#SelfLoveWeek – Day 4 and 5

Since holiday I’ve not had a chance to post my last two days from #SelfLoveWeek. My next blog post will be a review of what I got from it, why I did it and what I’m doing to make the #SelfLove live on!

Day 4

This one was hard. What do I love about my body? Not a lot is the honest answer.

But what I do love is that how ever much I hate it, it’s still there, every single day. I can treat it so badly, saying nasty things, eating crap food but it’s always there for me. It keeps going.

Something I’ve learned in this challenge, is that I should see my body as my friend. I should look at my body and think about the things that we do together, like going to the gym, smashing those PB’s (and then subsequently eating ALL of the ice cream).

I should definitely be kinder to her, and in turn she’ll be kinder to me 🙂

Day 5

And so it’s the last day of #SelfLoveWeek and Day 5 is all about manifesting my dreams.

I’ve never really been much of a dreamer. I don’t have a particular desire to travel, own specific things, or do anything. I simply want to be happy.

My dream is simply to live a long and happy life with those closest to me. I want contentment, simplicity and to feel at peace.

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The Goddess Revolution

In my previous blog posts, I have been sharing with you my challenges from #SelfLoveWeek with the beautiful Mel Wells. I feel at this stage, I probably need to back track slightly, and tell you a bit more about how it all came to light…

You might remember Mel from Hollyoaks a good few years back. She was (yet another) one of the McQueen’s clan. I vaguely remember her in from it as it was in my Hollyoaks watching prime, which I don’t often admit to in public, but this blogging malarkey makes me feel compelled to admit all sorts of things I wouldn’t dream of normally!

It turns out that Mel had a really bad relationship with food and her body (girls all over the country rejoice that they are not alone and are in fact, human!) She decided enough was enough and she transformed her relationship with both food and her body and is now a health coach, teaching her secret. She works (seemingly tirelessly) with women all over the world, helping them to escape their demons, and coaches them to truly love themselves.

Because I’ve been on a diet for all of my twenties and now into my thirties, I’ve managed to get myself in all sorts of groups on Facebook and follow “god knows what and who” on Instagram. Because I follow lots of other women in the same boat, I started to see an eye-catching book appear regularly. I knew I had to get my hands on it (I’m a professional dieter – of course I needed to be in on the next fad! Many of you will remember how swept up in Joe Wicks’ curly hair I was!)

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Pretty eye-catching book I just HAD to have!

Her book, “The Goddess Revolution” is my current read (soz Game of Thrones – you’ll just have to go on the back burner for a bit – this Goddess is looking out for her!) And it’s not quite what I bargained for. It’s not the next big thing in the diet world. Or maybe it is. It’s the next big “anti-diet” thing. YAY! At 31 and 9 days (not that I’m counting) I can finally be free of the diet! Could it be true? Well I’m only marginally way through, but everything so far has made so much sense! You’ll have to watch this space for the answer to that!

In addition to getting the book I started following Mel on all forms of social media, because that’s what you do, right? To my delight, I timed it JUST right. Mel’s #SelfLoveWeek was due to start on my 31st birthday.

I was excited to get going. How hard could it be? I’ve got a pretty good relationship with myself haven’t I? Yeah sure, there’s a bit of a blip at the moment and I’m hanging out in limbo land, but Me, Myself and I are cool right?

WRONG.

I enjoyed #SelfLoveWeek. In fact I adored it. I’m feeling so upbeat, and I love having something to focus on. I feel so positive to those around me too. My whole focus on people, particularly other women has shifted.

When Women Support Each Other Incredible Things Happen

What I can’t lie about though, is that it has made it glaringly obvious, that my self-esteem and my self-love is nowhere close to where I thought it was, and where I want it to be.

#SelfLoveWeek – Day 3

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Today in #SelfLoveWeek, Mel Wells set the challenge to treat myself.

Celebrating my personal successes is something I’ve been getting better at over the last few months. I normally overlook them but realised that waiting around for someone else to do it will probably leave you waiting a bloody long time! There’s something really nice about treating yourself because you know what? You bloody deserve it! My favourite way to treat myself is through a nice gin (I don’t actually drink in the week as a general rule, contrary to common belief!), or a bath with a Lush bath bomb. Other times it might be having some whipped cream on my coffee.

Today, after a fabulous two weeks on holiday, but a hell of a lot of walking, I’ve ordered myself a foot spa because my feet need a treat more than I do. I don’t land until midnight, but thanks to the joy of Amazon Prime, it’ll be delivered tomorrow!

The great thing about this challenge, is that I was toying with going through with buying this, but felt like after two weeks on holiday another indulgence was ridiculous, but it was the push I needed!

#SelfLoveWeek – Day 1

Today is Day 1 in Mel Wells’, Self Love Week. I woke up this morning to an email with two challenges.  The first was to comment on her video about “diet culture” (Mel is a food psychology coach and works on setting women free from diet culture, amongst other things).

The second was a little trickier. I had to come up with one thing I love about myself. This was hard but once I got going it was surprisingly easy and I’ve come up with two things.

When I go to the gym, I have a preference for weight lifting over cardio, and when I lift, I go heavy. By no means am I the stuff of champions, but when I tell a guy I could deadlift him and being told “you’re not just strong for a girl – you’re just strong” it makes my day. So number 1 on my list is my STRENGTH.

Number 2 on my list was going to be my smile (I honestly have THE WORST resting bitch face if I’m not smiling) but then sometimes my smile doesn’t meet my eyes. And that’s not genuine happiness. So actually my second thing is my eyes. I’ve gone through times in my life when I’ve really hated them. They’re rubbish. I’m blind as a bat without my glasses (which I also hate!) But after a recent problem with optic neuritis (I went blind in my left eye – it’s back now though) I realised just how important they are. I love the freedom that they give me and realised that we shouldn’t take them for granted, with or without glasses. They’re the window to the soul!

Your Greatest Love Affair 

I’m currently sat in my own version of paradise. I’m sat on the beach watching the waves, just three steps away gently breaking, with Zero 7 on Spotify playing in one ear. Honestly, I’ve not felt this content for a while.

Current View

I love the sea. Dave has commented before, that regardless of whether the waves are crashing in, or if the sea is so still that there’s not even a ripple, it has a hugely calming effect on me.
Oddly, when I lived in Essex, although I was just 15 minutes from the sea, I rarely went. Now, it’s much more like 50 minutes away. It’s funny what you miss and take for granted.

Today I’ve signed up for Mel Wells’ self love week. Over the course of this week (starting tomorrow) I will be completing one challenge a day for five days.

Why have I done this?

Over the last couple of years, I have become more settled and consequently, more happy with who I am. I’ve come to realise that the greatest ever love affair that I will have is with myself. However, I have neglected this relationship. True, I’m happy with myself, but now I’ve found that happiness with myself, I’ve accepted it and sort of just left it there.

The thing is, like with all relationships, once you find happiness you can’t stop working on it. You have to nurture it. You have to make time for it.

A switch has flicked in my head in the last couple of weeks. I received some potentially life changing news. It’s too early to say what that news is and what impact it will have right now, but it I’m honest, it’s given me a wake up call. I need to change my outlook and that means stopping taking my life for granted. I need to take some time to work on what’s important.

Taking time out for you, isn’t selfish. It’s a necessity and sadly something that the vast majority of us neglect.

My first step in connecting with myself, is to appreciate waking up everyday. Not just accepting it. Truly being grateful for it.

I’ll aim to write about these challenges everyday, but it’s unlikely that I’ll upload them daily as I’m still in Greece until Wednesday. Hopefully on Friday, I’ll have some time to write about my experiences in self love week.

I’m hoping that self love week will help me to refocus on caring about me, whatever path lies ahead of me.

Jx

“What’s a Wigan?”

I met Lucy on 25th September 2006. Yes, 10 years ago, on my 20th birthday. I was going on a night out in Chelmsford with my friend Kayleigh and a couple of girls from Uni, and Lucy was on the cheerleading team with them. Like me, she was doing a law degree but was the year above.  In the spirit of the more being the merrier, I was more than happy for her to gate-crash. If you’d told me on that day that I’d met the one person that I would still be in touch with 10 years later I would have probably laughed at you.

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Me and Lucy in the Student Union bar on my 20th birthday, 10 years ago

Our friendship was cemented less than a month later when I found myself with a spare ticket to go and see Panic! At the Disco at Brixton Academy and she came along.

Lucy is originally from Romford, just outside of London and lived with her Mum and Dad and sister, Sophie. I got to know Sophie just as well as I did Lucy, as I whiled away hours talking to them both as they worked in the Student Union shop.

The town I’m from, Rayleigh was somewhere Lucy loved – not least because its home to the UK’s longest running Indie/Alternative club, The Pink Toothbrush. We’ve had plenty of wild nights there, which always ended with us stumbling back to my house and us both climbing into separate bunks in mine and my sister’s bedroom (no mean feat with more than just a couple of snakebites in you!)

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One of our countless trips to The Pink Toothbrush – I think this one is in 2007!

My Mum and Dad adored Lucy. One of the few friends of mine that they actually liked, and even now they’re pleased to see her!

As Lucy and I have grown together over the last 10 years (her birthday just a day short of two months before mine), the parallels we’ve identified between ourselves have been scary. They started off as mere coincidences, with our father’s both working as carpenter and joiners, to us both studying Law at Uni.  In 2008 though, Lucy met her now husband, Adam, in London. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but Adam is from Wigan. Until I moved to Atherton, I had no idea that Wigan was so close to Bolton (where I work. I never made the connection).

After I moved, mine and Lucy’s friendship grew closer. Although we never really drifted apart, after Uni it was harder for us to see each other, but as soon as I moved, and discovered our mutual connection to Wigan we made so much more of an effort with each other. We caught up with each other with regular phone calls and Lucy came to stay with me a couple of times. I returned the trip, and when she and Adam bought their first flat in London I went to stop with her. She took me to see Legally Blonde The Musical that weekend which totally appealed to both of our legal, but quite girlie side.

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Lucy’s first trip to visit me – June 2010

Eventually, Adam and Lucy were expecting the birth of their first daughter Poppy (also the name of my dog!) and needed to move into a bigger property. Knowing how much Lucy loved Rayleigh, I wasn’t surprised when she told me she was moving there. What did surprise me though was she moved onto a home on the estate built on the now knocked down office I had left behind. Sometimes I wonder whether I would have moved had Lucy moved to Rayleigh before I left there.

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One of Lucy’s trips to Wigan: A glass of wine and your best friend. The best accessory’s a girl can get! – November 2014

To this day, we’re constantly amused by how we have both ended up with Wiganers. If you’d told us this would happen when we were at Uni, we would probably have asked “what’s a Wigan?!” It’s perfect for us, because we now have regular phone catch ups, but we also have the luxury of being able to catch up, both when she’s up visiting her in laws and when I’m down visiting my family. Even if it’s just a couple of hours over coffee.

I literally would not change our friendship for the world – I’m a lucky girl to have such a loyal friend, that no matter how long I go without speaking to, will always be there for me and no matter how far away she is, it’s still only ever a phone call.

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Lucy’s Hen Do – October 2015!

I can’t blog to save my life…

I’m so rubbish at this blogging malarkey. Hopeless. I was telling the story of my leaving Essex and making the journey up north and it just never really got anywhere.

Then I started telling the story of mine and Dave’s alphabet dating. And that didn’t last long either (we’re up to our H date next if you’re interested!)

I just lose focus so easily and struggle to get into any kind of rhythm with writing, yet it’s something I really want to do.

So here I am . At just over 2 weeks out of 30, and feeling like I need to pick it up again.

The thought of turning 30 is doing weird things to me. I thought I was ok with it for ages but actually what I’m finding is it’s making me quite nostalgic. I’ve been reflecting on my life but in particular the last 10 years and how dramatically life has changed. I’ve gone from a 20 year old student, living in Essex with some pretty sketchy friends and ideas of what a good hair style is, to an almost 30 year old living up North with a handful of, but awesome friends (and slightly better hair).

And I’ve never been happier.

I really want to blog my story of moving up North and share with you mine and Dave’s alphabet dating adventures so I really will try to keep writing, even if I only manage once a week 😉

Jx
*edit : I’ve noticed a theme with all my blog posts. I start them with “I’m so useless at blogging…..”