Tag Archives: Health

I Need A Dollar

I have a confession to make…I slept in the bunk-beds again last night! I know I know, I did mean to get around to that massive pile of laundry and to be fair I did make a good start by sorting and putting away all of my clothes and then I neatly re-arranged all my shoes and then I opened one of my suitcases to find Summer clothes and randomly, my leaver’s book from school! So you see I got a bit side-tracked. Anyway I promise I’ll do it today. I will. Honest.

This week I’ve conducted a kind of sneaky experiment with my blog. I was reading about how to boost my viewing stats without plastering my url all over every social networking site or paying for advertising . I thought I might try a more simple approach and simply write about good news (hey it works for Russell Howard) and after sharing some of the positives in my daily life I more than tripled my best daily viewings total. In conclusion, we all love a happy ending don’t we? Thank you to everyone around the world who read the blog yesterday, I went to bed (bottom bunk) with a big smile of my face!

Inspiration

Inspiration

So back to the school leaver’s book which I was almost in tears reading (there will be a whole blog post on this soon, friends from school look out for your pages!) I’d like to say thanks to my old PE teacher Tim Wright for his comments which, 14 years later have inspired me to get off my ‘ever expanding gluteus maximus’ and do something positive for others.

I’m taking part in Race for Life UK this year, like many I have lost too many loved ones to cancer and I’ve felt those losses very deeply. I am taking part in the 5k event for my daughters and the future generations who might stand more of a chance of fighting and beating cancer if there is more money for research, clinical trials and ultimately treatment. Now that I’ve got you’re attention I’d like to ask for your help. Yes it’s a charity thing and yes I am going to ask for a teeny tiny small donation if you can spare it but more importantly I’m going to ask you join in. Argghhh run away, audience participation. No really, it’s not that scary and it doesn’t even involve raising your heart rate, if you don’t want to. You can run, jog, walk, skip or disco dance the 5k distance at any of your local Race for Life events, click here to register.

If you can’t take part but have a spare £2 in your pocket/purse/down the back of the sofa, please click here to laugh at my just giving page and help me to kick cancers arse.

Thanks x

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Keep On Doing Something

Okay so I’m back on the fit wagon, for how long this time, who knows? Here are the bare bones of the situation…

I am living on an RAF base 15 miles from the nearest town, I can’t drive and my designated driver (Geordie) is away for the next three months. I spend my days engrossed in the latest episode of Mr. Bloom’s Nursery, while my 19 month old toddler swan dives off various soft play equipment. I drink too much coffee and eat a bit too much cake. (I actually text my friend Rachel on Thursday morning in crazed capitals no less, at 7:30am demanding she go with me to the coffee shop for Victoria sponge, so you see I have a problem). I also have a little pooch who, as a border terrier cross-breed requires a good couple of miles walk at least once a day, so sitting on my ever-expanding arse sampling the new coffee shop carrot cake isn’t really benefiting anyone!

I promised myself that I would ‘smash ‘Insanity‘ this time around. With Geordie out-of-the-way and not admonishing me like my high school P.E teacher for not training everyday (and how he loves to do that which ends with me resenting him for being fit as a butchers dog….do people still say that?) I thought I stood a better chance of getting into a strict routine and ultimately start to look and feel better about myself. But alas it would seem that after a 6 day cycle I can’t stand the sight nor gloating sound of Shaun T, and I am still convinced he is trying to kill me. Insanity isn’t for me, and if you’re reading this Geord, I’m not sorry because I gave it a good go…..twice x

So almost four weeks into my so-called training routine I have completely sacked off Insanity, eaten a fair bit of cake, chocolate hobnobs, custard creams and went a bit mad and had chips, curry and Irn Bru for dinner tonight. I didn’t just fall off the wagon, I obliterated it! As with any downfall there must be a turning point, the phoenix rising from the ashes…or crumbs in my case! And I have my wonderful friends, who also eat cake, to thank for my epiphany!

Defiant Toto will get blown away for good one day

Defiant Toto will get blown away for good one day!

I have discovered that despite the fact that I live behind the wire and currently have to rely on my friends and family to escape the gold-fish bowl, there is a way to get your heart rate up and burn a few calories………..no not perving at all those cute guys in uniform…but the windy, unforgiving perimeter road! Rachel (from the earlier cake story) and me decided the weather was nice enough for a power stroll with our little ones and earlier this week we set off around the airfield assuming it was somewhere around 2-3 miles in distance…only to be completely battered by what felt like hurricane strength winds, while jets flew over head adding to the buffering, making essential gossiping impossible. We eventually made it, bedraggled into air traffic control to ask (read as beg) if there was a quicker route back to the residential side of camp. Sadly the answer from the smug looking airman was no and so we re-wrapped the children up in their buggies and headed back down the perimeter road, at times clinging on for dear life as the weather closed in. Finally reaching the safety of a built up area an hour later we calculated that we’d power walked (been pushed) 6 miles and vowed to continue our healthy start by not opening the biscuit tin the moment we stepped in the front door…..I lasted two hours and that was only because there was jelly in the fridge, which hardly touched the sides as I cleaned the pot. Even though it felt a bit hard going at times, it was fun. We talked about all manner of random things, the kids mainly slept and my dog didn’t poop anywhere near the runway so that’s a bonus!

Since our first escapade at the beginning of the week I’ve clocked up 18 miles of heart racing power walking and jogging and I’m really pleased that on nights like tonight, when I’ve eaten dinner and gotten a bit bored with the ironing, my first instinct is to stick on my Nike’s, wrap the little one up and head out with Toto for an hour’s fresh air….even if we don’t end up back in Kansas!

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The Calm

Well its been nine months and five days since I slipped a disc in my lower back (don’t worry this is going to be a relatively short post). It’s been 48 hours since my neurosurgery which has removed the disc and released the trapped nerve that has caused me so much pain. I am back on my feet although still walking like I’ve crapped myself but my leg is feeling amazing!

I’ve got an awesome tale to tell you about my short time at the RVI Newcastle and the hilarious patients I shared a ward with, but for the time being I need to chill out and heal.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

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The Wire

So new for 2013; I now live in a house situated behind a wire fence, does this make me a prisoner? Hmm not exactly but that depends on how you look at it. I can come and go as I please but to do so I must confirm my identity to anyone who questions my presence. I must tell a man I don’t know if Tesco is delivering my shopping, or if we order a pizza and curly fries on a Friday night. It’s all very surreal and will definitely take come getting used to.

I am once again ill and very worried that my long-awaited operation (scheduled for this Saturday) will be cancelled due to my ill-health. My gp thinks I may have coeliac disease which is why I have been so ill and spending the twilight hours either on the bathroom floor or upside down on the sofa (eases the slipped disc pain). Either way it’s going to go down to the wire on Friday night as to whether I’m well enough to under go the surgery. Bloody wire again!

I am more determined than ever to learn something this year. It’s not a resolution per se just an idea that’s been floating around for several months when I’ve waited to get the house move and Christmas and New Year out-of-the-way first. I’ve made a start and I’m now being hounded by the like of ICS and their £500 price tags for non certified courses, pah jog on!

Contortionist, posed in studio, ca. 1880.

Contortionist, posed in studio, ca. 1880.

The best thing I have to report on this very slow-moving, foggy second week of January is that I am a stone lighter than I was in December. Granted the only physical exertion I’ve done is driving the porcelain bus (vomiting into the toilet for those not familiar with the term) but hey, a loss is a loss. For the first time I have started the new year by losing weight, now I’ve just got all that other stuff to accomplish!

A late night blog post is quite rare for me, I thought I would set myself a challenge and it turns out that yes I can smash out 402 words, order my Tesco shop and enrol at The OU whilst lying upside down on the sofa. What’s your challenge for 2013 and more importantly how’s it going?

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The Best Laid Plans

AA van, Bristol, England

He’s Here!

Today has been one of the most farcical in history and yet also one of the funniest thanks to an unexpected turn of events. Here’s how it went down….

5 am up to get ready as driving 100 miles south to drop eldest daughter back to school. Night before spent washing, ironing, packing etc to make sure we get out of the house with two (still sleeping) children packed snugly into the back seats before heading off into the early morning light. Kind of like kidnapping your own kids type of thing.

7 am kids awaken and decide they’re both ravenously hungry and so the in-car picnic begins. Rice Crispies and whole milk followed by yogurt and banana and a warm soft bread roll (because they love them with butter straight from the oven…god bless tin foil)

7.20 am kids fall back asleep and the clear up of the Rice Crispie avalanche begins.

8.10 am Fast lane of the M6 southbound, stop start traffic as to be expected, only on the next acceleration our car loses all power…and we begin to drift over to the hard shoulder. Bugger.

8.40 am AA man from heaven arrives (not heavenly cute just a God-send because of the situation, you get me?) and tows us from the motorway to a safer lay-by near St Helen‘s (?)

9.10 am Rang school to say daughter will be late, daughter is delighted at this news and tells the heavenly AA man to take his time. Kids go back to searching for lost Rice Crispie treasure on the back seats.

9:30 am Notice a dirty burger van further down in the lay-by, now desperately hungry for a bacon butty as the nutri-grain bar I packed just isn’t going to cut it. Must refrain.

10.20 am AA man tells us basically our car is pooped and begins the mountainous paper work to get a recovery vehicle to drive us back home. Hurrah, eldest daughter slightly deflated at having to go to school earlier than thought as her Dad arrives to take over the last leg of the journey…haha sucker!

10:45 am Try to convince Geordie he has broken the car with his Movember mustache. The car took one look at it and died on the spot. He is having none of this.

11.30 am Can’t take the suspense any longer, Suzie’s Burger Van (or Suzies Dirty Baps as me and Geordie have renamed it) is calling to me and after finding a bonus £10 under the driver’s seat we hop out (okay sprint) to the van to order our heart attacks.

11.34 am Bacon butty demolished and it was divine! Suzie even cut the fat off my bacon for me woohoo, here’s to 4 more years heart attack free!

11:45 I am hungry again because I made the mistake of reading Suzie’s dirty menu and now really want a Snicker. Proceed to spend the next ten minutes annoying the life out of Geordie until he goes and gets me a Snicker.

12:15 pm AA Recovery man arrives and the complicated yet strangely engrossing process of hauling our car on to the truck begins. Fascinating!

12:30 pm – 2:45 pm Geordie and I basically put the world to rights, have a bit of spat about our parents and then fall into a comfortable silence for the rest of the journey, much to the Recovery man’s delight I’m sure. My God he must hear all kinds doing his job!

1:05 pm Ask the AA Recovery man if his job is pretty much like a slightly more technical taxi drivers job….he doesn’t reply.

3:10 pm Home again, car at the garage awaiting diagnostics and the troops chilling out with roast chicken sarnies and a cuppa.

All in a day’s work in our house although I think I’m going to try to get that elusive  lie-in tomorrow.

NaBloPoMo

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Absence Makes The Heart Grow…?

Do you believe that absence makes the heart grow fonder? Do you think that long-distance relationships can last?

I never thought I would marry someone who spends half of every year thousands of miles away from me and his family, and the first time Geordie went away with work I felt like my heart was ripped from my chest. I didn’t sleep for a few nights and stopped eating apart from consoling chicken burgers thanks to my house mate who realised I was drowning in sorrow. Honestly, the way I was carrying on you’d think we had split up, but as we’d only been together for 6 months I wasn’t 100% sure we could survive the enforced separation. Fast forward three years and obviously we did get through it and now I’m his girl.

In the last 11 months I have spent at least half of the weekends away from Geordie and he has been away for a few weeks too, and although I don’t enjoy that time alone, I have the kids to look after and keep busy so the separation doesn’t get to me quite as much. Initially we made rules about not arguing over the phone and remembering to consider the conditions when could only call once a week for a few minutes. We still argued and I still went through bouts of doubting his feelings for me when he didn’t ring. There are a couple of positives to come from time spent apart, the first is the return of the honeymoon period and well you can read between the lines there I’m sure, he holds my hand a lot! The other positive aspect is a having a whole stack of bluey’s (airmail letters) to cherish forever and I love to sit and read them when we fall out to remind myself that if we can get through those times I should stop being a cow to Geordie and apologise.

I’m not sure if I believe that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but I do think it can do wonders to revive a relationship. I also believe that long distance relationships have to be built on something other than social media to survive. Grab a pen and just for a change write your words in your own unique font, nothing says I love you like black ink and  (not comic sans)

NaBloPoMo

 

 

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Bounce

Hi, how are you? Yet again it’s been a rather challenging week for me, picked up a cold from my sister at the weekend and my back has gotten progressively worse since my train journey on Sunday, hence not blogging all week. Finally found a comfortable place (flat on the living room floor) to be able to lay down and write. So here it is.

First and foremost here is my weight loss update which I know was due on Thursday to keep up the pressure to exercise and watch the diet. I’m absolutely delighted with the result and it just goes to show that even the battered disc and snotty nose won’t put me off walking the dog. Although I have consumed a naughty amount of galaxy chocolate this week….for medicinal purposes. I’ve tried to crack on with preparation for the 5×50 Challenge as well and dragged my little dog out in the gales to complete the 5k, admittedly I only managed it four times this week, but it’s a good start. I apologize  for the picture quality, I was literally stunned and so wobbled a bit taking the photo. So that’s a just on a stone in two weeks, thanks guys, I did it with your help and more importantly I’m really eager to carry on! Here’s to next Thursday’s results.

While the typical British Summer weather lashed against the window panes this week I have busied myself with reading the other two Fifty Shades books, which I know I said I wouldn’t bother with. They were a welcome distraction though and as with the first book, I was definitely more interested in the will they/wont they end up together storyline and not the erotica. In my humble opinion, it got a bit boring. There’s only so many times she can bite her lip, and he can raise an eyebrow! However now that I have completed the trilogy I’m happy to move back to my crime thrillers and a little something for the soul……..Geordie got the full low down on the latest fad which is..wait for it…..Buddhism! I don’t really know why? I’m not a particularly religious person and I have conflicting opinions on Christianity but I would never deny anyone else their beliefs. I guess it’s trying to find some faith, nothing wrong with that right? So tomorrow I begin with ‘An Introduction to Buddhism’ on my faithful Kindle #2. I’ll let you know how I get on.

To draw a definite line under Fifty Shades of Grey and the curiosity that drove me almost insane I shall end this post with a brilliant poem by my wonderful and gifted friend Ann Briggs. Enjoy.

My Porn Poem

NOT FOR under 18’s or the easily offended!

by Ann Briggs

 50 Shades of F*&ing Weird (4th June 2012)

Middle class housewives everywhere have discovered 50 Shades of grey,

And book groups since page 60 are becoming quite risqué.

Sneaky reads on school runs, hot flushes in four doors, are leaving the women of Middle England, curious, panting and wanting more.

Ann Summers are delighted at the sale of ball gags, cuffs and bondage ties.

While Equestrian centres are confused, as despite recession the sale of riding crops is on the rise.

Discussions held on Facebook casually mention words like butt plug and vanilla.

But I have words of warning for the readers of this bondage bodice ripper.

In the past I frequented a fetish night, witnessed images that have haunted me.

The unsightly squash of male genitals when encased in see thru PVC.

Couples who led their partners round on a dog collar and choke chain.

The oddly named playroom which in truth was an area for pain.

The whips, the paddles, the crucifix, studded belts and wooden canes.

and other instruments of torture so historical, I still don’t know their name,

Of all the perversity I encountered there, the worst that I have seen.

Was a group of closet transvestites who dressed as Margaret Thatcher and the Queen.

Now I quite fancied owning a slave, thought he’d be handy with the mop.

And rubber is so practical when doing housework but his gasmask put me off.

Despite the voyeuristic value and education the whole scene appeared somewhat seedy.

The people weren’t exotic and exciting, just middle-aged, a bit desperate and needy.

I was put in mind of Michael Hutchence, all rock star glamour , hedonism and sleaze.

But what’s exotic about dying hanging from your belt with your pants around your knees.

Now there’s nothing wrong with a bit of kinky, I reckon the Beckhams even have their scene.

Both wearing Primark in the bedroom watching QVC whilst troughing on ice cream.

But there may come a point when you question where will all this stop?

As you prowl across your bedroom in rubber knickers flexing a riding crop.

Your partner suspended from the ceiling naked in a swing.

He’s beaming with anticipation while you’re thinking “This just ain’t my thing”

You’ll miss your weekly 20 minutes sandwiched between the news and footy highlights.

When sex was a set of tried and tested moves, minus whips and fishnet tights.

And getting ready for bed meant washing your armpits and brushing out your hair.

Not four hours of talcing up the leather bodysuit and fixing on the bondage gear.

And safe words where phrases like never mind love, it might be cos your cold.

Not random words like purple lorry  cos you’ve reached your pain threshold.

So ladies enjoy the titillation from the book, there’s no harm in a bit of tease.

But leave the dark stuff to the professionals, the clergy and MP’s!!!

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I’ve Lost It!

Well here it goes, it has been exactly 7 days since I blogged about weight and deciding it was time to change. I’ve received lots of messages of support and more messages along the lines of ‘Are you bloody mad, putting your weight on the blog’? But I knew that if I did put it out on to the world stage, I would have to make the effort to lose weight or face losing my wonderful readers.

While sat eating cake icing with my friend yesterday we were discussing the ‘brave’ blog and how I would feel if standing on the scales this morning I found I had not lost any weight. The bottom line is I would be really gutted. I’ve utilised My Fitness Pal to its absolute limits this week, sticking to my goal of 1400 calories as well as making a concerted effort to burn off 1000 calories too. The highlight of my week was getting out with my dog on Sunday morning for an hours brisk walk/jog in the rain and sticky weather. I came home soaked through my vest top and feeling really good! I was a little unprepared as I went out wearing wellies due to the weather as I expected to just walk, however once I was out I felt confident enough to jog a couple of ten minute section of the path. I also wore leggings, vest top and Geordie’s North Face waterproof jacket. I forgot just how warm you get and how quickly when walking at a brisk pace, throw in the humid sticky weather and conditions were almost unbearable, but there was no way I was taking that jacket off to show my mummy tummy wobbling away down the country road, hence sweating through the top!

Of course it would be very easy for me to tamper with the results, the original photograph I took of the scales could be anyone or anything right? However as the Head of Year at school, Mrs Graham said at the start of GCSE exams season, ‘If you cheat, you’re only cheating yourself’.

So after seven rather intense days of intense calorie counting, dog walking and making separate trips into the village for each individual shopping item on my list…..and definitely not standing on one leg or holding onto the sink……I give you my results.

Thank you so much for the good luck messages and support and thanks to Geordie who knows me so well as to not get involved or have an opinion, but just let me get on with it and be there if I fall flat on my face and need to eat Toblerone. Come next week it’s going to be a push but another 3kg loss would be amazing as it’s always harder after the initial boost to your metabolism. Well I’m geared up and ready to go, who’s with me?!

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What I Put In

I’ve always been very lucky with my weight and blessed with a fast metabolism, I was one of those teenagers who could eat whatever  I wanted and not put on weight, although my skin would erupt on spying of a piece of chocolate, swings and roundabouts I guess.

Unfortunately I seem to have passed my rapid metabolism on to my two young daughters who frustratingly eat me out of house and home on a daily basis and I have fallen into a terrible slump of doing the same. Now I’m really unhappy with my weight and general appearance. I eat junk food because it’s there and doesn’t need preparing and anytime I nip out for random groceries such as nappies or baby milk I pick up chocolate too. It’s definitely gotten out of control.

I have tried slimming tablets but the caffine hit almost gave me a heart attack, since I slipped a disc two months ago I’m unable to do a lot cardio wise, but now thanks to an inspiring Twitter account I am done with excuses, here’s what I’m going to do…

5×50 is a nationwide voluntary event starting on September 9th 2012. The aim of the challenge is to walk, jog, run or cycle 5k everyday for 50 days to incorporate sport into everyday life. What attracted me to this event is that it’s totally do-able. Ideally I’d like to cycle the distance each day however the challenge allows you the freedom to adapt a trip to the shops or the school run to count as your daily 5k, providing you leave the car at home of course!

So in an attempt to kind of bully myself into losing weight and getting fitter I am going to record my weight each week and post my results. Diet wise I’m going to make a start now on this random Thursday and with the help of My Fitness Pal App I am confident I can beat the flab.

If you’d like to get involved with the challenge click here to find out more register. Also www.myfitnesspal.com is a fantastic tool in watching what you eat, and you can add friends to compare you results!

Good Luck….here’s my shameful start.

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Guest Blog – Geordie on Fitness

To end this series of Guest Blogging, and to celebrate my 50th post, Geordie has decided to go out with a bang and focus on his very favourite subject, fitness. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading Geordie’s little jaunt into the world of the written word, no doubt he’ll make another appearance as he seems to think he’s on to a winner? All opinions expressed are his own, enjoy.

I’m a very active person and really enjoy to keep myself in good shape, I also make sure that my family stay fit and healthy too. I dont force fitness on them but we do activities that are fun and enjoyable, hopefully teaching my young girls that it is fun to stay fit. It annoys me that I feel that I am constantly being punished for this, I mean the government are constantly banging on about the whole ‘fit for life‘ scheme but it’s so expensive to eat healthily. I have just found out that the government are looking to tax supplements and energy drinks now, why? Where is the fat tax?

Obesity Campaign Poster

Obesity Campaign Poster (Photo credit: Pressbound)

One of biggest killers in the UK is obesity and yet when tobacco was the main culprit, it was taxed to hell, so why aren’t fatty foods treated the same? I suppose the ‘Pasty Tax’ is a start. Why is it so cheap to eat fatty foods but to buy some salad and fruit is nearly twice the price? Why is it getting to the stage that it’s ok to be fat? I heard of 2 overweight women talking to each other and a skinny woman walked by and they said look at that skinny b**ch and no one even batted an eyelid and yet if it was the other way around and 2 skinny girls had said look at that fat b**ch, people would have been much more offended. I almost gave up hope when I saw the ‘Size Consultant’ woman on This Morning the other day. The woman in question was morbidly obese and is on a crusade to stop GP’s from using the term ‘Obese‘ as it’s offensive. Really? It’s a medical term!

Even getting on a plane now winds me up, if my luggage is over weight I have to pay for it, which is fair play. But if some one who is obese gets on the plane, they are probably heavier than me and my bag combined so why do I have to pay extra. Plus the last thing I want is someone next to me who is over weight taking up my space aswell as their own, surely I should get half my money back?
I have even been in a department store with my family and gone  to get the lift as we have the buggy and couldn’t get in because it’s full of over weight people who seemingly can’t be bothered to use the escalators or stairs. If these people had to catch their own food, they wouldn’t  be obese, it’s just too convenient to eat fatty foods and drive every where. The worst thing of all is that there are more over weights kids now, which is so unfair, what sort of start to life is that and best of all 9 times out of ten the over weight child has over weight parents. I have been to my daughters school and seen parents who live about 5 mins walk away drive their kids to school and then head straight home again! The schools are fighting a constant battle but at least they’re trying. Walk to School days and bans on chocolate and sweets in lunch bags are just the beginning.
What makes me laugh is events on the world stage like The Olympic Games where the people competing are super fit but the sponsors are Mcdonalds and CocaCola, how funny is that? I’ll bet none of the athletes go any were near the stuff!

Well it’s been fun. I’ve promised the wife I will continue to have an opinion on everything so she can get some decent writing material from it. I’ve got to keep her busy haven’t I?

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A Tall Story

I want to talk about height.

According to Wiki and Yahoo Answers (which admittedly aren’t the most reliable sources of information) the average height for women in the UK is 5ft 5″. I’m 5ft 10″ and have been since the age of 14, add a pair of decent heels to the equation and I’m topping 6ft 1″ when I’m at work or a night out.

Tall Story

Tall Story (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There have been lots of occasions over the years where my height has been a major grievance, yet I’m constantly hearing others moaning ‘Oh I wish I was tall’. Do you have any idea how hard it is to buy jeans, maxi dresses or tailoring off the rack on the high street? I’ve resorted to wearing ballet flats more often since they burst into the scene a few years ago which in turn has expanded my wardrobe choices considerably but being tall isn’t just about leg length. I want to wear heels because they make me feel more feminine, but wearing a shoe with a 3-4″ heel puts me at eye level with most guys and instantly quashes my sex appeal. Stupid genetics.

At school I hated being tall, I was the same height as most of the boys in my class which, as I’m sure you can imagine was a big barrel of fun. Sport was my saving grace though, I was good at athletics and netball which I firmly believe saved me from a few hidings and bought me much-needed popularity points to get through those horrible teenager years. I learned to embrace my ‘Athletic‘ body shape. I’ll never forget being on my hen night in ‘Funny Girls‘ transvestite club in Blackpool, I should have danced the night away, instead I was more concerned that other revellers were wondering if I was a guy or a girl given that I was as tall as the performers.

Being tall became a slight advantage when I got to around 17, started going out with my mates to town and getting noticed a bit more. I’d love nothing more than slipping into a little black dress, donning a huge pair of heels and sauntering into the pubs and clubs in the city turning a few heads with my 44″ of leg on show. The only downfall is once you’re in a jam-packed bar, at shoulder height with all the cute guys, they don’t see your legs! But you do tend to get served quickly. I have only ever dated one guy shorter than me and it was weird. It lasted all of three dates and I made up some lame excuse as to why I couldn’t see him again but being taller than your man is strange right? I love the illustration from Tall Story with Jane Fonda and Anthony Perkins where the girl loves the tall guys. That’s how it’s always gone down with Disney too. Yet Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum are still going strong…..aren’t they?

Where clothes are concerned, being tall is only great if you are also very slim. I’m carrying a little more weight than I’d like so I tend to stick to one or two stores that cater for taller women. New Look and H&M are my current favourites and with Summer on the way (we hope) I can delve back into TopShop and Hollister for capri pants and cropped joggers, which I have really missed over the Winter months. Do you know of any hidden gems for ladies with long pins? Whatever happened to Long Tall Sally?

My height has thrown me challenges over the years, from wedding dresses to buggies. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with my height, but as long as I keep the cellulite at bay, my legs will remain my best feature……after two kids they’re my only feature!!

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All A’Hoard

I watched a programme called Britain’s Biggest Hoarders on BBC 1 last night and I was astounded by the conditions in which some people actually live. The documentary focuses on Jasmine Harman, her mum who is a chronic hoarder and the constant battle that is living with someone who has this condition. The mission of the documentary is to have chronic hoarding recognised as a medical condition and to give support to the 3 million people in the UK living in houses that are piled so high with ‘possessions’ that they can no longer access the bathroom.

Compulsive hoarding in a private apartment

Compulsive hoarding in a private apartment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I imagine that my first reaction will be the same as most people who saw the programme, I was appalled by the state of the houses featured, in one house the couple hadn’t seen their living room for two years as the room and doorway were completely blocked, as was the bathroom preventing the family from using the bath or shower. Another man who was featured has asked for help after realising that the level of hoarding was damaging his health. I couldn’t help but think, just chuck it all out! Get a skip (or five) and a ton of bin bags and just bin the lot. How can people possibly live with broken windows, rats, rotting food and not seeing an inch of their floors anywhere in their house for years? But as the programme went on and Jasmine explained what it was like growing up in a house that was always messy, her fears about tidying up and the dread on hearing the door bell ring I realised that hoarding not about just chucking things away or being too lazy to clear up, it really does go much deeper than that.  There is a psychological element to the condition where some sufferers believe that discarding possessions may result in something terrible happening, but as Help For Hoarders website explains, hoarding is not currently defined as a neurological disorder and most go undiagnosed.

I was close to tears watching the long-suffering wife of one hoarder who simply wanted her grandchildren to be able to come over and play, yet I felt equally tearful watching her husband deal with his possessions being thrown away from their overflowing front garden to avoid prosecution from the council. It took just an hour and an in-depth personal account from Jasmine to really open my eyes to this debilitating illness and how terribly ignorant my initial reaction was.

I don’t hoard at all, there are a small number of possessions that I consider to be priceless and would never ever consider getting rid of, and I count myself very lucky to be able to just clear out mine and my daughter’s wardrobes a few times a year to donate to charity. My husband is somewhere in the middle of the scale and seems hell bent on keeping old, washed out t-shirts for ‘decorating’ in. We’ve decorated twice in 12 months and he wore a brand new Next white t-shirt to do so. Still I can remain grateful that he doesn’t have a chronic condition. I think Jasmine Harman deserves much credit and compassion for dealing with such a personal problem in a very public way. Her own plight has open the nation’s eyes to how deep the problem really goes, I hope her website and programme will raise enough awareness to make a difference and bring help to those who need it.

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