July 1st…..

Its the end of a very long July 1st.

I wanted to write today, something that I hoped would encourage others to speak out and realise that we aren’t as alone as we sometimes think. Then life happened, another shit show. We had a leak, a flood, call it what you will. Basically the bathroom tap was running when I returned home from work. Bathroom was flooded, it had gone through to the kitchen and also somehow through the wall cavity and pissing out into the lounge.

There has been water everywhere tonight and if I am honest, because I was the last out its my fault. So I have failed. I have messed up. The house is just a mess.

I don’t want pity or reassurance from anyone. This is just another life event and lesson I have to learn. What this doesn’t help is my feeling of insecurity and not feeling good enough.

That is something I am trying to fix.

My day started off with a call to a counselling service. I completed a 30 minute assessment with a lovely lady on the phone. We talked about why I feel I need counselling and what I am expecting to get out of it. I cried, I said things out loud that I don’t think I have ever said or admitted to myself and I felt like I made a massive step in the right direction.

That is what this post was supposed to be about. That after however many years its been, I am finally doing something to fix me. To help me start to love who I am, learn that I am good enough, I am worthy and that I matter.

I take on so much, where I worry about other people and want to fix them, support them and be the best friend, daughter, girlfriend, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, colleague, employee etc. that I can be. I do this so much that I then forget about me. I can’t remember the last time I put myself first or felt that I could share my troubles with someone when I know they are already having a tough time. I am always putting others first.

I recognise thats not normal. We should all feel able to talk to our closest people around us. We should all be able to prioritise our own self care.

I am making steps to make sure I can do that. Because for me, holding it in means I am not helping anybody. I cannot look after anybody until I start to look after myself.

Please, if you are struggling, feel like your drowning, feel overwhelmed, lost, alone, scared speak up. Don’t hold it in. Speaking from experience, it will consume you and eventually you hit a point where you forget how to love yourself.

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Target

I am fed up of paying £4.95 a week, I want my £20-£25 back a month. That will allow me to have my lashes done every other month or get a new outfit or put it towards a trip away, over 12 months it would be £257 I would be saving……..

The easy option is to stop going to group, but I enjoy it. I like the accountability of getting weighed each week, I like getting a shiny sticker at my next milestone. If I don’t go to group I have no accountability and my weight will spiral out of control, I know it will. So what I need to do is get to target, hit my milestone where I feel comfortable and then I can stop paying.

When I first started going almost 2 years ago, I decided that I wanted to lose 2 stone and that I would be happy with that weight loss. I am 5.5lb away from that, or I was when I got weighed last week, when this goes live it probably wont be true. Do I feel ready to call target? I am not sure, I am loving that I am a comfortable size 14 in most shops. I am pretty happy with my size and feel more body confident than ever. However, I am wondering if I was to go a little bit further, maybe 2.5 stone award should be my target? Then I wonder if I will ever be happy!

I know my body cant cope when I lose too much, it panics and I start to put weight on, I cant maintain what the NHS believes my weight should be in line with my BMI. Ultimately, I just want to be at a weight where I can go in to a shop and not have to worry as I can just pick a size up and know it fits. I can do that now, so what I am waiting for? Nothing is what I am waiting for, so I have a plan.

I am going to call target on 13th June, just over 2 years since my journey started. That is 8 weigh ins to go, my aim is to get that 5.5lb off and call target at my 2 stone award BUT ultimately I would be overjoyed if I could get my 2.5 stone award.

So the plan is moving forward, power through – write everything down. Stick to plan, have 1 cheat meal or day each week and that doesn’t have to be on the Thursday after weigh in.

I can’t wait to call target and get my money back each week – the challenge then will be staying within range and maintaining that weight.

Please be kind – keep temptation away!

New Beginnings

Wow, can you believe its November?! It is the 11th Month of the year and for those of us that wanted to achieve great things this year, time is quickly running away from you!

I am super excited that its November, we are closer to being able to play Christmas music, the weather is getting colder (FINALLY) and its even more acceptable to close the door when you get in and not leave the house again until you have to go to work the next day. However, there are a lot more exciting things happening in November & it has dawned on me recently, that its a month of new beginnings!

For me, I have a new start coming at work, I step into a new role for maternity cover. Its still a management position but will give me a new challenges and the opportunity to learn more about the industry that I work in, whilst one of my lovely friends has her first baby and starts a new life as a family of 3 (or 5 if you include the doggies!).

One of my closest friends is starting a new chapter in her life as a married woman, after a whirlwind romance and finally finding her soulmate she is walking down the aisle mid November to the love of her life. I cannot wait to spend the day with them, celebrate their love and wish them well as they step forward together into married life.

For the first time EVER, I am going to have all my Christmas shopping finished and completed by 30th November. I refuse to go into December with presents still to buy. I want everyone crossed off my list so that I can spend December wrapping, writing cards & making the most out of the Christmas month and not being one of those people rushing round at the last minute.

After feeling like I haven’t seen the past few months, I am going to make sure that I take the time to really slow down and enjoy myself this month & make the most of everything that we have planned. I dont want to look back at the end of year and feel like I wasted half of my year on feeling negative.

So November, lets kick start the last part of the year with nothing but happiness and positivity.

Emma x

This post has been really hard to write, mainly because I just dont have much energy at the moment just feel exhausted to make the effort to do anything. Most days I just want to be in my PJs watching re-runs of friends and just not using my brain. But today, when I was hanging out my washing I realised it was October and that the past 2.5 months of my life have just gone by in a massive blur and I feel like I have just been carried along and not really living it.

Do you ever feel like that, where you are just watching your life go by but aren’t really in it?

I have had a difficult couple of months at work, I wont go in depth as I cant, but its been tough and really pushed me to my limit, tested my strength and I have got to the point where I have been generally just worn down. Initially I was solidering on and found it easy to let work end at 5pm and leave everything at the door, but over the past month I have found my attitude and approach at work has got to a place where I am constantly negative, stressed and exhausted. I like to think that I am the type of manager that can keep a game face on, but even that has slipped recently and I have noticed that whilst at work I am not the person I know I am normally & I have morphed into someone who I never wanted to become. What makes it even worse is that I have noticed this is seeping into my personal life & whilst I still think I am putting a good face on things, I am just going through the motions.

So whilst there has been a truck load of stuff going on at work, there has been a truck load of stuff going on in my personal life that I dont even think I have had chance to process. I turned 30 in August and whilst I know I had a good time at that point, I cant say I made memories which hurts, a lot. When I truly ask myself why I didn’t make any memories, I feel its because I think I have got myself to a point where I dont want to feel anything anymore because everything I have been feeling recently is negativity and I just dont want to feel that way any more.

I wanted to start taking care of myself more, but its just not happening, I am not looking after me & putting me first. I want to get some positive space back in my life, I want to actually start to feel something other than exhausted, sad, angry, tired, stressed. I want to enjoy food again and eat because I enjoy it not because I need it to survive.

So what am I going to do – I genuinely dont know, but something needs to adjust in my life and I feel if I can get myself back on track personally then I hope that will start to seep through to my work life and I will start to get that work/life balance again. I am going to try removing myself from technology when I am in our bedroom, I want to start writing again more and reading more, I enjoy doing that and its a release for me & perhaps is a reason why I haven’t been able to get control lately. I have started to look at affirmations and giving myself things to remind myself of every morning, switch up my routine to include doing things I enjoy just generally start enjoying myself again.

I feel like this has been a complete ramble and that is a very accurate display of how my brain is working at the moment, just a mash of a lot of things and nothing really is getting completed.

I have so many great things coming up over the next couple of months and my favourite time of year is just round the corner and I feel like if I dont do something now then nothing its going to get better. So although tonight I am alone as Matt is working late, I am going to for the first time, leave my phone outside of the bedroom, I am going to write down 5 affirmations to read every night before bed and every morning when I wake up.

I will beat this funk that I have got myself in and I will get back to me.

Reality

Since August 2015 I have attended therapy once a year, not your conventional therapy and its not for everyone. Most of you who know me will know what I am referring to, but for those of you that don’t its a few hours out my schedule with Dimples & Daisies on a Liberty shoot. I wont go into what they are all about, for those of you that have been reading this blog for a long time will have read all about it before & if you scroll up you will see a page dedicated to my posts about my experiences with the team.

As with every shoot, this one was booked spontaneously, I had itchy feet and felt I needed my cup refilling but I wanted this one to be something different, nearing 30 I wanted something to look back on when I am 60 and see just how beautiful I am, naturally.

For those of you that have been reading recently you will know that I am not regularly waxing the beard & that it just gets a trim when I feel its getting ridiculous. So I made the decision that this time I wasn’t going to wax it, booking the shoot just 2 weeks before I knew I didn’t have the money to go to a salon AND I have decided I will never self wax again. Did I have my doubts? Yes, of course even the day before I was thinking is it too late – should I just wax it myself? But in reality, I didn’t want the pain and I thought would I rather have a rash or the hair – weirdly that is a battle the hair won. Getting ready on the day was no different to getting ready for afternoon tea the weekend before, I did my hair and base make up & headed off to the shop.

The shoot was everything it always is, did I get naked? Of course – it wouldn’t be a shoot without it. But do you know what did happen, it wasn’t until I was stood completely starkers in a field full of corn with my arms in the air that I remembered I hadn’t waxed and that I was there feeling as free as a bird & so comfortable in my own skin with excess hair on my face, chest & stomach – partially waxed legs and well I wont talk about anything else. I remember the realization and taking a deep breath, I had shocked myself about how at ease I felt and how easy it was for me to forget that it was there.

The week wait to get my photos went by in a blur, work has been really busy so I didn’t really have time to reflect and think about the shots. However, I did say to at least one of my closest  friends that I probably wouldn’t come away with any photo’s and I would just have the free one this time as I can’t imagine I would like any of them.

I didn’t realise how wrong I could be.

On the way to the shop, I wasn’t bothered about the photo’s it was almost like I was just going through the motions, sat on the sofa with Holly surrounded by women getting ready for their Tribal shoot that evening, I started the mammoth scroll through 40 odd photos. I was maybe 10 photo’s in before I realised & remembered that I hadn’t waxed.

I hadn’t noticed & if I did my brain either didn’t register it or didn’t care.

I could have scrutinized every single photo after that, but I didn’t, I just fell deeper in love with every single one as they all represented the real me. The one that my friends and family see every day & love even with what I feel is something so unsightly. Did I have a little cry? Yes I did & Holly joined in, she then shared my story and why I do Liberty with the girls and they all wanted to see the pictures and of course said how amazing they were.

For the longest time I have felt ugly and I have let the symptoms of my PCOS define who I believe I am, but as I turn 30 in a matter of days, I am feeling more & more comfortable with myself and how I look. I am seeing for the first time what everyone else see’s, yes there will still be people that will judge based on appearance and not like what they see, but do you know what for the first time in around 15 years I am finally able to look at myself with an honest eye and say that no matter what I am proud of who I am.

So, in honor of my impending 30th Birthday, here is the real me…..just not in my birthday suite!

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

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!