do what you love

There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to lose weight

It seems to me that the whole self-acceptance thing has gone too far.

It now actually feels that you're WRONG in some way and that you'll be judged for wanting to lose some weight.

You are in charge of you: you don't have to sign up to the 'love yourself at any size' brigade.

You CAN say you'd feel happier in your own skin by losing some weight.

You don't have to dress it up as wanting to be 'healthier', or 'more empowered' - although those are great things to want too.

There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to lose weight.

To wanting to feel happy again in your own skin.

With wanting to get back to your own personal happy weight.

But some days it feels like all I see are messages that you don't have to change yourself to be happy - you ' just have to learn to love yourself the way you are'.

Well, I disagree.

Totally disagree.

If that's for you, then hey go for it.

I genuinely want each and every one of us to feel happy in our own skin.

But for me, I know ... I was NEVER going to feel happy in my skin, overweight, uncomfortable when I bent over to put my shoes on, out of breath ... feeling NOT LIKE ME.

It's all gone too far I think.

The solution is NOT for everyone to 'learn to love yourself' or 'be happy at any weight, you're still the same person'.

Because ... actually for many of us?

We're NOT.

We're not the person we are when we can move easily, walk and run up the stairs freely. When we're feeling good in our skin. When we start enjoying clothes again.

When we feel more OURSELVES, our real selves again.

Yes, I think it's gone too far.

There is NOTHING wrong in saying, declaring ...

'You know what? I'd feel happier if I lost some weight'.

You don't have to couch it in other language, dress it up as something more spiritual or whatever is is.

You ARE allowed to just want to lose some freaking weight and feel happy in your skin.

We were not born overweight and we weren't designed to be overweight.

Do NOT feel that in this current climate of acceptance - which is great of course, acceptance of everyone as they are and as they are happy to be, YES .. but you?

If you're NOT HAPPY being overweight, there's nothing wrong with saying so, declaring your mission to lose the weight - there's nothing to hide.


Oops, lots of shouty caps there!

It actually makes me really angry that people are basically being told to change their mindset - to be happy being unhappy in their own skin!

F-that! You can be, do and have whatever you want!

And if you're unhappy in your skin, at your current weight? You know what?

YOU DECIDE ... YOU get to decide to change that.

Set your goals, and commit.

Then choose to take the actions needed to get the results you want.

And keep going.

I'm with you all the way :) 

What do you want your life to be?

So, a few years ago, four years ago, was when I finally 'woke up'.

In some ways, when I was born, or became an adult ... took responsibility.

It feels now looking back to my whole adult life before, that I'd been living in the dark.

I was in quite a dark place emotionally too - in a really awful bullying job, but then something happened in that job that made me suddenly realise I didn't have to do it. I DID have a choice.

And that was the beginning.

I realised that in the WHOLE time before then, I had never once realised that it was my choice. And now I mean my life.

I never once decided consciously what I wanted my life to be, who I wanted to be, what I wanted to make it.

I chose from the choices I could see - this holiday or that, this job opportunity or that one, even relationships.

My eyes opened and since then I've been consciously experimenting and exploring and discovering what I CHOOSE and what I WANT and make my life to be.

It started with baby steps. Well, I say that but it's was actually a pretty big step deciding that I didn't want a stressful job, and I wanted something that gave me time to pursue finding out what I DID like to do and want to do.

And as these things tend to, once I knew that's what I was going to choose, I found a job which at that time was a ten minute walk from my house (unheard of in London! We've since moved office but that's ok - at the time it was exactly what I needed).

I started blogging about Thai cooking and sharing some recipes.

Doing something CREATIVE at last. For ME.

And my whole life started to change, to become somehow CLEAR and I started to feel my way into how it felt to realise that I could make things happen if I just CHOSE.

So, it took into my 40's to realise it - that I'd been stuck, not thinking, just letting things happen, drifting really and letting other people - particularly work - dictate my life. And happiness.

It's NEVER too late to start to choose and create the life you want. Consciously choose.

You can be anything you want.


Play, experiment, find your passion (mine's Thai cooking)

Today is all about playing and experimenting ... I just made this ... 

Rachel Redlaw almond milk curry

It's a Thai red curry with chicken - and peppers ('cos that's what was in the fridge) - with added chilli, garlic and kaffir lime leaves (is there a better smell than crushed kaffir lime leaves?).

The experimentation came in the sauce - this is made with almond milk rather than coconut milk - as I'm playing with ideas and substitutes whilst creating The Tiniest Thai diet.

Firstly, it was delicious! It works! I'll be sharing a recipe soon.

Secondly ... this playing and having fun with my passion for cooking and Thai cooking and creating my diet and eating plan ... well, that's the MOST important thing.

Just a few short years ago, I didn't even know what my passion was, what I loved doing. It seems incredible now, but the days just went by, me getting through them, thinking that's just how it was.

Work, hard work, a bit of TV, a bit of reading, a bit of chatting to friends, some going to the pub or for dinner. But it seems somehow surreal now looking back EVEN THOUGH THAT WAS MY LIFE FOR SO LONG ... what did I talk about? think about?

WHY didn't I have specific goals and passions?

WHY was I drifting through my life - not entirely happy - instead of actively creating it?

I'm glad, beyond glad, that I 'woke up'. And the point at which I woke up was horrible yes. An awful job with the most insane stressful horrible culture.

I'm glad I was there. I'm glad it was the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm glad I had been in a pretty difficult and dark place anyway and then went that extra step to rock bottom ... because for me, I didn't break down.

I finally stood up.

I came to that point where I finally said NO. This is NOT happening. I WILL NOT let this continue.

And right there and then, without a job to go to, I found my self esteem, self worth, self love - I think for the first time ever with such certainly - and stood up and said NO. I gave in my notice.

I didn't know what I was going to do - only that I was going to find out what I wanted to do.

That was the beginning of consciously creating my life. Finding time, making time, for the things that really matter to me. Making it happen. Prioritising it.

And three years later, it's why I'm here playing with and experimenting with recipes.

Because that's what I want to do and love to do.

(I'm actually pretty excited about how good the almond milk substitute for coconut milk turned out).

If you're drifting through, rather than actively deciding on your life, I can only say ... DON'T.

Find what you love. Experiment until you find it.

I'm as passionate now about sharing how important it is to FIND your passion as I am about kaffir lime leaves ...

So, what's your passion?


What does your heart actually want to do?

No, really.  I'm really asking.  

What does your HEART want to do?

What does it want you to do?

Because personally - I didn't know for a long time.  More than that, I didn't even think about it, didn't even ask the question, didn't even think it was a relevant question if I HAD asked the question.

I had responsibilities, of course. Mortgage and credit cards to pay.  I had a social life.  I had holidays. I had things I wanted to do, TV to watch, people to see.

Oh and I had - at the stage I'm about to talk about - a job that wasn't right for me.  For me, a bad job. In a good industry thought that I've always worked in and loved - but that finally, finally, got to a point in a job that was just not right for me, where the job was all-consuming. 

I had never, really, never really in my whole adult life stopped to ask myself what I actually WANTED to do, what I wanted from my life. Never thought to think that my life was something I could create. I went along with things. I chose from a multiple choice selection as if that were all I was presented with.  

So you can do x, y or z.  

Do you want to go here, there or this other place? Are you going to buy this, go on holiday there, see those friends, watch what on TV? 

And then, are you going to work late again? And slowly, despite being over 40 by now, and also not really in a financial position - so I thought - to have many choices ... I realised a few things.  


I DID have a choice.

I COULD take control of creating a life I wanted.

I might as well start with asking myself what I wanted from my life.

And then make it happen. And, crucially, make it happen in small steps.

So for me - I gave in my notice at work.  

I had suddenly woken up - is how it felt.  Things getting so bad that I finally woke up?

Well, I'll be forever happy they got that bad and I didn't continue sort of sleep walking through my life.

I didn't run away and join a circus.  Or travel the world.  I used to regularly throw my world upside down when I was younger, start again, do reckless things - I see now that it was because I had no idea what I wanted - and I wasn't asking myself the right questions.

I see that constantly coping with crisis was me avoiding the question I never thought to ask myself.

This time, I tried to look after myself - look after and nourish myself. I mean look after this little new bud of a me, of my heart, that was slowing peeking out the earth.  I didn't want to scare it or have it trampled or die in the frost - I wanted to nurture it.

I found a job where I didn't feel terror sometimes on having to go in. Or where my blood pressure soared.  Or where I would sometimes get home and shake (whilst guzzling wine before even taking my coat off).

(But where I also met so many great friends as we were all in it together - and, it seems to me now that many of us learnt the same hard, but oh so good, lesson from it).

I found a job I liked, with good people, that I could do on normal hours and normal emotions. And I tried not to be too insane at work by creating the same atmosphere myself that I had hated.

And also - in the new space that was created in my head, in my life, from not being all-consumed ... I tried something, something new and brave for me.  I tried sharing one of my passions - Thai cooking.  I started a blog. And I started learning to be creative again (a long, long time since I'd done that). 

Now - two and a half years later from when I started my new life, as me.  Starting to become me.

It's like years of living in darkness - that you didn't even know was darkness - lifted.  To do something - just because I loved it. No answering to anyone. Sharing what I loved.

It's been exciting and creative and like suddenly the world came into lightness.  

And - this is really important - it's not like I was a dark and gloomy person anyway.  It was a personal epiphany. Learning that I could create my own life and take control of it - wasn't like an escape from darkness only - as I think I might have made it sound.

It was the most exciting - and at the same time, most comforting, thing ever.

It's hard, it's hard to start being really honest - with yourself firstly.  And then it's hard sharing that too, but you have to, to let your heart open and be free.

Passions you might have had since childhood, and passions you didn't even know you had.

Deciding what's important. 

Follow your heart sounds too big. For me, I didn't even know what I wanted.

So I say - ask your heart, and then listen to it.

And then start, slowly and gently, to let it speak more.

My passion is Thai cooking and eating a healthy diet based on Thai eating principles - that's my thing.

My OTHER passion now is sharing how I came to finally realise how important having that passion, is - and in making it happen. 

It has to start somewhere, just start. Starting is all you need to do.

Have you found your passion? Or have you always had a good balance?

Interested to hear what everyone else thinks.