Wednesday, 10 September 2014

My Samoyed

Well, well, what do we have here?
Just for anyone that is interested, you can get daily updates from me in instagram at

I post a lot of dog photos - be warned.

Why am I Vegan?

You wouldn't expect this to be a question that is asked on a daily basis, but it is something that vegans have to answer more often than anything else I have encountered.
It’s simple enough, really. However, it depends entirely on why someone is asking that can change my perception of that person. Some people are curious, in a well-mannered way and would love an education on something that questions a part of life that so many consider to be normal.
Others… not so much.
Some people ask, “Why are you vegan?” with the same level of disgust as walking in dog’s mess. This depresses me and upsets me more than anything.
I know being vegan is a choice, but once you are there more often than not it is not something that you will go back from. Once your eyes have opened, it’s very hard to go back to advocating suffering and death.
I am aware that the majority of people reading this may not be vegan, and to them I may seem fanatical. I am not. This is the reasoning and thought process that allows someone to go vegan, to say no to suffering. If you believe that is ‘obsessive’ (like my mother *sigh*) then you need to analyse your actions very closely.
Killing is wrong.
Torture is wrong.
Why do these concepts seem alien when applied to animals?
If someone killed your dog, I am pretty sure you would be beside yourself in misery. But, hey, killing that cute baby cow with the wide eyes so you can have a rug in your living room that smells like death – “hey! That’s okay!”
Many people are vegetarian for these reasons alone, but I am never someone to do things half-heartedly.  Reading articles on how milk is taken and how silk worms are boiled alive, was enough to make me sick and to become an animal advocate. Why do people continue to take advantage of others, especially when they can’t pipe up and say “Hey Buddy! I don’t like that one bit”
When an animal struggles when you try to ride it, when you try to milk it, when you try and take its baby so you can drink its milk – it’s viewed as okay. When honestly, it’s not.
There are so many reasons why I am vegan and in the beginning, they all seemed to correspond to whoever I was speaking to. Different people got a different reason.
Let’s just give some back story: I was a 23 year old woman who had a lot of bowel issues, IBS that meant that I spent almost every day in pain and was gaining weight so quickly that the doctor was about to put me through tests because they thought something was very wrong with me.
I had just gotten my dog, a purebred Samoyed from a lovely lady that I still speak to everyday, and ate eggs and milk and copious amounts of blue cheese. My idea of a brilliant night out was stuffing my face full of Nando’s chicken.
I sat down one day to watch videos on youtube and ended up on the food production side, where I watched metallic robot hands softly caress pringles into their long cans, and jelly beans tumbling through large cement mixers. A joyous voiceover told me all about these exciting journeys and I was genuinely impressed with the amount of effort that went into this food production. Then came the animal videos. “How Bacon is made?”
Bacon isn’t made, it’s grown FYI. It’s flesh.
The factory workers watched as racks of pigs trolleyed into the warehouse, hanging from their trotters, swinging as the machine jostled them on the rack. Their eyes were wide and their arms hung down. The voiceover explained everything in the same jovial manner. A complete disconnect between what I could clearly see, as if for the first time. These were once animals, the same animals that I would point at in a field and walk up to and let lick my hand.
My dog slept on my feet, warm and snug as I watched the horror. Something struck inside of my heart that day. I loved my dog more than anything, why didn’t I extend these animals the same courtesy. They could easily be a pet or have a name, but they didn’t. They were bred to be killed. No one should be alive simply for the purpose of dying.
I first told the women at work, on my team. L*, who was a vegetarian of over 15 years, seemed shocked. Maybe this is where my slight prejudice of vegetarians comes from. She hadn’t consumed flesh for 15 years, but ate cheese every day. She didn't condone killing, but condoned extended suffering. All I can see when I think of cheese is baby cows that can’t have their mother’s milk. The rape racks to impregnate them so they keep lactating and all of the other horrors.
L* didn't think I could do it to be honest. She had seen me eat so much chicken and other meat in my life that I sensed this superiority rolling off her in waves. She had been a veggie for 15 years, and now this meat eater had come along and said that she wasn't just giving up meat, but going the whole hog (haha) and becoming vegan?!
The second was H*, who told me that I was wrong about all of this cruelty in the milk industry. She knew someone that knew someone that owned a dairy farm and none of that EVER happened. Yeah…right… So much evidence and video footage must be wrong.
C* told me that cows HAD to be milked or their udders exploded.
This immediately coloured my experiences of ‘coming out’ as vegan to others in the beginning.
It became a source of shame. No one understood the excuse “I am doing it for the animals”, but they understood selfish reasoning such as “I am doing it for my health” or “I am doing it to lose weight”.
My dad still only accepts my veganism because without it, I would probably have such horrible IBS I would be confined to my home in the evenings as I was before.
I came out on facebook, again citing health reasons and was so lucky that my friend Charlotte, who I had not spoken to in years, invited me to a closed group known as the vegan sanctuary. I felt at home, I felt empowered. I no longer felt this was something that I would probably fall away from (I have no willpower) and through them, I have carried on and prospered. Thanks to them, I am educated and confident about my choice to not harm or take advantage of animals.
I hope I gave some insight to others today of why I am vegan and I hope to all of you omnivores out there don’t think I am preaching but instead can listen and respect my choices. In the same way that I won’t knock a bacon sandwich out of your hands, don’t knock the celery out of mine.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

My Vegan Tshirt

Hello my gorgeous friends!

I have just received my brand new vegan themed tshirt in the post today and I am beyond thrilled. I thought I would post some photos for you all to enjoy. 


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Woodland Walk Vlog

Mark, Yuuki and Me

Hi all,
This Saturday I decided to film a VLOG for the first time in our local woods. We normally walk there almost every weekend and Yuuki loves it!

As you are aware, Yuuki and Mark are new additions to my videos as they have been in my life for the last two years (Mark for two and a half years and Yuuki for 9 months, technically)

Mark wasn't really into the whole vlogging thing but he slowly got into it and I think I would love to include him in some of my future vlogs and videos.

I am currently in the process of revamping my youtube channel - I have so many good ideas and want to run at this full steam. I have so many ideas for content and would love to start posting two or three times a week with normal content in the week and a vlog or two at the weekend.

I hope you enjoy my vlogs - let me know in the comments section below.

Wibbly Wobbly

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

From Thin to Fat

From Thin to Fat:

Or the longer title: How to be fat in a slim person's world

Okay, so before I decided to start writing about this from my angle I sincerely searched the internet to see if this had been done before – and guess what I found? 

So many slim people telling me how to dress my ‘fuller figure’ sigh. 

Now, I fully accept that a fashion graduate who looks like they subsist on nothing but kale may have a brilliant perspective on loving your body as their body confidence vlogs tell me, but I can’t come to grips with this rip tide of mixed messages from fashion media. 

The subject of Fat shaming

Half of the world is trying to ‘fat shame’ me, telling me that I shouldn’t even exist in the eyes of the media. The curvier woman shouldn’t appear in a magazine, full stop. 

Heaven forbid that she want to see a plus size mannequin so that she knows how well a plus size outfit will look on a body. Sometimes you just don’t want to risk doing the embarrassing dance in the changing room, where you have that brief moment of horror wondering if that dress will actually undo or if you’ll have to cut yourself out like a fashion fire woman. 

Here comes to commentary that I see on every Daily Mail article that involves a larger woman talking about body confidence – how dare she?! How dare she like herself when she is so DISGUSTING?! 
No obese person wants to be obese. Loving yourself is hard in a skinny body and I know; I WAS the skinny one! Imagine looking in the mirror and knowing that you COULD lose a little bit of weight, but hey! You’re a size ten; at least you’re not that fat! Now imagine that you’re so large that shaving your bikini line is a goddamn war zone. Yeah, lifting rolls of flab, completely re-positioning yourself from anything natural (more cirque de soleil) you have no idea until you have a body that suddenly isn't normal, what it’s like to be obese.

Then come the fat shamers – now, you may be reading this article thinking to yourself that I am glorifying fat and obesity and I am not. You just do not need to tell a 25 year old obese woman that she is fat, that she is disgusting, and that she just needs to eat less and move more. WE DO NOT NEED TO HEAR THIS! 
I KNOW that I need to eat less and move more, telling me does not make it so. Telling me isn’t a magic cure that will make me skinny, all it does it make me more ashamed to be this way. I KNOW the way out of the hole but I just keep getting ‘distracted’ (for lack of a better word) on the way up the ladder.  

Every time someone states that an obese person is disgusting, killing themselves with unhealthy food and need to sort themselves out is doing no one any favours. Every overweight person has thought about themselves in this horrible way, and they have come up with more creative ways of doing it. I dare you to find an overweight/obese woman that hasn't cried in a dressing room, or over a photo that someone took of them in a bikini and felt that dark feeling in their head that said “Nothing seems to work, I just want to cut this bloody fat right off my bones!” 

Many people don’t realize that the journey to fat is littered with psychological reasons for weight gain, many subconscious. Some come from forms of childhood emotional abuse, a cry for help. Some even come from the security of being fat. I feel that deep down, I don’t go to social gatherings, or risk being in a situation where I could be raped or insulted simply because I am fat. I know this isn’t true, and that fat women/men are just at risk but some deep down part of my psyche tells me I am safe because of this excess wobble on my body. No one would want a fat girl. 

So next time you, as a skinny person, see an article, a blog or TV show about a larger person coming to terms with loving themselves – hold your tongue. The negative feedback, and awful comments you all have are just going to send me right back to the fridge to be honest. If I got support in this kind of forum it would probably go a long way to solving the psychological issues behind being fat in the first place.  
Better yet, the next time you see a picture of a fat person, hold your tongue and think about the doctors and family members and friends that spend every day making backhanded comments about their weight. They get it enough, just lay off. I am not saying it’s OKAY to be fat/overweight/obese, I am just telling you to think before you speak.  

If I could, I would put every naturally skim person in a bariatric suit so they could walk a mile in the flab. No one wants to be this way (no one mentally healthy) and we are not deluding ourselves that it’s okay.  

The horror of Plus Size fashion

No offence to the fashion savvy ladies of the internet, but I am sick of being told how to dress my ‘fuller figure’ by someone that is dancing around in a size 8 dress two months after giving birth. Someone that shows glorious photos of cupcakes and mashed potatoes on pies followed quickly by a selfie of you wearing a bikini – that just doesn't sit right with me. 

I LOVE plus size models, I love seeing how clothing fits on a curvier lady because you just generally have to have a different style and an entirely different outlook.  

When I went from a size 8 to size 16 over 3 years, I had to learn how to dress myself again. I had to learn how to shop. It’s been hard. What makes it worse is the amount of content out there that is absolutely no help to me.  Unless you have sat on the pavement on a hot summers day with a silent smile (grimace) on your face because you forgot to put shorts on under your maxi dress and your thighs are BURNING from rubbing together – don’t tell me that this maxi dress is perfect for fuller figured ladies! 

Built in shorts and something that makes me look 3 sizes smaller! I’ll drop £200 in one go.  Just because something covers you like a smock, does not make it ‘perfect’ for fuller figured ladies. 

I am really not trying to be anti-skinny here – I am just angry. As a slim person I had my way of dressing, and you find a style that fits. It IS easier, as when you walk into a shop, more options will fit you. That’s not a lie, and that’s not being an angry fat girl. Slimmer people just generally have more options.  
From fear of promoting obesity to simply the cost of fabric, there must be a reason that bigger sizes aren’t typically promoted in high street retailers. 

My story - Going supersize 

Many people don’t realize that whilst it may seem like 3 years is a short amount of time, more often than not when you gain weight you don’t realize until you reach some sort of landmark where is smacks you right in the face. Honestly, because it can happen so gradually it can seem really scary as I didn't know what was making me fat. Food was making me fat, but I couldn't very well stop eating at this point. 

I am the first person to admit that I have a really unhealthy relationship with food. I spent my time from the age of 13 to 20 as a size 8 (10 on a fat day) as a 5ft 7in lady, I was tall and even at 9 stone, I was very slim. My rib bones jutted out when I lay down, my ribs could be seen – and I bloody loved it! 

I had so many issues when I was younger, I was on anti-depressants when I turned 15 and that’s where it started. They took away my appetite and I dropped that last half of a stone that gave me a bit of wiggle and suddenly people asked me out. I was known as one of the hot girls, I could walk into any shop and pick up anything I liked and didn't even have to try it on. 

I still have photos from my trip to Egypt aged 17. I looked like one of those celeb pictures on holiday – in my mind I was a whale, but looking at those pictures now fill me with a tingle of joy that it was possible to be that slim! 

If you looked at my diet and exercise back then, it wasn't any wonder how much I weighed. I would starve myself until lunch (just skipping breakfast) and drink two cartons of chocolate milk. In the evening, my mother (who also has a crap relationship with food) would force me to eat nothing but veggie soup and a roll as she was on some new slimming world/fat burning soup diet. 

I did dance GSCE, I would spend about 45 minutes a day exercising at school, and then when I got home we could go for a powerwalk of up to around 3K – this happened 3 times a week.  
Hunger was constant but a success, and a BIG part of me wishes I could go back to those days. 

At my smallest, I didn't eat until 6 at night every evening. My college was so far away, about two bus journeys and I had just quit my job at the local convenience store. My depression was getting so bad that I couldn't even go to work on most days. I quit when they wouldn't let me go home when I was having an episode. I locked myself in this bathroom and pretended to have food poisoning. 

With the bus fare and having no money, I couldn't physically afford to eat and that suited me fine. I remember one day when everyone went to Nandos and they all ate bowls full of chicken, chips and rice, and I just sat there. I had no money. The girls had a knowing look in their eyes, like they knew I was anorexic, like it was some cool commodity. Depression and an eating disorder apparently made me really cool in Art College. 

Not to be in denial but I never had an eating disorder. My medication took away my appetite full stop. I was never doing it on purpose, not really. That didn't mean that I couldn't love the effects of being thin. 
Then I came off my medication, and it started, very specifically, with a red pepper and tomato soup at my local campus. I always loved the smell of that soup when I walked past and I had just gotten a new job as well, so I actually had money for lunch. That soup was the first thing I started eating, at this point I still wasn't that hungry during the day, but soup was fine. 

You can see it in the photos – over three months, I gained one and a half stone just by going back to eating food. In my mind, I was still the same but in the pictures it painted a very different picture. 
In my mind, I was still a healthy size ten. Little did I know I was getting FAT! Capital letters needed here. It wasn't until 2012, in May. Two years after I came off my medication, two years of thinking I was a normal human being.  

I asked my boyfriend to take a photo of me in my bikini so I could anticipate the holiday photos. We were leaving for Kos the next day. I really shouldn't have done it. In my imaginary reality I was still slim, although I KNEW I wasn't as thin as I was.

I still believed myself to be attractive. I didn't want to see what was there.

I have gained around 5 stone in total from the day I came off my medication to that point. Two years and five stone. I wonder how I didn't take a good hard look at myself before that point and as I start, it hits you like a landmine - or something I call, the fat shovel!

Mark showed me the photo of myself, and I sobbed. Gone were the smooth lines of my stomach and all I could see were stretch marks everywhere: on my muffin top, on the tops of my saddle bags, and my boobs. My stomach was no longer flat but sat in rolls on my body. The thin area of my pubis was sunken in compared to the pouch of my lower stomach that sagged and covered it. The day before my first holiday with my partner and it broke my heart. 

I sobbed for hours. 

Now don’t tell me that a size 8 woman knows how to dress a fuller figure. She has never looked at her arms in a photo and wished she could just photoshop herself out of it. She’s never bought a pair of jeans that have actually split up the bum seam when she’s bent over. 
I am fine with you telling me what’s fashionable – but never pretend that you understand, because you don’t. 

Wibbly Wobbly