Tag Archives: gorgeously full fat 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…



Filed under Gorgeously Full Fat book, My weight story

So…what happened next?

WomanTyping_crop380wI’ve taken my life story up to about five years ago…and to be honest it’s a bit difficult to write the most recent stuff just because some of it still pushes my buttons, if you know what I mean?

I started though – and I’m damn well gonna finish. The plan is that I’m going to take what I’ve done so far and make it into a book, a fabulous anti-dieting book that you can all download. Not only will I get stuck into the last five years,  being a single girl, my frankly quite bizarre dating escapades and more, I’m going to go into a bit more detail about the rubbish diets, the influences and the weird crap that happened to me up to 2008, and let you all in on the reality of dating, falling in love and yes, ahem, even negotiating your way around the fun and games of sex when you’re a chubby girl.

scalesI’m planning to include tips and tricks on getting away from diets, a list of resources for anyone who wants to rock their sweet, non-perfect self at any size, and some feel good stuff just for the hell of it. I’m also looking for stories from people who’ve been there and done that and are out there in the world being themselves, and sticking a finger up to what they are ‘supposed’ to look like, act like, or weigh. Then I’ll pop it onto Amazon for anyone who fancies a good laugh.

The project has been bubbling away for a while, although the unceremonious dumping from SpaSeekers has forced my hand – well, I have more spare time now and no excuses. Bear with me – some of it’s going to be fabulous fun to write but there will be bits that I have to delve into things that made me feel awful at the time…plus I have to work out how to write about other people messing with my head without making it sound like a misery memoir! It won’t be…I bloody hate those things. It will (hopefully) be funny, uplifting and get any woman who has ever felt bad about her body nodding in agreement.

Are you in? Today’s the day I’m getting started. I need coffee, music and inspiration…


Filed under General, Lifestyle, Media, My weight story

After the epiphany….

doughnutsIt’s all very well having the knowledge, but actually doing something useful with it is another thing altogether.

I was totally and utterly convinced by the end of 2006 that the reason I couldn’t lose weight wasn’t because I was stupid, lacked willpower or had some bizarre metabolism problem that made me stack on pounds whenever I saw the word ‘doughnut’. It was dieting and the way it affected my brain that was making me turn into the Cookie Monster at the mere mention of calories or fat restriction.

I worked my way through the course and at first I felt an immense sense of freedom. I was elated. I didn’t feel tempted to eat entire packets of biscuits, or finish a bar of chocolate just because it was there any more. I could take crisps or leave them, and mostly I went off them. I discovered delicious new things I hadn’t tried – hummus, full fat mayo, tuna in olive oil, and it was a revelation that I didn’t have to always go for the low fat, low calorie plastic version of food. I ate really well and felt like I’d turned a corner.

I weighed myself after a couple of weeks – something Sue advises not to do, but I’d lost weight! Oh . My . God.

So what went wrong?


If I’d carried on, told myself I really could eat anything I wanted, stopped stressing about my weight and followed all the confidence, self-esteem boosting tips I had learned, I would have cracked it. but the problem was, I still found it hard to accept that I was OK as I was, and that I could eat like a normal person and not gain weight. I hadn’t lost the obsession.

York 2007It didn’t help that Husband #2 thought it was a load of old crap. As did ‘L’, and anything she thought, he automatically agreed with. She refused to believe there was any other way than Weight Watchers, and couldn’t understand when I told her I was eating anything I wanted. When H#2 did the Tesco shop with me, I’d have him nagging away at me not to put anything ‘naughty’ in the trolley because he’d eat it, and if I did, he’d say “What are you putting that in for, I thought you were supposed to be on a diet?”

I hid food from him, and so I was just as screwed up as I had been before I’d done the course. But I was in even more of a muddle now because even though I believed that dieting was pointless, the methods I learned in the Food Philosophy went to the back of my mind. There was no way I could do what I wanted with the Food Philosophy because the people around me made it too hard. If only I had my Big Girl Pants on back then and wasn’t such a wuss, who knows where I’d be now, but I was a chronic people pleaser and just accepted my lot.


So anyway, I carried on as I had been for a bit longer. I started my Relentlessly Positive website and ditched reading crappy magazines like Heat and Closer because they just got on my nerves. I vowed never to go on a diet again or buy a diet magazine or book. But I spent my spare time with three people obsessed with body image and food who whenever we went on holiday together (yes, we really did, every sodding year) dieted for two weeks before we left and then arranged the entire holiday around where we were going to eat next. It was abso-bloody-lutely exhausting. My brain was fried!

I chucked the scales out in 2006 and I think I stayed around the same size for a while. I talked to Sue all the time and started to immerse myself in positive psychology, books on self-esteem, the Law of Attraction and read everything I could on positive body image. The Relentlessly Positive website was really doing well, considering I set it up on next to nothing and did all the work myself.

I was changing – but everything around me was staying the same. I was surrounded by negative influences who made me feel bad about myself, made me doubt my beliefs and left me feeling uncomfortable and conflicted. I had to change, I just didn’t know how.


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Filed under Food and diets, My weight story, Relentlessly Positive

The one where I decided diets were rubbish

i-love-not-dietingYou know that they always say you have to really hit rock bottom to start climbing your way back up again? Well, in 2006, as far as my eating habits were concerned, that’s right where I was.

I was definitely following the ‘throw everything at it and something might stick’ method of weight loss. Having a wedding to plan for hadn’t done anything to help me lose any weight, although I was quite impressed that I’d come back from a three week honeymoon in Canada pretty much the same size as I’d left.

Husband #2 and I were basking in  romantic post-wedding bliss…who am I kidding, things were exactly the same as they had been before we got married and we decided that maybe moving out of Soham might be what we needed to make things better. Hooray! Only we couldn’t sell the bloody house. But that’s another story.

I was still working in Cambridge and the job was OK but not very inspiring. At some point in 2006 I think I had to apply for it all over again, thankfully I got it all over again too. I was bored though, pinning all my hopes on moving to Ely where I had access to transport, as living in Soham was still costing me a bloody fortune and H#2 did like to Lord it over me with the fact he earned more, and make me ask him every month for the money for the monthly season ticket. Way to keep the little woman down, eh?

It’s hardly surprising that I couldn’t sort my weight out. And the day I hit the very bottom was a day I remember really well. I was still signed up to several diet websites. I was paying for Weight Loss Resources and Weight Watchers, had all the Slimming World books, and was buying Rosemary Conley’s magazine too. I also obsessed about diets on several other web forums, including the Discovery Health website and the Daily Mail’s Femail forum. I think it’s fair to say that if I had another project or hobby I devoted so much attention to, I might have become quite good at it.

I think it was one day when I was lamenting my lack of success at sticking to ANYTHING that Lou contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in trialling a new way. Another non-diet diet? My interest was aroused, I’d had a bit of respite earlier in the year with Paul McKenna’s ‘I can make you thin‘ but had got really bored with listening to him for half an hour every night and given it up. Out of curiosity I got in touch with a lady called Sue Thomason, who was running a new programme called ‘The Food Philosophy‘.

(Paul Mckenna – I can make you thin)

The programme included a forum (I was becoming quite addicted to them) and six weeks of reading material and exercises. She’d run it for free using members of the Discovery Health website as guinea pigs and was taking on paying clients. I read through the intro text she sent me and I felt like this might be the answer for me.

The programme was a complete revelation. It described me and my eating habits to a tee. The best thing was that it made me feel as if I didn’t have to live like this any more. I couldn’t possibly summarise it here, but after my six weeks were up I was already feeling so much calmer around food. I vowed never to diet again, after reading how the very decision to ‘restrict’ food affects our subconscious mind and makes us want to over eat.

I finally understood WHY diets didn’t work, and that in order for me to stop my overeating, I was going to have to let go of the idea that they did, and my desperate need to lose weight, for good, and start learning to trust my instincts. That building up my self-esteem INTERNALLY and not basing it on what I looked like to others was the key to being able to live a happy life.

I still believe that Sue Thomason is a freaking genius.

So now I had all the facts, it was up to me to change my life with them…



Filed under Food and diets, My weight story

How many diets does one woman need?

Sarah 2005OK, so it’s not unusual for a woman who’s about to get married in one of the most picturesque parts of the world to want to look good in her wedding photos. But 2005-2006 were just about the worst years ever in my diet obsession.

I blame online diet clubs, forums and magazines. Now it was SO much easier just to sign up to Slimming World or Weight Watchers and do everything online without the need to go to one of those bloody awful meetings where everyone sat around dissecting everything they’d eaten for the last week and then competed to come up with disgusting recipes.

Oh, but doing it online when I was meant to be working was OK, though…

Yes, I got the promotion and I was finally a manager in the civil service, but I still had no real idea what my job was because they changed it every five minutes. To be honest, the job wasn’t a problem, it was easy, non-stressful and as a ‘creative type’ it meant I could get away with looking at all sorts on the Internet and justify it by saying I was researching ideas for the staff newsletter.

I still hung out with my buddy although we weren’t sharing a lift into work anymore. We used to get ‘those looks’ as we disappeared off for lunch together yet again, but I had no idea he liked me, did I? He was the perfect gentleman and we just used to have a good laugh. Anyway, I was getting married.

So I joined three online diet clubs and was doing them simultaneously at some points. I was on Slimming World looking for a way to eat shit-loads of pasta without getting fatter, Weight Watchers because I could eat crisps and sweets as long as I Pointed them, and Weight Loss Resources because quite frankly, anything goes with them and you can even change your goal calorie level half way through the day if you’ve had a pig out. Mad, hey? I was chatting to the girls on the forums that went with the sites constantly and immersing myself in my weight loss obsession day in, day out.

I wasn’t losing any weight though.

I went to the doctor and asked for tests as I seemed to be half asleep most of the time and exhausted. I had thyroid and hormone tests but it wasn’t PCOS or hypothyroidism, even though I tried eating plans for both (I was still buying diet books too, of course). I also thought it could be PMS – extreme PMS. I wasn’t on the pill and my hormones were still not quite right, so I saw a reflexologist who helped with that, but I was still tired all the time and felt like I was ‘wading through treacle’ most days. He suggested I drink dandelion coffee instead of Alta Rica and swapped bread for rice cakes but I could only ever manage the lack of caffeine for a day or so before I imploded and ate everything in sight. Looking back, I reckon everything I felt was more about my life than my hormones – I was just a bit depressed.

I had to get a bus into Ely (the buses were usually late) and then a train to Cambridge, then walk from the station to my office. This commute took me two hours or so. I’d then have to do the same on the way back. The job wasn’t that exciting although it was OK, and I hardly saw Husband #2 because he was working away a lot now. When he wasn’t working he was at football or wanting to see L&P who by now were permanent fixtures at weekends, holidays or any time we might have spent alone together.

Summer 2005 is the point where I should really have given myself a slap and walked away from the wedding plans. L told me that H#2 had to talk to me. She wouldn’t tell me why but I’d confided in her that he’d been really quiet and hardly spoken to me in days. It turned out he’d told her he wasn’t sure if he wanted to get married after all.


Of course, now I know that was my cue to say “Neither do I, shall we call it quits?” but at the time, I thought we could mend it. Do you know, he never actually talked to me about it after the initial upset? I tried ‘working at it’ and making it better and he never said he didn’t want to get hitched. In fact a month or so before the wedding, he actually said he thought he might be coming round to the idea of kids. I was over the moon. Because kids and getting married always work wonders for a relationship that’s run its course don’t they?

We got married in December 2005. I was about 15 stone 10 I think. I’d lost NOTHING weight wise and I thought I looked pretty Wedding 1damn awful in my wedding outfit. We got married in Banff, Canada, and the surroundings were amazing, as was the hotel. L was my bridesmaid, P was best man and the only family was H#2’s mum. Two nights before we got married, he’d been on a stag night with P in Banff, got so drunk that I thought he was putting it on, and staggered back into the hotel room slurring, “You’ve got a fat arse but I still love you.”

Yes, he really did say that. I was mortified but still sat up and watched him sleep because he was so rat-arsed that I thought he might choke  on his own vomit.

We had one day alone on that honeymoon. The rest of the day was spent with L & P. We went on to Toronto for new year, and had a lovely time, but there was still a part of me that felt uneasy. He was already backtracking on the idea of kids, insisting I didn’t tell anyone and saying we should wait a while. He followed L around like a lovesick puppy making me feel ever so slightly left out on my own honeymoon.

The positive was that I think that trip was a turning point for my crappy relationship with food. In Canada, we were surrounded by food. Masses of choices, gargantuan portion sizes. It was like being a kid in a sweet shop! But after a while, the constant availability of food and overwhelming amounts and variety just seemed to get boring. I didn’t need to go back for seconds or stuff my face like the others were doing, I just didn’t feel like it. I started to just take what I felt like and for the first time I actually felt as if I could take food or leave it.

I did spend one Godawful day laid up in a hotel room in Toronto with period pains, while the other three went out to Bloor Street to look at watches. It was a couple of days into new year and the UK TV channels in Canada were showing wall-to-wall “You are what you eat” by Gillian McKeith. I don’t know how I managed to watch it now.



When I got home, I was the one who’d gained the least weight, just a few pounds in three weeks. I didn’t know it, but I was on the way to ditching diets forever.



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Party of a lifetime


I am enjoying myself, honestly!

Do you remember 1999? Of course you do. If the pressure was ever on to get skinny for a Christmas party, it was that year.

I’d been feeling a lot better in 1999. Mainly because I managed to escape from the relentless negativity of the job I hated, and move miles away so that I never had to see the perpetrator of my bullying hell ever again. Unfortunately, I ended up in Soham, which even before the only thing the place the town is famous for was still a sh*t hole.

Anyway, despite everything, and despite the temptation for me to rattle off all the things my awful boss did that made me miserable before I managed to escape, things were a bit better in 1999. My determination to move away and leave Suffolk Trading Standards behind me, coupled with the amount of self help books I had been reading, made me feel a lot stronger. I wasn’t bingeing so much, although I was still overeating. I hadn’t managed to lose any weight, despite joining Slimming World AGAIN in Ipswich just before I moved. I think I dropped about half a stone and then put it back on again, same old, same old.

Husband #2 had managed to successfully cut me off from most of my friends and family before we left. Now, I don’t really want to get all whiney about it, because it was me doing my people-pleasing and not standing up for myself that allowed it to happen. But I got earache for spending time with my parents, he didn’t like my male friends (he’d banned me from even talking to one of them, and moaned about my work-mate Mark who he said fancied me, but clearly didn’t) and even managed to stop me seeing my closest female friend because she was ‘weird’ and ‘she’s always trying to split us up so that you can go out with her more’. She wasn’t.

I was allowed to see L, and her boyfriend P, though. We moved to Soham because they lived there, and because she’d managed to get H#2 a job back in the office they’d met in. Cosy, huh? But I was just desperate to get away and ignored any alarm bells.

As soon as I got to Soham that October I rejoined Slimming World. This was going to be my new start! I did meet a lovely girl there, who became a good friend. She was getting on for 18 stone when she started and was losing astonishing amounts of weight every week. With my eating disorder head on, I was a bit worried, but she was clapped and cheered every single week for 5, 6 and 7 pound losses. I asked her how she did it one day and she said that she ate less than 1000 calories most days. usually about 800. She was working in a hospital at the time, on her feet every day and had almost fainted more than once. Why didn’t it occur to the leader to ask her if she was OK? She wasn’t anorexic, but she was undereating massively and to the point of fainting for God’s sake. We weren’t close enough for me to lecture her at that point.

She went on to get through to the finals of the Slimming World Woman of the Year competition in either 2000 or 2001. She lost SO much weight and had got down to a size ten, so she was thrilled. Her boyfriend proposed. She did confess to me that the speed she’d lost the weight had left her with the dreaded loose skin, and to me she looked gaunt, but as I was 14 stone at the time, it would have sounded like sour grapes to say so. It doesn’t give me any pleasure to say with a resigned sigh that when she went through a bad time a couple of years later she put the whole damn lot back on again with interest.

As we got closer to The Millennium I was panicking big time about my weight. We planned a big party at home and I knew there’d be pictures. The weight loss adverts were everywhere. Looking good for the Year 2000 parties was ESSENTIAL. My heroine at the time was J-Lo and I kidded myself I could have a booty like hers if I just managed to stick to my Red Days and Green Days, and didn’t go over my Syns. Guess what? I couldn’t. I didn’t. And I never will.

I saw the 21st century in on a cocktail of vodka, painkillers and sheer determination as I came down with the ‘flu that was doing the rounds on New Year’s Eve. I collapsed into bed around 2.30 am and the next morning I couldn’t speak, eat or move and all I wanted was very cold cranberry juice to drink. But the good thing was it got me out of clearing up the wreckage.

2000 was going to be fabulous. I was going to lose weight, sort myself out and do something with my life. Really.


This is the face of a woman who should have cancelled her party…


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The break up diet


OK, so I’m back on the autobiography…I needed a rest from the reminsiscing!

As you can probably guess, my marriage went spectacularly tits up in 1996. I thought about this long and hard, and there’s lots I could say that would have just dragged it all back up again, but to be honest, it was a divorce, it wasn’t nice, we said we’d stay friends and we didn’t really. we stayed living in a one bed, one up, one down house for five months after we agreed it was over, and you want to try going through a divorce while you’re still sharing a bedroom? It’s not the easiest thing in the world.

It didn’t really affect my weight, weirdly enough. I genuinely don’t think anything that happened in that first marriage did make me feel any differently about myself. I wasn’t fat, I just never really felt slim enough. Being properly fat now, I can see there’s a BIG difference.

I spent as much time as possible out of the house, and went away every weekend. I drank a lot, but didn’t overeat that much. I read a lot of books about diets not working, including one of my favourites ever, ‘Fabulous Figures’ by Rachel Swift. If you can get hold of it, you should as it’s fun, and always used to put me in a good mood by reminding me I didn’t have to be skinny (I wasn’t) and diets were rubbish (that hadn’t quite sunk in yet). I didn’t go on any major diets that year…although I did count calories and eat low calorie meals. Then I’d go out for dinner with mates and drink loads, which kind of cancelled it out.

The only weight-related thing worth mentioning was that for the first time ever, one day when I was going through a horrible, stressful day, I had an overwhelming urge to make myself sick. I remember it vividly, it wasn’t anything to do with feeling fat, it was all about the build up of tension in me and not feeling able to scream, shout, swear or tell H#1 how I was really feeling. I never did it, and I never have, even though I’ve felt that tension build up since.

Being single(ish) meant I started getting male attention again. or noticing it, anyway. I was around 11 stone most of 1996, a size 12-14 in most shops. Men seemed to like me, probably because I wasn’t looking for one. I went out with the girls one night, not long after I’d separated from H#1 and I ended up with three phone numbers and a dance to ‘Me and Mrs Jones’ at the end of the night. I actually saw him a few times but nothing happened, I wasn’t up for anything and he didn’t want a semi-married woman anyway. I also got a bit too close to someone I shouldn’t have done, but again, I wasn’t up for anything full on at the time so I said if he was really interested, he’d have to wait until I left H#1 properly. We decided to stay friends instead.

I hated hurting H#1. I felt guilty ALL the time. I’d go away at the weekend, then come back and listen to him telling me he’d been to this party and that night out and I used to pray he’d copped off with someone because then I wouldn’t feel so guilty about divorcing him. I didn’t know how to deal with it so I wasn’t very nice to him. To be fair, he could be pretty mean to me at times but that’s break ups for you.  partyEventually I moved back to Ipswich in the summer of ’96. Not before I’d met husband #2 though…

The first time I met him he came along on a night out as a friend of a friend. ‘L’ was working with him and they spent a lot of time together. She’d put him on the phone to me when we were talking and we’d had a laugh. I thought he had a crush on my friend. We hit it off one night out bowling, but I didn’t think of him as boyfriend material. He was five years younger than me, and a bit of a lad, plus he lived in the Fens and I was about to move miles away.The last day I was in Cambridge, I had a party. We were meant to go out into the City but I was feeling hopelessly emotional and drank a two litre bottle of disgusting Liebfraumilch wine in about an hour and promptly threw up in the sink.

Husband #2 was there already, with ‘L’ and a couple of others. He came to see how I was (I had gone upstairs to lie down) and before I knew it, was kissing me, despite the fact I probably smelled of vomit. He did stay over; he was supposed to sleep downstairs with my brother and his partner but instead he made his way upstairs with me. I woke up the next morning and thought “Oh shit, what have I done?”

Thankfully, I’d not been in any fit state to do anything much. We said goodbye and he said he’d be in touch. I didn’t think it was going to go anywhere…but what did I know? Oh, and this was the start of my REAL problems with food.

PS: The picture above was taken on THAT night. That’s my brother with his arm round me. I looked a state but that dress was a Top Shop size 12. And how sad am I that I actually REMEMBER that?

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