Social media, a constant stream of happiness and smiling, booze and plates of lovingly arranged food, engagement rings, wedding photos, beautifully lit selfies, sunny holidays abroad, pregnancy scans and gorgeous, happy families.

But the reality is that life isn’t what is splashed all over Facebook. Sometimes it’s shit. And hard and not at all even remotely perfect.

And we’re getting braver, better at sharing the not so perfect things, opening ourselves up to others.

Because no one should ever feel like they can’t be open about shit things that are happening in their lives. No one should ever feel judgement from others for doing this. Be it in social media or just talking to the people we know and love.

And it’s hard. But life is hard. But by sharing these not so perfect things, you might help someone else. Find someone else who might just understand how you’re feeling, share in your sadness, grief, anger, frustrations.

So today I’m sharing my not so perfect stuff in the hope that I reach someone else who is going through the same thing.

Today would have been our due date for our first baby Bell. Our lives would have been so very different. It’s hard to imagine. It’s incredibly hard to live with. It hurts, every day. It’s brought sadness to our lives. And sorrow. And anger. And it isn’t fun or lovely or perfect. It’s shit.

So today, we’re going to feel what we need to feel. No regrets. No perfect posts on Facebook. Just this raw, honest truth.



A lovely friend sent this to me today and it really rang true with how I’ve been feeling in the lead up to mother’s day this year.

I mean, it’s always been hard since we lost mum. The constant reminders of what we no longer have. But this year has felt “different”.

You see in just a couple of weeks, I would have been a mum myself. I would have been preparing myself for the biggest event in my life so far.

But instead I’m actually just grieving.  Still so very sad for all we lost in that moment. Mother’s day just serves to remind me of what I don’t have. What I should have had.

So to all my friends who read this and are struggling with Mother’s day, for whatever reason, I hear you. I’m sending hugs. Feel how you need to feel. Be angry, cry, celebrate, don’t celebrate, switch off. Do what you need to do. You are loved. You are understood.

Together is our favourite place to be


Just over two weeks ago, in fact the day after I lost my job (crazily), me and my little family took this picture on the beach, we’d just found out we were pregnant. We had no idea what we were going to do, I had no job, no money. But we walked on that beach and we talked about our wee baby bean, chatted about possible names, decorating the nursery, telling the people we loved, we held hands and we smiled, laughed, cried. We were so shell shocked and overwhelmed. But my god, we were happy. Despite everything, this information, it gave us hope, it meant our little family was finally going to grow. Anyone who even slightly knows me, will know what that meant to me, to both of us.

A week later to the day, we were leaving the hospital after being told that we were no longer pregnant. In 20 minutes, it was all over. Our baby bean was gone.

You may well ask why I am writing about this, after all it’s barely been a week, surely I should be in a heap in the corner?! And I’m not going to lie to you, the last week has been horrific, it has passed in a blur of sadness, exhaustion, silence and trying to keep busy so as not to think about what has happened to us. And it’s felt like a hundred years have passed.

Anyone who has followed my blog from the word go, will know I started it after my mum died, I wanted somewhere to come where I could talk about her and my grief honestly and openly without worrying about upsetting someone or people getting fed up with me harping on. Writing has always been very cathartic for me. It helps me work things out.

So that’s what I’ve come to do and I know not everyone will agree with this, but it’s what I need to do right now, just like I did with my mum, in the hope that it may make me feel more normal, hell even in the hope it might make someone else who has been through this feel more normal.

All I will ever remember clearly from that day is the utter sense of sadness and failure I felt, it hasn’t left me since. The first thing I did was apologise to Chris, for letting him down, for not being able to keep our baby bean safe. Of course he was devastated that I felt that way and told me so. But I can’t help but shake that feeling of failure. I can’t keep a job, my body didn’t work properly when we needed it to. Even though I know that these things that have happened are out of my control, it’s going to take me a long time to get past that feeling.

I have never experienced silence like the last week, we simply haven’t had the energy to speak to each other, and when we have it’s been exhausting. Full of emotion and sadness. I’ve hated the silence, hated that it’s caused distance between us. But it was necessary, it still is. One of the first things we did when we found out was hold each other and check that we were still ok, being together was all that mattered. Sometimes you don’t need to say anything. We are so lucky to have each other, to have such a strong relationship, I remember saying the same thing when mum died and I held on to my family, that even though we’d lost so much, we were still so lucky, because we had each other.

Like any shit situation, it often helps you to realise how much you still have. I will never stop being thankful for the people in my life who love me, who appeared just when we needed it, who turned up on the doorstep, bringing hugs, flowers, and food, who sent lovely and thoughtful gifts through the post and who still continue to check in and make sure we’re ok. Like any time in my life when I’ve struggled, they’ve been a constant. They’ve made us feel like we will get through, reminded us that we’re still standing, that’s it’s ok not to be ok. To cry, to laugh, to do normal things, even when it doesn’t feel right.

Right now, I’m not ok, we’re not ok. Right now, all I feel is lost, scared, tired and angry. Right now, I can’t be anything other than that. All I can do is get up every day and take one step forward and hope that I don’t end up falling backwards. All I can do is be honest, open and sometimes silent. All I can do is try to process what’s happened. And I don’t know if that’s ok, if it’s the right thing to do, but it’s what I’m going to do. It’s what we’re going to do, together.














Hey mum

Hey mum,

I’ve been trying to write to you for a week, but everything I wrote kept coming out all wrong. You see, it’s been 3 years since I saw you last, 3 years since we lost you and actually I’m still angry and sad about that. I hadn’t realised how much until I tried to write this. I think I’ve spent a lot of time trying to convince myself that actually time IS a healer, but really it’s not. Not for me anyway. Time has helped me move further away from what happened, made the painful memories slightly less intense, but it hasn’t healed me. Truth is I’ll never feel like I’m ok with what happened. And I’m kind of ok with that.

It’s been quite a tough year so far, I’ve been tested with my mental health and my physical health. But I think so far, I’ve done a pretty good job of getting through. I spend a huge amount of time wishing you were here, because you were always the person I relied on to help me through. To speak your mind, tell me how proud you were of me, how well I was doing. Cuddle me and feed me tea and biscuits when I needed it. I miss that more than anything, your guidance, love and support. That’s not to say I have none of that since you’ve been gone, I am so lucky – I have an amazing husband, supportive friends and our family, well they are just awesome. But nothing can replace you.

Learning to live without you has been the hardest thing. As I said I still can’t believe I’ll never get to see you, hear you or hug you again. We all cling to photos and videos where we can hear your voice in the background. So grateful that we are the kind of family that photograph everything, we have so many memories that we can keep. Dad sent us all some photographs the other day that Nanny had at her house and they released a huge wave of sadness and grief for me, because I’d never seen them. Like a whole new chapter of your life had been revealed. There are so many things I wish I’d asked you, advice I wish I’d squirrelled away for future use, recipes for delicious things I wish I’d written down.

We still talk about you almost daily, I think about you countless times a day. As time goes on things fade, but one thing that doesn’t is our willingness as a family to remember you, include you in most of our discussions and get togethers. Sometimes it’s like you could even be there, if that makes any sense. I’ve said this before but you truly do live on in the three of us. There is so much of you in us. Every day those traits reveal themselves a little more. That’s sad and comforting all at the same time.

Anyway, what I really wanted to say mum, is that we’re doing ok. All of us. Yes there’s been a lot of change. Yes there’s a lot of change ahead. Some things that we’re not looking forward to, that will test us. Some things that will be welcomed. But what remains is that we’re together. We’re strong. We have so much love. You gave us all of that. You are the strength behind us, you might not actually physically be here, but you’re here. With us. Always. You will continue to be our inspiration, our mentor, our support system. You will continue to live on through all of us.

I miss you. So much. More than I could ever put into words. But you’re always in my thoughts. You never leave. You never will.

Love you mum, thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much





It’s ok not to be ok

Anyone who knows me well, will know that I can’t be doing with too much fuss. I like to be getting on, no faffing, very little stopping and certainly no dawdling. When something needs to be done, it needs to be done right and it needs to be done like yesterday. Being ill? PAH, I mean I’ll whinge about it, but taking time off?! Time out?! I DON’T THINK SO. As for spontaneously doing something, well that is just a no for me. Planning and organisation all the way thank you. Don’t bring your spontaneous plans into my life.

However recently, that person – the organised, no nonsense, no fuss person, has changed. And the things that I thought I could do, wanted to do and sometimes forced myself to do have changed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a control freak. But since I stopped taking my medication, my body has suddenly started to rebel in ways I never thought it would and my emotions have been sitting on a constant roller coaster ride with no seatbelt, making it incredibly difficult sometimes to maintain that constant go.

If I’m honest, I’ve been finding that kind of hard and frustrating. I’ve felt massive bouts of guilt because I just physically haven’t been able to be that person anymore. I have had to say no to people, cancel plans and take some time back. I am lucky because I have a lot of very understanding people in my life who haven’t held that against me, just let me do what I’ve got to do. But it doesn’t stop me from feeling like the worst person in the world sometimes when I’ve snapped or been abrupt, cancelled plans, eaten a load of junk food or deliberately not answered my phone because I’m having a bad time. I spend a lot of time being hard on myself.

What I am beginning to learn, as cliched as it sounds, is that I’m simply just not that person anymore. I am no longer masked by medication, I am different. In some ways more raw, honest and emotional (moody lol). But also more feeling, more open and more accepting. Mostly I am embracing that, although it is scary as hell. I feel like I’m learning to be myself again after a very long time, and that isn’t always amazing, but equally also very amazing at times. I’m learning that it’s ok NOT to be ok, it’s ok to have crap days, it’s ok to have fantastic happy days. It’s ok to not do anything sometimes. It’s ok to be myself. It’s ok to explain why you’ve made a decision to others in your life and for them not to be ok with that decision. That I need to be confident in this “new” person. That I’ve worked hard to find her, and that I would quite like to keep her. That whatever life has in store for me next, I can handle it. I can learn from it. I can own it.

Yesterday I took what I hope is my last ever anti-depressant pill. It’s been almost exactly 2 months since I started reducing them. I’m not going to sugar coat it (as if I would ha), it has been SO hard. There have been more times than I care to admit where I’ve wanted to just give up. Go back to taking them and live in my bubble. Physically it has taken it’s toll on me far more than I thought it would. And mentally I have felt like I’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotions.

I struggle to string sentences together some days, like the words just won’t come. I feel like a zombie, walking through life half asleep, my whole body aches for sleep all the time. I want to eat everything, and not always the right things. My head hurts. I go from normal calm to rage in 10 seconds, anger taking over my entire being, wanting to shout and scream at people for literally nothing. My emotional state is zilch. Everything makes me weepy, sometimes just a hug is enough to start the tears. I have to deep breathe myself out of it, otherwise the tears won’t stop. My head and brain often feel like they are 10 mins behind, following on the rest of me like a half asleep toddler. Swimming in treacle, that’s what it feels like.

But on the brighter days, I feel like I could take on the world! When I’ve slept, eaten well, stressed less and laughed lots. When a walk with the dog and husband in the fresh air makes me feel like the richest person alive. One thing I have noticed since this started, I am feeling more. Sometimes that is the worst. But mostly, it is amazing. Processing things has suddenly become easier, (mostly) clearer. My energy levels on a good day are uplifting. They spur me on to keep going. I am happier. My outlook on life has become more positive (mostly). Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t magically turned into a 100% better happier person in two months, but there have definitely been some changes.

And I still feel like I have a long way to go. Mentally I want to learn to be stronger, to teach myself some coping strategies for the tough days. I want to be able to relax more, say no more, put me first. I want to be kinder, to myself and others.  I have a feeling that those things will be a lifelong challenge. Not a quick fix.

I want to bring exercise into my life, something to help replace the chemicals in my brain from the tablets and something to help me de-stress, relax and stop those angry moments from getting out of hand.

I want to carry on talking about it, telling people when I’m having a bad day, but also encouraging others to do the same. You CAN do it, you ARE strong enough. It IS possible.

However to me, the most important part of this journey so far, I have come to realise, are all of the people in my life, my friends and family. I know it sounds cliche but I actually don’t know what I would have done if it wasn’t for them. They lift me up when I am down, are my voice of reason (and tough love) when I want to give up, massively encourage me on the good days and let me be a mardy arse on my bad days. Not one person has judged me, well not to my face anyway. I’ve had flowers, cards, the most lovely encouraging messages and constant love and support. I had some silly idea when I started this withdrawal that I could do this on my own. That there was no need to involve other people. But actually I almost certainly would have failed if I’d tried to do it alone. Not that any of the people in my life would have even let me do that.

I know I still have a way to go and sometimes that feels very daunting, but I also feel positive and loved and supported. I feel lucky. And that is a very good feeling indeed. So on the bad days that I know are still yet to come, I’m going to cling on to that feeling, because it will pull me through.






Happy birthday mum

Happy birthday mum. 60 today.

Every day without you is hard but especially days like these. The big celebratory occasions, where we would come together as a family. You loved those moments so much. So to still be here, without you, when they roll round is the hardest thing.

We loved to celebrate your birthday because you were just so amazing. Any chance to thank you just that little bit more for everything you did for us, for everything you were to us. It was just the best. But a big birthday? Well that was a chance to go all out, spoil you rotten. Put you first for once.

It’s been on my mind for a while now what I might have said to you in a card perhaps if you were here. ‘Thank you for everything you do, we love you so much, hope you have an amazing day’. When you were here, those words felt like they meant so much and to you I know they did. Now it feels like nothing we could say could possibly convey how much you meant to us.

So mum just for you, we spent the weekend together as a family. The sun shone brightly (thanks to you) and we chilled in the garden. We cooked and ate together, lots. We laughed, smiled and talked utter rubbish. We played with the kids. We went out for a long walk, all together, ran around like the bonkers people we are, paddled in the stream and then had an ice cream. We took a million photographs. We hugged each other tightly and gave silent thanks for what we still have. For this amazing family full of love, laughter and craziness. And that’s all thanks to you.

So happy birthday my beautiful mum, you might not be physically here anymore, but you are still with us every day. You still inspire our family every day. I am still so thankful for everything you did for us and continue to do for us. You are still the heart of this family. Love you thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much.



A week in the life of

Day 1

First day off and my god I feel shit. I feel constantly sick, but hungry. But when I try and eat, my body won’t allow it. I have the shakes, I am boiling hot, but also freezing cold. My head feels like it is 5 minutes behind my body at all times. I could cry at the slightest thing (and I have). I have tried to be sick and can’t. I have invested in a multitude of ginger related items and vitamins from Holland and Barrett, in fact, I swear they issued us some shares as a thank you on the way out. I am exhausted, like dragging my feet exhausted, and then when I go to try and sleep, my brain is like PARTY OVER HEEERE. I feel angry and irritable and negative about everything and everybody.

I get home from an exhausting day at work, to the dog who has wrecked the entire house – pissed all over his bed (and the carpet) in the living room, chewed up a plastic sword, eaten almost an entire roll of wrapping paper, snotted all over a full length mirror, screwed up all the blankets on the sofa, knocked his food bowl over and after he’d done all this, then managed to shut himself in an upstairs bedroom. FML.

I start to tidy up and then just collapse in a heap, weeping and sobbing that I can’t do this. The dog curls himself around me tightly and sighs, those big brown minstrel eyes staring into my very soul. Willing me on. So that’s what I do. Just get on with it.

Husband brings me home some flowers and a bag of goodies from Holland and Barrett, my amazing sister delivers me all the ginger favoured tea she can find and some multi-vits, I have a potato waffle and toast and peanut butter for tea and the window cleaners have been, so you can see through our windows for the first time in 12 months – there’s always a silver lining. We watch two crap Netflix documentaries under blankets and ignore the washing up and housework. And we’re in bed before 10pm.

Day One Completed. Day Two looms. And life keeps on turning.

Day 2

Today I am back on my medication.

I sprint out of bed and swallow down the pill, desperate to feel “normal” after yesterday, I start the task of taking my many vitamins – ginger root (for the nausea), evening primrose oil (for the moods) and woman multi vits. I feel as If I will be rattling by the end of the day.

I feel woozy and completely shattered. I go to the shop on the way to work and buy chicken broth and bread buns, to soothe my growling stomach at lunch. Today I don’t feel sick, just empty, like I haven’t had a good feed for a week.

My day is canny though, I perk up and feel pretty energetic, I manage my workload no bother, don’t feel even remotely emotional, eat food like I normally would and feel pretty happy.

I head to fat class and weigh in. Lose 1.5lbs! Result! I come back from walking the dog and feel motivated to make sure my next day off tablet goes well. I plan my next days food to a tee, making sure I take all the things that will settle my tummy if needs be – bread, bananas, rice cakes, ginger nuts (not strictly tummy settlers, but they taste ace), I pack into my bag all the ginger tea, peppermint tea and peppermint tablets I can find and I’m in bed feeling ready for Day three by 10pm.

Day 3

I’m a little bit surprised at how chirpy I feel today. I thought I’d wake up with a stomach full of dread, instead I wake up happy and hungry!

By 1pm I’m starting to flag, the nausea is creeping in and I am so tired. I swallow down some peppermint tablets and head to make some more tea.

By 3pm I feel like my head is swimming, I am so dizzy and exhausted and I can barely string together sentences. I cling to the thought of leaving work at 4.30pm.

I have a manic night doing various things and drag myself to bed in a teary heap at 9pm.

Day 4

Today my main feelings are EMOTION. I cry for no reason whilst trying to put on my make-up and I can’t stop. I attempt to cancel all my weekend plans as I genuinely feel like a failure at life. I am dog tired and just want to crawl into my bed and never get up.

Some amazing people in my life come along and tell me I need to start looking after me and that means letting people help. My control freak instincts kick in, telling me I’m an awful person for not just being stronger and I wonder if I’ll ever feel normal again. I HATE feeling weak, helpless and I especially hate not being able to look after everyone in my life. But right now I don’t have the energy to argue.

I head to work and eat a ton of stuff I shouldn’t, just because my body needs proper fuel.

I get home and my friends arrive for the bank holiday weekend, as does a pile of shopping from Tesco. I feel a bit overwhelmed, tired but relieved that I now have three whole days away from work. My sister has left me a vase of beautiful flowers.

I manage to eat a full meal and go to bed at a normal time!

Day 5

Spend the day feeling completely exhausted and headachey. Eat lots of lovely food, watch lots of trashy TV and snooze. Feel like a vampire as spend most of the day with the curtains closed in the living room, but the brightness hurts my whole body.

Sicky feelings seem to have all but disappeared thanks to the ginger root, so I’m pretty much able to eat normally. Just feel dizzy and woozy in the head, like I’m walking through fog. Find it hard to get across what I’m trying to say, like the words just won’t come to me.

Day 6

Wake up to my lovely friends who have cleaned the kitchen, done the washing up and baked some chocolate banana bread. Feel so good. The sun is shining, we are all off to the beach and I finally feel some kind of normality.

I have a bit of a moment in the car to the beach where I lose my temper at Chris for “not doing enough”. I know I am being completely unreasonable, but my emotions take over.  I feel like the worst person afterwards, but also better, like a load has been lifted. Chris seems to understand, bless him.

The walk does me good, the dog is well behaved, we all laugh and take pictures, eat icecream and I feel like the luckiest soul alive.

Today is a good day.

Day 7

Feel constantly dizzy today, but battle through. We start the day well, all out walking at a local park in the sunshine, chatting about nothing.

We try to go out to a local family fun day but it is a bit of a disaster – lots of stress, it’s cold and busy and just massively too much for my foggy brain. By 4pm I am feeling completely wiped out. Finish making tea, have a little cry in the kitchen for absolutely no reason and then just slob in front of the tv for a couple of hours. Head up to bed before 10pm.

Day 8

I feel like I should be writing some huge essay about what this last week has been like. But it would feel a bit…over the top. Because it has mostly been a big pile of shit. Hard, emotional, physically exhausting. I have doubted myself and my decision so many times. I have shouted and cried and generally been hard work. And I still have a massive journey ahead of me.

So instead I’m just going to keep on keeping on and I know that those amazing people in my life that have helped pick me up this week, will also do the same.






The wonderful world of slimming

So for the last 9 months I’ve been on a mission, a slimming mission, to rid myself of the extra baggage I’ve been literally carrying around. The last couple of years have been stressful and filled with emotion and life changing things, that inevitably have taken their toll on me, especially when it comes to food and looking after myself. I hit my breaking point when I realised I couldn’t fit into a size 20 pair of trousers and I was the heaviest I’d ever been. I didn’t recognise myself anymore, I was exhausted, with everything. Something had to give (and I was worried it would be our poor dining table chairs).

And so it began, my ‘Slimming World Journey’! I started with the DIY approach, back in April this year. I didn’t feel like I wanted to join a group, so I carefully googled “Slimming World: How to” on the trusty t’internet and low and behold, out flooded a whole host of information. I was inspired! I lasted until August, 2 stone down and just fed-up of going it alone. I felt like I needed some support, so with the encouragement of my sister, I joined group. So far it has been great, another stone down, with 2 still to go.

The one thing I do wish I’d had though when I started was a list of all the things to expect when joining, because  The Slimming World “community” is like another planet at times. I’m sure anyone who’s ever dieted has come across these things, most slimming “clubs” are the same. So yeah, I thought I’d come up with a list of things I have noticed, for my own amusement as well as yours. Enjoy…

  • Slimming World have an entirely made up language of acronyms and sayings that they just LOVE to use. When you first join you think, what a load of tossers, I’ll never become one of them…until you find your phone starts to autocorrect “he’ll” to Hexb and “so” to SP and you realise I’M ONE OF THEM D: When I first heard someone talking about adding more speed to their diet, I *actually* googled ‘Slimming World drugs’ thinking that I had joined the totally wrong group.
  • If you are a control freak, you will love SW (ha!) I am a total control freak. I’m not gonna deny it. SW is basically a big old pile of organising, planning, measuring, and recording. My total HEAVEN. I made my own food diary to record what I was eating every day, because the one they gave me in group, wasn’t big enough… I know right, I have issues. If you don’t like being organised in life, and prefer to just take it one day at a time, I would say SW is probably not for you. If you like to know 3 weeks in advance what you are having for Sunday dinner, love writing lists (new stationery!!) and live and breath for kitchen gadgets (spiralisers though <3), you’ll be ok here.
  • Group meetings are great if you like a bit of gossip. One of my favourite things about group is the confessions, even though our consultant “doesn’t do confessions”, everyone just loves to get stuff off their chest during that hour. Me included. It’s like Catholic confession, without the religion (and a lot more food and booze). “Forgive me Wendy, for I have synned (see what I did there?!), for I drank too much gin on Saturday night, with FULL FAT TONIC, ate a kebab on the way home, and then spent Sunday being fed junk food through a funnel because I was too hungover to move, but I simply CAN’T understand why I’ve put 4lbs on this week, I’ve been so good…” Yeah, so if you don’t like sharing (or hearing other people’s goss) then group is probably not for you.
  • Taster nights sound like a fab thing, and generally are – you get a free feed and the opportunity to have a goss with your group friends, however, always be the first person in the queue. The first taster night I went to, I politely waited until the queue had gone down before collecting my paper plate and plastic cutlery and joining the line. BIG MISTAKE, I kid you not there were mere crumbs left. Remember, politeness leads to hunger!
  • SW seems to go hand in hand with social media, Facebook has an abundance of groups you can join for support from others following the SW plan, but be warned, these groups attract some very…interesting people…If you so much as lightly mash a banana on your toast or use smash to coat your FFC (Fake Fried chicken) then the tweak police will hunt you down. Oh yes, there are some people who take great pleasure in telling you that you’ve broken the sacred rules of SW, which is always slightly amusing and slightly scary. Instagram on the other hand seems to attract keen foodie photographers, sometimes that is fabulous, you can actually see real life proper non diet-looking food, hurray! Other times, not so great. You get to see some very interesting photos of weird and wonderful concoctions, the entire food diary of one person – from the first sip of liquid they’ve had to the last syn they scoffed before bed and some truly awful photographs, that look like they’ve been taken on one of those ridiculous disposable cameras from the 90s.
  • If you don’t like to or don’t know how to cook, then learn. Seriously thinking about moving our bed down to the kitchen, because I literally could prep and cook a meal in my sleep. But then I LOVE cooking and I like to think I’m pretty good. Even I get annoyed at the amount of time I spend slaving over a hot induction hob. If you can afford it, hire in a whole pile of kitchen staff to help you make the job a lot easier, or reduce your working hours to part-time. Seriously though, I have never eaten so much lush food since I started on SW and have tried a ton of new things. Just requires a lot of effort, good thing I’m a control freak (see above)!
  • Be prepared to try new food. Slimming World have a plethora of alternative foods to eat, that are low in fat and “better for you”, and most are an acquired taste. Quark, which is a fat free soft cheese, looks like wall filler and tastes nothing like cheese. The best way to eat it is to disguise it with other flavours, literally drown it. Scan bran – looks like an innocent ryvita style cracker, tastes like what I imagine chipboard would taste like, and as hard in texture. If you’re a fussy eater, especially if you don’t really like fruit and veg, then slimming world is probably not gonna work for you. If you are secretly a rubbish bin disguised as a human like me, then SW will be grand.
  • Get ready to be inspired by uplifting quotes and phrases on a daily basis. There’s nothing SW love more than to bolster you up with some random “inspirational” quote or picture and a video of a person holding a cardboard cutout of their fat self and declaring how SW CHANGED THEIR LIFE. And don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s needed and welcomed, and even inspirational, other times, not so much.
  • Lastly, the dreaded weekly weigh in. Be prepared to go through the same emotions you would if you were to take your driving test on a weekly basis. Don’t be alarmed when you see people start to strip to the very bare minimum clothing they can get away with without being arrested, discarding jewellery, hair bobbles and socks to try and improve the result of the scales. Don’t expect the results to make any sense either. Your body is a weird and wonderful thing, and it does what it wants. Just remember that most people who go to group or have ever done a diet like SW will be able to relate (especially that crap half a pound).

So there you have it! SW in a nutshell, my nutshell anyway. And if you want any more motivation to join then see below for a before and after picture of me (another thing you see a lot of). Despite all of it’s quirks (I use that term politely), SW seems to have worked for me, and I DO feel better for eating well and I DO (mostly) make better food choices since I started. It’s just hard sometimes and frustrating, but c’est la vie!  I expect my cheque in the post by the way SW…




All grow’d up

I had a sudden realisation the other day, that I am indeed an adult, a grown up. A responsible (debatable), sensible (even more debatable), bill paying member of society. And it scared the crap outta me!

Completely ridiculous considering I’m nearly 34, have lived away from home pretty much solidly for nearly half that time, own a car, have a job (in fact I’ve had many) and am involved in lots of other grown up “stuff” (I realise how seedy that sounds, it’s not, I’m boring).

One thing I thought I would never be doing would be growing up without my mum by my side.  She had always been a constant in my life, someone to listen to, take advice from (sometimes), to laugh with, discuss everything with and cry to over life dramas.

And since she died, a LOT has happened in my life. I have done a hell of a lot of growing up and moving forwards. Nearly everything that has happened has been momentous in my adult life, which has been tinged with sadness for me. Because she isn’t here to see it. Because I can’t just pick up the phone and talk to her. Because she can’t see how happy I am. How settled I am. How I am doing a great job at being a grown up and that it’s all thanks to her. And that’s hard.

I have a lot of regrets about what she has missed, that I should have been able to give her these things earlier, the wedding, my own house, grandchildren. I know it’s a ridiculous thing to regret, because I wasn’t ready for it, my life was in a different place. But it would have meant everything to me to give her something back, show her that she’d done an amazing job at being a mum. I will always feel anger that she was taken away just as I was starting my grown up life. Every day I wish she was here, so I could grow up alongside her, talk to her about actual adult things. Because only now do I feel like I’m all grow’d up, or at least getting there.