The C Word – Maggie’s Centres

As it is World Cancer Day I thought it would be fitting to continue ‘The C Word’ series. This second instalment is about a charity which first opened a centre in Edinburgh in 1996 using the ideas of Maggie Keswick Jencks surrounding the care for cancer patients and those effected by the impact of cancer.

Before having personal experience with the effects of cancer I had never heard of Maggie’s or what the charity stood for. Upon struggling with dealing with the anxiety and depression battling cancer my Mum was introduced to Maggie’s for support. The charity offers free emotional and practical support to cancer patients as well as their family and friends.

At Maggie’s there is a variety of services provided including professional support, groups, workshops and classes. Some of the classes Maggie’s offer include mens only groups, yoga, sleep workshops, hair loss workshops, nutrition workshops and creative writing. I remember my Mum attending a makeup workshop where she attended a masterclass to learn new skills and techniques. Seeing as cancer and treatment can have a huge impact on your physical appearance this class pushed self love and confidence. Although it was teaching how to apply makeup, it wasn’t about covering up their illness, it was allowing women to feel ‘normal’ and more like themselves before the dark circles appeared following chemo. I remember how excited my Mum was that she got to keep some products from the workshop. She sat with me, showing and telling me her newly learnt techniques. It was the first time in a while that I had seen my Mum passionate about something, reverting back to the talkative person she usually was.

Aside from the workshops and groups, for emotional and mental support my Mum received counselling and therapy from a psychologist. Maggie’s enabled her to access this easily without having to go through referrals or a hospital environment which can make a huge difference especially when you are receiving treatment, up and down the hospital just as much as the nurses working there. The way the centres are built and furnished truly demonstrate the aim and the aura Maggie’s wants to create. Our local Maggie’s is open and light with separate rooms for privacy or communal areas like the kitchen where anyone is free to sit for a coffee and a chat. There is nothing clinical about how the building is designed in the slightest, filled with homely features and welcoming faces.

https://www.maggiescentres.org/media/cache/38/02/3802992f039b138691a9dc8519dd7bb2.jpg

Towards the end of my Mums illness, continuing through her recovery and then eventually after my Dad’s diagnosis, I also had the support of a psychologist in order to help me understand everything I was trying to process. Having someone to talk to and vent to, someone who wouldn’t judge but understood the mixture of emotions I had inside of me was exactly what I needed. To this day when I go to meet my psychologist I have no idea what I am going to say but she has mastered the way I think to a T, often knowing more about what I’m thinking than I do. She allows me to properly delve into the root of any thought or emotion, showing how it is effecting me and then guiding me to process it in a way that is personal to me. Our 45 minute sessions are always filled to the brim as both conscious and sub-conscious feelings are released from me. I once said to my Mum that before a session I feel like a blank drawing by numbers, but afterwards, all of the dots are connected. Minds are complex things but my psychologist has mastered mine. I always feel about 2 stone lighter walking back to my car after a session.

The amount of gratitude I have for the support my family has received from Maggie’s is immense. During the years where I felt as if I had no one to turn to or no friends who understood, the people of Maggie’s were there listening, never judging or pitying. To this day when I walk into my local Maggie’s centre I feel at ease knowing I am in a safe place where even though cancer is the reason we are all there, the atmosphere and mood is never depressing or sad. It is a place where everyone effected by cancer comes together as people and not just because of an illness. Yes it helps to have people who are in a similar situation to you and with similar health worries but it is also nice to sit down with people for a chat or participate in a group where people aren’t struggling what to say to you or tiptoeing on egg shells in fear of saying something wrong. At Maggie’s it feels like there is an understanding that cancer is a part of your life but it doesn’t define it. It is somewhere that you can feel most human – someone who still stresses about what to wear, when to do the shopping or help the kids with their homework – but is also dealing with a horrible disease. In my opinion it is the best of both worlds as you get the professional support to help you cope but also make friends and bonds with people who don’t just look at you and see a disease, they see a person still with interests and a day-to-day life wanting to live life to the full.

Here is where you can find out about Maggie’s: https://www.maggiescentres.org/about-maggies/

Here is where you can donate: https://www.maggiescentres.org/how-you-can-help/ways-give/

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The C Word – How Cancer Has Affected My Life

In 2013 my world started to crumble around me. At 13 years old I remember being sat down with my brother and told that my 40 year old mother had breast cancer. Nothing could have ever prepared me for the feelings and devastation I felt when those words left my father’s lips. After being told this heart wrenching news my flight response took over causing me to run to the garden where I sat for hours trying to process what I had just been told. I spent the rest of the evening crying for my beloved family.

After her diagnosis my Mum was told she would need an operation to remove the cancerous tissue from her breast (a mastectomy) as well as 6 rounds of chemotherapy spreading over the course of 6 months. It was at this stage that her and my family started to notice the real changes and horrible side effects of chemotherapy.

My Mum is a cheery, bubbly, positive person, always caring for everyone before herself, but when she was receiving treatment this all changed. The up-beat, brunette that used to sit across the living room from me was now frail, anxious and wearing cotton hats to cover her balding head. Her confidence had been completely knocked coming to terms with her new body and image that was staring back at her in the mirror but she got through it thanks to my Dad.

13 year old me with Mum after giving her a makeover to help her feel a little more like herself.

Throughout my Mum’s treatment my Dad was her rock and strength to get her through the day. He attended every appointment with her, held her hand through surgery and helped her to rationalise her anxious thoughts that hit her like a tonne of bricks at various points of the day. It was through this period that I truly recognised the amount of love they had for each other and truly honouring their vows ‘through sickness and in health’.

Alongside supporting my Mother my Dad was also the rock for my brother and I. Seeing my mother suffering from this horrible disease as well as struggling through anxiety and depression impacted me greatly causing my Dad to urge me to seek help at Maggie’s Cancer Centre where I was able to pour out every ounce of sadness, anger and anxiety that seemed to be consuming me.

Luckily, my Mum was deemed cancer-free at the end of her chemotherapy which was a massive relief for my family. It felt like the awful life we had been living for the last year was now coming to an end. I felt lighter and so grateful to still have my strong Mum to guide me through life.

Although we thought our bad luck was over, it turned out it had only just started. Less than two years after my Mum was given the all clear my Dad began suffering severe headaches and loss of speech. After originally being signed off work with stress, further investigation and more crippling headaches led to the discovery of a tumour in my Dad’s brain.

It would’ve been easy to go into panic mode at this point but we all still remained hopeful that the tumour was benign and it could be removed through an operation, however, only 95% could be removed. During my father’s stay in hospital after his operation the medication and steroids he was on turned him into a paranoid wreck thinking he was unsafe and never going to be able to leave. This was the first time I had ever seen my Dad truly vulnerable and scared as he pleaded for me and my mother not to leave his side.

After the tumour had been removed the conclusion of the biopsy taken was that it was indeed cancerous, meaning he would require further treatment in order to try and get rid of it completely. His treatment consisted of 3 rounds of chemo followed by daily radiotherapy on weekdays for 3 weeks. I remember accompanying him to the hospital for radiotherapy a couple times on the bus where he told me how much he dreaded going each day. I tried to reassure him telling him that it would soon be over and he wouldn’t have to wake up with it looming over him for much longer.

Unlike my Mum the chemotherapy and radiotherapy didn’t have a huge impact on my Dad’s day to day life aside from having a decreased appetite and being more tired compared to normal. He didn’t suffer sickness, dramatic weight loss or mouth ulcers which can be common side effects of cancer treatment. After treatment was completed all that was left to do was wait for the results of a brain scan to see if it had worked.

Everyone involved in Dad’s treatment were convinced he had reacted well to both the chemo and radiotherapy yet the scan showed that the cancer had spread. At this point he was told things weren’t looking hopeful but he could have another 3 rounds of chemo to see if it would make a difference. Unfortunately it did not and my Dad was given a terminal prognosis being told he had just months left.

Despite this my Dad was with us for another year and a half making the most of the time he had left. Towards the final 8 months of Dad’s life he started to deteriorate quite quickly. His speech began to be less understandable, he was unable to climb up the stairs, his memory began to fade and towards the end it was difficult to manage the pain he was enduring.

Dad celebrating his 51st birthday two weeks before he died.

Whilst my Dad was ill I didn’t struggle as much as I did when my Mum was ill. It sounds awful but having the experience of cancer and its effects enabled me to be stronger the second time around. Don’t get me wrong it was the hardest time of my life but to this day I have no idea how I made it through without crumbling.

I spent that year and a half living a double life not even telling my friends the extent of Dad’s illness, only revealing his terminal prognosis 4 months before he died. I went to school where I played the happy, laid back teenager and then somewhere on my walk back home would turn into a teenager caring for her dying Dad. Some days I had to stop before entering the house, shedding my school character and bracing myself to step inside my house where my worries were now administering painkillers, translating Dad’s limited speech to people who couldn’t understand him and helping him into bed. For a long time a double life is what I needed to feel ‘normal’ so I could still enjoy part of my youth. Even the day my Dad died people at school didn’t believe that he was dead as I still attended my Christmas dance the evening of the day he died. For days after his death I refused to think about how it impacted my life, all I was focused on was that he no longer had to suffer.

Another reason I hid my home life from everyone out-with my close inner circle is because I didn’t want people’s pity or for it to change the way I was viewed. I didn’t want the label of ‘the girl whose Dad is dying’ or for anyone to see me any differently. No one my age understood the life I was living at home and I didn’t want the awkward responses and smiles that would follow if I told them about my Dad. I was not ashamed, lets get that straight, I just didn’t see the point in sharing my pain and worry with people who couldn’t relate and would feel bad about not knowing what to say.

This brings me to why I am writing this post in the first place as I wish I had been able to know there was someone out there who felt the same. Someone who knew what it felt like to feel like none of your friends could relate through no fault of their own. In a way I didn’t want to burden my friends with the horrific details of cancer when they were able to live not truly knowing the destruction it can cause. It was an unnecessary detail they didn’t need in their lives.

To anyone who has watched someone close to them go through cancer or has seen the havoc this horrible disease can cause I hope you can relate to even a little of what I have said. Everyone deals with these things in their own way and there is no right or wrong way to process what is happening. I want you to know you are not alone with this and that cancer is not a taboo subject. It has had a huge impact on my life but I’m not going to let it define it.


The C Word – Series

Currently in the UK Cancer Research states that every two minutes someone is diagnosed with Cancer with 163,444 dying from the disease in 2016 alone. In 2015 38% of cases were preventable in some way. Unfortunately in my short life I have experienced the affects of cancer with three family members – both my parents and my Nanny.

Stand Up To Cancer – UK charity aiming to raise funds to help cancer patients.

Recently on Twitter I asked my followers if they would be interested in my personal experiences and any advice/suggestions for others going through a similar thing. At this moment I am thinking this series will consist of three parts focusing on different things. The first part will focus on my personal experience and timeline of events in the periods I was mostly affected by Cancer.

Maggies Cancer charity has played a massive part in helping me come to terms with and coping with the trauma of watching a loved one suffer from Cancer. In the second part of this series I will go into detail about Maggies offers and my experience with the charity.

The final part of my series will be based around grief as through cancer you witness the disease change your loved one which is extremely difficult. Even if the person doesn’t pass away or have a terminal prognosis, grief can still take ahold of you as you remember and miss the ‘old’ and healthy person you knew and loved. This final part will probably be all over the place as I am still in the early stages of grief myself.

Writing this series is going to hopefully allow me to help and reach out to people suffering from the pain of cancer, as well as help myself understand and accept what has happened in my life in the past 5 years.

Let me know if there are any topics or questions you would like to be involved in this series.

Would You Rather? – Challenge

The lovely Millie from msblife.home.blog tagged me to do the Would You Rather challenge that has been going around the blogosphere!

Reading these posts have allowed me to get to know bloggers I follow online a little better. Hopefully by the end of this post you will all know a little more about me!

So without further or do here are my answers:

1: Would your rather be confined to reading a book, or your phone?

Although I love a good book when I read one I become addicted to it very quickly – but not in a good way. When reading a book I am so eager and determined to find out what happens next and to finish it, I might as well be in space away from any human being or distraction. My productivity dramatically decreases when reading as it consumes my life. Maybe if I ever train myself to stop being book greedy I would read a lot more. My life quite literally comes to a halt whilst reading so I’d have to say my phone as it would still allow me to socialise and write blog posts.

2: Would you rather only be able to listen to one album, or never be able to choose what you listen to again?

This question is a tough one as I love all sorts of different music and the thought of only listening to one album or potentially not being able to listen to my favourite artists is saddening. I think I’m going to have to go with the second option of never being able to choose what I listen to as at least there would hopefully be some variety of genres and songs since I listen to a mixture currently. Honestly my music taste is all over the place, one day I’ll be jamming out songs from musicals and the next I’ll be listening to hip hop.

3: Would you rather be able to run and never get tired – but not be able to swim, or just be mediocre at both?

As a child and early teen I was a competitive swimmer making it to regional and national competitions. Even though I am no longer with a club or compete swimming is a hobby and passion I could never stop. Living up to my Aquarius sign I feel at my calmest and freest in the water it’s my safe place where I can vent and think. Despite being super fit in my swimming days I have always struggled with running and was always something I wanted to improve having a balance of both would be the best option for me.

4: Would you rather only be able to complete one game (and when you did you could never play another), or be able to play lots of games but never finish them?

Quite honestly I have never had much interest in games, even on my phone I think there are only 2/3 games that my boyfriend downloaded to entertain him. I played on things such as the Wii and Nintendo DS’ when I was younger with my brother but I think that was heavily down to wanting to be the same as him and the competitiveness between us. Saying that I still like to partake in games at Christmas or occasions for the social side so since I’m not too fussed I’d happily play games but never finish them.

Courtesy of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74nypW5fVDI Pass the Pigs is my favourite game to play with family

5: Would you rather have an incredible understanding of the past, or a clear view of the future?

Compared to the past I am more worried and focused about what the future holds. You can never go back and relive the past no matter how much you want to so moving on to bigger and better things helps you not to dwell. In my life I’ve accepted I won’t know every detail of my past and why it panned out the way it did so being able to prepare and know what was in store for me in the future would definitely ease a lot of anxiety. Even if my view of the future showed a lot of pain and suffering to come at least I’d have more time to come to terms with it and live the best life I could.

6: Would you rather live in the city or the countryside?

When I was younger I dreamed of the idea of living in a big city such a London or New York but as I grew older I realised the daily hustle and bustle of a city would be too overwhelming for me. I love being close to the coast and having to walk to my local shops. As much as I love cities when I visit I don’t think I could live in one full time, I like having peaceful surroundings far too much.

Beaches are my favourite to visit any time of year.

7: Would you rather meet your ‘idol’ in person and never be able to speak or consume their media ever again, or your ‘idol’ not know who you are but you are free to consume as you like?

If you had asked me this when I was 13 the first option would’ve won hands down. In my early teens I was a huge fan girl for bands and singers, often waiting outside hotels and venues with the hope of getting to meet them or even just a glance in my direction. However now, I would say the second of my idol not knowing who I was but still being able to consume their media as there’s a possibility of meeting your idol and them being the complete opposite of what you hoped. I know from my 13 year old experiences that people are a lot different in the mainstream media then they are in person. I’d rather be naive to how they are in reality but still be able to find happiness from their media/content.

8: Would you rather be forced to laugh or cry, at everything?

This is an easy question for me as I am a person who no matter how much I want to cry, I don’t, especially in public. Aside from my boyfriend and mum, who probably think I cry all the time, no one else in my life gets to see my cry all too often. Being upset is not something I accept that well, I would much rather force myself to laugh than cry. For some reason I always like to appear strong and fearless to others even though I definitely am not. In the last couple of years I have softened slightly however I still hope to become better with letting people see the softer side of me.

9: Would you rather enjoy the taste of everything but be colour-blind, or see the world in the highest definition but not be able to taste?

Now this question is difficult! Food to me is not something that I need to survive but a hobby. Sometimes it feels like my life revolves around food as I’m constantly thinking what to have for meals and what new things I can cook. Trying out and tasting new things is a passion of mine which probably comes from working in hospitality and restaurants in the past. Although my love for food is never ending so is my love for being able to appreciate the wonders that this earth creates. Some of the natural and man made sights are breathtaking and just wouldn’t be the same not in colour. Saying this, I don’t get to experience these everyday of my life but food is something the differs every meal. I would rather enjoy the taste of everything.

The lightest soufflé I have ever tried from my trip to Thailand last year!

10: Both options coming with their natural benefits and downfalls, would you rather have to exercise for 1 hour every day, or never be able to exercise again?

In the last year I have got myself into a good exercise routine which has really benefited me in terms of physical strength as well as mentally. Cutting this out would have a detrimental effect on my wellbeing. Exercising has so many forms that an hour a day could just be going for a walk or it could be a full body gym session which leaves you aching for days. Now I know how positively exercise has benefitted my life I couldn’t possibly give it up.

Thank you for reading, I hope you now all know a bit more about how my weird mind operates. Thank you again to Millie for tagging me it was a great challenge and really made me think.

Here are my questions:

  1. Would you rather give up driving and cycle everyday or drive but can only do 20mph everywhere?
  2. Would you rather always have to eat strict clean healthy meals all of the time but never look healthy and fit or would you rather eat takeaways for every meal and look healthy and fit?
  3. Would you rather never travel but be extremely wealthy or travel the world with a very restricted budget, only ever being able to afford the minimum?
  4. Would you rather achieve all of your goals in one year but never get any recognition for them or never achieve any goals but are hugely remembered for your work when you die?
  5. Would you rather delete all social media and keep only your blog or delete your blog and only connect through other social media?
  6. Would you rather only be able to communicate through your phone (excluding physically talking on the phone) or never be able to communicate through text/email/letters and only being able to talk verbally on the phone or in person?
  7. Would you rather no one you knew personally know about your blog but not be successful or being well known and judged for having a blog but be successful?
  8. Would you rather have to wear formal clothes everyday or wear pyjamas everyday? (Both whilst everyone else is wearing normal clothes)
  9. Would you rather speak out on important issues that mattered to you but receive backlash or never speak of issues that you felt strongly about to keep a positive image?
  10. Would you rather only ever read mainstream media such as the newspaper or only ever read social media for news updates?

I tag:

The Cysters Tribe (@thecysterstribe) – thecysterstribe.blogspot.com

This Brilliant Day (@ThisBrillDay) – thisbrilliantday.com

Roses + Rogue (@RosesNRogue – linktr.ee/rosesandrogue

Johnny (@DJ_247_96) – johnnysadventures.com

Lena Dee (@LenaDeexo) – lenadeexo.com

Julia (@ALushIdea) – alushidea.wixsite.com/website

Rhi Crooks (@CrooksRhi) – therwordblog.com

ThatGuyBry (@blogthatguybry) – thatguybry.com

OffHerMocha (@offhermocha) – Offhermocha.wordpress.com

Alexx (@AestheticsAlexx) – aestheticsbyalexx.com

Tanologist Tan – Review

For a long time I never understood the hype of fake tan. All of my friends would spend hours perfecting their tan before a night out while I sat watching TV in my pyjamas with hours to kill. Last summer my Mum picked up a bottle of Bondi Sands 1 hour express tan for our holidays which sat in the cupboard unused until November. Before the festive season my curiosity got the better of me and the time had come for me – a pasty, red head – to try fake tan. After using it once I completely understood why everyone loves to be tanned and glowy.

Whilst I liked the Bondi Sands, it wasn’t my favourite and a new tan on the market had caught my attention of Instagram. This brand was Tanologist created by Lottie Tomlinson, a fellow blogger and. makeup artist.

Tanologist has a range of products including Gradual Tan, Tanning Drops, Tanning Mousse and tanning primer/eraser. I picked up the Tanning Water in Light which claims to be streak free and odourless as well as being a completely transparent liquid. The formula is designed in a way which allows you to control the darkness of your tan dependent on time, with 1 hour being the lightest and 4 hours being the darkest shade and everything in-between.

The formula is what drew me into this product as there is plenty of photographic evidence of streaky tans and horror stories of girls ending up 10 times darker than they wished to be. Since I’m a naturally a fair skinned girl I don’t want anything to drastic or end up matching my skin to the colour of my hair so having control of how dark I want to be eases my mind!

I prepped my skin by taking a bath and using the Avon Moroccan Bath and Shower Oil to moisturise my skin. This allowed me to shave and cleanse my skin ready for tan to be applied whilst moisturising my skin to prevent the tan clinging to dry areas. Using the oil allowed me to cut a step out of my usual routine of getting out the bath then slathering on moisturiser and waiting for it to soak in.

The bottle of Tanning water comes with a spray pump which makes application super quick and easy. Following the directions on the bottle I then used a tanning kit to rub in the water all over my skin in big circular motions. Compared to may usual tanning routine this took half the time which I was really impressed by. It was so quick I questioned whether I had applied it correctly. Whilst applying there wasn’t a distinct tan smell or fragrance to water which I was impressed with since I always make fun of my friends for smelling like beef hula hoops.

I didn’t know how long I was going to keep it on for but ended up leaving it on for the full 4 hours which left me with a subtle yet glowy and natural tan. Towards the end of the 4 hours there was a little bit of an odour to the tan however it was very weak compared to other tans I have used in the past. Since many tans claim to be streak free I was really intrigued to see if Tanologist actually lived up to what they are promoting to their customers and I can 100% say that I have no streaks on my body whatsoever, I don’t even have the darker knees, elbows and ankles which normally comes with tanning.

Before and After
Although subtle that is exactly what I wanted for my fair skin. Honestly this before photo doesn’t show my true pastiness! If you want to be darker there are the medium and dark ranges.

Overall so far in my tanning journey the Tanologist Tanning Water is my favourite so far. It left me with an all over even tan and streak free. Its safe to say this will be one of my go-to’s whenever I am wanting a tan.

You can purchase Tanologist directing through their own website or at Superdrug.

January Blues – Mental Health Awareness

After the festive period and celebrations it is common for everyone – mental health sufferer or not – to experience a low mood due to the happiness and excitement that goes with Christmas and New Year being over and normality restored. For some this isn’t the case and the festive period can be pretty miserable all around, so getting it out of the way will be a relief.

The festive period can be a time where loss and pain can be highlighted, making any kind of grief come flooding back. Christmas and New Year is known for bringing families and friends together for 2 weeks to eat, drink and party but for someone who has a mental health illness or has experienced loss, witnessing seemingly all happy families and friends all in one place, can make you feel the odd one out. It becomes blatantly obvious how much you’ve lost.

Personally over the festive period I have managed to keep it together, not finding myself overly low or down. Of course, just like anyone, some days are better than others but I wasn’t drowning in grief like I and other people around me were expecting me to do. Even though this surprised me, I decided not to dwell on it and keep busy as why would I force myself to feel low just because I had every right to be?

credit – hey monster.tmblr

Looking back I still can’t decide whether powering through was the right thing to do as I merely just carried on not wanting to be down. I know if I had truly allowed myself the opportunity to relay all the emotions and loss I have experienced in the last two years, I would’ve definitely struggled to get through it all. I thought I was listening to my mind by carrying on when in reality I was bottling up my emotions which all came fizzing out on New Years Eve.

6 days later and I’m now in a content medium, neither overly happy or low and for now that is all I need. This festive period has allowed me to realise I need to allow myself to feel the pain and anxieties inside of me every now and again to avoid it building up until I explode every emotion. We all know how much damage an exploding volcano can do.

To remind myself as well as you, I have composed a list of things that can help take care of yourself and for those days you need to focus on your self-love.

  • Spice up your daily routines. Take extra time and care in normal day-to-day activities in order to make them feel more of a treat. An example of this could be switching your shower for a bath using a bath bomb or soak.
  • Find a creative outlet whether its drawing, writing, cooking or blogging, putting your energy into something creative can have massively positive outcomes. If you make a cake or finish a drawing recognise the skill and achievements.
  • Turn off your phone. We’ve all read the articles on how continuously scrolling through social media can have an effect on your confidence and mood. Shutting off from instagram or facebook for the day can be refreshing. Talking to friends may also help so tell them to text so you can turn your wifi off and not be tempted to scroll.
  • Talk to someone you trust. Even if its just to acknowledge you are having a down day, telling this to someone and explaining it may help you to understand what you are feeling. Hopefully you all have supportive friends who will remind you how great you are.
  • Try to think positively. This may be the hardest one of them all but remind yourself this feeling won’t last forever. Look in the mirror and tell yourself ‘its perfectly fine to have a down day, I take some time to relax and look after myself and try again tomorrow’. Having a day like this is completely fine, don’t beat yourself up for it.

Thank you for reading, we’ll all get through January together. Here are some links for further information and reading on mental health if you are seeking support or advice.

New Year, New You?

New Year is a time for reflection and reminiscing on all of the things that have happened in the past year of your life. Looking back on significant life events such as going to university, getting your first car or getting your dream job is how we highlight how our lives have changed in the last year. Some of us are exactly where we expected to be and some of us are somewhere completely different.

Scrolling through social media posts and seeing advertisements as you walk around your town blazoned with how you can make your 2019 better than last year and how you can improve may be inspiring, but how long will you stick to your new goals? Throughout my life I have tried countless times to come up with New Year’s Resolutions that I promised myself I would stick to yet already failed by the time it hit January 10th. This year I haven’t made any. Why you ask? I’ll tell you why.

This last year I realised I always put changes and plans to improve myself to the side telling myself I would do it after summer, at the weekend, when it starts to get colder, or even the next year. For me a New Years Resolution wasn’t a serious promise I was making to myself about how I’ll improve, it was simply something to recite to my friends and family because all of them had one too. Waiting until New Year to change was just a way of putting something off and making an excuse for why I wasn’t doing anything currently to make a change happen.

Whilst on holiday in the summer I was struck with severe self consciousness of my body which I have never really experienced before. Sure, I have always had things I’d rather change about myself but I’d never been self conscious of what I was wearing or what people were thinking of how I looked. My Dad had instilled that into me from a young age. When I was struck by this in the summer I felt awful about myself the whole holiday, not wanting to be seen coming out of the pool and constantly wanting to be covered up. When returning home I realised that if I was feeling like this then I had to do something about it.

After doing my research I found a local PT and soon began training. My goal – simply to improve my overall fitness and strength. Even just putting these foundations down allowed me to feel more confident and better about myself knowing I was on the way to meeting my goals. Getting the ball rolling was half of the battle.

It’s now 4 months on and I already feel so much more confident in my own skin. Yes I’m not a Victoria’s Secret Model and so what? Thats not what I want but I am happy being me. Seeing myself progress has taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to.

So, moral of the story is: don’t put things aside for another time if you truly want those changes to happen as how you’re feeling won’t change. Any day, week or month can be the time to start improving yourself whether it be in your health, overall wellbeing or anything else. I promise once you are over the mighty hurdle of bringing yourself to do it you’ll be ever so glad you did.

Happy New Year all! I hope 2019 brings you all nothing but health and happiness. If you want to change something go ahead and do it don’t just make empty promises to yourself, you’ll be the only one who suffers.