The power of persistance – overcoming your sugar addiction

Dear friends

Those of you who know me know that for most of my adult life, I have waged a battle with my weight, carrying far too much of it for my frame. My career choice so far hadn’t helped matters with baking on a regular basis even if just to feed an addiction to sugar that I really didn’t realize I had. Yes really! I just felt whenever I was emotional whether happy or sad I had a compulsion to bake, an excuse to fill a void within me that sadly never got filled through chocolate intake or cake consumption.image

I’m totally baring my soul here when I admit that I just couldn’t get enough sugar into myself. Years went by, my weight escalated and I went to the doctor so many times. Every joint in my body ached from Fibromyalgia. Sometimes I would crawl up the stairs from how my joints ached, but still I never addressed my over indulgence in sweet things and my weight.

Even recently, I was prescribed pills by my GP and I felt like I was tripping or something wierd. I knew that actually the root issue was not actually the weight but in reality the REAL issue was how I felt about myself deep down. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that in essence, I was deceived.

Why didn’t I actually ask myself the real question – why do I overeat? My ‘weight’ and yes I’m taking ownership here and accountability for my wrong choices and actions – was simply the by product of a deeper issue.

I could make all the excuses I wanted and blame circumstances, the death of my first husband, the life changing car crash I was involved in, people who had hurt me, bereavement,  loneliness or unhappiness. Any number of issues and emotional upsets could have caused me to turn to food as a comfort, in the same way an addict turns to drugs as an escape. And yes, I used every one of them to shield even my own heart from the real issues.


But facing the next season of my life and having a long hard look at my body ( when most of my life I have avoided looking at it) gave me the gradual wake up call I needed to hear. Certainly my mum’s passing was also a game changer for me. There was no magic pill I could take, no super formula I could drink, no fairy godmother – no corrective surgery – just plain old persistance in being careful to eat sensibly and take regular exercise. I also realized how addicted I had become to sugar and began to gradually break it’s hold over me through regular juicing and eating fresh fruit instead of devouring chocolate.

I took the goggles of deception off. I looked at my body and apologised to it for all the abuse it had suffered because of what I had eaten. I looked at my puffy arms, my swollen ankles, my aching joints and my poor shoulders for what they had carried all those years. I decided to change. No amount of persuasion of my loved ones all those years could have reached until now. Finally I had seen the light. I prayed and asked God to help me overcome and change.

In my lifestyle change, I had moved back to our home and before we moved, my husband and I decided we would join a gym. It needed to have a swimming pool. Years before, I had joked with my husband that getting into a swimming costume in a public place was like the humiliation of walking naked into a stadium of people – I felt like everyone’s eyes would be upon me in disgust. However in this paradigm shift of mine, I decided to remove my contact lenses so that if I couldn’t see their embarrassed glances, then it wouldn’t bother me.

Together Paul and I joined a gym two months ago. I decided I could only face the swimming pool because there I was weightless. I didn’t have to look in a mirror just get myself into and out of the pool. I knew I wasn’t the strongest of swimmers and that it would just be a matter of continually willing myself to move even if it was two or three times a week. I’m more like a stealth swimmer rather than a speed swimmer.

It was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I told no one except my family what I was doing. Each time I visit the pool I go early in the morning and am now going three times a week at 6.30 am. This weekend I went twice. At first my joints ached and sometimes took two to three days to recover from the pain.

I didn’t give up – instead I developed the power of persistance within myself. I pushed myself even when I didn’t feel like it and told my mind that I actually enjoyed swimming. I get a buzz now once I’ve had a swim and feel more able to cope with my day. My joints don’t ache as much, I feel alive!

My clothes are getting looser and I respect what I put into my body. I’m on my way to where I want to be and life is good!  I want to encourage anyone who is wrestling with their weight to get moving! I can truly say it has worked for me. Find an exercise you enjoy and just do it!! Obviously if it’s cycling I wouldn’t recommend taking your lenses out! And never mind those negative people who frown upon your frame – just enjoy your moment and know that your loved ones are cheering you on xx



Cupcakes to Cricklade / Embracing change

I’ve always considered myself a bit of a Townie and having lived in Bournemouth the last eight years AND being from a seaside town in Ireland wondered why anyone would ever want to leave the sheer bliss of living by the seaside? Well, I have just gone though my own ‘Escape to the Country’ recently and am still reeling from the after effects!

Crabbing at Mudeford with the Peckhams

When my husband suggested we would relocate here just over three months ago, never did I think it would become a reality. Nope – my feet were planted in Bournemouth, and just the thought of moving made me weak in the knees. However there is something exciting about a new location that can get your curiosity juices flowing. The ‘what if’ then becomes a “OH my gosh I’m actually doing it!!!!”


                  Weymouth with Daniel and the boys

You see the crux of the matter is that I could see the excitement of a permanent job as a twinkle in my husband’s eyes. The wonder of someone praising his experience gave my wonderful man a new lease of life. His future employers wanted to train him, put him on courses and the lure of that, was the incentive to get us all moving forwards – dreaming for a life that was totally different from the one we were living. When I married him I chose to be wherever he was, and couldn’t be apart from him a moment longer.

Karin my packing Fairy

Sometimes the moving was painful for me as I realized that I would only see my beloved girlfriends ( like Karin above!) and daughter Sophe when I was traveling back to Bournemouth. To say goodbye to our home was also difficult, as well as realizing that we were all having to adapt and adjust to a life elsewhere. When “Moving Day” finally arrived our friends and our daughter’s friends had finally made it all possible.

Our children have been wonderful. They have embraced the “New Day” with excitement and wonder. They have studied bugs, flies and insects they’ve never seen before and enjoyed the slower pace of life that inevitably comes when you are stuck behind a tractor down a country lane! They have thrown themselves into their new school and made new friends who love them as much as their old ones did. We still keep in touch with our friends and have many more happy times to share together.


Change is not always easy but we learn to adapt, go along with the flow and sense a new beginning for us in our new home here.

Chilling at South Cerney Lakes

So now is a time of looking forward and seeing what God has for us in this new season of our lives. It is lovely waking up in our new home and wondering what each day will bring. Finally we are all together and my husband comes home every night to us and not a hotel room!

And cupcakes? Yes, I bake them every now and again – it’s a good idea to share them when you are saying hello to your new neighbors and friends!


From Kitchen Table Top to Success…

Today I’m welcoming my guest blogger Barbara Fowler -the inventor of and brains behind MyBabylog.Barbara was one of the finalists on Jo Malone’s High Street of Dreams programmeon BBC1 and she is passionate about being in business and inspires others to find their hidden potential.

Here’s her story…

From Kitchen Table top  to Success…

I’m often asked by people – ‘how do you take a concept from your head and develop it into something that becomes tangible?’

Initially when I dreamt of MyBabylog I had the idea because I wanted a keepsake box to store all my daughter’s precious little memories and keepsakes.

Photographs – First baby picture – lock of hair – first tooth – favourite toy – her first drawing etc…etc…

These are things…in my opinion that can never be replaced or replicated in the event of a house fire.

If your house caught on fire… what is the first thing that you would want to save… besides your family? 

So to answer the above question – my passion to preserve family heirlooms and precious treasures

and memories was so strong that I had to do something about it.

I have always been sentimental and kept a horde of everything my darling daughter fed from – touched and played with from the time she was born. My only concern was that everything was scattered all over the house – what would I grab first in an emergency?

 This obsession of mine led me on the quest for a perfect solution to my dilemma and so MyBabylog was born.

Wow shortlisted!

It’s always nice to be acknowledged for your hard work and effort and I have been shortlisted for the Best Saleswoman award by the Mumpreneur Awards team. It would be absolutely incredible to win this award because it would be the fulfillment of a dream to finally have someone say well done – you’ve worked really hard and we think you deserve it! I have been nominated before for awards before and got to the finals only to find that another equally hard working woman was more deserving than I so everyone says better luck next time and keep trying and so you move on and plug away….:)

However perhaps I should brace myself here and give myself some credit for all I’ve achieved with the help of my wonderful family and friends. Success to me is when someone says “Thank you” for that lovely cup of tea you’ve made them, or they oooh and ahhh over the delciousness of your cupcake that you baked that morning or perhaps a bride writes to you and says what an amazing cake you did for her wedding and how it was everything and more she dreamed it would be… Or perhaps the real measure of success to me is at the end of a day when I cuddle up with my babies – my sons Alex and Samuel and we have lots of mummy time and hilarious laughs and tickles and eventually we all fall asleep, happy in the knowledge that we are truly loved and accepted.

To me that is absolutely 100% priceless because they’re worth it!