Category Archives: Lifestyle

Have you got a story to tell?

 

Book cover

I know I really enjoyed writing my story in Gorgeously Full Fat, and ever since I finally got around to writing it, I’ve had people asking me how I did it, whether it’s hard to do, whether self-publishing is worth it…

So, I’ve told my story. And I’ve explained in easy-to-follow chapters the nitty gritty of writing your book. Should you even do it? Is your idea good enough? What do you do when you hit writer’s block (and you will.)

Should you use an editor? How easy is self-publishing REALLY?

I’ve also addressed one of the recurring conundrums of writing in a coffee shop. Although I still haven’t got a definitive answer so if you can help, feel free to give me your feedback!

If you fancy writing a book and want a no-nonsense guide to doing it, written in an informal, honest style (with the occasional rude word) then you could do worse than download, “Get Off The Sofa And Write The Book

Get it here

And to celebrate, I’m offering the first book I published, Gorgeously Full Fat, free all day tomorrow…

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Filed under Get Off The Sofa, Lifestyle, Media

“He only fancies fat girls”

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Image by Debu-Rabu – http://debu-rabu.deviantart.com/

Men. Some of them have a type, and more often and not, they like us to think that it’s young and slim. With big boobs, of course.

Some men genuinely don’t have a type, and so they’re attracted to slim girls, fat girls and anything in between. Men like this are fab.  I’m married to one, and he’s the best. It’s sometimes hard to believe men who say they genuinely don’t care whether their girlfriend is slim, brainwashed like we are with the idea that unless we fit the mould, nobody is ever going to look twice at us. (By the way, this applies to gay women as well, of course.)

But what about the kind of man who only fancies big girls? The bigger the better, in fact?

Popular opinion says that fat women should be grateful for any crumb of sexual attention that’s thrown our way. But that never worked for me. I’m a person too, I have standards, and to be honest, being someone’s ‘type’ based just on my size used to piss me off just as much as the ignorant eejits who would tell me quite happily that they would never go out with a girl with a fat bum. Yep, I actually got that when I was dating. His loss, totally.

Have you ever come across a BBW lover? I have. OK, I signed up to the BBW dating sites years ago when I was newly single, but I soon abandoned them as they seemed to be full of people who thought that because I was big, I had fat cells in place of brain cells and would believe them when they told me I was their dream woman and gushed over how perfect I would be for them before we’d so much as swapped names.

Either that or they were full of men who thought that fat women were easy targets for sex, and that it didn’t matter how creepy they were, I would still be desperate for their attention and want to send them pictures of my boobs, again before swapping anything more than dating site profile details.

I always wanted a man who would love and fancy me because of who I was, because he thought I was gorgeous as I am, but not just because I was fat. Does that sound weird? I guess it’s just because to me, being judged purely on my physical proportions reminds me of when I was 17 and a spotty git I was a bit besotted with said that he only took me out on a date because I had big boobs. And that he wouldn’t go out with me properly because I was too fat, anyway.

It just makes me feel a bit uneasy. Love me for who I am, not my dress size or bra size – whether that’s’the perfect ten or plus size.

Men who only fancy fat girls aren’t all seedy pervs who just want to see how far they can get with a woman of substance, though. I was really good mates with a guy I worked with once, without realising that he had a mammoth crush on me. We’d always got on well, he had my back in the office. We’d spend hours wasting time over a drink at lunchtime, we lift shared for a while, and I considered him a really good friend.

He was always the perfect gent, never came on to me, but made it clear he thought a lot of me. I suppose if I hadn’t been living with someone who made me feel fat, frigid and repulsive, I might have noticed that he had the hots for me, but I never did. Not until just before he left the office and moved miles away, anyway. By then he had started pushing the boundaries; he’d sent me a few emails that were a bit cheeky, we’d started chatting on MSN and by text outside of work, and we’d had a few flirty conversations…but apart from staring at my cleavage a bit too long and the odd hug, nothing ever happened.

It wasn’t until after he’d gone, and I was missing hanging out with him, that someone told me about the office rumours – people assumed we’d been having an affair. I was mortified, yeah, he’d declared his feelings to me in secret by then but I was married and two-timing wasn’t my style. Even if my husband at the time was cruel to me, and I’d enjoyed the flirtation, that was all it had been. Then, the killer statement, from the person who told me about the rumours; “Well. you know he has a real thing about big women, don’t you?”

No. I didn’t.

I felt a bit yucky then. Not just that people had thought I’d been sleeping with my mate, but that they thought he must have been getting into my knickers because he fancied fat girls. And I was, clearly, fat. So I would have had no reason to stop him.

Between you and me, he has since admitted that he was a bit besotted, ever since the first time he saw me in the office. He had some kind of thing about me being his perfect woman back then and I think the fact that I wasn’t stupid, we could have a good laugh together and have a damn good rant/bitch about office politics just made him like me more. I prefer to think that it wasn’t just a fat girl thing, he really did like me for who I was. Not that it matters now, as we’re both happily married to other people. It kind of made it better for me, the fact it wasn’t just my chubby rolls and squidgy thighs he was thinking about.

I don’t know what made me think about it all recently, I’ve seen a few blog posts about men who have a ‘fetish’ for fat women, and I object to being someone’s fetish! I’m a woman, with feelings beyond my taste buds, and I get my tail feathers all twisted up at the thought of anyone fetishising me over my size.

What do you think of the BBW scene? BBW dating? Fat fetishes? Just a bit of harmless fun, or just as bad as the kind of man who refuses to consider a woman over a size eight?

 

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A January alternative for the fed up dieter

by  Audrey Boss – author and founder of Beyond Chocolate

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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…

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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!

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

One step forward…

….and three steps back.

That’show it sometimes feels to me, anyway.

This post comes to you as a mixture of thoughts and feelings after reading blog posts, news reports and more and it’s just a hotch potch of my feelings around the issue of plus size fashion and body image.

First of all, I read a brilliant post by Georgina at Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. She’s been called out by some people in the size acceptance crowd because she dares to be freaking gorgeous to look at, and to enjoy using shape wear to enhance what nature gave her. She also admitted that yeah, she’d like to lose a few pounds, which is a bit of a heresy to some sections of the plus size community. It resonated with me; I think corsets, shape wear and hold it all in pants are a wonderful invention. I wore them for my wedding; I was quite well aware that a bit of Gok branded Lycra underpinning wouldn’t make me look thin, but it did hide the VPL, smooth everything out a bit and make the dress look good, so I’m not complaining.

I also don’t see why Georgina should be criticised for the fact she is lucky enough to be pleasing to the eye. It doesn’t detract from the fact that she writes a successful blog and is entitled to her opinion on plus size issues. She talks about ‘militant fatties’ who happily let it all hang out in bikinis and embrace their fat…well, I think they should also be able to do as they please too, fat isn’t disgusting, it’s just fat for God’s sake. But they don’t get to insist that we all do the same, any more than slim people get to tell fatties what they can and can’t wear.  As Georgina puts it:

To be ‘body positive’ when you’re plus size you don’t need to look or act a certain way. You simply need to appreciate that all bodies are good bodies, and short of getting arrested, believe that people can dress how they like.

and, “being body confident does not mean you need to insult women who look different to you in order to validate your own looks. If you want to be accepted for your appearance then you need to accept others, because if you can’t, how you can expect people to accept you?”

It all ties in with the experiences of another plus size fashion blogger, Betty Pamper, who posted this image of herself in leggings from the Yours Clothing Facebook Page and got some less than flattering responses…from other plus size women.

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“I think it’s just a hard fact we need to hear: There are just some items of clothing that bigger people should stay away from at all costs. No ifs. No buts. No ‘beauty is on the inside.’ These leggings are included in that list”

Really? Now, I’m not perfect – I looked at the pics of Gabourey Sidibe at the Golden Globes this week, and yeah, I thought the dress she was wearing was just – hideous. It was the dress that was hideous though, and not the wearer. I thought the same about some of the dresses worn by the skinny actresses too, sometimes people wear clothes that make you think “Really?”

The outfit above isn’t one of those ‘oh dear’ outfits though. I think Betty looks gorgeous, and she’s got the sass to be able to pull off silver leggings so fair play to her. If she feels good in that outfit, and the same goes for Gaby too, she should damn well be able to wear it without snarky comments from the kind of people who should be bigging her up for not hiding herself away in ‘media approved’ fat girls clothes.

The thing that annoys the crap out of me isn’t what fat women choose to wear, whether leggings suit fuller figured girls or if plus size bloggers should admit to a penchant for shape wear. It’s that we should be sticking together, accepting that fuller figured women AREN’T all the same, and that yes, it’s OK to feel that you want to improve yourself, if that’s your choice. Bitching, sniping and pulling each other’s fashion and lifestyle choices to pieces just makes a mockery of body positivity. There are no rules. You shouldn’t have to be brave enough to wear a two-piece bikini to fit in, there aren’t any entrance requirements, body positivity is supposed to be supportive, friendly and POSITIVE. The clue is in the name.

Most of the people I’ve come across in my journeys as a plus size blogger and writer have been fabulous.  When it’s good, it works. That’s what I love, the camaraderie, friendliness and non-bitchiness of it. So can we all play nicely, please?

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Filed under Fashion, Lifestyle, Media

Resolutions? Sod that. Happy 2014!

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I was going to post something about plans for 2014, but you know what? Nah.

I don’t make resolutions any more. There’s no point. I’m still the same person on 1st January as I was on 31st December. As I don’t do the diet thing any more, there’s no ceremonial throwing out of the Christmas stash, which is just as well as I was a lucky girl and managed to get about 2.5 kilos of chocolate given to me at Christmas, which even with my legendary chocolate demolishing abilities would be hard to eat in the space of a week.

I have been thinking that I want to do more with this blog mind you. I think that because my tell it how it is, warts and all posts went down so well, and in fact I got the book written off the back of them, people must like them, so I’ll do more of those. I also want to open the blog theme up a bit and not just write about the fat positive side of things, but embrace the positive in everything. It’s OK to be whoever and whatever you are, in my book. If you are happy and fat, all power to you. If you’re skinny – I love you too. If you’re anything in between, it’s all good. Just be happy, be positive, be the best YOU that you can, because gorgeous people, you will never ever be happy trying to be someone else.

I feel very positive about 2014. I know I’ve got some tough times ahead but I can deal with them. I’m getting married in a few days, I have plans for the blog, the business and another book, and with Moley on my side, I reckon it’s all going to work out just fine.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

(and a classic Abba tune for you)

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Filed under Bridezilla, General, Lifestyle

Stop, breathe, step away from the laptop…

best friendSometimes, something happens that just makes you stop and think.

Today, that thing was, well, two things.

First, I had an email from Donna on the Beach. Donna is bloody lovely and hers is one of the blogs that pings up in my inbox that I pretty much always make time to read, but here she was talking about having a meltdown. The first words of her ‘14 lessons from ye olde meltdowne‘ were:

 When you feel jealous of other people taking time off, it’s a big red sign to TAKE TIME OFF!

Guilty. I get jealous when my beloved has days off to relax, because relax he does. He’s got the whole day off thing sussed, because when he’s not at work, he stays in bed until he feels like getting out, watches videos on YouTube and potters. What do I do?

I check my emails. Sometimes I can’t help myself, I also reply to them and even abandon the day off and do that urgent bit of work instead. Then I decide the flat looks like a tip and have to clean it. I might go into town and pick up some shopping, but not pretty things, food and boring stuff. I do the little errands I have been meaning to get round to while I’ve been working. Then, and only then, I might sit down.

OK, I went to a spa the other day and it was GORGE but I worked on the day I went right up to when the taxi picked me up, checked my emails when I was there, and as soon as I got home the following day I was on the laptop. I had 24 hours respite. Then I had a stupidly busy week and now I feel like I didn’t go at all, although when I think about that Indian Head Massage I had, I do go off into my own little world.

So. The second thing.

I did some more of my 2014 Amazing Life Workbook this afternoon. Have you got yours yet? These li’l workbooks are fabulous for concentrating your mind, and so pretty. I purposely started with ‘life’ rather than ‘work’ and my lists were…um…revealing.

This Year I Give Myself Permission To…

  • Take some time off
  • Look after myself
  • Do things that I want to do
  • Escape and read books
  • Walk with my ipod on
  • Sit and think
  • Have fun without having to work for it first
  • Spoil myself
  • Release negative people from my life

Do you think the universe, or maybe just my subconscious, might be trying to tell me something?

 

 

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Filed under Amazing Biz and Life Academy, Lifestyle

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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Filed under Celebrity, Fashion, Lifestyle, Relentlessly Positive