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Impassioned plea…

Gave-up-dieting

Hey gorgeous GFF subscribers, it’s been a long, long time.

That’s because the blog has moved, and for annoying techie reasons, you got left behind.

Bit I really miss you!

If you could take a couple of minutes and pop on over to the new blog at Gorgeously Full Fat  and just pop your email in the box on the top left hand corner, you’ll get your updates back, I’ll get my subscribers back, and I’ll be inspired to make lots more posts because I know there’s someone out there actually reading this stuff!

Thanks gorgeous people. I’ll male it worth your while, promise!

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The amazing Moley and a cunning plan

ella1Right, so yesterday was NOT a good day chez Clarky. A rather large dollop of hormone-inspired grumpiness combined with precisely nothing going right inspired a very long Yahoo Messenger rant to a long suffering friend, who was at work trying to look busy as he fielded a long list of “and another thing” – and then it was followed up with a woe-is-me rant to Moley who had just got in from work after having a bit of a stinker of a day himself.

I think I got it all out of my system. He listened patiently, told me that I shouldn’t change (I was moaning that I seem to put myself out for anyone but then when it’s my turn I become invisible) and that he loved me absolutely as I was. So there. He then gave me a great big hug and told me that I’d been working too hard and doing too much, so this weekend I was banned from doing anything, work-related or around the house. He promised to wait on me, cook, wash up, make me drinks and that all I have to do for the whole weekend, if I need anything done, is ask.

That means so much to me. Flowers, chocolates, wine – yes I love those very much too, but for him to say that he’s just going to take care of me for a couple of days, that was all I needed. I’m under orders to catch up with all my Kindle reading. I don’t need asking twice…

Meanwhile, I’m feeling really drawn to some fabulous blogs at the moment, and they are about as opposite of my usual type of fare as I could possibly get. One, which I have mentioned before, is Deliciously Ella.  I’m going to pinch one of her images just so that you know why I’m so hooked on reading her blog. She makes delicious vegan, dairy free, wheat free food that sounds and looks utterly amazing. I really want to have a go at her cinnamon roasted sweet potato recipe. In fact I may well do just that.

The other one I like the look of is Raw Chick. She takes things a step further by eating raw, which is probably a bit too far for me. In fact I think a vegan diet would be too much for me, but I feel sluggish and yuck at the moment and I want to get myself in tip tip physical health, and back on top form by the end of the year, ready for my wedding to the above-mentioned Moley. This isn’t about losing weight, it’s about not having to think twice about running for the bus, or indeed not bothering with the bus at all and walking instead.

It’s about energy, mental clarity and reclaiming the positivity that a week of mood-dampening PMS saps out of me like a happiness vampire. I’m thinking of starting a new section on the blog – sort your life out – where I try and introduce a new positive habit or idea every day. It might be actually properly reading one of the positive thinking emails I get every day instead of skimming it and deleting it. Or it might be replacing one of my lovely strong coffees with hot water and lime.

By 3rd January 2014 I want to feel tip top healthy, energetic, positive and happy.

Are you with me?

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Proud Mama

Red-Haired Woman LaughingWell I did it! I actually did it! I finally worked out how to use the Kindle Publishing software (after a LOT of swearing) and got my book uploaded. So it’s there. Oh. My. God. Here’s the blurb:

“Back in 1987, when Margaret Thatcher was still in charge, the Pet Shop Boys were number one, and I was just 16, I went on my very first diet. This is the story of how I got sucked into the diet trap, and how long it took me to escape its clutches.

With the help of some other diet escapees, Gorgeously Full Fat looks at how the media, fashion magazines and just wanting to fit in keep people like me trapped in diets that don’t work, and then, what it’s like dating as a thirty-something chubby girl.

There’s also some wise and rather fabulous advice from people who’ve been there, done that and got the T-shirt in more than one size on life after dieting.

Live like you love yourself!”

And here’s the link if you like the sound of it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gorgeously-Full-Fat-yourself-ebook/dp/B00EPHX54C

I can’t believe I did it. I was a bit scared about putting so much of me and my life out there, but it’s all done in a super-positive and upbeat way, even when I’m talking about being dumped, divorced or binge eating pork pies. There’s lots of stuff in there I hope that anyone who’s been on and off diets will relate to – talking about diet clubs, different types of book, the way we feel (not just me) when we go on a diet and it’s all new and exciting.

There’s a section at the end, after my disastrous diet stories and tales of dates with complete Muppets (and my beloved Moley) that features words of wisdom from people who have ditched diets, talking about how they did it and how it feels to be free. There’s also sections on people-pleasing and fat talk, two of the worst things ever if you’re trying to heal your addiction to weight loss.

There’s a section of links to books, blogs, websites and even Twitter and Pinterest pages full of inspirational images, advice and general loveliness.

So it’s not ALL about me.

It’s out there, I gave birth to my book baby. I’m an author-girl. I think I need to lie down…

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Being positive can be a drag

Positive

…but it’s SO worth it.

I’ve made it a bit of a mission of mine over the last six or seven years to become a positive person. Sometimes this annoys other people, but I don’t actually care.

I invented Relentlessly Positive. I started surrounding myself with positive people, some of whom have totally changed my world and my life in ways they would never have believed possible.

I wanted my own freelance writing business. I talked about it for ages, I knew I could do it but I didn’t have the money to get things started. Wouldn’t you know it, I got made redundant and got a pay off to help me set it up. Plus six months with no actual job to do but a salary coming in, and an internet connection on my work computer which meant I could research freelance copy writing jobs all day and get paid for it. Fan-bloody-tastic!

I wanted to write a book and fate, luck, Kismet, God whatever all got together and conspired that I had an idea for a story at the same time SASSY Books were taking on new authors, and I got a contract, just like that.

A few months ago, I started talking about wanting a magazine. I wanted to drop the Inspired Magazine work as it was causing me a pain in the butt, and I really REALLY wanted to edit a magazine that was positive, included plus size women, was intelligent and fun. Looks like I’ve got that coming to me too, and coincidentally only because of someone I met way back in 2006 when I started getting positive!

Lucky Bitch

I do genuinely believe I’m lucky. I also believe that you’re only lucky as you think you are, which tends to get people who think they are UN -lucky really pissed off. In the last few weeks I’ve had the news that my dad is terminally ill and been told I probably won’t have children. I can’t pretend I haven’t cried myself hoarse and drunk way too much wine, eaten my bodyweight in chocolate and more. I’ve been very upset, and had  days where I haven’t wanted to get out of bed. Both of those things are pretty life-changing and hard to deal with. But I’m only human. When I’m having a good day, I think myself blessed to have had such a wonderful dad for as long as I have. That I can go and see him and have a laugh at the moment. That he knows I love him, and I won’t have any regrets when the time comes. I escaped my ex-husband, who made it hard for me to see my family, and I’ve been closer to my parents than ever for the last five years. THAT’S lucky.

I’m in denial about kids. Yeah I’m 42, and I’m a chubby. But according to the experts the major problem is my age. Sod that, I’m going to keep practising and prove them wrong. If there’s no actual reason, why not? I have to stay positive about it. I’m lucky as there’s no real reason why I can’t have what I want. If it doesn’t happen – well I’ll be sad, and have to go for Plan B. I just haven’t got that far yet.

Count your rainbows, not your thunderstorms

People don’t always like it when you’re positive because it makes them feel as if you’re judging them, when you’re not. It’s a pain Rainbowswhen people think you’re talking shit, saying that things will get better. But G-friends you HAVE to believe it. All the times I told myself I was going to get more work in and it would be OK back in 2009, I did. It might not have been much, I don’t think I have the whole ‘ask and you will receive’ thing perfected yet, or I would have asked for more. but I scraped through. My Mum is a Christian and she believes in prayer. I think it’s pretty much the same thing. She also kept telling me things would be OK, and they always were.

The times when I didn’t really believe it, I didn’t get what I wanted. I thought I wanted a man, for a long time, but in all honesty I only really wanted one I couldn’t have, and so nothing happened. When I made peace with that, wrote down exactly what I wanted, decided to trust that it would happen and leave it to fate…guess what? He appeared. And I’m still with him now. But all the time I was bawling my eyes out to my mates that I’d never find a man and the one I wanted didn’t want me, and life was a bitch…well, you guessed it. I stayed stuck in the same old same old.

So, I guess what I’m saying – being positive isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s REALLY freaking hard. Shit happens. Life throws curve balls your way and people can be mean. It’s not all glitter balls and cupcakes. But nothing worth working for is easy. So if you’re having a run of bad luck, cry, scream, shout, blame karma, do whatever feels right. But then try something different, just for me?

Try finding ONE good thing to concentrate on. It doesn’t have to be about the situation that’s had you hitting the vino. It can be anything. You’ve been dumped? Well, without him, you might not have gone on that holiday last year and seen that place with the amazing sunset. Lost your job? You wanted to do something different anyway, and while you were there you got sent on a training course that will make getting a job in the area you really want MUCH easier. Your overdraft has been called in? Oh crap, there’s nothing positive about that. OK, so if you hadn’t had it in the first place you wouldn’t have those amazing shoes. Get the shoes out. Wear them and give the bank manager a one finger salute from the bottom of your heart.

Good stuff

The more you try and think about the good stuff, the more good stuff happens. I don’t know why. Some people try and explain it with energy, vibrations, physics, spirituality. All I know is that it really DOES work. I was told ten years ago that I’d probably never be able to work full time again because I had a nasty type of RSI that made my hands hurt, a lot. BUGGER that. I threw everything at it, I tried splints, drugs, osteopathy, Reiki, and positive thinking. Something worked because here I am. If I’d believed the consultant when she gave me that serious face and bad news, I wouldn’t have tried any of the above and I might never have got back to work. They would have signed me off permanently instead of promoting me and I wouldn’t have been there in 2007 when the redundancies were handed out.

So you see what I mean? What I DID made the difference but if I’d been a negative person I wouldn’t have tried any of it and their prediction would have been right. The actions made the difference but without the positive thoughts there wouldn’t have been any actions.

Don’t give up. Promise me….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting fatter and going on every diet known to woman

fat

The next few years were a bit dull, really.

I slowly gained weight, and went on even more diets. The most exciting thing that happened to me in 2003 was probably RSI. I had seven months off work and was bored witless, but I did manage to find a very cute osteopath (I never told Husband #2 he was cute, he probably would have stopped me going) and I also trained in Reiki Level 2 that year. I took two more courses, one in Paralegal Vocational Studies and one in Freelance Writing. I’m not good at being bored, am I?

I eat too much when I’m bored, and 2003 was a very bad year for eating too much. I tried Pilates at the local gym and I joined the gym to use the machines but it was a long walk up to the sports centre and my determination to lose weight while I was on sick leave didn’t last very long.

I did also discover the new Weight Watchers points system where you bought scales, a calculator, books and went to classes every week just to find out that stuff you liked eating had loads of calories in it. Really? No shit, Sherlock. I probably only went to class a few times to get the paraphernalia and after that did it online. Online slimming clubs were a nightmare for my finances. Weight Watchers were the first to do it so I stuck with them most of 2003-4. Not only that, but L wanted to do Weight Watchers and so that meant H#2 wanted to do it, and P would be doing it to. It seemed kinda rude not to, to be honest. We used to meet up to do our Tesco shop together (yes, we really did) and L would follow me around asking how many Points were in everything. Shopping took a LONG time back in those days.

I had brief flirtations with Rosemary Conley and a few attempts at Slimming World, but none of them lasted very long really.

In 2004 H#2 changed jobs. Or rather he was made redundant from a job, who paid him a nice amount of redundancy money then took him back when the company was bought out by another firm a month later, and gave him a new job. The job meant he was expected to drive around all over the place and be away from home a lot. On the one hand this was a GOOD thing because he was getting on my nerves a bit, but on the other hand it meant I was going to have an absolute ‘mare getting to work and back. I decided to put up a notice in the staff kitchen at work about lift sharing. Within hours I’d had an offer from someone I didn’t work with directly but knew reasonably well. He lived in Ely so it was out of his way, but he didn’t seem to mind.

He turned into my best work mate – Katie had moved on. He was single and used to tell me about all the rubbish dates he’d been on, and we would bitch about people at work and gossip like a couple of old women. He and I were both crap first thing in the morning so we kind of made a pact not to really talk much on the way into work, but we made up for it on our lunch breaks at the pub.

Me Daphne and AnitaH#2 never really said anything about my work buddy back then, probably because he knew that I needed a lift to work. He couldn’t possibly think that anyone would fancy his fat girlfriend! So by the end of 2004, I’d failed two driving tests, been passed over for a promotion and my fiance was working away a lot. I hated Soham, rarely saw my family and was getting fatter all the time. I think I was heading towards 15 stone, that mythical cut-off point in my head where I’d become unlovable.  But at least we got around to setting the wedding date…we were talking with L&P about going to Canada with them in 2005, but H#1 said we couldn’t afford to get married if we were saving up for a holiday. I suspect he was probably looking for an excuse not to get married, but L came up with the idea of getting married in Canada in December 2005. Well, if L thought it was a good idea, it must be a good idea. We set a date for 23rd December 2005 and I went straight into wedding dress panic…again.

One more year and I would actually start to battle my way out of the constant diet cycle, but it was probably my worst diet year EVER.

 

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The Ginger Experiment

Just because it’s Friday….my scanner doesn’t work so I had to take this picture on my phone, but this is one of only two photos I know of that feature me after the experiment with ginger hair that went horribly, horribly wrong…

Dogshit Ginger

(PS: I also apologise for that enormous crucifix. What was I thinking?)

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Who am I?

130320 Funky specsOne of the things I say quite a lot to my other half, usually with a pained expression on my face is, “Why can’t people just be NICE to each other?”

It seems freaking obvious to me that if people were just nice – supportive, friendly, helpful, call it whatever you like, we’d all be much happier. It makes sense in the plus-size world too. It’s a fat-phobic world we live in. I mean, don’t people know that the more you insult, belittle and hurt a fat girl, the more likely she is to find herself in the kitchen with her hand in the biscuit tin?

Have any of you fat girls out there EVER reacted to a nasty comment by thinking “I didn’t realise I was fat. I’d better go on a diet and I’ll start right now. Thank you for  shouting insults at me from the safety of your car”

FYI that happened to me once. Years ago when I was much smaller. I actually cried all the way home and yes, I ate my way through all the carbs in the kitchen when I got there.

Nobody ever lost weight because they hated themself, which is what appals me about some of the crap I read online about fat people and obesity. Never mind that yeah, we can be just as healthy as you are (try telling the personal trainer who took me around the gym last week that I’m unfit, I reckon I surprised him too) but it’s the hatred that knocks me flat some days.

I think that’s why I find it hard to blog sometimes. It’s like I’m setting myself up to be knocked back down again. Why am I scared to let people see the real me? I read a lot about my ‘Authentic self’ and how being ‘authentic’ is the way forward. People whose blogs I love are out there, honest and raw, sometimes sad, sometimes fruit-loopy cheerful and sometimes I don’t actually agree with what they say but I sure as hell love to read them saying it.

I’m scared people won’t play nice if I’m raw and honest. I talk the talk and don’t walk it – I blog about diets being bullsh*t and then I diet and no, it doesn’t work. I tell you all that fat girls are awesome – but I don’t always think that I’m awesome myself. Hell, I have my awesome moments but I could probably do with some work in the chutzpah department.

How can I expect anyone to connect with me if I don’t let you see my true personality? My rainbow of moods, my hopping from one idea to another, my love of fashion and sparkly things, my spiritual side, my grumpy arse ‘who ate the last bag of marmite crisps’ side? I can sit here and type words about fashion, about bloggers I love, about how much our fat-phobic, misogynist society pisses me off sometimes…but if I don’t do it as ME then how will you know I didn’t just take the blog post from another plus-size positive blog and copy it into my own blog? And if I censor myself so that I don’t offend people I know in the plus size world, my friends, or even my mum, who HATES it when I swear in blog posts, then am I just putting on a front?

Existential questions hey? This is my full-fat stream of consciousness blog post, I’m fully aware it’s just flitted from subject to subject but from now on, I have to be real. No more image, no more carefully-constructed message posts, this is me. I’m fat, I’m feisty, sometimes I’m grumpy, mostly I like myself but secretly I wish I was slimmer because my knees hurt a bit, I get reflux and I hate having to buy all my clothes online. I don’t eat that well. I don’t like exercising in the winter (I like it a bit more when the sun comes out but in the winter it takes a LOT to get me to that gym.) I can’t drive – I wish I could but I failed three tests and now I’m so scared of driving that I don’t think I’ll ever take another one.

D’you want to know more about me, who I am, what I look like and how I think? Or do you think I should stick to decontructing media stories and posting things about all the other plus-size bloggers I secretly wish I was?

Honestly….

PS: The funky sunnies are from Urban Outfitters and cost £20 – if you love them like I do you can find them here

PPS: I’m already worrying that you’ll all think I’m slef-obsessed. Ah sod it. Here goes. *post*

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