About that 12 week body transformation... *hides head under pillow*

I'm back. Well most of me is back. There's a bit of me that had to go and that's the bit I want to tell you about.

Some of you will remember that 12 weeks ago, I very publicly pledged to get bikini ready in time for my holiday. 

I was approaching my 43rd birthday. I was a little wobbly, both around the middle and in my head. I was at this weird crossroads in my life, where my kids only seemed to need me for the rubbish bits, like washing their clothes, making their meals and transporting them to where they wanted to go. My house was in the throes of a year-long renovation and basically everywhere I looked was a head-fuck. And yet I'd created this bizarre life for myself that revolved around taking pretty pictures of my home. 

But worst, and most importantly, I was dealing with someone very special to me getting three types of cancer, all in one go. 

It's fair to say I wasn't in the best place to decide to re-invent myself as a fitness protoge for the over 40s, but in a state of despair and possibly in search of something else to focus on, that's exactly what I did. Nice one Pricey.

Anyway, 12 weeks have passed. I didn't fulfil my promise of documenting the whole transformation process on Instagram and I apologise for that as I now realise what excellent car-crash style entertainment that would have been. BUT, I wanted you to know, just for the record, I DIDN'T QUIT. 

I didn't turn into Davina McCall either. This is me trying out my new high waist bikini and accepting the fact that I'll never again wear a string. 

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Look, it's not bad for 43. Physically, it's not massively different to 12 week's go either if I'm being brutally honest. But actually, this bod kicks my 12 week previous bod's ass. Here's why:

1) It is stronger.

2) It is healthier

3) It has stopped beating itself up

4) It's back in control of its mind

5) It is appreciated for what it is

6) It didn't drop a dress size. Better still:

7) It stopped giving a fuck about the dress size.

8) It IS bikini ready, because:

9) It is Whatever ready

10) It is grateful for the gift of being fit and healthy.

Yeah, I toned up a bit. Not as much as my PT would probably have liked, but I'm kind of happy about that too because here's what I also worked out whilst working out:

1) I don't need to be a vision of lean muscle to be happy in my skin.

2) I do need to get through life's ups and downs and whilst being fit REALLY helps, sometimes, so does wine... And maybe the odd Chinese banquet.

3) Life is too short to obsess about macronutrients.

I know we hear this cliche all the time, but being fit does as much for your mind as it does for your body. I suppose it's obvious really. I mean, it's all connected isn't it? My head was actually in worse shape than my body and yet the only flaws I could see were physical. 

Sweating it out, doing something for myself, discovering my own strength and developing a can-do attitude has helped me in so many ways. Most of all it's helped me see things differently and this is the bit that affects the blog and therefore why I feel compelled to share a picture of 43-year-old me in a bikini.

My house has shaped up! Mad isn't it? It's clearer, cleaner, less cluttered, less mental. It's got a much stronger sense of identity and as a result, it feels like a far more nurturing place to be. This is really important to me at the moment. We all need a sanctuary and I want my blog to focus on this.

I'm still a pretty naff photographer so my friend is coming round to take some better pictures soon and I'll do a proper reveal of the house renovation next month. It would be a great time to re-launch the blog with that new name I played about with, My House Sanctuary. Remember that? Flick back a few posts to read about that other identity crisis if you must. But as some of you were kind enough to point out, changing my name now would be a dick move, right? A waste of time and money trying to turn myself into something else, when actually, it's okay just to evolve.

I was worried that at 43 I was past my best. I can't do vlogging, I don't want to be on my phone 24/7. Blogging suddenly felt like a young person's game. But then I realised, all that doesn't matter if you're not in it to make a career out of it. Happily, I'm not and I'm finally ready to call My House Candy, my hobby. 

I'm going on holiday to reconnect with this family of mine that has grown up in the blink of an eye. When I come back, I'll get back to blogging for the fun of it rather than trying to find a way for it to pay me back and I hope that will improve the content too.  

Thank you to The Fit Guru for getting me on the right path. PT is amazing if you can afford it. It's total mind and body therapy, and it really does make the grim task of donning a bikini in your forties so much more bearable. But if you can't afford it, there are still lots of things you can do to get fit for free and I totally believe that getting your heart pumping is the very best thing you can do for yourself. Try running for example. It makes you sweat, it burns fat and every time you do it, you realise you can go a little bit further.

And actually, that's all we have to do.

See you in September.

Claire xx