Monday, 15 July 2013

Taking back me

Late last year I decided it was enough.

After 20 something years of wearing a padded suit I was ready.

I was ready to shed the protective layers I had slowly amassed over that time.

Enough of hiding my reality from myself.

Enough of using my padded suit to hide the emotional hurt that it was used to hide.

I decided that I was worth it.

My family was worth it.

I needed to face up to the fact that very soon my padded suit was going to create MORE tragedy than it ever could hide.  I was unhealthy and I needed to face up to it.

What I decided was that shedding my padded suit required me to be completely and utterly vulnerable.

I needed to give myself the gift of vulnerability.

I needed to lay myself completely bare.  

I needed to let myself not only know but ACCEPT that I wasn't infallible, that I didn't cope all the time, that I didn't need to be perfect and that that was ok.

Watching this helped me so much. Find some time to watch it too.

I am crying as I write this as it is still not easy to accept.  I am slowly learning to be more gentle on myself.

It is a hard post to write but an even harder post to live.

I have always detested diets & fads and generally been upset at how women have been pressured into a ridiculous way of 'how we should look' as a way of judging them- of judging their intelligence, their worth, their everything.

It should NEVER EVER be about this.

We should be defined by our hearts, our brains, our behaviour & our souls.

Therein lay the rub for me.

To really truly look after my heart & soul it was going to take shedding the padded suit.

A physical transformation which represented an emotional one.

Taking back me.

So......  here we are a bit over 6 months later and after lots and lots of hard work, more conscious living and making a stance for myself that I am well on my way to achieving my goal of health.

Heart health, soul health & physical health.

I have never eaten unhealthily and don't eat processed foods - but I just ate too much.  Learning to work out the balance has been one of the most important lessons of all.  It is and always has been a simple equation.  The physical output needs to outweigh the input.  I just needed to educate myself more on that equation.  It has been such a great thing to teach myself.  

I don't deny myself foods, this whole exercise is NOT a punishment it is a gift.

I have just learnt more balance.

I chose to ignore my physical health as a way of ignoring the 'inside' health that I just wasn't ready to deal with.  It all felt too hard.  This is not (and never has been)about the way I look, I have never had a problem with my body & I know I am loved for who I am, not how I look.  This is about health.

What I now know is that a person has to be ready to deal with that 'inside' stuff before they can take care of everything else.  

What decides that time I don't really know.....

I am just ever so thankful to be there.

I am not in a hurry.  This is a life decision not a diet.  It took me over 20 years to get here and I have not put a time on my goal.  

Here I am.

I am enough.

These morish Pancakes come from Northern China.
They are made in the same as way as Dumpling wrappers are- flour and boiling water.  This dough is much more malleable and easy to work with than cold water dough.
My kids love them and have been asking for them for brekky quite a few times these holidays.
I normally make them to serve with Hainanese Chicken rice but they are delicious anytime!
My 4yo Sous Chef helped me make these this morning.
  • 250g Flour
  • 220ml boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons Sesame oil
  • 3 spring onions, chopped ( green part included!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • rice bran oil for frying.
Place flour, salt and oil into a large bowl.

Add boiling water and mix well- use a spoon.

Lay onto floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes.

Take a small portion of dough- about the size of a large walnut and roll into a ball.

Use a rolling pin to roll into a circle so dough is  about half a centimetre thick.

Spread some chopped spring onion over the surface.

Roll into a cigar and the into a snail shape.

Use the rolling pin to once again make a thin pancake. 

Heat some Rice bran oil in a non stick frypan and fry for about 2 minutes each side or until golden brown.

Place on paper towel.

Slice and serve.

One of my lovely (and very clever) readers sent me this song - thankyou! It is her band. Such a beautiful track! LOVE it. Do you?


  1. Alli @ ducks on the dam15 July 2013 at 10:55

    Goodness me Ruth. Well done on being brave and taking those steps. Thankyou for sharing. Xxxx

  2. I have some of those same voices too, but ironically if I saw my friend doing what I was doing I would think of course you are enough, you are more than enough and that is exactly the same thing I am going to say to you.I don't believe in 'dieting' either, I think the idea of a lifestyle is so much more helpful and manageable. The little of you I know, she is awesome and her willingness to share does all our hearts good too. xx

  3. You KNOW what I think ❤
    It's so brilliant that you are working on revealing the inner by polishing up the outer.
    Such determination, focus and acceptance of the human bumps and obstacles along the way is inspiring.
    Many people require their padding their entire lives, for very good reasons, but you are so strong now, that you are ready to take all the rubbish to the tip.
    I, and everyone else who knows you, have always been able to see you, padding or not.

  4. The little red hen15 July 2013 at 11:24

    "...this whole exercise is NOT a punishment it is a gift."
    This is the best expression of how to think of such transformations that I have ever heard.
    Thanks Ruth.

  5. BabyMacBlogBeth15 July 2013 at 12:33

    Your transformation and journey this year has been an inspiration to watch. You have just got on with it. No more excuses. And kept at it. It's been amazing Ruth! You should be SO proud of what you have done. Well done lady, well bloody done xxxx

  6. You are amazing Ruth. Thank you so much for these words. I really needed to read them today. I struggle with the sme kind of issues and have spent far too much time beating myself up about food and weight and eating. It's such a hard part of life to find peace with. Much love to you and thank you for the great gift of your recipes, glimpses of your life and most of all your inspiration xxxxx

  7. You go girl! I have been watching on Insta in awe! I know that suit! Got one on now. Well done you. You have so much guts (you know what I mean! Lol!!) If ANYONE has the willpower and strength it's you Ruth! xxx

  8. Hooray Ruth for putting it out there, putting yourself first and being happy with just being. Being able to exercise is such a gift and anyone who has been injured will know straight away what a blessing that having the ability to move every day is. You once told me that life balance takes a lifetime to work out. Enjoy the journey, there is no destination x

  9. Whitney N Ray Kingston15 July 2013 at 12:51

    you go lady cakes....tears of support, joy and understanding here xoxoxo

  10. Cath @mybeardedpigeon15 July 2013 at 12:55

    Good on you Ruth!! It's hard to start exercising but it's strangely addictive when you do. I think you might like this:

    If only we were taught as women to focus on health rather than looks.

  11. Raw and honest. What we all need to hear. The inside and the outside are inextricably connected, aren't they. The more I access the power inside, the more I feel ready to tackle the outside stuff. Yoga has helped me dig deep and find moments of stillness that are hard to come by as a mother. I'm trusting this is the right path to get me more in balance - inside and out. x

  12. Ruth, my darling girl thank you. I have this year embraced a healthy lifestyle, I've removed processed crap, chemicals and toxins from my life. I've done all this, but I haven't added exercise. Its been so long since I've exercised, and I resist every opportunity to do it. Now I'm going outside to dust off the treadmill. Its covered in cobwebs and dust and could possibly be rusted out on the inside as we live by the sea. If its not in working order I will walk on the beach until I can replace it. Promise. A promise to me, I deserve the best life, and my family deserves the best me. Thank you darling, thank you so very much xx

  13. Wow, inspirational! Good luck with the rest of your journey. Changing your lifestyle is so much more rewarding than any short term fad.

  14. I needed to read this today Ruth. Thank you. You really are awesome and always such an inspiration to me. I just wish I could find your motivation. xoxo

  15. oh my goodness, your post is basically my brain this morning. the thoughts running through my head, while i was jogging.
    seriously good on you though for making a change. it's hard and tough and feels a bit shit to start with but well worth it :D more energy to live life is always a good thing!
    oh, and these pancakes looks amazing!

  16. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:38

    You are right Cath! LOVE that TED talk of Brene Brown's - I shared it here on a post a while back.
    It is ONLY about health. xx

  17. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:38

    aw Beth thanks honey. your support has helped me so much this year. xxxx

  18. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:39

    it is lovely to hear that other people have the same thoughts. we are not alone! x

  19. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:39

    Jody your kind words mean a lot. thank you. xxx

  20. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:39

    thankyou Reanna. x

  21. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:40

    YAY to turfing the crap eh Louisa! you DO deserve the best life! you do! x

  22. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:40

    absolutely 100% connected. yep. x

  23. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:41

    thank you. xxx

  24. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:41

    thank you as always Anna for your support.

  25. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:42

    thanks Danie. xxx

  26. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:42

    I am really glad if my words helped a little. xxx

  27. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:42

    yup. a mindshift is so important I think. also .. who doesn't love a gift?! xx

  28. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:43

    Michele you have been such a great support to me through some really tough times. Always grateful my friend. xxx

  29. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:43

    dang voices. thanks Cindy. xxxx

  30. GourmetGirlfriend15 July 2013 at 16:43

    thankyou Alli. xxxxxx

  31. Thank you! So honest, so helpful, so brave. Go girl!

  32. July 2013 at 20:00

    Ruth, I can hear the courage it has taken you to embark on your journey and to write your post. Mind and body are intertwined and we need to nurture both to experience contentment. I know for myself when I was experiencing depression that it was my physical health that I decided to focus on, feeling that if I could keep my body strong then I could at least have the physical energy to try a deal with the heaviness in my mind. So pleased to read that you are progressing in bringing your mind and your body into a happy place x

  33. It's the inside stuff that's the hardest. Keep on keeping on GG. You have already achieved so much x

  34. Bren @ MiraNarnie15 July 2013 at 20:19

    Oh Ruth! how wonderful yet humble of you to share this experience. I had goosebumps all over and tears springing in my eyes reading much of what you said, I am sure all women would have felt at some point either about their appearance, weight or even emotional worth. We shouldn't feel we have to be validated by any of those things, but as so eloquently pointed's the inner health that is important, and being healthy is a gift and working out how to nurture our bodies is a responsibility for life. are amazing. Now....I'll be making those spring onion pancakes this

  35. Bren @ MiraNarnie15 July 2013 at 20:27

    oh hey, i thought you'd like this video clip here too Ruth....great song, great message of helping our a fellows...


  36. Here you are.
    And you are incredibly amazing.
    So inspiring. xx

  37. It's hard as mums & wives to gift ourselves time to look after ourselves isn't it? Everyone else always seems to jump in front of us in the queue & for the most part we are happy to do that but you're right we need to take a stand, to carve out time for our well being. Good on you for doing that Ruth! Not only do you benefit but your beloved family benefits from having a happier healthier muma too. It's win win if you ask me :)

  38. You are a brave and honest woman and I applaud you,yes do it for you not for the ideal of what you should look like,just for you Ruth just you.

  39. Julie @mrstiddlypip16 July 2013 at 14:14

    You are a fabulous, such a very talented lady. Thank you for are an inspiration. Love your work!

  40. Wow! What a wonderfully brave and beautiful post from my wonderfully brave and beautiful daughter. I am so happy to read your heartfelt words. You brought a huge smile of joy to my face- as well as tears of sadness. Brava bella you. Xxx

  41. Beautiful,powerful heartfelt words, you have inspired me. Thank you xo

  42. Katie Rainbird22 July 2013 at 22:45

    The padded suit is exactly what I see as the most important obstacle to health insofar as weight is concerned. And I too, loathe diets and fads and all that shit which makes my work as a nutritionist an extra battle because my field is loaded with them. This is why I adore your Instagram feed coming through to me most days of the week: you make real food, really good real food and the only thing standing in the way of you and a battle with weight ~ is you.
    And it appears you've woken up to that and what a thing that is! Quite right too, to take it with ease and in time. Xx

  43. Whitney N Ray Kingston28 July 2013 at 13:13

    gorgeous lady...thank you for providing the perfect sunday afternoon tucker of are fab, as always.....thank you

  44. You are definitely an inspiring woman. I've watched your journey with joy. xxxx

  45. I'm here swimming around your site looking at vegetarian recipes and I read this post again and had tears. So much wisdom xxx


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