Weight Loss/Dieting

Hi everyone and welcome back!

Today I’m going to share something a little different with you. I’m going to share my weight loss/dieting history and results etc. 

The inspiration comes from lying in bed last night feeling bloated as hell and unhappy with the way by body was looking lately, and suddenly realising I had to do something about it right now. I’m talking 1.30am last night. But anyway. I’m going to take you back about 16 years ago, when I was in high school.

I was one of those teens that stopped growing when I was 11/12 at 5foot nothing, and then started slowly filling out from there on. I was an awkward teenager at 12-13, embarrassed of my body and chose to cover up wearing grimace worthy massive granny pants that my mum would cringe at when she hung out the washing, huge t-shirts that I hoped would hide my boobs. 

At 14-15 I began to compare my body to my friends’. Why wasn’t I taller? Why didn’t I have long slender legs to “there”? Why was I short and shapely (or in my eyes at the time, dumpy)? Why didn’t certain clothes fit me properly? It was around then I realised that hiding my body wasn’t fooling anyone: I was turning into a woman. 

I looked to a classmate of mine that I decided had the body shape I wanted. She was a dancer and super popular; around 5foot 7 and slender, thick glossy brown hair chopped into layers, perfect teeth, perfect skin, dimples in her cheeks, lovely long, slight hourglass figure: not too thin. She was a serious clothes horse: even our school uniform fitted her like a glove, looking casual-chic in hipster boot cut trousers (hey this is the early 00’s remember!) with no muffin top, no VPL and a slight shimmer clung to her shape, flat ballet shoes peeking out at the bottom, ladylike mock-croc book bag casually slung over her shoulder. 

And then I took stock of myself: 5foot, generally slim but curvy, blonde hair with layers, skin that kept breaking out on my cheeks no matter what I did, decent teeth… but my uniform was 3 sizes too big (at my request) and my slightly too short straight leg trousers with a crease down the front bagging off me, and awful, awful kickers lace up shoes. Ad on a massive black Adidas coat with 3 blue stripes down the side and a battered Nike rucksack. 

I wanted to change; if I was going to be a woman, I wanted to at least look like one. So, setting my dancer classmate as my school icon, I bought some hipsters with a bootcut trouser, a new school uniform sweater that actually fit, some of those seriously massive flatform shoes that were popular back then (good for me what needed the additional 5 inches!), a very small, structured shoulder bag that required me to hold my school folders, a-la Cher Horowitz (Clueless); In fact, it was around that time that I first watched Clueless and it was my go-to film for everything, for around 2 years until discovered Legally Blonde. Anyway, lastly, I shocked my parents big time by suddenly binning all of my granny pants (much to my mums relief), and only wearing thongs. 

It was when I was 15 that I really wanted to change my body shape, and although I walked to school, around school and back home from school every day, I participated in PE at school, Table Tennis 3 or 4 times a week and did aerobics a couple of times a week, I still felt “dumpy” (even though I was only a size 8-10 UK size). I switched my lunch at school to Slim fast Shakes and had fruit in my lunch container, much to the amusement and confusion of everyone around me. 

I felt that the slim fast shakes kept me trim and energised throughout the afternoon, keeping the jitters at bay until I got home from school to my mums roast dinner.

After I finished school and I begun to drive, I drove to work, I drove to college, I drove to the shops… exercise didn’t really feature high on my list until I was 18 and I met one of my friends, who was around my height but again, very outgoing, stylish, exciting. I idolised her.

As a result, own style and body was again, put under scrutiny by myself and I put myself under immense pressure to become thinner. I’m not proud to say that I starved myself over the weekends and stuck to 3 small meals during the weekdays, cutting out bread completely. 

My friend and I went partying together almost every night for a couple of years, until her heart was broken by a boy and she ran off to the ships to work as a beautician for a few years. 

I’m sure the partying was something to do with my fabulous size 6/8 UK size figure, because at 22, I left home, met a man who seriously broke my heart and pushed me over the edge to this amazing thing called microwave popcorn. I would eat 3 bags of it a night. I would eat Chinese takeaway, chicken and chips, McDonald’s, KFC, biscuits, chocolate… anything to try and comfort eat. As you can imagine, my poor body blew up to a size 12/14 UK size, and for around 3 years I lived in denial. At 25, I had an opening of a club to attend, and my friends and I spent around a week picking out dresses, tanning, getting our nails and hair done… I remember feeling fabulous, so fabulous, that I decided now would be the perfect time to step on the scales… and feeling so upset that I spent all evening hiding from the photographers at the event.

The very next day, I grabbed all of the food from my cupboards and threw them all away, replacing my crisps and chips and chocolate with Special K. 

For 9 months I lived on 30g Special K with skimmed milk twice a day. I lost 3 stone and felt amazing again. 

When I did start to come off the diet, I ballooned once more, much to my dismay. 

For 3 more years my weight creeped up again, and then I found Juice Plus, which made me lose all of the weight again in 8 months. It was then I met Le Spaniard and my very controlled diet couldn’t be sustained due to our love of eating out and indulgence. 

In the last 6 months I’ve piled on 1.5 stone and although I’m so so happy with Le Spaniard, I am not so happy with my weight. Losing my job twice might have had something to do with it, but even after I’d found the great job I’m in now, I am still in bad habits.

I would begin the day well with my first Juice Plus Shake, and then come lunchtime I’d shun the shake I’d prepared that morning for lunch, and make a beeline for the local shop to buy 2 bags of crisps and a large chocolate bar. 

Then I’d get home and decide to have a Chinese or McDonald’s instead.

Which brings us to last night.

I’d started the day so well yesterday: Juice Plus for breakfast, I’d even had my 2nd Shake of the day for my lunch… but on the drive home at 5pm, I was wondering what food I could have, and decided as I’d been so good that day, id have a bag of chips from the fish and chip shop. 

Getting into bed at 10.30pm last night I told myself yet again, something has to change, I have to sort my diet out. I couldn’t sleep. I felt like my thoughts were changing, I was starting to feel that stubborn feeling that I get when I make a decision and am gearing myself up to fight for it. 

And at 1.30am, I found myself standing in the 24 hour Tesco a few miles from me, among the vitamins and supplements aisle, clutching the following:

  • Forza Slenderbind
  • Protein World Hunger Busters
  • Tetley Detox Tea
  • Tesco Ultra Slim Meal Replacement Shakes
  • Dextro Energy Tabs

I took 2 Forza Slenderbind tablets last night and went to sleep. This morning I feel determined, and my stomach was feeling less bloated than last night, but still happily full. I took 2 more Forza Slenderbind tablets this morning, as well as 2 Protein World Hunger Busters and a cup of Tetlet Detox Tea half hour before I ate my Special K Breakfast. I’m still full, which is great! It doesn’t make you feel as though it is an “I’m so tired I’m going to take a nap” type of full… it almost feels synthetic (which it is). Either way, it’s making me not be able to eat so much, which I am happy about ūüôā

I’ll keep you posted my my thoughts and routine soon!

And as always, it’s been a pleasure, treasure! 

Elle

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The Breakdown

Friday I took the train to Manchester to see Le Spaniard for the first time in 2 weeks. This was going to be our Valentines Weekend. We had a posh Italian restaurant in the city booked and our cards and presents ready. 

I arrived, we went for a couple of drinks and then we went back to his flat and had a night in with his flatmate, exchanged gifts (I got artificial pink tulips in a vase I’d been lusting after in T K Maxx) and got a bit too drunk. Attempted to sleep together but I fell asleep as he was running around looking for a condom. Romantic, huh?

Saturday we went around the shops, popped over to his friends house (Le Paddy) and as I was so tired (I’ve not been sleeping due to stress of losing my job… again!) I crawled back to bed and had a nap before we had to get ready for the restaurant. 

The restaurant was busy and exciting. Waiters milled about and just about every aspiring footballer and model was there. On the table next to us, a pouty, whiny young woman was complaining about everything, pouting like a diva and her partner was embarrassed and trying to stop her causing a scene. Apart from that, the food was amazing and we had such an amazing experience there. 

Afterwards, we were bought back down to earth in a more affordable bar, where Le Spaniard dropped out that next week he is in Poland with his flatmate. Pressure and stress, no sleep, my mums words “it’s all on his terms” and all of my feelings towards him came to the surface and I couldn’t hold it all in. I clammed up and managed to keep my tears in as we got a taxi back, but then ended up bawling until about 2am on the sofa with a cup of tea and a blanket. 

Luckily, he was amazing, asking me to tell him how I am feeling, and telling me he was concerned to see me like this, that I am incredibly strong, asking what he could do to help me through. 

I left him with a request for a solution to our dilemma: how do we see eachother more often?

Stay tuned to find out our solution!

Much love, and as always, it’s been a pleasure treasure!

Elle

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I’m so sorry!

Agh, guys, I’ve been AWOL, my apologies!

Things haven’t been great at work, my new colleague has been reluctant to show me anything in my new job and excluding me as much as possible… and she is in the inner “clique” with the director so it’s even worse. 

What made things reach boiling point today was when I approached the director to speak with her about my first pay, which had been incorrect as my salary “hourly rate” was well below the advertised rate and I’d even had it confirmed by the Branch Manager before she’d left for Maternity. 

Without checking anything, the director told me my hourly rate was correct and I was wrong. So I assured her that I’d received confirmation from the Branch Manager in email, and that even though I’d taken a pay cut to go to the company, I absolutely was not able to take THAT drastic a cut. She then preceded to tell me that if that was the case I ought to leave, that the salary was certainly not what I thought it was and she would find the original advert out and the email from the Branch Manager (and believe me, I have a screenshot of the advert, as well as confirmation of the salary from the Branch Manager on an email, I know I’m right). I told her that I had a mortgage, lived alone etc, and therefore I was unable to just up and walk out of a job like that. I told her to let me take a look at my finances etc to see if I would be able to survive on the wage. She said that if I could let her know as soon as possible, that would be good.

I thought that was the end of it, until 15 minutes later when I was taken into another office and notified that I was provided 1 week notice and as I was still under trial period, She had the right to not provide me with a reason… and that IF the advert was incorrect and they did owe me money, they would pay me what they owed me.

And that was it. 

Talk about stunned! So yeah, I had a bit of a bad day, and worst of it all, I have to go in until Thursday, with no real time out to enable me to speak with recruiters or potential employers. 

Of course, Le Spaniard has been perfect as usual, in my corner hot headed about everything while I’ve been the voice of reason behind it all. It just means that yet again for the 2nd time in my life and just 3 months after my last tiny stint, I’m unemployed and feeling bloody awful.

Has anyone ever had something like that happen to them?

The Drought Ends!

Oh wow… finally!

Saturday was the first time I’d seen Le Spaniard since before Christmas. I’m not going to lie to you: it felt like our first meeting all over again. I was so nervous I could hardly breathe as I waited for his train to pull into the station.

And then suddenly he was here, and nothing else mattered: I’d rushed straight from a hair appointment which was kind of a disaster (I wanted to go whiter blonde… I got bleached but it was still really harsh and required serious toning… something I didn’t have time to do at all) but it didn’t matter, I’d got nothing planned for us whatsoever, but it didn’t matter, I had been living on Shakes for 6 days prior and felt quite faint, but it didn’t matter, my fingernail and toenail polish didn’t match, but it didn’t matter… all of the little things that is been focusing on became nonexistent. It was amazing. 

We drove back to mine and sorted a coffee, chatting non-stop about Christmas, new year and 2 weddings he’d attended (which he’d asked me to go but as I was beginning a new job I’d not been able to attend).

He finally gave me his Christmas gifts: chocolate and muffins that are only available in Spain over the Festive Season, a grey chunky scarf that he’d picked up on his indirect flight travels (Munich) and a TV box with loads of channels accessible via the internet.

We got ready and went for food, and then a few drinks with my parents, before going to play pool and air hockey at my local bowling hall.

Saturday was our 2nd attempt at sex, and again, it was wonderful. We weren’t drunk like the first time, I also realised that I didn’t feel self conscious or nervous around him at all, it was like we were just helping eachother feel good and express our feelings… actually, it felt more than that, I can’t explain it.

Sunday morning I got up and remembered my awful hair, so I rushed to the local shopping centre, leaving Le Spaniard in bed, came across this miracle toner by Bleach London called “White Toner” and managed to tone my hair while he was still sleeping! 

The colour is phenomenal, I highly recommend anyone with platinum hair goals, or brassy hair to use this toner. I also bought the silver shampoo but I’ve not tried it yet, I’m going to wait a couple of washes to see how the toner fares first.

We were lazy all day, hanging out on the sofa and watching CSI. It felt great to be able to lie my head on his lap and feel him stroke my hair as I watched TV.

It was over too soon though, he left 26 hours after arriving and as I left his platform once the train had departed, I could feel my eyes stinging and I wanted to cry and cry and catch the next train to Manchester after him…

But instead I booked one for Friday evening so I can travel to him after work ūüôā 

That’s my half hour lunch up now… just thought I should catch you up!

Until next time, it’s been a pleasure treasure!

Elle

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Welcome to 2017!

We made it!

I’d been meaning to write between Christmas and New Year, but in all honesty, with no dates to write about, I thought it was not what you’d want – you know, a blog about my dating life and suchlike, and I’m not even writing about that? ¬†But then, I thought – heck, I’ve written about style and fashion before, I can squeeze an off topic post in here and there, right? ¬†Besides, it’s my blog, and my brain.. I’ll do as I please ūüėČ

But first of all, a very happy New Year to you and yours. ¬†I do hope it’s a good one for you.

Observing the actions and habits and relief of others over years gone by (and of course, this one is no exception) the New Year seems to give people relief and the chance to “start over”, “start afresh”; The New Years’ Resolution. ¬†The promises whispered they will eat better, they will lose weight, they will write that book they’ve been meaning to pull out of them, they will get that promotion, or look for work elsewhere. ¬†Such promises rarely materialise.

One year ago, on New Years’ Eve 2015, I spent it with my parents, completely single with no prospects in sight; in a function room at our local pub, surrounded by other 50-plus year old couples. ¬†It was my resolution that I would not be alone, in the same predicament by next New Years’ Eve.

Life and the universe has a funny way of delivering that promise. ¬†You see, a while back, I read a book that altered the way I feel about everything; The Secret. ¬†Basically, you ask for something, and the universe delivers… and sometimes in the most unexpected way.

Last Night I was again with my parents, in the same function room, alone amongst a sea of happy couples partying the night away and anxiously awaiting their first kiss of 2017. ¬†Yet it was different. ¬†I’d asked to not be in the same predicament as the prior year, and the universe delivered. ¬†I may have been “alone”, but I certainly wasn’t lonely.

So I chuckled to myself and realised that my wish had indeed been granted, leading me to Le Spaniard halfway through the year. ¬†Although he wasn’t with me physically last night to share our first kiss of 2017, I was thinking of him, and in contact with him throughout the night, and missing him terribly.

I suppose what I’m saying, is that whatever your resolution is this year, look back at the end of the year and you’ll see, when you were least expecting it, and in the most oddball of ways, our wishes are granted by the universe after all.

Another way the universe responded to my wishes was when I lost my job in November. ¬†It looked bleak, I was applying for more than 20 jobs a day, getting rejection after rejection in my field of work. ¬†When I did get interviews, It was a 2 or 3 panel structured interview which sort of made me uncomfortable and nervous. ¬†But eventually after a dozen of them, I started wondering why a manager would need 2 or 3 people, over 2-3 interviews? ¬†Are managers really that afraid or incapable of making a lone decision these days? ¬†How do business move forward in this day and age if 4 people are required to make a unanimous decision? ¬†Isn’t the reason why a manager is in place, to make decisions and drive the workforce, and take the responsibility if (and when… because after all, we’re all human!) a mistake is made? ¬†I began to feel the whole thing was a joke. ¬†I was getting frustrated of being knocked back because 1 of 3 people in the 3rd and final interview may not have liked the way I said “um” in the interview or how I initiated conversation with them after the interview while being lead toward the exit, politely asking if they were all set for Christmas yet, or even better, how one of the interviewers was concerned that my 8 year stint for a structured bank (with no regard for the other kind of businesses I’d worked for afterwards) meant that I wouldn’t be able to settle into a more unstructured business model… sigh. ¬†Assumptions, assumptions. ¬†But I regress. ¬†It all lead me to this:

On the 2nd December I spotted a job that wasn’t in my field, that had been posted within the hour. ¬†It sounded perfect. ¬†The job was ME; there was no part of the job description that I could have asked for more. ¬†Varied – check, fast-track into management within a couple of months – check, a fun and exciting product that enabled me to work with some of the most famous and fun brands in the world – check, the opportunity to learn and push myself – check! ¬†I pressed the apply button faster than I could even allow my brain to catch up with my excitement. ¬†But then reality sank in and I began to doubt myself – I was well versed in Sales, within a very specific, niche market that was difficult to get out of. ¬†I prepared myself for yet another rejection email, or worse yet, nothing at all (yeah, ghosting doesn’t just happen in dating, I’ve found it happens in recruitment as well!).

Within 3 hours, I’d got an interview set up for 14th December. ¬†I could hardly believe it!

On 14th December, I arrived on site for my interview and had the most bizarre interview I’ve ever had in my life – the company were in the process of moving premises and everything was everywhere – people were rushing around clearing up as quickly as possible and the interview took place in the main office, surrounded by people shouting to others and sorting through items. ¬†The Managing Director didn’t have a structured approach to the interview at all – it was the most informal interview of my life thus far – she only asked me one question… “so tell me what you’ve been up to?” ¬†To which we then entered into a really informal conversation of my past work experience, my strengths, what I was looking for now, what I wanted to progress towards, talking about the product and how interesting it is (and believe me, it really is!) and how it has elements of fun and nostalgia and bordering on “gimmicky”, for want of a better word. ¬†I left the interview a mere 25 minutes after arriving, feeling empty and unsure as to whether I’d performed as good as I could. ¬†I thought of things I’d not mentioned to the Managing Director; things that I thought would have helped my application further.

I drove to my parents and sat with my mum, lifeless, feeling as though I’d botched yet another interview up. ¬†We sat with a cup of tea and I told my mum that I felt as though the job I’d really wanted, I didn’t really have a chance at the interview because it had been so informal. ¬†I told her that at this point, what I wished for most in the world for Christmas was a job to start the beginning of January 2017.

My phone pinged 3 hours after my interview and it was an e-mail coming through, my mum said I ought to take a look at my phone in case it was feedback from another of my many failed interviews or a new job that matched my skill set on the job-sites.

The first thing I did when I saw it was the Managing Director was sigh. ¬†In the recruitment world; or so I’ve been taught, the successful applicant is contacted by telephone and delivered the good news, which is then usually followed up with an e-mail and a contract. ¬†Once that is sorted, the unsuccessful candidates usually get the rejection e-mail.

So you can imagine my feelings when I saw the Managing Director’s name come up on my e-mail. ¬†I braced myself for the next rejection and opened the e-mail. ¬†It was to notify me that I’d been successful, and that I was to begin in January 2017.

I absolutely broke down with emotion at that point, I hadn’t realised how stressed and tense I’d been until that point. ¬†I still feel that the universe was listening to me, that it knew how I felt about those structured 2-3 panelist interviews spanning 2-3 interviews, about really wanting to leave the industry I was in and most of all, about leaving sales. ¬†It aligned me to a family business, a really cool and fun product, a rapidly growing company with huge potential, management pathway, and most of all, a manager that is perfectly capable of executing decisions all by herself and happy to take ownership of those decisions.

Even just before I met Le Spaniard; I wished to meet someone who I’d have that all consuming infatuation for, which would roar on for months and the echo of it never fully fade, but give way to intrigue, intellect, fun, companionship, courtship, happiness, contentedness, wholeness and absolute pure love that was reciprocated. ¬†While things are still new with Le Spaniard, I’m feeling that roar raging on within me and I have a glow that could be mistaken for “completely smitten”!

And so, I go into 2017 with a beautiful relationship and a new job with the unknown before me in both area’s. ¬†But for once, I’m not frightened about not knowing, because this New Year, I’ve given thanks to the past year and I now live in the mindset that whatever I need, the universe will provide it in some way for me; be it in a life lesson through experience, help or assistance, or some answer, or something else – I just need to look around me for clues, and to listen… and not until I’m ready to receive it.

How has your year been?

Until next time, it’s been a pleasure, treasure!

Elle

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I Love You?

Hi everyone and welcome back!

The weekend was the last time Le Spaniard and I would see eachother for 3 weeks. He is travelling over to his hometown in Spain in a couple of days time and will be over there for Christmas and New Year. Then he has a wedding to attend, so our next time together will be in 3 weeks.

I travelled to Manchester on Friday afternoon with his presents, met him after work at the train station and dropped everything off at his apartment before changing into a little black dress and sparkly shoes then taking a taxi to a beautiful wine bar in the city centre. After that, we had a table booked in a local Italian restaurant before taking a bottle of champagne back to celebrate his flat mates all clear health results and my new job.

Saturday morning we woke up with a really really bad hangover, and curled up in bed together until around midday and then headed over to IKEA. Le Spaniard learned of my love of Ikea a few weeks ago and told me he would show me their local store.

Afterwards, we got changed at met Le Spaniards friend, Le Paddy, in a bar. Before we knew it, we were in a cocktail bar and and then on to the famous gay village, Canal Street.

While in one of the bars, Le Spaniard and I were talking of something and I am pretty sure he said “I love you”, because I remember freezing and my mouth dropping open.

Course, I’m not positive that’s what he said because we had both drank quite a bit of alcohol at this point. How on earth do you broach that subject? “Oh, on Saturday night I am pretty sure you told me you love me, but I just want to confirm that’s what you said?” Ermmmm… no thanks. Most awkward question of all time award ;).

Sunday morning, we had tea in bed and I made him open his Christmas presents. I’d purchased him a few bits and bobs; a heat activated Pikachu Mug, a CD, loungewear, a leather Saville Row passport holder and luggage tag and a roulette shot drinking game.

We then went to meet Le Spaniards’ friends (Le Model and Le Paddy et al) and went to the Etihad to watch Man City take on Arsenal. Afterwards, he took me to the train station and saw me onto the train.

And that’s that… 2016 wrapped up!

Next year Le Spaniard wants to go away for a city break and I’ll probably meet his parents. Next year, his goals are to get on the road here in the UK and save up to buy a house. There’s a lot coming up, and lots to look forward to.

See you in 3 weeks time, have a lovely Christmas and a very Happy New Year… keep dating savvy people!

Until then, it’s been a pleasure, treasure!

Elle

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The Toothbrush

Just thought I had to share this…

As I made my way through my evening routine removing my make up at my dressing table and then moving on to my bathroom to brush my teeth ready for bed, I noticed something lime green lurking in the corner of my eye. 

Le Spaniard had planted a toothbrush next to my pink one. I was delighted, and I’ve got into bed with the biggest grin on my face as neither of us have ever left an article at each other’s places. All week I’m going to grin when I peer over at my sink to see the lime green toothbrush right next to my pink one.

I wonder if he did it deliberately, or whether I’m going to get a message at 6am in the morning pissed off that he’d forgotten his toothbrush?

If it’s deliberate, it feels like the first reach out to ingrain himself into my life, to leave a little reminder that although he can’t be here all the time, he will be here in the articles he leaves and will act as triggers to make me think of him (as if I don’t do enough of that already!). Oddly enough, I thought to myself earlier that I ought to make up a little wash bag filled with body sprays and hairsprays (yeah he uses hairspray!) and deodorant and body wash that I know he likes (I’ll have to find out his favourites when I’m here next weekend), along with some slippers and maybe a dressing gown just so that he feels a little more comfortable here.

What does leaving the humble toothbrush at a partners’ home symbolise to you?

Elle 

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