Wednesday 18th July 2018

A Very Personal Post About My Weight. 2017.134.

A Very Personal Post About My Weight. 2017.134.

In this, my last post for 2017, I am finally unlocking what I have kept inside more than I have let out. Into the world beyond my conversations with my husband who is my trusted confidante.

This is about my weight and what I see and think about the place it has had in my life as an adult. We are talking over 48 years.

Mid 2014 Left. Recently 2017 on Right.

It has been always, and yes it is a not very good analogy, the elephant in the room.

I do not mention my size, weight or fluctuations other than in written form in my diary or in saying something to my husband.

So, where to start with what I want to say….it’s here. As a young woman.

My Twenties.

  • I was 20 when I left home to teach in north-western NSW. I was free to be me. Well, in some ways and I do know I had the first sense of freedom around food. I believe I was a less than normal eater in my teens, still living at home and preferred ‘junk’ food over the better food.
  • I think my parents did what they could but in some ways, I had/have that sweet tooth which I used to calm and comfort. I was not overweight at all but like many young women moving into their 20s I saw the faults of hips and thighs. In fact, being told by a teaching colleague I had child-rearing hips was not taken as a compliment. In the photos above you can see I was a normal  looking young bride and then mother.
  • However, the very first notion that I needed to diet (i.e.) lose weight came at my 6 week post-pregnancy check up where the OB told me I needed to get those (back then in pound/stones) half a stone off me to be back to wedding day weight.
  • Thus it set something off in me about not being good enough AND to add to this, I was one miserable stay-at-home mum (very isolated in the NSW bush for 8 hours a day for 6 months) so I comfort-baked and ate.
  • Onto a new school and a new house and our baby grew to be a pre-schooler and my weight did too. I ate to soothe. I ate to calm and I ate, interestingly enough, because I could not fall pregnant even though the first time round was too easy!
  • We moved to an even more isolated area where we were both on staff: hub was the principal and I was the teacher and our daughter started school with us. We enjoyed the teaching stint because it was incredibly challenging but in the meantime, and the downtime I baked for ourselves and others and I put on even more weight.
  • When I saw my parents, family and friends in the school holidays  it was not a topic for conversation but my imagination took over and there were many judgement of ME by others (that they never said but I imagined). I was already ashamed to be the size I was but I was not going to talk about it to anyone. Some diets were tried to limited success and as someone who hates deprivation it was never going to last.
  • The doctor who told me I would never fall pregnant without losing weight was hated by me. I did so much want to have a second child but it appeared not to be something that would happen so I accepted the fate of one child.

My Thirties.

  • I became pregnant! Not by dieting, oh no. The  next specialist I saw once we had settled back into Sydney, diagnosed multiple ovarian cysts and other things inside that were preventing pregnancy and following major abdominal surgery…and a bit quicker than the specialist recommended, I was with child.
  • I was at a lower weight (still around 18 kgs above my wedding day weight) and kept that weight consistently with no increase until the last couple of months of pregnancy. Gave birth, went well, breastfed (the weight did not drop off!) and back to work full-time when the baby was 18 weeks old.

STRESS: This time in our married lives were amongst the worst as my husband was made to medically retire due to ill-health and the next 4 years or so were pretty grim. I was teaching full-time and seeking promotions as I was the only one now in education. Our kids were growing and whilst their Dad did some things for them, he was very unwell and a lot fell to me. How did I cope? Well, good old food. Comfort foods of course. However, noticing that I was getting bigger did not help my self-esteem and I would put myself through rigorous exercise and restricted eating in the hope that would help.

  • And no, I would not talk about it ever. My GP always checked my BP and bloods and even though I did have highish BP medication helped that and it was not weight-related. Blood tests were awesome. I was healthy.
  • But I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror or photos so I stayed behind the lens as the family photographer.

My Forties.

  • As a mum I used to wonder if my kids (who were of so-called normal weight) were ever ashamed of me and I hoped at the same time that they would never mention my weight. They did not.
  • But I sure told myself stories about how my parents must have felt about me as neither of them was overweight.
  • So, there I was on the outside trying my best to look good: I had nice clothes, I had my hair done regularly but my mind told me I looked fat. Always. And that others must be saying that behind my back too.
  • I went on diets at least 3 times. I lost and re-gained the same 18kg each time. Diets included weight watchers (who never could explain to me how NOT to be an emotional eater) and attending a dietitian.

My Fifties.

  • Life was good in many ways. Our children were now adults and independent to a degree and both eventually left home.
  • My husband was reasonably well and we had the trappings of success outwards (new house, cars etc) but there was more happening inside.
  • Interestingly I never ate when stressed but I ate to soothe when I felt overwhelmed or needed what I would call a ‘reward’ or treat.
  • I became a school principal at this time of my life and the days might not have had time for me to eat but I made up for it when I got home.
  • I liked cooking for others and enjoyed sharing my culinary skills with plenty of leftovers, always making I had put aside food for me that I liked too for another time.
  • By now I realised that I used food emotionally. Yes. Crunchy foods helped soothe anger and frustrations. Soft food, like chocolate and cake soothed my sad or loneliness.
  • I visited psychologists about my weight, I went on exercise plans and I did diaries and I even took a prescription tablet to help me reduce my cravings. That worked for a while but it gave me side-effects so off that I went and back on came the weight.
  • By now I decided NOT to be the number on the scales anymore and threw them out.

From a Slimming Mag Article on Me. Early 2000s. Made up me, around 70kg on left, Grandma me in 2001 much heavier on right.

My Sixties.

  • I was in the decade of when my maternal aunt died. This was a bit scary as she was overweight and I know she comfort ate and her death was related to an unknown cancer.
  • I did get blood tests done annually and it was as a result of one of those around 4-5 years ago that I got my first warning of what ageing, lack of exercise and excessive weight could do. I had raised blood sugar and my GP wanted me to have the Glucose Tolerance Test.
  • She really did understand thought that I was trying to live my life without being a number on the scales. But I HAD to do something myself. I then agreed to be weighed and then I asked her to give me 6 months to do something about this.
  • Six months later, and 3 kgs lighter, thanks to more attention to the amounts of what I was eating AND to increase my walking each day, there was no need to have a GTT. Phew.
  • In this period of 2014-2017 I was affected (still am from time to time) by the immense stressors of the trifecta of transitions as I like to call them: selling our house, moving away from family and friends, retiring from all education work.
  • Enter: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) …it had emerged for the first time in my 30s but had gone till now. Suddenly, and over time I found I HAD to limit what I ate. I also found I was…ahem, going to the loo much much more.
  • My GPs (I was still going to one in Sydney and then I found one up here) re-assured me that this unintentional weight loss was OK as long as I was managing OK. I was but not always.
  • Stressors such as loneliness and sadness of the trifecta of transitions saw me settle into a healthier and better eating pattern which probably halved meals on most days.
  • I no longer went out for coffee and cake as I was too stressed to do so but I missed it. However, this helped me too.
  • I often asked the doctors “are you sure this is OK?” and they always said “yes”.
  • It took me a LOOOOONG time to believe (and I still have doubts) that this weight loss could be sustained.
  • Over the 3 years or so I lost around 33 kg. It goes up a bit then down a bit but I have gone from Size 22/20 clothes to Size 16/14. Interesting!

WHAT ABOUT GETTING CANCER?

  • Interestingly, in the 2014-2017 times I used to ask the GPs and even the Gastroenterologist “do you think I have lost some weight because I have cancer?” and this was always answered no!
  • I do not believe my cancer was weight-related either now but I also know that somewhere along the line our bodies can change inside when we are under stress. The last 3-4 years were those for me. My Professor and GP both have no idea why I got this cancer (neither a smoker nor drinker) either but they have said it can be found in older women (check) and is quite rare. Lovely. Not.
  • So, yes since having a cancer diagnosis IN my mouth it was already hard to eat as my gums and the bridge with teeth at the front of my mouth was tender. So, too sore to eat much. Weight comes down. How do I know? Clothes are loosening.
  • Time to get real about food. After the surgery I had to take responsibility for feeding myself with a very limited selections of food that can be soft, easy to swallow and are generally nutritious.
  • It was impressed on me by the dietitian before I left hospital in July that I was not to lose weight. And THAT was something I had NEVER heard in my life before.
  • Staying the weight I was and am is a bit of an up and down juggle and I weigh myself every few weeks. I have not lost much weight and have even gained a kilo or two since my lowest a few months back.
  • The importance of the nutrition in healing and staying well is something I have accepted more easily. I am eating foods I never chose before. Weetbix is my breakfast and I will even eat some scrambled egg with tasty cheese in it. I am adept at slippery and soft foods and right now, mangoes and avocadoes are my friend. Little cakes and some biscuits I can dunk for softness are my treats.

SELF-IMAGE AND CONFIDENCE.

  • I admit it took me at least 6-7 months to realise once the weight loss had settled  it is likely to stay.
  • I did donate mountains of Plus Size clothes to local charities but could not (yet) bring myself to do that with all of the size 16s so they are in a box in the linen press.
  • As time goes on, I can see with the changes I have made since cancer made me eat differently and consider food as nutrition more than for enjoyment (that still counts!) I will not re-gain those 30+kg.
  • I gave myself permission to buy new (usually on special as we have a limited income now!) clothes and over time I have begun to see myself differently.
  • The person in the mirror has more wrinkles than ever (the fat held the skin more taughtly) but she is looking, in her 60s, more like what she remembers her mother to look like. This has taken quite some time as I never thought I could be good enough to look like Mum.
  • Deciding to share my story, in bits and pieces on the blog has been good for me but until this post, I had never explained the WHOLE story.
  • Taking part in a daily outfit challenge for everyday style has given me such a lift as I do get some very encouraging and positive comments.
  • I like who I see in the mirror and in the photos now and I love seeing my husband’s eyes light up when I appear in something he likes me wearing. The day of my birthday when I wore a dress for the first time in 15 years was one such landmark.

WHAT NOW?

  • I need to remember to be kind to the ‘person who was not at an ideal weight’. I need to forgive her and tell her she was doing the best she could at the time. I do.
  • I see the ‘me’ keeping on keeping on. I know so much more about the why of what I was doing. I also think I know so much more about how to stop that continuing.
  • Getting my mouth re-construction completed in early-mid 2018 will be interesting for me as for the first time in close to a year I will probably be able to eat all foods. I have missed crunching and chewing a lot.
  • I know if I am seeking comfort for something I am not prepared to admit or talk about I want something food-wise so I will keep an eye on that.
  • My IBS is well-controlled now thanks to a medication my GP has me taking.
  • My anxiety levels (which were incredibly high PRE-cancer) have reduced by around 90%. In other words, they are not out of control.
  • Telling my story has, for the first time in ages, been both cathartic and brave. I hope, that if you got this far it has proved to be of interest.

Me: Sun 17 Dec 2017. Off to Granddaughter’s 21st and 7 months post- cancer diagnosis. I miss smiling! It will be back next year sometime.

 

I understand this is a tough topic for many of us and it took me a LONG time to own up to what has been going on for me here.

Thank you for reading and let me know what your thoughts are about weight and self-image.

Denyse.

Yes, it’s the last post in 2017! How DID that happen.

Last linky with IBOT and Kylie on Tuesdays until January 2018 and with Leanne on Thursdays for Lovin’ Life. I know Leanne is returning in the same week I am with #lifethisweek. My Monday link-up is back 1 January 2018. Leanne’s is Thurs 4 Jan.

 

 

 

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest
FacebooktwitterpinterestFacebooktwitterpinterest

Comments

  1. Denyse this is such an important story to share and I know it will help others. You are a brave and generous woman. Onwards and upwards; you have the tools and you are using them.

    • Thank you Jan. I hope it does as for far too long I thought it was something to be ashamed of but it is who I am. Now things are different in appearance and understanding of myself, it was timely for me to open up and share. D x

  2. Thanks so much for sharing Denyse. I think we often underestimate the impact our self-image has on our life (and vice versa I guess).

    So much of my life has been wrapped up around food, dieting and eating. Not to mention my weight. I can’t even imagine what life had been like if it hadn’t obsessed me for the past 35yrs. Despite the surgery that’s not behind me and of course – for me (like most people and you of course) it’s a symptom of something else… not often the problem.

    xxx

    • Thank you Deborah for sharing here too.
      It is so complex this eating and self thing. I know how long I have been using food as a calming means. I also know that you continue to examine yourself and the whys etc still.

      Interestingly when I was contemplating my first and major surgery I even admitted to my husband I wasn’t sure what I would be able to do without using food to calm me. I knew then (and admitting it here too) that I use(d) food to comfort and soothe.

      I have had to adjust and adapt and I guess my eating now is more for health and enjoyment is the bonus. I am trying to be kinder to myself when feelings of needing to eat to soothe do arise and I accept them and acknowledge them but do not necessarily over-eat anymore because I can’t.

      Many good wishes sent your way! Onward as they say. Denyse xx

  3. Thank you so much for sharing something that is so personal to you xx
    As you know I’ve had my own struggles with weight and the emotions attached to that. I see food as the opposite to you though. It’s something I use to punish when I’m feeling unwell by restriction or binging. I’m aware of this issue though and as you know, owning up to an issue can be half the battle.
    I wish you all the best for the future and I hope that you’ll continue to share your outfit posts. I’ve loved seeing you enjoying the experience so much.

    • Thank you very much for your remarks and your sharing with such candour and honesty.

      I actually do feel ‘lighter’ for having posted this in such depth today because it has made me feel like I was living a bit of a lie when people tell me how good I look now.

      For me I needed to share that even when I didnt look that good (so called) I was still me and a kindly person who cared for and about others, just not as much about herself.

      Loving who we are every single day is probably the one thing we all need to work on…and as I say we are “works-in-progress”.

      Much love to you! Denyse xx

  4. What an inspiring read Denyse. It is so important to share our stories when able, as they give confidence and power to others. Well done on baring your soul for us all to see. I am an emotional eater, and have plans to change this, keeping stress at bay is the most difficult part of my current journey so looking at how to deal with it more effectively. Thank you for sharing Denyse, and a very happy Christmas to you and your family xx

    • Thank you so much dear Nicole! I think that probably the most important thing I did was to admit my issues with eating for comfort. As I recovered from my surgery where of course my eating was very limited I recall thinking ‘what will I do now to soothe or calm myself?”.

      The answer was mixed and some of it is food-related because I can still eat chocolate and dunk biscuits into my tea but what I know is the difference of whether I am eating these because I CAN and ENJOY them or because I have feelings I want to STUFF down. The answer in almost 100% of the case is the former!

      I am now treating myself to a coffee each day as it gives me purpose to dress well and to get out andf about. With the exception of donut king (because donuts are free for seniors and I can only eat the little edges as I break them off) I no longer have food. I enjoy the coffee for its sake and I am caring for me.

      I used to be about escaping and calming. Now it is more about discovering new places to have coffee and making conversations with new and interesting people. Today for example, I went to a place I have visited once a week for past month. The lady who owns and operates it asked me more about my mouth and I told her the cancer story. Each time I go in now, she asks “the usual?” and yes, I have a piccolo latte and today when I went and she said “sit down, I will bring it”….and that was lovely. When I went to pay she said “nothing today, happy Christmas!” Wow, that would never happen in Sydney.

      I like how you already know what your eating is about…so many do not. And that you, understanding this and forgiving yourself for it, want to do something about it. That is all you can do.

      I know this Festive season will be tinged with some sadness for you so I do hope you get to make memories even more special.

      Thank you for your loving care and support in 2017.

      Denyse xx

  5. I’ve found that a few tweaks with a dietitian have helped me a lot. I actually used to assume I was an emotional eater (and I guess we all do at some point) but I found when I followed my dietitians advice and ate more during the day I didn’t want to eat a heap of junk at night. So I guess it wasn’t emotional eating as a primary motivation for me. It’s interesting what we learn.

    I was quite annoyed by the BMI judgement in the insurance stuff I’ve just been through, I think it’s quite shallow and places and over-reliance on statistics. Like I said in my blog post about it all, if you weigh more but eat well you’re judged unhealthy and a risk but if you weigh less and eat junk you’re fine by their standards. Doesn’t make sense to me!

    • That is really helpful advice here too and yes, we are not our BMI. But what else do insurers use other than numbers!

      What I learned from the hospital dietitian was to make each meal add value to my healing and health and I know that eating some protein or something smooth like yoghurt helps me.

      I was a much more dis-ordered eater before the cancer surgery so this has taught me a lot, even though her recommended protein drinks did not go down well with me, I can ‘eat’ better than before and I am proud of that!

      I so agree about not judging people because of their weight as many (and that was me until the blood sugar rise) are healthy within. To be solely judged on appearance is not right. I know I needed to care about and for myself as much at my higher weights as I do now.

      Thanks for your response and support! Denyse xx

  6. Great read, Denyse. So many of us, women especially, carry these issues for years and years. We know that health is more important thank appearances but it’s so hard to shake off the shame when we feel we are too big. I know that has been true for me.

    • We sure do Amy! I grew up in a family where ‘weight’ was talked about if it was seen on others and that used to (and still does as my father can be so insensitive) annoy me greatly.

      My mum was always slim and ate little but looked gorgeous. She was very appearance driven. I think in some ways as I became a mum and was full time teaching (and became heavier) I felt pretty constantly judged by her.

      Too much baggage to keep on writing about it now though!

      Shame is one of the most awful, if not the worst, emotions. I have read and done a lot of work via courses with Brene Brown who is a shame -researcher and she too would agree!

      Thanks for commenting and understanding. Denyse xx

  7. So much I want to say but right now I’m bawling as this has resonated so much with me. Thank you for sharing this xo

    • Oh dear but you know if it has resonated with you then you now know you are not alone so that is important in my eyes. Much love to you Ness. You are a great bloggy buddy and I appreciate you more than I can say. Denyse xx

  8. Hi Denyse – thanks for sharing your journey, I know how hard it must have been to write that down. Your story really resonated with me – mine has been very similar in many ways. The journey from a size 8 wedding dress to a size 22 has been very similar to yours , with lots of emotional eating along the way, interspersed with various diets . Your comments about your kids, and how you wondered if they were ashamed of you….yes I know how that feels. Now I see my daughter going down that same path, and I wish I could say something to make it better for her . I’m so glad that your weight loss has resulted in better health outcomes for you ! I really admire you for sharing this story . Very best wishes to you and your lovely husband – happy Christmas to you both.

    • Oh wow. This response from you is why I blog. We all need to share our stories more and not get caught up in the fiction that we are ‘the only ones.’

      I hear you about all your wrote. I do wish you and yours a Merry Christmas too.

      Thank you for your wonderful care and support of me in 2017!

      Denyse x

  9. Denyse, you are so brave to share this. I agree with Amy, health is so much more important than what we look like but it’s not that easy to ignore it every time you look in the mirror or put clothes on AND the societal pressure that goes with it. Us women, we just can’t catch a break.

    • Yes to this. All of the yes. And of course social media like IG does not help us at all. The emphasis on health even though I was very overweight was how my doctors saw it too but then in my early 60s came the bit of a wakeup call as I outlined.

      I wanted to share this today as it has been a burden I have carried for far too long and we need to have more truthful conversations!!

      Thank you for your care and I hope you have a great festive season with the family! Denyse xx

  10. Thank you for sharing your story. I coach women in body image stress it amazes me how so many of my clients wait so long before finally coming out to stay they are emotional eaters and do not know what to do.
    You have impacted so many people to be the best version of themselves they can be. Thank you.

    Have a wonderful end to 2017 and a fantastic 2018.

    • I tend to think we wait a long time because we think we are the only ones. More women (and any men affected) need to open up about why they eat.

      Brene Brown talks of her years of numbing with food. That is another good descriptor and also because we think we are ‘the only ones’ we are also ashamed of our inadequacies.

      This is not news for me and I often talked to my GP and other counsellors about my need to ‘eat to cope’ and in some ways that was better than anything else I might have tried. I did not do drugs, drink alcohol or engage in risky & addictive behaviours like gambling.

      But I ate. And when we eat to soothe instead of to enjoy and nourish that is when we get ‘out of control.’ I never did anything like vomiting or laxatives but I did know when I was eating for mouth/emotional hunger not body hunger.

      Thanks for your insights and support! Have a Merry Christmas and thank you for your care in 2017.

      Denyse xx

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Weight and body image can be a hard thing to struggle with, but it’s great to see you’re at peace with a more healthy lifestyle and confidence.

    • Thank you very much Bella. It has been a hard road these past few years but now, as I look back and reflect they have taught me more about myself than I realised.

      I do feel this was the right time to share my life story about my weight and self-image and I am glad to have done so now.

      Warm wishes to you for the festive season! Denyse xx

  12. Thanks for sharing your story – so pleased you have found your happy place. I have been on and off diets all my life. This post made me really think why that is. I’d love to say I’m an emotional eater but I eat whether I’m happy, I’m sad, I’m excited or mad so I think it’s more that I really just love food and my willpower is zero. I “rediscovered” all the weight (20kg) I’d lost before my cancer diagnosis and although I’d rather be smaller, I would much rather be heavier than dead and that’s the truth! You’ve had such a massive year, I wish you and B a magical Christmas and hope that 2018 is full of good health and good times.. Oh, and good cake!

    • That is so refreshing to read Sammie! You are NOT the number on the scale and YOU are alive and well! These are really good things…obviously.

      Why not celebrate the wonder and the wellness that is YOU!

      Thank you for the reflection and the time taken to respond. I hoped, as it has for some commenters eased their minds that they are not the only ones. Trouble with a topic like this is there is a fair bit of in-built shame and that is why we are scared I guess to admit it.

      Onward into 2018 where I hope to join the chewing and crunching food lovers too.

      Wishing you and D a happy Festive season and a lovely summer time in the city!

      Denyse xx

  13. It certainly was an interesting read, Denyse. Thank you so much for having the courage to share this raw and honest post. I’m sure there are many women out there who can relate. I love the outfit pics you are posting and I loved what you said about your husband’s eyes lighting up. This year has been absolutely massive for you, but you seem to be in a really good place right now. Looking forward to reading more of your stories in the new year xx

    • Thank you so much Renee for reading it and commenting too. Your words mean a lot to me. It’s been great sharing stories via IBOT and in our FB group. I am thinking of you this Christmas and then getting younger Miss ready for school. Next year lots of changes for you! Love Denyse xx

  14. Your honesty in sharing your story is admirable. I will never forget when I was at my heaviest my kids got teased because of it. It felt like shit. It was only years later when I was ready to do something about it for myself, and no one else, that I addressed it. Lovely post Mrs W xxx

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story too. It does so have to be up to each person to decide what to do and when! Watching you as you got into Huffy Puffy and changing meal quantities but not missing out on anything has been a great example. Many thanks for your support and love over the years too Mrs W. xxxx

  15. This much have been such a hard piece for you to write Denyse, but I am sure you feel all the better for it. I truly believe it’s not what you see on the outside, but the person you are on the inside that counts. Although it’s so tough to remember that sometimes when you look at yourself in the mirror, try on new clothes and compare yourself to others. You’ve had such a tough year, but it feels as though you are in a good place right now. I wish you and your family all the very best for the festive season x #teamIBOT

    • Thank you so much Erika! I had been thinking about revealing my ‘story’ for a while but I wasn’t quite ready. I have now and as you say I do feel better for it.

      I do care for and about the person I have always been and learned a long time ago that ‘beating myself up’ and ‘negative talk’ did not help. As Brene Brown says “we are all doing the best we can” and I add “at the time” and it helps me understand others more too.

      Thank you for your caring on-line friendship in this bloggy world of ours. Sending all the festive greetings to you and yours! See you back here sometime in 2018. Denyse xx

  16. I love that you told this story, I think that lots of people will see parts of themselves in it. I am at my biggest now than I ever have been. It’s been difficult to reconcile that since I don’t necessarily feel really big, but I did get a shock when I stood on the scales pre-surgery. I’m still learning to convert pounds to kgs.

    I got a huge wake up call when I was about 12-years-old and the doctor told me that he wouldn’t tell my mother about how much I weighed. I’d known that I was overweight before that, but those few words from the doctor made me realise that it was worse than I thought.

    I’ve also had the “child bearing hips” comment many times. Isn’t it great? LOL.

    • I don’t know WHY it IS such a BIG (yes, I know I used a word that relates to weight) issue but it seems that in our society being anything other than ‘within normal limits’ is criticised and frowned upon.

      In your case, I was heavy-ish at 12 too and then things evened out with teenage development. Oh why oh why do we ‘agonise’ I ask? Because we want to comply.

      All that aside…are you the most content you have been in your life? Never mind about the weight. I would be thinking about the balance.

      Denyse xx

  17. Denyse, thanks for having the bravery to share your story. It’s been an honour to get to know you over this year through our blogs and one of the most special moments of my year was being able to chat with you.

    Much love and looking forward to all that 2018 will bring us.

    SSG xxx

    • As I do too. It was so very special to have you as my non-family visitor. You made my day! It is a great little community here in the land of blogging and I am anticipating you will have much ti write about in 2018 with one Pre-Schooler about to start School.

      Enjoy the fun, food and festivities ahead.

      Denyse xx

  18. This is a brave post that I read with great interest – you and I have similar food stories, similar issues around boundaries, PCOS etc. It’s been a real privilege to get to know you this year & I wish you much health & happiness in 2018.

    • Thanks so much Jo. Using food to help mood is a pretty common thing for so many but my story needed to be told for my sake. I have been hiding much of it over the years and as people who have only ‘known’ me in the past few years see me as I am now, I wanted to get it all out so to speak!

      Thank you for your kind words and let’s hope I can get to have a face to face chat one day in 2018.
      Enjoy YOUR first Christmas by YOU!

      Denyse xx

  19. Thanks so much for sharing your story about your weight Denyse. You are not alone! I was always tiny! I was 43kg when I got married. I’m only just a smidge over 5ft. I was tiny right up until I had kids. Then weight started to become something I had to watch for the first time in my life. It wasn’t until my mid-late 40’s though that weight gain became much more of an issue for me and affected my self esteem. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight lately but still have more I’d like to lose. I do understand the impact weight and self esteem has on us. You’re looking terrific in your everyday style posts and photos and it’s fabulous you’re enjoying wearing a dress again! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas Denyse and wishing you a great 2018 where you get smile back and can be finished with any further cancer related surgeries! xoxo #TeamLovinLife

    • Oh Min, we both get it right? Thank you for your understanding. I can barely imagine what it must have been like for you to carry twins! Sharing our stories IS what blogging is about and this post was probably going to be written anyway but it felt right NOW.

      The everydaystyle posts contribute to giving me a plan for each day as does my decision each day to leave the house and find a coffee spot and somewhere to write, draw or just people watch.

      You are in my thoughts as you face a most challenging time in anyone’s life, your first Christmas without your dear Dad. Take care of yourself won’t you?

      Sending love and I am so appreciative of your kindness this year in particular.

      Denyse xx

  20. Denyse, thank you so much for digging deep and finding the courage to share your story. Sadly, i’m sure many who read this can relate to the way your size becomes your indicator of self worth. Having huge issues with weight gain since hitting puberty, and continually being compared to an older sister who was super slim. Like you I was told that my weight was the reason I could not conceive. In the end it was discovered that I had PCOS, which provided some answers as to why I craved certain foods, had problems loosing weight and had out of control hormonal mood swings. Even understanding the science behind it, it’s taken a move away from the critical family environment for me to finally start to come to terms with the negative self body image. Making the effort to take daily outfit pics, was a huge turning point for me and now I can even look at myself nude in the mirror and except me for me. You look fantastic in a dress, Denyse, and I’m sure one daily pic at a time you will rebuild your body confidence.

    • I can tell just how hard you have worked and succeeded in discarding the shackles of your past and you are to be commended.

      In 1978 nothing was said about PCOS but my condition was one fixed by surgery as the ovaries had benign growths stopping eggs from being released. When I think about it, and other factors it may have been PCOS. I certainly know of its many symptoms and effects.

      The daily pictures have worked for you and I am finding something similar. I did find though after this surgery where my leg was cut into and more that I needed to speak kindly of my body and how it has helped me heal. I never thought too much about the cancer itself as I believe as do the surgeons that sometimes there is no reason at all for cancer.

      Enjoy your quieter Christmas too. Looking forward to seeing you back here sometime in 2018.
      Denyse x

  21. You have very bravely shared your battle with body image and weight loss Denyse. I can imagine how you felt at certain times, because I was made to feel fat and horrible by my own father and his slim wife (not my mother) many times after I’d had my first child and had stacked on the weight. I really had body image issues for a long time after that. These days I’m more about having a healthy body rather than a slim body. I have managed to lose 7.5 kg this year and I feel a lot better for it and now have to try to maintain it and not let it creep back on in 2018. I think you’re a remarkable person Denyse for all you’ve been through and I wish you well on your continued journey to good health. Merry Christmas! #TeamLovinLife

    • Thank you so much Kathy. Your story is ‘too familiar’ isnt it? Words do hurt us. My father used ‘joke type’ remarks with me (and others) and it has stayed fixed in my memories. I have told him in his latter years that talking about other people and their weight it actually rude of him.

      I like your approach too about having a healthy body as we age. You want to continue being active and I do as well. Eating more than we need (but still desire) is such a tricky thing.

      Sending Seasons Greetings to you and yours and I look forward to connecting again in 2018.

      Denyse x