It’s Working!

It is definitely working, either the home fermenting I’m doing or the reduction in intake of food or the steady three meals a day instead of gorging at night, whatever it is is working.

Tonight I had quite a big meal, not a cheat day but definitely the biggest meal I’ve had for a long time, with red meat and quite a hefty carb helping. All low fat but I’ve been avoiding too many carbs and lots of red meat so it was a bit of a system shock.

I could barely get past a few mouths full and came nowhere near being able to finish my helping. I never used to leave food on my plate, ever.

So it’s a real big step for me to feel satisfied, to recognise the signs that my stomach has had enough and to stop eating, leave food and not feel compelled to cram it in regardless.

Whatever I’m doing is working, I don’t care if it’s working fast or slow, it’s working, it’s making my body and mind work together in a more healthy way, my brain is finally listening to my stomach and developing a conscience and this is significantly different to any time I’ve ever ‘dieted’ or tried to live healthy in the past.

For the first time in a long time today I felt confident in my appearance too. I wore a whole new outfit coutesy of my daughter a few posts back. I had a new trouser suit (black of course I’m not brave enough for my main outfit colour to be anything but yet and besides it was a dull cold day) but I wore it with a really pretty daisy print swing cami top (I haven’t worn prints in so long I can’t remember the last time), I wore a little cute delicate chiffon scarf which was in one of the colours picked out from the top, I wore the same colour sling back low heeled pointed toe court shoes and cute daisy ear rings and a daisy costume jewellery ring. I had my usual work bag (read virtual suitcase) but I also took a new bowling bag style handbag in the same orangey colour as the shoes and scarf and I felt a spring in my step. I could feel myself walking tall again and realised I’d taken to hunching and shuffling rather than my former rigid backed strut.

I feel like I’m coming back to life. I really do. I thought I was gone, I thought my time to be happy, sexy, confident was all gone and I’d even mourned it all but it’s coming back and it’s exciting and I’m happy. My heart feels content and I don’t feel stressed.

I hope this feeling stays.

To anyone who is in the morbid or even super morbidly obese range and feels that the mountain is too big to climb, just start climbing it. Yes it will take a long time to lose 100 pounds or 200 pounds or 300 pounds, it will take a long time, but I tell you this, you don’t have to wait for all of the weight to leave your body before your body starts to feel good again and more importantly for your mind to feel good again. For me that has come after a few weeks and 13 pounds of weight loss. Yes there is a mountain ahead but now I’m ready to tackle that mountain, step by step, little by little and I will get to the top. 

Don’t deprive your body of food, put good stuff into it and you will get good stuff back out of it. Get your body moving even if it’s just standing up and jiggling about to some music, it’s a start, if it’s more than you were doing it’s using more calories than you’ve used in a long time and that will start to make you feel better and it’s amazing how fast your fitness starts to pick up. It’s like your body sings a great big hallelujah for treating it well and it spurs you on with these early rewards.



Putting Your Foot In It

At work today it was a colleague’s birthday, she was safely off teaching somewhere so we seized the moment to write in her card and wrap her gifts. She is fiercely protective of the detail of her age, nobody has a clue how old she is and she isn’t telling and it’s something of a joke for us to try to guess. One of the younger teachers decided it would be fun for us all to write in the card “Happy ??th birthday” knowing she would take it in the good faith it was intended.

I was about to join in and put as the others had, what I really believed her age to be but at the last minute I declined to do this and wrote 21st. I think she’s around my age but I thought that about someone once before:

We had a temp working for us as a receptionist. I hired her via an agency. She was a pleasant lady, efficient, friendly, happy.

It was my fortieth birthday, I handed out invitations to my colleagues and included her, she’d been with us for a while.

The receptionist, as I was passing through on my way to my office called out to me the morning after the invitation distribution “Is it really your 40th? I was so shocked when I saw the invitation, I thought you were around my age.” she smiled.

“Oh thank you” I smiled (I really should have left it there but without thinking) I added “I thought you were around my age too, how old are you?”

“Oh, I’m 27” she replied down heartedly.

“Shit” I thought realising how I’d just totally destroyed the poor girl’s world and knew there was no way back and not even giving myself the chance to appreciate the huge confidence boost she had just given me.

If there is a hole for me to stick a foot in, I will find it.



Just responding to a blog comment and it made me think… I don’t reckon I have any true talents, nothing outstanding. I’m a bit of a jack of all trades, I do a mediocre job of everything I do, with some exceptions, I think I’m a really good teacher and I’m a decent enough people person and I’m not a half bad mum.

I can sing, but I’m no Celine Dion, I love gardening and growing things and put together pretty cute borders and containers, I cook and that’s OK as long as you prefer the taste to the visual. I do bits of arts and crafts, still can’t sew in a straight line though and my candle making is pretty cool but I lose patience.

I can’t draw to save my life nor paint. I’m quite good at digital document design and image manipulation and quite enjoy setting photos to music and I love taking photos but I’m not a pro.

I speak a couple of different languages and have a knack for picking a language up.. that’s probably my natural, raw talent if I think of it.

When I was a kid I wanted to be everything and I wanted to do everything and go everywhere. I’ve always been an explorer in terms of searching out cool places in my external existence but inside I do the same I want to learn, need to know, have to try.

I guess an all rounder would better suit me rather than jack of all trades, I’m not that useless and determined to keep trying out new things to enhance my insignificant experience on this planet.

Anyone have what they feel is a natural gift of a talent or is it as rare as I imagine it to be to just be amazingly good at something without trying?



Body Clock

3.35am have to be awake at 6am latest for work. 8am early meeting and a full teaching day with 30 minute lunch break.

Although not all body clock related, had it sprung on me at 10pm that I’m covering a colleague’s classed and handing over two of mine to a teaching assistant as my students all know what they have to do tomorrow and only need overseeing. 

I had actually planned on teaching them but that will have to wait now and I had no materials or resources handed over so I have had to work all that out myself (the person getting my classes has that all prepped for her).

I don’t mind but grrrrr, it’s meant my planned early night and body clock reset got thrown out and now I’m back to square one.

Tomorrow night I will crawl in from work and probably not even make it to a sofa let alone a bed before I drift off.

Tomorrow, I’ll reset tomorrow. Whatever happened to teaching being all late starts, early finishes and long holidays?

Sometimes, something simple is all it takes

I heard my son playing this song on his guitar earlier and it reminded me of a day long ago…

I was super busy at work, hugely stressed, feeling like everything was getting on top of me, even booking a holiday to get away from it all was stressing me out as nobody had an opinion on where to go and I didn’t want all of the responsibility if I chose somewhere unsuitable. I was reasonably slender at the time, I recall I wore bikinis that trip so I must have been a 14 and I was definitely using the gym and spa daily to de-stress.

It was Easter break from school and in those days I was a strategic manager and not a teacher and so didn’t get the luxury of school breaks at home, however I had negotiated some late starts so I could spend time with the kids in the mornings at least before my partner took over for the rest of the day. My son was 6 and I hated not being there when he was off school. This morning I became really upset, things just became too much and I had a little sob.

As usual when such things happen, my daughter stands awkwardly looking at me not really sure what to do and my son came and put his tiny, dumpling hand on mine and stroked my back and didn’t say a word. He didn’t need to.

I left shortly after for work. I arrived in my office and as usual fired up the computer and opened my email account to see what delights lie in store.

Among the work emails from mostly familiar colleagues I saw an email from my son’s account. I’d let him set one up to use for a school project with strict usage instructions. He used to love emailing family members back then, he hardly does it now because of texting and whatever.

I opened the email and it simply said For You Because I Do xxx and there was a link and I clicked on it and sat and bawled for a good half hour afterwards, answered some emails, threw a sickie and went home, sometimes we just have to do what we feel is right, even if it’s technically not. Nobody at work missed me and my kids’ faces when I walked back in the house would have been compensation enough if I’d thrown my job in altogether. It was a rarity but on that day it had to be done. They don’t remember it of course, but I do.

Anyway this was the song my little music loving boy sent to me, enjoy.






100 Posts!

Gosh I’m a blogging addict, I’m sure it will calm down sooner or later, I passed my 100th post today so this is my 102nd or 103rd I’ve posted a few today.

Work was quite hit and miss as we have an open event this evening so staff are light on the ground as they took some hours in lieu and the students were all over the place preparing for different activities they are involved in tonight.

I’m at an introductory workshop this evening for trainee teachers thinking of taking up a post graduate course in September, telling them how teaching really is and putting to bed some of the myths which attract people into the profession. As a late entrant to teaching myself I’ve been drafted in to speak specifically to career changers about some of the specific issue and joys. I love speaking more about the joys then the issues but the issues do need speaking about, they are there and they are significant and some are a shock to the system and alter your perception of what you imagined teaching to be.

I like that we make these obvious to potential candidate before they get into the role and find things out which may have otherwise saved them from going down the wrong path.

My son’s taking this opportunity while he’s home alone to have fish and chips for his dinner. He is not allowed such things when myself or his sister are around and as we’re both out he’s going to seize the chance to have a big greasy plate of deliciousness covered in salt and vinegar. I’m not so bothered, the thought of it makes me feel a bit sick, all that grease and that shows my mindset has changed which is refreshing. He’s not the most irresponsible eater in the world he’s not so keen on chips so will limit how many he has but the fish will be destroyed and hopefully deep frying in batter retains some of its goodness. 

I want him to have a healthy relationship with food which doesn’t mean that he can only eat healthy food, I want the vast majority of his diet to be healthy which it is but I want him to know he can make a poor, self indulgent choice now and then and it’s OK, I don’t want to deprive him or he’ll end up like me and he’s showing every sign of being a tall, athletic build at the moment so as long as that’s under control I’m happy. I keep a keen eye on his waist size and as he gets taller it gets smaller and that’s good news as far as I’m concerned.

Right so I’d better have my dinner, I’m going to try out some of these fab alternatives to apple pie and custard before I had off to do my evening duties. I’ll be at the university until 9pm and then I have an 8am meeting tomorrow so it’s going to a dessert based dinner for me tonight with a nice healthy pitta bread based quick and healthy pizza.


She Loved It

The daughter totally loved her gift and it went off with her on her trip. I have everything crossed that today goes well for her and she gets what she expects to and more out of it.

She met a lovely young man recently too who is very supportive of her plans but it’s very early days so she’s in the  flush of young love and romance which is beautiful to see.

It’s all about to happen for her and I’m so happy. Slightly jealous that I’m not young again, slightly jealous that I was never in the position she’s in, slightly accomplished because I’ve worked myself exhausted to ensure she has the opportunities she has and slightly shell shocked that the bringing up is finally done and over. I very much feel a sense of it being up to her now… at last.

It’s such a strange feeling, it’s like I’ve been responsible for this life for 21 years and now I’m handing it over to the person it truly belongs to. I have a great sense of having been a guardian or custodian and not an owner.

I think we often underestimate the huge responsibility that is, if we own something it is ours to do with as we wish, whereas when we are taking care of something for someone else it is not ours to do with as we wish, we have to consider the day when we hand it over, when we have to be accountable for what we did, for the state it’s in, for how it looks, how it functions, how manageable it is from there on in.

If we messed up when we were the custodian the consequence can reverberate through generations to come and similarly if we didn’t mess up. It’s a huge responsibility parenthood and it’s not for the faint hearted. I think some of the most responsible parents are those who choose not to have children, they are aware of the task and don’t feel equipped or confident enough to take it on and I think that’s  much better than doing it anyway, churning out kids and not having a care or a clue what you’re going to produce at the end of it.

I’m proud of the job I’ve done with her, I feel I’ve handed her over a life today that has been well developed, well equipped and which has a lot of potential and promise and which could be very versatile, I’m satisfied that I did a good job. Not the best, I made mistakes but overall, what I handed over today was an improvement on what I was given to work with back when I was sent out into the world on my own. Improvement is good. I reversed or at least shifted a cycle within my family where damaged mother produced damaged daughter and at times it was hard at times it was easy, at times I had to think it through and at others it came naturally.

When we talk with pride about our kids we can hear other people thinking “oh God, perfect mother, perfect kid, gushy bloody parent talk again”, I hear it all of the time but why shouldn’t we be proud of our achievements as parents? Why shouldn’t we be able to love our children and be proud of what they accomplish? Why does society on the one hand blame mothers/parents for all of its ills and on the other make us feel embarrassed when we’ve done a good job? I wonder if more people felt they could take pride in what has after all been their hardest, most challenging, full-time in the 24 hour, 7 day a week sense, longest ever (21 years each!) project that more people would feel equipped and supported in the role and produce more lovely young people to take up the challenge of running this world in the future.

Society judges us largely on what is visibly attained, the material. It’s fine for me to invite people to come admire my new big house, it’s perfectly acceptable to flash pictures of my new car around the office, it’s a real talking point preparing for my exotic holiday and afterwards recounting tales of amazing scenery and wonderful experiences, we party when we get a new job, a promotion, a new qualification, people send us cards and buy us presents even, friends go out of their way to support our business ventures, the writing of a book or the opening of an exhibition of our photographs, paintings, drawings… but dare to gush about our children, our biggest, most significant and most important contribution to society and we’re made to feel as if there’s something wrong with us, we shouldn’t boast, or brag and some people even hope that our children fail and burst our bubble, some people hope that our perfect child has some sordid secret waiting to be exposed to shatter our illusion. How sad is that… and I experience that within my own family, a family to which my children belong by blood.

I’m proud of what I have done and I’m proud of the beautiful, confident lady I’ve produced and if that makes me a gushy mother, then I’m proud to be that too.