I’ve had enough

I’ve had enough. I give up. I can no longer keep up. I have been all different clothing sizes. Size 8 all the way to size 16. And my mental health has always been the same (a bit shit), I’ve always managed to find a flaw or two, in each size.

When I’ve lost weight in the past, (four stone at the most) it’s all people have wanted to talk about. Before asking me how I am, they’ve wanted to find out how I lost fat from my body. What I was eating, what workouts I was doing. People would approach me as if I’ve done something, heroic. It’s pathetic if you think about it long enough. And so tragically dull. Especially because at that time I was at my worst with my mental health. No one would’ve known though, because I was losing weight. And isn’t that the answer to all of our prayers? Spoiler alert : NO IT’S NOT.

I eat well, I work out. I run ten miles a week. And yet I’m still very average (when I don’t indulge on pasta daily). When I say ‘average’ I mean, this body of mine isn’t radically going to change or morph into Kim Kardashian’s over night. Over night meaning – EVER.

And you know what? That’s fine. Well….. it’s going to have to be isn’t it? Because I cannot really change my body into something it’s never going to be. As a woman, like everyone else I struggle with the way I look. When I was younger this sort of thing never phased me. Fast forward a few years, sprinkle a bunch of women with insecurities, chuck in some body imagine insults from men, and throw in a good dash of media body shaming and this is where we’re at! It’s almost like we are programmed to think this way. It’s not only women who’re suffering these days, men do too.

This makes me fuming and sad all at once. We’re all torturing ourselves really. Because let’s face it, we do judge one another on our looks/bodies. And it pisses me off. It’s like I sometimes feel I have no other choice but to judge. When really I do. But it’s become a habit, a routine and the ‘norm’ to pick and criticise at myself and notice other people’s flaws. I hate this and I’m stopping this shit once and for all. We scroll onto Instagram and before you know it we’re drowning in our own tears, over the fact our lips are not the size of kylie Jenner’s, our hair isn’t as luscious as Cheryl Cole’s and our hips don’t shake like Shakira’s.

To (really well and truly) make myself realise how ridiculous and unattainable my body standards/dreams are, I’ve listed the following :

Dream face : Lana Del Rey

Dream boobs : Iggy Azalea

Dream stomach : Kim Kardashian

Dream bum : Kim Kardashian

Dream legs : Meghan Markle

Dream hair : Jemima Kirke

So… all of this put together would not only look stupid, but it’s make believe. No one will ever look like this because it’s a mash up of different people. Most of those body parts listed are plastic. No disrespect to these women, or to anyone who’s had plastic surgery but I can’t afford to buy those body parts, I won’t ever look like that.

Here are the steps I’m going to take, to finally accept, and get a grip on my body image and everyone else’s around me:

(Alright Dua Lipa)

1. Stop comparing.

2. Treat my body as a whole, not individual pieces.

3. Be kind to my body. Drink more water and eat a balanced diet. But also eat that pizza, chocolate when I want.

4. Appreciate my body for what it has done. I have three incredible children. All down to growing in my own body.

5. Be realistic.

I no longer want to define my body, as a size. I don’t want to sit and sigh at old pictures (pre children) of my body anymore. I was unhappy and unhealthy back then. I need to be strong, I need to be me. Because there’s only one me in this world (thank fuck eh) and that’s a really cool thing, you know?

It’s not all doom and gloom. I do like certain parts of myself. But I’m not parts in a puzzle I’m a human being with feelings. So I’m going to start respecting myself.

And I also don’t want to be on my death bed, wishing I had eaten more cake. So fuck it.

This is me – in writing hanging up my fucks to give with my body. This is me. Don’t like it?

Don’t care.

Alex.

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An interview with my cousin Louise

I think we could all learn something from Louise, she is the most positive person, I’ve ever met. And it’s genuine, it’s not fake, she sees the good in everything and everyone, I’ve never heard her say a bad word against anyone. I really enjoyed asking Louise these questions and I hope you like reading the answers as much as I do.

Some (most) would say she’s living the dream. She works out in the sun, with animals all day long. Here’s what she’s got to say on things such as : Gun control, spice girls music and is Kanye West really is a genius…

(I’m actually in shock over the fist fight answer!)

Ok…

1. When was the last time you cried?

I cried this morning when I was talking to my husband. We’re on separate continents (for the next few weeks at least) and we seem to have some of our deepest conversations when we FaceTime. He showed me how much he cared about me, the whole me, for who I am right now. That’s incredibly liberating, when you’ve had a negative view on yourself, how someone loves you sees you, is a powerful thing.

2. What do you think the meaning of life is?

Love. Preferably found through loving kindness.

3. Who do you go to for advice?

My Twin, Catherine, my soul friends Sarah and Crissi and my mum when it really, desperately matters.

4. What’s your favourite sea animal?

A turtle, to have your home with you is a beautiful thing. I lived in my horse trailer for 5 years and it was such a liberating experience. Plus I love the way turtles propel themselves. It’s effortless.

5. Why did you move to America?

I was escaping from a lot of grief back then. Plus I got to work with horses in the sun!

6. What’s it like living in Trumps America?

Speaking of grief…

7. What’s your thoughts on gun control?

I worked with hunting dogs a lot in the last decade as have a healthy respect for firearms. There’s zero need for an automatic/semi-automatic killing machine to exist. If responsible gun owners, want to own a firearm they will keep them for home intrusion, or only ever take them to hunt animals they’ll use at least the meat from..that’s all good. Everything else is about the glorification of killing fear.

8. How many times in one day do you swear?

At least once! Probably something beginning like “bloody” or “bastard” as in “the bastard hose keeps kinking up”. Never against people or animals. I think swearing encourages me into less than optimal thoughts, so I keep it lighthearted or reserved for when I smash my shin!

9. Do you believe in a god?

I believe in an eternal creating force.

10. Do you believe in ghosts?

No, but I do believe those who go before us live on inside of us, and become part of a field of intelligence we can access very readily. I’ve known a fair amount of death and I’ve worked through grief processes and I know that when, we can accept the physical departure of our loved one, we can access them again in so many ways.

11. Jeans or leggings?

Leggings. I love stretch.

12. Why did you decide to become a vegan? And how long have you been one for?

Ha!!! I haven’t ever been a try vegan, (I ride horses and eat honey and use a leather saddle) but I did eat a strict vegan diet for a long time. I was having a ridiculous amount of digestive and inflammatory issues- probably down to the fact I starved my body for a decade, so I decided to do an elimination diet. Basically take everything out that could be causing, an issue and reintroduce everything slowly again. I found my body handled non animal products very well. I’ve always worked with animals, and have been vegetarian or (extremely minimal meat eater for most my life)

13. What’s a popular misconception about being a vegan?

That you can’t get enough protein or iron! Try vegetables!!!

14. Tell us something we don’t know about you?

I have to sample a dry piece of my cereal before I taste it with almond milk. The exception is weetabix because, no.

15. If you could re live one day what would it be?

Too tough. I’m a massive believer in blending and accepting the present as it is so even thinking about what to revisit is hard. I’d choose a day when my dad was alive for sure, probably a beach day in France, so I could stop listening to my Walkman and start appreciating being with him instead.

16. How many languages can you speak?

I speak some Spanish and some welsh but I wouldn’t say I was fluent in either.

17. Name a place you’d love to go to?

Yellowstone.

18. Fave smell?

Horse. A big neck sniff, or puppy breath!

19. If you could say one more thing to your dad what would it be?

I love you.

20. Name something you adore about your mum?

She never forgets a birthday.

21. Who’s more influential Kim K or Beyonce?

Could. Not. Care. Less.

22. Do you feel sorry for Melania Trump?

I feel sorry for anyone who finds themselves in a relationship where they’re subservient to the other.

23. Coffee or tea?

Coffee.

24. What’s your fave movie?

Garden state.

25. Name three things you find revolting?

I’m not a big fan of snot materialism, or similarly, greed.

26. What is it really like being an identical twin? Did you find it annoying sometimes e.g being mistaken for the other at times?

Probably did! It’s hard when someone says “I can tell you and Catherine apart, Catherine has the beauty mark” etc. Yep. That’s the only difference!! Seriously, it’s indescribably great to have someone, on this planet who knows me inside and out. Plus she’s an amazing human being, teacher, and mum. Can’t imagine life without her.

27. Who was the last person you text and what does it say?

Stuart- and that’s private!!

28. Would you die for your animals?

Yes I would put my life on the line for any of them.

29. What do you like most about me?

Your complete openness.

30. Would you ever move back to the UK?

We are making a temporary move back very shortly. To settle some paper work and things. I haven’t lived there for almost 20 years so it’s going to be very strange and very cool to be a resident there for a while.

31. Name something you wish you were better at?

Catching myself when I first begin to criticise myself or others.

32. Describe what it’s like being an auntie?

Unbelievably beautiful. I hadn’t been around any children until I was around Jessie, but she arrived with her own personality and self intact, she was very easy to love.

33. What’s your earliest memory?

I’m not sure, I do remember sitting in a washing basket and going down the stairs very fast!!!

34. How do you de stress?

I pet my dogs. I walk softly and feel my feet, I talk to friends who understand and never try to fix. Any time spent in the shower, is beneficial. I consciously breathe all of my air out so that I have to breathe it all back in again. Many more than that too. Basically I used to live life incredibly sped up and I don’t want to do that now. It’s so detrimental to health and happiness.

35. Adidas or Nike?

Neither.

36. Is Kanye a genius?

He’s moronic. I couldn’t say where he registers on the predetermined scale because I don’t believe in them.

37. Name one meal you’re really good at cooking?

Recently a really nice ratatouille!

38. If you could give 12 year old you advice what would it be?

Breathe, breathe, breathe and remember nobody else is you.

39. Did you enjoy school?

No. I made a few life long friends. But I found it very stressful.

40. Walking or running?

I walk around ten miles a day for my job. So I’d say a good sprint to clear the mind.

41. Worst lie you’ve ever told?

All of them.

42. What scares you?

Those I love getting sick.

43. How did you meet your husband?

We met 20 something years ago through mutual friends. Then I moved to the states and made some mistakes and learned a lot. We reconnected a few years ago, and the one regret I can’t seem to let go (yet) is that we weren’t together this whole time.

44. What’s your fave spice girls song?

Ha!!! Spice up your life.

45. Fave colour?

Green.

46. What’s the best accent you can put on?

I cannot!!

47. The last thing you bought for yourself?

Peppermint and fennel tea.

48. Have you ever gotten into a fist fight?

One primary school fight (defending a friend) and one drunken bar fight (which, incidentally, my now husband got to witness!)

49. Are you a feminist?

I’d say I’m an equal rights believer.

50. Name a few celebs you’d like to have over for dinner?

Any of the British bake off judges, and they can cook!

51. Would you rather be a vampire or a zombie?

Pass!!!

52. Name a sport you can’t get into?

All of them.

53. Have you ever done recreational drugs?

Yes but only plant based.

54. Do you believe in karma?

I believe we should be kind always.

55. How do you keep so positive?

I keep going.

56. Shower or a bath?

Shower to wake up, bath to go to sleep.

57. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?

Within the last two weeks. Life is a constant challenge and humour and grace are the only ways through.

58. Name your happy place?

In marble, Colorado, with my hubby and three dogs.

59. Fave social media platform?

I only use Facebook.

60. Why did Hillary Clinton lose the election?

I thought neither candidate was a fit one. I think Bernie sanders would have made a great president.

61. For 24 hrs would you rather be smothered in marmite and bathe in cream cheese, or have hair brushes for hands and knives as feet?

The knives thing and I’d try very carefully to sleep!

62. What would you rather be famous for: a sex tape or being related to putin?

Neither.

63. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Physically I don’t know, spiritually, much more able to experience joy and peace.

64. Hugs or kisses?

I’m a fan of both in the right unforced circumstances!

65. Cats or dogs?

Dogs dogs dogs dogs dogs dogs.

66. Fave flowers?

Any growing wild.

67. Fave quote?

Too many to list and definitely no favourite! There’s a fortune cookie siting right in front of me, which says “happiness is a state of mind” yes!

68. Fave day of the week?

Monday! My last work day of the week is Sunday. And I love my job, but there’s something delicious about my first day off.

69. Where did you first meet Paul (Catherine’s/Louise sister husband)

I probably first met him at the pub!! I remember being a little estranged from Cath back then ( probably hormones and close living quarters!!) but I always liked Paul, and he has tolerated me well over the years!

70. Do you keep secrets?

Yes. I am a total safe zone with secrets. I couldn’t ever imagine breaking trust in that way.

71. Name your sense of style?

I’m a jeans and t shirt, hoody all the way. But I scrub up well!!

The end xxx

And there you have it. My lovely scrumptious cuz. Louise xxxx

Dear Rex

You’ve probably heard me tell you this story a thousand times by now, but as soon as I took that pregnancy test, I knew I was having a boy.

You know your MiMi is a witch by now, I just know these things. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like, having a son, as I’ve always been around girlies. Turns out it’s not so bad! You are my mini me, we dress alike, we have the same humour, honestly… you’re so funny! You are full of personality and happiness. You make me feel very proud of myself for bringing, such a wonderful little human being, into the world.

It fills my heart with such joy, seeing how lovely you are with your sister, Flo, (we’re still working on it with your baby sister Dolly) you’re not that great I’ll admit it but it’s a birthday blog post dedicated to you , so I won’t go into too much detail, and make out you’re a good boy.

The day you began to walk, you went along and started kicking a ball all by yourself. And since then, you really haven’t left one alone. You are OBSESSED. (That and Peppa pig) between the two it’s a close call, but I’d say football just wins. You put so much effort into your running, jumping up and down on the spot like one of those, old fashioned cartoon characters! You don’t get too far just yet but you are trying your best. So cute.

These two years have flown by, it scares me, but I’m also looking forward, to watching you grow and see you flourish into the person you’re meant to become. I love how you come to me, randomly, every now and then, for a kiss and a cuddle. Your first word was “Mumma” and I knew from then on you were a total Mummy’s boy 💋.

Your daddy and I, are so proud of you. There’s never ever ever ever a dull moment with you. A little cheeky character, with a lot of love to give. You make us all smile and laugh every single day. You are a ray of sunshine in my morning.

I will always adore and love you, more than you’ll ever understand.

Happy birthday Rex Bowie Scout

Your MiMi

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