2

Last Chance to Join Belle’s 100 Days Worldwide Diet & Fitness Challenge 2018

A new research released two weeks ago showed that weight and obesity related cancers have now astonishingly surpassed smoking related cancers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-43502144

If you are *SERIOUS* about losing weight, getting fit and making your health a priority, today is your last chance left to join this 100 Days Challenge.

It doesn’t matter how many diets you’ve tried and “failed”.

Success is never giving up and getting back on that diet horse.

Let’s make this the longest ride ever.

We’re not falling off that diet horse ever again!
Starting *Monday 9th April, 2018 to Tuesday 17th July, 2018*

For further information, please email:  Belles100DaysChallenge@gmail.com

Final Day - Belle's 100 Days Worldwide Challenge

Final Day – Belle’s 100 Days Worldwide Challenge

Please follow my progress on the Challenge on my Instagram page: belleslowcarbworld

Wish me luck!

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Belle’s 100 Days Worldwide Diet & Fitness Challenge 2018

**Monday 9th April, 2018 to Tuesday 17th July, 2018. Limited Numbers**

In March 2017, I wanted to stick strictly to my diet for 100 Days. I wrote a blog, posted on Facebook and Instagram inviting anyone who was interested to join me.

33 Challengers, majority of whom were complete strangers, from four (actually five) different continents, and on nine different diet regimes including Cambridge Weight Plan, Low Carbing, Keto, Dukan, Weight Watchers, Slimming World, Slim & Save, signed up to the 100 Days Challenge, by the deadline I had indicated. I declined several others after the deadline.

27 Challengers started on Day One.

By the end of Day One, two Challengers had dropped out.

14 Challengers reached the halfway point of Day 50 losing a whooping 199.5 pounds in 50 Days! That is, 90.7kg! 14 stone, 3 lb and 15.3483 oz!

13 Challengers lasted until Day 100.

Nine Awesome Challengers fully completed the Challenge by submitting Day 100 Weights and Measurements.

This year, I am once again seeking Challengers to join me on a 100 Days Quest to lose weight, get fit and improve our health and wellbeing.

Belle's 100 Days Challenge 2018 Poster

Please share with your contacts who might be interested. See shareable link below. Thank you.

Belle’s 100 Days Challenge 2018 Final Poster

This year, will you be one of the last Challengers standing or will you quit or be removed for not adhering to the Rules?

**Monday 9th April, 2018 to Tuesday 17th July, 2018. Limited Numbers**

For full details including Rules and joining requirements, please email:
Belles100DaysChallenge@gmail.com

Please also follow me and support me on my Instagram Belleslowcarbworld

**Please consult your doctor before embarking on any diet and fitness regime.**

2

Guest Blog: The Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club

*****Guest Blog*****

The Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club

My divorce was a tsunami of grief and insurmountable changes. I had to either swim or sink into an abyss of darkness. I wouldn’t wish the pain I experienced on my worst enemy. Nearly three years on, of course I still have dark days, but they are getting fewer and fewer and I have chosen to concentrate on moving on in a positive and optimistic manner instead of remaining bitter about the past.

I set up the private Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club to expand my social circle with likeminded people in similar circumstances as me, divorced and childless; a Group to have fun and to laugh again.

sunflower

Please join me and the 17 brave men and women who are already part of this brand new private Meetup Group.

Being brave enough to put yourself out there, meet new people and make new friends is extremely difficult, I know because setting up this Group is totally outside my comfort zone. Please join me on Saturday 7th April at 6.45pm for a small knit dinner for four people at the fabulous One Michelin Star Hakkasan Mayfair taking positive steps to meet new people and change something about our lives. You can find all details of the dinner meetup, including menu, by clicking the link below and joining the Group.

I have kept the Group events to a maximum of 4 because I want everyone to be comfortable and I want to foster a real opportunity for friendships instead of anyone being lost in a large groups.

Dinner at Hakkasan Mayfair (One Michelin star) A La Carte Menu, 6.45pm – 9pm

Saturday, Apr 7, 2018, 6:45 PM

2 Discerners Attending

Check out this Meetup →

Please read more about the Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club below.

**There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met – William Butler Yeats**

Are you divorced/widowed/single, currently childless (not by choice) or childfree (by choice or separated from your children or for whatever reason), aged around 30 to 60, discerning and seeking new, platonic, long lasting friends and companions, to enjoy the best of London and the world?

Perhaps your children have flown the nest or for whatever reason you feel an affinity to this Group, please feel free to join. This is an inclusive and non-judgemental Group.

Do you need an injection of fun, laughter, adventure and happiness in your life after the end of a marriage, relationship or bereavement?

Do you enjoy eating in fine restaurants (in an affordable manner), travelling in affordable 5 star luxury or hosting/attending sumptuous dinner parties full of fun, laughter, music and dancing?

Are you interested in learning savvy new ways to make your reduced post-divorce income stretch a little bit more?

If so, this might be the Group for you.

Why I Started this Group

Nearly three years after the unexpected end of my long marriage, as I continue to rebuild my life in a positive manner, most books and articles tell us to seek comfort and joy in our children.

But what about people like me who are childless (not by choice) or childfree, and find ourselves in our 40s, divorced, widowed or single, and completely alone, in a coupled-up/family focused world, having been part of a close twosome that was supposed to last forever?

How do we fill our evenings and weekends when friends are married, with families and doing their own thing?

What do we do when the social invitations have dried up because they tend to revolve around friends’ children, who deem it fit to only invite those with children?

What do we do when good friends are scattered around the world or we’ve simply lost contact or drifted away?

How do we make new friends in our 30s, 40s or 50s when the traditional ways of making lasting friendships in school, university and new jobs, are a distance past?

How do we make new friends when we cannot meet new people at the school gate, children’s sleepovers, children’s parties, PTA meetings, school fairs, school trips, school fundraising events and all the new avenues open to parents?

How do we embrace our changed circumstances and still make a fulfilling, happy life for ourselves, full of genuine, platonic friendships and fun, without embarking on new and perhaps unsuitable romantic relationships?

Even if we choose to have new romantic relationships or even go on to have children, how do we avoid the mistakes of the past, by ensuring we still maintain genuine, close platonic, fun friendships, outside of our new twosome or family life?

My Aims for this Group

This Group is about moving on from the pain and hurt of divorce or loss, and concentrating our energies in a positive, constructive and optimistic manner.

It is about bringing together likeminded people who have a taste for the finer things in life, but we accept that for some of us, our financial circumstances have been vastly reduced by divorce. However, we have learnt to be savvy and clever with money – let’s explore cheaper ways of dining in the finest Michelin restaurants, 5 star luxury travel, sumptuous dinner parties and continuing to enjoy all the finest things in life, in an affordable manner.

It is about accepting that being single and childless might not be the life plan but it is the life we currently have, taking control and embracing a positive Plan B.

This Group is about saying a big fat NO to spending countless weekends completely alone – let’s start with monthly activities and take these new friendships, offline, into the real world.

It is about finding genuine friends to go out to dinner to that new Michelin restaurant on a Saturday night, hosting or attending dinner parties, exploring that trendy new cocktail bar, going to theatre, cinema, opera, West End musical, without feeling like a Billy no mates.

Let’s find a travel buddy to go on exotic holidays, without being the odd one out in a world full of couples and families.

Rules

We’ve all had enough traumas in our lives and do not want a Group with a long list of rules. However, if these prove necessary, they will be added.

For now, please be respectful, supportive, non-judgmental and considerate of everyone. If you RSVP for an event, please attend or cancel as soon as possible to enable someone else to attend. Please take personal responsibility for your own safety.

 

4

This Divorced and Childless Woman’s Mother’s Day

Life is a funny old one.

What do you do on Mother’s Day when you are divorced/single and childless, and the whole world seem hell bent on celebrating their children?

This year, like I do most years, I decided to concentrate on the positive fact that I am lucky enough to have a wonderful mother who is still alive. I think of my friends who have lost their mums and I reach out to them to show some love. The day would usually pass without much drama or sadness. It is what it is.

This Mother’s Day, I had gone to bed late on Saturday night or should I say Sunday morning (2.48am bad, bad, bad, bad girl!) and around 9am on Sunday morning, in that dreamy/wakey/confused state, my door bell rang. I sleepily went to the video intercom and I could see a lady.

“I’ve got flowers.” With my eyes half closed, I couldn’t really make out the figure on the video screen.

“Flowers?” I answered sleepily as if she had just declared that she was dropping an alien from outer space on my doorstep.

“I’ve got flowers for xxxx xxxx.” My local florist said, saying my full name.

My scrabbled brain tried to decipher what on earth she was on about. My brain worked overtime trying to figure out who on earth could be sending me flowers. Various names flashed through my head and just as quickly, I discarded them. Could it have been the man I went on the date on Friday who I did not intend to see again? But he didn’t know my full name. And why on earth would he be sending me flowers? Stalker alert. Who on earth could it be from? I knew no one. I had no one. There was no one. This is odd.

“Could you please leave it on the porch?” I informed the florist whose van I could see on my video screen.

I sleepily went downstairs to the porch with the gait of a special agent about to solve the crime of the century. I would have to be extremely careful with this package. It clearly wasn’t some sort of assassination attempt as I recognised both the florist and her van. Then again it could be.

And there it was.

The most beautiful bunch of flowers I have received in longer than I can remember.

Flowers 2018

I reached for the card attached to the side. It read:

Happy Mother’s Day to our second mum.

Thank you for always being there for us.

We love you.

X Y and Z.

The flowers were from my nephews (aged 16 and 18) and my niece (aged 13)

Flower card 2018

These precious, most adorable, super awesome, generous, kind, sweetest kids have spent money they don’t have to send their auntie, a most gorgeous hand tied, bunch of flowers, timed to be hand delivered on Mother’s Day, with the increased premium.

The overwhelming gratitude and love I feel for these kids, and to my sister for raising such generous, kind, thoughtful kids, is more than I can express on this post.

I am very blessed indeed.

If you are single/divorced/widowed and childless/childfree/separated from your kids or whatever your circumstances may be, if you are interested in widening your social circle, meeting likeminded people for fun, laughter, friendship and to get your mojo back, you may consider joining this brand new Meetup Group called The Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club.

You can join the ladies already confirmed for the Group’s first meetup this Saturday, a reasonably priced gorgeous three course dinner and cocktail, at the fabulous one Michelin Star restaurant Hakkasan Mayfair.

Coming soon: guest blog from the Founder of the The Discerning Divorced and Childless Friendship Club

 

0

Sadness Lives Here

The last few weeks have been tough, extremely tough physically, mentally and financially.

The last week and a half have sucked serious lemons.

I had some bad news that brought about the sort of indescribable pain only someone who has been through similar situation can ever understand, and many people in my life haven’t…thankfully for them, as I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone else, let alone anyone I care about.

As a result, I’ve withdrawn from social activities, ignored messages and phone calls, deactivated my personal Facebook, ditched social media, currently have nearly 2,000 unread messages on WhatsApp, majority of which are from a secondary school class group, and I’ve kind of tried to quieten a lot of life’s noises, as I deal with the grief of my news.

I am also acutely aware that isolation is not good for me, so hopefully, I will be back in the swing of things soon enough.

More than anything, I am physically, emotionally and financially drained but I’m a survivor, I will sort myself out soon enough.

Although the bad news isn’t directly connected with the end of my marriage, there is an indirect connection. And therefore the sadness of all of that have kind of resurfaced.

It didn’t help that when I confided the bad news to a good friend, her reaction was to go on and on and on and on about how she blames my ex for the news, how he wasted the best years of my life and how the shock of her whole life is the fact that my marriage ended when she had never met two people more in love or closer than my ex and I. In the end, I brought that conversation to an end by firmly stating that my ex was in the past and that I didn’t want to talk about him.

One lovely reader wrote on my blog that it will basically take around half the length of a relationship to get over my divorce, in my case, over 7 years. I remember reading that and thinking in defiance that there was no way in hell I would be mourning the loss of my marriage for over 7 years. No way, would I be giving a shit about someone that doesn’t give a shit about me, let alone for that length of time.

Sadly, the cycle of loss and grief are not solved by defiance and determination alone.

They have to run their course.

The fact that I still have moments, even within this past week, when the shock that my marriage ended wash over me anew, is not because I haven’t accepted its end and moved on.

It is just what it is.

I still feel sadness that someone else chose to break a marriage contract that was supposed to last until death. As a realist, I am fine that marriages end, the disgustingly appalling way my ex ended our marriage, the fact that in all things, he put a married woman he had an affair with, and had known for only four months, way above a 14 and a half years relationship, allowed this woman to be so actively involved in the ending of our marriage, including using her sister’s gutter divorce law firm for our bitter divorce battle with all the unnecessary drama of court appearances, is a double stabbing in my heart and back which will take time to heal.

As anyone who reads this blog would know, my ex ‘s big love affair didn’t even last two months after he ended our marriage (by email!) in the belief that he would waltz into the sunset with his lover. This married woman with two children, who had allegedly broken up with him four times during their four months affair, because she wasn’t happy that he was married, whilst remaining married herself, and who had promised him that if he left his wife, she would leave her husband, remains (happily?) married.

My ex and I have not spoken or emailed or had any communication whatsoever since our court proceedings were completed in November 2016.

I have zero intentions of ever contacting this man but if one day, his madness clears and he finally recognises the enormity of the pain his bad behaviour caused and continue to cause, and decides to apologise, he has my email address.

In the meantime, I will leave him to his karma. I hear she’s a bitch.

So many questions will remain forever unanswered and I am OK with it.

For example, finding out that the same week in May 2015, when my ex husband sent me an email entitled “My end game” dated May 4th, from his business trip in Singapore, saying that our marriage had ended and he wasn’t coming back home, a mail written with such bad grammar and weird formatting, it was obviously written by someone like his lover who learnt English as an adult, was the very same week, Mylien, the married woman he had an affair with, completed buying a new house in Woking (May 6th) which she owns jointly with her husband. Buying a massive 4 bedroom, 5 reception, 3 bathroom house, costing £815,000, two days after helping your lover to draft an email to his wife ending his marriage, is not exactly the act of a woman about to run off into the sunset.

Another suspicion is that by the time I discovered this four month affair, my ex may not have known the real name of this married woman who he had met on an internet dating website for single people. He had very easily and earnestly told me her name was Lilly Wong, and used this name in emails, at a time he was allegedly being truthful and confessing everything about the affair. This man is either even more of a dangerous snake of a liar or he completely changed, and I can go as far as to use the word “ruined” his life, for a woman from the internet, whose real name he didn’t even know. I wouldn’t know either of the options to bet on…anything is possible.

And how is my ex forging that new path and soaring those new heights he taunted me with wishing to do without me hampering his progress?

Has his life become so wonderfully amazing without me in it?

Has he found someone to swim in the sea with? Something he had taunted me with.

Does he wake up every morning with the biggest smiles on his face, a sense of purpose, a life well lived and the knowledge that ditching me and our marriage made him the happiest man alive?

Is his life filled with love, joy, music, laughter, sunshine, dinner parties, social interactions with his 14 Facebook friends? You’ve got to admire a man who defiantly stays on Facebook (after losing my family and friends) with 14 Facebook friends majority of whom are people he hasn’t seen in over 20 years. As one of his Facebook friends calls his account…”pathetic”.

Enough of my rambling rant. Hopefully letting it all out here will help ease some of the pain of this week.

Life must continue to move on with my changed circumstances.

I must continue to deal with the fact that the life plans have drastically changed because someone else choose to lie, deceive, betray, ultimately end a marriage with so much unnecessary pain and drama, and be woefully unaware that they behaved badly.

I will continue to work on my life.

I will grieve and get over my bad news and keep moving on.

I will continue to work on choosing to be happy, leaving the past firmly buried in the past and trying my best to forget and rebuild.

I will try and use those lemons to make some lemonade.

I will try. I will, I will.

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Life is for Living! My best is yet to come…

I have not written in my diary since May.

I’m not entirely sure why as I have a lot to report and yet, I’m just quietly getting on with life.

Thank you to those of you who have been in touch privately and to all of you who continue to follow me, even with months of silence. xx

And thank you for all your support of my Instagram page. Please feel free to keep sharing.

http://www.instagram.com/belleslowcarbworld/

Thank-you-word-cloud

Last week, a friend contacted me saying that she wanted to speak to someone who has been through a difficult divorce. My first thought reading her message was that this divorce thing has become an epidemic. I had only seen her two months ago at my party (see below). It looks like no one is immune from marriage breakdown or worse still, difficult ones.

I want to use this post to say to anyone who is going through a difficult relationship or marriage breakdown, bereavement or any sort of loss; this will hurt like nothing has ever hurt you.

You may feel the sort of emotional and even physical pain you have never felt before.

But the one thing that I can absolutely, hand on heart promise you, is that it will definitely get easier.

The end of my marriage was the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me. I felt debilitating emotional and physical pain, I did not even know were humanly possible to feel, let alone possible to survive.

Last year, June 5th, 2016, on what would have been my 12th wedding anniversary, I wrote my darkest post. That post caused a lot of upset, and reading it now, it still feels sad, but I felt the sort of somewhat detached sadness you feel reading about something that has happened to someone else. That is a massive growth.

Warning: may cause upset. For completion, you can read that post here, and its follow-up written just three days later.

This brings me to the main point that I would like to make. No matter how dark things may seem, even when you reach rock bottom like I did, things will definitely get better.

Last wedding anniversary, June 5th 2016, I wanted to die. I couldn’t see a way out from the emotional pain of my divorce, or the physical pain I was feeling.

A year later, June 5th, 2017, I genuinely did not even realise what day it was until I needed to check the date on some chicken, to put in the freezer. And even after I realised what day it was, I continued with my mundane tasks unperturbed.

Life feels like it has moved on and what better way to do so than to have a party?! 🙂

And so, in July, I had a belated birthday and divorce celebration party, putting an end to the whole sorry saga of the end of my marriage.

It was a truly magical night of music, food, cake, champagne, drinks, laughter and dancing into the early mornings in a marquee erected in the garden, complete with dancing floor, lights and smoke machine…why the hell not…:-)

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IMG-20170926-WA0016

I was surrounded by good friends and wonderful family, my mum, my sisters, niece and nephews.

On the afternoon of my party, I had the surprise of my life when my little sister flew in from where she lives overseas to attend my party. All my family, including my 7 year old nephew, knew she was coming to my party, and they all managed to completely hide it from me.

I sobbed like a baby when I saw her, but they were tears of joy.

After the party, my home was filled with flowers from friends.

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The next day, I had the enviable task of opening a mountain of presents.

What a lucky girl I am.

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I guess the whole night can be summed up by one song…

I will Survive, which followed my speech. There was a frenzy defiance of loud singing, dancing, and me, singing along with a microphone…as you do. I have watched the video of this part of the night countless times – the powerful feat of survival.

I will survive.

I have survived.

I am surviving.

I’m not saying that my life is now a bed of roses or that there are not challenges, even sometimes on a daily basis.

I’m not saying that I don’t get moments when I feel waves of sadness, not only that my marriage ended but that it ended in a way that I cannot even cherish the thoughts of the years with my ex given that by his own words, he was online dating and looking “for a way out” throughout our 14.5 years relationship.

Of course I’m sad that the way my marriage ended means that there has been zero contact between my ex and I since November 2016, when we concluded the withdrawal of his ridiculous case for the Mac computer, we used to share.

Of course I feel sadness that my marriage ended as no one gets married intending it to fail.

I feel sadness that I invested 14.5 years of my short life on a man I cannot even text in an emergency, and yet, I have somehow managed to stay friendly with all other significant exes, including a violent, abusive ex, who had the grace to apologise sincerely for his actions.

Of course I feel sad that the last time I saw my ex, he excused all his bad behaviour as acting under “legal advisement” and blatantly did not recognise just how badly he had behaved, let alone deem it fit to render an apology for his actions.

But I am well adjusted, positive and I am not bitter about the past.

I do not need an apology from my ex to continue to rebuild my life nor do I need an explanation for why he really behaved like he did.

I’m not the first woman lied to, betrayed, hurt or devastated by a man she trusted implicitly, and I won’t be the last.

I am most definitely a better and stronger person than I was during my marriage. I recognise strengths and growths in my life that certainly were not there before.

I am also very excited and a little daunted about a new project that I start in exactly two weeks. Perhaps one day, when I can, I will write more about it. If it works, it will certainly be life changing. But however it pans out, I am very proud of myself for being brave enough to embark on a journey that would take me through uncharted and uncertain territories.

I am proud of myself for making things happen.

I am proud of myself for not allowing the end of my marriage to be the end of my dreams.

I am proud of myself…and it’s OK to remind myself of that fact.

And like my fabulous cake says, Life is For Living! The best is yet to come…

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2

Day 52 of 100 Days Challenge

Some of you have been following my quest to lose weight on my Instagram page, link attached..

I’m sorry I haven’t posted here in such a long time…

Life has been busy.

Lots going on…

Lots to think of…

Lots to do…

My head is all over the place…

But here I am, so hello.

 I’ve continued on my 100 Days challenge and it’s been the longest in a very long time that I’ve stayed 100% on my diet.

100Days

Today is Day 52  and I’m mega proud of all the ladies that have survived so far on my Challenge. 29 ladies and one man, started the Challenge, 16 ladies remain…

Of the 14 of us, that have submitted Day 50 weights, we lost a whooping 199.5 pounds! That is, 90.7kg!14 stone, 3 lb and 15.3483 oz!

I am also very happy to report that in the last 51 days, I have lost 9.4kg, 20.7lbs, 1 stone, 6 lb and 11.5752 oz. 

Days 1 to 25 were fab on the weight loss front and I lost 6.8kg, 15lbs, 1 stone 1 lb in the first 25 Days, although the majority of my losses naturally happened in the first 10 days.

Days 25 to 50 were mega challenging. Lots of stalling and weight gain for no identifiable reason and in that quarter, I only lost a pathetic 4 pounds.

I am really hoping for better news on Days 50 to 75.

Following a frustrating 2/3 weeks, on Saturday, (Day 48), I decided to suspend the Cambridge diet and place myself on my own low carb diet, starting with a few days to a week of just protein, psyllium husk and milk, to get things moving again.

I am glad this appears to have stopped the frustrating weight gain and since Saturday, in just the last 3 days, I have lost 1.6kg; 3.5lbs.

The quest continues!

Please follow me on Instagram where I try to post every day.