A couple of weeks ago I wrote the post ‘Body Shamers can kiss my (squidgy) butt!‘ which had a huge response from readers saying they felt exactly the same way.  Thank you to those who took time to read and reply with very honest feelings of their own on such a personal subject. Low self-esteem, eating disorders, psychological effects, feelings of shame and weight loss obsession were just a few of the issues that were mentioned in response.

While I have thankfully never experienced a serious eating disorder, the rest I can very much identify with. Year after year of beating yourself up about the size of one’s arse will do that I guess! As I mentioned in the body shamers post, I never really set out to broach that subject, it just sort of happened in response to a couple of articles I had read that day.

I am so glad I did.

The response has reinforced my realisation that is it all such utter bo**ocks. Here we all are, going about our day, being made to feel a bit rubbish about ourselves for no good reason. It’s made me completely reevaluate my view on the idea of the perfect body  and consider how my attempts to attain anything near it over the years achieved nothing more than a warped relationship with food and an inability to think for myself. My own little personal Epiphany, sadly it’s taken me (almost) 37 years to reach this point but better late than never!

It’s New Year’s Eve 1992, I’m writing my resolutions in my diary (aged 12), I wanted to be skinnier. The reason I still remember is because I even made up my own little mantra: “It’ll be a skinnier me in ’93” – catchy huh? So I know that for at least 25 years I have had a negative body image. I was never a chubby child, in fact growing up I remember my Mother getting ‘tonics’ to try to build me up such was my lack of interest in food at the time. (I once hid a bottle in the back of my Uncle’s car, who wondered what the ever increasing stench was as the Summer wore on!) It wasn’t until my ‘tweens’ (11-13) that I started to seek solace in food. Hormones I suppose played a big part in it; the horror when your body starts to transform completely without your consent. Boys who were once mere irritants suddenly become strangely appealing. Emotions! OMG the feeling that someone has crawled inside your brain and changed the default setting to ‘Tearful, Angry Mess’ is no fun for anyone! Praise-be, then for the ice-cream shop across the road.

I’m a total sugar monster so it didn’t take me long to realise that the answer to all my problems lay at the bottom of an ice-cream tub. Rocky Road, Honeycomb, Rum & Raisin made it all better. (Ironically I lived above my parents restaurant so I had a chef in my actual home, but with no interest in savoury food, never ordered anything other than chicken and gravy!!)

I wasn’t blessed with the metabolism that many of my teenage friends seemed to have, wolfing down chips with no visible effect on the size of their thighs. We moved from a small town in the country to Belfast city and to an all girls school mainly full of, how can I put it, ah yes, total bitc*es. Joy. With zero interest in sports and a whole heap of home cooked meals my weight soon crept up. The odd Mars bar for pudding may have had something to do with it but I didn’t care, well I did care, I just wanted that Mars bar reeeeeaaalllly badly.

Around this point I got wind of a sure-fire way to lose a stone in like, a week! The British Heart Foundation Diet (here we go…). I looked it up for the link so you can see how bonkers it was. Anyway, I lasted a day before I was back on the spag bol/ Mars bar diet. Hmmm…this was going to be trickier than I thought. My weight did manage to settle at around Size 10 in my late teens, obviously still a HEIFER in my eyes but I was at college, had friends, a boyfriend, a Saturday job so all pretty standard stuff at that age.

I left home for University in Wales where a diet of 50% flapjacks 50% beer did me no favours whatsoever. I was far too busy perving over the rugby team studying to even think about cooking something remotely healthy. A job in the fashion industry in London (body conscious central) followed,  where my new diet of vodka and menthols would have whipped me into supermodel shape in no time, had it not been for this thing me and pic’n’mix had going on on the side.

It was here that I met Himself and finally left my beloved but body-bonkers London as we set off up the M1 to much less bonkers Bedfordshire. I joined a pub company where I was part of the Food & Drinks purchasing team and worked on menu development so as you can probably guess this role involved quite a lot of eating/drinking. Well, those samples weren’t going to test themselves were they??! (This is turning into a CV of dieting disasters!) During this time (since leaving home) I tried a ridiculous amount of diets, I can’t even remember them all. Slimming World (is it a red day or a green day, how many syns??), Atkins (SO.MUCH.MEAT), Low Carb (kill me), Low GI (just plain weird), high fibre (PARP!) and calorie counting, months and months of calorie counting. This was pre-MyFitnessPal where you had to go out and buy actual books with the calorie content of foods listed. I got pretty addicted to this and for years since it has been my go-to way to ‘keep in check’ if my weight started creeping up.

More recently I found myself spending a small fortune on cacao powder, chia seeds, baobab, maca, coconut oil, coconut flour and a bag of supergreens so rancid they went in the bin at first taste! Anything other than trust myself to just use my brain and eat sensibly right? Surely I can eat as many homemade flapjacks as I like if they are made from 1kg nuts, 2 tubs of cashew nut butter and a gallon of agave syrup BECAUSE THEY ARE ALKALINE and therefore good for me – ok? Muppet.

Up until as recently as Saturday a protein smoothie (Nutribullet, natch) has been breakfast most mornings for about the past 6 months. Although this is a healthy combination of protein powder, blueberries, oats and spinach the problem is it tastes SO good and it’s probably not great to get my sweet tooth over excited that early in the day. And you know what? Sometimes I just want a great big bowl of Cornflakes, with fat milk!  I’ve been a diet/food industry’s dream my entire life, searching for a way to achieve the perfect body without actually having to take responsibility for my own food choices.

I’d say 25 years is more than enough of this carry on. I’ve counted calories, weighed meals, eliminated food groups, drank green tea (bleurgh!), fasted and drained my bank account in Wholefoods for the last time! Pinkie promise.

                                              Oh, did I mention? I’m NOT on a diet!

To be honest, this scares me a little. How mad is that? The idea of having no rules, no limitations, no guidelines or gurus to refer to feels makes me feel a bit anxious. This may sound completely ridunkulous but I’m going to ACTUALLY THINK FOR MYSELF, I know, radical. Apple or Kit-Kat? I know this one. Entire tub of Haagen Dazs? Possibly not in one sitting. See? I got this. Gold star please!

Today I even ordered tea instead of latte.

Baby steps…


FUN FACT! There are currently 77,169 results for ‘Diets & Healthy Eating’ books on Amazon, there may even be one or two in there I’ve never read!





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  1. Hilarity based on reality, for all of us females. It’s a shame, but true. Thanks for embracing this with honesty and comedy! The veterinarian diet–that caused an out loud chortle! Good luck. Throw away the scales, the measurements, and literally trust your gut. It will take you where you need to go.

  2. It’s hard, but I guess not liking the skin you’re in is hard too, so choose your hard.

    I try to remind myself if I see a donut or a sweet that I decide to say “NO” to, that I’m not saying no to every future donut I may see. Just this specific one. & if I change my mind later, I can go buy myself a f’ing donut at the store. I don’t need the stale,free one on the counter at work.


  3. I’ve never dieted (not because I don’t need too though trust me) but because I knew immediately I would fail them all… I exercise (occasionally and begrudgingly) to ‘try’ and do something… but thats about it lol – I wish you the best of luck in your ‘non-dieting’ life… it’s AH-MAZ-ING! haha #abrandnewday

  4. So glad we’ve both gotten to the point where we realise diets just don’t work. My guest nutritionist Laura Clark wrote an incredible post on the truth about carbs which along with Cannes (the French say no to nothing and enjoy everything in moderation) emphasised just how stupid all these diets are. It’s only been a few weeks here but I feel liberated and far happier. Super post x

    1. Better late than never I suppose! I loved Laura’s post, intended to share it actually so will pop back and do that now. Sounds like the French have got it sussed- enjoy your new-found freedom, feels good to break the rules 😉 Thanks for reading x

  5. You could have been hanging out inside my head with these posts on dieting. It’s a all a bunch of BS. And it’s very disturbing to me how people feel they can comment on the subject of a person’s weight or whether or not they should be “allowed” to order dessert to that person in such a judgmental way (also disturbs me when people comment on things like how many kids someone has, or how many ear piercings, or how many tattoos,…. why does society get to judge such things so harshly and how it any of their business?)

    When I mention I’m gluten free, people assume it’s because I wanted to lose weight and I’m actually doing some low carb dieting. Yes, I have lost some weight in the past two years, but only because I was ill with Celiac Disease and my digestive system wasn’t working properly and my insides were full of inflammation and swelling.

    When I was younger my mother and grandmother made *constant* comments about my weight. It fluctuated a lot. I was a chubby kid and a skinny teenager. I was never the “right size” to them. My mother still comments on my weight every single time she sees me and every single time I tell her I don’t really care to hear her opinion on the subject unless she’s suddenly a certified nutritionist and medical professional.

    Sorry! Didn’t mean to go off on a rant and take over the space… I really enjoyed your thoughts on this and I’m with you on the non-dieting.

    1. Oh really? Crazy isn’t it? Sorry to hear you have had health issues that affect your diet, oh you rant away I think we all need a good rant on this subject!! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, I appreciate it. X

  6. It sounds like you have made a great discovery about yourself and the stupid rules we are supposed to live by. We waste so much time worrying about our weight that I think it takes some of the enjoyment out of what we do eat, by making us feel guilty. I’m with you – enough is enough! I was one of the annoying skinny teens with a high metabolism, but two kids, no sleep, and a total lack of willpower has left me with added pounds and a muffin top I’d love to see the back of. But I love cake too darn much! xx #TwinklyTuesday

  7. LOVED this. I spent the majority of my 20’s, certainly the mid to latter part of my 20’s dieting. It’s hard work and now I’m in my 30’s I find it even harder. I hate the fact my body no longer looks the same as it did when I was 26, however, I hope that one day I just man up and accept it.
    I’m sick of calorie counting and berating myself for the days when I over indulge but then I find I’m reminding myself that we’re here for a good time not a long time and life is there to be enjoyed! Just wish I could get the right balance! #bloggerclubuk

  8. Isn’t it just crazy the thought of all that time wasted worrying and not living. I got so fed up that I signed up for an 8 week bootcamp at a new hiit style gym and followed, (ish!) their diet plan and I saw real results. It slid a bit though. As it always does! And now I’m back to eating caramel digestives at 11am. Oops! I am still going 3 times a week though, (mostly), so I’m hopeful this may be a fresh, happy body chapter for me after YEARS of being miserable about it but far too un-disciplined for a diet. #bigpinklink

    1. So crazy! Bootcamp sounds way more appealing than salad. Although I tried ONE of Jo Wicks hiit videos and felt like throwing up for the next 2hrs 😂 3 times a week is VERY dedicated if you ask me, I’m sure you’ve earned a couple of caramel digestives. Best of luck, sounds like you’re off to a flying start . Thanks for the comment x

  9. I’ve never dieted, I like food way too much! Yes I could definitely do with losing weight, but I’m going to start sensibly. Reduce my portion sizes, do more exercise, try and eat less sugar. I have health issues which mean losing weight is hard so it’s tough. I totally need that carbs top though, they are definitely my weakness!x #bloggerclubuk

    1. Your plan sounds PERFECT!! No craziness or faddy diet plans. Did you see the article I shared onTwitter re carbs? Interesting stuff. Thank you for your comment and good luck with the health kick! X

  10. Nodding along whilst reading this post.
    I’ve tried it all. Calorie counting, Weight Watchers, Slimming World, not buying enough food!
    I’m getting married in a few months, so I’d like to shift some pounds some how. But I’m not going to force myself if it starts making me miserable!

    Great post.

    1. Urgh it’s soul destroying isn’t it?! Yes my wedding was the one time I was really committed to losing weight but jeez was I a nightmare to be around- surprised my husband still WANTED to marry me 😄 Have a fab wedding, thanks for reading and commenting x

  11. Yes, ALL the carbs. I think the French do it right – enjoy what you want (in my case bread, coffee, chocolate and crisps) and eat some good stuff in between. And then forget about it! #coolmumclub

  12. Wow your ‘fun fact’ at the end is staggering and really highlights what an industry it is. I love this resolution you’re putting forward – it’s not easy to change something that you’ve done for so many years so I think go for it!!. Dieting can be addictive so I can’t imagine it being straightforward but hopefully you’ll be happier, healthier and of course you’ll still be downright gorgeous (love the CARBS piccie!). Your quotes are great too…really funny, particularly the bike one. Oh and the burning the Atkins book one. It seems I like the fires! Thank you for sharing on #FamilyFun

    1. Yep, somebody’s cashing in on our insecurities! Thank you, so far so good, aw you are too kind 😊 Glad you enjoyed the post, thank you for reading and for your lovely comments x

  13. Charlie I love how you have laid your troubled relationship with food out like this as I believe many of us can identify completely with what you have said. I was nodding along to lots of this… You are so right at the end of the day we know what e should choose when offered a kitkat or Apple. My brain needs reprogramming to take the bloody Apple that’s all… TY for linking up to #FamilyFun 🎉

    1. Thank you, yes unfortunately I think a lot of people will be able to identify with this post. Yes, learning to take responsibility and no longer relying on a set of rules is an unnatural feeling for me but I ‘m sure I can get used to it 😀 Thanks for hosting x

  14. Yaaay go girl and I completely get where you are coming from on this post! I have spent so much of my life obsessed with being skinny and actually I am never going to be super skinny! Diets are hellish and like you say we should just trust ourselves. Life is too short to punish ourselves with faddy diets. Here’s to moderation instead! :- )#coolmumclub

    1. Thank you 😀 I hate to think of the years I’ve wasted dieting, like you say life is short and there are far too many exciting things to be getting on with than weighing cottage cheese! Xx

  15. I think the word ‘diet’ just makes you thunk about wanting food so so much more. If I’m on a diet all I can think about is my next meal. If I say I’m going to stop drinking for a month all I think about is wine – drives me insane – just need to get to the stage where I eat healthily most of the time and have the odd treat day but just haven’t got there yet – chocolate taste too good! Thank you for sharing this #BloggerClubUK

    1. Absolutely! Oh, wine was never up for debate, it stays regardless 😂 I still eat chocolate every day, I just don’t feel guilty about it now and actually enjoy it! Thank you for reading xx

  16. Yes yes yes. Just this. I gained 3 stone with each of my tots and lost it both times dropping to half a stone lighter than my “pre-baby” normal weight both times. Over the last year I’ve slowly put that half a stone back on and just don’t seem to be able to motivate myself to shift it! I’ve been trying since November, but I think this time I’m so hacked off with diets and fads that I can’t get into it! I need to do just this. I just need to be a bit sensible and stop stuffing cake in my face. I also need to accept that maybe this is my normal shape and that I’m not going to be a supermodel anytime soon, which is OK as I’d rather just have a cake.
    Brilliant post – and you are fabulous just as you are!! xx

    1. I think A LOT of people can relate to this and like you say, life (actual important stuff like growing humans and keeping them alive!) takes priority, rightly so. It’s always that last blimmin half stone isn’t it?! Also I find you really need to be in the right mindset, not ‘determined’ to stick to a diet, more balanced and accountable for our choices. It’s crazy that something that should come so naturally to us (appetite/satiety ) has been so screen around with that we no longer know how to handle it. Oooooh going off on one again 😄 Life’s short, eat cake then go bounce on the trampoline for a bit. Thanks for popping in xx

  17. Brilliantly written, I haven’t had that long an obsession but recently my squidginess is starting to get to me a bit and although I *know* cutting the crap (and wine) and getting a bit of exercise would sort it, I just much prefer the beer and flapjack diet. I heart carbs.

  18. Haha I had a good few laughs out of this 😂😂😂 I find im much better not being on a diet. I make better choices most of the time and I don’t beat myself up if I go all savage.

    1. Yay! Glad I made you smile. You’re so right, guilt has a lot to do with it too. Sometimes we just need to stuff our heads in a cake then get on with our day 😂 Thanks for stopping by! X

  19. Ive always thought it was crazy how so many diets include taking out whole food groups. I have tried a few different things over the last 5 years and of course nothing really worked accept for being more active and just making better choices. Thanks so much for sharing your personal story I think it is inspiring to hear. I also enjoy the myfitness app but tend to eat the wrong kinds of calories. #abrandnewday

  20. It never ceases to amaze me that the diet industry is worth hundreds of billions of pounds when all it boils down to is: moderation and movement! We should all totally give ourselves a break and learn to love the skin we are in – focussing on health rather than a number on a scale! Great post!!

  21. I take my hat off to you – I would never order tea over a cappuccino! Seriously though, this is ace. I feel sad that it’s take you this long to realise that we just need to feel comfortable with who we are and who we were made to be. My daughter is currently being treated for an eating disorder and body dysmorphia. She is 7 and a half stone and beautiful. But she would be just as beautiful at 10 and a half stone. The point here is that she doesn’t think she’s beautiful. That kills me every day because she is gorgeous inside and out. I’m just praying that this mentality does not plague her all her life. Please keep posting stuff like this. It’s such an important message to get across and YOU are beautiful too!

    1. Obviously I won’t always choose tea, I’m not *that* disciplined 🙂 It really does worry me to think that my daughter is going to be getting more and more body conscious the older she gets. I have no experience with eating disorders so I can only imagine what you must be going through as a mother of someone who is dealing with one. It’s so infuriating to think that so many girls/women like her are suffering from life changing issues as a result of the pressure they feel to look a certain way. I wish her well with her treatment and hope that she will one day be able to see the gorgeous girl that you know she is.
      Thank you so much Suzanne for your comment, it really means alot to me to know you liked the post. x

  22. I was one of those young girls who never put weight on no matter what I ate, then I had kids. The last three years have been me exercising and eating well for a few weeks before I realise how much I miss chocolate and binge! I am trying to find a happy medium, where I can eat more or less what I want and exercise a bit x

  23. Good luck i say. All you can try to be is sensible, little steps as you say.. That is a lot of diet books on Amazon. No wonder we get it wrong with all the rubbish diet advice out there! I hope that you continue to prosper with this new mentality! Thanks for linking to #abrandnewday

  24. I hear you girl! What a honest and witty post, loved it. Isn’t it funny we spend most of our lives trying to be something our bodies naturally aren’t and then around our mid thirties we think, hang on a minute life is way too short to be worrying about my wobbly bits. Embrace the wobble and have another piece of cake! (She says on her way to the gym, in her last ditch attempt to drop a few lbs before the going home visit, so people don’t think shes spent the last 6 months eating) baby steps indeed…… #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. Aw thank you so much! I definitely got that ‘life is short’ feeling in my mid 30s, in all respects not just body image/food issues and I think that has also helped me realise there are way more important things to be getting on with than weighing lettuce leaves. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 x

  25. Sounds like a good idea just to trust your instincts. And I think common sense healthy eating, and what feels good to your body is much better than the newest diet fad. There is a book about healthy eating, that involves eating whatever you want and being permissive and eventually the novelty wears off, and you just start to intuit what your body needs, apparently! I’m kind of experimenting with this by having unlimited amounts of crisps in the house! #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. Yes, you would think that would be the obvious and easy route to dealing with it wouldn’t you – something has obviously gone very wrong somewhere along the way! I’ve probably read it, Beyond Chocolate was quite a sensible book I read along those lines, although it still had ‘rules’ obviously otherwise it’s not worth printing right?!
      For me it’s all about mindset, having chocolate in abundance (in the house, not eating it in abundance!) definitely makes me feel less anxious than going ‘cold turkey’ which is a disaster waiting to happen! Best of luck, thanks for commenting x

      1. Hmm interesting. I haven’t read beyond chocolate. Our relationship with food is certainly complex. With my daughter I always try to listen to her feelings so I hope as she grows older she’ll turn to another human being for comfort rather than food. I still love my crisps after a stressful day though!

  26. I remember once in my early twenties looking to buy some diet pills (I can’t remember what they were now) that promised the world. I was discussing it with my dad, and he asked if they did a discount on multiple months purchases. I told him they did and he said don’t buy them then. If they worked, you wouldn’t need to multi purchase. It made total sense and I didn’t buy them. Now every time I’m tempted to buy into the latest fad, I think of that conversation and don’t bother!
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

  27. I guess I’m lucky that I tend not to put too much weight on. I do love a good burger and a can of coke, and probably shouldn’t do that as often as I should. But to be honest I don’t care, I blame my belly on having three kids (not burgers) 😉 #FabFridayPost

  28. Wow! What a journey! I went to all girls boarding school too… and I’ll just leave it at that. I’m not going to say anymore about it. I bought the calories counting book too and I even looked up what excises I can do most to burn the most energy. I would exercise myself to craziness, for hours on end. It is just crazy! At university – I would eat a whole tub of HD ice cream everyday! How on earth did I managed that?? It is beyond me. I would like to get into shape pretty soon as I can feel that my weight is troubling my body and my feet are just at the moment knackered. I will follow you with the baby steps, I think it is a good way forward.

    Thank you for liking up with us on #FabFridayPost x

  29. Love this! You basically described me – I’ve never really been fat and yet I seem to have tried and bought in to every type of diet plan you can possibly imagine. What is that about?! I really hope that my daughter doesn’t grow up feeling the same about her body. Good luck with the sensible way of eating – sounds like the best option. Thanks for sharing with us on #fortheloveofBLOG x

  30. “….at the bottom of an ice cream tub”, the vet diet pic, the cv of dieting disasters. Oh my God this is why I love your blog. I read and absorb every single word (a bit like I do sugar…yep fellow monster over here). Please stop being so good. I can’t KEEP featuring you on my site.

  31. I needed to read this today as I have just eaten a bun slathered in butter and sour cream crisps.. :)… Baby steps right???? #abrandnewday

  32. I totally know what you mean hun! I am constantly asked what diet I am on or what I’m using to help me lose weight. I always wonder why women think they need to pay someone to be told which foods are good and which are bad. Surely it’s just a case of balancing the good and the bad, eat too much ‘bad’ food and you’ll gain weight. Simple. I don’t calorie count, I don’t do Slimming World or Weight Watchers, I just think. I try to be careful about the foods I am eating and balance them. Some days are good, some… not so good. Great post hun, one I’m sure many people will relate to!

  33. OK but what do you do with a cup of tuna, a cup of beetroot and a cup of cauliflower?!

    I’ve given up with diets, like you I clearly remember being 13 saying ooh I’m getting skinnier I can see my ribs…. I DO need to eat healthier. I DO need to keep running and exercising. I need to nourish not deprive myself! And if I want cake and ice cream. I have cake and ice cream. Daily.


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