Since losing Georgie, I lost my zest for life and last year was all about pure and raw survival. All I managed to do, on a daily basis, was getting Emma up, dressed, fed and the house tidy; dinner cooked and myself washed. I had very little energy for self care due to not sleeping well at night and constant headaches during the day, all because of crippling grief and emotional pain.
Due to the lack of motivation, which led to a crass lack of exercise and binging on comfort food on a regular basis, I started accumulating weight which in a year and a half ended up being almost two stones (10 kilos).
Although this second Christmas was not easy by any means, it did feel a little bit more manageable as it was something I knew I would be able to survive, since I had done it in 2014. I also found myself wishing to decorate the house a bit more, not only to keep a sense of normality for Emma but for my own joy.
Sign that I have started to heal from the enormous emotional trauma of losing my child was also me feeling a tad more energetic and willing to move more. Although I still stress very easily, still have frequent headaches and still cannot work outside the house, I have somehow found the desire to look after myself to be motivating and energising.
So, when in December I was offered two amazing products to try out, which could potentially help me lose that extra weight that has been piling on, I did literally jump at the opportunity.
The first product is my reliable and amazing activity tracker, Polar Loop 2.
The Polar Loop is a clever wrist band which has a mini computer inserted in its soft and easy to wear wrist band. The Polar Loop 2 needs online registration of personal details like weight height and calculated BMI, in order to assess your fitness levels and prescribe the right amount of daily exercise. It keeps track not only of the time (functioning as a watch) and of your activity levels (letting you know at any point during the day how far you are from achieving your daily exercise dose) but also of the number of steps taken and the calories burned.
Why do I love my Polar Loop 2?
In addition to the features mentioned above, it has a little motion sensor which activates when I have been physically inactive for more than 60 minutes. As someone who sits at the desk a lot, writing blog posts and researching information, many times I become so engrossed in what I do that I forget to move for hours and the gentle reminder of the Polar Loop is what I need to get my body moving and hopefully, gently and gradually, back into shape.
The Polar Loop has a sleep tracker feature too but I haven’t tested it as I find wearing watches, jewelry or any other things that could restrict my movement in bed annoying. I haven’t been a great sleeper for ages, as I said before and I fear that wearing the loop in bed will lead to more sleeplessness.
If I could swim, I would take my Polar Loop to the pool or in the sea when we go to Greece in the summer, as it is waterproof and can go as deep as 20 meters under the water.
The device needs charging into a laptop or computer every three days or so. While charging, the program syncs and uploads automatically your activity chart into the program you downloaded initially; with its Apple app version, you can keep a close eye of your weekly physical activity, wherever you are.
All in all, I love the device and I would recommend it to anyone who needs to monitor their level of exercise, novice or pro. I do find it is the only fitness motivation I need on a daily basis now; many an evening, I have been known to air pedal while putting Emma to bed, “to get all my steps in”!
The Polar Loop sells for £94.50 on their website and the product was sent to us in exchange of this review.
My second brilliant product, which I will write about regularly over the next few months, is my Slimpod Gold, a 12-week weight loss programme which has already proven not short of miraculous for me.
The Slimpod is a short audio clip, of less than 10 minutes, which you get to listen every single night, after you have filled in your Success Log. This is a simple yet very efficient way of ensuring you jot down the three good things you have done during the day to make your weight loss goal reachable.
Why do I LOVE my Slimpod?
I love the relaxed voice and the empowering message I get to listen for 10 minutes each day. For months after Georgie died, I was told to find time daily to do something for myself but i never allowed myself too. This programme ensures I do and I love having the opportunity to unwind and think of positives when I go to bed, as it sets the mood for calmer sleep.
The pod comes with online registration on the Thinking Slimmer website, where you can find a wealth of information, recipes and, what I appreciate most, common sense advice on how to set realistic goals and expectations on your weight loss journey.
But what makes the pod different from any other weight loss programme out there is that it puts the control back into your own hands, or into your subconscious, to be more precise.
Although the information is there, as I mentioned, to support your journey, it is up to each individual to decide the form their weight loss will take. For me, it is a mixture of using my Polar Loop and eating less calorific stuff while always striving to integrate more salad, fruit and vegetables back into my diet and replace the sweets and the carbs. For others on the same journey, it may look like classes at the local gym or a drastic change in their diet.
Sine of my favourite quotes from my daily listening session are:
“Thinking slimmer, becoming slimmer.” The link between mind and body re-established and acknowledged as the only tool for long lasting change.
“Reminding yourself that exercise is every move you make.” Such a reassuring reminder that even the small steps I take to make dinner or load the washing machine count towards me getting slimmer.
After having felt chronically out of control during Georgie’s illness and in his death, I now find myself attracted to things that re-establish that control and re-affirm the power to change the way I look for now and the way I feel, in time.
I am very grateful for the Slimpod Gold, the opportunity to review it over the next few months and for the ongoing support offered through the amazing group of bloggers that are testing it at the same time.
The Pod sells for £97 on the website and I will be writing weekly updates on my progress here.