The nicest thing about having this blog and a little presence online is the amount of people who are there with real advice. I have, for a long time since having William, felt unhappy with my figure. Yes Charlotte, join the queue with thousands of other mums.
But I'm going away in September and, while I'd rather wear a burka than a bikini, I think I'd pass out from the sheer heat. I'm going to have to wear skimpy clothes, out of simple common sense. But I know my body isn't a lovely sight to see. I can barely look in the mirror these days, let alone expect Marge and Bill from Sussex to watch me amble down to the pool over the top of that morning's paper.
The simple fact is, I love my food. I've made excuses in the past, but I do. I love grub. I love a big plate of creamy pasta. Crusty bread and cheese makes my world go round. I eat lots of fresh food as I cook 90% of my family's meals from scratch, but I could do better. I could step away from the treat cupboard. I don't need half a packet of biscuits to dunk in my Saturday morning brew. In fact, I'm not even sure I need the sugar in that brew. Food has always been my go-to fix. I can rely on it to make me feel better or quell that boredom I have when Ste works late.
I've not been happy for most of this year. I felt stuck. I was miserable. So I changed this. 2013 has been all about change. I moved house, I pledged to post a blog post almost every day and saw my blog become more popular (which has never ceased to make me smile), I started saying yes to things instead of saying no, I forgave myself for the guilt I felt over leaving William and left it behind, I changed jobs, I work in Manchester, I have stopped wasting money on things I don't need and I'm writing a book. It sounds exhausting when I think it's only the end of July, but the year is still young and I'm adding my weight to that list.
So I'm making a big change. I was full of ideas of 'starting tomorrow' but that ethic almost always means that tomorrow never comes, so today I've had a toasted english muffin (pre-decision) and a glass of orange juice, one coffee with a sugar and big bowl of lettuce, tomato and cucumber dressed with lemon juice. There's a wholemeal ham sandwich sat in front of me - Stephen likes to pack me lunches made for 12 - and usually I'd eat that first and faff with the salad, but I'm feeling full. I think I'm going to have my yoghurt and a nice pint of water and crack on with this book of mine, in the last half-hour of lunch.
But first, if you are a weight-loss champ - why are you hiding your knowledge? Tell me how to be like you. Or you are in the same Fat Boat as me, then maybe we can be in this together? Everyone loves a bit of group-whinging and, to be honest, I need someone to talk me out of eating all the pies.
I just want to feel better about myself and not try and present myself as a second-class citezen just because I'm not a size eight. I'm not sure I ever will be either, but I want to walk through the streets of Manchester and hold my head tall and not cower or hope my oversized bag will make me appear smaller. The fact is, once you've had a baby, it's easy to let the 'I've just had a baby' excuse rude for a bit. But I'm in that awkward position where my son is 13 months and I'm less post-baby and more food baby.
I need to do this. I have to consider the future of our second baby after all - not sure Ste fancies a bit of Jabba the Hut of an evening and that throws any possible future conception out the window.