mirror next to a plain tiled wall

Challenges with a Positive Body Image

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you sigh or do you smile?

II’m that person who compliments someone when I see prettiness, a nice outfit, new hair doo etc. But when the compliment is returned sometimes I shy away from what I’m being told and reply with a simple, “Thank you!” I think a lot of it comes down to my levels of self esteem.

Body image and compliments

It’s easy to give someone advice who is challenged with their body image – whether it be their weight, skin, overall appearance – but many of us have something we wish we could change. I have multiple things I think about but my partner adores. There are things I dislike so much that others will compliment. Sometimes, it’s we are our own demon with my minds and what we believe to be true. If I start to tell myself more positive things about my body when I look in the mirror, will that make them true?

Another thing is,,I feel I look younger the older I get which is a huge bonus right? At the same time, I feel like I don’t always look ‘grown up enough’ and I don’t even know if that’s a thing? It makes me wonder about all sorts of things to do with appearance – skincare routine, hair, clothing style etc. when I honestly don’t have the time to look at least 50% of what I might have before having a baby. I don’t think I have let myself go but I am much more critical. Okay, I might have a more sporty look for comfort in the week when family members have asked, “Oh have you been to the gym?” and if I haven’t on that particular day, I easily get down because I think hmm… maybe I should have.

Far from the ‘real life’ body image

TV shows, films, Instagram – we are surrounded by filters and a distance from reality – that’s something I need to remind myself of more. Some days, I am torn on whether to delete on social accounts but I love seeing updates from my family and friends and course sharing blog posts like this one. Without social media, my blog wouldn’t reach as many people. Next time you see a photo or video, think to yourself, there’s more behind that camera lens. Each and every one of us has a story. Some people look more confident than others but could be battling their biggest challenge with body image. Other people are quieter, don’t share much and could be living their best life. It’s all about perspective and I think a lot of it gets lost.

Since high school days, I also felt there was a trend to keep up with. Could I? Nope. I wasn’t in the popular groups, I wasn’t not liked but I wasn’t in the middle neither. I was bullied and some people don’t realise the extent to what went on but it happened. As long ago as it was, I think it still plays a part of the thoughts about myself that play on remind, including comments that have been put my way in more recent times. Two of the hardest parts for me are, looking back in the past and comparing myself to others. It’s so damaging and but even coming to the realisation of that which took a great deal of time, still doesn’t make it any easier not to.

I wish we lived in a world where it was considered normal for people to lose weight or gain weight, have dry or greasy skin (or both), not have to wear makeup to look pretty etc. You can talk with friends who agree but it isn’t the message that’s conveyed outside of those conversations. I suppose it’s just part of the world we live in now even if it does give some people more of a struggle. I wish I could be someone who didn’t care what anyone said, or in fact, even wonder what someone thinks when it might not be anything at all? Oh imagine!

Take something positive from your body image

Right now, I am writing this post wearing my Minnie Mouse pyjamas, hair in a messy bun, with a face looking a bit like Casper the Ghost and some red blotches. I recently tested positive for Covid but I still have these days and I love them because I am happy being comfy in my own company or around my partner and baby.

If you have read this post, I hope you’re able to take something away from it. Perhaps you want to try and feel more comfortable in yourself or how you look when you’re around people. Whatever it might be, your body is part of what makes you, you! Start with someone small and hold onto that thought whenever you start to feel like you’re down about your appearance. I am going to give it a go (when I’m finally able to get out of the house that is).

pink umbrella on a rainy day outside

Feeling Low Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Love my Partner or Baby

This is probably one of the posts I have contemplated whether to post or not, back and forth, the most. Have you ever been asked if you’re okay, how you’re doing, or how you’re feeling? And you simply answer using the words, ‘all good’, ‘okay’ or ‘fine’ thank you. You may genuinely be feeling any three of those at the time but sometimes it’s not the case and you don’t want to say. You don’t even wish you could, you just don’t feel the need to share.

I am a private person to a certain extent. I have social media accounts and I share photos of my son, my partner, family etc. but I also keep a lot to myself. Some people like a bit of ‘retail therapy’ to focus, I like to write on my blog.

You can’t always control your emotions. It isn’t as easy as making yourself feel happy after feeling sad. Your mind is a powerful part of you – so much so, it can take a toll. Your mind can work overdrive. You can go round in circles trying to understand your own thoughts but you can’t. Telling yourself, tomorrow is a new day, or it could be worse, seems okay at the time but ‘the day’ arrives again. Sometimes, it’s soon after or a few days or a week will pass.

I haven’t wrote this to hear “sorry you’re feeling this way” or “sorry you’re going through this”. The truth is, I think it’s always been inside me but a big life-changing moment happened that meant my body and hormones couldn’t play nice together. I ignored the feelings for a while. Plus I’ve had a baby so you know, it’s all like, oh you’re just tired, sleep deprived, or you need some alone time. Time spent with me, myself and I has been a battle between something that’s good and bad for me.

With the time I have to myself, I always end up doing washing, cleaning, tidying etc. then when I finally sit down, I find myself constantly checking the time until my partner and baby are home because I know I have to pick myself up. And before I know it, hours have passed and I haven’t napped or been for a walk.

I’ve cried most days – something I thought was just a thing in those first 6 weeks after giving birth so I didn’t think the doctor would think anything when she spoke to me 15 weeks postnatal. “Do you think you might be depressed?” Depressed? A term that is used so loosely and a word that I didn’t want to associate with myself. This isn’t because there’s anything to be ashamed of but I was telling myself every day that it would pass. I’ve tried to make efforts to occupy myself and find things to love and enjoy again. I will keep trying.

Pre-pregnancy, for many years, I struggled to think about some upcoming events. No one would get it. People visiting – including friends and family – I can find quite overwhelming on my most struggling days. Recently, my partner has seen me curled up in a ball either staring into space or crying myself to sleep. Some nights, I can’t sleep. And on others, I don’t want to wake up because I want to sleep so much.

Please, the next time you hear someone say they are depressed or feeling low, don’t quickly look in from the outside. Even if you think you have the happiest of friends, check in on them. Forgive snappy or off moments. The only way I can describe the way I feel a lot of the time, is lost. This is not my baby’s fault or mine. It’s just that emotions have took charge. Some people can be more sensitive than you think. Regardless, you should always think before you speak. Or apologise if you speak out of turn. I must admit, I’m much stronger that I used to be when it comes to ignoring some comments and people but there will be a wave that comes over me. When this happens, they are all I think about then it spirals into thoughts about myself.

Three months ago, I birthed our son and a surge of new life took over. I count myself lucky that these feelings I have, haven’t affected the bond I have with my beautiful baby boy. Whenever I feel myself about to have a cry, I put him down. Though, most of the time, it’s when I am by myself or when he is asleep. This doesn’t always happen on the non-stop days. I’m talking about the days when I have some ‘me time’. I should be relaxing, sleeping or doing something I find fun. At times, this happens but it drifts into a motion of sadness. I feel restless, hopeless and I suddenly cry. There are days where I feel absolutely agitated that I respond in ways where I don’t even know what I’ve just been told. It’s like being in a daydream and hearing things but the next day you’re not 100% on what happened.

I am forgetting a lot of things and I was putting it down to ‘baby brain’ even though people have said, that’s just in pregnancy isn’t it? And they are probably right but it’s what’s happening.

Another thing that’s changed is my appetite. I go through ups and downs. I overeat snacks and rubbish food in the day or I skip tea/hardly eat in the evening because I say on many occasions, “Oh I don’t feel hungry. I’m okay.” My partner knows it’s not the case and I’m far from it.

I’ll probably get a few, “Oh I didn’t know…” or “Why didn’t you say?” Think about it. I share my feelings with my partner as I feel like I am losing myself at times but smiling on the outside. He’s the one I will always feel comfortable with no matter how agitated or irritable I am. Oh, and he senses whenever I feel stressed. He doesn’t half put up with a lot! I constantly think about something that needs to be done or could be done better. 

I also want to say something else because as sad as it is, there might be people who have something negative to say. I am fully aware of what I have – a warm home, a loving partner, and a beautiful child. I also have a loving family and friends but I will only truly open up about my feelings with my partner and my doctor. This doesn’t mean to say I’m not grateful for any support around me.

There are two people in my life who will always give me a boost when I need it the most – my fiancé and my precious blue eyed baby boy. All it takes is a a big hug and a little smile. I can withdraw myself from situations, visits and plans but I’ll never take myself away from these two.

If you’re feeling low, postnatal or not, perhaps you would like to reach out to someone. It wasn’t until everything was building up that I found the courage to speak to my partner and then my GP who has been lovely. There’s also information and advice on the NHS website. Remember, bottling thoughts and feelings up does not make you a hero. It’s okay to let it all out. 

pages of a book folded into a heart shape

39 weeks pregnant

Photo from pexels.com by Rahul Pandit.

This morning I woke up and smiled. It’s Sunday which means a new week in my pregnancy journey and today marks a whole new month and that I am officially 39 weeks pregnant! Let me just take a moment to let that sink in… wow. I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on my pregnancy journey – the reality of it and the many things I have learnt. This post is solely based on my experience and what I have felt.

The sickness has been real

Yep! The sickness made an appearance early on in the first trimester around 5 weeks. And just when I thought I had said goodbye around 12-13 weeks, it came back with a vengeance throughout several weeks in the third trimester. In fact, just a few days ago I woke up coughing to be sick in the night – it was a bit more like reflux/indigestion brought that one on though. Would I want to take any of it away? I hate being sick with a migraine or if I have a terrible hangover but this was different. As tough it has been at times, it reminded me that our baby boy was there and each day we were one step closer to his due date.

Emotions have been stronger than ever

Highs and lows – I’ve felt a mixture of both – mostly highs though. I have questioned so many parts of pregnancy. This includes many what ifs or what if I can’t… moments. I look back and wonder how many times Danny has told me to never worry because I have him. He is right but it’s only natural to have worries I suppose, especially when it’s my mind doing the thinking! At times, I struggled with some comments but I decided to take them with a pinch of salt and to continue doing our own thing. it is our journey after all.

On the other side of things, it has been much more special than I could have ever imagined. I did not know just how blessed we would be to watch a tiny little human growing inside of me. To feel him kick, wriggle and push his heel as far as he can around my ribs, side, and back! It’s all been so heartwarming. And I’m not going to go any further because these emotions of mine are at an all time high. The excitement is well and truly around but I am also feeling very sentimental the closer we get to baby’s arrival.

Mum instincts kicked in

I don’t think it took too long for those maternal instincts to kick in. I used to cry when I seen ‘not pregnant’ or 1 line on a test even though I was on contraception. It might sound silly but sometimes I thought my body was telling me I still might be. Danny and I had the conversation many times over the year and we finally decided it was time. I made choices to make sure my body could be in the best possible state, had regular check ups with my GP etc. who was so lovely to chat about anything. Before we knew it, everything changed. I got to see PREGNANT on the test and my body really was giving me signs beforehand. Since then, I have felt my stomach, rubbed and comforted my baby bump ever since he was just a tiny little thing. I have even spoke to him, played music and Danny has kissed bump to let him know he is there too.

It’s incredible the strength I found once becoming pregnant. You realise what really matters and how important your health is for both you and your baby. I have been very lucky to have been closely monitored by the team at MAViS (part of Tommy’s Research Centre at St Mary’s Hospital) for my blood pressure and any other concerns. They have always put me and baby first. I have learnt not to ignore any sudden changes, reduced movements, or when you just think something isn’t right.

I’ve treasured it all

Every single little moment, no matter how big or small is so special and touching. I have stored all of baby’s scans and bump progress photos on my phone and backed up onto my Mac. My body has gone through so many changes – physically and mentally. It’s incredible. I’m still amazed that a woman can keep babies warm and snuggled up inside our bodies. My womb has been has been baby’s home for so long and he is going to be in our house soon, the 3 of us living together as a little family. I have tried my best not to take any part of this journey for granted. I will never stop saying how lucky and blessed we are already.


As I am nearing the end of my pregnancy journey, I really am starting to feel a little sensitive. I have carried our little boy for 9 months and amazing as it’ll be when he is on the outside world, how is it going to feel no longer having a bump? He won’t be inside wriggling away, he will be here with us to hold. Can my body take all of this in? I will miss many things about pregnancy but each day has led us to what’s about to be one of the biggest days of our lives. It’s not long until we will find out just how it’ll feel to welcome our first newborn baby into the world.

woman holding pregnant belly

Spending Time with Bump

[Photo from Pexels]

You might think ‘spending time with bump’ sounds a little odd because he is being carried by me each day. That’s true but I’ve been thinking about how much time I actually dedicate to him even though he’s not on the outside world yet…

Being pregnant is one of the most incredible experiences I have had so far in my life. A little human is growing inside me every day. I feel him kick, wriggle, and move around.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant those ‘mum instincts’ kicked in. And it’s not until recently that I needed to be reminded of them. That’s where my health comes into play. Stress has been a big eye opener in the last few days on how it affects not only me but baby too.

Looking after bump starts with me

In order to look after baby bump, I need to look after myself. I’ve been told several times to take it easy – stop running wild getting those washes done, hoovering up early in the morning, thinking everything has to be done there and then. And there’s a lot going on with day-to-day life too.

Today, I stopped to think, what’s the most important thing in my life right now? And the answer is plural, baby and Danny. A whole new little life and the love of my life to call my own. They give me more meaning each day. I’ve learnt a whole new kind of love and what it feels like to protect and nurture something as well as someone. Our baby boy has brought so much light into our lives before he has even been born.

So, spending time with bump needs to be a big focus for me right now. I always place my hand over my belly and rub it when I feel him. But sometimes I get upset when he doesn’t do the same in return, moving to let me know he is there. And I’ve realised that’s down to me too. Stress isn’t good for anyone, especially not now in my final trimester and the fact I’ve had chronic hypertension (for the last 4 years), needs to be considered. My blood pressure has been creeping up. I know the pregnancy hormones don’t help but I need to change what I do to improve those readings at times.

Taking a step back

Now, I’m really going to try to take more breaks and put things into perspective, otherwise things will take a toll (or more so than they are doing at the moment). I’ve enjoyed my pregnancy so much and I don’t want that to change. It’s such a special, unreal time in my life and I am cherishing it all – the good days and those that aren’t as easy. I do think there should be as many smiles as possible, giving our little boy a message to be smiling inside too.

I’m going to spend more time with bump even if that means a whole day in bed, just me and him. I’m also going to continue to talk to him more, play a song and connect with him because when things get tough, alongside Danny, he makes everything better.

If you’re experiencing your first, second, third, whatever number of pregnancy, let your baby bump know you’re there and do everything in your power to love and care for them.