Being Diagnosed With Fibromyalgia.

Being Diagnosed With Fibromyalgia.

Hello my lovelies! I hope you had a good week and are enjoying your weekend so far! As for me, I’ve spent the day chilling out not doing much which was just what I needed after a busy week. So, as you can see from the title of today’s post, I’m going to be talking to you about fibromyalgia.

You may remember from my previous post talking to you about my spoonie journey so far that I’ve lived with chronic pain for around 5 years now, and when I wrote my last post I had just found out that my neck curves in the opposite way to how it should and that it’s something I’ve had from birth. At that time the physiotherapists believed that that could’ve been the cause of some of my back pain, but wanted to do some more investigations which led to me being referred to rheumatology and having more tests and scans done.

And after all of the results came back the rheumatologist I was seeing told me that my pain likely isn’t actually coming from the curve in my neck, and that she believes I have a condition called fibromyalgia as we have pretty much ruled everything else out at this point. And so.. back to my GP I went.

My GP then decided to send my back to physio for the hundredth time and when I described my symptoms to the physiotherapist she said I was actually describing most of the symptoms that are present in fibro and that I one of the symptoms I have is funnily enough one of the tests that is done to help diagnose fibromyalgia. After my physiotherapist said that she said she would send a letter to my GP so that my pain could finally be diagnosed as fibro since I just keep being send round the hospital departments in circles with the only thing in common with my appointments being that everyone thinks I have fibro and only my GP can diagnose me with it.

And so a few weeks passed and a phone call to my GP later, my chronic pain was officially diagnosed as fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a long-term condition that causes wide spread pain across the body which unfortunately doesn’t have a cure at this present time.

Symptoms (taken from the NHS website) can include:

  • increased sensitivity to pain
  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • muscle stiffness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • problems with mental processes (“fibro-fog”), such as problems with memory and concentration
  • headaches
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a digestive condition that causes stomach pain and bloating

Although there isn’t a cure for fibro at the moment, there are ways some people manage it; following an exercise routine, taking painkillers, antidepressants, trying relaxation techniques and trying therapy.

Living with fibromyalgia pegboard

So, now that you know a bit more about what fibromyalgia is and its symptoms etc, something I’ve been asked a lot is how do I feel about being diagnosed with FMS?

Well, it might sounds weird since fibro hasn’t got a cure but I’m actually kind of happy that I’ve been diagnosed, like it’s obviously upsetting that it’s a condition I’m stuck with that causes me a load of issues, but I’m glad that after so many years of questioning what is going on with me I’m just happy to finally have the answers behind my pain because having to constantly go back to the GP with the same issue for years makes you start to feel like you’re going mad and that maybe it’s all in your head when it’s not. But now I know what is the cause of my pain etc, I can start looking forward at what I can do and try out to manage my symptoms.

In terms of the symptoms that I deal with on a daily basis, I typically have back pain, fatigue, lack of sleep, fibro-fog and headaches. To manage my symptoms I work out two to three times per week, take naps when I need them, make to-do lists and put loads of reminders in my phone and take pain killers. I also have an acupressure pillow I sometimes sit with on bad flare up days which is essentially a pillow with loads of spikes all over it to help stimulate blood flow and help with pain management. There’s quite a few different types of products out there that I want to try out for managing chronic pain, so if you have any favourites or any that you’d like to see me try out and review then let me know!

It’s a weird feeling having a condition that can be pretty debilitating whilst also being invisible to others, it can sometimes feel like other people don’t believe you’re ill because ‘you don’t look ill’ and appear completely fine to the outside world, so I’m working on validating my own feelings and making sure I don’t overdo things and cause myself a flare up. When you live with chronic pain everyday, I think we sometimes forget to actually acknowledge how much strength and energy it takes to do everyday tasks, and because we’re in constant pain we sometimes don’t bother to even tell anyone we’re in pain because it’s just normal for us; so if you see someone and think they’re perfectly fine because they appear fine on the outside, maybe take a second to remind yourself that not all illnesses are visible and let people know that their feelings are valid.

Even though I’ve only gotten my official diagnosis this year, I’ve actually been living with fibro for around 4-5 years, and in that time it has taught me several things:

  • You can always tell if someone is ill just be their appearance
  • Your feelings are valid
  • It’s ok to rest when you need to
  • It takes time to find what works for you in terms of symptom management
  • You’re still you, even with a long-term condition
  • Find people you can talk to about what you’re going through who understand

So now you know a bit more about my spoonie journey, what I’ve learnt so far and how it’s changed since last year! And with that, I think it’s time to stop my rambling and brain dump for today!

Have a great weekend my lovelies and look after yourselves!

Love,

Victoria Signature
I’m Taking Part In RED January

I’m Taking Part In RED January

Happy New Year everyone!! 2019 is upon us, and I can’t wait to see what great things are going to happen this year.

For me, this is the year of me trying new things and pushing myself out of my comfort zone; and what better way to start than by doing something I’ve never done before! Cycling. Now, I know what you’re thinking, how can I have never cycled before??

Well, that’s not 100% true, the last time I had a bike I was 6 and it still had stabilisers on it with pink tassels on the handlebars. So in my mind, I’ve never really done any cycling. Especially not on my own bike now that I’m an adult.

So, what even is RED January?

RED January was founded by Hannah Beecham after she found out how your mental health can benefit from exercise; she found this through helping her mother through the darkest of her depression with love, support and by working together towards a goal (The Walk The Walk Midnight Marathon).

RED January Poster

Why am I taking part in RED January?

One of my new years resolutions for this year is to raise some money for charities that I have had a personal relationship with. And one of those charities is MIND.

I decided to take part in this challenge because I realised that I’m actually reasonably active; this is due to having to do physio for my back (that’s a post for another day) and developing a healthy relationship with exercise since recovering from anorexia, and it has definitely improved my mental health.

And also because I’ve just received my first every bike, I’m now cycling to work every day! So it makes sense that if I’m already being active every day and feeling the benefit, why not raise a little money in the process??

RED January Poster - I'm getting active every day, to beat the blues away.

So that’s what I’m doing this month. Even on my birthday, the 17th! Taking part in RED January doesn’t sign you up for having to force yourself to do something terrible every day that is harrowing. The only requirement is that you do something active everyday in January, if you don’t like running, you can go for a walk, what if it’s raining and cold outside? You could do some yoga, find a workout on YouTube or simply dance around your house just in your pants if you want. That active part is up to you.

Now, since today is the 5th January, I’m about to go do day 5 of the blogilates 100 Ab challenge (wish me luck! I’ll be doing a follow up of this at the end of the month so stay tuned!) and then go for a bike ride if it’s nice outside.

Oh, and if you wanted to sponsor me, you can find my JustGiving page here! I know we’re all tight on money since Christmas is over, so don’t worry if you can’t donate, why not sign up to do the challenge yourself with me?

Have a great day lovelies!! See you next week!

Love,

Victoria Blog Signature
Red January Banner - I'm getting active every day, to beat the blues away.
What Is Classed As Selfcare?

What Is Classed As Selfcare?

It’s #SelfcareWeek ! And it’s got me thinking, what do we actually think classes as selfcare? For me, I typically start thinking about face masks and bubble baths. And well yes that can be classed as selfcare; but as amazing as those things are, there are hundreds of other things you can do. And over the last few days, I’ve been partaking in a few of these myself.

The thought for this post came to me whilst I was walking home from the gym; it occurred to me that even though I think of lots of luxurious things as self-care, there are lots of small things I do for myself that make me feel good, and these count too.

Here’s a few things I’ve been doing for myself that aren’t always considered self-care:

  • Going to the gym, and doing what I want there, if I don’t feel like doing the stair climber today, I just don’t do it and I refuse to feel guilty about it!)
  • Buying myself a hot chocolate when walking home after going to the gym.
  • Putting on my moisturizer.
  • Listening to the Peptalk app (I highly recommend this one for when you’re commuting and walking anywhere, it’s a great motivational tool!)
  • Watching videos by Glamour, Ladylike, As/Is and the Try Guys.
  • Self Affirmations.
  • Watching Nikkietutorials (believe it or not I watch Nikkie’s videos when I’m at the gym and they make me so happy!)
  • Cleaning my room.
  • Playing with makeup.
  • Putting on makeup when I’m not going anywhere!
  • Lighting scented candles.
  • Having a bubble bath.
  • Unfollowing any social media profiles that make me feel bad about myself.
  • Watching my favourite films.
  • Cooking my favourite food.
  • Singing in the shower.
  • Talking to friends.
  • Finishing work ON TIME.
  • Related to the above – not looking at work emails when I’m off work.
  • Making myself a great breakfast.
  • Blogging.
  • Painting, drawing and being creative.
  • Getting 7/8 hours sleep.
  • Wearing thermal socks.
  • Using a 99p face mask.
  • Chatting to my sister.
  • Seeing my Niece and Nephew on FaceTime reeking havoc in my sisters house.
  • Driving round to look at Christmas Lights when they go up.
  • Making myself a cup of tea.
  • Meeting up with friends for a chat/food/movies (basically spending time with the important people in your life)
  • Wearing my favourite clothes.

Honestly the list could go on and on. I love selfcare, sometimes I do still feel selfish or guilty for spending time on ourselves, but we really shouldn’t. We’re stuck with ourselves for life so we better take care of that person we see in the mirror.

And at the end of the day, if something makes you happy and feel good, it’s probably your own version of selfcare. We’re all different so it’s impossible to say that one thing will work for everyone; telling someone to go take a bubble bath to relax if they hate having baths is pretty pointless. It’s a personal thing.

Some of the things in my list you might not consider to be selfcare, but for me, they are. Just doing one small thing for yourself a day can make such a difference to your mood and wellbeing. And myself from a year ago would say something along the lines of “I’ll start next week or in the new year”, but that’s not how I think anymore, the time to start is now.

That’s all from me today, I’m off to go get myself a hot chocolate and sit in a blanket with a book. Have a great weekend lovelies! You’re all amazing!

Love,

Victoria Blog Signature

P.S. The UK Blog Awards are now open for voting! It’d mean the world to me if you could vote for me my lovelies!! 

UKBlogAwards Image

10 Cheap Things To Buy Yourself For Self-Care

10 Cheap Things To Buy Yourself For Self-Care

We all know that feeling when pay day hits; you know, the feeling you get when that little voice in your head says treat yo self! You deserve it! And then you go and buy a load of stuff that you forget about until you’re surrounded by loads of mystery packages.

I’m pretty bad for buying stuff that I don’t need when pay day hits, and I always forget about budgets and keeping track of my spending habits, which is until the week before pay day where I don’t stop checking my bank balance.

This is why I’ve decided to create a list of 10 presents you can buy yourself for a treat which are great for some self-care without breaking the bank! And they’re all available on Amazon!

Lets get into it!
Jar of smiles daily quotes and inspirations1 . Success & Inspiration in a Jar. £14.99

Because who doesn’t need a little pick me up every now and again? These are little quotes, inspirations and motivations to give you a boost every day for a month and are great for if you’re having a bad day and need a little positivity boost!
Elephant shaped candles2 . Mini Elephant Shaped Candles Gift Set. £5.11

These are just so cute! They are all scented as follows: Purple is Lavendar, Green is Jasmine, Pink is Rose, Red is Strawberry and Yellow is Lemongrass. These would be great for when you have a big bubble bath to relax!
BiC coloured pencils3 . BiC Coloured Pencils. £10.00

Coloured pencils are always a good treat, and are necessary when you buy the next gift for yourself!

Colouring book4 . Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom Colouring Book. £7.19

Colouring isn’t just for little kids; it can be really therapeutic and great for mindfulness. I personally love tuning out and doing a bit of drawing, so being able to chill out and just colour is great!

Bath bombs

5 . Bath Bombs Gift Set. £8.99

Bath bombs are great for going with those cute elephant candles and these are a great gift to buy yourself and forget about. They come in a cute box so it really is like getting a present in the post!

Bluetooth shower speaker

6 . Bluetooth Shower Speaker. £17.99

This one is a little more pricey than the rest but still less than £20. And is great if you’re like me and love singing in the shower!

Retro sweet box7 . Bumper Retro Sweet Selection Box. £11.50

Sweets and chocolates are a great way to do a bit of self-care; and retro sweets are so yummy! This should keep you going for quite a few weeks too, and are great for a movie night!
Fitness hula hoop8 . Weighted Fitness Hula Hoop. £12.99

We’ve all heard a million times about how exercising is good for our mental health as well as our physical health, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Which is why I’ve put this fitness hula hoop in here!
Glow in the dark star stickers9 . Glow In The Dark Star Stickers. £11.99

I’ve had these for quite some time now, and they’re just plain great. I will warn you though, I stuck all of mine above my bed on the ceiling and it took about 1/2hours in total. But the result in completely worth it! Especially as someone with mental health challenges, these really help my mind settle when I’m trying to get some sleep.
Burts bees tips and toes kit10 . Burt’s Bees Tip and Toes Kit. £9.99 in the sale and £12.99 usually

Finally, good ole Burt’s Bees! Because who doesn’t like stuff from Burt’s Bees?! A great way to take care of yourself is with a bit of pampering, and using things like this are a great way to distract yourself from any anxiety or panic thoughts.

So that’s it for this weeks post! I just thought that a little bit retail therapy never hurt anyone? Well at least these prices won’t! And the majority of these can be bought with prime so you get free next day delivery!

And remember, no matter whatever some people may say, ‘self-care is not selfish.’

Have a great week everyone! Let me know if you decide to get any of these gifts to yourself! Love,

Victoria Signature

Living With A Skin Condition

Living With A Skin Condition

*Post may contain graphic images*

Grab yourself a cuppa and sit down, and let me tell you how this post came about. Well, the idea for this post came last weekend. I was talking with my mum about what sort of blog posts she would like to see more of online, and she came up with a post raising awareness about what it’s like living with an illness that people don’t necessarily see day to day. In other words, invisible illnesses. I’ll be primarily talking about an illness close to my family.

So why did she want a blog post like this? Well my mum suffers with a skin condition called psoriasis (pronounced with a silent P). Psoriasis is a common immune condition which affects 3% of people in the UK and Ireland. It has affects on the skin and is linked to several other medial issues that can develop.

Selfie of Me and Mum
Here’s me and my mum!!

Psoriasis causes a persons skin replacement process to speed up, taking a few days to replaces skin cells whereas someone who hasn’t got psoriasis would take 21-28 days. Due to the process being so sped up, the skin cells build up on the skin and form raised ‘plaques’ on the skin and it is flaky, scaly, it can be different tones on different skin types and it incredibly itchy. It can affect anywhere on the body, depending on the type. It is caused by the cells which fight infections becoming overactive, which as a result causes inflammatory chemicals to be produced, which leads to the rapid skin regeneration.

I know what some of you might be thinking, does this mean that you heal super quickly when you hurt yourself like a super hero?? In short, no. It just sucks.

Unfortunately there is no cure for it, but it can be managed with treatment and advice. But different things can trigger it and these are different for everyone.

My mum suffers with psoriasis pretty bad, literally head to toe. She’s tried all creams, lotions and potions out there. She could probably open her own chemist with all the different things she’s tried. The only thing that seems to work is the sun. Yes, the actual sun. And guess what, we live in England.. Not typically the home of hot sunny weather.

This means that one day you could see her and she’ll be out in a vest top and shorts and you wouldn’t think anything is wrong with her skin, and the next she could be in a long sleeve turtle neck with jeans and a hat to cover as much of her skin as possible. My mum kindly agreed to have some photos taken of her skin so you can see what it is like living with psoriasis.

As with all invisible illnesses, just like with mental health challenges, there are some things that people will suggest or tell you to do when they don’t necessarily understand where you’re coming from. And that you have likely already tried everything they are going to say. But we all know deep down they’re coming from a place of trying to help you out, so you just sit there smiling trying not to implode.

Things my mum hears all the time:

  • Have you tried this moisturiser? I get really dry skin and this works for me.
  • Are you sure it’s not dandruff? (Disclaimer, the answer to this is always NO. And we’ve tried all forms of anti-dandruff shampoo out there and they don’t work.. Stop suggesting them!)
  • My friend has a friend who’s uncle’s cousin has psoriasis, and his doctor gave him this.. (we’ve literally tried everything from the doctors for my mums skin already)
  • Why hasn’t the doctor given you injections to manage it? (The thing with going to the doctors about your skin is that you can always get an appointment at the doctors the same day, and with skin conditions they can look worse on day to the next. Which means half the time when you actually get to the doctors they don’t think it’s that bad because you’re having what my mum calls ‘a good skin day’.)
  • Have you tried cutting out dairy? (yes.. It sucked and didn’t do anything..)
  • Have you tried exercising more or yoga? (I don’t know why this is everyone’s answer to any medical problem..)
  • Just stop itching it and it’ll go away (it wont.)
  • Just stop worrying about it (people can say this all they like, but it won’t change the fact that we’re self conscious about it)

Having a condition or illness that can be invisible can take it’s toll on you mentally. It can really get you down and affect your self esteem. For my mum, if she’s having a ‘good skin day’ she’ll be happy to wear black tops and jumpers because she isn’t worried about having skin flakes everywhere. But if she’s having a ‘bad skin day’ she’ll wear primarily white tops just because she feels when her skin flakes it’s less noticeable.

The best thing you can do for someone with an invisible illness that isn’t always invisible is just be there for them. And ask them what you can do to help. Or ask them if there is anything they have found works for them, and just reassure them that if people stare, it’s because it’s just human nature to look at things we’ve not seen before (we’re curious beings, so we understand that people don’t just stare to be mean, they often don’t realise they’re even doing it). Keep telling them that they’re perfect the way they are and that it doesn’t bother you at all. It’s common and nothing to be ashamed of.

What’s important is letting them know that they are loved, regardless of any invisible or visible illness/conditions and that they will not change the way you see them.

My mum is incredible with how open she is about how her skin affects her mental wellbeing. She’s not afraid to speak up about it as skin conditions are not something really spoken about enough. It’s cheesy, but I don’t see my mum’s skin condition, she’s just my mum. And she’s perfect the way she is.

I think that’s enough from me today!! Have a great week everyone!!

Love,

Victoria x Blog Signature

Ways to De-Stress

Ways to De-Stress

Life can be pretty stressful at times, and there are times where it can be hard to know how to deal with it. Now, there’s good stress, and then there’s bad stress. I find that I can function when I’ve got good stress; but as soon as that turns bad.. Well that’s a different story.

I’ve not always been great at managing my stress (I think we all have those days where nothing goes your way), and I’m definitely still working on getting better at managing my stress levels, but the past few months I’ve learnt a few things that are helping me to manage stress. So maybe they’ll help you too.

1. Staying positive. This one can be hard at times, but I’ve learnt that finding the good side to every situation (although it may be hard to find at times..), makes me feel better about whatever is stressing me out, and it makes me remember that things could be worse. I also found that the whole ‘fake it till you make it’ can come in to play with this one, sometimes you just don’t feel like being positive, and that’s totally ok! You can always fake a smile in the meantime, and I found that on days like that, after about 15 minutes of putting on my happy face I’ve completely forgotten why I was stressed in the first place!

2. Do something active. Running on the treadmill or doing a quick HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout tend to do the trick for me. All your focus is going on the exercise that you’re doing so you forget about what was stressing you out, and the endorphins you get are great

3. Have a bath. Or shower. If I’m stressed out, a big bubble bath with candles, chill out music and a magazine (and sometimes a glass of something yummy..) make me super relaxed and I can wash away all the stresses on the day down the plug hole. This one’s perfect for the end of the day. If you’ve not go a shower then don’t worry, you can still de-stress here too. If I’m in a hurry or it’s the start of the day, I found having a hot shower, blasting tunes, dancing and singing my heart out in the shower does wonders! Sometimes I’ll turn the shower to freezing at the end, and yes I know that it sound insane.. But you get loads of endorphins and adrenaline from the cold burst and it completely wakes you up for the day!

Have a bubble bath

4. Listen to some music. Whenever I feel stressed I put on some tunes that I can’t help but sing along to and make me smile or I put on some chilled out music and let that take me away. Having a dance around the kitchen or my bedroom always makes me feel better, especially because I can’t dance at all, I look a lot like a toddler dancing tbh.. So I often end up laughing at myself, which is a huge stress reliever!

5. Yoga. Now I know you’ve probably heard this one a million times before and are sick of hearing it, but after I finally gave this one a go and stuck with it for a few weeks I couldn’t get enough. Now, if you’ve tried this and it’s not for you, then that’s ok too. I’m certainly no yoga connoisseur, and I mainly stick to the beginner and intro stuff, and that does the trick for me. Sometimes just laying down and focusing on my breathing helps.

6. Do something creative. For me, I love being creative, and I can’t really turn that part of my head off, it’s just who I am. But when I get stuck into something creative, I go into what I call the ‘creative black hole’ and that’s where I tend to lose track of time, space, stress and anything other than what I’m working on. Once I’ve ‘resurfaced’ from what I’m doing, I feel refreshed and have usually forgotten what was bothering me! The good thing with this one is that not only do you relieve some stress, you also can make some awesome artwork and creative pieces! (Let me know if you want a post about my artwork in the comments below!).

Do something creative

7. Talk to someone. This can be anyone who you feel comfortable with. Family, work friends, your boss, your best friend or even your pet! Just getting the thing that’s stressing you out actually out of your head can do wonders, I am lucky that I very close to my mum (she’s like a best friend, super cheesy I know..) and my work friends and I know I can tell them anything without judgement and the fear of being told to just ‘stop stressing’. After all, that’s what friends and family are for; supporting one another. If you don’t feel like you can tell anyone about what’s bothering you, you can always try writing it down on a piece of paper and then throwing that paper away. It sounds silly, but this one does work. I don’t know if its the thought of the worry or stress coming out of my head or the throwing away part, but just try it. It works.

Talk to Someone

8. Lastly, have a laugh. I know this one sounds like if can be hard. You’re probably thinking: “Vickie, if I’m stressed out, why would I feel like laughing?!”. Well, here’s the thing, you won’t. Not to begin with, what I tend to do is put on some of my favourite stand-up comedians on the telly and have a watch and they never fail to make me laugh. Or put on funny YouTube videos. And if that fails, then google ‘funny cats and dogs’ and that should make you smile.

So there’s a few of the things that work for me. Naturally you can modify and change these to make them work for you, these are simply what work for me. I hope this helps you out if you’re having a stressful time!! If you try any of these out please let me know how it goes; and if you do anything creative send me photos of your creations @worldsweights on twitter!

Love,

Victoria x Blog Signature

 

Anxiety, Eating, Body Image Issues and ME

Anxiety, Eating, Body Image Issues and ME

Something you’ll find out about me sooner or later is that I suffer with a few mental health problems, so just putting them out there now, I suffer with anxiety, I’ve got OCD tendencies when it comes to food and I also have body image, weight and eating issues.

These problems or challenges as I’ve tried to think of them as, developed at different points in my life; when I was diagnosed with anxiety (several years ago now), I can’t say I was surprised. I had always been quiet as a child and was often forgotten to even be in the room because I never really spoke.

Every single parents evening at school I would be told the exact same thing – “Victoria is getting good grades and always listens to what’s being said but she needs to put her hand up and participate more”. Something that I never understood was that if my grades are up then why did they always want me to put my hand up more? I always did the work and homework and never misbehaved. But hey, I guess they just thought it’d help my confidence. I would turn red in the face just having to say yes to during the register.

Sometimes it felt like it’d never get easier for me to speak up and that’s probably due to the anxiety, I have a deep fear of making a fool of myself, disappointing people and just generally talking to people I don’t know very well.

Here’s the thing with my anxiety, as I’ve gotten older I’ve learnt to hide it (with lots of practice), so it’s not always obvious that I suffer with it. If you saw me with people I’m close to then you’d think there’s nothing wrong with me. If I’m comfortable with you I’ll just say whatever comes into my head. I suppose my anxiety around talking to people has got a little better over time, but I do know that I’m a better listener than when it comes to talking. (I can see I’m starting to rabbit on a bit about this now so I’ll move on..)

When it comes to my OCD tendencies and my eating/body issues, these are much more recent things in my life. You see, this time last year I was a size 18 girl who was going on 13stone+. I absolutely hated myself and how I looked then, and I’d tried all different diets and fads out there to try and lose weight. Long story short – nothing worked for me. I’d always wished that I could love my body and props to all the men and women out there who do love themselves, you’re an inspiration!

So for me I was in denial about how I felt about my image, I’d tell myself that I liked how I looked and I liked my size, but deep down I couldn’t stand to look at myself. Then one day came along and I decided to try the one thing I hadn’t yet done, Slimming World. I started Slimming World in July last year, and since then I’ve lost 3 stone and 2 pounds and am now a size 10. It’s taken loads of hard work and perseverance and I was lucky to have the support from my family, friends and lovely boyfriend. Now, as proud of myself as I am and that I do like how I look more than I did; I still hate seeing how wide my body is in the mirror(somethings never change I guess!).

After weight loss in old t-shirt
Here I am in one of my old t-shirts. You could use it as a tent!!

For me, going to slimming world has had positive and negative affects on my life. Positives are that I now eat a lot healthier, I work out 3-5 times a week, my weight is now healthy for my height (still think bmi is a load of rubbish though), I can share clothes with my mum and sister(big pros for when any of us are off out!) and I’m more confident in public.

The negatives that Slimming World has had on me are something I’m working on getting better. So although I have more of an awareness of what I’m eating – which is good to a certain extent – I now obsess over every little thing I consume, syn counting (a Slimming World method of counting ‘unhealthy food’ – like weight watchers points) has kind of taken over my life to the point where I can’t control myself when eating as all I think of is the amount on syns in food and I start freaking out when I don’t know what’s in food. I now feel guilty for every single bite of food I eat and feel the need to workout compensate for any food eaten, and I still see myself as that size 18 girl. I have an immense fear of putting all of the weight on, and I have to weigh myself every morning and see the number on the scale going down or I’ll beat myself up. Luckily I’ve got great support from my family, friends and boyfriends so I’m slowly getting a better mind-set towards food again.

Even though I’ve got all of these issues now I’ve lost weight, that’s not to say that if I had the choice to do it all over again that I wouldn’t go to slimming world, because I would. The good things for me have certainly outweighed some of the bad in my mind, and I’m trying to think of these bad things as challenges to overcome rather than just bad consequences of weight loss.

After all, I’m a lot healthier physically now than what I was, and that’s good; my mental health will always be a work in progress and that’s ok. I would say though, I feel like weight loss groups should have more of an after care for when people have lost lots of weight to tackle potentially developing things like eating disorders and body image issues. For now, I’ve decided to stop going to slimming world, and instead I’m focusing on staying healthy in my body and working on my mind-set towards food, and treating it like fuel to keep my body running.

I do just want to say that if you’re suffering with anything remotely like an eating disorder or other mental health issues then definitely go to your GP or a mental health service for some help and support, it’s totally worth the initial anxiety of talking about it.

Anyway, enough of my blabbering! That’s it for me about all of those things for now, I’ll maybe do a before and after post in the weeks to come… But we’ll see what happens. Thanks for reading and have lovely rest of the weekend!!

Love

Victoria x Blog Signature