“You can’t hate yourself happy. You can’t criticize yourself thin. You can’t shame yourself worthy. Real change begins with self-love and self-care.” — Jessica Ortner

emmas_happy_healthy_world is a celebration of me loving my body! I have literally spent the last 34 years picking myself apart, self hating and punishing my body instead of celebrating and loving it! In the last six months I have gained weight, my body shape has completely changed and my mental health around my body has made an unrecognisable change.

There used to be a time when I made up excuses about eating out because I didn’t want to eat anything I didn’t know the exact calorie count of. I saw time eating out as time wasted, time I could have been in the gym and if I had to eat out or eat at family members house I would go the gym straight after and over estimate the number calories I had just eaten so I could work them off!! Eating out still leaves me feeling guilty even more so now as I eat out up to 4 times a week. But more than anything I am learning not to punish myself. As long as I ate well the rest of the time and try to move a little every day I am ok. I also appreciate now that going to the gym instead of meeting friends is damaging to my relationships and is time missed seeing them.

So I took a day off the gym to go to a friend’s BBQ and drink wine, lots of wine, now it is very unusual for me to drink anything and after a day drinking I fully understand way. Drinking is not for me in the slightest, I thought I was going to die or at least be sick!! Although spending the day with an amazing group of women was worth it!

A wave of exhausted hit me like you wouldn’t believe!! I drank wine on Sunday and being someone who only drinks once every few months it has really knocked me. I’m on day three of recovery not from a hungover but from not having my normal routine! I honestly don’t get why people love it so much! 

It took me twice as long as normal to walk home from work! I also tend not to eat dinner but I ate a 2500 calorie dinner and I could have ate more! I’m exhausted and missing the sea air! I was meant to go the gym this evening but my body definitely couldn’t do it if my mind wanted to! So 8.30pm and I’m in bed with a book! 
Hoping after an early night and an extra big meal I will wake up feeling great and ready to go again! #balance

I took a few days self caring surrounding myself with friends and family ♥️ four days away from the gym which was a lot easier than it had been in the past! If you asked me this time 12 months ago to post a picture with my stomach on show I would have literally cried and refused! My stomach has been a source of self loathing for as long as I can remember even as a pre teen! I have hated it my whole life and would never even show it to partners! Now although I still dislike it have learnt to be easier on myself about it. Yes it wobbles and after trauma which damaged a lot of it’s muscles will never be defined it’s not all bad, I mean it’s where the snacks go so how can it be so awful, it’s a snack house!! This might even be the first year of my life that I wear a bikini!!

I did kettlecise again it’s been such a long journey to get to the point where I’m happy with my body! I have upped my gym workouts but am trying not to lose weight so I have also upped my calorie in take. 

I have so many wonderful trips & adventures planned for the next 18 months like finishing the Wales coastal path, walking the southwest coastal path, hiking the west highland path, doing the national three peaks, to name a few that the goal isn’t to be as thin as I can be but to be as strong as I can be both physically and mentally. The last 12 months have taught me that happiness isn’t a number it isn’t a clothes size or a weight goal. It is watching the sunset of the ocean, hiking with friends, climbing higher than you could before. Happiness comes from loving your body as much as it loves you. 

I took even more time off them gym and working out. I literally had been eating everything in sight, sleeping more than usually, feeling just a bit meh and have been for the last two weeks. I can’t remember the last time I went to Pilates now! 
I went for a hike to blow the negative feelings away and with gale force winds it did just that.

Hiking gives me time to reflect, I was able to think about what’s changed for me in the last two weeks to make me feel like this and I realised it was the addition of high intensity workouts! Whether I meant to or not I had become the person I was trying to avoid! All of a sudden I was trying to break pb again, I was trying to do that extra time of cardio and left higher weights. I starting counting calories again. All of which I know are good for my mental health. 
I was already seeing changes in my health from yoga and Pilates and decided to push myself again when I didn’t need to! Which meant I was skipping the classes that actually made me feel good! 
I have now cancelled all high intensity classes and rebooked the classes I love! Fitness and health doesn’t need to be a struggle and should never leave you feeling mentally worse! #balance


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