A little bit of Thin-spiration

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Ask any woman in todays modern society exactly what they consider to be the perfect body and you can pretty much guarantee that the word ‘thin’ will be in there somewhere. Average statistics show that at any one time 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will be on a diet or weight loss program of some form or other. In an increasingly media driven society models of perfection are paraded as examples to aspire to and aspire to it we do. 

Despite an ever expanding population the diet and fitness industry continues its popularity explosion with companies like Weight Watchers pulling in a hefty $1.452bn (1) in annual revenue. Definitely no slim sum by any means and a clear indicator that the diet industry, in the western world at least, is definitely big business. As the media continues its glamorous promotion of those body beautifuls, we in turn fuel the trend and flock in our millions to buy into the illusion that they sell.

So much of a change from a small few decades past when icons and idols sported more ‘womanly’ curves. Glamour oozed from such well rounded starlets as Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and the timelessly sexy Bettie Page. Yet it is a true indicator of todays media influence when many questioned nowadays truly consider those afore mentioned sex symbols to be overweight. Indeed on more than one occasion this writer has seen the beautiful Marilyn described as ‘Fat’.

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But how accurate is this media bandwagon and are those ideals of perfection really so perfect after all? Well on camera it seems so. Glossy celebrities smile those perfect smiles and flaunt those flaw free bodies across magazine covers the world over. Enviously we admire everything about them and hurl ourselves desperately in the direction of anything we believe will make us like our idols. Billions each year are spent on diet, cosmetics and now on an increasing trend of cosmetic surgery as industry cashes in on our need to be perfect. The ‘quick fix’ surgery solution has rocketed in the last few years with millions of us opting for an invasive procedure as a way to give us that which we desire so badly. There is no doubt that this growing trend will not be seeing a decline anytime soon and the industry sees set to boom to massive proportions. 

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Sadly many recent media revelations reveal that perhaps the perfection we yearn for so badly may not be such a reality after all. Articles galore adorn the internet screaming the reality of an illusion we are all to ready to buy into. It seems there is a route to perfection after all but it does not lie at the end of a surgeons scalpel, nor indeed as the result of any super hyped diet program. To achieve the body of your dreams it seems all you need to do today is get yourself airbrushed. Stars have been no doubt cringing in shame as the internet buzzes with before and after photographs showing the reality of alleged perfection. With a few clicks of a computer mouse the pounds are shed, cellulite banished and perfect wrinkle free skin glows with health. Not such hard work after all then and certainly a look we can all manage with ease. Amusing then that men are among those most easily taken in by the images fed to us. I have encountered shock and surprise from more than one gentleman when i explained the wonders of airbrushing to them for they really did believe such flawless beauty existed. There is no doubt that there are indeed many beautiful people out there but nobody is perfect. So as we embark upon yet another diet in our efforts to be thin and spend billions on anything we are led to believe will get us there, perhaps we need to be a little more realistic in our efforts. Maybe one day the media will step up to the mark and take responsibility for the monster that it has created. But in the meantime we will all try just that little bit harder and spend just that little bit more. 

Because you can be perfect……can’t you?

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(1) source – google finance

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Is that for your husband dear?

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Hunting madly through the kitchen drawer i really was far from impressed to find that yet again a screwdriver famine had descended over my once well stocked tool kit. Over the months various members had ‘borrowed’ items and as usual either lost or not returned them home leaving me with few sorry items hiding away in a huddle. What should have been a simple task of changing a vacuum cleaner belt was now turning into something far more complicated but then this is my house what did i expect? The one remaining Phillips screwdriver lurking in the depths of the drawer was far too short for the very deep screws so thoughtfully designed by the people at VAX. Heaving a sigh i eyed the rain resignedly, decided to brave the weather and trudged my way up to a local hardware store. Humming along  to tunes on my ipod i abandoned my very wobbly and now soaking umbrella at the door and headed for the tool section. I decided that whilst i was here perhaps now would be a good time to price up a new tool kit since i’d had one on my to buy list for quite some time and not gotten around to it. 

The store itself is very haphazard, cluttered and narrow which makes viewing items properly quite difficult. Far from being hung in uniform military precision as in the larger department stores , these items were much more scattered and overflowing. Deciding to save time i approached a shop assistant for advice which i normally do not do, much preferring to ponder my own choices. Explaining what i wanted the kit to contain i smilingly asked to be shown suitable items at a reasonable price. Immediately afterwards my smile faded and i gaped as the shop assistant blithely asks ”Is this for your husband dear?”

”Ummmmm, no actually its for me” I announced confidently ”i dont have a husband”

Her eyes opened wider and she swept her gaze over my red lipstick, down to my heeled boots and finally settled on my finger polished nails before quietly exclaiming ”OH!!”  

Hmmmm had she been an elderly lady i might have understood but this woman was younger than i am so perhaps she should not have been surprised at a woman buying herself a toolkit. I debated telling her that i can quite happily accomplish all manner of DIY tasks from unblocking a U bend to repairing electrical items. As for flat pack furniture well there i’m almost an expert and super speedy and the go to gal amongst my friends when any is purchased. Showing me two or three less robust kits in between sideways glances i rolled my eyes as she was clearly showing me the more ‘delicate’ end of the range. Definitely not what i was after i want a proper tool kit that can withstand anything i throw at it not a pretty pink barbie kit!! 

Chuckling to myself i decided that perhaps one of the bigger department stores might be more realistic and instead settled for buying the size screwdriver i wanted for the job at hand. Shoving it into my bright red handbag i had to smile at the rather incongruous picture it surely presented to her. So they say the world is much more equal these days do they? Perhaps not so much as you would imagine after all! Ah well, time to go and file my nails whilst baking a cake i think. Tea anyone??

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How to have a happy New Year……….or not!

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So Christmas time has come and gone and with it all the hustle bustle and weeks of planning. January settles into somewhat of an anti-climax that leaves you sitting amongst piles of discarded wrappings gloomily wondering ‘Now What?’  Dismally we prod our post christmas weight gain and vow resolutely to sign up for the gym and turn ourselves into body beautifuls, quit drinking and therefore become wonderful people. Right?? 

Pretty much! Prodding my own post christmas tum, i have happily christened it my food baby and only the expected January diet has prevented it from growing into a full blown toddler complete with requisite tantrums. Actually in all honesty i’m exaggerating just a teensy bit here since Christmas weight gain was less than 2lbs despite eating enough for a family of 5. Someone up there must like me just a tad and i sent up a silent thankyou to those in the know as i wriggled into my size 10 dress. Partner in crime (twiglet boyfriend) is still bemoaning non existent stomach on the slimmest mans frame i’ve ever seen thus making us the most typical examples of New Years Resoluters going. Out of the window went any thoughts of portion control and to my shame i really did go on a see-food diet!! 

Lack of sunlight has robbed me of my lovely summer glow and my customary winter milk bottle skin blends me in to the bleak winter landscape, saved only by a splash of scarlet lipstick in total defiance at conformity. As is traditionally expected i sat, pen poised, ready to make my new years resolutions and winced as i automatically trotted out the age old ones written down by the population en masse. 

1) Lose weight (ah the old classic)….hmmmm i’ve been doing that most of 2012 and have very little left to go so we can pretty much scrap that one after march!!

2) Go to the gym ( but of course!)…. but ditto here too since i went most of last year, i just need to go back post christmas so lets scrap that one too!

3) Become best selling author and churn out books like post it notes. Okay maybe a little optimistic here but i have vowed to actually finish my book this year…..honest!! I just need a title, a plot, some characters and a beginning! Easy!!

4) Become total genius in 6 short months and make multiple appearances on Mastermind thus leading me to be invited to a dinner party with Stephen Hawking and other intelligent beings of note…

5) Become multi- lingual and annoy people by pretending to be from Sweden. 

6) Ride my bike without holding on to the nearest passing lorry, abiltity to turn corners would also be an advantage here so vow to work on that. Might consider removing stabilizers by Easter if progressing well.

7) Stop giving my wrinkles names and marking their progress off on height charts!

8) Learn the calorie content of every food on the planet thus saving large amounts of time in the supermarket. On the subject of supermarkets i will only slide down the aisles on my trolley when grouchy shop assistants aren’t looking

9) Will resolve to improve my aim when throwing stuffed missiles at rival team aka gorgeous boyfriend. Will also learn to duck faster thus scoring more points.

10) I will stop buying shoes since i have over 50 pairs and chances of ever leaving my room are being greatly diminished weekly. Maybe we’ll just tactfully ignore the 4 pairs i’ve bought since christmas *cough*

11) Buy new pyjamas and throw away ‘big enough for three people’ sized ones currently being sported by yours truly. Remind self constantly that having to hang on to your rapidly descending trousers as you walk is not a sexy look. Bum does definitely not look big in this!!

12) Be nicer to my ‘love me, love me’ cat. Will resolve not to miaow back at him from upstairs windows when he is frantically yowling to come in. Will also remind myself that comically surprised expression on his face when i do so is not actually funny.

13) Will resolve to have very uncharacteristic minor crisis at some point within the year, just to buck the trend. It just doesnt do to get stuck into a rut these days…

14) Stop annoying myself singing random songs that pop into my head especially when i dont know the words and have to hum half of it..

15) Be happy….just because life is too short and im too far along the path to go back and start again.

Happy New Year Everyone!!

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Happy New Year everyone!!

Who ate all the pies?

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Yes girls its christmas, a dieters dread and guilty delight. Usually by now i’ve stocked up on so much food that the local barracks are considering me as a siege base should we ever get invaded. This year i’ve been a little more restrained although there are plenty of goodies still in store, i’ll just be shoving more of it in the direction of super slim boyfriend and mentally wiring my own jaws shut. 

But its christmas right? You cant not indulge to some extent and after 7 months of dieting and a 42lb weight loss im more than due something nicer to eat than lettuce! So as i’m happily dreaming of mince pies and chocolates eaten watching a movie, my bubble is firmly burst with the advent of todays email.

Oh look, a diet email from Jenny Craig telling me i can lose lots of weight *twinge of guilt*

Oh look another lose 7lbs by christmas email! *bigger prod of guilt*

Oh and another on how to survive the christmas holidays without gaining weight AARRGGHHH!! Okay okay i feel guilty i’ll have lettuce with my turkey and i’ll only sniff the chocolate tin once or twice!! PLEASE don’t send the ghost of January diet future after me i promise i’ll be good!!

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Actually theyre getting earlier this time. Usually they at least wait until the 2nd of January! I’ll be sitting with mince pie in hand, happily ensconced infront of the tv when the letter box will rattle. Heaving up my christmas tummy i’ll waddle off into the hallway to retrieve the Slimming world leaflet from the floor. This is shortly followed by Weight Watchers, Shapes and a leaflet from the gym. By now im hiding under the stairs trying to furtively eat my mince pie whilst sucking in my stomach and clenching my buttocks, mentally muttering ”i’ll go next week ,really i will”.

This year oh no! This year its different they’ve clearly decided i’m going to gain weight before i’ve even eaten anything!! So this week despite being pretty much at  goal weight and a much slimmer size 10/12 i’m munching faithfully on a lettuce mountain trying to take off a few pounds to use as a buffer. Okay take me away guv i confess i done it, it was me *holding hands out for handcuffs* 

So post christmas whilst twiglet of a boyfriend bewails his non existant stomach i shall be firmly holding mine in, giving him doleful looks and envying his super metabolism whilst malevolently cursing my own. Don’t worry Jenny i will be back on a diet in January i promise…now where are those mince pies??

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A Toy Story

No matter how old you are there is always a small part of you that never grows up. Some inner child that refuses to be tamed and see’s the fun and delight in everything no matter how small. For many this is something they never let out whilst in others that childlike quality sets forth, breaking free at every chance it gets. 

I am for the most part a lady and proud to be so but my inner child refuses to be squashed and i take great delight in being spontaneous and having fun. Match this with someone with all the qualities of a woodland imp and you have my boyfriend and i. So, a recent trip to London whilst beginning sedately was never likely to stay that way given the nature of the pair of us. Of course there is only one place in London to take your inner child and that is Hamleys, biggest toystore in the city. Now i have never been to Hamleys although my partner has and knew what to expect as we descended upon its colourful doorways….

Arriving in a cloud of soap bubbles my eyes did not know where to look and thus did not see the impending attack from a London Souvenir teddy bear. Those things have teeth you know and more than once i had to fight for my life and defend my as yet unbitten neck as it staged an all out assault upon my person. Aided and abetted by the dastardly vampire (aka boyfriend) i was most definitely under attack from all directions and seeking refuge amongst the Steiff bears. A cunning plan here since Steiff toys are far too costly to be involved in any rebellion and as a slow meander through their ranks ensued a cease fire was forced upon him. 

Breaking cover and dashing for the awaiting soft toy army this time the fight was on and team Panda fought back bravely, spurred on by pink fluffy teddy and big white curly teddy. Sensing a lowering of guard a joint assault from white curly teddy and General Panda, sent the afore mentioned sailing through the air to land squarely upon the king vampires nose. Direct hit!!! A most comical look of surprise and round one to team panda with vampire in hot pursuit as teddy bear armies sailed across the shop floor discreetly ignored by passing shop assistants yet not by small children staring open mouthed at the grown up warfare. 

Cameo performance by extortionately priced small bat preceded nostalgic wander through a colourful array of fluffy animals at this time heeding the temporary truce. Definite crossing of legs at this point as team Panda hurtled for the toilets hurling a brief ”i will find you” over a departing shoulder. Ah those immortal lines from Last of the Mohicans that saw a desperate Daniel Day Lewis hunting the wilderness for his kidnapped lady love.

Skidding only briefly to a halt to coo over a veritable Wonkafest of colourfully arranged confectionery team Panda speeded through a brief pit stop before negotiating the stairs and the previous whereabouts of team vampire. Despite the assistance of badly synced navigation equipment and triple circumnavigation of the arena the whereabouts of the mysterious vampire remained a mystery, definitely not a Mohican in the making then. All efforts exhausted in true childlike style Team Panda observed the golden rule reinforced on a regular basis throughout childhood..if you get lost stay where you are and we will find you. So as the desperately lost Team Panda languished in a magical doorway between worlds, Team Vampire was far far away hypnotised by an evil demon and his magical flying saucer. Time passed so slowly as Team Panda desperately waited for the vampire to escape the supernatural forces that compelled him and come to her rescue. Magical sorcerers appeared from the gloom hoping to tempt team Panda into submitting with offers of assistance but the Panda held firm and waited for her twilight hero to find her.

Saved only by a mysterious communication device the vampire had smuggled with him he came swiftly to the rescue and amid a cloud of rainbow bubbles they made good their escape into the outside world. Leaving behind an army of no small proportions they plot and plan for the next ensuing battle between teams P:anda and Vampire. Out in the grown up world a happy truce reigns but Team Panda will be forever on their guard for one never knows when vampires might attack.

How to tame your inner fat girl

Yet again this weekend sees me chained to Ebay, watching as auction after auction ends. Why?? Well those items. they’re all mine you see.

I blame it on my inner fat girl!

Very few of us have accurate body perception and women in particular will obsess about their most hated flaw until it reaches a tragedy of epic proportions. That extra inch on the hips and thighs suddenly becomes 10 and you no longer want to be seen out in public. You fixate and self deprecate until your perception of yourself is distorted beyond all recognition.

My weight loss journey has been shared on here and if i face reality i am a very acceptable 5ft 10 and size 10/12 yet most of the time i cannot see it. Several times lately i have had to return clothing to a store because habit see’s me purchasing size 14’s and L/XL when i am so far removed from this now. Then i find i am greatly annoyed when the coveted dress/jeans hang like a sack on my much smaller frame and i have the hassle of returning and reordering or,as i frequently do., throwing it in the wardrobe to hang forever unworn.

Sometimes. like today, i find myself overloading ebay with my wrongly sized purchases and i vow to buy things in my proper size next time but still often i never do. I still see the curvy girl you see. Only when confronted by a mirror do i actually see and register the transformation and i would be lying if i didn’t say that it comes as a shock every time. I guess the reality is how many of us actually look at ourselves in a full length mirror and actually SEE what we look like??

Not me that’s for sure.

Only recently after a conversation with my trainer did i acknowledge that i am no longer the girl i was and i should be proud of how dramatic a change i have effected in only 3 months. I can run, i’m slim, i weight train and i’m fit and healthy. Sheer hard work has gotten me here and i am not about to let it all slide any time soon. Maybe when i’m 80 i shall relax and eat chicken burgers and chocolate but for now i adore the gym and i love being slim.

”Start looking in a full length mirror every day” my trainer advised wisely ”There are plenty of women at this gym who would love your figure”

Really?? My squirming impulse immediately was to self criticise as i usually do. A fault i developed long ago to run myself down before anyone else could and it became a terrible habit. Any self confidence is well and truly trampled and you are the worst culprit for it, yet you do not see that. So upon his advice i started to look in the mirror and actually LOOK properly for a change. No i am not perfect but i look good especially for my age and i am starting to slowly accept that when my lovely boyfriend calls me beautiful it is because he see’s me as such. I do not believe he would lie but the inner me could never accept it and always brushed his comments aside blaming him as having bad eyesight. You see the instant self criticism??

So my inner fat girl and i we confront each other daily and i try on a pair of jeans that used to fit and chuckle as they instantly fall into a puddle around my feet. Then i stick out my tongue and tell her she isn’t coming out any more. She sighs but she knows she cannot win any more and so she is resigned to it. With tape measure in hand i confront myself with the inches i have lost and then i tell myself 

‘You look great, you have done fantastic and you are almost there keep going’

You can beat your inner fat girl you just need to face the truth. Buy a full length mirror and look, look ,look!! Give yourself the right to be proud of your own achievements and when someone tells you you’re beautiful? Just accept that to them you probably are and simply say thankyou.

Nobody is perfect, even those famous faces have something about them that they do not like. Beauty is after all in the eye of the beholder. My inner fat girl and i are off to the gym and we’re going to run and run, because we can. 

Aside

Mirror Mirror

Like any woman i like to shop from time to time. Don’t get me wrong i adore clothes and shoes as my bulging wardrobes will bear witness to but lately i have leaned more towards the internet side of the retail world. Poor postie he plods up my driveway with a resigned expression, holding out packages as he queries

”Shopping again?”

Ummmmm guilty m’lud take me away! Actually the reality of shopping puts me off even though the idea of it is all fine at the time. Imagine the scenario…

Arriving at the shopping mall you make a beeline for your favourite store, grinning happily as you select item after item you know will look fabulous on you. Arms bulging you stagger to the changing room to be greeted by the requisite overly made up female attendant complete with air of boredom and nail file which she produces at intervals to emphasise her disinterest. 

”youre only allowed five” she says deadpan and monotone

Okay your smile fades somewhat until you espy token friend or partner dragged protestingly on your mission and you thoughtfully thrust the remainder of your items into their arms and rush happily for the nearest cubicle. Now you cannot have failed to notice the lighting in these places, that grim artificial fluorescent light that is far from inviting but ah well youre only here to try on clothes, its not like you have to actually LIVE here right?

Item number one you haul over your head and frown as it seems to be a funny shape and gives you a figure reminiscent of the mornings overfilled rubbish bags and you pull it off swiftly cursing badly designed clothing. Well it looked good on the hanger!! Item two seems to be a better fit and you turn in the mirror trying to judge how big your bottom looks in it. What can i say we’re girls, it matters not if we are size 6 or size 26 we still have the idea our bottoms look huge in….well everything!!

So as you mutter those immortal words

”Mirror mirror on the wall, does my bum look big in this at all?”

Suddenly the mirror in all its badly lit fluorescent glory suddenly looms up and shrieks

”Hell no but girl…….. where DID you get those bags under your eyes??”

Well trust me that’s it!! You no longer have a large booty but youre peering in dismay at the previously unseen black hammocks hanging under your eyes and you let out an unearthly wail. Hastily you purchase the dress that actually DOES make your behind look like the retreating end of the Titanic and hurtle full speed towards the nearest chemist for copious amounts of eye bag cream. 

Its all a conspiracy!!!

Its all part of some secret organisation and dastardly plan conjured up by the beauty industry in general to make you buy badly fitting clothes and expensive miracle creams that you do not need!! Millions of pounds are made every day as evil mirror influenced people rush to purchase remedies for strangely illuminated flaws that vanish in the light of day. Me i’ll stick to internet shopping for the most part for not once has my computer shouted

”What, youre going to buy that? with YOUR ass??”

No it stays silent, i stay bag free and i resort to making my own judgement on the size of my posterior. Really though, does my bum look big in this??

A Toy Story

No matter how old you are there is always a small part of you that never grows up. Some inner child that refuses to be tamed and see’s the fun and delight in everything no matter how small. For many this is something they never let out whilst in others that childlike quality sets forth, breaking free at every chance it gets. 

I am for the most part a lady and proud to be so but my inner child refuses to be squashed and i take great delight in being spontaneous and having fun. Match this with someone with all the qualities of a woodland imp and you have my boyfriend and i. So, a recent trip to London whilst beginning sedately was never likely to stay that way given the nature of the pair of us. Of course there is only one place in London to take your inner child and that is Hamleys, biggest toystore in the city. Now i have never been to Hamleys although my partner has and knew what to expect as we descended upon its colourful doorways….

Arriving in a cloud of soap bubbles my eyes did not know where to look and thus did not see the impending attack from a London Souvenir teddy bear. Those things have teeth you know and more than once i had to fight for my life and defend my as yet unbitten neck as it staged an all out assault upon my person. Aided and abetted by the dastardly vampire (aka boyfriend) i was most definitely under attack from all directions and seeking refuge amongst the Steiff bears. A cunning plan here since Steiff toys are far too costly to be involved in any rebellion and as a slow meander through their ranks ensued a cease fire was forced upon him. 

Breaking cover and dashing for the awaiting soft toy army this time the fight was on and team Panda fought back bravely, spurred on by pink fluffy teddy and big white curly teddy. Sensing a lowering of guard a joint assault from white curly teddy and General Panda, sent the afore mentioned sailing through the air to land squarely upon the king vampires nose. Direct hit!!! A most comical look of surprise and round one to team panda with vampire in hot pursuit as teddy bear armies sailed across the shop floor discreetly ignored by passing shop assistants yet not by small children staring open mouthed at the grown up warfare. 

Cameo performance by extortionately priced small bat preceded nostalgic wander through a colourful array of fluffy animals at this time heeding the temporary truce. Definite crossing of legs at this point as team Panda hurtled for the toilets hurling a brief ”i will find you” over a departing shoulder. Ah those immortal lines from Last of the Mohicans that saw a desperate Daniel Day Lewis hunting the wilderness for his kidnapped lady love.

Skidding only briefly to a halt to coo over a veritable Wonkafest of colourfully arranged confectionery team Panda speeded through a brief pit stop before negotiating the stairs and the previous whereabouts of team vampire. Despite the assistance of badly synced navigation equipment and triple circumnavigation of the arena the whereabouts of the mysterious vampire remained a mystery, definitely not a Mohican in the making then. All efforts exhausted in true childlike style Team Panda observed the golden rule reinforced on a regular basis throughout childhood..if you get lost stay where you are and we will find you. So as the desperately lost Team Panda languished in a magical doorway between worlds, Team Vampire was far far away hypnotised by an evil demon and his magical flying saucer. Time passed so slowly as Team Panda desperately waited for the vampire to escape the supernatural forces that compelled him and come to her rescue. Magical sorcerers appeared from the gloom hoping to tempt team Panda into submitting with offers of assistance but the Panda held firm and waited for her twilight hero to find her.

Saved only by a mysterious communication device the vampire had smuggled with him he came swiftly to the rescue and amid a cloud of rainbow bubbles they made good their escape into the outside world. Leaving behind an army of no small proportions they plot and plan for the next ensuing battle between teams P:anda and Vampire. Out in the grown up world a happy truce reigns but Team Panda will be forever on their guard for one never knows when vampires might attack.

Don’t tell the bride

Today Dear Daughter number 1 and went into the next town to do some shopping and to pay another instalment from her wedding dress. She has been super excited about her dress and has described it to me in great detail and was really hoping the shop owner would be obliging and get the dress down to show me for my approval. Of course i wanted to see my daughters dress but i explained to her that this was HER dress and the only one who really needed to like it was she herself but i was happy to coo over it and share her excitement. Although i would never tell my daughter i have a very cynical view of marriage having had a far from pleasant experience of it myself but i do understand that for couples TRULY in love it is a huge happy event. So i swallowed my cynicism and shared in her excitement as we hopped up the stairs to the bridal shop.

Now the girlie side of me could not help but appreciate some of the beautiful dresses and i would not be much of a girlie girl if i did not want to try one on and twirl around in it. However far from like most women for me this interest was purely cosmetic because i adore clothes and it was a pretty dress that i knew would look pretty stunning on me. Yes vanity thy name is panda. 

So approaching the counter Dear Daughter bounces over to the tiny lady excitedly announcing she has come to pay for her dress and could her mom take a look if it wasn’t too much trouble. Now this bit was both funny and awkward as the little woman looks straight past me down the shop which was empty. Dear daughter turns to me and says ”Youre going to LOVE my dress mum” to which a visibly stunned shop keeper stares at me and says to dear daughter ”THIS is your mother?? I thought this was your friend or your sister”

She then peers into my face and croons ”ohhhhh you look so young!!”

Well dear daughter and i laughed as the lady trots off for the dress for we are used to this and tend not to take much notice but as tiny lady returns she again peers at me and exclaims ”oh my, youre so young” Okay now if she had stopped there all would have been fine but tiny lady turns to dear daughter and says happily ”You will have to look amazing on your wedding day or else everyone will be looking at your mom!”

Oh dear. NOT the thing to say to a blushing bride.

Dear daughter and i busied ourselves looking at her dress which is admittedly beautiful and perfect for her and she has chosen well. After tiny lady coos again for the third time that i look young i was getting embarrassed and i think dear daughter was slightly nettled for as we passed a rack of non wedding dresses and i stroked a stunning sea green one she announced that i was not allowed to wear anything that would make me look better than her. 

OUCH.

Like any mom who loves their daughter i reassured her that NOBODY will look better than her on her wedding day and this is the truth for she is a pretty girl with the perfect dress and she will look amazing. Still i couldn’t help but wince as on the bus she turns to me and says ”mum you can come to the wedding in jogging bottoms” Part of me thinks she was half serious and i couldn’t help but feel a little sad. Whilst i am sure the tiny lady meant only to deliver a compliment i cant help but feel she needs to work a little on her people skills and work on making her brides feel special.

Hopefully Dear Daughter is not serious and i shall not have to wear jogging bottoms to her wedding, firstly because i do not own any but secondly because they really would not suit me. Still needs must right??

Shopping With a Difference

Whilst in most ways i am very unusual i think in some ways i am a very typical girl, i love to look nice and have far more clothes than even the average shopaholic needs. What can i say i adore dressing up and looking pretty! I do not own barely a single item of slob clothing and would die rather than be seen in sweat pants and/or a hoodie. It is all down to personal choice i truly believe people should dress as they feel comfortable and this for me is what does. 

So having lost almost 2st recently i was pretty sure i was going to have to clear out most of my clothing or drastically alter as much of it as i could. Replacing so much clothing really isn’t an option right now and although i am really loving being slimmer than i have in decades i had visions of overly belted in clothing and a ‘sack’ effect that really wasnt a look to aspire to. I was actually not looking forward to parting with my clothes for i really do have some beautiful things that really suit me and a lot of favourites that i am very reluctant to part with. Reality tells me it is no good keeping things that swamp me but this does not make it any easier. I have never considered myself materialistic by any shape of the word but still i cling tenaciously to my pretties. 

Heading upstairs last evening i decided it was time to try on absolutely EVERYTHING and salvage what i could and donate or ebay the remainder. No small task since trust me i seriously am not exaggerating the amount of clothing i have. The first thing that struck me was the amount of clothing either still with tags on or things that i knew i had never worn and so this rather large pile went on one side(a very large pile too). Old favourites in another and long forgotten items in another. Jeans were the first to go, i have dropped from a 16 to a 12 so i pretty much knew there was no hope of salvaging any of those without looking like i was wearing my fathers clothes. Saggy crotches and baggy bums are really not a good look and not one i wish to sport whilst i still have a say in it. Tailored trousers i knew i could alter within reason so the more fitted ones have been sorted for resizing and the rest joined the ‘out you go pile’ About now i was thanking my optimistic streak for i have quite a few size 12 jeans and trousers that had accumulated over the years as i told myself i would slim into them but never had until now. Chances of having to walk around in pyjamas greatly diminished by the discovery of this stash as the back of one wardrobe.

So then it was down to the tops, dresses and jackets and i rather longingly smoothed the front of a beautiful fitted cream lace dress with a stunning beaded neckline. I bought this from YUMI quite some time ago and typical me picked up a medium since it was the only size left and i had fallen so in love with it. Clearly too small it had hung in my wardrobe still with tags on for me to aspire to one day. I was pretty sure i still wouldn’t be able to get into it but decided to try anyway and my shock when it slid easily on was visible. I really couldn’t help the screech of delight as i dashed off towards the mirror for a bit of a reality check. It fit!! Not only that but it was if anything a little roomy round the waist but being slightly stretchy it didnt show and even if i say so myself it looked amazing. I am intending to post pictures of my weight loss journey on here when i reach my goal and will take a picture of this dress to show you all.

Item after item followed and shock and consternation as each fit as perfectly as the last and i finally realised why i had only ever worn such a small portion of my wardrobe. They simply never fit!! I had refused to acknowledge the fact that i buy clothing that is obviously too small or tight for me simply because i did not wish to address the fact i had put on weight. Where earlier i had imagined having to discard most of my items i was infact drastically expanding the amount of things i have to wear. The icing on the cake was definitely the little black dress!! For a very long time i would only go out in trousers and wear dresses over the top to hide my very ample bottom and never would i dare actually wear just the dress itself. Not any more!! My beautiful little black dress looks amazing with just it and a pair of tights like anyone else would wear and i really am in unknown territory here but oh do i love it!! 

 

I am still a way from my goal, at least another 10lbs i think since i am still far curvier on my hips and thighs than i want to be but i have come this far and have no intention of stopping. All those early mornings in the gym have paid off and i thank my determined nature for making me go even on those days when i was so tired i just wanted to crawl under my duvet. Watch this space dear readers for a transformation timeline will be coming sometime soon and i should like you all to meet my beautiful little cream dress in person. 

Last night i went shopping and it didnt cost me a penny since it was all in my own wardrobe!! 

But it’s good for you!!

Well dear blog readers the panda has turned into a gym bunny. Note here i said gym BUNNY and not gym BARBIE!! 

My determination to lose weight and tone up has mutated into somewhat of an obsession and despite a minor back injury i have still been stubbornly hauling my butt down to the gym ( frowning is bad for you by the way it gives you wrinkles!). Perhaps this is some quirk in my nature but when i become very determined about anything i develop an almost crazy tenacity that keeps me going no matter what. Incredibly ,annoyingly stubborn, that is me. Imagine a 60lb Rottweiler with a bone and you would not be far wrong. Actually i confess i enjoy it yet had you said this to me three years ago i should have laughed like a hyena at the mental image it presented me.

So obsession in tow i have been hitting the protein bars to help along the weight training and give as much assistance to the gym body ideal i so aspire to. I have often seen the guys ordering protein shakes during and post workout and finding they were lower in calories i decided to give them a go and feeling rather gung ho i ordered one on my way home today. I was a little wary since i do not like milkshake and really was not entirely sure i would find this at all palatable but on assurance it did not contain milk i was rather mollified and decided to try it.

BIG BIG MISTAKE!!!

I guess the nearest way i can describe the taste of this is to imagine buying a banana milkshake from Mcdonalds and drinking all but a large mouthful in the bottom. Fill up the cup with water and shake it hard until you have a watery cloying banana scum and then drink it. Yup thats exactly the taste and consistency, watery with a chemical banana smell yet sickeningly sweet and i found myself gagging on the first swallow. A lot of people seem to like these ‘shakes’ and although i have never had an overly sensitive gag reflex, gag i did. Oh my it was SO gross!!!

Did i throw it away?? Well actually no, as i said i am stubborn and this is actually good for me so there was nothing for it but to hold my nose and tip it down. 

For those of you that do not know a fair portion of taste is not actually down to taste at all but infact is down to smell. Holding your nose while eating or drinking something unpalatable makes it often almost tasteless, try it and see. Unfortunately for me i also am possessed of an excellent imagination and whilst i knew i could not taste it my overactive brain was happily recounting the experience for me and waving a large banner reading  ‘ THIS is what it tastes like’

Memories came of being a small child with my mother holding my nose and shovelling in some disgusting concoction whilst cooing at me to open up because it was good for me. Really? YOU eat it then!!

How ironic that now as a grown up i am more willing to swallow the unpalatable simply because of being told that it will be of benefit. You would think that after childhood experiences i would be possessed of a stubborn refusal to ever consume anything that i had great dislike for again yet consume it i did.

MMMMMMMMMMm banana flavoured dish water!!

Oh trust me this really had better be good for me. Somehow i think i shall develop an intense dislike for that curved yellow fruit but in the meantime bring on the protein shakes!!

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Yes i am a shopaholic!!

I neither deny this nor am ashamed of it for i love clothes and very much subscribe to the girlie desire in me to look attractive and even on occasion glamorous. That said you would never see me dressed like Barbie, nor for me is the current TOWIE look since i prefer a more boho classical look than overly fake and blinged. The only problem with this is that since most cupboards and drawers were so over crammed with clothing i could not see what was in there and rather than risk an avalanche, had been tending to wear the same small few items over and over.

Should auntie Gok ever come to my house he would have a fit and dedicate a whole series just to hauling my curvy butt into line!!

So i decided my very own makeover was in order and ruthlessly hauled everything out of all hiding places then ruefully surveyed the mini mountain dominating the room. Chances of getting out of there any time soon were minimal and with the aid of full length mirror i set about trying on and optioning my way through the lot. One pile to keep and one pile to get rid of. To my shame i cringed at how many things still had price tags on, being long forgotten in the depths of the tardis like wardrobe. Further still were many more worn only once then relegated to join its peers, to be forgotten until a day like today. 

I had actually forgotten just how many beautiful clothes i have but i forced myself to be sensible and keep only those which i knew i will wear. Of course i admit i still have far too many clothes but at least now i have kept the best and i will begin to wear them all. Twirling infront of the mirror in a very pretty dress made me more determined to ditch my older slob about clothes and make more effort to show off some of these  off for a change. 

So to the rest, and believe me this was a huge pile of clothes and took some time to sort but on the whole most of those i was parting with were either new and tagged or almost new so i decided ebay was the best place for them. I have done ebay many times before and always sold quite well so this seemed quite logical, that and the fact i have my eye on a new Charlie Bear and this could easily source the funds.

A whole day later and i had photographed and listed everything, the only down side to it is the sheer amount of time it takes to get the stuff actually on there. Still in this financial climate one cannot turn down the chance to add funds to the coffers nor yet a Charlie Bear to the collection. The object of my desire? Ah well his name is Kojak! 

                                         

I must admit it is rather exciting watching your auctions go up, holding your breath as the prices rise and you know all of that effort was worth it. Thankfully i am lucky i rarely have anything that doesn’t sell and i have had great fun checking in from time to time to update on the progress. I really do not think i could do this on a regular basis for the sheer amount of work from wardrobe to buyers hands is huge but every once in a while it really is worth it. 

So as the auctions roll their last few hours i yet again vow to stop buying clothes for i still could wear a different outfit every day for two months and never wear the same thing twice!! I mean it this time…..ermmmmm honest i do *blush*

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