I know it’s been a while since I have posted, and in part it’s because things have been going very well. I haven’t felt the need to write anything down, didn’t feel there was anything to share at the time and have just been concentrating on life, health and all the charm and chaos that brings. Since turning forty I seem to have had lots of opportunities come my way and I have taken all of them! Last year was all about lessons learned in the Sahara, and learning to sing, meanwhile my husband and boys have had their own developments too, and we have all been maturing as a family. This year has seen even more changes for us all, and my biggest achievement has been trying again, and this time succeeding with the F word! Having a read through my previous post about the F Word which was – quite incredibly – more than three years ago, it is good to see how far I’ve come. Lots of things that I never dreamed would be possible, have actually happened since then which just goes to show that despite what you believe, the opposite can be true. It really can.
I reached a turning point at the beginning of May this year, a point of no-return, a time to take action. For the first time ever I decided to join a slimming club – Slimming World specifically. I chose Slimming World over any other kind of diet mainly because of another blog I follow – Weight Loss Bitch – an inspirational roller-coaster tale of weight loss. Without telling anyone, I just turned up on a Tuesday morning and made myself inconspicuous until I got to the front of the queue, then whispered “can I join please?”! I was immediately made to feel very welcome. I was really surprised by how easy the plan is, and just how much you can tailor it to yourself and your own preferences. Tuesday mornings very quickly became one of my favourite times of the week and I have loved meeting all the ladies in our Slimming World group. We are all unique, each on our own path, and finding how to live happier lives on that journey. I didn’t know what I could achieve, but here I am just one pound shy of having lost 5 stone this year. Why and how are questions I have been asked a lot, along with many other comments/ observations/ judgements and compliments. All I know is that I was ready, I’ve been focused, and I’ve felt good about the changes I’ve made. I am eating so much healthier, and probably have a cardiovascular fitness that is either as good as, or better than my early twenties. Whether I can get to my actual target weight (another 13lbs to go) and how well I continue from there in maintaining a healthier lifestyle, I don’t know. But 2017 will bring me that next leg of the journey, and ready or not, here it comes.
Another aspect of the 2016 ride has been my singing with The White Rosettes. This was our ‘year off‘ which basically has meant singing as guests at The Barbershop in Germany Convention in March, held in Munich; singing as current gold medalists at The British Association of Barbershop Convention in May, on stage in the Harrogate International Centre; singing away our gold medal at our very own Ladies Barbershop Convention in October, and competing in Choir of the Year – and getting to the televised final held at The Millenium Centre in Cardiff in December (Still available on iPlayer for another 10 days!) . Next year we mean business! We are off to Holland in March 2017 and we will be spending our year working very hard preparing our competition package to take to the European and National Convention stage in October back in Bournemouth. Oh and as well as the number of ever-shrinking stage dresses I have been through this year, I was moved to the front row – which I was completely honoured and daunted about at the same time! Singing is so good for your mental health, I can’t help but keep going back! My card making has continued btw – I have made birthday cards for every member of our chorus – more than seventy! – I will showcase them in a future post.
Losses and gains feature in all aspects of life and 2016 has brought many of course.
Paul H, you are so loved and missed, I wish I could give you a hug and thank you for all you gave me. I so wish I could have done something for you in return. RIP Paul x
Conversely I am grateful for the return of three very much loved people to my life, and an additional five who we are loving getting to know! I hope some more bridges can be built this year.
My boys continue to be my world – all three of them, despite the sometimes unbearable decibel level in this house, I wouldn’t change it for anything. Although my husband jokes that the little angels are doing wonders for our health and fitness as we take it in turns to run and/or cycle as far away from our home as possible! Losing weight has also led to the gain of this new hobby – running – hopefully to feature much more in 2017 and be fully utilised as a healthier coping-with-life strategy than others I have previously employed! My next goal is the Leeds Half Marathon in May. I am intrigued as to how much easier I would find another Saharan trek now… would love to take the boys.
I am also embarking on another venture for 2017 – becoming a Slimming World Consultant, and my training starts very soon. It is the first option I have seriously considered since leaving midwifery, as something I think I could get satisfaction from. Not I will stress, because I think people should be a certain weight, but because I want to help people who like me, want to take control of the aspects of their life that they can, feel happier in their own skin, and learn to love themselves for who they are.
My reflections on this year could continue for some time, but I will leave it there as bedtime stories are required and they are the last ones ever of 2016 so I want to make the most of them. Mother Time needs slippers leaving out! Anyone else do that too?!
I wish all my family, friends and those people I have yet to meet, peace and happiness over the coming year and hope you can all achieve something you set your heart on.