Starting Again

As you already know, I’ve started teaching full-time again. And… I love it!

One of the things that I was looking forward to, was the fact that I’d be too busy to eat everything I could get my hands on!

Seriously – I’ve exercised five times in the last YEAR! Four times in August and once in September. And that’s it.

Every day I eat two boiled eggs for breakfast and I take food to school with me – a small box of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, a small box of carrot sticks, an apple and some chicken salad. It’s enough to see me through the day, right? Apparently not.

So I need the Crunchy Nut and the carrot sticks for while I’ve got my prep periods – you know, something to munch on while I’m grading or planning, or whatever. But that usually means that it’s all gone by 8.30 am.

Anyway, so just my luck – the cafeteria is right next door to my classroom. RIGHT NEXT DOOR.

Bistro 7 caters for the school. This is great for them. But not for me. Have you ever had their chocolate brownies? TO DIE FOR!

Anyway, so at 9.30 every morning, in to the cafeteria I go – whether I’m hungry or not and I have a chocolate brownie. It’s reached a point where the staff don’t even ask me what I want anymore – they just hand me the brownie and I hand them a N500 note. It’s also reached a point where my colleagues take the piss out of me!

But that’s not all. So I have the brownie. And then two hours later – during my lunch period, I have my chicken salad (it’s good – but it’s become boring). And then I’ll go back to the cafeteria and get French fries (they are SO good). JESUS CHRIST – WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Again, the staff just know what I want!

Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if I had to walk down three floors to get there and then three more floors to go back to my classroom – but no. NEXT DOOR!

Needless to say, although I know I’m not doing myself any favours, I keep on eating. A couple of weeks ago I decided enough was enough and I didn’t want to keep eating the brownies and the fries. So I decided to go back on Cambridge Weight Plan. I did so well on it last year… But stuff kept getting in the way – dinners with friends at the weekend, drinks with colleagues on a Friday afternoon, brownies in the cafeteria next door…

I decided half-term was a perfect time to start. I wanted to go to the CWP centre on Friday to get all my shakes and soups sorted so I could start on Monday. But Friday was a half-day at school and a large glass of red wine with colleagues put a stop to that plan. So I decided to go on Saturday – but they close early on Saturdays and I couldn’t make it on time. So I went yesterday (Monday).

I walked into the centre and the lady there had to weigh me. And I’m ashamed to say that I’ve put on four (FOUR) kilos since April. WTAF? To be fair, I did go in the middle of the day – so maybe I’ve only put on 3?

Anyway, so I’ve started Cambridge Weight Plan again today. It should be relatively painless (yeah right) this week – but once I start back at school…

Oh well – let’s see!

Personal Shopping

I’ve put on a lot of weight. I’ve gone up two dress sizes. Yes, the same happened when I was pregnant with V1. But I never really lost all the weight the first time round, so now I’m bigger than I was then. Oh – and my feet have also grown. Again. Last time they grew half a size. This time they’ve grown a full size. So they’re a size and a half bigger than they were before V1 was born!

I’m not thrilled about it. And I know I can lose a lot of it (if I put my mind to it) – but it will take time. More likely it will take time until I actually start doing something about it! It’s very rare that I feel determined to do something. It wasn’t until last year that I started looking semi-normal (for me) again. And that was when V1 turned three! I’ll have to start working at it sooner this time I guess.

Before I go any further, it would be worth mentioning that I’m not trying to offend anyone with my comments about size or shape. I’m not saying that big isn’t beautiful or anything like that. I’m talking about MY size and MY shape and how it makes ME feel. I think if you feel good, you look good. And right now, I’m not feeling good. Got it? Good.

Since Baby V was born (two months ago), I’ve worn leggings every day. Leggings and a maternity t-shirt. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I’m very comfortable – I won’t deny that. I tried on some jeans about two weeks after he was born. Big mistake. I couldn’t get anything round my waist and zips hurt my c-section site. So I decided I wasn’t going to do that again.

I was tempted to buy lots of winter clothes. You know – layers! But that was pointless as I am only in London for a short time. And I’m glad I didn’t as it’s been so warm. Well, until yesterday anyway.

And now I need summer clothes. All summer long I’d waddle around the shops (buying stuff for the children) admiring the clothes. I wanted to buy loads – but didn’t know what size I’d need. So I didn’t buy anything. And I’m regretting it now!

Anyway – so since I’ve never been this size (very large) or shape (very round) before, I’ve really struggled to buy clothes. I didn’t know how to dress for my shape or what would look good/what I could get away with.

The first thing I did was go to John Lewis to get myself measured so I could buy new bras. I couldn’t wait to get back into underwired bras! After trying on about ten bras, the ‘fitter’ (I don’t know what else to call her) told me my size. She then went on to tell me that they had NOTHING in stock in that size. Lovely. So I went to House of Fraser. I got fitted again. Turns out I wasn’t the size the woman in JL told me, and I was actually another size. But that size wasn’t in stock at House of Fraser. I was ready to have a meltdown. All I wanted was a bra! The lady at House of Fraser gave me another size option. The fit wasn’t perfect – but it would do.

I’d been thinking about making myself an appointment for a personal shopper at John Lewis or Debenhams. To help me with my clothing dilemma. I’ve been to John Lewis A LOT over the last few months – and while I’ve liked a few things I’ve seen – I hadn’t liked loads. So I decided not to do it there. I don’t know why I decided against Debenhams, I just did. So while I was in House of Fraser that day, I made a Personal Shopper appointment for the following Wednesday. The lady who took the appointment asked me if I’d mind a male stylist. I was quite happy with that. In fact, I preferred it.

The next morning I put on my new bra. And I was really upset. It just didn’t fit properly. It had looked alright in the store – but terrible at home. So I went to Bravissimo. Why I didn’t go there in the first place, I just don’t know. The lady who did my fitting was brilliant and I left with four new bras. Hooray!

So the morning of my personal shopping appointment dawned. I was nervous. What would it be like? Would it be like a Trinny and Susannah thing? Would I look like a different person (yes please!)? Would I get to walk round and choose stuff with the stylist? Would he laugh at me and my huge arse? Would he advise me on what I should and shouldn’t wear? Clearly I had too much time to think about it!

Anyway, so I arrived fifteen minutes early and waited. And waited. A man finally showed up. He looked at me and smiled and said, ‘Hi’. I said ‘Hi’ too. And then he said, ‘I haven’t seen you for a long time.’ Errr… Or ever? I told him we’d not┬ámet before. He looked a bit confused but shrugged it off.

He led me to a private dressing area for my consultation. I explained that I had just had a baby and needed summer clothes – day and evening. The consultation was about ten minutes long. He said it would normally be longer, but because there’s only winter wear on the shop floor there weren’t going to be too many choices! Great. He told me to wait there and that he’d be back in about thirty minutes with a whole bunch of stuff to try on. That was fine, but I was confused. How was he going to know what I will or won’t wear? He didn’t know that I try to avoid sleeveless tops (the arm holes always gape and my back fat isn’t a pretty sight). He didn’t know that I like sparkly things. Or that I didn’t want to wear any short tops. What the hell was he going to bring me?

When he came back, he brought a rail of clothing. I immediately saw things that I hated. And a couple of things that I quite liked. On the whole I didn’t think he really ‘got’ me. But how could he have? I tried everything on anyway and I have to admit, I was quite impressed with some of the things. He told me I had to dress for the body I have. Not the body I had. NO SHIT? REALLY? Isn’t that why I was there? He also told me that if I wear long tops and t-shirts, my legs would look shorter. Oh yeah! I saw that immediately. I’d much rather have my arse hidden away, but that wouldn’t always be possible. I wondered why he hadn’t bought me some of the evening wear I’d seen when I’d walked around earlier. Did he think I was too old? Too fat? Wouldn’t need it? I let it go and decided I could always try stuff on on my own at a later time.

So he did quite well. I bought quite a lot. I won’t tell you how much I spent or how many items I bought. But I will tell you that because it was all mostly summer wear, it was pretty much all on sale!

The experience has bolstered my confidence a little. I feel a bit better about going into shops and trying on (and buying) larger sizes than I’m used to.

But I am going to miss my leggings and maternity t-shirts once I’m back in Lagos!