As you can tell from previous blog posts, I do struggle with my weight. Some of you may think yeah right whatever, there is nothing with you. You may be right, but I do have a long term health condition which can make things difficult in the weight department. I am pretty open with the fact that I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). This subject about me having PCOS can get very embarrassing for me, but if you are interested in knowing what it is, then NHS choices is the best place to get the correct information.
When I was growing up I had no problems with my weight. I may of overindulged with food, but living with grandparents who liked to spoil us, it was hard to say no. My weight only became a problem when I hit my teens. Every other girl was having their monthly when I wasn't, so naturally my mother took me to the doctors. At the age of fifteen I got diagnosed, which I have to admit I count myself very lucky though I rather not have PCOS.
This is when the battle with my weight first began. Weight Watchers now known as WW, was very big in 2005 and I was desperate to try anything. With the consent of my mother (as you have to be over the age of 16, unless it is a health issue), I started my journey with WW. Don't get me wrong, in a year I lose around two and half stone. At this time I was dead against doing any form of exercise, so walking was the only form of exercise that I did. At sixteen I decided to join the under eighteen gym in Gillingham, but I tell you I literally went in there once for the induction. My weight did kind of stay off, but I was surround by people who just ate what they wanted so of course I ended up joining in. The weight went back on quickly and by the age of eighteen all the weight I lost I gained back, plus probably more. I tried to go back to WW on two other occasions, but it didn't last. I was too busy having fun, binge drinking and having plenty of junk food that you would consume after a night out out.
Between the ages of eighteen to twenty four my weight went up and down like a Yo Yo. There are too many photos that I have untagged on Facebook and deleted myself, as I don't want to be reminded of the times where I didn't feel or look the way I wanted to. I can't change the past (though sometimes I wish I could) those photos are horrendous, but there was change. Something just clicked and I decided that enough was enough. It was time to change how I feel about myself and I chose to do something drastic. I did do some exercise, a bit of jogging, a couple of boot camps and a bit of hill training, but nothing really stuck. Plus my diet was still really poor (junk food and binge drinking, still played a huge part at that time).
The thing I chose to do was the Insanity workout by Shaun T. I'm not telling you to do this, as it was gruelling plus it was high intensity, but I thought it was the only thing to kick start any sort of weight loss. Though it was gruelling, sometimes painful and by the end of each workout I was panting like a dog. It was worth it. I lost so many inches it was unbelievable and the results really did show. Shame I didn't keep the before and afterwards photos, as it was definitely an achievement.
Afterwards the weight kept off for a few years with my weight only slightly going up. I didn't drink for a while which really helped keep the weight down. Like I said in the beginning it is always a struggle to keep the weight off. I can't get away with eating what I like, as it slowly creeps up on me and I start to feel uncomfortable.
There are so many tips that I learnt throughout the years, that I always forget to put into practice as life gets in the way and my love for food.
I am a human who has very low willpower, I wish I could be one of those people who can go without having huge blowouts, able to manage their weight and love going to the gym. Plus have a body I would be proud to show off, all toned and tanned. Alas I'm not, plus I have to also remember to love the body I have and work hard towards a body I can be proud of.
Here are some tips that have worked for me over the years
1) Hard work pays off, if you put the effort in you get the results you want.
2) Try not worry too much about what the scales say, for me it can really ruin my day. Plus for me it is a trigger for me to say fuck it and have a big blowout.
3) Be mindful of what you put in your mouth ( I'm talking about food) I try to have breakfast, lunch and dinner with one snack, which is normally an apple with a side of peanut butter.
4) Try to drink plenty of water, herbal tea or sugar free flavoured water, especially after eating as I always feel that I am still hungry. This is probably because I eat way too quick, shovelling food in my mouth, like I have eaten for a week (such a bad habit).
5) Have the treat that your body is craving, and try not to beat yourself up if you have eaten badly for the day (or the week). I am terrible when it comes to this. Try and remember that you can re-start whenever, it doesn't make you a shit person just because you have fallen of the wagon. You can always jump back on!
6) Set yourself a weekly goal that you know that you can smash. This helps me to keep motivated and plus gives me some sort of achievement.
7) Choose a form of exercise that you know you will enjoy. Nothing worst, than doing a form of exercise that you loathe, you will just resent having to do it in the first place. I may complain about going to the gym, but when I get there I get in the zone and I end up enjoying doing a workout.
8) I personally am so rubbish at doing this, but when I do I know it works. Writing down and prepping meals for the week and to know what you are going to have, really does make a difference. When I don't do this, I definitely tend to eat so many more takeaways and junk food at work as it so accessible.
9) Take it one day at the time. I am so bad to wanting things to happen quickly, I have been healthy for one whole week I should be 9 stone now. That will never be the case, plus this is another trigger for me, so I know that things take time and doesn't happen over night.
10) Last but not least, please please please do not get drawn into buying these magically slimming coffees, detox teas, gummy bears that is apparently going to help you lose weight. If you eat healthy and keep active, trust me you will get the same results, plus save so much money in the long run.
I am the first to admit that I do not like stepping out of my little bubble of comfort, where I know it's nice and safe. Sure there are plenty of things I want to do and achieve, but there is always something there to stop me. It's too difficult, it's hard work, people don't like me, people are going to stare at me, I look pathetic, I look silly, "what's the point?". My excuses are endless. Every time I think that I am going to step out my comfort zone, anxiety and fear pulls me straight back to my bubble of doubt and excuses.
Having started this blog was a huge step for me. The doubts came flooding in from all directions.... "no one will read it", "people are going to judge me", "I'm not good enough", "my spelling and grammar is appalling". See my excuses are endless. Instead of listening to any of these doubts that I created for myself, for once I thought fuck it. Still four months on I am still writing on my blog. Trust me there have been many, many times where I thought of jacking it all in, but there are one or two people, who enjoy my blog and actually think I am a good writer ( I don't mean to blow my own trumpet, but it is nice to hear). Though I have pushed the negative comments that filter through my mind, there are so many other things that I am too frightened (how sad is that) to step out of my little bubble.
Fear, failure and rejection always plays a part of why I haven't done certain things. Sad but true. The days of me having so much confidence that I truly didn't give a shit what people thought of me are way gone. People will say bullshit, Tamara is full of confidence, so outspoken I don't believe that she can be shy. Yes maybe sometimes that is true, if I feel comfortable around certain people and I don't feel like I am being judged then I can truly be myself. Other times I do use the over confident Tamara to hide the fact, that I want people to like me and not be judged for what I do.
There are many times I thought to join like an all girls sport team, to keep fit, gain some friendships which I have found so tough since moving to the Midlands, but then I come up with the excuses. " I have no background in any sort of sport, " I will be rubbish", "none of the girls will like me", "I will look so stupid", " I will be laughed at" and of course "They will judge me". Still a year down the line I haven't even looked into it, as of course the fear of rejection and judgement is staring me right in the face.
It’s silly to think that I let those emotions stop me from doing certain things, but I see it as a working progress. Well not really I’m just lying to myself, I haven’t done anything to push myself out of my comfort zone at all. Finding the courage to realise that I shouldn’t care what people think of me or the fact that I may fail at something absolutely scares me. Writing this has made me realise that it is time to stop thinking and start doing!
I don’t want to regret looking back on life and thinking I wish I did that, but I was too scared to because I let negative thoughts, jumping to conclusions and people’s opinions stand in the way in what I wanted to do!
Let's be honest here, I for one wish if I could get away with eating whatever I fancied and not having to exercise without putting on any weight, plus having a body like Kendall Jenner, than I would. But no I wasn't blessed by the Gods, instead I’m 5'3, constantly battling with my weight (having PCOS is no picnic sometimes). Plus I don't have the wages to have myself my own private personal trainer and chef, with a private jet being able to fly to tropical destinations like Bali. Am I envious of rich, beautiful super models, of course not. Ok maybe I am, but I do try to be positive and be grateful with what I have. I will never be tall, skinny with perfect hair and skin, but I have the fact that I have....well that's difficult to write down as you might have guessed I am not very body confident. This is why it is important, to get back to eating healthy and getting my butt to the gym.
So something I do and probably not a great idea or habit is in fact to say that "I am having one more big blowout". Just like last Sunday, I decided as I have been bad over the weekend (yet again) I will treat myself to an Indian takeaway. I also in fact had a large battered sausage with chips on Friday too (I will regret these meals soon enough). Why oh why do I let my gut take over, instead of listening to my brain. "Doing one more big blow out" has to stop. This will be rule number one!
Rule number two, no naughty treats in the flat. I'm so bad, for example I ate my Reese's peanut butter Easter bunny, instead of saving it until Easter was over. Even Dave said I wouldn't be able to resist and damn it he was right, the bastard.
Anyways moving on to rule number three, drink plenty of water, along with herbal tea and sugar free flavoured water. I find water pretty bland.
Which moves us onto rule number four, have three meals a day, but only have one meal with carbs in. My body loves to hold onto carbs and sugar which ends up turning it into fat. So the best thing for me to do is to stay away from munching too much on beautiful, tasty carbs.
Rule number five, don't give myself such a hard time, take it one day at a time, it's not a race.
On to rule number six, do not and I repeat do not step on those bloody scales. Go by the way I feel about my body and if my clothes feel loose.
Having a love/hate relationship with going to the gym, making the effort to change into my gym gear, then actually leaving the flat and take the five to ten minutes walk to the gym is a pain. If I am not feeling the gym, I have to push myself to at least a workout at home. No excuses unless you know I'm ill or if Henry Cavill decided to take me out for dinner (sorry Dave). This will be rule number seven.
Last but not least rule number eight, to remember it isn't really about weight loss. It's about making me feel good and to make healthier choices. At the end of the day you only get one body, which to be honest is slowly giving up on me already.
If you want to try any of these rules I have set myself, please do. Let me know if you found any of the rules helpful.
So, I have to admit that for the last month ok the last three months, I haven't given a shit when it comes to what I shove in my mouth (I'm talking about food). Due to my lack of willpower and motivation in general I have paid the price, I have put on a stone! I also have to admit that I have been skipping out on the gym and being too lazy to even do a home workout. I can make plenty of excuses, I had an viral and kidney infection (at the same time, lucky me), I get pains so I want don't injury myself, my body is telling me that I need to rest. The list can go on and on.
The real reason why I tend to give up so easily is that it's hard work for me. Seeing and hearing so many different opinions, options, workouts, diets, do's and don'ts. It gets overwhelming. I know what I should be doing, but the love of junk food and food in general is sometimes too hard to resist, plus I know exercise keeps me fit and my weight down, but I have never been a lover of exercise. Though don't get me wrong, sometimes I love doing a good workout at the gym.
In general weight to me is a touchy subject, it always seems that I don't really fit in anywhere! I'm far from skinny but I'm not large. Some people would say I'm fat while some others would say I'm fine. I can't seem to win, or the fact that still at the age of 29, I still care what people think of me.
Being bullied when I was younger did affect me and how I see myself in the mirror. One of my friends even said that I have body dysmorphia (before anyone starts it was out of jest), as I always say “Oh I put on weight, I look so fat". Don't get me wrong, there are times when I do look in the mirror and I like what I see staring back at me. Most of the time it is me putting myself down, which I know isn't a good thing. Instead of pointing out every time what I dislike about myself, I should embrace all the things I do like about myself, or what people tell me (Dave always says that I have a got a good bum).
I constantly contradict myself in a way, where for a few weeks I binge on anything I fancy. For example KFC, McDonalds, Indian takeaways, IKEA Swedish meatballs with mash, I could go on. Then afterwards I feel absolutely awful, then I will host my favourite sort of party (a self pity party of course) then complain about the weight I have put on, when I know that I can't get away with eating junk and sitting on my arse.
There are times when I feel like giving up but then I remember why I want to feel good about myself. Looking after yourself is vital as we only get one body. It is also important to remember that it isn't important what the scale says as well. In general my diet is pretty alright. It could be better but I'm not a saint, plus like I said my willpower is pretty low. I know I can exercise more in general, as I do like getting that energised feeling when I have had done a good session at the gym.
From personal experience, I spent too much time worrying if I got back fat, or my arms are flabby, not feeling toned and not being the perfect weight. What I am trying to say that, stepping on the scales and seeing a number flash up on the screen shouldn't make you feel overweight and hate yourself for being a certain weight! Scales shouldn't define if you are overweight or not. If you want to get fit and lose a few pounds (like I want to do most of the time) make it an experience that is enjoyable. Not an experience where you feel like a failure when you step on the scales, because you didn't lose a pound or two in a week!
Date nights and not forgetting dates that happen during the day (though it doesn't have the same ring to it), I feel are important to keep a relationship fresh. I have been with the lover for over two years now which, is going to be the longest relationship I have ever been in (I'm not any good at them you see). In a relationship, life can easily fall into the trap of a routine. Going to work, come home, have dinner, watch a couple of episodes of Brooklyn 99, go to bed ( maybe indulge in a bit of sexy time if you have some energy plus being in the mood in the first place) then falling asleep. I know life is about routine, doing day to day things (Dave is a creature of habit) but I'm the opposite.
He understands that I am different and say’s that I’m fickle maybe I am, though I would say that I like to be spontaneous. Luckily Dave goes with the flow, when I say that I want to do something on the weekend. Last Saturday I convinced Dave that going to Birmingham would be a fun idea. To visit a city, that we both haven't gone to before (well Dave has technically but only for work purposes though) than me always choosing London as a destination (as I love going back to my home town). Well I have to say I'm so glad we went. I can't believe I waited until I was 29 to visit this amazing city. I have to point out, that this date night was probably one of the most expensive ones we have done, but it was worth it.
It was nice being a couple somewhere different, being able to have quality time in a different environment. I really enjoy exploring, while Dave is definitely the opposite, but he even said that walking around a new city was fun (this was also while we were walking around the shops, which in the beginning of our relationship he wasn't a fan of shopping at all).
I constantly worry about our relationship going stale with nothing to look forward to. To stop my anxiety around this, I tend to book things like going to the theatre or booking to go to a festival. These things can get expensive, but I think making memories and sharing your interests with your partner can make you feel closer to your better half.
Date nights doesn't always have to mean going out, spending loads of dosh that you don't have (well I'm speaking for myself). I know some people like this thing called walking, which is where people go to a nice manor house, local park, woodlands or green space and walk around admiring the pretty scenery while burning off some calories. I personally like going on date days like that as it's nice being out and about, plus sometimes there aren't so many people are around (I am not thinking about getting frisky out in public, but if that's your thing why not) it's just nice not being around so many random people. You can even do something together at home (well it can lead to that as well) but I am talking about like cooking a meal together, learning a new recipe or do a bit of baking. The closest we got to cooking as a couple is Dave stirring the chicken pieces to make the fajitas. Dave isn't a fan of cooking, he even asks if I need help when cooking a evening meal, but he hopes that I say no which most of the time I do .On a occasion I say yes, then he complains when I ask him to peel potatoes which he hates doing.
We like to also like to go and grab lunch at either Nandos or Turtle Bay (lucky we live really close to the city centre) so it's like a 5 minute walk, which also gets us out the flat. There have been many occasions where we have spent literally the whole weekend indoors, except one or two trips to Morrison's. Dave is very content gaming away all weekend. Don't get me wrong, it is good to have some down time and able to do what we enjoy seperately, but I do think it can get really dull if you don't have any plans at all. Being able to get out for a couple of hours, beats slobbing out on the sofa binge watching the latest season on Netflix (which I have to say I love to do, but isn't very productive).
Right here we go... my name is Tamara and I'm addicted to Netflix. There I have said it! Please don't say that I am on my own here. The obsession with Netflix started nearly a year ago, when I moved in with the lover (Dave). I have always loved watching TV, even when I was a little girl I had to have the TV on while I was eating which to be honest still happens today. What can I say it's a bad habit which will probably never change. Anyways as I was saying, I do love me a bit of Netflix. To be honest I'm too lazy to go and buy a lead so I can watch main TV, even though I pay for a TV license. Argos is like a five minute walk away, so I really don't have any excuses not to buy one. Though, I will never leave the flat as I will have even more choice of what to watch.
What I love about Netflix is that you can have a proper good binge session, though it is annoying when it asks you are you still watching? Does anyone else get annoyed with that? I personally think it should bugger off as it makes me feel guilty, as I probably should be cleaning the flat, getting my arse to the gym or reading a book, as I have so many to get through. Nope I rather be a slob and binge watch a season which has caught my eye.
There are plenty of seasons I busted through, not forgetting the countless movies I have also binge on too. I thought I would share with you three of my favourite seasons (this was a very hard decision though to cut it down to just three) and three seasons, I wished I never laid eyes upon.
So I thought I would start with the three seasons that I wasn't really a fan of. Two of the seasons I have to admit I haven't even finished yet. See, I am one of those people who feel that I have to complete a whole box set or it doesn't feel right, even if the show is painful to watch. Anyone else who does this?
I am going to start with a programme, which a lot of people will disagree with me and would be seen an unpopular opinion... Breaking Bad. Sorry not sorry, don't get me wrong there any plenty of scenes which I laughed at and even shed a tear, but I don't get the hype. I was never gripped by it wanting to watch the next episode because I had to know what was going to happen. I'm currently on season three at the moment but I don't feel that I can face finishing the series quite yet.
This leads me to my second programme that I wish I never started...Pretty Little Liars. Please, please, please don't waste your time. The acting is questionable, the plot is so poor they could really do it in one series (there are seven). Plus whoever was costume designer should have got the sack.
Last but not least, the other series I haven't completed watching... Once Upon A Time. In the beginning I was a huge fan, I thought the way it was produced was so bad it was good, the acting was cheesy but it kind of comes with the theme of the series and loved the fact the fairy tale characters all kind of knew each other from past lives. It is very cleverly written. Alas though the storylines have become ridiculous, also I think I am on season five and there are like at least seven seasons with around twenty four episode to go through. I'm not quite sure if I can torture myself, unless I really do run out of things to watch.
Right this is where it gets tough. I have to choose only three series that I got obsessed with and completely binged on. In the end I chose to rave about these three...
I'm going to start with The Umbrella Academy. If you haven't had the chance yet, then you need to watch it like right now! Being a fan of superheroes and seeing the trailer I was like this is a must, plus I was nice enough to ask Dave if he wanted to watch it with me (he agreed). Also it did help that Tom Hopper (sorry Dave) and Robert Sheehan (also sorry Dave) were starring, so there is also some eye candy too. Whoever wrote the script is a complete genius, it's so witty and damn right hilarious. The whole set of it is fantastic, plus I loved the music they used throughout the series too. The acting is top notch too, some big stars in there as well. Definitely a must watch!
The next series I would say should be on your watch list is You. OMG it was brilliant, so creepy and always kept me guessing. Plus you end up feeling sorry for him (well I did anyways). Also by the end, I thought he was a bit of alright (sorry yet again Dave) even though you should be repulsed by him. I'm so hoping they will bring out another series as of course they left it on a cliff hanger! So annoying!
Last choice I would have to go with is, of course Stranger Things. I'm not a Sci-fi fan at all. Rarely would I jump at the chance to watch anything Sci-fi, unless it is Stranger Things. I'm so excited for the next season. I remember people raving about it and I thought nah it's not for me. Well I was so wrong, the storyline is amazing, I loved all the characters also the acting is superb. I just love everything about the show. Though this is another show I watch with Dave, so I won’t be able to complete the whole season in one day. Which to be honest isn't completely a bad thing.
Though I chose these three, there are so many other good series on Netflix. These are some of the other ones that I have to say I also enjoyed. Orange Is The New Black, Glow, Green Leaf, The Bodyguard, Dirty John, Anne With An E and Frontier, just to name a few more. I can't help myself. There is so much choice thinking about it I don't think I will ever run out of something to watch!
I don't know about you but when I was growing up, I couldn't wait to become an adult and do adult things! Oh how I wish I could be able to turn back the time, when life was a lot more simpler and the biggest decision I had to make was to choose between getting chicken nuggets or a cheeseburger with my Happy meal.
When your a tiny tot you aren't told that you have to budget, that everything comes at a price (that saying money doesn't grow on trees, is unfortunately very true) and yes there is a thing called taxes. This is when you receive your wages thinking core I earned a good wage this month, to then realise that is what you would earn before you pay your taxes, which then in turn makes you feel that you have been robbed as you work your bloody arse off!
Even at the age of 25 when I finally passed my driving test, I didn't realise that fuuuucccccccckkkkkk it's expensive to run a car. That though you may have passed a test which allows you drive, you have to pay out for insurance, road tax, a yearly MOT, servicing, paying out for anything that needs repairing or changing. Oh and the fact that petrol can be pretty pricey too! For my first car I had a beat up Volkswagen Polo (I may have gave Tin Tin those dents, but that wall was in my way). It still cost me (and my mum she saves my arse way too many times) a few pennies to keep it road worthy. After having Tin Tin for over a year, I decided that I would treat myself to a new car and chose a red Fiat 500 which I adore. To be able to buy a new car I got a car loan, because I'm hardly in a job where I am rolling around in a lot of dosh (though I hardly think I am the only person who is in the same boat as me). It feels like I have more outgoings than what I have incoming, which to be honest feels like that most of the time! Though I put my hands up to say, that I'm not fantastic with this thing people call budgeting.
In the beginning of the year I put down a goal to learn how to budget, while also putting some money aside. Well it hasn't gone too well, let's say it's a learning progress. Dave find's it hilarious that I start off an sentence with " Next month I will", as he knows that I have saved up absolutely nothing and more than likely struggling to get to next month's pay day, as for a while now I haven't been really putting any money towards getting groceries.
I do feel that when I went to school there should have been lessons around practical things you will have to do when you are an adult, like budgeting for an example. It's all good having general knowledge and learning facts, but do I really need to know how many wives Henry the Eighth had? Unless it came up as a question in a pub quiz then it would be helpful. By the way, he had six (if you didn't know your welcome). Anyways, I would have rather been taught that being an adult is expensive. Here are some tools to help you learn how to budget, cause Tamara you plus money plus shops, minus near enough all your wages you get each month. Also like being taught, that meeting boys mixed with partying adding alcohol with a pinch of low self esteem and a handful of self loathing, would be a recipe for disaster, tears and tantrums. What can I say, I was a bit of a twat/drama queen when I was younger, but I always had plenty of juicy stories to tell.
Looking back at times when I was a kid, I have to say that I do feel grateful that I grew up during the time when people weren’t technology obsessed and played outside. Not like today, when most kids are obsessed about having an I Pad or wearing the latest shit pair of trainers that come out these days or wanting to spend so much on designer make up. I was very happy with wearing collection 2000 and Rimmel. Even when you are an adult you have to deal with childish behaviour and playground games which to be honest is just tiring. It is easier being a kid because you would be honest with each other, hug it out and then get on with it. Not when you’re an adult Oh no, there is manipulating along with blatant lies, which is way more frustrating and damn right rude.
Writing this piece, has made me notice that at any age, life can be tough, hard, exhausting and an absolute minefield. But having had said that, most of the time adulting can be fun, exciting and joyful.
March is my favourite month of the year as it has a very special day which is 19th. This day is my favourite as it is my birthday aka saint Tamara Day. I for one, love celebrating my birthday as it's all about me and I even like to stretch it out for a few days (this year I received happy birthday's on the 18th and the 20th).
This year I'm turning 19....OK I'm turning 29! Getting slowly closer to turning the big 30 which of course will be mega (I'm hoping for a trip to Paris or fingers crossed New York). All my closest friends know I like to party and this year was no different. As I'm getting on a bit now I don't go out out as much as I use to. This is because the people I know don't have the time as they have things called kids (they are lovely little creatures but I am definitely not ready for motherhood). Anyways, I always try to find a reason to party and celebrating a birthday always receives a yes (if you book in advance that is).
I might be getting older (though people think I'm in my early 20's-still got it), I don't feel too fussed about getting old. It's going to happen isn't it, so why not celebrate getting old, grey, deaf and getting false teeth. I cannot wait, OK that's all a lie but when I hit that age I will let you know how I truly feel.
Growing up I couldn't wait to hit 16, as finally I could have sex legally (more like being seen more as an adult than a child, which didn't happen either).Though it was cool turning 16, there was still so many restrictions. I just counted down the days until I turned 18, so people will finally take me seriously and also where I could get into nightclubs, without desperately trying to get in without an I.D. I was so chuffed when I received my provisional driving license in the post. It wasn't for the fact that I could start doing driving lessons and pass my test. Oh no, it was for something much more important, it was the golden ticket for me to be able to get into all these amazing nightclubs which people banged on about. Being 17 sucked! You were too old to go to under 18's and just a year out to drink legally. That year definitely dragged but I also made sure that I had a big party with a theme of course. I chose black and white and to make sure I stood out the dress I wore was red. The dress, looking back now was so tacky. It was shaped with a corset and a tutu and on the back it had diamantes. Oh so classy. I loved that party, I felt so popular as most of 6 form turned up and half of my brother mates too.
Another birthday that I made sure was a big knees up was for my 21st. This time round it was fancy dress and though my outfit was a ring leader (from like a circus) unfortunately all the photos of me are horrendous as I was a chub chub and the outfit was unflattering. Though I hated the way I looked, one thing is for certain are that my mother gave me an amazing birthday surprise present. She got me a stripper! (Sorry Dave). That experience is something I will never forget (again sorry Dave).
I have always been a fan of my birthday, growing up I had a few birthdays held at McDonald's (god that makes me feel old). A couple at an indoor adventure park called the Biz (I think), I loved jumping into the ball pit. I also had couple of parties held at home when I lived in Brixton (and no we didn't play pin the tail on the druggie or used knives to play with).
The reason I think I love celebrating my birthday, is because I associate it with good memories and fun times with the people closest to me. One year, I let Dave sort out my birthday and he chose for us to go Go Karting. Though I can say I have done it, I won’t be rushing back to it again. He made up for it as it took me to see Beauty and the Beast afterwards. This year I gave him some ideas and he chose for us to go Axe throwing, which was another experience. Afterwards we went for a meal at a pub restaurant called the Riverside, which served tasty food and our waiter was entertaining. The weekend before, I went down to Kent to party with the girls and to pretend to be 19 again which was also eventful. All in all, Turning 29 was successful and I got truly spoilt. Bring on turning the big 30!
Last week while I was off sick, with a viral and kidney infection (yes I want double sympathy, as it was bloody painful), I had plenty of time to do what I do best! Netflix binge! Laying down on the sofa, feeling sorry for myself I was scanning across Netflix, finding something to watch. Having decided that I wanted to watch a movie, I chose 'I Feel Pretty' (ironic, as I certainly did not feel pretty at all!) Choosing this film was a good choice, as I'm a fan of trashy, feel good, comedy romance and this film ticked all the boxes. Though of course it wouldn't win any Oscars or Baftas, it did however have a good message to tell ladies (I'm not being sexist, before anyone starts), plus a bit of eye candy (Tom Hopper anyone?).
I for one can definitely say, that I look in the mirror wishing I was someone else (bigger boobs, no skin condition, longer hair, green/blue eyes, a big bum, a natural all year round tan, skinny legs, no sausage fingers, no hair anywhere, the list can go on). Any who, this is what Amy Schumer character Renee wished for. (I don't want to ruin any spoilers, though to be honest, the film is pretty obvious from the start). As I was saying, she bangs her head during a spin class which makes her believe that, she is now complete babe, when duh it's real life and she is still herself!
Long story short she finds a new lease of self confidence, now she is a complete package through her eyes. Her whole persona changes, people are clearly miffed as people wouldn't class her as attractive. Renee has no idea that she is walking round, looking exactly the way she did, before having that embarrassing accident in the spin room. During the movie, she bags herself a job where people are confused to as why she has got given it in the first place, competes in a bikini competition which she smashes and she get's herself a boyfriend. What I liked about this film is that she did all that without looking any different, it was all in her head. I started to imagine if that happened to me, how would I react? Maybe I would apply for another job, wear things that I wouldn't dare to wear as I'm not skinny enough, have a self esteem and to know what confidence is! However, it is all short lived when she bangs her head again, walking into a clear shower wall (something I would actually do) and she devastated that she is 'herself' again! Renee soon catches on, when she does her whole speech at the end that she was always the same person and surprises herself that it was all in her head from the beginning.
A scene that stuck in my mind was between Renee and a lady called Mallory, who was played by Emily Ratajkowski (the model from the video Blurred lines, you blokes definitely know who I am talking about). She is crying in the changing room, after Renee is unsuccessful banging her head again. Renee asks Mallory what's wrong, to which she replies that she got dumped! Renee laughs in disbelief at her, while Mallory goes on to say that she suffers with low self esteem, which Renee scoffs her. To be honest so would I. Plus she is bloody stunning, with 0% body fat on her and she still has naturally nice tits (the bitch) but who knows, gorgeous people have pressures too these days, having to look perfect all the time. At least I can walk around while looking horrendous and no one would be bothered to take a photo of me!
The film in all had a great message for all women and made me feel empowered in a way. Standing in front of a crowd, delivering her message Renee definitely got in me in the feels. However, though it was motivational, I'm still sitting here worried because I haven't exercised for over a week, plus I have been eating what I want (chicken nuggets, Magnums, an Indian takeaway along with an McDonalds. Not all in one day I'm not that bad). My head has gone to thinking, that I have put on so much weight I'm going to look fat, for a night out out with the girls for my birthday. Time's like that, I know that I need to get out of my head. Maybe I need to be knocked on the head, to make me realise that I'm alright just the way I am and not to get caught up in such trivial things. To be grateful for what I got, which to be honest I forget very easily as I like to focus on things I don't like and want to change.
When I was younger during my time at primary school, you couldn't stop me from jumping up on stage to belt out a tune or two. My go to song was ’My heart will go on' by Celine Dion (I had a strange obsession with the film 'Titanic' and of course Leonardo DiCaprio). I had so much confidence in my abilities to perform. I wasn't blessed with brains but performing, I knew I could do. I also loved to wear over the top outfits (it was the 90's) and felt so bloody fabulous. I wasn't shy at all! When we were living in Brixton, we lived with the grandparents and my grandmother use to take me out shopping, which gave her the chance to show me off to people she knew. I guess that gave me the attitude, that I was someone with talent who had star quality.
While in the first year of secondary school, I stood out like a sore thumb, but not in a bad way. I didn't learn from primary school, when to keep my mouth shut as I don't have a volume button (still don't to this day) but some teachers saw potential in me. So much so, that I was the only year 7 to get a main part in the musical production of 'My Fair Lady' (I swear my mum had a video of this, somewhere). During my time at La Retraite, I was also in the school choir and I felt pretty pleased with myself, that I was seen as a young girl who may not be great with numbers (I loathe maths) but is a damn good performer.
This all dramatically changed when we moved to Kent and I attended Saint John Fisher. People didn't like the confidence I wore, which was slowly broken down, so I had no self-esteem or confidence left. Don't get me wrong, I did do a bit of singing, but I was made to feel embarrassed. To be told that I was no good at something, I thought I was only good at, was heart breaking.
Confidence wouldn't return until I did performing arts A level, but even then I was overlooked by two bigger, brighter personalities, that were even bigger than mine. They shined confidence out of their arses, they also had the brains too, so I had no chance. They were trained from a young age too, while when I was younger, I used the coffee table in my grandparents sitting room, to stand and make up dances to 'The Lion King' theme tune.
Back in the day when I moved to Kent, I went to two different drama clubs, out of school. Even then I was overlooked, but one or two people saw potential, but the bullying had knocked me so far down on the confidence scale, I gave them both up. I adored my singing lessons, but I saw no point to carry it on as no one is going to see me sing. I was lucky enough to perform on the Palladium stage, so no one can take that away from me. My mum paid out a lot for both groups and looking back now I really did give up far too easily.
The glorious age of turning 18 meant I was finally able to drink alcohol legally, which was the perfect solution to regain the confidence I lost over the years. However, alcohol became a solution and I self-medicated. Self-denial played a big part, and to be honest my confidence and self-esteem was still non-exist. When I had alcohol in me, I was able to gain some liquid courage, where picking up a microphone wasn't so daunting. I received compliments, but never took them on board, I thought they were taking the piss. This actually happened when I went to Kos with Dave. I was forced to do karaoke as the entertainment was pretty awful and let's face it, it couldn't get much worse. Singing the first song, I was completely shitting myself (not literally that would have been even more embarrassing) but by the end, I was feeling pretty chuffed with my performance. The holiday makers were very kind, telling me how beautiful my voice was, which was nice to hear as I haven't sung in front of more than 5 people, for such a long time. I forgot the buzz I use to get, performing in front of people and my ego was on an all-time high. I was roped into doing a few more songs, but I didn't mind, and I secretly loved every minute of it.
There is a music group at where I work, where I sometimes sit in and join in as well. This is the only place where I don't feel embarrassed to sing, as it is a small group and it is based in a room where no one judges, which is lovely. I am able to sing, and I get told that I have great vocals, which always makes me feel good about myself.
I do get a rush of excitement when I sing, I do miss performing. I just don't have the guts to go for it, like when I was a kid, who had no fear what so ever! Does anyone else wish they could go back in time? Tell their little mini me to not listen to anyone and go for it?
There is no time machine unfortunately, so I can't undo the past (there would be too many things I would erase) but there are some tips, that maybe one day I might actually take on board as well:
· Fuck the haters (sorry I swear too much)
· Don't let people tell you different
· Believe that you have talent and go for it
· Don't give up on your dreams
· What is the worst thing that can happen?
Has this happen to anyone else? Been made to feel that you aren't good enough? How did you cope with it? Well if it has, which I know, probably has happened to dozens of people, I hope you didn't give up like me!