I'm Obese?

I’m Obese?!

Earlier in the year at a hospital appointment, I stood on the scales and burst into tears. Still classed as overweight, even obese. Despite the fact I’m a UK size 12-14, I felt dread and disgust that those words would be put on my chart. The nurse patted me on the arm and said don’t take any notice, hers said the same, another nurse agreed. This was rated on the BMI scale, which has been part of various debates.

Now, if you follow me on any of my social media you’ll know that I have curves, I always have. When I think and look back on my relationship with my body I’ve always thought I was ‘fat’. I want to go back in time and shake myself because between the ages of 16-19 I was tiny, I shouldn’t have worried about crop today or short dresses. I should have loved every inch of my self and I didn’t.

I started having a lot more issues with my body after my spinal injury. I couldn’t walk properly for months and any definition I’d gained horse riding was gone and had been replaced with weight gain. I was on a stupid number of tablets, mostly having to rest or use a wheelchair and as a result, I put on a lot of weight, I knew that. My face always shows it first.

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Me in 2015

 

As soon as I was in recovery I tried to lose weight, counted calories and went to rehab gym and it worked! I got down to a slimmer size. Then I graduated, got a job and stopped going to the gym, stopped counting and got bigger again.

Why am I tell you this? Why am I sharing this on the internet? Because I’m done with BMI. I’m done with this idea there is one perfect body and size we all should be. BMI doesn’t account for the fact that my boobs could probably be classed as a small country. It doesn’t account for athletes that are classed as ‘obese’ because of muscle. It doesn’t account for people who cannot be as physically active as they would like due to illness or injury.

Even though it’s hard I need to try and love my body, I need to not get absorbed by numbers and comparisons. I have boobs and I have a butt and I love them very much. I also have a ‘pouch’. I had this idea that I should shrink myself into being the same as I was when I was 18 and that’s not how bodies work as we get older. We’re not meant to look like our 18-year-old selves for the rest of our lives.

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Me in June 2018

So I’m going to try, try to be healthy while still loving the skin that I’m in. What about you? Do you have the same feelings? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: Fully Functioning Human (Almost) – Melanie Murphy

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‘I’m just a girl who’s sort of stumbling through life, learning that we all have our own roads to walk – but that it’s still valuable, and rather lovely, to hear about other people’s journeys…’ 

Well, well, well, where do I start when I’m talking about this wonderful book and it’s even more wonderful author. If you didn’t know, Melanie is a Youtuber and a damn good one at that talking about life and sexuality, body positivity, Game of Thrones. So when I heard she was releasing a book I was all over this.

This book covers so much in a mere 300 hundred pages but the best part is that it feels like she’s chatting to you. This is totally in Melanie’s voice and it helps because it’s like a friend is talking to you and chatting about life, the good and the bad.

The book is divided into sections Media and My Mind, Food & Body, Beauty & Confidence, Sex & Sexuality, Love & Happiness. You can tell that in each of the chapters Melanie has poured her heart and soul into each page, without it being soppy.

While of course it has Melanie’s signature positive outlook, something which she credits partially to the Law of Attraction ( I LOVED this) but it doesn’t hide the darkness and I think that’s what I loved most, the openness. All of her struggles and flaws are laid out, to make you feel like we’re all going through the same thing. She talks about her struggles with Eating Disorders, Anxiety, Depression, Acne and also about deeply personal things such as her miscarriage.

I felt there was a perfect balance within the book of the silliness I love Melanie’s channel for and the openness. I didn’t it would impact me as much as it did, but thanks to Melanie I confronted one of my own personal issues, emotional eating  and now I’m taking steps to not use it as a crutch.

This is an incredible book, whether or not you watch Melanie I would recommend this to any young adult who wants to feel like they’re not the only one struggling along. I would also recommend catching up with her Youtube channel . I gave this four stars ****, Melanie is a brilliant writer and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Things I’d tell myself at sixteen

I’ve been quite reflective recently and thinking a lot about my teenage years, particularly as my sister is fast approaching her 16th (!!) birthday. Now I’m in my twenties, and believe me that’s a rollercoaster enough, but I had a tough time as a teenager, it wasn’t easy but at the same time some of the best things happened to me. I think we all have a certain view of our teenage years. I don’t agree with people saying that it’s the ‘best time of your life’ but there are certain times I look back on fondly. So, here are some of the things I wish I told

I don’t agree with people saying that it’s the ‘best time of your life’ but there are certain times I look back on fondly. So, here are some of the things I wish I could go back and tell myself to just give me a bit of a hand and the things I’ve learnt.

School isn’t forever. 

My life was hell at school, sometimes it felt like it was never going to end but it definitely did and it was glorious.

You’re right to look forward to college, it’s going to be great. 

I lived and breathed for my college. I could do classes I wanted to escape the people who hated me. I used to go and meet Ali from his day with butterflies. It was definitely a good two year with some great friends.

Trust him when he says he loves you, he does. 

I’ve been with Ali for almost 9 years. I had such issues at sixteen that I wasn’t good enough, that he was going to leave me etc. I was a complete nightmare. I wish she knew he’s still around now.

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Don’t hate yourself, you’re not well. 

I was incredibly ill with depression at this point, I literally felt like I was going insane and ruining everyone’s lives. I wish I knew that it was all to do with an illness and not because I was a terrible person.

Others opinions don’t matter

Can not stress this enough!

You can have a great future!

 I didn’t think much about the future much, I couldn’t but I wish I knew that I could get there.

Keep singing, keep writing, keep being creative! 

There were more than a few times I just didn’t want to do it anymore, what was the point, why bother? It was going to do more for me than I thought!

Ignore your art teacher, you’re never going to impress her. 

Seriously, the woman had her favourites, I wasn’t one of them.

Talk to someone. 

Just talk about how you feel.

YOU.ARE.NOT.FAT

Seriously, I would shout this until I was blue in the face if I could. I really struggled with the way I looked and thought I was chubby but I really, really wasn’t.

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The house parties are going to continue, they’ll be some of the best memories of your life. 

Best. Time. Ever.

Think about uni, just think about it. 

I thought it wasn’t for people like me. Oh I was wrong.

Love yourself, cause you’re pretty awesome. 

Something I still need to remember at 22.

 

What do you wish you knew at 16? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Girl Up – Laura Bates

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They told you you need to be thin and beautiful. They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night and move in groups – never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels. They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your apple, pear, hourglass figure, but not to be too tarty. They warned you that if you try to be strong, or take control, you’ll be shrill, bossy, a ballbreaker. Of course it’s fine for the boys, but you should know your place. They told you ‘that’s not for girls’ – ‘take it as a compliment’ – ‘don’t rock the boat’ – ‘that’ll go straight to your hips’. They told you ‘beauty is on the inside’, but you knew they didn’t really mean it. Well I’m here to tell you something different.

It’s no secret that I think Laura Bates is a feminist icon. The creator of the Everyday Sexism Project, author and ted talk member has stood up and said enough is enough. It is because of her that I realised that a lot of the ‘banter’ I’d felt uncomfortable with and fought against for years, only to be told I was overreacting, was actually assault. It made me feel better that I wasn’t ‘just overreacting’. After reading Everyday Sexism last year I eagerly pre ordered Girl Up and I’m so glad I did. I felt that in comparison to Laura’s last book this is much more about her finding her own voice within her writing. Not only was it funny but also distinctive in tone as well as topic.

While you could argue that this is aimed more at teenagers in some parts of the book, it’s fine with me because I really learnt a lot from this book. It’s true that there are some chapters that seem to be geared towards teenage girls but if I’d have had this book to clutch in my hormonal hands as a spotty teen I think I would have stood up for myself more. I would have been more vocal about my body, about sexism and about the fact that I have a voice too, something that was repeatedly silenced. Authors like Laura are using humor and wit to bring embarrassing subjects into the spotlight and make it easier for them to talk about. At the same time as a 21 year old, while reading I felt like Laura was an older sister I never had. She doesn’t shy away from the fact that she didn’t always call herself a feminist, that she too shied away from inappropriate comments and behaviour at the fear of ‘kicking off’. 

I one hundred percent feel that books like this alongside, How to be a Woman, The Vagenda, Letters to my Fanny and more will help to create a stronger set of young women who can feel proud to not only be women, but to be themselves. Oh and before I forget there are also dancing vagina’s because who doesn’t want a page of dancing vagina’s. I’m going to stop saying that now, even though I can’t explain how brilliant it is. All I want to say is READ IT, READ IT, READ IT! Of course I gave this 5 stars (*****), absolutely brilliant, well written and inspirational. Go and give it a read NOW!

Remember to connect with me on Goodreads here to see what I’m reading!

7 Reasons Sarah Millican is one of the greatest comedians around

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On Friday night I went to see the opening night of Sarah Millican’s Outsider tour. I’d never seen her live before but had laughed a lot after watching on TV so when I could get tickets I snapped them up. I’m so glad I went, Sarah was absolutely incredible and hilarious. For tonight’s Sunday Seven I thought I’d tell you why I think Sarah is so great and if I could I’d go see her again on her tour Outsider (there are still tickets available, just nowhere close to me!).

She’s funny without being mean   

I love comedy and have been to quite a few shows now of different comedians but Sarah isn’t an arsehole about other people, which is a nice change. She’s hilarious but doesn’t need to go after other people in her routine. Total respect.

She’s honest about body image

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People have been awful to Sarah in the past but she’s honest about how much she doesn’t care. When I was watching her show I just felt so much better about myself and my own body image. When you put on weight people can be cruel but Sarah wasn’t having any of it, if you want cake, eat cake.

She’ll stand up to the media and be still be classy af

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When the media and Twitter trolls mocked Sara for her choice in dress for the BAFTA awards she didn’t get angry and take everyone down, she wrote honestly about her feelings then decided she didn’t care and wore the dress again. Classy af.

Her accent. 

The Geordie accent is one of the best in the world. End of.

She talks about IBS 

When she started talking about IBS I was so happy. It’s something that is embarrassing and ‘not cool’, does Sarah care? No. I just wanted to stand up and shout YES SARAH ALL THE IBS LOVE but, you know, you’re not supposed to do that.

Her pets are her world 

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I loved hearing about her pets and how hilarious they are. From one pet lover to another, I salute you.

She’s the best with her audiences 

Again, she’s never mean and calls her audience members Pet and Flower, as well as giving out free badges on tour. What more could you ask for

Book Review: Strong Looks Better Naked – Khloé Kardashian

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“In every life, there is struggle. No one is immune from pain and suffering. But it won’t last. Life moves forward. The circumstances will change. This applies to both the bad feelings and the good. Nothing lasts forever. When you think about this, the only moment you really have is the present, and you have to learn to enjoy it.”

Last year while I was resting up, I became a Kardashian viewer, starting off with Caitlin’s (then Bruce) family special about her impending transition. I was surprised when I loved watching and soon started watching more and more episodes and fell in love with Khloe. Not only does she have a pretty amazing name (the only famous Khloe I know of other than the brand) she’s honest and the release of her first book came at a time when I needed a boost.

Strong Looks Better Naked is a book focusing on Khloe’s transition of mind, body and soul and her journey of not only her weight loss but also her emotional journey. Being on Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s you might think that we know everything about Khloe’s life and that the tabloids have it right when it comes to her divorce from Lamar Odom, but this book shows that there’s still a lot that Khloe keeps private. We see a strong woman, but not the personal struggles she faced.

In the press Khloe has been referred to as the ‘chubby sister’ or the ‘fat sister’ and so her weight loss got a lot of attention, being called a ‘revenge body’. The book goes through the reasons behind Khloe’s gym addiction, as something to focus on when other parts of her life were privately getting darker. Weight loss isn’t the only focus in the book, she talks about a whole lifestyle change, mentally and spiritually, giving an honest account of the ups and downs of her journey.

Think whatever you want of the family, their show, the money and all of that but when I was reading the book I felt like it was totally honest. There are some parts which I didn’t necessarily agree with, such as cutting out all dairy, and I think you need to have your own input rather than following all of the advice blindly. That said though, it is good for some general advice and has some lovely quotes alongside the chapters too. I found it to be so motivating at a time where I was having to change my life after my spine had broken and I needed to go to tough physiotherapy. I felt like I could read about someone else’s healthy releases and try them out for myself, I became more than a little in love with the gym myself.

Overall I think this is a great book to read if you’re going through a transition in your life this is a great read. I honestly had reservations about reading it but I ended up falling in love with Khloe’s story, her way of writing (as documented on KUWTK, Khloe wrote the book herself rather than using a ghostwriter). I gave this four stars ****, I really enjoyed reading, but as I said before didn’t necessarily agree with all of the advice given, which is fine. It doesn’t feel like a self help book but definitely gave me the kick I needed when I was struggling.

Banishing Body Blues

Honesty time, I have spend this evening wallowing in my own self pity feeling awful and wanting to cry. Why? You ask? Not the injury, I haven’t failed anything (that I know of), nope I couldn’t fit into last years summer clothes. That’s it. Seems silly right? I’ve spent all evening trying to pal na blog but blocked by this big dark cloud of feeling worthless. So I write a blog (it sucked) and put on my iTunes to Emma Blackery, my favourite Youtuber, her song Perfect sits there. I’ve put it above because it’s such an uplifting song. I started listening to it and I was like yeah you know, I’m okay.

I might not be a size 8 any more and it sucks that some of my clothes don’t fit but right now I’m recovering. I can hardly walk but I’ve been crying over putting on weight? No logic there, right? My family, Ali and Friends tell me that it’s the least of my worries with a fractured spine, if there’s any time not to feel guilty about weight gain, it’s now.

I don’t want to be this critical of myself, if anything I think it’s just wanting control back of my body. It’s just letting me down and I hate it and there is nothing I can do, which hurts the most. Since I’ve been getting better from the depression I’ve wanted to be so positive and do things but I fall down sometimes and want to go back to bad habits. I’m still fighting and I wanted to share this song with you because I know that everyone has their own struggles, something I wrote about a couple of months back.

Am I completely happy and fine and cheery? No, that’s why I wrote this because if any of you are going through the same thing I want you to know it’s ok. I don’t want it to become this big disgusting secret and I might get crap for this but guess what I PUT ON WEIGHT. Just like all of us will at some point in our lives, I might put it on, lose it, I might never reach a size 8 again and I’ll never be the same size as my tiny sister. I’m trying to focus on the positives though, I’m smart, I’m going on a course in ATHENS for my work and can travel with my lovely boyfriend. It’s all about trying to put it in perspective and hopefully I can keep listening to the music until this cloud decides to go.

As always I’d love to talk to you guys so leave a comment! If you want to hear more about Emma Blackery you can also check out her YouTube channel, it’s brilliant. What are you waiting for, click the link here for her regular channel and here for lifestyle and advice!