I’ve spent most of the last year slowly peeling off the layers of the person I had become over the previous 17 years. As the year progressed more and more of the old me began to surface: my sense of humour, my self-confidence and my utter belief that, you know what, I deserve to be surrounded by caring people who appreciate me for who I am, warts and all, and accept me without qualifying their acceptance.
It goes with out saying that my timing could have been better, after all being under ‘house arrest’ with the rest of the world, was not exactly how I had envisioned my first year as a singleton would be like, but needs must and we have made the best of it. There have been trials and tribulations, predominantly revolving around the home schooling fiasco my girls found themselves having to deal with, but that’s not what I want to focus on right now.
No, what I want to focus on right now is me 12 months on, determined to make changes for the better and to achieve this, I need to write it down: record my direction, decisions and outcomes because if I do that, then I have some accountability, something to aim for, and something that will compel me to keep it up because what I don’t want to do is to get to the end of the next 6 months and not achieved a single thing.
So the plan is to embrace the natural me, whilst improving my health and fitness, fundraising along the way.
Step 1 – I’m going grey!!! Actually I’ve been white haired pretty much since I was mid thirties and I have spent the best part of the last 20 years (not to mention a fortune akin to the national debt) covering my greys, trying to cling onto the image of the brunette I once was because, let’s be honest. that’s what society expects of it’s women!
There is a song which I absolutely hate from the 1930’s and which epitomises the pressure on women to hold onto their youth for as long as they possibly can. The song is ‘Keep Young and Beautiful’ and stresses how it is the duty of the woman to stay beautiful if she want’s her man to love her. It’s a trully dreadful song – and I’m not a feminist by the way. This image that a woman has to earn the right to be loved is awful and hits very close to home.
But I digress.
What the last year has done, and especially this last Lockdown, is made me face up to the fact that I’m not as young as I once was! My hair is no longer brunette and that the process of trying to hide the very white roots which grow through at a quite alarming rate of knots, is both expensive, time consuming and nigh on impossible without the bi-monthly, 3 hour stints in the hairdressing chair, whilst the awesome Fran works her magic to restore the illusion.
Fran and I had had a discussion back in December about my phasing out the brunette and gradually introducing the unsuspecting world to my white hair but Lockdown 3 happened and I suddenly found myself with about 3 weeks to go to my hair appointment and it was indefinitely postponed. So I had a choice to make: continue to use the root cover up spray; or embrace the grey and start learning to live with my true colour.
Fast forward to March 31st and Fran texts to find out when I want to reschedule my appointment. By then I had a good 1.5 inch section of white hair on either side of my parting and as we were looking at the back end of April for my appointment, we decided that the speed my hair grows at, we’d just go for a good cut and see what we were left with. I am quite nervous, it has to be said, and I think it will come as a huge shock to see myself without my usual swathe of dark brown hair but I believe it will be worth it in the end. It will take away the stress of worrying over the speed with which my hair grows and the roots start to appear and apparently white hair is on trend at the moment!
Step 2 – I’m going to get fit! So far this year I have completed the British Heart Foundation DeChox challenge which involved me going without chocolate for the whole of March! I did wonder at the start if I would be able to do this as chocolate and I are the best of friends and always have been. I’m sure many of my friends and colleagues were concerned for my sanity when I announced I was doing the challenge, and I received a few raised eyebrows and some knowing smiles.
I made the decision right at the start that I would report on my progress via Facebook, daily. I felt that this would give me the courage and strength to complete the challenge, in spite of having chocolate items in the house for the girls, because I didn’t want to let myself down and have to admit on FB that I had failed. There were a couple of tricky moments towards the middle of the month but I did it! I proved to myself and everyone else, that I had the will power to carry me through and I raised some money for BHF to boot.
Of course March ended and so did my chocolate fast, however, I have found that I don’t necessarily gravitate towards chocolate items now and this is something that I need to hang on to and one way to do this, is to go to the next stage and start to do some exercise.
So with that in mind, I have signed up to the Diabetes UK One Million Steps Challenge, which runs from July 1st until September 30th, and I have calculated that I will need to walk approximately 11k steps every day which doesn’t sound easy to my unfit self. I’m going to start building my fitness up in the weeks leading up to July 1st, so that it doesn’t come as a huge shock to my system to be out walking every single day, regardless of the weather. I intend to post my progress here weekly, to give me the impetus to carry on and I am aiming to have lost at least 2 stone by the end of September……soooooo, no pressure there then 😀
I am hoping to raise funds for Diabetes UK as I walk my way through this challenge and if anyone would like to donate to my page, message me and I would be happy to give you the page link.
Wish me luck readers – I’m going to need a bucket load!