Tag Archives: judged

I’d Rather Be Dodgy…


It’s weird you know, I’m fifty years old and I’d like to think I’ve learned a few valuable life lessons along the way. I’m still learning, in fact this journey in particular over the last few months has peeled away a lot of layers and revealed things about me to myself that I don’t think I ever knew. If someone had told me at the very start of this journey that that would happen it might have spooked me a bit, I mean it could have had disaster written all over it, right? We all know about Pandora’s box.

Happily, as I’ve uncovered stuff, talking it through with you lot has helped me to work through it, in fact it’s been like six hundred words of therapy every day. I’m more grateful than I can tell you for the fact that you all listen to whatever comes out of my head, and then empathise, and relate, and chip in with your own perspective.

I must admit, I’m totally unguarded on here, and I’m sure occasionally I’ve been guilty of over-sharing, but I’d hope my words come across to you as authentic. It’s my journey, as seen through my own eyes, and whilst I might crack a joke or two, those of you who’ve sussed me out will understand that’s my default way of dealing with difficult, you know?

So I had an email yesterday morning from one of my most loyal supporters who was absolutely outraged that someone had awarded a ‘poor’ rating to something I wrote a couple of days ago. And bless her, she even felt the need to apologise on their behalf. I was so touched at the way she had my back, but to be honest until she pointed it out, I hadn’t actually noticed.

See, I don’t think too much about the star ratings widget…it’s useful in the way it allows me to see which posts you enjoy the most, and I love that it generates a favourite posts list – new folk who wander into the blog tend to poke around in there, and it gives them a good flavour of what we’re all about. I’ve never really thought about it in the context of people passing judgement on my writing, daft as that might sound.

I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t like the fact that someone thought my words weren’t up to scratch, but I wasn’t especially worried about it. And this little storm in a teacup demonstrated perfectly to me just how far I’ve grown in the last few months. At one time I would’ve been absolutely gutted.

I would have read, and re-read the post, trying to pinpoint the exact bit which sent someone’s opinion of me plummeting downwards. I would’ve chewed myself up about it and then probably headed straight to the Hobnobs. I wasn’t good enough, look it’s there in black and white, I’m officially rubbish. POOR!! I need a hobnob immediately to make me feel better.

This time, I re-read it once and thought you know what, it’s probably not the most entertaining post I’ve written but actually, it helped me. And let’s not forget, I write for me. Writing my thoughts down on that day in the way that I did helped me to find a link. And the links I’ve gathered over the past ten or so months are the reason I’m still here, sashaying along on this road to Skinny Town.

So I’m happy with those words even if they weren’t to someone else’s taste…they served me well. They had a purpose. And if I tried to be funny when I wasn’t feeling funny, that’s when I stop being authentic, right?

I don’t much fancy getting another ‘poor’ though. Ever. So I changed the descriptions, ‘cos I can do that. ‘Poor’ is now a bit dodgy, and ‘awful’ is now a steaming pile of shite. I sincerely hope nobody ever thinks that, but at least if they do it’ll make me chuckle, and I’d rather be dodgy than poor any day of the week..!

Have a great weekend everyone…see you on the other side 🙂

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In Search Of Magic Beans


I felt a bit embarrassed today when I got a visual wake-up-call about how my pre-occupation with food might look to other people. Yesterday I forgot to bring the containers home that I’d taken my lunch to work in, so today my feet were fighting for space under the desk with a double helping of airtight boxes. There were six altogether, plus two large plastic cups which I use to chug my blended smoothie of the day on my morning commute.

On top of my desk, nestled amongst actual work stuff you would have found a punnet of plums, a bottle of salad cream, some emergency crackers and a tin of soup. In the bin behind me were a couple of banana skins and an apple core. It must have looked like I’d been under siege for a month, for God’s sake.

I did do a quick recce on everyone else’s desk and I was slightly reassured to find that there was the odd snack or two kicking around other corners of the office but put it this way, if the entire HR team had been kidnapped by aliens, when Mulder and Scully rocked up to investigate they would have known immediately which desk belonged to the fat girl.

It puts me in mind of a conversation I had with my doctor twenty odd years ago. A friend of mine had been to her doctor because she wanted to lose weight, and he’d handed her a prescription for pills to supress her appetite. I wanted to get me a piece of that action so I made an appointment to see someone at my own surgery with the intention of getting my hands on some of these magic beans. It seemed like the perfect answer.

It transpired that my doctor was a little less accommodating. Actually, he was a twat. He sent me off with a flea in my ear and a long lecture about how fat people were unnaturally preoccupied with food and basically I needed to get over myself. He even illustrated said lecture with a story about his own fat friend, who had joined him recently on a skiing holiday and had taken sandwiches ‘for the journey’, which he used as an example of how fat people were different to normal people, and couldn’t bear not to have food within touching distance. Judging by the way he said it he didn’t mean different in a good way.

I’d give anything to have that same conversation with him now, with my additional twenty five years’ worth of life experience and a slightly lower tolerance for being mugged off. I doubt I’d be able to resist commenting on how lucky his fat friend was to have such a supportive chum, you know? I mean, with the 20/20 vision of hindsight I was trying to go about it the wrong way, but I was reaching out, you know? He could have helped me, if he hadn’t been so busy judging me.

It’s the first and last time I ever talked to anyone about how much I was bothered by being fat. Well, until you lot of course. And I’d like to think that I’d get a more supportive response if I went to chat to a healthcare professional about it these days. I wouldn’t, of course…I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than have that conversation. But still, I hope they’d at least give me some leaflets and a bit of advice.

All joking aside, my jaws have barely stopped moving today – I’ve only grazed on low point healthy stuff but I know I need to give some attention to this phobia of hunger pangs. God forbid one might sneak up on me, right?


Before I go, I have some hugely exciting news, and I need your help please! Break Out The Skinny Girl is now available on Kindle Blogs, I mean come on!! We have arrived! It’s become available today in the Kindle Store through Amazon…if you read and enjoy Break Out The Skinny Girl, would you do me the honour of leaving a review on your thoughts about the blog? You can find it HERE  It can’t be done on mobile devices only computers or Kindles (no idea why) but thank you, your support as usual means the world to me 🙂

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Finding The Answer


You know how sometimes someone asks you a question which stops you in your tracks and makes you think about something which has never even occurred to you before? Well, that happened to me this week. Let me ask you the same question.

Did you start your diet because of how you looked, or how you felt?

I’ve been mulling this over for the last couple of days and even now I’m not 100% sure about the answer. I just knew the time was right, but I’m less clear about what actually drove me to it. How I looked versus how I felt…I mean they were both awful you know? I looked like shit and I felt like shit so take your pick was kind of my first response. But the question sort of got inside my head and stuck which is generally my head’s way of flagging that I need to unpick something in a bit more detail.

If I’m working on something I like to understand why, as in what is the problem I’m trying to fix?  The idea of being able to articulate exactly what prompted me to begin this journey appeals to me…my own personal why.

I’d started to really struggle with mobility issues. On the last holiday I took with my friend immediately before I started my diet, I could barely walk from one end of the ship to the other without needing a rest…everything hurt. My back and my knee in particular felt like they were buckling under the strain of lugging twenty three stones around on my five feet five inch frame. I felt like I was lumbering, rather than walking. It was awful…it felt awful. My ankles were swollen, and my thighs chafed till they bled.

In the restaurant when I tried to squash my double arse in the elegant dining chairs, it felt like everybody was staring at me. I doubt that they were, but I felt crippled by my Asshole thoughts about what other people were thinking. Even walking through the restaurant to get to our table was torture, and I prayed the whole time that my arse didn’t add insult to injury by sweeping someone’s bread basket off their table on my way past. The Asshole voice in my head was on overdrive, and every thought landed, you know? Ha ha! Look at the fat girl in the dining room…feeding time at the zoo!

So, genuine reflections on the time immediately before I started my diet seem to be more aligned to how I felt rather than how I looked. I think I’d stopped caring about how I looked at that point if I’m being completely honest. Every night before we went down for dinner, my friend would be busy fixing her hair and putting her face on, generally making an effort you know? Me, I left my hair to dry wild and curly, and didn’t go anywhere near make-up… I didn’t even look in the mirror when I got dressed. There seemed little point and besides I didn’t want to be faced with the reality of what a hot mess I’d turned into.

It’s good to look back, in a weird sort of way…actively dredging up these memories renews my determination to get as far away from that place as possible. That was then…this is now. Now, I feel better physically…much better. Hamstring hobbling aside, I’m fitter and stronger, and I can walk without significant pain most of the time.

The biggest difference is that I’ve stopped being quite so conscious about how much space I take up in the world. I feel like I can sit on a chair without having to offer up a quick prayer that nobody skimped on the screws, you know? I no longer feel the need to try and tiptoe through my life. Oh sure, the Asshole voice still churns out a full range of self-esteem torpedoes on a regular basis, but more and more often they land a bit wide of the mark and they don’t inflict quite as much damage so that tells me I’m fitter and stronger in my head too.

So I think my answer to the question, having chatted it through with you lot is that it started out being about how I felt. Now what’s spurring me on is a mixture of both. I started putting my face on again a couple of months ago, and I’m thinking more and more about how I look, where back then I didn’t care. I’ve become strangely obsessed with what I’m going to wear to the forthcoming awards ceremony, but that’s what normal people would do, right? It’s a big deal and I want to look nice.

Just out of interest, how would you answer the question..?



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Eating Humble Pie

pie 2

So, one of the drawbacks of coming from good old Yorkshire stock is the tendency to forget that not everyone is as comfortable with plain talk as I am. I mean, if you’re a regular reader you’ll be used to me getting straight to the point of what’s on my mind, with an occasional bit of salty language here and there. I don’t see an issue with that, because that’s me, you know? It’s what comes out of my head, in the same way it would come out of my mouth if you were standing in front of me.

I guess sometimes in my haste to drive home a point I can forget to apply my is this going to offend anyone? filter, and judging by the furious response I got from someone on an email last night at least one blooper got through the net yesterday…whoops.

Now, having exchanged lots and lots of emails with you lot over the last eight months or so, I know that collectively you have a terrific sense of humour. I know we laugh at the same things, despair over the same things and, well we just get each other, right? We’ve walked the requisite mile in each other’s’ shoes, and we’re all eminently qualified to understand and express a view on the general topic of being fat.

It was pointed out in no uncertain terms that there may be a small number of folk amongst the posse who would prefer not to be referred to as fat old ladies with bingo wings. Being a fat old lady with bingo wings myself, I didn’t give it a second thought, but I had a proper bollocking – that’s Yorkshire speak for telling off in case it doesn’t translate – from someone I’d managed to offend with my sweeping generalisation that only fat girls and old ladies wear shrugs…

Now, half of me wants to defend my position (really, have you EVER seen a skinny string bean with toned arms cover up their top half with a shrug unless it’s like an Antarctic event?) but mostly I’m full of remorse that my words might have stung a bit. Not my intention, I promise and I’m genuinely sorry if I hurt your feelings. Me and my big mouth, right?!

That said, I also had a handful of really lovely notes from folk who wanted to encourage me to be proud of who I am, you know, comfortable in my own skin so I could feel like a million dollars despite my arse looking like boulders in a bag. I love the sentiment, and I appreciate every single word of reassurance…I’m not buying it though.

I’d give anything to be able to get to that place, where I consider slender and fat to have equal standing in the beauty stakes. The ability to look in a mirror and see fat and beautiful in one and the same body has eluded me since time began and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I can’t bring myself to fly the banner for big and beautiful…I just can’t. I’m not saying that fat people can’t be attractive, because they can…but looking at it through the lens of self, I can’t put those two words together because I don’t feel it, you know? I recognise that not everyone feels that way…but I do.

That said, in relation to the way I felt 62lbs ago, I feel awesome.  And relatively speaking, I’m looking better. But that’s because I’m skinnier. I’ll look even better still when I get the next hundred and a bit pounds off.

Good job there’s no Smart Points in humble pie… 🙂

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Does My Bum Look Big In This?

fat pic

So conference was great last week and I really enjoyed being out of the office – I do love meeting different people, and providing I can gag the asshole in my head, once I’ve overcome the ‘walking in the room’ heebie jeebies I actually enjoy myself. Most of the insecurities I carry around with me about the way I look don’t impact me quite as much for some reason when I’m in work mode – maybe because I’m forced to focus on something else as I work through my agenda. In any event when you’re in front of customers and there to provide a service, they’re really only interested in what you can do for them – if you’re credible you’re in, irrespective of the size of your arse.

What fascinates me is when you get the chance to take 5 minutes out and look around the room.  People fascinate me – I love to understand what makes people tick, and body language sparks my interest big time. If you enjoy people-watching, and you’re tuned in properly, just by paying attention it’s possible to see a range of insecurities laid bare in front of your eyes.

The person who puts their hand in front of their mouth when they smile..? They probably feel self-conscious about their crooked teeth, or their gummy smile. The lady who keeps pulling the back of her jumper down..? She’s worried about whether her bum looks too big in those pants. Most fat people constantly tug at the edges or lapels of their jacket in the hope that it’s doing to hide – or at least disguise – what lies beneath – I do it myself!  The guy with the comb-over who’s afraid to go out in a stiff breeze…bless his heart, well you can work that one out I’m sure. Just shave it all off love…bald can be very sexy but a comb-over cannot. Ever! The over-coiffed woman who never cracks a smile and seems dead behind the eyes..? Nah, no insecurities there, she’s just had too much botox 🙂

My point is, we are all insecure about something. What I find really sad, is that sometimes people don’t see what everyone else sees when they look in the mirror. I have a really good friend who’s absolutely gorgeous, I mean in a stopping traffic kind of way and yet she’s one of the most insecure people I’ve met. She’s worried that her bum’s too big (it isn’t) and that her nose is off-centre (it’s not) and that her ears stick out (no, nothing wrong with her ears either). She’s gorgeous. But she just doesn’t see it.

So it might just be that all the time I’m worrying about whether anyone’s noticed that I’m really fat (of course they have, let me re-phrase that) all the time I’m worrying whether someone is judging me for being really fat, they might be looking at me and worrying about whether I’m going to judge them because the string bean at the hairdressers gave them a cauliflower haircut which draws attention to their chin hairs, or because they ate garlic last night and forgot to brush their teeth this morning (to be fair, I would judge them for that, what a scratter eh?)

How much more simple would life be, if we’d all just cut ourselves a little slack, stop worrying and chill the hell out 🙂

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