Good lord let me sleep.

Good lord let me sleep.

Sleep – you either get it or you don’t. At the moment I am not getting much at all. Raphael (my trainer – remember him!?) keeps telling me I need a siesta! I really struggle to nap in the day though, I always wake up feeling worse than I did before and who wants that?

I have never been a brilliant sleeper. Sometimes I need less, sometimes I need more – but I know I am constantly exhausted no matter how much I get! I have had blood tests and this test and that test and there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong. I’ve tried listening to music, reading, watching TV, not watching TV, listening to audiobooks, an eye mask, blinds open, blinds closed, different pillows, making the cats not sleep on my head and MORE!

Some days I am so overwhelmingly tired it’s ridiculous, other days I can seem to thrive on a few hours. I always, ALWAYS get a second wind about 7pm (handy as I play games online most evenings from 8ish :D).

I’m also a really light sleeper so any noises usually wake me up, unfortunately they disturb my dog too who then acts like someone is trying to break in and murder us all – he also doesn’t respond to me telling him to stop so that’s fun!

Some people have suggested sleeping tablets and I have tried the herbal ones but that isn’t something I really want to start. Maybe I am just trying to do all the things and my body is like nope, stop being so ridiculous. It does sound like something my body would do, most definitely.

What are your top tips for sleep? I am considering a really heavy rubber mallet.

Diets and Stuff

Diets and Stuff

Hi, my name is Heather and I have been a yo-yo dieter for around, I would say, over half of my life – so 20 years give or take.

I think I first joined a weight loss group after the birth of my eldest (who is now 20) after I used pregnancy as an excuse to most definitely eat for two and piled on the pounds. I was also young, naive and unprepared for the body changes that come with pregnancy.

I’ve tried them all – WW, SW, Atkins, shakes, calorie counting, high protein, low carb, fasting, paleo, keto… and nothing has ever stuck. Don’t get me wrong I have lost weight with them all initially but then I have either become complacent or I have become bored and just stopped and lo and behold the weight just piles back on and then some.

I am a huge believer of you do you, you do whatever fits you, whatever suits you – some diets will suit some, some will not. I don’t think you should bash anyone for trying either. I personally discovered on SW and to some extent WW I was eating far less calories than was healthy. Now that was how *I* was doing it – isn’t the same for everyone! But it does explain why I was gaining weight as soon as I stopped doing it religiously.

Each diet has it’s own pros and cons. I loved the freedom of SW in regards to pasta/potatoes etc but found I literally ate 500lbs of them both a week – that cannot be good on ANY diet. I hate the tracking of points in WW but I also like the range that you get and it seems a little bit more balanced and portion control is definitely there if you choose the right path. With Atkins I literally lived on cheese and meat, which felt amazing for a while and then man, did I miss bread.

Right now I am trying to eat a balanced diet – I make sure I eat more protein but I don’t cut out carbs. I have swapped chocolate bars for protein bars, I have swapped proper crisps for properchips or popcorn. I do not feel like I am missing out on anything at all. I’m just making better choices. At the minute that is easy because I am buying a lot of ready made meals from Musclefood and their Do the Unthinkable plan. But I’m slowly introducing my own stuff and they send you a folder of recipes so it’s all good!

I can tell you what I have noticed is the BIGGEST thing though – exercise. I can literally hear a collective groan and I honestly groaned a little myself. I have never EVER been a fan of exercise. I did PE in school and wanted to die or break my ankle every time it was anything athletic, especially the frigging beep test. Simon is always telling me that I need to move more and whilst I agreed, it didn’t make me move.

When we found out my dad had cancer I took on Sweatember. I went to the gym every day for 30 days (except when it was closed and then I did at least a 30 min workout at home). Suddenly I could run upstairs without having to have a lie down, I was having people at work tell me how much my shape was changing! I felt good! Then Sweatember ended and I gave myself a day off, then another day off, then I wasn’t well, then my dad went into hospital and a whole amount of other stuff and I gave up – again. Not the first time I had joined a gym and used to tell myself it was the thought that counted.

I had done it again. I had got somewhere, found something that worked and then just let it all fall apart. Life isn’t always easy and it’s so easy to tell yourself you don’t have the time, but the truth is there is always time. So anyway, when lockdown started I began couch to 5k and I soon saw my fitness levels go up a bit again – when I jogged 20 mins non stop I almost cried! But it wasn’t enough and I got bored and complacent again because I do not want to out in public and jog – OH HELL NO!

There was only one thing for it – I talked to Simon and we found me a personal trainer. His name is Raphael and he owns We Train You Gain and we do 2 sessions a week at the moment via Zoom. After the first session I literally had to walk up and down the stairs like a crab – holy CRAP did my legs hurt, everything hurt, I just hurt. But even from the first time it was apparent it was what I needed – someone to actually motivate me and do it with me and push me.

Today I will be having another session and when I get up I do immediately think OH UGH TRAINING TODAY – but then I remember how accomplished I feel when I have finished. We also have good banter so that’s a bonus!

I still try and hit my 10k steps a day – it’s a little hit and miss with not being at work and just feeling like I have so much else to do – but I manage to get out to walk the dog for at least 30 mins a day unless he hides from me and then I go on my own and may do less because I move a lot bloody faster without him stopping every nanosecond to sniff everything. If it is not a training day I try and do something for at least 20 mins – whether it’s something I have done with Raphael or I did try pound fit for a while because I like the idea of being a drummer – either way I do something.

I have learned not to take the scales as gospel – something I have always known but struggle with as on any diet we are encouraged to put our whole efforts into getting a number down, but non scale victories are huge. I have realised that exercise is good for my mental health, if I am feeling particularly crap I just go for a quick walk out in the fresh air and I honestly just feel better – even if only slightly.

I know a lot of people judge others for trying to lose weight and think you’re some kind of hater against larger people, but that isn’t true. I don’t care what anyone’s size is, legit not my business – people need to be happy with themselves and I most definitely am not. It’s not all about my weight, sure. But some of it is and if losing a few inches or pounds helps me become happier with myself then I can only see that as a good thing. I used to care what society thought about me, but as I get older I realise it’s about how you feel inside, how you feel about yourself. Other people do not live in your body, they do not walk in your shoes. Screw other people whether they bring you down by mocking you, or bring you down by not supporting you or making you feel bad for trying to get healthier.


Let’s talk Mental Health

Let’s talk Mental Health

Mental Health – we all have our moments with it, no matter how strong we are, no matter where we come from, no matter what we deal with. Some days we just wake up and we struggle. There is no shame in that at all, most of us spend a lot of time being told to ‘get on with it’ or being told that what we are thinking is wrong. Let me tell you right now – your feelings are VALID – no matter how you feel. If you wake up one day and just feel like life is a struggle that is fine. If you wake up one day and thing “I just need to hide away” that is also ok.

I believe I have struggled with mental health all of my adult life, if not earlier than that. I did not get diagnosed with GAD or Depression until I was in my 30s and I spent most of that time struggling almost daily with the way I felt. I felt I had no support – not because people didn’t want to support me, but because people didn’t know how to handle me. The day I went to the Dr and he acknowledged I needed help I went back to the car and I cried, I cried because I was relieved that finally, FINALLY someone had listened to me and agreed I wasn’t quite alright.

I have gone through the motions of feeling ashamed, useless, weak.. but I now realise that it’s far stronger to get up every day and deal with issues you may have than it is weak. Mental health still has that stigma surrounding it that is all hush hush, let’s not talk about it and it will go away – that isn’t true. People that suffer need to stand up and speak and they need to be heard.

I do find some days a real struggle, I don’t want to get out of bed but I do, I don’t want to go home and deal with things, but I do. I struggle and sometimes I struggle alone, sometimes I struggle with the help of friends and some days now I don’t struggle much at all, but there is no rhyme or reason to when I struggle and when I don’t – it’s always there but some days I just deal with it better.

But you know what hurts – people throwing around insults like “you’re mental”, “you’re insane”, “wow you’re crazy” – I mean we all think it of people at times and will just blurt out “wow that person is batshit!” but you must NEVER use peoples mental health issues against them in an argument – it’s unfair and it’s not ok and quite frankly as humans we should know better. That isn’t to say at times we all mistakes and that is only human too, but if you hurt someone using their mental health against them you really should apologise and learn/grow from it.

Since my dad died I have kept a lot of my feelings in – I don’t think I have really grieved – I have been too busy trying to support everyone else and just get on with it without falling apart – it’s that feeling of if I break and fall I may never get back up and it scares me. But I’ve thrown myself into a few things – I got a personal trainer! (if he’s reading this – HI!) and I always scoffed at people that said exercise makes you feel better, but it’s true! He puts me through my paces and we have some banter which is nice – at the minute it’s all via Zoom but that works! I also took on c25k and managed to get to week 5 and run a whole 20 mins without stopping! I say run, it was more of a slow jog – but it was better than sitting there festering. I make sure I walk the dog daily (except those days he hides from the harness and I just go out alone) – I really find getting out in the fresh air clears my head and honestly some days I have walked around with my sunglasses on with tears in my eyes and that’s ok – it still helps to be outside in the fresh air.

It’s been a very tricky time for all of us, some more than others and nobodies issues are less important or more important – our issues are relative to us and nobody should be made to feel their issues aren’t important. I find quite often dealing with someone elses issues takes my mind off of mine – so I welcome people talking to me, my inbox is always open. I don’t often reach out to friends, not because I don’t care, but because I don’t want to be a bother.

We must talk, we must speak up, we must support one another and if we don’t understand we can at least strive to be as supportive as possible.

Another random ramble but I do feel strongly about this – mental health is very important and it’s time we started looking at people wanting help in the same way we would look at people breaking an arm and needing a dr, or grazing a knee and needing a plaster and a hug.

WOW – What a weekend!

WOW – What a weekend!

That heading makes it seem like this post will be more interesting than it actually will be. Apologies for that.

Anyone that knows me knows that I do not speak up regularly – people seem to think i’m this kind of mega extrovert but I am sooooo not. I am socially awkward and suffer with immense amounts of anxiety – but I do mask it well. Most people have laughed when they have discovered I suffer terribly with anxiety because they think it’s so far from the person they know – but I think when i’m in a situation I just get on with it – afterwards I analyse it and freak out. Anyway – I manage it well now and it’s all good.

But this means that I do NOT ever really give opinions on anything. I tend to keep my mouth shut and only share an opinion with close friends etc. I most definitely do not speak up on public platforms – but yesterday I couldn’t help myself. I have seen SO much rubbish being posted about the whole George Floyd thing, the protests, life in general. I truly believe everyone can have their own opinions and they do not have to match mine at all. But sometimes, just sometimes, their opinion is SO VERY wrong and their comments are very misplaced and just plain dumb. So I found myself sucked in to a conversation yesterday and it ended with me feeling bad. Not bad because someone disagreed with me, bad because they went out of their way to paint me as a terrible person because they had shocking grammar and me being me, pointed that out.

I probably shouldn’t have done as that is what people do to derail the actual point in hand – but I did. Not my proudest moment but immediately this guy made me feel like an awful person because he can’t use your/you’re properly and came at me all guns blazing. Now I don’t particularly care about his opinion at all (because he was a massive idiot), but it did spike my anxiety and I told myself – NO MORE IDIOTS ON THE INTERNET.

Social media can be so very toxic and I would not want to be a child in this day and age growing up with it. I play online games and people can be real asshats behind a screen and a keyboard. I have found the older I get the less tolerant of people being horrible I am, especially since losing my dad a couple of months back during lockdown and having to cope with everything the world was throwing at me – I have definitely become a lot less tolerant for peoples idiocy.

Anyway, quick rant whilst on a break!


Friday at LAST!

Friday at LAST!

This week has marked my first week back at work and not on a rota albeit it only mornings at the moment. I work in a school you see, so with the whole rona situation life has been somewhat topsy turvy and all over the shop!

It’s both good and bad to be back. Good because I needed to come back and see people, any people, other people! GIVE ME PEOPLE! I also really like my job – so it’s good to be back. The bad side is I think all schools are opening WAY too soon and I really wish the government had thought about it a little bit more and listened to SAGE – you know – the people who know what they’re talking about. It is what it is though and after the goings on of the last few months I am happy to be back in a place where I can forget about life for just a little while.

I am supposed to be going to uni in Sept! I mean who knows what is happening with the way things are at the moment, but I have secured my place and my funding and I am ready to go – I am both excited and scared. I have gone through life not really knowing what I want out of it. I have never really been career minded at all, I am still not! But the end game plan is to have a degree and sadly, these days, many jobs require one so they’re good to have.

My degree will be in Teaching and Learning. NOT teaching – I repeat NOT teaching. I can get to the end of the three year course and decide I want to teach and do my NQT year to be a teacher – but I don’t have to. There are lots of other areas to explore: educational psychology, youth and childhood studies, social work and apparently many many more. I just don’t know right now what I want to do, seems to be the story of my life. I am currently retaking my Biology GCSE as my GCSES were quite shocking – I didn’t care much at the time – I had a boyfriend and wasn’t interested in learning. Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Oh em GEE! I love Biology I do! I love the foundations of it but knowing the ins and outs of it is absolutely ROCK HARD. Jesus there is so much to remember and stuff I NEVER remember learning in the past just sits there on the page staring at me like it’s inviting me to fight it and I just cower in front of the page and hide. I don’t envy children these days, so much has changed, has it got harder or have I just put it in a little box, locked it away and thrown it FAR FAR AWAY?

I remember my mum and dad and various other people telling me “school days are the best days of your life!” OH HOW I SCOFFED! Absolutely mental to say that! MENTAL! But now I hear myself saying it to my own kids and the kids I work with because it’s true! Sure these days kids have it a lot different – they can’t just pop out on the streets and play because it’s not safe. They don’t have to wait until 6pm to make a phone call because it’s cheap. They don’t have to make arrangements for meeting up somewhere at a certain time on a certain day during the holidays and hoping people turn up because they do all this on social media! There is no GRRRCRRSZZZZZ sound as they connect to the internet. They don’t pop on AOL and go into “The Pub” thinking they’re the bees knees. They don’t know what an ICQ number is. I don’t know if its a good or bad thing. I am going to go with BAD. Mental to think of the time I spent in the virtual pub talking to people I didn’t know, but it was a community! I made friends. Internet trolls hadn’t really come about in a massive way then so it was a relatively safe haven. Hey I moved to Manchester at 18 and had NO CLUE how to use a washing machine. What did I do? I popped on AOL and into “The Pub” and someone told me.

Ah life was simpler then, sometimes I wish I had a time machine. Would I change a lot? Nope, but would I change somethings? Hell yes. I have made bad choices in life at times, who hasn’t? But I’ve also made good ones.

I dunno what this ramble was but ho hum, it’s my mind spilling out and here it is.


Hello world.. take two

Hello world.. take two


It’s been a while. A lot has happened since the last post. Coronavirus, George Floyd (and I’m sure many, many others) and general shite.

My dad passed away. It’s been around 2 months now and I still haven’t grieved properly. People tell me I may not grieve for years, or I may grieve for all those years, or forever. It’s been especially hard to cope with during lockdown. I’ve been on my own with no support and honestly – it’s mentally, emotionally and physically taken it’s toll.

I’m tired more so than usual, I’m less tolerant of anything, I’m sad and then I cheer up and then I’m sad again. I’m painfully lonely – I’m a whole bunch of messed up nonsense because all this has been happening and life hasn’t stopped. It isn’t like time stands still and you get to catch your breath when someone dies, life continues full pelt and just drags you along.

I am struggling a great deal with life. I don’t have Simon at home, I have to deal with work and the kids. I have to do all the stuff in the house, I have to feed the pets and walk them. I have to remember to eat and shower and all those things that normally would be second nature. I have to keep my own mental health issues at bay while I deal with my mums grief, my kids grief, my dads finances etc. It’s hard, it’s not just hard it’s a fucking miracle I haven’t just sat in a heap and given up tbh because that’s how I feel quite often.

I need to start writing again to get it all out. At the moment it’s just trying to get from one day to the next and try not to feel all the dark things that are creeping in – it’s day to day trying to survive and get on. Everyone keeps telling me how strong I am and how well I am doing but honestly I’m very broken right now in so many ways.

I have a good gaggle of friends that have been keeping me busy and I have many that have checked to see how I am and just made sure I’m ok which is really appreciated considering that everyone else has so much going on.

Anyway, I think I’ll definitely do this more often – it’s quite cathartic to just get it all out even if no one ever sees it.

Hello, world.

Hello, world.

Hello, it’s a me – Heather.

I haven’t been here for some time, I have been slacking – or not slacking and doing other things if I am honest with myself, but I feel the urge to write again, even if just to get my thoughts down on paper.

Life is not being particularly kind right now. My dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year, he had an op and that was that. We then discovered it had spread to his liver and lungs. Yes – that – type of cancer. Great. Now, any type of cancer is crap, utter and complete CRAP. But anyway, he has just had an op on his liver, well not just, a month ago now and he is STILL in hospital. They took 70% of his liver and now it doesn’t work, at all.

So yes, life is pretty rough right now and I feel helpless. I am going through the motions and going to work, coming home, trying to be a good mum and honestly I am not sure I am doing well at anything but what can you do but try?

I am feeling very woe is me, I am angry at the world for choosing such an awesome person to give his horrific disease to, as I am sure many people feel about it – all the bad, horrible people in the world that do not deserve it (wouldn’t wish it on anyone) – yet the good people seem to be first in line to suffer. It’s not ok. I am not ok. HE is not ok. Nothing is ok.

I sit here writing this and I am rambling, I am tired and I am done with so much, but I can’t be – I have a job, I have kids, I have my mum and brother to think of and of course, my dad. If they are all holding it together then I must do the same, because life is not a cake walk, but GOSH is it crap!

I have had a good cry at work, I have a cold coming which is making me more woe is me than usual. But I know if I come here and just TALK, get it out, not even just this – but anything – I will hopefully feel better.