Corn II

I did something a little naughty the other week that if you follow my Instagram story you will have figured out, I spontaneously booked myself for another Liberty shoot with less than 2 weeks to go!

I have been feeling like I need a little pick me up for a while and I knew that some time with the Dimples & Daisies team would do the trick. I wasn’t really sure what to book myself on to or if I even wanted to do another shoot, but trawling through Instagram one caught my eye and I thought sod it, I have enough in the bank and I need this for me. Earlier that day walking round the town centre I decided I was spending too much money on food and that I dont treat myself to something nice very often, so with that in my mind I just booked myself on there and then.

So, the other Sunday afternoon I headed to the Dimples & Daisies studio in Southsea to be glammed up and head over to the Sunflower field with the rest of the girls on the shoot. We were all made up and deciding what clothes to wear when Holly got a call from another photographer to say that the sunflower field was ruined & they were all dead, the pictures were so upsetting! But fear not, they managed to source another option and we headed to Lordington Farm to have some fun in the corn!

Its not my first shoot in the corn, but that was back August 2015 and the photography style has changed so much since then and I am a completely different person now to what I was then.

FLASHBACK

Now before every shoot I would normally wax the beard and get rid of any excess hair that my body seems to love to grow, but I wanted this one to be a little different, I wanted it to be authentic. I wanted to look back on these photo’s in years to come and see the real me, the one that everyone else see’s. Believe me, there is no way to feel more real, authentic and true to yourself than being stood naked in a field of corn!

But do you know what is even stranger? Stood there having my photo’s taken, I was embracing everything the surroundings & the sun beating down on me & blissful peace on the farm. It wasn’t until about 5 minutes in that I realised that I hadn’t waxed & I didn’t feel insecure about my body or appearance at all I felt totally at ease with who I was. Sat writing this, I am in 2 minds about my photos, part of me cant wait to see the pictures, firstly how different they are but also to just see my appearance. However the other part of me is so incredibly anxious, what if I hate the way I look in them, what if it gives me any more issues with my body image and confidence? What if I go back 10 steps?

WHAT IF! 

I mean I don’t have long to wait, I pick up my photos in just over a week’s time, so stay tuned to see how things go!

Emma x

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The OG

As most people who have followed this blog since it began a few years ago will know that this started with a Bucket List of 30 things to do before I turned 30. Well, I am turning 30 next month, actually in little over a months time and I got to thinking how much of the list I actually achieved….

1. Go To Vegas – Stayed for a week in April 2015
2. See The Sunrise At The Beach – Saw the sunrise from our hotel room over looking the beach in Mexico Jan 2016
3. Go To A Horse Race – Done On My 25th Birthday, August 2013 then again to the Grand National in 2014 AND then Glorious Goodwood August 2017!
4. Buy My Own Home – Unexpectedly and amazingly achieved this with Matt in December 2016!
5. Go On A Safari Visit A Fortune Teller
6. Buy A Designer Pair Of Sunglasses – Brought Bvlgari pair in 2013
7. Buy A Louis Vuitton Bag
8. Learn Pilates Or Yoga – A couple of classes attended throughout the years, but it never stuck!
9. Go To A Rodeo – Done In Ohio 2014
10. Reach Size 12 and Stay There
11. Fly First Class – We flew Premium with Thomas Cook to Mexico in 2016, which is their highest class, I guess that counts?
12. Grow A Sunflower – I managed to grow 3 in the summer of 2013 & want to plant more in my own garden.
13. Go On A Road Trip – With my parents and godparents we travelled from Indiana To Ohio in 2014
14. Go A Week Without Using Technology – Accomplished in January 2014
15. Run The Race For Life
16. Buy Something At An Auction
17. Visit Boston & Go Whale Watching
18. Be In The Audience Of A TV Show Go To The Mall Of America
19. Have Afternoon Tea At The Ritz – I did much more than that at the Ritz in January 2014
20. Experience Christmas In New York Have A Make Over At A Makeup Counter & Buy The Right Make Up For Me. – Had a full MAC makeover in March 2015, which reminds me I need more foundation!
21. Take My Godchildren Out For The Day By MyselfCelebrate My 30th Birthday In Style – I have some lovely things planned for my birthday including dinner at my favourite restaurant, a party with friends & a day in Brighton with my nearest and dearest.
22. Stay Up All Night Watching Movies
23. Go For A Girly Spa Break – Hayley & I treated ourselves in December 2014 & I had another spa trip for Trina’s hen in 2015!
24. Take A Photo Every Day For A Year
25. Attend A Fashion Show – Steph & I went to London Fashion Week in February 2014 & attended 2 catwalks!
26. Donate Blood –  Oh, I did this 3 times in 2013/2014 and fainted – not for me!
27. Milk A Cow – Loads of you came to watch me do this in March 2014
28. Make My Own Christmas Cards – I got my craft on for Christmas 2014
29. Book A Last Minute Holiday
30. Do A Photo Shoot With My Mum – We got in front of the camera July 2014

Wow a few that I haven’t managed and probably wont now with only a few weeks to go, but there is so much on this list that I have achieved and am proud of. Now, those of you that truly know me, will know that I am organised and have been known to be a planned and a list lover. So now my mind goes to what is next, in 10 years time, I will be sat here almost 40 – I wonder what my life will be like. Will we be married, have kids, own a dog, brought a holiday home? Oh goodness, so much could happen in the next 10 years and I really cannot wait to see what life throws at us and what adventures we go on! So, whilst I dont want to plan the next 10 years of my life or events that may occur, lets look at setting some GOALS that I want to achieve by the time I am 40 – ergh 40, it feels like a life time away!

This is hard, when I set the 30 things to do before I turned 30, I was already 5 years towards my 30th birthday…..this one is over 10 years away. However, with a skydive booked for just under a months time I am feeling a bit more fearless lately so maybe I need to do some more things outside of my comfort zone…..but for now, here are a couple of ideas.

  • Learn how to dive

When we were in Cuba recently, we spent quite a bit of time snorkeling & I really fell in love with the underwater world when we were in Mexico. Snorkeling is great fun and you get to see some wonderful sights, but I would like to go a bit deeper and see what the ocean really has to offer, so for me learning to dive would add something new to every adventure we go on.

  • Do more things for me

This is a weird one, I dont often treat myself when payday comes around, for the past 6 months I have been saying that I want to book myself in for a hot stone massage or a pedicure at one of those foot spa places. Instead I often end up spending my wages on eating out or the odd coffee here and there, don’t get me wrong I am a massive foodie so that would make sense, but by doing that I am not giving myself time to just wind down and really am not looking after me.

  • Go to Texas

This has been on my travel list for the longest of times and I am confident that by the time I am 40 I will have been. I would love to do a little road trip round the big cities, or just spend time in San Antonio on the river walk. I just need to be there and experience it for myself!

  • See Orca’s in the wild

Whale watching has been on the list for a long time too, initially I was happy to see any whales but actually I was settling and no-one should ever settle. Ever since I saw Free Willy when I was a young girl I have had a place in my heart for Orca’s & will often spend an hour on YouTube watching Orca encounters in the wild, so the plan is to head out to the west coast of America or Canada and get out on a whale watching trip or 2 or 3 and spot me some Orca’s!

  • Tour Buckingham Palace

Recently I have had a interest in Queen Victoria, it started after a trip to Windsor Castle. Some of you may be aware that she was the first royal to live in Buckingham Palace, so I would like to go there and be nosy and take a look round the state rooms, see where she lived and where our current monarch lives. I am intrigued by the royal family, I like learning about Queen Victoria and watching the way the current royal family is evolving, so a trip to Buck House is in order

  • See the Rockefeller Christmas Tree

The movie industry has a lot to blame for the fascination of New York at Christmas, I have seen NYC in the winter, we visited during a bitterly cold, snowy January and it was everything I had hope for. However, I didn’t see the tree & as a massive Christmas fiend that is the ultimate Christmas tree. In the past few years I have toyed with getting the first flight to NYC and the last flight home just to spend a few hours in the city seeing the tree and picking up some gifts, but can I really justify the expense?

Well, now you have an idea of some of the goals I want to achieve over the next 10 years, there will be a lot more I am sure, but I am really trying hard not to plan every second of my life and just see how things go!

What would would be on your list of things to achieve? Comment below!

Love

Emma xxx

Confidence

You have probably noticed my silence over the past few weeks, its not because I have had writers block or I have forgotten about my blog. We have been on our first proper holiday since buying the house, we have been in Cuba!

This post isn’t directly about Cuba though, although I am sure I will write one of those soon. Whilst we were sat at the snack bar on our last full day, I was just in my bikini and a tank top, which sat on my hips I realized that for the past 2 weeks at no point have I cared what I looked like. I haven’t thought about how I look in my bikini, I haven’t given any thought as to how my hair looks when I take my hat off, also I have spent most evenings with just a sweep of mascara on my face and nothing else.

Looking around the pool and the beach everyone, myself included, looks confident in their bodies. No one gives the allusion that they care what they look like, its like you step off that plane and all your insecurities are banished.

I mentioned this to Matt and he said to me that it was great that I had felt that way, but if i can feel like that here why cant i feel like that at home? I have been wondering the same….

Well we have been back in the UK now for about a week & there is no way I could be as free here as I was on holiday. I am not sure if you feel the same, but there seems to be a constant need her to look a certain way. I stupidly read a lot of crappy celebrity news articles and do you know what I realized the other day, 99.9% of them are about someones weight, image, clothing etc. so no wonder us normal folk  are so self conscious! Our news, social media feeds, TV & magazines are littered with how celebs look and how we should look.

I don’t buy magazines any more, but stupidly I did in the airport waiting to board to go on holiday. What a stupid decision that was – I should have spend the £5 on magazines on a book! It was littered with articles about celebs and how they look on holiday, a celebrity that lost 10lbs in 2 weeks to get back to pre-pregnancy weight, then in the next breath they are telling you how empowered we should be about our natural bodies and we should need to lose weight, wear make up etc. how confusing is that! No wonder we are awash with insecurities and judgement for others as well as ourselves.

I cant help but question why we don’t just accept ourselves for who we are and not judge ourselves and each other!

Benefits

I recently was awarded my 1 stone award at slimming world, its been a long time coming and I am so pleased to have achieved this before going on our holidays & I am hoping to have my 1.5st award too – but that may be a little too adventurous!

I have been back on this slimming world journey since 1st June 2017, at first I kept quiet wanting to not draw attention, but as time went on I became more open. Its almost taken me a year to get my stone off, but thats because I have still been living a normal life and understood that i cant be on plan all the time and with that will come some gains.

But, I cant help but already see and feel some of the benefits to having 14lb off my body & I wanted to share these with you.

  • My clothes fit better, they arent tight & uncomfortable. I can fit into dresses i havent been able to wear for 2 years, I feel confident to try different styles & although I still see areas I can improve being able to take your jeans off without undoing them is pretty awesome!
  • My excess hair is lighter. My constant battle, is slowly becoming managable I am not sure if its weightloss, metformin or them combined, but the hair is growing back lighter and thinner however I cant comment on the speed as I havent waxed since xmas!
  • I am learning to like myself again. I am starting to like my body and what it does for me if I look after it properly. I dont mind that my legs are thicker than some or that I may have bigger hips. I feel pretty ok about who I am and although I have a way to go to balance my hormones for my PCOS, I can feel that i am starting to accept who I am.
  • My relationship with food is better, I am more inclined to go for healthier options than crisps or chocolate. Dont get me wrong I still have my moments, but I can say no alot more easily now than I used to.

Overall, these 14lbs have been hard to lose probably the hardest its ever taken me & I will admit I am nervous about 2 weeks in cuba and rectifying the gain when I get back. But I know that if I can remember my end goal of getting my body working again and not having to worry about my beard then I am sure I will find that will power again.

For everyone else on a similar journey, dont give up even when the road seems long and never ending. You will get there and the feeling you get when you hit that milestone feels so much more rewarding than the 5 minute satisfaction of that chocolate bar or packet of crisps.

You wont feel guilty for your weightloss, but you will after that takeaway.

Love

Emma xx

Tell Me

I have decided to write this, not for attention or because I want people to stroke my ego or anything but I just want to write it out and maybe someone will recognize that they feel the same and it may just help them.

I love meeting up with my friends & family especially if its been a while since we have seen each other its great to be in their company and really makes me feel content. However, I cant help but feel that I have nothing to offer them, perhaps that’s the wrong phrase, but I am not sure how else to word it. Every time you see a friend or a family member they ask how you are (easy to answer) and what you have been up to and that is the one I struggle with. I always feel like they have much more excitement going on in their lives that is worth talking about, or more recently I haven’t had any new news to share I am just living my life in my gorgeous little home with my lovely partner – there is nothing new. Its just making me dread being in social situations and really not wanting to talk about myself at all.

Yes, I suppose the biggest news I have is that my driveway is now finished and thats great and after being in our house for just over 2 years and the biggest job its a great feeling to be finished, but thats it. No-one else finds it exciting, yes they will be pleased for me but its not as exciting as a pregnancy, a baby update, a new puppy, wedding plans etc. yes friendship shouldn’t be about competing but it should be about having something to bring to the table surely?

I find myself sitting there around people avoiding questions about me or changing the topic of conversation on to someone else so the attention isn’t on me and my nothing news. Tell me I am not the only one?

On the odd time that I will have news and updates and things to share I get really excited and then come away deflated because my past behaviours that I have mentioned above has meant that people dont expect me to bring anything so I find that they then don’t bother asking me anything. Its really difficult for me as I am finding as I am growing older and really developing into myself especially since moving out, that I am quite a private person and I dont really like to share a lot. For me, I think it stems from past friendships where I have been burnt, let down, used or just abandoned. I know there are 2 sides to both stories and I figure I am not a perfect friend, but those experiences have left me cautious to really show the real me in case it goes wrong again.

I have realised when writing this that I have some sort of lack of confidence in my friendships, I am sat here wondering why anyone is friends with me and then saying to myself that I am being stupid and of course I have things to offer people. I just need to sort my head space out and realise that no matter how much or how little I have to talk about my real, true friends will want to hear it.

I really need to overcome this feeling of rejection that fear that I am not good enough or worthy of their time. Okay, my news might not be as exciting as theirs but they obviously want my company and care about me, so I need to sort this out. I am seeing a friend this weekend (its currently Monday), I have known her for around 7 years now and researchers say that means your friendship will last a life time, so I am going to be more open and try to let go of my fear.

Tell me I am not the only one who fears rejection by their friends. Tell me I am not the only one who worries they aren’t good enough. Tell me I am not the only one who appreciates their privacy.

Tell me I am not the only one who’s partner is their best friend.

Love

Emma xx

 

Judgement

This week whilst I was making a brew at Slimming World waiting for Image Therapy to start I was joined at the hot water urn by an older lady who was just in front of me in the queue for the scales.

She asked how I got on, a usual question between members ‘lost 1/2 a pound’, I replied cheerily to which she swiftly replied with a concerned look on her face ‘oh, I bet you are disappointed‘. After a quite a hormonal week, at one point this week I decided I didn’t like any of the human race, my blood started to boil and the stirring of my tea got a tad more aggressive. ‘Actually no I’m really happy, as in 14 weeks I would have lost 7lb, all the little halves add up!‘ I tried to be cheery through gritted teeth, she commented that she would have been disappointed and was glad to have lost a pound. I then remembered Janice (that’s my fake name for her) and that a couple of weeks back she wanted to get 7lb off before going on holiday and missed out by 1/2lb, I felt bad for her, however now I was like ha! you wouldn’t have been disappointed then would ya! 

Anyway, she went on to say that I didn’t have much more to lose surely, blood boiling even more, so when I replied that I actually had 3 stone to lose she looked surprised and was like surely not. So I thought sod it, I am going to over share, so I openly told her that following guidance from my consultant that’s what I needed to lose & started to walk back to my seat thinking she would give up. Oh heck no she didn’t, she then persisted to say that sometimes medical professionals are wrong and they want you to be unhealthily thin, at this point I was wishing someone would come rescue this woman from her potential death by words.

My reaction? I told her that no illnesses are visible and that I need to lose that weight to make my body function normally and healthily and that I was not looking to be thin, but to be healthy. 

Thankfully, before I really went off on one, I noticed a missed call from my brother so I make my excuses and called him back whilst taking my seat.

Normally, things like that I would brush off and get over within minutes, however this one has stuck with me. How dare someone who does not know me whatsoever think its appropriate to judge my weight loss that week OR my health OR how (cringe) thin I am?! Janice does not know my story, she does not know why I joined Slimming World or that I have been (extra cringe) thin before.

Its people like that who really get my back up.

For the longest time I have tried really hard not to pass judgement on anyone based on their weight, so what if someone weights 20 stone or 8 stone, it doesn’t change who they are. They may be on their own journey and who am I to judge how they are doing or where they are going. I have a lovely friend that I met recently who wasn’t happy with her weight and so is doing her damn hardest to put ON weight and I for one am proud of her for wanting to make a change to her body for HER.

Why can’t we all just accept each other for who we are and not pass any judgement? In the environment of a slimming club, be it weight watchers or slimming world everyone is there for one thing so why WHY WHY would you question, judge or belittle anyone’s achievement?

Literally, I am still fuming……

But do you know what, when I next see Janice I wont bite her head off, I would avoid her like the plague, I will ask her how she did on the scales and congratulate her for every victory no matter how big or small and I will console her on her unexpected gains. Because I am the better person, I wont judge her like she did me and I wont question her story like she questioned mine.

If I can ask you all to do one thing this week, its to try really hard not to pass judgement on someone when you know nothing about their story, or do you what, even if you do know their story. Still don’t judge them, just love them, even if they don’t ask for it.

Emma xxx