Monthly Archives: November 2013

Party!

Meet Cheryl Underhill, today’s guest blogger. She sent me this great article about having fun and partying despite all the accepted wisdom that fat people prefer to stay in unnoticed, and I just had to share it,.

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“Have you ever felt so ashamed of yourself and the way you look that you can’t bear to go outside? Family events are missed; friends’ invites are ignored, pleas for you to attend social gatherings are refused. Invitations of any description are met with a sense of dread, as immediately you start to picture the clothes in your wardrobe, knowing that no matter what you do in the next 2 weeks, you’ll never be able to fit back into that dress that used to cover your belly, or squeeze into those jeans that make your bum look smaller.

“It’s no good, you don’t want to embarrass whichever of your friends is celebrating after all, you know that they don’t really want to spend time with their friends, they want to spend time with their thin, well dressed friends. Have you ever felt like you just don’t want to leave the house because you’re simply just too fat?!

No – me neither!

“I am definitely fat. Let’s not skirt around the issue trying hard to find a word that won’t offend, I suppose if the word fat makes you feel uncomfortable you could describe me and ‘plump’, ‘a bigger lady’, or maybe even just ‘bubbly’.

“Whatever word you use, it won’t change the fact that I am fat. I am fat and I have never ever once felt ashamed or like I can’t go outside because of that. Admittedly I am currently trying to get healthy  for medical reasons  (which will inevitably mean losing some weight), but recently I have begun to get so pissed off with the number of TV adverts, articles and celebrities that tell all of us (not even just overweight people), that if we get super skinny, life will be amazing and we’ll stop feeling rubbish and will want to go out and socialise more.

“Adverts for weight loss programs are the worst, normally ex-customers tell us how fabulous they feel after they’ve dropped 2 dress sizes, now they can go to that Christmas party – meaning before they would have had to stay at home with their cats? These adverts are full of women who in their before photo have no makeup on, messy hair, baggy clothes and a face that looks like someone has just pissed on their shoes, whilst the wonderful ‘after diet’ shots are the same women done up in a well fitted outfit.

“Now if you’ve used one of the many many weight loss group meeting type programmes and that has worked for you – well done, I’m very happy for you and I wish you well with your goals, but please stop taking over my TV telling me how hard you found it to go out when you were fat and how you missed so many parties… I resent the idea that if I were to wake up tomorrow having miraculously lost 3 stone somehow I’d become a totally different person, I can confidently say it wouldn’t change who I am, just how other people see me.

“I’m fat, I’m sociable and I LOVE to party!

“For me there is one thing that I always wear when I go to a party – a smile and a little bit of confidence.
I’ll leave you with this: a lovely male friend recently said to me. “You know, with a smile like yours, you could have any man in this room. Men love a confident woman.”

“So come on my chubby, bubbly, bigger friends. This festive season; please don’t let those adverts get you down. Stick on a party dress, dig out those heels, paint on a bright lippy and plaster on that smile! You are beautiful inside and out – and anyone who really matters will know that anyway.”

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Agent Burlieque: Paint the town glitzy with burlesque!

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According to Sapphire Rox, the creator of Suffolk-based burlesque outfit Agent Burlieque, Burlesque can transform our vision of ourselves, bringing confidence and an inner sparkle to anyone who takes part – as well as those who watch the group’s fantastic cabarets and performances.

You can find out for yourself if you’re in Suffolk around 6th and 7th  December – the Christmas Burlesque Cabaret is hitting the town and painting it unashamedly glitzy. Starring the internationally acclaimed Hot Cake Kitty and hosted by songstress extraordinaire Lili La Scala and more, the show will be full of Christmas glamour and celebration.

I spoke to Sapphire about why she thinks burlesque is such a fabulous show both for the entertainers and the audience.

agent burlieque

For those of us who might not know, what is burlesque about?

“Burlesque has many different faces. Mainly it’s an art form used to express a theme along with femininity; done well it is a tantalising expression of the female and sometimes male form.

“At Agent Burlieque we like to work with highly expressive performers who can captivate audiences and  keep them on the edge of their seats. Burlesque appeals to women on a grand scale as it inspires and empowers them.”

What was it that got you fired up to start your own troupe?

“I’m a Londoner born and bred, but I moved to Suffolk to raise my young family and I had to leave the creative scene in London behind.

“I expected  Suffolk to have an established burlesque scene and was blown away when I couldn’t find anything like burlesque at London standard. I took it upon myself to do something about it, and that’s how Agent Burlieque started. We’re a burlesque troupe and also a booking agent, an events company that holds hen nights and workshops.”

The outfits are amazing – where do you get them from?

“Thank you! Each performer carefully selects costumes that reflect the themes of their acts; and of course they need to be easily removable! We all scout high and low for pieces, in vintage markets and car boot fairs, burlesque swap shops and high street stores. Then we customise! Burly girls are known to stay up all night carefully rhinestoning and glitzing up outfits, trimming with beads and making props by hand.”

Agent Burlieque is made up of women from many backgrounds – can you tell us a bit about them?

“The core troupe of Agent Burlieque changes, as does the burlesque scene. We have around 40 performers from all different walks of life, most of them with day jobs. We currently have a call centre worker, a hairdresser, a fire fighter, a tattoo artist, a mum, a prison officer and a stay at home father!”

Let’s be honest – women who are big, curvy or fat are derided constantly in the media. Do you really think that burlesque can help a bigger woman feel more confident in a fat-phobic world?

“I think it’s terrible that we as humans are made to feel constantly terrible about ourselves. And it’s not about being different; we all know size 16 is the average woman’s size in the UK and yet women of this size and bigger are  singled out and encouraged to be ashamed of our body shape. Burlesque fights that to the very core. The following burlesque has I think is largely down to the sheer love of the human body and the empowerment found by both men and women when they watch burlesque.

“Burlesque has the ability to transform current thinking about body shape and what we should look like.”

What’s your take on the way fat people are bullied by the media?

“You know I really am up for celebrating curves, but also thin people, gay men, everyone. None of us should feel ashamed of who we are simply because the advertising agencies want to make a mint out of us. To be ashamed gives the diet, media and fashion industries a financial gain.

“There is a different way to live and that is to accept and celebrate who you are as an individual; and sometimes it can be hard to do that. But find burlesque and you will find you are happy just the way you are.

“I think it is the only industry I know of that can positively transform the media’s harmful message about the female form.  After shows both men and women thank me for bringing them peace…peace that they are just right however and whoever they are.”

Do you have any advice for curvy girls on looking and feeling fabulous?

“Yes!! Show it off! Be confident in the way you dress, don’t hide. Put your red lippy on, do your hair, wear high-waisted skirts and show of that backside! Put on your heels when you go out and paint a ‘look at me’ expression on your face.

“We’ve been told by the media that people only want to look at us when we are thin and model like, but we want to look at them because they are confident and happy in themselves, not because they are thin.

“Once you start showing off your curves instead of hiding them under loose clothes you will also attract the positive attention you deserve and you’ll be sending out the positive message to other curvy people that curves are sexy!”

If you want to find out more about Agent Burlieque, contact Sapphire via the website, or like on Facebook.

 

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Mixed Messages

advertsHow easy would it be to give up diets if you weren’t being subjected to about a gazillion messages telling you that you have to lose weight every day?

If you could just wipe the metaphorical slate clean, press the reset button, reboot your brain and go back to zero, with a brain unaffected by adverts for cereal that tastes like cardboard but comes with a free diet; magazines that talk about non diet weight loss and then tell you to eat less and run a bit more; snarky comments like “I wish I could be like you, and you know, not care about my size.”

If we didn’t have the relentless pressure to lose weight, it wouldn’t drown out the quiet voice that’s telling us we should just stop…breathe….relax….

It’s wanting to lose weight that keeps us fat. At this point you might think I’ve gone nuts, but think about it. You think “I need to go on a diet” because you see an advert for some expensive perfume in a magazine and want a body (even though you know what you’re looking at has been airbrushed to within an inch of its life) like the model. You think “I’d better finish up all of the biscuits in the cupboard so that I’m not tempted to eat them,” even though you’re not hungry.

You start your diet and at first you feel good, keeping images of that model in your head as you count your calories, measure out your pasta or avoid anything remotely resembling a carbohydrate. You know you’re doing the right thing – all around you see weight loss, obesity and diets, so you congratulate yourself for finally dealing with your fat.

We all know that it wears off though. Now all you’ve been on a diet for almost a week, you’ve had a long day at the office and all you can think about is a big fat sausage sandwich. You don’t often eat  sausages, because you know how fatty and bad for you they are, but you saw someone at work with one and you know it’s off limits but GOD you want that sandwich.

The picture of the model you pinned to your fridge is barely keeping you away from  its contents, but you have some diet yoghurts in there so you tell yourself you’ll just have one after your Weight Watchers box meal and you won’t be hungry any more. It tastes like chemicals and sets your teeth on edge with its fake sweetness. Now you need something else to take the taste away. A banana. That’s it, a banana will help. You eat the banana, but a few minutes later that bloody voice is in your head, nagging you to have a sausage sandwich. “I must need something savoury” you tell yourself.

Foraging in the kitchen, you find some Quavers. You like Quavers so you eat a packet from the multi pack you bought when you stocked up on ‘allowed’ snacks. God, but they were tasty, and they didn’t last long. You go back into the kitchen and grab two more packets of Quavers and practically inhale them. They are only cheese-flavoured air, after all.

By now, you aren’t remotely hungry, so why is your brain making you think about sausage sandwiches still?

Sod this. You pretend you can’t see the model, as you get your coat on and head to the chippy. You threw the sausages you had in the freezer out when you started the diet last week. The smell of the chips hits you. You start to salivate, and instead of a plain sausage and a roll, you end up with a battered sausage and hot, vinegary chips.

It’s OK, you can start the diet again tomorrow.

Now tell me…if you hadn’t received the message that:

1. You should look like the air brushed model

2. You should go on a diet to achieve this

3. Sausage sandwiches are BAD for you and will make you fat

Would you have just made a sausage sandwich for tea instead of raiding the kitchen, eating several unsatisfying alternatives and then giving up the fight completely and having sausage and chips as well?

Just think about it. Ignore the bullsh*t.  The more we listen to people (diet industry) sending out false messages about how to remove fat from our bodies, the deeper into the diet ditch we fall, and the harder it is to crawl out. Dieting is keeping us over eating, and over eating is making us fat. The solution we’re being sold is making us over eat even more, and so they carry on sending us the same messages to keep us buying their crappy products.

Just eat the sausage sandwich and get on with your life.

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I’m not on a diet!

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Yeah, I know it’s been a while. I hope you didn’t think I’d gone off and disappeared up my own backside after embarking on a diet?

It wasn’t like that. I didn’t need to, as the doctor gave me a prod and listened to my chest and after talking to me decided that (although I haven’t had the blood test completely rule it out) my horrible abdominal pains weren’t likely to be gallstones after all, more likely they are related to the gastritis that the endoscopy picked up in March.

I should really keep to the wheat-free diet but it’s not easy, and so I’ve just been told to take the anti-reflux pills to heal it and see how it goes.

Anyway, it’s a relief not to have to cut everything remotely tasty out of my diet. Just as well as I was off to a spa this week and spa food is way more indulgent than you might think.

One thing I *did* notice while I was daydreaming and eating my scrumptious and decidedly indulgent dinner, was that too many women seem to talk about nothing but food, calories and dieting. The table next to me was occupied by a group of women who didn’t seem to be able to make a decision about what they wanted to eat, then bemoaned the calorific load of their eventual choices. I rolled my eyes out of sight as they wittered on about how many calories were in the dessert, whether they should have it after their main course at all, and came to the conclusion that “It’s OK, it’s a special occasion.”

It wasn’t just at dinner. At breakfast, another group of women spent ages discussing their usual mealtimes, whether they ate breakfast, what they would normally have for lunch and in-between asking the poor waitress for more toast, different eggs and extra coffee, they complained about the breakfasts being fattening. Of course, they ate full English anyway, but just wanted to point out that they didn’t usually indulge in such luxuries. Ladies, who DOES? Most of us don’t get an opportunity to have coffee, juice, toast, perfectly poached egg, buttered mushrooms, crispy bacon and a Newmarket sausage presented to us every morning before we start work. Just bloody enjoy being spoiled and shut up about the calories…

I was drinking coffee in the lounge before lunch, when wouldn’t you know it, another group of ‘ladies who spa’ were discussing Christmas. And clothes. And complaining that they wouldn’t dare to buy new clothes for Christmas because they always put on weight and wouldn’t be able to wear them!

It makes me laugh. I’m far from skinny of course but when I was dieting I’d easily gain a stone over Christmas, gorging on all the stuff I didn’t usually let myself have. These days, I don’t usually notice a massive weight gain at all. Like most people, I expect I probably do add a few pounds, but not a huge amount, and as I never weigh myself I have no idea. I’d know if I’d piled on a stone though, nothing would fit! I can’t be bothered with eating Christmas food just for the sake of it, unless it’s something I really, really like. Just goes to show that dieting and stressing over food makes you eat more…

It does make me sad that a deliciously indulgent spa break has to revolve around diets and calories though. The women yakking about diets made me laugh, they all managed three courses, while the little non-dieter who’d had nothing to eat for hours only wanted two. And at lunch the next day I couldn’t even manage two, I was still a bit full from breakfast at 1.30!

I just wish we lived in a less diet-obsessed world…don’t you?

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Face Off

The Spa Insider

We all know what yoga is, and we all know what a facial is. But do you know what Face Yoga is?05527NLX01

Danielle Collins has developed the Face Yoga Method; a natural way of looking and feeling younger and healthier with an added side order of relaxation and well-being.

The Method combines the best of face exercises, massage, acupressure and relaxation and gives you a natural face lift in just 20 minutes a day.  Using effective traditional techniques and the latest research , it also promises natural anti-ageing results. Sounds too good to be true? Well, no.

There are 18 exercises which take 20 minutes to complete, 10 minutes for the upper face and 10 minutes for the lower face. Danielle has very kindly shared a few of her secrets with The Spa Insider – and if you’d like to find out more, you can check out The Face Yoga Expert 

Danielle’s…

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I’m on a diet!

….and I’m sulking.brownies

Yup, I bet you didn’t expect to read THAT in a post on Gorgeously Full Fat, but after a particularly horrible day where I had two attacks of what I *think* might be gallstones, and yes, I am going to the doctor to find out for sure next week, I don’t want to even think about eating anything which might set it off again. Whatever it was, it HURT.

So, for now it’s low fat all the way. I’ve had to go back to the dark side and start eating reduced fat cheese and Muller Light yoghurts. I did attempt an Options hot chocolate last night out of curiosity but I couldn’t bear it. It was so cloyingly sweet, it was vile. I can just about tolerate lower fat cheese and Muller Lights for now.

Combining this with not eating wheat either is a bit of a pain in the bum, to be fair. The no-wheat rule has helped soothe my digestive system a bit, but it’s not 100% yet. I’m sticking with it to the end of November before I decide whether it’s worked or not.

I hate being obsessive about my food. But I haven’t got much choice if I have got gallstones. There’s a difference between the delayed reaction I get from drinking too much wine (an upset tummy) or eating acidic and spicy foods (heartburn) and the horrible pain I had the other day which was almost immediate after I decided to grab a gluten free biscuit before going out for a walk.

It’s kind of ironic that after all this time, fate is forcing me to adopt the sort of diet I used to make myself eat when I was trying to lose weight. Damn you, fate. Anyway, I guess I have to see how it goes. I’m thinking of investing in some good low fat cookbooks and just replacing anything that has flour in with gluten-free flour instead. But my plans to bake a batch of flourless brownies next week when I’m off work will have to be shelved. Made with 70% dark chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs and almond flour, there is NO low fat alternative….

Any advice would be much appreciated!

 

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Filed under Food and diets, General, Lifestyle