Oh hello there! Is it the year 2015 already? 2014 was here just a minute ago. I blinked and here we are at the New Year.
Not often do I take a break from writing here. For the past few weeks though, I took a step back and simply enjoy my family. My parents visited and I soaked in their presence. Including being spoilt by taking a 2 hour nap on Christmas Day, having my laundry folded, and a babysitter for Asher when hubby and I go out for lunch and coffee dates. Seriously spoilt.
Together with my parents, we went down to Margaret River for 3 days, and I was reminded by how gorgeous Western Australia is.
Coming back though, I wanted to do my annual reflections post.The year 2013 was epic, with Asher being born. Year 2014 was a year of adjustments.
My grandmother was very ill. I was back in Singapore for close to 2 months earlier in the year. I saw her fought HARD. She had such a strong fighting spirit and survived being in the ICU.
However, she fell ill again (different condition) and passed away in early May.
Grieve is a complicated emotion. I swing from being relieved that her agony and suffering was short-lived but felt a deep sense of loss. Time and being busy helped me healed but the sense of loss never went away.
With my parents over here, we planted a rose plant in our garden in her memory. Mum and I made her famous yam cake. Dad even commented that my soups reminded him of her. My heart ached when Asher called my mum “popo” knowing that he would have called my grandmother “Ah Tai” if she is still alive now.
In the midst of it all, I received an offer to work part time mid 2014. Life as a working mum is hectic but we adjusted. Asher also started day care. I had to get used to the idea of someone caring for him!
Asher turned 1. He started walking, talking and looking more like a toddler. My baby is no longer a baby anymore!
As a couple, we have settled into a routine. We appreciate time together and learned how important it is to be a couple even though we have a family. It’s not always easy. My brain is frequently running a million kms an hour with endless lists of doing things, neglecting that I need to be present for my marriage. Hubby falls to the trap of dealing with the day to day work and home stressors and needed reminders to see me as a wife first than a mother. A marriage needs constant work. There is no room for being complacent.
To the outside world, it just seems perfect. We are generally happy people. We like being in the same room as each other and we have a gorgeous son. Perhaps what is less known is that we struggle too. Like most young parents, we are sleep deprived and time poor. We rarely yell at each other, but that does not mean we do not have unhappy or even angry moments.
Fitness remains a journey. I lost most of my baby weight when Asher was 6 months young. I continued to eat clean and train hard. All in all, I think I did pretty well in gaining strength and endurance. From doing wall push ups to full push ups. From not being able to do a full burpees to doing 100 burpees. I ended the year knowing that I’m stronger and fitter than 2013.
My self image demons continued to haunt me from time to time. Somewhere towards end of September, I was reaching a plateau at the gym. I felt that I was doing “ok” but struggling to lift heavier weights or running faster. I realised that even though I was eating clean, I was probably not eating enough. So I took the plunge and decided to increase my food intake as an experiment. That was a little tricky as I was used to listening to my body and eating accordingly. Slowly, I ate just a little more for my main meals. Surprise surprise, I gained over a kilo of muscle, and started to see progress at the gym. While it was all positive, the increase in the number at the scale affected me. In my head, I see myself as bigger and if I search deep enough, even thinking that I have gone backwards in performance. Just because of a number at the scale.
I thought I was over that. Being obese and overweight as a child means I have been used to measuring progress by the scale. Gaining weight scares me. Logically I know that muscle and fat are different. Emotionally I reacted. This little experiment brought out more than what I expected. Insecure feelings about my self image appeared.
I could choose to freak and bailed out. The old me might even go back to how I was eating before. I needed to stop and breathe. To give myself permission to freak for a while and then question where all these feelings come from. I had to sit with these uncomfortable sensations and question where to from here.
The answer I think is simple. Why complicate things. What I am doing is working and I have to trust the process though how scary it may appear to be. Looking back, I have lost 35 kgs two times (Childhood and Post Pregnancy). Clean eating and moving well is part of my life now. Is it likely that I will gain back 30 kgs from what I am doing now? Unlikely. Can I tweak my meal plans and workouts as I go along? Very much so. Do I want to lead a life jailed by a number on a machine? No.
Food remains a joy to us. I experimented with more clean cooking and desserts and LOVE it! From making raw desserts to experimenting and developing recipes for my family, I found a kind of rhythm.
So what were my goals for 2014?
My goals for 2014
– Continue to create and experiment clean desserts and meals. (done!)
– Make that cream brûlée! (OOPSIE! Got to really get that butane!)
– Getting my fitness back on track. (Yep!)
-Make baby food… (DONE!)
– Not sweat the small stuff as much (ok, half done… )
– Travel back and see my family even more. (I went back to SG 3 times last year. Done)
– Stay in the moment more. Babies grow up too fast. (Done and ongoing)
– Thank God every day for our blessed family. (Could do better)
– blog more often! (I think so!)
Where to for 2015?
- Continue to provide my family with clean and healthy meals. I would like to make more chinese style broths and get back to my roots with more Chinese clean cooking.
- See beyond the number at the scale. Getting stronger. Doing more drills with full pushups, using heavier weights for thrusters, deadlifts, turkish get ups and squats.
- As a wife, be kinder.
- Talk and communicate with my parents more.
- As a mother, to be patient and stay in the moment. Asher is growing too quick.
- Maintain a gratitude journal.
- Pray more. I don’t think I do enough of praying and reflection.
- Schedule in rests.
- Connecting with friends. Regular meet ups with my mummy girlfriends. Maintaing contact with my close friends through whatsapp, phone conversations and any channels we can think of. Being a better gift giver.
- Bringing this website to a wider audience
This is going to be a year of Back to Basics. Basics of being in the moment with my family and loved ones. Losing grandma made me yearn for more family contact. Learning how to have peace with myself- Trusting in the Lord rather than being self-focus in appearance. Cooking and creating recipes that fits well with our ethos. Re establishing and building existing relationships. It’s going to be a year of giving myself permission to slow down to speed up.
Here is to a GREAT start to the New Year!