The Birth Of ‘Right Side Of 30’

Hello and welcome folks,

First, you don’t have to be in your 30s to read or connect with this blog. But since I am in my thirties, and a lot of the topics I will cover may be related to being in your 30s, et voila: the theme. The name: I caught myself telling someone I was on ‘the wrong side of 30’ – WTF, I’m 37 – there is no ‘wrong side’. We’ve got to stop thinking of ages as such rigid milestones for behaviour and attitude. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some very real issues and conversations around identity and experience that should be explored.

A quick intro – although there is more in my About section – I’ve been a journo for 14 years, am the former Executive Editor for HuffPost UK and an author.

Launch blogs should always set a baseline for a sense of purpose and why they were conceived – and unlike some conceptions, this one wasn’t done drunk. No, this germinated when I lost my shit in And Other Stories, while trying on a size 10 top and realised, it wouldn’t quite do up at the back.

Since I have been a size 10 for most of my life – barring a ‘chips-for-lunch-and-dinner’ phase back in my early twenties when I didn’t realise my metabolism had quietly died on its arse – I knew something was off. So I tried another and another, and then I thought: ‘HEY. The problem is not me, it’s THEM.’

I was so incensed, I took a pic. See? Look at the fucker – it doesn’t even zip up at the back.

And frankly, I was fed up. I don’t know where to shop anymore, ping-ponging between shops for teenagers and those that are just too old for me. Navigating your style in your 30s is a school of hard knocks experience – your heart strings are pulled by impractical clothing, your ego smarts at crop tops you can no longer pull off (if ever you could) and your bum and tummy are just screaming for clothes that are comfortable to sit down in.

It brought up a whole lot of other issues as well. I’m a red-blooded Instagram addict, and I am heavily into keeping fit. I follow a lot of accounts to inspire me on days when I’m feeling lazy, and for tips when I’m looking to push myself in the gym. But an awful lot of these are run by women in their 20s. More power to them – they look fan-fucking-tastic. But in your 30s, you have to work a lot harder to stay in shape and it unfortunately undermines your own sense of body image.

Things got insane when I was ill on and off for two months this year, because I kept pushing myself to go back to the gym spurred on by these feeds. So literally – I was making myself sick. And for what? To compete with people I have no hope of competing with unless Back To The Future becomes a reality.

I’m glad I’m back on track, and I’m lucky that my day job has given me a strong understanding around nutrition because I’d be screwed without it. And then it made me think about how much more I need to learn, and how – again – I figured out the hard way how you have to learn how to eat differently in your 30s  – and NO ONE TELLS YOU THIS.

So I wanted to create a space to also share stories of how women in their 30s are getting fit. And more importantly – normal women who have to balance day jobs and a ton of other shit, and don’t have the luxury of working out two hours a day.

Being a posey poserson 👇

There’s also a lot to explore about honesty and truth. I mean on the one hand, I’m more confident and self-assured than I’ve ever been. On the other hand…I still don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. And maybe that’s okay?

But I couldn’t find a huge amount out there. I really had to dig out the inspirational women in their 30s and make a point of following their stories. And nothing is better than reading about the personal journeys and lives of other people to make informed choices about your own life.

So this is the blog that will chart some of my explorations into all of this, and I’ll also feature and re-post on Instagram some of the amazing women I come across in my travels.

This is also a strictly freebie-free zone.

No offence to any bloggers or Instagrammers who do so, but this blog is about charting a decade in a woman’s life and all the stuff that throws up. And as a journalist, I’ve got to practise what I preach and be able to do that in an unbiased way.

If you’d like to get in touch or suggest topics you’d like to read about please do, and meanwhile, I hope you enjoy reading.


  1. Jonathan
    July 30, 2017 / 10:27 am

    You’re right. It’s actually about being on the right side of life and embracing it with both hands – I regard myself as 35 with an extra 25 years experience! Every day is a new adventure!

    • poornabell
      July 30, 2017 / 10:29 am

      Thanks Jonathan – I hope to do the same in 20 years!

  2. Spencer
    July 30, 2017 / 10:31 am

    Love this! Can’t wait for more to come. Do you have any advice for getting into journalism? I’d love to end up working somewhere like HuffPo one day!

    • poornabell
      July 30, 2017 / 10:33 am

      All depends on your experience but my advice is that if writing is your passion, write write write. Set up a blog if no one else will publish you, and I promise it leads to doors opening!

  3. Mastiana
    July 30, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    I can completely relate to losing your shit when your size no longer seems to fit!! This has happened gimme recently, I’m 31. I also find navigating my style which has been pretty solid during my 20’s extremely challenging now.

    I’ve always been very petite but these past few years suddenly as you said – my metabolism shat itself.

    I would love to share my experiences around these issues, especially navigating dating in your 30’s as that’s a whole other ballgame!


    • poornabell
      August 12, 2017 / 1:08 pm

      Oh trust me – dating is on the agenda!

  4. Sara
    July 30, 2017 / 3:36 pm

    What a brilliant idea. So I have 6 weeks left in my 30’s and I’ve finally fucking nailed the 30’s evolution of rebranding and re-educating for my body, just in time to start all over again for my 40’s. Ain’t life a peach.

    • poornabell
      August 12, 2017 / 1:08 pm

      Ba ha ha – it’s always the way!

  5. July 30, 2017 / 4:57 pm

    I’m 33 in a couple of days and I’ve recently started to realise I’m not 25 any more! I look forward to seeing what you share here 🙂

    • poornabell
      August 12, 2017 / 1:08 pm

      Thanks Amy!

  6. July 30, 2017 / 10:27 pm

    Finally I’ve stumbled upon a blog I can relate to! I had a mortifying experience earlier this year when I signed for health insurance (how adult of me), and my health review said I had the fitness level of a 42 year old… I’m 34! Now, I’m learning to enjoy salad and have one of those fitness tracking thingies permanently strapped to my wrist.

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

    • poornabell
      August 12, 2017 / 1:07 pm

      Thanks Caroline, hope you enjoy it!

  7. July 31, 2017 / 3:27 pm

    Yes, there has to be something between 20 year old hotties and Miss Marple. It’ll be great to follow the blog!

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