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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

Reflection: C25K – Weeks One and Two

Week One

Erm, this never worked out as expected.

Anxiety took over and I convinced myself that I couldn’t do this, who wants to see a fat woman running through the streets?

It had taken me 1 hr and 45 minutes to get up and get out and about! I was dressed and ready to go, but mentally my mind wasn’t ready to do this.

Eventually, I completed 1/3 session and avoided the rest by giving myself excuses to skip the final 2 sessions that week. During the session, I gradually broke out into a gentle jog and reverted to power-walking. I needed to feel comfortable and I knew it would take time.

After jogging for 30 minutes I returned home and I felt a mixture of emotions, the main one being relief! I was glad it was over – then negativity honed in and I never completed another session for the rest of that week.

Week Two

What a wonderful week it has been, I vowed to complete 3 sessions and I’m happy to share with you that I have done just that.

On Monday it had taken me a good half an hour to get outside, as I felt guilty about only completing one session the week before. Today is now Saturday and I’m happy I’ve completed 3 sessions of workouts for around 30 minutes per session.

Feeling?

I feel great! And inspired to get out and go jogging next week.

I’m elated that I completed 3 sessions this week – I hadn’t thought I could do this but now I have, therefore I can.

C25K has positively boosted my mental health, I feel happier and my mind feels lighter.

Live a healthy life,

Love

Unique Fatso

Fat Fridays: How to Relax Effectively? 23.04.2021

How to Relax Effectively?

Before

I used to lay awake until well after 0200 in the morning. No matter what I did, I was unable to relax effectively.

Some days I would struggle to keep up with my to-do list and continue the cycle the following night. I was like I was the only person in the world that could not get the right amount of rest that my body, mind and soul needed.

You see the thing was, I ignored what I was eating foods that contain a large amount of sugar. Too many foods that contained excessive amounts of fats and trans-fat. And deep-fried meals that contained so much oil that I even after finishing remnants glistened off my lips and the tips of my fingers.

Each night I lay awake feeling exhausted and in dire need of sleep. Only, I discounted the bad foods I had consumed, which led to many hours of restlessness for many years.

I was ignorant of my self-sabotage.

Today

I have some nights where I can’t sleep but that’s down to my bedroom being too hot or my life going through something stressful.

How do I relax?

During the times I recognise that I need to relax, I do the following and I’m a proud advocate of the tips I’m now sharing:

  • YouTube: Tuning in to Lo-fi Girl on YouTube, I love 99% of the tunes that are streamed. My favourite at the moment in time has to be Mount & Blade by HM Surf.
  • Burning Incense: Dragons Blood is an amazing fragrance and immediately restores calm to my hectic times.
  • Meditation: I’ve been meditating with Aventurine crystals. I feel more drawn to them lately than any other crystal.
  • Drink Herbal Tea: A good friend of mine recommended having chamomile tea before bed. I’ve yet to try it but I believe her testimony.

Forward

We must remember that while we share the commonality of being human, our needs differ from one another.

For instance, while we all need to find ways in which to relax effectively, no one rule will apply to everyone. Therefore, although I have shared my advice above, it is what works for my body. You may find that going for a run or watching soothing visualisations help you better.

Try different methods until you find out what works best for you.

Earth Day 22.04.2021

Frequently we view images, watch videos and hear discussions about how badly we have damaged our home – Earth.

Many of us have viewed Planet Earth by David Attenborough and seen how we contribute to the destruction of natural habitats for wildlife and even locals who reside in villages nearby.

Our need to consume is the main reason why many of us turn a blind eye to the consequences of our needs. I mean, why is it the Amazon rainforest is being wiped out and many of us are more concerned with buying the latest smart device?

  • We can’t survive without trees.
  • We will not survive without bees.
  • COVID19 and its mutations will continue to thrive.
  • We all must do our bit to save our Earth and keep the world ALIVE.

I encourage you all to reflect on your behaviour and acknowledge how you contribute to the detriment of our planet. Then I implore you all to pledge the changes you’ll make to help heal our world and to make it a better place.

Live a healthy life.

Love

Unique Fatso

Follow @uniquefatso for more tips on healthy living and body positivity!

Fat Fridays: How Far Can You Run? It’s Not a Competition. 16.04.2021

Fat Fridays: How Far Can You Run? It’s Not a Competition.

Before

This blog is my safe space. I had never run before, not properly anyway. I had tried on several occasions but stopped due to many factors:

  • Negative family members.
  • Low confidence, to be honest, I had no confidence.
  • My clothes were all dark and ill-fitted for a workout. I remember having these light grey quarter-length joggers, they were polyester and chaffed. (Back then I did not know what chaffing was or that runners wear running tights.)
  • I was afraid to learn – every time I bought a running magazine or found a great diet book, it was left on my shelf to become a paper-based bed for layers of dust.
  • Unsupportive friends – Many people will fake-smile in your face and verbalise their support for your healthy changes. But will buy you a basket filled with junk food and tell you, ‘it’s the last time.’
  • Some people mocking the bit of progression I had made by minimising my success, with their better timings and distances.
  • The negative factors above caused me to doubt my abilities – even as simple as getting up and getting out for a walk

Today

I am a slow runner.

I am a slow runner.

I run, slowly.

I walk a lot.

I jog a little.

  • I have a wide array of running tights and I feel beautiful and confident when I wear them.
  • I have supportive family members and friends.
  • My confidence is turbulent – Sometimes it is great. Other times it is dark and holds me back.
  • When I do go outside for a walk/jog/run I always return feeling like Wonder Woman! I feel so awesome and refreshed in my mind, body and soul.
  • I can walk for hours.
  • I jog around 3-4 miles.

I recognise I have my personal goals I seek to achieve and celebrate each time.

Forward

I have decided to participate in the ½ marathon! I’m excited and nervous!

It is my 2021 fitness goal – well, to run the whole way!

My future hopes are to compete in the London Marathon!

For you

  • Know that you can go any distance you set your mind on.
  • Start small and build on your goal each week. For instance.
  • Keep a log of your activities.
  • Be consistent.

Live a healthy life.

Love,

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.