Monthly Archives: July 2013

Do you want to be in a book?

I’m writing the e-book now…and I’d like to put a shout out for anyone who would like to contribute! I’m especially looking for

1. Your experiences of dieting in the 80s and 90s. Which specific diets did you try that stand out? What happened? How did you feel?
2. Your ‘eureka’ moments – what made you stop dieting?
3. Your advice to anyone currently dieting and caught up in the trap
4. How it feels now you’re not dieting any more.

PM me through the Gorgeously Full Fat Facebook Page and I’ll be in touch!


So…what happened next?

WomanTyping_crop380wI’ve taken my life story up to about five years ago…and to be honest it’s a bit difficult to write the most recent stuff just because some of it still pushes my buttons, if you know what I mean?

I started though – and I’m damn well gonna finish. The plan is that I’m going to take what I’ve done so far and make it into a book, a fabulous anti-dieting book that you can all download. Not only will I get stuck into the last five years,  being a single girl, my frankly quite bizarre dating escapades and more, I’m going to go into a bit more detail about the rubbish diets, the influences and the weird crap that happened to me up to 2008, and let you all in on the reality of dating, falling in love and yes, ahem, even negotiating your way around the fun and games of sex when you’re a chubby girl.

scalesI’m planning to include tips and tricks on getting away from diets, a list of resources for anyone who wants to rock their sweet, non-perfect self at any size, and some feel good stuff just for the hell of it. I’m also looking for stories from people who’ve been there and done that and are out there in the world being themselves, and sticking a finger up to what they are ‘supposed’ to look like, act like, or weigh. Then I’ll pop it onto Amazon for anyone who fancies a good laugh.

The project has been bubbling away for a while, although the unceremonious dumping from SpaSeekers has forced my hand – well, I have more spare time now and no excuses. Bear with me – some of it’s going to be fabulous fun to write but there will be bits that I have to delve into things that made me feel awful at the time…plus I have to work out how to write about other people messing with my head without making it sound like a misery memoir! It won’t be…I bloody hate those things. It will (hopefully) be funny, uplifting and get any woman who has ever felt bad about her body nodding in agreement.

Are you in? Today’s the day I’m getting started. I need coffee, music and inspiration…

I love it when a plan comes together…

write something….I just need a plan now.

I’ve been procrastinating all week, mainly because of my unbridled panic at the state of my finances after this month. I needed a plan…I needed to work out cunning ways of getting myself back on my feet after last week’s shock. I’m not going to be at the mercy of other people’s whims for the rest of my employable life!

I’ve been lying awake at night writing my new positive body image book in my head, wondering which bits of my story to leave out, which bits to edit and how I’m going to make a really freaking super-inspiring book for women everywhere. I kind of have this image in my head of women everywhere reading it and throwing out their diet books, cancelling their Slimming World subscriptions and dancing in the street at any size, beaming from ear to ear.

Maybe that’s a little over-optimistic, but a girl’s gotta have a dream.

I’m super excited about Viva Voluptuous being in production and eagerly awaiting the manuscript back from the publisher…it’s being copy-edited at the moment and once I approve the final, final FINAL edition, it goes off to be made into a real life book baby.

OKSo, now I’m onto Beautiful magazine, which I really want to get back out there for you soon. The response has been fantastic on Twitter and Facebook, and everyone seems really up for bringing Beautiful back. Hell, we know how much we need it after the absolutely disgusting OK Magazine cover this week, I’m already sensing a backlash from women who are absolutely sick of being judged on their size. Or their ‘post baby weight loss plans’. Ugh. Surely a new mum should be loved-up with her baby, while her other half spoils her silly and tells her she’s the most beautiful woman in the world. Post-baby fitness plans? *insert expletive of your choice*

My new book will be an antidote to all this crap. It’s going to be crammed full of stories of women who said “Sod that” to dieting and self-hatred and there will be loads of resources for anyone who wants a bit of advice about chilling out and dumping the diet.

I’d better go off and write it really. I’ve got a couple of questions though:

1. Would you buy a book like that? Would would YOU like to see in it?

2. Would you donate money (even just a small amount) to a crowd-funding appeal to get Beautiful magazine back off the ground?

I can do it

Dream too bigI had some really shitty news on Friday. The kind of news that made me feel sick and shaky, and sent me into a complete tailspin.

I lost my main source of income. With zero warning and as from this week.

There were tears, there were swear words. What do you do when someone you’ve worked for three years just decides they don’t need your services any more, and you weren’t expecting it?  Well, when you’re freelance, there’s very little you CAN do.

Friday was not a good day.

But Saturday I pulled myself together and I got planning. I thought, “What have I got that people would pay for?”

So I’m writing another book. More about that later. I spent all day yesterday charging myself up mentally for the task ahead. Making money. LOTS of it, if possible.

Today I got this.

“I have two stories to tell you today – and the four little words that can change it all for you.

1.  I was studying at university + working full time. 
 I’d taken up forensic science thinking I’d find it interesting. And I didn’t. I just didn’t. Along with studying economics and working as editor of, something had to give. 

What gave was forensic science. I didn’t study. I didn’t listen. I switched off. I got to the end of the course just barely scraping by when a mountain loomed in front of me: 
A 3000 word essay on mitochondrial DNA and the latest developments within forensic science for mtDNA applications. 

To say I had a perpetual look of WTF is an understatement.  But it needed to be done. I just needed that damn credit so I could get back on to my right path + make art + learn what I really wanted to learn.  So I sat down for a weekend, armed only with a bottle of bee pollen (my latest superfood obsession) and my chant: 


I was my very own cheerleader through those 3000 words + endless references of words I didn’t understand. The only time I faltered was when my inner chant ceased and began to say “Oh FUC* I really don’t know if I can!!!!!” 

I realised in those moments that the chant in my mind was the one that would make all the difference. I could live in fear + paralysis. 
Or I could surge forth, powered only by self-belief, an open mind + eagerness (and that bee pollen). 

I CAN DO IT. And so I could.  A credit later, I was on my way – out of forensic science + into the next right thing. 

2.  18 months ago, I had a vision as I fell asleep.  A vision of my much beloved COO/right hand girl/long term VA Marissa sitting in the same room as me.  Now the thing you have to know about that is this – Marissa and I had never met at that point. She lives in the US. I live in Australia. It’s a bloody long way. 

And in my mind, I immediately thought “THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE! IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! DON’T EVEN DREAM IT LEONIE!”  But I did keep dreaming. And I thought how wonderful it would be for our energies to align in the same direction, and fill out our yearly Incredible Year workbook together for the business + brainstorm a plenty. 

And it felt so good.

And instead of listening to that part of me that said “NO! NOT POSSIBLE! NOT DOABLE! NO!”
I thought… “What if… what if I could? What if we did? What would we need to make happen for it to be so?”  By morning, I knew the answer.  The answer was of course, I CAN DO IT.  I can make this happen. I can birth this miracle into the world. 

I did. And it was stupendous and perfect and a massive leap of faith. Marissa has been here twice since that fateful night. We have both been deeply changed on a soul level from it, and it has been the perfect thing for my business to grow and bloom. “

Four little words that change it all – I CAN DO IT. 

Those wise words come from Leonie, my go-to guru girl who seems to send me emails like that whenever I need them, even if she’s in Australia and we’ve never ever met. She’s so inspiring, she’s going to help me push my business to the next level and with the help of her amazing team, guides and masterminds, I’m going to get there. I so am.

I’m going to make my little book baby #2. And more book babies, e-courses, guides and a bloody brilliant magazine that’s going to make women everywhere feel GOOD about themselves.

If you’re feeling in a bit of a funk, a dose of Leonie magic might be all you need to perk yourself up, get your Goddess girl pants back on and sparkle your way back into awesomeness again.

Bugger SpaSeekers.



So, after procrastinating like a pro, I decided it was about time I got down to what’s been happening with me, body, diet and self-esteem wise in the last few years. I just put it off because, well, I didn’t want to write all the gory details about what happened with me and H#2. It was a bit crap, really.

I could compile you all a list of why we called it a day, but it wouldn’t really be relevant to the whole ‘how I really got to be the size and the person I am’ story, so you know what, I’m just going to gloss over most of the unpleasantness and tell you about ONE incident that says it all. I was shopping in Ely one day, looking for something new to wear, when I found myself in Dotty P’s looking at tops. I saw a lovely, brightly patterned top, held it up against me and thought it might be perfect. It was in my size and price range. Excellent!

Then I put it down. With a sigh, I remember thinking to myself, “I can’t buy this. L and H#2 will hate it.”

I just couldn’t bear the thought of going out in it and knowing they were bitching about it behind my back. That’s how little confidence I had back then. Pathetic, huh?

I was poorly for a lot of the first half of 2008, my body was clearly trying to tell me something again. I had a cough that lasted two months, which resulted in a cracked rib (yes, really) and industrial doses of diclofenac. I was supposed to be training for my first ever Race for Life, and didn’t manage to do ANYTHING past about March. “You’re going to drop out, aren’t you?” H#2 sneered one day, “You never stick at anything!” Well, I’ll tell you what, I forced myself to run that race and I have the pictures to prove it. So I posted one here.

Daily Mirror

The Headless Fatty – not my best angle…

In early 2008 I’d been asked to do a photo shoot at The Mirror. It was a complete disaster. Not only did I turn up bare-faced expecting a makeover and find out that there was nobody to do my make up and hair, but I was photographed with a teeny tiny blonde model who had her own fitness company. Unfair advantage? I think so. The terrible two were unimpressed by my putting myself out there to be judged.  They weren’t impressed with my first commission for Slim at Home, either, and along with P spent about 20 minutes slagging the front cover image of Natalie Cassidy off, glanced at my article briefly and then started talking about something else.

After a bitch of a holiday in July which I’d already decided was make or break, it broke. I stayed with my parents for two weeks for a ‘trial separation’ and the relief was so immediate and immense that there was no way I was going to go back to living in that situation again. I felt free!

The decision to split from H#2 had an almost immediate effect on my weight and eating. I just stopped eating! I completely lost my appetite. I’d been up to my highest weight ever because I’d not exercised in about three months. I was probably close to 19 stone when I started working with a personal trainer at a gym in Ely. I’d enjoyed the sessions a lot, he was really motivating and I was a lot fitter than he’d expected…on top of that we were doing boxing sessions so it was amazing for my stress levels.

07092008565My diet was mainly wine-based from late July 2008 through to early September, when I went on a desperately-needed trip to see my lovely brother and his husband in Australia. Mum and Dad came with me, and it was a lovely time. My appetite did come back, although I wasn’t remotely bothered with overeating, the stress of organising a flat and a house move, plus changing all my business details and saying goodbye to people just cancelled out my food addiction for ages. Plus, my confidence was starting to seep back through, with the help of all the lovely family and friends who could see I was in a complete mess and just needed telling how lovely I was for a bit.

You find out who your friends are when you’re in a mess like that.

Anyway, by the time I had flown back from Australia, packed everything I owned into a van and gone back to Ipswich (I flew for 22 hours, got home early Thursday morning, packed Friday and Saturday, went back to Ipswich on Sunday and moved into my new flat the following Monday) I was exhausted, stressed, sad, relieved and excited all at once. Oh, and I’d lost about a stone and a half and was TOTALLY determined to get my head into The Food Philosophy and sort my eating habits out once and for all.



Do you want to know a secret?


Well, come closer, then.

If you’ve been following me a while, maybe even before my Gorgeously Full Fat days, and you might even SHOCK HORROR know me in real life, you’ll have noticed I’ve really stepped up the blogging, social media and generally getting-myself-out-there side of my personality in the last year or so.

I haven’t had a complete personality revamp. Underneath all this bravado I’m actually a bit shy and self-deprecating. My beloved Moley will tell you that. But I’ve developed a new business Mojo, partly because I have had to, and partly because I discovered the powerhouse of creative and supportive awesomeness that is Leonie Dawson.

I’ve talked about her to other people – some of them love her to bits and others think that the Biz and Life Academy is a pile of hippy woo-woo, but for me, it’s really given me the knowledge and support to start being real, authentic and actually writing truthful stuff on blogs and forums instead of what I think you might like to hear. I’d never have had the guts to pour my heart out in my Life Story posts (I haven’t finished that yet) without a  supportive butt kick from the group.

I joined mostly for the business resources, and I’ve also downloaded the fabulous Creativity e-course too, to flex my muscles a bit more. Too many hours spent writing IBS copy for a pharma company can dull a girl’s sparkle. I haven’t gone through the course yet but it’s dang well on my to-do list.

Leonie is a HUGE believer in sharing too, and she runs an absolutely spankingly generous affiliate scheme that gives you a cut of any money you make for her. I’ll be totally honest and say I’ve more than made back the cost of my membership in the year I have been part of the gang, and I was so chuffed that I signed up for another year. Yep, it’s that good. You can download some fabulous freebies if you fancy a quick looksie at what the courses are all about (I worked out you get over £2300 worth of goodies for £120 roughly, and you get to make that back if you join the affiliate scheme too) and I’m going to be blogging a bit more about it so’s you can all find out about it if you’re interested but still not QUITE sure.

Leonie’s a hugely successful business owner who’s created her own half million dollar a year company in the space of a few hours a day (she’s a mama + really honours work-life balance). What’s more, she’s heart-centered, honest, a bit of a swear bear (okay, a LOT of a swear bear!) and a total open book about what works and what doesn’t.

Her Amazing Biz and Life Academy is something that just hasn’t been done anywhere else before – she gives away her business, marketing, meditation, spirituality, creativity, health and home programs for a ridiculously tiny price – all because she wants to help as MANY women as possible have their own amazing lives and businesses.

There are some fabulous tools for anyone who wants to learn to meditate, or use energy healing techniques. motivational videos and LOADS more. I love it, and it’s so freaking huge that if I didn’t have to pay bills I’d sit on the laptop all day chatting to like minded people and coming up with business ideas. I think of it as my version of LinkedIn for hippy chicks…

Here’s a bit of Leonie on learning stuff, overcoming what’s holding you back, and why luck doesn’t come into it – you have to DO stuff.


Being positive can be a drag


…but it’s SO worth it.

I’ve made it a bit of a mission of mine over the last six or seven years to become a positive person. Sometimes this annoys other people, but I don’t actually care.

I invented Relentlessly Positive. I started surrounding myself with positive people, some of whom have totally changed my world and my life in ways they would never have believed possible.

I wanted my own freelance writing business. I talked about it for ages, I knew I could do it but I didn’t have the money to get things started. Wouldn’t you know it, I got made redundant and got a pay off to help me set it up. Plus six months with no actual job to do but a salary coming in, and an internet connection on my work computer which meant I could research freelance copy writing jobs all day and get paid for it. Fan-bloody-tastic!

I wanted to write a book and fate, luck, Kismet, God whatever all got together and conspired that I had an idea for a story at the same time SASSY Books were taking on new authors, and I got a contract, just like that.

A few months ago, I started talking about wanting a magazine. I wanted to drop the Inspired Magazine work as it was causing me a pain in the butt, and I really REALLY wanted to edit a magazine that was positive, included plus size women, was intelligent and fun. Looks like I’ve got that coming to me too, and coincidentally only because of someone I met way back in 2006 when I started getting positive!

Lucky Bitch

I do genuinely believe I’m lucky. I also believe that you’re only lucky as you think you are, which tends to get people who think they are UN -lucky really pissed off. In the last few weeks I’ve had the news that my dad is terminally ill and been told I probably won’t have children. I can’t pretend I haven’t cried myself hoarse and drunk way too much wine, eaten my bodyweight in chocolate and more. I’ve been very upset, and had  days where I haven’t wanted to get out of bed. Both of those things are pretty life-changing and hard to deal with. But I’m only human. When I’m having a good day, I think myself blessed to have had such a wonderful dad for as long as I have. That I can go and see him and have a laugh at the moment. That he knows I love him, and I won’t have any regrets when the time comes. I escaped my ex-husband, who made it hard for me to see my family, and I’ve been closer to my parents than ever for the last five years. THAT’S lucky.

I’m in denial about kids. Yeah I’m 42, and I’m a chubby. But according to the experts the major problem is my age. Sod that, I’m going to keep practising and prove them wrong. If there’s no actual reason, why not? I have to stay positive about it. I’m lucky as there’s no real reason why I can’t have what I want. If it doesn’t happen – well I’ll be sad, and have to go for Plan B. I just haven’t got that far yet.

Count your rainbows, not your thunderstorms

People don’t always like it when you’re positive because it makes them feel as if you’re judging them, when you’re not. It’s a pain Rainbowswhen people think you’re talking shit, saying that things will get better. But G-friends you HAVE to believe it. All the times I told myself I was going to get more work in and it would be OK back in 2009, I did. It might not have been much, I don’t think I have the whole ‘ask and you will receive’ thing perfected yet, or I would have asked for more. but I scraped through. My Mum is a Christian and she believes in prayer. I think it’s pretty much the same thing. She also kept telling me things would be OK, and they always were.

The times when I didn’t really believe it, I didn’t get what I wanted. I thought I wanted a man, for a long time, but in all honesty I only really wanted one I couldn’t have, and so nothing happened. When I made peace with that, wrote down exactly what I wanted, decided to trust that it would happen and leave it to fate…guess what? He appeared. And I’m still with him now. But all the time I was bawling my eyes out to my mates that I’d never find a man and the one I wanted didn’t want me, and life was a bitch…well, you guessed it. I stayed stuck in the same old same old.

So, I guess what I’m saying – being positive isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s REALLY freaking hard. Shit happens. Life throws curve balls your way and people can be mean. It’s not all glitter balls and cupcakes. But nothing worth working for is easy. So if you’re having a run of bad luck, cry, scream, shout, blame karma, do whatever feels right. But then try something different, just for me?

Try finding ONE good thing to concentrate on. It doesn’t have to be about the situation that’s had you hitting the vino. It can be anything. You’ve been dumped? Well, without him, you might not have gone on that holiday last year and seen that place with the amazing sunset. Lost your job? You wanted to do something different anyway, and while you were there you got sent on a training course that will make getting a job in the area you really want MUCH easier. Your overdraft has been called in? Oh crap, there’s nothing positive about that. OK, so if you hadn’t had it in the first place you wouldn’t have those amazing shoes. Get the shoes out. Wear them and give the bank manager a one finger salute from the bottom of your heart.

Good stuff

The more you try and think about the good stuff, the more good stuff happens. I don’t know why. Some people try and explain it with energy, vibrations, physics, spirituality. All I know is that it really DOES work. I was told ten years ago that I’d probably never be able to work full time again because I had a nasty type of RSI that made my hands hurt, a lot. BUGGER that. I threw everything at it, I tried splints, drugs, osteopathy, Reiki, and positive thinking. Something worked because here I am. If I’d believed the consultant when she gave me that serious face and bad news, I wouldn’t have tried any of the above and I might never have got back to work. They would have signed me off permanently instead of promoting me and I wouldn’t have been there in 2007 when the redundancies were handed out.

So you see what I mean? What I DID made the difference but if I’d been a negative person I wouldn’t have tried any of it and their prediction would have been right. The actions made the difference but without the positive thoughts there wouldn’t have been any actions.

Don’t give up. Promise me….