Ups and downs and one year on

We’ve talked before, many times on Any Other Woman about body imageour expectations and self-acceptance.  This morning is the first of two, very different, posts about this issue.  Both readers have tackled their personal demons with two very different solutions.  Come back at 1pm for the second post.

First up is Bex, she behind The Olive Dragonfly, who is celebrating her one-year anniversary today!  Congratulations, Bex and Nik!  Bex’s post, on the surgace is about being unhappy in herself and going a seemingly traditional route (but one that takes guts, dedication and effort) to do something about it.  It also raises the issue of what to do when it all slows down and you don’t have anything to do but sit back and be married, and how someone driven deals with that step change.  Bex you look fabulous (but then, you always did), you’re brave to write this post and we at AOW wish you many more years of happiness together with Nik.    

Over to you:

By the time you read this it will be my 1 year Anniversary.  That year has gone so quickly I can hardly believe it!  It’s been a year of ups and downs, I was so determined to avoid the post-wedding come down that I didn’t even realise it happened anyway!  Here’s what my experience has been in the last year and where we’re at now.


Immediately after our honeymoon I had projects planned to try and avoid the post-wedding blues I had been warned about.  Nik started his new job and I was kept busy sorting out our study (junk room) with plans to turn it into a more usable room with a honeymoon theme using all of our African souvenirs.  (You can see the before & after over at Florence Finds!)  After that, I had Christmas to entertain me as it was our first year hosting so I threw myself into decorating our flat, styling the table, making crackers & stockings and planning the food!  I think it was really after that that I had the crash.  I didn’t even notice it at first but in January all I did was read.  Nothing wrong with a bit of reading of course but I was devouring book after book and lying in bed all day to get them finished, ignoring my poor husband when he was home.  It was only in March when looking at pictures of myself and seeing how much weight I had put on that I realised I hadn’t been entirely happy for the past few weeks.  Even my 30th birthday was a bit of an anti-climax as it’s just after Christmas so hardly anyone could make it to help celebrate.


I feel guilty admitting that I wasn’t entirely happy after I got married but it was nothing to do with the marriage, it was, as predicted, the downer after having spent 11 months planning such a momentous day right down to the tiny details, having everyone there celebrating us, followed by a holiday of a lifetime only to come back to normality.  The thing was, I didn’t notice any difference.  We were still living together in the same flat we’ve been in for 4 years now, Nik was suddenly busier since starting work after his 3 years of study and I was just back at the same old job but with no wedding to look forward to.  Nik was working different shifts every week with some weekends and evenings taken away from us so we got used to separate plans and mealtimes.  My projects to combat this adjustment phase did distract me for a while but I was intent on planning the next big stage in our lives.  I wasn’t ready to just sit still and be married.  

Us on our honeymoon safari in Tanzania

In my head I was ready for children.  Before we got married, we had discussed trying for a baby a few months after the wedding when things had settled down to normal again.  I was now clinging to this as I wasn’t enjoying work and was looking forward to being able to announce our pregnancy and stopping work and all that baby stuff to come.  I became a little obsessed with the idea until I suddenly had an epiphany after PenDo and realised I had been feeling down, despite keeping myself occupied with blogging, books, projects and thoughts of babies, I had fallen into the trap of becoming lazy.  I realised I needed to get off the sofa, stop reading and writing ALL the time and do something active.  I changed my diet to a much healthier one with less stodge and more fresh ingredients, fruit & veg.  I started swimming again, went back to Pilates, started Body Pump and began walking to work every day.  Since March I have lost a stone!  I still go out for dinner and indulge in starters AND desserts!  I even joined a baking club and enjoy trying all the cakes and bakes, I just balance it all out with my yummy healthy recipes and keeping up the exercise.  It may have taken a long time to get here but it is sustainable as I don’t rule anything out.  It’s working wonders for me and our marriage. 


I feel amazing, I look so much better, I am wearing some of my old clothes again, including skinny jeans(!!) and I am still loving my diet and exercise.  When we do get to the stage of having children, I’ll be in much better shape to carry and grow a child and in a better position to recover afterwards!  I’m more motivated at work and looking forward to our holiday in Italy in a couple of weeks (last month by the time you read this!)  Nik is delighted too as I’m so much happier and he’s lost some weight too as a result of my healthy recipes, he even did one body pump class with me!  I now feel more ‘married’ than I did just after the wedding.  It’s taken me a bit of time to get settled in my new role as a wife but I definitely notice a difference in our relationship now.  We’re into a new routine and enjoying spending time together at weekends again.  We had an amazing time at his brother’s wedding weekend where I got to wear a Saree for the first time and loved it!  I was so pleased I had lost some weight and felt comfortable the whole weekend and it was lovely to be able to chat more with some of the guests from our own wedding as that day had of course gone so fast!  The weather lately has helped too and we went for a lovely bike ride and picnic last weekend in a local country park.  


I am so lucky to have Nik here to support me when I’m down and when I’m making big changes in my life.  I know he’s proud of me for sticking to my new lifestyle but the truth is I’ve found it easy once I got into the right mindset.  I love my husband and can honestly say that being married is the best feeling ever!  You can go through these down phases in your life knowing that your other half is always there supporting you and ready to help you celebrate when you’re back up again!  And he still brings me food sometimes when I get engrossed in another book!

Happy Anniversary Hubby! xxx


Categories: Body Image, Family, Friends and Relationships
20 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Vivienne
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Happy Anniversary lovely lady!

    Your enthusiasm for life is so infectious – you don’t do things by halves! I love your weekly food round ups now my morning sickness has passed and I can drool over everything!

    I think you have achieved a great deal for your first year of marriage – I can’t wait to see what the second year holds in store for you!

  2. Roz
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Bex this is a brilliant, gutsy post! You’ve taken a situation I bet many of us can relate to (I definitely can) and instead of shying away from admitting you were unhappy when you’d just had your amazing wedding you faced up to it and did something about it. With Nik at your side. An inspirational post for a rainy Tuesday morning :D xx ps Happy Anniversary!

  3. Esme
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Happy anniversary to you and Nik! I’m glad that you’ve worked through your blues and your enthusiasm is so infectious!

  4. Peridot
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    And wow – your table looks like something from a photoshoot for a magazine!

  5. Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    First, can I come for dinner at your house? Amazing!

    Second, I love this post. Right now I’m in the middle of the post-wedding blues, I really wasn’t expecting them because I was so stressed in the run-up to the day that I was really looking forward to having it and then not having to think about it anymore, but weirdly it turns out that the wedding was just masking a good deal of stress and anxiety about my masters that has now come screaming to the fore, leaving me feeling very worn out and miserable with nothing to distract me from the work stress along with the anticlimax of it all being over (which I was not anticipating, I was expecting to feel relieved!). I’m not sure where to go with it right now, but you’re such a positive, bright inspiration. And your food diaries/weight loss updates keep me motivated too!

    K x

    • Zan
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      You lady are clearly in need of a big virtual *hug* :)

    • Posted July 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Any time Katie! I love hosting! :)

      Sorry you are feeling the stress so much when you hoped to be able to chill afterwards! It will get easier and there is always that knowledge that you are both now the ultimate team too to get you through!

      *HUGS* from me too!

      • Posted July 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        You’re both very lovely, thank you! It’s just the effect of a lot of bad timing, but you’re right Bex, at least we are going through it all together. And I have a new signature, which is still making me happy!

        K x

  6. Katie
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Oh Bex, you make me feel so lazy, with all your interests. I’m in awe of you. Also you and Nik are super cute together. xx

  7. Zan
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Have to say I’m avidly following your Sunday food blogs – I’m quite intrigued by what people eat clearly!

    Love that you turned the post-wedding blues into something so positive, and I’m another one who feels positively slovenly next to you and all the stuff you do!

    • Posted July 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Can I just point out that over the last 3 evenings I have managed to watch an entire series of Buffy! I too am lazy! I just fit it in around projects ;)

  8. Posted July 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Bex you are an inspiration!


  9. Steff
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Bex you look STUNNING in that saree!! Absolutely gorgeous.

    I’m totally in awe of your dedication and drive, makes me look like a big lazy! Glad it’s paid off for you and you’re back to feeling happy and contented. xx

  10. Posted July 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Huge thank you to everyone for your comments! I am having a wonderful day (getting some lovely tweets too! :D ) and so grateful to have all you blog ladies in the background of my life (some in the foreground too actually!) helping to keep me positive and enthusiastic!!


  11. Posted July 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Happy anniversary! Agree with the food comments, can you make me my dinners please?! I’m trying to lose a bit of weight for holiday and it’s tough when there are lots of social events but you’re doing brilliant, very inspiring.
    I haven’t had any post wedding blues so far. I did have Christmas, a crazy busy old job, a late honeymoon, then new job to keep me busy so maybe that’s the trick :)

  12. Posted July 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I think you looked good in the ‘before’ photograph too! But, it’s all about how you feel, isn’t it? I went through the mill last year and was off work with stress. You sort of twist yourself deeper into the stress/unhappiness and at some point you have to make yourself twist back out. That’s the hardest part! You look like you’re beaming with happy and positivity now – well done!

    Incidentally, your flat looks A-MAZING.

  13. Posted July 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Oh I LOVE this lady – congrats to you and Nik and just to echo what others have said – your enthusiasm is infectious and you are lovely. xx

  14. Posted July 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m a reader of your blog (lurker not commenter I’m afraid!) and I have always thought how in love with life you are – your passion is so infectious! I’m stupidly jealous of your obvious flair for interiors – how much do I want to be at your Christmas table right now? (It might have something to do with this terrible weather though as it feels more like Christmas than July!!)

    You look absolutely fantastic and it’s always so refreshing to read your sunday posts and see you still eat treats (hurrah!) rather than turning into a diet/exercise fanatic.

    Happy Anniversary to you both – I hope you have something lovely planned to celebrate xx

  15. Laura
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    I love this. I’m really into your blog at the minute, Bex (in a non-stalkerish way), and I love how positive and honest and bloody NORMAL you are. Stay happy. Have a fab anniversary. X

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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