Turning 40

As I enter my last ever full week of being in my thirties, I feel a mixture of emotions, I think there is some disbelief that I have got to this point already, 40 – those two digits that you either dread or embrace, but first and foremost for me it’s the thought that I will be officially middle aged!

If you had told me when I turned 30, that by the time I turned 40, I would no longer be working in the job, that I had started when I was 16, no longer living in the place I had spent nearly all my life, I would of seriously laughed in your face, I had my whole life mapped out or so I thought!

As I say I had worked with Children from the age of 16, and continued doing this until 2014, working with small children was so rewarding, I/we worked with some remarkable children with whom I hold so many happy memories, but this is another contributing factor that adds to me feeling old – seeing most of them passing their driving tests, getting married or even having their own bundles of joy!

I’m a great believer that every thing happens for a reason, and though I didn’t really want to leave Horsington, without a doubt it was meant to be, relocating was hard and I found it really hard to adjust, even though I hadn’t moved far, it felt like a million miles, I thought I would never settle here, I would not make any friends, and definitely not fit in – again this was far from the truth, I won’t lie it took a while but I do finally feel settled, and so lucky to have met some of the most loveliest people, people whom I have met will be part of my and my families lives forever, people who I know I can call and they would be here in an instant. If we hadn’t of moved, how would we all of coped with my IIH, my then job, my Mums constant support – she would not of been able to do this as we worked together, this would of meant Kev would of had to supported me more and not able to work therefore we would not of had any income what a downward spiral that could of been. The pathway to 40 has been that of a winding one, I’ve learnt so much about myself on the way, good and bad times, I’ve learnt what it is to properly grieve, to battle depression, to support my Dad when recovering from a horrendous Stroke, to relocating to a new location , to manage a chronic illness, raise two beautiful children, be a good friend and try to sustain a good marriage.

I’ve learnt to face so many fears, when people ask me, how do I feel about reaching 40, I answer truthfully – relieved, yes I am relieved to have got here, during my hospital stay when I was diagnosed with IIH, a Doctor came to me one morning and sat beside me, he said to me, I’m afraid we have found something untoward on your brain scan – a blood clot, I couldn’t really take it in, so I asked him – I will be ok though won’t I, to which he replied – we hope so, it was those words – we hope so – that crushed me, took my breath away, as dramatic as it sounds my life literally flashed before my eyes, all I could think of were my girls not having their Mummy, Kev, my parents, this was the moment I thought my life could actually end, I was petrified – thankfully I immediately had the relevant meds to stop anything occurring in my brain and it came to light that the scan was inconclusive, but from that day I promised myself I would never take my life for granted, some of those days in that hospital were my darkest, the pain in my head was like nothing I had ever experienced, I remember trying to stay awake as I thought if I go to sleep in this much pain I would never wake up, my poor Mum, me sobbing to her I was convinced that it was going to kill me, those days without a doubt changed me, they made me a better person, I’d like to think it made me more compassionate to others, made me appreciate people and life more, it has definitely made me stronger, I try not to ignore my emotions but realise that feelings aren’t facts, it has made the small pathetic things pale into insignificance, enjoy every day, sure not every day will be an amazing one but we need to make of it the best we can.

One thing I wanted to crack before I was 40 was some weight loss and I’m happy to say I’m on the right path, nearly 3 stone gone – it hasn’t yet but I’m hoping it brings some relief to the IIH – maybe after my next LP in a few weeks time, there may be a positive change.

I may not have achieved everything that I wanted to by the time I was 40 but I have an amazing family, beautiful friends, a roof over my head and I have my life, now the saying goes Life begins at 40…. and I literally cannot wait for the upcoming weeks ahead there is so much in store and with all of my most favourite people.

On that note I will leave you with my new mantra as said by Lucille Ball

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”

Big ❤️ASIBTAF

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Embrace what makes you unique.

So apparently one in four British adults is obese, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, prompting fears that the UK has become the “fat man of Europe”.The UK has the highest level of obesity in Western Europe, ahead of countries such as France, Germany, Spain and Sweden, the report says.

Obesity levels in the UK have more than trebled in the last 30 years and, on current estimates, more than half the population could be obese by 2050.

Source: The State of Food and Agriculture 2013 (PDF, 2.44Mb), United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.

I am that one in four person, I hold my hands up to it, I’m Kirsty and I’m obese, most of my adult years I have been overweight and struggled, though I have been fitter and healthier and happy with how I looked, how I felt, and naturally I long to get back to those days, I wasn’t a size 10 or anything but I was happy, I was a bit more body confident , throughout my adult years my body shape has changed frequently, and my husband has not once commented negatively, he loves me unconditionally, love handles and all.

Back then though it was a really dedicated journey to get to where I wanted to be, Most days  I was up and out of bed to the gym at 5.30am before Kev went to work, I had the best personal trainer you could ever ask for (thank you SB), she did my meal plans on a 6 weekly rota and she beasted me, but you know what I loved it!  The photo on the left was at Kevs 40th and on the right before I got ill in 2015 😏 I was strong not skinny lol. 

My personal weight issues go right back to secondary school, when you see this photo what do you see?

Hopefully like me you see a group of healthy and happy teenage girls? (I am back second from left) However people – ok boys at school didn’t see me like that, more often than not I would walk round with something stuck to my back saying ‘wide load’ or I would have derogatory comments from said boys. So from a young age I assumed I was “fat”, it didn’t matter how much my parents told me I was a normal healthy weight my brain was implanted with the fact I was overweight, I think this is so sad because looking back, I wasn’t I was “normal”.

I think there is such pressure in this day and age to achieve perfection, I have yet to meet one person (apologies if I have) who says to me – oh yes I’m so happy with my body image, it seems we are not,  we always wish for a change of something, I know I have said to friends who are tall, slender and stunning, how amazing they look, how I wish I had a figure like that.. to be told that they too are unhappy with their body, it would seem most of us have body insecurities, and it’s so sad but I totally understand, I have two daughters, and I tell them they are both beautiful and I encourage them to embrace their bodies, I try my best not to say I’m on a diet, I try to say that I’m healthy eating to help my head,  Sometimes one of them asks me what I think about her body shape, I have and always will tell her it’s just perfect like her. It’s a struggle enough for our children to grow up in this day and age with all that occurs plus threats of what society says we should look like via social media, all I wish is for all of our children to be happy with themselves, to love what they have, not too worry about body image, like I did.

I ask myself why do we feel so insecure  about our bodies, why do we wish we had bigger breasts, smaller bottom, or if we could be a stone lighter/ or even heavier and we all want that washboard stomach?
Historically, the ideal female body was strong and full-figured, (god I love this) as seen in icons such as Marilyn Monroe. But we have to remember every body shape is different, yet even as early as the 1800s, when painful, health-impairing corsets were used to accentuate the breasts, hips and buttocks, women were expected to strive for a specific ideal of beauty.

Below is taken from an article in the Daily Mail

Only 3% of women in the UK are totally happy with their body and 73% think about their size or shape every single day, a new survey has found. The survey of 5,000 women, commissioned by REAL magazine, found that 91% of women were unhappy with their hips and thighs, 77% were dissatisfied with their waist and 78% said they had cellulite. Three-quarters of British women were unhappy with their shape, 71% with their weight and six out of 10 said their body image made them feel depressed. Some 65% of those surveyed felt their life would improve considerably if they were happy with their body. 

Word has it, that we culminated our body image worries from catwalk models, tv, and the fad diets, that have seemed so appealing at the time because we too could lose 5 stone in 3 months if we drink a milkshake, (then you have the hard work of keeping it off) but the actual point here is that trying to create the ideal body shape shouldn’t be our ultimate aim anyway – we need to stop judging people by their looks in the first place.

Can we just take a second to remember that every single person is beautiful in their own way, if you think someone looks good tell them – think how you would feel from a positive comment, go on make someone’s day, they may look lovely, have a lovely smile,amazing make up, smell good or my personal fav – amazing shoes lol – tell them,  my Mum will be reading this thinking that I should practice what I write as her shoulder has been wet many a time from tears due to my own body insecurities.

For me it’s thought that my IIH will improve if I continue to lose weight, so far this month I’ve been back in hospital twice, I thought perhaps it was because I must of put on a lot of weight, as I hadn’t had weigh day for a while – no I had put on a pound from the last weigh day, I can honestly say I’m not happy with my appearance so yes my weight loss journey is for me to feel better mentally and physically.  As I’m sure most women (or men) can relate to this, I’m one of these people who gives it my all at the beginning – I’ve done slimming world, Gillian McKeith, Dukan, Herbalife, Cabbage soup,Slim fast, ADF,  you name it I’ve done it – I dedicate a few months too it then I remember just how much I love food,  cake, chocolate, fish and chips – the list is endless, my willpower sucks, I want to give massive shout out to people who do stick at it, I have one old school friend who has lost 10 stone and she totally has my upmost respect such willpower and determination!

But I’m saying it loud and clear I need to refocus make my body healthier and my mind positive, I have to do this for myself, Kev and my children, I almost feel selfish by not trying harder to lose weight as if its my fault my IIH is not improving because of it.  But it’s so hard when I can’t excercise like I did, I’ve tried HIIT, Kettlebells and classes during one of these times my  intercranial pressure raised so quickly I wasn’t sure how I was going to get home,  without droning and whinging too much (sorry) even walking at the moment is an effort with my new Diamox dosage so I am literally just taking each day as it comes.

So my weight loss journey continues – for a healthier and stronger me, I can dwell on the past Kirsty who was fit and healthier or I can focus on the future to a healthier Kirsty by busting IIHs arse and to everyone out there dieting, excercising, having surgery, those who are comfortable in their own skin or fighting an illness  – you are all amazing each and everyone of you,  may you too feel gorgeous and banish any insecurities, instill the positivity to our children also because we will stop worrying about our looks when society stops telling us that they’re all we’re worth. Let’s all of us focus on that first!

Have a lovely week

ASIBTAF 💖