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!

Re-home Benji!

Benji 🐶

Meet Benji!

I volunteer dog walk for The Cinnamon Trust who help out with pets when their owners who are generally old/terminally ill can no longer look after them so well, aka: walk dogs. 

I used to walk Benji 🐶 on just a Monday, but found out this week the other two volunteers had stopped because he was too “boisterous”.

🙄😠😫. He is not boisterous. 

He’s 2/3 years young and barely getting walked because his mum is terminally ill. He just wants to walk and smell and play with ALL the other dogs, because THAT’S WHAT DOGS DO. My heart absolutely broke 💔 for him when I realised this, so I’m going to now try and walk him every day until he is rehomed. Fortunately, he lives pretty close to us! Apparently he is exhausted and much better behaved once he gets home from a walk – proof you just need to keep your little fur babies knackered and their behaviour improves! His Mum’s two daughters are so grateful for me doing this simple thing to help whilst their Mum is very ill – I walk him with Rufus anyway – I have this real need to help others – and this is such a simple way of doing so. I don’t understand how you could stop helping when so badly needed.

Would anyone like Benji to join their family?!

Camera shy Benji!

Loneliness 

Loneliness… it’s a real thing. Sometimes I think I struggle with that more than depression but then loneliness is probably an effect of the depression. I always thought I wanted to WFH/be a housewife/full time mum but the reality of not having a set “9-5” means I’m often super lonely and isolated and leach onto ANY social contact quite badly…! Soz all! Some days if I’ve somehow managed to not see or speak (in any form) to anyone I practically pounce on James when he gets home – you know like when you’ve been off sick for a day and then when you get to see someone you’re all crazy for conversation? That’s me… most days. Rufus probably helps… poor dog 🐶I’m not saying leaving Clarks wasn’t the right choice – it 100% was. I don’t miss the corporate BS or the fakery, and thanks to my addled brain [alongside my amazing husband] I won’t ever be going back: I find myself infuriated with myself because of the simple things I struggle to pick up as quick as I used to in the work I do for the business as it is, I honestly don’t believe I would ever get through an interview process again: I struggled as it was in the 6 months or so before I left Clarks.
So, obviously I’m not thrilled at the prospect of facing this weekend alone – James on a stag, 2 sets of cancelled and one failed set of plans for me – I don’t, of course, dispute him going – I want him to! He deserves a break (from me!!) and to have fun with his mates – plus I abandon him to go off with the girls enough – although I suspect {know} he also just enjoys the break from me and catches up on sleep 🙄🤣. 

I just get so tired of being alone. I often make out I hate people – and general people I probably do, they’re often a pain in the ass 🤣 – but when it comes to my friends and family, I just want them around all the time (no, not you Dad.. haha love you x).
I have often found myself, when travelling or just out and about, looking at others who are alone and being super worried for them. Concerned that they aren’t happy. It’s absolutely insane and 99% of the time I suspect they are absolutely just fine. I’ve noticed it for as long as I can remember – since I was really young – a business man eating dinner alone; pretty average in the world and yet I’ve always wanted to invite them to join us (but never have… confidence lacker in being such a weirdo!) I end up just making myself feel awful in convincing myself they are sad and alone. I just seem to really FEEL and have all this emotion for others which is just seemingly totally random. I worry about June – who I dog walk for through The Cinnamon Trust – about her feeling lonely, and as such spend time attempting to make awkward conversation (I am sure I am the queen of awkward conversation, somehow) before I leave her because I’m so worried about leaving her alone. In reality she’s probably internally questioning when the weird dog walker who doesn’t seem to work is going to JUST LEAVE 😂.
I did however read a pretty interesting blog this week on the time to change website that was written by someone else who seemed much better able than me to get her point across – I agree with having ALL THE EMOTION. I’m not just a spoilt brat (👸🏻) who strops when she doesn’t get her way (just mostly..!) but everything just seems to effect me much stronger and deeper than it seems to affect anyone else. A sad advert about dogs and I’m forcing Rufus to cuddle me whilst my paranoid brain panics about the day he’s no longer with us (we have an agreement that this will be never, we all go together… also never..!), but the simplest smile or sharing “knowing” eye contact from a stranger has me bouncing off the walls for joy. I feel it all, deeply, but particularly, I think, loneliness.
And so, with being alone I can’t really seem to adult… I’m not sure who let me solo adult.. I can’t even seem to figure out what I want to eat, but don’t worry, there’ll be no half stone weight loss this weekend because I’m so (pre-menstrually) hungry that I’m consuming EVERYTHING in site trying to placate whatever it is I really want but can’t figure out myself. Instead it’s Frosties and easy solo person meals for dinner because I have NO CLUE what I really want and can’t be bothered to cook to figure it out 😒. In positive news, I did just manage to be near a Sainsbury’s and NOT purchase jam doughnuts – mostly because at the time I wasn’t sure I wanted them… but now I think it’s a big regret…

Wild Friday nights at 30… bedtime (8.30pm: suspect I’ll be punished for that with a horribly early morning wake up!), night all x

I believe it’s called “brinner”…. “breakfast”, for dinner..

Little ray of sunshine 🌤

Sunshine on a rainy day 🎶

One of my old Clarks colleagues (and I feel at some point soon there will be a blog about the whole horrendous Clarks experience, because; therapy.) suggested to me that he had had “depression for 8 weeks once” but “didn’t feel the need to write about it, let alone share it”. Admittedly this was said some time ago but it keeps popping into my head.. particularly after I’ve been forced to go through EVERYTHING on my phone and delete due to “lack of memory space” 😫.

Anyway – there’s a *few* (understatement of the year) things wrong with those words.

The first is that, you DO NOT just get depression for a mere 8 weeks, and then all is fine and la-de-da again forevermore. Nope, nuhuh, no way, soz 🤚🏾. Depression, or indeed, any mental health illness, lives within you forever. You either have it, or you don’t. You’ll have better spells; days, weeks, months, maybe even years (if you’re really lucky!), but it will always be there, lingering, ready to to come back and shatter your world. I suggest – ex colleague – that you were just a bit down in the dumps for a few weeks over something or other [dumped? Clarks being their usual selves?!], but, despite being no expert, I can confirm you most certainly were not “depressed” if that was your first and last lifetime experience of it. And if it is something you continue to struggle with, I encourage you to seek help.

Second/third/fourth issues are; well, that’s just mighty good for you not feeling the need to write or even “share” about your experience. Maybe you’re not a writer. Maybe you deal with things in other ways. Maybe you didn’t want to talk or share your experience; that’s all fine; as a human being in a free world that is your choice. As is my choice to write and share. Ta very much for your *unnecessary* opinion there regarding my choices. 👍🏾 [note; sarcasm.]

Little bit in love with Bryony Gordon ATM 😍

I feel the need to write. It’s part of my self-therapy, it’s part of getting it out of me and it’s part just what feels right for me; just like running (although I think I fancy a little break from running… 😬😱!!). And, somewhat most importantly to me; it’s often a little ray of sunshine for others. 🌥


Others who feel they can’t [yet; because I too was at that point, for a long, long time] talk or write about what they are going through. Others who are suffering in silence; which I don’t recommend but I 100% understand because I’ve been there, {and sometimes I continue to find myself there because it really is an absolute nightmare to tell the people you love the most, that despite your seemingly perfect life; you just aren’t ok.} Others who have been brave enough to tell me, in confidence, that they aren’t ok, and are kind enough to tell me they always read my blogs, and that sometimes my words are enough to remind them they are not alone.

I am not for a second big headed enough (although apparently I sometimes come across like this, and I’d like to remind you that not only did I A) go to drama school but that B) mental health battles are all about the hiding it and faking it and pretending you are “ok”) to think I’m all that: that my ramblings are enough; I am just merely repeating what others have told me. And I thank those people whole-heartedly, because as a typical “millennial” it makes me feel like I have a tiny, incey-wincey bit of purpose.

Biggest fair weather lover you’ll know – but this kind of has a point 🌈

Most of the time my mind wonders enough to form words to write when I am walking the dog. Let me tell you it is not easy to walk the dog across fields and write a blog… I wish my brain had the power to think this clearly and concisely when I was sat at a computer/laptop! More than once I have almost sprained my ankle falling down a rabbit hole [pun intended] whilst thinking and writing; and let me tell you all once and for all this is EXACTLY why I do not run cross country but instead stick to the knee-damaging tarmac of roads and pavements..!!
Anyway – as per usual karen tangent..

I don’t write for others. I write for me. I share for me because I’m tired of not sharing. I’m tired of fighting things alone, and I think we all know from my overgramming (📸😝) that frankly, I love to share! Sometimes I still find myself having those dark days alone, but sharing and being open and having support – no matter how difficult it is at the time – reminds me I can do this. As can you. ☀️

I know more than anyone it’s not this easy.. but dance freely and make friends ☺️

In other news – I am a fully grown-almost 30-year old adult who for the second day in a row has spilt food/drink down her top.. this is an improvement on in my hair.. and yet, on putting on a new top I have discovered a twig somehow entwined within the sleeves… 🙄 #ICantAdult 

Fat.

We all individually think we are fat. Beyond Gordon hits the nail bang on the head with the hammer when I read ~ just yesterday ~ her words in “Mad Girl” {and oh, my, gosh do I resonate with SO MUCH of this book..!} of 

“For young women, fat is more often a mental state rather than a physical one.” 

We all individually think “others” are perfect.Why do we judge ourselves so harshly when we wouldn’t judge others this way? Alright, I know theres a few nasty bullies out there who judge others instantaneously – not gonna lie; I’ve probably definitely done it in the past… we all have… but I have noticed myself more and more following “kindness is magic” because you just don’t know what others have/been/are going through and thus don’t judge a book by its cover.. but by and large, we are extrodinarily self critical whilst viewing others in this positive glow of perfection that simply isn’t true.

Why do we see ourselves in one light and others in a more positive light?

We are 🦄.

I’m noticing this a lot recently. It’s good, because it’s what I’m meant to be doing as a result of therapy; catching myself thinking negatively about myself and really assessing, well, me. Not just in terms of “I’m fat” but generally under this all round umbrella of “not good enough” that I’ve placed upon myself; but there is no upper limit to what is “good enough” so I am constantly a failure to myself; because myself doesn’t even know what is good enough… genius, right?!

In a group conversation with two of my bestest 🦄 girlfriends the other day, we were all individually berating ourselves. Calling ourselves fat, or flabby, whilst the other two said “you’re not, but I…” etc, etc. We do it a lot – not just us 3; women in general. But we aren’t. We are all different and unique. I have bigger thighs. Francesca is just all round tiny [Well Rosie and I think so at least ☺️]; and we don’t know how because my-unicorn (don’t believe in god 😉) she is one hell of a baker, and if I baked like her I’d be absolutely enormous from taste testing the goods/licking ALL the bowls 👅🤣 . Rosie, on the other hand, is “top heavy”: she has bigger boobs (guess the guys/her bf are/is happy 👀😂), and she’s dubbed her “belly” “Krispy Kreme Castle” and butt 🍑 “Mars Bar Mount” which is so cute and funny, and made me laugh out loud that I can’t help but join in with her on it. She’s still tiny. Her legs are long and slim and her butt looks pretty good to me and not so Mars-Bar-Mounty… me? Well I have tiny hands and feet and I’m warming to the rest of me. My stomach often looks reasonably flat despite ALL the food, and I prefer my smaller boobs (although they never feel so small 😒).


So here we are. Krispy Kreme Castle bellies and all; terms of endearment. I don’t think we really care anymore though; this is just who we are. We exercise/don’t exercise as and when we want. I run; I love it. Francesca doesn’t; because her asthma is waaaay worse than mine and she doesn’t so much love it 🤣. Having said that; she was pretty good running in France this week and has seriously good form! Rosie does ALL the gym classes and has discovered that if we play the 90’s Christina Aquilera “Fighter” then she totes adores the boxing even more!! The funny thing is – we all wear pretty much the same size clothing..!

I’m Karen. I’m 29 [fighting 30 in a few months.. 😱] and I’m 5ft 5″-ish.. and I tend to sit at around 9 and a half stone. Sometimes just over (ugh) and sometimes just under (yay!). I’ve fought that for years, I’ve fought and continue to fight the anorexic thoughts that have been present within my mind for more or less 30 years. I’ve said before I don’t truly believe they will ever completely go away; they may come back stronger than ever, but right now I am learning to appreciate what I’ve got and live, love and laugh with it. Clearly 9 stone 7 pounds [ish] is where I’m meant to sit. And you know what? That sits right smack in the middle of “healthy” for my age/height/sex. That is, those magic words; “good enough”. As I’ve typed that I’ve realised it’s a classic time for me to “catch myself” again. That is good enough. I am good enough.

Obviously (“ugh”) I am not ok with the ‘slightly’ over 9.7 stone, and ideally I’d maintain the 8 stone I was at around 2-3 years ago, but I can’t. I can’t maintain 8 stone or just under. I can’t even seem to maintain just under 9 stone. And I think I’m learning to deal with it. If it’s unmaintanable then it can’t be right, right? I want to live and be happy: not fight myself day in day out. I’m not gonna lie – This isn’t easy for me to say or deal with, but I’m trying to for the sake of life and happiness which is super important. The most important. I am learning to be ok with it. I am living; eating and drinking and moving as others do. For the first time since I’ve had the t-shirt, my “running = more cake 🎂” tee is actually more truthful than laughable. Running used to equal more running.. running used to equal allowing myself dinner..

I have stretch marks too from puberty. I hate them – but actually they are mostly faded now and, you know what? I was so, so relieved when Francesca said to me the other day that she “hates these stretch marks on her thighs” because I’d never noticed hers. I’d have never said she had any until she told me. We home in on our own “faults” and fail to realise that actually they are just part of being human, they aren’t abnormal, we are NOT all perfect, photoshopped images, and they/we’re ok.

I’ve noticed this last week I’ve got the beginnings of some tiny varocous veins forming… not best pleased for not-even-30… but maybe, just maybe, by announcing this “out loud” will make someone else who is struggling with noticing this in themselves be ok with the fact that I too, am not yet 30, and not best pleased – but what am I to do?! They are forming. I don’t know much about them as they aren’t something I’ve spent years worrying and pouring my soul into researching like every other aspect of me – but I know my mum has them, and I’m sure the googling will soon ensue…

Something inside me is changing. Maybe its age/maturity. Maybe it’s the amount of beautiful weather we’ve been having (/I’ve taken myself to!). Maybe it’s the Cognitive Analytical Therapy [CAT]psychotherapy that I’ve been undergoing, or the citalopram I’ve been taking, or because I ran a marathon, or been talking to therapists/everyone and anyone who will listen about everything and anything. Or maybe even the amount of doctors/nurses that have had probes/cameras/catheters/speculum’s up my vagina in the last few years. Who knows – whatever it is [& I do suspect a strong element of maturity; perhaps induced by the citalopram] I’m changing. Topless in front of friends/my Mum? Don’t care. Or one of my besties, Rosie “I’m-not-going-to-walk-in-on-you-naked-in-the-shower-oops-I-just-did”… I just don’t seem to be fussed. I just don’t seem to care anymore: we are all human. We all have bodies. We are all different but we all have our pros and self-perceived “cons”. And more and more of us are realising this, and that life is just too short to not enjoy it…Man I wish I had felt this age … 0 onwards….