Blue Monday

I’m not really sure I buy into this “Blue Monday” thing. I have had quite a nice day which included managing to avoid the rain on my walk to, and from, the station and on my walk around town today. I also had the yummiest breakfast (a new discovery by me) of porridge and dark chocolate chips – it’s truly delicious and very filling.

January does seem to be the longest month EVER and I do agree with that. For me the thing that is making me blue and wish that January was over already is that I have not yet managed to shift my Christmas and New Year weight gain and that it is very cold (especially annoying when the train is late and has no heating like today).

So… I think an idea to beat the January blues is to pick something positive from everyday, no matter how big or how small! I have been doing this throughout January but it seems a very apt thing to be thinking of today.

Some of the little things I have focussed on this January that have made me happy are:

  • lunchtime meetings being cancelled, which means I get to go for a walk and get fresh air at lunchtime.
  • taking the time to do things for me – like a long bath, a manicure or just watching something on TV that makes me happy.
  • getting to spend time with my husband, especially when we get to go out on wintery walks or even just a cwtch while watching a film.
  • the fact I am keeping hydrated by drinking lots of water.
  • Telephone chats with my wonderful Nan and afternoons out and about with my fabulous Aunty and her little brood.

To some, these things may seem trivial, but to me they bring a little bit of happiness to my day.

One of my New Years Resolutions was to be more positive, and to inspire others to be more positive, and although some days are a struggle I am trying to find a little bit of good in each day.

What do you all think? I would be interested to hear your views. And if there are little bits of positive in your day that you would like to share then please do.

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I love lists.

Shopping lists, packing lists, to do lists… the list (excuse the pun) is endless.

There is something very therapeutic about having a list. To be able to cross items off and they are found or completed gives a sense of accomplishment. How many of you are with me on this?

We are currently 5 days into 2018 and it seems that my list writing has already exploded and I am loving it… I currently have the following lists on the go:

  • A shopping list of holiday essentials
  • A list of changes/New Years resolutions I would like to make for the new year
  • A list of all the birthday cards I need to buy for the WHOLE year!

I have also had a list of things that I have needed to do this week both at work and at home (feeling very smug as I have done them all), a shopping list and a list of my meals for the week.

Yes, my friends, I have gone list mad.

But I feel in control and that, in turn, makes me feel good.

What are your opinions on lists? Do you love or hate them?

I am interested to know how many other people like them and use them…

for now… I’m off to write another list.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year…

I hope you are all waking up optimistic for the year ahead (and with not too much of a hangover).

2018 is starting hangover free for me. Rather than a big boozy party, we spent the evening with friends playing Cluedo and eating takeaway. It was the perfect evening for us and I’m so glad that is how we decided to spend it.

This morning I am feeling positive for 2018. I’ve started my year with a lie in, a healthy breakfast, a manicure and some chilled out TV watching. The weather here is a bit pants today so there will be no New Years Day outdoor adventures I don’t suspect.

Last year was not a particularly exciting one… but was lovely all the same. 2016 was full of travels abroad and I loved every minute of exploring those new places. 2017 was more of UK exploration… I went to places in I had never been before – Yorkshire and North Wales – and despite the fact the weather was not as it is abroad I still had a wonderful time. I don’t feel like I have missed out at all and I still got to spend time doing fun things with my lovely hubby.

One of this biggest things for me last year however, was joining slimming world. I ended 2017 almost 6 stone lighter than I was at the start and I have to say I feel so much better for it. I have hope that 2018 will be my year to get to target (once I get over my inevitable Christmas and New Year weight gain, which will be revealed on Wednesday night). Hitting target is my main New Year Resolution and I am going to try and get there before our planned holiday for this year. I will keep you all updated.

My other New Years resolution is to blog more. This page has been neglected quite a bit, but that will change.

So for today I am going to start as I mean to go on. With this blog post, with healthy food and by completing the first day in my Fearne Cotton Happy the Journal.

I am really excited about using this book throughout the year it log all the lovely and not so lovely things that happen. It will be fab to be able to sit here this time next year to fully reflect on 2018.

I really hope 2018 brings everyone all that they wish for… and what is really important to remember is that you can make your own wishes come true.

Over and out…

Its the most wonderful time of the year…

I love Christmas… the music, the cheesy films, spending time with friends and family and the general feeling of happiness and good will that everyone seems to have.

Last week I took a days annual leave to sit in my living room, ginger bread candle lit, tree lights on and the cheesiest Christmas films you will ever watch playing in the background, while I sat and wrapped all of my Christmas presents. There really isn’t anything better to get you in the Christmas spirit.

There is something that I don’t do at Christmas, and that is give cards. Why, you may ask… well there is a reason for this.

I let the people that I love and care about, know that I am thinking of them throughout the year, and not just at Christmas. I still get my loved ones gifts, but I don’t send cards. Instead, I arrange a collection with my work colleagues and use the money to support a charity.

We have been doing this for the past few years and have previously supported the local food bank and a local homeless charity. This year, we chose to support young people in the care system.

Together with my colleagues we raised a whopping £196 along with some lovely donated gifts. Last Monday, myself and my darling friend Donna went on a shopping spree armed with a notepad, a calculator and our imaginations. Our trolley was brimming with lots of lovely treats and when we had finished, with what we had purchased and the donations we had, we had enough to give gifts to 24 young people.

And really it is this, that has put me into the Christmas spirit.

The thought of putting a smile onto someones face on Christmas day, really is what it is all about. And we all really hope that our little contributions may help make Christmas a bit more special for some people.

So while we are all enjoying nights out, Christmas markets and shopping and all the other lovely things that this time of year brings. Please take a moment to think of those not as fortunate, and perhaps try and do something nice for others. Whether it be an extra tin in your shopping for the food bank, a donation in a charity box or just a smile to someone who looks like they need it. Let’s be kind.

 

Body Positivity… what I think

So… I am going to post something now that may be a little bit controversial, but I feel it needs to be said.

At the beginning of this year I was a size 22 (probably creeping into a 24) and from the outside looking in, anyone would have said that I was happy. I would have said that I was happy just the way I was. I followed all of the plus size models and body positive activists on Instagram and I did feel empowered by these truly amazing people – I mean, why couldn’t I be just like them? I could, couldn’t I? Friends and family all thought I was confident and happy but there was a story behind the smile and that is what I am wanting to talk about.

I can remember a time when magazines, adverts, posters and catwalks were all full of tiny, airbrushed women and being fuller figured was not OK. In fact, my teenage years were a 50/50 of being bigger at age 14-15 and then a tiny little size 10-12 after having my braces fitted (god damn those things) from the age of 15-17 before gaining weight again.

At age 14 being teased was the norm and I quite often used the “I may be fat but I can diet, and you’ll always be ugly” phrase, especially to the nasty boys who thought that they were gods gift to women. This was around 2001-2003, social media had not quite kicked off and so, neither had the body positive movement. I’m sure there were lots of other teenage girls in my position, that would really have benefited from a body positive role model.

2012, the year I got married, is when I found my first plus sized blogger and I fell in love. I found myself actively looking for posts, and for more bloggers and instagrammers. Anyone who could make me feel that being larger was OK, that I was still attractive and still happy.

2012 to 2017 I got bigger, and bigger and bigger. Going from a size 18-20 to a size 22-24. No longer living with my Mum, contentment and the convenience of takeaways are all to blame for this. I was still convincing people that I was happy to be like this, why the hell not, everyone else was!

BUT…

I WAS NOT happy. Far from it!

Smiles on the outside masked a whole world of upset underneath.

Instead of wanting to go out with friends, I would make excuses to maybe just go for a meal, and when we did go out I would be trying to go home after an hour or two. I had a headache, I was hungry, I was tired… I can’t remember the last time I had a night out and actually felt comfortable.

Shopping had become a nightmare… instead of buying the clothes I wanted to wear, I was buying clothes that fit. If I managed to find something that was a nice fit on the  high street, I would buy it regardless of whether I liked it or not.

I loved holidays, but in hot countries I wanted to stay by the pool rather than going out on day trips and I always worried when getting on a plane that I would be able to do the seat belt up. I felt awkward when sat by strangers, aware that sitting next to me could not be that comfortable.

But the final thing, the thing that I think is most important, was that it was having an impact on my health. My blood pressure was never really normal, I do have white coat syndrome but that wasn’t all that was causing it to be raised. My knees hurt on climbing the stairs and I was suffering with plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis.

I was miserable, but I wasn’t willing to accept it.

Fast forward to now… almost 5 1/2 stone lighter, wearing a size 16 and feeling much better. The smile in the photos is now real, I can shop for clothes that I want and not just clothes that fit and I no longer need to have by blood pressure taken with a large cuff or have the aches in my joints. I now can’t wait till the next night out, and even though I know I want to lose more weight (I would love to have a healthy BMI) I am aware that I am already feeling so much happier.

And now for the controversial part…

I am on groups on Facebook that spread so much body positive love, I am proud to be a part of these groups and of all the women that help to buoy up lovely ladies who are not feeling particularly happy in their own skin. Its about blood time that women are nicer to each other. BUT, it makes me sad that weight loss is a taboo subject in these groups.

I am 100% behind these women who make others feel wonderful about themselves and I am slightly envious of those who truly feel happy in their skin and love being plus size.

But what about the poor people who struggle to love themselves. Why should they be made to feel alienated and bullied for wanting to change themselves?

I read a post the other day about GP’s “fat shaming” their patients by suggesting they lose weight. I agree that sometimes weight loss is not appropriate to be discussed, but I do not think that fat shaming is the correct term when talking about medical professionals. And if my weight loss proves anything, it is that my health is better since losing the weight and therefore they are not just saying to lose weight because they don’t like fat people.

Finally, why the hate on smaller women? Some ladies get very defensive of people who wear a size 12-14…  some girls who are smaller still have curves, and still have hang ups about their bodies. Why can’t we all just big each other up instead of having a “them and us” attitude? I know a girl who is TINY, who would love to gain weight but struggles due to health problems.

Lets just love each other, and not get angry when someone wants to lose weight or gain weight or change their body in any way.

I would be interested to know others thoughts on this subject.

Sorry if this offends anyone… but I have been thinking about this for a while.

Oh Hi…

Hi Guys and Gals

So… I suppose I should explain where I have been and what I have been up to. I am SO SORRY for the massive gap since my last post. My world has been taken up with lots of lovely things, but mostly with a very big change.

Since January I have lost almost five and a half stone (half a pound away). It seems that on joining slimming world (SW), and starting to diet, I cut off all other things in my life that weren’t days out with friends, family and my lovely hubby, work and SW related. I even stopped sewing for around 6 months, my machine sat unused and it seemed all I could think about was meal plans, weigh-ins and weekends out and about.

Things have changed a bit. I am still dieting BUT I am also back to everything else. Meals out (not always on plan), sewing – I have my second craft fair in a month on Friday and now I am happily back to blogging.

I won’t linger too long or bore you too much with eating and food related information right now.

One thing I will say though is that I feel that I have my life back. I am so much happier, I don’t think that I actually realised that I wasn’t happy until losing a few stone.

So, although this post isn’t a long one. I just wanted to say hello again. And watch this space for all things Sophie again… and I will share some photos of me for those of you who wonder what five stone smaller looks like.

🙂

Hello New Me… 

Well guys! I think 2017 may actually bring forth the changes in my life I have wanted to happen for the last few years. 

My aim for this year is to take more care of myself. Looking after everyone else and putting others happiness and self esteem first is great but to be honest I have began to realise that by not taking care of myself, my own self esteem has taken a direct hit as has my health. 

So far, so good. I am looking after my skin – moisturising after a shower and cleansing, toning and moisturising my face every night. I am taking off my make up before I go to bed too, result. 

The biggest change I decided to make however was to try to lose weight. On the 17th January I joined slimming world and I am SO glad I did. My group is so friending and supportive and in my mind it isn’t a “diet” it is about being healthy. I’ve already lost 8lbs and I’m making much healthier choices every day. It feels good.

I am no where near where I want to be BUT it feels good that I am finally taking control of my life and doing something about the one thing that has made me unhappy for so long. 

I promise to keep you all updated along the way. 

Here is a little picture of me this weekend – I think looking pretty happy! I stole this from my cousins Instagram account… cheers Amie 😊


Wish me luck on my journey…. I’m feeling very determined!