Global warming has given us another insane heatwave. It’s hard to keep cool in this weather. If you are concerned about what others may say about any flesh you reveal, it’s even harder. So, I thought I’d cover some old ground just in case any new readers need some tips. Here’s my guide to getting comfortable with your body.
Look at yourself.
I think the first step is looking at yourself. Really look. Stop avoiding mirrors and rushing to get dressed after a showers. Get comfortable naked. And in your underwear. And different types of clothes. Touch yourself, not the way (well, that way if you want). When it comes to your body familiarity does not breed contempt. Getting to know your body leads to acceptance, which is the first step to self love. You’ll be surprised how quickly you learn to enjoy your jiggle.
Photograph yourself every chance you get. Selfies, nights out, big events, pictures of your feet, anything. Get used to looking at yourself living your life. I used to duck out of pictures because I hated the way I looked in them. Forcing myself to be present in those pictures plus taking hundreds of myself is the only thing that let me see the truth. I didn’t like the things society had taught me not to like. I hated my rounder face, flabby arms & chunky calves because I thought I had to be something else to be worthy. Once I started appreciating those pictures for what they were; a record of living, I could enjoy them. The more I looked at images of myself and others the more I could see that everyone had those terrible unflattering shots where they look nothing like themselves. Everyone had those snaps that amplify their perceived flaw. Everyone has those pictures in which we miraculously look like a model version of ourselves. None of it matters. What matters is having the memory of that time & place. Capturing that moment of you living your life. Seeing myself living & loving in those pictures showed me that my body was absolutely good enough. Your body is just the vehicle that allows you experience the world. What you look like at any given time matters much less than what you’re feeling & seeing & loving.
Surround yourself with things that make you feel good. Change your reading, watching & following habits. Ditch investing in anything that is focused on diet culture & traditional beauty standards. Discovering the Body Positive blogging community changed my life. For the first time I was seeing fat people who liked themselves. People with bodies similar to mine proudly taking up space & looking amazing. When you submerse yourself in spaces that reject fat phobia you begin to feel differently about yourself. To begin with I was in awe of those plus bloggers. I thought I could never have their confidence or be so beautiful. As I learned more about bopo and started unlearning all I previously been taught about my body, I had a revelation. If these fat women I was admiring were stunning, sexy & elegant then I could be too. If I see beauty in other fat bodies then what I despise about myself is not my wobbly belly. Click unfollow on anything that makes you feel not good enough. Replace that stuff with content that embraces diversity and honours people who look like you.
Make a list of all of the things you want to do but feel you can’t because you are fat. Not just wild ambitions, everything. Do you worry about eating crisps on the bus? Think you shouldn’t wear a short skirt or even shy away from getting on top with your lovers? Put it all on the list and then start doing them. Start living your life. Pick the easiest ones first. Trust me, your confidence will grow. There will always be someone who does not like you loving your fat self. There will sometimes be looks or comments. You will stop feeling crushed by them. When you realise how much you gain from accepting your body as it is and experiencing your life to the max, someone saying you’re fat no longer matters. Losing weight will not make you happier. All you problems shrink to fit into your smaller body. You can live now.
Stay tuned for my advice on avoiding all the discomforts summer can bestow on is chubs.
Ikea on a hot Saturday afternoon is probably not a good idea, but when you have the coolest sister & cutest baby nephew anything is fun. When you get all the bits you need and finally snap a good outfit pic it’s a successful Saturday.
This dress is so old, but I bloody love it. Every summer I hope Monsoon will bring out another similar design, but so far I have been disappointed. I try to ration wearing it because I always feel amazing in it and I really dread the day it dies.
Dress – Monsoon
Kimono – Truly Yours
This kimono is another old favourite and I added a new one to the mix with these cherry earrings. The Baba is particularly fond of the cherries, it’s a very good thing he is learning to be gentle or my ears might not survive.
Earrings – Gabi
If the print wasn’t enough to make you fall for this dress, it has pockets! Three cheers for feel good Saturdays.
I’m doing a spot of enforced positive thinking & hoping it bears fruit. Join in me in focusing on the pleasant and crossing my fingers that the good feelings grow.
1. I don’t have much call for work out wear, but I did love that plus size Nike mannequin. Fat folk can & do live full lives. I love it when brands get behind us wearing whatever the hell we want. It’s also satisfying to watch people tying themselves in knots trying to excuse their fat phobia.
2. I’ve been planning a self love/sexy gallery wall in my bedroom for so long and this month I finally executed it. It makes me happy to lie in bed and look at my kinky Shakespeare.
3. I’ve been out of the dating pool for quite a while. My initial dips back in were disappointing & a tad stressful. I didn’t feel all that hopeful about finding the sort of chilled out experience I was after. Colour me surprised to have spent June having a relaxed & super fun time with someone lovely.
4. In the grand scheme of things this may be on the trivial side, but I like it as a symbol. The Trump administration banned embassies from flying the rainbow flag for Pride month. Lots of embassy staff around the world found other ways to show their solidarity. Possibly the best example being the embassy in New Delhi, who lit up the entire building. In the face of this appalling government it is heartening that people are taking steps to visibly resist.
5. While we’re on the subject my nails have all been rainbow themed this month & carrying Pride around with me has been very pleasing.
6. I am a late adopter and probably about twenty years too old, but I have fallen in love with Lewis Capaldi this month. His songs are beautiful and his insta stories are bloody funny. If you are the one person left on the planet who hasn’t heard of him, fix that.
7. My amazing muffin made me incredibly proud this month when she won 2 bronze medals at her first Jui Jitsu state championships. My girl is so talented & her accomplishments make me so happy.
8. It’s hard not to smile when you know you’re wearing the cutest knickers. Wilde Mode happy pussy pants have been a simple pleasure this month.
9. June was the month that finally brought the new series of Killing Eve. It’s been driving me crazy that our American friends got to enjoy Villanelle’s antics whilst I languished murderless. All I can say is, it was worth the wait. Sandra Oh is a goddess.
This week’s celebrated woman is someone I have the pleasure of knowing. She is a bopo goddess, a thrifting maven, accomplished public speaker & possibly the bubbliest person I’ve ever met. Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you Hayley Angell.
I met Hayley at a blogger event in Glasgow & was instantly impressed by her vintage look. I was also a little intimated by her polished confidence. I don’t find these events very easy. I have a lot of anxiety around new people & situations. I have even more anxiety about hiding my discomfort. The moment I spoke to Hayley I felt more at ease. Her sincere warmth allowed me to collect myself & have a good time.
I obviously immediately commenced following her on social media and have done so since. Hayley’s accounts are bursting with life affirming energy. Her honesty about her body positive journey; discarding control garments, trying new activities & generally enjoying her body is inspiring. She recently discussed her experiences as a plus size women taking burlesque classes. Despite outward proclamations of inclusivity she still felt it was assumed that fat women would be less assured. She got the sense that fatter folk were quietly ushered into the background. It takes guts to be open about this stuff. Even more to be honest about how often we convince ourselves that we belong at the back of class. Thus, she used her Instagram account to launch #stepforward a reminder to all plus size people that we are worthy of taking up space & being seen.
The Body Positive community has given me so much. I always want to say thank you to those who inspire me. I also want to spread their work because I know it can bring others happiness. Hayley is one of those fabulous women who can help you change how you see yourself. She is an insta must follow.
Bopo aside Hayley is, as I mentioned, a thrifting magician. Her Instagram is worth following for her second hand style alone. If you need tips on trawling the charity shops for fashion gold, Hayley is your woman. If you simply enjoy seeing a person enjoy themselves & clothes, she is still your gal.
I’ve only met Hayley in person once, but I would not be without her online presence in my life. For a shot of genuine self love, go press those follow buttons.
* Photo credit : Hayley Angell
Wedding season is in full swing & I attended my first nuptials of the year on Saturday. The sun was shining, the bride was glowing & I debuted possibly the cutest dress that ever existed. Not to make it all about me, but I was adorable.
From the cute mint green colour to the delightful jungle print, this dress was a winner. Add a rainbow petticoat & you’re into super awesome territory.
Dress – Lindy Bop
Shrug – Monsoon
Petticoat – Lindy Bop
Yes, those are tigers & parrots & a wild jungle woman. Yes, this is best dress you’ve ever seen.
I was also responsible for selecting the Toyboy’s Outfit. Thus he looked incredibly cool & handsome. I went for linen in grey tones & it worked. He garnered many compliments & I couldn’t wait to get him home.
Trousers – Next
Shirt – Next
Jacket – Burton
The wedding itself was lovely. The humanist ceremony was very personal & romantic. The setting was pretty & the bride looked stunning. We had a lot of fun hanging out with the Tb’s family. Special mention to Michael who got involved in the tequila & who definitely reads this blog.
Historically, relationships have been a fairly fraught affair for me. I have found myself involved with various types of difficult men. I never quite managed to align my expectations with theirs. Someone always felt short changed or infuriated or plain hurt.
I’ve had men who wanted to control or tame me. Guys who loved my weirdness until they realised it was permanent & the novelty wore off. There have been proposals; both accepted & rejected, but I never did make it down the aisle. I’ve fallen hard for those who could not make me a priority & struggled to breathe with those who couldn’t focus on anything else.
I’ve dumped so many men for so many reasons. The tiniest of infractions & the hugest of betrayals. I’ve disappointed by being too ill or too strident or too independent or too me. Their lack of strangeness or loyalty or compassion has disappointed me right back. To be honest I had given up on the idea of finding someone & just being happy. I watched everyone I know meet someone & like them & build a life & make it work.
I thought, maybe, I just wasn’t built that way. All my love songs were heart wrenching. And so very complicated.
Then I took a chance on a cheeky smile with a social conscience. This time, romance is easy. For once we might be on the same page. After all this time, I met someone I liked & I want to see where it can go. So far it’s taken me to fun & comfort & excitement & care & trust. Oh & access to a really sweet arse.
Sure, we bicker. He is full of nonsense. He never picks up his socks. He always wants to debate my veganism. I have tell him to suck my dick way too much, but I feel like we’re on the same team. I don’t feel pressured to be anything other than I am. We’re just taking life as it comes & it feels good.
I am currently an utterly exhausted mess, but for once it’s for good reasons. Last week was busy & wonderful. Comprised of friends, little ones & spontaneous fun. Plus some stunning sights. I have been snapping away like crazy.
After many calendar conflicts I finally got through to Musselburgh to see friends. Lisa has been enducing hilarity & giving me heart warming hugs for over ten years now. She now comes with the added bonuses of a lovely husband & beautiful son. It doesn’t do any harm that she lives minutes away from this most amazing beaches either. Anyway, I always have the best time when I visit & this trip was no different.
We went to the most picturesque village for lunch. It had a very Austen vibe & the tea shop served me a delicious vegan sandwich, top marks. Next stop was the perfect beach at Tynningham. Accessed by a short walk through a scenic forresr, I fell in love the moment I saw the sea. Once little James had terrified me with a crab a shell, we settled on a rock to watch the tide come in. I don’t know why, but the sea always soothes me. I left the sunny east coast feeling revitilised & full of love.
I caught up with my bestie & got to hear all her latest pregnancy news. I also got a wee feel of her bump. I am bursting to meet her little one. I already have so many fun ideas for when this bundle arrives.
I finished up the week chilling with the toy boy. Or trying to chill until he marched me all over town, I made the worst sushi in the history of the world & we embarked on a spontaneous day at The Fringe.
Highlights of our flying festival visit were Suky Goodfellow’s spoken word show, Political Acid Trip. She blew me away. Her fringe run is finished, but check her Facebook for more events. You will not be disappointed.
Last stop was high above Princes Street. After years of wanting to take a ride on the Giant Wheel, I finally made it. It exceeded expectations. The views up there are startling.