Overcoming Glastonbury envy!

I’ve totally got ‘Glastonbury envy’ tonight! I’m watching the TV coverage and wishing we were there! 😦
Well… I’m kinda there in spirit – my mate Russ has been there for weeks painting bins and he painted my family this amazing bin:

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It’s got an amalgamation of all our names on it! To be fair, if I was there I’d be spending my waking hours on a bin hunt so I guess it’s a kind of blessing we’re not there this year.
My husband and I are pretty keen festival goers – I started going to festivals in 2002 and have made it to Glastonbury 4 times as well as lots of others. Even managed a day festival in 2010 at almost 8 months pregnant (I didn’t want to miss Stevie Wonder!)
This year we’re taking the kids to Latitude Festival this year for their first ever camping festival experience! With only a month to go, I’ve started to make a bit of a wish list of the stuff I need to buy to prepare (including my festival wardrobe!).
We’ve bought the kids this amazing wagon (from Amazon), which I’m in the process of pimping up:

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I’ve painted the wood with blackboard paint so the kids can draw on it while we’re waiting for bands. I’m also making a little mattress so they can have a snooze if need be. We can use it if they need to shelter from the elements (rain or shine!). We took it for a test drive at the 3 Foot People Festival in Chelmsford this week and it was fab! Looking forward to putting it through it’s paces for real!
I’ve also had to upgrade my wellies – so I’ve ordered these beauties from Simply Be:

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I’m hoping the wide fit and the gather on the calf will mean I can get away with a 6! But for £12 I thought it was worth the risk! 🙂
I’m also planning just to take a few of my beautiful dresses (including my Lady Vintage faves!) so in order to make a statement I want to get myself a full, frilly underskirt to wear underneath! (Suggestions welcome!)
And I’ll be rocking my inverted victory roll under a bandana (I’ve been practicing!):

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I can’t wait! 🙂

Still wish I was at Glastonbury though… anyone else?!

My Slimpod journey – part 1!

I’ve mentioned Slimpod and Thinking Slimmer a few times here, and on Twitter and Facebook. So I thought I’d explain a little more about it and the impact it has had on my life.

I Tweet quite a lot, after the birth of my 2nd baby I was talking to various people on Twitter about the fact I was unhappy with my post-natal body and someone somewhere (I can’t even remember who now!) suggested Slimpod.

To say I was ‘sceptical’ is an understatement! But the concept seemed simple – listen to a relaxing mp3 every day for 21 days, set myself goals (short term, medium term and long term) and list 3 positives every day. None of that seemed particularly scary,  it wasn’t very expensive (compared to a slimming club!) and it claimed to address the underlying issues. It also focused on inch-loss rather than weight-loss, which made sense to me. Most attractive of all – it wasn’t a diet! 🙂 I kinda thought ‘what harm can it do?!’. I’ve been classed as ‘morbidly obese’ (a term I despise) since my teens and have tried various diets (including all th NHS plans) so I was up for trying anything at that point.

There’s also an online community who share their experiences, who were (and still are) really welcoming and supportive. I checked in with them, set my goals (for example fitting into the dress below), downloaded my Slimpods (I chose Drop 2 Dress Sizes (or more) and a chocoholic one) and I was set.

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Initially, I did see some significant weigh loss (I’ve gone down 2 dress sizes and lost about a stone!). But my successes are so much wider than that! I feel like a different person! And here’s why…

1. I have discovered the real nature of my eating habits. I’m a binge eater. I can recognised my emotional triggers and can (sometimes) overcome them. I need to do a lot more work here, but being aware of it helps. Aside from the binging, I’m now in tune with my full signals and can stop eating during meals. Simple but effective! 🙂

2. I love myself and my body a little bit more. My confidence has grown massively. I think this is mainly down to the Slimpod community and from writing down positives (almost) every day. Positive reinforcement has been so powerful for me. I used to find myself in a downward spiral of feeling shitty, eating junk and then feeling bad because of it… that doesn’t happen at all anymore! I do eat junk but I don’t carry it around with me as emotional baggage. That’s been liberating!

Now I focus that positive attitude on looking for new clothes or things to do to make me continue to feel good about myself. Twitter led me to some inspirational body positive bloggers like Fuller Figure Fuller Bust and Pamper and Curves who have helped me to see that I can be happy and beautiful in the skin I’m in.

3. I’ve discovered I don’t hate exercise! 🙂 my middle school PE teacher did nothing to motivate me (thanks Mr Thompson :() and although I’ve dabbled in all kinds of exercise over the years I’ve never managed to sustain anything particularly high energy. But hearing other exercise avoiders turn over a new leaf motivated me to get out there! I tried zombie c25k – like actual running!!! Now I’m a regular zumba and boot camp attendee (thanks to Liarna’s Fitness Classes in Colchester) because I enjoy it, I’m not embarrassed to go and be the ‘fat slow one’ and can feel the my fitness improving!

Before Slimpod, I had no idea I could feel good about myself, no matter my size. Size is relative and it shouldn’t impact on my state of mind. I spent my teenage years and twenties hating my body. Nobody should be made to feel like that. But now I appreciate what my body can do. It has grown and carried two perfect babies, it’s pretty supple and has fabulous natural rhythm! – what more do I need?! Why shouldn’t I dress it in clothes I love?!

So now I do. I’ll continue on my Slimpod journey – I’d like to be able to finally tackle my relationship with food. And when I do, I know I will lose inches as a result. But I’m not hung up about it like I was.

The main reason I want to lose a few more inches is so I can wear these amazing dresses…!

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They’re gathering dust in my wardrobe and that just won’t do!

I’ll keep you posted! 🙂

Plus size Primark?!

I often shop in Primark for basics for the kids and a few accessories for myself. I don’t often bother looking in the womens wear section because I knew they didn’t have a dedicated plus size range. But after reading Using Primark to the Maxi by Debz at Not So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess I decided to take my stretching arms and give it a go! (I usually wear a 22 but my wardrobe does fluctuate between a 16 and a 26 so I don’t know why I didn’t think to try it sooner!)

I tried on a few dresses… (sorry, I have no idea why my legs are missing?!)

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This beach dress was only a fiver! This one was a 20 and had plenty of stretch. I’m not generally a fan of strapless stuff as (so far) I haven’t found a strapless bra with enough support for these bad boys, but I’d wear this by the pool over swimwear.

Now this one I love:

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A flowery pink swing dress, also a 20, in a thin floaty material. I was planning to get it for work but it was a little short for the office. I might go back and get it after pay day! 🙂

My favourite of the day was this vintage style prom dress:

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Again, a 20. It’s a bit snug but has a bit of stretch to it. The length is good on me too. Sits on the knees (I’m 5’7″) It was also reduced to £10! I love a bargain! 🙂

I also bought some exercise leggings in a 20. They fit really well and were comfortable at my zumba class – no photos though,  so you’ll have to take my word for it!

So thank you Debz, for the recommendation! I was very impressed! 🙂 x

My purple barnet

So last week I finally made a decision about what I wanted to do with my hair. I’ve been playing around with victory rolls for a little while and decided I wanted to try and add a swish of colour to the middle of my roll…

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Something cool and edgy like Diablo Rose or Betty Pamper. Except I’m a fairly young manager in my workplace and I think they might turn their nose up if I rocked up to work with an awesomely bright new ‘do! With that in mind, I opted for a nice subtle Violet!

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To be fair, in my (rather out of date) experience of hair dye, they’re never as intense as the colour on the box so I figured, if I bleached the front section of my hair and then covered it with the violet dye then only the front section would be vibrant Violet. Which I could pin back for work, if necessary.

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As you can see the bleaching was a piece of cake – stripped my natural colour out no problem (I used Bleach Total Bleach, if you’re interested). The ends were still slightly orange, but considering how dark my natural hair colour is and the fact I was going to dye straight over it, I think it did the job alright!)

Then I put the dye on…

And ended up dying it all back to the same colour!

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Once the dye starts to fade, I think there will be a bit of a difference in my victory roll, but at the moment I’m certainly not seeing the desired effect. (For a post-dye victory roll have a look at my Bee’s Knees post).

It could’ve gone better, but it could’ve been a whole lot worse!

What do you think of the colour? Anyone else considering any vibrant shades? Has anyone got any recommendations for a slightly bluer purple dye?

I’d really appreciate your comments. 🙂