I’m not beautiful – but actually I am.

So much of acceptance in society is based on how we look, how we present ourselves to the world. At this time of year especially, when seemingly every TV advert, documentary and online article is focussed on people losing weight and becoming a “new person”. But frankly diet culture is very wearing.

I’m in the middle of my own weight loss journey, but it’s very important to remind myself why I started. I was unhealthily overweight, I think the term you might use is “medically obese”. I couldn’t climb stairs and I struggled to get clothes to fit me, my resting HR was too high and I was at risk of Type 2 diabetes (which runs in my family).

You see, beauty has nothing to do with weight or dress size and I know this for a fact. I used to work with a girl years ago who, on nights out, used to get approached by guys ALL the time. She was an exotic looking brunette which was a big hit with every penis within 5 feet of her. However, this particular girl was also an absolute hard-faced cow so no matter how symmetrical her face, her bitchy nature used to shine through if you spent more than 10 minutes with her. *Side note* I bumped into this person a couple of years ago at a funeral of all places and we exchanged brief pleasantries.  Later when I needed to get past her in a room full of mourners, she firstly pretended that she didn’t hear me when I said the the standard “Excuse me”,  I tried again with no response and eventually when I tapped her shoulder and repeated my request, she moved perhaps an inch, so I still couldn’t get really get past with bumping into people’s chairs. We had no beef whatsoever, but like I said, 🐮.

But I digress. Beauty is definitely something that different people have a different idea of, which is one of the wonderful things about it. I have known people that were long-term single  and heard them lament about different people that they knew that were happily in relationships whilst they remained on the shelf. One was even more candid than perhaps they intended to be wondering out loud why a person they knew had a boyfriend, when that person “didn’t go to the gym or anything”. I remember thinking at the time that perhaps that comment explained her singledom, but who am I to judge….

My point is basically this. Beauty is whatever you want it to be and it doesn’t depend on how you look. That’s not to say, don’t try to look good, whatever that means to you. Wear clothes because they make you feel kick-ass and not because you think you should or worse, because you think other people will think you look good.

As I get older I care so much less about what other people think about me, but this is something I have learned over time. I think I know what type of clothes suit me and I am now not really swayed by trends. I want to feel sexy and I obviously want my husband to find me attractive, but I know that part of my own power comes from confidence, some of which comes from me wearing stuff I feel amazing in.

They biggest thing I try to do is not say bad things to myself because if anyone told my friends “That looks shit on you” I would immediately jump in and tell them they were wrong, ergo, why did I ever say that to myself?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect at this and there are definitely times when my own confidence takes a knock, but I am actively trying to empower myself in 2018. Women are amazing, beautiful and powerful and this has nothing to do with dress size. Be healthy, be skinny, be bigger, be curvy, big boobs, small boobs, strong, curly, bald, hairy, small, tall or absolutely anything that you like, it’s ALL beautiful. Don’t let anyone, any Instagram or Snapchat filter tell you otherwise or even make you think for one second you aren’t good enough. Unless you are Donald Trump, in which case, you are crap. Otherwise, you are AMAZING!

G x

p.s. this photo is in 2 halves, the first one is taken straight out of the shower and the other one is after I am dressed and I have put some makeup on. My tendency is to think I look like CRAP in the first one, but it’s my face and my face is definitely NOT crap. If I had smiled then the 2 photos would have been the same apart from a bit of mascara and things. Both sides of this image contain me, who works hard, loves her family, laughs at fart jokes, gives back and is kind to strangers. This is my beauty.

Follow:

I’ve entered Race for Life!

Ok people get ready, it’s that time of year…..I have entered the 2018 Race for Life. Around this time every year since 2004 I enter this race, which is a 5k that I do to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

I have already lost 3 of my grandparents to cancer and in 2015 I lost mum. I have blogged before about how heartbreaking my mum’s cancer journey was and I honestly wouldn’t want another family to go through it. It almost broke me in two when she passed away.

Also in 2017 I started a fitness journey, which is still ongoing. In July 2017 I did the Haydock Race for Life and I was thrilled to walk around in a decent time, so in 2018 I am hoping to do a sort of run/walk and maybe create a new personal best!

Anyway, if you have got a spare £1 or £5 or anything at all really, I would really appreciate it if you could support me and Cancer Research UK by clicking on the picture below:

Follow:

December Update | Getting Healthy

One thing I learned in 2017 is that a pound here or there isn’t the end of the world. My whole reason to try to lose weight was to feel healthier and to fit into my clothes better, which I do! But I am not finished yet. I want to get down to 12 stones and then, even though Weight Watchers still deems this overweight, I know I will feel happy and fit enough to leave it there.

You can see from the calendar above, I actually put 2lbs on in December, but I am not too worried as this encompassed the wonderfulness that is Christmas and I enjoyed every mouthful. We have also gone for plenty of walks and I have really enjoyed being outside making full use of the park right next to our house.

I am really hoping that I learn to love my body a little more and I am going to work on adjusting my thoughts to be more positive around self-image. I still don’t always like what I see when I look in the mirror, but I am getting better. For Christmas I got a few gorgeous jumpers, all in a size 14 and I was more than a little surprised to see they all fit. This is around a size and a half smaller than I was wearing last year, when I was in a 16/18 top. I was also wearing size 18 jeans, which is definitely a size smaller than last year!! My brain did an odd thing though. The tops that I bought, did fit me, but my brain told me that they must have been a “BIG” size 14, as in, the shops’ sizes must be slightly off. My brain hasn’t adjusted to my weight loss yet but it needs to catch up, as I am sat in one of the said garments right now!  If you are interested, they are my 3 new favourite sweatshirts:

Scamp & Dudehttps://scampanddude.com/product/adult-super-soft-sweatshirt-coral-leopard/

M&S Snowmanhttp://www.marksandspencer.com/snowman-flecked-effect-jumper-with-wool/p/p22336528?&pdpredirect

Next Snowmanhttp://www.next.co.uk/style/st187503#156830

I just want to carry on making healthy choices this year and get fitter, healthier and stronger. This isn’t a New Year’s resolution, but just a continuation of my 2017 mission. I know I can do it, I have come this far and I haven’t finished yet!

G x

Follow:

November Weight Loss | Getting Healthy

How is it already the end of November? I re-joined Weight Watchers in May this year and as you can see my weight loss has been sort of steady since I did. This month wasn’t great as I was doing ok but had one week where it went horribly wrong and I put on 3.5 lbs 😔 But on a positive note, I did finish the month with a loss, so I ended up -1.5 lbs overall. I think it’s important for me to recognise that in certain circumstances it’s ok not to focus on the numbers, but more about feeling good, making healthy choices and recognising how far I have come.

I found the picture above of me in the black clothes on my camera as I was looking through a memory card this morning. I decided to take the same photos to see if I could see a difference and I was honestly shocked, because I really could!

I am so proud of how far I have come and even though I have got a way to go, I feel SO pleased that this has happened to me this year. It’s feels like it’s changing my life. So, this week is going to be a good one and even though I am off to Leicester for the week, I am more determined than ever to keep things going!

G x

Follow:

Non Scale Victories | Getting Healthy

So I am 6 months into this whole weight loss thing and today I experienced a helluva non-scale victory. There is a beautiful waterfall in Ambleside called Stock Ghyll Force and today on a visit to the Lakes we decided to climb up to it. The walk is up a series of stone steps and last time we visited was when our lovely friend Elizabeth visited us from the US in October 2015. I was almost 3 stones (42lbs) heavier back then and I didn’t make it to the top. As evidenced in this vlog:

But today I felt like a new woman! I practically sprang up the hill and it really didn’t feel like that much of an effort! I was breathing a little heavier in the steeper bits, but honestly, I did it no trouble! We took lots of photos of course, including this Insta of me reaching the top!

We also had a chance to try out the camera on M’s new iPhone X. As you can see, it’s pretty awesome. I especially like the selfie in front of the waterfall.

Today was a pretty epic day! G x

Follow:

Weight Loss October Update | Getting Healthy

So as you can see, my weight loss has slowed a little, but it is still progressing, as I have now lost 35 lbs/2 ½ stones/15.87 kgs. Not bad eh?!

Weight loss is often called a journey as it has bumps in the road and of course, I am going to be honest and share mine with you. September was a funny month for me as I struggled to focus on Weight Watchers due to my impending secondment to London. Overall I lost 3.5lbs, which is good and so I am not going to beat myself up too much.

My secondment started just over 2 weeks ago and again, my Weight Watchers is a little harder to stick with as I am away from home and can’t cook. But to try and allay too much damage I have fallen into the following routine:

Breakfast in my Travelodge: 2 x pieces of brown toast with a small amount of Jam on each & fruit salad & a cup of tea.

Lunch: A Boots Shapers Sandwich with a low fat packet of crisps.

Evening Meal: Various

Snacks: Fruit

So as you can see, I mostly do OK, but it’s the evening meals that are tricky. In our first week in London, as I am working with a group of other staff members from around the UK, we all did something together most nights. However this week, we all did our own thing. There are also MANY temptations throughout the day as our group are feeders and there has been cake and biscuits every single day. I haven’t had one, although I have had the odd Percy pig when I was struggling a bit with energy.

One thing I did come across in my Timehop App, was a still from a vlog I did a couple of years ago and I really noticed the change in my face:

Changing Face

So even though my weight loss has slowed, there have been semi-unusual circumstances and I HAVE managed to keep it going. But of course I couldn’t finish this blog without sharing my amazing London Bridge victory!

and I really wouldn’t have had the confidence or fitness to do this at the beginning of May. Go me. x

 

Follow:

Getting Healthy in August

It’s mid September so I thought that an August update was pretty overdue (soz). The last update I put together I had lost 4lbs and to end the month  I lost another 3lbs, which took my loss to 2 stones!! OMG!!! People have really started to notice and this week I attended a huge work event and saw some colleagues that I haven’t seen for a while. I am not exaggerating when at least 10 different people told me how good I looked and how they can really see a difference in me. That is really very cool!

I have also had a very funny reaction to all the praise in that it’s knocked me off kilter. I don’t know if I suddenly feel pressure, but I have had a rubbish week food-wise. But I DID experience some non-scale victories….

  • I went to a clothes party and wasn’t able to buy some of the clothes because they were TOO BIG!
  • I bought an outdoor waterproof coat in the Lake District for the first time EVER. Previously I was too big.
  • I walked back from our local train station and really felt a massive difference in my breathing and energy levels. My fitness is clearly improving.
  • I climbed Dodd Fell and even though it was hard and took me 2½ hours, I still DID it!
  • I have dug a couple of tops and a pair of jeans out of my wardrobe that I haven’t worn since 2013, which now fit me great!

So even though I feel a bit rubbish and I am expecting my weight loss to not be great in September, I am still 2 stones lighter than I was in May and that is a hell of an achievement. 2 stones loss is great, but there are a couple to go, so I just need to refocus and get exercising I think.

G x

Follow:

Mushroom, Bacon Onion & Spinach Pizza | Recipe | Getting Healthy

Serves 4
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes

Ingredients
2 x 65 Flatbreads
Calorie controlled cooking spray
3 bacon medallions
1 small onion
300g Chestnut mushrooms (sliced)
6 tablespoons of tomato puree
150g spinach
160g grated cheese (reduced fat is better, but I used lactose free cheddar, due to my intolerance).

Easier, quicker and healthier than a takeaway, this pizza uses a ready-made flatbread for a base.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas mark 6. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Put the flatbreads on the tray.
  2. Meanwhile, mist a large non-stick frying pan with the cooking spray. Cook the bacon, mushroom and onions over a medium-high heat, stirring for 3 minutes.
  3. Spread the flatbreads with the tomato puree. Set aside a large handful of the spinach.
  4. Top the flatbreads with the remaining spinach, cheese & bacon,onion & mushroom combo.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes or until the bases are golden and crisp.
  6. Cut the pizzas in half and serve topped with the reserved spinach.

7 WW Smart points (approx)

Real Life Review

When I did these, I think I personally would have put a little less tomato puree on them, as with the onions, this made it a tiny bit sweet for me. Also I didn’t put the as much spinach on as the recipe said, and this was a mistake on my behalf. The spinach was actually really nice & I will do more next time. Overall I would give this recipe 9/10. Easy to make and delicious!

 

Follow: