Tag Archives: food

Bend me, I won’t break

Bend me, I won’t break

I think we all have moments when we worry about our physical abilities – after an accident or injury, after too many drinks (!), when pregnant, when especially tired. For the most part, these are well founded fears – our brain’s way of keeping us safe and uninjured. But sometimes, they’re the result of unfounded or exaggerated anxiety and recognising these worries as different to the reasonable, justified ones, can be tricky.

As anyone who has read the blog knows, I’m currently pregnant. 31 weeks pregnant. Pregnancy is a time when you absolutely have to be careful and aware of your body and how you’re feeling (please note this careful disclaimer to avoid a horde of angry midwives at my door). However, I think sometimes we can get so caught up in our anxieties (particularly when we’ve suffered prior complications or losses), that we miss out on opportunities to get stronger, healthier and better prepared for what’s coming.

I’m one of the worriers.

After two previous early miscarriages, and despite a normally good amount of common sense, I was terrified of everything. Eating the wrong thing, lifting too much, sneezing too hard (completely serious), passive smoking, exercising.

Now, all of these things can absolutely be a danger to a pregnant woman and her unborn child (except the sneezing thing, that was just daft) but they also all require a bit of reason.

Food guidance is there for a reason, and it should be observed. But it should also be understood. The risk of getting food poisoning from soft cheese or uncooked meat is the same as it’s always been. You’re not necessarily suddenly more likely to get it. The danger is, that should you be unlucky, the damage will affect more than just you – it can affect your baby too. I followed everything my midwife told me – ensuring that I stuck only to her advice (not the forums online filled with fellow unreasonable worriers, not family, not friends). This served me well and quickly quelled my worries. It also meant I could eat medium rare steak.


When I was about 18 weeks pregnant, I picked my friend’s little girl up without thinking – she had no shoes on and we were popping out to say hello to my husband, who was waiting in the car. Picking her up was the logical thing to do. As we later drove away (having deposited my little friend back to her mum – we’re not child snatchers), I turned to my husband and said, anxiety stricken, with crazy, manic eyes and a wobbly voice, “I shouldn’t have lifted her, should I?!”. To which he held my hand and sensibly replied, “Mums with more than one child all over the world continue to pick up their toddlers throughout pregnancy. Stop panicking, you’re fine.”

I have very little to say about passive smoking, except that walking behind a smoker on the street once or twice during your pregnancy will not have an impact. Something I had to convince myself of, despite being a normally reasonable person.

And now, exercising. For any Sex and the City fans out there, I had a Charlotte moment. I panicked that any exercise would somehow pull the wrong muscle, causing my comfy, cozy womb to become a dark, dank cave that any self-respecting baby would quite rightly up sticks and leave. So despite recently starting Pilates and enjoying it, I stopped the moment I found out I was pregnant…just in case. It was only upon reaching 24 weeks that I decided I’d be brave and try the antenatal Pilates class instead, something I could have done weeks earlier. I checked with my midwife, who told me any strengthening exercise run by an individual who is trained in supporting pregnant women, would be a great thing to prepare me for birth. 7 sessions later and I absolutely love it.

charlotte yorke

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, of course there are times in our lives when we feel more fragile, more vulnerable, less sure of our bodies and their capacity to continue to support us. But you know what? As long as you’re sensible and listen to medical advice; 9 times out of 10, the things we’re most scared of sit within two categories: Utterly ridiculous, or exactly what we need.

And to my fellow pregnant women – it’s OK to be frightened. But you’re not a fragile, delicate crystal, you’re a diamond – tougher than most grown men, and doing something absolutely incredible with your body.

Be brave, try that exercise class, get involved in decorating the nursery, eat that steak. You are so much stronger than you know.


A few of my favourite things


It’s the new year, and so the time for bloggers everywhere to make resolutions, abstain from the stuff they love, and write about why that’s a good thing. But in the style of my favourite make-up brand, Benefit, and their #joyousjanuary campaign, I’m going to do quite the opposite.


And so, move over Julie Andrews because here are a few of my favourite things (and not a brown paper package or kitten’s whisker in sight)!

All the small things
While I was a huge Blink 182 fan back in the day, they’re not one of my favourite things. No. One of the most wonderful things for me is doing nice things for other people. It’s twee and cheesy, and you just did a little bit of sick in your mouth, right? Well I don’t care. I am twee, cheesy and proud. I love sending silly postcards for no reason, buying a friend their favourite chocolate bar just because, and lending my dress collection when I know money is tight and a friend has a big party.


Obviously the big things count too, if I won the lottery it would make my year to buy my dad his own place, to give my family incredible holidays and to buy awesome Christmas presents; but the small things can be just as lovely. Take this anecdote as inspiration and go be nice…

A few years ago I was coming through the Dartford Crossing (I know, I know, my life is uber glam). It was Boxing Day, I was very excited and on my way to visit my boyfriend. I got to the toll booth, £1 in hand, only to be told that the lady in the car in front had paid my toll and asked the tollbooth attendant to wish me a merry Christmas. Tiny thing right? But it made my week. I still tell that story with a smile on my face, 6 years later. Human kindness is great.

Doing nothing
Don’t panic, I’m not going to entirely contradict what I just said. This isn’t a paragraph all about laziness. It’s about having no plans. I love my life, I love our friends and family. And as we’re lucky enough to have lots of them, we are generally busy approximately 48 out of 52 weekends of the year. So those 4 clear weekends are like gold dust. I anticipate them with as much excitement as a kid looks forward to Christmas.

“What are we doing this weekend?” he’ll ask…..”Nothing!” I’ll blissfully reply, while putting the deadlock on and closing all the curtains.

Feck the tech
First things first. My name’s Hilary, and I’m a socialmediaholic. I’m fanatical about Facebook, preoccupied with Pinterest, and totally taken with Twitter. But I also notice the difference in my mood, anxiety levels and sleep patterns when I make myself switch off. And I’m not alone. There have been several articles recently considering the dangers of being ‘always on’, and the impact on our collective mental health.


Of course the very nature of social media means that if you love it or work with it, you can’t just vanish every day at 5pm. But there’s a balance to be struck. You survived for years without knowing the moment you wake up, that your primary school mate made spag bol for tea, or that Katie Price got married. Again. Switch it off, leave your tablet/phone/laptop in another room for a couple of hours. I promise you won’t miss anything earth-shatteringly important.

And everything else
It’s both beautiful and cathartic writing down all the lovely things that make me happy. And wonderfully, the more I share, the more I think of. Hurrah! Life isn’t so awful! But I imagine you don’t want to read 10,000 words about why I love a good cup of tea, so here’s a list of a few more of my favourite things:

A good book (or a mediocre book. Just books really)
Etsy. Nuff said.
Chick flicks
Holding hands
Laughing until I cry (happens a lot. I am the ocular version of Niagara Falls)
Animal memes
Cheesy vampire/paranormal TV drama (think Vampire Diaries, Supernatural. You get the drift)
People I love
Patterned tights
A completed to-do list (see above. Lists are great)
Costume jewellery
Fig rolls (the biscuits. Not some bizarre gymnastic move I made up)
A hot bath
A tidy house/desk/life
Soy lattes
That feeling when you take your bra off after a long day (ladies, you know what I mean!)
90s pop music
Bringing the duvet on the sofa

What are your favourite things? Let’s start something smiley and positive and happy and create a universal list. Plus I’m nosey. #favouritethings