Progress is visible.

When I started this blog, I wasn’t in a great place. I didn’t feel too grand about myself, where my life seemed to be going or, to be precise, its lack of direction,  and the loss of my social life. I watched my pre-baby friends hang out in the park having fun, drinking beer, going about their lives without hours of preparation and planning. They could rock up to a gig at a moment’s notice or drive down to a festival without worrying where they would kip. Heck, they could go to gigs and festivals.

Their lives seemed to be carrying on without me, while mine stood still and I felt OLD. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son with my whole life and would never choose my pre-baby life over this but I wasn’t expecting to feel old, frumpy and like time had stood still for me. I felt like life was passing me by at the age of 28.

It got worse when I realised returning to work, any work, was out of the question financially. Moving away was impossible and would probably break my heart anyway. I love this city, I love my little area. I feel elated just walking down Archway Road and seeing the London skyline.

Yet, I didn’t feel like a Londoner any more. I didn’t get the tube anywhere and people talked to me. Complete and utter strangers started conversations with me on buses and then one day, I found myself doing the same. It felt strangely familiar, like I was transported back up North to where, on the most part, people natter away at every opportunity rather than sit in stony silence next to a stranger on a bus. Like you have to spend the next 30 minutes of your life with your thighs squished up together so you better smile and find out how far down the route those thighs are intending to go.

Still, I love this city. I love going down to the river, appreciating the green spaces, that you can be spontaneous and find something worthwhile and interesting if you look hard enough. A lot of that gets hidden under nappies, prams, catching hats and toys.

I started this blog because I weighed myself one day and I was still the same 11lb 3oz I was months before. I was overweight and unhappy. Not that being thin makes you happy but being fat was not making me any less unhappy. I hated the way I looked, I hated my boring Mum-hair, old clothes and beat up trainers. I wanted to have a conversation with someone about music, books, films or the news and I found myself with connections made solely through my son. I didn’t know these new people like I knew my friends.

It may have taken a while to find some common ground that I feel comfortable on, my nervous chatter might have been a stumbling block as well, but I have met some wonderful, interesting people; who below the initial surface have continued to surprise and entertain me.

I re-coloured my hair, tried out a new style (known as growing it – something not done since I hacked it all off into 2-inch, pink spikes, aged 16), and trawled ebay and the sales for cheap clothes that were not black jeans and tees. They are in fact black leggings, dresses and skirts but I like black.

I started doing face masks, looking after my skin, taking one night a week to see my best friend, who only lives on the next street. I’ve even made it to a few gigs and stayed up until 5.30am partying. Things are more erratic on the social side but it still exists.

I have a vague plan of where life may take me but have learnt not to worry so much about a firm career, I can forge my own way in this world. I have become confident in my parenting and saying ‘no’ to things I’d just otherwise get annoyed at to be polite. I am getting quite good at saying ‘no’.

I logged back into my fitness app today, recorded my food diary for the first time in a long time and entered my new weight; 9lbs 12oz. That is a total loss of 1.4 stone or 19-odd lbs. Not bad going really. So my belly is still wobbly and marked, I can’t fit into a large proportion of my pre-pregnancy clothes but I can fit into some and more to come. I feel positive about getting my body back in shape now.

I don’t gorge on cake, probably because I am no longer in that place where I need a sugar rush to get me to the next coffee. My caffiene intake is right down and I feel so much better for it. Plus, I have almost finished Shantaram – only 4 months in – so might get to read some more books.

This feels like progress, I can see the progress. I am starting to enjoy my new life, finally.

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