I swam with my kids today, and heartbreakingly they said they couldn’t remember when I last swam with them. I’m a great swimmer, used to be a junior lifesaver, even trained with a swim coach for a brief time.

So why don’t I swim with my kids more often?

The ‘excuse’ over the past couple of years has been Covid and more recently my broken foot. But the ‘reason’ is deeper.

I was fat-shamed a lot as a kid. There’s a gene on one side of my family for what used to be called ‘puppy fat’. I can see where this has shown up in four generations of my family. Me included. One unaffected family member used to call me “Ten Tonne Tessie” … making it ironic that I chose Tess when I changed my name at 18.

Today I realised that I haven’t liked my body for a long time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of what my body has achieved, having two huge kids relatively later in life. But I really haven’t ‘liked’ my body.

I’ve always felt “too something”.

Too ‘fat’ when I was 10. Too tall in my teens. Too clumsy. Too big-boobed. Always too something.

I’ve gone through phases of only buying clothes from ‘larger lady’ stores, even when I wore an average dress size. Even today I’m (totally) rocking bathers from a designer known for flattering the ‘fuller figure’.

Why am I sharing this rather personal confession with you?

It’s not because I need validation or comforting comments. It’s because we all do it. We all feel inadequate (or “too something”) in our own skin. And it’s bullshit!

On a rational level we know we look fine. But ‘fine’ isn’t the same as body-proud. It’s not body-positive. Or even body-satisfied.

And being body-dissatisfied lets us hide from ourselves. And then we hide from fun.

Crazy, right!

So today, on my holiday, I’m giving myself a bit of a talking-to. I’ve worn my bathers all day, without sweating in ‘cover up clothes’. I’ve swum with my kids. And I want to make this a more common thing.

I hope it means more swimming. I hope it means more fun!

Let’s agree to cut ourselves some slack on the body issues stuff. Life’s too short to keep hiding from fun!

Much love,
Tess x

It’s true what they say about the power of self-care. After three months laid low with a broken foot, I’m finally out and about and able to get my hair cut.

It seems like such a small, indulgent thing, to get a haircut. People do it everyday. But there’s a reason why psychologists focus on self-care and personal hygiene as part of an overall emotional well-being program.

When we can’t look after ourselves in even the smallest ways (e.g., regular showers, freshly made beds), it can impact our mood.
For me, not being able to attend to my hair meant it became ratty, overgrown and lank. Coupled with the weight gain associated with my immobility, it was starting to mess with my head a little. Just a little, but the boost I got from having my hair done today was enough to remind me how important self-care is.

So I encourage you to be okay with taking the time you need to keep up your personal self-care routine.
It might feel self-indulgent, especially during times of stress, but it’s an investment in your overall well-being. And that’s always good for business!

Much love
Tess x