Cut the crap! 💩

Whenever I see or hear something sad about dogs/animals I have to scoop my fur baby up for a big cuddle. This is what happened yesterday. Cellulite and all.

Reason for this post though (the cellulite kind of plays a part here), is because I have just overheard a young girl/teenager on the phone talking about some “miracle cream” – someone had a baby 2 weeks ago and she’s used the cream non-stop since and her stretch marks are “almost gone”. If the girl had hung up I 100% would have turned around to her and told her the truth.

OH MY GOSH I am so fed up with products being marketed like this. That is WHAT WOULD HAPPEN NATURALLY OVER TIME ANYWAY 🤦🏽‍♀️ once you’ve got stretch marks – they ain’t going anywhere (ok maybe they will with some laser surgery or something) – a cream is NOT gonna make them just disappear. Stretch marks stretch and fade over time. As your belly returns to its non-stretched state over time, the stretch marks will reduce and fade. I know this, because not only have I had them on my thighs since puberty, but I’ve been there with every stupid diet pill and miracle cream there is for cellulite/stretch marks (I never even had cellulite until I was pregnant. My dysmorphic brain just thought I did.) I won’t lie – I hate them, but they’re part of life. I moisturise a fair bit anyway, and when my thighs are slimmer [through running] they are fainter. To be fair, they’re quite faint now (considering how slim my thighs ARE NOT 🤣). I am moisturising like a crazy person whilst pregnant in a bid to not gain any more – but if it happens, it happens. They’ll be a mark of what my body has grown. I’ll probably still hate them, but at least I got the chance to finally be pregnant and carry our child: something I never thought would happen. I honestly don’t seem much difference in creams being marketed as a miracle cure for stretch marks much difference to that of bloody Kim KW and her stupid appetite suppressant lollipops.

It. Is. All. Bullshit.

Moisturise, exercise, eat a healthy, balanced diet. Get outside and [safely] enjoy the sun. Don’t waste your hard earned cash on miracle BS.

Love x

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We are all so similar!

Having one of those rare body confidence/empowerment moments on the beach today.

There is a couple – foreign – who both look pretty good; slim, tanned and toned. Probably both around the same age as James and I.

I’m going to focus though, on the woman. As we women do, I’ve noticed her all week. Her body is what I would deem perfect. She is perfectly slim and toned – no “extra” fat. Her boobs (probably fake!?! I don’t think boobs are that perky unless well supported/huge and full of milk?!) are perky (although, they aren’t huge, so maybe she just has great bikini support). Her stomach is flat. She has a thigh gap (my fav, especially now that my thighs are gigantenormous!!) and generally, all round, just looks great. I don’t think anyone could deny that. Do not get me wrong – I am writing this from a point of positivity, and in no way trying to “shame” her – I think, what I am about to say, is brilliant, and a reminder that you can’t judge a book by its cover!

I just walked right next to her though, as I popped to the loo. She’s lying face down on her sun lounger sunbathing.

She has stretch marks on her perfect-shaped bum.

We are all similar!

Food/Eating Disorders/Pregnancy Cravings – we each know our own bodies better.

I was riled, a few months ago, watching a couple of programmes regarding eating disorders – something I always watch if I know it’s on, because I am simply fascinated, still. The first, was the “Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia.” And another with Louis Theroux. I remember, whilst watching, that both James and I were gobsmacked – and I have, from experience, a lot more understanding and knowledge of Anorexia.

What I will say from the offset, is that anyone that can be considered a role model should think very carefully about what they are saying/posting, although I believe if you are going to suffer with an eating disorder (or any other mental health issue), you will probably do so regardless of what you see/hear etc. I think you are pre-disposed within your genetic makeup in the same way some people get Cancer, and others don’t. However, I don’t believe the likes of Kim Kardashian (pains me to even write her name in one of my blogs 😫!) and the idiotic things she – or other similar individuals – say/do/post are going to cause eating disorders in young men/women, but I do think at times they are selling utter shite. If you are hungry, food or drink (not booze people🥂🍾!) will suppress your appetite, not a lollipop 🍭, ladies and gentlemen. In fact, I am currently eating a Chupa-Chups lollipop and am quite sure that once I’ve finished it, my appetite will no longer be suppressed and I’ll simply move onto another snack..

I seem to have this inbuilt part of me that has this need/want to help and support others, hence why I continue to write this blog.

Mark Austin and his daughter Maddy gave an incredibly open, and honest account of life with anorexia (Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia). Everything they both said is the exact kind of situation that happens with mental health illness and destroying families. The exact same happened in mine: anorexia isolates you, it makes you cunning and kuniving and it destroys relationships. Parents – or those that have no chance to understand – are angry, frustrated, exasperated. I hope history doesn’t repeat itself, and when I first started writing this – I was also still hoping anorexia hadn’t entirely destroyed my ability to have an embryo/blastocyst implant and carry a healthy pregnancy/birth/child. Thankfully, I have made it 25 weeks in and everything is healthy so far.

But it still hasn’t been easy. Whilst I am beyond in love with the ever-growing bump attached to the front of me, I am not thrilled with how I currently look overall. I stopped running in order to conceive – and anxiety meant I didn’t try again until we were 13 weeks, by which point, all fitness was lost and I was not in a position to push myself for fear of hurting our much-longed-for, unborn baby. Whilst I don’t doubt from other people’s comments that I perhaps still see myself as larger than I actually am (although believe me, I am heavy now!) my thighs, therefore {to me} are enormous. I have craved, and thus eaten non-stop carbs for the past 25 weeks; foods which I would normally reserve for never due to their ability to make me gain weight just thinking about them. I still live with mental health issues that I fight against daily, that no one can ever fully understand, and thus no one can ever fully have an input – especially if it is unasked for – thank you very much!

Recently, I’ve found people telling me what I should and shouldn’t be eating. People that will never be pregnant are included in this (aka men, or those older who have never wanted children) and I spent a drive home from an anxious hospital appointment a few weeks ago in tears, fuming and thinking about it, and the things I’ve done to my body over the years:

When I was 16, upon waking and realising no-one else was home, I leapt out of bed and ran through to my parents ensuite to weigh myself and see if the scales were acceptable to me yet.

I knocked myself out on a door frame/TV cabinet on the way through because I was so dizzy and fainting. In the 5 days prior to that morning, I had eaten just one apple. Nothing suppressed my appetite, I tried everything to be constantly thinner, and as a result of hunger, passed out.

In 2015, over ten years later, aged 26/27 I spent a month barely eating, and sneaking off to throw up everything I did consume. I taunted and teased myself by joining in with others and accepting free hot chocolate the work canteen was offering at the time – throwing it all up as soon as it was finished. Months later at 27/28 I struggled to push myself – desperately – through a 5 mile run because all I’d allowed myself for three days prior was “juice diet”. “Healthy” green liquid or water only. Less than a mile in I could feel my kidneys in pain, my muscles physically unable to run through a full 5 miles from lack of fuel. And yet mentally, I was livid with myself still. Angry at my body at having to run-walk-run as someone who knew they could usually run for miles on end and love it. You cannot function on nothing. Food, is fuel.

I remember lying to my friends that I’d already had dinner/was eating dinner at home later. Lying to my parents that I’d eaten out with my friends. I remember trying to throw up the smallest bit of cheese I’d sucumbed (BECAUSE SUPPRESSING YOUR APPETITE DOESN’T EXIST!!) to eating off my friends pizza, in the Pizza Hut toilets aged 15. I remember flushing food down the toilet or chucking it in the bin whilst exercising for a minimum of an hour every single day. I remember asking my parents for school dinner money rather than food so that at least I wouldn’t waste the food; because, whilst adamant I didn’t deserve food, I still felt a resounding guilt that I was simply throwing food away when there were – are – thousands of starving people in the world. I remember that I wasn’t kidding anyone. I remember it all too well, for someone who’s memory is largely shot to pieces. How can you forget such hideous self punishment?

Having been diagnosed “Anxiety with depression” aged 26, in 2015, I also honestly believe anorexia/eating disorders are a side effect, a symptom, a coping mechanism for wider issues. When I had my first mental health breakdown in March 2015 I had spent the previous 6+ weeks over exercising, marginally under eating and regularly throwing up everything I did eat. It was something I could control. It was a coping mechanism to deal with my heightened anxiety, my low self confidence and self esteem, it was an outlet, but it kills.

So what I don’t understand now, is how anyone thinks they have the right to tell someone – anyone – let alone someone who has been through what I have – what they should and shouldn’t be eating, when they’ve not asked, but particularly through pregnancy. I believe after all these years I am more than aware of what I should/should not eat in order to achieve weight gain/loss. I also instinctively believe I (we: baby and I!) will crave what we need. This pregnancy, that has NOT been salad. And I do love me a good salad. Maybe, if I’m lucky enough for a future pregnancy(/pregnancies?!) perhaps salad will be craved.

Yes – I am eating a lot of (ok ONLY!) carbs. Just because that isn’t considered an “odd” craving to many doesn’t mean it isn’t a craving, and is just an “excuse” to eat them. I have never eaten carbs like this before – I used to avoid them like the plague. I have never wanted or apparently needed carbs like this before. I can’t remember the last time I allowed myself a jacket potato (rather than sweet potato), or white pasta (rather than spelt). Crisps used to make me feel uncomfortably bloated and thus I would still avoid them even at parties when they were laid out as nibbles. The last time I actually ATE a regular breakfast, rather than drinking a protein shake, or smoothie only, (and after running 3/5/7 miles), I was about 10 years old.

So yes, it’s a lot of carbs. Yes, I’ve gained a lot of weight, no, I am not thrilled about it: in fact if I could take scissors to my thighs to cut off the extra chub, I would. But I don’t think I am massively complaining about it – yes I’m calling myself “fat”, a “beached whale”; that’s how I feel right now, but I say it in jest! I am not going to do anything about it whilst I am carrying our miracle baby. I am not entirely stupid – enough so to think for a second all of this weight will just “fall off” the second the baby pops out. I will have to work at it, hard – but does anyone honestly think this is something I’m not prepared to do? Someone who, when working full time would get up at 5/5.30/6am to run, and spent most days ensuring she exercised twice? Someone who is known to have got up during worst bouts of insomnia and run for 5+ miles at 1am?? I am not prepared to risk something we have wanted, and tried for, for so long. I tried to run to keep off some weight, but it’s not for me – not this time, this pregnancy anyway; it’s too late, too hard and therefore too much of a worry to me to keep trying until the baby has arrived. I have never craved, or eaten, carbs like I am doing now, and so, I believe there must be a reason for this, and for once in my life, I am not going to deny what my body – our baby – is asking for.

I have said time and time again that unless you have physically experienced a mental health issue, you will never fully understand – no matter how much training you have had. I had two incredible (NHS) therapists providing me CBT and CAT over the last few years but for both of them I always felt (particularly the first) that you just don’t really get it until you’ve had it – and I wouldn’t wish anyone to have mental health illness. We all have mental health – some of us are just lucky enough not to have mental health illness.

HOW is it, that 23 years ago – yes, you read that right, TWENTY THREE – the incredible Princess Diana opened up and spoke about her mental health – her eating disorder, and yet here we still are in 2018 with still so much stigma, a distinct lack of understanding, and with idiotic products on the market promising suppressed appetites and “miracle” weight loss to those vulnerable and desperate enough to believe them?

Bigger arms, bigger thighs, bigger bum and bigger boobs. But a beautiful, beautiful, healthy baby bump. Oh, and my “appetite suppressant” lollipop.. which as it happens I’ve just finished… time for crisps!

ALSO:

  • Rufus
  • My husband
  • My health
  • My friends and family

xxx

EDIT – to add the below screen grabs that I’ve had saved on my phone since forever, because they make such valid points! Thanks to AliceLiveing for the words!

All that we see..

.. Is far from perfect.

I look in the mirror this evening. Well; every day ~ especially since we have returned from holiday. 

I have gained weight – I know it; even without stepping on those dreaded scales to confirm. Of course I have. I spent the last three weeks eating pastries, waffles, pancakes and French toast for breakfast. Afternoon tea most days. Cocktails galore. Exercise – minimal. Of course I have gained weight. I am – almost – ok with it. Everyone, mostly, gains weight on holiday – when they loose themselves. I knew I would, and I have. It’s kind of ok, but it’s not. I see it clearly, very clearly on the scales. I expect, if I tried to fit into some of my smallest clothes from some 2 years ago – I would notice if. Yet sometimes, when I look in the mirror, I can’t see it. I know it is there, but where? I don’t know if this is good or bad. Some friends say it is positive – progress, if you like; as I have been seeing only fat previously. But I am not sure I have been put in the process to make progress – or that I even have; because I know, deep down, where my thoughts still lie.

We constantly see images of “perfection”. Now I know that often these are airbrushed – perfected. Yet it doesn’t change my opinion of myself. 

What is perfection? I will never be perfection. I am 29. I get (a scary amount of) grey hairs. Frequent split ends; despite rarely straightening/curling/blow drying my hair. I have chubby cheeks (yet dimples which are often loved). My face is wonky; I know this from wearing glasses/sunglasses; in fact, my current sunglasses arms are too long for my head. My boobs are saggy; far saggier than any other unchildless 29 year old. My thighs are large, my stomach with pouch – unlike an elite runner. My feet and hands are child sized; never given the opportunity to grow. My general body hair? Much like a jungle.

I like to think I portray online an honest image of my life. I guess I don’t always; without thought. Often the caption of an image might describe something opposite to what the image and hashtags appear. But my life – as is any – is far from perfect. Yes, we just flew first and business class halfway round the world and back – a lifelong dream for many. Would we do it again? Yes, if we could afford it. Would we rather have children of our own? Tomorrow.

Should we stop our lives and make a choice though? No. Why should anyone’s life pleasures be put on hold? Yes, I – we – want children and a family of our own. Should we forgo the rest of our lives – work, careers, livelihood, travel, exercise for that? 

No – of course not. And why should we when others seemingly achieve without doing so? I am no elite athlete – and if they can conceive; why can’t I? My body is used to running. If Miss/Mrs career woman is working like she always did; then changing that is unlikely to make any difference to her conceiving. If you are travelling – will you not conceive? No. Of course not – conception is a fortunate miracle. If you are married or not – will that make a difference to you bearing a child? We all know the answer is no.

Peoples lives may seem perfect; I do try to portray that sometimes they seemingly are, sometimes they aren’t. Why do so many still strive for such trivial aspects of what he/she/kardashians/so-and-so seemingly have? So what! Are you happy? Really? Good; keep it up.

Do I look pretty? Perfect? (No {chubby, and clearly saggy boobs}) A rare observation of myself thinks so [pretty; hair, face alight] but for how long, I wonder? 

#theimperfectboss

I’ve just come across this insta-movement.. And whilst I don’t quite fit into the traditional sense of being my own boss in business, I feel like the hope of this message should reach further than that anyway..
“The hope…. That we can break open the myth of perfection and send a message to a generation of women that being in business doesn’t demand that you are flawless. It simply demands that you own who you are.”
A couple of old school-friends (💗) have said to me in the last {…6/7 months – where did that time go??! 😬} “you know most people only display the perfect side of their lives on social media, right?”
Right. They do. But life isn’t always perfect, sadly, and portraying that image can aid in sending out that negative message that sharing your emotions and the “tough times” is weak and childish. It’s not. You don’t know what kind of help and support lurks where, who else might be struggling, and what you say might just help one person. I don’t recall being ashamed after my first, or second breakdown last year, but I do recall not wanting anyone to know. It took a third [3rd time lucky, right?!] to open up. And I’m glad I did –

I am a geek! I am a wife, daughter, sister, niece, mother, friend, fighter. I can be intense; its passion. I can be exhausted; that can be depression. I run, I love, I eat, I sleep, I walk, I think, I overthink, I worry. I am happy, sad, anxious, shattered, grateful, thankful, lucky, loved. I am many things and no things. And I need to stop apologising for who I am. I need to learn to be proud of who I am. To love me. I need to stop trying too hard for waste of space people; old habits die hard, I guess.

Another young woman posted with her selfie “I was scared of the judgement of being scared of being judged. I’ve been the victim of some pretty hurtful gossiping and now I can’t escape the feeling that it is always happening.”

I know how she feels. And I stand with her as I stand with any other person who has been through hell and back, or goes through hell and back on a monthly/weekly/daily/hourly basis… People.. Stop being mean.. Stop spiteful gossiping and judging. Focus on you, live well, laugh often and be kind.

A few months ago I began to start taking charge of me again. I became my own boss again. I resigned from a workplace that stripped me of my confidence, left me mentally fragile, to the point that my physical health was becoming impacted.

I don’t for a second take for granted how bloody lucky I am that financially I could do this. Financially I have the support from my husband, and family to just leave. It took months of being told this, more months of putting myself through hell, but finally I have started to become my own boss. I still have bad days – but actually, this is probably the longest period of time I have managed to sustain a mostly sensible, normal recovery. I’ve made some mistakes – some more than others I’ll regret for the rest of my life – but I’m only human; I’m learning every day, and I’m winning more and more.

This message doesn’t just need to be promoted to a generation of women, but men too. Our children, our children’s children. Us. 

@fireandwindco #theimperfectboss