As Special K is 30 this year, I was invited to join in the Britmums/SpecialK "How I've Changed Linky Challenge".
Back in the day I didn't actually eat cereal, or in fact drink tea, as I have a bit of an aversion to milk. These days I drink black tea, and enjoy cereal as a healthier alternative to crisps. I would also add that I was sent a packet to try, but had to buy another packet as the kids devoured it before I could! I really liked it, and if the kids like it too then its a win win :)
And now to me hmmmmmm. 30 years ago I was 16, quite an important age in the grand scheme of things,not so sweet 16 I'd say, more one with many issues that took many years to get through. I went in search of a picture of me at 16, and found this one. It's a blistering hot day in August, and my friend Louise and I were off to Chessington for the day. What is evident immediately is that I'm wearing a very large, unattractive jumper! Those who know me now will see a resemblance to today, only today the jumper has been replaced by an over-sized fleece.
I guess a rewind is in order.
I was a very active girl, from a young age, I swam most mornings at 6am, had dancing classes a couple of times a week, then a show on a Saturday daytime, followed by a gala somewhere in the country. I became Southern Counties Butterfly Champion and by the age of 12 I had all my dance exams, just my teachers to go, which you had to be 16 for.
Unfortunately, like a lot of children, puberty brought on more of an interest in boys, booze and fags, so at 15 I dropped out of everything. I continued eating as I did whilst in training and a hard, cruel lesson was learnt. I couldn't eat the way I did without the exercise regime I was used to. I just didn't understand the whole food in versus energy out thing and I got very down about it. I stupidly got myself into a pattern of eating disorders, and my twenties were consumed with said battles. I was lucky enough to be chosen to dance in a lot of films at the time, and whilst I am happily smiling with Keiffer Sutherland, I know the pain and anguish I was putting myself and my body though. I hated myself.
When I turned 30 there was a huge change, an ex husband down, I met Chris and I honestly just changed. It was evident that Chris didn't actually care about my size, and I stopped the bulimia almost overnight? Maturity, being settled, being happy? Who knows, but I do know that having stopped all that, I lost weight naturally and was back in a size 12 (this had become my holy grail). Many years of stability followed, but it's fair to say that I will always be conscious of what I eat - the one thing have suffered eating disorders has given me is a vast knowledge of food types, and I constantly check nutrition details for calories, sugars and fats - ok Carbs too and protein, ok the lot, well that's not such a bad thing is it?
Anyhoo, FAST FORWARD - am now 46 (has it really be 30 years) married with 2 children, I had my first at 37 and my second at near 41............
2 sections at my age took their toll. I tried to lose that blasted apron through exercise, but frankly the body had given up. SO, I did what any other rational(?) person upset with themselves would do - that's right, book a tummy tuck (I blogged it here)
Today, I feel FANTASTIC, I'll admit I am still wearing the baggy jumpers and tops, I'm back to the holy grail in trousers, but I still have to sort myself out shopping-wise - I could do with a bit of Aunty Gok to be honest, cos I've no idea what to wear, but in the meantime, on the inside I am very, very happy :)
If you managed to get to the end of this post without falling asleep, then well done you and thanks for listening.
Here's to another 30 years!