This is the hardest post I have ever had to write.  It’s very personal.  Things I don’t normally talk to anyone about.  I’ve been staring at a blank screen for ages trying to make the thoughts whirling around my head make some kind of sentence.

I like to think my blog is an honest account of life with children and my observations.  I talk about the good days and the bad days.  Children are a blessing and give us many cherished memories.  But they are also bat shit crazy little dictators who demand everything we have to give and more.  I hope my blog paints a real picture of the ups and downs.  I think we need all need to judge less and understand more.  As honest as I am about parenting, I am not always honest about myself.

My confession is that I hate the way I look.  And not in a “Does my bum look big in this?” kind of way.  In a debilitating kind of way.  My self esteem is incredibly low because of this and it effects me everyday.  I’m finding it really hard to put into words how I feel, mainly because I don’t ever tell anyone.  My confidence is so low that when I walk into a room and people are laughing, I assume they are laughing at me.  I dread meeting new people because I think they won’t like me because of the way I look.  I avoid having to go out socially because nothing looks nice on me and I don’t want people to stare at me.

These are irrational thoughts.  I know that.  But I have these thoughts all of the time.  It’s always there hanging over me, taunting me and torturing me.  I’m scared writing this post that people will be negative, or think that I am trying to get attention, when the truth is attention is the last thing I want.  I would rather blend into the background. 

You should be body confident no matter what size you are.  

It’s great in theory. But I’m not happy the size that I am and I don’t want to look like this. Before I had my first child I lost six and a half stone in six months.  For the first time in my adult life I felt happy with myself and as a result I had self confidence.

Loving me: Image of a heart.

 

Two pregnancies later and a whole host of reasons and I’m back to where I started.  I have a suitcase full of clothes in the loft that don’t fit.  I feel like a failure because I didn’t keep the weight off.  And the weight of that failure itself is crippling.  I get into a vicious circle of comfort eating.  I know that it is my own fault, no one else did this to me.  What gets me down more than anything is missing that confidence.  Knowing how different I felt in myself when I was happy with how I looked.

My long suffering husband bears the brunt of my anxieties.  He’s the one to tell me I look nice and give me the confidence to leave the house.  In fact any confidence I do have comes from him.  And I know that is against any type of feminism to say.  We shouldn’t need a man to make us feel good about ourselves, but my husband is my rock.  One day I hope that confidence will come from within, but I also hope he never stops paying me compliments!

Even my friends and family don’t know how I feel.  I don’t know if I feel to ashamed of the way I look to talk about it, or if I’m scared of being judged.  Maybe in truth it’s the fear of failing again that stops me from being open with people.

Of course in writing this there is a fair chance some of my friends and family will read it.  If that’s the case can you please just pretend you haven’t read this when we see each other.

So why now?  Why am I putting this out there publicly for everyone to see? (may have just been a little bit sick in my mouth as I typed that).

I’ve been given an opportunity by LighterLife Fast to trial their 5:2 plan.  It was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.  There are many reasons I want to loose weight, for my boys, to be healthy, but ultimately I want to do it for me.  I want to be happy and confident. I want to walk into a clothes shop and have the pick of whatever I fancy rather than what hides me best.  I want to stop having all the irrational thoughts.  I want to feel like me again. I want to get back to loving me.  

Trailing the LighterLife Fast plan means writing about it.  I’m finding that part harder than the actual diet!  I’m exposing my inner most thoughts and putting them out there for you to read. 

Every Monday I will post about my weight loss and my thoughts and feelings, in this new weekly series; Loving Me.  I hope that if people are feeling low about themselves that my posts will show they are not alone, and help them feel strong enough to make a change and a step towards being happy.

What is LighterLife Fast?

LighterLife Fast is based on the 5:2 diet concept.  You eat healthily for 5 days and then fast for 2 days on restricted calories.  On the fast days you eat 4 of the LighterLife Fast food packs.  These food packs give you 100% of your daily nutrition.  When followed correctly you could loose up to 2 pounds per week on the 5:2 plan.

My First Week:

I fasted on Monday and Tuesday.  Monday was actually easy as my youngest was poorly and was attached to me like a limpet all day.  It was hard to pee let alone eat!  I felt hungry on Tuesday, but busied myself working Tuesday evening to distract myself.  It was only the growling from my tummy that gave it away!  It may have been because I have chosen to fast on consecutive days that I felt hungry on the Tuesday.  

The food packs are a bit hit and miss as I find out what I like.  I had the apple and cinnamon porridge for breakfast, the taste was great but it was a bit powdery.  The second day I blended it and it was much nicer.  The chocolate shake was nice and the bars are yummy and really filling.  The only bad thing was the Mexican Chilli Ranchera which I just couldn’t eat, but it’s all down to personal taste.

A surprising thing about fasting is that I actually just craved normal food, not chocolate or junk.  So this week I found it quite easy to stay on track and eat healthily for the rest of the week.

Unfortunately my son shared his germs and I was really unwell for a few days. I may have actually coughed up a lung.  I definitely didn’t have an appetite, so didn’t eat that much for the rest of the week.

When I did eat I chose healthy options such as fruit, jacket potatoes and pasta.  I am making a very conscious effort not to eat cakes or chocolate or crisps and other such naughty things!

Ultimately I found the plan easy to follow and feel positive about next week.  But the proof is in the pudding so to speak!

Week One Weight Loss:

weight-loss-week-one

 

 

 

 

Thanks to fasting and that coughed up lung, but I’m very happy with that.

 

Come back next week for part two – Sticks & Stones.

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If you wish to find out more about LighterLife Fast visit lighterlifefast.com  LighterLife Fast products are available exclusively at Superdrug.

This is a collaborative post.

 

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29 Comments on Loving Me: Part 1 – A Confession

  1. Mummy in a TuTu (@mummyinatutu)
    November 9, 2016 at 2:22 pm (2 months ago)

    Oh sweetheart Im in the same position and if they offered me the opportunity i’d bite their hand off it has to be said
    Good luck and i’ll be following… just be thankful you have a husband who thinks you’re wonderful. I just have my own reflection and its not very nice about me!
    #ablogginggoodtime

    Reply
  2. Muma on the Edge
    November 8, 2016 at 10:12 am (2 months ago)

    Oh Claire, you have brought tears to my eyes darling.

    But did I read that right: 8 lbs???!!! Good grief! You go girl.

    Inner demons are just the worst, sending you love hunipi,
    xxx
    #coolmumclub

    Reply
  3. Natalie Mudd
    November 6, 2016 at 9:49 pm (2 months ago)

    What a powerful post Claire. I’m sorry you’ve had such a battle with your self-confidence, and I know no matter what people tell you about how beautiful you are, it’s really something that has to come from within. Well done for facing your demons and challenging your weight head on, it sounds like you’ve made fantastic progress already. look forward to following your journey xx #coolmumclub

    Reply
  4. Alana - Burnished Chaos
    November 4, 2016 at 6:52 am (2 months ago)

    You’re so brave putting this out there and you’re certainly not alone in your feelings so this series is going to help a lot of people. I really hope this plan gives you back your confidence and I look forward to reading how you get in each week. Sending virtual hugs x
    #Coolmumclub
    Alana – Burnished Chaos recently posted…Words To Live By #5: Be KindMy Profile

    Reply
  5. Ursula (AKA Mumbelievable)
    November 3, 2016 at 2:17 pm (2 months ago)

    I can’t put into words how brave and inspiring you are for sharing this. You’ve articulated actual thoughts I have to bat away every single day. Please try to be kinder to yourself lovely lady. I try to ask myself if what I’m saying to myself I’d be happy to say to someone else. If the answer is no, I try to get rid of it. Easier said than done, I know. I’m harder on myself than anyone else (at least out loud/to my face) is to me, and I think the same is true for many of us. You’re amazing. I wish you could see what the rest of us do! Xxxxx #coolmumclub

    Reply
  6. Rhyming with Wine
    November 3, 2016 at 1:38 pm (2 months ago)

    This is so real and honest Claire and I absolutely applaud you for sharing how you feel. I know that you are absolutely not on your own with this and I personally can relate to so many points that you’ve made. It’s great that you have support from your husband and you’re doing it for you which is the most important thing. I’m cheering you on and I hope that your determination gets you to a place where you feel confident and happy in yourself (whatever shape or size that may be!) Amazing results in your first week! Congratulations xx #coolmumclub

    Reply
  7. Talya Stone
    November 3, 2016 at 12:25 pm (2 months ago)

    Oh darling what a powerful post. It’s so scary getting down our inner most feelings about ourselves on our blogs so it’s very brave that you did and that you are teaming up with this weight loss programme to help you on your journey. It’s a fab start and look forward to keeping up to date with your progress. Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely xx

    Reply
  8. Kirsten Toyne
    November 3, 2016 at 9:23 am (2 months ago)

    I am really impressed that you wrote about how you feel. Owning and sharing our feelings can be so helpful in moving through them. As a counsellor this is an area that I work with often. Whilst losing weight and keeping ourselves healthy is a good thing it is also worth working on the underlying self-worth issues so that you can value yourself whatever weight you are. Paradoxically, when my clients do that the weight is easier to keep off. If you want a starting point, I have a Self-worth challenge on my blog which consists of 7 posts each with a different aspect for you to consider. If you are interested the first post is here http://www.theguiltfreeguide.co.uk/the-summer-holiday-self-worth-challenge-part1/ Best of luck with your diet.
    Kirsten Toyne recently posted…When Does Motherhood Start? (And Why Is It Important?)My Profile

    Reply
  9. Rach
    November 3, 2016 at 8:13 am (2 months ago)

    8lbs in a week is incredible – well done you!
    Very powerful post and I’m telling you now, this will resonate with so many women. #ablogginggoodtime
    Rach recently posted…Adele; I Love YouMy Profile

    Reply
  10. Barrie Bismark
    November 3, 2016 at 12:22 am (2 months ago)

    What a powerful post. I am sorry to hear this has been a struggle for you for a long time. You are very brave for writing about it. Sounds like you are off to a great start. Keep up the good work!
    Barrie Bismark recently posted…Come on Gang, Mom Has to Pee!My Profile

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  11. absolutely prabulous
    November 2, 2016 at 8:03 pm (2 months ago)

    I’ve read all the comments on this post and really can’t add much as everyone has put it all so brilliantly. I’m not going to say oh but you’re beautiful inside and out because (even though you are) I know only too well that the Julia Roberts line is bang on: the bad stuff IS easier to believe…I come across as extremely confident and bubbly…it doesn’t take long for people to figure out it’s not the case. I wish you all the luck in the world Claire. It’s a tough journey but it’s soooo fab you’re doing this.
    absolutely prabulous recently posted…#OopsFiles Guest Blogger: This Mum’s LifeMy Profile

    Reply
  12. Mmt
    November 2, 2016 at 7:46 pm (2 months ago)

    Oh Claire, I, writing this wiping away tears. It’s so sad to know you feel this way about yourself, having got to know you both ‘on and off screen’ ( are we film stars?!) and you are a beautiful person inside and out. I think allot of us struggle with body confidence, and it’s not always to do with weight. I just wrote a really emotional piece for Mess and Merlots love herself series and it made me face up to a few demons. I wish you sincerely all the best in finding happiness with or without the weight loss xxxx
    Mmt recently posted…#coolmumclub on #Instagram – October roundupMy Profile

    Reply
  13. Becky, Cuddle Fairy
    November 2, 2016 at 7:16 pm (2 months ago)

    Well done on such an honest & emotional post, Claire. I can feel how difficult it was for you to write this. I hope in some way that it was cathartic for you. Letting it out, saying it can be the first step to releasing those feelings & letting them go for good. I haven’t heard of lighterlifefast but I’m impressed with your week one results! Keep up the fab work! I can’t wait to hear how week two goes for you, I’m sure it will be great! x
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…Blogger Club UK 42My Profile

    Reply
  14. Emma
    November 2, 2016 at 7:16 pm (2 months ago)

    This is such a powerful post. So much resonates with me. I too have that fear about walking into a room and people laughing. I am always convinced that it is at me. I drive my husband insane as I have such low self-esteem. Yet, he is the only one who knows that (well until I typed this) and he is the only one who sees me getting into a state before any social event. This is great that you are doing this and I really hope that it helps with your self-esteem.
    Emma recently posted…10 tips for perfect painting for DIY in the homeMy Profile

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  15. justsayingmum
    November 2, 2016 at 7:12 pm (2 months ago)

    Oh Claire I don’t think I took a breath whilst reading this post and I certainly have tears in my eyes. Seriously I am shocked by your feelings. Having met you and seen that you are one of the warmest and kindest people I have met I am so surprised that you feel this way. You appear so confident and positive that I am really sad to hear that you feel so different inside. I hope by opening up you feel better but I really think that beauty comes from within and it radiates – remember that always my lovely xx

    Reply
    • Life Love and Dirty Dishes
      November 2, 2016 at 7:14 pm (2 months ago)

      Thanks Helen for your lovely comment. It is scary writing this stuff, but cathartic. I’m hoping it will help me find my happiness. xxx

      Reply
  16. Sian QuiteFranklySheSaid
    October 15, 2016 at 10:53 pm (3 months ago)

    I hope Lighter life helps to give you some confidence. I am painfully lacking in self confidence and self esteem so I can empathise. Thanks for linking up to #SundayBest x

    Reply
  17. Hayley Mclean
    October 15, 2016 at 6:44 pm (3 months ago)

    I can 1000% relate to this post. I am exactly the same way – when people are laughing I assume its at me, when I have to go anywhere I end up getting angry and ruining the evening with my temper beforehand and its because I dont want to go because I feel atrocious in whatever I wear. I hate seeing photos and video of myself, blogging even kind of goes against the grain because I hate putting myself “out there”…Its horrible. I hope Lighter Life helps you to feel more comfortable in your skin again. Thanks for joining us at #SundayBest, hope to see you again tomorrow! xxx
    Hayley Mclean recently posted…Siblings In OctoberMy Profile

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  18. Helena
    October 9, 2016 at 10:30 pm (3 months ago)

    Aww I know how you’ve felt about entering a room and feeling like you were being laughed at. I hope in writing this out it has helped you. #SundayBest

    Reply
  19. Ami mymummyspam
    October 9, 2016 at 8:18 pm (3 months ago)

    I can’t relate to you so much with this! I’ve always been really critical of my own body and since having bubba it has got worst. I am now at my biggest and have zero confidence in my body. 8 started slimming world and so far I am loving it! You’ve done amazing on the lighter life plan and well done to you for writing about something so tough and personal xxxxxx

    Reply
  20. Amy Fox
    October 9, 2016 at 7:51 pm (3 months ago)

    This is such an honest post and you should be really proud of yourself for 1, being so open and honest and letting us in and 2, an amazing weight loss! You can do it lovely x

    Reply
  21. Helen - mess stress and fancy dress
    October 6, 2016 at 11:51 pm (3 months ago)

    What a raw and honest post. I have battled all my memorable life with my weight and even had a gastric band (which I don’t recommend, I’m still fat). It’s really tough to talk about, and it’s really tough being trapped in the self imposed prison of a body you hate. I am so sad that you feel this way (although I totally understand and regularly share how you feel). But onto the positives, you just lost 8 pounds – wow! And you’ve braved it out to talk so elequently about how it can feel to be overweight. You should feel uplifted by your own bravery. Being overweight doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you a bad wife, or a bad mother. But it can make you unhappy. If you let it. Figuring out the most appropriate road to happiness is a challenge in itself. I truely hope that lighter life takes you on a happy journey. Much love, lovely Claire. Much love. Xxx
    Helen – mess stress and fancy dress recently posted…Code Brown, Code Brown!!My Profile

    Reply
  22. Julie From Superficial Gallery
    October 6, 2016 at 10:15 pm (3 months ago)

    I don’t know you and I support you 10000% but speaking as someone who did every diet out there DON’T DIET! Call a dietician. Your health insurance will cover it 100%. I started dieting (even though I didn’t need to) and I did MFP, paleo, atkins, 5:2, EVERYTHING and I gained twenty pounds because I over-restricted and then binged out of starvation. I started seeing a dietician and now I eat whatever I want (within reason) and I’ve lost 15 of the pounds I gained and I’m keeping it off. If you need to do this first you do you I’m just speaking from experience. I wish you all the luck and if you ever need a buddy email me.
    Julie From Superficial Gallery recently posted…Halloween Pets: Never Not AdorableMy Profile

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  23. hester Nguyen
    October 5, 2016 at 12:17 am (3 months ago)

    You are one brave lady . Weight and appearance are things we all struggle with daily, as women. That said you are so hard on yourself. YOU are kind to your husband your kids your family and your friends… time to be kind to yourself too…
    hester Nguyen recently posted…We are all Good Mummys. 5 Tips for Keeping it Real.My Profile

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