At the end of June I celebrated my 40th birthday but unfortunately, rather than feeling fabulous at 40, I was actually overcome by the feeling of being fat at 40!

Fast forward just over a fortnight to this week and we have now also just celebrated Ethan's first birthday, swiftly followed by Rebecca turning 13.

It shouldn't have been a time to shy away from having my photo taken with my beautiful children as they reached these memorable milestones, but the sad reality is that I now hate having pictures taken as they just serve to remind me of how big I have become.

Ethan's first birthday represented me weighing a whole stone more than I did just a week after he was born, and Rebecca's birthday cake with the number 13 on it symbolised not only our daughter entering her teenage years, but also me tipping the scales at almost 13 stone, a number I have never ever seen blinking back at me in a non pregnant state!

How do I feel? Ashamed at what I have become, embarrassed that nothing fits me anymore, upset that I can't bear to look at myself in the mirror and completely responsible for the fact that I have let myself expand to this size.

At the moment I am at home in the UK and I have 6 more weeks until I return to Doha. In some ways it is easy to put on weight living in Qatar due to the heat and resulting lack of opportunities for outdoor exercise. Here however I have no such excuse, so the fight to get rid of the flab starts now!

The aim - to lose at least a stone before heading back to Doha at the beginning of September (2.5 stone in total).

How will this be done? - Through eating more healthily and by exercising at least 5 days a week.

Feel free to follow my journey and see if I have the determination needed to succeed in my quest over the coming weeks....

Taken on Ethan's First birthday
Wish that number wasn't of significance with regards to my weight :(
27/07/2013 5:22am

I stumbled upon your blog whilst googling 'Top Schools In Qatar' and I am glad. You look great by the way! Almost celebrating the big 4.0 myself and gave birth to first child 4 months ago(accepting my body-finally) Anyhoo..looking for teaching jobs, not keen on using agencies as they haven't been very helpful. Any ideas of a TES-type magazine in Qatar or Abu-Dhabi online that I can check and approach schools directly? Much appreciated. A

Diary of an Expat Mum
27/07/2013 2:12pm

Hi Anne,
I'm afraid I can't help you with regards the teaching vacancies as it's not something I have specifically ever looked for! A lot of the schools in Qatar advertise their vacancies directly through the school websites but I am guessing that most of the schools will have finalised their recruitment for September now. Are you looking to teach in a British curriculum school or something else?

09/08/2013 4:49pm

Hello Sam,
I'm new to your blog but have read with great interest about your experiences in Doha, and your life with your family in general!
My husband and I and our toddler are expats in Spain currently but are seriously looking at a job opportunity in Doha for the new year!
Thank you for writing this blog and please don't stop....I feel I may be writing again to ask to advice and info.....

30/11/2014 8:19pm

Dear Sam,

My name is Joyce and I work for is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
We quite enjoy your blog about living in Qatar, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

Best regards,


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    Sam is married to Simon and has 4 children who take up a lot of her time. She is currently living outside the UK for the very first time, having  relocated to Qatar in the Middle East in August 2011 


    July 2013


    Weight Loss