Monthly Archives: March 2014

When all the light bulbs come on at once….

Have you got a cup of tea and a biscuit? This might take some time.

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I’ve had a couple of pretty massive light bulb moments in the last day. It’s like someone’s watching over me and doing a face palm “She finally got it!”

The first one was last night.

I’ve got so many ideas for things I want to do with Gorgeously Full Fat, book writing and my copy writing business. I’ve been talking websites, videos, ebooks, courses. I’m doing training, I’m reading up on everything from social media marketing to membership groups. The ideas are all great and I still want to do them but you know what?

I’m mentally drained. I just can’t seem to get my head in ‘that place’ and it’s all I can do most days to do the bog standard stuff I have to do to pay the bills, let alone develop my business.

I wake up every day with back ache.  Gym? Swimming? Walking? You’re joking, right? My joints ache, my back hurts, my head aches. I’ve been swallowing painkillers like sweeties and they don’t have as much effect as they did anymore. I can’t concentrate so I’m scrabbling in the kitchen for food all afternoon and by 8pm I just want to go to bed.

I know this ain’t good.

Last night I decided I’d had enough. I was going to stop putting so much pressure on myself to do three days work in one day, and slow down a bit, even if it means putting my plans for global domination as a fat super heroine on hold for a bit. I binge on work. If I have to write eight 500 word articles for a client, instead of doing four a day for a couple of days, I have to do them all in one sitting. I’ve sat up ’til midnight when I didn’t need to before just to finish off the last one of a series I’d promised a client. I sit here at 9,10, 11 pm checking clients’ Twitter feeds. I forget that last year a client showed me just how disposable copywriters are and dumped my arse with no warning after I’d been putting myself out for them nearly three years. I don’t HAVE to work myself into the ground for anyone.

I decided that I was going to start looking after myself instead. I never get to the gym because I’ve always got too much work to do; so instead of waiting till I’ve finished working before I go, I’m going before work again.

This did almost end in tears earlier when I dug out my old Cindy Crawford DVD and made a sorry attempt at doing the moves I used to do when I was 24. I didn’t make it past the warm up. These knees aren’t made to do lunges and there’s no freaking way I’m jumping up and down. I decided ‘bugger this, I’m off to the gym.’

Two hours later I’d cycled 10k on the bike, done 20 minutes stomping on the treadmill and walked all the way home. I did hurt a bit but I proved I could do it!

This took me on to the second light bulb moment.

Ickworth House

Me….as I am now.

 

I get loads of blogs emailed through to me daily on all sorts of subjects and TBH a lot of them get deleted without opening. One of them is from ‘Fierce Freethinking Fatties‘ which is a daily blog written by lots of different bloggers, and one that I’ve been deleting has been Eat the food’. I knew it mentioned calorie counting and I just didn’t want to know.

Today I don’t know why, but I just clicked on it. Turns out that the writer, Shaunta, is just like me! She knows diets don’t work, but really struggles to fully embrace eating normally and not trying to restrict food. She started an experiment at the start of this year – eating ENOUGH. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but hear me out.

Shaunta was over 25 stone, but tried really hard to exercise. It hurt. A lot. She tried running, and ended up in pain. She necked painkillers every day. Her back hurt, her joints ached and she hit a wall energy wise in mid afternoon. She binged – but when she wasn’t binging she tried to stick to about 1800 calories per day.

Then, she read about Go Kaleo (don’t let the name put you off) and realised she was actually eating less than she needed to feed her Basal Metabolic rate (the bare minimum you need to keep your organs functioning, even if you stay in bed all day) at 1800 calories per day. No wonder she was tired.

She worked out that she needed to eat a LOT more to be able to be active, energetic and alert. So she set herself a MINIMUM calorie target and that was 2500 a day. To most people who’ve been on and off diets all their lives, like me, that’s HUGE. We’re brainwashed into restricting to 1200, 1500 or even 1000…but come on, when you’re 15, 20, 25 stone, your body needs much more to eat than that.

Shall I give this theory a test run? I’ve worked out that on a do-nothing day, where I don’t even move out of bed (Like I ever get one of those) I need 1850 calories. If I just dawdle about all day and don’t do a lot, I need more. If I go to the gym or walk for an hour around the block, or swim for an hour, I need a lot more. My TDEE or total daily energy expenditure if I manage to exercise 3-4 times a week is almost 2800. So, if I aim for a MINIMUM of 2200 a day, t cover basic body functions, a bit of pottering and a few days where I exercise a week, it should give me the energy I need to actually get fit and feel better…

Calorie counting goes totally against my beliefs, but what really swung me was that when Shaunta started it had an unexpected effect; she stopped binge eating and all the Health at Every Size principles started to drop into place. She had way more energy, slept better, ate better quality food, stopped bingeing and after 100 days she’d lost weight. LOST weight.

I just want to feel better. I really do. I hate dieting and refuse to do it. So, I’m going to commit to doing this for 100 days, like Shaunta did, and also doing an hour’s exercise at LEAST 3 times a week. I’m aiming for a minimum of 2200 calories a day for now. Thinking about that, it sounds like a lot. It’s also a minimum, not a maximum.

Looking after myself, not getting so stressed about work, doing more exercise and eating enough to give me the energy I need….pretty radical stuff, hey? I’ll update you next week on how it’s going…

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Eating Enough, Food and diets, My weight story

How to have 50 ideas in one afternoon….

creativity

It’s no secret that my business Mojo has been a bit depleted lately. It’s all very well being the only woman in the western hemisphere who can make Tokyo bus lanes sound interesting, but I have to be honest, I’m not sure I could do that again if I tried, and worse still, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to.

I invested in membership to the Amazing Biz and Life Academy last year, mainly for the kick-ass business resources, but also because most of the members write bloody inspirational blogs that make me see things differently. Oh, and the meditations are pretty good too. Anyway, I’ve taken on some of the stuff I got from the last six week business course, but I’ve never really sat and worked all the way through it. There’s a brand new one coming out at the end of March, the next steps, and I really fancy getting my money-earning Mojo back as well as my creative juices flowing, so I decided that it was time to dust off the course again (if it’s actually possible to dust off a PDF) and you know, do the work.

Last week I managed to find one afternoon to dedicate to all this brainstorming, and got to work.

I was gobsmacked. Working through the exercises seemed to unleash a torrent of ideas, for ways to get money doing the kind of things I enjoy doing, business ideas, and finally I was left with a list of 50 ways I could make a living and FIVE ideas for ebooks that I could write pretty easily, self publish and get out there into the world.

Blimey.

OK, so some of the ideas might be a little bit more impractical than others.

  • Creating and selling a ‘ditch the diet’ ebook and programme is doable, tricky and time consuming, and a bit of a scary leap out of my comfort zone, but it’s potentially possible.
  • Writing a sequel to Viva Voluptuous is also very doable. (Did I mention the first Ellie Johnstone book is now available to pre-order on download for £3.93?)
  • How about a book of erotica for plus size women? That would be fun! (Must have been feeling fruity that day)
  • Creating events for plus size women? Hmm. I think I could do that, I just need to talk to the right people and we need funding.
  • Starting (or re-branding) a positive, inclusive, intelligent fashion and lifestyle magazine for ALL women? I’d love to. Just don’t know where to start. It’s on the list though!

The point is, it really got me thinking. What skills do I have? What am I passionate about? What do I freaking well adore doing? What can I teach other people?

Truthfully, all this creative brainstorming only took me a few hours. Then I had to get back to doing actual work so I haven’t put any of the ideas into action yet. but I will. I’m also using Leonie’s fantastic meditations in my 100 days of positivity challenge; her ‘best day ever’ ten minute meditation is another freebie when you join the Academy and it’s brilliant for super-charging your day with just that little bit more Je ne sais quoi.

I used it this morning and I’ve got so much done, and I’m in a really good mood. Yeah, it’s a bit hippy and woo-woo but who gives a damn about that when it works. I *am* a bit woo woo. I can live with that.

You can get your paws on the Business Course alone for $79 (I don’t know quite what that is in ££, about £50 I think)

Or you can dive in like I did and go for an Academy membership and get all the e-courses, workbooks, meditation kits, workshops and access to the Facebook page and groups online. That costs a bit more but she does let you pay it monthly as well. I do it every year, and trust me, I don’t sign up to many of these things.

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So. Now I just have to give myself some time to write one of my five e-books. Or the sequel to Viva Voluptuous. Or the erotica for curvy women….

PS: There’s also a great affiliate programme, where you can earn money by referring others. Which is another reason I’m telling you about it, because I get a thank you for doing it. But I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t believe in it.

 

 

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Filed under 100 days of Positivity, Amazing Biz and Life Academy

100 Days of Positivity

Positive

 

I’ve been feeling a bit *meh* lately.

Maybe it’s just winter hangover, or it might be the fact we’ve been dealing with illness in the family and hubby’s job issues. But I don’t want to dwell on that. The fact is, I’ve been feeling grumpy a lot more than I usually do, just lately. And I don’t like it. I used to be fun, right?

So I’ve set myself a little challenge. For 100 days (and more if I can) I plan to turn up the volume on my positivity. Even when I have PMS, or the laptop won’t play nice, or something horrid happens.

I’m not Pollyanna, I know there’s going to be days when I just want to hide under the duvet with a bag of popcorn and not come out ’til tomorrow. but most of the time, there’s no reason for me feeling a bit underwhelmed, it’s just me dwelling on things I have zero control over.

As I was writing this, I got an email through with this message:

“The pursuit of pleasure requires the willingness to reach for the good, no matter the circumstance. Reach for it – you’ll find it.”

Ha!

So, for at least the next 100 days, this blog, my Facebook and Twitter feeds and all, will be positively brimming with positivity. I’m not going to post anything grumpy, not even if it’s just the obligatory “I can’t sleep” at 3am.

It’s an experiment. Can you REALLY think and talk yourself into being happier?

As well as making my social media and blogs shiny happy places, I have other plans. I’ve been a bit rubbish about self-care – taking time out for myself, no wonder I feel a bit blah. Just ONE thing every day is all it takes to ramp up feelings of positivity and happiness, and I’ve been ignoring them because I have to update a vitally important client blog, or clean the loo.

Blogs and bogs will still need attending to. But if I want to take some time out to watch my favourite DVDs, sing along to Adele songs badly at the top of my voice, read books in coffee shops or just listen to a meditation CD and do a bit of Reiki, then dammit, I will. Nobody is going to miss me if I don’t reply to a Facebook message within 20 minutes but I MISS ME.

Life is meant to be fun. We’re not meant to spend it miserable. I refuse to play the competitive moaning game on Facebook any more.

Are you in?

 

This video never gets old…

 

 

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Why are we all getting fat?

images doughnuts“The obesity epidemic.”

It’s a phrase that’s bandied around to scare fat people into feeling as if their condition is contagious, and perhaps they should be put into quarantine where no perfect thin people can see them until they are thin enough for society to handle.

But what’s caused it?

The government and most slimming companies say it’s fat. Low carb afficionados say it’s sugar. Some people think it’s all because we’re living in a junk food filled obesogenic environment where high calorie food is cheap and exercise optional. Daily Mail commentators believe it’s because we’re all lazy, greedy and worthless.

I’ve long believed that it’s none of the above. OK, if we’re going to be honest, yes people are fat because they eat too much. That’s bleedin’ obvious. But why? Why are people eating and overeating to the extent that they are affecting their health, whether it’s their physical health or their emotional well being that’s at risk?

There’s no doubt that things have got worse over the last 20-30 years. At the same time, the message that we have to be thin has increased in volume and is assaulting us from all angles.  I grew up in the 80s when there was only one magazine devoted to dieting in the UK, Slimming magazine. There were no celebrity trash rags like Closer, Now or Heat, splashing fat/thin/pregnant/over-botoxed celebrities on the cover and pulling their appearances to pieces for entertainment. There was no Internet. No mobile phones for selfies, no Twitter or Facebook.

Heat

There were no faux-concerned MPs making a big deal about reducing the number of fat people (why not just shoot them?)

You could argue that 25 years ago, there was no need for any of the above because there weren’t so many fat people. But look at it this way. Everywhere we go, we’re bombarded with the idea that we’re fat. Or if we’re not fat already, if we’re not careful, we could end up fat. we’ve all grown up thinking that being or even eating fat is a BAD thing. And this obsession with weight, wrapped up in pretend concern for our health, is so ingrained in our psyches that we find it really hard to ignore it. Of course, some people ignore it. These lucky people are the ones who have a normal relationship with food and rarely give their weight a thought.

Most of us fight an ongoing battle with food, even if we don’t think we do. If you worry that you’re going to get fat if you eat whatever you like, deny yourself certain foods to avoid putting on weight (but secretly crave them), think of certain foods as off-limits because you know you won’t be able to stop eating them once you open that packet…you’re caught up in it too. Even if you aren’t fat.

Have you ever wondered why the first thing you do when you plan a diet is stuff your face for the entire weekend before you start?(nobody ever starts a diet on a Wednesday afternoon, do they) It’s how your brain is wired. It’s not just a case of wanting what you can’t have – it’s a throwback to when we lived in caves. I’m not talking about the Paleo diet either. We have two sides to our brain, the conscious and sub-conscious, and the sub-conscious is automatic. It does things for us without us asking it to, like making us breathe, making us feel thirsty when we need a drink, making us feel hungry. Although eating, breathing and drinking are all under our physical control, we get very strong signals to do all three when we need to, and if you’ve ever tried not breathing, you’ll realise that you physically can’t do it for too long before your brain takes over and makes you take that breath whether you like it or not.

It’s the same with food. Your subconscious brain picks up on very subtle cues, and all it wants to do is look out for you, so when it gets wind of the fact that you’re having a fat day and thinking of going on another diet, it starts you thinking about food. It thinks there’s a famine coming. It knows that when you have that feeling, it ends up hungry, so it does everything it can to make you think of food constantly until you give in. It’s out of your control, even if it’s irrational. It’s the same kind of irrational reaction that makes you jump when someone leaps out on you in the dark, or freak out over a harmless two inch house spider. The threat of an oncoming diet spurs your protective mechanisms into making you think of food…all the time.

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So how does that make people fat?

To put it in simple terms, just thinking you’re too fat and have to go on a diet will make your subconscious bully you into eating things you don’t let yourself eat when you’re on a diet. Some people can use enormous amounts of willpower to resist the subconscious’ nagging. Some people manage it for a very long time and do lose weight. But 95% of them will put it back on as soon as they give up that control, and many end up back where they were or even bigger.

And everywhere, all over the place, are people, magazines, TV shows, websites and more telling us we’re too fat.

We’re constantly scaring our subconscious into making us obsess about food!

How do we stop it, though? That, my darlings, is the tricky bit.

(All this is also explained in much better detail along with some really good ways to switch off the automatic reaction, stop the overeating before it starts, and get a normal relationship with food again in ‘Eat less without trying to eat less‘ by Sue Thomason.)

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Filed under Food and diets, Media