HELP Addicted to Sugar

Meant to Be?

I was probably around 19 when she said it to me. I can’t remember anything else she said so it obviously had a massive impact on my life and certainly on the size of my jeans.

I remember walking out of the kitchen going across to my sister and she asked what my future held instore.

I replied I was going to be overweight by the time I was 30. She was not surprised the women in our family have child bearing hips.

I filed it away under ironic that a Medium had said I was going to be a Large.

There it was, set in stone or rather my subconscious the minnions had taken the instruction from Gru.

Fat by 30 Fat by 30 Fat by 30.
crystal ball

Just like Jean Luc on Enterprise I made it so number one.  It was in the stars all along.

Fast forward a decade or so and there was the question I was often asked by misguided strangers and sometimes friends who I hadn’t seen for a while. “When’s it due?”

I’d reply with I’m not pregnant I’m just fat.

You see I couldn’t get pregnant, no reason and it wasn’t for want of trying but it just never happened. Not even with the help of mind and body altering drugs that wreaked my self-confidence, self-esteem and totally obliterated any common sense I had at the time.

It was just not meant to be, but my body had listened to that medium all those years ago and it had also thought it would be fun to alter my shape and make it look like I was actually pregnant so strangers and friends could congratulate me and ask when it was due.  Ha bloody ha.

I wasn’t one to let that put me off I still kept on going with the cakes, chocolate and biscuits. The thirties came and went and I was indeed a Large. Then the forties came and are almost gone and I am still a large. But now there is a shift and the minnons are starting to listen to their new instructions.

The Voices in My Head

Thanks to the 9 minute pod I listen to on an evening I have noticed a shift in my thinking. I am leaving food on my plate. I am not eating a whole packet of biscuits. I am still having one or two but one or two biscuits it’s such an improvement on one or two packs. It feels like a huge victory.

I’m determined not to be a slave to the scales so I only intend on getting weighed maybe once a month or maybe not at all. But I can feel a difference in my clothes and I feel lighter around my stomach area not as rotund, still  wobbly and it is still there but I’m not as bloated.

So there I am feeling all smug and amazed at the miracle that is the Slimpod Thinking Slimmer app a short 9 minute chat to your subconscious mind. Seriously I don’t even have to actively listen to it. I tap play on the app when I get in bed at night spooning with Mitch and then drift off to sleep. Sometimes I am aware of the words sometimes I am not. I maybe thinking about what tomorrow could bring or what I forgot to do that day.

The changes and effects are subtle. Now this is a challenge for me as I like to do things quick and fast when it comes to weight loss I like to be drastic and see results. So this is a challenge.

I almost got derailed when hormone central pulled into the station at the weekend. Blimey charley I wanted biscuits and I had them. No way was some bloke who whispered into my ear at night going to make me forgo my birth right as a woman, I wanted chocolate and I was going to have it.

And I did…
I ate some biscuits and I ate chocolate but I didn’t eat bars and bars of chocolate. I didn’t eat packets of biscuits and I didn’t devour the multi- pack of crisps that were in the “treat” cupboard, neither did I have pudding after our meal on Sunday. I did however buy a piece of dime bar cake at the play centre on Saturday but I split it into three. Seriously I split it into three pieces. I cannot believe it just wrote that!
I split a piece, a slither, a triangle of dime bar cake into three!
A few weeks ago that would have been total sacrilege.

That man speaking in my ear at night. He is making a difference.
He is showing the minnions there is another way.
It is happening, slowly but surely and thanks to Sandra Roycroft-Davis the lady behind Slimpod and Thinking Slimmer has explained to me that I have an anchor that is sabotaging my weight loss.
As a coach I get this, I know about limiting beliefs and anchors and all that malarkey and I have my suspicions that the medium and the whole fertility business are lurking in there somewhere.

The lovely Sandra saw my fears about the hormones and biscuits on the Slimpod Facebook page. She took time out of her busy day and simply pointed out that I probably had deep seated issues. Listening to the pods will break down the issues and see them extinguished. I’m on the Slimpod Gold programme, a twelve week course  includes the Slimpod and pods for motivation / exercise and relaxation. There is a very supportive and interactive Facebook group which offers support and camaraderie plus a full programme behind the pods including email support and video information. This infrastructure will have a positive impact on these deep seated anchors. Not only that but I will find out more about sabotages and anchors in a few weeks when I enter phase two.

I’m entering phase two soon. I don’t think I have ever entered a second phase in any of my weight loss journeys before, simply because the call of the biscuits was too much to bear and I couldn’t resist. This time I feel confident that I will reach phase two and beyond.

So I’m off to where I have never been before, to continue letting that voice into my head, to continue noticing the differences that make the difference, to allow the smile when I smugly only take one biscuit or when I ask for a glass of water in a bar because that is what I really want to drink not because I am skint.  To notice that I am finding running easier thanks to the motivation pod and wow the relaxation pod is just perfect bath time listening.

I eagerly await the changes that I will soon see (not too eagerly you understand there is a life change in progress) The changes in my clothes I’m looking forward to others noticing the change in my shape and my smile.
When they ask are you dieting?
I will categorically say no, not me, no diet.
Because I am not dieting but I am banishing my limiting beliefs around my body and my addiction to sugar, I am finally after two and a half decades getting the minnions under control. The anchors will finally be detached from this ship and thrown overboard.

Anchors Aweigh


Slimpod have donated the use of the app and programme to myself but all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Sheffield Mum 5 Stone Weight Loss

The Diet Industry doesn't work

Seen the headline?

Yep it’s true

Lets get this clear. I have never had a weight problem UNTIL I thought I had one and I started dieting. I remember the time I stepped on the scales and saw a weight gain of 6lb in four days. I had been to Scotland with my then fiancé and met his extended family for the first time. We ate drank and were very merry. So merry, that my size 10 trousers were a tad tight on the journey home. I jumped on the scales the next morning and the slippery slope began.

As a school girl I was skinny, I ran skipped danced and rode my bike through the 70’s

As a teen I was skinny I skipped, danced and laughed my way through the 80’s

Then I hit my twenties and I skipped, danced, worked out like a demon and worried about the size of my hips.

I wasn’t enormous I wasn’t overweight and I certainly wasn’t obese. The visit to Scotland saw me break the 9st barrier, another half a stone went on and before I knew it I was over 10stone. Action was required and I joined a weight loss group. I wasn’t fat and I certainly wasn’t obese.

But that pesky half a stone would get lost and then find its way back onto my butt or ass.

By the time I was approaching my 30’s I had lost half a stone approximately 10 times but had put it back on again along with a further 3 stones or more.

So a decade of not much movement compared to previous years add in fertility treatment and hormones, plus an addiction to chocolate and cakes and biscuits then and only then did I become Obese. A decade and a half of dieting and finally I became Obese!!

I was talking to a friend the other day (over latte and cake of course) our yo-yo dieting practices and she had decided to go back to her slimming club as it was the “only thing” that works. I know we are not the only friends having that conversation especially since the dawn of a New Year.

But the sad truth is it’s not. It’s not working as we have to keep going back. It does work for the period of attendance. Only a few members in manage to change thought processes and relationships with food therefore getting to target and most importantly staying there.  The rest of us stay on that cycle or yo-you dieting often starting out heavier than when the diet began. I am a prime example of this my last diet started out last January. Today I have weighed and measured myself I am 2” larger on my hips than I was this time last year and a whole 12lbs. But on that diet I lost 6lbs. At least I am consistent. I have deduced that I am no good at dieting. Or am I quite perfect at it?

I like to look nice but It is not something I stress about and I don’t spend ages in front of the mirror. However I am raising my profile at the moment for my speaking and coaching career. This will involve the recording of videos and speaking opportunities.

Exciting yes BUT daunting. I don’t want to be seen as that fat middle aged woman on YouTube.

I’ve received the first warning signs. Four years ago I was admitted to hospital as I had a gall stone which blocked the exit of the gall bladder causing my gall bladder to become septic I was very ill for a while and had to have a drain fitted for almost a month not nice then my poisoned gall bladder was removed. There were complications the whole time and I was very ill.

I have grandad knees and my hips ache they have started to ache most likely due to the extra padding that gives me so much more than a muffin top.

Sweet Sweet Life
Good Advice Which I love to follow

Mum was a good dieter, she would have a cheat day that lasted a cheat week, she would reward herself with a bun after a weight loss, commiserate after a gain and have a it won’t make a difference if she had maintained. Perhaps I got my sweet tooth from her.

My problem is cakes, biscuits, comfort eating, large portions huge portions too and not moving enough, coupled with the stress of caring for and losing mum I have put on even more weight this last year.

If you always do what you have always done then you will always get what you have always got.

Dieting doesn’t work for me –It is all about denial, it is all about restrictions and even more so resentment.  I am a bit of a maverick I don’t like being told what to do. Time to stop losing that half a stone and putting on more. Time for change.

As a coach I know all about the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. It is the reason why dieting fails for me probably – for others too.

The subconscious is the part that “does the do”, It breathes,  it blinks,  it just does everything automatically. So when I reach for the biscuit tin I do it unconsciously as it is a habit I have formed over many years and a belief I have that one won’t hurt but the trouble is my subconscious mind can’t count.

My conscious mind is the one that gives the commands. Have you seen Despicable Me? It’s like Gru to the subconscious minions. Decisions are made, and restrictions put in place but when Gru is switched off the minions kick in and head straight for the cake tin. Changes have to be made; The minions need to be doing the same dance as Gru and I think I have finally found the answer in Slimpod. A nine minute recording that speaks directly to your subconscious mind whilst you chill out. Both Gru and the Minions will finally be doing the same shimmy! Hurrah

It sounds just what the doctor ordered So far I am on day 4 and I have noticed subtle changes, more water consumption, food left on my plate, no cake with the coffee. But I have had cake as it was my birthday last week and I had a divine lemon drizzle cake but I had one slice at a time. That is unbelievable in my house and even more so in my head. Yesterday I took a biscuit had a bite realised how sweet it was and gave the rest to the dog. This was all without thinking and stressing could I be forming new food habits? I do hope so. My husband and kids relate me to being like Joey Tribbiani from friends I do not share food. The dog is my new best friend.

Changes are taking place I am hoping the minions will comply and soon will be shimmying across that dancefloor with a sexy little tush.  As they have a wedding to attend in 12 weeks.

The Slimpod gold programme is a 12 week programme that requires a commitment of 9minutes listening time per evening. Plus a few minutes reflection on the day to record achievements. I have taken it a step further as I have agreed with Thinking Slimmer to blog my progress and how I feel the app and the programme is working for me. So along with the other stuff I am doing I will keep you informed.

So far so good

I'm not unhappy, BUT  I want change.
I’m not unhappy
BUT I want change.

Interested in  Slimpod and Thinking Slimmer check it out. Please note I am an affiliate of Thinking Slimmer and may receive a commission payment for any sales generated from my efforts

Slimpod have donated the use of the app and programme to myself but all thoughts and opinions are my own. If you would like to know more about the process then you can  check it out here.



Review and Renew


New Year New Beginnings

The beginning of a New Year and you are supposed to be focusing on the future and reflecting on the last year.

I must admit I am not a big reflector I always say I live my life like I drive I rarely look in the rear-view mirror as I’ve already been there.

But I thought it may be good to do a little bit of reflection and some changes for the coming year.

I started this blog to help me deal with my mum’s decline in health and dementia. Also for an element of accountability as I looked at developing my brand and growing a business. Things were very tough when I started the blog Mitch had been out of work for a long time and subsequently his mental health was suffering. But I so needed him at home too and he has been my absolute rock there for me every step of the last year and I treasure our relationship. This is my release a cathartic way to get my emotions out there.

Lots of things bring the tears flowing but then lots of things bring gratitude and laughter too. We are so grateful we have our Giraffes Neck. This year she has flourished as a funny, free spirited loving kind fuman being (she insists it is fuman not human) Our boy has continued to grow at an alarming rate almost a teenager he has expanded his circle of friends and keeps stretching both his and his parents comfort zone. It is a steep learning curve parenting a popular 12 year old.

I thought I had done all my crying, but I hadn’t I hadn’t at all. It hits you just when you don’t expect it, taking photos of the kids and laughing at their antics thinking I’ll tell mum about that – then remembering you can’t, buying a Christmas card for your Dad. They don’t do ones that say
“Just get through this Christmas the best you can – we know you are heartbroken”.

Dad has been up and down since mum, he has been in hospital a couple of times and so I am spending more time with him than I had anticipated. This I do find draining as with Mum we would go to garden centres or shops or pop to the pub for lunch. Dad isn’t bothered about going out unless he needs something (he needs nothing) I clean the bungalow, cook his food, and watch TV with him. We do go out sometimes but he really isn’t that bothered he just wants company. Doing not much is more exhausting than fussing around someone in a wheelchair and hoping they don’t say or do anything out of character.

I am getting slowly back to being me. Although I am not sure who “me” is anymore as I know I can’t be the same person I was prior to the caring responsibilities.

I tell people that they need to look after themselves first you can’t pour from an empty cup but I couldn’t remember the last time I thought about myself or my business as a priority.

Things have to change I know that and they are. Operation Empowered is underway!!

I was chosen to have a style and image consultation and photo shoot to help me on my way.  I have also ventured into a salon for a cut and colour.
I’ve started running again something I really enjoy but have struggled to get past the 5K mark and keep up the continuity but four of us sisters have started on a regular basis and although we have had a bit of a break during the build up to Christmas we will be back on it soon. I am also committing to losing the excess weight I gained since mums decline, I put on over a stone and a half add that to the extra 2stone. So I am starting on a slimpod journey and will be using the techniques to help me make the changes. That journey will form part of my revamped blog.

I attended a kundalini yoga session the other day and the word Freedom came to me. So freedom is going to be my word for the foreseeable future. I want freedom of time to be able to support my children in their activities and life. I want freedom of time to be able to take dad to appointments and support his needs. I want freedom of finances (this is a biggy) so we can go out for meals, we can get passports and go on holidays abroad and at home should we wish. I want freedom of finances so we can clear our debt and build a future for our kids living in an area that will nourish our mind body and souls.

Happiness is the New Success
I aim to be visible and become a great influencer not because I want the fame and fortune but because I want to make a positive impact on peoples lives, giving them confidence to be themselves empowered to be free. This is getting a new year start as I will be speaking at a networking event on this coming Thursday the title of my talk?

Happiness is the New Success… eeekkk exciting times. Its the day before my birthday so I even get a night out too.

My business will be based on Authenticity (hence the blog) Empowerment, Gratitude and Freedom. So watch this space as things come to fruition that I have worked on for a long time as the time is now right. Because if not now when? There will always be something to hold me back there will always be a child that needs a hug, a dog that needs a walk and probably a sister that wants to chat, not forgetting a Dad who wants, well he just wants me to be there.

I’m going to give the blog a bit of a makeover as when I started it I was in a dark place although I didn’t realise it at the time I wanted it to be black and white. But now I want to implement some colour and energy into it. I would love for my lil old blog to be seen around the world for it to have an impact on people on a similar journey to me so they can know they are not alone be it with parenting, caring or shifting those love handles and anything else that crops up in our world.

Much love to you all and I wish you happiness, health and abundance for each and every day of 2016.

elaine mitchell

Two Weddings a Funeral and a Sabbatical

Quick Question.

What do Elaine Mitchell and One Direction have in common?

Answer A Sabatical I’ve had mine and they are due one. (aren’t they)

I know I haven’t written for a long time. For those of you who follow my facebook page will know that sadly mum passed away on Bank holiday Monday 31st August.

During this period it just didn’t feel right for me to be blogging about what was happening at the nursing home, subsequently planning and holding her funeral. (which was as lovely as they can be just as she would have wanted it) Then grieving and being with Dad.

I just didn’t feel I could share my emotions as they were so raw and still are. Plus I was on the journey with Dad, and my 5 siblings. Not forgetting helping the kids deal with the loss of their beloved Nannan.

I recall when we were going through the adoption process with our boy other parents would say something along the lines of you won’t know what has hit you when you become a parent. We would be there thinking how hard can it be. We have babysat lots we have lots of nieces and nephews and we have a dog.
But wow they were right. Nothing prepares you.

The exact same thing happens when you lose a parent. Even though we knew the day would arrive sooner rather than later. Even though we were so emotionally and physically drained. Even though mum was sleeping most of the time and she had no quality of life during her final weeks.
It was…
Well there are no words to describe, unless you have lost a parent you will not know.

We hadn’t  had a proper phone conversation since around February, now when something happens I think about picking up the phone and calling Mum. But I can’t.  Our girl talks about her a lot and the other day she asked why I didn’t cry so much now, “Was I not missing Nannan as much?” Oh I am and I’m holding her in my heart the holding is gentle, not as raw. I see things now and think mum would love that. Or that would drive mum nuts.

Then it just hits you when you least expect it, when you are telling a support worker that Dad is on his own now, when you realise that Dad tells hospital staff that he is married because he doesn’t want to say the word widowed.

Everything is the same but not the same,

There have been to two weddings since mum, The first one was my friends down in Milton Keynes, It was the Saturday before mums funeral and I was a bit of a wreak, especially as the bride handed me her beautiful bouquet for Mum. I was blown away by such a selfless act, such a wonderful friend to give me her wedding bouquet to respect my mum with. She had never met mum, but she knew mum loved flowers and wanted to show her respects.

The next wedding was my newphew’s, unique and quirky, with lots of surprises but also a bittersweet day. It was held on mum and dads 65th wedding anniversary. Always going to be a challenge to get through the day without blubbering. I think I managed until around 3 minutes into the ceremony when they mentioned their anniversary and mum not being there. I am sure I did the loudest snorting cry recorded in history. (If there are such recordings)
The bride is part of a choir and surprised her new husband with a solo in church. He is a big Sheffield Wednesday fan and she had also arranged for the Wednesday band to be there on exiting the church. That drew the crowds.
The reception was held in a museum, with photo booth, pie and peas and Mexican serenading. Unfortunately Dad collapsed  at the reception so my brother and I escorted him to hospital where he stayed for a further 3 days.  He is on the road to recovery but it was a bit hairy. We have probably spent so much time tending to mums needs and putting her requirements first and we have maybe put Dads decline in health down to grief and exhaustion.

So there you go probably the last 3months in a nutshell of course lots more has happened, I’ve had an article published in the local newspaper, I won a competition to have a style consultation and photelaine Mitchell Life Coach o shoot, Just got the results in today from that but I will tell you about that later, here’s a sneaky peak!
I have started a flower arranging course. This was a passion of mums she used to work in a florist and also did my wedding flowers.  Serendipity at its best I saw an article for it and joined the course. Just a couple of hours a week but I really enjoy, releasing my creative diva.

It’s good to be back writing, I have lots to say including writing a book.  I have set myself the challenge of.
I’ve recently spoken at a mums in business networking meeting which received positive feedback plus I’m committed to doing a presentation at a networking event in the New Year. Its the day before my birthday and there will be wine I am reliably informed.

Thank you for all your kind words, support and the love sent to me and my family since mum passed away it really has made a difference. Again, something that I underestimated, I honestly thought who would want a card, a text or a phone call when in such pain. But it does make a difference.

So if you have a friend in need send that card, text or make a call it will help.

I made this for my friend from her Bridal Bouquet and sent it back to Milton Keynes
I made this for my friend from her Bridal Bouquet and sent it back to Milton Keynes

The Unforgiving Dress

You fill up my senses
You fill up my senses

The countdown has begun. Only five days to go. FIVE days, less than a week and I have a very unforgiving dress to fit into for the start of the Football Season at
Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane.

She wears a dress for the football match?

I know, how bizarre. But never fear I am not stood on the kop singing the greasy chip butty.

I am in the “posh” part the members and corporate area. AND I work there.  How exciting even though I have to wear a dress. If I wasn’t working though I would be on the Kop because when you are from Sheffield you are either red or blue. And I am most definitely red and white. As are the whole family except Dad.

Four seasons ago I started work on match days hobnobbing with the members making sure that their needs were met and they enjoy the match day experience. Even if they do not enjoy the actual match (which is unfortunately a regular occurrence)

Last season we got a new uniform. A black jacket and dress. The dress is very unforgiving, I know its unforgiving, because it was last season.

It’s now this season and I haven’t ran for a long time. My muffin top has been replaced by a full on bakers dozen and a couple of bloomers too.

You see I’m an emotional eater. I eat when I am happy, I eat when I am sad, I eat when I am stressed, I eat when I am distraught, I basically eat if I have an emotion any emotion. There has been a full on tsunami of emotions. I have eaten and not moved much although when typing my fingers and hands are pretty impressive but I don’t think that counts.

So I know that when Saturday comes I will have to accommodate a Big Squeeze.

A squeeze that has not been seen since my teens, squeezing into those oh so skin tight jeans.
Not like the ones we have today which are sat on the hip. No we had to pull ‘em up to our natural waistline. This produces a whole five inches or so of zipper to pull up. This activity was like an Olympic event.  It often involved laying on your bed with a coat hanger threaded through the zipper,  pulling whilst simultaneously wriggling and writhing on the bed (alone no one needs to witness this sort of writhing) getting hot and sweaty,  holding your breath for an unbelievable amount of time until that god damn zipper went up.
Gently easing off the bed, after resuming an upright position and breathing a sigh of relief. The pointy Rebina shoes went on and off I tottered into town for a Grolsch and a Hooch or two.

 Saturday will soon be upon us and I break out in a cold sweat when I think about that unforgiving dress.

Now normally I would just opt for some holdy- in- knickers (Spanx) but the problem with them is that what they hold in has to escape somewhere and with the holdy-ins they roll it, in and up. So the rolls of womanly wobbliness end up just below the bust line causing the illusion of having four boobs with the lower pair unfortunately being the larger package.

So holdy-in’s are out.

Do I try a try a Full Monty body wrap? That would suit me sat in the garden shed with a mars bar, wrapped in cling film listening to hot chocolate.

I know it’s obvious Jillian Michaels tells me to work and push it every day – Its working but it aint moving.

Jason Vale tells me to juice and blend anything to within an inch of its life but he isn’t married to a fantastic baker who makes Paul Hollywood look like Michael Crawford in the kitchen.

Pat a Cake Pat a Cake Bakers Man
Pat a Cake Pat a Cake Bakers Man

Mitch can make the tastiest breads and cakes. But not satisfied with that he cooks 99% of our meals all from scratch so they are healthy, nutritious and taste fantastic.  This is great news for wifey and kids but not so great news for wifey’s figure.

I am well aware it’s my entire fault. I have eaten too much, not moved enough and worn too many pairs of leggings that stretch with the spreading.


Note to self they do not look good and yes your ass is fat in that.

I’ve got a feeling that I will be nipping to the shops to grab myself an extending black dress and hope that I don’t have to fasten my jacket.

Lordy Lou I hadn’t even thought about getting my bingo wings into my jacket until I started typing this.

But at least I know my neck tie will fit – it just needs an iron.

Wish me luck.

Dementia the Face Changer.

I read The Sun today – don’t judge I was at my Dads.

The news about Cilla Black was obviously prominent and I read the tributes. One thing that stood out for me was that she hadn’t wanted to be a burden, hadn’t wanted to suffer and had wanted to go out at a reasonable age without being too ill.
The universe served you well Cilla. – Thank you for the entertainment I didn’t like Surprise Surprise but I liked blind date and even recall watching Cilla in Black and White when I was very young obviously.

There was also a quote in there regarding her mum, Cilla said her mum had said during her demise she was trying her best to die, she’d had enough, she was in pain and suffering knowing her life was not the quality or quantity she had wanted. It was her mums suffering that had prompted Cilla’s thoughts.
The universe didn’t serve Cilla’s mum.

Another piece was about an ex-nurse who had travelled to a Swiss suicide clinic. She ended her life on the 21st July as she thought she had reached her ideal shelf life. She had no illnesses; she had no problems. She was fit and healthy. She also had a partner and 2 sons.  But she had decided it was her time and her family supported her, if not understanding her.
She had the capacity to tell the universe what she wanted and it listened.

I went to see mum today and for the first time she didn’t know me.  For the first time I wasn’t heartbroken I didn’t cry. She knew me as someone, she knew she knew me. She greeted me with a smile and said hello love. In all honesty I wasn’t aware, but as the conversations went on I realised through her eyes was I was not her daughter, not today at least.

We went outside and sat in a chair. She looked quite well actually, although her skin is like tissue paper and she has those old lady bruises and skin tears. Because she has spent so long in the garden, just sitting and watching she is a nice colour. A stranger could well describe her as having a healthy tan.
But I know better, healthy isn’t even close. Her breathing is laboured but it has been for a long time now. Her words are no longer fluent but each syllable is a raspy effort.  I’m not sure if it because she struggles to breathe or because she struggles to form words and sentences.

Today though she chatted, she didn’t tell me I shouldn’t have come to visit her. She didn’t accuse me of not caring and she didn’t tell me how disappointed she was in me. This has been the basis of her conversations with me since she has been in the home.

Neither did she ask how our kids were, she didn’t ask if we were enjoying the school holidays and she didn’t ask how Dad was.

The tanned face with the beautiful blue eyes looked tired and withdrawn. Mums conversations were random about people who were not there, names I had not known.

I was trying to engage with a stranger. A stranger wearing my mums face.
Have you seen the film Face Off?
It reminds me of that two characters a terrorist and an FBI agent swap faces.  Opposite ends of the spectrum, different personalities. It feels like that has happened to my mum.

Only a stranger would not ask how her adored grandchildren were; only a stranger would not acknowledge the plant I had brought for her and surely only a stranger would not recognise me?

I was glad today that the mum I have got to know over the past few months wasn’t there. She wasn’t upset or agitated or wailing. I don’t know if I was glad for me or for mum. Probably more for me as there was no accusations, no distress and today in mums world not too much emotional or physical pain.

The mum I knew before dementia would have been devastated at not knowing her own daughter, at not knowing where her husband was and at not asking about her beloved grandchildren.

A once proud, intelligent and strong woman has to have all her personal care needs attended, she has to be guided at every movement and she has no idea where her room is or where she is.  She does not sleep at night afraid to go to bed, she walks the corridors or sits in the lounge area just waiting, waiting and waiting. Waiting for the next day for the sun to rise and for the day to begin but she doesn’t know the day, it doesn’t really matter.

Today she was counting and got “stuck” at 6. She holds her head in her hands and prays for relief, relief from the confusion, the pain, the situation?  I do not know and I don’t think she does either.

What is happening universe we don’t understand?

A Unique planter in the Care Home Garden
A Unique planter in the Care Home Garden


Tha Dunt Do It Like That

As its Yorkshire day (Just about) and I am a proud Yorkshire lass and the youngest daughter of a proud Yorkshire Man and not just any man he’s my guiding light and solid rock.

Always has always will be – I am so like him as the youngest of 6 I have many qualities and quirks not only from Mum and Dad but also from my older siblings, I also have Youngest Child Syndrome.

Never heard of it? Let me explain I really truly believe that everyone and I mean everyone is older than me.  That was fine whilst I was still in my twenties but really? Still being surprised by peoples ages now I am a ‘certain age’. Remember Jeff on Casualty? He died sometime last year. (In the drama not in real life) and when it was his funeral they said he was 42.
42 He was 42!
I was in shock that he could be younger than me even though it was fictional. I may have even tweeted about the subject.

But back to Dad, methodical, organized and straight forward everything has a place and is put away, everything is useful and will come in “handy” one day. These are his positive traits and ones which I am sadly lacking, as I missed out on the timekeeping and organisational gene. I look at his cupboards, shelves and tiny boxes of organisation and lament the gene that got away.

One less human in the home and a very organised Dad results in less housework for me.  I still go to see him almost every day but it is a bit more of a challenge keeping him occupied.
Mum was a shopper “let’s just nip there” fine by me as we generally just “popped” somewhere for lunch and before you know it the day had gone and it was time to pick up the kids.
Dads style is not to just nip anywhere.

Dads straight forward, hard working, methodical nature dictates there are two ways of getting things done.

His way and the other  way. (for other read wrong)   A positive of youngest child syndrome is that I generally do agree with my hero, however my patience has been wearing thin of late because I have inherited the  my way gene.
That one didn’t miss me. Ask Mitch!

So far in the last week or so Dad has Shown me the right way to.

Put the liner in the Kitchen Bin.
It’s a bag – it goes in the bin. I have been doing it wrong in the 26 years since I left home.  He has shown me this three times. I now have decided that I will not empty the kitchen bin unless he is asleep or not in the house.

We live in the same city, we have the same recycling regime but every single time I take something to the bin that is paper or plastic he tells me which receptacle it should go in.

Hang the washing on the line.
The washing I was failing so badly with was the bedding. It Is Square Dad It is Square! How can I cock that up?

A beauty that required a square hole
A beauty that required a square hole

A Square Hole.
It was for a rose bush. Dad had made a frame. I had the audacity to dig the hole without the frame restricting my leverage. I must confess when he came round the corner I slapped the frame down over the hole and pretended I had used it all along.

Trimming my Tomato plants.
Note I said My plants. I have taken lots of guidance from my dad on the growing of our produce.   I know he likes to show me how to nurture my produce and I appreciated his guidance as I really don’t have a clue when it comes to growing things. But this year I have one plant that I am leaving as an experiment. It is growing as nature dictates. Dad is not impressed by my plans.



Mowing the lawn.
Dad has a beautiful garden and a powerful petrol mower. A couple of weeks ago our boy cut the grass for him. I could see Dads inner battle as boy sashayed across the lawn with gay abandon pretending to be revving a motor bike. The grass was cut but not in Dads regime. Bless Dad, he did well and restrained himself from telling our boy how to cut the grass he even got a fiver I believe.

I was not so lucky.

No blades of grass were harmed in the writing of the blog
No blades of grass were harmed in the writing of the blog

I got out the lawn mower and started her up.  Apparently you can gas up a lawn mower. That went down well. I started on the outside edge, something I thought was logical. Well not in Dads world. Thankfully he stopped short of drawing a diagram but I was instructed which blade of grass would need cutting at what angle and degree and time in the proceedings of operation grass cut.

Let’s just say I was so glad that the engine was revving up a treat that day as I would have got done for my language. I’m not being mardy honestly.

But if I hear the words “Tha dunt wanna do it like that” much more…


Jillian Michaels Broke Me

I can do this
I can do this

We want our kids to be healthy and active. Our boy is both he is partial to takeaways and the like but he is never still apart from the hours he spends talking to his mates and gaming in his pit. Warning Warning pre- teen boy it is beginning to get That Smell. 
 Our girl loves to dance, and has a regular exercise routine to help her with mobility, core strength and balance. Both have a balanced diet, we give them sweet treats and snacks. Our meals are mostly freshly cooked clean food. They drink lots of water and milk and have a good understanding of health and vitality.

I never had any issues with my health and weight at all throughout my childhood  right through until my early thirties. In fact during my days as a civil servant the office was based next to a gym and my friend and I would attend a class every lunch time, if we didn’t go to the gym we would go swimming up the road. Sometimes we went lunchtime and after work. Sometimes I would even go for the morning class before I went to work. My kit bag really smelt.

If only I had one of those time machine things where you could give the younger version of yourself a message … Mine would be you really are thin, fit and healthy and also fairly easy on the eye. Chill out, oh and forget the perm.

So what happened? I think life happened, got married – stayed fit but ate a load of rubbish if we are totally honest. Worked hard, stayed fit, then we stopped.
We stopped being active but we didn’t stop eating the rubbish.
The weight piled on and I think I used to live on the memory of the stick thin, fit healthy me and thought yep I can get back to that. Then I made a massive mistake. I joined a diet club, and I lost 3 stone YAY me – but the 3 stone was the same stone dropped and then put on again with a bit more for good luck. Now that stone is 4 Oh my word.

I knew it would happen. I recall seeing a medium when I was about 22 and she told me I would struggle with my weight once I hit my 30’s. Here I am well into my 40’s maybe I should go back to one who will tell me I will be a fit, healthy and attractive speaker very very soon.

But I digress. In order to be a good role model, I have embarked on a new fitness regime. Now I used to run, ok then shuffle. I liked it, stress relief, moving meditation and being out in the fresh air. However I am not very good at it. I have been known to be overtaken by people walking whilst I am out for a shuffle. Plus it’s not attractive my face goes red and my lungs seem to lose the ability to distribute oxygen around my body at a level that is required for the exertion. In all honesty the exertion is not that great.

So why put myself through this programme? (For programme read torture.)

A) To change my body shape I am uncomfortable and unhappy with it.
B) I want to finish it and complete the 30 days I have even marked off pretty colours on my calendar as motivation. Note to self pretty colours really do make up for the aching thighs.
C) To be a positive role model to our kids. Our girl has an exercise regime, Our boy does regular football training and is always doing parkour – He calls it that I call it running against hard objects and falling over frequently. So surely I should be doing something to show them being active and healthy is natural.
D) Since mum and dad became ill I want to take as much preventative action as possible. – The sugar reduction is a work in progress.

I woke myself up yesterday at 6.00am, switched on YouTube and found Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. Insert sympathetic head tilt here.
I went to see Jillian at Sheffield City Hall a few months ago to listen to her motivational tour. Believe me If I was going to see her next week I would throw rotten tomatoes, if of course I had the ability to raise my arms above shoulder height.

I've got the gear, got the enthusiasm, hoping the ability will kick in.
I’ve got the gear, got the enthusiasm, hoping the ability will kick in.

I managed the whole work out yesterday which I was proud of. Today it wasn’t a 6.00am start, but I did start. I must admit I did dip out with a couple of star jumps and thankfully my feet didn’t have to be raised so high off the ground for the ass kicks, but lets not speak about round three abs.

I have many friends who have posted on social media about the pain of doing said regime… funnily they start at day one and sometimes a week later we still get updates, I have maybe seen a day 15 update I can’t recall a day 30 update. I have therefore decided to refrain from putting daily no pain no gain updates on my Facebook page although yesterday I did post – Jillian Michaels I think you broke me.

I may be broken but I am not beaten. I will finish the 30 days. I am unhappy with my body and how bits wobble and move about without my intention or permission.

I will embrace the current aches and pains, I will celebrate the challenge of standing from the sofa (and the loo), I will happily hold the dustpan and brush for Mitch while he mocks my old lady stance.

I will endeavour to hang out the washing tomorrow without weeping silently into the sheets.

Breaking Free From Blah

Sometimes you have to reflect on what has been.
Sometimes you have to reflect on what has been.

I have a friend who has a “word” for the year.  I must admit it is something I have not done before and to be honest I am not sure if I have the attention span for a whole year. In her case it is always a positive, a word that she will strive to receive or provide in service for that year.Thinking about having a “word” it prompted me to look back. Moi? Looking back, it’s not something I do very often.  I am very much a live for today type of person. That is finished move on. No point in dwelling no point at all.  But look back I did to get some perspective and I began to think.

Let the navel-gazing commence.

So should I tell you this as a coach? Aren’t I supposed to be happy, smiley, bright and breezy, the cheerleader to keep you on your toes and confirm that you can do it?  Well yes I am, but I’m also human and honest.
So my word has been Blah.
Yep Blah.  And note I said Has Been!

Not that I haven’t had some fantastic times I so have. My sister got married on a beautiful summer’s day to her long term partner.  Most couples wait until the kids grow up to divorce they waited for the kids to grow up before getting married!

We also celebrated our silver wedding anniversary and my husband and I enjoyed a two night break at a beautiful county house hotel on the east coast. It was a time I will treasure our first break as a couple in over a decade. As a family we enjoyed a holiday at Centre Parcs one of our favourite destinations and the best thing was keeping it a surprise from the kids. We relaxed and had family time. Family has been a big theme for me always has been always will be and is probably my most consistent word.  The family times I wouldn’t change for the world making memories with my kids – It has not been about spending lots of money or having materialistic things but the time we have spent together at Country Parks, Castles, Walking in the woods, going to the cinema, playing games and sharing picnics. All times I have cherished and wouldn’t want to give up.

But then the Blah comes in. I messed up didn’t take note of my own teachings, beliefs and advice. .

I had lots of plans in action and many balls to juggle.  Personally I was looking forward to time with my family, building business and presenting lots of workshops and seminars to mums and women who wanted to find empowerment within. I was also so looking forward to sharing my Calm in the Class workshops in schools.

Then my mum was taken seriously ill and needed lots of help and care. Then totally out of the blue a friend of mine died suddenly. That hit me hard, We were the same age, had the same interests, our boy is the same age as her daughter, we had virtually the same career path.

On a hot summer afternoon when I should have been texting her or chatting via social media as we did, I was attending her funeral. That is almost a year ago time flies when you are having fun, well it sort of just goes on when Blah is present.

My meditations became few and far between, My energy levels plummeted and I stopped running, So I got flabby(er) Ta Dah there’s the Blah.

I stopped caring. Not for others of course I am really really good at that ask my friends and family.

I just stopped caring for myself didn’t have the time, energy or simply couldn’t be ar**d  as I perhaps felt so much of my energy was going into others.

I will tell people to think about the instructions on an aeroplane should disaster strike and you need to use the oxygen masks always take care of your oxygen first before attending to anyone else as without your ability to breathe you are no use to anyone.
Warning Warning – Failure to carry out this advice can lead to feelings of Blah,
Blah = low energy, procrastination and apathy.

Not only that but the family you love so much and care for so much can start to grate and what you may have found endearing and funny before the Blah, becomes irritating and tedious.

The Blah is manifested as snappy, mardy and tiresome. Not only that but physical ailments manifest too, bloated, tummy troubles, blotchy skin and tiredness. How fantastic are our bodies?? Don’t take proper care of it (rest, relaxation, exercise and healthy eating) and it will put the odd spot in the middle of the face, make your wobbly bits wobble, your hair looks lank and your nails start to peel. These side effects of Blah prompt questions from others that such as. Are you tied? Did you have a rough night? Have you got a hangover? Are you unwell? And my favourite (not) When are you due? Woah I’m way too old for that malarkey thank you very much.

So what to do to banish the Blah?

Get back to basics; practice what you preach and remind yourself preferably with a French accent as per David Ginola “you are worth it

Side effect of Blah = Apathy

Apathy is responsible for a lack of personal challenges and growth, usually I have a few physical and emotional challenges to facilitate growth but I have realised I had not carried out any such challenges.

First challenge ahead. I have signed up to a 30 day blogging challenge.  This is day one! It is a little bit of a cheat as this is a post I wrote at the beginning of the year when I was wanting to blog but I didn’t get round to it. So I’ve done a couple of tweaks and feel it is apt for a starter.

There you have it my time residing with the Blah. It’s not that bad, it could have been worse,  any longer, I probably would have been walking down the path with the black dog of depression. Thankfully I didn’t have the worst time ever.

But the key thing was I wasn’t following my true path. I wasn’t going with my flow and I was ignoring the whispers of my soul.

Now I’ve dusted off my soul shoes, to walk that path and am listening to my soul. Time to embrace the journey once more.

It is such a journey why wouldn’t I want to embrace it?

Grandad Knees

grandad knee
This is my Dad’s knee

Well it had to happen one of those calls.
10.21pm. I’ve fell and hurt my leg can’t move at all.
On my way. Arrive at Dads. His emergency bracelet still in pristine condition on the windowsill. Why didn’t you just press your buzzer Dad?
The question didn’t warrant a reply the look said it all.

His knee was swollen but it was his thigh that was hurting. He was grey, slightly breathless and obviously in pain. Now it’s a bit difficult to say when Dad is in pain as he is a bit of a drama queen. One of the kids nips him and we get dramatics, traps a finger in the doorframe and he deserves a bafta. But real pain that you or I would experience and he will do his best award winning performance to avoid any fuss. But the signs were there. Big fat signs in the fact. He couldn’t stand up, weight bare and he was quiet, even quieter than normal. So executive decision made and we went to A&E. He didn’t object that much either so we knew he was worried too.

Manhandled him into mums wheelchair and started our journey. Every single set of traffic lights we had to stop at eventually arrived at hospital registered Dad and then the waiting began.
It turns out Dad’s knee had given way around 9.00pm and he had managed to pull himself up into his chair and sit there for over an hour before calling me. So almost 3 hours after he fell the triage nurse saw him. She said he looked poorly and I presume he is defined as high risk patient she put him straight on a trolley and into a bay.

Last time I was in A&E it was with mum she was very vocal, very vocal indeed not happy to be there and wanted to go home. She shouted at anyone and everyone who would walk past her and it was a tad embarrassing. So here we were with Dad who doesn’t speak much anyway and coupled with the pain he was in it and the fact that he was in hospital the atmosphere was less than jolly.

Nurse came did observations, said doctor would be there asap.

How to pass the time on when awaiting a doctor in A&E on an evening?

First of all there was a Vic Reeves club singing orderly who was very entertaining for a short while, but it was a fine line between no idea what song you are singing and if he was accidently throttled at least he is in the right place. I was just glad the visit was with Dad and not Mum as she may well have
A) joined in the sing song or
B) been the one doing the throttling.

We played Eye Spy. Now eye spy is the last resort but here we were using it first. Very sad indeed for two middle aged sleep deprived women but needs must. It all started well and ended with my sister saying W. W, I assure you there was nothing – nothing at all that started with W. So randomly I kept saying anything that I thought may be within the vicinity of the ward nope it wasn’t  ward, it wasn’t whiskey which had obviously been consumed by the guy in the next cubicle and it wasn’t even wubber gloves.  Even Dad raised the corner of his mouth to that answer and the game finished as neither of us could think of anything sensible after that.

The answer was wall. Strangely I had felt like banging my head against it for the last two hours but failed to realise that wall was the holy grail of eye spy.

Requiring some action I decided to take matters into my own hands.
Just  like when you are waiting at traffic lights and holding the car on clutch control. Change to neutral and handbrake the lights change.
So I excused myself popped to the loo and the vending machine. I come back armed with choca mocca and a chocolate bar and like that green light the doctor had appeared to see Dad.

Now I say doctor, He was approximately 12and a half years old. I would have curled up and died if he had called me madam.

But he didn’t he was lovely with Dad and asked him lots of questions said he didn’t think it was broken but x-rays of hip, femur and knee would confirm.
He asked Dad are you in pain?
Dad replied with “well no not really”
Dad, your leg hurts doesn’t it? “Yes it does but he knows that”
On a scale of 1-10 what level is your pain? “I’m not sure I’m no good with numbers”
Fits of laughter from the naughty girls in the corner again.

So whilst I ate my vending machine treasure and drank the questionable chocca mocca, sis escorted Dad to x-ray.

On their return we waited, and we waited. There was some comings and goings, the doctor kept passing by our bay, glancing and smiling. We started to play Time O’clock Bingo. A game invented then and there in the holding ward of our local A&E. Nothing to do with Bingo but a catchy title you must agree. Feel free to play along at any times you feel that time is passing by slowly. You know that saying a watch kettle never boils? well a watched clock never moves. Time stood still and I witnessed it. Witnessed at 2.24 for what I am sure was so, so much longer than a mere 60seconds.

Rules for Time O’clock Bingo? Simply look at your mobile phone or watch and get the people in your company to guess the time. I assure you it is fun the sort of fun when you have nothing I repeat nothing left, no conversation, no letters left for eye spy and no chance of sleep … I am certain that that time from 2.02 to 2.38 was actually 4hours . It could even have been a decade or two because I witnessed the 12and a half year old doctor, grow a beard in those 36 minutes and age by at least a decade and a half.

So much so that he came back assured, steeled himself to talk to the crazy laughing old dears and their Dad. He said nothing was broken but Dad has basically no knee ligaments. And he has a very tired knee.
We know that it’s called Grandad knee and most of the family have it. Me my Grandad knees don’t like mornings, brothers are bad all the time, sisters are on an evening and nephews are after playing football. Niece had to have operation at a ridiculously young age to sort out her Grandad knee. We all know about Grandad Knee.

So they decided that because Dad lives on his own now. Yes we said it out loud and all looked forlornly at each other as we realised that mum was  in the nursing home oblivious to Dads fall and his current state of agony.

Dad should stay in for observation. Doctor asked Dad if that was ok?
Dad gave him the look. Doctor waited for response….
Sis finally put him out of his misery by saying. “that’s his it will have to be ok face”

Sisters dissolve into fits of laughter that you only get after being sleep deprived; have an overload of sugar and hysteria has set in.

Doctor made a hasty retreat and said they would arrange transfer to a ward.

So we waited and we waited. Time O’clock Bingo made a reappearance and at 3.13am Dad was transferred to the frailty ward.

My big strong, hero of a dad was described as being frail. And he was, he looked it. He looked tiny in the bed, he looked even more distressed that when we brought him into the hospital, and he looked frail. Had we neglected Dad whilst looking after mum and dealing with all her issues?  Yes probably. Dad was officially frail.

We left as the birds were chirping their morning song. We saw the sun rise as we drove home and it was light as we went to bed.