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It’s me!  On the blog. I can’t even look at it without grimacing.  And having my photograph taken? How hard can it be to look at the camera, I wondered – since I’m constantly the one yelling at asking my boys to look at my lens – and as soon as one is pointed at me, I’m a six year old.  One that isn’t so fond of her appearance, even in an oh-so-comfortable dress from Pink Clove [thank you, Pink Clove].

It’s been five weeks since I began my Slimming World journey – and those five weeks have totalled a loss of one stone of fat.  Gone.  I can run up the stairs, I don’t want to fall asleep every afternoon, and I’m wearing size 16 [they’re still pretty tight, but they’re on] jeans again for the first time since my first son was born in 2010.
Does it feel good? Yes.  
Is it terrifying? Yes.

For each and every time I smile in the mirror now [and I do smile], I’m scared.  You see, at 40 I know myself.  I see the paths I’ve walked before in food and body image territory.  I’ve worn those running shorts, ran until I could run no more and made myself sick. Mentally, physically – and to a point where I was hospitalised at 21, vomiting blood.

I don’t want to go there again.  I’m an addict.  Exercise, diet, chocolate, rituals – I’m easily hooked, by good things and bad – and I take them to extremes, and crash.

It’s a seesaw.  I teeter.  Wobbling between not caring what the world thinks – including those very close to me, who have seen how I’ve struggled over the years with my weight yet still make flippant comments, over and over, as if I don’t realise I’m fat.

I know I’m loved unconditionally by three beautiful boys – [one of whom calls me his Princess] and a wonderful husband, but then I topple over to the other side.  That side is dark, filled with feelings that my life is practically over, I’m a shambles of a person and the rather unattractive slug I see in the mirror is nothing more than a fat old lady well past her best years…and yet in truth I’m wasting years, in misery.

I don’t want to not care, and I don’t want to feel self loathing.  I want to feel comfortable in my own skin – caring what others think essentially stops me being happy.  For the first time since I can remember, I’m trying to be balanced.  I’m getting my life back – and I my own two feet carrying me through the door of Slimming World to thank for that.  Sitting weekly in a group of men and women, talking over how we’ve faired that week is liberating.

Speaking without being judged, listening without speaking if I want to – just knowing that there are friends in that room who want you to succeed is so freeing.  We laugh [a lot], we share and we can be who we are, inside and out, on better or worse days.

I’m going to be brave and try and post about my journey on here – because it’s a road I’ve travelled on so many times before – and this time I don’t want to turn back.

Thank you Mom, for taking my photo.

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    1. Thank you Em! I was so scared walking in alone, but it's the best thing I've done in such a long time. When I held the stone that I lost, it was just crazy. I was carrying that every day – and it weighs on so much more than just your physical self. I'm still way heavier than I've been in the past, but I'm in a bit better health now and I can run up the stairs. My boys deserve to see me smiling 🙂

    1. Thank you Beth! I'm glad to have found a Slimming World blogger to chat to – you looked amazing last time I saw you [you know, when I was snoozing on the train, dribbling, looking awesome]. See you at BlogCamp?

  1. Hey lovely lady! Glad you're taking the time to do something for you. Really impressed that you have the confidence- I wish I did… although I think my lack of will power may be more of the problem 🙂 Look forward to seeing more photos of you on your blog- you make the world a brighter place. xx

    1. Hey! Aw, thank you Debbie – I don't have the confidence! I just thought I had better or my boys will wonder what I was hiding as I'm never in the photos… 😉 Honestly though, I cringed – I pressed publish and had to run away. I hate looking at them – I want that to get easier.

  2. You look absolutely amazing! However I can totally understand how you feel. I'm not sure who the person who looks back at me in the mirror is anymore. It's hard to see yourself as others see you, especially when how they see you is totally at odds with your own vision. You've taken a great, proactive step towards a more positive body image. A stones loss is great. You look wonderful x

    1. Thank you Louisa – I know just what you mean about not recognising yourself any longer. I've started to see myself again over the past couple of weeks and it really puts a smile on my face. I just need to keep on – but in a balanced way. I don't know how people see me – or how I look in reality, I have problems with that thanks to my twenties, but I'm happier these days, so I'm just grateful for that. You looked amazing last weekend – I hope you're in less pain now :/

  3. I love these pics; you look so happy! Slimming World (and, more specifically, Image Therapy) can be life changing if you let it. I wish you a wonderful journey.

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