Ive been thinking a lot lately about starting a Blog and well, would anyone read it, and do I really have anything that important to say?
But as it happens, I decided that I wanted to do a Blog for me. Somewhere I could tell my stories, my thoughts, hopes, fears, and hopefully somewhere along the way, people could relate.
Many people who know me, know that I have had a challenging but wonderful couple of years with some incredible highs and some very sad lows. And I thought perhaps I could work through some of those things whilst sharing.....
I guess the main thing everyone knows is that I have struggled a great deal with my weight, and as a part of my journey to healthiness and happiness I thought I would share some stuff along the way......
I had a bit of an epiphany the other day around the reasons I want to lose weight and how to keep myself motivated and on track.
People say that getting fit, weight loss and the like, involve that dirty word that I find so elusive....'Willpower!' I am not a weak willed person. Im just not. And I dont believe that most people are. I held my son as he took his last breaths. I kept going after one of the worst experiences a person can have, losing a child. I am not without strength. But when it comes to my weight, sticking to regime, a diet, whatever you want to call it, it seems waaaaay outside my ability!
But this epiphany I spoke of.....it hit me like a slap in the face. I cant lose weight for me. Because in my broken psyche, that would be selfish. What?! Its true. After so many years of not liking the person I was, now that I am happy with me, I find the selflessness that one needs to focus on their own health evades me. I wonder if its because I feel I have been selfish enough for a lifetime when I look back on my younger years? Or is it because I have very little sense of self worth? Whatever, many and varied, the reasons may be, Im no different to anyone else in that we are all a little broken from our past experiences. There is always someone worse off and there always will be. So how does one person find the strength to lose weight, and perhaps more importantly, put their own health and wellbeing before anybody else, and another person (eg: me), not.
Well, thats what I need to explore. How did I end up being someone who cares so little for myself or my own happiness? I have spent half a lifetime punishing myself for decisions made, and will probably never be able to stop myself completely from doing that, but at some point, I could use a bit of self-love (and I dont mean the fun kind)!
But where do you start when the, very loud, voices in your head tell you that you're not worthy of anything?
One of the many things that I took from being involved in The Voice UK was the fact that I simply can not handle being told I am good at stuff. Or that I am pretty or amazing, or many of the other things that friends, family and 'fans' said after my performances on the show. There's something very surreal about having Will-I-Am tell you that you are the "complete package." My response-EAT ALL THE FOOD!
In my messed up head, if I repulsed people, no-one could say those things anymore. I could blame my weight for my lack of success......stupid eh? The worst part was knowing I was doing it!
I often say Im lazy (and dont get me wrong, I really can be!), but for the most part it is simply not true. Im tired, but I am NOT lazy. Someone said to me the other day "you're a go-getter, why arent you going and getting this?" And in essence its a fair question. Why arent I? Am I scared of how things will turn out if I cant use my weight as an excuse for things. The jobs I dont apply for. The money that I dont ask for. The shows I dont think I could host. If I was thinner, would it really make me better at my job?
No matter what we want to think, people do judge your ability to do a good job based on your appearance. Its human nature I suppose. I wish my mind didnt buy in to that though!
As far as the music industry is concerned, these days, it is a visual art from as much as an audio one. We can kid ourselves that it is far more accepting of any size and shape (Adele, Meghan Trainor), but lets face it, these examples are few and far between. Being told I would be a "great singer if I lost some weight" was a defining moment for me as a young singer. It meant that I would always equate my weight with how successful I was as a musician. Silly I know, but I was so very young, and we all know how one cruel comment can shape us when we are young. (The real irony was that I was about a size 12 when I was told this)!
Today as I write this, I am almost back to the heaviest I have ever been. But I am also the most self aware than I have ever been. I know, thanks to a brilliant psycho-therapist, that no amount of hypnosis, CBT, NLP or Affirmations can instil a self-esteem in someone who has never had any semblance of self-esteem. In those most narcissistic days of 0-3 years old, no-one was around to help me develop a self-esteem. Not a sob story, just a fact. And a fact that I have dealt with now that I understand it. Those voices in our heads, they have developed along with our outer voices, and incredibly, in some of us, they are so much stronger.
These days I am finding myself gentler with those voices. I am able to appreciate that not everything these loud inner voice says is true. I am also learning to appreciate that my inner voice is simply trying to protect me. In a warped, well-meaning way, that voice wants to save me from the hurt I experienced as a child. It doesnt know that I am an adult, 41 years old in fact, well and truly grown up!
So now I am starting a journey of discovery. What will it take for me to stick to eating well and adding exercise back in to my days? Well for one thing, its going to take discipline. Not willpower. I need to be more organised and prepared. For times I forget my lunch, for times when I want to stab someone (aka once a month), and times when I really, really want wine!
I have joined the gym, got a trainer (admittedly just once every few weeks), and I have made a plan of what I will eat for the next week. And I have also given up alcohol for a month! (That may well be the death of me!). I also plan on getting more sleep and reading more books. I will need to remember why I want to do this. That I want to feel healthy again. Vibrant. I want the grump that has taken over my personality to sod off! And I WILL do this. After all, I've done it before.
So I am posting some pictures of how I want to look again ( nothing crazy, just a size 16) and how I look now, and I will be updating as much as I can.
My goal is to leave the world a happier place because I was in it. And this is the start of that journey.