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Unique Fatso

Unique Fatso

*Disclaimer, this was written a while ago.

Foundation
I can’t remember how old I was exactly. But I know I was young.
A small booklet arrived with the daily post and was placed in the fruit-bowl by one of my family members. During breakfast, I picked it up and was looking through it, my stepfather entered and pulled on the corner of it. After turning a few pages, he said, ‘you see if I were a girl, I would aspire to be a size 10.’ He then pushed it back toward me and walked away laughing.
I closed the brochure and left the kitchen, heading upstairs to cry. I was never a fat child, I was a part of the sprint team, netball, and running and even swimming. But that moment was to change my life forever.
I remember sitting in my cupboard and placing the earphones in my ears, skipping to track 10 of Rainbow by Mariah Carey and playing it over and over again. ‘…still, I cry, I cry, I cry…’ And that’s all I did, was cry. Not for the true meaning of the song but because my stepfather had just killed any confidence I had.

From then onwards, more and more comments came along and more, and more people joined in:
‘Sorry, I can’t stop staring at your ass, it’s so big.’ – Cousin
‘Look how big your thighs are, ha-ha they’re huge.’ – Aunt (Mother of a cousin)
‘Don’t you think you should join a gym, you look like Fatso from Casper.’ – Grandmother
‘You should stick to salad.’ – Grandmother.
‘Can’t you see how fat you’re getting, you look disgusting.’ – Grandmother

I began to eat more food. I stopped running, swimming, and I tried my best to avoid family gatherings. One of which was my Grandmothers birthday. It was held at a Chinese buffet restaurant. I was so ashamed of my body image that I wore; very long and extra wide black trousers, oversized black t-shirt and a long black cardigan. (Surely, weight gain was gradual but visible.) My Grandmother arrived in a short white dress that had a fluffy rabbits tale on the rear and the Playboy bunny logo on the side. To complement her dress, she wore glass slippers, that had feathers on the toe and white feathered bow around her neck. As she walked past everyone, she paused and said to me, ‘what? Are you jealous?’ I turned my head and continued to eat my broccoli and Chinese chicken curry.

Scenarios similar to that one continued, and for many years, I was forced to endure this. I often wished I could find a large amount of money and have surgery. I longed for one of these people to compliment me. I stopped going out with friends, I stopped making new friends. I found refuge in the thriller section of the school library. With a few bottles of fizzy pop (soda,) bags of sweets, packets of chocolates and often a muffin or two.
Key members of my family made me feel irrelevant. I often dreamt of a life without me being here. I often dreamt of having a stepfather that supported me like his own, a grandmother that loved me for an extended family that didn’t have an invested interest in my waistline and me.
Infrequently, I would vividly dream about my own death. How they would celebrate at my funeral with ample amounts of food and drink. Irony.

Cement
Because of the negative connotations surrounding my body, I had no confidence. Whenever people visited the house, I raced upstairs to my bedroom. During the summer, I avoided going outside…unless I had to.
Because of this mental abuse (which is precisely what it was), I grew up believing that I would never love or be loved. I grew up with a belief embedded in my mind that I was indeed ugly and unlovable.

Point
As a child growing up surrounded by key members in your life, many are telling you that you’re fat and ugly. It is tough to differentiate what is the reality and what is their deluded viewpoint. As a teenager, I struggled immensely when boys showed even the slightest bit of interest, I walked away. I became a recluse, spent endless hours upon hours just daydreaming about a new life, a new body, a new look, a whole new family – well, stepfather, cousins, aunties, uncles, and Grandmother. Not much, I guess.

Today, I no longer speak to those members of my family. The last time I saw my Grandmother was last year on her birthday. She called out to me, I looked at her and continued on my way. I can’t bring myself talk to her anymore, and now that I’m older, I simply don’t have to.
Everyone should realise that abuse isn’t just of a physical nature. Mental abuse cuts just as deep, and the blows can leave an individual unconscious for a lifetime.
Fortunately, I woke up.

Unique Fatso

Remember: Always Read the Labels

Not everything is what it appears to be on the front.

Many sugars contain bone char – which is the bones from animals pulverised and mixed in with sugar, during the process.

It will take you less than a minute to check the label on the back of the packet, to see whether the packet of sugar that you are contemplating buying, is suitable for vegans. This is one way you will know for sure, that your sugar does not contain bone char.

Live a healthy life.

Love

Unique Fatso

Fat Fridays: Is Sugar Sweet or Toxic? 09.04.2021

Before:

I remember adding 3 large spoonful’s of sugar to any hot drink I had made. Stirring it and smiling in greedy delight to accept the sweetness I was about to deliver to myself.

Sugar was my thing!

Sugar ringed doughnuts, sugary sweeties, sugar sprinkled over pancakes and the more sugar the happier I felt – or rather thought I was at the time. I mean, it certainly made me smile for a minute and it made my tongue dance to the buzz it gave to me.

However, I never considered it to be the cause of great sadness. Once I finished eating/drinking the sweet food, I would feel incredibly sad. I would remember that I did not look great in a bikini, or any kind of swimwear. I recalled the horrible names family members labelled me with – such as Fatso.

More often than not I would tumble into bed and cry myself to sleep, with tear-filled prayers asking God to make me skinnier and prettier for this world to be happy with.

Today:

I have switched from white bone char mixed sugars to brown vegan sugar. I no longer add any sugar to my porridge and I have 1 small teaspoon with English tea or no sugar with herbal teas.

Today, I do not have a stash of unhealthy snacks anywhere in my home. No food is hidden, and everything is visible to my visitors.

Yes, I still consume sugar in various forms, but consumption has been reduced immensely. I recognise that sugar and salt inflame my period pains. Sugar brings me up and then sends me crashing down into a sombre mood. I admit, for many years I have been ignorant of the way sugar triggers such emotional events in my life. I always blamed other factors, like myself for being too greedy, or just overdoing it with the amount I ate.

I had never stopped creating excuses as opposed to identifying reasons for my poor attitude towards sugar.

Forward:

I’ve reduced my sugar intake and will completely leave it out of some meals. However, from a realistic standpoint, I can’t see myself eradicating it from my life forever. I love baking and some things made sugar free, do not taste as scrumptious to me.

I will not sit here and lie to you all, for the sake of a healthy blog post! I will commit to continuing to reduce sugar from my diet and encourage others, positively to do the same.

During my period I have recognised that my body loves avocado! All fruits contain the sugar fructose, and this is a natural sugar. Hence why I could never become completely sugar-free – I love fruits and my womb loves them during menstruation.

For those of you that are looking to reduce the amount of sugar that is currently present in your diet. Here are some of my top tips:

  • Switch to vegan sugar, as other sugars contain bone char from animals.
  • Reduce the amount of sugar you usually add to your cereals.
  • Avoid cereals that contain frosting – they are not beneficial to you at all.
  • When presented with something sweet ask yourself and I want you to consider the answer to this, ‘What does this mean for me?’ For example, my answer to this may flow along the lines of, ‘This food is unhealthy, my body will not appreciate this in the long run.’
  • Try other alternatives such as agave sugar.

Above everything, please remember to live a healthy life.

Love

Unique Fatso

Fat Fridays: Fear of Change? 02.04.2021

Before

I hid my body away beneath layers of black clothing, oversized black clothing to be detailed. As I avoided looking in mirrors, I never really knew how stupid I looked.

I mean, being a fatty and trying to hide in black is nonsensical. I was there walking around looking like a black hole. I know, it’s abhorrent to talk about myself in such a manner. However, I’m simply reflecting on my behaviour, I honestly thought that by wearing black, I would go about my daily life unnoticed.

Looking back, I can recall the day a pair of Spanx arrived in the post. I was excited as I believed it to be the cure for all my negative thoughts about my overweight stature. The advertisements and the women showing before and after (I hadn’t understood at the time the power of advertising!) and how amazing they looked. Tiny waistlines and attractive curves just wowing everyone they saw that day – I wanted to be that happy woman, so I purchased Spanx!

I never tried it on the same day, I waited for the weekend to arrive – couldn’t tell you why.

Anyway, I opened up the packaging, very excited about how this tiny piece of material was going to flatten my stomach! I had purchased the XL and to my shock that was difficult to try on.

After 10 minutes of jumping and squatting, pulling and trying not to add tearing to my actions. I had managed to squeeze both fatty thighs into my new pair of Spanx. I rolled the top over my flabby waist and turned to remove the towel from my mirror and see what my good money had transformed me into.

I sucked in my stomach for a more defined look. I admit, for a split second, well maybe like 3. I looked amazingly attractive. But master that period, I felt like my body was wrapping in cling film and my thighs felt like my blood supply was cut off. I know then that I couldn’t wear this for 5 minutes let alone a few hours.

I fought my way out of the Spanx, popped them forcefully into the original packaging and stuffed the package into a small plastic box that I had labelled – open when I’ve slimmed down to a UK size 12.

Today

My weight loss is a slow process. However, there have been times where I’m worried about how my body would look once I’ve reached my goal weight?

Like, I love my boobs now! But will they become boobs I don’t like? Will I be left with excess skin afterwards? How long will I need to wait before I could afford to have that removed and to make me look more human? Will I like being slimmer? Or will I miss the way my ass jiggles when I jog or how warm my stomach feels during those cold winter nights?

I accept this post may sound fairly ridiculous. However, I’m not about to sugarcoat my thoughts to suit someone else’s preferences when it comes to my use of language.

Forward

Through speaking to others both online and in-person, I know that I’m not the only one on a weight loss journey fearing the change once it arrives.

What I do know is that talking about such fears helps others on their journey, know that it’s okay you’re not the one! And that is very important to take away from this. Millions of people around the world have taken that decision to lose weight and become a healthier version of themselves.

While it’s awesome to acknowledge the food and fitness that one should try, to help them reach their health goals. We should also embrace difficult conversations and share our stories.

Whether that is worrying about having excess skin after weight loss, or eating extra food and lying about it in your diary so that you don’t remember why you gained weight that week.

Let’s normalise difficult weight loss conversations and let’s uplift and help one another to become a healthier world.

Live a healthy life!

Love

Unique Fatso

Fat Fridays: Safety While Running – 26.03.2021

Fat Fridays: Safety While Running – 26.03.2021

A few weeks ago I went for a power-walk/jog around 1000 in the morning. The roads were quiet and the sky was bright!

I started with a nice brisk walk, earphones in but playing tunes at a good volume so I could still hear the space around me. I was wearing bright red and black clothing and for an hour or so things had been going well.

On my way home I noticed a man walking at a distance behind me. I never thought much of it initially. However, I had an inkling that something wasn’t right and so I crossed the road. Walked faster and turned a corner.

At the point in the day the sun was shining a little and the moment I reached around the corner. I noticed two shadows on my right-hand side. I turned my head and this man was a few steps behind me.

 I walked faster and made it look like I was going to continue straight as opposed to taking another turn into my apartment complex. His shadow passed mine and I took a sharp turn, entered the access code and went into my complex. I still felt anxious and once I passed a few apartments I turned around and this man was following me.

I walked quicker and managed to leave from another exit. He followed and I re-entered the complex and darted into the first communal entrance for a few apartments. He looked around and could not see me, then left.

I waited around 20 minutes before running home.

Another Time

I was out for a short jog around 0700 on a Sunday morning.

A car stopped as I was about to cross the road and two men out of five exited the vehicle. They started commenting on my body and asking if I wanted to join them. I politely declined and turned to walk opposite the direction they were driving in.

The two that were on foot following started shouting abuse and I explained I have a boyfriend and I continued to walk away. They then started swearing and calling me disgusting names. They turned the car around and the two men got back in and the car followed me slowly, with the two men telling me to get in the car.

At this point I was afraid, and I pressed my headset for Siri and rang my mum. I gave her a description of the car, the reg number and the men in the car. I then ran as fast as I could in the opposite direction.

Safety

  • I wore bright colours.
  • I used only the main roads.
  • I always checked/looked around me as I walked.
  • I have the following items in my running pouch, beneath my running jacket and not visible; phone, keys, pack of tissue, lip balm, £5 note.
  • My hair is always tied up and out of my face.
  • I carry a small bottle of water.
  • For longer walks, I use a small backpack and carry x2 bananas and a spare bottle of water.

When I’m approached by those kinds of men, I’m always polite and try to continue without any drama. However, despite everything I do or try to stay safe – I still experience situations like the above.

It leads me to stop jogging for a few weeks! I know I shouldn’t allow it to get to me, however, it’s difficult when things like this occur.

Awareness

Remember, it does not matter how familiar you are with your route or how confident you feel when you go out running. I urge you all to remain vigilant and think smart!

At this stage, I should point out that not everyone you encounter will be a negative one. I’ve run by some nice people who smile or wish me a good day.

  • If you run solo let someone know your route.
  • Use a tracker such as Strava to log your route, the distance covered and time.
  • Stay in well-lit areas if you choose to run at night.
  • Wear visible clothing, most running clothing is designed with light reflective elements.
  • Wear running lights! You can place them on your wrists/ankles or bag, etc.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.

Live a healthy life.

Love

Unique Fatso

Fat Fridays: Portion Control – 12.03.2021

Portion Control

As many of you already know I’ve been looking into portion control, as I’ve identified that while the main bulk of my diet is filled with healthy plant-based meals. I overeat my favourite meals, such as peppered jackfruit and chickpea curry.

With pasta, I had never measured my portions before. As I lived by the notion that as I’m eating wholemeal pasta I do not have to worry about it. I’m not afraid to admit I was wrong to act so naïve. After all, if I’m not measuring what amount I’m consuming, how am I to expect a certain level of weight loss per week? I’m not afraid to admit I’ve been irresponsible with this element of my journey.

Nevertheless, I felt starting with pasta would be a great pathway into portion control.

In the image below, I measured out one cup of dried wholemeal pasta!

📸: Unique Fatso

Raw VS Cooked

Once my pasta was cooked I had compared the raw with the cooked and I was surprised!

Seeing the visible difference is not what I expected!

Previously, I would just open up the pack of pasta and pour it into a pot of boiling water. Guessing with my eyes the amount I felt I needed. Which ALWAYS ended up being too much.

This behaviour led to me revisiting the kitchen for extra helpings of this delicious, healthy, homemade meal. Like I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t fussed as it was a healthy meal.

However, seeing the below was very educational on a deeper level. As I was now faced to face with my silly choice. It’s far better to see a visual representation of my actions, as opposed to thinking it didn’t matter that much.

📸: Unique Fatso

Finished Plant Based Meal

I’m delighted to say that I was satisfied with the correct portion of pasta. I admit I did have the inkling to have more, through greed! However, I think that’s through the habits of tasty plant-based meals.

📸: Unique Fatso

This week I’ve learned more about the right portions for one person when it comes to pasta and rice. I’ll continue to work on portion control with everything that I wish to eat. The only thing I won’t place to much focus on is vegetables, as I eat more spinach, asparagus and kale, etc. To improve my intake of iron.

Going forward, I hope to be able to measure by memory and improve my weight loss and health in turn.

Top Tips for Portion Control

  • Don’t be afraid to measure your portions, especially when it comes to rice, pasta and potatoes.
  • Ask yourself, do I need this amount? For instance, if I knew I was going off for a long walk/run I would increase the portion of oats I have for breakfast.
  • Why are you making so much food? Is this part of meal-prep, or are you being greedy?
  • If you can’t validate your reasons for cooking more that one portion then don’t cook it!
  • If you wish to have more food on your plate, load up on spinach, broccoli or even asparagus. Freshly prepared with no salt, butter, oil etc.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I only endorse products that I use personally and have something positive to share with you all.

Portion Control Tools

*Click on items below to view and purchase your own tools to help with food portions*

Live a healthy life!

Love

Unique Fatso

A Plant-Based Meal: Vegan Protein Shake – 08.03.2021

Feedback on this vegan blend:

  • Vanilla Flavour is tasty!
  • Easy to drink.
  • Quick Meal.
  • Plant-based, 100% vegan.
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals.
  • As I felt full, I didn’t snack or overeat! However, I did feel the need to consume more water.
  • With the increase in my water intake, my skin felt and looked hydrated and I wasn’t loading up with junk-food.

I don’t have a shake daily. However, I find that every other day suits me, as I don’t like to have the same thing all the time. I like to mix things up a bit and have different meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Free Soul Vegan Protein Blend

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I only endorse products that I use personally and have something positive to share with you all.

Weekend Workout – 06.03.2021

📸 Unique Fatso
📸 Unique Fatso

#WeekendWorkout

I woke up this morning and went for a power-walk/light jog. It took me a few hours to peel myself up out of bed and push myself to get out of my front door.

I’ve been feeling quite anxious lately, this is mainly due to the ongoing global pandemic and the national lockdown. It makes me anxious because it feels neverending.

I hadn’t fulfilled my fitness goals this week and felt I had to get up and get out.

I had all kinds of negative thoughts turning up and speaking loudly.

You can’t do this.

Start another day.

Start next week?

Treat yourself to a takeaway!

People will stare at you!

That led to it taking me a few hours to build up the confidence to get out.

However, I DID! Yaaaaaaaaaaas!

It was fabulous.

The only negative was that I felt a bit faint when I got half-way through my walk.

I’m proud I went and completed a workout this weekend.

February Reflections

February 2021

End of Month Reflections

Why is it important to reflect?

It’s important to reflect because it allows us the chance to pause and assess how things are going and if we’ve accomplished our goals.

Reflection helps us to work through areas in our lives that we feel are stagnant or personal trauma that may have been holding us back.

What were the biggest wins?

In February the biggest wins were:

  • Understanding my body more and what food is best and what isn’t.

What were the biggest lessons learned/insights gained?

I found that the biggest lessons learned were that mental health is extremely important and should not be taken for granted. There were times that I had planned to meditate but either put it off for a later date/time or failed to complete the 15 minutes at all.

Other days, I did stick to my planner and meditate and I tell you, they were some of the very best days I had during February. This is why this is a lesson learned. While I know and champion daily meditation, I failed to follow my advice.

A key insight this month was the fact that although I do eat mainly healthy meals. My portions are often way off the mark. I became indulgent with eating more of the dishes I made. Such as Peppered Jack Fruit & Vegan Soup! Those dishes hit the spot for me – the odd thing is, I was fully aware that I was being greedy and I failed on all occasions to stop myself from eating more.

Reflecting now, I know I need to develop more will power. I believe the additional helpings came from the fact that I’ve just been indoors, bored out my mind and isolated. Locked down!

Which life areas were lacking and why?

The life areas I lacked were spiritual, family and friends.

I connected spiritually on an infrequent basis, I feel I avoided it because it brought up so many deep emotions. Memories from my past that have brought me so much pain – including a few traumatic experiences. These emotions form the basis for the reasons why I infrequently eat more food. (albeit healthy foods most of the time, I’m eating too much of it.)

I’ve thought about how to process these old memories that are resurfacing and infecting my days with low moods, which isn’t great when paired with UK wide COVID19 restrictions.

What tasks were not accomplished and why?

Some days were GREAT! Other days were SHITTY.

I was never consistent with my plans. Some days I felt extremely tired – I suffer from iron-deficient anaemia. Other days I struggled to push through and do what needs to be done.

February was a cold, wet month here in the UK and that added to the bouts of depression. I used it as fuel for reasons to stay indoors. Although, I knew that remaining inside was aiding the low moods.

How do I feel about my progress this month?

I feel bad about it and I don’t want it to make me feel like I can’t improve. Which I know is ridiculous, as everyone can improve!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how do I feel overall about this past month?

Yikes!

I would stay I started on a 9 and ended on a 1 – I’ve found the last week of February quite isolating. It was a dark time for me.

Thankfully, I have some amazing family and friends who have shown great support.

How will I improve next month?

I’ve decided to try to complete 3-mile walks, 4 times per week.

On the very last day of February, I pushed myself to get out and go for a walk. It was freezing outside, but I got dressed, wrapped up warm and packed a banana and a bottle of water and set out.

The first 10 minutes was so daunting! Gee, I thought about turning back and retreating to the safety of my home.

March, I’ll be marching through the city with a bottle of water and some snacks.

I’ll be mediating!

There you have it, my end of month reflections.

Live a healthy life,

Love

Unique Fatso

Fat Fridays: Going the Distance – 26.02.2021

Despite what some people may say to your face, you may encounter that not everyone wants you to succeed in losing weight.

They will smile in your face and then mumble shit behind your back. Like, ‘she can’t lose weight! She’s been fat forever.’ Then they will wish you luck and treat you to a bag of chips and curry-sauce, with extra chips, because apparently, it’s best to share. But then they don’t eat much, instead, they encourage you to enjoy yourself, and why not? They say, ‘It’s your last unhealthy meal.’

Anyway, you devour the rest of the chips before they change their mind, you wash it down with water. Because water is healthy and it seems fitting to wash away the crap you’ve just eaten. Secretly, they’re hoping you fail, they don’t want you to better yourself, as they can’t be bothered to upgrade their health, but they wish to benefit from having good health.

I’ve come across these kinds of people on a few occasions, most of which claimed the title ‘friend.’

But really, they’re fake!

Anyone who sets you up to fail sprays you with false hope or you hear their true feelings about you, are not meant to be in your life.

Use haters as motivators!

‘If at first, you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.’ – Aaliyah

If and when you hear such comments or recognise these behaviours, please don’t allow them to dissuade you from your goal! You can still achieve them, all of them!

I want you to be mindful that there are people like this out there and you’ll likely encounter them closer to home.

Tips to Continue Going the Distance?

  1. Stick your training plan to your fridge.
  2. Attach a copy of your weekly meal plan, to the fridge also.
  3. Always walk with a bottle of water, healthy snacks, and a mini diary.
  4. Don’t allow the haters to put you off from improving your health and wellbeing.

Go the distance and enjoy every moment!

Stay focused and stand tall in the face of adversity.

Live a healthy life.

Love

Unique Fatso

Fat Fridays: Commitment

Commitment noun

  1. 1.
    the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
    “the company’s commitment to quality”

Before
Clearly, I’ve never been committed to weightless. I had good thoughts and intentions, but I had never been truly dedicated to losing weight! Not until 2020 that is.

Today
I reviewed my journey and I admit, I’ve not been fully committed to losing weight. I’ve had the best intentions but the lure of greasy takeaways, extra portions and of course the sweet treats from the world of plant-based options. They’ve often taken over and my weight has increased as a result of my over-eating.

Topshop (A fabulous UK brand, that has a selection of clothing for tall people,) was recently acquired by ASOS. When I visited ASOS to sign up, as I love buying pieces from Topshop, I noticed a great selection of high-waisted skirts.

I envisioned myself slipping into one and showing off my amazing toned and curvy figure. And I must say, ‘I looked FABULOUS!’
I then downloaded a running plan from the web, and I’ve committed to start it from this Monday! In 2016 I committed and completed a ½ Marathon.

This year, if the event goes to plan, I hope to run for most or all the course – 13.1 miles.
Today:
‘I commit to my weight-loss
‘I commit to completing a ½ marathon this year.’
‘I commit to sticking to my new running plan.’
‘I commit to manifesting positive change.’

Live a healthy life.
Love
Unique Fatso