Eating frogspawn

If you’re wondering what that is, it’s my breakfast. Yes, I know. Frogspawn.

It is actually chia pudding – chia seeds soaked overnight in fresh coconut milk. The rest is plum jam – I simmered home grown plums in orange juice and zest, some coconut sugar and cinnamon, blended the result and added chia seeds again to make a jam. Please tell me it is healthy. I’m led to believe it is healthy.

Yesterday was a baaaaad day.

Remember I told you about my detox diet? How proud I was of my efforts? Yeah well, I lost a pound. 1lb. That’s it.

Before you say anything, I know. It is better than putting it on. It’s more than I think. It’s still an achievement. But it really, really does not feel like it. I would have been happy with two – not ecstatic, but happy. I’d cut out meat and was having one coffee a day with a mix of almond milk and cow’s milk. I was having one square of dark chocolate a day. The rest was lots of fruit and veg, pulses and beans, water, green tea and nuts. Oh and the birdseed and frogspawn, aka quinoa and chia seeds. One pound. Let me say that again. 1lb.

I was devastated. Angry. Frustrated. I hated myself. My defective body with its flabby stomach, legs and arms. My inability to keep any weight off. My inability to seemingly lose any.

My motivation for this healthy way of eating was my one and half stone weight gain since January and my trip to see Wildcard in (now) two weeks time. My clothes are tighter, my stomach is bigger and I no longer look in the mirror and feel proud of my 3.5 stone weight loss. I’m angry I can’t keep it off.

But then, I did my usual. In a sulky strop, I baked myself some gluten free, rice flour and coconut sugar cookies. I ate loads of them. I had oven chips for tea, and polished off the remaining fruit pastilles of a bag my daughter had naively left lying around. If you are naturally skinny, you won’t understand this move. If you have struggled with weight, you will.

Last night, I was determined again. I can’t let this beat me. I thought about how I had lost the 3.5 stone. I merged that concept with the fact that I have bulk bought quinoa, chia seeds and other ingredients. I have come up with my own diet for the next week. So that is why I’m eating frogspawn this morning. Just for information, the coconut chia is bland and the plum chia jam is sour. It was just about edible.

Please feel free to message me with some delicious recipes for chia seeds.

If they actually exist.


Day 11 – hospitality

I am genuinely going to be about a million stone when I get home. Wildcard’s country is famous for its hospitality and I completely understand why.

At home, usually because I am on one diet or another, I don’t eat a great deal. Or try not to. So brunch is fruit and yoghurt and almonds. I have a normal dinner. Occasionally, if I am hungry, I will have a snack in the evening. Sometimes I don’t eat anything until dinner. Or maybe just have a banana or a cereal bar.

Here, the main meals are breakfast and lunch. Wildcard’s mum makes me eggs every morning and has baked me gluten free bread which she has just learned how to toast. There is butter, amazing olive oil, homemade jam and she has also been buying gluten free soft cheese. She makes me coffee and warm milk and there is tea. Recently, she has been making me freshly squeezed orange juice too. If I eat a little, they get worried. If I eat what is on my plate, they add more. 😋ðŸĪŠ

She has also made me potato cakes for breakfast – alongside the toast and eggs – and this morning, less than an hour after breakfast, gave me delicious homemade caramel and almond icecream. I took a little slice – she insisted I have more.

Her efforts in providing for me are astounding. Because Wildcard has told her I like salad, every meal I have my own little dish – cucumbers and tomatoes, chopped finely with seasoning and white vinegar. The main meal is always homemade and delicious – fresh vegetables and meat or fish. Accompanying this is rice or potatoes and bread. To finish, freshly cut watermelon or oranges or cherries. Always fresh, always delicious and always local.

Apart from occasionally taking plates into the kitchen, Wildcard’s parents won’t let me do anything. I feel completely lazy. I’ve offered to help, to wash dishes but they won’t let me. Whilst sitting on the couch with Wildcard is dreamy, I feel guilty as I hear his mum working in the kitchen.

They’re just lovely, lovely people. And to think, that just based on their nationality, their religion, their skin colour, some people hate them. I really don’t understand this world at all sometimes.


I once read a book which talked about coincidences. My mum was very much into Spiritualism at the time and recommended into me. It was less about Spiritualism as such (mediums and clairvoyance etc) and more about our relationship with the natural world. They advocated spending time with nature, eating simple organic food, meditation…. And taking notice of the coincidences around us, messages from our guides. Putting the Spiritualism to one side, it was a powerful book even if you were not a believer. (When I remember the name I will post it in the comments)

Coincidences have the power to make the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Whether you are just simply attuned to them or they just happen and you are alerted to them, they’re pretty weird. From reading that book, I’ve always believed that you should take note of them: whether from an ethereal being or simply your subconscious trying to tell you something, it’s worth having a think when they crop up.

Last week, for the first time in about ten years, a pupil made a comment about my weight. He’s not a pupil that I know very well. I’m nowhere near as heavy as I was in January this year thanks to the Keto diet. I am however still a stone heavier than I was a year ago. I know I’m overweight. It’s quite obvious I’m overweight. And I’ve no doubt that there has been many a pupil that have called me all the ‘fats’ under the sun when I have had to sanction them. But, they’ve always had the respect to not to do this to my face. In fact, one of the boy’s friends, a boy I do know, openly said how “sly” it was after it had been said. In some ways, this actually made me feel worse about my weight – like it is something the pupils who I get on with pity me for. The other pupil irritated more for his lack of respect, not what he actually said.

Anyway it was dealt with, calmly, and we move on.

This morning I woke up and, looking in the mirror, felt huge even though I have only put a few pounds on since Dad got ill. It’s the second day of my period and I’m going out tonight – always a source of anxiety for someone overweight (What am I going to wear? Will I actually be able to find something that makes me feel nice and pretty?) But, knowing that keeping positive is always the best way to stay on a diet and feel good about yourself, I chose some nice clothes to wear, felt good, and went out early to the shops.

So far so good. I even dared to think about whether I might see a handsome single man, fresh from the gym, browsing the Booths’ aisles at 8am in the morning. Fat chance. 😊

Instead I saw someone I used to work with twenty years ago. She’s older than me, 50 in a couple of days apparently, but we used to get on well and she even came to my 21st birthday party. It was nice to see her and have a catch up, and we laughed about how hard it was to shop with the kids (My four year old was being a little demanding) when she said it.

“Ooh, are you expecting again then?” to which I just patted my stomach and replied,

“oh no, I’m just fat I’m afraid.”

She was embarrassed and I felt sorry for her, rather than myself – at that moment anyway. Being honest, the comment has not left my head ad ever since.

Yes, I am overweight. Yes, the top I wore could be perceived as a maternity top (light, floaty and nipped in under the bust and designed to hide a belly, pregnant or not). Plus I had a young child with me and am still, just about, in child producing age.

Coincidence or just the world telling me to lose weight? Who knows but I know I need to listen.

Why happiness is mine to accept

To understand this post, you may want to read the previous one first!

I have a good job, a nice home and three beautiful and healthy children.

My dad has survived lung cancer and his prostate cancer is in remission. He is still with us.

My relationship with my mum has improved. She is happy and I know she will always be there if I need her.

Never say never. The job I have now is suitable for my situation on the whole. I get time off with my children. My job is enjoyable and challenging and I am good at it. There will be time for change in the future when the moment is right.

My children know they are loved. They know they can depend on me. They may not have as much as some but they have more than others. They are polite and well mannered and have a healthy interest in reading and history and technology, of course.

Happiness is not just for those in a relationship. I can be happy without a man. But at the same time, love could be on the horizon til the day I die.

At least I know that the connection exists. Somewhere, out there is another connection – so strong that nothing will keep us apart.

I tried my best to keep my marriage alive. What I have now are lots of happy memories, three beautiful children and a much better relationship with their dad.

As I write, I am an able bodied woman with no major health concerns other than the need to lose weight. It could be worse.

Life can be good if we open our eyes to it.

One year on.

A year today I started this blog. Madness. At first I was pretty proud of myself for posting for a whole year, but then I realised it was more than that.

This blog has got me through some really tough times this year. It’s been a friend, a sounding post, a crutch.

Without a shadow of a doubt, on my second and final separation from my husband a year ago, I felt the absence of utter misery and stress would leave me feeling a lot happier. Surprisingly, it didn’t.

My circumstances are a lot different from the first time. I’m older (obviously), have three children (not two), and a more demanding and high pressured job.

I’ve found my separated life to be quite lonely. I’ve gone through dark clouds of depression to euphoric bliss and the boredom of monotony in between:

Dates – nope.

Rooms redecorated – half (don’t ask).

New hobbies – one.

Weight lost – none.

Evaluation of creation of new life? Poor.

But (and there is always a but)..


I have been a single parent to three gorgeous but highly demanding children whilst holding down a career and attempting to keep my house from looking (and smelling) like a dump.

So my advice to you, ‘newly separated and hopeful’ is:

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to make big changes. Let the dust settle.

Accept that it will take a while for the dust to settle.

Don’t think that the big hole left (however desired) by your ex leaving/getting kicked out is going to be filled with love and wonder and happiness. Not at first anyway. You need to explore every inch of that crater to process what happened: how you feel about it and what you truly want now your dream of night long sex with [insert sexy movie star here] is no longer needed to get you through the pain of a dissolving marriage.

Be kind to yourself. You are going to emote in ways you didn’t know possible. You may even miss him a little. Doesn’t mean you want him back or that you should backtrack on your decision, necessarily. It’s OK to mourn what once was and what could have been.

Give yourself the gift of time. Go out with the girls. Get out in the fresh air whenever you can. Laugh, cook, dance. You don’t need a replacement to make you happy.

Take stock of your achievements regularly. This is a big change to your life. It’s not easy to go it alone.

Don’t be afraid of asking for or accepting help. It doesn’t make you weak. Just reminds you that you are not Wonder Woman. (More’s the pity).

Don’t settle for mediocrity. You’re better than that. You deserve more than that. There’s no rush – get it right this time.

Thank you to all the people who have read my blog and the two special ladies who regularly comment. It is always appreciated. 😊

Here’ s to Year 2 and all that may bring.

Happy Blogging!



It’s been a funny old day. 

I woke up in a bad mood. It may have been exhaustion from a tough week at work and the realisation that I have not had a lie-in since October. It may also have been the fallout from 3/4 bottle of wine that I drunk all to myself the night before. 

Ex picked the children up at 10am. My middle son didn’t want to go even though it’s father’s day. I actually felt a little sorry for Ex but this is the result of his poor relationship with his children. My son went in the end but I did have a tearful call at lunchtime where he said he wanted to come home early. I worry when he is like that. He is quite a sensitive and deep soul and it can take a while to get to the bottom of what is bothering him. 

After they had left, I surveyed the general destruction around me. I hung some washing out, reloaded and then… Went back to bed. Yes, you read right. This little treat is reserved only for when I am ill normally. But, up I went. I had the windows open to let in some air and then had a 30 minute snooze before my friend text me to make arrangements for the day. I was in a much better mood by this point. 

Today we shopped because next weekend we are going away. I am so excited! I normally hate shopping as I generally find it a disappointing experience. It’s no fun when you’re fat. However today was good as I managed to get my children a few things they needed whilst in good company. Usually I would shop online or alone. 

On the way home we took the scenic route instead of the motorway and sipped mint ice coolers from Costa. I do not want to think about the calories but they didn’t half help to cool us down. We also got a little distracted by the sight of two rather delicious bikers who had stopped by the exit of a roundabout to check their bikes. Strangely, the two men both fit my friend and I in regards to taste – one, a bearded blonde, one brown haired and clean shaven. They were so attractive we went round the roundabout another two times. 😊. I gave a friendly beep on the way past but they didn’t see us, more’s the pity! 

I lost 3lb this week! I’m really pleased but know there is still a way to go to find a healthy way of eating I can sustain longterm. I am sick of the never-ending circle of weight loss – gain- diet. No more. I will keep you posted. 😊 


I believe that there are certain circumstances that have to happen before you lose weight. It’s a bit like planets aligning – doesn’t happen very often and it is a wonderous thing when it does. 

The first two are pretty obvious:

Eat less. 

Exercise more. 

For the lucky some, those two are enough. For the rest of us, they are nigh on impossible to sustain without the big hitters:


A positive mindset

Reality check
Let’s start with determination. Put simply, you’ve got to want to do this enough. It’s got to be stronger than the pull of deliciously rich chocolate or a plate of hot vinegary fried chips. Or a cold, cold glass of crisp white wine. Not easy. 

Then there’s a positive mindset. You’ve got to believe you can do this. You might have 5 stone to lose. It might have taken you three months to lose a stone. But with a positive mindset, that’s OK. You see the loss, not the time it has taken you.  And when you’re looking at your saggy, soft body you push away the thoughts that ‘I’m never going to do this’ or ‘no matter how much I lose, I’m still going to have stretchmarks/saggy skin/saggy breasts/bingo wings etc. Because those thoughts are the ones that vindicate a packet of biscuits or two bags of crisps. They welcome the sweet calories of a bar of chocolate like a king welcoming his favourite warrior back from battle. 

But, despite the power of positive mindset, a healthy dose of reality check is essential. “Yay! Well done! You’ve lost two stone. But that doesn’t mean you can now inhale the entire contents of your fridge. It doesn’t mean that you can leave the exercise for a few days. You’ve got to keep going.”

I’m struggling. I’ve been fat for so long that I cannot ever see the day when I’m not fat. I know that the soft saggy skin will never be firm and taut. I can’t imagine the time when I can get up and not be thoroughly disgusted with myself and my body and what I have stuffed into my mouth in the previous 24 hours. I can’t stop myself from thinking that I will never find someone who will love me in the state I am in. 

But I have got pride in my minor achievements. I have walked more in the past two months than I have in the past two years. I have (just about) kept off the two stone I have lost in the past two years. I’m still trying. Yes, I fail. I fail pretty regularly. But I keep dusting myself off and start again.  I keep fighting with my negativity. I keep remembering that the balance is not tipped in my favour. That if I don’t try I’ll never know if the impossible can become possible. 

Wonder walk

Disclaimer: I am about to completely contradict myself

Last night was a new first. 

We left work and drove the 30 minutes or so it took to get to a beautiful piece of coastline owned by the National Trust, calling in at Costa for a cappuccino on the way.  I put my new walking boots on, and we set off into the woodland first. 

I can’t tell you what I loved most… The sounds of rustling leaves and crunching twigs underfoot… The warmth on my skin and the pleasure of knowing I can walk up each dune without gasping… The glow of sea and sky as we walked along the beach. 

I just loved it. I love how it looks, smells, feels. But more importantly, I love the way it makes me feel. I have never driven anywhere after work other than home or to the shops. And why not? There’s nothing wrong with choosing to do something for me: my health and wellbeing.  Once in a while I can make that choice. 

The same, unfortunately, can definitely not be said for my eating. I’m struggling. I’m tired. I’m hungry. 

I know it also is a choice. But I just can’t stop myself at the moment. I remember how it feels when people notice my weight loss, or when I pull on a pair of trousers and they’re too big. I just can’t seem to do it. I can’t stick to anything.  For a short period of time, the euphoria of my wonder walk convinces me to refuse the pull of those unnecessary foods. But not for long enough. 

Today, I have the welcomed ache in my legs from running down the beach. I also have the unwelcomed pinch at the waist of trousers that have suddenly become a little tight. 

Any suggestions?