Have I Let Myself Go?


Have I let myself go?

Last night, after another long day of toddler tantrums and teen wars, I dragged my sorry, slightly too large backside off to bed at about 1am. I’d been working since the baby went to bed at about 7pm. Too tired to even brush my teeth, wash my face or take my makeup off – I just flopped into bed and went to sleep.

This has been such a pattern for me as of late. Too tired to really look after myself in the way I was brought up to do. Too busy to eat properly. Too lazy to stick at my gym routine. Too this that and the other. Have I let myself go?

A few years ago, I’d have answered no to that question. I used to be able to get away with this stuff. When I had Zak I was eighteen and I snapped back into shape, my skin was always dewy and fresh whether I took my makeup off or not. In fact I’ve always been told how young I look for my age. Until recently that is.

Have I Let Myself Go

I knew I’d put on weight but I’d kind of been in denial about how much I’d changed if you know what I mean? When you look at yourself in the mirror every day, it’s harder to spot the subtle changes isn’t it? Well it has been for me anyway.

I think they call it ‘denial’.

Anyway, when I bumped into somebody (ex-boyfriend alert!) in the supermarket recently, I didn’t think I was looking too bad. Ok, so I was rocking the usual mum bun and I had minimal makeup on but I’ve always been able to go bare faced if I’ve wanted. Right?!


I saw myself properly for the first time, reflected in his eyes. In fact, at first he hadn’t even recognised me and then I’m guessing before he realised what he was saying (or maybe not..) he had blurted out

“Omg Fi I didn’t recognise you – what happened, you used to be so skinny?!”

Aside from being mightily glad of my lucky escape from ending up with that tosser, I literally wanted to die. I was so embarrassed. And upset I’m not going to lie.

Of course I laughed it off but it nagged at me behind the scenes. Had I let myself go?

Have I Let Myself Go?

This horrifying incident was unfortunately compounded recently when a relatively new friend saw a picture of me from when I was about 21..

“Omg look how thin  you were!” she shrieked.

And I knew it was true. I was so skinny back then. I just hadn’t realised how not-skinny I am now. So have I let myself go?

Have I Let Myself Go

Nowadays and another child down, I am holding on to at least two extra stone of fried chicken that I certainly don’t need or want. I hate that I’ve stopped taking pride in my appearance. It seems that the only time that I ever make a concerted effort (hair, nails, makeup, outfit) is when I’m on my way to the office. I almost never do it just for me. I just can’t be bothered most days in amongst the chaos of child rearing and holding down two careers.

The thing is though, I’m actually really happy. Happier than I can ever remember being. I’m in such a good and positive place right now but this happiness is sitting at such a juxtaposition with my image. So what do I do?

Do I refocus, re-prioritise and schedule in (because everything has to be scheduled round here) me time. Force myself to stay up for a further twenty minutes at 1am to brush my teeth, cleanse, tone, moisturise and all that jazz? Get up an hour earlier to exercise and sort my mum bun out?

Do I have any more give in me to give to myself? I’m just not sure.

So you see, I’m at a cross roads.

I don’t know whether I need to learn to accept the status quo of my backside as it is now or if I need to give myself a good slap, shave my legs, do some squats and smarten my game up.

Maybe this is just the new me.

















  1. Julia
    February 20, 2017 / 19:17

    It’s like being between a rock & a hard place by the sound of it…you look gorgeous as you are now so you don’t have to do anything appearance wise that you yourself don’t want to. Time is precious & yours is at a premium. If you want to change yourself do it for yourself, perhaps for health / wellbeing. Only when/ if you feel up to it!

  2. February 21, 2017 / 17:41

    This is wonderful and so relatable for moms! I love hearing the question of now what – and NOT answering it yet. Life is about uncertainty and acceptance.

  3. February 21, 2017 / 17:41

    This is wonderful and so relatable for moms! I love hearing the question of now what – and NOT answering it yet. Life is about uncertainty and acceptance.

  4. February 24, 2017 / 07:35

    I wouldn’t worry about taking off your make-up – or even putting it on for that matter since you have such lovely skin! -, but please brush your teeth so you don’t end up knackered AND battling rampant toothache!
    Davina recently posted…For my sons My Profile

  5. February 24, 2017 / 23:08

    Absolutely not! You are beautiful hun, and you’ve definitely not let yourself go at all. I think that I will flopping into bed still with my make-up tonight, so tired. Claire x #fortheloveofBLOG
    The Pramshed recently posted…Does guilt free parenting exist?My Profile

  6. February 25, 2017 / 08:39

    Aaaaw it’s a tricky one isn’t it, I think taking time to straighten your hair or choose a lovely outfit just becomes less of a priority for a while. I certainly don’t think it’s letting yourself go (also you always look stunning in all your blog pics! !) #fortheloveofBLOG
    Daydreamer Mum recently posted…Packing up the emotional baggage that was never even mineMy Profile

  7. February 25, 2017 / 09:00

    This is a great post and one that I can totally relate too! I put on 5 stone with my little boy 5 years ago lost 3 stone then had my little girl and put on another stone, I’m currently on slimming world to help me shift it as I’m not happy with the way I am. The hubby tells me I don’t need to etc and that our body “changes” after children. But I want to and I’m not happy with ME. If you are happy and positive why change? Happiness is the key!! Sometimes we are way to god dam hard on ourselves! lets just rock the shit out of motherhood ill have botox when their older!! 😉
    kerry recently posted…Never ending laundry basket!!My Profile

  8. February 25, 2017 / 09:01

    This resonates SO much like you wouldn’t believe. I am the queen of making excuses as to why I don’t go for a run or why I don’t do the sit up challenge I started a couple of weeks ago. Personally I think you look fab but I know it’s about how you feel in yourself. Great post #fortheloveofblog
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  9. February 25, 2017 / 09:02

    You are happy – so obviously that’s the important thing. You are also very very busy. Have you time to squeeze anything else in? Probably not. Is there anything you could drop to make more time? Possibly not. Embrace your happiness ! You are gorgeous. None of us are as skinny or as young looking as we once were – but that doesn’t mean we are less gorgeous.

  10. February 25, 2017 / 09:20

    This is me right now! Having been injured for a couple of years now, my training has taken a nose dive. With teaching taekwon-do, my hair is always up in a pony tail, so I don’t want to spend money on it at the moment! With blogging and teaching plus family, my time to spend on my body is compromised. I am happy, but gradually slipping away from where I was. I have been thinking that I should change things a little, but never quite feel ready. That time will come and until then, I am embracing the way I am. Perhaps the same could apply to you? Alison x #fortheloveofBLOG

  11. February 25, 2017 / 09:29

    omg I feel the same!! I have put on a bit of weight over the last few years and I really feel I have been letting myself go a bit #fortheloveofBLOG
    Natasha Mairs recently posted…Win Mum’s List Book & DVDMy Profile

  12. February 25, 2017 / 09:42

    I think we just prioritise things differently when we’re parents but I don’t think it’s ever intentional that we don’t put ourselves first. It’s tough, you do actually look fabulous though. #fortheloveofblog

  13. February 25, 2017 / 09:42

    If you’re happy then that’s all that’s important. You have two beautiful children, and of course your body would bounce back at 18 quicker then it would now. I always think how lovely you look! I’m just getting up, having not showered before bed or taken my make up off because I felt too tired, so if you’re letting yourself go so am I! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Louise – Mummy Miller recently posted…73 Vogue Questions VlogMy Profile

  14. February 25, 2017 / 10:09

    I think its entirely up to you. Bollocks to what everyone else thinks its about how you feel. If you want to make a change then go for it. But if you’re happy not being as slim as you were 10 years then so be it! For me I love keepog fit, eating well and it helps my mindset but that’s not for everyone. Thanks for hosting #fortheloveofblog
    Fran Back With a Bump recently posted…Popsicle Turns OneMy Profile

  15. February 25, 2017 / 10:36

    I guess you have to do what makes YOU happy. Find a happy medium? I’m not good at the whole cleanse tone moisturise thing but I do manage to give myself 10 mins in the morning to put some slap on and sort my hair. As for the weight thing, I’ve always had an issue – in my own head! Every now and again if I’ve put a couple of pounds on I have a few weeks of cutting out rubbish, and I can usually shift them. I’m rubbish at the gym though. I have no time for exercise. There’s not enough hours in my week! I wouldn’t say you’ve let yourself go Hun. You’re just content and that’s not a bad thing at all. Don’t be so hard on yourself. #fortheloveofBLOG
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  16. February 25, 2017 / 11:59

    I think it’s a really hard balance to strike, and you’re certainly not alone! I always wish I could be that person who could actually be bothered to have a proper skincare regime, sadly it’s not to be! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Aleena recently posted…My Mother’s Day Wish List| MummyMamaMumMy Profile

  17. February 25, 2017 / 14:49

    First of all, what an idiot that ex-boyfriend is! Secondly, I think you know the answer to the question in this post title from what you have written. When we are younger we are less wise and we put more emphasis on appearance. We think having shaven legs and manicured nails really matter. But as we get older we realise how much more important other things in life are and we put appearances on the backseat. Sure, a good pampering once in a while is beneficial and gives us a confidence boost. But what some call ‘letting yourself go’ we both know is, ‘putting life first’. You are happy, and you should be. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Nursery Whines recently posted…Attack and Defence: How It Feels To Be The Mother Of The Violent ToddlerMy Profile

  18. February 25, 2017 / 15:01

    Comments like “You were so skinny” are so counter productive. Nobody stays the way they were as they age. The most important thing above all else is that you are happy and healthy. If you don’t feel you are checking one of those boxes then maybe look for ways to make some changes. Otherwise do what feels right. I personally think you look fab and it’s not all about physical appearance either. You don’t see men getting up early each morning and putting on ‘their face’ so why is it expected of women?! Given yourself a break lovely – you’ve got happy kids in what seems to be a happy home, you’re holding down a job and have a super blog that demands time. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Angela Watling recently posted…Love doesn’t always mean like…but that’s okay!My Profile

  19. February 25, 2017 / 15:05

    Two things stood out for me in this post.
    1. Thank God you got rid of that boyfriend – Phew! Lucky excape.
    2. You’re happy.
    In a world that revolves around looking thin and young and pretty, happiness isn’t an issue. And it should be.
    I reckon the 20 minutes extra sleep will do more for your complexion than all that toning/moisturizing jazz.
    Stay happy.

    • February 25, 2017 / 15:07

      That should have had #fortheloveofblog – I need to wake up today :-/

  20. February 25, 2017 / 15:36

    Just like other people are saying – if you are happy, then that’s ALL that matters! You seem pretty successful and it looks to me like you have your priorities sorted. I say all this, however I am desperate to lose the muffin top I’ve gained (to quote my blog), so I do know how it feels. #fortheloveofBLOG

  21. February 25, 2017 / 16:25

    I think we all feel like this when we get to a certain point in our lives. You look gorgeous hun, don’t let the comments of someone who obviously wasn’t good enough weigh on your mind. As long as your happy it’s all good.
    Ali Duke recently posted…It’s My Birthday!My Profile

  22. February 25, 2017 / 17:22

    I think that too much focus on appearance is unhealthy. It is important to take care of ourselves so that we can be around for our kids for many years to come, but that has nothing to do with makeup and manicures. Eating right, exercising, and healthy lifestyle choices are things I can get behind. But the bottom line is that we be healthy and happy. Not how attractive other people might think we are. We have the responsibility of being the example to our daughters so that they can have a positive body image. Obsessing over what other people think isn’t going to accomplish that. You’re a beautiful person for who you are and the love you give. Not because of how much makeup you slather on your face or how much time you spend on your hair. #fortheloveofBLOG

  23. February 25, 2017 / 19:52

    I have only just accepted at the age of 42 that I’m never getting my 18 year old body back and I think I’m ok with that. I am always trying to get down to a slightly more acceptable weight but I’m not too bothered. I have only recently started wearing more makeup and taking more care of my appearance, I just wasn’t that bothered before. If you’re happy the way you are then that’s all that matters. There may come a time when you decide to make a change but worry about that if and when it happens. I also ran into an ex boyfriend a couple of weeks after giving birth to my son. I put on 5 stone when I was pregnant so you can imagine how different I looked. He did a double take and I knew exactly what was going through his mind (phew I had a lucky escape there!) – I was mortified – but I soon got over it, his opinion was worthless to me! Be happy, that is more important than any made up face or smart hair do :-). #fortheloveofblog
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  24. February 25, 2017 / 20:29

    Wow! You did so well not to slap him one!! You look absolutely stunning!! Even more importantly you feel happy! Most important thing in the world!!! #fortheloveofblog

  25. February 25, 2017 / 20:33

    Whenever I get dressed up (which is rare) people make such a big deal about how I look I’ve decided I must look like shit all the time….so I hear you. That said, there’s too much to do and too little time and my writing is 6am-7am and I’m reluctant to give that up to put on make up and spend time dressing….so I too am at crossroads – tho I am trying to find time to exercise as I’m not as fit as I’d like to be….#FortheloveofBLOG
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  26. February 25, 2017 / 21:41

    I don’t see it as letting myself go, I just have 3 children to look after now and there needs are more important than mine so I don’t have as much time for myself now.

  27. February 25, 2017 / 22:43

    Yep – I get this – I am the heaviest I have ever been… but am not really trying hard to shift it. How cheek was that ex though?! And a lovely pic of the 18 year old you btw. xx #fortheloveofBLOG
    Hayley@ Mission: Mindfulness recently posted…Guest series: Mindfulness and Me #8My Profile

  28. February 25, 2017 / 23:55

    You still look fabulous now, even more so I think! 🙂 I’ve also not gotten back to my pre-babies weight but I’m not really fussed. I do go to the gym now and loving it – I think it’s only because of having gestational diabetes in both my pregnancies that I’ve kicked myself in the butt to start lol

    I think as long as you’re happy and healthy in mind as well as body, it’s all good. 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG

  29. February 26, 2017 / 07:31

    For what it’s worth, I think you look lovely! You may have been slimmer before but you’re not a great big heifer now! If you’re happy why attempt to reschedule life and possibly make yourself more stressed/unhappy? Keep on looking fab ☺
    Anna recently posted…Children-The Strongest blizzards start with a single snowflake.My Profile

  30. February 26, 2017 / 08:35

    Firstly – what a jerk!!! Lucky escape for sure! But I know what you mean – I’m pretty much the same only really making an effort for work, and definitely holding on to a few to many pounds,*cough* stone. We do change though when we get older – I look back at pictures just before Uni, throughout and even just after. At times I was tiny. As I’ve got older, I’ve definitely changed, and that was even before the baby. I think we just do, and it’s harder to keep the way you looked before. At the end of the day I don’t have the time, or the desire to spend hours upon end in the gym and only eat like a rabbit. I know I ned to keep a sensible weight and keep fit and health, and I do that, it just means I’m not the skinny rake I was at 18, and it’s more about being outdoors walking, playing with the little one and running around soft play that will do that. It doesn’t mean you’ve let yourself go. You’re just finding the new you. And as you’ve said – you’re happier than ever 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG PS Shaving your legs in winter is pointless – it’s an extra layer of warmth…
    Emma recently posted…Baby Sign – I’m sure we all have a lot to sayMy Profile

  31. February 26, 2017 / 11:40

    I think you need to keep reading that sentence you wrote that said you are so happy now and the happiest you’ve ever been. That right there is proof that being skinny is not what makes you happy. You do not need to lose weight my lovely – you were probably way too skinny when you were younger anyway. OMG I’m much bigger than when I was a teen but I’m also way more happy too – I know which person I’d rather be now for sure. And what an idiot of a guy for saying that #fortheloveofBLOG
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  32. February 26, 2017 / 13:10

    I feel like this! I used to be SO much thinner but I can’t stick to anything and I just feel crap about it instead of doing anything much about it. I’m so tired and busy, I can’t bring myself to sacrifice hours I’ve already allotted to resting or studying to exercise or meal plan. Bleurgh.

    You’re beautiful though, I love seeing your gorgeous little face on my insta!


  33. February 26, 2017 / 14:43

    I think i’m in exactly in the same boat as you. i was always a string bean and now im struggling to fit into clothes i wore when heavily pregnant. i’ve put on weight, i blame my implant being in 6 weeks post baby and not letting me get back into shape before going on it (i always put on loads of weight with it) but there is that niggling of “how many times can you use that as excuse?”
    im also wondering do i accept this new me or fight the hard fight when i have no strength or energy in the day! #fortheloveofBLOG

  34. February 26, 2017 / 18:43

    Oh my goodness my first thought is it’s good that you are well shot of that ex. As for your body consider whether you are healthy or not and what would make you happy if you really aren’t. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Helena recently posted…Books, Buble and My Babies #LittleLovesMy Profile

  35. February 26, 2017 / 20:47

    It’s difficult when you feel at odds with yourself. I think the key really is balance, maybe try writing down all of your priorities, how you fit them into your day etc and see if it helps you find somewhere you can make space or re-prioritise? xx #fortheloveofblog
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  36. February 26, 2017 / 21:05

    I feel like this after my second it seems to have taken longer to get back to where I was pre baby #fortheloveofblog
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  37. February 27, 2017 / 09:00

    Personally I think if you are happy then who cares who you used to be? Are you really that same skinny 22 year old? Or have the last few years molded you into someone else? Have you evolved. Obviously if you are verging on obese then that is different and comes with health risks. I used to work as a nurse so making an effort for work was not allowed (infection control apparently!) so it was easy to want to make the effort when I was not working. I went through this a while ago but I wasn’t happy. I changed it. I do get up early, not to work out (that’s literally never going to happen!) but to do my make up, perhaps my hair, to at least feel clean and fresh. I lost the extra weight and it took a lot of work. Now I am happy, but I needed that. Don’t stress yourself if you are happy!
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  38. February 27, 2017 / 10:10

    If the new you is happy then go with it, I say. Happiness is what’s important. But if it’s starting to bother you, you could try a few easy changes perhaps? Hair brushing is over-rated in my opinion. I’m sure I went weeks without brushing mine when my 3 girls were small. xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  39. February 27, 2017 / 10:48

    I love this. I often think the same except I think mine might be 3 stone and I go through a can of batiste a week. But we’re being great mums and that’s what matters. Make a date with your partner and get dressed up….then it’s for you and for them! #fortheloveofBLOG
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  40. February 27, 2017 / 11:22

    Oh Fi I look at pictures of you and you always look stunning but more importantly you look happy and together. It is so easy to beat ourselves up sometimes when we are feeling rundown. You are holding down a job, running a successful blog and bringing up a family, maybe you need to go easy on yourself a bit, because there just aren’t enough hours in a day to do everything perfectly 100% of the time. #fortheloveofBLOG
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  41. February 27, 2017 / 11:50

    If you are happy then that is all that matters. Just enjoy every moment being the new you! #fortheloveofblog

  42. February 27, 2017 / 13:31

    I totally get what you mean, I am currently trying to get myself back into it but its hard! priorities change! x

  43. February 27, 2017 / 17:37

    I think you look amazing – and if you’re happy then I see no reason to change! #fortheloveofblog

  44. March 2, 2017 / 19:47

    Oh I know how you feel..since having my second baby I just feel like I look awful all the time. I have no energy to do my hair or put make up on in the mornings and there’s no point wearing mice clothes as they end up covered in God knows what by the end of the day anyway. I think it’s important to make time for yourself but it can be a real struggle. I think you look fab by the way xx #fortheloveofblog

  45. March 3, 2017 / 18:21

    First of all, how rude is he!? And second of all, you’re lovely the way you are and definitely not fat/unhealthy by the looks of it! I think it’s so tough when we have so much to do and you’re definitely not alone in looking in the mirror and not recognising yourself. I look at myself and wonder how old I look these days.. Had to die my hair to cover the greys for the first time ever… Maybe just make sure you (schedule in!) a bit of down time more for health and wellbeing than anything else, whether that’s for a walk to clear your head, sit and paint your nails just to relax. My dad worked so hard when I was growing up it made him ill so it’s made me try to remember to take some time out xx #FortheloveofBLOG
    Susie at This Is Me Now recently posted…Why I’m trying Lean in 15 this MarchMy Profile

  46. March 4, 2017 / 19:51

    Your body is never the same after having children. I accepted that a long time ago. I do relate though. I’m currently over a stone heavier than I was pre-children and find excuses for not devoting more time to losing it. I have started to make more conscious decision about what I eat and it’s made a big difference. #fortheloveofBLOG
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  47. March 4, 2017 / 19:51

    Your body is never the same after having children. I accepted that a long time ago. I do relate though. I’m currently over a stone heavier than I was pre-children and find excuses for not devoting more time to losing it. I have started to make more conscious decision about what I eat and it’s made a big difference. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Maria recently posted…Review: National Sea Life Centre, BirminghamMy Profile

  48. March 6, 2017 / 22:10

    Oh Fi, I totally get this but you are so gorgeous! That sounds really fangirl but I often think that when I’m watching your Stories, you always look great first thing 🙂 I think we are our worst critics but I love how you’ve ended this post – you are happy and that’s all that matters. A new chapter as you say xx #fortheloveofBLOG
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  49. August 3, 2021 / 23:15

    As a mom, ‘momming’ so hard! Sharing our experiences is such a healing way to live in motherhood. Thanks!

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