Thursday, 27 February 2014

Cosmo answers...What being a fat woman is really like for ME

This week this piece has been going around facebook and it's caused some discussion....mainly WHY are these women anonymous? It also sparked the wonderful Chattermonkey to answer the questions herself and invite others to do so. I read the blog posts and was really interested - then Monkey asked me to do I have! It's a bit waffly....

How do you feel when other women around you complain about feeling/being fat?
If they’re thinner than me (which they usually are) it peeves me rather than really annoys me. I understand we all have fat days. However some women say it to fish for the  “oh no, you’re not fat” comments I won’t play along and find it intensely annoying. Especially if they’re tiny. If that happens around me, I’ll tell them to fuck off! 

How has your body image changed since high school? College?
Yes and no. As most fat kids at school did, I had a hard time. Factor in the fact that I changed schools (and countries) every two years due to my Dad’s job and it made it even harder. I was always the new kid and the fat new kid at that. I managed to become an all singing, all dancing performing kind of kid – pre-empting the jokes and banter by saying it myself. I was very popular at my last school – the one I stayed at for longest – but never felt secure about it. Post school I felt fine about it. At Uni I put on more weight but never felt it stopped me. It defined me as an actor – I was the Nurse, not Juliet....I was the funny best friend, never the lead. But that was cool. As I’ve got older I’m more comfortable in my body but I do have moments – I have one particular friend who is utterly stunning. Same age as me but looks 20 years younger, firm body, despite having 2 kids and utterly beautiful. She's one of the sweetest, most lovely women I know. BUT....When I go out with her and her friends I feel enormous as they’re all diddy and stunning. It’s my own head that does this – they don’t even consider it (and hate the fact that I do) but for some reason with this gang of chums, I feel enormous and ugly and tend to avoid going with them. So that insecure fat kid is still in my head somewhere. But most of the time I shut the bitch up with chocolate. Honestly though – I am who I am now – take me or leave me – I think I look pretty fucking good most of the time.

Have you tried dieting? What happened?
I dieted for the first time in order to get pregnant with my first child. I lost 6 stone but still had a way to go when I accidentally got knocked up. I had gestational diabetes with that baby and it got worse with my second pregnancy so I did Weight watchers a few times, trying to stave off Type II diabetes. With Weightwatchers, I always start great guns – really careful – really competitive to lose as much as I can. I’ll usually lose about 3 stone and then I just get bored. It’s dull. So I leave and inevitably the weight comes back. But I’ve never gone back to the weight I was before I got pregnant. I’m still 3.5 stone lighter than I was back then. Last year I decided to stop it. I was fed up with it. I haven’t dieted for over a year now, despite getting diagnosed with Type II. I keep thinking I should – but I have maintained the weight I’m at now for a year. I’m only about 7lbs more than I was the last time I stopped doing WW so I feel this is ok at the moment. 

Do you think in your case your weight is partly or entirely genetic?
I think it’s genetic in part. I also eat too much and don’t exercise. But the women in my family are massive. 

Do you consider yourself healthy? Have there been instances where people assumed you were unhealthy?
No but because I smoke more than because I’m fat! But I’m fitter than I have been – in fact probably fittest I’ve ever been. I need to exercise more and I know my diabetes will improve. But I have a life and two kids to deal with and I must admit my eating and health gets shoved down to the bottom of the priority list.

Are your parents both supportive of you at the weight you’re at? Have they always been?
My mum desperately didn’t want my sister and I to be overweight like she was, so made a big deal about healthy eating NO puddings, only fruit. Healthy portions. Which meant that at the first opportunity, I was down the sweet shop indulging in the forbidden. She lost six stone at the age of about 65 – before that she’d always been yo-yoing but basically big – she was even a Weightwatchers leader but nothing had worked. Then she got a heart condition and lost the weight to have an operation. And it changed her life and she became obsessive. She counts points constantly and weighs everything she puts in her mouth. She exercises three times a week (she’s 76) and her life revolves around food. She tries not to “comment” but she does. And I know she’d like me to lose weight. And she can say one thing that will make me feel like a hippo without even realising she’s done it. I call her out on it though! I know she loves me. And hates the idea that she makes me feel bad about myself. But she has had a love hate relationship with food all her life and it has and does affect me.

How do you think retailers can improve clothes for plus-size people?
Probably they could make more choice available but then again, I remember when I was a teenager in the 80s and had hardly ANY options – it seems so much better now than it was then. There are so many places I can shop and I’m older and less trend conscious than a lot of the women who’ve answered this – and my taste in clothing is quite well catered for!

Do you think plus-size women are judged differently than plus-sized men are? How?
Yes. I think it’s easier for larger men. In my career as an actor (though it’s changing now – yay Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson), there were hardly any parts for fat women in TV and film. I knew a couple of men my size who were working all the time and there seemed to be more out there. All stereotypes but still....I do think women are fat shamed much more than men. Especially women celebrities.

Do you think there’s an assumption made/stereotype that exists about plus-size people? How would you respond to it?
Yes that I’m funny. Or lazy. My life is chaotic. I have 2 kids with ADHD – I’m constantly running round after them. I wish I could be lazy. But I also think people make assumptions about EVERYBODY based on physical appearance – whether all black teenagers are assumed to be criminal or all blonde pretty girls are assumed to be thick. It’s not just fat.

Do you think there’s ever a right way or time to express concern about someone’s weight?
NO! Mind your own business.

What are the worst things people have said to you about your body?
I’ve been called so many names when I was younger....had people in the street shout shit at me – the worst comment I ever got – and I’ve never forgotten it – was at school, said to me by a boy I had a crush on and he said “The sins of the father are vested on the children and your dad must have done something awful to make you look like that”. It’s utterly cruel and horrible and I wish I could forget he said it but I can’t.... 

How did you respond?
Nowadays if people yell at me I ignore it or just shout fuck off. To be honest, there are so many more plus sized people out there these days – I always used to feel like the only fatty in town but nowadays we’re everywhere! At school I used to laugh it off then cry when I was alone. Now I find it quite pathetic when total strangers try and insult you. I mean really? Get a life - I find if you pity someone it takes away all power to offend or upset you.

What have people said (or do you wish they’d say) that would compliment your body or appearance?
I get compliments plenty thanks. Especially since finding the confidence to dress the way I like (thank you fat blogging community). And attending amazing swaps where I get fab clothes. I understand my body. I know how to dress it. I think I’m pretty and so do quite a lot of other people as they tell me. I do miss my waist. I used to get amazing compliments on my hourglass figure which has now disappeared due to two caesarean sections. I wish it would come back. Though I have had two men chat me up and give me their phone numbers at random times in the street in the last two years which I take as a massive compliment!

Do you find yourself hanging out with women who are closer to your size?
I have so many friends of all shapes, sizes, colours and creeds. I love hanging out with all of them. I do love the friends I’ve made through fatshion because they’re amazingly clever and have taught me a lot. And sometimes, someone the same size as you gets certain things that skinny peeps don’t (like chub rub) and that’s always nice to have that connection. But I don’t notice size or anything really. They’re just my friends....

How has your weight affected your sex life, if at all?
A bit if I’m honest. I wonder if my size has affected my sex drive which has always been lower than the average bear......

When you’ve been single, has your weight affected your dating life?
I suppose it did affect me at school. There was a boy who liked me and I liked him and we used to meet in secret (it was a boarding school so there weren’t that many places we could!) and I remember he got beaten up by the boys in his house for dating me so he broke it off – evil peer pressure. But it wasn’t serious. I remember it made me think about a man being embarrassed to be with me. But then my next boyfriend was the keeper. I met him at 19 and he moved in with me immediately. 23 years later we're still together. I never got the chance to really play the field and always wonder if I missed out....(not really!)

Do you feel weird if the guy you’re with only dates larger women?
Rob was never what he called a chubby chaser in the past but then I was his first proper girlfriend. He'd found skinny women attractive in the past. He fell in love with me in my entirety - body and soul and personality- and wasn’t just interested in my body (though he did like it a lot!). Apart from that I don’t know. You’re attracted to what you’re attracted to aren’t you? I like em tall and a bit geeky.....  

Do you feel weird if he’s only dated slimmer women before you?
No. If he’s fallen in love with you, you should revel in it. Size is immaterial in my opinion.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Couple of OOTD posts

I've been rediscovering Instagram.And trying to use it to snap some more fashiony shots as well as food!

So here are a couple of outfits - what I've been wearing recently....

Dress - Asos Curve Star Sundress (think it's still on the sale page)
Worn with Primark long sleeve jersey top and Primark leggings

One of the things I learnt from my fatshion chums is to realise my personal style. And it's usually this - leggings and a dress - usually skater style - or a long tunic top and leggings. I used to live in slouchy jeans. I love frocks. And it took reading other blogs and finding the right stores to work out what I love and having the confidence to wear it.

This is a top I've had for ages - flower and floaty sleeved and I love it - Primark again!!!

Sunday, 12 January 2014's only been nearly a YEAR since I last posted!

My NY resolution this year was to take up my Photo A Day challenge again. I managed it in 2011, failed after Feb in 2012 and didn't even attempt 2013.

Part of it is uploading the photo each day to my other blog which had also been woefully neglected. On my dashboard I saw that this pathetic excuse for a blog is still getting hits - quite a lot of hits - and it surprised me. There are a TON (excuse the pun) of plus sized fashion blogs out there - excellent wonderful ones, written by women I have had the utter privelege to meet in person (and swap clothes with - lucky me).

Why am I still getting hits? So I thought I'd update it at least, so whoever ends up here isn't bored to death....

I must admit, in the last 18 months or so my membership of the plus sized fatshion gang has lapsed. My family life gets in the way - both my kids have SEN and it's hard. No lie. Not much ME time....I missed Plus London this year which was gutting.

However the lovely ladies - especially Monkey - have kept in touch and keep me in the loop. In fact there's a wonderful event happening next week -

ToodalooKatie is organising it, lots of the bloggers are selling (and writing) about it - it looks amazing and I've already booked a babysitter so I can go! Yay! I'm really looking forward to seeing old friends, and getting some amazing clothing too!

So if you've stumbled here by accident, and you're near London - why not join us!

I will try and post some more on this blog too - it's such a phenomenal community and I love to be part of it - just wish I could have some more ME time! Maybe that should be another resolution (chance would be a fine thing...)

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

OMG I'm still alive's been a say the least. My life got complicated (or rather my children did) so I've been kind of off the radar and not really thinking about fashion - though still reading everyones blogs!

So a mini catch up.....I bought the MOST amazing top from Em's blog. I utterly love it. Haven't worn something that made me feel so good for a long time - it's Joe Browns and it's amazing. And it was a tenner.

Even though I've been an antisocial outcast, the lovely Chattermonkey never forgets me and invited me to a fatshion swap at the marvellous Cruella's house on Saturday. I love a good swap - if you read the entries on this blog you'll see why - free clothes from women whose style I admire - no lose situation!

Some amazing women there - Em, Kirsty, Gina, Rachel, Wendy, Michelle, Isha, Sian....I apologise if I've forgotten anyone - I was overwhelmed with clothing lust and good company. I got some AMAZING things but for some reason, while typing this, Blogger has stopped uploading my pictures - just let me do the three above then stalled. So I'll do a separate post.

So thank you everyone who brought things that I pilfered. Especially Rachel who brought a stunning blue dress which is bodycon and I was quite scared of wearing it. She gave me a fab pep talk - told me to stop being silly basically - and when I posted a pic of it on Facebook I was inundated with positivity! So listen to the women who blog - they are wise. And they have fab castoffs....

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Quickie! Primark special....

I had a bit of time to myself today - about 20 minutes - between rushing from one appointment to another. So I jumped into Primark. I meant to go and look at the jewellery but just quickly browsed the ladies clothing....found some fab leggings - just plain ones for £3 so I got 3 pairs - pink, blue and green.
Think I must have timed it well as they must have done a restock - usually the size 18s or 20's are gone by the time I got there. I spotted these beautiful purple starry pattern leggings and yes! They had them in my size so into my basket they went. (I actually had to go and get a basket at this point)
And then I wandered over to the dresses.....I have one Primark dress - a maxi - but had never tried on any others. There were 2 lovely dresses I liked - both bird prints (think Claire was in my head) one was in a 20 (the duck one) and one an 18 (the flamingo one). I tried them both on....

Hello ducky!

The duck one - the size 20 - was much more into the basket it went!

And then! As I was heading for the checkout I saw this skirt....(again Claire in my head). It's one of the mullet type skirts - longer at the back than the front - which I never really liked until I got my pink ASOS dress which does the same. It's jersey which I love....I'm not sure how to style it - didn't even try it on just chucked it in! But I think I'll wear it! I hope I will....

short at the front....

long at the back....

lovely swallows!

So what do you think of my 20 minute, originally for jewellery (of which I got none), Primarni haul?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

OSP Challenge!

And so! My second opportunity to review an item of clothing! The lovely Claire again invited me and four others to review some trousers from OSP - One Stop Plus.

The challenge was to dress them up and down - so a casual look and then a look for evening. And here's how I did!

The trousers are by Ellos and retail at £20.30 and can be seen here I really liked the funky paisley pattern and usually wear leggings with this kind of detail. They're 100% viscose which is comfy and easy to wash and wear. They're crop length which I don't normally choose but for summer would be good.

I chose to pair them with this purple top by M&S for my casual look - this is very much how I'd wear them - I like long floaty tunic tops with leggings and although it was tempting to put them with one of my (many) black tops, I thought a splash of colour would be more interesting!

Top: Marks and Spencer (last summer)
Trousers: Ellos at OSP (gifted by OSP)
Shoes - trusty silver Birkenstocks
And for the evening, dressed up - I chose this sequin vest that I was lucky enough to pick up at a clothes swap (it has no label so I'm afraid I'm not sure where it's from). I do love a sparkly top whenever I can and again, although it's black, it's jazzed up with the sequins! The trousers are definitely more suited for casual - so it was a bit tricky to find a way to make them work for an evening look - I hope you think I managed the challenge!

The main problem I had with these trousers though was the baggy top part. (Which is why I teamed them with a long top at first). You can see with the vest that they're really baggy around my upper thigh. They are described as "Slightly baggy design with wide panel at top" which they are exactly - but while they fit like leggings on the leg, at the waist and stomach area they feel too big. I am a size 20-22 and this is the size of the trousers but they felt too big on top, and yet if I'd sized down, I think they'd be too tight on the leg. They are like a weird combination of harem pants and leggings and it flummoxed me!

As you can see they're REALLY generous at the top. I do love the fabric but the bagginess of the top part puts me off I'm afraid and I wouldn't have bought them myself.

However I do appreciate the opportunity to review them and thank you OSP for giving me my second review!  What do you think? Would you like the looser top and tighter leg combo of these trousers?

Check out how my fellow bloggers have styled theirs:

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Joe Browns Challenge for Simply Be!

Ok before I start I'll apologise in advance if this is slightly giddy but I'm very excited by this whole experience. This is the first time ever I've been asked to review an item and I'll admit I was a bit scared. But when the wonderful Claire told me it was for Simply Be, and not only that, for Joe Browns I was very very happy. I love Joe Browns - even before I knew they did a plus range I loved em. Then joy of joys I discover Simply Be's range and I fell in love. Unfortunately it's always been a little bit beyond my unemployed actor/responsible Mum budget.....

So imagine my joy when I got a package with the most beautiful top in it. And as soon as I opened it I knew I'd love it mainly for this reason....

I flipping hate ironing. Never do it. My children often look like ragamuffins and I sometimes look like I slept in my clothes but I literally cannot iron to save my life. So I pulled this out and it was joy to my eyes! The fabric of this top is wonderful - it's designed to be rolled up and scrunched about after washing - perfect in my opinion for a holiday pack - you could wear this on the beach or jazz it up for evening. It's beautiful. It's got SO many jewel toned colours in it - not sure my pictures will do it justice so have a look at it here on Simply Be's website and you can zoom in and really see the patterns. I do love a bit of paisley (showing my age here) as it takes me back to my student days!

So - the challenge - to style it however we wanted - which is a bit scary as I'm still quite new at this. The top arrived on the Jubilee weekend so I had a brainwave - wear it with my mad Primark union jack leggings. I tried it on......

And NO....too much pattern! I have decided my signature look is usually mad leggings with tops or tunics but even this was a bit too mad for me. There are so many colours in the top that you could wear so much with it, but it just didn't work with the mishmash of the British flag. So I wore a plain red dress with those on the Jubilee instead.

Take TWO!

I went through all my leggings but none of them worked - and I didn't want to do my usual and pair this gem with black - so I decided to go patriotic - just not so obvious! The jeans are red as you can see and although they aren't the same red hues as are shown in the top, I think they work. Unfortunately, since it's bloomin freezing at the moment, I've had to put a cardy over the top - I do love me a waterfall cardigan!

Top - courtesy of Simply Be
Jeans - Lane Bryant
Cardigan - Tu for Sainsburys

If the sun comes out I will strip the cardy off! This is really flattering, really comfy and utterly joyful to wear.

This is a beautiful top. I feel fantastic in it.  I love the hanky hem (I know a lot of people don't like them but I think it's very pretty) I love the colours and the print - very summery and funky - and I love the fact that you don't have to iron it! I'll be wearing it today when we visit the Cutty Sark so may add a few more piccies later. Joe Browns also do a version in green and purple which I'm currently saving my pennies for - love it!

My only problem with it, as usual, is that it's a bit big in the bust - even with the ties done up tight. I'd probably buy a size smaller in future - I'm kind of in between a 20-22 and this top was a 22 (I was erring on the side of caution but think the sizing is pretty true so a 20 would be better)

. So thank you so much Simply Be for the opportunity to review an item from a range I've loved for so long. And thank you Claire for asking me to be part of this little gang of reviewers!

Do check out how the other girls styled it - 
Gina - Fat Fit Fine
Wendy -52-46-54