TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE?
“From The Outside Looking In”
I recently climbed Ben Nevis as part of something amazing, something truly amazing, for friends who actually became maybe my most inspirational friends period and an unreal power couple, who’s only goal is to raise awareness of a disease, a disease called Battens. A disease that from the moment they heard those words threatened their entire family and existence. It became apparent to me from the beginning that myself Gail and Matthew (The Richs- as I like to now call them) would be firm friends after they became clients at Evo.
The diagnosis of this terrible disease for their eldest daughter Nicole (4 at the time) came out of the blue and was not what they were expecting, it was little things like loss of balance, progression of speech and motor skills which made this lovely couple ask for further tests, leading to the diagnosis, it was heartbreaking to sit with them as newly found friends and hear how life may potentially be for their little yet perfect family going forward. So much uncertainty, so much worry, so much learning and probably too many questions to ask. Three months later they found out that their youngest daughter Jessica (just 14 months old) also had this awful disease that affects the nervous system and leaves a trail of destruction behind it. There were no words, just lots of tears, sitting trying to learn about it, understand it and digging into research to see if there was any hope…… just the slightest glimmer. As a friend, as a parent with 3 beautiful children of my own I spent some time trying to imagine how you would deal with this as parents I have to say the only feeling it gave was like being at the bottom of an endless well…. no sight of light at the top. Not enough oxygen to take a deep breath and fill your lungs, like suddenly nothing was the same any more.
BUT as I said before these amazing people, Gail and Matthew -“The Richs” got up, stood tall, wiped their tears and took it to the next level.
NO they wouldn’t accept that Battens was going to do this to their two beautiful girls, NO they weren’t going to stand still and accept that this “is what Battens does”, NO they weren’t going to go along with what was believed to be unchangeable, they are standing firm and standing tall and showing their handsome and loving son Louis about fighting, giving their girls the god given right to “see if they can make a difference” for them and others and being ambassadors and pioneers (oh and mountaineers ;-)) all at the same time!
“Who knows what tomorrow brings”, I used to take this saying for granted but I now know how “tomorrow” can change everything you ever thought or believed about you, your family, your life !
I started this blog to talk about a mountain (Ben Nevis) BUT before I knew it it was about a mountain, that has no peak, that is never ending, that my “forever friends” may climb forever and I just want to say your girls and Louis are so lucky to have you both as their parents, guides and guardians….. never change and never give up hope ❣️
To help us raise funds please follow the link below
What is Batten disease?
Batten disease is a fatal, inherited disorder of the nervous system that typically begins in childhood. Early symptoms of this disorder usually appear between the ages of 5 and 10 years, when parents or physicians may notice a previously normal child has begun to develop vision problems or seizures. In some cases the early signs are subtle, taking the form of personality and behavior changes, slow learning, clumsiness, or stumbling. Over time, affected children suffer cognitive impairment, worsening seizures, and progressive loss of sight and motor skills. Eventually, children with Batten disease become blind, bedridden, and demented. Batten disease is often fatal by the late teens or twenties.
Batten disease is named after the British pediatrician who first described it in 1903. Also known as Spielmeyer-Vogt-Sjogren-Batten disease, it is the most common form of a group of disorders called the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses, or NCLs. Although Batten disease originally referred specifically to the juvenile form of NCL (JNCL), the term Batten disease is increasingly used by pediatricians to describe all forms of NCL.
Sometimes we just need to ignore the negative voices, and praise ourselves for who we are , who’s stood there looking back at us in the mirror. Stop comparing you and your life to others, start looking at what you DO have and not what you DONT.
Think about all of the great things you have done this week, this month, this year….. in your whole life up until now.
The mind is a wonderful thing if you truly know how to use it, if you don’t it can become your own personal torture chamber…. where only you can see what’s going on inside.
Our brains and the way we think or act are just habits, a programme we have designed with the help of negative relationships, the news, magazine articles, social media the list goes on. We can however retrain ourselves and forget the normality of negativity we are so used to.
We need to make lists of all of our amazing qualities,praise ourselves, learn a new hobby, set a new challenge, enrol on a new course whether for education or for self growth.
Spend time with your family, if you have children set aside 10 minutes a day to spend with each individually the reward of just 10 minutes will be unreal, it will benefit your children as well as yourself, they may actually find something out about you that even you had forgotten. We are so stuck in a world of social media and computer games we have as a nation forgotten how to communicate with those we love, go back to basics and have days, or even weeks where social media and computers or gaming isn’t allowed, you’ll be surprised how much fun you have and also how much closer you will be as a family unit.
Make your beds, open your curtains, shower before everyone gets up and no matter what don’t snooze the alarm !
Do you work from home or in an office ? Go get some fresh air for 15-30 minutes a day, take in the fresh air, appreciate your surroundings and leave your phone behind- interact with your environment and see what’s new out there.
Finally surround yourself with wonderful, positive people, compliment people you see or meet, buy someone you don’t know a coffee, take some gifts to your local children’s wards like crayons and colouring in books or some book shops your children have loved reading but have outgrown….. if you don’t make a change…. change will make you ❣️
So it’s fast approaching the festive season, works parties, family get together and nights out with friends!
All you can eat buffets, happy hour and continuing to party on “after hours ” takes its toll on your otherwise healthy routine. Your clothes feel like you’ve shrunk them in the wash, your skin looks like you’ve had a reaction to new face cream and your mood is on a serious come down from all of the bad food choices.
So…..let’s get things in place to ensure you survive the festive season.
Christmas is all about doing everything in excess. Eating, drinking, more eating and more drinking. Let’s be realistic though no one wants to welcome in the new year looking like they are wearing a padded santa out fit or like they ate everything served up and left nothing on the buffet table.
So how about using some if not all of these strategies to make sure you don’t overindulge and undo all of your hard work this year !
• Replace every other drink with a soft drink. This won’t only save on calories and a hangover but also any drunken mishaps/embarrassing moments along the way !!
• Eat some healthy foods (nuts, fruit, veg,) before attending the celebrations to make sure you are not starving on arrival, or making other guests think the only thing you came for was the food when you get into a fracas trying to be first to the buffet table.
• Drink red wine….. your body can burn the calories and it contains resveratrol which in fact mimics exercise in the body ! House spirits and cocktails are empty calories have no benefit on nutrition or health on your body so choose wisely !
• Select all lean meat cuts, pile your plate as high as a house with vegetables…. got to love a plate loaded with brussel sprouts even if the person next to you won’t thank you for it !
• If you have friends and family that love to dish the chocolates out bring your own dark chocolate, great for your health a heart healthy too !! Plus contains less sugar so no sugar crash and as an added bonus it’s a lot harder to over indulge with it too.
• Why not try this sticky pudding recipe and take along with you !!
75g dates, stoned and chopped
75g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
50g light brown soft sugar
50g light brown soft sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
For the sauce
150ml double cream
75g light brown soft sugar
Put the dates in a small saucepan and pour over 75ml water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 mins until the dates are mushy and have absorbed the water. Gently stir to blend.
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the bases of 4 x 150ml pudding moulds. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla, then fold in the flour and baking powder. Mix in the blended date purée and divide between the moulds. Transfer to a roasting tin and pour enough boiling water in to reach halfway up the moulds. Cover the tin with foil and cook for 25 mins until risen and firm to the touch.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Pour half the cream and all the sugar and butter into a small, heavy-bottomed pan. Heat gently until sugar has dissolved, stirring often. Turn up the heat and bubble for 3-4 mins until the sauce is glossy and thick, then stir in the remaining cream. Re-heat the sauce when the puddings are cooked and serve poured on top.
REMEMBER …… you can be the Christmas cracker or the Christmas pudding ….. the choice is yours !!
Mind over matter!
After years of bad life choices and yo yo dieting my body kind of just said “I give up”! I had suffered depression and low mood for many years and it had gradually escalated into anxiety and panic disorders. I was diagnosed with mental health issues in 2013 not long after having my third child. I remember calling my husband and trying to say the words ” mental health issues” …. Thinking he would love me less or leave, but he didn’t his reply was phenomenal, “it’s mental health issues that’s all you’re not mental” that’s when everything changed, if the person who knew me best could still love me after that diagnosis anyone could and if they didn’t then do you know what that was their loss. I set about making changes and trying to rebuild the person I used to be and find different layers of myself I had forgotten about. I didn’t want to fix myself anymore I knew I needed to just become the person I was actually meant to be, not reinvent myself just grow myself ….
I decided by looking at cutting out the processed foods, working out and spending quality time with my family as a whole and individually too. The change after just 4 weeks was unreal, the foods were making me feel like I was absorbing every single nutrient, like my mind, body and soul were working totally in sync with one another. Fitness was the biggest challenge I had, I always said ” I used to run for county and district” or ” I do loads of DVDs at home ” yes I did ……. 10-15 years prior……. As an early 20 something year old with no commitments, children, husband or high pressured job. Little did I know what would happen by just asking for help….
I was offered an exercise referral by the gps but didn’t take it and just signed up to a local gym. I loved it. I told myself if I can do this for a month then my habits will of changed, and they did …. Massively, I fell in love with being obsessed with fitness and 3 years on I’m now qualified to run various fitness sessions, Elite personal trainer, studying to become a GP referral specialist and Obesity and diabetics specialist practitioner and also in training to become a freelance tutor and assessor for others coming through into the fabulous world of fitness! I really am glad I spoke out to those who love me and went to get advice and some fantastic support because I can honestly say if I had of waited another day I dont think I would of had the courage to go.
If you are sat reading this and can relate the best advice I can give is speak to someone and see for yourself where looking after your body, mind AND soul can take you !! It’s a beautiful journey that’s all I can promise ! Sarah xxx
MANGO COCONUT AND LIME SMOOTHIE
- 1 mango
- 1/4 can coconut milk
- 250-500ml almond milk (unsweetened)
- 1 lime
- remove skin from the mango and take flesh off of the stone. Pop in blender with coconut milk and almond milk
- slice lime in half and squeeze one half’s juice into blender.
- blend and add more lime from remaining half as required.