True beauty

If you have been on social media this week or have watched or read the news you would have heard about the remarks Loose women, ex pop star Jamelia as said regarding clothing brands and the availability  of clothes in sizes that she doesn’t believe to be healthy. How she believes that High street stores should not stock sizes below a 6 and over a 20 as ‘they’ should feel uncomfortable if ‘they’ are unhealthy.

So many wonderful bloggers have eloquently written about this and in a way that I couldn’t do it justice.

The reason I cannot find the words is simply because Jamelia’s statement stole from me. They took away a feeling of self confidence that I had finally found only after the last few years. She made me feel like

a) a burden on society

b) someone who should be ashamed

Thankfully the amazing Debz from The not so secret diary of a wannabe princess decided to do something about these remarks. In her words

 ” I feel that by saying ‘they’ should shop in specialist shops and ‘they’ should be made to feel uncomfortable it is all very anonymous. It is easy to say that a bunch of blank faces (and bodies) should be treated a certain way, but what Jamelia (and anyone who agrees with her) needs to realise is that WE are real people. We have REAL feelings, REAL jobs, friends and families. When you say that people should make ‘them’ feel uncomfortable you are encouraging them to treat US differently.. US as in real people.
So, Jamelia and anyone who feels that ‘they’ should be made to feel uncomfortable 
‘WE ARE THE ‘THEY’

Then Debz encouraged women of the sizes that ‘Dr Jamelia’ doesn’t believe are healthy to take to social media and share photos of themselves
Using the hashtag #wearethethey

I cannot tell you how this hashtag has moved me over the last two days. Beautiful women size 20 and over and equally as beautiful woman size 6 and under celebrating their bodies as they blooming well should.

My own journey with body acceptable has been hard, from a teenager full of self loathing and self harm I only finally loved my body once it started to grow a child. When I could throw away all the falsehoods and realise what an amazing thing my body truly was.

I  actually don’t remember a time when I didn’t think I was fat. When my body was the size that Jamelia  considers acceptable I hated it. Living on a diet of cigarettes and vodka scared to eat. Hating my body for what it was, punishing it daily left me with a body that was failing and my mind, well let’s not go there.

I actually dread to think where I would be now if I hadn’t met my husband and got pregnant with my first born when I did.  Knowing that a life was forming inside me changed me. I finally understood what true beauty was.

Now it would be wonderful if my mind set had stayed in this place but 4 children in 5 years left my body rather ragged, but thankfully being able to be active with the girls and teaching dance my body was in a place that I was happy with or I could accept.

Then to cut a long story short I was attacked and beaten and then due to complications was left with an immune system that was failing.

10 years later I am left with a health issue that effects every part of my life. I take numerous medicines and my ability to do physical things is sorely limited. I also live in constant pain.

Now this had changed my world from one were I was a fit dance teacher to one where for a while could barely walk.

I had to find a new kind of normal.  I also had to face a changing body and one I hated . The old self hatred rose it’s ugly head. I struggled, clothes became a non issue, a uniform of jeans and baggy clothes became my wardrobe. Never did I wake up excited about what I was going to wear. Photographs of me disappeared, I became the photographer never the photographed.

Then thankfully a few years ago I came across some plus size bloggers, women who were actively shouting I’m here and I want to look good. Women who advocate that fashion should come in all sizes.

Women who changed me.

Now I look in the mirror and like what I see, yes I’m overweight but my diet is good. It’s certainly a lot better than it was back In the days of cigarettes and vodka.

I’m swimming each week, raising 4 amazing children and working  full time as a foster carer to children with special needs.

I love life and I’m really living.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this Jamelia I am not ashamed of who I am.

How dare you suggest I should be made to feel uncomfortable anywhere.  I am a beautiful, incredible woman and I only hope that one day that you will realise that beauty is not found in the number on your label and that health is not always something you can see.

Please consider your position as well, consider all those women who you destroyed with your words. Opinions are like assholes we all have them, yet when in a position of privilege in this case being beamed into thousands of homes around the UK please think before you speak. The shit you spew can and I can assure you has damaged someone.

When the world stops judging people’s value on appearance then the world will finally see true beauty. 

 

As the year comes to an end…..

So its the end of another year.

A lot has happened in the last 365 days.

I became the parent to all teenagers

Then a few months later I became the parent of an adult. (crazy)

I also then had to wave the said adult off as she left for university

It has truly been a crazy year, at times it has felt my feet have barely touched the ground.

We are still fostering a handsome young man with special needs and he is certainly keeping us on our toes.

Livvy’s Smile is doing well, we have held some fantastic memory making days and been busy fundraising. We have also had our story featured in a weekly woman’s magazine.

Personally I have had my writing published in a book and also walked the catwalk as a plus size model.

It’s honestly been a go go year.

As I wave 2014 goodbye I do so with two emotions.

Pride and exhaustion.

Proud of all we have achieved.

Exhausted, well simply by achieving all we have achieved.

I am super excited for 2015 though.

I have so many hopes for this forthcoming year.

In September I start at university, this is something I have dreamed of for such a long time and I cannot tell you how excited I am.

I’m also modelling again at Style XL and have a couple of photo shoots already lined up.

We may be adding another foster child to our family, and the girls are still trying hard to drive me completely insane.

So yes 2015 I am looking forward to you.

But while I am not making any new year resolutions I am making myself some promises.

Firstly I’m going to learn how to take time for myself.

Allowing myself space to breath, stop feeling guilty about wanting time out.

Also working on my health and fitness, continue with my swimming and working on my diet, as in healthy food not weight loss (not that I wouldn’t mind shifting a pound or twenty). I’m also going to try and stop stressing about things i cannot change and stop letting others have power over me. Anxiety has had me for the last 38 years, no more.

Secondly I’m going to work harder on my marriage.

It’s so easy after 19 years of being with the same man to take him for granted. To take each other for granted. I want to work on cherishing each other, spending quality time together and having fun. Reminding my husband that I still love every inch of him and that i find him sexier now than ever.

Thirdly Im going to work on believing in myself more.

For too long I have let myself down, rejected compliments or turned away opportunities because I didn’t believe I could do them.

This next year is going to be different.

I am a bright, intelligent woman and I am going to embrace all that I am. Negativity and self disbelief can stay in 2014 where it belongs.

This woman is going places.

Fourthly I’m going to have fun and make more memories.

This year I want to be more spontaneous and just enjoy the moment.

Let go and just take each day as it comes.

Play more with the kids and generally try not to stress as much as I do.

 

So there you go, my 2015 promises to myself.

Still before this year comes to an end i want to thank all my readers for the support that they have given me.

Blogging has afforded me many opportunities but the greatest of all these has been the people I have connected with in real life and here in the virtual world.

Your comments, emails, tweets have all lifted me when I was low.

Inspired me when I was lost and loved me when I was lonely.

I started blogging in 2008 for different reasons than I write now, but as always in 2015 this blog will be my heart.

What you read is simply who I am.

Heart on my sleeve

Words on the page.

So with that I would like to say…….

BLOG NEW YEAR

Aftershock

Yesterday I had a hospital appointment to discuss a cyst that had been found on my liver. Although my GP was sure it was nothing to worry about she couldn’t rule anything out and wanted me to see a specialist.

I was sure that it was all good but in the back of mind I was doing my normal “what ifs” in full panic mode.

My health hasn’t played fair and I was frightened this would be another knock back.

Thankfully the specialist isn’t to worried she is sending my ultrasound for a second opinion but that’s just to be thorough. Liver functions are all good and I only need to just keep my diet healthy as most of us do.

So why now after the appointment and good news am I feeling so freaked out?

My husband believes because I was pretending I wasn’t worried that the relief is actually a counter shock and that’s why I’m so emotional.

An aftershock

Sounds about right.

I guess you go through life knowing about cancer and liver disease but you just pray it’s never going to happen to you. So when a GP has to mention it you find yourself tumbling into worst case scenarios.

Yesterday my tumbling got stopped and I’m truly grateful for that.

But it has also been a good reminder that I need to take care of myself.

My healthy diet has been slipping recently due to being so busy I need to work on this. Keep to my swimming sessions and generally take better care of myself.

I was lucky this time and I won’t take that for granted.

An aftershock or a warning shock ?

Taking my breath for granted

Breathe in breathe out breathe in breathe out.

It’s such a normal action we don’t register that we are doing it, until the moment we struggle.

Asthma is something that has played a big part in my life for nearly 16 years and if I’m honest maybe more. I remember being at school running the 1500 metres and wondering why I just couldn’t catch a breath. I was incredibly fit but at times it required real effort to control my breathing. Yet it was when I was pregnant with my eldest the real problems began, it seems my lungs didn’t have the strength to work for two people, without extra help.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a condition that affects the airways – the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. When a person with asthma comes into contact with an asthma trigger, the muscle around the walls of the airways tightens so that the airway becomes narrower. The lining of the airways becomes inflamed and starts to swell. Often sticky mucus or phlegm is produced. All these reactions cause the airways to become narrower and irritated – leading to the symptoms of asthma.

My asthma has a few triggers, stress being a big one. But also a simple cold can bring on an attack.

It’s strange the fear that an attack can breed. One moment I’m fine the next I’m fighting for a breath. I’ve been hospitalised due to asthma but thankfully it’s been under control for a while.

Until yesterday, maybe I should have been expecting it a few warning signs had been about. Pain in my chest, the walk up the stairs feeling like a mountain climb .

Yet I was still surprised when eating dinner I couldn’t catch a breath, I tried to control the breathing, staying calm, breathing in deep but no the attack was in full battle mode.

For what seemed a long time I struggled, my husband was making plans for a hospital visit, my daughters in tears with worry. When finally the inhaler started to take effect the breathing began to slow and become easier.

I was so exhausted, I fell into a deep sleep, only to be woken a few hours later with chest pains.

Let’s just say the night was long and the doctors appointment booked.

So many of us take breathing for granted yet the number of people with asthma is rising.

5.4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma: 1.1 million children (1 in 11) and 4.3 million adults (1 in 12).

There were 1,131 deaths from asthma in the UK in 2009 (12 were children aged 14 years or under).

On average, 3 people per day or 1 person every 8 hours dies from asthma.

These Statistics are frightening and also a great wake up call for me to sort out an asthma review.

Last night scared me.

All my information and statistics were found here asthmaUK

It’s a great site for more information.