Happy Day!

10% offAfter my wistful and melancholy post a week ago, about the benefit of hindsight in regards to how I view myself, I am pleased to announce I am now well on my way to being far happier in my skin at whatever stage I am currently at.

As of today, I have shed 10% of my body weight (and an extra half pound on top of that!) from the beginning of the year, having dropped 4.5 lbs this week, and I can finally see little differences in my body which are making me smile. For example, when I went to my aquafit class on Sunday, my swimming costume was a lot easier to get on that it has been, and although I hadn’t been to the gym in three weeks due to being away and then being ill, when I went back last week, although I didn’t push it quite as hard as I usually do (I didn’t want to do myself an injury first day back!), and although I still worked up a good, healthy sweat, it wasn’t as hard as it was when I started going back in February, and I can see myself upping the resistance on my cardio within the next few weeks, just to keep things a little challenging.

I now have a good healthy eating plan in place, and have set myself a weekly activities plan as follows.

Each week I will:

  • Walk as much as possible (I walk every day anyway, but it’s a good thing to keep up)
  • Have at least one, preferably two gym sessions (cardio and weights)
  • Go to my dance class
  • Go to my aquafit class
  • Try to go swimming once (this will not necessarily be possible every week, but I will certainly try to fit it into my increasingly busy schedule!)

If I can do all that each week, I think my fitness levels will increase significantly – my stamina is already a lot better than it was two months ago – and will certainly help me hit my goal. Putting these activities into my calendar like appointments will certainly help me keep them!

With my new plan in place, I feel newly motivated, and I have extra support from friends, both in person and online, to help me get there too.

Today is a good day!

A-Z Challenge: R is for…

[ri-fuhl-juh nt]
1. shining brightly; radiant; gleaming:
Crystal chandeliers and gilded walls made the opera house a refulgent setting for the ball.

[ri-pair-ee-uh n, rahy-]
1. of, relating to, or situated or dwelling on the bank of a river or other body of water:riparian villas.
2. Law. a person who owns land on the bank of a natural watercourse or body of water.

A-Z Challenge: Q is for…

[kweruh-luh s, kwer-yuh-]
1. full of complaints; complaining.
2. characterized by or uttered in complaint; peevish: a querulous tone; constant querulous reminders of things to be done.

1. (sometimes initial capital letter) resembling or befitting Don Quixote.
2. extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary, impractical, or impracticable.
3. impulsive and often rashly unpredictable.


A-Z Challenge: O is for…

[ob-fuh-skeyt, ob-fuhs-keyt]
verb (used with object), obfuscated, obfuscating.
1. to confuse, bewilder, or stupefy.
2. to make obscure or unclear: to obfuscate a problem with extraneous information.
3. to darken.

[uh b-see-kwee-uh s]
1. characterized by or showing servile complaisance or deference; fawning: an obsequious bow.
2. servilely compliant or deferential: obsequious servants.
3. obedient; dutiful.


A-Z Challenge: N is for…

[nasuh nt, ney-suh nt]
1. beginning to exist or develop: That nascent republic is holding its first election this month.
2. Chemistry. (of an element) in the nascent state

1. reluctant to give or spend; stingy; miserly.
2. meanly or ungenerously small or scanty: a niggardly tip to a waiter.
3. in the manner of a niggard.

A-Z Challenge: M is for…

[maluh-prop-iz-uh m]
1. an act or habit of misusing words ridiculously, especially by the confusion of words that are similar in sound.
2. an instance of this, as in “Lead the way and we’ll precede.”.

[mir-ee-uh d]
1. a very great or indefinitely great number of persons or things.
2. ten thousand.
3. of an indefinitely great number; innumerable: the myriad stars of a summer night.
4. having innumerable phases, aspects, variations, etc.: the myriad mind of Shakespeare.
5. ten thousand.myriad

A-Z Challenge: L is for…

1. suggestive of or tending to cause tears; mournful.
2. given to shedding tears readily; tearful.

[lam-buh nt]
1. running or moving lightly over a surface: lambent tongues of flame.
2. dealing lightly and gracefully with a subject; brilliantly playful: lambent wit.
3. softly bright or radiant: a lambent light.

A-Z Challenge: K is for…

[kah-poo t, –poot, kuh-]
adjective, Slang.
1. ruined; done for; demolished.
2. unable to operate or continue: The washing machine is suddenly kaput.
3. go kaput, to cease functioning; break down: The old car finally went kaput.

[kahy-bosh, ki-bosh]
noun, Informal.
1. nonsense.
2. put the kibosh on, to put an end to; squelch; check: Another such injury may put the kibosh on her athletic career.

Body image and the value of hindsight

Like many women, I have spent my entire adult life, and most of my teen years too, worried about my weight, my size, my shape, how I look to other people. In this age of multi-media saturation when photo-shopping is de rigeur, it is worse than ever for young women who look at pictures of famous women who look absolutely flawless. They are flawless because they have been made to look that way by use of professional hair styling and make-up, designers and dressers, clever use of lighting and camera angles, and of course, the computer programmes designed to skim the unsightly lumps, bumps, and myriad imperfections from the final picture.

We are force-fed a diet of perfection and made to believe we are not good enough because we cannot possibly live up to the ideals of beauty shown to us on billboards and magazines and websites.

This weekend, I was going through a few boxes we had just brought out of storage, and I came across a photo album filled with some of my old modelling shots. In these photographs, I am 21 years old, I did my own hair and make-up, I wore my own clothes, and I used my own props. The photos were shot by a member of a local camera club for my portfolio.

I remember that modelling session like it was yesterday. I sucked in my belly and my cheeks to try and make myself look thinner, and I felt horribly fat, wishing I’d skipped a few meals and dropped a few extra pounds beforehand so I could look that little bit better. I wished I was taller, prettier, had better skin…

I was barely a UK size 12, having spent over a year recovering from an illness that caused me to lose a hell of a lot of weight in just a couple of months, dropping four dress sizes during that time.

Looking at those photographs now, I marvel at how thin I look, at how young and fresh I appear. But I think my eyes look sad. They look sad because I was never happy with how I looked, and I never felt at home in my own body. And there are only one or two where I actually crack even a tiny smile.

I also marvel at how big my eyebrows are, as this was before the salon waxing disaster that left me with sparse, scarred brows that never grew back properly!

I’m trying very hard to be happier in my own skin these days. I’m a good deal larger than I was, and yes, I’m trying to lose weight, but I’m doing it to try and be a healthier person and to rid myself of my poisonous personal relationship with food. With any luck, some day very soon, I will be able to look at a current picture of myself and think I look as great as I now think I looked back then, but didn’t appreciate at the time.