Fat Like I Was At Fifteen

Look how fat I was. Just look. Can you see it? Nah, me neither. It’s one of those photos that you show someone and they say “oh wow, look how tiny you were” leaving the “what happened?” unsaid, hanging in in the air.

gran-canaria-1993

I spent that holiday in Gran Canaria plus several years before and after thinking I was huge. I loathed wearing those horrible netball knickers/skirts combos at school because my thighs wobbled when I ran and I thought that equalled fat. Being fat never equalled having a boyfriend. It sounds ridiculous to look back and think that was my thought process. Being accepted and liked is all that really matters at that age. I realise now that as a pear shape I carry my weight on the bottom half and I was perfectly fine just as I was.

Now that I really am overweight as an adult I see that back then there was absolutely nothing wrong with me, I would love to look like that again now. Not that there is anything wrong with me now so to speak, it’s unrealistic to think that you could come away from having 3 babies unscathed. Carrying a few extra pounds isn’t the end of the world but for me I find it really affects my self esteem. I don’t feel right, particularly since I’ve just hit the big 40. I feel podgy and nothing fits me properly like it did when I was slimmer. At only 5’2 every extra pound shows and I dislike my ‘hamster cheeks’ when I smile so I tend not to that much in photos or avoid being in photos at all. So yes, I intend to lose weight but for myself. Not because I feel I should, not because I’ve read the latest ‘beached whales in bikinis’ article in a scummy magazine and not because anybody has told me I should.

Over the years my weight has been up and down, I’ve ranged from a size 6 to a 14 and everything in between. I’ve tried Slimfast, cabbage soup, starvation and all manner of ridiculous diets. I’ve even tried so called safe diet pills before finding out they contained ephedrine when my heart started racing uncontrollably one day at work. Did any of it help? No, absolutely not because yes, I may have lost weight and felt I looked much better but I felt lousy. I’m slowly losing weight properly now and being more aware of getting up and moving, I have a desk job and since I’ve started working full time it’s surprising that although I feel like I’ve been on the go all day the very few steps I clock up over the course of the day is far, far lower than I would have done when I was doing the school runs with the kids.

It worries me that now I have a daughter that one day she may look like this, may think she is fat because media all around us tells us that slim is pretty, flesh on show should be toned and tight and if not it should be covered up. I intend to talk to her about body image because I wouldn’t want her to feel like I did. This has no reflection on my own Mum as I never spoke to her about how I was feeling, my Mum was never one of those Mums that was always on a diet or moaning she was fat. We were fed plenty of fruit and veg (and the odd Findus crispy pancake). Had I spoken to her about it though I know she would have told me there was nothing wrong with me (because there wasn’t).

gran-canaria-1993

Oh how I loved my perm, my hair was so much better then. Why can’t it come back into fashion? Now that’s a 90’s throwback I could really get behind!

So to my 15 year self and to my children I say be who you are because who you are is perfect. All that time and energy spent worrying about whether you’re slim enough or attractive enough could be put into something far more worthwhile. People can either take you as you are or get stuffed. Don’t ever let anyone put you down or make you feel bad for just being you. That boyfriend that tells you that your fat arse sticks out when you walk? He can do one. (Yes this happened to me). The friends who take the mickey out of your appearance? They can either shut up or ship out too. You don’t need their negativity and certainly don’t have to put up with it.

Although you might want to work on not being photographed like this…

gran-canaria-1993

julie-x-2 (1)

The A-Z Of Teenage Boys

Ah teenage boys they really are something else aren’t they? Here’s my A-Z of them, written with the help of the lovely Tracey from Hooks and Dragons.

A. Is for Are you really ready for this? Read this if you want to find out!

B. Is for BAE (Before Anyone Else) Oh how I hate this sodding word but if you wanna be down with the cool kids this is what you’ll call the significant other in your life. I suppose it’s not as bad as some of the names that I call my other half. But bloody hell, surely they could come up with better?!

C. Is for CBA (Can’t be arsed) You’ll hear it at least 400 times a day but only when it involves homework, housework or anything that doesn’t interest them in the slightest. If a mate Snapchats them though, them Vans are on and they’re out the door. Can’t be arsed, my arse.

D. Is for Drunk as a skunk. At some point this is going to happen. And they’re going to vomit somewhere they shouldn’t and be too drunk to clean it up, so you’ll have to if you don’t want all visitors to ask why it smells of sick in your house for the next 12 years. You might even have to go and pick them up from a random park bench from which their frantic mate has rung you at 11pm , if you’re lucky.

E. Is for Eat you out of house and home. I have no idea where the hell they put it but honestly you will never have enough food and no matter how much food is in the house they’ll moan there’s sod all to eat despite there being a million plates in their bedroom.

F. Is for Foxtrot Oscar, you’re going to mumble this under your breath. A LOT. They know everything already and anything you say will be ignored. All of the time.

G. Is for “Get those rotten trainers out of my house.”Christ on a bike those trainers will stink and they’ll always be left at the door just so the smell can hit you as you come in. No amount of Febreze in the world can sort it out. Seriously.

H. Is for Headphones. They’re constantly in and they’ll ignore anything that comes out of your mouth. Half the time I’m not convinced he’s listening to anything just an excuse not to have to listen to me!

I. Is for I’m Going Slightly Mad, just like Freddie you’ll think you’re a banana tree. Well not quite but there will be times when you want to bang your head against the nearest wall. I wouldn’t though if I were you, you’ll just have a headache to go with your headache.

J. Is for Just look for it yourself for god sake! If it isn’t under their nose they can’t see it. Actually scrub that, they can’t see it even if it is right under their nose.

K. Is for Keep slamming that door and I’ll take the bugger off altogether. Threaten them with a lack of privacy and they’ll tow the line. Honest.

L. Is for Loudspeaker, every conversation they have is LOUD. They’ll have a moan at you invading their privacy for overhearing their conversation even though the neighbours at no 42 can hear them shouting into their iPhone. Hold it to your ear like normal bloody people!

M. Is for Mood Swings. Up, down, round and sideways. You never know which mood they’ll be in, it’s like having 4 different people all rolled into one. You know that film Split? It’s like that but upstairs in your house, every single day.

N. Is for No. You’ll find yourself using this word a lot. No you can’t have a house party. No you can’t Snapchat at the dinner table. No you can’t have another plate til you bring the other 12 mouldy ones down.

O. Is for Old. That’s how you feel when spending any time with a teen. Your dress sense, anything you say, your taste in music. All makes you old. And if you try to be all cool & stuff they’ll see right through it and make you feel even older.

P. Is for Puberty, one night your cute little boy is going to go to bed and in the morning he’ll be replaced with something like the Beast. Grumpy, hairy and hungry.

Q. Is for Questionable Hygiene. When was the last time they had a shower or brushed their teeth? If you don’t nag they’ll hope you don’t notice. But you will notice. Your gag reflex will notice.

R. Is for Really Though? Sometimes they’ll come up with elaborate stories for why they are late home. Think alien abduction but it only took half an hour and they must have nicked their keys too, which explains why they’re hammering on the door to be let in.

S. Is for Stiff Socks, you can never, ever be prepared for these bad boys that find themselves anywhere but the washing basket that they’re meant to be in.

T. Is for Texting. I have not a Scooby Doo what they talk about all day but those phones are constantly in their hands. Bleep, bleep, bleeping away.

U. Under the bed, don’t be going under there. Hell no. I’ve warned you.

V. Is for Vaping. It’s the in thing. They’re all at it and they leave a cloud of strawberry arse scented fog wherever they go. They might even sneakily try it in the bedroom and set off the smoke alarm and you’ll threaten to lob it out the window until they whinge about how much it cost. How bloody expensive?!!!

W. Is for Washing. It’s not dirty if it’s in the middle of the floor. It’s just there so they can find it easily. Like a sweaty, smelly, filing system.

X. Is for X rated. I don’t really need to say anymore do I. Don’t walk into their room without knocking. Ever. Don’t though.

Y. Is for You’ve got to be bloody kidding. It’s 3am they’re pissed and they’re ringing you from the back arse of beyond. “Where are you?” You’ll sigh and they’ll answer with something stupid like “well there’s loads of trees” or “outside Milletts”.

Z. Is for zits, they’re going to get them and boy are you going to hear about it. Especially if it’s just before a big night out. It’s the end of the world, everyone will laugh at them, they’ll never be able to leave the house again and so on.

As much as we can have a laugh about it, I bloody love my boy and wouldn’t change him. Well maybe the smelly feet. How many of these remind you of your teen boy? Or are yours completely different?

julie-x-2 (1)

Monday Stumble Linky

 

They’re Not Your Friend

Being a teen is hard. Raising a teen is also hard. Getting, keeping and getting on with friends can also be hard. After attending a kids party  recently I realised how hard it is to make friends when you’re an adult and everyone already has their groups and aren’t willing to let an outsider in. It’s made me think back to my younger teenage self and what I would tell her about friends.

Friends. Who’d have ’em? Well, most of us hopefully in some form or other. Some people keep the same group of friends over the years, some have different groups of friends, some may even have none at all.

I lost my best school friend about a year after we’d finished comprehensive school, we’d gone to college to do different courses and during that time had made new friends from those respective courses. There was one girl in particular whom she had befriended who I didn’t take to. Just one of those things, you can’t like everyone so I just avoided her.  As time went on though it occurred to me she had an agenda. I had a new boyfriend at the time and had confided in my BF that he was a bit too nice and I wasn’t sure where it would go and if he was the one for me. In turn my BF had told this girl (not sure why) who it turned out was also a mutual friend of my boyfriend. She then came to me and told me that if I didn’t tell him, she would. I was young, naive and so I finished with him rather than her drop me in it and cause a big scene, which looking back is obviously what she was hoping for.

The nail in the coffin however was when I’d gone out for the night clubbing with my new college friends I was aware that this girl was also there, as was my BF’s boyfriend – not together- but not my BF. I said “Hi!” to both at different times and thought no more of it. The next day however I got a distressed phone call from my BF asking me who the hell I thought I was kissing her boyfriend? When I asked her where on earth she’d got that idea from, in the back of my mind I already knew. Of course it was her, lighting the fuse and standing back as it went off. My BF was devastated, understandably as she thought her boyfriend and I had cheated but other than the quick hello I’d not even been near him. I was really angry that not only was I being accused of something I hadn’t done but that she blatantly believed it. We were never really friends afterwards and whilst it all seems very childish now but at the time it seemed the end of the world.

With those things filed under experience these are the things I’d tell my younger self and my own teen about friends.

• If they put you down and make you feel shit about yourself? They’re not your friend.

• If they let you down time and time again? They’re not your friend.

• If they try it on with your significant other or even just someone you’ve told them you have ‘a thing’ for? They’re not your friend.

• If they make snidey comments about you either to you face or behind your back? They’re not your friend.

• If they constantly ask for favours but never return them? They’re not your friend.

• If you’ve asked tactfully or otherwise not to say things that upset you and they still do? They’re not your friend.

• If they try to get you to do something they know you’re not comfortable with? They’re not your friend.

• If they tell lies about you or anyone else to make themselves look good or get their own way? They’re not your friend.

If they screen shot conversations in group chats or Snapchat and use them against you to make themselves look good? They’re not your friend.

Basically what I’m trying to say is if they don’t treat you with respect you don’t have to put up with it just because you think you’ll have no friends. You WILL make new ones. Your life will go in all sorts of different directions and you just never know what’s around the corner.

julie-x-2

Monday Stumble Linky

Is Moving Out All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

Moving out. Not all it’s cracked up to be is it? Listening to my 18 year old  chatter about how great it will be when he moves out makes me think back *cough* 20 years ago to the times when I thought i was young and free. Yeah….

The first place I shared with a friend was an absolute dive. Oh dear lord it was horrific. Think of that place in your town or city that no-one wants to live in. That really horrible arsehole end of town that people make a face at when you mention it. People grip their handbags for dear life when even just walking around the outskirts of it. That’s where we lived.

The day we moved in (myself and another girl) we had already had a right day of it. Picture it. We’d gone to a local property management bloke who had been recommended because he didn’t ask for thousands up front and as we both had jobs but didn’t earn a mint it sounded ideal to us young, naive girls. Not sure what he was recommended for as he had no more knowledge of being a professional landlord  than I have of astro physics. He told us he had the perfect property for us. Oh how excited we were. Two 18 year olds moving their suitcases of, well… basically shoes, into a new place of our own. It was gorgeous, spacious and clean with a fantastic view. We’d only just started putting our clobber away when in through the door comes a couple. “What the f**k are you doing in our flat?” they spit at us. “Um, Mr X rented it to us” “well he can bloody well unrent it then it’s ours we’ve signed for it, get him on the phone”. This was back in the day when mobiles had only just come out. I picked up my brick to ring him. “I’m ever so sorry I’ve made a mistake” he says. “I’ll come and pick you up, I have just the place for you”. Shoes get bunged back into suitcases and off we go in the back of his Mcdonald’s wrappered car. He took us through the door and the wonder awaited us.

Just the place. JUST THE PLACE?

The excited giggles didn’t last long. They soon turned to shock. Then horror. The bright blue carpet in the front room had hundreds of pine needles stuck in it – I would later find myself on hands and knees with a pair of tweezers attempting to remove them. Hours of my life wasted. Half the floorboards were pulled up. Mr X told us this was because the electrics were being looked at. Speculation later from other friends was that there had been a drugs bust and we were living in some kind of Heroin hidey hole. Gawd. Although there was a handyman type guy who came around and disappeared down under the floor several times a day and once stood on a ladder to ‘fix the boiler’, I heard a spark and I kid you not he flew halfway across the room. Up he gets and starts jumping up and down on the spot stammering “I’m fine”.

Mr X told us the place was fully furnished. Bit economical with the truth there. It was to a degree but on looking at the bedrooms we realised they were full of stuff. Not just furniture but piles and piles of crap. We were told we couldn’t throw anything away as they belonged to the homeowner and as we were both about to go to work we felt we had no choice but to sign or find ourselves homeless. Pride stopped us from running back home after making such a big deal about leaving. When I got to work someone asked me if I was ok and I burst out crying. They thought someone had died. I put them right of course and told them that I’d just moved into the biggest sh*thole of a house known to man.

After work we got home and had a really good look around. On the plus side (the only one really) it had a gorgeous bathroom huge and really tidy. There was an attic type hatch in there, I never did find out where it led as the only time I put my hand in to feel around I pulled out a pile of dirty magazines, hastily shoved them back in and closed it forever. I would later be found on the loo, pants round my ankles in a cider induced slumber in that bathroom. Good job there were no camera phones then I can tell you. Got a lot of ribbing for that one from the group of friends stood in the doorway to laugh at my misfortune. The sods.

untidy-living-room-messy

My brother in our stylish living area.Yes that is an upturned coffee table.No I don’t know why.

There were 3 bedrooms. 1 of which had a random red lightbulb. It was from then on known as ‘the red room’. It was one of those rooms that gave you the heebie jeebies. It was floor to ceiling full of ‘things’ I say things because I actually have no real idea what was in there as I scarpered a bit quick. That room just wasn’t right. We ended up sharing a bed in the main bedroom because we didn’t want to move all the stuff off the middle bed. Lord only knows what you might find in there. People, dogs, whole family of rabbits. Who knows?

messy-bedroom

A teenage me in my luxurious bedroom.

Mr X also turned out to be a right weirdo who entered the house whenever he felt like it especially if the rent was more than 3 minutes late. Once I caught him coming through the door having leapt out of bed and down the stairs and he said in a leary fashion “oh that nightie is really see through” (it wasn’t) and that was actually an occasion where I told him to “knob off out of my house.”

I eventually moved from there to a much tidier flat in a nice part of town and life was much different. Maybe doing it the way I did was a learning curve, did me good. Or maybe I should have just admitted to my Mum the place was a dive and gone home. C’est La Vie.

Did you move out into a sensible place or did you too live in a craphole?

julie-x-2

Monday Stumble Linky

Getting A Teen Out Of Bed

Right now you may have little ones and be experiencing  5.30a.m morning wake ups and sit there wishing they ‘would just stay in bed and give you a lie in’. STOP. Karma will come around and kick you right up the bum when they turn into a teenager and you can’t get the sod out of bed for love nor money. Here are the stages of getting said teenager up that happen in our house. Insert Spongebob style ’10 minutes later’ between each one.

Stage 1

This is the stage where you’re still optimistic that today will be the day that they get up without the hassle. Pahahahahaha.You knock the door whilst steeling yourself for the stench, run in and shake them awake cheerily telling them if they get up now there’s plenty of time for shower, breakfast and a cuppa.

Stage2

10 minutes later you realise there is no movement going on upstairs and stomp back up in the hope that your heavy footsteps will get them shifting. Does it heck. They’re still lying there bleary eyed saying “what?”. Keep calm, they’re bound to get up soon, they’ll be worried about being late. Right?!

Stage 3
Now you’re getting your hair off, they’re taking the mickey. So you go up and threaten them that if you have to come up again you’ll be bringing a bucket of water. They sigh and moan “for god’s sake” under their breath. Yes, because obviously I’m doing this for fun. It’s the highlight of my day don’t you know?! I really don’t have anything better to do like sticking hot pokers in my eyes, the usual.

Stage 4

Right they’re still not up. So you realise it’s time to make good on your threat to throw water. You spend a few minutes looking for the bucket you bought the kids at the beach in the summer and when you remember they’re probably at the back of the shed with the false widows and tube webs you decide ‘sod that for a laugh’ and just grab the mop bucket, chuck the mouldy smelling mop across the kitchen in annoyance and fill it up. Drag the heavy sodding thing up the stairs only to find right at the last second the teen will magically launch themselves out of bed and shout “I was up, stop stressing” You fight the urge to drench the cheeky git anyway, grit your teeth muttering about ‘lazy bloody kids’ lug the bucket back downstairs and get ready to start fighting ‘get dressed and ready wars’ where they’ll race down the stairs – steady on- to shout about the favourite t-shirt/skinny jeans/trainers they can’t find and you’ve obviously moved. Believe me mate I wouldn’t touch your stinky clodhoppers if my life depended on it!

So honestly, if you are reading this bleary eyed at the crack of a sparrow’s fart then just remember it’ll come full circle in a few years time.

Are your teens like this too? Are you one of the lucky ones who’s teens get up without a fuss?

julie-x-2

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday