Category Archives: Lifestyle

Activity tracker hates me

My activity tracker hates me

 

Activity tracker hates me

That’s me after a run. Okay, it’s not me, I’m lazy, haven’t run since the last time I was about to miss a bus, and I bought a Jawbone Up a few months ago to motivate me. I’ve since come to the sad conclusion that my fitness tracker hates me.

Why?

Well. At first I had it set to nag me every 30 minutes if I hadn’t moved. This was called an idle alert and it vibrated the  bracelet helpfully to remind me I was being a lazy cow. Except that I wasn’t really being lazy at all. I was on a train, or a bus, or a deadline. The problem was that it didn’t know that my lack of physical activity wasn’t always down to Eastenders and Netflix, but most of the time I was doing things that paid for luxuries like a smart phone with a Jawbone app that nags me.

I soon turned that function off. It made me feel  guilty when I WAS being lazy and  just annoyed me.

I loved the nifty sleep function. I really like getting geeky and seeing how  much sleep I’ve had, dream sleep, deep sleep and light sleep. As I expected, most of my sleep is light, which is  my beloved’s farts always wake me up! Its a great function…until it starts nagging you to go to bed. “Smart Coach noticed you’ve been going to bed late recently” and “Try to go to sleep before 9.53 to get enough sleep”

I’m 45! It’s a while since anyone’s told me  it’s past my bedtime.

Even better, if I do defy smart coach, it tells me off. “You missed your bedtime!”

Sorry…

Another reason my activity tracker hates me is that I don’t do 10,000 steps a day. I mean, sometimes I do. But you know, rain, cold, work, Hollyoaks. So it tells me how many steps I do and helpfully adds, “You haven’t been  your normal active self today”

Smart Coach is a sarcastic cow.

If my heart rate is a bit high when I wake up, it helpfully suggests that I might like to drink more water, do some yoga or go to bed early. I was probably just having one of those awful nightmares about spiders. Or my ex husband.

So why can’t I just take it off and stamp on it? It’s because when I do hit my step target, sleep for eight hours and drink eight glasses of water, I feel like I’ve achieved something. Until smart coach tells me I missed bedtime AGAIN…

If you want to torture yourself with your lack of activity or erratic sleep habits, find out more here…. https://jawbone.com/up

 

 

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Monday- it’s a bit warm

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I’m off to sunny Diss in Norfolk today, to talk to a potential new client. It’s always good to get new clients on a Monday, it sets you up for the week. I’m in a good mood today, despite being hot and bothered, and dreaming that I had slugs growing up my nose last night. The dream was so hideous that I decided to stay awake and lose at Yahtzee on my phone instead of trying to go back to sleep. 

So here I am, in the sunshine,  waiting for the   10.24, eavesdropping and wondering when the young couple sitting on the bench next to me will realise that their  baby has done a  monumentally smelly poo in his nappy. Because I’ve  noticed. As has probably everyone else on the station. Please don’t sit too close to me on the train. I don’t deserve that. I’m a good person.

The pooey nappy reminds me of  a story I heard about a dopey  mum of a five  year old who when she was asked why the child was still on nappies, replied “she’s shown no interest in her potty! ”

She probably thinks it’s an ornament. Sit her on the thing until the poo is forthcoming and she’ll soon get the picture. Poor baby will get mercilessly teased wearing nappies when she starts school. Like I was when I wet myself in the playground because a few girls were holding me down and tickling me to see what happened. I had to wear navy blue knickers from the lost property. I was only about six and I knew the true meaning of humiliation already.

Anyway, off I go to Diss to seek my fortune. Fingers crossed smelly nappy baby sits at the other end of the train and my negotiations go according to plan. Have a nice Monday!

The 40-something lament

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I don’t know if any of you read the piece by Miranda Sawyer in The Guardian recently?

If not, here’s a link.

Miranda Sawyer’s Piece in the Guardian

So I read this, all the way through, and I realised I’m not alone!  Death Maths is actually a thing.

At 45, Miranda has two kids and tortures herself thinking about how old she’ll be when the youngest is 18. I don’t have any, and I don’t realistically expect that to change, which is something I’ve struggled to come to terms with. But the mathematical equations around dwindling fertility and the % likelihood of me ever getting pregnant are just as scary as death maths. So Jennifer Aniston might be pregnant at 47?  That little voice tells me I might have another two years. But really?  Nah.

Glastonbury

I swore I’d never be that person who complained that music of today all sounded the same, but I’ve tried so hard to stay up to date with what’s in the charts and you know what, I AM now that person.

Every now and then I’ll go onto Spotify and check out the Top 50. I tell myself I probably like some of it. But then as I look down a list of songs by artists I’ve never heard of, all featuring other artists I’ve never heard of, I make it to about number six and then retreat to my eighties and nineties play lists.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s some good stuff out there, I just don’t seem to have the time to look for it any more. My NME days are in the past (even though I follow them on Twitter) and I can’t get XFM on my DAB radio anymore. Is it even still going?

It hardly seems possible that it was only six years ago that I went to Glastonbury. I absolutely loved it. Muse, Damon Albarn, Paloma Faith, Slash, The Lightning Seeds, Faithless, Florence and the Machine, Biffy Clyro,  Dizzee Rascal, Editors … There were so many bands I wanted to see that I missed loads.

Last year I just laughed at Kanye West.

This year I’m thinking that watching Adele in the rain doesn’t sound like my idea of fun.

Falling apart

If you read my last post you’ll know all about my body woes. I said to someone yesterday  if it’s not overactive or underactive it’s probably dropped off. That’s my body, right there.

The standing desk is on its way. I ache everywhere. I sprout hairs in unexpected places, like three in one mole on my cheek and that lone one on my chin that appears from nowhere.

But I still get spots!  What’s that about? I’m forced to accept that if by a miracle I ever lose weight, I’ll look old. Chubby cheeks take years off you. I don’t have much in the way of wrinkles but my eyes are a bit droopy and my sight isn’t as good as it was.

On the upside, the doctor said I have a less than 2% chance of heart disease or a stroke in the next decade. My blood pressure is fine, I’m not diabetic, my liver, kidney and thyroid tests were all fine and my cholesterol is nothing to worry about.

So  is being 45 the start of the decline or a chance to look at where I’m at, where I want to be and plan how to get there?  Expect a few more blogs on my own personal forties experience… I’d love to hear about yours too!

Red umbrella in storm

The One Where I Really Should Have Listened

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I think you can probably call it a life lesson.

You might have wondered why there’s been nothing from Gorgeously Full Fat since September? Where do I start? Obviously losing Dad was MASSIVE. I watched him deteriorate slowly and spent more hours than I care to count up sobbing on my dear Moley’s shoulder. It’s not nice seeing someone you love going through that.

It’s just as bad not knowing how to help – my Mum was looking after him right up to about a week before he died and we were all worried about her almost as much as we were worried about him. I thought I’d done most of my grieving before he went; I was way off the mark!

Distraction

While I was processing everything, I was distracted by the promise of a new job that was going to take me away from it all. I liked the idea of a new start. I’d let freelance work slip, lost a few clients that hadn’t been replaced and in all honesty I was ready to chuck it all in and go back to office world again. I was feeling bereft; I wasn’t useful to Mum any more, Dad was gone.

Moley was having issues of his own that I couldn’t help with and I wanted to run away. I started fantasising about getting my old Ipswich life back, a new job,a  new home perhaps, social life and a chance to be near to Mum again. We saw a flat we loved, and put everything in motion to buy it.

I was excited about the thought of a new job and totally ignored the nagging feeling that I might not be doing the right thing. (sign #1) I put it down to nerves as it was years since I’d worked in an office. I couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling but it was too late, I’d committed myself, everyone was so pleased I’d got a ‘proper’ job. I even bought proper work clothes!

Grey November

I started the job in November. I was determined to make a good impression and to really make a go of it. We were going through the mortgage process, it was all going to plan although the fees seemed to be escalating and I was putting every spare penny into the house buying fund. We were both really excited about the move, it felt like a new start, and after the year we’d had, we bloody well needed one. So I ignored the sinking feeling when I walked into the basement of my new office building and started my two week induction (sign #2), I was going to damn well make the best of it.

The other newbies were really nice, which was a bonus. On the second day we all got taken to the area of the office we’d be working in…I was hit by a sense of OHMYGOD when I looked across at banks of desks, monitors and people in headsets. The phones were ringing continuously and the heating was up so high I felt a bit faint. I was going to be working in the civil service version of a call centre. And everything was grey (sign #3)

Then the flat fell through (sign #4) taking a whole lot of upfront fees with it.

Red umbrella in storm

Not such a Gorgeously Full Fat Christmas

Still determined to make the best of it, I headed up to where I was going to be based and got put with a ‘buddy’ responsible for training me. I was really lucky, he was very laid back, and I liked him, We spent more time than we probably should have done between calls talking about food, especially when we were on a late lunch break.

I went out with the team for pre Christmas drinks and most of them didn’t seem to like the job much, although everyone was really lovely and friendly, the impression I got was that most people would be off at the first opportunity. A lot of them had been transferred from another office and felt like they’d almost been tricked into it (sign #5)

Flexitime that wasn’t

I was really hacked off because not only had the move fallen through, but now I was going to be travelling to Ipswich every day, I realised that the flexitime was actually a rosta and the only shift I could realistically get in for was the 10-6.  (sign #6) It was OK, though, the managers said they’d let me get in a bit late for the 9-5 and I could make up for it when I was doing the 10-6 shifts. Then they scrapped the 9-5 shift altogether and I was stuck on the late shift, every night (sign #7)

Then from January, the powers that be shut the waiting rooms on Bury St Edmunds Station for at least six weeks. It might not seem like much but when you’re waiting there for 30 minutes or more every day, and it’s bloody freezing, a waiting room is an essential. (sign #8)

 

The silent scream

Moley’s hero, David Bowie, died on 10 January. I was sad; I actually shed a few years, something I haven’t done for many celebrity demises, Then we lost Alan Rickman. That was a depressing week. Ashes to Ashes was the soundtrack of the entire week – not a happy song in itself.

Strung out in heaven’s high, hitting an all time low” reverberated around my head. It was there every morning when I woke up, taunting me.

At this point, every part of my psyche was screaming at me to go back to the job I loved. But I had too many voices in my head telling me to do different things. And none of them were mine! I knew my family were relieved I had a full time job. Mum was happy I was back in the civil service and working in Ipswich, even though the 30 minute lunch break meant I never got to see her. Moley was pleased there was regular money coming in. Mum in law never really understood freelancing and was always keen for me to get a job in an office or a shop.

But my heart wasn’t in it. And I had Dad’s words on my side; he told me not to let other people tell me what to do. He asked me – OK made me promise – to sort myself out. And in the book he left me, he also said that his advice to me was to decide what I wanted – and go for it. I felt almost as if he was the only one on my side as I got more and more flattened by the job, the travel and the hours.

Numbing out

I would be in tears on a Monday morning sometimes. I couldn’t get out of bed; I couldn’t sleep either. Moley knew how miserable and tired I was; I didn’t want to go out or do anything at the weekend, the cleaning wasn’t getting done, only the bare minimum, and he was getting sandwiches for dinner. I didn’t do any food shopping any more. I wasn’t in for a Tesco delivery and I couldn’t face going to the supermarket  (sign #9)

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I’d sit on the sofa playing on my phone night in, night out, numbing my brain and trying to escape. I filled my days at work with endless cups of coffee and shit food to keep my energy up, I forgot what vegetables and fruit looked like but got to know the relative merits of every coffee shop and sandwich shop in Ipswich!

Happy Pills

The doctor increased my happy pills dose. Did I mention I was on those? Never thought it would happen to me but a week and a half before I started the job I was still crying all the time and in no fit state to start a new career. The pills didn’t seem to help a lot but a couple of weeks into January I gave in and upped the dose (sign #10).

I went into work, afterwards by this point I was hating every day. I was so exhausted I was struggling to stay awake after about 3pm. I was up at 6.30 (usually awake about 5) out of the house at 7.30, waiting in the cold for a bus to the station, waiting in the cold for half an hour at the station for the train, getting into Ipswich at 9, at work about 9.30 with a take away coffee in my hand. I’d work on the phones until about 1.30, grab a half hour lunch (walk to the shop, grab a sandwich, walk back and eat it) then work through till 6. It wasn’t unusual to be there after six – my record was 6.30 as I was stuck on a 40 minute call. I’d walk to meet Moley who would drive me home and by the time we were out of Ipswich and I was home it would be 7.15 ish,  I felt guilty because I couldn’t keep up with the little bit of freelance work I’d kept on so financially we were worse off with my train and bus fares!

I was often in bed by 9, tossing and turning. Four hours sleep was about average, six was a treat!

Tipping point – the last sign

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vfMj1Fae0s

So what tipped me over the edge? What sign did I actually listen to? Well, I was talking to Moley about having to go to work the next day and I felt physically sick, I blurted out “I just want to go back to freelancing”

I’d been wanting to say that for so long I thought I was going to burst. It was like a pressure building up inside me, I was being told so unequivocally that I should be writing. I’d had a day off and done some freelance stuff for a client and enjoyed being creative so much I was almost aching to get my old life back again. I missed being able to write and come up with ideas. I missed feeling useful.

Moley amazed me. He said he’d support me whatever I decided and I said I’d think about it for a week or so. Inside I was doing cartwheels. I forced myself in for another week and as I got out of the car on the Friday evening I said, “I think I’m getting a sore throat”

And some.

That was it. I had chills, a fever, aches, my skin hurt to touch and then I got tonsillitis and a cough. I’ve still got a sore throat two weeks later. I resigned last week, then this week after going in for a few days and feeling like absolute death, waking up at 4 in the morning and not sleeping again, taking far too many painkillers and wanting to sleep all the time, I saw the doctor. So I’m now signed off for two more weeks and when I go back I have a few days and I’m done.

Listening to my inner gut feeling would have saved me all this stress, When will I learn?

I have to say, the people I worked with were all lovely. Even the managers. I can’t fault any of them…it just wasn’t me, it felt wrong, and as if I was being forced to rethink from the word go. I also need to say that my darling husband has been amazing. He’s been 100% supportive and understanding. I was so happy when he agreed that it was for the best that I gave the job up, despite the fact he works all hours at the moment. I love him to bits, I suppose I never thought anyone would care enough to be so supportive. I’ll make him proud! I’m so lucky to have such a lovely husband.

So as of 26 February I get to start again. How lucky am I?

Anyway…that’s what’s been going on. Sit tight for the fun part!

 

 

 

 

Broken into Tiny Pieces

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Baby steps.

That’s how you’re supposed to do it, right?

You know when you get to that point in your life where you reach complete overwhelm? That might or might not be right about now. But I’m OK – this is a cheerful post, despite the title. I’m on this, I’m breaking it down, I’m dealing.

So you know when you have one of those days where you wake up with so many things on your mind that you know you need to address, but you really don’t know where the freaking hell to start?

I had one of those dreams last night that makes you sit up and think about what life could have been like if I’d taken a few different turns in the road, and although it wasn’t a particularly pleasant dream, I woke up with a sense of “I can do this.”

I think when you know there’s so much in your life that you’re not entirely happy about, some of it which you feel completely powerless over and other parts which you think you could probably make a start on but are going to take A LONG TIME, the temptation is to think “Ah, sod that” and just have another biscuit. Or is that just me?

So I’m taking stock of what I’m already doing to upgrade my life and what really does need sweeping out from under the carpet.

I CAN take control of the niggly little health issues that bother me. I have the power to make a start on that and so I have. I’m self-employed and I’m proud of the fact I’ve never had a day off sick in almost eight years but I do need to look after myself.

SELF CARE BABY!

(I’m not good at self-care. Everyone who knows me, knows that.)

I’m making the most of technology and have linked my Fitbit with Map My Walk and My Fitness Pal so that I can cheer myself on in tech. I am SO proud of myself for actually getting off the sofa at 8pm yesterday and going for a walk. That time of day is usually reserved for getting acquainted with the sofa…

I’m going to be really, really brave and look at my money situation as well. This year has been a complete and utter bitch financially, and I’m sorting that at so many different levels. I’m working on my money blocks using techniques from Denise Duffield Thomas’ amazing books, I’m tapping away at all the emotional baggage I have around money and not feeling I deserve it; and in practical terms I’m investing time into Pick Yourself Up at the moment, I’m applying for regular jobs to take the OMIGOD out of looking at my bank account and I’m also going to write a book to go with Pick Yourself Up about how I’m doing all this.

I haven’t decided whether to make it a self-help book or embellish the story a little and make it read like a novel – it’s not started yet!

I’ll blog it as I go along anyway.

I have to look at my overdrafts and accounts today and start small on setting up a savings account and a ‘pay shit off’ account. Starting small is going to be the way to go. My income is dropping by another third next month and I’m slightly worried to say the least!

I want to upgrade my life TOTALLY. There’s so much I need to sort out and so I’m looking at the little things, breaking it into baby steps, using my new EFT Tapping training to help me work on emotional baggage and looking after myself at the same time.

I just had a massive wake up call this weekend and it’s made me think a LOT about where my future lies, what I’m aiming for, my goals, my values and stopping coasting along when I could be doing so much more.

So, yeah. Tiny pieces…

Moley Farty Pants

Very strange naked man farts by fire

My name is Sarah and I have a problem.

OK, so technically, my husband has the problem, but he shares it with me. He’s a chronic farter.

Before anyone tuts and thinks that I might be in all sorts of trouble for sharing this little issue with the world, it’s OK. He’s actually quite proud of it. When he left his last job, there were references to his delightful smell in his leaving card, and most people give him fart-related jokey gifts for Christmas.

I’m just putting out a request for any help that anyone might have in stopping this atrocious habit before he spends more nights on the sofa that he does in bed! Many a night just lately he’s been banished to sleep in the living room in disgrace, after a night (or two) of not only waking me up with a jump with a particularly violent sleep trump, but the aftermath that makes me choke – then have to leave the bedroom in search of air freshener. If you hear a news story about a woman who snaps and smothers her husband with a pillow in the middle of the night, I plead extreme provocation and quite possibly a bit of fart poisoning.

You see, Moley’s emissions are not just amusing little toots that come along every now and again and do no harm. He didn’t earn himself the nickname ‘Rancid Mole’ from a few noisy trumps that made everyone giggle. He can clear a room. A house, even. If you get stuck in a car and he has to let one go it’s all you can do to restrain your gag reflex. It’s vile.

Secrecy, reluctance, talkativeness concept. Woman closed her mou

These farts can strip wallpaper. They make your eyes water. It doesn’t matter what he eats, either. Beans obviously set him off as does cheap Iceland jalapeno pizza but it really doesn’t matter what he eats, he will still fart. I beat him around the head with cushions, I shout, I swear, I make him take charcoal tablets, I threaten him with a room full of scented candles. I even spray him with perfume (although I’ll have to stop that, I’m getting low).

Other than that, he’s really quite lovely. He’s kind, he’s caring, he’s funny. He gives good cuddles, he puts the bins out, washes up and hoovers when I ask him to and he brings me home wine and flowers to cheer me up if I’m having a bad time. So, apart from the smell, I can’t really complain.

If anyone knows a surefire cure for flatulence, please let me know….

The Depressed Optimist

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I suspect you’ve already realised that I don’t like being labelled. I fight against being stereotyped and that counts for whether it’s about being ‘gorgeously full fat’, or now, my mental health. I’m not depressed, I’m coping with a low mood. That’ll do.

So, after an amazing response to my last post, I went off and registered with websites, emailed people and tried to put stuff in place to get this thing outta my head. It seemed to be going really well, I was feeling way more positive because I felt like I was doing something. But life has a funny way of reminding you it’s not going to be that easy, and I’ve been a bit down for the last day or two.

I went to the gym on Monday and had a really energetic PT session despite still having what was left of a cough and a cold to deal with. I didn’t hurt this time, thankfully, after he somehow managed to pull both my hamstrings the last time I saw him and leave me having to cling to the wall every time I tried to sit on the loo.

I was feeling quite positive, expecting an email from Beat and also planning to sign up to a ‘Managing depression’ online course through the Big White Wall which opened on Monday. What I didn’t know was that nobody was going to bother contacting me from Beat, and the depression course doesn’t start till next week, it just opened this week.

I am sticking to the ‘Overcoming Binge eating’ plan though and it’s quite interesting that at first I wasn’t really that bothered about overeating, but then yesterday I had a really crappy day with people letting me down at work, money worries and generally feeling *meh* and I was backwards and forwards to the kitchen from the afternoon onwards. Afternoons are a dodgy time for me, they are normally the time when I’ve done the most pressing and urgent work and I’m thinking about getting something else out of the way. I can get bored and fed up, and after being told I wasn’t getting some work I’d been relying on this month yesterday morning, it didn’t take much to send me to the kitchen in search of treats.

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It’s OK – this week is all about observation, monitoring and seeing where my weaknesses are, and boredom is definitely one of them. So is feeling stressed, or not having a clue what to write for someone when I have a deadline looming. Some of my regulars trust me to just write whatever I want for their blogs, which is great when I’m feeling inspired, but when my brain won’t cooperate it’s a nightmare. I pulled some ideas out of the recesses of my mind but it took ages to do it, and I was on a kitchen mission most of the afternoon.

I’m working hard to turn things around and trying not to let the miseries set in when I feel low. I had to let someone down yesterday because of my money situation, and I hated it…today I’ve done a spreadsheet of all my income and outgoings and although I’m still £285 less than I would have been, I can cover everything that’s coming out with a bit left over. My passport needs renewing (Moley is hoping to book us a belated honeymoon and it runs out in a week) so I’ll have to find the money for that from somewhere.But I’m following the Get Rich Lucky Bitch rules and getting my head out of the sand, I even wrote down everything I have including my Costa Card points so that I can see where I’m at! It’s not exactly rich, but at least I know where I stand and that does help!

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I’ve got to go back to the doctor on Monday for an update. I’m not sure how I feel; getting out of bed is still hard although I’m really pushing myself to do things like the gym and walking. I’ve become a Spotify nerd and have got 16 years of singles from the top 100 going back to 1980 in separate playlists. I download them to the SD card in my phone and I can transport myself to whatever year I fancy.

That’s another thing I’ve learned recently; brooding. It’s a sign of the D-word and bugger, do I brood? I’m also broody but that’s another blog post, right there. Apparently, people with anxiety fixate on the future and what might go wrong. People with depression or low mood look back at the past a lot. Guilty as charged. I actually found the last two years, 1995 & 1996 really hard to get round to doing as they were quite meaningful years for me and listening to the old songs brought back some powerful memories. I put off doing them for a while, for that reason. But they are done now and  have rediscovered some classic tunes! You have no idea how long ‘Cotton Eyed Joe’ was number 1 for. Shudder.

The true horror

Friends have been amazing since I blurted out how I was feeling. I’ve had lots of lovely people messaging me through facebook, saying they feel the same as me and totally get it. I’ve had friends call me to see how I am and come over and see me for coffee and a chat, and it really has helped…part of the mood thing is thinking nobody gives a rat’s arse about me because I don’t have many friends where I live and the mates I used to spend time with in Ipswich are too far away for a quick catch up cuppa or glass of wine now. I still see them but I can’t just be in town in 20 minutes any more, or stay out till 2am dancing and drinking.

So, that’s where I’m at. I promised to keep you up to date with it all and there’s not much to report really, it’s all been a bit of a damp squib this week. but I’ll get back onto Beat, get signed up to the Big White Wall course and see what the doctor says, and report back later.

Big, big hugs and kisses to everyone who’s reached out to me. It truly means a LOT.

Steve Strange Visage

In praise of the New Romantics

So, it’s RIP to Steve Strange, the founder of the New Romantic movement is no more.

It’s a sad day.

I’m not going to pretend I was a Visage ultra-fan, or hold a candlelit vigil while wearing eyeliner and white facepaint. But I am a bit sad. Not just because he was only 55, but because he started New Romanticism, or at least he was widely credited as the person behind it all, and hell, I LOVED that stuff.

I was too young to be a punk, and anyway, ‘punk rockers’ as I would have called them when I was 10 years old, scared me. Of course, aged 43, ageing punks scare me about as much as the Doctor Who theme tune does these days, but back in 1980, I was still a big fan of ABBA.

My first real pop star crush was Adam Ant. That man was (and actually still is) quite beautiful, and it was about that time, in 1980/1 that the vague stirrings of the New Romantic movement started to reach my awareness. My favourite Bowie song (everyone’s got one, right?) is Ashes to Ashes, which features Steve Strange in the video, and I loved it. Just as much as I loved ‘Fade to Grey’, everything by Adam and the Ants and early Spandau Ballet. You can keep your ‘Gold’ and ‘True’, for me, the best Spandau Ballet single was their first -’To Cut a Long Story Short’…

I LOVE Martin Kemp’s outfit here. Does that make me odd?

Too young to be a New Romantic

I desperately wanted to be a New Romantic myself. Even then I was obsessed with fashion and I can remember being so excited when I got to choose a pair of velvet pedal pushers and a broderie anglaise frilly blouse from Mum’s catalogue for a Christmas pressie. It was the closest I could get to the look; I wasn’t allowed to wear make up and my mum still cut my hair. That didn’t stop me practicing the make up styles from Jackie Magazine on my Girl’s World.

I really think it’s time for a New Romantic revival. New Romantics were arty, creative and always looked good. They were true equals; the boys looked as feminine as the girls and the whole boys in make up scene has left me with a real thing for men in eyeliner. New Romantics were clever and witty, a sort of Oscar Wilde antithesis to punk’s John Cooper Clarke. The punks would be hanging around Bognor (where I lived at the time) trying to find something to look angry and menacing about, while the New Romantics would be more likely to be found in Boots sampling the glittery eyeshadow. Punk was all about the hopelessness of it all, a disenchanted youth with no future.

New Romantics were all daydreams and lipgloss, Blitz Kids and androgyny. They didn’t fight against reality, they made up their own and they looked amazing while they did it.

I think being obsessed with the New Romantic scene as a child also left me with a love of dramatic, atmospheric, moody music. I still know all the words to ‘Say Hello Wave Goodbye’ by Soft Cell and Tainted Love is one of my favourite songs of all time. Although Marc Almond denies being anything to do with the scene, I beg to differ. In my head, he’s in there along with Japan, Ultravox and the rest. Even early Duran Duran. If Marc Almond wasn’t a New Romantic, I’m not sure who this is at 0.37 into this brilliant ITV News clip…(PS: Watch out for Richard Madely, too)

So, it’s a fond farewell to Steve Strange. Hands up if you played ‘Fade to Grey’ this morning? It still gives me goose bumps.

gorgeously full fat

This Woman Was Breathless Walking Around The Shops. What She Did Next Will Make You Gasp!

gorgeously full fat

 

It won’t really. I just fancied writing a blog title that sounded like clickbait!

I can put your mind at rest if you were thinking that my sudden breathless episode was a Kettle Chip and cheese related heart attack. Nope, it was a wine and party food related gastritis episode which has gone now. The next morning I got up and went for a walk, did three miles or so in zero temperatures and I was perfectly fine.

No more wine or vol au vents for a while. Well, maybe on Wednesday night…

I couldn’t sleep last night and I planned to write a “day in the life” type post about what it’s really like being fat, when you live a normal kind of life and not a tabloid imagined gorge fest.

So here’s today, warts and all. The reasons I want to get healthy again… This isn’t a whine and I’m not beating myself up. This is just how it is.

Do I really have to get out of bed?

I fully intended to hitch a lift to the gym with Moley at 7am. Had gym stuff all laid out. Then I didn’t sleep til about 2.30 and by 7am getting out into -3 cold and frost wasn’t top of my to do list. I stayed in bed a bit longer instead.

The first thing I do every day when I wake up is take a Lanzoprazole pill. These are for the gastritis and mostly they keep it under control. I really want to come off them as I think they make my IBS worse and I don’t want to be on them for the rest of my days! For now I’m taking them though. I phoned another prescription in this morning because if I run out and don’t take them I get terrible rebound pains that hurt so much I have to lie down and stay still for up to two hours. That’s boring.

I whizz up a pre gym protein shake for breakfast… My first one. Got them from Juice plus, the vanilla one is quite nice actually. Was expecting to grimace a bit.

Putting on my gym outfit meant issues. My sports bra won’t do up anymore, partly because I’ve put on weight, partly because it’s knackered and partly down to hormones making me go up a bra size. No running on the treadmill for me today then. I did feel a bit relieved, I hate running. Putting trainers on always means breathing in as my tummy gets in the way. Part of the logistics of being fat is finding ways to do things up or get things on and off while breathing in and squishing the fat bits.

Fat girl in gym session shocker…

I get the bus into the town and then walk the 15-20 minutes to the gym. Heard a Hi energy class going on as I walked in, really wished I had the fitness and coordination for it. I’ve done a few classes but even things like yogalates are hard for me, I can’t hold all the poses and I struggle to support my weight on one arm!

The gym was OK. I usually zone out with the iPod but I noticed a skinny girl giving me that look, the one you get when you’re fat and doing something skinny people do. I ignored it, and then shot the fat girl who sat next to me on the stationary bikes a look of solidarity…

Ten minutes into my cycling, my abdomen goes into spasm with no warning and I have to stop for a bit, concentrate hard and once the spasm subsides carry on. That’s IBS! I’m used to it and grit my teeth on the bike; at least I’m sitting down! It puts paid to the idea of finishing with 10 minutes on the cross trainer though… I wait until there nobody about in the changing room and… Well TMI. I don’t want to risk getting caught out on the walk back into town…

I look at myself in the gym mirror… Can’t help wishing my t shirt fitted better. I spent too much time pulling it down every time it rode up. When I wasn’t trying to ignore my knees hitting my squishy tum. Which gets in the way, as it does on the leg press too. And the back extension.

“Are you looking at my basket? “

In town I pop to get a few bits and as usual part of me always thinks I’m judged on what’s in my basket. OK so today it was eggs, bacon, low fat sausages, mushrooms, broccoli and butternut squash. But it isn’t always! I’m sure nobody gives a crap what I’m buying but if there’s crisps and goodies on there I almost expect a tut.

I get the bus home, put the drying on, make lunch, call the Spa to arrange my trip that Moley treated me to for Christmas, and decide that the windows look filthy so I’m going to clean them. Hmm. I have to reach across furniture to get to them and when I do the outside I have to reach up and scrub. The decision to clean the windows aggravates my back and my shoulder. I decide to have a shower and leave the hoovering till tomorrow.

I fire up the laptop to do some admin, I’m not supposed to be working but I have unpaid invoices I need to follow up and I planned to start working on ideas for my writing business next year, as they were keeping me awake last night. I realise I’m sitting at an awkward angle and my back starts aching but there’s stuff all I can do as there’s no room for a better desk in our flat. I dream of a decent size house!!

My confirmation email comes through for the spa day, do I want a normal or XL robe? I tick XL. And book a massage…

So many bras, so little choice

I finally make progress on the work stuff and also sign up as a distributor for juice plus. Yay! I decide to look for a sports bra online. Over 1000 bras, only 9 sports bras in my size. Both the ones I like are out of stock. I go for my third choice and that’s going to cost me £40 and take 14 days…

I cook tea when Moley gets home. Haven’t felt too much like hoovering up Christmas chocolates today, and dinner is mostly the butternut squash and broccoli I bought earlier, plus some chicken. I do give in to a few Lindt balls later. Damn they are good.

I try to read “Wheat Belly” later, as someone had told me her IBS and gastritis cleared up after giving up wheat and sugar. Toying with trying wheat free, just to see if it helps. The IBS settled this afternoon, sometimes it does, other times I resort to immodium. I try not to take the pills too often.

I’m knackered by 9.30 and in bed by 10, writing this before I forget. Really tired now. That’s what 4.5 hours sleep does to my brain.

Gorgeously Full Fat and knackered

That’s my day. My starting point for getting healthy. I don’t have anything seriously wrong but what I do have impacts on my daily life and I don’t want it to anymore…. It’s also an exercise in how much my weight affects me in little ways all the time. It doesn’t stop me doing things but it affects how I do them. It surprised me if I’m honest. that even someone like me who’s plus size positive actually thinks about things like what strangers in shops and gyms think of me. Guess I need a boost of confidence too…

I’d love to know if any of this resonates with you??

Night night xx

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Writing the book

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So how was your Christmas?

Mine has been lovely. Family, friends, presents, food, drink, more wine, more food, more chocolate… I’m beached.

I should be off to sleep now but I’ve had stuff rattling around in my brain and I think it needs to get out. I worried myself today. I went into the town with Moley and I was caught out by breathlessness. I found it so hard to get my breath, and yeah I know it was cold, and I was walking quite fast up a slight incline, but it was horrible.

I’ve also had palpitations and dizziness in the last few months. I’m sure it’s nothing; it’s been a stressful year. But I do need to sort it out.

So upgrade 2015 is still being planned. I remember a while ago I was looking in the shops and online for a really good, comprehensive guide to getting healthy, and there just isn’t one. Of course there’s a gazillion diet books, fitness books, books on positive thinking, yoga or nutrition. There nothing for the forty something who just wants to feel better though. Just as well I’m a writer then eh?

I’m still not sure how I’ll do it but I am going to talk about it here and hopefully you can keep me on track?

I’m two weeks and three days into taking the Juice Plus and it’s done amazing things to my skin, so much so that I’ve got Moley taking them for his lifelong eczema too, and they are having a good effect after just a week. I’ll start myself on the protein shakes in the new year, I got a free sample of those and they are supposed to give you lots of energy. There’s a diet and fitness plan too but I’m not really interested in that.

I’m probably going to start distributing the products too. I’m a bit wary because I know someone else who has started selling them, and is posting a lot about it on Facebook…and I feel weird about using my blog to promote stuff.

I wouldn’t do it unless I believed they worked, and I’m someone who has taken so many different supplements over time it’s ridiculous. I’m also crap at sales. I got sacked from Peter Lord shoe shop in Ipswich when I was a 15 year old Saturday girl, for not selling my target number of shoe polishes and insoles, every month. I was great at getting the squirmy kids to sit still and have their feet measured but selling shoe cream? Not so much.

It doesn’t cost much to join the scheme and ideally I’m supposed to recruit others but I’d mainly be doing it to get mine a bit cheaper.

Anyway, it’s late and I’m waffling. Today did scare the crap out of me though.I hate feeling unfit so it’s back to the gym for me on Monday. The time has come to start looking after myself. And writing the book I really wanted to read…

Night all…

PS: Writing this on a tablet, in the dark, at almost midnight had definitely given me some laughs with the predictive text. If you spot a typo I’ve missed, you’ll know why!