Size doesn’t matter

When I was younger I can remember hiding my clothes when I stayed round friend’s houses, and I would definitely never leave a hanger on show which displayed my size clearly for all to see.

At the age of sixteen I bought a pair of size 14 jeans which I still have to this day, although they are now much too big for me.  I hated them, the style didn’t really suit me at all and I could only just do them up but they were the first pair of size fourteen jeans that I had been able to do up in an incredibly long while.  As a teenager I was always in size sixteen or above despite being active (regularly walking, biking and horse riding 15+ hours a week).  I did wear a lot of baggy clothes to hide my size but essentially I was a size sixteen.

I have now been a size twelve for about nine years.  A size ten for a little while, occasionally buying size fourteens, but I have not really altered a huge amount in my adult life.

Clothes size labels

Last night my friend purchased a size 20 bridesmaid dress for me for her wedding next year.

Vicki's coral bridesmaid dressNow I know I’m not a UK size 20.  In fact, the majority of my clothes are a UK size 12, with a few shorts and jeans in a size 10.  It’s usually my boobs that let me down though, as was the case last night whilst I was trying on what we thought at the time was a size 12 dress.  The sizing everywhere else was just right (although the dress did need to come up a little bit in length).  The dress fitted me fine everywhere, except for around my boobs where the zip was a good couple of inches away from doing up.

Vicki's coral bridesmaid dressVicki, the Bride-to-be had ordered three slightly different coral dresses in a size 12 as two of her four bridesmaids are a size 12 and she wanted to see which dresses looked nicest on, with the idea of returning two of the dresses and then ordering them in the correct size for the other three bridesmaids.  As Vicki measured me up to determine which size to order for me she discovered that the size 12 dresses she thought she had ordered originally were in fact a U.S. size 12 (UK size 16).
Vicki's coral bridesmaid dress

If this had been five years ago I would have been absolutely mortified.  A size 16 not doing up on me?  Having to buy a size 20 dress?  I’ll have to cut the labels out…no one must know!  I know that I am not a size 20.  The sizes on the Chinese dresses were way out of whack.  I wore a size 14 wedding dress that was if anything, slightly too large at my wedding a month ago and I’m happy in my own skin right now.

I can honestly say I’ve not weighed myself since the day I left home to get married at the start of August.  Weighing myself is something which I have always done on a weekly basis since I was thirteen years old.  I know I’m relatively healthy – I exercise six days a week and eat foods that are good for me the majority of the time.  Would it really matter if I was a size 20?  It’s just a number.

I love this picture (source) showing a variety of women athletes all currently at their physical peak in their chosen sports.Different sized women athletes

It really does show that one size certainly does not fit all and not to be ashamed of your height, weight or size.

When I went wedding dress shopping with a friend a little while back she measured up as a size 22 for the dress that she wanted to buy.  She begged the shop assistant to order it in a size 18, promising to lose weight before her wedding but they stuck to their guns and reminded her that it would be a lot easier to take in a dress than to try and add material on if she was unable to reach her target.  At the end of the day, how many people are going to see the size printed on the label in your clothes?  Surely it’s much better to be comfy and feel confident than be restricted in your movement but be able to say you’re wearing a smaller size.  I have friends of all shapes and sizes and some of my much more fashionable friends may be slightly larger but have learnt what works for them.  We’re all different and that’s how it’s meant to be.  Life would certainly be pretty boring if we were all Barbie look-alikes!

All that being said, any suggestions on tightening up my chest area?  Buying shirts is a proper pain!  I always have to go up a few sizes for my boobs but then they look baggy and silly around my arms and waist.

A supermarket swap

This morning I headed out to Lidl for my food shop.  A little while back I posted about how I was looking for ways to save money in the lead up to our wedding and house move.  Like most people, probably one of the largest and more manageable ways for us to save money is by adjusting our fortnightly food shopping spend.

This morning I purchased the following;

350g closed cup mushrooms
6 wholemeal pitta breads
375g British chicken diced breast
2x packs of two Bernard Matthews Southern Fried Turkey Steaks
1kg British carrots
2x 200g white chocolate
2x 200g milk chocolate
fresh mixed peppers pack
600g easy peeler clementines
1 courgette
340g honey
Hellman’s mayonnaise

Lidl shop

My total bill came to £16.87.  A quick tot up ensured that it was marginally cheaper than it would have been had I bought the same items from Tesco, which I am sure will add up over time.  Marginally, as in less than £1 cheaper.  I was hoping for a little more difference but hey, any difference is obviously a bonus.  The fruit and veg is much nicer quality at Lidl and I’m looking forward to a few days of roasted vegetables this week.

Roasted veg with pitta bread and goats cheese


Roasted veg is literally my go to lunch.  I would have it every day of the week if I didn’t think other people would get bored of it!  Dan’s not a veggie eater in the slightest, so when I have my lunches without him, I take the opportunity to throw as many veggies in as possible!

Unfortunately I dropped and smashed my mayo jar on the way to the car (should have brought some bags to carry things in!)  Dan will have to go without mayo on his tea tonight!  I think you have to take your own bags with you at Lidl?  I know my Dad normally takes a box with him to pack his buys in.  It’s something I need to get better at remembering anyway.  I always keep spare carrier bags in my car but never remember to take them in with me when I’m shopping.  Fail!

I also love shopping in different places so that I can check out all the cool foods in town!  Waitrose is one of my favourite places to do this.  It’s so much more expensive than I would normally pay for my shopping in store but I like to nip in there from time to time to see what new and fun things I can find.

I’ve managed to stick to my meal planning over the past couple of months.  This saves a tremendous amount of money and I find we have a lot less wastage in the fridge.  Monday – Friday I’m into a meal planning routine, but the weekends always go to pot!

The remainder of this week’s meals on the agenda are;

Tuesday: Breakfast=toast and peanut butter.  Lunch=Roasted carrots, peppers, mushrooms, courgette with tomato pasta sauce and goats cheese served with a wholemeal pitta (above).  Tea=Butternut squash risotto.
Wednesday: Breakfast=Send A Cow recipe (Egyptian loaf of bread).  Lunch=Leftover butternut squash risotto and roasted veg.  Tea=Potato gratin with cooked bacon and peas.
Thursday: Breakfast=Muffin with jam.  Lunch=Roasted veg with goats cheese.  Tea=Vegetable and cheese omelette with spicy homemade wedges.
Friday: Breakfast=Yoghurt with fruit.  Lunch=Sweet potato with egg.  Tea=Honey coated chicken with rice, peppers and peas.

I shall keep my tangerines and almond packs with me by my desk for when I feel a snack attack coming on!

Where do you shop?  Why?

Do you meal plan?…If so, do you plan meals for the weekends as well or just leave it to chance?!

The moral of the day is…

…don’t eat a slice of rich chocolate cake an hour before your 5 mile run!

The cake…

My run this afternoon was super speedy without having planned it to be.  I aimed to run a steady 5 mile run at approx 10-10:30mm pace.  My garmin was ages finding signal for some reason so I was already a half mile into my run by the time I clicked the start button on the watch.  I was finding my legs quite laggy and not really wanting to move quickly.  But, when I glanced at my watch as it beeped to let me know I’d run a mile I saw 8:49mm pace!  No wonder my legs were so laggy.  My head thought I was running 10:30mm!  I decided to continue running at this pace, if I ran out of energy I would just slow it down to an actual 10:30 pace!  Just after mile two I slowed to a walk for a few seconds while I removed my jacket to roll up my sleeves.  It was deceptively hot this afternoon!  At two and a half miles my stomach was making awful churning motions and just after the third mile marker I had to quickly leap behind a hedge where my body rejected the cake.  :(  However, I felt a lot lighter for the remainder of the run and my splits are as follows…

Mile 1: 8:49

Mile 2: 9:19

Mile 3: 9:25

Mile 4: 8:58

Mile 5: 9:06

If I had been running a 5 mile race it would be a new PB for me even when including the walking time and hedge jumping time!

Back to my day…would have made more sense to start at the start wouldn’t it?!

Breakfast was a new cereal for me.  Tesco Special Flakes.  I’m pretty sure they’re new in store too.  They have less calories in than the Jordan’s cereal and are a lot cheaper for pretty much the same contents…  This went with almost the last of my low fat yoghurt.  I will have to come up with some new breakfast ideas next week.

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I needed to get some new shoes/sandals for Amy’s wedding tomorrow.  My feet are horrible, very ugly and impossible to buy shoes for!!!  They are a size 8/9 (which is quite large for UK women.  Most shoe shops only stock up to an 8.)  They are also extremely wide and fat and I also have a high arch!  Because I’m quite tall anyway, and the same height as Dan I don’t often like wearing heels and at times I have the runners curse of black toenails so don’t always like to show off my toes without three coatings of a bright nail varnish to cover the rotting toenail!  So I HATE shoe shopping!  Dan seems to love shopping for me though and always convinces me to try on items I wouldn’t normally buy and then end up buying them!  Today he convinced me to look for a new dress for the wedding as well.  After looking in several shops I found this dress in TK Maxx which will go perfectly with the white sandals I found in New Look.

You have to imagine I’m not wearing massive black socks, have my hair down and curly and am not pulling that stupid face for this to work!

After we had finished shopping we were both starving and both suggested at the same time heading to Subway.  My stomach was just aching by this point.  Not grumbling, but aching…?!

As always, I had a 6 inch meatball marinara on cheese herb bread with tomatoes, sweetcorn, lettuce and peppers.  No added sauce but lots of the neapolitan sauce.  I love tomato based sauces.  When I worked as a restaurant manager I used to make my own mega salads for my lunchbreaks and then pour a big scoopful of neapolitan sauce over the top each day.  Yum!

I wonder what the most popular sub is?…I haven’t even tried any of the other sandwiches!…Do they have the same selection over in America?

When we returned from our shopping trip I ate that fateful slice of Easter cake (pictured above)  :( and went for my run.  For tea I tried a new experiment…


A while back Dan had wanted us to make our own satay sauce as it’s one of his favourite dishes from the chinese.  Chinese takeaway/restaurant dinners become really expensive and it’s difficult to know exactly what goes into each dish so tonight, I attempted to create my own chicken satay dish!

I basically made it up as I went along as every recipe I found online called for different ingredients and amounts.  I mixed two large spoonfuls of smooth organic peanut butter with a long pour of dark soy sauce, a spoonful of caster sugar, a squirt of semi-skimmed milk and a dollop of low fat yoghurt (as it was just sitting in the fridge next to the milk doing nothing!) together before heating up in a saucepan and mixing in with tiny ripped up pieces of the remaining chicken I cooked for the roast on Monday night.  On the side I served boiled rice with peas and I had a few sliced mushrooms as they have been sat in the fridge a while now and need eating up.

The meal was a success and Dan has labelled it as one of his top 5 so shall be repeated in the future!

The deciding factor…

Yesterday I had to purchase a new swimsuit ready for a spa day today for a friend’s hendo. I headed to Tesco yesterday afternoon for some cheap deals, pulled out two bikinis and two swimsuits all in a size 12. Well…I looked horrific and crammed in when trying on all four outfits! I haven’t had to buy size 14s in the longest time but yesterday, I purchased a size 14 costume and am actually not really looking forward to the spa day at all.  It would be different if I knew the other girls on the hendo, but I really only know the bride.  The other girls going are all teeny tiny little size girls with flat stomachs.  This is my get serious moment.

Ideally I would like to lose about 2 stone which would take me down to my lightest and happiest weight.  I know it’s down to me to do and that I need to really focus on what I am putting into my body.  I workout plenty, it is down to the food and making better choices.  I am improving with my choices, but not as much as I need to.  Expect a typed up plan of action over the next few days…!…

My day started off with a 7:30am get-up and a toasted bagel with smooth peanut butter on.


I then took ages to gear myself up to go running even though it was quite sunny outside.  I didn’t leave until 9:40 and when I left Dan was still in bed.  This made me feel a little guilty as this is the last chance for us to really enjoy a lay-in together this holiday and if I’d have left straight away I would have been back before he’d even woken up.

The aim was to complete 9 miles at a steady marathon pace and I really wasn’t feeling the run this morning.  At mile 3.5 I could feel my little toe rubbing the toe next to it and told myself I would stop when I got to mile 4 to sort my socks out.  Fortunately by the time I got to mile 4 my toes were no longer rubbing so I carried on.  This run was all about mind games.  As I got to mile 6.2 I realised that I had not kept to the rule of ‘bring water if running over an hour and bring fuel if running over an hour and a half’.  Fail!  This then also meant that my head kept shouting at me for being so stupid and demanding that I stop.  I ignored my head and decided to run to mile 7.  I convinced myself by that point that I would be so dehydrated I would have to stop before I collapsed in a heap on the side of the road.  Of course that didn’t happen so I told myself that there were only two miles left to go.  I didn’t have to run them fast but I would be back in 20 minutes, hardly any time at all.  Luckily, I managed to control my thoughts and ran the whole 9 miles without stopping.  An entirely mental thing today and I proved that I could overcome it.  Splits as follows…

Mile 1: 10:23

Mile 2: 10:45

Mile 3: 10:33

Mile 4: 10:27

Mile 5: 10:26

Mile 6: 10:31

Mile 7: 10:20

Mile 8: 10:01

Mile 9: 10:09

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Of course, afterwards I had two glasses of water and my post-run glass of semi-skimmed milk!

I grabbed a quick shower and crawled into bed with Dan afterwards who was working on his laptop from bed.  I felt really exhausted and actually fell back asleep for a few minutes before getting round to making lunch.  I grabbed a Graze box (Strawberry milkshake) as Dan had only just had breakfast and I knew he wouldn’t want lunch straight away.


I’ve been nagging Dan to mow the lawn as it’s been so sunny the past couple of days.  Luckily he finally took my *subtle* hints and got out there today after requesting a stuffing and chicken sandwich for lunch.  This I made for him, and added cranberry sauce to my version of the sandwich.  When I nipped to the shop to grab some stuffing I passed the bakery, which still had lots of cakes left in the window, so I grabbed a top-hat for us each.  These are my Dad’s favourites and he can never resist getting some of these when he comes to visit!

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We had arranged to go to The Dogs with our friends Vick and Alex last night.  On a Wednesday night you get entry and a meal for a £1.  We’d been with them before and really enjoyed it.  I was a little nervous about the food choices as last time it had just been hotdog and chips, cheeseburger and chips, chicken nuggets and chips, etc.  This time though, they also had jacket potatoes, so I grabbed a jacket with cheese and beans and a side salad (that I added way too much mayonnaise to!) with half of a Strongbow.

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The queue for food was ridiculous and the people serving were moving incredibly slowly.  Despite being one of the first let into the racecourse Vick and I queued for over 45 minutes!  When we were nearly at the front I felt somebody push into me and the larger lady that had been stood behind me fell across both Vick and I landing across my shoulder and pinning me to the stools.  I lowered her to the ground.  Another guy in the queue ran over all panicky and kept shouting out what could he do?!  I told him to go get some water and asked anybody if they had a jumper to put under the lady’s head.  Another queueing customer was a paramedic so she took over and snatched a magnum icecream from the icecream stand to give to the collapsed woman who hadn’t eaten anything for a while.  We had been stood upright for a long while and that was probably what made the woman collapse.  Luckily she was fine by the time we got served and all colour had returned to her face.

Here’s some pictures of us pre-race…

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And one of Dan deep in (posed) thought choosing his dogs…


And some of our winning tickets!  We won four times in total over 11 races.  (Only about £3-4 each time.)


Afterwards, the others were still hungry so went to grab a McDonalds.  I’m not a fan of McDonalds at all, and wasn’t hungry anyway but knew I needed something sweet to nibble on to keep me awake for the drive home so grabbed a chocolate muffin.