My Summer Pain – and why I wouldn’t change it

It’s nearly summer. Hooray! If there’s anything I love more than the sun making an appearance, it’s being able to throw off the socks. Boots be gone, summer’s here and I’m cracking out the sandals. Mules, flip flops, reef sandals, I love em all. I love painting my toenails and feeling the air under my soles. Yes, summer truly is my favourite footwear season.

Only, it’s not an easy season. Every summer, since I’ve been able to afford them, I’ve worn Birkenstock single strap ‘Madrid’ mules. I love them. I love the look, I love that they go with anything, I love that you can just slip them on. I’ve owned several pairs over the years. My first were a rather natty silver, but since then every pair I’ve had has been white. Every year I think of moving onto a different colour and every year I can’t help but go back to the simplicity of the fresh looking, summery white.

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And yet every year, without fail, regardless of whether I’m wearing last year’s sandals or a box fresh pair, they give me blisters. Every summer, my poor big toes are shredded and the bridge of my foot has a 3 inch rub line. It’s to do in part with the fact that I pronate (roll in) when I walk. I know that. But it doesn’t stop me. I love them. So I just have to push on through.

The summer starts in pain. Blisters and friction burns and spending more on plasters than the shoes! But eventually the skin toughens up. The blisters heal and I suddenly realise I can wear them without half a roll of micropore tape strapped to my feet and finally summer is truly under way.

Until Autumn comes, the weather changes, and the socks go back on, undoing all that hard work. And next summer I know I’ll have to start all over again. Because despite the pain and the blisters and the fuss and the mess, I’m never going to give up my beloved sandals.

Perhaps I should just buy shares in Elastoplast next summer?

I'm already wearing my Birkenstocks this year!

I’m already wearing my Birkenstocks this year!

Slimming World Update – Week 39

Hello!

How’s your week been? Mine could have been better but hey it could have been worse and I’m getting a bit sick of looking at the lows every week, when there’s also highs to talk about! I’ve really struggled to find the motivation to stay focussed this week, but on the other hand I’ve eaten some great ‘on plan’ meals and hung out with some top friends. So yeah the snacking’s been a bitch this week, but I’ve started this year’s tan off. This week could have practically been a Slimming World write off but I’ve helped out friends and discovered new local parks. I got told the gall stones I have really mean my gall bladder needs removing, but I’ve also watched my son play pee-po with a friend’s baby completely unprompted. Sometimes I think it’s about the setting of your emotional compass more than anything – which way do you want to view things? You have to make a choice.

And this week I choose to see the good.

I wasn’t hopefully for weigh in this Thursday – seriously. In fact I actually prep’d my entire speech as to why I’d had a gain – even started to plan this weeks post in my head. But I lost 0.5lb. Weird huh? That makes a total loss of 5 stone 5lb (75lb).

I was so surprised I barely knew what to say when it came to me in group. So I was asked how I felt now my consultant at Liphook had left. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this here before, partly because when it happened a few weeks ago, we all discussed how it was the members who make a group and not the consultant. And I was down with that concept. But the dynamic has changed, regardless of what anyone said. People have stopped staying to group, some faces have left altogether, new ones have joined. The consultant we have now is temporary cover. Regardless of what Zoe said before she left, it has made a difference. And it was nice to get that off my chest. I know that ultimately my motivation lies with me and I can’t use things like this as an excuse, but it was good to discuss it and I appreciated the space in which to do it. Cheers Sara for that. What this means for my choice of group moving forward I’m not sure. It’s really given me something to think about though.

Anyway!!!! Staying with the theme of choosing to see the good I have had several hints as to how well I’m doing in the last week. I’ve explained before that the numbers on the scales are invaluable, but its the physical signs that make the real difference to me.

1) I’ve had to tighten my Birkenstocks.

I love my Birkenstocks and spend my summers in them every year. Last years pair are starting to look a bit battered and I could really do with a new pair, but I realised this week that they’re too wide now. I’ve had to take them down a notch. Did you know you could loose weight off your feet?

My battered, beloved, Birkenstocks

My battered, beloved, Birkenstocks

2) I’ve had to have my glasses adjusted.

I had to get my eyes tested last Saturday – it’d been two years and actually my prescription has really changed, for the first time in years. Anyway while I was there I asked if they could take a look at my glasses as they were constantly slipping forward and sitting in the bridge of my nose – so much so that I was getting a line! They did and said they were far too big. They readjusted the arms and also had to put new, bigger pads (is that what they’re called) in the nose rest. Did you know you could loose weight from your nose?

glasses

Did you know you could lose weight from your nose?

3) I’ve had to get more bras

Despite forking out a fortune in November for some beautiful undergarments with the structural capacity to hold up the Empire State Building, I have found myself feeling less and less comfortable in the past few weeks so decided to get refitted. I chose Bravissimo this time, for two reasons. 1) they are a hide sight cheaper that the wonderful but cripplingly expensive Rigby & Peller and 2) I’ve never found bras to fits my back size in there before and wondered if I might now. I did – up to two back sizes down from the Rigby bras! Same cup size though – these ladies would appear to be with me for the duration!

The lovely Guildford branch of Bravissimo

The lovely Guildford branch of Bravissimo

4) I bought a new pair of jeans

I love my relaxed skinny Next jeans. In fact they are probably one of the things I am most proud of about this journey. And last week I bought the next size down – a size 16. They are snug don’t get me wrong, but they fit (Ben agrees no embarrassing “hoofage” to be seen). I continue to be especially proud of them and I actually don’t know when I last owned size 16 jeans – seriously.

Size 16. Honestly a 16! Eek!

Size 16. Honestly a 16! Eek!

In a week, 0.5lb can seem like such a small number. Had I had a better week and lost 0.5lb I might have been annoyed or downhearted. As it happens I was thrilled, but I have been there before. The numbers in isolation can seem so important yet can sometimes give us so little satisfaction. So I try to focus on other things, tangible things to keep me going. Moving the belt (or a sandal 😉 ) up a notch, catching a glimpse of myself and having to do a double take, noticing my collar bone. It’s not an easy journey, but these are the things that will get me through.

So the plan for the coming week? This is not the easiest of weeks. Easter, well it’s like Christmas isn’t it? So yes we’ve done what we did at Christmas and bought one beautiful egg between us. I can’t wait for Sunday! But I’ve really thought about it. I’ve chosen to do this and I intend to enjoy it. I know I said I wanted to lose 7lb by the beginning of May, but at the moment if I can keep going at all, then I’m happy. This week I’m going for a maintain. That’s my choice and I’m happy with that.

Have an amazing Easter people.

xxx