2017 mid-year in review

I’m a few months late really for a mid-year review but I’ve just spotted my gratitude/good- things-happening jar is 3/4 full. Without looking through it (that’s a treat for between Christmas and New Year) I’ve been thinking about the last 8 months.

Work – It’s been a roller coaster year. Some days I love my job and some days I just want to hide under the duvet and pretend it’s not there. Pretty standard with most people I guess. I’m just a Geminian drama queen so when the horrible days happen I’m telling everyone I want to quite and having mini-meltdowns (as I did about 6 weeks ago). However I’ve recently taken on the role of well being advocate so I get to put together events such as our team walking challenge. Events like that make me happy enough to push through on days when it’s not so great

Self employment – I had a push to re-start this in 2017. It’s also had it’s ups and downs to the point where I decided to take a step back to see if it’s really what I want to do with my life. Turns out I’m passionate about these things but not so hot on working for myself. I’m just not business minded. There are so many things I could be doing besides updating websites, pushing the business, and doing all that annoying paperwork. As I have a day job guess what – the boring admin jobs don’t get done. The task now then is to find ways to utilise the things I love but maybe not on a self employment basis. Or just plod along and see what the universe has in store.

House – This is an area with lots of success this year. Tomorrow I get a new hall carpet after it twice suffered through a burst boiler. I’ve talked in previous blogs about having a debt plan and little spare cash so this is a big deal for me at the minute. I’ve also repainted all the rooms. Still a little bummed that my lovely coloured walls are all pale magnolia/barest peach but if I follow through on my plans to sell up in 2 years these are the colours buyers want. If I decide to stay then Oh I m going to have so much fun repainting everything red/orange and yellow! I’ve also replaced lots of little things like lampshades, kitchen utensils, pots and pans and so on. By the end of the year the last few rooms (kitchen and cupboards) will have been repainted. I may have to give in to the idea of pale walls but I’m getting my colour in my accessories.

Health – My diet blogs are ongoing. 6lbs so far and I’m keeping up to the diet. I’ve a walking challenge on this month but I’ve been pushing the number of steps for a while now. One thing about being a wellbeing advocate. It means I have to practise what I’m preaching so less pizza more health. I’ve reconnected with a dentist and currently saving for some cosmetic dental treatments. I finally started having the money to get my hair styled and coloured on a regular basis. The second half of 2017 is all about me and these small things are going some way to not finding myself but rediscovering myself.

Fun/Life – Oh this needs work. I’ve been to a few events this year. First music concerts in a  couple of years and some drinking nights out. What I’ve discovered though is that I miss being out and about. I’m a sociable person but the debt plan is killing that. Me and my friend who lives in a different city had a heart to heart about this with the plan that we will take turns visiting each others houses per month and go out on the town. That’s one thing to look forward to. I then made a list of who I am and what I like to see how I can use it to start reconnecting with people. How do I get out without much financial investment. I’ve started at a couple of book clubs which are ok. It’s early days yet. One of the things I thought of was a night class. Instead I decided to re-start my open university degree/ I have 2 (part time) years left. That will give me the opportunity to go to some study days and connect with people on Facebook forums. I’ve a little list of some other bits to look at too.

Money – This is a biggie. I am now half way through my debt plan. I’ve managed to reduce the end date by 3 months and most importantly I have cleared 50% of my debt. Seeing the figures last month was one such a happy moment and one I didn’t think I’d see

So when I have a bad work day or a day when my mood is low I can actually look back and see actually this year has been pretty amazing. They’re all small steps but they’re adding up to one great year.

Diet blog week 4

Weight lost this week  – 0lbs

Weight loss total – 6lbs

Stayed the same this week but early life menopause is to blame for most of it. In a previous time real and phantom periods often led to a 2-3lb weight gain so I’ll take it. I’d be happier to not stay the same but I have to remember that I’m on a life changing journey not a quick fix and that a loss or staying the same is still a positive and I’ve still not had the take aways and chocolates. I’m walking more. I’ve set myself a challenge of a minimum of 7000 steps on a work day and 5000 on a non-one. It’s not the recommended 10k steps but the aim is to have this challenge a regular occurrence and then I’ll increase.

However that may be sooner than expected. I was given the task at work of putting together something that the whole team could do for fun and a way to bring us together in spirit if not physically as we are spread out across the whole of England and don’t get to see each other often. So I’ve spent this week calculating how many footsteps it is from my office in Leeds to Louvre in Paris (and for any of my team that want a ‘return’ trip – Louvre to our office in London). It’s just over 1 million & 7000 steps for the first part and there are 22 of us.

It’s already becoming a fun challenge. People are getting competitive with talk of buying fit bits, walking shoes and borrowing neighbours dogs for a walk. Ultimately it’s something good for the heart, the body and the mind. In the 14 weeks we have for this I fully expect weight losses, fitter colleagues (and myself of course) and more importantly a happy, spirited work team

Diet blog week 3

Weight lost this week  – 2lbs

Weight loss total – 6lbs

Much easier to lose weight when you’ve got a week with no real social life 🙂

No meals out meant I could concentrate fully on what I ate and how I cooked the food. As pleased as I am with loss this week I’m double happy with the changes I’m making in lifestyle. Since the diet started I’ve been trying to make lifestyle choice, anything to better myself. So up until yesterday I hadn’t had any chocolate bars and no takeaways. I’d also been taking my own dinner to work.

I say up until yesterday.. I decided that seeing as it was weigh day I’d leave my diner at home and treat myself at the staff canteen. Now I only had potato wedges with cheese and beans but the next day (today) I’m off work with stomach issues. I’ve been up all night ill. I don’t it’s the food choices as there’s nothing really bad about them. But I do wonder if maybe it’s the way they’ve been cooked. The oil used maybe that hasn’t agreed with me.

It makes you realise just how fast the body gets used to being treated nicely with healthy food and then takes offence the minute you feed it bad foods. In an instant I can see the damage I’ve been doing to myself over the years.

So today it’s bland foods while I settle my stomach then back to treating my body like the temple like I want it to be.

See you next week x

(Sweet Soul) Music

The big music news this week is the sad news of the death of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington. I’m not here to get into the rights and wrongs of suicide but all I will say is that if you suffer from depression, if you need someone to talk to please ask for help. If you don’t feel you can do that with friends or family there are many charities out there such as the Samaritans that can offer advice and a listening ear. Seek out your nearest one.

I’ve had an ongoing battle with depression for over 25 years and for me music is a saviour. I love my rock music and metal. There’s something in the guitars that I just love. I always smile the second the opening bars of ‘Back in Black’ strike up. It’s impossible to be miserable with certain songs. But it’s not just metal music. If I’m down I love some Frank Sinatra and Big Band or 80s pop. It doesn’t matter your taste in music, if it makes your heart soar then that’s just play it loud and dance.

Dancing is something else on my mind this week. I saw a short piece that said some people dance as a form of meditation. I find that to be brilliant and have spent the weekend bopping around to see how it works. It is a different feeling to meditation. It just raises the endorphins no end.

It depends on the type of music as to how much energy you expel when dancing. I’ve had an 80s high energy weekend so lots of moving around. It’s fun. What’s the saying – Dance like no one is watching. That’s been me 🙂

So much fun. And again a quick easy way to lift a mood. These are some of my coping mechanisms when my mood is on a down swing. I’ve enough practice after more than 2 decades of knowing when there’s a downswing on the way and out come the tunes.

We’ve all got coping mechanisms, it may be that you don’t know what yours is yet. The key is to find the ones that work for you but as mentioned at the beginning if you need more help, if these things stop working please go seek help.

In the words of Strictly Come Dancing for this week….Keep Dancing xxx


Diet blog week 2

Weight lost this week  – 0lbs

Weight loss total – 4lbs

It’s been a funny old week. I left the weigh in class last Wednesday (12th July) thinking I was going to have a quiet week but ended up with 3 unplanned meals out to restaurants and spending the weekend with a close friend i haven’t seen in months. Not the greatest thing when on the second week of a life changing plan.

The end result was to stay the same weight which is acceptable for me. I went out, had a good time and at the end of the week I was in a good mental place. But I ended up having a bit of a heated discussion at work with a guy who is also on a diet. Whilst many people said well done for at least sticking he got quite cross and told me I was setting myself up for failing by accepting a no loss week. Ignoring the mental heath side, ignoring that life happens. In his world I’m going to fail.

I found this really annoying and not helpful. Yes there are lessons to learn from the week but surely learning those lessons sets you up to deal with difficult weeks?

The biggest lesson I have this week is that when faced with an unplanned night out and your friends have picked somewhere with one of those menus that have a choice of 2 or 3 courses for a set price is to not pick the main and pudding but the starter and main….or better yet choose from the other menu and skip starters and desserts altogether. That’s what I should have done and that’s what I’ll do next time. So not setting myself up for failure but moving forward.

I’ve always been an emotional eater. I’ve always over-eaten so this journey will not be won over night. I’m here for the long haul. I’m sticking to my mantra of ‘I don’t need to be fat anymore’ and I will learn as I go along.

So I’ll take my no loss week, learn from it and next time my social life goes a bit crazy I’ll know how to deal with it.

Enjoy your week x

Diet blog week 1

I know I can do it as I’ve done it before

Last week I decided to go back to weightwatchers. I could go on about the why’s …too fat, clothes don’t fit, can’t run for the bus…. but this blog page is about positivity and seeing the good as much as possible so until I start forgetting to do it (and I hope I don’t) I thought I’d try and do a weekly blog on the good things that happened diet wise through the previous week. I’m also hoping it will act and an incentive to keep going when it gets tough.

I don’t need to be fat anymore

I’ve done a dozen diets maybe more. I lost about 10lbs then sabotage myself. It’s all about hiding. If I stay fat I’ll stay under the radar, people won’t notice me and I won’t get hurt. How many people have had those thoughts? But the thought that I don’t need to be fat anymore and it’s ok to be myself popped into my head last week and I’m running with it to see what happens. Hence joining the diet groups again

So on with the positives:

  • I lost 4lb in my first week
  • I had a late birthday meal out. I’d chosen the restaurant before the diet began and decided I’d be good and have starter & main rather than main and dessert. What I didn’t know was that if you tell them it’s a birthday when booking (which I did) the table gets a free sharing dessert so we got given some donut fingers and candy floss. I had to have a bit but it was worth it
  • I’ve had 2 very stressful times this week (burst boiler and a work issue) My normal method of dealing with stress is to eat my body weight in chocolate as some kind of weird punishment even if I wasn’t the one at fault. But you know I didn’t cause my boiler to burst so why punish myself? This is the bit I’m most proud of – not once did I emotionally eat this week. That’s worth more than the weight loss because if I can learn to keep this up I’ll not put the weight back on.

I think that’s not a bad start to this journey. I hope you’ll follow me and hopefully if you need to lose weight yourself will join me in the positivity. Lets support each other rather than shame each other and share stories, successes and find ways to deal with the blows together 🙂



The Quiet Ones

The other day my manager called me ‘quiet’. I took huge umbrage with it. I’m not quiet ask anyone. I did – that night I met 5 good friends for a meal and mentioned it. They laughed… a lot…

You’re not quiet. Where did she get that idea from???

But it’s made me think. I’ve written in some earlier blogs about how being in debt robbed me of my self esteem and I stopped going out and socialising. It also seems that I stopped talking to people. The friends above I’ve known since we all started working together 8 years ago. My best friend I’ve only known 4 years. I made a friend at work when I started my new job 10 months ago (although we were stuck together on a training course in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do except talk to each other).

So somewhere over the last 2 and a half years I’ve stopped sharing to new people. Old friends know me and my depression and can spot up and down swings and know how to work within that. New people don’t and low self esteem issues have meant I’ve not even bothered.

In the spirit of positivity and because I have to start going out (but cheaply) more I joined a new book club. And it was excruciating…well for me no idea about the others. I didn’t say a whole lot and when people shared what they do for example run some blogs where I could have said ‘Oh me too…’ and moved a conversation forward my brain went ‘oh no you can’t say that they’ll think you’re competing’…..


It’s ok I have given myself a big kick for that.

My boss is a big fan of ‘So what?’…so what are you gonna do about it? I started by telling people about my weekend, I shared holiday chats with the big boss. I told her about enjoying art galleries and history. I texted everyone I know that I lost 4lb in my first week at weightwatchers. And a few other bits and pieces. I don’t think I overdid it. And I’ll never be an over-sharer with personal stuff (I hate that on Facebook )

But I’m going with the new thought of telling people stuff…any stuff and if they don’t like it…tough. I’m also going back to bookclub. A different one but same book shop as they run a few (the one from last week isn’t on again until August but I’ll be there also) and I’m going to speak up. I can deliver presentations to groups of people who hate the government I work for without batting an eyelid so I can have a go at letting people get to know me. I can only try.


So I’m sharing and then people will see what my old friends already know….

I’m not bloody quiet

(P.S….there’s nothing wrong with being quiet as a natural state 🙂 )