Saturday, 26 April 2014


I was thinking of what to write about this week. I had an idea but once again I changed it at the last minute because of something random that happened today. I have not been too well this week. I had a 24 hour bug that went away and then obviously decided it liked me and came back for more :-)
On the positive side we had a visit from my daughter and grandson, who is one of my main motivations for losing weight. We had a wonderful time going out, having fun and enjoying lunch out in cafes, restaurants and a picnic. I will write an update about food as an ingredient in social events and celebrations next time, but today I want to write about something different.
We decided to have a walk down into the village to get some fresh air this morning. In one of the shops there I was chatting to someone who had just started Change 4 Live and had had a very successful first week. It was lovely to see the smile on her face and enjoy her success with her. As we were walking back across the car park, a lady we didn't know stopped us and said "You don't know me, but you pass my house nearly every day and I have noticed how much weight you have lost. How did you do it?" It gave me great pleasure to tell her about Change 4 Life and how she could find out more. She made me feel really good about what I had accomplished.
Don't get me wrong, my family and friends have noticed the difference and have been very supportive, but for a complete stranger to say something really proved the point to me. Even though I am getting on for losing 3 1/2 stone now, I don't see myself as others do. I don't think any of us do. To me there is a start and a finish, but I have not really thought about the middle.
I am still wearing many of the same clothes at the moment from before I lost weight, with a few smaller ones I had in the wardrobe from years ago, or a couple of things I picked up in the sales.
You would not believe how much persuading it took from my daughter just to go out and buy a new bra! Although I must admit it is much better fitting than my old 50 DD one!!! As she said to me I have to learn to celebrate what I have done so far. We should all recognize our achievements, however small. With weight loss every week is an accomplishment if we have lost weight no matter how small the amount. If we have stayed the same, or even put on a bit, it's a lesson learnt, it's getting to know ourselves and learning what we need to do to reach what we aspire to. It is back once again to the ideas of self value.
We can be very good at putting our children, our families and even our jobs first, but sometimes it just needs to be just us for a little while every now and again. When we do this we will be more confident in ourselves and be a better person for the ones we love. 
I must admit the feeling of achievement is good and it can happen in only a few short weeks if we keep up the good work and celebrate each goal we reach.
The first few weeks can be hard. Finding the motivation and the commitment is not always easy when it is not obvious to others what you are doing, but keep going because after a while the benefits will become clearer and clearer and it should get easier.
Well we will see, but for now I for one will be going shopping! :-)

Saturday, 19 April 2014


I started writing my blog entry on Thursday this week, rather than at the weekend as I would usually do. This is because I have a busy weekend coming up with Easter and the fact we have a family visit this week.
I have had a good week and get weighed at my class support later today, so hopefully my weight is still going down.
The sun has been shining for a few days now and it's amazing how much better we feel as the weather gets warmer.
It's also surprising how much better you feel if you have succeeded in making changes to your life and all of a sudden you begin to notice how much things are different.
I went out shopping last Saturday and Sunday and I was amazed by how much more energy I have now got. At one time I really struggled to walk and even the five minute walk from the bus station to the shopping centre could be a real problem, never mind the energy I needed to walk around the shops. Mostly I would just go for what I needed, come straight home and then feel worn out.
It is beginning to be so much different now. I have so much more inclination to look around shops and "normal" clothes shops at that. Even though a lot of the clothes shops do sell larger sizes I had no interest in looking. Now I am beginning to enjoy looking at what's out there, and even though I have had always had my own style seeing what is on trend at the moment is of great interest to me.
There are a lot of large ladies out there who are beautiful, embrace their size and always look gorgeous, but I had lost all interest. I think that maybe it was because I was always feeling tired and unwell and my confidence was waning. If we feel down, it seems the glass is always half empty and it is hard to muster any enthusiasm for anything, never mind something that has evoked such negative feelings for me over the years. I have always been concerned that the fashion industry doesn't seem to feel that a larger woman has the same right to have the same clothes as her slimmer counterpart. It is a lot easier nowadays to buy larger clothes although quite often you have to pay more or they are badly fitting. I still find it irritating when you look at sizes that say S 8-10, M 10-12, L 12-14, XL 14-16, XXL 16-18. In my mind, no way is a size 18 a XXL, but that it what the fashion industry has determined. And this could cause confidence problems. As a large child and a large teenager, I could never find fashionable clothes in my size and always felt different.
Looking back now in a positive way, that is probably how I found my own style because of how little choice I had.
I still do worry about younger girls who feel they have to lose weight - and not always in a good healthy way - just to be able to wear the clothes that are in fashion. We should be able to enjoy a healthy diet and feel confident about looking good without all the pressure that is put on people to conform.
As I lose weight and feel healthier I find I am thinking more about how important it is to be who we want to be and to feel we have the confidence and the freedom to do so.
At this stage of my life, losing weight has begun to help me feel this way and I hope that anyone who reads this blog can find what does this for them too.
As I have said before, life is too short, there are no rehearsals and we have to try to enjoy as much of it as we can. With support from friends and family, and without too much (negative) influence from the media, the food and fashion industries and peer pressure.
As I said at the beginning of this update, I wrote this entry before my weekly weigh-in. I have now had that pleasure, and I am happy to report that I have lost another four pounds. It has indeed been a good week.

Monday, 14 April 2014


Firstly, can I thank all of you that read my blog. When I started it, I never knew there would be so much interest and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support.
Now to this week's blog - "The Road At The Side Of The Cliff". A strange title, you may think, but I will expand on this later.
As I write this, I am watching the start of the London Marathon on the television. It has always evoked a lot of emotion in me ever since the first one all those years ago. I have always wanted to run a marathon, even though there have been days I could hardly walk. Still, you never know, maybe one day!
How my life has changed since that first London Marathon back in 1981. What a difference the years make. In spite of all the down times, the struggles, the fights to survive there have thankfully been so many, many happy memories.
I was thinking as I watched the runners line up what the atmosphere there must be like. I was very proud of my son-in-law when he ran it a couple of years ago. If I remember, he wasn't too happy with his finishing time, but he trained and did it and I was lucky enough to see him on the TV and I was so thrilled.
As I sit here, I think wouldn't it be wonderful if we could bottle up good feelings like that for times of trouble. All those good feelings we have when we go to a good music gig, when we see our team win, when we fall in love, when we get married, the birth of a child, their first day at school, the school concert, graduation, your child's wedding, the arrival of a grandchild - the list goes on and on.
If we could keep those various feelings in jars, just to have a taste now and again at the moments when we need them. 
That's why memories are so important, so precious, even if at the time they didn't always seem that good.
Which brings me back to "The Road At The Side Of The Cliff".
Back on my first visit to India in 1980, we went up, by bus, into the mountains to stay with relatives of relatives. Part of the journey was on a narrow road that had literally been cut out of the side of a very high cliff and way, way down below was a fast running river. The road was almost a single track with passing points cut out of the mountainside in case someone was coming the other way. At one point the road was so bad that everyone - including the bus conductor - got off. However, my ex husband insisted that I stayed on the bus because it would look good on the home video he was making. So in the end it was just me and the driver left on the bus. That could have been the end then and there, but Indian drivers are some of the best in the world when it comes to driving buses, jeeps, motor scooters, tractors etc. If you have been there you will know what I mean :). At the time I was terrified and upset that I was made to do this, but now I look back at that memory with fondness. It was something I did even though I didn't want to.
The point I think I am trying to make is that sometimes we do not like what we have to do, especially if, like me, we don't like being told what to do, even though it can turn out to be for the best.
Sometimes, to push ourselves just that little bit can lead to us feeling so much better and confident, maybe not at the time, but further down the line.  It is these memories that make us feel so much better and help us on those down days.
Life is short and we must always try to make the best of what we have and enjoy every moment we can to fill up our "feeling jars".
And you never know, one day I might just run across that finishing line.
Oh, and before I finish, "Change For Life" is still going well. Sixteen weeks completed and a loss of 41 and a half pounds! Now where did I put those running shoes?

Saturday, 5 April 2014


First of all, let me say sorry to anyone who noticed that I did not update my blog last week. Life got in the way, both personally and socially, and before I knew it - no blog entry.
How many times, when we want to do something, does life get in the way? It shouldn't, but it does.
They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but I don't feel it's as bad as that! :) I pick myself up, give myself a good shake and off I go again!
Since my last post I have been feeling a lot more positive. My weight is going down again and I am beginning to feel the benefits. Walking is getting a lot easier, and I have gone down three dress sizes so I have a lot to feel good about in myself, which always helps when life gets complicated.
Anyone who knows me will know I love cooking and have a love of cookery books. I have 78 at the moment, which covers most areas of the world, different cultures and eras in history. I have a great one which covers how we ate during the war and managed within the limits of rationing - maybe an idea for a future blog?
I was thinking wouldn't it be great if we had a recipe for everything in life. It would be wonderful if we knew exactly what to do, and when, in a certain way and get the results we wanted without any trouble. Unfortunately life doesn't work that way.
But just like a recipe in a book we can use experience as a guide to think how we can change all the bits we don't like and have the confidence to try things slightly differently.
One of the benefits of a varied life (been there, done that, got the t-shirt) is that it gives you the confidence to not always conform, to do things your own way as long as you don't hurt anyone on the way - or at least do your best not to.
One of the "Change For Life" sessions was about changing recipes we already have. Being able to eat the food we love but changing the ingredients that aren't as good for you.
Fats and sugars are the main culprits and it is easy to cut these down with a little bit of thought using low fat substitutes or sweeteners where appropriate or even cutting them out completely. Adding herbs and spices can add an extra kick to your food without adding those extra calories.
So, just like in life, we can change the things that are not good for us and bring in things that will enhance what is already there.
All it needs is just a little bit of thought and respect for what we have and removal of those things we don't need.
Think about yourself, love yourself, and give yourself the value you deserve. We all deserve a more flavoured life, but how we change the recipe is up to us.