The Double Standard I Fight Every Day: Indirect Homophobia

Well hello there my friendly lil chickie doo! Genuinely don’t know where that came from!? Never have I ever said nor typed that in my LIFE!

Hello. I’ve been a little quiet lately and to those who actually pay attention, I do apologise, but life took some sort of twisted adventure recently. And in the coming weeks, I am sure I’ll reflect on it. But for now, I have something I really want to talk about. Something that has actually annoyed me for nearly a decade now… I HOLD GRUDGES OK! Stop judging me…

So the topic I am raising on my soapbox today is a form of indirect homophobia that I receive all too often from those close to me, those I call “friends”. I don’t quite think they realise what they’re saying, but I hope this can open the eyes of many people whom read this today. For all you know, you may be doing this too.

I’m not one to often stand on a dais and spout my anti-discriminatory patter, but I think it’s high time I start speaking out about a few things that need to be said once and for all.

You see, from a young age I have been a funny kid. I’m smart, witty and funny all in one. I’m so humble*. And when you’re a fat, ugly, spotty kid growing up in the nineties and noughties your humorous personality is all you have. So I built my connections with that humour, taking notes from Lee Evans and Little Britain, and just exaggerating my life around me. As a result I had a healthy friendship circle throughout school that kept me going during the hard times. And this skill of mine continued through university and into my work life.

At uni, I built a very strong friendship with so many people who I hold near and dear to this day. We may not speak often, sometimes for months on end, but I love and cherish them nonetheless. Our personalities bonded over sarcasm, catty remarks and downright stupidity. I once held a tortilla fight with a drunken flatmate and regularly sent voice note chats with a gal pal in strong Bristolian accents. You’re reading this thinking “ok…” but at the time these were the hilarious highlights of university living. I’m a loser, I get that.

But after a comment my friend made the other night, I’ve been left reeling and wracking my brain to understand societal views.

You see, when you’re an energetic, exaggerative heterosexual male, the world considers you funny, hilarious and downright marvelous. You’re a comedian. The sort that should be Live At The Apollo. But when you’re an energetic, exaggerative homosexual male, the world considers you effeminate and camp.

Now that’s just not on. What gives you the right to critique someone’s mannerisms and use terms what are often perceived in a negative way? What gives you the right to stand over someone and use a derogatory remark towards them?

Now I will point out there is no problem with people who do identify as an effeminate person. Male, female, non-binary, whatever you sex or gender, you do you. Peace, love and extra guacamole for me please. But I personally hate being told I’m camp whenever I pull out a humorous or bitchy remark.

That kind of remark kicks me down, holds me back and makes me second guess my next set of actions. I consciously rethink everything set to leave my lips for fear of ridicule or a snide remark for what and how I say it.

Growing up within a discriminatory household made my life very difficult. I was constantly pulled up on my mannerisms and movements. I was berated with physical and verbal abuse to “knock it out” of me. To this day I still hear a certain paternal voice in the back of my head, feeling the brutal pull of my arm away from my hip or a hand raised to my throat. I mean, daddy issues aside, I really struggle with men in my life because of the thought that the way I am is repulsive and mock-worthy.

The internalised homophobia in the gay community is one that is a constant struggle. Put yourself in my shoes (size 9.5 if you’re wondering): you’re intelligent, funny, witty, charming and thoroughly insecure, inside and out. You read through the online profile of that beautiful Adonis of a man that ticks every box you seek. He’s 6’4”, defined muscle, loves dogs and works in marketing for an animal charity. But then your roller coaster hits that peak and starts plummeting down the track into the abyss when you read that he’s “not into camp/fem guys”. How. Do. You. Feel? Cause guess what, I have read this almost every day of my Scruff scrolling life.

Scruff, for those who don’t know, is a dating app for gay/bisexual/curious men. I personally use it for friends (yeah no there are those of us that genuinely can’t abide a random hook up, soz). Through said app I have made many a friend throughout the years, and one ex-boyfriend (who is still a good friend to this day). But then there is the odd moment where I think to myself that I’m kinda lonely, kinda needy, kinda wanna grab a coffee, get to know a guy and see where life takes us. But that idea is swiftly knocked down like Gemma Colins on stage at Radio 1’s Teen Awards, because in their bio they say they’re not interested in “camp/fem guys”.

So I’m left with that conundrum: am I camp and effeminate? Or am I funny and witty, with an often bitchy edge? And unlike the 30 seconds they have on the Channel 4 game show, I’ve spent a good decade of my life scared to approach men, whether I’m attracted to them or just want friends, simply because this indirect homophobia I’ve received within my friendship circle and my own community.

Maybe the world will change. Maybe minds will open. Maybe homophobic homosexuals will stop their ways Maybe a giant cheeseburger containing only 100 calories and zero fat, sugar and carbs will be developed sooner rather than later. I doubt it. And I may sound pessimistic, but can you blame me?

So let me leave you with this. Instead of asking you a question to respond to this article, ask yourself a question:

What gives me the right to comment on someone’s mannerisms with a derogatory remark?

Thank you

[*That was sarcasm by the way]

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Winning At Weight Loss

It was somewhat inevitable that this post was coming. Not going to lie I didn’t really want to write it for many reasons, of which I’ll go into in a sec. But my weight loss journey has been something of a Hallmark movie esque phenomenon, for it was never my destiny. I’m so extra…

Growing up I was this scrawny little kid who was running around and playing outside all day long. As the son of a catering business owning parents, food was always part of my life. Although fun fact, I wasn’t really an eater when I was a baby – but that soon changed clearly! And so I was always eating and snacking on food, burning it off as I ran around the fields and hilltops nearby. But then things changed when I grew more sedentary, plonking myself firmly in front of Cartoon Network and playing on my Gameboy. Ah the 90s, what a world it was. And then the weight came on, from pounds came the stones.

Now the reason I didn’t want to write this blog was because I have the common sense and basic intelligence to know the when, what, where, how and why of dieting. I have messed up so many times before I learned the trick to securing my success. But the world isn’t like that. We literally have to tell kids NOT to eat laundry supplies. So if you decide to follow any of my actions, I will NOT be held accountable for your negative results. Because trust me, there have been consequences to getting to where I am today.

The History

My size and weight was a big issue growing up. With the shallow world we lived in (and still somewhat do) my confidence was at rock bottom and my depression was creeping in faster and faster. Fat. Acne. Gay. Yep, I was the whole package. And it didn’t really change through puberty. Through my teens and tweens, I was at an awkward point. Although I recall a photo from many years ago where I wasn’t fat-fat, I was that fat you say you are and then wish you were when you really are fat. Y’know? Anywho, that was that. Then I went to uni where I ended up putting on goodness knows what in my first 2 years. During my first year, however, I lost a LOT after being quite ill for a couple of weeks. I estimate around 3 stone. In my second year I even joined a gym and was doing so well but as usual, life took over and my membership grew dusty and cold. Ooo, new bio tagline?

But then came my first boyfriend. Ah you, Mister Moneypenny, you devil in disguise you. While I lived in London for uni, he lived in Bristol and would travel down every weekend to see me. In such an event we would order a Dominos pizza EACH and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s EACH! You get the picture as to why I went up to a whopping 16 stone 8 pounds less than a year later. I was mortified. I was at my biggest, my ugliest, my worst. And one day I snapped. Not literally due to the weight, I mean can you imagine! No, inside I snapped and told myself no more. No more will you wake up and tell yourself you’re ugly, disgusting and worthless because of your weight. You will take back control.

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At 16st 8lbs, I knew I had to something

By this point, we had been renting a place together after I relocated uni to be closer to him and a few months later I started putting my plan into motion and purchased an £850 rowing machine. I am aware some of you would think this mad. , however,r knew exactly what I was doing. (1) I like rowing, it’s one of the best workouts and it’s enjoyable to me. And (2) I just spent £850 on an object you’re darn right I’m going to be using it! The stories I hear of people using their gym equipment as a handbag holder is astounding. From here, my journey began.

I decided my diet plan was most definitely going to be Slimming World based. I had used it before and found it effective. My friends had lost loads with it also. It’s not really a diet plan it’s just a way of living, making you cook more healthily and act more sensibly with food choices. I didn’t want to attend the groups as those kinds of settings unsettle me. Instead, I used information online, finding blogs, support threads, social media account, especially Instagram, and gathered all the information I needed. I also enlisted the help of my friend who attended the groups before. Wednesday 8th January 2014 it began. The rowing machine was built and my diet began. I performed 30 minutes a day every day and ate a 95% vegetarian diet, adding ham to things like skinny pizzas or my giant sandwiches. The weight dropped off. In my first week, I lost 8lbs! The following week this continued, the week after I lost 6, and 3 months later in total, I had lost 3 stone.

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3 stone down. LOOK a that hair!?

3 STONE!? How crazy is that?! And yet it was true. I was now 13 stone 8 pounds in weight and I felt amazing. My confidence had changed, my mood was merrier and my life was lifted. But I knew what I had to do next. After a week or two of trying to continue my journey, I couldn’t budge anything. Frustration began to settle in and I lost motivation. But after a little research online I discovered that my body was in a state of shock. That great amount of weight loss was too much too soon. My body was telling me I needed to stop, take it easy and take a break from it all. Begrudgingly I complied and for the following 9 months, I maintained a healthy diet with the odd naughty meal once a week. I didn’t use the rowing machine much/if at all as I just lost total motivation for it. And yes, within that year I put on almost a stone of what I lost. Was I upset? A little. But I got over it and come January 2015 I began my dieting once more, this time calorie counting. Thank the tech angels for developing My Fitness Pal because she really came in handy. We also bought a Cross Trainer and a Home Multi Gym – oh yeah, we were committed. And again, in 3 months I lost 3 stone. I found MY pattern and what works for ME, which is the basic element for anyone wanting to lose weight. Finding what works for you and sticking to it.

So what do I do exactly? Well, the below steps are what I take to achieve my success. Again, find what benefits you and don’t come back and blame me if you injure yourself or others.

Basic rules

I have three basic rules for dieting:

  1. Remember the reason why you need to lose weight. I’ve had people tell me they have poor breathing, sore joints, and to generally be healthier. I have even had women tell me their back hurts due to larger breasts or that they need to lose weight for easier conception. For me, I needed to stop waking up and telling myself everything I hated about myself before I got out of bed. Again, you do it for your reasons.
  2. Remember the reason how you reached the size you are. So many people have said to me they deserve to treat themselves when they’re dieting or they lose focus. TRUE. But to go out and have a McDonalds and a Dominos in the same day, or even spread over two days, that’s really not conducive to you and your end goal. I told myself ‘you are fat because you ate poorly and you did not move, you do not deserve a treat until you have earned it’. With that mentality, I would treat myself to one somewhat bad meal a week. This would usually be something like a few scoops of ice-cream with a cookie or a homemade chicken burger. But the next day I was straight back on to my diet.
  3. Remember the place you want to be. In my head, I just wanted to be smaller and healthier with my mental health improving alongside this. I had no set goal I wanted at the beginning and I can recall having a small meltdown one time when I discovered I could fit into a size small. My boyfriend at the time had to gently guide me out of the store because I seriously could not comprehend where I was in my journey. On my current journey, I printed out some pictures and pinned them to my mirror. These pictures are of me and my body at a much better time, ha! My lowest weight to my knowledge was just under 11 stone and I would fit comfortably in size small clothing. So my current mentality is to get back to that. Also, on my first time around, my friend also lost a load of weight and she became my inspiration. My thinspiration. So find your thinspiration. But please don’t make it some stick thin person because that’s just a bad idea. No skinny shaming by the way, some people are naturally slim so that’s fair.

Stick to this triple threat and you’re set to start your journey and maintain a mental focus.

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Both my legs now fit inside ONE leg of my old sweatpants!

Mentality

When exercising and dieting, I personally believe it’s 80% mental and 20% physical. If you’re not mentally prepared for this then you will fail. You will also need to get a little good cop bad cop. The good cop will praise EVERY achievement made. She will say yaasssss to you losing even 1lb of fat and say you deserve a glass of wine to celebrate after a week of working out.

The bad cop will tear you down when you decide you can’t be bothered to work out or when you decide you want that delicious bucket of fried chicken. He’ll also beat you down when you have a packet of biscuits every other day. He will destroy you and make you feel worthless for being bad, reminding you that when you’re good, you’re great. We don’t like him so we avoid him.

Tools

You will want a few tools along the way to really see the difference you’re making.

  • Weighing scales – to see the loss in numbers obviously
  • A tape measure – to measure those key areas of hips, tum, arms, legs and bum (not essential but always good when you get to week 4 and need a new wardrobe)
  • Photos – I use photos to see where I’ve been and as a timescale of my progress
  • My Fitness Pal – this one is optional too if you decide to calorie count. This will also help you focus on the foods high in fat and sugar. I personally try to stick to a low sugar diet
  • Friends and family – these will be your biggest champions overall. They will cheer you on and may even join you. Also, mums and dads, did you know you can use your child as a weight? There are so many exercise videos out there where the kids are the gym equipment, but at the same time, they’re just playing games as a family. It’s cute. My brovaries melt!
  • Instagram – I use Instagram to build my confidence. Any Selfie you see on there is not there for vanity reasons, they are there for me to look at and make me praise myself. And the validation from others is always a nice bonus. I also use it because I can find so many amazing meals and exercises and Slimming World friendly food. If you’re on there, follow me @Jimmothy and check out my favourite @Angiebabysexylady_sw.

Now here’s the (and I don’t know why) shocking part. You need to eat correctly and exercise. I know, crazy right?! Some people honestly think they can lose weight by eating a takeaway and exercising. Others think they can lose weight just through dieting alone and have no repercussions… Yeah, no. Eating well and exercising will result in:

  • Weight loss
  • Healthy muscle growth and development
  • Stronger immune system
  • Greater sense of self and purpose
  • Increased serotonin (aka happiness)
  • Less excess skin around your belly and chest area

And so much more. Why wouldn’t you want any of that?! And I get people will comment back and say “oh but I did and I was fine” or “ah but Sarah Jane Louise’s cats sisters owner down the street did and she looks fabulous”. I don’t have time to argue. I’m just stating what worked for me and millions of others. My pictures speak for themselves.

Food

This one’s a no-brainer but eat healthily. Increase your intake of natural meat (chicken, turkey, beef, pork, tuna, salmon, etc.) and your veggies (which surprises some people when I tell them that both salad vegetables and roast dinner vegetables are both vegetables). Foods like rice and pasta are also not the enemy. In fact each time, my diets were heavily pasta based. It’s filling and so versatile. Also make sure your plate is at least a third of vegetables as they’re delicious, nutritious, filling and help reduce your cravings for snacks. You also want to swap full fat drinks to diet, limit those skinny lattes to a treat choice and drink plenty of water. However, don’t stop a treat from time to time. The great thing about Slimming World and Weight Watchers is they don’t tell you off for having a bar of chocolate, and yes I know the bad cop above will break you, but that’s when you go over your daily limit. And when you achieve some great results, treat yoself! You just put in a lot of hard work to get there and you deserve to recognise that.

Sadly, however, the amount of people I’ve come across who won’t deviate from a salad leaf, I’ve just looked at them in pity because they’re so narrow-minded it becomes their downfall. It sounds awful but I admit that when I see those people a few weeks after such an interaction, I see they’ve given up and gone back to their old ways. What’s even worse is they then go around bad mouthing things like weight loss groups or people like the Body Coach because they themselves failed themselves. That may sound brutal but if people just looked at their situation from an outside perspective, maybe then they’d see their shortcomings.

Exercise

Ok, you don’t have to take on the extreme of buying your own gym equipment, but it’s an option. Not only are bits and pieces relatively affordable, but the bulkier items can be purchased on a payment plan. Just note, you won’t get far from the bailiffs if you forget to pay the bill for your treadmill ironically. But you don’t need equipment. Sounds odd but put some tins of baked beans in some bags and start raising them like dumbbells. In all honesty, what is the actual difference? Exactly! And walking, that’s free, running too, and you can even find groups for these online so you don’t need to do it alone. Plus it’s much safer.

And what you’re about to see is actually a picture I usually only reserve for those closest to me. The results below are what came about after performing 100 sit-ups for 66 days. Yes, in just 66 days and 6,600 sit-ups I went from left to right. I had also gone down 2 jean sizes to a 30-inch waist. Amazing huh! Now I will also admit I am very self-conscious about showing this picture so please don’t be mean coz I’m precious…

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Left: flabby & round. Right: smaller & firmer

And yes I’m aware it’s not perfect/ripped/toned/etc. but it’s an improvement and that’s fact. So if I continue doing 100 a day this year, with 1 day a week rest, can you imagine what difference that’ll make?

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Happier and healthier, despite the resting bitch face

And that’s it, my tips for getting slimmer and healthier. Think about your past, present, and future, punish and praise where necessary, treat yourself, eat right and exercise regularly. Following these simple things, you’ll surely see success. And please avoid these fad drinks and pills that promise to help you lose weight because they all require diet and exercise, so why not be more proud of your success from your own effort?

I’m now much happier than I ever was and much healthier too. I can run around with my nephews and nieces, I can buy and wear clothing that looks good and what I never use to wear as I didn’t want to stand out. I’m still on a journey because life has those moments, but I’m well prepared to take it one step at a time.

I hope this helps you and PLEASE ask me any questions you have about anything diet, weight loss or exercise related. I’m happy to help in any way I can and went you to achieve your best. Thanks for reading and if you too have some tips, post them below.

Addition post publishing:

After speaking with Emma Jane of Alternative Life Plan and Stephie Chapman of Stephie Chapman, there reminded me of the two other important thins that I also take on to reach my current weight loss goal.

Do not rush your journey. Focus on the factor of living and leading a healthier lifestyle. By rushing things you will lose big time and you won’t appreciate what you have actually done. Remain emotionally strong throughout and your success will be so much more permenant. Also, by crash dieting, you’ll ultimately put it all back on again. Research into The Biggest Loser contestants and see how many have kept the weight off. One guy can only eat 800 calories a day else risk it turning into fat! I’ve been in this position before but thankfully I have corrected this. But that’s something I will never help anyone do because you shouldn’t be silly enough to get there. Slow and steady wins the race my dear tortoise.

Also, myself and another blogger have even stated our current way of thinking is to aim for a physical goal than numerical. So instead of wanting to reach 10 stone in weight, we’re looking at achieving a size Small for example.

TMI Tag – From The Guy Who Forgot What TMI Meant Until He Finished Writing This Post

So I’ve been a little quiet lately. If that has upset you, sorry. If it hasn’t, RUDE! But so far January has been a busy, higgledy piggledy month for me and I just haven’t had a chance to sneeze, let alone type.

But I tapped open the Twitter app yesterday evening and saw a notification that the gorgeous Lena Dee had tagged me in a tweet. Curious to why, I discovered that I had been tagged in a post she wrote all about herself (here). I don’t often fill these out but this one seemed kind of fun. Consider this an extention to my 50 Things About Me post. So without futher ado…

  • What are you currently wearing?
    • An old, large Hollister hoodie, gym shorts (despite no longer being a gym member) and my black work socks – I’m a fashion guru dincha know
  • Have you ever been in love?
    • The list of people I’ve been in love with… It’s almost Lou Bega esque
  • Did you ever had a terrible breakup?
    • Yeah, both of them were. I seem to be the common denominator… MOVING ON!
  • How old are you?
    • Twenty-six! 90s child baby
  • How tall are you?
    • Five foot nine inches
  • How much do you weigh?
    • Ugh, really queen? 167lbs (and dropping thanks to Slimming world)
  • Do you have any piercings?
    • No, but I use to have 3 in my upper left ear. Had to take them out after it wouldn’t heal and I kept tearing them out
  • Do you have any tattoos?
    • I do. I have a Nintendo Gameboy on my left wrist, the phrase BLACK MARKET BEAUTY on my right wrist (both designed by me), and a geometric unicorn, that I got for free while my friend was still training, and you wouldn’t even think it was an apprentices’ work!
  • What’s your favourite drink?
    • Water trumps it all but if I was being boojee, Large Skinny Deaf Caramel Latte
  • What’s your favourite song?
  • What’s your Zodiac sign?
    • Sagittarius, but I never follow these things because I’m not that boojee
  • How long does it take you to shower?
    • I don’t have a shower in my place so it’s a great soak in the bath. Actually showers creep me out a bit but that’s another story
  • What’s your favourite show?
    • Once Upon A Time! Anything that involves magic and drama and I’m there! Plus the fact that it reworks the Disney storylines into something more mature is amazing!
  • What’s your favourite band?
    • Bastille, I just can’t fault their songs, their music style or them in general
  • Something you really miss?
    • My friends from university. They became family and I never get to seem them which breaks my soul
  • Where do you go when you’re sad?
    • Given that I have depression, a sad place can occur quite often, so I’ve become quite familiar with it. But I’ve learned to keep above it and stop myself from drowning in the bleak by recalling what makes me happy. Give it a go peeps!
  • How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
    • About 15 minutes but the issue is actually getting out of bed!
  • Have you ever been in a physical fight?
    • Yes. Plain and simple, yes. I never instigate however. Welcome to the homophobic, fat-phobic, Jimmy-phobic world. Plus siblings
  • What turns you on?
    • There isn’t enough time to go through the list. Lord send me to Church for salvation!
  • What turns you off?
    • Ignorance, bad odour, a poor attitude and men who throw their testosterone around like a bully
  • Quality you look for in a partner?
    • A person who sees others as equals, intelligence and humour. If you can insult yourself in a simple quip, hit me up
  • What’s your favourite colour?
    • Orange, because it makes me think of the energy in life and comfort of innocence at the same time
  • Loud music or soft?
    • Depends on mood, but probably more soft. I do love Classic FM
  • Favourite Quote?
    • “Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart” – Erma Bombeck
  • Favourite actor?
    • Hugh Jackman. Enough said. Oh and my queen, Angela Lansbury of course
  • Do you have any fears? What they are?
    • Spiders and heights. I use to have a MASSIVE fear of flying but after my first time abroad and on an aeroplane, that left me
  • What’s the last thing that made you cry?
    • My reflection. KIDDING! Uhm, this is going to sound a bit soppy but the fear of losing a good friend of mine was quite painful. Thankfully I was just in a low mood and it got a little extra and me and said friend are fine!
  • Meaning behind your Blog Name?
    • At university, my best gal pal gave it to me as a nickname. She’s actually the only person who calls me it which I love. Please respect that and be mature and call me Jimmy (but never James or Jamie because trust me all hell will break loose)
  • Last time you said you loved someone?
    • A few days ago to the said friend I thought I was losing. He said it back. Yay.
  • Last book you read?
    • The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. I love a bit of nerding
  • The book you’re currently reading?
    • None YET but I aim to start The Handmaids Tale this weekend as it was a gift from a colleague
  • Last show you watched?
    • She Ra, I fall asleep to it every night. Ha!
  • Last place you were?
    • Dorset, visiting BeF to drop off a pre-birthday goodie box and then at my nephews as I won’t see him before his birthday
  • Last sport you played?
    • LOL!
  • Who’s the last person you talked to?
    • If we mean “talk talked” then BeF. Otherwise some almost 6 year old champ who makes my life worth it
  • Last song you sang?
    • Never Enough – Loren Allred – The Greatest Showman. I’m currently obsessed with the soundtrack
  • Favourite chat up line?
    • It’s too adult for here
  • Do you have a crush?
    • No, I just don’t have the time to let ‘love’ like that into my life
  • The relationship between you and the person you last texted?
    • BeF – She’s my best friend. And I can accept that I’m not hers, but I am most definitely in her top list. She’s just amazing. Intelligent, funny, grounded, natural, supportive, brave, beautifu
  • Favourite food?
    • Pizza because it’s life. And the history that I know of it just makes it ironic at how so many places charge an arm and a leg for one
  • Place you want to visit?
    • Everywhere. But mostly Canada
  • When’s the last time you kissed someone?
    • If it’s THAT kind of kiss, Berlin. Else my niece and nephew yesterday
  • Last time you were insulted?
    • Yesterday, when my boss told me that I could operate my store better on less hours… OK!
  • Favourite flavour of sweet?
    • Strawberry. Although YEARS ago my sister brought me back a back of Black Widow Spiders Cherry Cola boiled sweets from Australia. They were GORGEOUS! Can I find them anywhere? Can I buggery!
  • What instruments do you play?
    • The Kazoo
  • Favourite piece of jewellery?
    • I guess my watch as I don’t wear jewellery. Although I always clutch for my pearls
  • Last time you hung out with anyone?
    • Last night with BeF and my nephew and niece

And that’s it. That’s me. This TMI tag was fun, thank you Lena! I enjoyed answering these questions and I hope you peeps enjoyed reading them! Now go and check out Lena and her work and Follow her on Twitter yo, she’s amazing!

Who should answer these questions next? Tag them!

Thanks again for reading peeps. Check out my other posts for some my Berlin Adventure (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) or how about some food with a dancing moose?!

And feel free to leave me a comment below of 3 answers to any questions above, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram

Two Thousand & Eighteen

Ah, so it’s the time of the year again. 2017 has been the year of all years for everyone. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t felt some difficulty this year. Friends, family, and actual countrymen have suffered in one way or another and prayed for the year to be over with.

This year for me has been all over the place. It started off alone after a bad break up.I’m still working in a job that shows no sign of personal development for my career. I have a degree in business going to waste with this place. It then got worse when a new employee made my work life difficult and the support from HR was to accuse me of being the problem. I’M HER BOSS!! I then had an area manager who attacked me on a personal level, commenting in an unprofessional manner, resulting in me spending almost 3 weeks in bed with low mood and anxiety. Then to top it all off, my first time abroad was marred by losing my backpack with some rather expensive gear inside.

But I cannot say the entire year was bad. I’ve made some amazing new friends throughout. I got to see BeF become her best person yet. I actually got to bond with her more than the year previous and I honestly don’t know what I’d do without her. I went abroad for the first time to one of the most spectacular places on the planet. And I completely cut my emotions off from the man who betrayed my trust and moved on to greater men. So the glitter is there, and it shines brightly.

So as this is the time where we make those life-changing decisions to become better people, and all too often fail on day one, I pledge to put mine forward for you kind folk.

Read my books

So I have quite a LOT of books I have yet to read (insert embarrassed emoji here). I fought very hard to get hold of all the Miss Marple books by my favourite author Agatha Christie. With thanks to my good friend Chris who treated me to a bunch, my collection developed and I had to complete it. I’ve seen all the ITV episodes, I even have them on boxset. After reading And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express, I had to read more.

However, my books have just sat there on my shelf untouched (unlike me) and begging to be thumbed through (no comment). So I was going to cancel my Netflix subscription (ESCANDALO!) and will focus on my paperbacks, but I don’t think I can (DOUBLE ESCANDALO!).

Carve out a new career

Ok, that title is a little extreme. I just want to remove myself from my current situation. I’ve come as far as I am able to sadly and there is very little room for development. With a degree in Business IT behind me and the greatest skill of adaptability, I know I can do better and make an impact in wherever I go. So the job hunt and CV scripting will commence! Obviously, I’m contemplating a more admin based role. The only problem here is that a high majority of them don’t pay so well and thus I really do need to find something that at least meets what I’m on now.

 

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Meet Gradley

 

In addition to this, I was undertaking training for another profession and so I think I will pick that back up as I really don’t want the time and money spent on it to go to waste. Whether I take that career route or not is beside the point. The £3000 spent on it is what really matters!

Get my body back under control

Again, that misleading title makes it all sound extreme. Kinda makes me think about that “calm your tits” meme. The truth is, I have major body issues (shocking I know!). But back in the day, I used to weigh 16st 8lbs (105kg or 232lbs). Yeah, I know right. The lowest I got my weight down to was 10st 11lbs (68.5kg or 151lbs) and I was so happy. My body was smaller (an XXS to be precise) with a great bum and legs (just saying). And thankfully the latter two remained. However, I have put on some of the weight and I am not happy. So I’m going to reboot the ole Slimming World diet routine alongside my gym plan. I want to focus on a high veggie diet with healthy lean meats. The great thing about Slimming World is that you can eat almost every meal known to man. So bring me a burger, toss me that pizza and don’t you dare skip out the ice cream! I just need to manage my time more effectively to prepare these meals. And thankfully I’m not that far off from where I need to be. It’s just the effort that is life.

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December 21st 2013 – 16 stone 8 pounds
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26th July 2014 – 13 stone 6 pounds
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30th September 2015 – 10 stone 11 pounds
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Fun fact: this hoodie is for 13-year-olds

Regards the exercise, I’ll continue my gym time. But I will also pick up my 100 sit-ups a day, with greater determination than before. The time I did this, I made it to day 66. I went down two jean sizes, my abs were firmer, my chest was more developed and my shoulders too. WHY DID I STOP?! Well, not this time. Also, I’m forbidding BeF from being a bad influence and making me eat junk food all the time! BAD BeF!

Restructuring the diet for the greater good

Following on from body maintenance, I need to rethink what I’m putting inside of me (keep your filthy comments to yourself, BEN!). When I lost my first 3 stone, I was on an almost vegetarian diet with Slimming World. I would eat massive portions of salads or vegetables and I was never hungry. I’d snack on bananas and fat-free yogurts like it was nobody’s business. I’m thinking of starting January with the same fashion, going vegetarian for as much as possible, and even forcibly putting my foot down to friends and family who do not wish to support my intentions and who try to force me to eat bad foods or foods that are not in my diet plan. They don’t realise that they are detrimental to my weight problems, and my body dysmorphia concerns.

But then I can’t blame them completely. Below is a year in food

So that’s it. Four little things, what should easily be achievable. Right? RIGHT?!  And if any of you awesome peeps want to help me achieve this by encouraging me and checking in every now and then, feel free to Tweet me, shoot a message here or find me on Instagram and tag me in my old fat photos.

And before you go, what are your 2018 plans? And how are you planning to go about achieving them?

Mystery Blogger Award

So I have been nominated. Sadly this person hasn’t put me forward for something more serious like Prime Minister or Miss United States but that’s fine, whatever, I still have a tiara. Anywho, I was nominated by the BEAUTIFUL and SUPER TALENTED S, author of Something So True, for the Mystery Blogger Award. My relationship with this woman is simple: she’s great at motivating me, she’s a positive breath of fresh air and she will champion anyone and everyone who deserves it! I’m so glad I know you S, and thank you for being you.

Before we start though, the Mystery Blogger award was developed by Okoto Oke Enigma. Her comments on it are:

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

– Okoto Enigma

And the rules are as such:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  9. Share a link to your best post(s)

That was copied and pasted from her post regards this award. Check her out or so help me I’mma cyber stalk you into oblivion.

Now then, back to me because I’m selfish like that. And don’t look at me like that; this is a post about me after all.

So S asked the following questions and I have answered them thusly…

  1. What’s makes you, YOU. How do you stand out from everyone else?? *Self Love Moment*

I honestly don’t know what to say. I think something that will surprise a lot of people is the fact that I really don’t like me. Many years of depression and low self-esteem, coupled with morbid obesity, you tend to become less and less confident in who you are as a person. So for this one, I actually asked some friends to answer for me and I wish I didn’t…

To be fair, my legs ARE amazing

And

That’s why I was called Nana at uni

These peeps were far too sweet. The other’s were FAR too adult for this blog!

  1. If you could change anything by the power of blogging what would it be and why?

People’s personal perceptions. I know it’s ironic for me to say this but I just wish more and more people would see how amazing they are. You don’t have to western society’s definition of beautiful or educated to Ph.D. level. You don’t have to be the most athletic or super talented at everything in the book. Just. Be. You. Just be you. No one can make you do more than you can do. You are amazing in your own right. It may be as simple as making the perfect cup of tea to knowing exactly what subspecies that bunch of lilies belong to. You have something that no one else can do and that’s all that matters.

  1. What’s your favourite restaurant dish you’ve eaten this year?

This year my favourite restaurant dish was a discovery in Berlin. This fantastic little Asian fusion burger restaurant had the most devastatingly delicious burger I’ve had in years. Please see the pictures below and a link to the blog you’ll find full deets on it.

My Berlin Advenruew – (Part 2)
  1. What made you decide that blogging was for you?

Well unlike most of my blogging pals, blogging isn’t a career or passion for me. Now PLEASE calm down. Blogging for me is just a way for me to offload my thoughts, feelings, and opinions that I just can’t quite say to people in person. And that isn’t to say I don’t love blogging, I just don’t see it as something I personally would go into as a career. I love to write and even contemplated a career in journalism, albeit on the magazine design side. Nevertheless, writing new things gives me a sense of wellness and when I was much younger I would write poetry and stories all the time, some of which I still possess now. Maybe someday I’ll share a few.

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  1. What’s your funniest holiday/ travelling story? Tell me your destination & tale

It was when I was heading to London for the first time on my own as a grown adult. I was 18 and I had to attend enrolment. I had never travelled this far alone before (the sheltered life, I know) and so it was all a mystery to me. I got the train from my hometown and had to change at another station. I got off at that station and waited on the correct platform to wait for my train. At first, the platform was empty and I just happily waited for it. Back then I didn’t have a Smartphone so I couldn’t even look up train details or just busy myself with a game or Facebook. Then this train pulls into the station. The doors open and the people get off and it just sits there. The clock ticks by and I’m just staring at this train that has been sat there for a few minutes in the place where my train is due to arrive. I start to panic that I’ve messed up and my train is actually on another platform or that it has been delayed or cancelled. I pace the platform looking at monitors wondering what had happened to my train. Then a light bulb moment occurs and I think to myself “is that my train?” I turn at stare at the train. Just as I decide to walk towards the doors, the slam shut and off it goes. That was my train. Oh for goodness sakes.

Thankfully another trained pulled into the opposite platform and I hopped on. Oddly enough, it arrived before the other one, so that was good. But now I had to navigate the underground. Fudge. I look carefully at the map. The twisting colours of train lines were all confusing to me at first but I soon realised what train I needed and where to get off. I go down to the platform. I get on the train. I get off the train. I RUN up the stairs of said station and realise after 25 steps (I had intense counting OCD back then) that I had made a grave mistake. But I didn’t stop. I was too embarrassed of my mistake. There wasn’t even anyone watching my mistake. I ran the entire flight of 117 steps, and when I reached the top, I was a hot, red, sweaty mess. Again, I was obese back then. The woman who was coming through the barrier looked at me with sheer horror, but not enough to stop and help as I wheezed up a lung. I learned my lesson that day I assure you.

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So there you have it. Some pretty mundane answers to be honest. I’d love to fancy them up but my life really isn’t that interesting regards things I can actually talk about online. Maybe one day when I’m rich I can tell you the more interesting stories of my life…

And I’d nominate someone, but the problem is, everyone I know has either already done this or is about to do it, so I’m just gonna leave my questions here and see who replies with their answers…

  1. If you were a song, what would you be and why?
  2. Where do you see next year taking you in life?
  3. What is your perfect meal?
  4. What artist/band do you recommend that no one else has probably heard of?
  5. Describe your idea of a perfect date? (There should only be one answer to this. Get it wrong and you and I will be having strong words)

And my best post, thus far, and not at all in a vain way… 50 Things About Me (That You Didn’t Ask For)

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