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.

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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).

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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…

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Anyone Seen My Confidence?

I love my children and I love being a Mum. Like most parents I often doubt how good I am at it though. My confidence seems to have buggered off on holiday and is currently getting smashed in a bar in Ibiza, dancing to the Macarena & fending off pissed up admirers who’ve had a little too much Dutch courage.  Do I do enough? Am I bringing them up the right way? Am I ballsing it up? Do they eat enough fruit, get enough sleep?It’s easy to doubt yourself though, probably far easier than it is to convince yourself that actually you’re doing your best and that your best IS good enough. When I had children I think my confidence took a knock as also spoken about by the lovely Lianne at Anklebiters Adventures, whilst I’ve never been much of a gobby cow I’m sure I was never quite as reserved as a kid/teen and would speak up if I needed to.

Sometimes you find yourself watching ‘that parent’ the one who just seems to constantly have their shit together and wish you could be just like them. They just have that air of togetherness about them and you just can’t imagine them flapping about forgetting to rub their concealer in or leaving shaving foam all over their chin. Have they though? Are they showing a calm and collected exterior when in reality they’ve spent the morning scraping shit off the bathroom floor or wondering how the feck they’re meant to remove the Sharpie drawn poo emoji from the hallway wall.

There’s a work colleague that I’ve known for a good few years that I’d love to be more like. Absolute opposite of me, he oozes confidence and lives his life not giving two f**ks what anyone thinks of him, not in a ‘he’s a bit of an arrogant twat’ kind of way, just the take no shit kind of way. For the purpose of this post we’ll call him Dave, I would like to be like him.

But I’m not.

I’m actually an anxious and quite shy person. People who know me well would probably read this and think “huh?” forgetting that when they first met me I would have been the one sat in the corner, not saying a word. I hate being the centre of attention, having all eyes on me – one of the reasons I’d never want a big wedding. I hate being picked for role play scenarios during training at work, when my name is called I want to get up and run. Of course I can’t and don’t, mainly because my arse would wobble about way too much and draw even more attention to me but enough about that.

Some time ago I read a post by Amy Treasure about faking confidence and have kept it in mind ever since. In the post she talks about thinking of someone that you think of as really confident and do what you think they would. So I think of Dave and what he would do. I use it to stop myself from legging it away from something that makes me nervous.

I have started to force myself to be more confident even though I don’t really feel it. I find it quite easy to jump in and make myself heard when it’s anything to do with my children however if someone is upsetting me personally I tend to bite my tongue and fume inside. With age I’m finding I’m quicker to say my peace but I still go over things in my mind and wish I’d said this or that. I hope that in the years to come I’ll begin to feel more at ease with myself and find my long lost confidence.

Do you feel more or less confident after having children? Do you think you’re exactly the same as before or do you have ways of faking it til you make it too?

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Getting To Work In The Snow

❄️ Open the curtains, look outside and see a rectangular lump of snow where the car should be. Decide that even though other cars have attempted to get out of the cul-de-sac on a hill and I quite fancy a day off I don’t really want it to be because I’m dead.

❄️ Choose to risk a mega bollocking of doom by not wearing uniform. They want me in? I’m wearing a jumper. It’s happening. I’m a big girl, I can take it. I hope.

❄️ Get the wellies out from under the mountain of other shoes or at the back of the shed with the huge spiders. Those smelly, rubbery, heavy sods that are meant to keep you dry. With a handy strap to widen them to get your leg in. Lying bastards, I literally force my sausage legs into them and know it’ll be murder to get them off but I’ll have to worry about it later and walk along with half my calf muffin topping them. Sexy.

❄️ Take your life in your hands. Walk on the snow and risk slipping undaintily on your arse or walk on the road and risk getting squashed by a wayward bus or splattered by shit coloured gritty slush. Feel glad there’s not a soul around to hear your mutterings of “shit nearly slipped then” and “yeah, cheers then snow, sitting there looking pretty when really you’re hiding a huge pile of dog shit”

❄️ Realise that by driving to work you miss all the best scenery.

Like this:

And this:

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❄️ Realising you are one lazy, unfit bastard. Being unused to wearing wellies and trudging through snow I swear my thighs will be worthy of any Welsh rugby player by the end of the day. If I ever get there that is.

❄️Arrive at work and feel very deflated at the lack of fanfare or medal bearing Mayor to clap you through the door. My cheeks are bright red, my hair like Worzel’s and I’m a hot, sweaty mess (damn you HR enraging jumper) but I made it and I was on time.

❄️ Feel secretly glad that the boss hasn’t made it in as there’s a huge probability of a welly wanging their way past their gob. They won’t see the funny side. They won’t. That’s if you can get them off of course. It’s like they’ve moulded to you. They are at one with you. Polyvinyl pricks.

❄️ Feel smug that while everyone else is in for losing a days pay you’re still in the money. Yeah it’s all fun and games to turn over in bed send that “I’m not coming in bitches” email and go back to sleep. That is until you get your payslip and realise there’s no money for Quality Street induced comas for Christmas. More like multi pack Smart Price chocolate that tastes like old shoes.

❄️ Forget until home time that your car is not all snugged up in the carpark. You’ve got to get those bloody wellies back on and walk home again. This time it’s even more fun though ‘cos it’s dark. Or maybe catch a bus. Exciting.

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Friends For My Fortieth?

When I was at school being 40 was ancient, anything after that and you were practically dead. You were boring, wore corduroy and drank Horlicks at bedtime, we thought. Oh how the tables have turned. I am finding myself fast approaching 40 and have no idea how to celebrate it.

Well, actually that’s a fib, I do have several ideas such as an 80’s themed party or an 80’s weekend at Butlin’s but I’m either terrified to see them through or lacking in the basics required. Now you might think it’s a money thing but it’s not really it’s more about friends. To have a party you need people to attend. Of course I have my wonderful family but sometimes it’s nice to see other people, catch up on their lives. What if nobody does turn up though? What if you invite lots of people and you’re stood there in all your finery and no bugger turns up? Not even to nick the finger foods?!!

The last time I had a party was for my 18th back when I had lots of friends and not a care in the world, apart from the hideous hangover the next day. Go to work, go home, get dressed up, get pissed and have a laugh, rinse and repeat, that’s what we did back then. Fast forward a couple of years and I’m alone with a baby and all my friends have moved on to bigger and better things. Who wants to get stuck with the mate with a kid hanging off her tit at all hours hey? I was young, they were still in party mode, I was in ‘frig sake I’m too tired to do anything other than die on the settee come 8pm’ mode.

Getting sick of the same 4 walls I found a job in a call centre where I formed new friendships, bonding over a mutual hate of people who screamed at you for the long wait to get through, although with most of them being male I found myself again dropped when I forgot to buy one of my best friends a birthday card despite being in hospital miscarrying at the time. The friendship never recovered – not necessarily  a bad thing given the circumstances but then the others all met partners in time and once they were on the scene I was surplus to requirements or a threat (no I don’t think I would be either, have you seen me without make up? Mind your eyes!!) so they got rid sharpish.

My job now is quite lonely, there’s plenty of people coming in and out but it’s not an office full of employees where you form friendships with colleagues , it’s just me and 1, maybe 2 others. So with that in mind who the hell do you invite to your exclusive party? To your mad throw up somewhere you shouldn’t weekend away in Butlins or otherwise?

I often see people all over my Facebook feed having amazing girly weekends away or nights out and wonder how I ended up being the proverbial watcher through the window. Like a Peeping Tom but far less pervy. I’ve never been invited on a hen night or to someone’s wedding other than family and that’s not happened in years. When did I end up being the saddo Billy No Mates? I have plenty of online friends whom I’ve met through blogging, they’ve seen me through good and bad times and are always there for me but we’re talking travelling hundreds of miles to be anywhere near me so it’s really not practical to expect that to happen.

Although I’m not particularly bothered about the prospect of turning 40 I do want to mark it in some way, make memories because it only happens once. So that is my dilemma, short of asking Hooks & Dragons to crochet me some new buddies I’m pretty much stumped.

So if you’re at work full time and the Mum’s at gymnastics rebuff your attempts at small talk where the bloody heck do you find new friends these days? Answers on a postcard or you know just like point me in the direction of some people who won’t murder me and eat my liver.

Hi I’m Julie. Wanna play?

Monday Stumble Linky

 

The Poor Purple Corsa

I didn’t learn to drive until I was 27. I was never really interested nor could I afford it being a single parent but I managed to scrape the money every week and spend an hour with a man with an inate ability to talk non stop for an hour and not breathe. He didn’t have time I swear!

He was a funny man, always in smart business wear despite the fact he was boiling most of the time and his directions went from “and if you could just pull up here” to “pull over into the other lane now or you’re going to be squashed dead by that lorry.”

I wasn’t a very confident learner, mind you that’s pretty much me all over. I was forever saying I couldn’t and he was forever telling me I could. And after about 45 lessons I did. Well actually I didn’t, I failed the first time with my reverse around a corner. Something I have not once done in my 12 years of driving. I passed the second time with a few minors.

My Mum took me to buy my first car, as a surprise. Isn’t she awesome?! It was a purple Corsa 1.2 and I loved it! She made me drive it home across several dual carriageways and about 10 miles from home, I swear she did it on purpose! I crapped myself, not literally but it wasn’t far off and the one thing I will always remember about that day is getting stuck in the carpark outside her house. It was on a slant and there were cars everywhere, being used to learning with power steering and then having a car without was a recipe for disaster. I’m convinced to this day she got out and left me to it on purpose so I would just have to get on with it. She denies it of course but I know!

It took me a good 20 minutes and a 3456426 point turn to get out of there, by which time I’d attracted the neighbours. They obviously wouldn’t have known that I’d just passed my test but there isn’t really any need to be quite such a dick pointing and laughing is there?! I got out eventually, obviously! I didn’t die there in my little Corsa gripping the steering wheel and gritting my teeth. Bet the knobhead neighbours would have just tutted at me being in their way even if I had.

One normal boring old day I was pootling to work (love that word) and my poor purple Corsa and I had no idea it was the day it would go to the scrap heap in the sky.

I was on a dual carriageway approaching a roundabout to go straight over, nothing from my right so kept going. Out of nowhere someone coming from the left of the roundabout drove straight across in front of me. I shit a brick, braked as hard as possible, skidded a bit and smashed straight into the side of him. No air bags in my car so there I am sat in my car staring at the wide eyed bloke staring back at me. God it was surreal, like it was happening to someone else and I wasn’t there. I got out and he started screaming at me. “Look what you’ve done to my wife” he bellowed. Said wife smiled meekly and told him to be quiet. After all, he had in fact pulled out in front of me when I had right of way. We moved the cars, the police came, we swapped details and off I went to work. Yeah I went to work. My boss took one look at me and sent me off to the hospital, where I was checked over and declared fine but with whiplash.

My little purple Corsa was declared a write off and sadly was no more. I got a Renault Megane instead. WORST bloody car EVER. A few cars later and I now have a Hyundai which is bloody fab.

What’s the best/worst car you’ve owned?

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