Double Figures!!

I finally made it to my first goal of getting down to double figures. I’m now under 100kg, currently sitting at 99kg, and it is the best feeling in the world. I have not been this “skinny” since I was a teenager, and it’s all due to Intermittent Fasting.

So my clothes and getting loose and too big, people are starting to see the difference. I have now lost a total of 11kg. There were a few weeks in there where I didn’t fast but I didn’t put any weight back on (which is usual for me with any other dieting). I even ate naughty things like fast food and chocolate (though I don’t recommend it, I only mention so as to showcase the amazing benefits of Intermittent Fasting). The weight I have lost has stayed off, and I am positively thrilled.

Stay tuned for further updates.

 

Starting Weight: 110kg

Current Weight: 99kg

Goal: Diabetes free!

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My Intermittent Fasting Journey So Far

So back at the end of November I wrote a post on how Intermittent Fasting was saving me money (read it here). At that point I had lost 2kg in the first week and was feeling a lessening of the effects of fibromyalgia. So I wanted to update you on my progress.

Firstly, forget December! I didn’t get much fasting done during December as there were so many functions and Christmas and to try and resist all that temptation would be to set myself up for failure; so I promised myself to resume fasting in January. It’s now the 25th of January and I have lost an additional 7kg, so that’s 9kg all up! I’m so thrilled. In the past, for me to have lost this much weight required months and months of intense exercise and strict dieting. I’ve achieved this weight loss in about a fortnight, and with no exercise! In fact, due to the hot weather and some personal issues I’ve actually spent a lot of that time on the couch napping!

My blood sugars are showing improvement too. My clothes are getting too loose! I’m being more productive. The list of pros goes on and on. It’s just been so easy! I wish I had known about Intermittent Fasting 25 years ago!

And I’m still saving money on food!

moi

Starting Weight: 110kg

Current Weight: 101kg

Goal: Diabetes free!

Don’t Buy New Clothes, Mend Your Old Ones!

In today’s throw away society we have forgotten how to pick up a needle and thread and mend a seam or small tear. It’s too easy to toss an item away and duck down to the nearest clothing outlet and replace the item, or stock up on extra clothing we will doubtfully ever end up wearing. I bet most of us have at least one item of clothing lurking in our wardrobes with the tags still on.

But I wonder how many of you out there realise the impact throwing away your clothes has on the environment, let alone your hip pocket. Check out this article here that shows Australians send 85% of textiles to landfill. Some of these items are of a synthetic nature and may never break down! We need to be more mindful of the waste we produce if we are to leave a livable world for our children.

For close to two decades now I have purchased minimal clothing for myself, instead I have accepted hand-me-downs from my mother and my friends; and if some of these haven’t fitted correctly I have made alterations. For my daughter, I accept hand-me-downs from my friend’s children, and anything I have bought or that is still good from the hand-me-downs I have passed onto other friends with children younger than mine.

I never throw articles of clothing in the bin. I pass items onto local Op-shops, or if the item is too damaged to be of any good to anyone then I try to salvage as much of the material from the item I can for use in patchwork quilting. Buttons, zips and other fastenings may also be salvaged for future sewing projects.

Now I hear some of you saying “but I can’t sew!” YES YOU CAN! Sewing does not require great skill to achieve the desired results here. If you are truly a beginner to sewing then you can learn either from a class at a local community centre or through a YouTube tutorial. If you absolutely must dispose of the item then please consider donating the item, or passing it on to a friend or family member. Next, make sure the item you purchase to replace it is made of more natural than synthetic fibres. Also, ask yourself, do you really need to replace the item? Of course, this is often the case with uniforms or wet weather gear, but make sure you are not consuming for consuming’s sake.

Clothing can be costly, but a needle and thread are relatively cheap. You don’t need a whizz-bang sewing machine to mend a seam or darn a sock; often a few small stitches can save an article of clothing from certain doom. As my mother used to say “a stitch in time saves nine.”

Fasting For Health Has Saved Me Money

A little over a week ago I started Intermittent Fasting. My younger brother got me onto it, and I ended up doing a fair bit of research into it. My hope is to reverse my type 2 diabetes as it is really beginning to take its toll on my life.

I’ve been fasting for 2-3 days at a time. So far I’ve lost 2kgs, my blood sugars levels are slowly coming down, and I have noticed that the effects of fibromyalgia have lessened! I’m less fatigued, I feel lighter (not sluggish), and am in less pain. Days are easier, and I’m not needing so many naps. I have more energy. I’m thrilled.

The other thing I have noticed is the amount of money I’m saving. We live in a world where food wastage is becoming an issue, and fast food (bad food) is a convenience. After I noticed money still in my account with the next pay day fast approaching, I stopped to ponder about what I may have forgotten to pay. I realised that I had not had to buy lunch at work while I was fasting. Buying lunch on work days usually costs me anything between $10 and $20; this adds up.

Thankfully where I work currently, I can bring lunch from home and store it in a fridge. But in the past I have had jobs where storing lunch was not an option, and buying lunch on the road was costing me a small fortune. Intermittent Fasting could have really helped me back then.

I’ve been getting asked if I’m hungry. Funnily enough, no. The feeling of hunger passes. You begin to realise that you’ve been eating unnecessarily… all those snacks! It is truly the easiest weight loss regime I have ever been on… and I’ve been on quite a few over my life time.

Anyway, I would like to share my fasting journey with you here, regardless of whether or not it is relevant to frugal living. I hope you will follow me on this journey as your support will keep me going.

Thanks for reading xx

before

This is a recent photo (I’d already lost 2kg here). I thought I had better have a “before” photo for comparison.

Starting weight: 110kg            Current weight: 108kg

Goal: Diabetes free!

Being Healthy On A Budget

 Dear Readers, as you should know by now, I like to cut corners where I can. But there seems to be certain things that one cannot afford to skimp on, and our health care is one of them. I was never sick as a child, but then again, neither were my parents… all that changes in my family when you get into adulthood; then it’s another year, another chronic illness, umpteen more medication prescriptions… and medication is EXPENSIVE!

In the last two years I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and moved to become insulin dependent. I’m on quite a number of medications and insulin, and along with insulin is the cost of needles and blood test strips. Without being on a health care card these items add up very quickly and take a considerable chunk out of my fortnightly budget that could go on healthy foods, bills, or even a gym membership!

At 35 I was beginning to feel like I was dying; in fact my husband would often comment that I looked or acted as if I was dying. My hopes and dreams of seeing my toddler into adulthood and hopefully parenthood, were slipping away from me and seeming to become an impossible dream. I had to do something, and quickly. I had seen my parents go through angiograms, heart attacks, heart bypasses, amputations, strokes, loss of sight etc. This was surely to be my future if I did not act, and act fast!

But what could I do? I wasn’t taking all of my prescribed meds because I couldn’t afford them all, my gym membership had been revoked with a warning that in future I could not access their direct debit method of payment and that all fees would need to be paid up front, and for all the healthy eating recipes I pinned on Pinterest I just didn’t have grocery money most fortnights and so had to prioritise food and other essentials for my child first which meant hubby and I often lived off of toast or two minute noodles for tea… I just couldn’t be healthy that way. So, where to from here?

I threw it out to the Universe to show me the way… what is the answer, what do I need to do to help myself? These days I always trust in the Universe, because ultimately, it always provides. I responded to a call on social media for interested individuals regarding a franchise for a product, that at the time I was unaware, would be my saviour.

When I learnt about this product I was very excited because it sounded like the answer to the call I had put out to the Universe, but of course I proceeded with the right amount of scepticism that is required when looking into these things. I decided to take on the franchise to help fund my products, and that was fast to become an added bonus as it has provided my family with an essential income. But the results! Oh my, the results! I have been able to reduce my diabetic medication (saving me some dollars!), and my insulin. I feel like I no longer suffer the effects of Fibromyalgia, which for me included: chronic fatigue, brain fog, memory deficits, wide spread chronic pain, just to name a few. I was also very excited to realise that I no longer suffer gastric reflux (that was a daily occurrence for me… I no longer need to purchase my reflux meds, again saving me money). Of course, I DO NOT suggest that anyone stop taking prescribed medication, especially without medical advice and supervision; I merely wanted to show how it is changing my life.

I now have more energy to keep up with my daughter and to get through a work day. My husband also started taking the product, and as a shift worker, the product has enabled him to be more awake/alert at work, and to be more mentally focused. My mother is also trialling the product in the hopes that it may assist with her leukaemia, and both Mum and hubby have noticed an improvement in bowel health.

With the income I’ve made from my franchise I have started to be able to afford suitable groceries and as a result my family is able to eat more healthily and we have all noticed an improvement in our energy levels and general overall wellbeing. I hope in the future that this will also be the key in assisting me to finally shift some unwanted weight, I’ll keep you updated!

In the end, we all need to ask ourselves what our health is worth to us. What does it mean to you if you aren’t there to walk your daughter down the aisle, or hold your first grandchild? What if all you are to your grandchildren is a photograph on a wall? That was not an acceptable outcome to me if I had the power to change that outcome. And you all know how I love to find frugal ways to live, corners to cut, and this has meant a better use of income along with an increased income and the promise of more, so it has been a mega win/win for me!

If I can start out on this journey and achieve results in such a short space of time (because it’s only been about a month so far!) then I’m confident anyone can achieve results with the same commitment. I love being able to inspire others with my journey and help them to embark on their own journeys. Health is your greatest wealth, and what I’m getting back from the product and business is such a blessing that I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to pay it forward. If nothing else, if I only change the life of one other person, it’s definitely all been worth it.

A Growing Love Of All Things Nautical

I’m not really sure where my sudden love of all things nautical came from, but it’s here. Perhaps it’s a yearning for a sea change, I definitely could see myself living beside the ocean… the peace, the tranquility… ahhhhhh.

My father was  in the Navy many moons ago. My mother gave him a clock that was an anchor and it hung on the kitchen wall all throughout my childhood… it ended up in the background of many photos (see examples below).

Me posing for my year 12 formal with the clock on the wall behind me.
Me posing for my year 12 formal with the clock on the wall behind me.
Me posing before a waitressing gig in my teens with the clock on the wall behind me.
Me posing before a waitressing gig in my teens with the clock on the wall behind me.

I’ve been making a quilt with nautical themed fabric to give to my father either for his birthday or Christmas (depends on how long it takes me to complete). I wanted to attempt a crochet anchor motif to attach to the quilt. Do you think I could find a pattern that I liked? There was one but it was a written + pictorial pattern and the author made a glitch somewhere because the written pattern and pictures didn’t quite correspond. My several attempts to replicate it ended in disaster. I then attempted to adapt the pattern with little success. Ergo I’m still on the hunt for an anchor pattern.

I did, however, come across patterns for sea shells, star fish, gold fish, mermaids… then that led me to create a Pinterest board for all things nautical, because all of a sudden I realised I liked the look of the décor (I haven’t liked it previously… what’s happening to me?)

Around this time last year I discovered one of my totems to be a sea horse… and I have been able to crochet one of those…

seahorsecrochet

Again, this is all possibly a yearning for a sea change. I’ve been getting many signs from the Universe pertaining to the ocean over the last 12 months. And the latest is people tagging me in the mermaid tail blanket pictures on Facebook. Truth be known, it was those cute wearable mermaid tails that got me interested to learn crochet when I was on maternity leave… I wanted my adorable bubba to wear one. Now, four years later, I’m finally embarking on the project with some prompting from my Facebook friends.

Crocodile stitch Mermaid scales
Crocodile stitch Mermaid scales

Now I’m sitting here as I type this considering making shells from polymer clay… So much craft, so little time (sigh). Stay tuned for more nautical crafts to come.

Budget-Friendly Gifts For Dads & Grandads

I know this is a little late for Father’s Day but life has been crazy busy lately, so I apologise. However, this is still a great resource with Christmas just around the corner, and possibly birthdays, and also in preparation for next Father’s Day.

Grandparents seem to enjoy handmade, personalised gifts from the their grandchildren. I not talking about the paintings they do at kindergarten, or the bizarre macaroni sculptures, or the pet rocks (although I’m 35 years old and my aunt still has a pet rock I made for her around 30 years ago), I’m talking about something they will actually, genuinely enjoy and find useful.

My daughter (nearly 4 years old) refers to the garage at my parent’s house as “Pa’s Shred.” For whatever reason she has always pronounced shed as “shred”. I just needed to explain that so that the next photo makes sense. Below is a picture of the gift we made my Dad for Father’s Day just gone. One of my daughter’s favourite things to do with her Pa is to spend time together in the garage where she “uses” tools to “fix” her bikes.

My Dad proudly displaying the gift my daughter gave him for Father's Day
My Dad proudly displaying the gift my daughter gave him for Father’s Day

So to make this gift for my Dad, my daughter and I visited Op Shops in search of the perfect piece of wood to make a sign. I originally had a wooden chopping board in mind, but the volunteers at the Op Shops told me that they were hard to come by. Eventually I came across this beautiful photo frame, which was ultimately perfect because I didn’t have to attach anything for it to be hung, it was already ready to be hung. I painted, using gold acrylic paint, directly onto the back board of the frame. Once the paint was dry (it needed 2 coats), I took a Sharpie and drew the outline of the words. A friend had donated a heap of old CDs in the hopes that I could make something creative with them, so just using an old pair of scissors I cut the CDs up into small pieces NB: here you have to exercise some caution, pieces can fly off and potentially hit you in the face/eyes, and cutting the CDs can create sharp edges that are potentially dangerous. Just using Mod Podge, I pasted these small pieces to fit into the outlines of the letters to create a mosaic effect. Once all that was done and dried, I gave my daughter some coloured Sharpies so she could put her own stamp on the work. She drew some tools on the sign.

My Dad loved the gift and proudly mounted it in his garage. My husband even commented about the thought and effort that went into this gift (he was a little jealous lol). Gifts with impact don’t have to cost the Earth 🙂