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Older. Wiser?

So today I turn 34.

I’ve survived a whole decade of parenthood. A decade living with HIV. A decade thriving. I genuinely feel older; not in a negative sense whatsoever. I feel wiser.

Sat now on the train to London, I thought I’d reflect on the last twelve months and what they’ve held. I’ve learnt so very much over the last twelve months.


The last twelve months have been completely uneventful HIV wise; had a consistent year on Eviplera, side effect free. I’ve popped a pill everyday (ok twice in the last year I’ve missed a dose – I’m not going to claim to be perfect.).

 As an aside it’s rather ironic that I’m currently on the train to a meeting with Gilead, the pharmaceutical company, and I’ve forgotten to reload my pill keyring and so today’s dose will be taken around 6 hours later than should be. Adherenace of 96% is sufficient so I’m not going to sweat about those 3 doses in the last twelve months!


I split this out from HIV – as the viral load is my blood is undetectable, and my system has not been compromised by the virus, I view my health independently to the stowaway!

Again very unremarkable, I’ve been very well. Much in credit to Chris Barnacoat and the work I’ve done with him for my nutrition, fitness and wellbeing. I started with Chris 28th September 2014 and so am now one year in and having achieved some stats I’m incredibly proud of:

  • Wearing a size 14 jeans today as opposed to the 22 I was wearing this time a twelve months ago when I met Chris
  • Over 52lbs of fat lost
  • Body fat % down from a whopping 33+% to 17% now
  • Calliper measurement – of little meaning alone, however monitoring these over the last twelve months has enabled me to view progress without being fixated on the scales which don’t account for muscle mass accumulated
    • Sub-scapular 20.3mm to 12.7mm – measurement reduction which has moved me further away from the risk of diabetes
    • Hips 44.2mm to 14.6mm
    • Umbilical 35mm to 14mm


I’ve not written as much for Beyond Positive as I would have liked – Tom feel free to reprimand me appropriately. I’ve taken part in a couple of advocacy projects and been featured in The Guardian and Glamour magazine. I have a couple of projects in the pipeline – more on those at a later date.


Yello Story has gone from strength to strength and keeps me out of mischief. I’ve even had to learn how to do a VAT return. I’m thrilled to have such a diverse range of clients and no two days are ever the same. Its fair to say that the flexibility of being my own boss has suited me well – and I dare say I reckon I’d be unemployable now! The next twelve months hold some very exciting developments work wise, about which I’m so incredibly excited and also so very proud…. Watch this space!


How on earth am I parent to a child soon to be 11 years old? We’re currently awaiting 11+ results which will determine J’s schooling for the next 5-7 years.

The last year has been a rollercoaster for the both of us and we’ve taken steps together to carve our own unique path forwards as a family of two. J sees a counsellor regularly – time and space for talking away from the construct of family and friends. J’s becoming a gifted, thoughtful young person.


My siblings and I have also now lost all of our grandparents – Grandma Jordan just recently at the grand age of 95. I’ve taken for granted having 4 active grandparents all of my childhood and a big chunk of my adult life. J has two blood grandparents, and two by marriage, and I hope she’s as lucky as I was.

This year I’ve also learnt I’m going to be an Aunt – now I really love baby cuddles. And baby cuddles then being able to hand them back and get a full night’s sleep = heaven! I can’t wait!


J, the gym and then work have taken priority over the last twelve months and in that order too. I’ve favoured squirreling myself away. Apart from the odd encounter, with red wine and steak which always results in a hangover, it’s been a quiet year.

J and I watched ‘Man Up’ this weekend – highly recommend it – at 34 the main character finds her ‘match’. J said afterwards ‘There you go Mummy, you’re 34 this week and so now is your time. This is your year!’

Bring it on!

p.s I’ve typed this on the train with shonky wifi – that’s my excuse for typos ok 😉

Filed under: HIV, Home, Paleo, Work

About the Author

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Think2Speak Founder. #WISE100 Mother. Widow. HIV Positive. Get in touch: Email Tweet @fashionthing Call 0044 1522 253 155

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