Saturday, 30 November 2013

Textured lace OOTD

Hi lovelies!

I hope you're having a great weekend so far? My mum and step dad are staying this weekend so I'll be playing the amiable host, so my apologies if I'm a little slow to respond to blog comments.

I'm wearing the lace ASOS Curve dress I bought in the sale a couple of months ago. It doesn't get nearly enough love.


I'm also wearing some shiny textured plum leggings from Everything 5 Pounds. I these are a size 26-28 and they're so stretchy I'd have sized down had I known. They're comfortable despite being a bit saggy around the ankles.


Necklace, I honestly can't remember! How bad is that?!
Dress, ASOS Curve
Leggings, Everything 5 Pounds
Shoes, Very (past season)

I like the way the leggings shimmer. They look like velvet from a distance.

Thanks for reading!

My favourite 3 songs currently

Hola!

Here are some songs I can't seem to squeeze out of my brain. Five Minutes is a beautiful atmospheric ballad by electro-rock band The Defiled. Listen to it with your eyes closed if you can, and drift off somewhere else. Gorgeous.



As I Drown is a straight up rock song.



This last song, Sail is cover of this song by AWOLNATION (an electro pop band.) The original is weird but nevertheless has a mesmerising quality to it. I much prefer the heavier cover, which has some ethereal vocals alongside the heavy ones which combine into a song I just can't get enough of. Close your eyes to listen to this one. It's beautiful. Once you've listened to it see if you can get the 'lah lah lah lah lah, lah lah lah lah lah ahhhhh' from the last chorus out of your head. I can't.



Thanks for reading, and listening (if you did!) Have a great weekend.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Baby Got Back

Hello all.

Last week one of my blog readers (that'll be you Lucy!) asked how she could love her back fat and if I love mine. The answer is I don't really, not yet. Two seconds later I twigged that people might not like their back fat/back rolls because you hardly ever see photos of fat backs and it's not really spoken about. Right then I vowed to put my own back fat on this blog and asked if anyone else would join me so I wouldn't be alone in it. So help me...

My feelings on my back fat:

I never see it. I suppose I'm lucky because as long as I've got a well fitting bra on my back fat isn't too visible through clothes - not as far as I know anyway. When hubby took these photos he looked back at them and said "Your back looks different in the photos." I asked if he meant worse, and he said yes. When you're used to seeing a body in motion, to see still images of it is somewhat jarring, I guess.

Looking at these photos objectively (and honestly) my first response is to say 'Ick.' But when I see photos of other ladies' back fat, I think it looks cute. You'll see Beth's photos after mine and I think her back looks great. I think I don't like these photos (at the moment) because it's MY back. This is the first time I've EVER examined what my back looks like. I've banged on lots in the past about how we need to normalise fat bodies by posting photos of them, and this is so true. We need to help other people to feel better about their bodies, and we need to feel better about our own. I will come back to these photos often so I can learn to love my back fat. I'm awesome and thus by default my back is awesome, plus my love handles give hubby something to grab onto when we're getting erm...acquainted. 

**EDIT** I already start to think my rolls look cute. They look soft and grab-able.

Here are my photos.

Take a moment to admire my colourful tattoo

It moves as I move


I think this looks really cute

Now onto Beth's feelings about her back fat and her photos. Beth blogs over here by the way!

When Leah posted on Twitter that she was looking for people who liked/loved their back fat I replied to her tweet instantly. My back fat is actually one of the things I love most, I often take forever in the 'shower' in reality I spend most of that time stood in front of the mirror looking at my back fat. I love how it looks in clothes, I'll often wear a fitted top which clings to my fat and makes it stand out, and I'll soon be distracted and no longer putting my makeup on or doing my hair. 

To me my back fat is even sexy, that is how much love I have for it! My back fat is mainly just above my waist and I sort of think that makes it sexier because waists are sexy especially for having someone hug you from behind. 

I was talking to my bestie about the fact I needed to take these photos and she reminded me that one of our friends from college used to call her back fat her back boobs! I definitely won't be calling mine my back boobs, my back fat is nowhere near as big as my boobs! It's still as freaking awesome and as sexy as my boobs are though.
I have to say Beth, I love the way you feel about your back fat and your love for it inspires me to love mine! You're an inspiration!





That dimple at the bottom is so cute!!

Please also check out Charley's blog here, because she's posting her thoughts and images there. 

Do you have back rolls? How do you feel about them?

If you want to do a post about your back rolls, feel free to do so if you link to this post. You can also submit photos to me if you want me to feature you in the second edition of Baby Got Back. (Just email your text and images to blog dot justmeleah @ gmail dot com.)

Thanks for reading!

Cosy loungewear OOTN

Howdy friends!

Unless you're living in some sunnier clime, you may have noticed it's colder than a polar bear's happy sack. Last winter our heating bills were so astronomical that we're still feeling the pinch. This year we're relying on other methods to heat ourselves and only putting the heating on for a couple of hours a day.

I bought this microfleece lounger from Simply Be when they sent me a 20% code. It cost £17.60 after the discount.


I'm 5ft 5 and this comes a few inches below my knee, as you can see.


The hood is plenty big - I can pull it almost entirely over my face.

It has a drawstring hood with pom pom trim and a pocket. I'd have liked a drawstring waist too but overall it's a fab winter warmer.

I size up for nightwear with all brands because I can't bear to be constricted, and I always have to size up with Simply Be as their sizing is whack so I went up 2 sizes to a 32/34. It's quite static-y so it fits quite close to the torso but I can wear clothes underneath and still have room to manoeuvre. It's a quite thin microfleece, but so warm. I won't wear this in bed because we have a lot of covers so it gets quite warm, but for chilling out in in the evenings it's grand.

Lounger, Simply Be
Slippers, Primark (in the spring.)

How do you stay warm? Do you whack the heating up or drape yourself in blankets?

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

3 recent nail looks

Hiya pickles!

I've got three nail polish posts here. I'm a bit behind, because two of them are from Halloween time! Eep.

This one is the most recent one, using a Collection nail, polish in shade Deadly, which is a lovely brown with gold shimmer. I only recently found out Collection don't test on animals, so I bought a couple of lipsticks as well, which I'll show you at some point in the near future. I bought them from Superdrug because they've had a 3 for 3 on make up for a while now.


This was two coats. I didn't use a top coat and I should've done because it chipped like mad. Next time, next time!

Next up are the Frankie nails I did which look pretty pants to be fair but I think you can still tell who they're supposed to be. I used a black Technic nail art pen and an MUA greeny blue for this.


Lastly we have a more detailed Halloween look which took at least an hour to do. I used ELF black nail polish and Barry M black and white nail art pens. The black one is fine but the white one is just like a tippex pen and kept getting blocked.


I was wearing this design when I went to meet Gok Wan at the Simply Be event and I got some compliments. It's the best nail art I've done (I think) and I was chuffed with them.

I have no real skill in nail art but it gives me some pleasure to try.

Do you do nail art?

Thanks for reading.

A terrible affliction - satire.

Hello loves!

Start transmission.

I fear the end is near. I woke up this morning having DREAMED a One Direction song. It's not unusual (to be loved by anyone, da da da da da da da) for me to think in songs, and although I have barely any recall for my dreams the song I had in my head when I was sleeping normally stays with me all day.

God, I'm fucked.

It's not just the dream. I heard their new song on tv the other day and I liked it from the first line. From the first LINE. That never happens. Songs are usually like one eyed stinky dogs with halitosis - first they repel me, and when I hear the hook for the umpteenth time, then I notice the puppy dog eyes and declare to love it forever.

Songs don't usually imbed themselves in my cranium on the first listen. There must be something in the water. That Simon Cowell is poisoning us all with One Direction chemical warfare!

I've gone from being extremely unimpressed to not minding them. And oh God, they've all got tattoos and facial hair and everything! I'm sure I fancy at least two of them now.

SAVE YOURSELVES! BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.

You don't know oh oh, that's what makes you beautiful....

End transmission.

Doctor's notes.

Patient was found to have extreme viral Directionitis and was prescribed a dose of German speed metal and Jason Momoa images. She began to show signs of improvement almost instantly, although she did drool a little when viewing the images. There has been a rash of similar cases since One Direction's collective balls dropped. Patients of even such great age as this patient - in her 39th year - were unable to fight off this virulent strain of the virus, which predominantly affects younger females.

We are currently seeing an outbreak similar in scale to bird flu. It is extremely contagious and there is a theory One Direction are using dream warfare, a secret brain washing exercise devised by Simon Cowell, an evil genius with hair like a broom.

Should a detailed and personal prescription of cure not work, aversion therapy has been known to have some effect. Usually after 7 days of listening to One Direction on repeat for 8-12 hours a day the patient will be purged of his or her addiction.

*It's just satire, Directioners. No need to burn me at the stake.

Monday, 25 November 2013

On being a mental case and a blogger

Hello readers dearest.

Apologies if the title of this blog offends anyone with mental illness. I have depression and anxiety disorder and use black humour to cope.

Yesterday I was soaring with the eagles and today I'm down in the sewer with the rats.

I wanted to talk about mental health and being a blogger, and how that works for me. I often feel like I'm being left behind or am stagnant. I don't drive, I'm disabled, and I have anxiety disorder and depression. I'm in the wrong place for blogger meet ups, for a start. I'm not oop North, and there seems to be a higher amount of fat bloggers up there (no offence - the North and your fine people - but most of the fat ladies I know and love and all the good fat shops are 300 miles away from me.)  Thus I'm PHYSICALLY removed from most of the blogging world. I'm physically removed from everything - any further South and I'm in France. I can't just get on a train to go meet people like normal people do. It took me 2 weeks to get over going to London to meet Gok Wan because of Fibromyalgia and CFS/ME.

Secondly because I'm so skeeeeered of rejection I don't talk to people on Twitter that I might want to. I spoke on Twitter briefly over the weekend about being blanked by some better known plus size bloggers, and it's happened so many times now I don't feel able to get stuck in with conversations I want to. I see newer bloggers coming along getting on with everyone with such ease and it just goes to remind me how fucking socially awkward or unlikeable I am, and how little confidence I have. I have this 'I'm not worthy!!' about me which probably comes across as me being a stuck up bitch but it's the furthest thing from that you could possibly imagine. I do psbloggerschat on a Sunday about once a month because being ignored makes me feel like a piece of shit on someone's shoe. I have to be feeling really mentally strong before I can put myself in that place of being left out while everyone else is chumming it up in grand style. So as well as being physically removed from most of the plus size clan, there are mental obstacles too.

WHY IS EVERYTHING ALWAYS SO HARD? Why do I even go on Twitter when it only seeks to remind me that nothing about me or my life is normal? 

Why do I put myself through this?! I honestly don't know. Maybe I'm stupid to try to 'compete', when at every level I'm coming up at a loss.

Emo bitch out.

Thanks for listening to my depressive wailings.


Organic Surge gentle cleanser rave review

Hello lovelies!

I've used this whole bottle of Organic Surge cleanser now so feel qualified to give it a balanced review. (Edit, does not exist as of 2016).


I bought this in the summer when there was a massive discount on selected Organic Surge products. I'd been keen to buy more products which are definitely not tested on animals (rather than a murky grey area as is the case with a lot of brands who won't fess up one way or the other - grrr!)

It smells....herbal? ...as you'd expect from an organic company. I would say the scent is mild rather than overbearing, and it grew on me as time went on (I was used to fake scents beforehand.) By the time I was halfway through the bottle I really enjoyed the scent, probably because I associated it with a lovely, gentle product which didn't dry out or inflame my sensitive skin at all. It's a quite runny white liquid which doesn't sting my sensitive eyes one bit. It's a massive plus point to be able to get make up off my eyes without ending up with stinging, red eyeballs. It does a wonderful job of cleaning away dirt and make up - even mascara (I don't wear waterproof mascara so can't speak about that) and leaves my skin glowing with health.

It's £5.99 for 200ml (correct at time of posting), has a flip top lid (so handy!) and I would definitely repurchase. 

Have you tried this, or anything else by Organic Surge? What do you cleanse with?

Cruelty free. 

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Tartan leopard or leopard tartan OOTD

Howdy amigos!

I fell in love with this dress when I saw it on Yours a month or so ago. When it became apparent my blog sales were a bust and the contribution to my new camera fund was minimal, I thought sod it and bought this dress with what I had left in PayPal.


The colour, the leopard print, the tartan, the zips - it all appealed. It's quite a punk dress.


It only comes up as high as a size 26 so that's what I bought. I was expecting body con but there was room in it and it's very stretchy, so it'd fit larger sizes with ease if you're OK with form fitting clothing.


I wore the Hush Puppies shoes we bought for the wedding (which I couldn't wear due to my daft cooked-spaghetti ankle joints) and I had a fun 10 minutes parading around in them taking photos....but it was also fun to take them off! Heels really kill my ankles.


Dress, £20 down from £25 Yours
Tights c/o Big Bloomers Company*
Shoes, Hush Puppies (they're called Noella - no longer for sale, check eBay)

What's your favourite print?

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Top 3 rock songs to listen to when you're in a murderous rage

Hiya!

This blog idea came into my head the other night when sleep was elusive and it made me giggle so much I thought 'I HAVE to do this!'

Without further ado, songs to listen to when you're pissed off and hate everything.





Of course, when I'm really peed off I just blast out some Slayer, but I don't think many people would appreciate that. :P

What do YOU listen to when you need to get out some aggression?

Friday, 22 November 2013

Too short, too tight, too much OOTD

Hiya lovelies.

This outfit is too much of everything, and I love it. Too short, too tight, too much.

I've been told I'm too much for almost my whole life, and you know what? YES I AM AND I'M BLOODY GLORIOUS.


I just wrote about 1000 words about some shit I went through in my childhood/early teens and I realised I'm still bitter about it, so I deleted it. I'm going to cut to the chase: words can and do scar. Adults have a responsibility to watch their mouths when they're foisting their effed up ideas of body image onto children. I spent 30-something years of my life in pain because of the shitty things people said and did to me when I was a child/early teen. You can't put the idea in someone's head at that young, formative age that they're wrong in every way. You just can't, not if you have a soul.

It has taken fat acceptance, feminism, the love of a good man and approximately 20000 expletives for me to purge this crap from my system and love myself. Has it been easy? Hell naw, not at first. But it has got easier with practice.


Wearing this dress is as simple as putting on a dress, and yet so, so much more. It says 'This is me, and if you don't like it you can eff off.' It says those people who could have made my entire life a misery by making me feel less than in my childhood failed.


These days if people think I'm too much - GOOD. Eff 'em! I type that with the biggest grin on my face. I am at one with it.

I bought this dress (with some PayPal money from my blog sales) from Evans last week. It's a size 26 and it's INDECENTLY short. Like if I bend over you can see my knickers short. And do you know what? I look amazing in it. Yesterday I posted this one of these photos on my Facebook wall, to all 400+ of my Faceache friends who may or may not find a photo of a fat woman sausaged into a tight dress appealing. I didn't give a shit. Not one tiny butt nugget.

I do believe they call this LIBERATION.

So, the dress? It's a double layered thing. The under layer is a thick black and stretchy mesh which gently supports you and the outer layer is a really thick jersey. It's really warm and comfortable to wear, but as it's so small on me it tends to ride up over my hips, resulting in me doing that wiggle hips thing while I pull it back down. (What, you don't do the wiggle hips thing?!) This dress comes up to a size 28 and a 28 would've been much better from the perspective of length, but it was out of stock at the time and I'm an impatient bugger.

Scarlet & Jo Powerfit dress, Evans
Belt, ASOS Curve (sold out) - are you sick of it yet?!
Tights, c/o Big Bloomers Company
Shoes, Evans (past season)
Earrings, Primark

How do you feel about really tight clothing?

Thanks for reading.

Photo Friday #4

Howdy!

Happy Friday.

This photo was taken at a church on the way back from Lulworth Cove in Dorset when we were on holiday. It was a foul afternoon and we rushed around the graveyard quickly taking snaps before getting back into the car as quickly as possible.


I think flowers always look nice with some dew or rain on them.

Thanks for peeping.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

20 random facts as prompted by Kaelah

Howdy!

I was just reading Kaelah's post about 20 fun facts and decided to join in. I love reading and writing these fun facts posts so I invite you to put as many facts as you like about yourself in the comments! I'm going to try to make these as random as possible. In no particular order, here goes.

  1. I REALLY REALLY like Rod Stewart. I love his voice and have done since I heard Sailing on the radio when I was about 3. LOVE HIM. 
  2. I get skin tags on my neck and I hate them with a passion. I've got two right now, and I have dental floss tied around one to kill off its blood supply. It hurts like hell and I wish I had the balls to just snip it off.
  3. I don't call my family anywhere near as much as I should because I miss them so much and being reminded they're far away makes me sad.
  4. I am obsessed with Sons of Anarchy. I download every episode because there's no way I'm going to wait another 6 months for them to put it on the box over here. I forgive Jax all his shit because he's just so damn hot.
  5. I used to bite my nails until they bled up until the age of 14. 
  6. I hate going to the doctor thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much.
  7. I want ALL THE TATTOOS but am addicted to spending money on clothes.
  8. Jason Momoa will always be my numero uno fantasy man and he has been ever since I first clapped eyes on him in Stargate Atlantis. 
  9. Since Spotify became chargeable I listen to music approximately 75% less. I think I'm gonna pony up and pay the monthly fee because I NEED my Christmas songs playlist on there like air.
  10. I'm great at killing house plants. I once had a cactus that grew better when it fell under my bed for a year. It was leaning on something under the bed and grew in the shape of an erect cock. I really needed Instagram in my life back then. ;)
  11. I have an overbite which you can only see from the side. I quite like it.
  12. I once fell asleep on a beach with my arms above my head and my legs slightly akimbo, so I burned my armpits and inner thighs. That was such an awkward walk back to the train station, I can tell ya. 
  13. I LOVE caravan holidays. I was 21 before I stayed in a hotel - all my childhood holidays were in caravans and I still find them incredibly cosy.
  14. Since I got my Kindle a month ago I've put over 110 books on it. Ye gads. 
  15. I'm wearing out my left shoulder from CONSTANTLY playing with my hair. My arm is up in the air 90% of the time. It cracks like a whip when I move sometimes.
  16. Stationery is my porn - funky wrapping tape, rubber stamps, notebooks, pens - they're all XXX rated goodies to me. 
  17. I buy LOADS of craft items like jewellery making supplies, material to sew with etc, then never do anything with it. I just like pretty things. It's a disease.
  18. I have an affinity with animals. This is going to sound way out there, but I know what they're feeling. I was visiting my mum and my cat ran down the garden path to greet me (my mum looked after my cat) and I knew there was something wrong. Instinctively I ran my hands down Tilly's leg and felt something rough - I pulled on it and it a massive thorn stuck in her leg - it was a good 1/4 inch deep in there. She wasn't limping (amazingly) - I just knew. It comes from being an empath. We pick up on things other people don't, vibrations, whatever you call them. Being around animals is extremely healing for me, and animals are drawn to me. Not just pets, but farm animals too. I'm an animal magnet and I love it.
  19. I love doing laundry but don't iron. 
  20. I love tea but don't like my own very much. My husband on the other hand makes a phenomenal cup of tea despite not drinking it himself. 
Fire away, leave me some facts in the comments.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Mustard OOTD

Hiya pickles!

My mum bought me this jumper from Sainsbury's last year and it's a favourite winter warmer.

It's an XL and was only £9. I went back to look to see if they had any similar priced jumpers this year, but there was nothing which grabbed my fancy.


This skirt has pockets! Love me some pockets.

Apologies for nipples - it's winter, so there will be nips.

Jumper, Sainsbury's (2012)
Belt, ASOS Curve
Skirt, New Look
Shoes, Evans (past season)

I didn't think mustard suited me until I got this jumper but now I love it. I'm also loving taking photos from my sun room. I'll go wherever the sun goes.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Love EVERY Body - Body Positivity Workshop

Hello dears!

Thanks to all of you who have expressed interest in the body positive challenge I proposed in this post. I've had a few more thoughts since then so this will lay out the groundwork and explain the premise behind it a bit more.



Firstly, a couple of you who emailed me expressed a preference for the name Love EVERY Body, so that's what it shall be called.

More about Love EVERY Body.

Love EVERY Body will be a monthly body positivity workshop FOR ALL SIZES OF BODIES where we will attempt to slowly chip away at the body snark which permeates the media, water cooler conversations at work, and so many of women's thoughts.  

It's not our fault. We have become accustomed to being in a state of apology for our bodies, often from very young ages. We grow up expecting to have our bodies policed by others, and as such the ownership of our bodies falls out of our hands. It's time to claim back ownership and realise WE hold the power to feel good within ourselves, and the opinions of others ISN'T what we should base our self esteem or self confidence on.

Rather than trying to turn around decades of of negative thoughts and judgements about our own and (other women's bodies) in an instant, I propose we break the body down into separate areas to concentrate on each month. I don't just want to talk about the aesthetic aspects of our bodies, but ALL the good things they do which we may not take into account when we 'value' them through critical eyes. We're so accustomed to beating ourselves up for not looking like Miranda bloody Kerr that we forget all the amazing things our bodies do (and we do in them) which are equally as important and joyful as the way we look, if not more so. Little by little I want us to notice and remember the great things about us until the balance swings away from 'Meh' and turns towards 'Yeah!'

If we can learn to look at our bodies in a new way - by shutting out our negative thoughts and concentrating on the great things about us - I believe we can raise our self esteem and start to think more kindly, not only towards ourselves, but toward other women too. It's about celebrating our differences and realising just because someone is of a different body type to us, it doesn't mean they're any less deserving of all good things.

Instead of concentrating on arms which flap when we wave, think more about how lovely they are when they hug people. Instead of thinking about slightly-less-pert boobs, be thankful you were able to nourish a child with them. Instead of thinking how fat your bum may be, remember it makes it a comfortable cushion to sit on. :)

We ALL have beautiful things about us aesthetically, and it's entirely right and healthy to take those into account, so feel free to do that in each monthly assignment. Vanity is a huge part of self care and self esteem, so tell us what you love about yourself in each exercise. If you're having a hard time finding something aesthetically beautiful about yourself, look a little deeper within, and you'll find something amazing to tide you over until you CAN see the physical beauty in yourself. Let the other people in this community lift you up. We will be your cheerleaders until you get used to seeing how gorgeous you are. Once we are up and running I'd like everyone to comment on three random posts from within the community each month (or more, of course!) because when you look for the best in other people, it's easier to think kindly of yourself.

I propose we post on the first Sunday of every month. I will send an email 2 weeks before each post is due with a reminder of the area we'll be covering. Our first post will be due on Sunday December 1st, which is about 2 weeks away so hopefully that'll give everyone time to think about the first assignment.

EMAIL ME TO REGISTER - blog.justmeleah@gmail.com. I will put a link to your blog/Tumblr on the dedicated page for Love EVERY Body on my blog, so also let me know in your email what your link is and if you're happy to be linked in this way.

For this month's assignment I'd like you to write a letter to your body, acknowledging the things you've been through together. For example: What accidents and illnesses have you had? Do you have scars, tattoos? Have you been operated on? What have you been through in your body, good and bad? What highs and lows have there been? Does your body make you feel happy, sad, disappointed? Do you feel at one with your body or is it the enemy? What parts do you like and dislike? What parts do you want to work on being happier with? These are just suggestions. Make your post your own and feel free to add photos, art, a poem, or any other creative endeavour.

(We'll be coming back to the first post at the end of the challenge. When we've done all the assignments I want us to come back and revisit this post, writing another letter to our bodies, to see if we feel happier with the areas we disliked and if we are feeling more positive about ourselves in general.)


Any questions, suggestions? Let me know in the comments - and don't forget to email me so I can include you in the monthly round robin reminders!  

Also please let me know which link to use for you (where you'll be posting) - blog link, Tumblr link, etc.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Body Love - are you in?

Hiya pickles.

As I was lying in bed last night I had an idea.

In the plus size blogging world there are LOADS of fashion challenges which are all about the clothes. This is an essential part of plus size blogging - fat people need to see other fat people wearing clothes. They need to see what's available out there, and what clothes look on bodies similar to their own. Also, it's essential we're visible as all too often society tries to make us invisible, so we need to keep doing that. I'm not taking anything away outfit blogging at all, but I haven't seen anything in the plus world which focuses on learning to love our bodies, apart from Rachele's fantastic Fat Bitch E Course series.

I had an idea. So much of our identity and happiness is based upon how we feel about our looks, and that's based on a VERY narrow perspective of beauty which needs reinventing. OF COURSE we all know the physical is fleeting and it's what's inside that counts, but to say that how we feel about our physical selves is immaterial is wrong. It does matter. It matters a lot. Obviously it's not an easy thing to tackle body image as a whole in one fell swoop, so I thought perhaps if we were to break it down to small parts over a period of time it'd be more do-able, and we'd get better at it as positivity breeds positivity.

So my idea is this: a once-monthly challenge where we all focus on a set body part and find something to love about it, even if it's difficult or confronting to start with. Of course it's a wonderful thing to be able to swathe ourselves in gorgeous clothes, but what I want to do is deeper than that. I want to help foster real body love in as many people as want to be involved. Of course I'll be preaching to the choir with some of you, but there may be some of you out there who don't love much about yourselves at all, and I hope to raise a positive community which will support each other through this quest.

So, how will it work? Let's say we start the first month with the face/hair and work down the body (minus the genitals, I ain't going there!) I'd say I love my freckles, my eyes and my rosy cheeks, and have a close up of my face as my challenge photo that month. You might love your cute ears, your nose, your finely plucked brows, your eyes, the softness of your chin(s), your amazing hair, your whole face, your smile. It doesn't have to be a physical thing as such - you might dislike your arms but love the fact you can hug people with them. If you concentrate on that you'll soon see your arms in a whole new light. And ta-da, you're on the road to positivity!!  

You can portray this celebration of your chosen body part each month with photos, art, a poem, a song, a video, a mixture of or any other way you can think of. It's your post and your body so go for it however you wish.

You don't have to talk about a full body part each month - you could talk about an area as small as a scar, a birthmark, a mole, a tattoo - I'm not expecting a bunch of photos of tits when we get to chest month! ;)  

It's not always going to be easy for us to find something to love, though. I know I have favourite parts of my body and less favourite places, but I honestly believe if we look for the positives in ourselves we WILL find them, and I hope the community we forge will help us each to see what's beautiful about us if we can't ourselves. Body love is a journey. I've already come so far in the past year. We CAN totally fall in love with ourselves with practice. I'm undoing over 30 years of self-loathing and shame and you can too. My hope would be that if a person said 'Oh, I can't find anything good to say about myself this month, I really hate XYZ about my face' that a bunch of different people would jump up and say, 'No way, you have a totally cute ABC!' It happened to me earlier this year when I started getting my legs out on the blog. I hated them and was scared to put them out there but I did it regardless and so many people said I had lovely legs I started to see them in a new light. That is exactly what I want to achieve. If you already love a body part, then amazing, but if not, let us coax out of you what's wonderful and help you see yourself with new eyes.

The more we concentrate on the things we like about ourselves, the more we will find to love, I promise. This isn't about looking for perfection outside of ourselves or comparing ourself to others, it's about finding the beauty we already hold and learning to cherish that. I want a body love revolution where we celebrate each other's differences and learn to love ourselves, and others.

The aim is at the end of X amount months (however long it takes) we'll have covered the whole body, and can do a recap post of how we felt about our bodies as a whole at the beginning of the challenge, and how we feel about them now. What has changed, what has stayed the same, and if we are more in love with ourselves at the end of it than when we begun. That's the aim. I want everybody to learn to love the separate little parts of themselves so it joins into one big love so they feel amazing.

I'm sorry if this all sounds a bit 'hippie-dippie one love maaaaaaaaaan' - I just want to everyone to love themselves. All good things come from love, not hate.

What could we achieve if we didn't spend half our lives hating ourselves? What great things could we accomplish?

I'm so stoked about this I haven't even got a name yet, although I'm mulling over Love Every Body, as it goes both ways. Love EVERY body. Love EVERYBODY. Or the Body Love Revolution. God, I'm the cheesiest cheese ball in the whole cheesy world, aren't I? Some come along, smother me in pickle and put me in a sandwich fer gads sake!

This sounds like a good idea in my head but I have no idea if anyone else will agree with me. Thoughts?

Who's in?!

Got ideas you want to contribute? Got questions? GO FOR IT. I want this to be a community (not a dictatorship) so fire away.

Email me at blog.justmeleah@gmail.com if you want in and title it 'Body Love' or leave me a comment and we'll see if we can get this show on the road.

ALL BODIES WELCOME - not just fats. NO HATE - CELEBRATE! (How cheesy does that sound?! HA!)

Ideas for areas to cover:

Face/hair
Shoulders/back
Chest
Arms/hands
Stomach
Bum
Legs/feet
Skin

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 15 November 2013

I Feel Good


Howdy!

It's time for the monthly I Feel Good challenge.

"You know sometimes when you spend ages getting ready for a night out, an event or even just a blog post, and the reflection in mirror isn't what you hoped? This challenge is for those times when you look in the mirror, no pre planning involved, and think "I look good today".

We all have our good days and our bad, but this challenge is to record those good days and to remember that confidence, at any size, is beautiful.


I took this photo yesterday, and even though I have a few hormonal spots, I felt good.

When was the last time you looked in the mirror and thought 'Ooft, you sexy thing!'? I hope it was recently!

Thanks for reading, and have a fantastic weekend!

10 thing I love about my (adopted) home town

Hiya!

I love living where I do so much. Here's why!

1. Being by the sea is awesome.


Before I lived near the sea, I longed for it. I don't actually go down to the beach that often, but just knowing it's there is a constant comfort.

2. Having a large arty/alternative community is great. In the town of my birth, people can be quite twatty at times. It'd be a rare day when I didn't get a fat-related insult. However because everyone is so arty and alternative down here, there are some wild sights. There are more interesting things than a fat girl going about her business so I can go to town and back without getting shitty comments and sniggers almost all of the time.

3. Having lovely places like Winchelsea and Rye half an hour away by car is a tonic. Our favourite chippy is in Rye. Yum.


4. Having this view from my living room makes me so happy. It's a massive boost to my well being. 


 5. Only having to drive for a short while to be in glorious countryside.....can't beat it!


6. For lots of lovely parks nearby to explore.


7. For being able to experience the change of seasons in such a lovely place.


8. Having lots of lovely churches and cemeteries to explore nearby makes me happy.


9. I love living in a place where my friends and family enjoy coming to visit.


10. I love living where I do, but am grateful for living close enough to both mine and hubby's family so we can visit often.


What do you love best about your home town, adopted or otherwise?

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Quite possibly an unpopular opinion

Hiya.

I'm sitting down to write a post which may be controversial, and it makes me uneasy.

I hate conflict as I don't have the spoons (chronic illness-speak for not having energy) to deal with it. Sometimes you have to step aside from that and say your piece anyway. Having chronic illness has made a mouse out of a previously opinionated woman, but once in a while I'm brave enough to stick my head above the parapet. I'll risk getting into a shit storm I have little energy to deal with if it creates a discussion.

I feel size privilege exists in the plus size world, as well as everywhere else, but lord knows how I'm going to find the words to express this without seeming like a negative Nelly. I feel I have a responsibility to talk about inequality - specific to size - even at the risk of being seen as a drag. I don't feel negative, or sad, and I'm not having a pity party. I don't hate people smaller than me, and I'm not jealous. I've been all kinds of sizes and they're all good. I do however feel pissed off and angry with the system because I want things to change and I don't know if it'll ever happen, or how we get there.

TRIGGER WARNING - within this post I briefly wonder what would change if I were to lose weight. I have no intention of dieting, but I don't want any mention of it to trigger anyone with an E.D. so please be warned.

Being in a fat body is undoubtedly political. Whether we like it or not daring to leave the house in a fat body can be like entering hostile territory. Our bodies elicit unwanted comments because we dare to exist. We are the butt of jokes, are often treated with no respect in healthcare settings and can be be passed over for jobs we're perfect for because of the size of our bodies. At the higher end of the fat spectrum I'd go as far as to borrow a Skunk Anansie song title and say Yes, it's fucking political.

Let me say LOUD AND CLEAR this isn't a snipe at anyone in a smaller body at ALL. I'm not angry at individuals because anyone deemed fat by society is already discriminated against in so many ways. I'm angry at the system which dictates even in the plus size world, being fatter is a disadvantage. I'm a size 26-28 and I sometimes feel like an spare part. I feel like if I were to diet and get myself down to say a size 20/22/24 my world would suddenly get bigger. I also feel like if I keep my mouth shut and don't bring politics into it, the same will apply. Oh well. *shrugs*

I honestly feel like I'd be a more palatable package in a smaller body. Maybe this is a neurosis, but there are signs it's not all in my head...

Although many plus size retailers do clothes up to a size 32, a great number of companies cut off at a 26. Even places like Yours Clothing and Evans stock ranges which go no further than a size 26. What message is that supposed to send, exactly? 'Hey fatties, you can buy a hideous thing your granny might want to buy, but that sexy dress you're after? We don't think anyone above a size 26 should be spotted in it.' Err, cheers. Constantly larger fats are reminded we are less palatable than our less zaftig counterparts.

For the most part even to companies who DO stock clothes up to a 32, us larger-of-the-large people are like a freak show, only wheeled out on special occasions. We are the 'Oh God, I don't want to get THAT fat!' people. We are the what if-s, the what happens when it goes wrong-s, the slide into otherness. We have spare chins and may not have the ultimate, oft-preferred fat weapon - an hourglass figure. Gasp! Even in a place where it's not supposed to be about the size of our bodies, it's always about the size of our bodies.

I want to see the size 28/30/32 blogger models. I want to see love for all bodies from the companies who are purporting to support them. I don't want to be on the fringes of 'acceptable' fatness. I don't want to face the unspoken truth - that a certain level of fatness is attractive, and then there's a cut off point after which some exist solely as a warning to others. I don't say this out of divisiveness. I don't want to drive a wedge between the super-fats, the middlies and the barely-fats. I want us to come together and challenge this body fascism where even amongst fellow fat people, it's still possible to feel like an outcast.

No matter what happens, I'm never going to stop putting myself out there. The emails I get from my readers thanking me for doing what I do prove to me the need to put my fat body out there for them, if not myself.

I simply wish there was a bit more representation for people like me, on the verge between 'acceptable-level-of-fat' and 'Oh-mah-gawd-death-fat.'

What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading.


Friday, 8 November 2013

Photo Friday #3 - more Gok event photos

Hello honey buns!

I have another few photos from the Gok event from last week.

Here's the lovely Callie and I of From The Corners of the Curve. She's an absolute doll, so easy to talk to.

 photo 21-DSC_0923_zps5d0dcd36.jpg

The following two photos are from lovely Megan from The Closet of Megan Faye.

Becky, me, Nikki and Cass

Me, Emma, Bee, Beka, Becky and Megan

Thanks for peeping and HAPPY FRIDAY!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Magnificent 7th - Leopard OOTD

Hiya pickles!

Blogger, sort your game out! Stop making everything grey.

It's Magnificent 7th today and the theme is leopard. YUSS!

We will be posting on the 7th of each month, and the aim of the challenge is to create an outfit to fit the theme, using clothes from our wardrobes, and yes that does mean digging deep into the depths and finding those long lost clothes! Hopefully one of us won’t end up in Narnia, but you never know with a bloggers wardrobe!

I wanted to wear something I haven't shown you before so I pulled out this leopard print vest, which I bought from New Look a few years ago.


As you can see I'm wearing my new belt AGAIN. What can I say? I'm a bit addicted to it.



You can see my new bra peeking out. I'm going to review it soon. It's the Goddess Keira bra in a 46E and my girls have never been so well supported. I can't stop looking at them!



Cardi, Asda via charity shop
Top, New Look
Skirt, New Look (no longer on website.)
Waist cincher belt, ASOS Curve (now out of stock
Shoes, Very
Lippie, MUA shade 1

Thanks for reading!

Big Bloomer Company tights review*

Hiya!

Lovely Laura from The Big Bloomers Company very kindly sent me some tights to review when she saw a post where I was bemoaning the woes of plus size tights.

Their motto is: "OUR SIZES START WHERE OTHER PEOPLES FINISH" so you can be sure of getting items to fit the upper end of the plus size range. They do most things up to the high 30 sizes or above. 

First, let me give you a run down of why I hate tights. Evans size 3 tights, supposed to fit up to a size 32, haven't fitted me properly since I was about a size 24. I have a big arse, a big belly and some centaur sized thighs. As Evans have been the only place for me to get tights from for years I've put up with tights that fall down (or never fully pull up) leaving my upper legs red raw from chub rub. I have to wear a pair of control knickers over the top of them just so the gusset will almost reach my crotch, and then I have to pull them up every 2 minutes. Thus I've come to hate tights with a PASSION and have avoided them for a long time. Will I have changed my mind by the end of this post?! Read on...

Laura kindly sent me two pairs - the All Woman and Paris Lady.

All Woman - £12.95
  • Style: All Woman 60 denier
  • Opaque tights with cotton gusset
  • Single seams in the body 
  • Very durable and strong 7% Lycra
  • Colours: Black or Make Up (nude.)
  • One size UK22/32
  • Generous depth and fit hips to 60" 152cms
I tried the All Woman first, which fit up to a size 32. They looked small in the packet and I didn't think they would go round me, but they're really stretchy and fitted like a dream, pulling up fully over my bum, which Evans size 3 tights don't do. Magical!


I just noticed looking at some of these photo my knickers are on inside out. Oh lord! These tights have a cotton gusset, which will help keep things cool.


These tights are soft, supremely comfortable, extremely stretchy and are my favourite pair out of the two I tried. The waistband is wide, soft and stretchy and doesn't dig in at all and the tights are plenty large enough not to pinch my ample thighs. I wish they came in more colours than black and nude. I want these tights in every colour of the rainbow. I prefer tights with one seam at the back rather than two and I can say hands down these are the most comfortable pair of tights I've ever worn. I didn't want to take them off and I kept stroking my legs as they felt so nice. I would say they're true to size and would fit someone up to a size 32.

Next I tried Paris Lady.

Paris Lady - £16.95
  • Style: Paris Lady 50 denier
  • Opaque tights for winter warmth
  • Top quality Microfiber with flat seams
  • Very durable and strong
  • Available in four colours black, deep pink, deep purple or slate
  • Available in two sizes UK30/32 to UK34/36 - I was sent the 34/36
  • Generous depth and fit hips to 68" 


I had a problem with these tights - the seams were far too low and too far apart for my comfort. If I'd left them like this I'd have got chub rub where the crotch of the tights didn't quite come up as far as my crotch. They felt very uncomfortable until I pulled the tights up higher (so the waistband was over my boobs.) I'd say these tights are best for short plus sized people as they're short in the leg but very wide in the body. I'm only 5 ft 5 (and a half!) and struggled to make these work for me initially, so someone shorter (or less fuller figured overall) would probably get on with these better. Once I did some huffing and puffing I got the seams in the right place, but I'm not a fan of two seams at the back of ANY tights, so I prefer the first pair. Once I got everything hoiked up they were reasonably comfortable, and they are just as stretchy and soft to the touch as the other pair. If these tights came with just one seam at the back I'd buy them in every colour available as it's not the tights themselves which are the issue, but the seams - they make the legs feel too short, they're too low and too far apart - they're nearly as wide apart as my bum and I can feel them as I wear them. However it is a bonus to be able to pull the tights up under my boobs - how lovely and cosy that'd be on a cold day!

So the winner for me are the All Woman tights. I will be coming back for more once these babies have worn out and I have my eyes on a few pairs of these to buy at some point - funky coloured 20 denier tights.

I'd like to say that Laura's service is amazing - she's probably the friendliest person I've ever dealt with over email and I know if I ever needed to phone for any reason, she'd be lovely to talk to. If you need any assistance in choosing the right pair of tights I'm sure Laura will be able to guide you through the many styles available with ease.

The Big Bloomers Company do lots of other great things for plus sized people - cotton knickers, bloomers and long legged knickers, bras, all manner of tights (some up to a size 42), knee highs and socks, leggings, hospital gowns and disposable knickers, men's boxers, etc.

Although the tights on the website are a little more expensive than other plus size retailers, there's no reason why they wouldn't last you all winter long (and beyond) if taken good care of, plus the size range the Big Bloomers Company afford isn't to be found on the high street. With Christmas in mind, there are some dresses which just look so much better with tights rather than leggings, so these are an invaluable part of a gal's winter wardrobe, especially if like me you're at the higher end of the plus size range.

The Big Bloomers Company posts worldwide. Delivery charges are a very reasonable UK £2.95, Europe £4.45, Worldwide £8.95.

Have you tried anything by the Big Bloomers Company?
How do you feel about tights?

Thanks for reading.

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