Plot Twist!!!

When I first started writing this post, I thought my whole life was changing and it is but not as badly as I first thought! Initially just over a week ago told me he is going to be working away almost 5hrs away up north and that he would probably be home once a month, but wanted me to come up there or us meet in the middle.

When i found out, I was devastated, I felt like our relationship was on its way to the end and that I was going to lose the most important person in my life!

However, as always things do change and his boss has managed to find them work close to London, so now instead of not seeing him at all, I will get my weekends back with him & he will become a “weekend warrior”! This will only be potentially until Christmas, then he will be working in the west country, but still able to come home at weekends. So things aren’t as bad as they first imagined!

I am a massively independent person and enjoy my own company, so this time during the week I will have I am going to try and spend more time with my girlfriends. I am also going to use the times that I am seeing Matt as goals to hit a milestone in weight loss/dropping a dress size. I want to use the time constructively in the gym and focus 100% on dieting properly and focusing, Matt &I will tend to eat out quite a bit, but this will mean I get to save money as well.

I am fully aware that we aren’t the first couple to work like this and I am pretty sure we wont be the last, so I am gonna suck it up and deal with our change in circumstances the best I can! However, those of you that get to spend every night with your significant other or get to see them more than 2 days a week – don’t take it for granted, because you never know, once day it might all get taken out from under you!

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September’s Favourite App

Hello,

This is a bit on an unusual post, but I thought I would see how it goes and if it gets a good reception I will give it another go next month!

So this may sound a bit mad, but since I can remember I have always had music or a telly on to help me go to sleep, but earlier this month I realised that I need to get out of that habit and just learn to fall asleep normally! So I downloaded an app called Stop, Breathe & Think App on the app store, it was free at the time.

I have been using it pretty much every night ever since downloading it. It asks you to to stop and think about how you really feel for 10 seconds. It then asks you to pick how you feel mentally and physically & then pick 5 emotions. Once you have done that it gives you some self mediation recordings to listen to. They vary in length, but when I am laid in the dark with just my mind it is so easy to switch off and listen to the relaxing tones and just breathe and rest.

I have done some research and the App was created by a Organisation called Tools for Peace, their mission statement is

Tools for Peace inspires people of all ages to develop kindness and compassion in everyday life.

I cant imagine a better thing to do, as a society we are so self absorbed and concerned with money & what we can buy to make us constantly happy, that we over look the simple things in life that can enrich our lives. For example helping an old lady across a road, holding a door open for a stranger, carrying someones shopping to the car when they are struggling with a trolley and a buggy!

So although, the app for me is to help me wind down to relax and sleep better, the reasoning behind it makes me feel so pleased that I am start of something a lot bigger! You can pay for extra’s too to lengthen the mediation timers, which I haven’t done as it seems to be serving me quite well at the moment.

So, if you are like me and struggle to sleep or just want to learn to meditate and take 5 minutes out of your day for you this is definately an app for you!

Time To Knuckle Down……

Mum – if you are going to read this one, I wouldn’t because you get stroppy every time I mention a countdown to our holiday!

For everyone else – me & my family fly to NYC in 60 something days! That is 9 more weigh in’s and numerous gym sessions! I would love to be a 14 top and bottom before we go or at least hit 12st 7lb, I would love to be able to lose 1lb a week that would get me to nearly 12st! So I have started going to the gym in the morning and making sure I eat breakfast, I am trying to control my syns and try to ensure I make the right choices when eating out.

I have suddenly realised I don’t have long till holiday and I want to feel comfortable in shorts – I will get there I just need to work hard for the next few weeks.

I did a Pole Dancing Fitness class earlier this week and oh my word – it is sooo much harder than you can ever imagine! I was a bit nervous at first, however I got speaking to a member of the class who was really friendly and made me feel at ease and when we all started working with the poles, I looked around and there was women of all shapes, sizes & ages which really made me feel comfortable. I managed to do a couple of moves, but I have definitely found a fun way to exercise and I will definitely be going back! However I have to say, I have been aching all over ever since!

xxx

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Tonight I would like to share with you something that unless you know me personally you won’t have any idea about. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 17, this diagnosis came after my mum & I watching a medical programme and being able to connect with 1 big symptom of PCOS……

Hirsutism or in simpler terms, excess hair

I first started noticing excess hair on my neck and chin when I was about 16 after my periods had really settled in after a few years, at first it didn’t overly bother me and it is something other women in my family have and I just thought it was the norm. However, seeing other girls my age not having this excess began to bother me. I wouldn’t really talk about it to people and I didn’t know what to do to get rid of it.

During the time where I had just left senior school and had joined college I created a Piczo website, like most teens, it had lots of photos on there (which was the main aim of your site) I even had a few comment boxes….I remember logging in one night and seeing some really abusive comments on there regarding my friends and the most upsetting was about me and my excess facial hair. To this day, I have never really told anyone how upset I was about this and just how much it still upsets me to remember seeing that and trying to work out who had written it, as I didn’t have a big circle of friends at the time so it had to be someone who was close to me a) because you have to personally know me to see it’s there and b) to know what spot to hit to upset me!

I think when those comments were written, I had just been diagnosed from my GP, he basically told me I had to go on the pill to regulate my hormones, have blood tests every 3 months to check my hormone levels and the worse part….to lose 4 stone. I remember working in a local café at the time and being quite open with my colleagues about it and joking that there was no way on this earth was I going to lose 4 stone!

I think around this point, I started self-waxing which is awful! I would never recommend anyone self-wax, especially not a delicate area such as your neck! It is painful (to begin with) and building the courage up to rip that wax strip off is a struggle and because you can never get them all it ends up looking uneven and you have to pluck more than you probably wax!

After being diagnosed and given some suggestions on how to move forward, I went on to celebrate my 18th Birthday in 2006 & in February/March 2007 I went on my first family holiday to Indianapolis. I remember really eating well and just enjoying myself! Around the same time I lost a lot of friends, due to growing up and drifting apart. I was lucky that I had made 2 really good friends at college, 1 of whom I still speak to and see A LOT of and the other unfortunately we just grew in different directions! They were very much my 2 stable people in my life, I was working full time at a low level admin job and I wanted a bit more, I wanted to progress. I managed to get a new job in July 2007 and I can remember saying to my mum “this is a fresh start, I want to do something about my weight and I want to join a slimming club”. My mum’s friend was going to Slimming World at the time and said I could along with her that week and that was it, I lost 3.5stone in 6 months, in December 2007 I was a size 14 and weighed about 11.5stone, I had a new circle of friends from my new job and yes, people did stare at my excess hair but I noticed the more weight I lost the slower it grew back and the lighter it grew back. FANTASTIC! I had managed to find a cure!

2008 – April/May – I got made redundant and embarked on what I can only describe as a mad first serious relationship! Luckily I managed to find a job within a couple of months (where I still am to this day!) however I can’t say the relationship lasted that long…thing 2 maybe 3 months?! The plus for me was that I was maintaining what I believed to be a healthy weight between 11.5stone -12stone, the hair was still growing slowly and lightish. I had also been on 2 holidays that year with Steph (the 1 friend from college I still speak to) and I was confident in the sun in a bikini, something I thought would never happen. I remember the weight kind of sneaked back on and I stayed around 12stone for about a year. In 2009 I embarked on the next car crash relationship – looking back now I was a complete idiot, in love with someone that didn’t love me back. Whilst wasting 6 months of my life, I started having electrolysis, god knows why, it was painful and the effects weren’t long lasting. Basically, the beautician puts a hot needle into the hair follicle to kill the hair at the root. It’s great if you are working on a small area, but my excess hair is pretty much the whole of my neck and chin, so she would only be able to do a small block at a time. When you are going twice a week and paying like £20 a time you really need to weigh up is it really worth it! I think I stopped having this done around May of 2009 and went back to self-waxing!

2009 was a mixed year for me the first 6 months were a waste (apart from a 2 week holiday to America) but the last 5 months were fantastic, I met Matt fell and love and haven’t looked back since. When I was put on the pill at the age of 17 I was never good a remembering to take it. How I haven’t fallen pregnant is beyond me! In late 2011 I went to see my GP and asked about other methods of contraception, mainly the Merina Coil. I remember her taking my weight and doing some blood tests, she told me that I had a little bit more weight to lose before she would consider me for the coil – so I went back when I was in between 10.5stone and 11stone and my GP was happy that my hormones were level and that I had pretty much cured my PCOS – I have to say the excess hair had pretty much stopped and when it did grow it was really light. So I had the coil fitted and I haven’t looked back since.

One bad thing is that since I have had the coil fitted, my weight (not due to the coil) has increased. Right now I weigh 12stone 11lb and my excess hair is back! So we are back to people staring if I leave it too long between waxes (I have a beautician now), I feel uncomfortable when I know that it’s there, I don’t feel sexy of confident when it’s there and I struggle with my self confidence in general the heavier I am. The hair isn’t light anymore – it is to begin with but if I leave it too long then it’s darker. I am back at slimming world and I am exercising regularly to help reduce my weight and the growth of my excess hair.

You may be wondering why I am sharing this with you tonight, but I want you to know that I have struggled and continue to struggle with this aspect of my life. Unfortunately, my excess hair will always be a part of me. It doesn’t change the person I am, if anything it has made me a bit more thick skinned. I would rather people don’t stare and that they ask what it’s all about, but I can’t force people to make that decision! I would be pleased to tell them that this is the only major side effect I have of PCOS – I am lucky I don’t have acne as I think I would rather cope with excess hair than acne.

Maybe you are reading this and can relate to some of my story – here is some information I have found online about possible symptoms of PCOS:

• irregular periods or no periods at all
• difficulty getting pregnant (because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate)
• excessive hair growth (hirsutism) – usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks
• weight gain
• thinning hair and hair loss from the head
• oily skin or acne

So as you can see, it’s not a walk in the park for people who suffer with PCOS! Yes, as well as excess hair there is acne, weight gain, irregular periods and I may also suffer with difficulties getting pregnant. This is something my GP has discussed with me before, I have been advised that if I can maintain a healthy weight and don’t leave it too late in life that I should have no issues in becoming pregnant. To be honest with you after knowing at the age of 17 that the later in life I leave it I may never become a mum, I have got used to it – it’s not something that bothers me anymore and if I can’t conceive naturally then I know there are other options available.

If you think you may have PCOS then go and visit your GP, talk to them about your symptoms and ask to have a blood test AND an ultrasound – the ultrasound is the most important as this will show up cysts in your ovaries! PCOS is most likely to develop in your late teens/early 20’s, so if you don’t think something is right – get it checked out!

When I was first diagnosed, I found a charity called Verity http://www.verity-pcos.org.uk/ I signed onto their forum and for about a year, it really helped me and got me to a good place in my life. I don’t use the website anymore and to be honest because I don’t feel that PCOS is a bad part of my life, it is just part of my life, I try not to dwell on it and I think if I did log on and talk about things, I would be only talking negatively and I would bring myself down.

The one thing I would like for you all to take from this is not to judge people on their appearance. Just because they may have a difference in their appearance to you or what you feel is the “norm” there is no need to stare or treat them differently.

Everyone has a story; why not take 5 minutes to hear theirs!

Emma xxx

Whatta Year…..2013!

One of my best friends, Steph, came over today and we were talking about Christmas and the year that has passed and what we have to look forward to in 2014. We have both had some ups and downs this year and she is probably the only person that understands when I say that I am fed up of this country and cant believe I haven’t spent anytime abroad this year!

I have totally spoilt myself since I starting working full time in 2006 as every year I have been abroad on holiday. This year I have taken leave from work, but unfortunately due to a skiing accident Matt and I were unable to go on holiday and I wasn’t prepared to take leave and go on holiday by myself and the majority of my friends now are married or have children or already had plans to go away! So I have had some wonderful mini breaks in the UK this year, but it isn’t quite the same as packing a suitcase, grabbing your passport and getting some duty free!

Anyway, when I was speaking with Steph, it got me to thinking about when looking back on 2013 I am proud of…..

Joining A Gym
If anyone is reading this and knows me well, you will know that I am not really an active person. I hated the gym and if I can take a lift or escalator rather than the stairs I ALWAYS will! However December 31st 2012, I joined up to the gym and I have been going pretty much 3-4 times a week, every week since. The only times I haven’t been is if we have been away OR if I have been sick. This is a big achievement for me and it has really helped me to distress after work and given me something to keep motivated with. Joining the Gym and sticking to it is really a big thing for me.

Losing Weight
So when 2013 began I will tell you honestly, I pretty much topped the scales at 14st, which shocked me and upset me deeply. However, me being me I never really showed it, but I did the only thing I knew how and joined my local slimming world! So my journey hasn’t been quick, but I am 4lbs away from my 1.5 stone award and I can pretty much fit into a UK 14 (Dependant on the shop!). My aim is to get to a comfortable size 12, I am not too bowled over on how much I weigh, but I will be pleased if I can just fit into a UK 12!

My Job
I don’t really like to talk about work too much on here as whilst it is important to me this blog isn’t about my 9-5! However, the department in which I work in has expanded beyond my wildest imagination in such a short space of time and we have expanded from just 5 people, including myself at the beginning of the year to now 17! I am not going to lie, being a team leader is hard work, but the group of people I have working with me (because we are a team!) are brilliant! When the chips are down they know what counts and really stick together. 2014 is going to be another busy year for us, but I can feel it will be a good one!

My Anxiety
I have suffered from panic attacks for a few years now and whilst they aren’t always full on – they still can knock me for six! However, this year thanks to the gym and yoga I have learnt to keep a lid on things and remain calm and using breathing techniques and just generally learn to step away when things become too overwhelming!

So as you can see there are a few things I am proud of this year as well as all my achievements on my bucket list. Now there are things that I will happy to see the back of this year, but this blog is not and will never be a negative blog! Whilst I know you all know I am not superhuman and I do have my down days and days where life isn’t great, but you all have your own struggles – you don’t need to hear about mine!

Well I am going to sign off and do some reading and have set my alarm (on my day off!) so I can get to the gym and weigh in early before I get some bleach through my hair! My roots are insane!

Love To All

Emma xxxxxxxx

You Can’t Revise For Some Tests!

Hey,

Well its late Sunday evening here in the UK and it is the end to what I feel has been a good week!

As a family we have an agreement to our dates for our holiday next year, we are going to NYC for 2 nights and then heading to my godparents in Indiana for almost 2 weeks. I am sooo excited! We are planning on staying in either the Wellington or Crowne Plaza Times Square – if you have stayed in either your opinion would be greatly appreciated!

At weigh in, despite not really being on plan I only gain 1/2 lb, which I was really pleased with. I have been really good this week and hardly synned at all. I do however, feel really bloated and not like I have lost any weight at all.

I also went shopping today with Harriet and I got her some really gorgeous bits for her little bubba, who will be with us in just a few weeks!

Its all been quite a good week, I am slightly nervous about tomorrow, I am going for my first smear test. I know that it is something the majority of women my age go for this test and it is ALWAYS wise to do so. I think for me it I am not worried about the actual test, its the results (which is always the case after a test). Unfortunately this isn’t a test I can revise for or do my best (as my dad always says), this is down to my body to give the right results. I have been thinking over the past couple of weeks about people that really moan about their lives and that they do nothing with it. I cant help but think that if they actually did something for themselves that they might have something to be positive about. There are people in this world that would love to have the chance to lead a healthy life and have unlimited options as to what they can do, surely you would want to live your life to the fullest for them?!

Sentimental part out of the way!

On the plus side I have felt this weekend that it is the beginning of Autumn, which has got me VERY excited! I LOVE autumn/winter, getting all snuggled up in a nice thick jumper and boots, fresh, crisp mornings and dark evenings! I am seriously excited about Christmas, I love this time of year and I am going to go all out this year and make my own Christmas cards (another tick!).

Whilst browsing on Pinterest I stumbled across a new blog that I have completely fallen in love with there is free printables, craft ideas, cooking ideas all fantastic stuff and I have already seen a few things that I am going to be giving a go!

Ok, I need to call it a night, I have to be at work tomorrow for 8am! Whilst I am here I thought I would let you know that Learning To Fly now has its own Facebook Page, so why not enter into your browser and hit like

Speak Soon

Em xx

Catch Up!

Hello Everyone,

Really sorry that I haven’t been around much over the last week or so. We have been house/dog sitting for my boss and it was far more exciting to play with Chester than to blog! ha ha!

So, how have you all been? I have been reading a book about bucket lists called The Wish List, I read it in 2 days! It was fantastic, could not put it down. It made me realise that I need to think about the smaller items on my list! So, whilst I was at Birdworld this weekend, they had a mini farm and I was thinking that I need to find out as to where I can milk a cow! So I am going to do some research to local farms and see what is about!

Matt has his return to work meeting tomorrow and we will hopefully find out when he will be able to take some annual leave when he returns so we can hopefully book a holiday! I have this niggling feeling that the dates he can take will be dates I cant. I have been thinking that if that is the case, I might take a roadtrip (No. 13) to Plymouth to see one of my oldest friends for a couple of days, or I might look into going to Boston by myself for 3nights so next year me and my cousin can just go to NYC in the fall! I have things to plan and think about so its not too bad I guess!

I have worked out that there is approx. 21 weigh in’s left until Christmas! So I am aiming for at least 1lb a week, that is at least a stone and half by then, which I will happy with but would prefer to hit target by Christmas! I need to start taking Slimming World more seriously and stick to the plan!

Well it is August and that means it is my Birthday Month!! Wahoo!!! I will be 25 on 30th August, I have left all the celebration planning to Matt. I have told him the people that I would really like to be there and left him to sort the rest. I am slightly nervous as to what he has planned, but I am sure it will be ok! I have 5 years left to finish my list, plenty of time, I have 27 left to do! Mental note – really need to start going back to Yoga!!!

Well ok, its 10.30pm and I really need to get some sleep! I will update you tomorrow night as to what has happened and if me and the fella will be going away!

Much Love

Em xx