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Things To Do Before I Turn 50

  (also known as my "TA-DA" list as opposed to a "to do" list) It was my 49th birthday a few days ago and this got me thinking. Any birthday that ends with a zero always feels a bit like milestone or a landmark and, when I hit the big "five-o" in 2022, I don't want huge parties or celebrations but I would like to have ticked a few things off my low-effort bucket list.   I see these things as a way to improve my mental and physical health, plus a few slightly off-the-wall experiences that would make for great memories.  Start running again and include the following: Lead a C25K group again  Participate in parkrun EVERY week where possible  < ongoing (now parkrun Run Director too) Visit local landmarks whilst running  Train for a long race - building up from 5k > 10k > 10 miles > half marathon, with a couple of longer trail races mixed in  Lose a lot bit of weight Post more on Instagram or give the blog a bit of a reboot < ongoing Look at


I have a massive image complex at the moment.  I used to be a stick-thin size 8-10 and now I am a "you carry your weight well" size 14-16.  Finding a diet to suit is a constant battle but I've found that the dog likes brisk walks at about 7pm so we go power-walking together.

Anyway, there *is* a point to all this.  I just don't get it when a well-known national newspaper has decided that "fat" lies somewhere between Katy Perry and Beth Ditto using these images as examples:

Beth's size is noted (guestimated at a UK size 28, if you're interested) and she is congratulated on being a "natural as she strutted and saluted her way down the catwalk" whilst modelling in the John-Paul Gaultier show at Paris fashion week.  Katy (probably about a UK size 8) is berated for "looking a little curvier than usual"!  I am convinced that the Beth Ditto article was written as a bit of a piss-take but no-one will ever admit that.  And if that's what Katy Perry looks like on a bad day then I'll have a few of those bad days on her behalf, thank you very much.

Whilst reading these articles and shaking my head, I scroll down the side bar for further "items of interest" and see that a fixation with image is a recurring theme - Victoria Beckham's choice of skirt length, a favourable article about a soap actress who has dropped three dress sizes, Danielle Lloyd showing off her post-baby figure, a weird article half congratulating Natalie Cassidy on the birth of her daughter whilst showing pictures of her in a frumpy maternity frock from a few weeks ago and the front cover fitness DVD, pictures of Serena Williams' 'bikini body'... and the list goes on.

Edited to add:  I've just seen this in the Danielle Lloyd photoshoot article:
[Danielle Lloyd] gave birth to her first child Archie in July and is now back to a svelte size 10 after ballooning to a size 14 after the pregnancy
Hold. Me. Back.  She did NOT "balloon" to a size 14 - it was post-pregnancy weight and it's this type of throw-away comment that gives women impossible targets and portraits.

Is there a right size for women to be?  And why isn't there the same obsession about men's weight?  We know that the average size of a woman has increased over recent years thanks to our style of living yet the extremes are still used as examples.  We have to teach the next generation that it's OK to be YOU, but a healthy you.  We need to teach our kids that there should be no pressure to conform to a particular shape or style - we're not all the same, after all.  Wouldn't that be boring?

Images reproduced from original Daily Mail links