Category Archives: Gorgeously Full Fat book

Earth Calling Sarah

Daydream

 

I’m back!

What do you mean you didn’t notice I’d gone?

I had a major meltdown a couple of weeks before Viva Voluptuous was published, not sure that the world of chick-lit was ready for a curvy, feisty heroine, and certainly not sure whether I was ready to be noticed as a fat woman myself.

As it happens, so far  the book has festered in the lower reaches of the Amazon sales charts, occasionally troubling the upper 20,000 or so, until someone buys a book about ladybird breeding or something and it drops back out again. So in a way, that feels safer. But then I thought “Actually, I spent a whole lot of time, effort and yes, money getting that book readable, so you lot had all better damn well read it!”

So now I’m pimping it out all over the place and I’ve managed to get Waterstone’s to stock it and more. It pays to be pushy, huh?

I took some of the things I’d been learning from the new ABLA “Double Your Biz plan and started small. So I can’t stretch to organising and paying for a book launch, but sure as hell I can send a few copies out. I’ve also put the wheels in motion for a promo video trailer, as well as new, spangly, upgraded website (coming soon) with a potential new section of Gorgeously Full Fat called ‘The Body Academy’.

I’ve even started swinging a kettle bell around in the local park a couple of times a week to get a bit fitter.

It’s all good.

Have you bought Viva Voluptuous yet?

Here’s one of the reviews:

Fantastic, this got me laughing out loud on the train in the morning so I received a few funny looks due to that and the cheeky book cover! Ellie is so real that you identify with her instantly, she’s funny, warm and vulnerable and flawed just like all of us. There is a real message in here about self-acceptance and not being afraid to show the world who you are, such a refreshing, uplifting and intelligent change from anything else I’ve read. I was strutting off the train with my head held high after reading, highly, highly recommended.”

Buy Me! Buy Me!

Order from Amazon here

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A January alternative for the fed up dieter

by  Audrey Boss – author and founder of Beyond Chocolate

beyondchoc

If you are reading this, the chances are you’ve already figured out that dieting doesn’t work. You know this from personal experience, right? On the rare occasion you have managed to tough it out, stick to the plan and shed some weight, it has all eventually come back on – plus a little more. You know that dieting is doomed to failure. You know that trying to restrict what you eat and resist temptation leads to overeating and feeling out of control around food. You know that because you’ve been there, countless times… and yet.

And yet….even the most committed anti dieters find it hard to resist the lure of the diets in January. As founder of the UK’s leading No Diet Community, I see it happen every year. Our Forum and Facebook Group are full of posts by members who wobble in their resolve to never go on another diet. Why?

Well, there’s the obvious fact that we are subjected to multimillion pound advertising campaigns left, right and centre and surrounded by people who buy into them and embark on all sorts of weight loss programmes. It’s hard to swim against the tide, to not get caught up in the wave of hopefulness and optimism that sweeps the country at the beginning of each year.

And I think it goes deeper than that. It’s instinctive and natural to feel the need to make a fresh start from time to time and what better time to do that than January? The start of a new year is a great opportunity to set the counter back to zero and start over. To let go of unhelpful habits and behaviours, to make a plan for a happier, healthier you. It’s part of being human.

And diets fit the bill, don’t they? They promise all of that and provide a framework within which to go about putting it into practice. When you sign up for a diet programme or a slimming club you get a plan, a set of rules to follow. You get a goal to aim for and the promise of a better future. You get a sense of belonging and support – you’re not alone, you’re doing this along with everyone else. And you get to be accountable, even if it is only to your bank balance.

It’s such a shame that it’s all in vain, really, because there’s nothing wrong with making a commitment to making changes, having a plan, getting the support you need to do that and being accountable, to yourself and those around you.

So I have an alternative for the fed up dieter who’s looking to start anew in 2014. How about going beyond diets and going Beyond Chocolate instead?

1.  Sign up for something and make a commitment

Want to make real, lasting changes to the way you eat and the way you look? That’s our mission at Beyond Chocolate. Register for our Basic Support Pack (it’s FREE) and and take the first step towards doing just that. You can then add your No Diet Pledge to the hundreds of others on our Forum and make a commitment that will really make a difference! Take a look at this tiny sample of what’s possible…

support2

2.  Come up with a plan

Or take the 10 Beyond Chocolate Principles, make them yours and use those instead. You can use these as guidelines to transform your relationship with food and your body. Go for our Bumper Support Pack (just £1 a week – that’s cheaper than ANY diet out there) and you can do both our kick ass online courses: How to Stop Yo-Yo Dieting and How to Stop Overeating in which we will guide you step by step to a completely new approach to weight loss and body confidence. Curious about how the Beyond Chocolate approach can work for you? Look here at one member’s success story.

3.  Get support

By joining Beyond Chocolate (both as a Basic and Bumper member), you are joining the UK’s largest No Diet Community. That’s thousands of women, just like you, who have decided to ditch the diets and do something different. Our Forums and private Facebook Groups are buzzing, welcoming and super supportive. Plus we’ve got workshops, drop-ins and our amazing new telephone support groups (handy, you can do those in your PJs running every day of the week at various times for just £7. You won’t be on your own!

support

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Filed under Book Reviews, Food and diets, Gorgeously Full Fat book, Lifestyle

It’s FREE!!!!

paperback Cover

Just a quick post for you, letting you know that as from right about now, Gorgeously Full Fat the book will be free for five days. That’s right, you can download the ebook for FREE. Nada. Nothing. Zippo.

I’m giving it away for free because;

1. The diet ads are getting on my nerves now.

2. It’s ‘Blue Monday’ and apparently today is the most miserable day of the year, when people have ditched the New Year diets and realised how much Christmas cost them. And it’s still over a week till pay day.

3. If you’re skint, you need a pick me up.

If you enjoy it, please let me know – and feel free to review it on Amazon, too!

Enjoy…

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Big Beautiful News!

VV cover

For over a year, since this blog was still Queen Simply Be, I’ve been talking about the book. The one I got the contract to write in 2012. Viva Voluptuous.

I wrote the first draft by the end of last year, but being my first book, it needed a little tweak or fifty so it took a while to get it just how I wanted it. I’ve been through edits, proof reading, cover design and now….I have a release date!

Viva Voluptuous will be launched onto the world in April 2014. I’m so excited! I’m plotting talks with local libraries and hoping for a book launch in Waterstones, but for now, I just have the absolutely gorgeous cover to share with you, with the blurb about the story.

What do you think? I’d LOVE your opinion!

(Meanwhile – Gorgeously Full Fat is on sale at £2.99 for Kindle downloads and £5.95 for paperback if you haven’t read it yet.)

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It’s Christmas!!!

paperback CoverTo celebrate the season of goodwill, and to get Gorgeously Full Fat out to as many people as I possibly can before the Christmas diets take over, I’ve dropped the price to an astonishingly good value (I think) £2.99 for the Kindle download, and £5.95 in paperback.

The perfect companion to the forthcoming Viva Voluptuous,which is due for release in early 2014…go on, treat yourself – or someone else!

via It’s Christmas!!!.

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Broken

I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the weekend. real women eat

I’ve been really drawn to websites and books about nutrition; not weight loss, but using food to heal and the sorts of food to help alleviate health problems. It got me thinking about my dieting history and what I’ve denied myself over the years, what doing that has done to my body and mind, and how I can get out of it permanently.

It’s all so delicately woven together.

But I’m broken. And I did all this to myself.

Body-wise, I’m lucky that on the face of it I don’t have any major health issues. There’s nothing seriously wrong with me. But over the years I’ve mistreated my body so much that it’s screaming at me to look after it properly.

  • I’ve had a big patch of eczema on my hand that I haven’t been able to get rid of in over a year.
  • I’ve got patches of incredibly itchy eczema all up my arms and as soon as one patch goes, I get another one.
  • I have IBS, and I always have to carry Immodium pills with me. A couple of months ago I ran out and couldn’t leave the house until 2 pm. I was so desperate, I actually took headache pills with codeine in to try and help.
  • I’ve got acid reflux and I’m on pills every day for it.
  • I’m the Headache Queen. Until recently I was taking Solpadiene painkillers most days, but I managed to stop the habit and they are easing a bit.
  • My joints ache
  • I get awful PMS about every three months where I think everything is crap and want to get on a plane and run away to Australia. Just as well for my brother that I can’t afford it!
  • I have zero energy a lot of the time.

See, none of this is serious stuff. I’m truly thankful for being pretty sturdy, really.

But for over 20 years I let my diet obsession consume me, and I was either eating additive-packed ready meals marketed as low calorie, sweetener-infused ‘treats’ with more Es than a disused warehouse just off the M25 in 1988, and fat-free yoghurts so sweet they made my teeth jangle OR I was binge eating crap with huge helpings of fat and sugar.

My poor system first started protesting in 1999. I went to stay in my late aunt’s house in Brighton so that I could look after her dogs while she was on holiday, and me and my then boyfriend ate our way through the nearby ASDA, as well as indulging in every take away, doughnut opportunity and junk food experience we could manage in two weeks. I’d been on Slimming World for a while before we went and so my system wasn’t used to all the sludgy, fatty, salty chocolate covered calories and protested by giving me well-deserved heartburn and indigestion. Hello Rennie. Pleased to make your acquaintance.

I’d already been dieting on and off for 12 years by then, and also was just getting over the worst of the eating disorder, but when I binged, I binged good and hard. I never did the starving bit so well. I think they call it non-purging bulimia or something? Whatever it was, it did me NO good at all.

So, over the years, the obsession with my weight and diets has physically hurt me, because I’ve damaged my digestive system and denied myself good quality food…I think I would have got the IBS and reflux anyway but there’s no denying that eating too much in one go, eating fatty, salty foods and alcohol all make it worse. All of which I’ve over indulged in when I’ve been off-diet in the past.

I also denied my skin fat, and essential vitamins, and stressed myself out. That’ll be where the eczema came from, then.

The obsession with losing weight has turned my brain into a binge-starve machine that’s either on or off a diet. Even since giving up diets, although I rarely binge, I still quite often overeat the foods I wouldn’t let myself have for so many years when I’m fed up. It’s as if there’s still that voice in my head saying, “She’s going to go on another diet soon, fill yer boots!”

The other damage it’s done is to my fitness levels. For many years I associated exercise with dieting and when I was off one, I stopped the other too. However,  it was easy for me to stay fit and healthy at 12, 13 even 14 stone. I had no problem running for a train at 15 stone either. When I gave up diets I was 16 stone something. I’m a bit more than that now although not massively, I just don’t know the exact numbers any more. The thing is, and this is all my own fault, I gave up working in an office and I’ve worked from home for over six years now. When I had no choice but to walk to and from the office every day, you bet I was a lot fitter! But the thought of going out when I have a whole load of work to do, or it’s p*ssing down with rain, doesn’t motivate me to the gym, or out for a walk. Lazy? Yeah, a bit.

So it’s harder to get fit now, and there’s the vicious cycle. If it feels uncomfortable and it’s inconvenient too, only a saint or one of those lucky people who gets some kind of orgasmic endorphin-induced high from a session on a treadmill would do it, right? It’s not just me, is it?

Exercise doesn’t make you lose weight, anyway. I know that. But I do feel a bit ‘Meh’ and it’s getting over that hurdle and getting back into feeling fit and healthy that I need to work on.

Lastly, I broke my head.

I turned it from being a normal teenage girl’s head, full of dreams and daft ideas for the future, into a grown-ups head full of ‘where did those years go?’ and stress. I filled that head full of calories, fat and Syns. I read magazines that told me fat was bad. Sugar was bad. Calories were bad. Hell EATING was bad. I drank too many Diet Cokes and pickled my brain in Formaldehyde because I thought that if I wasn’t going to be able to resist the full fat sandwich, I could at least save calories by drinking a Diet Coke.

Gave-up-dieting

I made myself not good enough. I made myself hyper-aware of what everyone thought of me, ashamed of every bit of fat that was growing on my body. Scared someone would yell at me from a car again. Scared I would never get my life back while I was binging. Terrified that if I didn’t stop eating like this, I might end up one of those people that has to be winched from their house by crane because they can’t fit through the door.

I did this to myself. OK, diets and the media and rubbish men and everything else all fuelled the fire but I let them, and in letting them I broke my head and I broke my body. For years I lived in a constant state of stress and despair, hidden from the world by a cheerful exterior, pretending I was fine. Beating myself up for not being perfect.

So what made me write this? It was a review I saw of Gorgeously Full Fat by Ang at Fierce Freethinking Fatties.

Ang said:

“I would have liked more of the “After.” The final section, “After the diets,” begins on page 103. Sarah has now found love and happiness and I am absolutely delighted for her — she ruddy well deserves it. It would have been good to see more of what that looks like. There are some good resources at the end of the book, but little of Sarah’s own guidance on how to get to your own happy place.”

I want to get to that happy place and stay there. I’m setting myself a challenge – three months to get from ‘Meh’ to ‘Yay’, and recruited a few volunteers to road test my plan. I’ve swung from one thing to another to try and nail this not-good-enough feeling and it’s time I managed to kick its arse for good, quite frankly!

This week is research week. I’m looking at really fab nutrition sites, recipes and more, for the food side of it, because I want to start really feeding my body rather than just sustaining it from one sugar high to the next. Logically I’m a non-dieter but someone forgot to tell my brain that it’s OK to eat. While I was researching over the weekend. I came across something that made me sit up in my chair and decide enough was DEFINITELY enough.

salad

Back to my skin condition. Eczema, as most people know, is triggered by stress – but there have been studies recently that also link it to deficiencies in vitamin D.

Stress also makes IBS and acid reflux worse.

Last summer I started on tablets for acid reflux. It was around the same time , or not too long after, that the eczema appeared on my hands and started to creep up my arms. I didn’t link the two.

I managed to drop down to one pill every other day for the reflux and the IBS was calming down, until my dad became ill and to put it mildly, my eating and drinking habits went haywire and my insides went into rebellion. Back to one a day and my eczema joined the party. I was burping, scratching or running to the loo, on constant loop (lovely) although the IBS was slightly relieved by the amount of codeine I was taking to relieve the stress headaches. This doesn’t sound good, does it?

Things have calmed down a bit now (thank God) and you know what I found out yesterday? The pills I’m on for acid reflux have been linked to vitamin D and B12 deficiencies. Are you following? Basically…I got stressed, my digestion got worse, I took pills, my eczema got worse. The pills I’m taking for the reflux which was made worse by the stress that’s also made the eczema worse, could have caused a vitamin D deficiency that’s left me unable to shift the bloody eczema, plus a vitamin B12 deficiency,…and a lack of B12 causes guess what…stress!

Number 1 on my list. DEAL WITH THE STRESS. My first task is to find an amazingly nutritious anti-eczema recipe, and research the best stress-relieving yoga moves known to man. I don’t want to be broken any more…

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Filed under Food and diets, Gorgeously Full Fat book, Lifestyle, My weight story

Up high and down low

MehIt’s been quite the roller-coaster of a week.

I launched the ‘35 things to do instead of starting another diet‘ free e-book.

I created a paperback version of Gorgeously Full Fat

I ran a free weekend promo for the e-book and I got to #1 in genre for free Kindle books on Amazon.

So why do I feel so fed up?

The truth is, I expect too much of myself. I wanted more people to sign up for the freebie than 18. I wanted more than 50 people in five weeks to buy the book. I wanted to stay in the top-sellers list on Amazon for a bit longer before I faded into obscurity, and HELL I wanted to sell more than four copies of the paperback, especially as I bought one of them myself. And my Mum and best friend bought two of them. And my sister bought the fourth.

People have said to me that it’s actually pretty damn amazing that I did all that in a week. That I got to the top of the list, that I even managed to publish my own book in the first place. But, you know me, I’m never happy with myself, must try harder.

I just feel a bit ‘meh’. Like I could have done better, sold more, got more people signed up. Do people actually want this stuff? Are people just looking for a quick fix to their weight, and the latest miracle diet? because it doesn’t exist, it really, really doesn’t.

I don’t have an advertising budget. I don’t have a kick-ass PR team out there pimping the book on my behalf. I only have this blog and social media, and I just can’t do any more. I have loads of ideas for the blog, too, I want to make it a go-to place for fashion, lifestyle and everything for curvy women, a body-positive haven, a self-esteem treasure trove, with fantastic recipes. I just don’t have the time to do what I want because I have to make the money to pay the bills…it’s a vicious circle really.

Better get my ‘Get Rich Lucky Bitch’ head on and start working out ways to make this thing work…

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