Day 2, the self-love diet. My body

So today I get an email at 5.47am with my self-love diet requirements. I groan out loud as soon as I see the first two words.  Dear Body.

It goes like this.

Statement 1

Dear Body, when I think of you as an instrument instead of an ornament, these are the things I appreciate that you do for me: (required)

Thinking of you as an instrument rather than an ornament is difficult. When I saw the title of this I immediately thought urgh. I want to be one of *those* women. The women that know they should love their body no matter what. I want to be one of *those* women that know I shouldn’t judge my body based on the pressure of society. Awkwardly, for the first thirty years of my life, my severe poor body image was really down to my father. Despite his abusive domineering and cruel traits, I actually very rarely blame or vocalise his behaviour to an audience.  However on this occasion I do (it will come as no surprise that he is no longer a factor in my life).  He spent the best part of my teenage years convincing me that every male was a predator. Waiting in dark corners. I then spent the first thirty years of my life wearing jumpers that not only covered my top half entirely up to my chin but also covered most of my hands to the tip of my fingers, along with baggy but colourful trousers and a short non-descript haircut. I guess I thought I’d be safer.

When I got to thirty, worked with victims of domestic abuse, experienced the strength of my mother and men I liked, when I  became aware of power and control, I threw the baggy trousers to one side and found mascara. Because I could.

So what do you do for me as an instrument body?

You gave me a powerful, sensitive, angry, feisty, loving, questioning mind. That makes up for all the stretch marks you sent my way.

Statement 2

These are the things I love about your appearance: (required)

Love about my appearance?

I’m afraid that’s simple. I don’t love anything about my appearance and I didn’t know that until I was asked just now.

On a good day when my hair is shiny (er) and the grey has been masked I quite like my hair. My hands were quite nice but now they are getting older. I hate my feet. My legs are ok, I like them mostly because they remind me of my Nannas. My lips were better a few years ago as were my eyes.

Having said all that I do like myself and I often believe liking is more powerful than love. Love is sometimes something that just happens involuntarily. Liking is an altogether different emotion that requires thought and effort.

Statement 3

I commit to love and honor you by: (required)

I know how to answer this easily. I commit to love and honour my body by being a bit nicer to what goes in it. I’ll commit to feeding you less wine, pringles, cheese, yule log and mince pies and more water, de-caf tea, bananas, rocket and veg.

Happy 2016 to my body. And to yours x






Eyebrows and angst


I’m on the 31 self-love day diet*

Instead of my now and again blog, if I keep up with it, you might see a bit more from me for the next month or so. I missed day 1 and 2, bad bad start! But never mind, I’m self loving myself and allowing that oversight to wave over me. See, it’s working already! So today is day 3 and this is what I and you if you feel like it, need to do

Today, I invite you to do mirror work and connect with your soul or authentic self.
Step 1: Look into your eyes in the mirror, not at your eyes or face.
Step 2: Continue to look into your eyes until you feel yourself sink down and connect with your authentic self or soul.
Step 3: Say out loud, “I am lovable. I am worthy. My worth is not connected to the size of my body. I have purpose.” You can change this mantra to what resonates most with you.
Step 4: Take another moment silently looking into your eyes with love, committing the experience to memory as you start your day.
What came up for you when you practiced mirror work?

So what came up for me?

Firstly, I felt very, very uncomfortable staring at myself.

Where do I stare? My eyes? Really – could I just look at my cheek or something? No. My eyes. Ok eyes here I am staring at you. This is difficult. You are freaking me out.

I’m going to be honest even though I think I sound so predictable and vain, my first thought is about how I look.  I looked very pale. Secondly, I look sad and serious. That annoyed me because I don’t feel sad, I’ve had the happiest few days I’ve had for a very long time. I became increasingly annoyed that my face looks so involuntarily sad. But I do have that kind of face. If it isn’t talking or smiling or singing or moving then for some reason it has a serious still look. I don’t like that it does that.  Then, I decide to visit this serious face a bit more.

I realise actually, at this present moment, I am feeling a bit sad. I always feel a little bit sad since she left us for good. I also feel a bit more sad because I’m missing someone, although that’ll be temporary. Also I’m sad, not exactly sad but I have a lot of angst floating about my chest today, the inside of my belly is slightly trembling at times. I know why and I don’t want to share it. Sorry. It’s annoying me that this causes me stress though. And that is a vicious circle in itself. I’m annoyed about how I am feeling because I know I should be dealing with the whole situation a lot better.

Wow, all that from looking in my eyes for fifty seconds.

I didn’t know all this was going on because I’ve kept busy, sorting drawers out, tidying up DVDs, walking my dog, reading Sue Perkins new book and googling a recipe that included the leftover parsnip, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower that were becoming increasingly rubbery in my post Christmas fridge (for information I made a vegetable gratin with a breadcrumb, olive oil, parmesan and parsley crust). Smells really nice.

Anyway. Back to the mirror.

Then I notice my eyebrows, it could’ve been the mirror but the shape looked quite nice, I rarely really do anything to my eyebrows so I was quite happy about that. My hair too was looking ok, shiny. I tried a new style today, went away from the full fringe to a side fringe. I like it.  I look at my neck and also think – it’s not a bad neck considering my age!  I am a bit surprised that I take so much notice of how I look as much as how I feel inside. A bit embarrassed actually.

I bring myself back to the point of all this, that this is a ‘self-love’challenge. So I put the mirror away as the instructions say and I try to apply some self-love. So ok. You’re a bit tense, a bit stressed, a bit anxious, a bit happy, a bit excited. You can’t wait for a glass of wine and are wondering whether 4pm could be an acceptable time because it is the last day of the holidays! You decide not. Well done. You want to love yourself but you can’t bring yourself to write the words down on here because it still feels odd to talk out loud about loving yourself. Much easier to love others. Ok. I digress. Self love. Ok, I love me, a bit. What have I learnt from the mirror work? I love me a bit, I don’t love me feeling anxious, I must try harder to eliminate unnecessary anxiety. I need to love myself a bit more, I need to love me, be proud of me, care for me, be nice to me, look after me.

Do you know how hard that sentence was to write?! What is it about self-love that is so terribly awkward and difficult?!

The challenge is on!

Roll on day 4. Lets kick **** out of self love!


*if you want to join in visit