How I Gained Weight and Got Healthier Over 10 Years

Photos: Clockwise from Top left – At my thinnest, Top right – At least my arms are a bit stronger, Bottom right – Doing well but tummy bloated from gluten, Bottom left – Curvy, healthy and happy!

Hello lovely people! Someone suggested it might be a nice idea to share my weight gain and consequent health journey with you.

The reality of me being so thin and also unhealthy in my late 20’s early 30’s:

I was ALWAYS cold; if I got ill I’d become under weight and weak so easily; if I fell down (which I am prone to do when fatigued/not concentrating) I’d get really hurt because I had no padding over my bones; I struggled carrying my heavy boobs around on such a narrow frame and always had a bad back. I was so pale and not olive skinned like I should naturally be (which I covered up with fake tan).

BUT I was constantly told by people that I looked amazing and should feel grateful that I was ‘so skinny’.

I honestly thought through my 20’s and early 30’s that it was normal for young people to be over-worked, slightly stressed and to push their body to it’s limits and then prop it up with caffeine, sugar and beer/cocktails because that seemed the social norm at the time.

How I got healthy in my 30’s:

I mostly cut out foods containing gluten and dairy as I have an intolerance to them (meaning the body doesn’t absorb nutrients from those foods as it can’t digest them properly but it can, confusingly, make people look fat/bloated in places). I eat regular balanced meals with enough protein. I priorities sleep (even though that means saying no to morning invites). I don’t push myself to the limit of my strength and energy for fear of missing out (using up all of my body’s resources). I got a full blood work-up and found I was totally lacking in B12 and Vit D (no wonder I was so weak, brain fogged and grey!).

Even though I have MS now, I still feel healthier overall these days!

Has wanting to gain or loose weight prompted you to start a health journey? Let me know what you think in the comments!

✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨

How Depression Crept Up on Me and Advice

This time two years ago I posted the photo below to Instagram and said I was having a girly-night to myself and made it sound so positive.

What I didn’t say was that I’d had to go on Just Eat to find somewhere local which sold food and beer/wine because it felt like an overwhelming physical AND mental impossibility to go to the local shops. I was so hungry and really needed something to cheer myself up too.

I’d gotten into the habit of not getting (dragging myself) out of bed until 4.00pm (sadly after it had gone dark) so I hadn’t seen daylight for five days. I’d stopped being bothered to get dressed or comb my wildly frizzy hair or to tidy up.

The bloke had to be elsewhere and he was so stressed and busy he really needed to get on with it and I was trying to be as supportive as poss. But I was on my own all week, until weekend and felt really lonely. But I also felt guilty and silly bothering him.

I realise looking back that the Depression had crept back but at the time I was kidding myself that I was having fun enjoying not having any responsibilities or structure.

Ironically that is exactly what helps me, as it stops the endless days and nights all blending together. Plus someone to bounce my thoughts off so they aren’t swimming around in my head and growing more negative and repetitive is vital for me.

I wish I’d put an honest caption on Insta about how I was feeling at the time or told my Dad or my bloke how I felt. BUT I’d been fighting for decades to have my disabilities and chronic illness recognised and to get on ESA benefit so I could rest at home all day. I felt guilty that I wasn’t now happy and thought I must be being ungrateful or overly-dramatic. But actually, when you can’t or aren’t doing much, whole days and nights alone can seem like an eternity.

After doing this on repeat for about a month (literally just living for the weekend when my bloke would be able to come back basically) I phoned him in floods of tears.

We talked for an hour and worked out a better way of doing things and it made a vast amount of difference to my mental health.

———-

There isn’t always a reason though. Sometimes clinical depression can hit you for no reason at all and that’s perfectly normal, not your fault and just as valid.

If you are feeling crappy or apathetic to stuff you normally love doing or are struggling to keep your head above water, please don’t fool yourself you are ‘fine’. Admit to yourself that you aren’t feeling okay and then tell someone else, even if it’s just one other person (i.e. a considerate family member, a friend, an empathetic friend of a friend or your GP for instance) IRL or online.

You don’t have to be fine all of the time and forcing yourself to try can do more damage than good. Being open and honest about your feelings can lift a huge weight.

It’s ok not to be ok 🙃

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨

My Lifestyle Tips for Healthier Skin

A few months back I set myself a challenge to get healthier skin in just one month and I achieved it! Here are some general lifestyle tips, which have helped me to keep my skin healthy (along with that skincare regimen) since.

🖤 Cutting right down on foods which don’t agree with my digestive system for better gut health, like dairy and gluten (making sure I found suitable replacements).

🖤 Imagining I’m a big pebble in a river and letting the water (life’s stresses and problems) pass around and over me, while I remain stable and steadfast, rather than shaken up and disturbed. There’s a certain amount of ‘ What will be, will be’ attitude to this in order to not worry about or wring yourself out trying to get the ‘perfect’ outcome. The deep furrow in the middle of my forehead has actually relaxed and I don’t get indigestion from stress or feeling anxious anymore.

🖤 Keeping up my water intake and my salt intake so my body absorbs and uses the water properly, rather than it going straight through me.

🖤 Using a gentle cleanser (at least once a day) which includes T-tree oil to balance my skin and keep any blemishes at bay.

🖤 Realising when my skin is de-hydrated and needs moisturiser or dry and needs oil.

🖤 Still getting takeaway but from places that use a large range of freshly cooked ingredients like Eastern/Asian takeaways or including healthy mezze/tapas/a big salad with any junk food type meals.

🖤 Keeping my hair fastened back off my face when the front pieces are dirty or oily. Not touching my face and fringe as much. Washing my hands more often.

Simple but affective! What do you think?

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Hangover Prevention and Selfcare Bedtime Routine

In a way, these are general ‘sleep hygiene’ tips, no, not washing your sheets everyday but tips on how to get your head down, get a restful sleep and to wake up feeling (and looking) vaguely human.

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Beauty Kitchen Products – Oil

They are an independent UK company who try to be as sustainable and natural as possible. This oil is wonderful for taking makeup off with, to give the face a quick massage with and to nourish skin. No more waking up looking like a dried up Mummy, with curiously puffy eye bags.

Laptop/Book

Before I go to sleep I watch an episode of 90210, Lucifer or You Tube makeup tutorials by Wayne Goss, with the screen dimmed. If my eyes aren’t too tired I’ll read a character driven novel. Anything that’s interesting but not taxing.

Healthy Crisps

I always find I need salty food to soak up the sugary alcohol I’ve had. It also means I don’t wake up starving but too tired to make breakfast/lunch. I find the crunching really relaxing as i carry a lot of tension in my jaw.

Oil Based Lip Balm

Skin needs both oil and moisturiser so I apply this before it’s needed. I’m such a mouth breather at night XoD

Scrunchy 

How do people sleep without their hair tied back, how!?  When I do that, it wraps around me like a Face-hugger from Alien and then I wake up with it looking like statically charged spaghetti.

HYDRATE! (Waiting for my new flask to arrive)

I always have weak, sugar free cordial (water just goes straight through me) to sip before I go to sleep, throughout the night and before I get up in the morning. This stops me feeling shite, keeps my skin clear and reduces eye bags and ‘desert mouth.’

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Before I started this routine I used to wake up with a really flushed face, crazy hair, bloating, bone-dry skin and feel more tired than when I went to bed! This has made a significant difference to my morning chronic fatigue and mental health; most days I’ll happily get up at 11.00am, rather than dragging my sorry arse out of bed at 1.00-2.00pm like I used to.

🥂Chrissie🥂

 

Aldi Vegan No Sausage Rolls

I’m just going to get straight to it and say these taste fantastic! I was worried they might be a little bland but they have the perfect meaty, lightly spiced flavour you expect from a decent sausage roll.

The cooking instructions threw me a bit (from frozen) as it says to place them directly on to the oven shelf. Im glad I didn’t otherwise they would have glued themselves to it. Instead, I put them on a pre-heated pizza tray with lots of holes in so that they cooked through all crispy but didn’t stick. Ten minutes before the end I turned the oven up from gas mark 6 to 7 because they needed it.

They are so tasty I didn’t want to ruin them with the tomato sauce and ignored it. A nice bit of Branston pickle would have gone down well though.

Rating 5/5

P.S. These are vegan, so dairy free but not gluten free. Yup, I will have a food baby for the next few days – totally worth it for a treat now and then ;0)

<3Chrissie

Drink 1 Litre of Water for 5 Days Challenge

Hi lovely people!

I don’t know about you, but I need to drink more water as I’m feeling thirsty far to often and my skin and energy levels hate me for it. So you’ve probably heard that Beyonce drinks 2.5 litres of water a day but seeing as I ain’t busting my arse in a studio or on stage and my day is much shorter, I thought I’d reign that goal in a bit. I’ve decided that 1 litre is more realistic for me, plus I like a few beers in the evening so I don’t want to end up all bloated trying to cram in too much liquid.

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The rules

  1. As my body has always loved to piss away most of the water I drink, rather than absorb it and because I have chronic fatigue, I’m filing the bottle up like this 1/3 energy drink, 2/3 water, with a pinch of salt included.
  2. I’m using the same bottle for each day
  3. I’m not counting tea, coffee, orange juice or beer.
  4. I’m starting at 12.30pm when I get up and finishing at 4.30pm so leaving tea-time and evenings free.

The Bottle

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It has a fancy button which pops open the spout and a button to lock that button so it’s safe to travel, oh and a handy carabina clip. It also has times for morning and afternoon down one side and measurements down the other. Really though you could up-cycle any bottle as long as you draw lines to show where each litre and half litre is. My memory is bobbins though so I appreciate that it’s divided into hours.

Day 1

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On track…

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Lagging behind by an hour and a half!

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Just finished it at 6.12pm. It was a real effort and I noticed that it really curbed my appetite so I’ve only eaten a small bowl of nachos and humus all day. That can’t be good can it?

Day 2

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Way ahead today as I woke up thirsty and it was a warm day.

Day 3

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Stopped at 3.30pm as I really fancied sitting in the sunshine with nice cold shandies. I did finish the rest off later though.

Day 4

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Kept perfectly on track all day and found it easy.

Day 5

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It was one of those days where the weather is changing like crazy – from getting baked out of bed and drinking water and craving a glass of cold, fresh orange – to it turning cold and making me need a coffee with 2/3 hot hazelnut milk in to warm me up. I’ve met my liquid intake goal, it just wasn’t all water.

Verdict

My skin does look really healthy and I must admit, I didn’t once get that ‘Oh, I really should get up and get a drink but I’m tired or busy so I’ll do it in a minute.’ attitude because the water bottle was always right next to me. I’ve been going to the loo for number two more regularly and seem to digest heavier foods quicker, which has made me less bloated. Was that TMI?

Doing this can be a great way of making sure you stay hydrated but I still think we should be intuitive and listen to what our body needs and when. There is no point in trying to force water into your body when it might need something else. Two things that weren’t factored into this challenge were a) The space in my tummy that food took up and b) I have a mainly plant based diet so I absorb water (a lot more easily) from my food.

I’ve kept up trying to drink my litre-of-water-a-day for just over a week now, with varying degrees of success but that’s ok as long as I’m not thirsty or too bloated! :o)

Chrissie

Kirsty’s Classic Margherita Pizza Gluten & Dairy Free review

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It’s unusual for me to find a pizza that is GF and DF, especially one that has a fair amount of toppings. I found this in Tesco.

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Studies have found that our gut health does directly relate to our emotions because they are connected by the vagus nerve, which transmits signals between them. Ever been really nervous and had a slushy feeling in your stomach or received bad news and felt your stomach drop? Ever eaten something you know doesn’t agree with your stomach in the evening and then had really chaotic anxiety dreams? It does make you wonder!

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They could add more cheese around the edge but the sauce is delicious and the thin base is lovely and crispy so I wasn’t too bothered. My only complaint is that the ‘cheese’ was too sweet. Nice flavour to it but I had to add salt and pepper to make it more savoury.

In my gas oven I had to put this on the shelf that’s above middle but not right at the top, rather than the middle as suggested. I also had to put it on gas mark 7 (higher than the temperature suggested) and leave it in for five minutes longer. Frustrating at first but I’m glad I persevered.

The bloke cooked his in a microwave-combi oven and followed the instructions exactly. It came out perfect!?

Rating 4/5 (depending on oven)

Chrissie

 

15 Relatable Ways Brain Fog Affects People

‘Brain fog’ or ‘Cog fog’ (Cognitive fog) is a neurological condition where mental fogginess gets in the way of people’s cognitive skills; making it hard for them to think straight and recall and process information. It can occur in a lot of disabilities and conditions such as Lupus, MS, Fibromyalgia Hypermobilty Syndromes, Dysautonamia, chronic fatigue, menopause, pregnancy and anxiety.

  1. Recalling words. “You know that thing…where you…ah?
  2. Misplacing objects. Either loosing them or feeling like there’s a poltergeist in the house because an object has appeared in a totally random place (where you absent-mindedly left it). Spatula in the washing machine and socks in the sink?
  3. No sense of time passing or your place in time. Not being able to keep track of what time or date or even day it is, throughout the day.
  4. Trying to catch fog. Trying to express something that you feel passionate about but you can’t seem to pin down the important points or get them in order in your mind before they drift away again.
  5. Visual processing. Starring right at the damn product on the shelf and still not being able to recognise and find it.
  6. Auditory processing and recall. By the time the person you are talking to has finished their sentence you’ve forgot the start of it. For instance – you know that you agree with them but now are clueless as to what you are agreeing with.
  7. Information sequencing for basic math, writing and logic. You would automatically know this this normally but today you can’t make sense of what the logical order is.
  8. General sensory processing. Everything is too loud or too tight or too bright or you can’t sense/judge things enough like temperature, spacial awareness, speed, distance. Scary when trying to cross a noisy, busy road.
  9. Feeling spaced-out and oddly detached. Not quite being able to comprehend the seriousness of situations or people’s problems. Coming across as slow to react, flippant or even uncaring.
  10. Concentration and sequencing. Managing to loose your own point mid-sentence by getting easily distracted “I simply will not put up with…Ooh shiny!
  11. Struggling to make simple decisions or feeling rather apathetic to things and just saying “You choose, I’m good either way.”
  12. Literally going blank and ‘phasing out.’ Nope, I have no idea where I went there for a moment, either.
  13. Learning difficulties. Having to do something repeatedly and within a fairly short time frame to be able to learn it or get into the habit of doing it.
  14. Basic auditory processing. When you are deep in thought or involved in a task and someone talks to you, because you are not expecting to hear something, you can’t process what it was, only that you heard them say something. So they say it louder -_-
  15. Recalling specific details. You are having a great conversation and taking in everything that is being said, you feel today is a brain fog free day. The next day when relating the conversation to some else “They went on holiday to…somewhere and they went with…someone and it was last week or last month, ah crap, never mind.”

I know people with Dyspraxia, Autism, ADD, ADHD (or a combination of them), will have struggled with some of the above naturally, since childhood – I know I have – but those brain fog moments make these things even more difficult, which is why Brain Fog has earned a whole list of it’s own ;o)

Which do you relate to? Let me know in the comments.

Chrissie

 

A great cure ring for snoring!

As anyone who has to put up with a partner who snores like an angry lion roaring will tell you, it can be really frustrating. Frustrating to the point of wanting to boot them out of bed – literally. I got a bit of a shock when my bloke informed me that I also snore “like a little dog”, which isn’t as cute as I thought and actually quite annoying apparently.

I was really pleased when another blogger informed me that Good Night Anti-Snoring Rings existed and I asked Good Night if I could put them to the test. My bloke was rather skeptical but willing and I was just plain desperate.

Good Night Anti-snore Ring

How It Works

The ring uses acupressure theory by applying pressure on specific points using two Acu-Activators which work on different pressure points S12 & HT9 located on the little finger. This works in harmony with the body’s bio rythms.

Good Night Anti-snore Ring

Info

You need to wear the ring for at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep.

Going of the Chinese belief of Yin and Yang men should generally bennefit from wearing the ring on their right hand and women on their left. If the person is a very heavy snorer however, they can wear one on each hand!

Wear the ring ONLY when you are about to sleep and for no longer than 12 hours.

The ring is not suitable for pregnant women or for people under 18 and it’s also not suitable for people with sleep apnea.

The Anti-Snoring Ring is available in three sizes Small J-P, Medium N-S. Large S-Z

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Good Night Anti-snore Ring

Putting Them To The Test

After 4 nights:

“This ring really works, it’s amazing!” we are both saying.

After 5 nights:

Aaargh! Really bad night of snoring from my bloke, what the heck is going on?

After 7 nights:

Throughout the night when he’s on his back my bloke makes a quiet rumbling noise every now and then. I pressume this is when he’d normally be snoring loudly if it wasn’t for the ring.

After 14 nights:

Blissful sleep for the majority of the time. We realise the first snoring instance was because my bloke confessed he wasn’t sure he had the ring on the right way round that evening. I must admit I tried to put it on my ring finger a few times… ha ha, don’t even go there people! . The second instance was a result of my bloke consuming a large amount of beer (always a bad snore omen) and then being woken by me as I desperately tried to shove the ring on his finger. Hardly a great start to a relaxing nights sleep.

Our Verdict

Over all we are really impressed! The Good Night Anti-snoring rings which we refer to as ‘our snorings’ have become a nightly his and hers accessory. I haven’t snored once while wearing mine and I find it very comfortable. One could argue “Well you might not have snored anyway during those nights.” but the fact our snoring stopped and only returned when we didn’t use the rings correctly is a kind of default test, as I see it.

I must let my Mum know about these rings as she still hasn’t got accustomed to my Dad snoring, even after 40 years of marriage!

Money back guarantee on website:

‘If you are not satisfied that after using the Good Night Anti-Snoring Ring that it has not stopped or reduced your snoring after using the ring and wearing it each night correctly and according to instructions for a minimum of 21 days, we will refund your purchase price less the postage and packaging.’

Rings cost £30.

Rating 5/5