This Girl Can’t (But Did it Anyway)

Good morning, good morning, and if you’re wondering about the lack of posts recently, it’s because I’m currently on holiday in Scotland! I was actually meant to write and set up a queue before I went, but as happens to the best of us before going on holiday, time slipped away. So here I am writing to you lot at 6am in the morning from the wondrously comfortable bed of my hotel room!


If I hadn’t mentioned this before (I have a brain like a sieve, do bear with me), I am from Scotland. I was born in Glasgow, raised on the West coast until I was 7, moved to England, then moved back to Glasgow at 18 and stayed there again until I was 25. Most of my family still live up here, and this week we’re up visiting my Mum, but she decided it would be nice to go to Edinburgh for a few days.

I’ve been to Edinburgh several times, but I would in no way claim to really “know” the City. My husband has only ever been to the zoo, so we thought it would be a nice trip. And so on the day when my Mum and stepdad offered to look after our daughter, I suggested to Ell, “let’s climb Arthur’s seat”.


(We later discovered that wasn’t the highest point)

Arthur’s seat, if you are not familiar, is the highest craggy point in a set of hills that form Holyrood Park, just outside of the centre. The cliffs are the remains of a volcano which shifted several millions of years ago, and the crags are formed of basalt lava flow (the same as the rocks Edinburgh castle is formed on). I’ve never actually gone there, and Elliot loves a good hill walk, so thought it would be the best way for him to see the city for the first time.

I did a bit of research and discovered there were different routes with two for an easy walk, but I also found a website of a guy who runs tours there saying it wasn’t the best way to go for scenery. So even though I’m not fit at all, this is the way we decided to go.



It’s a beautiful walk, it really is. But let me tell you, by half way up I did not think I was going to make it, in any which way. If you’ve ever done this walk, you might find me ridiculous. It’s described as “relatively easy”, but I’m guessing that that is, for the most part, not aimed at 230lb unfit people such as myself.



When I say I’m unfit, I really do mean unfit. I’m not talking “doesn’t go the gym” unfit, I’m talking “doesn’t do anything” unfit. I’m a SAHM, and the only exercise I get is walking my daughter to nursery or to the shops.

This meant that I stopped so many times, I cried, I swore, I said I couldn’t do it.

When we got to the last quarter, Elliot tried to reassure me that we didn’t need to go to the very top. We were at a point where there were already incredible views, we were so near the precipice, and I was having a lie-down because I was feeling sick. 

But I was determined.


It wasn’t because I had anything to prove. It wasn’t because I felt embarrassed about not feeling I could make it. It was simply because I wanted to. I was wrong to do it.

After I had sat for a bit, had some water, and taken in the views already available, I got up and began to climb again. The strangest thing was that I found the last part of the climb most enjoyable. Elliot and I once again decided not to follow the path, and were scrambling up the crags to the peak. And I’ll admit, once I got there, I had a little cry.


I was tired, I was red, I was sweaty, my hair was a mess. It was busy. The views were beautiful. It was windy as all hell. We spent a little time there, took photos, were thankful to be there, and then made our way down. I thought everything was fine.


I was expecting the way down to be easy. It wasn’t.

I lost my sense of direction and which way the route I had looked up suggested I follow, and ended up going back down a way that was extremely steep with a very narrow path. This wasn’t so bad, but what was, was the fact that it was an extremely dry day, there was loose shingle and dusty earth. This made everything incredibly slippy.

I fell twice.

The first time, I was mucking about and I fell and hurt my knee and my butt, but it wasn’t too bad. Elliot shook off my embarrassment by sitting down next to me and taking selfies, pretending it was on purpose (like that scene from Scrubs).


The second time, it was on an extremely narrow bit with a sharp drop to the left, and honestly, if Ell hadn’t been there, I would have gone over. That shook me. And my knees went into a state of absolute jellification. You know that feeling like your legs are vibrating, like you’re bouncing them up and down when you’re actually not? Yeah, that.


I took it slow, and eventually we got to a grassy knoll about half way down. And despite getting to the top of the crag, this was the most idyllic spot yet.


The path we had taken down was really quiet (and now I can probably tell why), and then you reach a grassy bit that has a cliff on the left, looking down at the lower paths of Holyrood Park running down the middle. We were on a bit of short dry grass and lichen which was really soft, the wind wasn’t hitting us as hard now, it was sunny and quiet, and we were watching kestrels hunt right by us. We lay down and stayed there, in perfect happiness and rest, for about half an hour. I could have slept, honestly.


When I eventually managed to get back up, I felt a little better, but still was annoyed by how far we had to go to reach the bottom, but the path was easier now. And by the time we did, I was euphoric.

But then we had to walk ages into Edinburgh. We were meant to be meeting someone, and instead, I was getting the bus back to the hotel myself because I was so ill. I had pushed myself way too hard, and I was out for the rest of the night and most of the next day. I shouldn’t have been so stubborn.

My main point is this:

I do not buy in to the good fatty, bad fatty narrative. I’m no more of a person because I chose to climb a hill rather than go have lunch in McDonalds. I ate McDonalds for dinner that night, actually. And I didn’t earn it either, by the way. Fat people are allowed to exist in all forms, and funnily enough, we all have different likes and fitness levels and activities we enjoy.

There are fat people who could do that walk easily and enjoy it, there are fat people who can struggle the whole way, like me, and there are fat people who could never even dream of attempting it. All are valid and important, beautiful identities.

And do you know what? I’m never gonna do that again. I climbed it because I thought my husband would enjoy it. I climbed it because I wanted to do it once. I’ve done that now, and that’s it. And the next time I’m in Edinburgh, I’ll go and have a nice meal instead.

Am I proud of myself for doing it? Yes. But I’m proud because for me it was hard. I’m proud because I set myself a goal and I did it (something that may seem mundane for most, but is a huge achievement with my depression).

It took us ages. I cried. I threw up a little. Really, I couldn’t do it. I probably should have stopped. But I did anyway because I’m a stubborn cow. And do you know what? If you can’t, it’s okay. I won’t do it again. I’m not built for that kind of exercise. And that’s okay too ūüôā

Kirsten xo

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Working on (My) Fat Positivity

tw: talk of mental illness, body issues


Good morning all ūüôā I hope you had a marvellous weekend, and the beginning of the week hasn’t been too rough on you.

Today I wanted to write about something that seems to be a constant topic in my life, because of the online community I surround myself with: fat positivity. Note that I say fat positivity here and not body positivity, which I think to be a different beast entirely now.

Sometimes it feels like I’m dealing with very opposing sides of my brain in the way I approach life. I have the side of my brain that I see as the “actual me” and the side that I see as purely my mental illness. Distinguishing the two can be hard.
Some people choose to accept the mental illness side of them and amalgamate it into one version of themselves, and although to a certain extent I think that can be very positive, I frequently choose not to do this, because –¬†in my own opinion –¬†I see it as normalising abnormal behaviours I don’t like about myself that are a result of my mental illness.

The “actual me”, for the most part, is the me you see here on this blog. The “actual me” is opinionated, happy, weird, loves their body, loves themselves, loves the world, and is motivated to promote and use positive behaviours in their approach to life.
It’s the me that looks at a picture of themselves and says, “wow I look hot”, “look how great my makeup is”, “look at that cute belly roll”. It’s the me that wants to encourage other people to love themselves so wholly and entirely that they don’t feel the need to participate in the performative art that is “fitting in” to societal expectation, whether it be regarding clothing, makeup, weight, sexual or gender identification.

I don’t want to go into what the other side of my brain is like, simply because I don’t want to trigger anyone, if anything. But if you could imagine the very worst things you could say to someone, that’s what my own brain does/says to me on the¬†daily.

(I’m obviously, not at all saying that people who don’t suffer with mental illness don’t suffer from insecurities, have bad days, days where they don’t like themselves or their bodies. All of that happens and all of that is valid too.)

The reason why I point this out is because it makes writing and promoting fat positivity hard, and I very often feel like a fraud. Because the “negative me” is the one I live with most often on the daily, I have to try really hard to push through and find the part of me that is authentic to be able to write, to be able to interact with people, to be able to look at myself in the same way I look at others online.
I’ve seen many people try to use this mentality to negate fat people’s existences before. To negate their own existences.¬†I have seen people say, “well, you feel this way because you know it’s not right/normal”, “if you’re that unhappy, why don’t you do something about it?”
It’s very hard to try and explain to people that are in that mindset that I am¬†not¬†unhappy because I am fat. I am unhappy because I have¬†depression, and yes, that infiltrates every part of my personality, including my fatness. My mental illness tries to blame my unhappiness on everything, and I mean¬†everything, but itself. But I am not unhappy because I am fat.¬†I am not unhappy because I am fat.

I went on a night out last month. I had had a hair crisis the night before, but I had kind of rectified it, was liking the new hair colour, was feeling alright.

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When I tell you that I had spent hours looking at outfits that day, I mean it. Literal hours. Just to find something, just to find one thing that I liked the look of on me. Those days happen to the best of us. So it goes.
I had this sheer top I bought from Asos last year, but I hadn’t worn it because the sleeves were a little too tight, and I didn’t really like how it looked with a vest under it. I chopped the sleeves off (because why not?) and tried it on by itself and¬†loved it. My partners breathed a collective sigh of relief at the fact that I had settled on something, and I was feeling good.

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But after getting ready, after that smile you see above, after feeling happy and excited to go out with my husband, my daughter got ill, and I was having to go out alone. That’s when the anxiety kicked in.

Suddenly I hated everything again. I hated the outfit, I hated my hair, I hated my makeup, I hated¬†myself. I hated myself with such deep and ferocious intensity that had it not been so close to when I had to leave, I would have not ended up going. But that wouldn’t have been fair. It wouldn’t have been fair to my friend on their birthday. It wouldn’t have been fair to myself.

I want to take a little aside here to point something out: obviously my husband usually takes photos of me for this blog. On this day, I wasn’t taking pics with the intent on blogging them, but simply because I feel like my body dysmorphia is so bad that I don’t get an “accurate reading” of myself when I look in the mirror, and so I make my husband take pics of me in an outfit,¬†before every single time we leave the house, just so I can see myself through someone else’s eyes, as it were. That’s why the pic above was taken, and that’s why the pic below was taken.

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My genuine smile of excitement and happiness, me stood there confident in my bare feet and leggings, turned into genuine fear. I was convinced I couldn’t go out¬†like that, and put on a kimono to cover myself up a bit more (knowing I wouldn’t be able to find another top I liked in time). Obviously the kimono ended up looking boss, cos it looks boss with literally everything. But check that difference in my face.

The point is though, that I still did it. I still went out like that. I still had a nice night. I still spent barely any time clutching my cover around me. And I still saw it as a victory.

It’s not easy to love yourself when you have a voice that tells you literally every day that you’re better off dead. It’s not easy to be positive when you have an illness that tries to strip every bit of light from your life. And yes, when it comes to myself and m body, it is a process. It’s a struggle. It’s a constant fight for self-acceptance. But let me reiterate this one more:¬†I am not unhappy because I am fat.

I am, and always will be, unequivocally, fat positive.

kirsten-xo

p.s. lipstick is the metallic Happi by Lime Crime. Isn’t it wonderful?

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OUTFIT OF THE DAY

So I have been trying to move out of my comfort zone when it comes to my fashion choices recently.

I love fawning over plus size bloggers and the looks they are able to put together, but I’m just not sure I have the creativity of doing things like that myself! I also get myself stuck in a rut of throwing on leggings and a top, and when that’s been a habit of so many years it can be hard to get past.

Not that I don’t still love leggings and a top or that I think they can’t still look hella cute together – it’s still my go-to!

In the hopes of getting the most out of my wardrobe, I’ve been going through it to try and work out what I haven’t worn/rarely worn and the reasons why. Do I actually not like the item, or am I stuck wondering how to wear it?

Turns out it’s mainly the latter.

I found a skirt in my wardrobe with the tags still on and it is¬†gorgeous. Why hadn’t I worn it? Was I waiting for a specific occasion? I’m not sure I could actually tell you. But I decided to put it on and see what happened.

I was actually going to try and “summer it up” a bit, but the weather turned this day. It was really muggy and cloudy, and so I think with the darkening of my mood, I gravitated towards darker colours and this was the result.

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(Inspo for pairing a tee with a floaty skirt comes from Danie Vanier, who always pulls off looks like this effortlessly)

As I’ve stated before, most of my clothes are very out of season, so I don’t have links for you! The skirt¬†may still be available in Primark, or styles like it which I actually saw yesterday. However, if you need something somewhat similar, you can find a great one here from Evans ūüôā

I do hope to have some newer stuff soon РI took advantage of the Asos sale over the weekend so you might see some pieces from that!

Anyway, I hope you all had an awesome bank holiday and that going back to work hasn’t been too painful for you!

Until next time ‚̧

kirsten-xo

 

Spring Navabi Sale Picks

Note 1: As of the date of writing this, all items are in stock, though in limited sizes.

Note 2: As I concentrate on plus-size fashion, I have only listed styles currently available in size 18 and above.

Goooooood morning peeps!

Today I have another fashion-based post for you, this time showcasing some of my faves from the amazing sale that Navabi currently has on!
Navabi sells high-quality plus size fashion, and I am always drooling over their website. Their sale has absolutely loads of great stuff in it, to the point where it was hard to narrow this down.

Spring always makes me think of pastel colours and floral prints, but there were some pieces I included here that I felt were just too good not to share.
Enjoy!

 

 

  1. Eterna Polka Dot Cotton Shirt
  2. Manon Baptiste Denim Midi Skirt
  3. Nör Polka Dot Shirt
  4. Manon Baptiste Open Front Boyfriend Blazer
  5. Choise Print Zip Neckline Dress
  6. Exelle Floral Print Tunic
  7. Jennifer Bryde Patterned Cotton Trousers
  8. Persona Polka Dot Dévoré Shirt
  9. Miss Y by Yoek Cotton Shirt Dress
  10. Choise Striped Button Through Dress
  11. Eterna Printed Cotton Shirt
  12. Annalisa Woven Pleated Top
  13. Zizzi Patchwork Effect Skinny Jeans
  14. Samoon Drawstring Waist Dress

 

What do you think? Have you found any amazing sale picks this season?

Until next time, lovelies ‚̧

kirsten-xo

ASOS Wishlist May 2017

So my daughter has chickenpox. This is an enlightening experience because I have never actually had chickenpox myself. And no, I don’t have it just now, either. Maybe I’ll catch it from her and it will present itself in a week or two, but right now the only thing I am suffering with is a super infected finger – ouch!

Because of this, I haven’t left the house in a few days, nor¬†making myself presentable because I’ve spent most of my time looking after her (and going on a SIMS4 binge!), so unfortunately, I haven’t had any new looks to present you with. So, for today, I thought I’d do a wishlist, which I don’t think I’ve done since my birthday last year!

When it comes to finding clothes, being plus size can be difficult. It’s not always a case of popping into town and grabbing something. It can be an arduous task to trawl round finding a) things that fit you, b) things you can afford, and c) things you actually like. This isn’t a problem for most people, but when you’re fat, this is the holy grail. And this is a reason I like Asos so much.

Like I said in a previous post, I can’t afford to buy many clothes, but the ones I do get tend to be from online stores like Asos. And the ones I can’t afford go into the handy wishlist, where I sit staring and lusting after the pretties until I can afford them, or they no longer become available and disappear from the site.

So in this vein, here are some of my fave pieces on Asos Curve at the minute:

 

  1. Asos Curve Mini Rara Skirt Р£28
  2. Asos Curve Maxi Skirt in Palm Print Р£32
  3. Asos Curve Midi Skirt with Asymmetric Poppers Р£20
  4. Asos Curve Halterneck Sundress in Gingham Р£30
  5. Asos Curve Asymmetric Cami Top in Mixed Floral Р£28
  6. Asos Curve Smock Top in Tiers in Gingham Р£30
  7. Asos Curve Maxi Tea Dress with Open Back in Floral Р£45
  8. Asos Curve Embroidered Long Sleeve Shift Dress Р£70
  9. Asos Curve Salon Embroidered Smock Longer Length Midi Dress Р£120
  10. Asos Curve Embroidered Enchanted Midi Shift Dress Р£60
  11. Asos Curve Kimono in Stripe with Embroidered Back Р£60
  12. Lovedrobe Check Culotte Jumpsuit Р£55
  13. Asos Curve T-Shirt with Lace Plunge and Sleeve Р£25
  14. Asos Curve Mesh Scatter Sequin Mini Dress Р£75
  15. Asos Curve Stripe Swing Dress with Ruffle Hem and Tie Front Р£35
  16. New Look Plus Distressed Boyfriend Jeans Р£24.99
  17. New Look Plus Strappy Lace Bralet Р£12.99
  18. Asos Curve the Ultimate Cami with Caging 2 Pack Р£14

 

I’m especially in love with anything mustard yellow at the moment, and I’m trying to pull myself out of my comfort zone with patterns and styles… going against the grain in my attempt to reject the ideal of what is “flattering” to fat bodies, and in fact, get that word out of vocab altogether.

So what are you guys lusting after this summer?

Until next time ūüėČ

kirsten-xo

Makeup & Outfit of the Day 02.05.2017

Hello lovelies. Today I have a quick MOTD post for you from yesterday, where I got a bit carried away with the pink end of the spectrum.

One of my new goals is to give you guys a bit more of an honest look into my life. Often lifestyle bloggers will do MOTD and OOTD posts, and they consistently look like perfection, but for someone who does this and is also a stay at home mum… well, that’s not always the case. You’ll see that below. Well, at least my makeup is pretty good?

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You’ll have to excuse the rest of my appearance, please! I actually didn’t leave the house yesterday, and despite having nice makeup, the rest of me was a mess!

My favourite bit about this look was probably the highlighter, which is actually Urban Decay eyeshadow Roadstripe, which is a perfect white/purple duochrome I’m in love with (peep that cupid’s bow highlight tho)! Roadstripe is no longer sold individually, but mine comes from the XX Reloaded palette.

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Messy hair, don’t care.

Yes, as you can see, I have accessorised my makeup with an old jumper, unwashed hair I’ve thrown into a bun, and my glasses which… well, they’re necessary to see.

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Oh yeah, you probably haven’t seen my new glasses. These are some Specsavers one I got discounted for ridiculously cheap and I love them. They totally weren’t inspired by any anime characters or anything like that either… (ahem.)

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Outfit highlights include this old marl grey jumper, no bra, and my old ripped jeans you’ll have seen posts of me wearing everywhere last year but now have a massive tear up the side of.

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Sometimes, this is just my life. Sometimes I don’t even put makeup on or get out of my PJs.

#mumlife #depressionlife XD

Kirsten xo

KHAKI CASUAL

On my last blog post I promised that this one would be up straight after. It wasn’t.

There are no words that I can use to describe how I feel about the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. I have seen the videos, and I am blown away that this happens over and over and over. I don’t know what the solution is.
I’m not black. I’m a cis white female, but every death I see hits me hard, and I am so disgusted and disgraced to be part of a race who are so morally ambiguous, oppressive and violent.
I am not going to turn this into a political blog, because that’s not what it is, but it is¬†my blog. And on my blog I¬†will talk about things I care about, and I care about this.

BLACK LIVES MATTER.

I feel the need to state this explicitly on my blog because this is who I am and what I care about. I will go on from here to make a blog post in my usual mien, even though I don’t really feel like doing it right now. It doesn’t seem right to me that I should be doing something lighthearted when people are¬†struggling, really, really struggling. But I also know that we cannot halt our entire lives. I will continue to blog, and I will continue to care. And I will keep doing so and calling for action and signing petitions and doing what I feel I can until¬†something changes.

Thank you for listening.


If you saw my previous post you caught a glimpse of my makeup here as this was the day I had my first experience with colour correcting. But did you know I also had a bomb outfit?

Casual clothing is not something I do¬†well. I think a lot of fat girls can feel me on this one. If a skinny girl shoves on joggers and puts her hair in a messy bun then she will be deemed cute as hell and people flocking to compliment her on her “natural”, “casual”, “boyfriend clothing” vibe. When a fat girl does it, well, we don’t exactly get the same reaction.
I have however seen a lot of fat – femme and masc – babes on my social media feeds rocking the casualwear recently, and so that gives me hope that maybe I can do it too. I did try this out a little in this post, however that really way out of laziness and comfort and was just popping into town.

Don’t get me wrong, I own a lot of casual wear: I’m a stay at home mum. But that is¬†literally me wearing it for the sake of comfort and utility in doing housework and running around after a kid and a dog. Not dressing up joggers with heels and the like.

When I go out-out, I tend to wear skirts and dresses and patterns. My style is very femme most of the time, but what this has lead to is me looking in my wardrobe and noticing I am lacking some staples. For example, I didn’t own a plain t-shirt. I had some vests I bought for holiday and some crop T-shirts in bright colours, but I didn’t actually own just a plain t-shirt. I think this is because when I buy clothes I’m attracted to things that stand out to me, and even though I see pictures and posts of girls in t-shirts and looking amazing, they’re not actually jumping out to me when I shop either online or in stores. So the last time I was shopping, I was in Zara and picked up a couple of basic tees.

I went out on Saturday with my best friend and it was one of those nights where you don’t quite know what you’re going to end up doing: could’ve been a couple of drinks, could’ve been an all-nighter lol. So I wanted to wear something that would meet in the middle of that, and also allow me to be comfortable, because as you may know, I always prioritise that over fashion. So here we have my take on a casual going out outfit:

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This is one of my new Zara T-shirts. It’s an XL of what I think was meant to be an oversize shirt, but it has a pretty normal T-shirt fit on me ūüôā

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My outfit is essentially jeans and a T-shirt, but I tried to match my bag and necklace colours with the plum that I used on my lips which I think glammed it up a bit, and then went with these shoes I haven’t worn very often to take away the casualness of it. This probably would have worked a bit better with heels, but I very, very, very rarely wear heels and I think these were nice enough and went really well with these colours.

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Top: Zara [XL] | Jeans: Next [18] | Shoes: Matalan | Glasses: London Retro | Bag: Dorothy Perkins | Necklace: Accessorize

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For deets on how my first go at colour correcting went, please look at my post on it here.

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Max Factor Facefinity Primer¬†| Nyx Colour Correcting Palette¬†| Revlon Colorstay Concealer [Fair] | BDB Brow Duo Pencil¬†| Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation [42 Light] | Barry M Get up & Glow Palette¬†| Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter [Golden Lights] | L’Oreal Brow Artist Kit¬†and Plumper¬†[Medium/Dark]¬†| Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer [Original] |¬†Makeup Revolution Parental Advisory Palette | Urban Decay Shadow Box | Makeup Revolution Kohl and Flick Eyeliner | No7 Intense Volume Mascara¬†[Black] | Makeup Revolution Salvation Lip Lacquer [Rebel]

I didn’t realise how bad that eyeshadow blend was until after when I was editing this! Yikes!

Kirsten xo

BEING FAT ON HOLIDAY

*NB: I will be talking here about fat bodies, specifically my own. If the word “fat” offends you, this post is not for you. As with all other posts, opinions are my own. Your body is YOURS to do what you please with, and I encourage you to make choices that are right and comfortable for you. These are just my own experiences and things that helped me be comfortable in my own skin.*

If you currently live in today’s society, particularly if you are a woman, then I do not doubt that you have experienced the gut wrenching pain that is worrying about your weight and your looks.

To live in 2016 is still to live in a society wherein we play compliant pawn to expectations thrust upon us by media and our peers. To know you’re fat if you’re anything 12+. To know you’re ugly if your skin doesn’t look as smooth as a porcelain toilet bowl and your hair doesn’t glisten with the shine of a thousand suns. To listen to and watch and read advert upon advert upon advert that tells you that you need to work on your “summer body” (as if you are not fully whole in your existence year-round), that you need to get “bikini ready”, that you need to wax and exfoliate and put makeup on and take makeup off and have a BMI of exactly 18 to be classified as societally acceptable.

A year and a half ago I decided that I didn’t want to be party to it anymore. I decided that I didn’t want to have my life dictated by others and whether or not I fit into their brackets of socially acceptable, and it has been revolutionary for the discovery of my self. I am the size that I am and no longer worry about food, I wear makeup because I like it, and I wear the clothes I feel most comfortable and happy in. This has led to me being fatter and happier than I ever have been.

But there are certain times when I am forced to think about my fatness.

I still have privilege in my size. I can fit comfortably into most chairs, airline seats etc… seatbelts still fit me fine… I can even sometimes walk in and buy something from a straight-sized store. I am aware that fats bigger than me have many more obstacles in daily life. However, there are things that have changed for me being the size I am now compared to what I was. It’s not enough to make me want to diet (I doubt there’s much that could put me back on that path), but sometimes certain situations have to make me think about how I’m going to comfortably get through the day. My biggest obstacle with this yet was going on holiday.

So here’s my list of how to cope with being fat, and making yourself comfortable, on holiday:

KEEP COOL

This is priority numero uno.

When you’re fat you have more folds than the regular person to keep clean and dry and cool, and you also have more body parts rubbing together. Couple this with the fact that fat people tend to have a higher basal body temperature than thin people, and things can get pretty hot and sticky. The best way to deal with this is to find a way to keep yourself cool.

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Now I know there are a lot of sun-worshipping and tanning fatties out there: I am not one of them. So one of the easiest ways I found to keep cool was to seek shade. When by the pool and on the beach, I always sought the comforting shade of a parasol. This obviously helps keep your body temp down by being out of direct sun, but you can still enjoy everything that’s going on around you and enjoy the relaxing scenery from your sun lounger. Plus, you don’t have to worry about turning yourself every 10 minutes!

Another super important thing, for all people but especially helpful for fats, is to be drinking a lot of water. If you’re in a country where drinking tap water is not recommended, then make one of the first things you do on arrival to be buying gallons of drinking water from a nearby supermarket or local shop. And never leave your hotel/villa/wherever you’re staying without water. I know there’s a lot of you health nuts who do this anyway: it’s even more important on holiday.
A cold beer or cocktail is always tempting to escape from the midday heat – and go for it! You’re on holiday! But always remember to rehydrate yourself as a follow up, especially if drinking during the day.

The last thing – which was my saviour – was to be taking cold showers at least once a day, sometimes twice depending on what you’ve been doing. This not only cools you down, but it gives you the opportunity to rehydrate through your skin, hair, etc, and you can follow up straight away with your sunscreen (in the morning) or after sun (evening/night).

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This kinda ties into the first point about keeping cool. What better way to keep cool than to be in the water? (With sunscreen thoroughly applied, of course).

I am a fat water baby. I love being in the pool. Not the swimming part so much, but I do like to wade around in the shallows like a hippo, or float and doggy paddle around the depths. To me, being at the pool is part of making a holiday a holiday, as opposed to a city break or something.
I am not one to lie around the pool all day every day, reading and tanning and swimming, but I do like to spend some time there after spending a day walking about, or to take a few hours to chill. On this particular holiday my aunty and uncle were teaching my daughter to swim, and it was so nice to get into the pool and swim around with her doing her first “mermaid kicks” in her little rubber ring.

But with a pool, of course, comes swimwear.

You could do what I used to do, and wear T-shirts and kaftans when actually swimming. If you’re doing this to cover up from the sun then yes, I fully recommend it, but if you’re doing what I was doing and using that as an excuse because you just wanted to hide your fat body, then I implore you to spend some time finding swimwear you love.

If you are not at that stage yet, I get that. If you feel best covered up, then you do you, honey. I fully support the decisions you make regarding your body. But I didn’t want to be covered up anymore. I wanted to swim and feel water on my arms and legs and… BELLY.
I managed to do a weekend away with friends last year that involved a hot tub by being fully covered by a bath sheet right up until the steps of the hot tub, then putting it back on straight away when getting out. But this year I wanted to walk about in a BIKINI. And guess what?

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Look at this fat water baby.

And my number one advice for having the confidence to do this is: find swimwear you love. I am still definitely not at a stage where I can wear a low-rise, spaghetti-strapped little number, but the transition from a one piece to this high-waisted and halter-topped Forever 21+ bikini was quite easy. Of course I had some hang-ups, and it took a little encouragement from those around me to do it, but once I was there and wearing it I felt invincible.

I actually took 3 swimsuits and 2 bikinis on this holiday, but I decided I didn’t feel confident in 2 of the swimsuits once I got there, and because I just did not feel confident in them at all, I decided not to wear them, and instead chose my old faithful which makes me feel amazing:

[Unfortunately this one is going into retirement now as the fabric has thinned too much :[]

My point is this: if you find it difficult to wear swimwear, take your time, and find something you love which makes you love you.

When I was on honeymoon, I told Ell I wished there were more fat confident women around me to make me feel more at ease in my swimwear. This year I told him that I wanted to be that fat, confidant woman.

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I want to reiterate that this is a personal opinion post on what helped me this summer, and this is one of the greatest for me.

Reclaiming my bingo wings has been a hard-fought battle for me. I actually don’t really care about having a fat ass, legs, tummy… but my arms took more getting used to. I’ve always thought they have been disproportionately large, even when I was thin (they’re not) and I have sweated my way through many, many summers because I refused to take my cardie off. The cardigan was one of the last hurdles I faced when it came to taking ownership of my body.

do love a good cardie, and wear them near daily, but the difference now is if I get hot, I’ll take it off. It seems so simple to those without body hangups, but for me, even now, removing my cardie heightens my anxiety. But I did it! And I am really proud of myself for keeping it off during the day this holiday, even if my demons scream at me a little when I see photos without it, and I recommend everyone to do the same. I didn’t know what a breeze felt like on my arms, and my pits (!) and it is wonderful.

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In a similar respect, I’m gonna talk about my boobs. I have big boobs. They’re 34GG and as well as being big, they are saggy. Funnily enough, this isn’t something I have a particular hang-up about. My boobs have always been saggy, from the moment they started growing. And then I breastfed a kid, and now they’re saggier. It’s genetics. I come from a line of saggy boobs. My nipples prefer to have conversations with the floor than whatever’s in front of me. Most of the time I keep my boobs reigned in with overpriced bras, which they look really great in. But I have a confession: I hate bras.

If I’m not leaving the house, there’s no way in hell I’m putting on a bra. If I’m just popping to the shops, I’ll have a debate in my head on whether I think the time/weather/outfit begets putting one on. If I’m going to be around people, I always will, simply for the piece of mind that they will be conversing with me and not thinking about the large gravitational pull on my chest.

I went on holiday with the intention of wearing bras. I took all three of mine (yes, three: look up the price of well-fitting bras in my size) and I lasted approximately 3 hours. My bra came off in terminal 3 of Heathrow airport before boarding the plane and I said BUH-BYE for the entirety of the holiday. I did try them a couple of times when there, but I NOPE’d out of that within 5 minutes of putting it on.

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Was I self-conscious of my tits? Sure. A bit. But I quickly got over it when I thought about wearing a bra in the heat.

Look, if wearing bras is your deal and that’s what makes you comfortable: go for it. I’m not here to tell you what to do, just give some tips on what helped me. And for me, talcuming under my boobs and suffering some saggy boobs in photos was 100x better than sweating under back straps and having thick shoulder straps digging into sunburned shoulders.

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Fat people: you know what I’m talking about.

I’m talking chub rub, swollen limbs, spots and sweaty folds.

Yep, this may not be a particularly appealing thing to read about, but it’s reality. Come on, even if you’re skinny you know you’re gonna get a bit sweaty and sticky in summer sun on holiday: just know the reality is so much worse when you’re fat. But all you gotta do is be prepared.

Take this photo for instance:

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Not the most fashionable look I’ve ever sported, but it served a purpose.

On that day, Elliot and I were going a 3 mile walk around the coast up and down several stairs, and around hilly and rocky paths. Maxi skirts are a great thing to take to keep you cool on holiday, but as a fat person, they just do not work for walking great distances. Wearing trousers or leggings on holiday may not be particularly cool, but I’ll take the extra heat these leggings gave me over chub rub any day. I’m also wearing braids so that my hair would stay out my face and keep me from getting sweaty, and wearing flip flops because my feet had swollen up in the heat :))))

The best thing I chose to do was wear leggings on this day, and also when I went to Barcelona, which would have been a nightmare for me in a maxi skirt. If leggings are just too hot for you, swap out for some linen or cheesecloth trousers.

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On days I did wear flowy skirts to keep cool and knew I wouldn’t be doing much walking, I was armed with talcum powder to keep the chub rub at bay, and stop the sweat from forming under my boobs, and deodorant to keep feeling fresh. Noice.

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If you’re anything like me and don’t cope with heat particularly well, going on a summer holiday can leave you feeling like a hot, sweaty mess. The best advice I can give to counteract this to have things on hand to make you feel good about yourself.

I had to deal with the fact that I was sans bra and cardigan a lot of days, and not always feeling my best about my outfit choices, so I counteracted that by making myself feel good with makeup. That’s my comfort zone. I can go without a perfect outfit if my face is on point.

I took a lot of makeup on holiday with me and was glad to have it there. It’s something that makes me feel good.

As you can tell, I walk around like I don’t own a single hair product, but if hair is your thing, then spend time making your hair nice on holiday. Whatever you can do to make you feel a bit more like you in coping under different conditions.

On the same note, if you’re able to go out for an evening take clothing for then that makes you feel amazing. For me this was on the evening of my Mum’s 50th birthday, when I wore one of the most beautiful dresses I’ve ever owned.

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It may look simple, but it makes me feel cool and confident, and basically, like a badass bitch. To feel as hot as I did then, even for one night, made all my woes fade away.

But finally,

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I know, I know… you’re on holiday, you want to look nice. And you can! But do you want to sacrifice having a good time over worrying about every single photo that’s taken of you?

This is something I confront in every day life generally, but it becomes even more relevant when you’re on holiday and likely to be taking loads of photos. I get through this on the daily because when my husband takes photos of me, he either doesn’t allow me to see them or he lets me see while he’s holding the phone. This is because I either send myself into a tizzy of “I look awful in ALL of them” or just straight up delete them from his phone, which infuriates him because he likes them and wants to keep photos of me on his phone.

I’m not saying that I don’t pick out flattering photos to share on social media; we all do. But what I am saying is this: don’t be like me and freak out over the photo even being taken. It’s your holiday, and you want to create some memories through pictures and not be deleting your memories because you look weird or fat or you hate your hair or your clothes or your face. Especially if you are with family and friends who want to treasure those memories as much as you.

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In this social media world sometimes we forget that not everything has to be shared with everyone. The photos we take are filed away for memories for us, and for our families, potentially even future generations. You’re probably just going to end up ruining your own – and other peoples’- good time by complaining about how you look in every photo.

Plus the fact that – sorry to break it to you – but the way you look in what you deem unflattering photos is probably how you look to other people around you in reality. Selfie culture allows us to curate those photos that we like, that help us feel good about ourselves, and show ourselves off a bit (something I am unapologetic about), but you are more than a selfie. Allow yourself to be seen through someone else’s eyes.

 

These are just a few of the things that helped me this year. I went on holiday with my family and it was one of the best weeks I have ever had, shared with people who I love and who love me. I count myself as lucky to have reached a point where I spend far less time caring about how I look than I used to, or I should say, caring about it in the right ways.

Fat or not, holidays are little slices of luxury that are there to help us relax. And there is just so much more to worry about in the world than buying into what the media tells you to. YOU HAVE a “summer body”. YOU HAVE a “bikini body”. If you choose to wear one.

Sure there’s some things I have outlined here that may be minor hurdles to cross when it comes to living in and with a fat body, but I would choose that any day alongside my own health and happiness.

Kirsten xo

Fat Sexuality and the Policing of Sex

Content warning: I’m about to talk a lot about sex. Specifically, fat sexuality and my own experiences of it. If the discussion of sex or fat sex is something that you’re uncomfortable with, this blog post won’t be your cup of tea.¬†TW also for ED and SH.

Note: This will specifically be discussing my own experiences. I have not ‘researched’ this topic beforehand, sought out blogs that discuss it, etc. I will have read about this topic in the past, however. The point to be made here is that all the opinions expressed are thoroughly my own.

This is something I’ve been wanting to write about for a long time now and have never really had a medium to discuss it. Recently it has become more important to me, and so I felt that now is the time. The easiest way for me to discuss my feelings toward this are to outline my own journey with my sexuality, so I’ll issue another warning: if you don’t want to hear about my sex life, don’t read this.

I discovered my sexuality at a young age. When I talk about sexuality in this sense, I do not refer to labels LGBTQ+ (etc.) but rather to the discovery that my genitals can be used for something other than making babies or bleeding me dry every month. In fact, my sexuality became apparent to me not long after my first period.
I was 13 the first time I discovered I could “make myself feel good”. It was a little scary, a little troubling, and felt very, very wrong. I thought it wasn’t right, I shouldn’t have done it, why did I do it, what was that feeling, and more. Now, I wasn’t a child particularly shielded from sex. I had grown up in a Christian household, I went to church on Sundays, but that had stopped the year before. It stopped when my parents divorced. This is not something I’m going to go into, but suffice to say, there’s something that happens when two people who have been together since they were teenagers and only slept with each other divorce. Guess what it is.
So, the past year of my life I had known¬†what sex was, and it was my first recognition as a child that the guardians in my life were “having it”.

As I went into that year I had less of an eye on me, as it were. I think this happens a lot to girls who turn 13 – they reach maturity, they develop, they’re much more understanding of the world around them. So I stopped being shouted at so much to turn my light off at night, to go to bed early, to get off the computer, to turn the tv off. So when my Mum went to bed at night the tv stayed on in my room, softly, and I would sit on the end of my bed watching Graham Norton and Eurotrash, not really understanding, being shocked, but learning. Learning that -surprise!- people have sex. People masturbate. People facilitate their pleasure in all kinds of ways and with all kinds of things. It became normalised. It was okay. What I had done was fine. Everyone did it.

I wasn’t at all eager to have sex. I knew that I was far too young. I was still a little Christian girl. I wanted to wait for marriage. I wanted it to be right. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t okay on my own, right?
I had an amazing group of friends. I loved them dearly. I hadn’t had brothers or sisters growing up and had only recently acquired a step-sister and a half brother, so my friends were my family. I could talk to them about anything. Or so I thought.

I remember trying to broach the subject one day with them in our form room. I was curious. The tv was telling me everyone did this shit, but did they? “Ew”, “that’s gross”, “that’s disgusting”, “of course not”. Oh. I went back to feeling ashamed.
Later, I was alone with one of them in the toilets. I don’t remember how it got brought back up, but I remember the girl who had told me “no, of course not!” was not standing in front of me, whispering “yeah, okay, I do. But you don’t TALK about it, Kirsten!!”
I shut up. I learnt very quickly that sex is something you don’t talk about. Especially if it’s on your own.

And then things¬†started changing for me. I became very, very interested in boys. So did my friends. They all liked the same people, but I was the outsider in my tastes, I guess. Nobody thought the people I found attractive, were (well, not that they were admitting at that point). I remember being kind of shamed for what I liked – one was ugly, one was far too old, one was never going to happen. There was always something. And then, going into our 14th and 15th years, my friends started dating. I didn’t.
I didn’t understand. I liked boys as much as they did. In fact, I probably liked more boys more intensely than they did. Why were they all seeing people? Why wasn’t I seeing anyone?
I thought, maybe, I’m not going about it right. Maybe I need to actively let people know I’m interested. I found out my biggest crush had started dating someone. No luck there. “He’s ugly anyway” one of my friends on the school bus said consolingly… I later found out that she sucked his dick. Getting over him pretty quickly, I developed strong feelings for someone else. “You’re like my sister”, he said. My friends discouraged me from liking him. He started sleeping with one of my best friends. Around this time (at 14) I became pretty good friends with another guy, but he was hesitant to let people know he hung out with me. One night, we sat on my bedroom floor drinking straight vanilla vodka when everyone else was asleep. He made it pretty clear that he had had feelings toward me, but was cagey about why he wouldn’t act on them, why we couldn’t see each other, why he didn’t even want people to know we’d been hanging out. The next time I saw him he ignored me and flirted with one of my best friends. One who had called him ugly.
There was a pattern here. No boys wanted to be with me. They’d flirt, kiss, sleep with the girls who they didn’t even know were dissing them behind their backs, yet ignore the fact that there was someone right here who DID like them. Who didn’t think they were ugly, or annoying. Of course, they were under no obligation to be with me or to like me, and I didn’t shame them for liking my friends. I just wondered what made me different.

Later that year something happened, though. I went to a house with 2 of my girlfriends to babysit. There were also 3 boys there. Very quickly these 2 girls became attached to 2 of the boys. Talking, flirting, ducking out of the room. It was just me and this other guy left. We started talking. We ended up outside smoking, then, under the moonlight, he kissed me.
It was nice, it was pretty. It was cold outside but his face warmed mine and it felt amazing. Suddenly his hands were everywhere. I panicked inside my head, I tried to keep myself calm. I didn’t want his hand ¬†up there. Then it started trailing down my stomach. “Don’t!” I said, pushing him away suddenly. I remember exactly how his face changed, morphing from this thing I had found attractive into something ugly, and looking down at me with disgust. “What, are you on your period?!”, he said, contempt in his voice. “No, I just don’t want to do that.” He stared at me hard. “Oh.” then, after a long pause, “Don’t tell anyone about this.” I nodded as he walked away. He turned back and said “By the way, how old are you?”, “14”… “Shit.” And he was gone. I found out later that he was nearly 18.

When I was 15 something happened that changed everything for me. Someone I was close to started going to Weight Watchers. “Why don’t you come with me?” they asked. Oh. Was I fat? I didn’t know. I wasn’t sure. I certainly knew that I was bigger than my friends. My closest friends were buying size 8s, my best friend a size 6, and I was sometimes struggling into 14. I’d never had much of a problem with it. I knew I was big but it didn’t bother me. I knew that people saw my size 6, 5’8″ friend as the tall, skinny, pretty one. I knew I was seen by other people a lot of the time as a tag-along. “Which one is Kirsten?”, “Oh, she hangs around with [x].”
By then some of my friends were in “long-term” relationships. Some of them were on their second and third boyfriends. From my recollection at that time, I only had one friend who wasn’t in a relationship. Around her house one day, I built up the courage to ask: “Do you think I don’t have a boyfriend because I’m fat?” She considered. We didn’t look at each other, and she said “Do I think you’d get a boyfriend if you lost weight?”. “Yeah” I said, agreeing with the reworded question. “Yeah, I mean, probably.”

Around¬†my 16th birthday I had a house party without my parents knowledge. Some of my friends and I started drinking early and polished off a bottle of vodka. Then, the one thing I didn’t want to happen, happened. Some people I didn’t know turned up. Friends of friends. Friends of friends of friends. There was one vaguely attractive guy. I hit on him a little bit, and he very unceremoniously brushed me off. Everything winded down, people left. Some people decided to stay over and fell to relaxing on the sofa. Lots of people in different bedrooms. In the middle of the night, the door opened. He silently got into bed next to me. We had sex.
It was awful. Embarrassing. Painful. Shameful. He forced me to perform oral sex on him. After, all I could think about was how it was something I never wanted to do again. He told me not to tell anyone and left directly afterwards – as I found out later – to go and continue his mission to get off with one of my friends.
In the morning he pretended it didn’t happen. Denied it to someone who asked. He left my house and I never saw him again (which was altogether completely fine by me). I found out later that he had a girlfriend.

I started going to WeightWatchers. It wasn’t working. I became vegetarian. It wasn’t working. Around this time I became really close friends to another girl. She made me see stars. She made me see beauty in things I didn’t think had value. She introduced me to new worlds of beauty and fashion and music. I was desperate for her attention. It wouldn’t be until years later that I realised I was falling for her. “I hate being so fat” she confided in me one day. “You’re not fat!” I said, meaning it. I was 16 and wearing a 16. She was probably wearing about a 12. “Do you ever think about doing something about it?”, she questioned. My fatness was not up for negotiation. By this time, it was something I had started “concerning” myself with. That conversation changed my life. She sent me pictures of herself in her underwear, outlining every detail that she hated about her body, and all I could tell her was how perfect she was, how amazing she was, how beautiful the broad hips she hated were. This wasn’t enough. I couldn’t make her see herself the way I saw her.
Our relationship became destructive. We started emailing constantly, sending pictures in our underwear to “critique” each other. Sharing pro-ED websites. Sharing “inspirational” songs which were actually written by people struggling. We would look disapprovingly at each other when we ever saw each other with food. There was one girl we knew who very obviously had a problem. The most we ever saw her eat was a few grapes. “She’s so inspirational”, “I wish I had that much control” I was told. Please don’t get me wrong – she is not the enemy in this – I was just as bad and in just as destructive a place. Probably telling her the same fucking awful shit. Her parents invited me for a BBQ once. She caught me with a plate of salad which had one sausage on it. “I can’t believe you’re eating that”, she whispered. “I’ll get rid of it.” 10 minutes later I was throwing up in her sink.
That was the most disgusting year of my life. Restricting, purging, laxatives, bags of rotten food and sick under my bed, pills, self harm, 2 suicide attempts.
It was coming up for Christmas and my school Winter Ball was approaching. I bought a size 10 dress.

In November, when I was 17, she invited me to a party at her house. At that party I met a guy. A really hot guy. A really, really hot guy. He was talking to me. He followed me round. Was he interested?
She didn’t like it. She practically threw us out of her house just because she found us chatting on the stairs, convinced we were about to go have sex in her bedroom or something. We exchanged numbers, then began seeing each other. My first boyfriend.
After a few dates he invited me back to his Mum’s¬†flat and we became intimate. It was good. I didn’t realise it could be good. We only ever had sex once, near the end of our relationship, and it was very, very short and full of laughter.
I put on a bit of weight. My main priority shifted from my need to be skinny, to him. ¬†In less than 2 months I was one dress size bigger, and he dumped me. By then my relationship with the girl who was my everything was practically non-existent. I didn’t feel like I had anyone to turn to. Then, a mutual friend I had made through him approached me one day. She tried to comfort me, telling me he was an asshole, etc. and that he had moved onto someone else very quickly. The same week actually. Another of my friends saw him with her and thought it was me. She said she looked so much like me. I looked her up. She did look like me. Eerily like me. She was skinny.

That year I turned 18 and moved 500 miles away to go to Uni. I’d put on weight but I wasn’t fat. Looking back on it, I can say that with certainty. I felt the opposite in that moment, of course. My bad habits had returned and mainly I drank my calories away. It was fine to go a day eating one tin of cold peas because then my calories would be saved for a bottle of wine that night. And that’s what I drank. Every night.
Over my first year at Uni I had the same experiences as my limited ones before. Guys who weren’t interested in me until it was behind closed doors, or if I would make a promise not to tell anyone. I even entered into a relationship with a guy who wouldn’t go out in public with me and made me promise not to tell anyone we were seeing each other. I kept my word. I thought that this is as good as it gets for girls like me. Until I’m skinny, they’re only going to see me as disposable. I’m not good enough to be in a proper relationship with.

One day I broke. I was extremely drunk and had an argument with my best friend who was visiting me, and it became violent. I couldn’t forgive myself for trying to hurt her, so I grabbed every pill packet and bottle I could find and swallowed everything I could, locked in the toilet.
I don’t remember much. I remember the ambulance. I remember how awful the sickness was – the taste of Jagermeister with the bitterness of the pills. I remember being in a gown and my Uncle next to the bed and not knowing how I got changed, or when he got there. And then I remember waking up in my Aunt and Uncle’s house. I was still being sick. It would take a while for my system to readjust, they said, apparently. I remember my Aunt making me toast and becoming angry when I wouldn’t eat it because I hadn’t eaten in days. “If you don’t eat it, you are going to be going straight back to hospital and put on a drip”. I ate it. Then I threw up.
I did start to feel better, and eventually I went back to Uni. I sat through lectures brainlessly, trying to catch up with what I had missed and failing. I remember feeling so happy that my stint in hospital had made me lose weight and that I suddenly had no desire to eat, to drink, or smoke.

I went down to England for Easter, and that’s when I met Ell.
There is plenty I could say about how we met. Of how we got together, but I would never be able to have the time to put into words the way he made me feel. We became best friends to begin with, and started dating in the summer. June.
It was the first time in a long time I had to examine my sexuality again. I wanted to be with him, and I also didn’t. I was terrified of putting on weight. I was terrified of him breaking my heart. I was terrified of him seeing me naked. When we eventually did have sex, I remember how hot it was. No, not in that way. Like, baking hot. Because I had insisted on keeping the duvet completely over us and tightly wrapped around so he wouldn’t be able to see me, at all. He was very understanding. He reassured me that I was beautiful, that there was nothing he couldn’t like, but he understood. It remained like that for a while, then one day, he asked to see me. Feeling a bit more secure in our relationship, I told him he could. He peeled the covers off me one morning while I kept my hands clasped tightly over my face. I didn’t want to see anything. I didn’t want to see his reaction. Of course it was positive, and it changed me.
He was gorgeous, and he wasn’t afraid of being naked around me at all. “How can you be so confident when you’re naked?”, I asked one day. “Because you think I’m beautiful.”, he said. He explained to me that he had had insecurities about his body, but now that I was here, now I told him how wonderful he was, how gorgeous he was, he didn’t care about any of it anymore. I found him beautiful, so he thought he must be. I wished I could feel that way.

I went to a sleepover with my friends. About half of them were the same people I had broached the subject of masturbation with all of those years ago. The conversation became sexual. I sat back and listened to these girls talking about preferred vibrators, how many they owned, what they liked sexually, with partners and without. I sat there in silence, and in shock. Sex wasn’t something you were supposed to talk about. Masturbation wasn’t something you were supposed to talk about. I knew because THEY had told me.
After sitting quietly for a while they turned the conversation on me. “I don’t own a vibrator”, I said. They were stunned. “How can YOU not own a vibrator?!” they demanded to know. Surely the girl who was the first person to have the gall to talk about or question their sexuality aloud SURELY owned a sex toy. “Have you ever had an orgasm?!”, they questioned. Yes, of course. “On your own?!” Yes, of course. It then turned out that not one of them had had an orgasm unassisted. I felt a quiet sense of joy in the fact that I was doing better than them, it seemed. That was one of the reasons I had never owned a sex toy. I didn’t need it. What could it give me that my own self couldn’t?

Over the next few years I put on a lot of weight. I went from a 12 to a 20. Every so often my bad habits would come back, but it was different this time. This time I had Ell. He encouraged me to seek help about my MH issues. He didn’t bat an eyelid when my pills made me gain weight. We never stopped having sex. And he didn’t care about how much I weighed. “You were gorgeous when I met you, but I prefer you like this” he said one day, his arms around my waist, his head resting on my tummy. “Yeah, right. How could that possibly be true?” I asked. “Because you’re happy”.
And he was right. I couldn’t control those voices in my head. My issues were there and they’re always going to be there, but instead of sinking into them, he was there to pull me out. I’d stand and examine myself in the mirror, pulling at myself, crying, talking about how I should diet, how I should make myself sick, sometimes how I should just kill myself and delete everything permanently, and he would always run up behind me and pull me into him. “You’re gorgeous. Please don’t change. Never leave me.”

We got engaged. I got pregnant. I loved being pregnant. I loved seeing what my body could do. I gave birth to our baby girl and my body started going to shit. The placenta had torn and I contracted a severe case of endometritis, then I developed gallstones and had attacks as bad as childbirth for months on months on end with doctors insisting my organs were “settling back into place”. I didn’t get my gallbladder removed until nearly a year later after having near daily attacks, and losing a ton of weight, as there was nothing I could eat that wouldn’t set an attack off. Again, my mental illness praised me for losing weight, even though the reality was I had been very, very ill.

Once my gallbladder was removed, I started gaining weight again, and over the next year would be fighting my body back and forth to try and get rid of it. Then, I came across “body positivity”. Now, I had seen various forms of this without giving it a second glance before, such as Dove campaigns, but not really taking an interest in it. Now, I immersed myself in it. I immersed myself in beautiful, fat women loving their bodies. I put on weight and had hella fun doing it. I started not feeling guilty about eating the things I loved. My body positivity and fat positivity became one of the most important things in my life. It still is. I should also note that a few years ago I realised that there was a reason why I had put so much stock in my female relationships without the same return: I was bisexual. A topic for another time, perhaps. I also became a radical feminist.

With this newfound sense of self, I started examining all of the experiences I had, outlined above. Why had I allowed myself to be used by so many men who hadn’t really wanted anything to do with me? Why had none of them wanted to be seen in public with me? Why were guys with skinny girlfriends abandoning them for one night with me? The answer became inescapable. I was fat, they wanted to have sex with me, and this was inexcusable.

Fat is the enemy. Fat is not attractive. Fat is DEFINITELY not romantic or sexual.

This is what mass media tells us. This is what society tells us. This is what we tell ourselves.
We like to think fat people don’t have sex, because fat isn’t sexy. Look at any porn magazine, website, tv programme, movie. Sex permeates our society. Sexuality is becoming more and more normalised. Women are reclaiming their sexuality and their pride in their joy of sex. You’re allowed to like having sex. You’re allowed to go and purchase stuff from Ann Summers. It’s not embarrassing to have to buy condoms any more. Or to have a package from Lovehoney sat on your doorstep.

That is, unless you’re fat. Specifically, a fat woman.

You may think I’m being ridiculous. I invite you to think about it. How many times have you seen a sex scene on tv or in the movies? And how many times has the female been fat? HARD MODE: how many times have you seen that happening without it being comedic or the butt of a joke, but actually frank and romantic sex?

I can only think of one, and for that My Mad Fat Diary deserves all the praise in the world.

 

Not only are you not allowed to be a proud, fat woman in our society, you’re certainly not allowed to be a sexual one. I bought condoms once and overheard the snickering behind me from a group of lads, followed by a “who’d want to have sex with her?”
Aside from the obvious – my husband – probably, one of them. But they’re not allowed to let me know that. In fact, they probably feel almost obligated to let me – and each other – know that they’re thinking entirely the opposite. Because fat women shouldn’t have sex. Those guys want to get their dicks sucked. But certainly not by me. Or so they’d have you think. Just like all those other guys before.
Men cannot confess their attraction to fat women, even men who are fat themselves! And yes, misogyny and the view on fat sex and attraction to fat women is inextricably linked.
Only last year it took several rounds of drinks for one of my husband’s attractive friends to confess that I am “really pretty.¬†For a big girl.

Even in recent years I have entered into sexual conversations with people, listening to them discuss their relationships, their sex lives. But I always find myself shut down. My sex isn’t valid.

The reality is, at this point in time you’re only going to find two things regarding fat sex: comedy or fetishism. Because BBW and SSBBW porn is big bucks. And that’s fine. I’m totally pro safe sex work, and pro fat sex workers. But that’s not the only kind of fat sex there is. Being attracted to a fat girl does not make you “into BBW”. It does not fetishise your sex. I don’t understand how people think it does.

What makes the invalidation of fat sex so infuriating is that it leaves us boxed into not examining other areas of our sexuality.
Lots of people have kinks. Fetishes. Things they like regarding sex. There’s a plethora of sexual experimentation out there. The sky is the limit. And yes, a lot of people are kink-shamed for the things they like in (or maybe out) of the bedroom, but imagine how much worse that is for a fat person.
I’m pretty vanilla when it comes to sex. My fetishes are few and minor. But, I love erotic fan fiction. This is something that people look disgusted at when they find out, yet how many women have I seen reading 50 Shades in full public view? They probably don’t even realise that yes, there are fat women out there having BDSM sex and you just don’t know it. And hey, guess what? t0 Shades of Grey was originally an erotic Twilight fan fiction. I’m not going to go fully into my defence of fan fiction and the problematic views society has surrounding what is and isn’t sexually acceptable, but I will leave you with this for thought:

 

 

Some fat women love having sex. I love having sex. I love having sex with myself. And that’s okay. But I have been shamed into thinking it isn’t. It was the reason I kept my mouth shut, even in specifically sexual conversations, for so long. It was the reason I never bought a sex toy.

I want to see romantic fat sex. I want to see fat sex on tv. In movies. I want fat women to reclaim their bodies and know that they are worthy, and sexy, and amazing. That their sex is valid, their kinks are valid. They are valid.

Oh, and I bought my first vibrator yesterday.

K xo

90s Sunday Vibes

Sunny Sunday!

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Today I am channelling my inner 90s girl ¬†and loving it. This is all part of a “brave new me” experimental-type thing I’ve got going on at the moment, where I push myself to try styles I’ve steered away from as a fat girl.

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Corissa at Fat Girl Flow recently wrote a post on how people perceive fat style choices when they are not deemed as “flattering”¬†and that is something I’m looking to challenge myself with. Yeah, this outfit is relatively safe. I’m in black. I’ve got most of myself covered up. But honestly, there are things about this that are baby steps for me. My VBO (visible belly outline) is on show – I’m not wearing a floaty top to try and hide it. I’ve got turn-ups on my jeans that on looser styles I haven’t in the past perceived as “flattering”. I’m wearing a sheer shirt that still shows of my arms to a certain extent. I’m still on my own journey, and that’s okay! It takes time to love yourself completely and where I am today is a world away from this time last year. Hopefully I’ll still be able to say the same again next year.

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My biggest challenge this year is the fact that I’m going on holiday with a bunch of family. I don’t mind being around my Mum as a fellow fat woman, but there are going to be family members there who have never seen me in a swimsuit before. In fact, I haven’t been in public in a swimsuit since being this weight. Last time I wore a swimsuit was about this time last year when I was about 1.5 stone lighter on my sister’s hen do. Even then I put a towel around me right up until I got in the hot tub, and as soon as I got out.

In order to try and overcome this, I’ve got a new swimsuit and 2 cute as shit bikinis from Forever 21. I want to be pool side without being covered up. I wanna go swim and jump about in the pool with my daughter without worrying what people are thinking. I wanna have a fun fucking holiday and look hot as shit doing it.

Anyway, my point is that this is a journey for me. It hasn’t been overnight. It’s taking time. Small steps. Small achievements. Whether anyone else¬†thinks it or not, for me this outfit is one of them ūüôā

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Outfit deets:

Top: Primark
Jeans: As I stated before, as a small fat, I can sometimes fit in straight sizes at certain shops, so these jeans are a UK18 from Next, however here are some beautiful similar from Asos Curve which size up to 28 ūüôā
Shirt: Vintage find
Trainers: Adidas Gazelle Mens (other styles here)
Necklace: Accessorize (old stock unfortunately)

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Makeup:

Foundation: No7 Instant Radiance (43 Calico)
Concealer: No7 Match Made (Calico)
Blusher: Pantone Universe
Eyebrows: L’Oreal Paris Brow Artist Genius Kit & Plumper
Eyeliner: Makeup Revolution Line & Flick
Mascara: No7 Intense Volume (Black)
Highlighter: Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter (Golden Lights)
Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Shadow Box (Sin, Flash, Tornado, Bordello)

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Lips: My lips have been feeling really dry and in need of some protection especially now the sun’s out, so today I just have on Blistex Lip Relief, which has a bit of a tint and SPF.

Whatever you guys have been up to, I hope your weekend has been, and continues to be, brilliant ūüôā

K xo