I Begin Here

My Path To Self Discovery

Love Thy Self

When I was younger I was very self-confident. I loved my body and myself and all that entailed. There wasn’t a part of me that I disliked. However, as I have got older and certainly since I have had my two children I can’t stand the sight of myself in the mirror. What an Incredibly sad thing to admit!

I Feel Like My Body Has Failed Me…

This isn’t something I like to admit to myself let alone anyone else. My body has been through so much these last 5 years that it really is a miracle that I write this with 2 beautiful children to call my own.

I feel like it has failed me because I had to go through two painful pregnancy losses to get there. One of which almost cost me my life. For this, I feel like it has failed me. I know this is a stupid thought but anyone who has been through the same experience would/will probably feel the same. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for my body and what I can do. I know there are people in the world that would do anything for my body, for their body to be able to move the way my body can. To be able to breathe by themselves and not with the help of a machine.

I Must Make A Change….

Since I had my daughter I have become very aware of how I talk about myself and what she will grow up hearing. Every girl should have a role model, someone, to look up to and I want to be Rae’s. She will grow up in a would of Social Media and Body Shaming and I don’t want her to feel about her body and self-image like I do about mine. (I have a separate post coming up about being Rae’s role model so keep your eyes open for that one.)

For me making a change isn’t just a mental change, although for me combatting the mental side will help massively but it is also a physical change. When my Father-in-law died both myself and my husband both said we wanted to get fit and healthy, Which we did, we jumped in head first. However, once I went back to work and Logan started pre-school 4 days a week, it became harder to work out. Until not working out became the new normal again. I have a week off in which I want to get back in the habit of working out. Whether that be morning/evening or during the day while Logan is at preschool.

I want to reward my body with feeling good inside and out, making time to work out and get the feel-good hormones flowing. I’m not saying it will be easy or that I won’t have any setbacks. What is important is that I keep working at it and don’t give up.

I’m tired of hating my body and myself. It is time to start loving myself and accepting that having children has changed my body and that’s ok. I need to Love my new body and what it has given me.

This was Pre-Children.

This is Post Children

There aren’t many post children photos of me and my body.

Please make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss future posts.

If you would like to get in touch please do you can via the Comments below and on social media.

Sam

Growing Out My Pixie Haircut – Update!

So you may remember back in June I did a post about growing out my pixie cute.

I originally said I would be doing monthly updates…Well, my apologies as that has not happened. I have had a lot going on in the last few months.

So where is my hair at now?

Well, it is definitely longer than what it was back in June. We are almost at the bob length stage. Hopefully, come December/January we will be sporting a bob.

 Not the most flattering side profile but for the purpose of the update you get the idea of its current length.

So What Have I Been Doing To Help It Grow?

I only trim the neck and take some of the weight out as and when I need to so there are regular trims going on. To condition my hair I have been using a Coconut oil spray on it when it is damp before I blow dry and sometime once I have styled it as I get a few flyaways.

I am at a point where I do need to blow dry and straighten my hair. This isn’t great for growing out short hair but needs must and all that. This is partly why I use the coconut oil spray to help condition my hair and reduce heat damage. I do wash my hair daily which I know you’re not supposed to but I do. The upside to this is your scalp is massaged every day which helps to promote hair growth.

How Long Am I Growing My Hair?

I am aiming to grow my hair past my shoulders This was taken back in the spring of 2010.

So this is the ultimate goal of where I want my hair to end up. It has been a long while since I have had proper long hair and I miss it.

So that’s it for this update, it was just a quick post to say. This is where my hair is at a few months into the growing out process.

Please make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss future posts.

If you would like to get in touch please do you can via the Comments below and on social media.

Sam

 

I’ve Been Adjusting

It’s been a little quiet here lately and I’ll explain why….I’ve been adjusting. I went back to work from maternity leave mid-August. I work mostly evenings so I don’t normally get home until around 9 pm. By which point I’m just too tired to blog.

Logan has gone back to Preschool. This year he is doing four +full days so this has been an adjustment for him. With so much change going on I wanted to have a break from all of it, blogging, studying. I feel now though that it is time to get back on the horse so to speak. So here I am. Ready to catch up with you all.

I’ve a few things lined up for the blog…

  1. Update on growing out my Pixie
  2. From Flab To Fab update
  3. I’m going to be talking about being a role model for my daughter
  4. I’ll also be talking about loving myself

These are just a taster of what I planned.

If there is anything you want me to discuss or share an opinion on, then please let me know. I’m more than happy to chat/write about particular topics. If you’d like to see more mental health posts let me know or more body confidence/self-confidence posts again please let me know and I will get a post out on the topic.

If you’re new to the blog and not sure what the blog is about or what I’m about then you definitely need to read my introduction post

There we have it. This was just a quick post to say, I’m still here and where I’ve been and what to expect coming soon on the blog.

Please make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss future posts.

If you would like to get in touch please do you can via the Comments below and on social media.

Sam

 

Getting Out Of My Head:- Anxiety And Panic Attacks!

I’ve always been open and honest about suffering from Anxiety and Panic Attacks. Unfortunately is it not a topic that is talked about enough, this is also true for all mental health issues. But I want to talk about Anxiety and Panic Attacks.

I Didn’t Always Suffer…

I didn’t always suffer from Anxiety or Panic Attacks. It started around 2008/2009 with my previous relationship. I didn’t realise it at the time but the relationship I was in was a toxic one, one of mental abuse. At the time I didn’t see it, but when I look back I can see I was mentally abused.

My first Panic Attack was bad. My hands flooded with pins and needles and went rigid in a claw like shape. I felt dizzy and couldn’t breathe.

Since then I have only had one really bad attack when I ended up in the back of an ambulance because they weren’t sure if it was a stroke or heart attack because of my symptoms, the whole left side of my body shook uncontrollably, my speech was slurred and I couldn’t hold myself up.

Anxiety grows worse…

My Anxiety has got worse over the last few years especially since my Ectopic pregnancy, it has taken a natural worrier and has turned me into a fearful person who wants/needs to be in control to keep fear at bay. I hate this about myself, I hate that some days my anxiety controls me instead of me controlling it. Anxiety and fear have stopped me from doing things. I want to let go and be free to really enjoy the great things in life but it’s there all the time in the back of my mind.

Since having my daughter and there being more stresses at home with various things. I’m sure everyone stresses about things like money, our home is too small and not having money to move. Add to that the lack of sleep from a toddler who doesn’t always go through the night and a baby teething. All of this plays a part in my Anxiety. I don’t want you to sit there and think that I’m moaning about my life and that I should be grateful because there are people worse off. That’s not what I’m doing. I’m simply sharing what has helped to make my anxiety worse.

What Are My Triggers…

I can’t speak for everyone who suffers from Anxiety and Panic Attacks but I know what my triggers are. Some times  I am able to gain control and other times I can’t.

For me, one of my main triggers is feeling overwhelmed, and it can be about anything going on in my life. for me the only way I can describe it is like there is a fog or a storm going on inside my mind. Sometimes I have to get out of my head to beat it.

It’s Getting Harder And Harder To Control…

Over the last few weeks, I have been finding that my Anxiety is getting harder to control. Even writing this post, bearing my soul, if you like, is giving me Anxiety. It’s an incredibly personal thing to share, unfortunately, it is something that people who do not suffer from it find hard to understand and think it is an easy fix. It is not!

It’s An Uncomfortable Place To Be…

Where I am mentally at the moment is a rather uncomfortable place to be. When I look at myself and into my mind, I feel uncomfortable I feel a need to question my mental health and whether I am at a place where I need help. I have to say this part of the blog is very difficult to write. It’s emotional, it is taking a lot for me to be this honest and to lay this much out on the line. But this is in the hope of self-therapy. In the hope that writing about it and talking about it on the World Wide Web can provide a release. A weight lifted. I don;t know maybe help other people and myself not feel alone.

My husband tries to be understanding and helpful and for the most part, he is. He is a fantastic support and I’m certain if it wasn’t for him I would have a lot more Panic Attacks and be in the depths of depression by now. But there is only so much he is able to do. It ultimately falls on me.

So What Helps…

For me, there are some things that do help, Exercise being one of them. I’m not great at keeping a routine especially with two young children but I am trying. I have found Yoga helps to focus my mind. I know that sounds like a cliché, but it really does help. I love running/walking that for me is a kind of therapy with myself. It forces me to think about/process everything I have not wanted to deal with and just pushed to the back of my mind. I also find Reading a good book helps to take me away from reality and escape for a while. I like to do this before bed. It helps to relax my mind and let me drift off to sleep quicker.

I’m sorry for the long post but it is one of those topics that needs discussing.

If you suffer or suffered from Anxiety please get in touch I would love to hear your story and how you deal with it. please get in touch via the comments or social media.

Please make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss future posts. I’m sure I will post an update with how I’m doing.

Sam

From Flab To Fab:- I Got a Fitbit Charge 2!

So the other week Amazon had their “Prime Amazon Day”, now if you don’t know what that is. It was a day where Amazon put on major sales on some of their products for Amazon prime members. My husband and I are members. We decided to make the most of it and bought each other a Fitbit Charge 2 as an early anniversary and birthday presents.  My husband got one in blue and I got mine in plum. 

I wanted one for a number of reasons really. I’ve got quite lazy and despite having a 3year old and a 7-month-old baby I had become a bit of a hermit in that I rarely went out it’s them without my husband. So I want a reminder to get up and move/walk/be active in general. I also wanted to track my sleep because, despite the kids going through more than they don’t, I have been waking up dog tired.

After A Week…

I’m already seeing a difference, is it novelty or is it doing its job? I’d like to think it’s doing what I bought it for, to act as a reminder and to make me more active.

It’s also helping with the sleep too. I have a reminder set every day to remind me to head up to bed and since then I’ve been averaging about 7 hours sleep give or take.

Walking More…

We’ve also been making an effort to go for more walks together as a family. This has been both in the evening and at lunch times.

We’re really lucky that we have a trust nature park right on our door step, and this time of year it’s lovely to walk around. The most I have walked in a day is 20,619 steps.

Not Just Walking…

The Fitbit I have is not just for tracking walking, it also allows me to track my other workout/exercises. Since having the Fitbit I have got back into Yoga. And to be honest I forgot how much I love it.

It is fantastic after doing a lot of walking to stretch out your muscles. I find it very calming and after a yoga practice I feel very relaxed and chilled out. I’m going to aim to practice yoga every day. I have found since starting it up again I have found muscles that I never knew I had, It’s a wonderful feeling. I love feeling achy after working out, I know that I have worked my body and it is thanking me.

If you missed the first instalment of From Flab To Fab then go check it out.

Sam

 

Pregnancy Losses: 5 Years On I’m Still Affected By It! 

This month marks the 5 year anniversary from my first pregnancy loss, an ectopic pregnancy misdiagnosed as a miscarriage that then ruptured, resulting in internal bleeding and emergency surgery. 8 months later I had a miscarriage. The result of these pregnancy losses still affects me greatly.

Mental And Emotional Pain Is Real….

I find it harder to talk about now then I did at the time. It took a week for the ectopic pregnancy and my near death to hit me. To say I was a wreck is an understatement, I thought that was it for kids. I found talking to anyone who’d listen helped. I read about it, watched videos about it and started researching my chance of having kids and alternatives. It was the only way I could deal with it. However talking about it now is painful, more because it is a part of my life that isn’t great. It’s like a black cloud in my mind, in my memory. A memory I don’t want to remember but one that I must.

Pregnant For A Second Time…

After the ectopic pregnancy, it took my body a while to adjust to having my right tube moved, the pregnancy had ripped it open causing severe internal bleeding. A month or so later after the operation, I felt ready to try again.

I remember knowing I was pregnant but had doubt in my mind, we had few a false alarm’s due to my body adjusting. But when the test showed positive I dropped to the floor shaking a remember sending my husband a photo asking him if I was imaging it. I was so scared that I would lose the baby I couldn’t enjoy it.

It’s Happening Again…

I remember hitting the 8-9 week mark and the bleeding starting again. My heart sank I knew I was losing the baby. We had an early scan, it showed the baby in the womb and had a heartbeat, however it was measuring small. All we could do was wait and see. The pain is still there in my mind, the waves of pain and so much blood. My body trying to expel the fetus. The trip to A&E meant they removed it for me and gave me strong painkillers I was then sent on my way.

Was It Me Or Just Bad Luck…

My husband says we were just incredibly unlucky, he said for a while that maybe we couldn’t have girls. After the second miscarriage, I blamed myself more than ever, I still do. I will never know if I was the reason for the losses or if it was just bad luck and I happened to be the 1 in 4 for the miscarriage and the 1 in 80-90 with the ectopic.

There isn’t a day, week, or month that goes by where I don’t think about them. Sat here writing this I fight to hold back the tears. With each loss, I definitely lost a piece of myself. I don’t have the same carefree spirit I once had, much of my “sparkle” has gone. My anxiety is much worse and over more things, simple things. It is a constant battle and one that I try to manage without medication because that is not a path I wish to walk down.

If I’m being totally honest I try to hide my anxiety or had bad it is some days from the people I love because it’s how I best deal with it. I don’t want it to be another thing for my husband to worry about. He is my rock, we have shared some insanely hard times together and we’ve always come out the other side stronger.

I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Be Over It…

Everyone deals with pregnancy loss in their own way, for me, it isn’t something I’ll ever be over. They were a part of me and their gone. I know I am incredibly lucky to have 2 beautiful healthy happy children now. Logan, My rainbow baby turned 3 last month and Rae my Baby girl whose almost 7 months old.

I’m still 5 years on trying to figure out how to process dealing with it. Most of the time I bury it in the back of my mind. But I am hoping one day I will find it easier to talk openly about it again.

It is a subject that is not talked about enough and one that should be. Know this where pregnancy loss is concerned, you ARE NEVER alone. Ever!

If you have suffered a pregnancy loss and just want an ear, Then I am here.

Sam

 

From Flab To Fab:- 30 Something And Overweight, It’s Time To Get Fit And Healthy!

I’ve never been a fitness junkie and I never spent my youth and early 20’s being overweight with working on my feet all day. But once I hit my mid 20’s and started an office job the weight crept on. Then the last 3 years has seen me have two babies.

Where Does This Leave Me?

Overweight with a very jelly belly feeling unhappy and uncomfortable with my appearance. So I started to workout but it was hard to get into a routine and feel motivated. My husband wasn’t that interested and had little to no motivation. But when March saw the passing of my father-in-law after a long battle with Cancer, both myself and my husband said enough was enough we had to change, our lifestyle had to change not just for us but for each other and our children. I want to learn to feel happy and comfortable in my skin, I want to love myself.

In A World Filled With Social Media…

It is easy to compare yourself to others and to celebrities since the arrival of Social Media. Having a daughter has made me realise how important it is for her to grow up knowing what is in social media, in magazines, the tv and the internet of celeb bodies are not always realistic. Beauty isn’t about being stick thin. I want her to be healthy and love her body whatever shape/form that comes in. I want her to grow up loving exercise and to love moving her body. To feel empowered, to be strong and healthy. I want to exercise and a healthy lifestyle to be the norm. I don’t want her going on some crazy diet to lose 10lbs because some celeb is doing it.

My Plan…

I plan to workout a minimum of 3 times a week, I want to do a combination of HIIT and kettlebell workouts. This is so that I can burn fat and build muscle quicker. I love both these types of exercises so they never feel like a chore. It’s the fitting it in that is the hard part especially with two young children although occasionally Logan likes to join in.

As for my diet, I’m not going to completely deprive myself of life little pleasures like chocolate etc. But I will dramatically reduce how much I’m eating them. Life is far too short to not enjoy the little pleasures. On the whole, I won’t cut anything out but reduce how much I have of the not so good stuff. My Water intake is slowly increasing but will be aiming for 2 litres a day.

From Flab To Fab…

This will be a health and fitness series that will run while I’m on my weight loss/ fitness journey. After that, I may have to alter it slightly but we shall see.

I’m hoping you will follow me on this journey so make sure you follow me on Social Media and WordPress so that you don’t miss a post. These will be weekly post’s to help keep me on track.

Sam

 

I’m Not Comfortable With My Post Baby Body!

I’m not comfortable with my post baby body and that’s really sad. My body has achieved such an incredible task, twice. My body has been through a lot over last 5 years. It has been through emergency surgery to remove my right fallopian tube and stop internal bleeding. It has been through a miscarriage, it has been through an emergency C-Section to deliver my son and it has been through a VBAC to bring my daughter into the world.

It’s Amazing…

My Body is amazing for what it has been through and I do believe what doesn’t kill makes you stronger. But I hate how it looks, I know that is really shallow but I do I hate it.

I Want To Love My Body But I Can’t…

I really do want to love my body but I can’t, I look at myself in the mirror and I don’t see a body that I love or even like. What really upset’s me is that I now have a daughter, a daughter that I don’t want to grow up hating her body or to have any hang ups. But I can I teach her to love herself and her body if I can’t love mine?

I’m Doing It For Myself, My Husband And My Kids…

I’m forever reading that if you’re going to get fit and healthy then you shouldn’t do it for anyone else but yourself. Well not me I’m doing it for myself, my husband and my kids. Because I want to be around for a long time. My body is over weight by about 4 stone. So I want to get fit and healthy and hopefully, in the process learn to love my body. The area I hate the most is my midsection, my mummy tummy, my jelly belly. I don’t know who came up with these names but they have a lot to answer for.

I’m Taking It One Step At A Time…

I’m taking the whole process one step at a time, I’m making changes, Slow steady changes that I can build into my everyday life. My Diet is much better than it has been. Yes, I still slip up but I’m human and life is way to short to eat like a rabbit all day every day. Plus I love food way too much.

As for exercise, I’m getting back into it again slowly. With my Son’s 3rd birthday at the beginning of June and a weekend away after that to Cardiff. I fell out of the habit. But yesterday I did a kettlebell workout, the first in about 4 weeks.

Coming Soon…

To help keep me motivated and on the get fit and healthy waggon I am going to start a little series documenting my progress. So please make sure you sign up so that you don’t miss a post.

This is me on my honeymoon in Turkey September 2011. Here I weighed around 10 Stone

This is me Pregnant with Rae, I was about 36 weeks pregnant. Exactly one month before Rae was born

This is me 4 weeks ago and yesterday. I was expecting it to be worse with birthday food and no exercise, but you can see my tummy has pulled in a bit.

 

So with that, all I will say is subscribe and watch this space.

Sam

Growing Out My Pixie Haircut  

In my 30 something years, I have had many different hairstyles. I have had a pixie of some sort maybe 4-5 times now. I’ve had multiple types of bobs and had long hair of varying lengths.

My Hair Was My Thing…

When I was younger my hair was my thing. Good hair was a must. It had to be cut good and it had to be straightened. Since having my son I’ve not had hair longer that just above my shoulders. So it is time to grow my hair LONG!

The Many Styles I Have Had Over The Years…

Throughout my adult year’s I have had a wide range of hairstyles over the years.

I thought I would share some of those with you, and I have to say some of the selfies are a little cringe worthy…

  

These are just some of the hairstyles and colours I have had over the years.

So What Now…

Now I begin growing out my pixie haircut. This will be a long slow process which it always is. You have to grow it out in stages.

Firstly you have to start growing the top layer while maintaining the length around the back of your neck and ears to allow the top to catch up. I normally keep these areas trimmed myself using either scissors or clippers.

Hair Products…

Wherever you look online there are posts that tell you to avoid using heat on your hair and tell you not to overload your hair with products. This is true. Heat damages your hair and can cause breakages, which you don’t want when trying to grow your hair out. I don’t use a hair dryer or hair straighteners at the moment. I haven’t coloured my hair in months.

My hair does need help with the form of hair products but I only tend to use a bit of hair wax and gel. I do also put a coconut oil on my hair to help condition my hair I only use a small amount and I use it every day.

Updates…

I will be posting Monthly updates so that you can see the growth each month. Anything more frequent than that and the growth won’t be as noticeable. So if you are interested in seeing the growth each month please do subscribe so you don’t miss out on the updates.

Sam

I Lost The Old Me Somewhere Along The Way!

I’m a very different person to the young woman, the old me I was 8years ago. My husband and I have known each other since we were 11 but we didn’t start dating till 2009. We had been friends and our relationship had developed from there.

Fun Loving…

One of the things my husband loved about me back then was that I was so fun loving, up for a laugh and enjoyed taking the mickey as much as he did. He used to say I was the female version of him. Over the years I have slowly lost myself. No, this is not because of my husband but more because of events that have happened in the last 8 years. In the space of a couple of years, I had an ectopic pregnancy which resulted in it rupturing, and losing my right tube and receiving a blood transfusion. This was followed by a miscarriage.

Finally…

After the miscarriage, I finally got pregnant with my son. However, the two previous pregnancy losses had had a profound effect on me. I took them quite badly and blamed myself a lot for the losses. At the time I could talk about them to a certain degree but now I find that time in my life quite painful and difficult to talk about. My pregnancies with my son and daughter were filled with anxiety and worry for the first 12 weeks. But this quickly changed. With the exception of my pregnancy with Rae which had complications for a while.

A Natural Worrier…

I’ve always been a natural worrier but it has been worse lately as has my anxiety. It’s something that I struggle with on a regular basis. I find it crops up at time’s when I use to be confident and out-going. But lately, I’m more stressed out and anxious. Some days I feel like I’m a shell of the old me.

Self-Body Image…

I’ve never been a regular fitness junkie or conscious healthy eater but I never had a bad figure. I was a healthy size 10-12, I loved wearing makeup, I wore it every day whether I was going out or not. My hair was my thing, it had to be perfect. But as I have got older and had Kid’s I don’t care about them as much. I think it’s from not having the same time I use to have and also not caring what everyone else thinks.

However, I also think being this way has also played part in myself not being happy with how I look. Baby weight, short hair that while is quick and easy is contributing to how I feel. These are things I want to change and am in the process of changing.

To End…

I am a work in progress and I hope I can find my way back to the old me and be happier.

 

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