Never feeling satisfied

I saw this and I can so relate to it. Even now I’m out the other side almost, I still get this feeling from time to time. It gets easier to fight but it’s still there. It makes me feel sad reading this but I think a lot of people who are into bodyshaming fat people just don’t get it, they have no idea.

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Never going down again… struggling today like no one would believe

It’s amazing how horrible people are. I do not court praise for my achievements in anything. I’m a fat person I want to be invisible. I’m the award nominee who doesn’t go to the award ceremony and misses out on the experience too scared that I might just win an award and have to suffer people applauding me for doing my job or something I felt was needed. I don’t need noticing for that, it’s just what I do.

My trophies are in boxes somewhere while my kids photos and framed childhood indecipherable art works adorn my walls and interior decor displays. They are the things which make me smile and feel fulfilled and satisfied, the things which inspire me to be better and remind me I’ve done good.

I remain anonymous on my blog and never mention my weight loss journey anywhere else. I don’t talk about it in any detail other than to those who are integral to its success. If colleagues when I was teaching full time asked about my food or commented on my weight loss I kept it simple with a “I’m just eating healthily and moving more”.  When people who don’t usually speak to me comment on my weight loss I have to admit I more often than not look straight through them with the same blank stare they gave me when I was huge. I don’t want to speak to them now, I didn’t then either.

I don’t post photos of myself on social media and have asked my children and close friends not to do so either. I don’t want my life or myself to be defined by my appearance or size by anybody else. If I want to do that to me then I will but it’s not for anyone else to do that to me. I want to control my own image. that is important to me. I’ll tell you why…

Unlike a lot of obese compulsive over eaters who have struggled as a life time fat person I have had periods where I have been slim and where I’ve been somewhat aware of my beauty and attractiveness, not hugely so but somewhat. I’ve been aware of the pull beauty and a good figure can have on other people, how it can make you, your opinions, your experiences somehow more valid than a fat persons. I’ve been on both sides of the table I’ve been the fat person and the thin person at the boardroom table and I know the different ways I was treated as the same person. I’ve been chubster and glamour puss in restaurants and shops and bars and know the very different levels of service and attention I received as each persona. I’ve been dumpy job candidate and hot tomale legs to here blonde. I know how we are treated differently based on the way we look. I know how shallow people are and I know who I want in my life and close to me. I don’t want people defining me by how much weight I’ve lost, I don’t want people telling me I’m beautiful or that I’m doing well or asking how I’m doing it. I know that sounds weird when I write a blog about it but anyone who reads my blog knows what this is to me and I know the people who encourage and support me do so for genuine reasons.

I know how differently I behave as a fat versus thin person and when I was a sexy young thing I wasn’t very nice. I wielded my power like a weapon I was ruthless with the feelings of others I was selfish I was unkind and I don’t want my size to make me that person again. I don’t want to be adored to the point I lose my sense of reality. I don’t want that power in the way I had it before, I want only power over my own demons and I actually resent that the thinner I become the more valid as a person I’m becoming, the more popular I’m becoming. Seriously I get so many more invitations to things now than I used to and I know that the multiple facebook friend requests come from people who have heard that I’ve lost weight and who just want to have a look for themselves, so I ignore them all. Sometimes I wonder if this is why I’ve subconsciously wanted to stay fat because I know then that people around me act genuinely and like me because of who I am not because I fit aesthetically into their world.

I avoid being upheld as a role model for anyone other than my children. I don’t want to be a role model. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone else’s success or failure and I don’t want to draw attention to myself because I know how fleeting success can be. I don’t want that pressure on. I think half of the problem is knowing that so many people who feign interest in my success will be waiting for me to put it all back on again just like I always do and I just don’t want to hear those voices in my head or think about that day because it’s never going to happen.

I just want to be me. I want to know I feel great and look great for myself. to give me the courage to continue to love living my life before it’s too late and its all over. I want to feel healthy more than anything.

But this is a small town and the rumour mill and grape vine are rife and I know a lot of people. This couple of days I’ve heard how I must have had surgery, how I must be taking cocaine, how I must have had skin removal by now, how I’ve definitely had a face lift, how I’m doing something terribly unhealthy to have lost so much weight, how I’m starving myself, how I must have an illness I’m keeping quiet, how I’m going without food to keep my man. I mean seriously where do people get off?

Lots of it is coming from family and extended family and that is my main reason for keeping my blog anonymous because if one of them was to see it my journey would be over such is the negative power they have over me still. I don’t want them to know what I do or think or feel, they  never cared when I was one of them and if I ever let a chink of the inner me shine out they were quick to destroy it and turn it against me and it damaged me, it really damaged me and I don’t want to go there because I know if they knew I was writing this blog and doing so well they would want to destroy me and my happiness and success and I’m still not strong enough to shoulder that. There are too many of them and at the end of the day they are my weakness because I tried to love them, I tried to bring them together, I tried to be loyal, supportive, faithful and kind to all of them and they betrayed me, all of them, one by one or at times en mass and I can’t get over that just yet, it’s a massive barrier which I’m chipping away at. My real problem is that I don’t want to care about them, I need to learn to not care about them but I’m a caring person by nature and I find not caring very difficult and I’m incredibly loyal and there are engrained values which I can’t get out of my system wholly. So I live in this parallel universe with them on one side of the divide and me on the other and I try to not let them into my life or influence my life and it works but then I hear some stories from the rumour mill and all I feel is negative energy.

I just wish people were kinder and I wish people could be happy for someone else’s happiness and keep hate out of the picture. I just wish I wasn’t so influenced by other people and their perceptions of me but I’m working on that with my therapist, it’s a big one. I’ve always been made to feel so self conscious all of the time and I am working on not feeling that way and hoping that that will lead me away from this pressure I feel from other people which makes me want to hide away.

This post is all over the place and I might come back and read it later and make some sense of it myself but I wanted to thrash out my thoughts and I also feel I need to show that in spite of my progress with all things obesity related, there is still a whole long road to travel. We don’t win this over night, we can’t change everything that made us the sad person who ate to feel happy with a wave of a wand, it’s tough, it’s an ongoing battle and voyage of discovery and sometimes it’s not as easy as others. Today I really want to eat like I’ve not wanted to in months, I can taste mint chocolates, I can smell a big fried bacon bun, I am battling a physical compulsion to go to the corner shop and buy a couple of tubes of Pringles and a whole basket full of cookies and chocolate and salted nuts and cake and sit in a darkened room watching a sob inducing movie and stuffing it all down my throat.  Even though I know it won’t make me feel happy, I really feel that it will make me happy and therein lies the problem. It is only the true and absolute knowledge that I will feel like a ton sack of shit if I do it that I am managing to restrain myself. Diversion techniques are in full force but are not taking the need away, being home alone isn’t helping so I think I might just drop everything, get out of here and go for a bike ride and find a lonely old codger walking his dog on the sea front and strike up a conversation about anything.

I’m not giving in to the need to destroy myself and I’m never going back to where I was, never. I made myself a promise and I’m keeping it and no matter how much strength it takes to keep myself walking away from fatness I’m going to find it. I believe I have it in me and today I just need to dig a bit deeper to find it.

Doubling up…music is an important part of this journey

I have my other blog which focuses on music and songs that I love but sometimes I feel the need to double up and share posts from there on here too, especially if they relate to my journey to the new me and refinding myself.

Today’s post there definitely does relate to this journey. Have a read, it’s a short one as most of my music blog posts are Sound Of LIfe Love And Everything Link

Music helps me so much, it’s been a major part of my life and since I’ve been on this path it’s helped me  to relax, to energise myself and keep on going with exercise, it’s helped me to analyse myself, to admit things to myself and to allow myself to let go and release emotions I’ve kept bottled for too long.  It was music that made me make those first steps that were ‘exercise’ for me back last year when I shuffled my morbidly obese self from one foot to another to some of my favourite tunes and music which brings me so much joy when I get to sing and jam with my little family or when we get to take a live concert in together.

I’ve learned that finding out what gives you pleasure besides food and eating is very important to success. For me music is one of those things. If I’m struggling and want to eat crap or have a binge I can stick on some nice music and relax for a few minutes, have a mini-meditation and the urge passes or I can stick on some lively music and dance around for a few minutes and I’m energised and the urge passes or I can put on an emotional song and bawl for the loss of the person or time in my life that it reminds me of.

A lot of how I manage my addiction to food is to divert my attention away from the craving, it is not hunger, I eat enough, often enough and well enough for my body to not need more, the craving is something else, it is my addiction telling me to self destruct and I can’t stop it happening altogether, maybe I’ll never stop it happening but I can  head it off and take my mind off it until it goes away.

Music really helps do that as music can instantly lift us onto another plane, as I say it can drop us down to our knees in grief or gratitude, it can slump us to our backs in relaxation or it can raise us to our feet and make us dance and rejoice. Just that shift in mood, pace, tempo or whatever can distract me away from my craving, it works. If you struggle with cravings try making music your friend and using it to help you. It’s 100% calorie free and we all have some music hanging around. Use it to burn off some energy, confront a sorrow or cheer you up with happy memories or to just take a moment away from the world to relax and think.

Healthy Christmas A-Z Part 4

Here I am on H and this one is for Holly.

images (2)Holly has long been associated with Christmas in the UK and further afield.  Doing a bit of internet research quickly shows that Holly along with other festive greenery such as Ivy, Mistletoe and Laurel were used prior Christianity in the British Isles as pagan symbols of celebrating new growth, to ward off evil and to celebrate the winter solstice. Christians adopted these plants and gave religious meanings to them and you can read all about those in this easy, quick read I found on whychristmas.com.

I discovered that Holly is native to the British Isles, Europe, North Africa and West Asia and that there are many different varieties, most identifiable by their glossy dark green leaves and red berries. Only young or lower hanging leaves are spiky, for obvious reasons I guess, but something I didn’t know before. Check out this Woodland Trust article for more info and interesting holly facts.

Why I’ve included Holly in my healthy Christmas A-Z is twofold really, firstly instead of hiding indoors under layers of blankets and in front of roaring fires why not get yourself and the family, dog, horse, kids whatever, out and about and go in search of some of this stuff growing in the wild. Do some research, have a ramble, even take advantage in reduced traffic at this time of year and drive to a woods where you may find holly. Get your wellies on, cover up your extremities with woolen gloves and hats and stride out in search of some real, authentic, living holly and don’t come back until you find some… maybe not that extreme but you get the idea.

images (4)Take an opportunity to learn something, useless or not and to teach the kids, get them talking about customs, about Christmas about the pagan rituals which are still a part of our modern day Christmas, discuss other religions and how they celebrate their significant times of the year, talk to each other, listen to each other, exercise together, breathe fresh air, get away from technology and modern life and enjoy being a family or being free and alone for a while.

It is so good for the mind as well as the body, it keeps you moving, it keeps you breathing nice and deep, it will lift your mood and prevent stress and it can help, believe it or not, to build strong stable relationships in your family. I find that when we walk together as a family we talk more than at any other time and we listen more than at any other time and we laugh more than at any other time. I don’t think my little family is any different to any other and if it works for us it will probably work for others.

Walking is huge fun and has so many, many benefits. Whether you share a walk with a loved one or as part of a rambling group or in isolation. It can be excellent thinking time. It burns calories, gets the heart beating, uses a whole host of muscles and for even the least fit among us it is really useful valuable exercise. Do not knock walking, forget about pace and speed and distance, for some very overweight people just getting one foot in front of the other is an achievement, take a few steps and a few more, rest if you have to, breathe and take a few more, before you know it and I seriously mean this, within just a few days of walking you will be amazed at how much further you can go each time and how fast your fitness begins to improve. This is not only good for your body but for your mind, it makes the unachievable seem achievable, if you can walk more easily after three days of taking a few steps what will you be doing in a year? Running that’s what! Maybe not, but never say never. You’ll definitely be walking further and you’ll be fittimages (3)er and slimmer and feeling so much more healthy.

If you find it hard to motivate yourself to get up and exercise, a holly hunt will give you that reason. Who cares if you never find any? Who cares if you don’t have any growing near you, go seek some out in a shop or garden centre or look for something else, a flower or tree which you have in your country which has some symbolic significance at Christmas or whatever religious holiday you celebrate. The point is, find reasons to move, moving is good. If holly can be a reason to get up, get out and move then anything else can be too.

Secondly, family activities again, or even solitary activities. Find a good You Tube crafting demo like the simple one below which shows you how to make a quick and easy holly wreath.

Make some for your home or to gift to a family member or to take to the grave of a loved one who has already moved on from this life. Creating something is very therapeutic, it keeps your hands occupied and it keeps you out of the kitchen. It gives you a sense of usefulness and/or achievement and many obese people are down on themselves, feeling they can’t do anything right, so determine to make a simple holly arrangement or wreath and prove to yourself that you can do something and if you can do this one thing, what else can you do? Get good at it and make them and sell them and use the money to buy those himages (5)ealthy ingredients you can’t normally afford or a piece of exercise equipment, even if only a bungee band to tug on when you’re sat watching the TV. Or donate them to charities who can’t afford decorations or as prizes in local charity raffles or for local Christmas craft sales. No matter how big you are, even if you are bed bound you can do a craft activity and by the way you can pull on a bungee band. Lying in bed pulling on a bungee band is more exercise than you have been doing, it is more movement and we can all manage it, so get crafting and buy yourself a band and get exercising, you will burn more calories, strengthen muscles and start to lose weight, especially if you are making changes to the amount and type of food you eat too.

Again if you can do a Christmas project with your partner or kids or friends it is great for bonding and fun and is mood lifting and gets you talking and listening to one another. It’s surprising what you might get off your chest when you are relaxed, creative and happy and it’s amazing what your kids feel comfortable talking to you about. Sometimes other people in our lives have deep and genuine concerns about us when we are morbidly overweight, kids secretly worry about obese parents in the same way they silently worry about smoking parents, they hear the news, they have the lessons at school and they all scream to them “your mum or dad is going to die very soon and leave you all alone” and that is heartbreaking to know but it shakes you into action too when you find that your kid is worried sick about losing you.

Getting comfortable and having good quality family time gives them space and safety to come out and tell you about these things, to express their concerns and lets you have time to benefit from hearing that, to keep you inspired and to give you strength to avoid that Christmas buffet. It’s also good to hear them open up about how proud they are of your efforts and to hear them tell you what their favourite thing is about the new healthier you. Don’t miss these opportunities by not doing things together and allowing that space for such conversations to open up. The concerns and pride of your loved ones is the best food in the world, it fills you up and spurs you on and makes you strong, you want to put their fears behind them and you want to give them even more reasons to be proud of you. It dawns on you that only you can do this, it’s all up to you. Imagine the day you’re making a holly wreath with your kids and one of them says “remember that time when you used to be overweight mum and you….” that day is yours to have and it will come sooner if you can stay strong and focused on becoming that person who used to be overweight.

downloadChristmas is about togetherness for me and what better way to spend it than really talking and listening and getting to know the people you love more and letting them into new parts of you that they maybe didn’t know so well before. Make holly wreaths, make anything except unhealthy food.

That time of year

It’s that time of year again, which comes around twice for a teacher at end of calendar year and end of academic year, where a scan through the diary reveals no blank spaces. In fact worse than that there are no blank spaces and double, triple, sometimes quadruple entries all glaring at you demanding you make a decision soon about which of those little penciled in appointments is going to take precedence when you know they are all equally important.

It’s hard enough managing work and life at the best of times but work, life and starting a new business and having a relationship to keep alive is pretty tough going but I’m keeping afloat thanks to the lovely people in my life who are acting as my buoyancy aids right now.

As ever deadlines are looming, marking and remarking is taking up so much time, giving unscheduled 1:1 tuition to students who have finally decided to do some course work saps what would have been desk time and so the workload which spills over into my home life and ‘free time’ expands until it has devoured every remaining second of time to be a mum, a girlfriend, a business woman and what is even worse is that it takes away the moments I’d snatch to spend being myself, doing things just for me. I’ve not had any salon pampering or a steam or blogged or written any of my book or shopped for me or even managed to throw a dinner party, go out for dinner or cinema with a friend or Nick or anything for so long and I’m craving a return to normality.

My son is 15 he can cope with a little negligence these days, he knows if there is a dire emergency I am here, he knows I disappear into a pile of papers and books to provide him with all that he has, he can reason now and I do find time to check in with him twice a day. We always breakfast and dinner together, nothing stops that and so he does get some time, just not enough time for my liking. Although being a 15 year old boy, it’s probably more than enough for his liking.

He’s finally reached that time in his life when his room is the place to be. I’d been pretty lucky that both of my kids liked to be in the communal family areas with me and each other and whoever else happened to be there. I never felt I lost them to their rooms but it seems this one is going that way but I’m not worried, it’s perfectly normal and healthy and as long as I’m still allowed in there, as long as girls are not in there for too long with the door shut and nobody else around, as long as there are no strange smells, vapours, behaviours or people coming out of there I think we’re safe.

My daughter gets a daily phone or Skype call and OK sometimes she has to instigate that when she realises it is probably time I took a break and enjoyed a quick catch up. I love to hear about her day, I love how well she is doing in her new life and how she’s made what appears to be a fantastic group of friends from all corners of the globe. She has a rich full and interesting life and I love that and feel happy that she is responsible and mature enough for me to not have to worry as much as I did when she first flew the nest.

Nick is feeling more like an employee at the moment or a work partner he has been a darling picking up the threads of my new budding empire and keeping the fires burning. I don’t want to launch my business fully until the new year but I couldn’t help but see an opportunity to make some quick money in the run up to Christmas. I was frustrated that I knew I would not have time to capitalise on that but with Nick’s help we are managing to do that without detracting too much from the original plan. He is more or less a permanent fixture here now and manages his own affairs from here and we’ve hosted his kids a few times and he’s been driving down to spend time with them regularly but comes back up more or less straight away. I did feel I was distracting him from his life but then I figured he’s old enough and open enough to say or do something if he wants to change things so he must like it this way, it’s not like I make any demands on him at all, he has always been a willing volunteer so I’m happy that it’s his own choice. He seems very happy, I believe that in spite of my lack of time i do make him feel happy, he says I do and I can see it, besides that I have no desire other than to believe him so that’s all good.

I don’t like to do things by  halves and so I really didn’t want to launch the business until after I’d left teaching but sometimes with a push and some extra effort and by accepting help (my new thinner self finds accepting help increasingly easy) things are possible.

So on top of all that I still run the house and do all of the usual stuff, shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, those jobs which never go away but again I am being assisted in those. My son’s really good at taking over after dinner and clearing everything away and making it look like nothing ever happened in the kitchen and dining room and I don’t have to nag. Someone, still not sure who, has taken it upon themselves to become my laundry fairy and as fast as there is some laundry in the basket it is washed, dried, ironed and returned to its owner. I’m not even going to try super sleuthing to find out who is guilty of that one, they are happily anonymous and I’m happily grateful.

At work we have all of the seasonal demands, attending shows and fayres and promotions for the college and meeting prospective new intake and of course as I am heading into my last three weeks as a teacher I am preparing my replacement to take over the helm as well and finishing off loose ends as well as thinking about Christmas gifts, parties, leaving parties and everything else.

But, through it all I am still eating healthily, I’ve resisted all chocolates in the staff room and I have continued with my exercise programme. The weather is so mild so biking to work is still happening and my daily run up and down the stairs still takes place and I actually have two companions who come along with me now… my example is contagious. I remember the first day I tackled all of those huge flights from top to bottom and how I thought my lungs would implode when I was half way and how my legs were shaking when I reached the top and the pain… I was in pain, every joint was aching, I was sweating, my heart was pounding and yet now I jog up them and down again and could easily manage more than once.

I still have my personal trainer sessions 3 times per week and Nick and I have a tai chi session every evening, even if sometimes it is near midnight when we get around to it.

I’ve started to notice my body changing shape these last couple of weeks. The strength training and toning (I started working in some pilates with my trainer) are really pulling things in and toning things up and my body is beginning to feel quite powerful now and I am aware of all parts of it in a way I never was before. It’s hard to explain but when I’ve exercised and I stand and drink some water for instance it’s almost as if I can visualise all of those muscles that have been worked still working and I can see the water rushing through my body, hydrating, carrying away toxins, I’m aware of my heart rate, of my breathing of my liver no longer being distended due to fat, I just feel clean, healthy and in good working order and that feeling is priceless.

I think this awareness of my body as a machine is something which is sustaining me, it helps me to avoid bad stuff and focus on good. Nowadays when I’m tempted to eat something bad I visualise, without conscious thought or prompting, how that will affect my body, I visualise fat settling around my organs and I sense the acid reflux that will occur as my stomach struggles to process garbage and I feel the irritation in my bowel at the thought of having to let cake pass through it and I just find selecting healthy options easy now as a result.

There is a lot to be said for getting to know your body as a machine, to understand what food and drink does to it, getting to grips with how it should move and function and seeing what you put in your mouth as fuel and nutrition. It does work and I think it works better when you go to a trainer or a gym and talk to people who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about these things and when you take time to research what food does to your body and the true benefits of exercise. I felt that as an eternal dieter I knew everything there was to know about diet and nutrition and exercise but there is always something new to learn and new ways to look at things.

I wouldn’t class myself as a health freak, I don’t think I am but I really do care about myself now and I’ve found that caring about yourself helps you to love yourself and if you love yourself (something I believe a lot of people who struggle with over eating have an issue with) then you are on the way to healing yourself. If you can love you, then you have found your greatest ally in this war with food.

What is more, I’ve found that the more I love me, the freer I feel to love other people. I’m a nicer person now, I wasn’t too bad before but I am so much more easy going now and forgiving and accepting. I think that is because I’m not subconsciously looking for someone to bounce my own feelings of self loathing off of. I’m not critical anymore, I love everyone and that is the sweetest thing. That sense of love fills my heart and keeps me happy and makes me a better person and gives me strength to pour into improving myself. I’m truly becoming a better person in every respect, when I set out on this journey almost 8 months ago I had no idea of the treasures I was going to uncover, and those treasures were all inside of me, a part of me which had been buried under fat, food and unhappiness, self loathing was robbing me of even seeing let alone using the fabulous gifts I’d been given. Every pound lost unwraps another special part of me and I’ve come to see myself like a big exciting game of pass the parcel, it’s so amazing and such fun and what is more it will never end. It’s not going to stop when I reach goal, I have the rest of my life to find new bits of myself and to love new bits of myself and to learn new things and develop new talents and to love more people and to experience more places and to enjoy my family which will hopefully expand. Life is very good. I thought it was OK before, but now I realise it wasn’t, this is living… well at least it will be once I get past this term!

You can do it! If I can unlock my true self anyone can. Be committed, visualise what you want to achieve, see food as fuel not a hobby and take help and advice, be strong and remind yourself every day of the reasons you have to keep on living.

Busy Happy Lady

I’ve been setting up my own business which started off as a training and development business and is now a craft shop. The developing business case makes for interesting reading.

You know, what happened was this:  I felt it was time I worked for myself instead of for other people, especially government bodies which just make me so angry with all of their wasted money and misdirected resources, the red tape, the ‘I’ve got a cushy job for life so why should I even bother trying” attitude that often (not always because it definitely was never my attitude) prevails within higher echelons of the structure.

As I love teaching I really wanted to stick with that in some way and I will, just not in any way remotely connected to my original idea.

I’ve been working on setting up this knowledge or service business for a while and I was excited at first, then it started to feel like work and then I realised that I was probably going to find most of my clients within the very types of organisations I wanted to distance myself from and then I became disillusioned. Then I wondered if I was doing the right thing and started to think I probably wasn’t.

I was talking to my daughter, my man and my therapist about this.. not all at the same time. They were all saying something to me and I wasn’t really listening. Not because I’m stubborn or single minded or inflexible but because I was in a rut. I was in a rut of professionalism if you like. That puts it nicely. If you wanted to be more harsh you could say I was a snob. I kind of feel that I’ve studied and worked to earn a more prestigious job, to be the owner of a business which shares knowledge and which I will feel comfortable with as a status symbol really. Not in the sense of status as in monetary value or worth, but in the sense that I am an academic and to have a training and development consultancy bearing my name is fitting and apt.

So I had these voices telling me why I had lost the enthusiasm for the business I was setting up and I didn’t really hear them, because of this rut, this feeling that I somehow deserved to have a certain type of business, or ought to have a certain type of business, even that I would be expected to have a certain type of business. Then I read a few blog posts. I tell you, blog posts are written just for us. It’s like reading the bible, you know when you just flick it open or let it fall and you read the first verse your eyes are drawn to and religious or not, those words were written just for you right here right now? Well blogging is just like that… not wishing to sound sacrilegious, but it is.

Bloggers are inspired to write and many of us have no idea why, many of us don’t have the time to write yet we make the time, many of us start off writing something that ends up as something altogether different and someone somewhere reads what we’ve written and it touches something in them, it turns on a switch or off a switch, we relate, we nod, we smile, we laugh, we cry or we just feel and know that someone somewhere understands us.

This happened to me not for the first time. I read six or seven posts and they were all written for me right now as surely as if they’d been commissioned by some part of my sub-conscious that really wanted to hear this stuff. I listened, I heard and I understood and then, while my ears were open and my guard was down, I was able to hear what my daughter, my man and my therapist had said to me and all of these voices were saying the same thing. And that thing was simply “Don’t do what you can do, do what you want to do”

“Do what makes you happy” my daughter’s words came through loud and clear even if after a time lapse of a couple of weeks.

“Do something you wish you had the time to do” my therapist’s words came through loud and clear even after a time lapse of a week or so.

“Do something you really enjoy” my partner’s words came through loud and clear even if after… you get the picture.

So I thought about it. What do I love to do, what do I enjoy, what makes me happy and furthermore what don’t I have enough time to do and there it was, arts and crafts. I just don’t have time to create anything and I love to create things. Not only for the satisfaction of having made something but for the total and complete relaxation of having done it.

I started investigating and researching and taking my eyes off me and my life and seeing what is going on in the world, what do people buy, what do they want and I realised there was something I might be able to make into a business. I then did the numbers and market research and yes, in this area, at this time, this is a viable business opportunity, a small investment and something that will be ultimately fulfilling. Hence my change of route.

Since I changed the route I feel like a huge light has been turned on. I’ve never felt this optimistic or this content about something as important as my career. Knowing I’m going to give it a shot making a living doing something I’m good at and which I enjoy, meeting new people, taking a whole new direction in life feels good, positive, relaxed yet excited, hopeful but optimistic. I am going to make it a success, I just am.

I don’t care that it isn’t high powered, that it isn’t going to rely on my knowledge (other than my business knowledge) to make it work, I don’t feel that I deserve something highfalutin, I realise I deserve something I enjoy and something which makes me happier. Something that makes me a living, not that makes me rich.

Sometimes we get caught up in status and the pursuit of lofty ambitions when really all we need to make us happy is something we enjoy doing, something we’re good at. I see that now and I believe that’s all part of this letting go of control, letting go of trying to be the best, trying to prove myself worthy. I don’t need to be a knowledge worker, I don’t need a fancy title, I don’t need to be a consultant, I’m happy being Mich with a cutesy shop and I’m going to be happy in that shop and anyone who comes into that shop is going to leave it a little happier than when they came in and that is what my business is going to be about… smiles and little things. The things that matter.

I have some hard work ahead of me and I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to do this and I’m going to love every minute of it.

Introducing Katie Hopkins… you may not thank me for this

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The beautiful Katie and her happy, vibrant, healthy children

You may or may not have heard of British lady Katie Hopkins. I’m not too sure what she does for a living now but she is very opinionated and is probably best known for having strong views which could perhaps be described as “niche” in that the majority of people are offended by her or outraged by her or just simply flabbergasted by her comments. She shares these on social media but for some unknown reason is also given air time on national television all too frequently. I don’t watch the shows she appears on, it’s not the sort of TV I watch, it’s more the day time nothing better to do TV shows where Katie gets to peddle her particularly  harsh views. She clearly knows that having extreme views is shocking and that shocking behaviour gets people noticed. I hate to think what her children will turn out like, they look such a miserable bunch of souls.

She came to public notoriety when she was on the UK version of The Apprentice which during her season descended from genuine ‘get a high flying job with famous entrepreneur’ show to a reality show for wannabes looking for an easy way into the public eye where they could be adored out of some need to replace love and attention lacking in childhood.

Katie considers herself to be very posh and is perhaps deluded into thinking that sophisticated is its natural accompaniment, like a stuck up person’s BOGOF.  But Katie is far from sophisticated, sophisticated people are demure, reserved, intelligent, satisfied and confident. Katie is clearly fame hungry and in need of attention. Perhaps she didn’t have very good parents. Yes that would explain a lot. 

So Katie is known for bashing poor people and fat people among others. She has undertaken her latest publicity stunt highlighted in this article from a really trashy UK tabloid. To prove that fat people are just lazy greedy folk she has purposefully gained 4 stone in weight (56 pounds or thereabouts) so she can show how easy it is to lose it again.

This is how stupid this self professed intelligent woman is. The first thing she should understand without ever embarking on this attention seeking trip is that she has put herself in a temporary state of behaving out of the ordinary, by over eating and not exercising for a couple of months. She has temporarily changed what is normal for her. She’s had to change what is normal for her in order to gain weight and all she will be doing is what dieters have been doing for years and years and that is returning to what is normal to her and the weight will come off of course it will. Just like when a yo-yo dieter returns to what is normal for them and they regain lost weight.

We really must be more clever than Katie to realise this. Katie probably thinks that all fat people are stupid too, she thinks most people are stupid, including people who name their children after locations/places… her own child is called India.  

Katie cried because “fat people made her do this to herself” when she had to overeat and I was glad, because people like Katie with their ill thought out, vitriolic bullying of people who struggle with their weight makes them do just the same, eat and cry. Idiots like Katie Hopkins make people fat. It is good to hear she is having a taste of her own medicine, although nobody made Katie eat and gain weight, Katie chose to do it because whilst she is not hungry for food, she is hungry for attention and fame and money.

It’s not going to be difficult for Katie to return to what is normal for her, we stupid fat people know that. What would be difficult is if she had to continue to live in a way that was not normal for her forever, which is what dieters have to try to do in order to lose weight. They don’t spend a couple of months changing their lifestyle and everything is OK, they have to adjust to a totally new way of living forever.

The other thing Katie is missing of course, is that for many fat people, food is not consumed out of greed, some fat people actually eat healthy food but way too much of it, some fat people even exercise and are quite active and believe it or not fit and even healthy. Katie is too blinkered to be aware of these facts, they mess with her black and white, simplistic, prejudicial brain. She can’t see that for some people overeating is an eating disorder which needs more than a couple of weeks on a diet to overcome. In that sense, having some emotional hang up which makes her cleave to the modern day version of ‘celebrity’, she has more in common with some fat people than she realises. Whereas she uses a need for fame to mask her deep seated emotional issues fat people use food to mask theirs.

Katie comments that it is not nice feeling fat, so surely even her challenged operational brain cell can figure out that lots of fat people are not happy with the way they are and so remaining like that is hardly a conscious choice.

Of course what everyone is secretly hoping (some not so secretly) is that Katie struggles to lose the weight. That would be poetic justice, but that won’t happen as she is rich (as she keeps on telling us) so she can buy healthy food and she can go to a gym and have a trainer and spend time between writing vitriolic tweets (not sure she does much else) focused on losing the weight while someone else looks after her children and takes care of her home. As Katie also bashes poor folk, I’d be more impressed if she managed to lose the weight and provide for her family on a really low income, with no access to gyms and trainers.

Katie will not fail because she would look the fool that she is and the documentary would have proven nothing, so we should take it that she has succeeded in proving her point because Katie will not let her mask of confidence and arrogance slip, heaven forbid we should see the pathetic creature longing for love hiding underneath it all. It’s all a front masking a very weak, insecure woman who hates herself so much she has to be someone else, someone who even she doesn’t like. For that I actually feel some sympathy for her and wish she could just be happy and learn to love herself for who she is without needing to be famous and stop embarrassing her children who are going to suffer as a result of their mother’s campaign to be the most hated woman in Britain. If only she was sophisticated enough to understand what she is doing to them.

Katie might be what she considers attractive (a matter of opinion) but what happens in her mind makes her ugly, she is spiteful, vain and makes a living out of being horrible to and about other people when she really has no pedestal to stand on other than one she has imagined for herself. She has taken fat hating to another level, blaming fat people for what she’s done to herself. Fat people didn’t make her do this, or if they did then Katie has more issues than we initially thought. Her hunger for fame and money did this to her, not fat people.

But, it’s not all bad for people who struggle with eating disorders. She is doing something to help us and that is highlighting the issues faced by people who struggle with their weight and she is generating some supportive comments, not for her, but acknowledging that losing weight is not simply about returning to a healthy lifestyle for some, it’s about much more than that and her publicity stunt may have gained her more alienation from the public but it has also raised some awareness, sympathetic awareness of the plight many people face when they are battling an eating disorder or for people who are trying to recover from a health problem which caused a weight gain.

For further reading about the documentary she has made charting her weight gain and loss (more fame seeking… I wonder if I should make a programme about the mental issues of someone who needs to be famous?) here is an article from the Independent