Yes, I am still alive…

So, where were we? I can’t believe I have not posted for 5 months! Sorry guys, and thanks to everyone who is still there.

A lot has happened since I was made redundant. I am on my second job since then, but the last job change was definitely the best move I could have made. I am now officially the Account and Sales Manager for Germany, Austria and Switzerland at the most awesome company. I am learning loads and people are acrually nice and happy at work, a concept that was pretty alien to me before. I am looking forward to going into work every day and they are super flexible when I need time off etc. 

But that’s not the only good news I have for you guys… my daughter moved out at the beginning of the month, because she started uni, and while that in itself isn’t good news (I am missing her so damn much), I am in the middle of converting her old room into an art studio! Finally I have my own space to be creative and make a mess, so the rest of the house stays sort of tidy. Only sort of, because I still do hate housework and if I can draw or knit instead, I will! 

My latest drawings have been somewhat on the go or just random scribbles, because time is very limited due to work and me spending more time with my youngest. It’s nice to see that we are getting even closer than we were before. 

Here, have a random egg πŸ˜‰

And a random woman that I am working on right now. Practicing drawing from memory…it’s hard! You think you know what things look like, until you try drawing them. God, she has eyebrow issues!

I am even back onto my knitting again. I forgot how much it relaxes me. Currently working on a huge scarf. Pictures will follow when I am not on the bus writing a post!

There’s so much more good stuff I could tell you about, but I’ll save that for the next post, which will be all about the gym and…. wait for it….the new man in my life :-)))))

What’s new with you guys? Comment below and have a great day! Xx

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Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans…

So yeah, my next post was meant to be a really happy one sharing some good news, but then I was told that I am being made redundant. 

I now have to find myself a new job and most likely move to a different city, as most jobs around here just don’t pay enough. 

I have applied all around the country in the hope to get a better paid job out of this than I am losing now. Otherwise it would mean a massive pay drop. 

I am still not walking too well, so all the running around after jobs is really hard work. But I am sure it will get better the more I walk. 

Ok, now for the good news…… I AM GOING TO BE A GRANDMA!!! 

After an initial little shock I am very happy for my eldest and his little family. In August little Jack will be born and I am already busy knitting baby things. I just hope that I have a job by then, so I can spoil him rotten πŸ™‚ 

Got a job interview tomorrow, so keep your fingers crossed for me guys. I really need some good vibes at the moment.

Love Mona x

Exiting Times – My Summer Goals

It’s been 5 weeks since my last Achilles tendon surgery and I have to say, I am very surprised with my progress. I was told I would be lucky to be back into a shoes after about two months, but since week 4 I can manage very short distances completely unaided, meaning, no aircast or crutches. Stairs are still a major pain in the backside, but I keep doing my stretches and hopefully that will work soon. I have called my surgeon and ask for my 8 week follow up appointment to be brought forward to this coming week, because I feel I am so ready for physio now and would like rid of the air cast at least intermittently. 

I am back at the gym, which has done wonders for my mental health. After so many weeks being stuck at home on my own, the cabin fever was kicking in big time. I still am very much relying on the aircast at the gym and the only cardio I can do is cycling and swimming with a float between my legs so I mostly do upper body work in the pool. But I am really motivated and feel like now is the right time to finally shift the remaining 60lbs. So watch this space guys, from now on, NO EXCUSES!

There is another very exciting thing happening on the 25th of April. I am finally getting my long awaited squint surgery! I have always had a bit of trouble with my left eye, especially when tired or run down, but due to so many other things being wrong with my eyes, no doctor would touch it.i have finally found someone who is willing to do it and I am so over the moon. It has always been a major dent in my confidence. It was bad enough being the fat girl, but the fat girl with a dodgy eye qas even a little much for me, who normally is very self-confident, to cope with and pretend it wouldn’t bother me. 

Over the next for months I am hoping to lose at least 40lbs and hopefully start running/jogging/waddling again πŸ™‚ 

I also want to increase my speed in the pool, but after the eye surgery there’s no swimming for 6 weeks so it will have to wait a little. I will just do what I can. 

Hopefully I will be confident enough by July to wear my first pair of shorts since I was about 10 lol

There is also some more big news, but I will tell you that in my next post. 

Finally, I would like to thank you all for the good wishes I have received over the last few months and the rips in killing time. They worked a treat, I watched a lot if TV lol and I did, this….

It’s by no means perfect, but I like it. 

Let me know what you think πŸ™‚ 

Love Mona x 

Yay!Β 

Today is the day I am going to get rid of this ugly thing!

It will get replaced with an air boot, and with a little luck, I will be rid of the crutches in a couple of weeks.

I hope that I will be allowed to take the boot off at night and maybe even start swimming. 

My achilles tendon still feels quite tight, but will buy some therabands and get the ankle moving asap. I am so tired of just sitting around doing bugger all. 

Fingers crossed, I so miss the gym.

Anything make you go “Yay!” recently? Let me know! It’s good to share good news!

Love, Mona xx

I has a boo boo :-(Β 

Not sure how much I have told you guys about this foot injury that has been bugging me over the last 10 months. I started running last summer and after I slipped in the park, it was painful and swollen and never really got much better. After weeks of trying to convince my GP that I did not have shin splints, I requested a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon, who quickly diagnosed me with tarsal tunnel syndrome (apparently super rare, lol trust me to get it). It’s like carpal tunnel syndrome, but in the foot. He also diagnosed me with achilles tendonitis and a small Haglund’s deformity of my heel bone. Basically, the heel bone had bits poking out where they shouldn’t so they rubbed on my achilles tendon causing the inflammation. So he said that he could fix both in one surgery and it would be about 8 weeks recovery time. Not great, but by that time it was 8 months in and no physio or meds did help and I got so fed up with being in pain that I agreed to the surgery, which was on December 21St. 

Day of the surgery came and the surgeon came into my room looked at my foot and told me that he would only untrap the nerve for the tarsal tunnel and “the rest will resolve itself”. I was not convinced, and I really should have just walked out at that time. But you know what it’s like, you’re all hyped up and flustered because you’re about to have surgery etc.,  so I went ahead with it. 

Needless to say that of course my pain in the heel didn’t resolve itself. Pieces of bone that irritate something don’t just vanish lol. In fact, as I recovered from the tarsal tunnel release and started walking again, things got much worse. At the follow up appointment the surgeon just said to wait it out, and when I asked how long for he said” ummmm 12months?!” 

That was the point where I walked out and got a second opinion in the hope of finding someone who is willing to actually help me. I did a little research and found just the man for it. Dr Mike Karski, honorary surgeon for Blackburn Rovers football team. He looked at my files and said he was willing to do the surgery, if I wanted to and he warned me that it will be a long and painful recovery, as he had to cut some of my heel bone off, after detaching my achilles tendon which he would clean up and remove all the inflamed tissue and then screw it back into my heel with some biodegradable screws (how cool?!).

So, two days ago, only eight weeks after my initial surgery, I had surgery number two. The surgeon came to see me after and told me it was worse than he thought, once he actually got into it, and he had to remove part of my tendon, so recovery will take a bit longer. 

This time the general anaesthetic really knocked me for six, and they decided to keep me in over night, under much protest and whinging from me lol. In the end my daughter just said she won’t take me home cos I really didn’t look well. Bless her, she is such a sensible girl at only 18. So I stayed in and by the next day I felt a bit better, so they let me go home. 

I should have known this trip home was not under a good star when the taxi driver took an hour to get to the hospital, because he “couldn’t find me”. He was not the sharpest knife in the drawer, bless him. Then he drove me home at a speed, where I was wondering if I would be faster on crutches. 

Finally home, I get out of the taxi and start hopping back to the house. It was a rainy day, and I really should have thought about how slippery the pavement becomes after a day of rain. Guess I was still a bit drowsy. You can guess what happens next lol, the crutches went from under me and I fall. I tried to catch myself from going down and ended up putting my entire bodyweight through my freshly operated foot. Oh my God, the pain! I literally thought I would pass out it hurt so bad. I could hardly breathe. Luckily a couple from across the road helped me up and back to the house, where I just crashed on the couch for a sob. 

I called my mate who was kind enough to take me back to the hospital to get the foot checked out and make sure I hadn’t undone any stitches or worse. The stitches were still intact, but they couldn’t look at the tendon because they had no mri machine there. The surgeon has said he has never seen any of these screws come out or the tendon come undone in his time that he has been using this method, so I am just sat here now, nursing my poor foot and hoping for the best. 

I have an appointment in two weeks for a check up, so I will wait until then and hopefully all is good.

I guess I have plenty of time for knitting and drawing and working on my blog. 

I am a little stuck for some good TV that I can binge on, so feel free to leave me some comments with suggestions on how to kill time lol. 

Hope all of you are well πŸ™‚ 

Mona x 

Nobody is perfect…Β 

​…apparently! 
However, when I have a look at all the channels that I follow on YouTube, I sometimes find it hard to pick fault! The drawings from the art channels are awesome, the people who do the fitness and weightloss videos are fit and skinny.
Some days I find so much “perfection”, I am using this word a little loosely, intimidating. It puts me off trying to draw something or trying a new workout.
It seems a lot of people start their channels once they have already reached whatever goal they set or once they have mastered a certain skill.
Is it just me or wouldn’t it be nice to see someone who is literally just starting out and watch them progress? This especially goes for drawing and other arts and crafts. 
What do you think?

New Year, same old me?

Ok, maybe not old. 42, according to my daughter, isn’t old. 

Overall, I am very happy with my life at the moment. The weightloss has stalled a little, because I had surgery on my foot two weeks ago and I have pretty much eaten what I wanted in that time. Now my stitches are due to come out on Wednesday, so I am hoping to be able to do light exercise again after that and get back to work at GymEtc asap so I can return to my normal day job soon.I need to be able to walk quite a bit to be able to get there.

I have fallen out of the habit of tracking my food on Myfitnesspal, which is definitely something I want to take up again, because it did help me lose so much weight. 

As for nutrition, I will go back to low carb and low fat, because that worked the best for me so far. It will be a hard couple of weeks as my body will go through the sugar withdraw and I really am not looking forward to that, but I will try and keep myself busy with knitting, crochet and of course my new love, drawing!

By the way, I never showed you guys the finished Mad Hatter. Well, here he is!

The Mad Hatter Finished 

I finished this quite a while ago and now there would be a few things I would still tweak, but I am leaving it as it is to keep track of my progress. I have included the link to my Instagram and if you’d like to follow me please feel free and I’ll return the favour πŸ™‚ 

So yeah, I guess this year isn’t much about changes, but more about fine tuning the changes I have made last year. However, I have set myself a few little goals I’d like to achieve in 2017, these are:

Be able to wear shorts and look good in them.

Take the kids on holiday to Greece.

Sort out my finances so in the end I’ll have more available money to spend on another holiday just for myself…That reminds me, I have not told you guys about my amazing time in the states! I’ll do that soon πŸ™‚ 

And I want to move house. The place where I am at is a bit to of a mess, me and the kids deserve something nicer.

I might not be able to achieve all of this within a year, but I definitely want to work at getting to the last two goals. 

Thanks again for sticking with me! 

What are your goals and hopes for the new year? Let me know maybe you will inspire me!

Love Mona xx

 

The Matter of the Mad Hatter

In one of my recent posts I have told you about how I have picked up new hobbies. One of them is drawing.

I have just done the odd hand and eye picture so far, but after watching the film Through the looking Glass I got inspired to do my first portrait. 

I just wanted to draw the Hatter so bad, as I thought I could practice a variety of skills, like drawing hair, blending and how to go about different areas of light and dark. 

This is the original picture which I am drawing from.

I am not quite finished yet, he still needs his jacket and his chin finishing off, and maybe a little background adding, but I thought I’d share my first real portrait with you. 

Please feel free to give some tips on how I could improve or where I went wrong, I still have so much to learn πŸ™‚ 

Cut the cord – My 61lbs weight loss so farΒ 

​I have always been a big girl and an even bigger comfort eater. Over the last ten years the weight just seriously kept creeping up and up and suddenly I found myself at 280lbs. 

It was a picture of me and my, now ex, boyfriend at the time (cutting the cord in more than just one way lol), which triggered my first small attempts at losing weight. He was a 6ft4 athletic guy and then there was me stood next to him 5ft7, and just looking massive.  I stared at the picture as we sat in the car and started crying. 

Me at 280lbs.
It was then that I decided to do something about it, so I started going to the gym and had a half hearted stab at eating better. I say half hearted in hindsight, as back then it was a case of eating well for most of the week and then pretty much spoiling my efforts by pulling into McDonald’s at the weekends.

Over the next few months I did lose a bit of weight, maybe 10lbs, but then me and my boyfriend split up and I went through a short phase of not caring.

At the new year I made the usual resolutions, but not changing much, until that one night I went to a gig of one of my favourite bands, Shinedown. I wanted pictures of me there, but the memory of the last picture of me still stung badly.

Then they played the song that pretty much changed it all. 
Cut the cord – By Shinedown 

And then I knew that it was exactly what I needed to do, cut the cord. Stop making my life and happiness revolve around food and people who don’t appreciate who I am and what I am about, and therefore drag me down. 
I started to eat low carb again for about 80% of the time, because hey, I love food and there was no way I would go without certain things. I can easily skip bread, rice and pasta these days, but potatoes, I love potatoes! So maybe once a month I’d have those or I’d have the odd pizza. On those days I just do some extra cardio at the gym to level it out or I simply accepted the tiny bit of weight gain and got on with it. But it wasn’t really down to the diet change that made all the difference, it was the change in my head, that little switch that got flicked that let me know, yes, I can do this and I will do this! Once that thought was in place it was all so much easier.

And here I am, nine months down the line…


Not too sure if this was January or earlier, but yeah you get the idea.


I still have a long way to go, but things are definitely going in the right direction.

Cheekbones πŸ™‚ 

I think my mental transformation still needs a lot of work, because I still catch myself now and then wasting energy on people who really don’t deserve it, but I am definitely setting more goals for myself and for most of the time really don’t care what other people think of how I live my life, because it’s my life and it’s a good one!