confidence

Getting under the skin of Psoriasis

So I read this article in the newspaper this morning

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/6599095/Psoriasis-sufferer-proud-to-reveal-sores-to-the-world.html

And I just wanted to do a quick blog about it because I am full of pride and support for this amazing lady. Not just because she is incredibly strong but because I know her story – I know it because I have lived it.

Whilst I am not going to give you a full biography of my life with psoriasis, I will give you the bare bones of it.

I have suffered with psoriasis since I was 3yrs old. All through both primary and secondary school I was teased relentlessly by certain individuals who told me that I was ugly, that I had “the lurgy” etc. They told other kids not to hang around with me or they would catch it too.

My teenage years were the worst. I hated school. I had very few friends, I had absolutely no self confidence or self belief. Puberty made my psoriasis even worse and much of my hair fell out. I hid my skin under long sleeve blouses and tights that itched the hell out of me but were better than having my skin on show.

All through this time I was back and forth to the hospital, trying every possible treatment under the sun. Dozens of different steroid creams, soaking in coal tar baths, being smothered in emollients and wrapped in bandages. I couldn’t wait to leave school at 16 so I went to college instead. Unfortunately things weren’t much better there.

When it came to the world of work I was lucky to be able to get good employment, but one employer made my life very difficult. When my skin got so bad due to the stress of working there and I was hospitalised with life-threatening erythrodermic psoriasis, I was “let go”.

In my early 20s my skin started to improve a little and so I changed – I had a small circle of friends, I became outwardly confident to make up for the fact that inside I was still nervous about rejection.

My tale has a happy ending though. When I was 23 I met my now-husband. Granted my skin was mostly under control at the time, but there have been times when I have been suffering badly with it, particularly during my pregnancies when it is not possible to take drugs to keep it under control. But my husband is amazing – he has only ever seen ME and not my skin. To the point that he only really notices if it has flared up because of the way that it affects me – the itching, the slight depression that accompanies it worsening.

So now, 2015 and I am a happily married mum of two – which during my teenage years felt like something I would never achieve. I am still taking strong chemotherapy drugs which – touch wood – are working well to keep my skin under control. I can’t remember the last time I felt the necessity to cover my face with a scarf or my arms with a cardigan.

And whilst I am nowhere near as brave and strong as this beautiful lady is, I can honestly say that I am over hiding away. The important people love me no matter how my skin looks.

So I applaud this amazing lady for being so confident, so strong and so inspiring. She proves that true beauty is a whole lot more than what is on the outside.

If you would like further information on psoriasis then I can highly recommend that you check out https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis

Thanks for reading

Dee xoxox

psoriasis%203

The Bantams Bedtime Story 

I haven’t done one of these for a little while and I saw this the other day so have decided to share it with you guys…

  
It really struck a chord with me as in recent months there have been people in my life who have made me feel like utter crap about my physical and spiritual self. If not intentional, then I would like to think someone can be intelligent enough to realise that berating someone else’s choices and highlighting their flaws is not the way that friends behave. 

This was reaffirmed this evening when I was having a whatsapp rant to my bestie who is exactly the same height as me but has a different body shape. I was complaining about my short and dumpy mid-section. For a shorty (I’m 157cms) my legs are pretty long but the space between my boobs and hips is virtually non-existent – and yes before someone cheeky pipes up that is when I’m wearing a bra! 

So anyway I was having a bitch to the bestie and whilst she agreed with me in that way that only your BFF can, she also came straight back with compliments about the bits of my body that I deem better, and offered to help me work out what clothes are gonna work best with my shape. 

Now that is what a friend does!! 

So tonight’s bedtime story is this – surround yourself with people that always bring positivity to help you feel the best that you can. And be that friend back – counter every negative with a compliment. True friends build confidence not destroy it. 

Night folks xoxox 

Confidence is Beauty & Beauty is Confidence

I saw this on Facebook today and had to share it. I’ve seen so many friends constantly put themselves down because they aren’t happy with their body. If you aren’t happy then by all means work to make yourself happy.

But…..

Putting yourself down all the time isn’t sexy, beautiful or endearing. It’s downright annoying and can be perceived as attention-seeking. Your true friends will love you no matter your shape or your size. I know I’m carrying a bit of extra weight still, but I also know I’m fabulous on the inside and that is ultimately what counts. 

Confidence is Beauty and Beauty is Confidence. Hold your head up high.  

 

#Stretchyselfie

So I have been neglecting my blog again due to hectic work schedule and two small people being off school for the Easter Holidays, but I read something today and I wanted to blog about it.

On Facebook there was a post shared by a friend of mine about Chrissy Teigen. For those of you who don’t know she is an American model who has been in Sports Illustrated, and is also married to John Legend. And do you know what else… she has stretchmarks!

Yes that is what this post was about, she had shared a pic of her with said stretchies on show, with part of the caption reading “stretchies say hi”. So it’s true, even slim beautiful models like Chrissy Teigen get stretchies. Of course we knew this, but there is still such a taboo surrounding them. People think that they are ugly and try and cover them up. Truth is, real women get stretch marks.

And before anyone says – no this isn’t an attack on people without them. I really don’t give a shit what your skin looks like, trust me, I have had enough of my own skin-related drama’s to be not in the least bit phased by ANY skin condition!

But I do applaud Chrissy for sharing hers with the world, and it got me thinking that if more of us shared pictures of our stretchies then perhaps, just maybe, people wouldn’t feel so bad about them. I certainly don’t want my 8yr old impressionable daughter and my nieces growing up in a world where they may be ashamed or embarrassed of the way that they look. And I also don’t want my son growing up in a world where women are judged and viewed differently based on lines that may or may not appear on their stomach. Obviously this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the whole debate around ‘ideal bodies’ and I will save that for another day.

But coming back to stretchies, I am going to share mine too, because do you know what, they are just marks, they don’t define anything about me, not even the fact that I am a mother as women who don’t have children get them too. They are just marks and I’m not phased by having them. So here is my #stretchyselfie for the world to see.

stretchy

I encourage all women, no matter what the shape or size, to accept their stretchies and not be fazed by them. After all beauty is not stretch mark deep!

#stretchyselfie

Week 8 weigh in (a smidge early)

WeighingScales800

We are doing the week 8 weight in a little early – 2 days early to be exact. Why you ask? Well we have been really strict with the diet all week in a bid to shift some of the weight we put on last weekend when we had a bit of a blip due to a bereavement in the family. But – and here it is – we are actually away tonight at a charity fundraiser – so will be having a few drinks and making the most of our first child-free night AWAY in years. In fact it may actually be our first child-free night away since our wedding night in 2008! That said, we are still going to try and make as many good choices as possible. I have just made myself a bowl of strawberries, topped with 0% fat raspberry yoghurt, for a filling and healthy breakfast! We are also taking the kids out to lunch before we go, and they have asked for Harvester which is great as I can have the pasta dish I love that comes in under 500 calories! Oh and of course the salad cart!!!

So it may seem like cheating a little, but we have decided to weigh in today, record our results from 5 days of eating clean. And then we wont weigh in again until Monday 9th March. I think doing this will yield not only more positive results, but a more positive mental attitude! Yes, I said it PMA!

You know the low you sometimes experience if you don’t see a loss, especially when you have been trying so hard. It can affect your motivation for the rest of the time. So hopefully by weighing in today we will keep our motivation for the rest of the time til we weight in again on 9th March!

My WLJ

5th January       14st 10 3/4lb

12th January     14st 1 3/4lb        loss 9lbs!

19th January     13st 12 1/2lb      loss 3 1/4lb

26th January     13st 9 1/2lb       loss 3lb

2nd February     13st 8 1/4lb       loss 1 1/4lb

9th February      13st 5 1/4lb      loss 3lb

16th February    13st 3 1/2lb      loss 1 1/4lb

23rd February    13st 6lbs          gain 2 1/2lb

28th February    13st 2.5lbs       loss 3.5lbs       total loss to date: 21 and 3/4 lbs

Hubby’s WLJ

5th January       22st 2 1/2lb

12th January     21st 4 1/2lb      loss 12lbs!

19th January     20st 13 1/4lb    loss 5 1/4 lb

26th January     20st 10 1/2lb    loss 2 3/4 lb

2nd February    20st 10 1/4lb    loss 1/4lb

9th February     20st 5 1/4lb      loss 5lbs

16th February   19st 13 1/4lb    loss 6lbs!

23rd February   20st 1 1/4lbs    gain 2lbs

28th February   19st 10 1/4lbs  loss 5lbs     total loss to date: 34 1/4lbs

Absolutely chuffed to bits with the losses this week! Definitely a big motivator to keep making healthy choices!

Thanks for your continued support!

Cutting the String – Progress Pic

So, as some of you that follow our weigh-ins may know, I was a little disappointed with less than 2lbs off this week. I know its better to lose the weight slowly, but I am impatient and sometimes I feel a bit like this…..

dietingallweek

I didn’t want to lose the motivation I usually get from seeing a good loss, so I was thinking what I could do to keep my spirits up, particularly as this week is half term and it is notoriously tricky to eat well when the kids are off – and they eat constantly! It’s also tricky to find time to do my dvds, and I will be re-starting week 2 of c25k, but not til next week when the kids are back, so I wont get much exercise opportunity this week.

So I decided to do my first progression pic as I have got to 21lbs/one and a half stones off….

And here it is:

21lbslighter

Actually seeing this makes me feel so much better. I can’t actually believe how massive my stomach was before. Whilst I still have around 60lbs to lose to get to my goal weight, I can already see a noticeable difference in my stomach, arse and back fat.

I may print this pic out and stick it on the fridge to further my motivation!

Look out for another progression picture, probably at 35/42lbs loss!

Thanks for your continued support!

Cutting the String – little update!

keepgoing

Hello lovely flab-fighters and faithful blog readers!

Just a little update for you all. Unfortunately I am currently out of action on the exercise front. I have pulled something in my hip on my left side and am in pain just walking around, so I have postponed today’s run and am hoping to be able to get to it over the weekend. I was also poorly yesterday. I am missing the exercise a bit which shocks the heck out of me, but I am still trying to tone my upper body a little using my weights.

Cutting the String is still going well and I have been on plan all week. I met friend for coffee this morning and opted for a healthy bag of sweet n salty popcorn (less than 130cal per bag) instead of cake, and I then shared about a third of the bag with my friends adorable 11-month old little boy! We are also meeting friends on Saturday for dinner, but we are going to go to Harvester so we can ensure we stick to plan and eat something relatively healthy – plus I can raid the salad cart too!

I’m really feeling the effects of eating more healthily this week. I am sleeping better, I have more energy and am generally feeling a lot more positive about everything. And the best news of all – my jeans are too big! Back in January I had a pair of Primark high-waisted skinny jeans in a size 18. I could literally just get them on, the top button was far to tight and so I walked around with only 2 of the 3 buttons done up. And now….. well the following pictures can speak for themselves….

jeans3 jeans2

Hurrah – size 18 jeans are too big!!!

I now have plenty of space in them and need to keep pulling the waist up. They are baggy on my still ample arse, and at the backs of the thighs – even after washing! Hubby is also fitting in a tracksuit which was much too tight at the start of January!

One of the best feelings when you lose weight is when your clothes are getting too big!

So that’s my quick update. The 5th weigh in will be on Monday morning so keep your eyes peeled!