One of the things I value most highly here at BrocanteHome is that so many of us have reached today together. Eighteen lovely years of knowing and growing side by side. Our paths quite different but the emotional framework of our lives so very much the same. An honour I will never stop adding to my daily gratitude list.
I started BrocanteHome when Finn was one, and he is now nineteen! It was of course at the very beginning of blogging as a way of life, long before even the notion of content creators and influencers had been imagined, and so very much has changed over the years. But what has not changed is what it is to be a woman trying to make sense of all the self-help advice chucked our way as we have managed homes, families and ourselves along the way. What used to exist in the magazines we picked up at the supermarket now exists in the palm of our hands twenty-four hours a day and it is head battering stuff, and never more so than when it pertains to nutrition and wellbeing.
Last year, at the age of fifty, I began what I have come to define as my Renaissance. A mindful expedition into the deepest, darkest most miserable corners of my mind AND a purposeful map out of it. I was scarily overweight, permanently exhausted and more than that I was tired of the life I had. I felt menopause, weight, a lack of energy, and my self-defined purpose as a “vintage housekeeper” ( a term I coined at the very beginning of BrocanteHome and watched grow legs all by itself over the years – yup, I started a movement!) had begun to limit me and as my relationship came to an end and my son prepared to leave home for university, I knew it was my time to become the woman I had always intended to be.
So I began by committing to re-training as an Integrative Nutritionist, and then in the aftermath of relationship crisis, I started to prioritise my own wellbeing, all day every day. Not just monitoring my nutritional intake, or walking my legs off, but examining all the aspects of my life that had caused my weight gain in the first place, seeking to understand myself along the way and closely monitoring all the statistics of my life so that I could both understand what didn’t work and finetune all that did.
And now almost a year later, I am seventy pounds lighter and so very much changed from who I was. I feel alive again. A person with possibility, and today, I bring you RENAISSANCE LIFESTYLE – a guide to losing weight and choosing a life – or more pertinently the story of how I lost seventy pounds and you can too.
What this is NOT.
- A diet. There are few recipes and meal plans included in Renaissance Lifestyle. It is NOT prescriptive, and you will not be held accountable to anybody or anything.
- The end of the story. I am and always will be, a work in progress. I have more weight to lose and I will continue to share my progress here at BrocanteHome beyond this download.
- About me. While you will very definitely discover what has worked for me in its pages, what you will not find, in keeping with how I have always approached the sharing of my life at BrocanteHome, is before and after pictures, as I neither want to lead you to demoralising comparison nor superior judgement. It isn’t about me, it is about YOU.
- Specific to one diet. I am a firm believer in bio-individuality and I truly believe that the majority of us know exactly what works for us in terms of living well, but what is all too often missing is an understanding of why we are not doing it if we know it works! Answer: weight-loss ISN’T all about what is on your plate.
- Medical advice. I am not a doctor. I am a woman just like you, albeit one training to be an Integrative Nutritionist, and everything I am sharing is based only on my own lived experience, education and research. Please consult your doctor as always, before undertaking a a renewed interest in your own wellbeing.
What this IS.
- Inspiration. A program to help you work through your own bio-individual nutritional needs based on what has worked for me beyond the plate. Everything from looking after my skin to falling in love with walking. Because weight-loss is a complex, beautiful equation and I want you to feel inspired to make it a way of life.
- Guidance. A step by step approach to dismantling your own resistance to a better way of life AND a guide to all the resources, planning pages, books, puttery treats and nutritional support and you need along the way.
- Hope. Every single day I read posts around the internet from women who believe they CAN’T lose weight and thus Renaissance Lifestyle now exists to tell you that you absolutely can. I am both menopausal and have Hashimoto’s Disease and for far too long believed weight-loss was impossible. It isn’t. But it takes both commitment and work (because if you don’t work, nothing will!)
- And Encouragement. Like everything else I create here at BrocanteHome, Renaissance Lifestyle is sprinkled with puttery goodness, the routines and rituals that will make your own betterment feel like something joyful and meaningful. Because yes: weight-loss might be work, but work can also be lovely don’t you know?
This is not your daughter’s slimming club!
Once we become women of a certain age, our needs and motivation changes. Where once wellbeing might have been about fitting into a dress for a special occasion, now it is about good health and longevity, discovering our peak selves at a time when it is all too easy to let life settle and give in to a life of supermarket wine and barely enjoyed boxsets.
Let’s be more than that now! (Trust me I’m not advocating giving up Malbec and Emily In Paris, I just want to remind you that there is more to this life than cheap wine and spoon fed entertainment!). Let’s fall in love with our bodies again, remember our very own wild woman sexuality, wear clothes that are our own brand of beautiful and expand our own horizons beyond what we have convinced ourselves is our lot in life. Let’s have big fat, wild and wonderful ideas, dance before we’ve even got out of bed and fall into the best sleep of our lives when we get in to it! Above all else, let’s do this together, whether you’ve got five pounds or fifty to lose, because this is a lifestyle NOT a slimming club.