gifted a tent that can fit 5 people and so we decided to give a few things a test run. We have a nice big river that flows through our town and Leki thought it’d be a great opportunity to trial some fishing.

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Fishing in the Campaspe River – No fish though 🙁

Later in the same day we had pre-planned to camp out in the tent. In Australia, we are now in Autumn/Fall and so the night temperatures are dropping below 10 degree Celsius so Ky and I decided to give the camp out a miss.

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Eme and her ‘cubby house’

Emelina and Leki did very well and they reported that it was very comfortable in the tent overnight!

Easter Sunday we spent this time at home resting and cleaning up and then traveled to Leki’s parents house (over an hour away) to spend the night and hang out with them. We don’t travel to the city that often so it’s always great to get the kids to spend time with Papa and Nani 🙂

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Ky’s 1st Easter!

Easter Monday we then traveled to meet with our parish Priest to organise little Ky’s Christening for later this year. We had already asked some relatives to be the Godfather (from Sydney) and Godmother (from Melbourne) and now I am looking forward to organising the next family gathering in early May.

After our meeting with the Priest we then travelled to my parent’s place for the second round of Easter egg hunting.

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Chocolate daze!

We planned for lunch at 2pm and then the Easter egg hunt soon after. The kids were very excited and I can report all the kids were bouncing off the walls with the chocolate they got 🙂

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Happy with her haul!

So we had plenty to eat and caught up with great conversations over the Easter Long Weekend.

I am thankful for all the good things in my life and I appreciate the setbacks and the lessons I can learn from them.

I love my husband, my children, my Family and that we live in such a great community with great people around me.

From my family to yours – I hope you had a refreshing long weekend with loved ones and continue on in 2018 in good health and good spirit!

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My little crew

With love,

Belinda, Leki, Emelina and Kyneton xo

[UPDATE] Losing Weight After Having A Baby (Pt.III)

[UPDATE] Losing Weight After Having A Baby (Pt.III)

Hi all.

Thanks for tuning in for another episode of MyWifeLife.

I’m adding to the story from my first entry which you can read all about it here 🙂


The idea of this chain post is to track my weight loss but maintaining high quality breastfeeds for my newborn son Ky for over 12 months.


So what’s new?

Well this is Part III of my monthly weight loss progress report and the quick summary is below. My main measuring tools for how I’m progressing is weight loss and Ky’s sleep quality at night.

Weight Loss

Started at 94.9 kgs and now 84.7 kgs. That’s 10.2 kgs lost in 10 weeks! (from Jan 6 to Mar 17)

Kyneton’s Sleep

From the outset Ky needed feeds every 3-4 hours at night as a newborn and he’s now 2.5 months and giving me an average of 6-8 hours between feeds at night.

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My little seedling Ky 🙂

This tells me that he’s happy with the breast milk I’m producing and he’s looking quite full. He was 3 kgs at birth and now weighs 4.88 kgs.


So in my most recent update I flagged two things that I struggled with:

  1. Leki’s birthday and naughty food
  2. Staying over my parents house and not sticking to my food choices

I can report that I was put to the challenge again as there were a lot of celebrations over the last month:

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My little family and Eme’s 3rd birthday
  1. My daughter’s 3rd birthday party
  2. 3 x birthday parties from my Mother’s Group (now 3 years of friendship!)
  3. My mother-in-law’s birthday

What’s a party without having a good time?

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Mother’s Group going strong!

After my last update I made the decision to be really careful with what I ate and I tried very hard to manage the portions when I ate at these parties.

I can say that it’s a hard task to turn off my emotional heart at celebrations and tell myself half truths like “It’s ok – only one won’t hurt” but I had to listen into my logical mind and rise above the internal struggle 🙂

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My mother-in-law’s birthday

The result? I chose to be really good.

Even better my results reflected my discipline. My numbers are steadily dropping and Ky continues to thrive!

But I don’t want to report just the good stuff. I prefer to write about the things that didn’t work so you can learn from my mistakes.

A

So what was the main challenge I’ve found in the last month?

I’m not losing enough weight per week to reach my target of 69 kgs by June 21 2018

As you know Leki and I always weigh ourselves first thing the morning before we have a light breakfast.

I was getting frustrated because although I was losing weight, I wasn’t losing enough.

Solution #1: Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating IT IS NOT A DIET! This took me a while to understand.

So here’s what I’ve found after some initial research following guides from Dr. Berg.

Please watch this short 7 min video which will do a better job of summarising Intermittent Fasting better then I could:

What I really like about this video is that it gives you a practical strategy to progress your fat burning goals with changing my pattern of eating.

I am currently at the 16:8 stage whereby I have a ‘window’ of eating within 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours. I personally prefer to have my first meal at 8am and then have my final meal at 3-4pm.

That means I fast after lunch/early dinner through the night and wait for my first meal at 8am.

You’d be surprised as I don’t ‘feel hungry’ and most importantly I’m producing high quality breast milk and Ky is still very happy!

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Updated tracking sheet

Solution #2: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

So looking at the tracking sheet above I should be sitting at 82.9 kgs if I’m steadily losing 1.2 kgs per week to reach my goal of being 69 kgs by June 21 2018.

I’m currently 84.5 kgs almost 1.6 kgs over where I should be.

You can see I have added in brackets where I hope to be every week (losing 1.2 kgs every week being the goal) so this weekend I should be 81.7 kgs and by Easter 80.5 kgs.

It doesn’t get any easier for me!

So instead of feeling sorry for myself I’m gonna suck it up and WORK EVEN HARDER!

HIIT is a form of interval training where you can ‘work out’ for a short period of time but at a high intensity. This will  cause you to fatigue earlier if you’re working hard enough and burn up some calories!

Here’s what my self directed HIIT program looks like:

  • Sit-stand squats off a chair
  • Wall push ups
  • Step up/down

At each station I go as quickly as I can for 1 minute non-stop x 3 rounds = 9 MINS in total!

I do that HIIT twice a day usually around 10am and again at 4pm.

So my revised formula for safe weight loss is more of the same but finely tuning some areas.

I’ll still focus on eating right, monitoring my portions and keeping a healthy and optimistic mindset as the scales can really be mean to you even when you’ve been good 😉 It’s a long game not a quick fix!

Layered on top of that I will now practice intermittent fasting eating within an 8 hours window from 8am-4pm and exercise HIIT twice a day as outlined above.

Sounds like a lot of effort but that is the level of effort I’m prepared to go to lose the weight.

B

The most important measuring stick despite all this effort, to me, is that Ky is happy.

I am finding that his feed at night is stable and consistent at 6-8 hours apart which is a very good sign!

More to share next month as we’re getting closer and closer to Thailand 🙂

#92DaysToGo

The struggle continues!

With love,

Belinda xo

Sweet & Sour

Sweet & Sour

Hi guys,

As a Mother I feel that the majority of the time I need to put my children’s needs and wants before mine.

It can vary from taking food off my plate to feed them if they’re still hungry to sacrificing sleep because of nightmares to just being there to soothe them even when I know I have heaps of things piling up on the to-do-list.

But… there are important times when I need to push my agenda first before my kids.

I would like to talk about my goal to raise independent Bulletproof kids.

I read this awesome article from Chris Sacca who grew up in New York and his parents practised ‘Sweet & Sour’ school holidays.

During the “Sweet” part of the school holidays Chris’ parents organised some nice experiences like sitting in a court room, being in an office-type job with an uncle and observing what it was like to work in that environment.

The remaining part of the holidays was known as the “Sour” experience. For example Chris was thrown into some waste management jobs with family friends and his parents advised them to give him the worst of the worst duties to manage.

Chris was probably in early high school at that time so roughly 11-12yo and he reported how that experience shaped his way of thinking and how he looks at people, work and the world at a larger extent.

You see, he valued BOTH the white and blue collar experiences.

The hard work of digging troughs and unplugging smelly pipes but enjoying the benefits of doing manual work and being outdoors. He also felt the benefits of being indoor and in a nice air conditioned facility but saw how stressed his uncle was with dealing with customers.

After reading that piece by Chris Sacca it has shaped my own thoughts and ideas as I’m mostly optimistic about how the future will be for our children.

For example, I see improvements in technology as a positive thing. Yes there are dangers and dodgy things lurky around the web but I still feel there’s so much good that outweighs the bad.

Having information readily on hand by searching Google, or trying to find out more information by watching a Youtube video or reading reviews on a product or service makes things very easy for us.

Most little kids I come across have no problems unlocking a phone, flicking across the homepage and then selecting the right App for them to play on! I’m sure most children are exactly the same 🙂

So if little 2-3yo are already navigating iPhones and iPads imagine what they are watching and learning by the time they’re in middle primary school?

By the time they are 7-8yo these young kids will be well informed or are skilled enough to research things to help themselves!

I feel they will already start forming an idea of their place in the world and how the world really ‘works’. Wow what a world we live in now 😉

So it is with that in mind I would like to plan little ‘Sweet & Sour’ experiments with my own kids as they grow because they are growing so quick already! 

I have previously mentioned that we plan to send our own children overseas for part of their education here. That will take some time to plan with the help of family and friends we can action that.

Outdoor
Outdoor vs Indoor

In the mean time I would be looking to chalk up a list of ‘Sweet’ and ‘Sour’ experiences for the kids 😉 I know that sometimes the kids half expect to be entertained when it’s school holidays – definitely want to avoid that as best we can!

One final point I would like to touch on is the future and our children.

The job landscape is changing so much as technology is disrupting some really big players. I mean, Facebook collects and publishes news like a newspaper but it doesn’t own or produce any of the content, Airbnb offers accommodation without owning any property, Uber offers a ride sharing service challenging the business model of taxis – all that without owning any fleet of cars.

At the everyday level there’s companies like Xero that help with simplifying accounting for small businesses, robots improving the manufacturing efficiency and I even saw an article about how newly trained doctors should avoid some fields of practice because computer software is removing the human error element!

Dr. Eme
Dr. Eme or Chef Eme?

Again, I would like to highlight that I’m OPTIMISTIC about the future and that there are so many opportunities for our children.

My thoughts are that if we can offer our children a lot of different experiences when they are at an impressionable age both locally and overseas then they can come up with solutions to improve our future and make it a better place – for everyone!

Here are some examples off the top of my head for my own kids:

  • Eme has uncles working on the railways and her experience there may inspire her to create a solution for improved public transport
  • Ky has another uncle who is a doctor and he may be inspired to help kids with cancer
  • Eme might spend time with her auntie who is a make up artist and photographer and find out how to serve customers really well
  • Ky might enjoy listening and playing music and with the help of another uncle he can learn about how to be a musician
  • Eme might be affected by volunteering overseas that she wants to help people gain access to clean drinking water
  • Ky might figure out that he’ll make a better plumber then an academic scholar and decide to learn a trade rather then pursue University
  • Eme might really enjoy another culture and want to learn the language
  • Ky might be really good at playing video games and wants to explore software engineering
  • Eme might show some interest in operating big machinery and being outdoors
  • Ky might enjoy eating food so much that he wants to be a chef

The list goes on!

Camper Eme
Ranger Eme?

This post may come across as wishful thinking but I have to be honest it is something both Leki and I think and talk about all the time.

In these uncertain times the best we can do as a parents is raise children who are respectful and resilient – Bulletproof Kids 🙂

Food for thought.

Belinda xo

[UPDATE] Losing Weight After Having A Baby (Pt.II)

[UPDATE] Losing Weight After Having A Baby (Pt.II)

Hi all.

Thanks for tuning in for another episode of MyWifeLife.

I’m adding to the story from my first entry which you can read all about it here 🙂


The idea is to share my journey on losing weight safely but maintaining high quality breastfeeds for my newborn son Ky for over 12 months.


So what’s new?

Well let’s go through a quick recap of the journey so far from my last entry.

My first reading (3 days after having a baby) was 94.9 kgs on 6 Jan 2018.

By the final reading of my last update (2 weeks after having little Ky) I was 89.5 kgs on 20 Jan 2018.

I lost 5.4 kgs in 2 weeks and I didn’t do anything spectacular. Just ate wholesome food and tried to keep a good sense of humour.

The aim of these post updates is to outline the ‘running score’ of how the safe weight loss process has been and whether I can ‘be good’ and disciplined with my plans to get that bikini body for Thailand by June 21 2018.

I’ll be providing monthly snapshots with photos plus letting you know what worked and what didn’t work as we go. Enjoy 😉

 

20 Jan – 3 Feb 2018

So here is a snapshot of my weight chart that I update daily.

Leki and I always weigh ourselves first thing the morning before we have breakfast.

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Sorry about my messy handwriting!

So you can see on my tracking sheet from the 20 to 27 January 2018 I was steadily losing weight.

It averaged from 200g to 800g (Jan 25 to Jan 26 lost almost 1 kg!) over that week.

Again, I wasn’t doing anything special – didn’t have any junk food and I was successfully breastfeeding although my nipples were starting to get quite sore.

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27 Jan 2017 – 88.2 kgs
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27 Jan 2018 – 88.2 kgs

It was around this time I really put more effort into expressing for little Ky and spacing out the expressed bottle feeding to give my sore nipples a break 🙂

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Spectra S2 – Great for expressing!

I have been using Spectra s2 for expressing and I find it to be powerful and quiet although it is bulky and difficult to take around with you.

Although I would recommend the Spectra 9 Portable model as it’s less bulky and easily fits in your handbag!

I do recommend the ‘let down cup’ which can help with any post-breastfeeding leaking. It’s been magic!

Thank you to my sister for pointing me towards these great resources 😉

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Example of a ‘Let Down’ cup for post breastfeeding leakage

At almost a month old Ky was giving me around 3-4 hours rest in between each feed at night. Not too bad 🙂

So on the 20 Jan 2018 I came in at 89.5 kgs and on the 3 Feb 2018 measured 86.6 kgs losing 2.9 kgs for the fortnight and average 1.45 kgs lost for the week.

My waist circumference was 120 cms (6 Jan 2018) down to 113cm (3 Feb 2018)!

3 Feb – 17 Feb 2018

This fortnight was a MASSIVE struggle! I celebrated my husband’s birthday and Kyneton finally had his first round of vaccinations so we could get out and visit family and friends 🙂

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20 Feb 2018 – 87 kgs
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20 Feb 2018 – 87 kgs

Struggle #1 – Leki’s birthday

The 5 Feb is my husband’s birthday and we have this ‘thing’ where we celebrate a ‘happy birthday weekend 🙂

It’s basically a licence to eat whatever you want for dinner.

So on Sunday 4 Feb we had take away Chinese – YAY!

We went all out and ate special fried rice (large), honey chicken, Mongolian beef, wanton noodle soup and prawn crackers.

Don’t forget the dessert and birthday cake (yummy strawberry cheesecake and hokey pokey ice cream – Leki’s favourite!)

Then on Mon 5 Feb we finished off the left over Chinese food for dinner and Tues 6 Feb my sister visited and brought some Subway rolls which we shared.

So what was the result? I put on a whole heap of weight.

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Updated Tracking Sheet

If you look at the tracking sheet I was 86.3 kgs on 4 Feb then a day after the ‘birthday weekend’ on 7 Feb I weighed 87.8 kgs?!

I put on 1.5 kgs in 2 days which usually takes me 1 week to lose!

TAKE AWAY MESSAGE =  A week’s worth of being good with eating well can be quickly undone with eating only 2 x ‘cheat meals’.

 

Struggle #2 – Staying with Family over the weekend

So with grit and determination I restarted my effort to lose weight and keeping in with this theme of eating well, getting good quality sleep and trying to establish a good routine with Leki’s help.

So on Fri 16 Feb I left to stay with my Family in the city for 2 nights while Leki was away for the weekend.

It was great to finally see everyone as I was getting ‘cabin fever’ from having to stay away until Ky got his injections. While I was away at my parents house I was unable to weigh myself in the mornings as we usually do.

The challenge here is that you can’t eat your normal food.

Now there wasn’t anything completely ‘bad’ with the food I ate at my parents house it’s just not what I usually eat. You know what it feels like. It’s been a while since you see your parents and they want to feed you until you burst 😉

TAKE AWAY MESSAGE =  Next time I stay a couple of nights away from home I’ll pack my own food to make it easier for me

I previously outlined what my ‘standard’ eating week looked like – check it out here.

I basically stuck with the same food choices and the only addition was the breastfeeding smoothie that I’ve put together.

The ingredients are: water/coconut water, almonds, cocoa powder, flax seeds, honey, half banana, cinnamon, MCT oil, oats and grass fed butter.

The end result is amazing!

The consistency should feel like a milkshake and I’m happy with 1 cup a day for breakfast 🙂

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Typical breakfast = Lightly grilled egg + avo + grass fed butter + baby spinach + asparagus AND Power Smoothie for breastfeeding

**NOTE – We bought a Vitamix blender as our family Xmas gift to ourselves 😉 and it is AWESOME! We make all sorts of things with a flick of a switch but be warned it comes with a heavy price tag – $729.99 at Costco. The feature we enjoy most from the Vitamix is the safety switch off mechanism if the blender is overheating. Saves it from itself essentially which is good for long term usage. We can make smoothies, ice cream/sorbet, baby food/purees, soups and much more. See the video below and you’ll get the picture – highly recommend!

Keep in mind for over a year we were using the Ambiano blender from Aldi until it died on us after a year of use and we paid $39.99 for it.

So there are may ways to lose weight. I documented earlier how with minimal exercise but being careful with food helped with losing weight the first time round.

Summary

In summary from my last entry I finished up weighing 89.5 kgs on 20 Jan 2018 and my latest entry on 20 Feb 2018 I weighed 87 kgs.

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That’s a loss of 2.5 kgs over the last 4 weeks which is an average of 630 g per week.

My calculations from my starting date of 4 Jan 2018 to 21 June 2018 was to lose 1.2 kgs per week to achieve my goal of 69 kgs by the time I get to our Thailand holiday!

So I wasn’t very successful in the last 4 weeks because of a couple of cheat meals (Leki’s birthday and staying over my parents place) but on the positive side Ky is now 6 weeks old and averaging 5-6 hours in between breastfeeds at night 🙂

At least something I’m doing is working!

I’ll keep pushing on and provide you the next update in a month. Wish me luck 😉

With love,

Belinda xo

Do You Speak Another Language?

Do You Speak Another Language?

Hi guys,

I speak English at home but… if I had a time machine I would go back to the time when I was a little girl and I would beg my Mother and all my family members to speak to me in our native tongue – Tongan.

Growing up in the suburbs of Melbourne you can often be mistaken as being ‘true blue’ Australian unless you are obviously different.

If you have different skin colour, a foreign sounding name, a thick accent, pack strange food for lunch at school and/or dressed differently from other kids.

Now I’ve addressed a lot of these differences in previous posts.

I have a standard Western sounding maiden name: Belinda Maxine Wardell, got a fair complexion and I was dressed like a typical 90s kid – happy pants, shoulder pad blazers and frilly socks (thanks Mum!)

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Happy pants… will they make a comeback?
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90210 and padded shoulders – yikes!
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The cursed frilly socks!

Nothing wrong with all that although I do wish I could speak another language.

Have you ever boarded a train and then there’s a conversation that you can’t tune into because they’re speaking in Hindi or entered an elevator and the Chinese couple are having a spirited conversation while you’re standing their twiddling your thumbs 😉

Knowing another language and speaking it confidently is a blessing!

If you speak your own language then I would encourage you to grow and nurture your children’s interest in speaking your native tongue.

I can remember in school that some kids had ‘Language School’ on Saturday mornings to keep their native language ‘alive’.

There was Greek School in Coburg, Chinese School all over Melbourne and now there’s a great Pacific community that I’m familiar with that offer an educational service – Polynesian Kids Community Language School 🙂 Check them out!

I can speak English and understand bare minimum Tongan.

When I was being naughty and being told off by my Mother it was in Tongan.

When I was at Church some services were conducted in Tongan and I learnt prayers by rote although I didn’t understand everything that was being said.

taina
Grandma Taina

What’s even more heart breaking is when my maternal grandmother visits from overseas she cannot communicate with me as much as we both would love to because her English is basic and my Tongan is even worse!

We try and gesture to each other and show other signs of affection but in the end we resort to having a translator help us out 🙁

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Grandma in Kyneton 🙂

Another interesting observation is that there is some ‘lost in translation’ moments. Some words within a language don’t quite mean the same or have the same effect if it was translated into English.

For example if there was a joke in Tongan the same funny sentence translated into English isn’t funny because the translation is too literal.

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**RECOMMENDATION – I have come across a handy app that can walk you through lots of different languages. Duolingo – check it out!

Unfortunately Tongan is not available. Might have to work on my Spanish instead 🙂

Although I’m thankful that I do come from a heritage that is family focused and provides social support for me and my family it would mean more to me if I could speak the language fluently…. and more importantly talk openly with my Grandma without the translator.

P.S Sending out all our love and prayers to families and loved ones in Tonga as Cyclone Gita passed through 2 days ago.

 

‘Ofa lahi atu/All our love!

Belinda xo

My Journey On Losing Weight After Having A Baby (Pt.I)

My Journey On Losing Weight After Having A Baby (Pt.I)

Hi all.

Thanks for tuning in for another episode of MyWifeLife.

This is an online diary for all the interesting and simple things that I experience as a Mother and I love sharing my observations with you.


The topic for today and my intention is to share my journey to self-educate on the best and safest ways for me to lose weight but maintain high quality breastfeeding for Ky for over 12 months.

I aim to provide a monthly in depth report of my well being journey for myself and my newborn son.


This is not the first time I’ve attempted to safely lose weight. I managed to lose just under 30 kgs in 6 months after the birth of my daughter in 2015. Read about that journey here 🙂

But… I have to be honest. I have a selfish reason on trying to lose weight.

We are celebrating my Mother’s 60th birthday and my sister’s wedding in Phuket, Thailand in late-June to early-July 2018.

So I have under 6 months to get to achieve my goal of being <70kg before we fly to Thailand.

So let’s begin…

Leki and I weigh ourselves EVERY morning.

This is incorporated into our day and Leki and I always talk about our numbers and why we are losing weight or gaining weight. What do we talk about? The food we eat.

Below are my starting stats:

On the 3 January 2018 I was 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant and I weighed 98.5 kg. After I had baby Kyneton I was weighed at the hospital coming in at 95.5 kg.

6 January 2018

3 days after I gave birth and was discharged from the hospital I weighed 94.9 kg.

This is my starting date and weight that I will track closely and report back monthly.

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94.9 kgs on 6 Jan 2018

So how will I lose the weight safely? I hinted at this earlier – by being really good with the food I eat.

I’ll present my research (which will be very basic) from different sources that I read, watch and subscribe to.

If it helps me, I’ll share it. If it doesn’t help, I’ll share that too!

I’m wanting to design an easy way for new Mums to lose weight but not compromise on the health and well being of our child 🙂

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6 Jan 2018 – 94.9 kg

So let me start with the end in mind.

My goal is to lose weight.

The magic number to lose is 25.9 kg! Targeting a loss to 69 kg from 94.9 kg.

I have 22 weeks before we fly overseas and to lose 25.9 kg.

So that means I need to lose an average of 1.2 kg per week to achieve my goal!

Challenge accepted 🙂

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6 Jan 2018 – 94.9 kg

So there are may ways to lose weight. I documented earlier how with minimal exercise but plenty of vigilance with food helped with losing weight the first time round.

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Thank you Dr. Google

In short we followed a modified paleo diet.

The name ‘paleo’ comes from the word paleolithic which is a technical term for a prehistoric era. A word I use interchangeably with ‘paleo’ is caveman – the caveman diet.

Think of how our prehistoric caveman ancestors would have found food. Probably a lot of vegetables, fruits and nuts because they were easy to find. Meat on the other hand may have been something to look forward to on a rare occasion. Maybe a couple times a month when the prehistoric tribe were successful in catching prey.

So I would summarise a paleo diet as being 80% fruit, vegetables and nuts and 20% meat. There is very little dairy in our modified paleo diet (mostly grass fed butter and a very small amount of full cream milk). You are cutting out anything that is manufactured. Basically anything that comes out of any box – we try and avoid as best we can.

The main source of information and inspiration 😉 comes from the guys at Bulletproof and Tim Ferris’ slow carb diet.

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6 Jan 2018 – 94.9 kg – 120 cm waist circumference

Ok so why don’t I follow the same program as I did earlier?

That’s a valid question but the difference this time is that I am looking to lose weight while I am breastfeeding rather then waiting until I finish breastfeeding which I what I did last time.

20 Jan 2018

So I have updated my most recent reading which was 89.5 kg.

This is 2 weeks after my initial reading of 94.9 kg on 6 Jan 2018.

So I’ve lost 5.4 kg over the last fortnight that would be 2.7 kg per week so far 🙂

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20 Jan 2018 – 89.5 kg

Obviously I’m not getting too carried away as there is a lot baby fat that will come off me but I’ll take that! 😉

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20 Jan 2018 – 89.5 kg

The most important thing to me though is the well being of my newborn son Ky (now 3 weeks old!) and my goal is to breastfeed for over 1 year!

If I find that I’m not producing quality breast milk then I’ll have to review what I’m doing and the weight loss challenge may have to take the backseat for a while.

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20 Jan 2018 – 89.5 kg

Remember my goal is to lose at least 1.2 kg per week by late-June 2018 so I can squeeze into a bikini in Thailand!

This will be a real account of my weight loss journey – no filter.

If I lose momentum and gain weight I’ll have to be accountable to you and report it.

Looking forward to bringing you the next update in a month’s time!

With love,

Belinda.

 

Online Shopping

Online Shopping

Hi guys,

Today I would like to share the gospel of online shopping!

I enjoy being spendthrift but it doesn’t mean I’m penny pinching. I just want to make sure I’m getting the best possible price without compromising on quality and value. I’m not the type of person who may ‘scrooge’ on little things but then have no issues in spending $$$ on big ‘non-essential’ things. If it’s valuable and at a good price – consider it sold 🙂

For example – I really cringe on buying maternity clothing. Not because of the design or the quality. Just the price. $90 for a simple top from my local retail store vs 4 x dressy maternity dresses for $70 online – that’s a pretty simple equation to me. Online wins hands down!

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Now I have been a recent convert to buying (particularly clothes) online. Because of my awkward body shape 😉 I prefer to try the clothes on to fit in person. I would be classified as having a rounded figure (above) so some dresses/clothes are a very good fit for my body shape and others not so much. I have to be really careful with what I buy online because it may look really nice on the computer screen but then I can be flatly disappointed because I forgot to factor in my body type.

So I jumped onto Pinterest and thought I’d find some nice infographics that could help me understand body shapes better so I can be more aware of the type of clothing that’s a good match for me. I hope it helps you too!

 

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So as I’m getting more confident with how to shop for myself online – where do I shop? Well I have 2 main sites I personally use:

Boohoo.com and Asos.com. They both offer different things – for example I really like ASOS for the more formal and dressy creations for birthdays, weddings and ‘glam’ outings. Boohoo I love for a more casual look and something that I would put on for low keys events or something casual to be out and about in!

Other sites I usually keep an eye out for are Buy Swap Sell groups on Facebook and Gumtree (very popular in Australia and similar to CraigsList in the USA). Ebay is very popular and Amazon in the early days of being set up in Australia which should be interesting! Here are some pros and cons of these sites detailed below:

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The biggest fear I had when I first started online shopping was fraud and piracy. You hear a lot of news about people having their identity stolen after visiting websites for online shopping. So instead of being too scared to try I went out and hunted for some information about online security.

After a bit of research to ease my skeptical mind I found one of the easiest ways to ensure ‘cyber safety’ was simply keeping an eye on the browser. Make sure you use HTTPS whenever you transmit sensitive information across the internet such as credit card details or passwords.

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The browser should indicate whether the current page is encrypted through a little lock icon in the URL bar (see above in green Secure). Although the look of the icon can vary across different browsers it should be easy to find.

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The world is moving quickly with online shopping so I think it’s important to keep an eye on what is popular. But also make sure you’re careful and prudent with information you send out into the internet-sphere 😉

I’d love to know what online shopping sites you use! Or, if you have any internet safety protocols you follow that you’d be happy to share 🙂

Have a great day,

Belinda.

 

Nothing Sexy About Keeping A Budget!

Nothing Sexy About Keeping A Budget!

Hi all,

Leading on from last week’s post on our grocery shopping efforts I thought I’d go into a deep dive into how we generally monitor our family finances – by keeping a budget. Just in time of Christmas too 🙂

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To give you some context – we’ve practiced keeping track of all the money coming in and all the money going out since Leki and I started seriously thinking about our future together. This has been helpful because talking openly about our finances helped us make clear goals on how we can move forward as a family.

For example, when we started thinking about having a family it would mean moving from 2 x incomes down to one as we prepared to have someone at home full time. This planning took place 18 months before our little Emelina arrived. That might be a topic to discuss later 🙂

So back to our budget – how do we go about it? As I mentioned earlier we track every little bit of spending. The best way to do that is to spend some time tracking how you spend your hard earned money! Attached is a FREE Excel spreadsheet download that we have used for over 10 years (and still use!):


 MyWifeLife-Budget Spreadsheet-Nov2017


Feel free to use it anyway you like either electronically or print it out and fill it manually as you move through the week. Personally we like the electronic version because it automatically adds up the numbers as you enter them in.

Great! So how does this spreadsheet help you exactly? Try your best to fill it in every day! Every little thing to big purchases… fill it in! We started with committing to daily entries for a week. After we go the hang of it we continued on for a month. Month after month we got to review how we were spending and saving money. For instance, if you start tracking your spending today and continue on for the week then month then a couple of months you can see what you are spending money on. More importantly, you can evaluate your spending habits and determine whether you can save some money by cutting back on some purchases or looking for more cost effective options.

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Using the FREE spreadsheet provided you can see how we’ve laid the template out. There’s quite a few columns but focus on the first bit (in red) above which is the description entry and then enter in the amount/figure into either the income column or the expenses column. An easy way to think about it is:

  • Income = money going INTO your pocket
  • Expenses = money going OUT of your pocket

So in the example above – making it to payday is money going INTO your pocket so it’s income. Plug that figure into the Income column!  In the example below let’s say you’ve filled the car up with petrol so you’d enter that in the description and move across to the Expenses column and enter in the amount. Easy peasy 🙂

**NOTE: There’s little extra bits in the spreadsheet to factor for Tax/GST but ignore this if it doesn’t apply to you. If you do want to factor tax please speak to your appropriate tax professional! Let’s keep things simple.

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Now let’s say you’ve been using this spreadsheet for 3 months and you’ve become pretty confident with putting in the figures. Now you can establish your budget! You now can estimate the ‘average’ weekly spending on grocery shopping, or the weekly petrol cost, or how much you can budget for take away because you’ve spent 3 months accumulating your own data! How good is that?

Below is a snapshot of our own template from September 2015. You can see how we’ve filled it the table to give you an idea of how regular our entries were and how they varied across different types of personal expenses.

 

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Sept 2015 budget tracking sheet

 

Let me give you my Top 3 reasons on how this spreadsheet and keeping a budget helps our family:

1. Help renegotiate lower monthly fees for regular expenses like utility bills (gas, water or electricity), insurances and phone bills

Once you get really good at this you can see how much you spend on regular bills. We usually get billed every 3 months for our utility bills. If we notice that this last 3 months was a higher amount then the previous 3 months – we can figure it out using our spreadsheet. For example if it was the colder months of year then you would expect a higher gas and electricity bill. If you feel that the bills are rising but your use remains the same – it might be time to switch to another provider. That’s what we did with our gas and electricity provider. We said that we’ve tracking our use for the last 12 months and that we were unhappy with the cost. They reviewed our account and offered a BIG discount!

2. Determine where we are spending too much money

The phone bill is one where you can easily overspend. Keeping track of your budget will ensure that you don’t go over your limit 😉 Or maybe you are having too many nights out on the town, eating out too often or spending too much on your pay TV subscription.

Whatever your unique situation is, once you have determined what you’re figures are you can budget accordingly 🙂

3. Fast tracked our savings!

If you keep track of what is coming in and it is greater then what is going out – the leftover is that magic word… SAVINGS! We can all do with a little bit more savings but wishing for it won’t make it so – challenge yourself to create more savings so you can spend on the things that really matter for you and your family!

 

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Sept 2017 budget tracking sheet

Unfortunately if money coming in is less then money going out of your pocket you’ll have to come up with the way to make more income or reduce your expenses. There’s no way around it and it’ll be crystal clear because you are using your own numbers!

This is not something you need to follow strictly. Take whatever you feel was helpful and use it in a way that is meaningful and actionable for you and your family. We are not professionals in this area and we are not giving you advice on what to do although we highly recommend that keeping a budget will give you a sense of freedom because you know exactly where everything is!

I genuinely hope this post was helpful and as always happy to receive feedback on what seems to help you on ways to save.

Have a great day,

Belinda.

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Why Wait?

Hi guys,

As I’m writing this post I’m feeling overwhelmed and slightly stressed after reviewing this recent blog post by Tim Urban.

A short summary of his great article is about the Shortness of Life.

He does a great job in measuring a lifespan in days, weeks, months, years and decades – all in visual form. This is helpful for me as I’m a very visual person. If I try and learn something new by listening to audio, reading from a textbook or watching a video it’s not as helpful for me as information explained in an informative graphic picture. Below is a picture grab from Tim’s blog about going though winter. I’m 31yo and I like to think I’ll live until I’m 90yo then that means I’m over a 1/3 way through my life.

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Only 60 more winters…

Let’s switch it up and look closely at the Relationship part of Tim’s blog post. He states that once you finish high school you have used up 93% of face time with your parents.

What does that mean? By the time you are 18yo most of your face-to-face contact with your parents will have been completed. If you think about your own situation – you may move out with friends after high school, start work/study, get into a serious relationship, get married, have kids… so on. It’s true! Most of your face time with your parents is spent by the end of high school.

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My parents Gary and Sesilia

So both my parents are in their 60s and I’m in my 30s. I’m incredibly lucky to have both parents and I’m also optimistic that they’ll be around forever 🙂 My own situation is that I was at home until I moved out when I was 22yo. So, if I see my parents every fortnight for 6 hours on a weekend that would be on average of 24 days in a year totaling 144 hours annually. If I stretch that over the next 30 years that means I have only 720 days left with my parents or 4,320 hours with them!

Tim’s summary was perfect: “When you look at that reality, you realize that despite not being at the end of your life, you may very well be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important people in your life.”

I have already used up over 90% of my face-to-face parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 10% of that time.

The same goes for my three sisters. After living in a house with them for 6, 13 and 15 years respectively I now live quite a distance from them and spend maybe 30 days with each of them a year. That probably leaves us about 20% of our hangout time left.

This information has left me reflecting on the choices I’ve made and helped me monitor my own beliefs and behaviour.

My daughter Emelina is 2.5yo and the little bub I’m carrying is due in January 2018. By the time they are 18yo I’ll be around 48yo and judging by the data above I would have already spent over 90% of my in-person parent time together. Makes me sad… but strengthens my resolve to be present everyday with Eme and Leki plus all the loved ones around me.

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**TIP – After reading this blog post over a year ago – Leki and I made the commitment to stop anything we’re doing and give Eme full attention when she wants to play or if she’s nagging us for something or asking repetitive questions. There will be a time when she’ll stop singing and dancing ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen. Then we’ll wish she was singing and dancing rather then looking at boys 🙂

So in summary I would like to re-enforce the main points from Tim Urban’s takeaway message:

  1. Living in the same place as the people you love matters. I have more time with my loved ones as I live in the same city and state. I can only imagine the struggle if I lived interstate or overseas!
  2. Priorities matter. My remaining face time with loved ones depends largely on my list of priorities. Make time with people a priority!
  3. Quality time matters. If you’re in your last 10% of time with someone you love, keep that fact in the front of your mind when you’re with them and treat that time as what it actually is – Precious.

Do It Now. Be Present. Why Wait?

With love,

Belinda.