My Cover Photo

I don’t know how visible it is on different platforms but my cover photo is of a caterpillar going through the metamorphic stages to become a butterfly ready to take to flight.

I chose it for obvious reasons… to symbolise my journey from one state to another.

I look at it and I see myself as the chubby grub at the beginning on the far left. After the first few days of my new regime I’m already starting to see myself as hovering between the ugly chubby grub and the next step along, I think I’m heading into the chrysalis already.

I thought it would take weeks for me to feel I’d shifted onto the next phase but it’s kind of happening already.

We put these things off, we find excuses but when it hits, when the stars collide and the time is right we have to strike and own the feeling, the motivation, the desire to be a better, happier version of ourselves and we have to keep hold of it however we can.

Already my blog is making me feel supported, it’s letting me know I’m not alone on this journey, it’s making me want to succeed and it’s allowing me to be honest about all of the grizzle and gore of being fat and to think about how I got here, honestly and openly and I seriously recommend this as a way of boosting your chances of getting off to a good start and resolving to stay on the path.

I know people reading this will be thinking “I’ll drop back in six months to see if you’re still around”, “we’ll see if you’re still blogging in a few weeks”  or “we all know you’re going to get over this initial flush and wind up stuffing chocolate and crisps and be dead within 5 years”.

I would probably have been saying or thinking that too a few weeks ago but I can tell you, knowing that people are thinking that and will be thinking that is going to be some of the fuel that adds to my fire and keeps me going, I am going to still be blogging in a few weeks AND in six months and I will get wherever I am going. This time it’s different, this time the motivators are different, this time the approach, the vision, the attitude are all different. This is the one, this time I am going to do it, I really am. I believe that and if you don’t believe it, come back in six months and see for yourself.

 

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When is Day 3 not day 3?

When it’s day 1.

I’m talking part in the blogging world’s 100 days of health and today is the first day. I committed to 20 minutes of dancing with my kids every day and it’s done. Yay! A small step but in reality a HUGE stride.

We had fun and I didn’t give up the minute I got out of breath or a bit hot or my head started to pound, I broke through the walls of the unfit jail I’ve locked myself in for years and it felt good!  Looking forward to tomorrow and hoping that muscle memory theory is true because I used to be so fit… hoping it comes back fast.

That is the most exercise I’ve done in years and I’m ashamed of that but proud that I’m making a change now and now is what really matters.

For lunch today I cooked up a storm. I made a Moroccan Lamb Cous Cous. It was delicious and my kids video’d me trying (dismally) to do my first cooking video for my blog. It is awfully rubbish. I will try to do better and I have to splice it together but I will post it when it’s ready. For now make do with the photo of the finished meal:

Image

This dish is very economical, it’s tasty and wholesome containing:

  • lean lamb steak (very small amount for flavour)
  • garlic
  • green and red capsicum
  • fresh chillies
  • onion
  • white cabbage
  • petit pois
  • spinach
  • cauliflower
  • swede
  • courgette
  • aubergine
  • chick peas
  • tons of tomatoes
  • fresh coriander
  • turmeric
  • paprika
  • black pepper
  • sea salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice

Yes, ALL OF THAT is in there! How cool is that?

All served on a bed of organic cous cous flavoured with freshly chopped coriander and a side salad of thickly sliced tomatoes, cucumber and beetroot dressed with lemon and more fresh coriander

The video shows how to make enough for a family of 6 or enough to set aside for another day or to freeze in portions. It warms up easily (I don’t use a microwave) but it can be put into a small saucepan and the cous cous can be warmed by steaming over the top of the reheating sauce.

It is packed with vitamins and minerals and very low fat, low sugar, low salt, no dairy and you can eat as a soup if you wish so no need to even have it with cous cous. You could serve it with pasta if you wanted to instead.

It’s so filling and a great meal for a dinner party if you are having non dieting friends over who you really want to wow and fill up. I like to make it with the vegetables quite al dente so that when it is reheated they retain some texture. I make a soup variation of this where I chop the vegetables smaller and I add 3 whole mackerel which I cook until they fall apart in the sauce. Very healthy and delicious. I’ll make some soon to show you.

It’s very simple and something that can be made at the weekend and frozen in portions for the week so that you don’t have reason to need a take away when you’re coming home from work and need to eat.

For dinner I really wasn’t hungry (this breakfast and lunch is really paying off) so I chopped some fruit into a fruit salad and as a special treat I killed a chocolate craving (chocolate is one of my key problems) I had a low calorie, low fat hot chocolate instant drink. it did the trick.

Tomorrow we’re making vanilla and berry scented candles (2 varieties not mixing them although we might), a family activity that we’d planned for the Easter holidays. The point of it is to fill the house with the smell of vanilla so that it kills off cravings for sweets and chocolate.

Also tomorrow we have day 2 of the 100 day challenge and I’m going to measure myself, waist and hips so that I can have some comparisons going on later down the line when I need some inspiration or you never know, to inspire others. Good idea for checking out progress in a more aesthetic way while I’m waiting for my scales to stop saying ERR when I get on them.

 

 

The journey, day 3 part 1

Well here we are part way through day 3. It’s going well. I’m feeling so much more lively and much more happy. I woke up this morning even though I’m not at the bounding out of bed stage yet (it will come) I hauled myself up and had a little reflection. I wanted to think of one thing to be proud of, something I’d achieved already after just 2 whole days and to spur me on through day 3.

  • I had not touched my box of Rennie indigestion and heart burn tablets that are an essential bedside item and used at least twice during the night… not anymore 🙂
  • my head felt clear and fresh, I couldn’t remember a dream, I couldn’t remember being restless in the night and I realised I must have slept really well
  • my mouth didn’t feel furry, I doubtless had morning breath but I didn’t have a fat layer coating my mouth from a late night choc fest and then being too lazy to brush my teeth again before bed (I know it’s gross and I’m ashamed but it’s changing and I’m being honest so that I can understand myself)

I felt good. I knew today was my first day of the 100 days challenge and I felt ready for that. I had a plan for my day’s food in my mind and was looking forward to constructing my meals and putting some effort into developing textures and flavours.

I resolved to take a few moments each morning to sit on the side of my bed and think about the benefits I was already feeling to start me off positively. To encourage me with what had already happened and make me mindful of what could be added to the list the next day.

I went to the bathroom, performed my morning routine and then decided to clean the family bathroom from top to bottom. This is a task which my daughter normally performs because bending to pick up the bits that didn’t make the bin (especially those cotton buds that fall between the tiles and abandoned bobby pins that find their way everywhere) usually leaves me dizzy and breathless.

I discarded all of the empty bottles and cleaned every surface, replenished supplies, opened the blinds, opened the windows, bent down and picked up every last thing from the floor then washed it. Instead of getting a mop I made myself bend and clean with a cloth, bending, rinsing, bending, rinsing. Sweating, heat racing, head feeling light, but I did it. I cleared out the laundry, replaced all the towels with fresh ones. Then I stood in the doorway and admired my work.

I nearly cried. This sounds so stupid, but I remembered the days when doing this quickly before work was just routine and I felt sad that it had now become a chore in every sense of the word. I was ashamed that I let my home go unattended and that I make my children do the jobs I should be doing or at least sharing in doing. I hate that I’m not the mother I should be and that homemaking has become something that is neglected. I used to be so proud of my proficiency in the home.

Just standing looking at my gleaming bathroom made me feel a sense of that pride again and made me want more of it.  I extended my housework blitz onto the landings, picking up and tidying things away. Next I carried the heavy laundry basket down stairs, my daughter rushed out of her room horrified at the sight of me carrying the heavy basket down stairs and said she would take it, I told her “No, I’m doing it, I want to do it”. She stood aside and watched me with a worried look on her face. Jeez, has it come to this that my kids think they need to worry because I’m carrying a laundry basket? What have I done to myself?

I hauled it through to the kitchen and I set to doing the laundry. My kids followed me almost in awe that I was doing things by myself. I’m crying typing this because it’s so sad that my kids are amazed to see their mum clean a bathroom and carry some laundry down the stairs, but this is how bad it is, this is what I have allowed happen and yes I’m ashamed and I’m glad I’m ashamed because I will not let it happen again.

At the same time though (I want to gain positives from the negatives, I don’t want to beat myself to a fat pulp who wants to eat pies and chocolate, I need to think of the good too) I am proud, so proud that my kids have picked up the pieces. They have coped with all of the causes and effects of my obesity, the emotional and psychological ones, the motivational ones the ones no one else sees and they don’t have to do it any more. I’m going to make us the family we used to be, I’m going to be the mum they deserve. I don’t want to see their beautiful brown eyes wide with wonder at mum doing the laundry or filled with concern at mum carrying a laundry basket. It hurt and I want to remember that hurt and if I ever forget I’m coming back to day 3 of my blog to remind myself.

When the first load was in and the drier had been emptied from last night I started to make breakfast. We all chatted as we each prepared a nice healthy breakfast. I had porridge and dried fruits with a banana and a pint of boiled water infused with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon. The kids followed my lead and one prepared herself a fruit smoothie while the son made himself a bowl of wholegrain cereal and took a big orange to chomp on. They each poured a big glass of water.

We felt like a normal family again. Ain’t that something to reflect on when I’m sitting on my bed on the morning of day 4?

Plus Size Clothes

I read a stupid blog post today. A guy harping on about how if they keep on making big clothes the fashion industry just gives people licence to be fat and to get fatter. He was dismayed that his small child was forced to shout out “Why’s that lady so fat?” in the street because a larger lady passed in front of her. In fact no, he wasn’t dismayed he was proud.

I couldn’t keep my thoughts to myself although I was diplomatic and held back somewhat.

I kind of get the impression this guy doesn’t understand the concept of marketing and business i.e. that retailers don’t generally make products which nobody wants hoping that the market will change its mind. OK so sometimes that works but generally companies find out what the market wants and needs, where there is a need not being met or not being sufficiently met it plugs that gap.

I can just imagine it now, a strategy planning meeting at Evans and some exec comes up with a bright idea “I know, let’s make clothes up to a size 40 and wait until a large enough proportion of the market becomes fat enough to want to buy them in sufficient quantities for us to make a profit”. I can imagine the looks that genius would get.

The plus size clothing market is huge (forgive the pun) but the demand was there long before the supply. People didn’t get fat because Evans opened or because BHS started stocking knickers in a size 22. For so long larger ladies and gents and kids have wanted there to be more choice, have wanted clothing for them to be mainstream and not specialist. And why? Because so many of them exist.

I kind of get his point in a way, if we couldn’t get clothes we might lose weight… erm just a minute my super fat senses are tingling and I’m sensing that no I don’t get his point, we wouldn’t do that, we would make our own, seek out stretchy stuff and employ other genius ways of coping like plus size people have done for decades.

I had to point out to this guy who felt that if fat people were educated and learned to cook they would lose weight, that some fat people are educated, some have degrees and O’levels and stuff, some even passed their cycling proficiency, some are professionals, some even (like myself) have an A in O’level food and nutrition (stick that in your ignorant, prejudiced pipe and smoke it).

Some fat people are doctors, nurses, lawyers, architects, clergy, teachers even dare I say it nutritionists and wait for it… weight loss experts. Some fat people are even talented, some can sing, or play music or act or write books and some can even paint!

All of those non stupid fat people have to wear clothes unless it’s going to be made acceptable for fat barristers to appear in court naked or for fat teachers to get it all out in the classroom.

I can’t believe how judgmental people feel they are allowed to be about fat people, how ignorant they are of the facts and the issues, how angry people get about fat people, how misguided they are about the ‘drain on resources’. I’ve not been to my GP for years because I’m so fat I’m afraid what he will say! I have not cost the NHS a single freaking penny because I’m so fat I don’t use their services and get this… I don’t have any illnesses, fat related or otherwise, other than being fat. Well I might have but I’m too fat to find out!

And another thing… I haven’t always been fat, I’ve been slim and I used to go to the gym every day and men used to turn their heads when I walked into a room. Nobody is perfect, fat people are not perfect but that kind of attitude doesn’t help a fat person to lose weight, that kind of attitude keeps fat people out of gyms, it stops them walking through a park on a sunny day and keeps them sat at home eating cake. That kind of attitude and that kind of ignorant abuse is what can make a fat person on her way to buy a fresh supply of fruit and veg ready to start month 3 of a successful diet fill the basket with cake and chocolate and crisps instead and go home, close the curtains and cry while stuffing their face. That kind of attitude keeps people fat and makes fat people fatter!

Hey how about that stupid blog guy.. YOU make people fat with your ignorance and prejudicial views. IT’S YOUR FAULT!!! And guess what else, by breeding a rude, ignorant, prejudiced daughter you’re making sure that there will be fat people for generations to come.

I was once a beautiful little blonde, blue eyed girl whose daddy doted on her who used to skip and ride her bike and climb trees. Thankfully though, my daddy brought me up better and would have whooped my ass if I’d dared to be so rude and ignorant in public as his child. I suggest he stop worrying about fat people and go teach his daughter some manners. What is he expecting? Fashion retailers to start making clothes for ugly prejudiced people? Is that what he’s preparing his daughter to wear?

If you’re looking for some fab plus size fashion there are a load of fabulous fashion bloggers out there, some of whom have accepted how they are and are happy being the size they are, they don’t want to do what I’m doing, they’ve opted out of whatever pressures there are to be skinny and they’re enjoying life as they are being beautiful and dressing to match. I can’t do that, I need to be healthy (I’m not saying they aren’t I’m saying that I don’t feel I am), I’ve gone beyond curvy but I love that they have embraced who they are and are not hiding like me. I’m glad they are there to give me a bit of confidence to dress as well as I can for work and for the rare social appearance my messed up mind will let me make. Largely because I would end up jabbing someone like Mr Why Do They Make Fat Clothes in the eyes.

Check a few of my favourite inspirational plus sized fashion bloggers out, they will make you feel better about you, I promise. They are inspirational ladies all of them and they are not trying to make the fashion industry make people fatter, they are trying to make industry cater for people who have a right to be smart, cute, attractive, sexy, warm, comfortable…

http://www.mrsbebeblog.co.uk/

http://thecurvyfashionista.com/

http://www.fromthecornersofthecurve.com/

http://www.diamondsnpearls.co.uk/

http://fullerfigurefullerbust.com/tag/uk-plus-size-blog/