I am feeling decidedly unlovely today. I know, I know, I'm 41 years old, and this is going to happen - increasingly often - as time goes by, but it's still pissing me off. I mean, I've been to the gym more in the last 6 months than in the entire 10 year period before-hand, I'm finally back to my pre-Baby #1 weight, I should be fighting fit (in both senses of the word).
Today, though, my hair is lank, skin dull, and there is a bonfire on my chin.
Not sure why this is particularly bothering me at the moment. Long gone are the days when I would check my reflection on the way out of the flat to make sure I was presentable enough to meet the world. This is mainly because I got bored with spotting food stains, chocolate smears, baby puke and worse, when I didn't actually have the time to do anything about it. I would then spend the next few hours painfully aware of my lack of elegance, and wishing I had factored an extra ten minutes into my schedule before leaving the house... So I did what any sensible woman would do under those circumstances, short of slopping around the house in a painter's smock to protect from child-related splash-backs. I moved the mirror away from the front door, and simply stopped checking.
I'm ashamed to say that over the last couple of years it's not impossible for me to have gone through the day without looking in the mirror once (after putting on my mascara, of course. I mean, things never got that bad.) But recently, I've started to pay a little more attention, perhaps because of my fitness campaign, perhaps because the baby fog finally lifted this year. Whatever the reason though, the news is not good. It's not always doom and gloom, I hasten to add. Sometimes I can look at my reflection and think 'OK... OK. You're not doing that badly. In fact, you're doing quite well.' But today, it's inescapable. I am 41 years old. I look it.
And so does my Spot.
It's taken up residence on the edge of my chin, arriving the day before yesterday following a particularly heavy intake of Green and Blacks. Top Tip: never buy two 35g bars telling yourself they will last for a while. Or until the weekend. Or until tomorrow, at any rate. We all know that one bar is never enough, and Will Power is someone who moved out of my home some time ago when faced with chocolate-in-residence.
So, I conjured up the Spot as a result of my own actions - which makes the whole teenage skin complaint thing so much more embarrassing. I have been lucky throughout my adult life; a few breakouts whilst I was teenager, but no real acne to date. I always thought that was some kind of celestial reward for having had to endure eczema of excruciatingly embarrassing levels on my face between the ages of 14 and 16 - just about the age when skin like dessicated coconut is going to boost your self-image sky high, and the prospect of a boyfriend seems impossible when you're covering your skin in cortisone lotion morning and night.
Now, being prone to eczema is just luck of the draw. It happens. You can control it, but you can't remove the genetic tendancy to get it. Spots, however - particularly chocolate related ones - are more often the result of an issue in lifestyle, like too much sugar. For example.
Which is why I should step away from the chocolate.
I know this, I get mad at myself when I overindulge. And guess what I do when I get mad? Eat. And not apples...