Something is stirring. I can’t quite explain it but it’s bubbling up inside. It’s anger. It’s a desire to break out and break free. It’s a fierceness. It’s my wild side. It’s the woman inside me who wants to ROAR (rather than squeak).

It’s hard to explain in words. I need something to punch, to wrestle. Or I need to yell and scream.

That reminds me. A few weeks ago, I did yell and scream. In the car on the way back from a morning sea swim. I won’t go into all the details but suffice it to say I felt ignored, dismissed, fobbed off. And I was angry. So I screamed. I screamed so loud in the car that my voice hurt and my ears began to ring. I wonder if anyone heard me outside.

My reaction was so violent that I must have been screaming about much more than that one incident. Remember my post from years ago, Hysterical? Could Be Historical. I must have tapped into much earlier, younger, deeper episodes of feeling ignored or dismissed and staying quiet about it, lodged deep in my subconscious.

I haven’t screamed since but it’s still there and I know it’ll come out again soon.

I have a wild side. I’ve always had a wild side. But I’ve been such a good girl. I’ve people-pleased. I’ve done as I was told. I’ve said what I thought you wanted me to say. I’ve stayed quiet. I most definitely haven’t roared.

Why? Because I felt scared? Scared of your anger. Scared of my own. Scared of the repercussions. Scared I’d get hurt. Scared I wouldn’t survive. That feeling goes way back. It’s visceral. It’s traumatic. It’s real. But I’m stronger now. I’ve survived. I will survive (cue Gloria Gaynor at very loud volume).

What does this wild woman inside look like? What does this mean for me and my work? What does this mean for the direction I want to go in?

I’m not sure but all I know is it’s not pink and pretty.

It’s gritty and real.

I just spent a day redesigning my website for my relationship coaching and life design to make it look pretty and alluring. But now I think I need to chuck it out and start again. I need to paint it black or dark grey and throw some stones in there, some grit. A few lions and tigers. Some fire. Who knows.

Going forward, maybe I’ll need to change the title of my How to Fall in Love retreats (2 spaces left for November, and January is now on sale!). Maybe I’ll be running Get Real Retreats. Or Roar Retreats. But even if I don’t change the name, we’re going to roar.

Because I’m not pink or ladylike, and I’m not a mouse. I’m wild. I’m loud.

I’ve broken free from loads of things over the years (from binge eating, from a job in which I felt caged, from dysfunctional relationships, from big, concrete jungles to the open expanses of the coast). I’ve shown so much courage.

But now I need more. To really speak my truth. To connect on a deep level with the women and men I’m supposed to be talking to and working with. To those who are caged or trapped in a prison of their own making. Who drink or drug or binge eat or starve or sleep around or compulsively run or work 18 hour days or who self-harm in other ways, all beneath a pretense of niceness, respectability, perfection and success. To the women and men who want to be real. Who want to unleash the lioness or lion within.

Too much? Too angry? Too aggressive? Not me?

Who knows. I can only write what’s on my heart. I can only say what’s real in this moment. That’s the beauty of this blog.

I feel it.

I write it.

I publish it.

I’m changing and evolving so fast. Last year, before I published my book, I recorded this interview with Nicola Humber as part of her Heal Your Inner Good Girl series (Nicola’s book is here). What I say in that podcast is still really relevant and very true. I tell my story – the eating disorder, the breakdown, the ‘Wow’ job that I quit and how I turned my life upside down. I share how hard it is sometimes to be authentic, to stay true to ourselves. And I use this great line: I didn’t have the courage to do that, until I did.

But I think I’d speak differently if that interview were today. I’d be angrier. I’d be wilder. It would be grittier. Less altogether. I might roar (a bit).

How about you? Where are you at with your wild woman or wild man within?

Do you squeak or do you roar or are you somewhere in between?

Are you pink and pretty or are you gritty and real?

Maybe we’re all a bit of both. Maybe I am. My dark and my light. After all, lions and tigers are beautiful but fierce at the same time. And I do love purple and lime green.

But she’s there. The wild woman is there.

And she wants to be heard.



Check out my pretty website (for the time being) here: for details of coaching, courses, retreats and more, or drop me a line:

Posted in Eating disorders, Empowerment, Love, Recovery, Relationships, Women, Work | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Our time is now

Last week, I sat in a clinic with my mum and wiped my tears away as the nurse diagnosed her with a form of dementia. It shouldn’t have come as a shock – her memory had been failing for a while – but there’s something about hearing a diagnosis from a medical professional that makes it very real and final and drives it home in a way you can no longer ignore.

Mum is 77, 31 years older than me. My Nana, her mum, got dementia too and it began in her 60s. What does this mean for me? That’s something I hope to explore in greater detail in a magazine article – is it hereditary; what do I need to do to protect myself and reduce my risk? But beyond the facts, figures, studies and expert opinion, it’s clear what it means for me: I need to get on and live.

clockMy time is now.

Our time is now.

I owe it to myself to make the most of my life and my current state of health, which, apart from some aches and pains, is pretty good. I’m very fortunate. I’m blessed.

I owe it to myself to fight for the life that I want, to follow my heart, to live my passion, to speak my truth, to stand up for myself, to have real conversations.

I owe it to myself to reduce my anxiety and stress levels, to lighten up, to laugh more.

I owe it to myself to do my utmost to turn this passion of mine for writing and for coaching women and men into healthy relationships and lives they love into an abundant business that’s deeply fulfilling and has a profound impact on others’ happiness and wellbeing.

Yes, we owe it to ourselves.

Don’t we?

I know it’s not all going to happen at once. I know that I might be fired up one day but feeling low on enthusiasm the next. I know there’s no magic bullet or quick fix. I know I’m on a journey.

But if I can make a choice every day to trust, to believe, to have faith in myself, in my work, in my future, in this glorious life that I’m creating, then I’m half-way there.

If I can speak up when my shame is telling me to be silent.

If I can speak my truth when my fear is telling me to hide.

If I can go big when my low self-esteem is telling me to play small.

If I can join in with others when my saboteur is telling me to isolate.

If I can fight for community and belonging when the voice inside is telling me I’d be safer on my own.

If I can be generous to others and to myself when my financial insecurity is telling me to hold on tight to everything I’ve got.

If I can let go and trust when I want to tighten my grip and control.

If I can cry when I want to stuff my tears down with food or numb my feelings by staying busy.

If I can believe there’s enough for everyone and celebrate others’ wealth and success rather than envy it and be scared to share my gifts.

If I can laugh often with friends and strangers.


One of those grey day swims

If I can go paddle boarding or sea swimming even when it’s cold and grey rather than stay home watching rubbish TV.

If I can be bold and brave.

If I can say sorry quickly and say I love you every day.

If I can do all that, then I’ll be giving life my best shot.

How about you? How are you going to make the most of your time?

Your time is now.


If you’d like to help me do the work I believe I’m meant to be doing and make an impact on others’ lives, it would be wonderful if you could share news of my upcoming How to Fall in Love retreats in Dorset with any single women who might be interested. And if 2018 is your year to find love, come and join us.

Retreat10My November 17-19 retreat is almost full but I still have a few rooms left. My January 12-14 retreat is now open for bookings. Both are great value.

I’m also opening up my membership community of Love Ladies again on Nov 1st so if you’re ready to find a relationship and would like to explore dating as part of a supportive community of like-minded women, come and join us. The fee is £16/month. We have group coaching calls and an active Facebook group with lots of video and written content on topics like wellbeing, intimacy, body image, fear versus instinct etc.

For a flavour of my work, read some more of this blog or check out my book: How to Fall in Love – A 10-Step Journey to the Heart. Please leave a review if you read it and have a moment. Reviews make a big difference.

Finally, my free Facebook community is here: Being Real, Becoming Whole.

Posted in Dating, Faith, Happiness, Love, Recovery, Relationships, Self-Acceptance, Trust, Women | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to stop emotional eating


Weight. Body image. Self-esteem.

These are issues that come up quite regularly in my work as a dating and relationships coach.

Or perhaps I tune in to them more than to other issues, because I’m a recovering compulsive overeater. For many years, through my teens, twenties and early thirties, binge eating and comfort eating inflated my body and deflated my confidence.

The way I felt about my body affected my interactions with men and potential partners.

Throughout university, I barely had a boyfriend because I felt fat. I was a few stone heavier than I am now and I disliked myself profoundly, although you wouldn’t have known it. I hid it well.

The first thing I did on the morning of my finals exams was to weigh myself. The number on the scales dictated how I felt about myself that day.

It took until my early thirties for me to come out of denial about emotional overeating and to find help. Today, I’m largely free of obsession around food and body image. I eat healthily most of the time and I’m pretty happy with my body. Just like Kate Winslet, I don’t weigh myself anymore.

My eating isn’t perfect, whatever that means. I still eat on my emotions at times – on sadness, tiredness or anxiety. A few biscuits, a bit of cereal, extra chocolate or toast. But I’m aware that I’m doing it. My eating doesn’t spiral out of control like it used to. And I forgive myself quickly and move on. I don’t carry around bags of shame.

I believe I had to make peace with my body and develop a healthy relationship with food and eating in order to find love. My excess weight, in the past, acted as a barrier to men. They may have found me attractive but I didn’t feel worthy or good enough. And I had so much shame that I didn’t want anyone to come near me. I didn’t want to take my clothes off.

Your story may not be quite so extreme, but I wonder if your relationship with food and your body is affecting your relationship with others. Is it affecting your dating? Is it keeping you single? Or is it keeping you emotionally distant in your relationship?

This morning, I felt inspired to record this video: How to stop emotional overeating. I wanted to share some of my journey with food and body image, and how I’d managed to put an end to my emotional eating. In it, I share how I’ve learned to soothe myself in healthy ways rather than with excess food, or alcohol or male attention or work, for that matter.

The video is half-an-hour long so you’ll need a bit of time. I hope you find it useful. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you’d like any support on this issue, or would like to know more about how I developed a healthy relationship with food, do get in touch. I’d love to help.


A reminder that I’m hosting my first How to Fall in Love retreat in Dorset, Nov 17-19. Click here for more information. Rooms are selling fast. Four spaces left.

I’ve recently launched my membership community for single women looking for a healthy and loving relationship. Find out more about the Love Ladies Community here.

Come and join my free Facebook community: Being Real, Becoming Whole.

To buy my book, How to Fall in Love, click here.

Posted in Body Image, Eating disorders, Love, Relationships, Self-Acceptance, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When you follow your heart

ChangeI was interviewed this morning on BBC Radio Solent’s Breakfast in Dorset programme about my love coaching work, my book and my upcoming love retreat.

The interview was over in a flash. In fact, I felt a bit deflated as I left the studio. Had I managed to say anything worthwhile in such a short space of time?

But then I listened back to the recording, which host Steve Harris kindly sent me, and I heard it.

I heard it in my voice.

I heard the excitement and the passion.

I heard the authenticity.

I heard, loud and clear, that I absolutely believe in what I’m doing and in what I have to offer others in this area of love, dating and relationships.

I heard my truth.

I heard my energy and enthusiasm for this life I’ve created and this work that I do – for the joy of being able to spend my Monday morning driving through the New Forest, speaking on the radio about my love coaching and my book, then driving back to the beach for a sunny walk.

If you’d like to hear it too, click here for the radio interview.

During our brief discussion this morning, Steve and I agreed that when we’re true to ourselves and when we find happiness inside, or as much happiness as possible, love and relationship often follow. We’re more open and more attractive.

For me, moving to the seaside, committing to my creativity by writing my book, and doing my love and life design coaching – these are all acts of self-love and self-belief. They are all examples of me listening to my heart and following it. They are steps that have hugely contributed to my happiness and wellbeing. They have filled me up from the inside. They have given me purpose.

It’s not surpising, then, that my partner proposed just after I finished my book and at the end of my first How to Fall in Love course.

I had found myself. I had found my joy. I was living my dreams. I was all fired up. My light was shining bright.

And as I write this, I feel excited. I feel excited for what’s to come.

As much as I can give myself a hard time for not doing enough or achieving enough (don’t you hate that side of us that always does that?), I have come so far this year and it’s only October.

I have written and published a wonderful book, for which I’ve received some wonderful reviews, some from people I’d never met before. I’ve run a number of How to Fall in Love courses, also to lovely reviews. A small group of women have stayed working with me since doing my love course in January. January! That’s nine months. I’d have never had the courage back in January to suggest people work with me for nine months, but these special women have, and I feel so grateful for their belief and trust in me and so excited to watch their lives unfold as they go after their dreams.

I have got engaged. Big deal! Very big deal.

I’ve had my relationship story and my book featured in the Daily Mail, my love story featured in Red magazine and I’ve been on BBC Radio four times (BBC Radio Solent three times and BBC 5Live). Some more wonderful media is just around the corner.

And today I’m super excited because I’ve just launched my community of Love Ladies, a supportive space where like-minded women can evolve and grow as they create wonderful lives for themselves and move forwards on their journey to love and relationship. Plus, places on my imminent seaside retreat in November are filling up. I can’t tell you how excited I am about that. Running retreats is one of my big dreams and here I am, running a retreat! If either the community or the retreat appeals, do get in touch ( I’d love you to join us.

Yes, today I’m excited. I’m in a good mood. I’m upbeat.

I know I won’t feel like this everyday. It’s not in my nature and that’s not real life. But when setbacks come or when I feel downbeat, I can look back at this blog and at this year and remember that wonderful things happen when I follow my heart, stay true to myself and trust myself. Wonderful things happen when I face my fears and do it anyway. When I embrace change.

I read another quote that really spoke to me:

Don’t fear failure.

Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.

I can safely say that this October I am nowhere near where I was last October. Hurrah!

I hope you can say the same if change is something you’d like to see in your life. And if you can’t, I hope you can commit to change today, in this moment, to whatever small or big change you feel able and equipped to make.

Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.

Posted in Faith, Love, Recovery, Women | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Faith over fear

Faith over fear.

Trust over terror.

Or trust over turmoil.

Or trust over tears.

What would it feel like to believe the world is a benevolent place? To trust that everything is working out for the best and will continue to do so? To have faith that it’ll all be OK, rather than to live in fear that it won’t?

How would it feel to let go of our tight grip? To let go of control? To stop trying to force the world to turn in the direction we want it to? To stop trying to manage every last detail of our lives so that we can stay “safe”, or at least feel safe?

How would it feel to look on the bright side rather than the dark side? To always see the glass as more than fall, rather than close to empty? How would it feel to do as we please, to break the “rules”, to feel free?

I asked myself these questions this morning as I swam in the sea, on the first day back from a 10-day holiday in Portugal. Because this morning, I made a decision to trust. To have faith. To relinquish control.

I chose to walk on the beach and swim in the sea – my way of connecting to my soul, spirit, intuition and to God – rather than sit down at my desk first thing to make up for all that time I’d been away. I chose to keep my phone off until after my swim rather than check my email first thing. I chose to believe I had time to invest in my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, even though I’d been away for 10 days, even though my holiday had finished, even though it was time to get back to work.

It wasn’t easy.

My fretful, anxious self who has a tendency to imagine disaster, catastrophe and crisis around every corner wanted to take over. She wanted to sit down to work first thing. She wanted to don her firefighter’s outfit and start putting out fires, most or all of them imagined. She wanted to take control, start micro-managing, start building a wall around herself to feel “safe”.

But I didn’t succumb to the lure of anxiety and adrenaline (a familiar and therefore comforting place for me to be, but one I’m trying to resist). I chose to try to maintain some of the peace, ease and trust I’d found on holiday.

Because this holiday taught me to trust from the very first day.

I was anxious about going away, and for 10 whole days. I was anxious about the money I’d spend and the money I wouldn’t earn over that period. I was anxious about the hole it would leave in my finances. I was anxious about letting go of work for that period. I was anxious about taking a break from promoting my book, my upcoming love retreat (more about that in a moment), my next How to Fall in Love course, my new membership community for single women who would like to be in a relationship, and my next PR workshop. I was worried about taking a 10-day break from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What would I miss? Would I be missed? (I sigh. It’s been so nice to be away from social media for that time. Such a relief.)

In short, I didn’t think I deserved a break. I didn’t think I’d earned it. I didn’t think I could afford it. I didn’t think my various businesses would survive for 10 days without me pushing and promoting and striving and trying and trying and always trying.


Sagres, Portugal

But some wonderful things happened in my work life while I was away sunbathing, surfing, paddle boarding and eating lots of Portuguese food, and it began as I got ready to leave.

I was offered a day’s PR and media consulting work, someone emailed to enquire about my PR coaching, I got paid for my Daily Mail article, I took a booking for my love retreat and one of my favourite magazines emailed to say they would be featuring my book as part of a spread on love in the next few months (which I’m terribly excited about).

So I didn’t need to push and strive and struggle and try. I didn’t need to control every last detail or micro-manage. I didn’t need to sit at my desk with my shoulders hunched and my brow furrowed, trying to work it all out, trying to find the answers, trying to make things happen.

And as I gave myself what I needed, my work took care of itself, in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Money came in. Opportunities found their way into my inbox. People put their trust in me. My books sold.

Faith over fear. Trust over terror.

Are you someone who holds on tightly to life? Who feels they need to control every tiny detail? Who can’t let go in case it all goes wrong? Are you someone who finds a feeling of safety from being in control? Are you someone who lives in fear and mistrust? Do you feel like you need to build a fortress around yourself to stay “safe” – perhaps a fortress of money or wealth, a job that’s secure but that puts your soul to sleep (I’ve been there), or a rigid routine? Do you fear change? Do you fear what will happen if you let go?

If you answer yes to these questions, I know how you feel. I know how hard it is to let go, to trust, to believe we’ll be safe if we stop trying to manage everything, to trust that things will work out OK. I also know how amazing it feels when I trust just a little bit or let go of control or release my grip just slightly and things flow.

It feels like I’m gliding through life rather than trudging through life. It feels like I’m swimming in a still sea rather than wading through treacle.

I feel lighter, more free, like I’m flying almost.


Happy on holiday

I know the world isn’t always a benevolent place. And I know we have to put in the effort to make some things happen (I had been bugging that magazine about my book for months). But it’s also good to let go sometimes, to allow ourselves moments of peace, to experience that sensation of flying. To swim rather than trudge. To relax rather than struggle. To kick back rather than strive. To smile. To trust. To have faith.

As I got back from my swim this morning, I picked up my book of daily meditative readings, The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie. I knew I’d find something in today’s reading that would speak to me and that would chime with this notion of faith and trust that had formulated on the beach. Sure enough, I found what I was looking for.

“You do not have to work so hard at protecting yourself. You can relax and enjoy life, trusting that you are safe. Go without fear, for you are wrapped in love and protection,” today’s reading said.

If you’d like to have a go at swimming rather than trudging, why not join me for my self-love by the sea retreat in Dorset on the weekend of Nov 17-19?

The decision to host this retreat has taken a lot of trust and faith but I believe in myself, in what I have to offer, in the magic I know I can create amongst a group of like-minded women, and in the power of the sea, the beach, nature, fresh air, long walks, laughter and peace to heal, to restore, to refresh, to offer a new perspective, and to reconnect us to who we were always meant to be. Do get in touch if you’re interested in joining us.

For a flavour of my approach, check out this short video recorded at The Summer of Change Festival at the Canvas Cafe in London in August, where I was leading a workshop on How to Fall in Love. Click here to watch the interview, which was aired on the British talk show, A Different Kind of Woman.

I’ll also be speaking about my book and my approach to falling in love on Talk Radio Europe at 1:25 pm today. The link is here if you’d like to listen.

So it’s my first day back at work and I have a lot to do, not least my radio interview, but it’s wonderful to begin with a swim and then a blog. It’s wonderful to invest time in connecting to myself and in writing from the heart.

Faith over fear.

Trust over terror and tears.

Posted in Faith, Fun, Happiness, Love, Positive thinking, Spirituality, Women | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Falling in love by the sea

This is a tiny post to share some very exciting news.

I’m hosting my first How to Fall in Love residential weekend retreat, November 17-19, in Southbourne, Dorset. I would love you to join me if this is of interest.

More details on my new website: How to Fall in Love

It’s primarily for single women, women in relationships they’re unsure about or anyone who’s looking for some real ‘me’ time with some lovely, supportive ladies in a beautiful, nurturing environment.

Thank you!

(my shortest post ever!)

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Searching for a pot of gold


I went for an invigorating run along the beach this morning, one of those runs that make you feel truly alive. The wind was fierce, whipping up the sand so it cut into my legs. The sun was out. And then it rained.

As I ran, I spotted a rainbow. And then a second rainbow above it. Double rainbow! It’s been a while since I’ve seen such a spectacle. The rainbow seemed to stretch from one end of the beach to the other. If I keep running, I thought, I could get to the end of it. And when I get there, maybe I’ll find a pot of gold.

Hang on a minute, I thought again. My pot of gold is right here, right now. In this moment. On this beach, with the sand against my legs, the wind in my hair and the rain on my back. This is my pot of gold.

I’ve always had a tendency to think happiness is over there. I wonder if you can relate to that?

I’ve had this tendency ever since I was a child.

Happiness was in my best friend’s home where her mum, dad, sister and dog lived altogether in apparent blissful harmony.

Happiness was in that pair of jeans with the white stripe down the side that I desperately wanted, until I got them and didn’t like them so much and wanted something else.

Happiness was in being blonde rather than dark.

Happiness was in being called Karen rather than Katherine (in infants’ school, I actually told my teachers I’d changed my name to Karen by deed poll, only I think I called it depol at the time. My school friend Karen, in my eyes, was slimmer, prettier and more popular, with luscious hair. I wanted to be her).

Happiness was in having someone else’s life.

Happiness was in ‘O’ levels and ‘A’ levels and other achievements.

Happiness was in someone else’s opinion of me, rather than in my opinion of myself.

Happiness was on the other side of the world – until I got there and wanted to move back to the other side of the world.

Happiness was always just out of my reach.

These days, I’m better at living in the moment and finding joy in today, but there’s still work to do. Just like on the beach this morning, my first thought is often that happiness is over there.

The good thing is that I know for sure that I don’t want to live like that anymore, always dreaming of how happy I’d be if I had this or that, or looked like this or that, or lived here or there. I want to live my life, rather than some imagined life. I want today’s life, not tomorrow’s life or the life I’ll create in the future.

How about you? Where’s your pot of gold? Are you chasing a rainbow? Or can you look down at your feet or close your eyes and see your pot of gold right here, right now?

I hope so.

Posted in Happiness, Love, Self-Acceptance, Uncategorized, Women | Tagged , , | Leave a comment