I was trying to think of some delightfully empowering words to accompany these photos. 

These photos.... they weren't planned. 

It was Friday night. I had just taken my braids out and washed my hair and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and felt a smile curl on my lips. This woman with curves, wobbly bits, afro hair that she doesn't really know what to do with, strong calves and muscular thighs: I like her. No, I love her. 

It's something I have practised every day for the last seven, going on eight months. And on Friday night, while simply washing my hair, I had a moment. I recognised a milestone that has been reached. That all of that daily talk and practise has become a learned language of self-love that comes really rather easily now.

Some photos are under-exposed, over-exposed, out of focus. All imperfect, yet beautiful. And similarly, in each moment of each day, whether filtered or unfiltered, weak or strong, ready to runway walk, or with headscarf-wrapped hair and not a scrap of make up on - us, just as we are: we slay. 

I wrote a poem about a month ago. Something quite unusual for me. And when I was thinking about some words to accompany these photos, I thought these might fit quite well. 

Not good enough
Not tall enough
Not slim enough
Not tough enough

Not clever enough
Not rich enough
Not normal enough

Enough’s enough!

Not black enough
Not British enough
Too well spoken
Perfect token

Not confident enough
Not far enough
Down the path you think I should walk -

Let me tell you
I’ve had enough
And today I declare


#253 // Massive Lessons from Mere Moments

I think it's important to tell me people how you feel about them. Every chance you get. And unreservedly.

So before I even get to the crux of this post Liss, let me say this: I love you, I'm proud of you and I'm so happy to have you in my world.

Alicia and I have known each other since we were 11-years-old. We went to secondary school and sixth form together, but even though we spent most of the week together for the best part of seven years, we were only acquaintances for this entire time. 

We were actually brought back together through some pretty bad news, but a delightful and precious friendship has come out of it. We've pretty much been inseparable for the last three years, and I often find myself wondering why we weren't closer when we spent so many years walking along the same school corridors. 

So, Liss dear readers, is tall, loves stationery more than life itself, reads as fast as Usian Bolt sprints, and today is her 32nd birthday.

She's sensitive, funny, spends way too much time on Instagram and twitter, wears her heart on her sleeve and says the word "snazzy" a lot. She's also very good with words, so you should check out her blog.

In the last few years since I've really gotten to know her, I've seen her traverse some interesting paths; be mistreated by a few dickheads, come into her own and find her strength, hold her head high and put a lot of drama behind her and fall in love with a delightful man called Steven. 

I'm along for the ride on her current journey, as she focuses on losing weight for her impending nuptials and with the aim of starting a family. She's already lost almost two stone with nothing but grit and determination. She's pushed herself, stuck to her macros, challenged her anxious nature by rocking up to a plethora of classes by herself, with each one, ramping up the endorphins and her belief in herself.

We've been to Psycle classes, functional fitness workshops, health festivals and she emailed me this week with a six month plan of the workouts and classes we'll conquer later this year. She appeals to my inner planner and I friggin' love it. 

One of the things I like about her most is that she is ultra focused. When she is trying to get somewhere, nothing can alter her course. It's quite hypnotising to witness.

We recently went to Paris together and she asked me to be a bridesmaid! I'm so excited. It's going to be very emotional, and there will be all the tears, followed by all the dancing. 

Liss, I mainly wanted to wish you a happy birthday, celebrate our friendship and write down just a few of the things I've seen you conquer in the last year. Because sometimes you can't see your progress when in the thick of your own journey, but know that I see you and I support you homie. I see the pounds go down, but more than that, I see so many other characteristics that can't be measured in metrics, flourish in you. 

Here's to another year of #goals, great friendship and gratitude with you, dearest gym bae!


#252 // Happy Birthday, Darling Girl

Monsieur Musiq Soulchild, I bow down to you and your musical greatness once again. 

Musiq Soulchild is one of my favourite R&B artists of all time, and I discovered that he's just released a new song called Simple Things, that I instantly fell in love with.

I'm used to falling in love with the instrumental elements of a song first. I like the beat, the vibe, and mmm listen to that delicious key change. Seriously, I can listen to a song for years and call it one of my favourites, yet not know all the words. 

But the other day I was cleaning up with Spotify on in the background and thought, "hang on - what did he say?" Just let the words below minister to your soul because Pastor Soulchild is in the building with this lyrical genius:

Tell me what good is having everything if it's not what you really want? 'Cos you can get used to forgetting to be grateful, so be careful. 

I mean, how good is that? The former question posed has set me off on a long and winding train of thought, and I'm not entirely sure of the destination just yet. But the latter statement is just another little reminder to stay grateful. It's such a wonderful attitude to carry with you and a productive tool to help in everyday life. So on that note, a quick list of the things I'm grateful right now as I type this post at 9:05pm.

  1. Season 6 of Scandal is back, and if we ever needed Shonda Rhimes to bring the lady in the white hat back into our lives it's right now.
  2. Banana flavour custard. I needed something to hit the sweet spot after dinner, and that did the trick.
  3. Somewhere warm to lay my head at night. Homelessness has been something that's been at the forefront of my mind for a little while, and I'm looking for ways to help. I'm doing a charity night walk for The Big Issue in March, and I'm on the look out for more regular volunteering opportunities. 
  4. Exercise. Endorphins are delightful.
  5. 90-minute phone calls with my parents. They are nutty and hilarious in equal parts and it was very funny to hear them bickering down the phone over mum not letting dad take a photo of their last meal...
  6. The medical team at Great Ormond Street who are doing a sterling job of looking after my friend's little boy.
  7. Extended periods away from my phone. I'm desiring and atively seeking chances to put my phone away. It can be an unhealthy distraction.

So right now, in this minute: what are you grateful for?


#251 // Be careful. Be grateful.


#250 // Mere Moments in Paris

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