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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

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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 

Embrace your flaws! 

Stolen this off a friends Facebook page this morning because I absolutely love it. I love it because it is totally true, and not just about physical flaws but personality flaws too. Learning to accept yourself, warts and all, will give you peace, stop you being so vulnerable, and stop you judging others imperfections. 

Unless you can truly accept and love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? 

  

#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.

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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

Charlotte’s Belly Blitz – First attempt!

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It’s taken me a while to blog about the Belly Blitz that I did this morning – in part because its taken me a little while to recover!

Oh my GOD, I had no idea quite how hard some of it would be!

First of all I have to say, I love the intro the DVD, the trainers that work with Charlotte are both motivating but also relatable, as is Charlotte herself. She doesn’t speak too much (good if you don’t like the Geordie accent!) but when she does its to remind you to push through the pain (as opposed to Richard Callendar of The Biggest Loser – who just laughs when she says she is in pain!).

The warm up is easy to follow, gets the blood following and muscles warm as it should, and is followed by standard stretches.

The actual training programme is split into 12 x 3-minute rounds of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) each focusing on different areas, everything from boxing moves to squats to push ups. Don’t be fooled into thinking its easy – Charlotte makes it look easy but some of the moves are killer! Luckily the third trainer, David Souter offers some lower impact “beginners” versions which I found myself following at times. Hopefully with practise I will be able to move onto the regular workouts which Richard and Charlotte were demonstrating.

The 3-minute bursts mean that just as the pain gets really difficult its time to move on, and you have around a minute to recover whilst the routine for the next round is demonstrated.

I did the Belly Blitz straight after Day 2 of C25K today, possibly maybe why I found it tough going, but then Charlotte didn’t achieve that figure by having a nap after a bit of exercise so there is no way I will. I managed the warm up, cool down and four of the 3-minute rounds before I decided to call it a day for today. The beauty of the short rounds is that you can pick and choose what round you want to do, so you can practise a specific round over and over if you need to. Obviously it is recommended that you always do the warm up and cool downs as well.

There is also a ten-minute section called “Extra Abs”. I did start the section, but it is literally all crunches albeit different types and after the first five minutes I couldn’t face any more.

Clearly I have a LONG way to go to master Charlotte’s Belly Blitz, but from the way my muscles felt today it is clearly good exercise and will offer some results. There is also an “Eating Plan” section for anyone interested, although I plan to continue with my current one.

Keep your eyes peeled for further updates!

Cutting the String – 3 min Belly Blitz!

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It’s here it’s here!!!

Mr Postman bought me my copy of that lass from Geordie Shore’s new workout DVD – “Charlotte’s 3 minute Belly Blitz”.

I have to admit I am easily taken in by weight loss and fitness DVDs – but apparently Charlotte’s is the most popular one in the UK. My belly looks a lot like the “before” picture used on the packaging, so as far as I’m concerned it’s got to be worth a go!

I’m starting tomorrow so check back here to make sure I’m still alive after …. and for my review!