Friday, 30 June 2017

Opinon: My Big Fat Mummy Life.

Being a plus size mum is exactly the same as being a straight size mum, or at least it has been for me. Being a plus size mum-to-be wasn't the greatest, but it had nothing to do with my physical experience, it was only because I experienced judgement at the hands of medical professionals. I was scrutinised, I was told to lose weight (baring in mind, I'd already lost a stone through nausea and sickness), and I was made to take the dreaded glucose test (I was absolutely fine). 

9 months Preggers

My pregnancy was AWFUL, but it had nothing to do with my size. My size 6 friend had a ridiculously awful pregnancy too with bleeding, bloating and swelling to the point they thought she might have pre-eclampsia and was just so poorly with it all. Size makes no difference. 

So fucking ready to have the baby.

So why am I banging on about this? Well. A lady called Chanelle (I literally don't know who she is) was on This Morning today, she was referring to herself as a 'whale' and said her weight was causing her to have the most awful pregnancy. While I appreciate a lot of women feel usually huge when they're pregnant, this lady's problems realistically, can't be attributed to her size, and her publicly talking about it doesn't help the prejudice pregnant plus size women are subjected to every day. 

Now how do I know that her problems aren't size related... well I don't, I'm not a doctor or midwife, maybe I'm kidding myself? But what I can surmise from this lady's interview is that she had huge confidence issues and hates being fat. 

She mentioned that prior to falling pregnant she couldn't go trampolining and run around after her son. And here lies the problem. I can honestly tell you that for the last seven years I have weighed around the 19 stone mark, and I have actively parented my little girl with vigour and enthusiasm. I have taken her trampolining and out-bounced her, while she's stood on the sidelines with a stitch, I have run round soft play areas, swam for hours, taken her to family yoga and boogied away at countless discos. 

Just mumming around

Chanelle's problem isn't her size, its her confidence. She feels uncomfortable in her skin, and you know what I understand, I really do. It's a horrible feeling. We all also have a natural balance point, a weight we feel comfortable at. I can honestly say this at this time, this is mine. Maybe hers is lighter? So my advice to this lady? If you're not comfortable, lose weight, do it sensibly, do it steadily and do it quietly. The world doesn't need another DVD or 'celebrity' fitness plan. Go away and be happy with your life. Stop trying to cling onto whatever bit of publicity you can get by portraying fat people as sad, dysfunctional messes. There are millions of us, having perfectly great pregnancies, being excellent, active, fun loving parents. 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Food: The Bradley Inn, Grimsby.

Hello all! Given the state of the weather I thought it best not to depress you with another sunny holiday post, but maybe try and brighten things up instead by bringing you some yummy food instead! Me and the famalam headed to the Bradley Inn Grimsby, courtesy of the Sizzling Pub and Grill group to try out their new menu. 

If you're not familiar with sizzling pubs, they are dotted all over the country, in fact there are over 200 in the UK and they serve up what I would class as proper pub grub, burgers, steaks, chunky chips and most importantly scampi... I love scampi. There's a handy locator tool on the website to find your local branch as are all the menus for you to have a good look (drool) over. 

My folks, Alex, Pops and I went for dinner on a week night, the pub itself is decorated really nicely, it's bright and airy, but still comfy, like a proper pub should be. 

Dad had the buttermilk chicken (pictured above) mum went for her usual mixed grill (pictured below, she's a creature of habit). I went for the surf and turf (scampi thanks very much) and Alex went for the New Yorker, which is a steak loaded with mac n cheese (hubba hubba). I didn't take a pic of Pop's  meal because it looked really unappealing, as those of you with kids may know, she went for a proper weird combo that looks a bit gross to the average person!!   

Now I know my photographic skills aren't always the best, but as you can see, there was no scrimping on the portions here and everything tasted really nice. I think our only comment would be if you like your steak rare, take into account these come on sizzler plates, so will continue to cook, so maybe ask for your steak blue or very rare, then by the time it gets to you, it'll be rare or thereabouts. 

Apart from that, honestly, everything was really tasty, mega filling and exceptional value for money. We ordered drinks (including a beer), main meals for everyone and three desserts and it came to just over £50, amazing right? 

The staff were so friendly and accommodating, the atmosphere was lovely. It was nice enough that it felt grown up, but still really child friendly too with colouring activities and a toy box for the kids. 

We are definitely going to go back, we had a great time and the food was fantastic. Would highly recommend for anyone looking for a bit of hearty grub in a friendly warm environment! 

**We received a voucher towards our meal from Sizzling Pubs. All words and opinions are my own**

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Style: Holiday Look Book - Boohoo

Hello! I'm kicking off my Holiday Looks with two great dresses from Boohoo. My holiday wardrobe has to consist of one thing and one thing only. Comfort. Of course I want to look stylish but comfort and coolness comes first. 

For me, a maxi dress ticks all those boxes. Easy to wear, cool and fresh and most of all, comfortable. 

Now it's unsurprising this beauty has sold out because a. it's fit and b. shit sells out fast on boohoo, but I have found a similar style and linked you up just in case - click here

So it may be pointless me banging on about all the usual things like fit and fabric etc. But if you haven't shopped with boohoo before I will run through a few bits. Generally I find it true to size, and definitely more so recently. But if the fabric is particularly none stretchy and the cut looks quite slim fitting then do size up. 

It may come as no surprise that the other dress I got from boohoo is also out of stock, but I've linked another similar one too > here

My sizing advice definitely comes into play with this one, I think I could have done with a bit more room in the hip area, it was okay, but a few more inches wouldn't have gone a miss! Other than that though, isn't it pretty?

The low cut neck needed a bikini top underneath for my personal modesty, but if you're of the titty inclination, I say go for it!! 

I was so chuffed with my boohoo holiday bits, especially the bardot maxi, I've had nothing but compliments about it since. If you're looking for purse friendly bits for your suitcase I can highly recommend them! 

**The items in this post were sent to me for the purposes of review** 

Friday, 23 June 2017

Opinion: My Big Fat Privilege

Is my life as a fat woman easy? Not always. Am I judged and bullied? Sometimes. But have I got it as bad as some others? Not at all. 

You might ask how I know this. Well first of all, I'm near enough at the thinnest I've been in my adult life. 11 years ago I weighed over 24 stone and wore a size 32. Despite this, I was happy and healthy, but everyone around me told me I needed to change. In order to be happy I needed to be smaller.  So that's what I went and did. I had a gastric bypass and got smaller (Please note. Not a lot changed. It was my brain that had to change. Not me).

When seeking treatment for my newly diagnosed bipolar I was told certain medications wouldn't be suitable because there was a chance I could put more weight on. It didn't matter if they were the most suitable for my condition, they weren't suitable for my physical appearance. Previously when seeking treatment for what would eventually be diagnosed as the bipolar, instead of receiving psychotherapy for my depression, I was constantly asked about my weight in the sessions and eventually given hypnotherapy for my weight, the psychotherapist had concluded the depression was a result of my fatness and I was eating to fill an empty hole in my emotional psyche. 

In hospital after my gastric bypass, a desperate attempt to fit in. 

At my largest, I was constantly picked out for ridicule and abuse. Whether that be walking down the street, eating a meal or in the work place.  I was taunted, shouted at and even had things thrown at me. Men would date me in secret, not admitting to their friends that they were with me. 

Shopping options were limited, when I left school in 1996, the only shop I could physically shop in was Evans. There was the occasional mail order catalogue that would run to my size, but other than that I was stuck. I would would order clothes from America for special occasions and hope they would fit me. Despite this, I had a massive love of fashion and took great pride in my appearance. 

Although shopping options have improved greatly, the offerings available for a size 24+ are still meagre in comparison to those below. And I know that because I see my fellow size 24+ fats screaming for more. I see brands offer a plus range but then stop it at a size 24. 

As a now smaller fat I am all too aware of my privilege. 99% of the time I can get on a plane and fasten my seatbelt comfortably. I can shop the straight size lines in mainstream shops like Dorothy Perkins, H&M, all the supermarkets and Monki for example. I don't get anywhere near as much abuse in public now and men openly admire me and date me without question or mention of my size. 

Sadly the medical situation has changed very little. I am still denied treatments based on my size. Medication is questioned in case it will cause any more weight gain. A simple visit to the nurse or doctor regarding any non-weight related issue turns into a lecture on weight. I am questioned about my daily diet and activity. My blood pressure is met with an unbelieving shock, surely a fat woman's blood pressure can't be that good?! It is then taken again, just to make sure it's not a glitch in the system. My birth control visits normally include a lecture about strokes and blood clots and my imminent death. 

BUT despite all this, my point albeit immensely rambling is, I know that compared to my bigger sisters, I indeed live a privileged life. I am conventionally quite pretty and have a thin presenting face, even at my biggest I didn't have a double chin and my cheek bones were quite prominent. My shape is a smallish pear (I hate shape definitions, but to make my point...) I have a visible waist and am able to squish the excess skin and fat into a fairly flat appearance. My limbs have always been quite long and graceful. This gives me a certain level of privilege as a fat woman, I'm not 'podgy' or 'round' - I'm deemed an attractive fat, which rags me off no end, and is ultimately the route of the problem and the issue we've all been fighting. Who dictates what is attractive? What makes one fat 'better' than the other? 

Kiss my back fat

Why are we still to see a full and (forgive the pun) rounded representation of fat women? Where are the fat black women? Where are the round fat women? The chick with double chins, tattoos, short hair, short bodies, big bellies and wobbly arms? 

I know where they are, they're in the blogs I read, they're walking down the street, on holiday rocking bikini's and taking their kids to school. I know this because I see them every day in real life, but do you know where I NEVER see them? I never see them in magazines, in the films and TV shows I watch and fashion websites I visit. 

I don't know if that'll ever change. But until it that day, remember to read blogs and share them, compliment women you see on the street, support your friends and lift them up. That's all we can do. And that's pretty fantastic. 

VARIETY <3 - L-R (Clockwise) Sam, Lottie, Diana, Lucia, Charley, Debz, Elena, Kate, Em.

For other very good thoughts on small fat privilege, please read my ginger goddess's musings on Terrible Tumbles. 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Style: Wood Watches with Konifer

Hello all! Sorry for the radio silence, those of you who follow me on social media will know I've been sunning myself in glorious Turkey. There's lots of summer style posts to follow, but first up I've got something a little different in the form of accessories. I've featured wood watches on the blog before, but this time I went for a chaps one in case you were in need of a gift idea for the men folk in your life. 

Yes that is the hairy arm of my hairy fella, sporting the gorgeous 'Navigator Black' style. It's a good chunky size in a delicious warm black/brown shade. Alex has been wearing it for a couple of weeks now and loves how lightweight it is, especially in the hot weather. He said it's nice to have the natural material next to his skin instead of a heavy metal or sweaty leather. 

It's also worth noting that because it is a natural product, it's hypoallergenic which is great if you have sensitive skin. The Konifer range is made from renewable wood sources so environmentally it gets a big tick too. The watch is priced just over a £100 so it's not cheap but I think it's clear to see the quality is outstanding and it's a beautiful investment piece that would make a truly special gift. 

The range also includes watches for women, unisex pieces and gorgeously crafted wood rings. I love how they're just a bit different and make a really special gift for you (treat yo'self) or someone you love. 

** This item was sent to me for the purposes of review. All words and opinions are my own **

Friday, 2 June 2017

Style: Evans Floral Kimono

Hello! So last weekend we headed to Sheffield just for a bit of family time. It was absolutely scorching, I resisted the temptation to wear something simple as I do too often when it's warm. I wanted to feel a bit more put together so I wore this fab kimono from Evans.

This is actually supposed to be a plus size beach cover-up, but I just loved the colours so much I had to wear it as a duster type jacket with my jeans. I'm wearing the medium which I think ideally would suit up to a 22. The fabric is a soft crinkle fabric, really lightweight and airy. 

I teamed mine with a khaki top and jeans, I just love the way the purples and neon orange contrasts with the khaki tones. I felt proper tip top in this outfit, it was one of those feel good combos, easy to wear, relaxed but slightly smart. 

Those of you in the know will have noticed these are the glamorous railings of Meadowhall train station. I feature the most beautiful locations on the blog don't I? And the pics were taken by my ever talented 7 year old Pops. Thanks babba.   

\** This item was sent to me for review, words and opinions are my own! **