A beautiful life

Ok, I admit it. I’ve not been taking my medication. My antidepressants. And it’s for no other reason than I keep forgetting. It’s been a few weeks now of having the occasional tablet.

Interestingly, no one has noticed. There hasn’t been a noticeable shift in my moods. I don’t feel much different either. I’d always hoped that once the stress of work had gone then I would be more like myself.

However, work stress hasn’t left me completely as I have said in previous posts. But that is not what this post is about.

I’ve discussed it with my sister and I think I’m going to lower my dose and try to remember to take them. It seems the best plan.

I’ve been thinking about the past year. It was just over a year ago when I had my anti depressants upped the first time. And then again when I was negotiating leaving my career.

I still can’t believe it sometimes. But – as hindsight is such a wonderful thing – I can see how unhappy I was there. In fact, I wonder if I ever was truly happy there. Convenience, and I guess success, made me stay there so long. But no, I wasn’t happy.

But what the academy did to me was worse, I realise that now. I lost complete faith in myself. They stripped me of my confidence and my self esteem. I have spent 10 months doubting everything I do. In those ten months I have put on two stone. I’ve stopped all the healthy habits I once had – like reading, facial care, taking tablets, sleep, eating well, exercise. I’ve stopped putting makeup on each day. And whilst a bit of make up doesn’t matter, what it shows is that I gave up. I gave up.

I was so proud of my weight loss and how it made me feel. I want that back.

I’ve had a disappointing week- my business has not taken off like I’d hoped – but I can’t let this haunt me or put me off.

This is just the beginning of the new life I am going to lead. It’s a very short period of time in my life and it will come and go.

I’ve had a beautiful life so far, despite everything. I had a full childhood and experiences that many have never had. I’ve been loved. I’ve been successful. I’ve had children. I’ve travelled. I’ve built relationships.

I could list the negative things, of course I could. But I won’t. That was my life then, and this is my life now.

I’m not giving up.


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.

I did it!

This morning, I got up at 6.15am. I put on my exercise clothes which I had set out the night before. I got my dog on the lead, started the podcast and completed my very first session for the Couch to 5K NHS programme.

I’m proud of myself.

What I noticed:

  1. I love being put early morning in the sunshine.
  2. Having everything ready was a great motivator.
  3. My dog enjoyed it.
  4. I probably need to be out earlier to avoid other dog walkers and to feel less self-concious.
  5. 60 seconds of jogging isn’t as long as I thought it was.
  6. I couldn’t brisk walk by the end.
  7. My legs felt like jelly on the last run.
  8. Completing a 6 minute stretch routine at the end helped.

Tomorrow is a rest day but I’m going to go out again for a leisurely walk and do some yoga.

It is only 8.45am and I could go to sleep!! I found it really hard to get to sleep last night, maybe because I knew I was getting up early. I aim to be in bed by 10pm tonight.

Other developments which caused my insomnia are that work called me yesterday and requested a meeting on Thursday. I have a meeting with my union rep this morning to discuss and plan.

I know I can’t go back. There is a war in my brain as I keep thinking I could, this isn’t happening, I’m over-reacting. But then, I consider the truth. I had one day off for a migraine and I was sent a letter offering a settlement to leave. This was before I had phoned the doctors for a sick note. I need to face the truth that they just don’t want me.

I’m leaning more and more towards the tutor business but I’m scared. How will I make enough money? Where do I even begin?

I think, once the meetings are over and the settlement is signed sealed and delivered, I will feel better and resolute and ready to go.

For now I’m going to take a shower and hopefully wake up.


Waiting for when

The problem is, I don’t think I deserve it.

I’m not pretty enough, not thin enough, not toned enough.

I don’t look after myself, I am too greedy, too lazy.

I’m not as nice as I think I am: I’m boring and awkward.

I believed something could happen with him because he made me believe I was attractive and beautiful and interesting. I needed to believe it was true so I needed him to commit to it, somehow.

He didn’t.  Now I don’t believe.

I plan and I scheme and I wait for when:

When I lose weight.

When I get fit.

When I’ve dyed my hair.

When my kids are happy.

When I’m happy in work.

When I get a divorce.


When will when come?

It won’t come while I wait for it. So I plan to manufacture it. It hasn’t worked yet.

He was here and I coped. I ignored. I didn’t look though my eyes burned with want.

And at the corner of my eye I saw the tell tale signs. I heard the usual hints. The same game play with rules I can never understand.

Except acknowledging that the only way I win is by losing. Saying goodbye to when and hello to now.

Self esteem

As regular readers will know, and anyone who is on the plumpscious side will understand, being overweight seriously messes with your self esteem.

This obviously creates a myriad of problems and for me, in a cruel irony, makes it even less likely for me to lose weight: I’m an emotional Over-eater, a ‘might as well eat it because I’m disgusting already’ and a ‘well, you’ll never be thin so enjoy yourself’ type of a gal.

People tell me that I’m pretty. I’m not sure I believe them. I can’t see past my huge stomach and flabby thighs so how can they?

There are times when life has surprised me though…

I met my first proper boyfriend when I was 17 and I couldn’t believe it when he asked me out. He was older than me, more attractive than me, more confident than me… Yet, he chose me. (In the end, he turned out to be an absolute plonker that broke my heart then stalked me when I’d had enough of being messed about and refused to take him back… But that’s another story.)

Or in my 20s when I went on holiday with friends and I ended up with the holiday fling that everyone fancied. He chose me. I still can’t believe it now and was completely surprised by it then. Sure, that’s all it ever was and ever would be but he picked me.

My trip to Spain last year. The girls joked about how many men had come on to me… I was pretty surprised myself! I still say that it was because I was single and perhaps more open to if but it was a welcome pick-me-up after months of depression.

And then, Lost Soul. Oh Lost Soul! Undeniably attractive to many women I know, six years younger than me, and yet he was attracted to little old fat me.

I’m telling you this, not because I have a big head – it’s actually one of the smallest parts about me – but because I need to remind myself of this occasionally to drag myself out of my self hatred and misery.

I suppose I never really believe that men find me attractive until they openly ask me out or make a move. Sometimes I think someone may be interested but quickly my self doubt kicks in and I end up believing myself to be imagining it.

Take last week. I went on a residential course with a colleague. We entered the room and the host came over to greet us. As he left, my colleague and I looked at each other and said “wow”. He was gorgeous. I noticed, on the second day, that he seemed to looking at me a lot when he spoke to the room. Of course, I wanted to believe that he was attracted to me but I didn’t believe it. Wishful thinking, I thought. He’s looking at you no more than anyone else.

On our way home, my colleague mentioned that she’d noticed him looking at me a lot. I hadn’t imagined it then. Doesn’t mean anything – nothing happened – but it was reassuring to my battered ego.

Ah and there’s my crush, whom I have written about twice now. He is someone I have met through work but who works for a different agency to me. Oh he is delicious. He makes all my nerve endings zing and I’m so drawn to him when he speaks. God I hope he doesn’t notice that.

And when we do speak, there’s little things that he says and does that make me think… Well, daydream. The possibility, the explanation of things he’s said and done. Nothing explicit, nothing in the open, but enough to make me wonder. Like, giving me his personal number instead of his work number. Telling me I can call him whenever.

Am I reading too much into this? Maybe. Maybe this is how stalkers are created. ☺ There’s just something when we speak and I can’t believe it’s just me… A magnetism between us, somehow. Have you ever experienced that?

Anyway, in the high likelyhood that this is entirely in my imagination, all I can say is that I am really enjoying awakening those thoughts and feelings again. It’s making me remember how it feels to be interested in someone again. I like that feeling. I want to feel it again, and reciprocated. Maybe it’s not too late for me, maybe my weight doesn’t matter to some people, even if it does to me.

Maybe this is the positive jolt I need to start looking after myself again. To find love again. I need to keep reminding myself that I’m not as grotesque as I think I am.

Hell No

OK, I admit it: I have already hidden dating profile.

Apart from the fact that I kept going on to check it, tweak it etc (far too many times), I’ve had very little interest.

I’m not just talking about a lack of contact, I mean a lack of men even looking at my profile. Six in total. Yes, six. One of those was someone I’d liked. The other five where what one of my favourite dating blogs, Back in Stilettos again, would call ‘Hell No’s’, but they weren’t interested either it would seem.

So, whereas you could blame an inefficient profile on lack of likes, I can only assume the issue lies in one of the following:

  1. I’m not attractive enough to gain attention.
  2. My weight is putting men off. I’m a Hell No.
  3. There aren’t that many men on this particular dating site.

There’s arguments for each one. I fully accept that I’m average looking. Pretty at best. I’m not sexy, I’m not beautiful, stunning or appealing. But average looking women gets dates and get attention. I did choose what I would call a nice, everyday picture. That way they wouldn’t be disappointed in real life.

My weight. Yep, my weight is more of an issue. Doesn’t explain why they aren’t even looking thoughMy head shot is not making me look huge.

Last night, I stretched the boundary to 80 miles away. I got another page of candidates. That’s it. Although I have read of success for this particular site, I think that perhaps there are just not the numbers needed where I live. I’ve dated online before – I know it’s a numbers game. I actually think the same can be said for ‘old’ style dating – think how many people you would walk past on a night out and vice versa.

The likelyhood is that it is all three. And I probably haven’t left it hard enough. Whatever the reason, my small venture into online dating again has made me realise that although my heart is ready, my head isn’t. Online dating is supposed to be fun and I was merely feeling anxious about it. My hangups about my appearance are amplified.

What next then? I suppose it’s back on to the diet until I feel more confident about myself. I’m also going to do some more research into dating sites to see where I will go next. And you never know, my soulmate may be there on my next walk. Who knows.


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.

Nothing to report

Life has settled back down to its usual rhythm.

Dad is stable for now. He has little energy to do much but each day does a little more for himself. I’m still not convinced he truly realises the extent of his condition but none of us are sure that now is the time to tell him: he is anxious enough already. My sisters and I are sharing his care. He doesn’t like to be alone but this week we have had to rely on the carers a little more than last week as work has beckoned for us all.

Talking of which, I’ve been back to full duties for a couple of weeks now. It’s fine. I’m enjoying it. Sure, it can be fast-paced and a little stressful, but I enjoy the challenge again.

This week I’ve been slowly working on getting back on my diet. For the first week of Dad being ill I was really good: taking pots of yoghurt and fruit into hospital whilst I sat with him, drinking loads of water. Tiredness, stress and low mood soon stopped that. Gosh have I suffered for it. All my old symptoms have returned – bloating, stomach pain etc. I’ve not found it as easy to start again this time so have slowly introduced the changes again. Today, finally, I managed low carb successfully. I’ve only put 3lb in weight on but feel heavier. Hopefully I will see those positive changes again soon.

And that, really is it. My life is centred around my kids, my Dad and work. Housework figures a little too. At the moment I’m fine with all that:I’m just happy my Dad is still alive and not suffering too much at present.

This weekend I have actually made some plans – seeing a good friend for the first time in six months (I avoided all previous plans with her due to my anxiety but she has been very understanding). I missed another friend’s birthday last weekend as I was caring for Dad so this weekend I am taking her out for a cream tea in a castle.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Weightloss update

Just thought I would update my blog on my current weightloss and diet.

(These opinions are entirely my own. I am not a trained professional. I have simply researched and tried out what works for me. Always speak to your GP before taking on a new eating regime.)

From April 2017 to November 2017 I put on over a stone in weight. From November 2017 to January 2018 I put an unknown amount on, but I would suspect it was probably nearing another stone: mirtazapine, Christmas and depression will do that to a girl. I don’t know how much because of course I didn’t weigh myself. But every item of clothes I owned, even the ones that had been loose, were tight. I felt huge – the biggest I had ever been. I was bloated and uncomfortable.

Coming off the mirtazapine helped initially. Be it the side effects of the drug on my weight, or simply that I felt better, I started to lose weight. When I felt better, I weighed myself. I was two stone heavier than I had been in April – the last time I had been at my ‘low weight’ since a year of Slimming World and Weight Watchers. Put simply, I had put everything on I had lost and more.

Since coming back from Prague, I have engaged in a new eating regime. This has come from months of research and reading but also reflecting on what has worked previously for me. I will continue to tweak and monitor as I go.

  1. Intermittent fasting of 16:8. My first meal is 11am and I have usually finished my meal well before my 7pm curfew. Results? I am certainly eating less: no late night snacking or binging and on some days I am only eating two full meals. This has made it much easier to:
  2. Reduce and count calories. I have downloaded Lifesum and paid for the premium. I log everything I eat – and I mean everything. I aim to be below my target daily calories on the majority of days. I also track my water intake and have really improved with this.
  3. Lifesum Premium means I have access to the Low Carb Ketogenic diets. I am currently on the ‘easy’ low carb diet which means I can have up to 100g of carbs a day. I eat very low carb at breakfast and lunch or brunch but have a small amount at dinner times on most days. If I can, I try to not to. Yet, I rarely go as high as 100g and am usually around 50-60g but I like that I have the option of more if needed. The app actually suggests not counting calories but I still do – I mostly eat less as said above. I feel this covers the likely hood of error.
  4. However, once a week, I have a day where I allow myself all the carbs and all of my daily calories. I still follow the low carb and 16.8 in the daytime, but at night I will have a meal that I really fancy. I have read that it is good to shock the system with some days of low calories, one with higher and then average days in between.

So, the results.

I have lost 10lbs in two weeks. I have lost 5cm off my stomach and other cms elsewhere. My skin feels softer. I do not suffer with bloating anymore and so my large tummy is actually smaller: I look and feel like I have lost more than that. I get full when eating much less than used to. My sugar cravings are almost non-existent and manageable when they are there. And I am not thinking about food all the time!

At the moment, this bespoke plan is working for me and it is doable. I don’t feel like I’m missing out just yet but it is very early days. I know that I can always reduce the carbs further if my weightloss stalls.

Next steps:

I need to research more meal ideas as I am eating roughly the same things. I will get bored if I don’t.

Once I have finally shifted this cold/cough I am going to start the HIIT that has been recommended to me and that apparently works well with lchf diets.

Plan how this can work when I am in school – I don’t have time to eat salad, egg, bacon and avocado for breakfast at work. Need quick fixes.

So, all good so far. Here’s hoping I have finally found an eating plan I can stick to.


Eight days to go.

Today I actually felt happy. Yes, happy. I can not tell you why exactly, because I don’t actually know. Perhaps it was the Spring sunshine. Maybe it was the antidepressants doing an amazing job. Maybe it’s my new diet. But, without worrying too much about the why (as only someone with anxiety could) I decided to accept it with gratitude.

As I said in my last post, my little trip away has seemed to do my mental health the world of good. Wednesday I started a new eating plan too.

I have played around with Lifesum for a few months. I’ve previously had My Fitness Pal and have used it a few times quite happily. However I like Lifesum’s interface (is that the right word?) and so decided to pay for the subscription for a year. It’s two months payments for Slimming World /Weight Watchers – both of which I have tried and failed on multiple times- and so I thought it was worth a try. I have lost weight on both of these diets and I know they work really well for lots of people but just not me. I stop losing weight, yo-yo, and give up when I realise I am paying a £5 a week to be looked at pityingly by a group of smug slimmers.

After lots of reading up, I’ve decided to try low carb. I have PCOS and so cutting down on the sugar is a good idea amongst the other obvious health benefits. Problem is, I love carbs: a crispy jacket potato with butter and salad and spicy chicken. A decadent sandwich stuffed with turkey and rocket. Homemade lasagne. Chilli and rice.

Even now, only five days in, these still appeal to me. Other things seem to be taking a back step: no sugar cravings in the last few days. And I am not hungry all the time. And I seem to get full really quickly. And finally my, ehem, toileting habits have improved. I’ve also been sucessfully intermittent fasting on 16:8 and have managed this on all but one day. Yay me! I have not had the bloating and my stomach feels smaller but, it’s not been weigh day yet and I’ve been fooled by ‘feeling thinner’ before.

Ultimately, if this can create some healthier eating habits – no late night binging so far and I am definitely eating more veg and less sugar – then it is worth it in the long term. I’ve been having a small amount of carbs with tea but may cut these out too if I don’t lose weight. My original plan was to do this until I am back in work because I wasn’t sure I could maintain it. But I’m going to take each day as it comes. I’m monitoring my calories on Lifesum also so where I have a bad day with carbs I will make sure I keep within my calorie allowance. And if it doesn’t work? I will just keep trying until I can see those lbs coming off.

I want next week to work a little differently. I have proved to myself that I can be a good housewife when I have time to do it. I am determined never to let those feelings of failure and guilty about my home plague me again: when I have the time, I can keep on top of the housework easily. What I need to work out now, is what I can manage outside of working hours. And so I have decided that next week I can not do any general housework between the hours of 7.45am and 5pm as this approximately is my working day with the odd few later nights here and there. I need to manage my housework before/after these hours and if I can’t, I will hire a cleaner as I will have proved to myself that it impossible to meet the standards I want with the limited hours I have.

So, what am I going to do in the daytime? Well, I have a few appointments next week. I’m also going to try to get out each day, somewhere… Anywhere. And after that? I will allow myself to do any ‘extra’ housework. You know, decluttering – not every day jobs but things you save until you have more time. I’m going to sit and plan my week and make sure it is a productive as I can. 😊

Have a good week everyone.