The baby who ate everything…

Today, the cub and I went for a lovely afternoon in a local country park. I thought we could feed the ducks, play on the swings, and have some sandwiches and cake for tea.

At the park shop, they sold bags of bird seed for the bargain price of 30p. Cub has been having lots of fun throwing things lately, so I thought I’d try to get him to throw the bird seed to the ducks. I showed him how to do it, several times, and his little eyes lit up, and he goo’ed and gah’ed excitedly… I thought he was all ready to give it a go. I was very wrong… he actually grabbed a handful of seed, eyed it thoughtfully for a moment, and greedily stuffed it into his mouth.

It’s just seeds, right, how harmful can that be???

After trying to retrieve the seed from his mouth, I thought I’d continue trying to feed the ducks myself, so that he could see them waddling and quacking up close. Not a chance. After his first mouthful of that delicious bird seed, he’d got the taste for it, and tried to steal the bag back. Then he threw an almighty strop because the birds were getting the tasty seed and he wasn’t.

Duck feeding abandoned. Off to the playpark.

First we went on the swings (huge hit,) then the slide (met with mostly indifference.) Then I thought I’d let him have an explore.

This particular playground is all built on a giant sandpit, rather than squidgy flooring or grass. So, I set him down on the sand, expecting him to crawl off, play with the sand, or… something.

First he looked a bit confused by this new flooring. Then, he grabbed a huge handful of sand, and, quick as a flash, stuffed it in his mouth. I looked on in horror. You would think he would have cried, or looked disgusted, or spat it out, but no. He looked a little surprised by the texture, but was not put off. He grabbed another handful, and tried to eat that too. That one I did manage to intercept.

Play park abandoned. Off to the cafe.

I ordered a painini (for bloody six pounds bloody fifty) and a caramel shortbread, with the intention of us sharing both of them. I cut the sandwich into manageable strips, and the cake into cubes. And did he reach out eagerly and stuff them in his mouth? Nope. He played with a bit of cake, sucked it for a bit, and threw it on the floor. The sandwich was completely ignored. Obviously not sandy or seedy enough.

Good job he’s cute.


My name is Laura and I am a binge eater.

Since January 1st, I have been trying really hard to lose weight. Right up until this Thursday, it’s been going great. I’ve been focussed, I’ve exercised, and I lost 16lbs in 5 weeks.

Today’s weigh in says that I’ve gained 5lb in three days. Wow.

No excuses. I have gained weight because for the last three days, I have not stopped shovelling junk food into my face.

Disaster #1- This week, we have been in teething hell with the cub. No sleep, lots of crying. Stress, exhaustion, and tears all round.

Disaster #2 -My parents have been visiting. I have felt the need to entertain them, which has meant that I’ve been completely out of my routine, and has somehow meant me cooking lots of high calorie foods.  They also brought a box of chocolates. I ate the lot in less than 24 hours.

Disaster #3- Valentines day. I got bought more chocolate. That has also all gone.

I feel really really sick. I have no self control.  Apparently, I have no other coping mechanism. I have huge compulsive eating problem that I have struggled with for a long time, and I need to fix it.

This week I will be better.

And the result for January is…

Woo-hoo, I’ve lost 13lb in January!!! You can read all the other Fitness Friday entries at the Monkeying Around blog.

Name: Laura
Blog: Cake and Tea Blog
Twitter: @cakeandtealover
Starting Weight: Loads. That’s all I’m saying.
Target Weight: Lots less!
Amount Lost: 2lb this week. That’s a total of 13lb overall.
Amount to Lose: Now 1st 7lb to get to pre baby weight! Then somewhere in the region of 2.5 stone to get my BMI down to where it should be. It sounds better split in two!
Dress Size: 18
Target Dress Size: 12/14
Why I want to lose weight: Lots of reasons…. I have a wardrobe full of nice summer clothes that I would love to be able to wear this year. I worked so hard to lose weight before I got pregnant, and I am annoyed at myself for gaining again. And I didn’t reach my final goal last time, so I have unfinished business! I want to prove to myself i can do it. I want my fitness back. And I want to look amazing!
Changes To My Fitness Plan: More running. I really need to be doing some longer distances to get round this half marathon alive. I have started with two 10k runs this week, and will build up my distances over the next month… hopefully!
How I Feel This Week Went:

I’m a bit out of synch with Fitness Friday because I do weekend weigh ins. But today I am covering the last two weigh ins, which brings me back up to date.

Weigh in 1- I put on 1lb! I was gutted! I’d worked my arse off in the gym, and looking back at my entries, there wasn’t much wrong with my diet either. If I had to put the gain down to something, then it could be any of the following-

– Not drinking enough water

– Starting on the mini pill, which sent my body a bit nuts

– Stress and sleeplessness (Cub is feeling much better but still not sleeping well!)

– Still having cold. That does weird things to my body too!

Nonetheless, for whatever reason the result wasn’t great. But what I have learnt is that sometimes you can do everything right and not get the result you want. At those times, you need to take an honest look at what you have done that week, and see if you can do anything differently. And if you really, honestly, truly think there was nothing wrong, then you need to accept that sometimes the scales are bastards, take it with a pinch of salt, and keep going- losing weight is a mental battle as much as it is a physical one, and keeping the motivation going is everything.

So, I had a sulk, dusted myself off, and kept going.  Right up until…

Weigh in 2 – I lost 3lb! Yay! Now, the second week was, on paper, far worse than the first. It included an immense all you can eat Pizza Hut buffet, where I managed to eat 7 slices (I still see “all you can eat” as a competitive sport…) I only managed to exercise 3 times too, which is less than the week before, but somehow, I lost weight this week. Gods of the Scales, I will never understand your freaky little ways.

This left me a total of 13lb down for January! I am so happy with this result, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough. My husband lost 14lb and has won the January weight loss challenge! Well done to him for an amazing result! You can read about his week here.

(Can I just point out that I had a bigger % weight loss though?)

Tips I Would Like To Share:

– Scales are evil. Sometimes you do everything right, and they give you a number you don’t like. Prepare for that to happen, and stay focussed when it does. Don’t let it set you back.

– Setting small goals works best for me- setting a weight loss goal for a month is always good, or setting yourself a goal of losing the next half a stone is another good one. Small steps all add up to a big success!

Fitness Friday: Week 4

And the result of weigh in number two is…. -3lb! I am very, very pleased indeed, as I had such a big loss last week and didn’t really expect to lose anything. Here’s how my week went. You can read all the other Fitness Friday entries at the Monkeying Around blog.

Name: Laura
Blog: Cake and Tea Blog
Twitter: @cakeandtealover
Starting Weight: Loads. That’s all I’m saying.
Target Weight: Lots less!
Amount Lost: 3lb this week! That’s a total of 11lb overall.
Amount to Lose: Now 1st 9lb to get to pre baby weight! Then somewhere in the region of 2.5 stone to get my BMI down to where it should be. It sounds better split in two!
Dress Size: 18
Target Dress Size: 12/14
Why I want to lose weight: Lots of reasons…. I have a wardrobe full of nice summer clothes that I would love to be able to wear this year. I worked so hard to lose weight before I got pregnant, and I am annoyed at myself for gaining again. And I didn’t reach my final goal last time, so I have unfinished business! I want to prove to myself i can do it. I want my fitness back. And I want to look amazing!
Changes To My Fitness Plan: Not really planning any severe changes, but I am going out for a 7 mile run with my husband this weekend.  We haven’ t run together since before I was pregnant, so I am strangely excited about it! It’ll be like a weird, sweaty date!
How I Feel This Week Went: The bug of doom is still lingering in our household, and really got hold of me at the weekend, so I had a couple of days off exercise. I didn’t let this get me off track with my diet, so I still ate well. I’m really pleased that this didn’t set me back too much, as sometimes a couple of days out of your routine is enough to get you off track completely.

I have started tracking what I eat at Livestrong, which is a free site where you can track what you eat and the exercise that you do, and also make some pretty weight loss graphs! I’m finding this really helpful, as I always think making yourself accountable by tracking everything that goes into your mouth is a great way to stay focussed.

This week, I have started on the mini pill to control my bonkers PMT, and it seems to be doing weird things to my body… so if I post a gain next week I will need lots of support to keep me on track please!!

Also, does anyone have any tips for reminding yourself to drink more water through the day? I am rubbish at this, and I’m sure I’m permanently dehydrated- not good when you’re exercising and breastfeeding!

Tips I Would Like To Share:

– Try one of the free food tracking websites, they’re really easy to use and really motivating when you see yourself do well.

– Preparation is everything.  If you’re going out to eat, check menus online beforehand, and choose a healthy option, so you know what you’re having before you get there. I find if I turn up to a restaurant hungry, I am inclined to order one of everything!

Weight loss pics! Before and after

I thought I’d post some pictures here, to give myself a big kick up the bum. Between 2007 and 2009, I lost 7 stone, and was 2 stone (ish) off my goal weight when I got pregnant. The lovely Cub was born 9 months ago, and I am carrying an extra 2 stone of baby weight.

Here’s me at my biggest, dress size 26.

How did I feel about myself then? A bit shit, to be honest, I don’t think many people enjoy being overweight. It wasn’t something I dwelled on a lot, but I knew it wasn’t healthy and I knew something had to be done, I just never got round to it.

But one day, something clicked, I joined a gym, sorted out my diet, and 18 months later….

Here’s me at my smallest, dress size 14/16. I would love to be that size again!

As you can see, not at all what you’d call skinny, and I still had a fair bit of weight to lose, but the fact that I dare to wear a strapless dress speaks volumes. (I want that tan back too, does anyone want to take me on holiday??) I was confident, really happy with my level of fitness, and still losing weight in a really healthy way… right until I got knocked up. Damn you, husband, damn you! Of course I wouldn’t change that for the world but I do wish I had laid off the cakes while I was pregnant.

Now I’m a size 18, so closer to picture 2, but nowhere near as confident or as fit. I was going to post a picture of what I look like now, but I have no full length photos at all- just shows how camera shy I have been for the past few months!

I am totally focussed though, I know I can get back to where I was, and then carry on down to my ideal weight. Bring. It. On.

(PS, I must confess to nicking this idea from my husband- his before and after photos are on his website here . Check it out!)

Crunchy or Chewy? A mum politics test!

This week, I came across the term “crunchy parenting” for the first time, referring to hippy parenting (“crunchy” like granola!) As far as I can fathom, crunchy parenting may include, but is not limited to, breastfeeding (especially over the age of one,) co-sleeping, cloth nappying, buying organic, babywearing, not using cry-it-out, baby led weaning, homebirthing, homeschooling, and possibly some form of vegetarianism or veganism.

Having just started using Twitter, I am amazed at the amount of people whose bio basically repeats the list above. I think that’s amazing, and I can’t imagine how much effort goes into maintaining that sort of lifestyle.  I have always thought of myself as a hippy sort of soul, but when it comes down to the everyday stuff, I am fairly mainstream, to be honest. So, just for fun, I am going to formulate a quiz, and try and place myself somewhere on the continuum of crunchy, and the opposite, which I shall call “chewy.”  Let’s see where I end up…

Criteria 1- Milk Feeding

 I am a breastfeeder, but it always seems weird to me when people congratulate me on it. I’m really really lucky that I’ve never had any soreness, or problems with supply or latch, so it’s just what I’ve always done. I expect to feed past the age of 1 (can’t see the point of giving up when I go back to work, if I am only feeding morning and night.)  But I am not adverse to giving the odd formula  feed if I’m going out, and am certainly not a militant type that will  crusade for everyone to breastfeed, whatever it takes! It’s none of my business. Crunchy score 4/5

Criteria 2: Solid feeding

As I’ve posted before, we are doing baby led weaning, and I love it. I also really love meat, and am definitely not vegetarian.  I occasionally buy organic, but not if the price difference is significant. Overall, a bit crunchy, but not much. Crunchy score 3/5

Criteria 3: Attachment Parenting

Ok, time for some confessions. I have used CIO, and it saved my sanity. I have let my baby sleep in my bed, but I didn’t sleep a wink. He was in his own room at 10 weeks. I bought a carrier, and got the straps twisted, forgot about it, and never used it out of the house. I have no intention of home schooling. It surprises me a bit that I haven’ t done any of this stuff, because it sounds like something I would do, it just didn’t turn out that way. I suppose the only way to find out what sort of parent you are is to suck it and see. Crunchy score 1/5

Criteria 4: Nappies

Disposable. Sorry. I never really looked into the eco-friendly options. I really wish I had, but I didn’t. So I am chewy, chewy, chewy, like a treacle toffee. I feel lazy now! Crunchy score 1/5

Criteria 5: Birth choices

I had a hospital birth. I would have liked a water birth, but I was too high risk (more on that another time.) I did just have gas and air though… I sent for an epidural but the baby moved faster than the anaesthetist and it never happened! Next time, I would love a home birth, and I’m reasonably confident that I could handle just gas and air again. It would be lovely to move freely, and not to be strapped to monitors and surrounded by an ever-changing sea of faces. So, my experience has been mainstream, but I wasn’t keen. My ambition for next time is  crunchy as hell. Don’t tell the husband though, he thinks we’ve finished at just the one! Crunchy score 4/5

Total score:13/25

That puts me firmly in the middle, and I bet that most mums are. Kudos to you if can manage to go the extra mile, wash those cloth nappies, and get through those patches of sleeplessness without either sleep training, or going bonkers. Kudos too, if you make confident and balanced choices that make your family happy, and encourage your children to shine- whatever path you take.

 I think this highlights the sheer number of decisions parents have to make for the tiny people that depend on them. Quite often it feels like a minefield, but we muddle through. As long as our babies are happy and healthy, we should be proud of the choices we have made, for surely that is the only goal- and there is no easy way to parent!


Baby Led Weaning!

I love, love, love baby led weaning. I love that we can all eat together, us with our knives and forks, and cub with his fingers. I love that we all eat the same thing. I love that he explores food for himself and eats til he’s full: no struggling with getting a spoon in his mouth. And most of all, I love not making purees. I am far too lazy for that. 

Cub has readily tried everything we’ve given him so far, and seems to have a rather massive appetite. He is rather dubious about egg though!

Here he is eating beans on toast.

Note that I forgot the bib, classic mumfail moment!

I am so glad that we chose to wean this way. It feels like the natural thing to do, and it’s so much fun, though it does require a huge tolerance for mess from mum and dad!