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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Sneak preview of Viva Voluptuous…

VV cover

 

Viva Voluptuous is out on Friday….and as a special treat, just for blog readers, here’s a sneak preview of the first chapter….

“Ell, I have to be honest, I really don’t want to come to Dublin with you. You’re a lovely girl and I would love to have met you when I was younger as I think we could of had a lot of fun. After what happened with Rachel, I just don’t think I’m ready for a proper relationship with you. I hope we can still be friends. Sorry. Mark xx”

My breath caught in my throat as I digested what I was reading.

I, Ellie Johnstone, had been dumped.

The perpetrator of the brutal dumping had done it out of the blue by email, while he was at work, knowing full well I couldn’t call him to make a scene. And I would make a scene.

Feeling slightly dizzy, I re-read the message that had just, quite frankly, ruined my afternoon.
How could he? I know we didn’t have the most conventional of relationships, but I was so in love with him I didn’t care that we’d been seeing each other six months and never actually slept together. We’d got close to it once, and when he said he wanted to take it slowly, I thought it was cute – when I’d got over the humiliation of being rejected, obviously – but after a while it just got…tedious. Our relationship seemed to consist of me feeling let down and a bit frustrated because of the numerous ways I’d try to engineer getting him alone in my flat, and the numerous excuses he came up with for not being able to come in.  I blamed myself.

He blamed Rachel, his ex.

She was beautiful. I’d seen the pictures he still kept in his wallet. She had fallen out of love with him after being married for five years, except she’d neglected to tell him.  He only found out when he’d discovered the text messages she’d been sending to her lover. Who also happened to be his brother. I made every excuse for his lack of interest in me physically, but deep down, I started to believe it was because I was a big girl and Rachel was younger, more glamorous and much slimmer than me.

I hated that he made me feel like that.

When we met, he’d said that he loved the fact I was confident about my body even though I was a size 20, but after months of going out with a man who quite obviously didn’t fancy me, my confidence was in shreds and I was having to stretch my own body-positive credibility to believe I was the sexy, voluptuous beauty I kept trying to tell myself I was.

I’d needed three very large glasses of Pinot Grigio to get me back to the bedroom with Mark that disastrous night. I’d been so nervous – he was the first person I’d got close to since I’d split from my ex-husband and I hadn’t exactly been around the block. In fact, you could count all the men I’d slept with on the fingers of one hand and still have fingers left over. Eventually, we ended up in my bedroom and just as things were about to get interesting, he sprung back like he’d just burned himself, shaking his head and muttering, “I can’t do this.”

He’d drunk too much to drive home, so he stayed the night, yet he couldn’t have slept further away from me if he’d been in the house next door. The next morning, he was out of the door at the first chirp of the dawn chorus. I pretended I was okay, but that kind of rejection? It stung. Convinced I was about to be dumped right there and then, I was straight on the phone to Zoë, as soon as it was sociable, bawling my eyes out. Only Zoë and Lauren, my two closest friends, knew that Mark and I had a celibate relationship.

Everyone else thought we were a lovely couple, they even commented on it. ‘You two are so lovely’ and do you know what? That was fine by me. I gave them the smug smile and let them think we were loves not-so-young dream. I thought he might be coming round to the idea of a ‘normal’ relationship, and by normal, I mean a relationship involving sex, really good sex, when he suggested we get tickets for Glastonbury in the summer – but now here I was, dumped, miserable and stuck with two tickets to the festival I wasn’t even that fussed about going to. I had bought them as a surprise birthday present for him, because that’s what ‘cool’ girlfriends do.

There’s nothing like being dumped to kill your ability to write.

My work for a beauty website may sound terribly glamorous, but being ‘Spa Editor’ for Glammazon sounds far more fabulous than it actually was. I did get sent on the occasional visit to a new spa or salon opening, or to try out a brand-new treatment, which definitely counted as a major perk, but most of the time I sat at home in my little flat, typing out pages and pages of dull copy for a website that was desperate to get to the top of the Google rankings, even if it made the content itself virtually unreadable.

I still hadn’t replied to Mark’s email.
Usually I’d be the first person to come up with something clever to say, but I was literally lost for words, which for a writer, is not a good sign. I kicked myself for suggesting a weekend in Dublin, because that’s what normal couples do, and we weren’t normal, were we? We were technically just a couple of mates who hung out, and I was his freaking agony aunt, listening to him whine on and on about his cheating bitch of an ex, her personality disorders and how much he hated his brother for sleeping with his wife.
I did start to write a reply, but when the words wouldn’t come, I simply typed, “Whatever. Have a nice life.” and hit send.
Muttering the word ‘arsehole’ under my breath, I logged onto my Facebook account, changed my status to ‘single’ and added, “Don’t ask. Just send chocolate.”

So I was single. Again.”
Buy Viva Voluptuous here.

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Double the fun

image

Look what I’ve got!

Downloaded it at the weekend and it’s going to be the next stage in my master plan.

Viva Voluptuous is out on Friday, I’m in the middle of writing “The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Writing Your Book”  and I’m using the latest masterpiece from the Amazing Biz and Life Academy to get my writing biz back on track and in synch with my Gorgeously Full Fat brand.

Busy times. If you need me, I’ll be the one in the corner with my nose in an ebook.

Wish me luck with Viva Voluptuous!

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Early release!

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Viva Voluptuous was released early onto Amazon yesterday and sold out!  You can still pre-order it, and I expect there will be more on Amazon soon….

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April 9, 2014 · 9:35 am

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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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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