Life Gets In The Way

Sometimes life just gets in the way of things we love to do.

It’s been totally crazy lately with my businesses both taking off in a much bigger way than I’d imagined. I took on a number of corporate clients and have been having huge fun working with them creating some gorgeous branding and packaging which I am totally enjoying but have now had to out source. That goes against what I originally set out to do but you know you have to move with the times and keep some free time to live a little and I was finding I wasn’t having much of that so I had to re-strategise.

I also started tutoring kids coming up to the end of their basic education and because I wanted to make that accessible to all I was a little overwhelmed with demand which, me being me, I couldn’t say no to. But we had huge success in this summer’s exams and so that was tremendously fulfilling, far more than teaching in a school ever was but could have been.

My kids go from strength to strength and have such busy lives which I want to be a part of still and so as long as they want me involved I’ve been making time for them and we’ve been having lots of fun. We’re all still shrinking although I think we’re all at a point where we’re in a normal weight for height bracket now and we just focus on keeping strong and healthy and trying out new things to challenge us physically. I still struggle with food demons but it’s so much easier a fight now. I even have had the odd wild binge when I’ve been super stressed and have had a couple of complete wipe outs but the  thing is, now I eat so clean and I exercise so much I seriously feel those binges. My liver distends, I get chronic head aches, raised temperature, palpitations, bloated stomach, my bowel has a breakdown and I realise just how bad all of that sugar and processed shite is for us so I really do quickly get back onto the path of righteousness immediately I’ve had a go at destroying myself. It’s not good and needs to stop altogether but it’s not a daily thing anymore, it’s a once in a blue moon thing but even so it needs to be a never thing and I’m working on that. I always knew this fight would be forever.

Nick and I are now planning our wedding which is fabulous and very exciting. We would have been married already if it wasn’t for me wanting to get married in a particular spot and us having to do more planning to make that happen than I realised, so next summer it is even though I don’t want it to be that far away but the desire to have my perfect moment over took the desire to be his wife immediately. I’ve written a blog post about this which I will finish soon but it talks about what’s the most important thing and it might sound selfish but having a perfect moment is something I feel I’ve earned and I can allow myself that without it detracting from my love for Nick. I kind of got muddled with the two being different things and it took a while to realise that they go together and one without the other wouldn’t work anyway.

I was proposed to in a very romantic manner and I shall go into detail on that at some point too if anyone fancies a romantic gushy love story, I cry when I recall it or recount it so writing it will be just as tear jerking for me as talking about it and I’ll try to put something of my secret self into it to help any readers understand why it’s such an emotional thing for me.

Nick’s been working more in London lately and that’s another reason why blogging’s been light on the ground as we’ve been spending lots of time down there and we’ve been taking in so much of the London scene and just enjoying the city so much, myself and my son have had a wonderful summer of bonding having spent a fair bit of it exploring. When Nick’s made it with us and my daughter especially it’s been even more wonderful but I’m getting better at accepting that she has her own life and I don’t need to be a constant part of it and it’s OK for me to enjoy myself without her. That part of letting go of my first child was so hard and I’ve started a blog post about it which I’ll get around to finishing now things have calmed down again.

Nick’s ex wife moved to the Caribbean a couple of months ago and so that was pretty awful for him to feel he was losing his two youngest children. Of course that’s not the case and fortunately he is in a position to see them often, not as often as he did of course but that’s the price of divorce. I don’t mean to sound flippant about it, it’s another reason I’ve not managed to finish a blog post. It was and is a pretty sad time for me too, to feel helpless to help him cope with that sense of loss and distance. All I could do was love and support him and just give him lots of time to talk and express his emotions which I’ve also started to write about but never finished so I’ll be on that too. His elder two are still in the UK studying so that is something and in some ways I think it’s made him put a little more into communicating with them. I’ve blogged about this but I think before he kind of felt as if he had a quota on the number of times a week he could contact them and now he’s much more spontaneous with it which is a good thing to come from so much sorrow. He’s also had to cope with the ex having a new man in her life who was moved in pretty quickly and who is definitely playing daddy to the little ones and I don’t think we’re being over sensitive to say that we feel there’s some enforced kind of competition and nastiness going on which I’m so glad Nick has not risen to in a negative way but has handled well even though it’s hurt him a lot. I’ve seen the other side of divorce, from the man’s side and I will be writing lots about that. Although of course no two cases are the same and my own case and experience with my children’s father is very different and has always been far less fraught than many I’ve seen over the years.

Nick also began trading over seas which has led to a number of trips that I’ve managed to tag along on, having a 16 year old means that they are more than happy to be left at home with friends for 4 days while you take off on a business trip and some times he’s come along depending on the location. I’ve not had my house trashed yet and I have been super impressed with the way the boy and his friends have taken care of the veggie garden and animals this summer, we’ve had bumper crops and tons of eggs.

The blog wasn’t the only thing which suffered when our lives got in the way of the things we enjoy doing, our allotment project, which is still going strong, now does so without our direct involvement although we continue to be financial backers and we do drop in when we can but the over eaters group have really made that their own and they are doing a fantastic job of it and have lost tons of weight between them as well as been able to offer each other vital support in their battles with food and the number of people in the group has grown too. They are talking about having a young over eaters side group as there are a number of young kids and teens who are getting involved and they have specific needs. It’s all great and so good that the professional counsellors and doctors are involved but letting the members lead the way and shape the group the way they want it to be.

I don’t have Darren, my personal trainer anymore, sorry if I already mentioned that. He’s now taking care of ladies in another part of the country and specialises in helping obese women now which is great. He really understands the psychological issues and the battle it is and I’m sure he’s going to transform many lives. I train more at home now and have a pretty straight forward training plan which takes one hour four times a week (that’s all about strength so is kettle bell swings, burpees, planks and resistance work) and then I exercise every day, walking, cycling, swimming, rowing, playing sports, dancing and just generally keeping active. I maintain a very low carb diet and more lately have reduced the amount of meat I eat too, so I have a couple of days a week where I’m a veggie and I continue to drink tons of water and have my cultured drinks each day and shots of goodness. Nuts and seeds are a part of almost every meal too.

Life is just settling down now into a normal pace again where there is less upheaval, less emotional stuff going on and more of a routine being established. I’ve missed blogging so much and have written so many posts which remain incomplete but I will be getting on with those now. I feel like life just went through a massive gear change, it kind of took off at full pace and we’ve had to work at bringing it back down to a nice steady trot again, but I feel we’ve achieved that now and I definitely feel less stressed and more calm. I feel like I’ve been on a crazy round the world trip, sleeping in a tent and at last I’m home, showered and in my own bed again.

Can’t wait to catch up on what all of my favourite bloggers have been doing 😀

Love Weekend… I’m ready for this

I have not seen my beloved Nicholas for a few days now as work got in the way of life as it has a nasty habit of doing. But tonight we reunite and I am so excited and happy to see him again I can not breathe if I think about it too much. This is the upside of temporary absence making the heart grow fonder and I love it.

I swear I’m like a 19 year old idiot, all giggly and warm and fuzzy and squealy and I totally love that I can still feel like that when 50 is beckoning furiously. I want to be like this when 60 is knocking on the door and 70 is trying to break in through the windows too and I will be because I’m going to make sure I am.

I have instructions… but before them I have to share today’s post from my other blog which sets the scene musically with the best upbeat love song ever to have graced the air waves… listen here and get excited about being in love, even if you’re not in love with a person romantically, be excited to have a chance to fall in love with life Love is in the Air

So the instructions given to me via third party are:

1. Pack a bag for three days. You will be leaving home at 5pm on Friday and not return until 12pm on Monday (this gave me heart failure as I have so much work to do but that’s been achieved now thanks to wonderful children and fab friends)

2. You will need outdoor clothes for cold weather but you’re not going skiing so don’t go that far

3. You will need indoor clothes for love, romance, posh food and maybe throw in a swim suit

4. You might need a passport so pack it but you might not need it, this is part of the suspense

5. Be ready at 5pm a chauffeur will pick you up and your adventure will begin

6. Leave all of your cares behind

That’s it. All I have to go on so I’m all packed, my best knickers and poshest frocks are in the case suitably sprtized with J’adore by Dior (my absolute fave perfume), passport’s in my handbag, heels and a counter’s worth of make up are in the case and I’m hoping that if I’m flying anywhere that Nick reunites with me this side of whatever body of water we’re flying over. I’ve missed him so much and can’t wait to see him, if I have to endure a long journey without him I’ll positively dive on him when I get wherever I’m going. I’m all waxed and tinted and pedi and manicured and the nails are revitalised from their chipped, split crafty selves to wonderfully painted elegant talons. Barry White is on the ipod and all is good with the world.

The daughter is in situ to guard the son and is having friends over for an anti valentine’s catch up weekend.

I swear if there is chocolate anywhere this weekend I’m all over that and I’m just so excited to be having a break away with my sweetheart, it’s been a while since I tore myself away from work and I’ve been flat out with business and teaching and my community project so I’m ready for some me time and some us time.

A year ago I would have scoffed at this romance thing, I think my fat unhealthy unhappy self didn’t feel worthy of this stuff and my emotionally damaged self was quite bitter, I hadn’t even realised that until I started this journey to find myself under the fat. I’m so liberated now, I’ve really lost so much more than the fat, I’ve lost the shackles of the fat psyche which might not affect everyone but were affecting me. I’m not sure if it comes from a life of disaster or a life of never feeling good enough to enjoy the things other people enjoyed and the development of a real cynicism. Maybe a combination of the two. But whatever, it’s gone and I’m free now and I can laugh and live and love more easily.

Happy Valentine’s everyone. If nobody loves you don’t worry, the greatest, most satisfying and fulfilling love you can ever find in life is the love for yourself so start there and all else will follow. Make yourself someone you can love, then you will find that you love life more and when you love those two things…yourself and life anything is possible.

St Nicholas – you might need a bucket for this one

If St Nick is Santa then my Christmas has come early because for a huge chunk of this year I’ve had my very own St Nick by my side and what amazing gifts he has brought to my life!

I’ve always said I’ve never been in love and people always laugh and say I must have been, but I knew I hadn’t. I’d loved people, oh gosh I love people with a fire that would rival the sun for heat but ‘in love’, nah, it has evaded me.

I know, I know, I was married and I loved him and lusted after him but I wasn’t in love with him. I think I knew it then, I definitely knew it soon after and without a doubt know it now.

I wondered about the guys who had told me that they were in love with me during my life, I never felt that they were, I took them at their word but inside I thought I’d really know if they were truly in love with me, I’d feel it. I knew one or two of them loved me and I knew they lusted after me, they were under my spell (haha) but were they ‘in love’ with me? I didn’t know, I was never so sure. Maybe that said more about me than them I don’t know.

I didn’t really care to be honest, they were the ones living with their feelings and I was living with mine, I wasn’t going to try influencing or pressuring anything, I take things as they come and never try to influence people’s emotions, I think it’s pointless. We can attempt to alter people’s behaviour and actions but even that I think it is fruitless if they are not ready to receive and act on what we say.

When I say I don’t care if nobody likes me I mean it, I’m not bothered, it’s something I can’t change in any way other than being myself and demonstrating that I’m a good person but even then some people still won’t like me.

But you know what? I’m in love now. This is like… well I don’t have words. I always knew it would come one day, I had faith that it was somewhere waiting for me, for the right time, for the stars to line up right and deal me a shower of stars and hearts and flowers, fuzzy head, harps playing when I hear his voice, pulse quickening when I hear his name… I’m in love for the first time and oh my word, it’s made me lose my mind.

My daughter says I’m not in love for the first time, I’m letting my emotions have a louder voice than my head for the first time, but whatever she’s happy for me. I’m in love for the first time whichever way we look at this.

My son says I’m easier to get pocket money from these days so if that’s being in love he’s happy it’s happened now at a time when he has greater demands with his little harem of girl friends all needing Christmas gifts – we’ll talk about that another time.

Nick says he’s cracked the ice queen, he sees my being in love with him as some cute kind of victory which makes him do this crazy funny little giggly sound every time a little seepage of being in love makes itself obvious in my actions or words.

He came along right at the right time, although anyone who knows the story knows he has been on the back burner for a long, long time. I was ready for this guy and he was ready for me and even though we have been in each other’s lives for over twenty years for some reason those stars collided and it was time.

I don’t even think that it was a case of us both finding ourselves middle aged and single and thinking “Oh she’ll do” or “He’ll do”. Heck what am I saying, I know it wasn’t a case of that. Neither of us are the kind of people who make do, if something isn’t right we both have no problems with saying so and going in search of something that is. There was some magic waiting to happen for us and it just took a long, long time for us to be ready for it.

Sometimes we have no idea what the future holds, we have no idea or control over the joys and pains which await us, but I do believe that sometimes our behaviour leads us to a mindset where we miss out on good things, where we won’t fully appreciate or enjoy the joys and I believe that it is up to us to set ourselves up to receive good things and to appreciate them and only then will they come to us. They’re there waiting but just not connecting with us or us with them until the time is right.

It’s kind of like we’re a magnet for good stuff, we’re that all along, but sometimes we let our magnet get so buried in bad stuff that its pull on the good stuff flying around us is not strong enough to take a firm hold and the good stuff carries on floating around until our magnet is stronger. Once we shake off the crap from that magnet the good stuff starts to get drawn to us and it sticks and we feel that clunk when we and it collide and that clunk is a good feeling.

I think the same applies to bad stuff, I think there is bad stuff floating around that we have to experience, to learn and grow and to become better, stronger people and we also attract that when the time is right and just like the good stuff there isn’t a lot we can do about it, other than take it, work through it and then let it go, leaving space for good stuff which we have to work on keeping hold of.

The key thing is we have no idea what those good and bad things are, sometimes they slam into us without warning, without planning, they just hit us and knock us off our feet either in a good way or a bad way, sometimes they are more subtle and slowly approach and attach themselves, creeping up on us in either sinister or delightful ways.

I thought I had a good life before, I thought I was happy, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that the things I have experienced and enjoyed this past 8 months were waiting just for me. Who would have thought it, that I’d be on my way to a normal healthy size, that I would have shed over 100 pounds of fat, that I would be able to run and jump, that I would own my own business, that I would find even more new things to love about my children, that their pride in me would multiply ten fold, that I would believe that my mother loves me and be able to forgive the past, that I would be in love and have this amazing patient, loving, kind wonderfully supportive and very sexy man by my side? My own St Nick who I do not doubt will help to make this Christmas a very special time for me and also for all of our children. We were meant to be going away from Christmas but I’m glad we’re not now, I’m glad we’re going to be spending it at  my home here and in part at Nick’s home with our kids all together for some of it.

I’m very blessed.

All it took was to get through that cyclone of bad stuff that had been hovering around me, learn some lessons, think some new thoughts, reevaluate my life and my relationships, let some of it go hold some of it close and then I was ready for an influx of good things to come and attach themselves to me, one by one, sometimes thick and fast, at other times stealthily snuggling up to me.

I know there are more, of good and bad, I just know it and I’m excited to find out what the good things are as I clear away more rubbish and make more space for them to come into my life.

I’m grateful to this guy, he’s been beyond description in terms of supporting me with this new lifestyle, he has taught me so much about relaxation, inner peace and happiness which has been invaluable. He has taught me how to let go and give the reins to someone else and to be confident and comfortable in doing so. He has taught me how to indulge myself, to allow myself time, space and consideration and he has helped me to find joy and wonder in nature. He’s made me stop, slow down, look, think, breathe, listen and feel.

He has taken me to places in my mind where I’ve never been and he has loved me to the point where I was worried about how I was feeling and then loved me from that point to the point where now I love how I am feeling. All of those failed relationships, all of that messing around with guys and all of those years alone they all make sense now, they all made me ready for this.

I wouldn’t have been ready for this had I not started on that journey 8 months ago which has led to me beginning to heal myself, to give myself longer to live, to make myself a happier person and I thought it was all about losing fat. How mistaken I was.

Good things come to a positive mind, good things come to a happy soul and good things come to an unafraid heart.

Autumn Traditions

It has been crazy hectic around here the past few days.

My kids came back from their trip totally thrilled with their independent extravaganza. My son was rendered speechless by having seen his heroes in action. Nick picked them up from Heathrow for me and brought them home and I got to have them both together for a few days before my daughter had to go off again to work. Blessed,  blissful days when we are all together.

I know it might sound ridiculous but just lying in bed being able to hear them both breathing in deep slumber from their rooms is something which stills my soul and makes me feel that all is good with the world. It must come from years of being finely tuned to their every sound and without even realising it taking some kind of subconscious satisfaction in just knowing they are safe and well. Having had silence for a few nights perhaps my ears were waiting to hear those gentle sounds again before I could fully relax.

Anyway mission accomplished, I feel I have let loose another few yards of apron string, we all survived and they more independent for it and my daughter is not traumatised by having the responsibility for her brother whilst thousands of miles away from the mother hen.

Nick has been spending more and more time with me. He’s been great helping me get my business ready and he’s done a few jobs around the house for me which I can’t say didn’t need doing. These days I’m not so hot on the DIY front as I once was. So we’ve had some decorating finished which I had started and my son’s bedroom and man pad/den were completely refurbished as a surprise in his absence, he loved them so that was a hit.

I got to give my garden a pre-winter tidy up. We’ve had such a mild year, last winter was a non-event, the summer was hot and long and we’ve had a very mild autumn so we may be in for another killer winter, but hopefully it will be mild. I don’t think I will be out gardening quite so much although the things I have growing under my greenhouse stylie covers are doing good.

My daughter’s room is becoming more and more empty with each visit as she takes another load of stuff off with her. i think we’re almost at done now with just a few things which she wants to keep but doesn’t want to take with her. I smiled remembering the box of my things which were too important to give up when I left home, similar things which are no doubt still in my mother’s loft and have never been touched since. It made me think about how fleeting some of the value we place on objects is and made me realise how insignificant possessions really are when we balance their worth against the next ‘thing’ we’re on to.

I’ve got a few posts in draft state so no doubt they will get finished this weekend and I’ll do a post bombardment including a weigh tloss update, so I need to get myself weighed in for that. I’ll also  have a reading catch up frenzy too so don’t freak if it looks like I’m stalking your blogs with comments and likes over the next couple of days. I miss having time to read so much when I’m sidelined with other things.

I’m pretty much home alone this weekend. My son has things planned, residual events from bonfire night. When it is midweek it seems to go on forever with parties the weekend before, on the actual night which was a Wednesday this year and then the following weekend. It’s been a crazy fortnight of halloween and bonfire/Guy Fawkes night celebrations to be fair, there has scarcely been a night I’ve not seen or heard fireworks exploding over the sea from my bedroom window… I’m not complaining about that, it’s a beautiful sight and the smells of bonfire night always get me reminiscing to when my dad would come home with boxes of fireworks and the neighbourhood would pile into our garden as we were one of a few families in our neighbourhood who could afford the luxury of sending pounds worth of hard earned money up in smoke. I loved the smell of sulphur in the air and the sound and smell of the crackling bonfire with the guy we kids had made perched on top.

My mum would take on a mission to feed the entire neighbourhood too, cooking from the day before, making trays and trays of toffee apples, bonfire toffee in little bags, parkin (a kind of dense oatmeal and treacle cake) and ginger cake and filling the oven with tons of small jacket potatoes with crispy skins served up in paper with dollops of butter and a sprinkle of salt. I used to love the warm feel coming through my gloves when on a really cold night she would pop a potato in each pocket for us to warm our hands on. Old school tricks and traditions… memories are good and I like to dwell on those good childhood memories these days.

If I hadn’t been fat I think my child hood would have been near perfect, but then I guess they would have found something else to be horrid to me about and the sibling rivalry would have still been there. But it’s far more healthy to remember the good stuff, when we were all enjoying something with a common purpose and shared wonderment and the bad stuff was in the back ground where it belonged.

So it’s been a good few days, if busy with work and caring for my family and spending time with Nick… not that it’s hard work doing that, he’s super sweet and things are going really good. I’m letting someone do things for me for the first time ever and I’m starting to quite like it. I’ve lost my feisty edge and feel much softer these days and far more relaxed.

Life is good and although I don’t for one minute think it will stay this way forever, I ‘m enjoying it while it is. This road to a new me is tough, make no mistake, the food is not the biggest obstacle to overcome, the exercise isn’t the toughest challenge I’ve faced, it’s this inner battle to find peace, to find a safe place where it’s OK to love myself and to let other people in to love me that is the hardest part.  BUT… I’m getting there and it feels better and better with every step forward… there are steps back too but I’ve learned to get over those. I still maintain that this blogging community and the ability to blog has been my real lifeline, in spite of the people who have helped me in my ‘real’ life, the help, inspiration, laughs and sense of camaraderie I get from here is second to none in terms of support and I’m grateful to everyone who has inspired me to keep on with this and to recognise that it wasn’t just about physical health.