The Importance of Family

In the hustle and bustle of our busy lives it becomes easy to overlook certain things, one of which is the importance of family. My family, including those who have passed away, are very important to me in my everyday life.

Pictured below are my Gran and Grandad – Monica and Vince – along with their three children, Paul, Michael and Julie (my Mam, on the right). My mam was around 8 at this point, shortly before her father, my Grandfather, passed away.

Gran Family 2000

Unfortunately, just a few years later, Michael, the baby in the photo, also passed away. I never got the chance to meet them, but I’ve always thought about them, and since I acquired my Irish Citizenship in 2016, my Grandfather, who was from County Mayo on the west coast of Ireland, has been on my mind a lot.

This year marks the 50th year since his passing, and lately I’ve been visiting the cemetery where he is buried with a view to ‘refreshing’ his grave as at present I don’t feel like it’s a well maintained tribute to his legacy. My Gran is unwell with Alzheimers so she’s not really in the position to make sure it’s maintained and that his legacy is honoured, so I feel that the responsiblity has now passed onto me.

It’s important for my to continue my Grandfather’s memory, for his sake and for that of my Gran, who I’ve always been close to, and who has had a challanging time over the years since Vince died.

How I continue to do that plays an active part in my daily life, and I’ll certainly be sharing more about this right here on my blog.

What will today bring?

Today is a day at home from me, away from the hustle and bustle of what everyday life has become. One of the advantages of working from home, and for yourself, is that you can set your own schedule, within reason anyway.

I’ve always been a bit of an independent spirit, so working for myself seemed like a natural fit. Having spent around 13-14 years working in hotels, I’m now taking the time to explore new things that interest and excite me, and one of those things is a bit of self reflection right here on my blog.

I do have a few tasks that I want to complete today, one of which is planning my travels in 2019. Places I want to visit include:

  • Oslo, Norway – for a return visit after I spent a week there this year
  • Bergen, Norway – at least twice – to visit my Great Aunt and Uncle, and the rest of my family
  • London – at least three or four times – to visit my brother, who now lives there. He’ll be visiting home three or four times as well, so that’s nearly once a month one of us will be up or down there.
  • County Mayo, Ireland – where my Grandfather is from
  • Dublin, Ireland – for a short break

With the amount that I travel it’s also important for me to have a job/career that allows me to be mobile, work from where I am and be able to plan my own diary accordingly. I’ve found that self employment gives me all of the above and more, and although it is difficult at times, on balance it works well for me.

Day Three of ‘Intermittent Fasting’

Anybody who knows me knows my journey with my weight, and my love of food. At my heaviest I was 19 stone 9lbs (275lbs or 124kg) and my weight on Sunday morning was 15 stone 5lbs (215lbs or 97.5kg).

Reading what I have just typed I’m actually shocked that I’ve lost a whopping 60lbs. I have to give credit to Weight Watchers, as I followed their program for a couple of years to get to where I am. I remember last October, when Weight Watchers moved into the hotel that I was working in, I was 17 stone and 4lbs. So in a year I’ve lost 2 stone, which I’m super impressed with.

That being said, lately, if I’m not super in control of my eating, I’ve noticed that the weight sometimes creeps back on. This, I think, is mainly due to moving away from a ‘diet’ and to more sustainable eating.

Which is where intermittent fasting has come in. To a large extent I’m very bored with points, calories and worrying about how many calories a bacon roll is when I fancy a treat. So, although I do still have to eat in moderation and not binge, I decided to give intermittent fasting a try. The basic theory of the program that I am following is that you can eat pretty much what you’d like (within moderation) between the hours of 12pm and 8pm and fast, or not eat, outside of these times.

I’m very much a late night snacker, so I felt that this may be a challenge too far for me as there’s rarely a night when I’m not eating a packet of crisps (within my daily points/calorie quota of course) for the day. None the less, I thought I would give it a go.

I’m an hour and a half off the start of my fasting time tonight when I’m writing this, and I’m pretty full despite not having too much to eat. So far, I’m very pleased with the results I’ve experienced. I feel like I’ve got a bit of a spring in my step, I’m sleeping better, and I’ve actually lost a few pounds despite having my favourite honey roasted peanuts, quite a bit of pasta and bread, and a few other little treats each day.

I’ll keep you updated with how things go here on my new blog, but so far, so good.