Shockingly it has been over a year since my last blog post and since the new year is approaching I thought I would write a personal blog post to reflect over the past 3 years and how I have changed in this time. This blog post is more for my benefit than anything so if I waffle on I am sorry in advance.
I was searching through old pictures on my Facebook recently and it dawned on me how much I have actually changed over these past 3 years. Many who know me have also probably realised I have changed a lot over this period too. I haven’t spent much time recently looking back and reflecting on what changes I have made because I have been too busy looking towards the future, bettering myself, loving myself, being myself and most of all just finding myself again.
I am going start with a bit of background info. I had been with Terry (my boyfriend) for 2 years when I fell pregnant aged 19 whilst we were living at my parents, I had a job as a waitress and I was at college studying level 2 beauty therapy. I had bad sickness throughout my whole pregnancy and was 11 days overdue. The 18th of July 2014 at 4:53am Lacie-May Rose Green was born and it was the most overwhelming but happiest day of my whole life. (newborn baby experience post on blog) We lived with my parents for 3 months until we moved in a hostel for 2 weeks and then moved into our new home as a family.
We spent two awful weeks living in a hostel with our 3 month old baby who had colic. She used to scream every night at 6pm-7pm with pain from the colic. I had only been a mum for 3 months and previously I was living with my parents so I had their knowledge and security to fall back on. Terry worked full time so he didn't come back until 8pm onwards. I remember the first few nights I spent crying and rocking with Lacie-May trying everything I could to ease the pain whilst she screamed, feeling completely hopeless, thinking that everybody in the hostel must have thought I was harming her. I used to spend as much time away from the hostel as I could in the day and dreaded returning. Two weeks doesn't sound very long but it felt like a lifetime.
Finally the day came where we could move into our new home. I felt so incredibly happy to be out of that horrible hostel and into a secure home we could now call our own. Family life began, months went by and with each new day there were new challenges to overcome. Parenthood isn't textbook and we all just make it up as we go along. I remember feeling so lonely like I was the only person in the world that was struggling. I put so much of my time and effort into making sure Lacie-May was well looked after, secure and healthy, I neglected my own health and well being and despite the things I posted on social media behind the screen was a very different story.
Lacie-may was about a 18 months old when I realised I had been suffering with severe anxiety and depression. I would over think every situation whether it be social gatherings with friends/family I had known for years or just walking to the shop to get milk and bread. If I got invited somewhere I would evaluate every topic of conversation that could come up and what I would answer and what they would say dreading what they would think about me that I would just end up cancelling. It was around this time that the random public terrorism attacks started so I was petrified of there being a random attack whilst we were out and Lacie-May getting hurt in anyway, and because of this I restricted myself from taking her out of the security of our home as much as possible. I didn't drive at this point either so to shopping or to get to town I would walk 2 miles rather than get the bus because I was scared of situations I had made up in my head. Some days it would take me hours to even leave the house to walk anywhere because I had imagined every possible bad situation before leaving, from a car swerving into us right to being attacked on the way. I used to pick at every flaw and insecurity I had, I was my own worst enemy. I was too scared to go to the doctors in fear that lacie would be taken away from me. Weeks would go by and the only place I had been was to my parents house and that was because my mum would pick me up. I hid my real feelings from myself and everybody around me. I didn't fully realise I had these mental conditions until I began to have suicidal thoughts...
Before I began to write this I didn't know how in depth I was going to go. Just re living these moments back in my mind is making me very emotional as i write down my feelings I had back then. To you these are just words but to me this is bringing me back to a bad place I was once in. I didn't understand my feelings I was completely unaware of my mental state and how it was worsening everyday. I was a 20 year old mum who felt like she had be thrown into the deep end with all these new responsibilities and feelings that I had to learn to deal with and control on my own. I realise now I shouldn't have shut myself away, I shouldn't have let myself get to that stage and I shouldn't have been scared to speak out but I did and this is when I knew I had to change.
I used food as my comfort. I knew I was gaining weight but I didn't care enough about my self to do anything about it, so one day I decided to buy some scales and see how much weight I had actually gained. I weighed 14st7lb. 4 stone more than I weighed before my pregnancy. Seeing those numbers on the scales made it a reality that I had neglected myself and I needed to do something about it quickly. I knew that this was the only way I was going to feel better. I had spent so much time picking myself apart looking at all my flaws and insecurities but not actually doing anything about it, the only person who could help me was myself.
As many who have read my previous blog posts will know I started slimming world. I couldn't afford to go to a group was what I wrote but in actual fact I couldn't bring myself to speak to other people. So I just learnt everything about the diet by searching online and asking friends who had done it about how it worked and slowly but surly I got the hang of things. I weighed myself weekly and with each loss became a new found happiness and confidence. Once I had lost a stone there was no way I was going to give up. I would say its one of the hardest things iv ever done. So many times I wanted to stuff my face but the fear of getting to the place I was before kept me going. At so many points along my weight loss journey I received messages asking me "how have you lost so much weight?" "what diet are you on?" "How have you had the motivation?" - well this is why. I suddenly had all of this attention on me. I was doing this for myself not for anybody else. This is when I began to write my blog posts around healthy eating and tried to explain and help people who also wanted to loose weight and feel better about themselves.
|Before After 2 stone loss|
I understand that at this point it might seem like I am writing a biography but as I said at the beginning I am writing this mainly for my own benefit as well as to help people understand my change. I still have self doubt in what I do sometimes especially when it is as personal as this and I am doubting whether to even post this publicly or not. Some aspects of my anxiety will always be apart of me and doubting myself is still something I continue to work on.
I am at the point now where I was 2 and a half stone down in my weight loss journey and I knew that when Lacie-May turned 2 years old she was entitled to 15 hours free childcare so I began searching for jobs. Like many mums I absolutely dreaded the thought of anyone but me looking after my baby girl. I had been there for every moment in her life so far and I didn't want to miss a single moment, I wanted to experience everything with her. Despite all this I knew that to be the best mummy I could, I had to be happy myself in order to make her happy, I needed adult conversation, I needed to do something for myself again.
After the most nerve wracking first interview I had since looking for a job I was offered the position of being a receptionist in a solicitors. I was in total shock that i had even been offered the job because I was literally a stuttering mess. I was so excited but so scared at the same time. My anxiety was still there and controlling me. I still imagined every bad situation that could have happened on my first day but guess what? of course none of it did. Meeting and speaking to new people everyday was so uplifting, just having other things to focus on and keep myself occupied with moulded me back into me again but i was a better version of myself. There is one person in particular who I worked with who played a massive part in my self healing process and that was and still is my soul sister Harriadne. So many of her traits brought out the best in me, she gave me the friendship I needed and unknowingly pulled me out of a dark hole. I stopped questioning myself and my abilities. I stopped caring what people might think of me because in this time i had now lost 4 stone (my pre pregnancy weight) I was learning to love everything about myself I once couldn't bare to look at.
|dropped 4 dress sizes from my 4st loss|
I set myself some other goals in the meantime. I quit smoking which has now been nearly 2 years since i quit. I started my driving lessons and passed my driving test December 14th 2016 & started driving Febuary 2017. Driving has been the most incredible thing to happen to me, It has given me the confidence to do things on my own and given me the independence to do things when i want to, enabling a whole new world of family adventures to take Lacie-May on. It has brought me completely into adulthood. I had a goal to loose one more stone in weight and then to tone up. I also let a lot of people who I thought was having a negative impact on my life go, I stopped wasting time on people who didn't make the effort with me or people who I knew was going to bring me down in my personal journey. I created a whole new me with realistic goals and most of all the realisation that I was better than the situation I currently was in.
I wasn't looking for another job but I knew that now I had became me again I wanted to push myself further, I wasn't happy being a receptionist anymore and I craved more changes. I wanted a career, I wanted money and a secure future for me and my family. I unexpectedly got offered a job which was speaking to members of the public in public spaces, which offered a wage and commission that no other job could offer me. I accepted the job offer even with every ounce of doubt and fear inside me telling me I couldn't do this type of job. I had to learn to ignore my feelings, I went in with a positive mind and kept reminding myself "just do the best you can" I put every ounce of me into this job and can now say I succeeded in what my mind set out to fail me on. I now weighed 9st4lb with a total weight loss of 5st3lb, the lowest weight id ever been and I was finally happy in my own skin.
Which brings me nearly up to date. Along this whole journey I gained an old school friends friendship, she works as a photographer for a modelling agency called Markwick Models and I was just joking around when I said can I be a Markwick Model? Of course being a great friend she encouraged me to apply. After applying with some images a test photo shoot was set up and to my absolute amazement the CEO wanted me to be in her modelling agency. ME!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS!!! I was and to be honest still am totally stunned. Just knowing that someone I hadn't met before had the confidence in me and my appearance. This was the cherry on top of my journey, I was accepted for me, all my hard work had been worth it.
I look back now at all of these images I have chosen and feel complete happiness. I am so incredibly proud of myself and everything I have achieved, looking back I wonder how I had the courage and strength to do everything I did, but of course my baby girl was my motivation in everything I did and continue to do. Every weight loss I have achieved and every personal goal I have hit my boyfriend, family and friends couldn't have been more encouraging and supportive. I couldn't be more grateful of the people we have around us and I am so excited to see what the future holds for me and my little family. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason and as low as I was at that time I truly believe that this journey is meant to be. I will continue to surround myself in good positive energy, carry on growing and loving myself. I don't owe anybody this explanation but myself. I am a different person to who I was and in no way am I perfect but who is? Everybody is perfectly imperfect. Learning to love yourself means that you can accept yourself as you and I can only wish that everybody gains this self love at some point in their lives.
I wish each and every one of you reading this the happiest New Year and hope that you reach every goal you intend to.