It’s 6.45 and my alarm is going off. I didn’t go to bed ’til 1.20. I press snooze. It’s 6.50, the alarm’s going again. I press snooze. Ugh! Why am I doing this? Do I really need to get up? It’s 6.55, my alarm is going off, I press dismiss and reluctantly drag my ass outta the leaba (bed for anybody not from the Motherland).
I’m halfway through week 3 of a Couch to 5K app, I’ve done the hard part this morning…I got outta bed. I feel a bit like Rocky now. I’m up, I’m at ’em. I’ve done me stretching…let’s do this sh*t!
So this week, it’s a 28 minute workout, alternating between jogging for 90secs, brisk walking for 90secs, jogging for 3mins and brisk walking for 3mins, with a 5min warm up and cool down either end….
First 90secs: Wooo! Yeah! Feeling pretty fly for a white girl! Eh? What’s that? Stop running already? Sure I am Usain Bolt lads.
Walkie, walkie…walking briskly…of course.
First 3mins: Phew…starts ok. Ugh..is 3 minutes really this long? Ok! Fine! Fine! Just get on with it Don. Pant! Pant! Hmm…what will I have for breakfast? God, normally I wouldn’t even be up now. Pffft! Puff! Pant! Wheez! Jeezus! Have I any clothes ironed for work? Oh Lord, has Monkey a clean jumper? Why has this one not said stop running yet?
Ding!! AT LASSST! Walk time. Oh my God! Really, why am I doing this? Pant! Pant! Wheez! Jayzus will I ever catch me breath? Like really the only reason I have to run is if I’m chased by a machete wielding clown, or if anybody is crazy enough to hurt my baby…then you better run like Satan and his hounds are on your tail! This is unreal. How am I so unfit? Oh Lord, I still have another 3min run to do! FML!
Second 90secs: Bah! Here I go again…ah this one’s only 90secs…piece a p**s. Phew, still a bit panty after that last one though. Power through Don, power through.
Is that it? That seemed short….the monster is looming though. I still haven’t fully recovered from the last three min sesh. I’d safely say I look like a plum tomato, masquerading as lithe leek. The panting and puffing though ….agh God…embarrassing!
Second 3mins: FML!!! I can’t do this! I CAN’T DO THIS! I’m puffing like an extremely old, on it’s way out steam engine, on the verge of combusting. Oh my God, people can probably hear me coming before they see me, this is woeful. No Don, cop on, everybody starts somewhere, plus they don’t know you haven’t already been running a straight 6miles. True, true, I got this. Oh my God, I don’t got this, my heart is going to leap outta me chest any time now, just like the Alien embryo burst through John Hurt’s chest. Like seriously, I’ve been running for a lot longer than 3mins now. Nope! Can’t do it, I’m quitting, if I can’t do this I’ll never get through week 4. Do or do not, there is no try…thanks Yoda. Ok I can do it. I can’t back out now anyway, I’ve posted on social media. FFS! Why did I do that? Lord divine Jayzus, is it STILL NOT 3 F**KING MINUTES!!! G’wan Don, stick with it, at least you’re at it, it get’s easier. Perseverance is key.You’re right Glenn, ok. I got this.Oh my God, I think I’m gonna puke. I think I may stop. Never had you down as a quitter Don? If you want it bad enough you’ll do it. True say Steve, I’m not quitting.
BEEEEEP! OH THANK THE F**KING GODS!!! Brisk walk, brisk walk…wheeeze….wheeezey…pant pant puff! Keep up the walking Don, don’t collapse just yet. I did it, I did it! Ugh, my back is wet…ooooh…musta done something right. Ugh…sweaty bum! Not sexy! Who cares….I made it, it’s over! I’m getting better…wooooo….watch out Bolt!
Just so ye know, this is not a sponsored post guys. Let me know if ye decide to give a Couch to 5K a go and how ye get on. You can follow my progress over on Instagram @TotallyDonnaMarie1
For a second my sparkle dimmed, it was like I’d been kicked in the stomach. Somebody had just tried to steal my sunshine, my glittery-ness, my sparkle. Yeah MY SPARKLE!!
Worse thing is, the thief was an unexpected source and so, disappointing. Maybe said thief was having a bad day, but that’s not my beef, don’t take it out on me.
So the sparkle stealing began with a pair of gorgeous gold trousersthat I’d seen on the Collectif website.Miss Deadly Red is modelling them and she looksHAWT!!! Now I’m not a total eegit and will tell you, I will by no means look as hot but they’re gold and shiny and I love them, but I don’t buy them. I do however mention them to others as I’d seen another pair in H&Mthat were completely covered in gold sequins. Sparkle overload lads! Anywho…a week or so passes and I walk in on a conversation about my love of these gold trousers and Sparkle Stealer or SS for short pipes up, “Gold trousers?And what’s with all these pouty pout photos on Facebook? Are you having a midlife crisis?” Defence was offered on my behalf with “oh it’s for her make up that she does”. Taken aback by the suggestion of a midlife crisis, I said no, I’m just doing what I wanna do, I haven’t murdered anyone. (Well not yet!) Then, THEN!!!! SS asks how old I am!! By jayzus!! I’m tryna be cool like, cos I was getting more annoyed with conversation and what the hell my clothes or pouting had to do with SS. I didn’t realise pursed lips and the possible sight of me in gold trousers was so upsetting. I proudly tell SS I’ll be thirty four in two weeks and ask why this is relevant, you only live once and I’m not hurting anyone.Now you know in your mind you can see yourself f**king s**t up…..SS says “yeah you might do, but it’s acceptable at sixteen not at thirty four.” “Well I like what I like and I don’t particularly care whether anyone else does”.
SS isn’t even on Facebook lads! How is so much known about my pouty pics? Well nosing through somebody else’s profile of course. Hmm and if reconnaissance was done properly, I’m sure they’d notice in most of my pics, I look like a haggard little boy, so by God when I do slick on the lippy and straighten me wig, I’ll post it on every type of social media I have access to! Ironically SS is a fair bit older than me, yet has one or two hobbies which might be deemed as “childish” themselves. I swear to God, the cheek!
Anyway, as I said, my Sparkly tiara nearly fell off me head and this 10 minute conversation stuck with me. I don’t know why, as most times unless it’s a really brutal, cutting remark, it will have faded from my mind fairly quick. Maybe it was the unexpected source of the dig? So I turned to the person who’s known me all my life…The Mammy. I asked her what sort of a person I was growing up, was I always a little bit “woooo”? (I’m not super eccentric or anything, but I do love dressing up, whether it’s for a laugh or a glam night out and I try to make it a little different or mine I suppose). Ma said “you’re just the same, funny, friendly and kind. It’s just your nature, you’re like me in a way but more out going. Why?”. I wanted to find out if I’d changed drastically, I wanted to find out if I WAS having a “mid-life crisis”. I mean it can’t be a mid-life crisis if I’ve always been the same eh? So I told her about SS. I told Ma, that for a brief moment SS made me worry if people see me as an idiot but funnily enough, at the same time I didn’t care. (If I like what I’m wearing and it raises a smile from you, whether you’re smiling with me or laughing at me, I’m ok with that…who else made you smile today?) These are my Mother’s wise words;
“Jealousy is a bad thing Donna, and that’s what’s wrong. You’re doing what you want to do and they’re* afraid. They* live boring lives and are stuck in their* ways. You could slap it to them* over their “childish” hobbies but that’s not you. You’re still young, wear what you want and you always look brilliant. I hope you never change.”
With that, I righted my crown and scolded myself for doubting my confidence.
I bought the gold trousers.
Ain’t nobody stealing my sparkle!
PS I always say, that somebody who can’t say anything nice to you especially about how you look, and when you clearly look great, is a jealous creature. Jealous people only try to cut you down.
PPS You too can own a pair of said gold trousers annnnd they’re on sale!! WOOOO!!
I seen a post recently on a FB group I’m part of, a girl looking for friends. The girl feels she has friends within the group but once she’s outside of it, she feels like she has nobody. She knows people but there’s no friend friend if you know what I mean.
I’m very lucky when it comes to friends, I’ve managed to hold onto friends from school and my bestest friend Ash, from national school. I mean she even forgave me for that time when we had a fight and the stone I threw, went through her open sitting room window and hit her little cousin, Selina on the head. Even Laura, who lives in another town and I don’t always get to see when I get home, we don’t speak as often as Ash and myself but she still counts as a close friend just like Ci. The thing is we don’t have to speak everyday to know that, if the shit ever hit the fan we’d be there for each other, even if it is just an ear on the phone.
I moved to London in 2000, on holiday, if you ask me Da. I worked in a pub for a long time so you kinda have to be sociable to do that…well like 80% of the time…when you haven’t had to get up for the delivery or you’re not hungover. That’s where I met Calvin, a.k.a Quelvin/SuperChocolateBear/Bumbacleet. Twenty-five years my senior, I know I can trust him with anything and a cooler guy I’ve never met….well me Da’s pretty cool too actually. I’ve met other people too, but some people you meet in passing, some you miss, some you don’t. Some you wish you’d had more time with ‘cos even though you only knew them a short time, they definitely made an impact on you. One thing’s for sure though, if you have these people already in your life make the effort to keep them and not lose touch.
I think as you get older it certainly gets harder to make new friends. We become shy. We worry about what the other person will think. What if they think we’re weird or worse have no interest in being our friend.
What happens to the bravery we had as kids, when we would play with everyone and not worry about what they thought? We just spend too much time over-analysing. So we mooch around being sad and lonely, because we’re too afraid to take the first step and ask “can I be your friend?” I’ve made new friends since having Small Man, and even though I think I’m ok with approaching new people, in my head I feel kinda nervous. I think oh God these people are much cooler than me…oh my God why didn’t I wear something a bit dressier, but then I get sense and I think well here I am, this is me and shur listen I dunno what’s gonna happen unless I just get in amongst it! This was how I met Courtney. Well really I met her through Slimming World but we actually became friends when I actually got me finger out and just asked for her number so we could hang out sometime. This sounds kinda weird, sorry Courtney, but I knew when I saw Courtney that I wanted to be her friend. As Calvin says, ” we gravitate towards certain people”. I felt weird asking but I think she was kinda glad to be asked.
The girl who posted the “cry for friends” was actually really brave and open. We should all take a leaf out of her book cos as she said “if you don’t ask, you don’t get!” The person you’re sitting next to could be feeling the exact same way as you…just ask!
I think I just booked a ticket to go to Electric Picnic next year with the girlies! I dunno where the hell I’m getting the money from to pay for it, actually I haven’t even got the deposit for it yet and I don’t know who’s gonna babysit the Small Monkey as hubalump is likely to be working. I’ve just come back from 9 days at home, I’m going to a wedding in Donegal next month, possibly an overnighter in Dublin in December and I AM going to Paris in Feb/March…again, money and sitters feature heavily in my problems here but shur what about it? Time waits for no man and I fully intend to start sh*tting money!
Waaaay back in 2008, I decided I was going to wait for the right time less and do more of the things I wanted to do, caring less about what others thought. So I did. I went to visit my fairly brand, new friend and her “met-him-a-coupla-times” hubby in Sweden.
I never fully believed when I told her I’d visit that I would, but one day I decided what’s stopping me? I don’t pay real bills yet (I was working in a pub…food & lodging inc), no kids and no boyfriend, so I booked my flights and off I went. I came back and booked onto a Hadrian’s Wall camping hike for Great Ormond Street Hospital. I knew nobody else going and I’d never hiked anywhere. The furthest away I’d ever camped in my life, was about 12ft from my back door at home in the back garden. The only thing I did know was, I’d always wanted to see Hadrian’s Wall and I wanted to do more for charity so this trip was a win win situation. It was a 25 mile hike and being inexperienced, there were bits I found tough but it was a great experience, I made a new friend and we still talk today. Ooooh and I ate lunch under the tree where Kevin “Robin Hood” Costener defended the boy in the tree!
Robin Hoods tree
From there I booked a girlie holiday with my future in laws to Gran Canaria. I took my Ma on her first foreign holiday and we had an absolute ball. I kept up the charity work effort by doing one sponsored event a year.Me bestie and I did the Moonwalk for Breast Cancer in 2012, we walked 26 miles…in a row…through the night!! Small Monkey crossed his first finish line for Great Ormond Street Children’s hospital aged 1. Hubby also did his first charity event that day aged 33. Bar a trip to Lanzarote, after that my “travelling” quietened down a bit as we were saving for our wedding. I did other things though, I booked tickets for hubby and myself to go see musicals that I would normally wait until I had the money, but we were saving anyway and when were we ever gonna have the money? I also did a travel and tourism course somewhere in amongst all that. Oh and I took pole dancing lessons! Why? Cos I wanted to. It looks fun and the pro’s make it look sexy as hell and I’m sorry but what woman doesn’t want to have a good time looking sexy as hell? (Admittedly the reality was somewhat different!) Was I planning on becoming a pole dancer? Nope, I’ve not an ounce of upper body strength for a start (mahooosive respect to those women who can do it). What did people say? Oh I’m sure some had their opinions but why should their opinions stop me from doing what I want?
Things quieted down a bit once I had Small Monkey, but once I made up my mind to stop waiting (for what? I don’t know) and just got out and went to our first Mother and Baby coffee morning, things started happening again. The things I go to or do might not seem big or as exciting as some of the other things I had done but they were tailored to suit my New Mammy Life. I stopped waiting to be invited places and packed myself and Small Monkey off on our own and it’s still the same now. If I wake up in the morning and the weather’s amazing, we’ll go to the beach.It wasn’t planned and we might not get there til lunchtime but shur what else am I at? Wandering around the same street, thinking I should have done this. There doesn’t always have to be a plan. Seriously lads, we’re never at home! Why? Because time waits for no man! Hubby is a different kettle of fish, he is one of those that will hum ‘n’ haw and worry about what will happen, he’s convinced we’ll get stabbed, attacked or bombed wherever I suggest going, so now I don’t wait (although if I do get him going, he normally enjoys it and tells everybody it was his idea!). I don’t wait for hubalump to ponder whether or not we’ll survive a trip to Bexleyheath, I just go. I’m tired of sitting and waiting!
My sister drives now, so we go meet her and we head off to new parks or beaches, instead of sitting around saying we’ll do it…shur there a few weeks ago we were walking around 8000 year old caves in London! When we go home to Ireland, we try to have some sort of excursion. One of the best was probably the road trip to Tramore which was Small Monkey’s first trip to the beach. Four cars, packed with family, friends and sandwiches. We’ve been to Lough Booragh, Lullymore, Malahide Castle, to name but a few and we’ve also crossed the Cliffs of Moher, Clonmacnoise, Newgrange and Bru Na Boinne (how do ya do a fada on a laptop techie types?) off our list.I even got a Nicki Minaj concert and a trip to Czech Republic with the girlies in there too! (Ya know when your foreign friend says she’s going home for her 40th, and you, having never been to the country before and knowing nobody bar her, invite yourself along. Your friends are there and they jump on board, your Czech friend says yeah what the hell, be great to have ye but nobody really believes they’re going until tickets are booked and babysitters are sorted…yeah, ya know them times! #thebesttimes).
I think the point of this post is “do less sitting, thinking and more up and doing”. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tiny thing like going to get a pedicure or if it’s jumping out of a plane, if you want to do it and there are no reasons you can’t then why not do it? Stop caring about what people will say…or just care a little less if you can’t completely stop. Be the talk of the village, there’ll be somebody or something new tomorrow. If you’re not hurting those around you, then whose business is it anyway? Wear the sparkly arseless chaps to the pub tonight…well maybe don’t…chaps only look good on rugged cowboys and occasionally Christina Aguilera circa 2002…but you get my point. I had my hair dyed recently, with a rainbow streak. I didn’t do it ‘cos I’m unsure of my age or I’m clutching at my youth or because I’m having a mid life crisis. I did it because I’ve always wanted hot pink in my hair but never thought I could carry it off and people would think I looked stupid. I’ve now decided I don’t particularly care to much what people think of my hair as long as I like it. I’d rather they like me myself than my hair. I also have 8 tattoos, most of which you can’t see anyway, because…yep you guessed it…they are for me, nobody else. Somebody did ask me though, why I have 8, or any I guess, what will I do when I’m 70? Well, please God, I’ll see 70 but no doubt life will carry on as normal whether I have tattoos or not. I might dread the sight of them by then, I really don’t know, but what I do know is, right now, today, I love them all…..well maybe one slightly less but shur listen YOLO….YOLO!! What about when you’re all wrinkly? Well I’ll just have more fun ironing them out trying to remember what they are. I think I just want to look back and think I don’t have to many regrets and I’m glad I got to do the things or at least some of the things I wanted, no matter how big or insignificant they may seem.
I’m not even sure if any of this makes sense to you reading it now, so I’m going to finish with some words from this cool mutha f**ka….
“Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment
Would you capture it, or just let it slip?…..
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime
You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go….
So here I go it’s my shot.
Feet, fail me not
This may be the only opportunity that I got
There 2wks ago I donned my 50’s style Lindy Bop dress, put on my face, failed to pin curl my hair in a 50’s style do, and headed off in search ofCollectif Clothing‘s store on Commercial St. I was heading to Abby Russell‘s (AKA Curvy Living) “Self-Love and Style” evening.
*Just to be clear, when I say “self-love”, I mean, like, love yourself for who you are not “manual self-love” ye dirty feckers!
I don’t think I’ve ever been 100% body confident in myself but I don’t think I’ve ever really let it affect me to much. I like to think I wear what I want, be it in fashion or not, if I like it I’ll wear it. If I’m suffering from a “bad skin on my back” day I’ll wear something to cover it and if I’m feeling fat then I’ll wear something that makes me feel less fat or covers my lumpy bits. If I feel comfortable and I’m happy wearing it, then why shouldn’t I? The choices I make, I make to suit my height and my shape, I make them for me. Of course I love people to say, ooh you look great or I love what you’re wearing, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you can’t win them all lads! Obviously, if you’ve read my previous post Slima-marinky-mee! or follow my FB page you’ll know I’m a Slimming Worlder, so yes my weight did bother me but even when I was heavier, I like to think it didn’t affect my clothing choices to much, or made me feel like a bad person. Yes I do feel better that I’ve lost weight, but I wore a jumpsuit at my size 16 heaviest, I loved it, I feel like I rocked it, just like I love my new size 12 jumpsuit….my weight does not define me…it annoys me but it’s not the sum of me.
I was a little bit nervous as I was going on my own and so knew nobody. Normally I’d see an event like this and think well nobody to go with so not going, but as time waits for no man, one must seize every opportunity, and so I booked it. Thankfully I was greeted by a smart looking waitress with a glass of prosecco. Phew! At least I could just stand and drink…it would make me look like I was doing something. Anyway once I was in the door, armed with my prosecco, I could take in my surroundings. I’d never been in a Collectif shop before and I was obviously missing out, looking online is just not the same. Everything is so bright and colourful in store. So many colours, so many fab items of clothing….and sweet baby Jesus, there was a sale on!! It wasn’t only the clothes that were so bright and lovely looking though, there were amazingly dressed ladies of all shapes, heights and sizes everywhere and one cool sales guy. The outfits! The hair!! OMG the hair!!
As I was coming in there was a gorgeous blonde with an amazing figure and the biggest victory rolls I think I’ve ever seen greeting the ladies who came in before me, this was Abby, the hostess. It’s hard to imagine that this gorgeous lady ever had any body confidence issues…or any confidence issues at all tbh, I’m pretty sure her atoms are made of sunshine!
On walking around some more, I spottedGeorgina Horne(AKA Fuller Figure Fuller Bust or as I like to call her, the woman who can work everything, she’s the shizz!). It was through her FB page that I learned about the event. There was another babe, with close cut hair and one of the few of us not wearing a dress, that looked so familiar, like you know when you feel like you know someone from somewhere but you can’t think where or how…turns out it was Miss Leyah Shanks, Mother of The Body Confidence Revolution #TBCR.
It was so weird, like meeting celebs, although I only know these people through social media, it was kind of surreal meeting them in really real life. I wandered about the clothes rails, making mental notes of what I obviously NEEEEEDED in my life, cos I have “NO” clothes and made conversation with a few people. Inside I might have been slightly nervous and wondering why I came alone, but I normally just suck it up and go for it, so I did, and nobody thought I was nuts. I really wanted to say hi to George as she’d helped me choose an outfit via Snapchat the week before, but I thought I’d seem like a sack so took a seat. As I watched ladies have their hair teased into retro up-dos, Abby made her way over to say hi. She was really sweet, we had a great chat about where we were from, work, the event and she suggested I go get my hair done too. So I joined the short queue and Abby introduced me to another girl, who’d come alone. Whilst loitering I went in for the kill and tapped George on the shoulder. I explained who I was and was delighted to find she remembered our snap convo annnd I just had to tell her her boobs were even more mahooosive looking in really real life….haaa #starstruck!
After having the opportunity to shop, try things on, get our hair & photos done, eat yummy canapes, drink prosecco annnnnd receive goodie bags, Abby asked us to take a seat. Herself, Georgina and Leyah all spoke about how they’ve all had issues with their bodies, their weight, their shapes, their confidence, anxiety and how the media has affected how we think we should all look. There were three totally different shaped ladies standing in front of us and I wanted to look like all of them, but at the same time why? There is only one of me, I am so rare I should be on an endangered list lads! There may have been somebody in that room wishing they looked like me! It’s so hard to remember everything that was said but one quote that stuck with me was from George, “try finding influences in YOURSELF that don’t make you feel sh*t”. We can look to others for inspiration and we can look at others in admiration but we still need to be us, not a copy. None of these women have said they are 100% happy with themselves every day, they have all said they have crap days where they don’t like what they see, as I think all of us do. What they are trying to say is what we see on the glossy pages of mags has been tweaked and airbrushed to Barbie-like proportions. For the most part it’s not what a normal woman looks like. For a start not “every” woman in that mag should be a size 6-8 and 5’7 because not every woman is a size 6-8. Most women will have blemishes, or scars, or stretchmarks or uneven skin tone…some even have tattoos, piercings and God forbid…..BODYHAIR!!! Nobody is saying don’t strive for YOUR version of perfection if it makes you happy but make sure you’re doing it because it makes you happy, not because it’s how society says you should look. Shur if we all looked the same it would be pretty boring eh?
I don’t think I’ve said everything I want to say here but as this post is getting quite long, I need to draw to a close. I know that I came out of the Self-Love and Style event feeling confident, feeling positive but the whole time I was sitting there I kept thinking of how much somebody very dear to me along with one or two others could really, reeeally benefit from being here and hearing from all these really cool, stylish shapely ladies. Just to hear from people you don’t know, that you don’t have to be tall and slim to be beautiful. If any of you ever get the chance to attend one of Abby’s events or an event like this, I’d highly recommend it.
I’ll finish by telling you about a conversation I had with a friend…. I sent her a couple of pictures of what I might be wearing to this event. She text back to say I look amazing and that she has no fashion sense. I replied saying, you probably do (have fashion sense) but you have convinced yourself you can’t wear something because of your shape. I told her about an epiphany I had whilst ironing a few nights before. If something bad happened to me where I ended up not dying but maybe paralysed but with full brain function, something where I was pretty much bed bound forever, I would hate to have all that time to think about all the things I should have done or worn but didn’t because I was afraid of what other people might think or say. Better I just do it now while I still can and not regret when I can’t.
*I hope I haven’t offended anyone with my “epiphany”…it’s not intended that way.
On the 20th of May, my bestie took me to Dream It, Do Itas a birthday present. Nicola, a.k.aThe Naked Blondiehad mentioned it on Snapchat. She was hosting it along with Fiona Dillon (Hunters Lodge). I’d followed Nicola for a while on Snapchat, then stalked her out on Facebook and Instagram. I love her story and think she’s a real inspiration, after losing over 7stone and now has her own business derived from her new love of healthy eating and a bid to be happy and healthy for her son. I’d briefly mentioned to Ash that Nicola had an event coming up, that I’d love to go but didn’t really think any more about it.
It was such a nice day. Ash picked me up at 8 and we headed to the Airfield Estate in Dundrum. It was so weird being so dressed up at 8 in the morning. I text Ash before we left…are you wearing proper make up? Yep! Ah ffs!! Gimme 10mins to paint me face! Well we were going to a fashionable, motivational event, I suppose we needed faces to match. Sadly we didn’t get to look around Overend House, which Corrina from Stone Travel gave us a brief insight to. It was so weird going in and seeing these people we only watch/chat to through SC….it was like meeting ‘slebs. One of my favourites, Sue Jordan a.k.a CherrySue was also speaking that day…delira! Ash’s fav’s Tom & Jeeny from My NutritionIreland were also there.
Oooh we got goodie bags filled with loadsa stuff…well we got a goodie bag and a COOLER bag filled withGleniskyogurts, which were amazing!! After trying to calmly nose through our bags, I saw a familiar face come in…omg…omg…it was Jen from Jensgymlife. Or was it? I was used to seeing Jen in her gym gear with hair pulled back, I almost didn’t recognise her (no offence Jen). She was here just like me, to be motivated.
Nicola was lovely, she seemed taller on Snapchat though and her eyebrows looked well…if you follow her you’ll know of her constant battle with them…although she seems to be on a winner these days. She’s constantly cooking up a storm with some really om-nom-nom recipes, she even has own own brand of sausages! I really can’t tell you enough how much I’m impressed by her journey, if you don’t know her look her up on FB or SC. She really makes me feel like I can achieve my goals…well weight related anyway…my head is still a muddled mess regarding life goals. I’m not sure how anyone will sort through that.
I’d heard Nicola mention Fiona from Hunters Lodge a few times but still hadn’t
checked her out, after hearing her story, I was in there like swimwear. Sixteen years ago, Fiona and her family went from, I guess (seemingly) having it all to losing it all and she went back to basics. They moved from the city to the country and Fiona basically learned to be a farmer. She started with chickens and now has a whole array of animals including one Mahatma Gander. The woman even learned to be a bee keeper!! Fiona is the CEO of her company, she’s written the Freddy Buttonsseries of kids books, she reviews restaurants, she writes for Farmer’s Journal, she’s a radio correspondent, a Mammy of four…..she’s some kinda superwoman….like how would you not be inspired?
Now lads listen, the food, the FOOOOOD alone is worth going for! OMG!! The sandwiches were sooo yum! You got three different types on your plate…maybe bread, maybe a roll, maybe a wrap and the fillings were scrum. There were little pots of Glenisk yogurt based desserts too…all I can say is om nom nom!! There was three to choose from….I had two!! 🙂 One was like an Eton mess type and the other a banoffee effort! #salivating! During the break we got to have a mooch about. The Dotty Lemonhad a stand there full of gorgeous bit and pieces, Ash won a fab mug in the FREE raffle.I took selfies with Jen (who fyi, at
43 is training for her first bodybuilding comp!!!). We also had a great chat with Tom and the gorgeous Jeeny, who were so nice and more than happy to take pics til we all looked great in them. These guys are so passionate about what they do, I lovvve the fact that they’re really pushing for food awareness to be instilled into children early. I don’t mean cut out all the sweets and stuff but you know, just for kids and even parents now to be aware of what we’re all eating. On another note, who couldn’t listen to Jeeny all day? I’m pretty sure the live on the borders of Tir Na nOg too!
CherrySue, saying Sue Jordan seems weird now, is amazing! I love listening to her, I feel like she tells me the truth all the time and there’s no bullcrap. Sue chose to bring up son, single handedly and miss out on college but that didn’t stop her. She knew where she wanted to be and she got up and got there. I actually felt a little bit scared going over to say hi, as I didn’t feel “big” enough and I don’t mean in height, but she was really nice and had time to talk to me about my little bloggy woggy and how to become a Snapchat queen (still a serious work in progress). Sue loves her beauty products and seems to be an infinite fountain of info on them….actually on a lot of things really! Her sister Corrina (of The Mammy Van) also spoke at the event and had some brilliant advice on travel (which she shares on Sue’s blog)…as she says having a “prada holiday on a penneys budget”.
Jen from Too Dolly Make Up then gave us a makeup masterclass and turned Fiona’s already gorgeous daughter even more gorgeous. Not only is Jen gas but she can wing eyeliner with her eyes closed! Jealous.com!
Ooh I should also mention the only other man at our event, Keith from Wicklow Rapeseed Oil.Rapeseed oil, has a higher smoke point than most other popular cooking oils as well as being the lowest in saturated fats.
Dream It, Do It ended with us all gathering around Tom so he could brown his friends with a picture of him and 50 women. I say it ended there…it didn’t, there was loads of time at the end to meet all of the speakers and take selfies. I came out feeling a mix of positive and filled with questions to myself…like what the hell am I doing? Where AM I ACTUALLY going and what to I want to achieve from the “one hit wonder” that is my life? I think if you need inspiration or an inclination that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, then I’d recommend attending DIDI, there’s alot of hope and positivity knocking about in that room. For now, I’m working on building up and being more frequent my blog, here, on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. (I tweet now and again and although I’m on Bloglovin, I haven’t a clue how it works).
To end the day, Ash drove us out to Bray for fish ‘n’ chips. We didn’t really need them after our fab lunch but when you’re at the seaside with just your bestie, which is a rare thing, it would be rude not to. (I know…it makes no sense when you’ve come from somewhere about clean eating! 😀 )
Head on over to snappy chatland and check these people out ;
Nicola – Thenakedblondie
Fiona – hunterslodge
Jeeny – mynutrition1
Sue – itscherrysue
Corrina – stonetravel
Jen – toodollymakeup
Jen (gymlife) – jenser01
Tata for now peeps,
P.S as my phone died, Ash and Nicola were kind enough to let me use their pics too…thanks Ladies xx
As I sit here munching my bag of cheese ‘n’ onion, I’ve decided to write a little about my weight loss journey. Yeah, this journey includes cheese and onion crisps and galaxy bars too.
So at present the NHS still classes me as overweight, apparently I should be between 7st, 3lbs & 9st, 11lbs for my height. Personally I think this is ridiculous…..I’m pretty sure I was born 7stone! Pre-October 2014 though, I was actually obese. I’ve been overweight for a lonnnng time…I blame the desk job…not my hands shoving food and drink down me throat. God, when I was 16, I remember thinking I was the largest one on our footy team…I wasn’t! (To be clear, none of us were.) Now I take out them old footy shorts and scold myself for calling myself fat back then…they’d surely go past me knees now!
Annnyway…so yeah, Small Monkey was just over a year old and I was still carrying an extra stone and a half of “baby weight” as well as the extra stone I was just carrying for the craic. I didn’t even manage to lose weight for my wedding!! I knew I had to do something, I wanted to be able to run around with Small Monkey without huffing and puffing like Donna the tank engine. I’d also suffered from pregnancy diabetes and although it’s gone now, I’m told I’ll probably get it with every pregnancy I have. Well I don’t want diabetes of any kind, thank you very much, one’s will pass on that one thanks! I don’t actually know if my weight loss will decrease the chances of me getting it in pregnancy too, I just hope so…trying to test your own blood sugar level during a contraction is a pain in the bumhole! Of course, vanity is involved….I wanted to be the “Glammy Mammy” at the school gates waiting for me little man. You know, the Mammy that people say “oh doesn’t she keep herself well” or “doesn’t C’s Ma look great”. I just had visions of myself gaining a stone for every child I have (you’d swear I was having million like), not losing it, then becoming some sort huuuge weeble like creature resigned to wearing lotsa stretchy pannnts (you gotta say that with an American twang). Not that there’s anything wrong with them and not that I’ll ever be seen as the Glam Mam at the school gate, I’m more a “roll-outta-bed-last-minute-and-throw-on-the-trackie-bottoms-I’m-only-going-to-the-school” kinda girl, BUT I’d like to have the option to be gorgeous and glammy and envied. Don’t get me wrong, despite putting on weight during pregnancy, weirdly I became more accepting of my squidgey body and actually loved it a little bit more, but it needed a little kick up the bum all the same. Also I had a slightly sadder reason for joining lingering at the back of it all too (altogether now…..aaaaah), I was lonely and this was another way for me to get out more.
With all that in mind I did try to be good on my own but there were no really astounding results. I love walking and had actually built up to running (very slowly, with much redness, jiggling and huffing and puffing….feck it though, I was doing it…what were you doing?) before becoming a baby baker, so I tried to squeeze that (walking, that is…one step at a time peeps) back into my life. It wasn’t really working, I wasn’t doing enough and as with before, whatever I was doing, my brain would say “nice work Don, you made space, go home and eat something silly now” so I never really lost anything. A friend though had recently joined a slimming club and had been seeing some great results, I had thought about joining a club but I’d been there before and although I’d lost a stone, it went back on over time and the thoughts of having to weigh and measure everything just did not appeal to me this time ’round. After much humming and hawwing I decided to give her club a go.
October 2014, I took myself throughSlimming World‘s doors and I’m not looking back. I mean, I’m not coasting through like it seems some people are, but hey, who cares? This is me and it’s my way. Now I will admit, during my first week I was ready to quit BUT that was purely because I didn’t feel the first group leader I had was very explanatory…or maybe I’m just extra thick, even reading through the book after didn’t help and I lived for a week purely on salad and veg. Jayzus it was horrendous!! I had headaches, felt dizzy but didn’t ask for help for fear of sounding like a thick…don’t do this…this is stupid…ask for help! My second week in, we had Lisa covering and she explained the basics to the whole class. BEST.THING.EVER!!! It was so simple! I could eat anything really, yeah I couldn’t go and eat 3 buns and a mars bar in a day but I could eat A bun and MAYBE a mars bar depending on what other syns I’d had that day.
So let me tell you the basics of how it works, well this is my version…have you noticed the way I don’t call it a diet? That’s cos it’s not…it is a healthy eating plan. I think the main reason you lose weight with Slimming World is because we “learn” to cook again. What I mean by that is, you better be prepared for some chopping and dicing baby ‘cos we’re tryna make everything from scratch…no packets…no preservatives…no E-numbers. Preparation and planning is key here lads! Everything is fresh really, packaged food is avoided for the most part, you will use it but not like before…not as much. The best thing about it is, it’s great for all the family, you don’t have to cook special meals for yourself. In my house, 97% of the time we’re eating the same. We’re constantly trying new things and we eat more fruit and veg plus most things can be adapted to a healthier option. I’ve always given Small Monkey what we’ve eaten anyway, he’s never had jarred food, I just pureed everything and as I started Slimming World when he was one, he’s just come along on the food ride with me, with no drastic changes for him to get over. He’s tried veggies I’d never even seen ’til I moved to Londaan! Yes, there are things you have to limit but you don’t have to give up anything. If on the rare occasion I do go out, I go out and enjoy it but I am certainly more mindful of what I’m eating and drinking. Sometimes i gain, sometimes I maintain but one thing I do know is I can’t lose weight alone and I think I’d still be wandering about blindly in the obese zone if I hadn’t of joined…so thanks bud (she knows) for encouraging me to join the SW family. Oh, in relation to gains, I’ve had two noticeable, happy gains since joining…Suzanne and Courtney. It’s also brought me back in better touch with an old friend….she guided me through my first stint at shedding the poundage…Shannon.
At the mention of the girls there, original suggestive buddy included, as with anything you hope to achieve, support and encouragement plays a massive part. I alway stay for Image Therapy…I love this, it sounds tres posh! Seriously though, I love staying to group, having a cuppa, listening to how everybody got on, sharing ideas and new things we’ve found. It’s great, I mean if you’re really good you get stickers and certs!! C’mon…what’s not to love here? This tied in with walking and I’m onto a winner! HUP YA BOYA!!I have never been ashamed of any weight loss plan I’ve embarked on but with this I chose not to tell everyone ’til now, I suppose. I just found that previously, it felt like some people would discourage my attempts at losing weight or I felt like I was made to feel ashamed because I couldn’t do it on my own. Don’t let people dissuade you, there’s a good chance they are jealous of you, it may not even be the fact that you’re trying to lose weight as they might not need to themselves, it’s the fact that you’re doing something, anything, it doesn’t have to be weight loss, and they’re not.
I won’t lie, of course I ask myself “why can’t I eat what I want and not worry about it? Why can’t I be one of those people? Why is it when I look at a bun it adds instant pounds to my butt?” but I guess we can’t all be “those” people and maybe God, Allah…Buddha…whoever just wanted to test me that little bit more.
Love Donna xx
P.S Just so ye know, Slimming World have not asked or paid me to write this, I’m sharing what works for me and it may be helpful to you. This will also explain why I post foodie pics over on FB and Instagram (anything you see will more than likely be a SW recipe or something adapted to fit).
P.P.S Thank you Hubbalicious, Small Monkey (although you have no choice) and the ladies mentioned above for all your support the year or so.
P.P.P.S…..ah no just kidding!! (Is there such thing as “p.p.p.s?)