Millie is back at school following the Christmas holidays and it’s nice to be getting up bright and early once again, starting the day as the sun comes up and giving the children some exercise out in the fresh air on the half hour daily walk to school. Unfortunately the weather hasn’t been on our side this week as between rain and wind we’ve battled floods and hail, so it’s safe to say that we’re more Icelandic explorers than school-run walkers. I make a point of ensuring the children get their walks, even though it would be a gazillion times easier to drive, whilst Millie at times serenades us with “But Mummm, it’s so far to walk and I don’t like the wind!” I picture them thanking me in the future when they’re big and strong and athletic, so no matter how cold or early it is, I lead by example and instil enthusiasm and motivation in the little ones. You don’t get anywhere in life by cutting corners and always saying ‘tomorrow’.
In this generation of technology and global obesity children desperately need regular exercise, they need fresh air and the great outdoors. When I was a child I thought nothing of walking to school alone in the cold and dark as it was by no means seen as a punishment; and my mother didn’t blink twice at walking miles to church every Sunday knee deep in snow as a child. Each generation is getting weaker than the one before, with more excuses, more stresses and more attitude than ever. What happened to the days when men were men, out fighting wars and protecting their families, and women were real, actual capable women; not the high-pitched dumbed-down wannabe Barbie dolls of today with about as much common sense and drive as a cashew nut. ASBO’s, airheads and attitude just don’t wash with me and I will never tolerate it for my children. You only get one life so you have to make it count, no fill it with moaning and poor decisions.
And if we hadn’t have been walking in the rain on the return walk home from school, then we never would have found this beautiful rainbow! Millie almost exploded on the spot when she realised the rainbow ‘landed’ in the woods right next to our house so surely there would be a pot of gold nearby, erm right. I spent the next half an hour trying to talk her out of going treasure-hunting in the dark and spindly spider-webbed and waterlogged woodland, as it was time for dinner and a bath before homework and bed and I can’t say that I’m too fond of leprechauns.
Millie’s new earrings have been healing lovely and just weeks after having had them pierced she hasn’t complained once. Not a fuss, not a peep just a huge beautiful smile and adoration for something she loves so much. I’m relieved that she’s handled it so well as I find it so impossible to see the children suffer or in pain, so I couldn’t have wished for a better experience for her. It goes to show that if you want something badly enough, despite it causing pain you can sail through it with mind over matter. And you can be sure that if I’d have told her “you have to have your ears pierced and you don’t have a say it in!” then her outlook would have been very different and I’m sure she would have grizzled and being uncomfortable with them for the next six months. No matter what your age, it’s all about a positive mental attitude; it can be done, it will be done and I will never stop trying. And as she was eating her breakfast this morning, Millie said that her top front tooth felt wobbly and we couldn’t help but giggle at the thought of them wiggling out and leaving behind a squishy pink gum and perfect whistle. It’s a shame it wasn’t at Christmas as we could have sung along to “all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!” but then I guess she wouldn’t have been able to chew her dinner so well. So far it’s just the one which is moving about, but there’s no sign of the adult teeth behind or above it so we could have a little gappy whistler on our hands for a while. My big girl is growing up so fast, with her new hair, new earrings and new adult teeth! How exciting.
Poor little Gabriele has had a bad time of it recently after he had a funny turn at the weekend with a high temperature, poorly tummy, sore throat and chesty cough. He’s gone off of his food because it hurts to swallow so he’s only taking milk, which means in turn his nappies have changed and it’s messed up his tummy and left him feeling out of sorts. The other evening when he was giving me a snuggle he whimpered, coughed a little too hard and brought up a stomach full of milk all over us both. He’s tossing and turning all night and neither of us have slept properly in days. But sadly all I can do is give him calpol, keep him wrapped up and wait for him to fight it off. I’ve been to the doctors with the children countless times in the past when they’ve turned pale and weak and we’ve sat in stuffy waiting rooms for hours on end with floods of sickly people coughing over us, only to be told that there’s nothing they can do for the common cold; so unless I see anything out of the ordinary I no longer take the children to the doctors as they’re no longer babies. I know the warning signs to look out for should Gabriele get any worse, if he looks lifeless and floppy, if his temperature increases any higher and if he stops taking liquids and doesn’t pass urine, so if anything changes I’ll take him to A&E. If there was a tablet or medicine that he could take to make him better I’d buy it in an instant, as it’s every parents nightmare to see their children struggling through a cold because frustratingly the only thing that helps is time. It’s horrible seeing the children ill and I can’t believe just one week into the new year and already Gabriele takes one for the team. My poor little nugget, he’s still his cheerful smiley self just a little slower and heavier, let’s hope it passes quickly.
Gabriele is now twenty-one months old and becoming evermore aware of the world around him, in particular our rabbits Rocky, Cookie and Patches, and our guinea pig Dunk. He knows his basic fruit and vegetables: apple “abble”, banana “barna” and carrot “rot” and can identify that they live in the fruit bowl and fridge. Each week I fill up the fruit bowl and salad tray, counting out the portions needed for lunch boxes and snacks each day and was racking my brain over how I’d miscounted and ran out of fruit mid-week. It turns out that when my back has been turned Gabriele pulls Millie’s hand and toddles her to the back door saying “pig” and “abble” and pointing to the fruit bowl. Being the helpful big sister that she is, Millie gets the fruit from the bowl for Gabriele and opens the back door for which the animals come running down the garden hopping and squeaking up to Gabriele’s chubby smiling face. He absolutely adores them, he has become the God of fruit for our garden family, and as soon as they see him they come running, licking their lips and eyeballing him in anticipation for what treat they should receive next. It’s lovely that the children have such close contact with animals as we also have a cat and a dog and they both know to be kind, delicate and caring for our little furry family. As they get older I’ll teach them how to feed the animals before school and change their water bottles and bowls, as I think caring for others it’s such an essential quality for children to have and it’s best nurtured from a young age.
I’ve been using my fitbit wristband to monitor my activity and fitness day and night in order to get my body back on track for the New Year; over Christmas I was such a greedy pig and literally ate and drank everything in sight, so I’ve got a backlog of calories to burn off and clean health to restore. This week I began a new workout regime called P90X3 which is half an hour of mixed workouts six days a week for three months and I’m loving it. I have so much more energy and feel a million times healthier already, I’m eating better, drinking lots of water and just feel great inside and out.
I can’t wait to start seeing results and reclaim my six pack once again as it’s presently a plump little one-pack thanks to all of the pudding and custard that I’ve been consuming. We all need a blow out every now and then and to relax and enjoy our lives, and Christmas was certainly a time for that, but now I’m back on track. I’ve had my fun and recklessness and now I’ve got my serious face on ready to work up a sweat, so bring it on! Being healthy isn’t about punishing yourself, in order to have a body size that you’re happy with you shouldn’t have to live everyday denying yourself food and feeling miserable. I love to eat, and I mean LOVE, I put most men to shame for the portion sizes that I have, but I realise if I’m silly with my treats then I have to balance the deficit with exercise in order to maintain my weight. Food doesn’t rule my life, neither does exercise, but balance does. A little bit of what you fancy does you good so long as you’re prepared to get off of your arse and work for it. You can’t expect to have it all for nothing, and that applies to everything in life, not just treacle sponge!
I had my pictures back from a boudoir photoshoot that I did a few weeks ago and it was lovely to see the imagines that All People Photography have captured for me. It’s strange seeing yourself on camera as you never seem to think you look the same in real life. I look at my wide hips and big nose and think oh dear are my thighs really that big and do I really smile like that? But we all have our hangups, we all criticise our own bodies and image, and I’m really pleased with the pictures that I got back. They’re not airbrushed or unrealistic, just softly lit, natural, and me I guess. The one thing about a camera is that you can’t hide who you are and what you look like, it captures everything about you in that precise instance and preserves it forever. Beauty doesn’t come from a tube of lipgloss or hair extensions and tan; it comes from being happy from within, it’s in knowing your hangups and insecurities and realising they’re what make you unique, embracing your body, mind and soul and being comfortable in your own skin. That’s why these pictures makes me smile.
The local press printed a piece on my breast surgery being shown on TV this week, several months ago they also covered my parking ticket battle with UKPC and used the stock photos they had of me looking moody in a car park with the sun blinding my eyes. I wonder what the local residents of Aylesbury will think of my surgery when it goes to air and I hope that it’s received well, otherwise I’ll have to keep smiling everywhere I go so that nobody recognises my ‘moody Tracy face’ from the paper – ha!
At the end of the week I settled down to watch my surgery on TV with a bowl of ice cream feeling apprehensive; after all it’s not everyday that you show the world your breasts on television, let alone a damaged surgery and the actual procedure from the operating table. I had the biggest sense of relief wash over me as it was upbeat, factual and informative as opposed to gory, embarrassing and pitiful. Despite having a film crew with me for days on end capturing hours and hours of footage, you never know what will make the final cut and actually end up in the show, and I smiled throughout to know that I came through an horrific time and am now safe and healthy. Now that I’m healed it was strange to see my life from several months ago, back when I was in the eye of the storm, bruised, stitched and heartbroken. The children looked so young and I was so lost and uncertain looking in the mirror with my collapsing chest, but at the reveal my relief and contentment was tangible and the worry just melted away. It’s been a strange time for me going through so much in a short space of time, having four surgeries this year and becoming a single parent when my son celebrated his first birthday. People look at me and judge me on appearance, expectations and others opinion of me, but very few actually know me. Everything I do in life I always give my all, no matter how hard I have to struggle I never ask others for help, I’d never want to be a burden or put others out. I’ve always believed that if you’re not prepared to do something yourself then you should never expect somebody else to do it for you. If you can stand on your own two feet in this world then you’ll never need nor want for everything, to know that you have your independence and ability to provide, to me, it’s worth more than anything, and you know you won’t let yourself down when others often will.
I kept tight-lipped over my surgeries this year until it was finally released. Despite living in pain daily with a collapsing chest, which was found to be illegal PIP and leaking non-medical grade silicone into my body, causing me to lose circulation, become short of breath and in agony to hold my newborn son but I still carried on. Becoming a single parent and the sleepless nights, heavy lifting after surgery and tending to my children, I still helped out family, friends and charities, carrying on regardless with nobody knowing what I was going through. I never once told others that I was in pain, those closest to me had no idea what was going on inside my chest because I had no reason to tell anyone; I didn’t want or need pity as their concern for me wouldn’t have cured me, only surgery could. And since my surgery has aired on TV I’ve had so many phone calls and messages from those closest to me and strangers alike in absolute shock that I went through that without telling anyone. This is why I wanted to share my story with others, now that I know I am safe, that I’ve come through it all and I’m safely on the other side. I wanted to give a real life account of the struggle I faced this past year to help others. For all of those in the world who beat themselves up over how they look, feeling that surgery is the only way to make themselves acceptable, it isn’t. Surgery is serious, surgery doesn’t last and it can very easily go wrong. I went to Harley Street in London and paid the most expensive rate for my procedure at a respectable establishment to ensure I’d be okay, but eight years later and I was crippled because of it.
Thousands of people are lured into surgery by attractive discounts and special offers and it scares the life out of me to know that I went to specialists who deceived me with the illegal silicone they had used in order to increase their profit margins even further; so I can only imagine what these high-street butchers are doing to people and how much suffering and further surgery they will now have to go through and in future to correct that one poor decision they have made. I shared my video from my heart, out of my hospital bed in the middle of the night with no makeup, on pain relief and wired to machines. The reality of what happened to me was life threatening and I’m fortunate that I was saved, but many others are still in the danger zone and constantly signing up for the same fate. Surgery isn’t a bad thing when it’s in the right hands and carried out for the right reasons, so I urge you all to make your choices wisely, think it through, live with the idea and consider your life with and without it. If you can’t handle it at its worst then you can’t expect to have it at its best.
It’s safe to say that it has been one heck of a crazy year for the children and I, and if 2014 is just a smattering as mad then I’d best get my body armour on because there’s nothing more fulfilling than a good challenge! So bring it on. 🙂