Year 3 week 1

1st – 7th January 2018

My eating in December was so bad that now we have hit January it’s all systems go.

There is a saying that I hear every new year and that is ‘New Year, New You’ and I always go by it. I make new years resolutions to try to improve certain situations and I have to say that this year is no different.

The year always starts well and as the months roll by those resolutions have gradually slipped. That’s definitely how last year went anyway!

For now though I am going for it. I have decided to give myself a challenge every month.

I have decided that my challenge this month is swimming. I have been using a pool that is 15 meters in length and the challenge is to swim 2018 lengths this month.

I set it on the 1st and thought for me to achieve this goal I will need to swim 100 lengths a day with 2 days off a week.

My challenge has started well and the first few days it was good. But once I got to days 3 and 4 it was taking its toll. Towards the end of the week it was getting easier.

I am not really finding this challenge easy. When I set it I thought it would be a challenge but not a huge push. I am finding it quite a chore though.

I have however managed to make the effort every day this week and I have already knocked 600 lengths off that target.

My eating has improved this month but it’s not perfect with all this extra swimming. I’m finding I am getting extra hungry which isn’t always good when you are trying to cut down.

Maybe I can do better next week.


Year 2 week 52

24th- 31st December 2017

I can’t believe that this is my last post this year. This year has seemed to have gone so quickly and the last 2 years since I started this journey has just flown by.

The Christmas period has been quite hard for me – there has been so much food around that hasn’t helped but it has been a great time for me to relax and meet up with a lot of family and friends.

One thing I did that I have never done before is make a gingerbread house. I have always wanted to do it and I thought because I am a creative person I thought I might be quite good at it .

I had a picture in my head of how I wanted my gingerbread house to look.

However, in reality my gingerbread house looked so much different to that. I bought a pack and I thought I would start there. I naively thought that the gingerbread was in there and I just had to make into the house, but no. I physically had to make the mixture and bake it too.

Once it had cooled then came the part of making it look like a house. It was a lot harder than I thought. I ended up with it falling down a few times, the icing ran all over the place. By the time we had finished I think it looked more like a rickety old shack rather than a grand house that I imagined.

I would have shown a photo but it was far too embarrassing to even take a picture of. My boys thought that the only thing it was good for was destroying which they took great pleasure in doing!

This scenario totally sums up my year. When I started the year I had very high expectations I was going to lose so much more weight and reach my goal by now but in reality the total opposite has happened. I haven’t lost any weight at all in fact it has gone up a little.

Last year I lost 5 and a half stone – this year I have lost nothing. It has also made me think what a waste – it made me think that I have totally wasted my year.

But if I think back on my year I have realised that I haven’t wasted it at all. Ok, so I haven’t lost any weight, but I have kept up with my healthy eating most of the time, I have managed to keep doing my exercise, I haven’t gone back into that state of feeling worthless, my confidence has grown, I can still do so much more than I ever could before.

I have been able to think of others rather than myself which has entailed me going on 2 mission trips – one to Serbia with some women and the other to Rwanda where I even managed to do something that I would never have ever dreamed.

Running that half marathon was such a huge achievement for me. I can’t believe I actually did it – it’s my greatest achievement to date. So that’s why I don’t think I wasted my year.

As I now step into 2018 and start my 3rd year of this journey I have that image of my perfect gingerbread house again but to get it that way will take a lot of hard work, determination, and overcoming things that I can’t foresee.

A bible verse was given at church today. It’s in Philippians 3 verse 13-14:

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me to.”

That’s what I am going to go by this year.

Happy new year. Have a great 2018

Year 2 week 51

17th – 23rd December 2017

Here I am with Christmas only days away and I am trying to relax and enjoy all the festivities.

Usually on the run up to Christmas I am running around like a headless chicken buying last minute presents, doing last minute preparations and getting very stressed. This year though, from way back in November, I decided that I couldn’t really be bothered.

We usually have a few parties at our house that we haven’t done this year. Partly because I couldn’t be bothered and partly because we have had work going on in our house for about a year and we are still in a mess.

I have been saying that I feel like I am a bit of a Scrooge this year. However, if I think about it, my can’t be bothered attitude has meant I had my Christmas shopping finished in November, it’s meant that when putting up the decorations they are so much better than previous years and I even made my own front door wreath.

It has meant I have been able to do more baking with the kids like making gingerbread men and other Christmas related treats. Christmas dinner for me is the best and there are only ever 2 people who can cook it – one is me and the other is my Mum! Eating out on Christmas Day is never an option. But this year we have decided to eat out. So now I find I am not half as stressed as I usually am and a lot more organised.

All I have to do now is wait for the big day and see the excitement on my kids faces as they come down in the morning with all the presents around the tree and their stockings filled with presents.

For me this year, even though it’s all enjoyable, I can’t seem to wait for it all to be over. All I can see happening over the next 2 weeks is all the big meals I’ll be eating, all those boxes of chocolates that always comes out every year and me not sure I have the willpower to resist.

I feel I am waiting for the 1st January when I can get back to normal and get more motivated but for now I am just going to enjoy Christmas.


Year 2 week 50

10th – 16th December 2017

Throughout the month of November I did really well with my eating. I did a month long detox. I thought it was time to take back control of my food intake. I feel I did really well.

My plan was to continue the detox throughout December as well. I have to say that hasn’t gone quite as well.

I am a person who loves Christmas and the fact I have kids I like to make it fun for them too. I now only have one child who believes in Santa and all the magic of Christmas. I am trying to preserve that for as long as I can even though I don’t think I will have that for many years more.

I also love the celebrations that Christmas brings. There are usually lots of parties and events to go to.

I love the fact that Christmas is a time to let your hair down and have some fun. It is a good time to catch up with people that you haven’t seen in a long time.

It’s also a time where all the naughty food comes out the cupboard and you can’t seem to resist eating it even though you are not hungry.

I have definitely fallen in that trap this year. It’s like I have never seen food before and have to sample everything on offer.

My detox in November was great but it’s had totally the opposite effect on me in the month of December.

I have decided I am going to enjoy my Christmas within reason. I am going to take a little bit of control over what I eat, but I am not going to beat myself up over having something I shouldn’t but all I do know is that I am back on it in January.

Year 2 week 49

3rd – 9th December 2017

I have been going down this journey a long time now that sometimes I forget what I used to be like. I forget how much I have changed. It’s like I have totally forgotten the past and I’m living for the now which is how it should be I suppose.

Every now and then though I get a little reminder of how far I have come. It’s usually something small and very insignificant. Insignificant to those around me but for me it was probably something I was hiding behind.

I got one of these reminders this week. It came when I went round someone’s house. I went in and they asked me to sit down. I made my way to the nearest sofa moved all the cushions to the floor and sat down.

That little act I know does seem really insignificant, it seems like a thing no one would ever remember but to me in that moment it meant a lot.

2 years ago before I even started this journey I would have sat on the sofa and put a cushion on my lap and basically hug it until I left.

I was always a little embarrassed about my size so I put the cushion there to stop people seeing my stomach. It was also my way of hiding. I think I used it to protect myself from any conflict or comments coming my way. I also used it as a security blanket – something to give me comfort in a place that I was self conscious, which was practically all the time then.

So you can see why this totally insignificant act of throwing the cushions on the floor meant so much to me. I use to be a person who hid behind everything.

Last year it was all about the weight loss, the emotional loss and regaining my self esteem. This year though it’s all about maintaining all the good I did last year. Maintaining for me has been a lot harder thing to do.

So when I get a little reminder like those cushions it makes me think I am doing ok still and giving me a whole new meaning when I look at my cushions.

Year 2 week 48

26th November- 2nd December

This week I have been reminded of a story I told the kids when they were younger.

We use to love watching Dancing On Ice when it was on the TV. We would sit there and enjoy it as a family hoping that someone would fall over!

During the programme one of the boys asked if we could ice skate. Matt said “didn’t you know that’s how Mum and I met when we were on Dancing On Ice!” I then decided to elaborate a little more by saying “that the only thing is, because I was so heavy, I had to do the lifts and lift your Dad over my head instead of the other way around.” The boys were only young and thought this was hilarious!

Even though we were joking it was years later that we realised that the kids actually believed us. It was a school friend of one of the boys saying he thought it was hilarious how we met. We were confused because in our heads it wasn’t really that interesting as we met because Matt worked for my Dad. We asked him what he meant and realised he was talking about that ice skating story.

It got me thinking this week on how we very often believe the lies we tell ourselves when we were younger. We even believe the lies others tell us too. Little comments that are very often said at the heat of the moment and not really meant by the person saying it, but very often the person it is directed to can believe it for years.

I have to say I have been very guilty in the past at believing those lies. Even though over the last 2 years I have been getting over them and not letting them affect me anymore. I feel I have been sifting out the bad and leaving the good. It’s very hard keeping those bad comments and thoughts about yourself out forever though and I find I am constantly sifting through to remove the bad.

One thing I have always been conscious about especially with my boys is to watch what I say. I try to say things that will lift them up and not drag them down. I do however say the odd insult at the heat of the moment when they have driven me mad. I very quickly feel remorse and make sure I always apologise. I think it’s because I don’t want my boys having to get over the same insecurities I have had to deal with.

All I feel I can do is keep my own insecurities in check on a regular basis and hope that I am doing the right things with my boys so they don’t end up with the same issues I have had to deal with. And don’t worry, the boys now know the truth about how we met!

Year 2 week 47

19th – 25th November 2017

I am still on my detox, I feel I have been doing quite well. I have started to get really bored with it now though. Partly because the weight has stopped coming off and partly because I am sick of salad.

My exercise has not been quite as good. I think at first I didn’t do too much because I was feeling weak. This week I have managed to up my exercise a little.

I have done something I never thought I would ever see myself do – I have joined a running club. My friend has been going to this club for a while and she has been asking me to go. I have always managed to find some excuse of why not to go so it ended up that she stopped asking me.

I just didn’t want to go – it was also at night which is the time when I relax. I also felt that I would be an embarrassment – not fit enough, and I felt I would always be at the back holding people up. I don’t know what came over me though because I asked my friend if I could go with her this week. I really didn’t want to go I just knew I needed to go.

After I asked her the nerves came over me but I still went. We did an hour of circuit training first and to my surprise I could keep up and I could do most of the things that we were supposed to do.

After that came the running and I have to say all my fears disappeared as I could keep up. They did these little challenges to make it more interesting that I liked. I really enjoyed myself

I didn’t feel embarrassed at all. Well that was until I was in the middle of one of the challenges and we were to run down a cul-de-sac as fast as we could and then run back up again.

On my way down though I tripped over a kerb. I was then heading straight for someone’s front garden fence and, I don’t know how I did it, but I hurdled it and then I was then face to face with a tree that unbelievably I managed to dodge only to be faced with another fence that I also hurdled. I think that all became too much for me because I then went splat in someone else driveway!

Because I was doing quite well and I wasn’t at the back meant I also had an audience. All these people came running to see how I was. Surprisingly though I was fine other than scrapes on my hands and knees.

Everyone was so nice. People who saw me said it was a very impressive fall and was amazed I stayed on my feet for so long. Others came up to me saying how on their first week they did the same thing. My fall, in someways, helped me get to know people and it has made me want to go next week.

One thing I have always told my kids is that sometimes in life there are things that we don’t want to do but when we do it, it can end up being quite rewarding and you never know you might even enjoy it. I think this week I have said that to myself .

Year 2 week 46

12th – 18th November 2017

This week I have thought a lot about trust.

I was at church last Sunday and in front of me was a man throwing his daughter up into the air and then catching her. The little girl was loving it and kept asking her dad to do it again.

It brought back some memories from my childhood because my dad use to do it to me to. I also remember loving it as much as that little girl seemed to.

It made me think on how much I must have trusted my father, I knew that every time he threw me up in the air I knew he would catch me. I don’t think it ever entered my head back then that there was a possibility that he could let me fall.

I also remember believing everything he taught me. I believed that you don’t just walk into the road without looking, I believed that doing homework was important, I believed not to accept a lift off a stranger. All of these truths helped to keep me safe.

I also believed things that weren’t quite so true like when he said we had a money tree in the bottom of the garden and if you looked carefully you could find some coins that have dropped off! I believed in Father Christmas, the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny and all the other things parents usually tell their children.

As I grew up I found out that some of those things I was told by my parents weren’t true. I was disappointed but I remember thinking it made my childhood a little more magical and exciting and I have to say I ended telling my kids exactly the same fictional things.

It made me think that a child had no reason to doubt her father. A father is there to always catch you when you fall, he always loves you unconditionally, he is there for you no matter what.

Why is it that when you turn into an adult that trust fades ?. I know now that if my Dad could even throw me up into the air there is no way he would catch me – I would more than likely flatten him!!

I think the trust fades because you stop believing in yourself. I have always classed myself as a trustworthy person, if someone told me a secret I would always keep it – I have never thought it was my place to say. However when it comes to trusting myself I think I find it a little harder especially when there’s food about.

There are a group of ladies from our church who meet up once a fortnight and we have just started a course on our identity in Christ. Throughout this journey over the past 2 years that is one thing I have been addressing. I have found out who I am and who I want to be and learning that I am not here by accident and that God does have a plan for my life.

I think knowing who you are and the fact that you are loved is something I think we all need to keep telling ourselves. That’s why it is always good to be reminded that your father is there to catch you no matter what. I just think I need to be as trusting as a child and then I might enjoy the journey a bit more.

Year 2 week 45

5th- 11th October 2017

Every time I try to lose weight I always do really well at first. The first few stone has always been very easy – it’s probably because I always start a diet with about 7 stone or more to lose!

After the first few stone has come off the next few are slightly more hard work but they do come off gradually. 

Usually after 5 stone has come off I stop. The weight from then on in just doesn’t want to budge. It’s like I have hit a brick wall with absolutely no way of getting around it. 

I have hit that brick wall many times before. I have tried everything to get through but that wall always seems to stay intact. The longest I have ever been there is 6 months and then I give up and ended up turning around and going back again usually putting on more weight than I ever have before. 

This time though is different I have been standing at that wall now for over a year and however hard I try I still can’t break through. 

Since my half marathon and the holidays I have been on over the summer the weight has been gradually creeping back on again – not much but enough for me to notice. I have stayed healthy with my eating but I have had a slightly more relaxed attitude. I think my portion sizes have been getting bigger and some treats were creeping back in too. 

It has got me to a point where I am standing at that wall and wondering what now. 

I feel I can’t go down this journey and gradually put the weight back on again. I have come too far.  There is only one option and that is to try harder.  It means going to the beginning again. You may be thinking that I have done that before and you would be right. 

Last time though I was doing it out of desperation. I had to because I couldn’t continue down the road I was going on. I think my determination came from my desperation to change. 

This time though I have gone back to the beginning without that desperation to change. I feel I have achieved all my goals other than getting to my ideal weight. I have so much more energy, I can go into a regular shop and there would be lots of clothes that would fit, I am eating healthier and lots more. 

Without that desperation to change I wasn’t sure if I could do it. In someways I prefer to start with the desperation because it drives you. Starting again now has been so much harder. 

I am now 10 days in my current detox and I am actually surprised with how well I have done. I have managed to lose 8 pounds in that time. I have felt a little hungry but not as much as I thought. I just hope the weight continues to fall. 

Year 2 week 44

29th October- 4th November 2017

One thing I have really struggled this year with has been motivation.

I think it’s because I achieved one of my main goals this year. One of my goals was to have enough energy to keep up with my kids. My kids are typical kids and have heaps of energy. 

Before I started this journey I couldn’t even walk up the stairs without being out of breath. 16 months later I did a half marathon! 

For me doing that half marathon in Rwanda was so amazing. It was something that I never thought I could ever do. I was so overwhelmed at the time that I did it. That to me that was my ultimate goal. I felt that there was nothing I could do any better than that. I felt that I had climbed the highest mountain and actually reached the top. 

Since then it has been hard staying motivated. The trouble with reaching your goal is that there is nothing left to aim for. Once you reach that point and you get to the top of your mountain there is only one place left to go and that’s DOWN. 

Sometimes to go down can be fun. It means that there are no restrictions on your life. It’s like I can do anything and get away with it. However you do end up with a feeling of guilt that you have let things slip so bad. 

The getting away with it can only last so long. With falling there comes a point where you hit the ground. Hitting rock bottom can be very painful and usually at that point it’s very hard to see a way out of it. 

I feel that since Rwanda that is what I have been doing – FALLING. In my mind though I didn’t want to fall I feel I protected myself from the impact – it’s like I put on my parachute so when I hit the ground it wasn’t so painful. 

This month I have set myself new goals.  I have hit the ground now but I have decided to turn around and start climbing that mountain again. 

I have decided that for the month of November I am going to concentrate on my eating again. I have already had a carb free 4 days and lost a few pounds too. I would like to continue my healthy eating throughout this month and hopefully it will give me the boost I need to continue after. 

I have also signed up for another half marathon – this time in Kenya. It’s in June of next year. I will be raising money again for the charity Compassion UK.

I think for me the fact I am doing it again isn’t quite as significant as before. What it does do though is help me to keep active, gives me something to focus on and I get to help some needy children in Africa in the process. 

I came back from doing my last half marathon thinking I would never do one again. My fitness levels have depleted so much that I feel I have signed up without the ability to succeed. Knowing this is coming hopefully will get me motivated to train.

After June next year, when I’ve completed my second half marathon, I’m hoping that I won’t fall like I did this year. Well that’s what I’m aiming for.