The ART of: Saving it Until Tomorrow

I am guilty of saving things for tomorrow.

I sat here to write this at 1pm on a Monday afternoon, and I saved it as a draft. I thought, I’ll probably post it later.

I strongly believed in keeping things until a better time, a more appropriate time, a time I might enjoy it more.

I may sometimes save reading my book until I have my bath, instead of starting it right now. I might enjoy it a little better then. I may possibly even not wear this dress until I go out next, it will probably look a bit better when I’ve got my makeup done a little more glam, surely. I won’t watch that film tonight, I’ve got work tomorrow. I’ll wait until my next day off to watch it, instead of now. I’m probably better off spending the next 2 hours watching something I won’t enjoy as much. Aren’t I. I don’t think I want to do that today, I’ll probably fancy it next week, though.

Why do we do it. Why do I do it. Why do I envision myself doing exactly what I want to do right now, in another time, another place, tomorrow. How can it be possible that my time right now, will be better spent doing something I will enjoy a little less, and putting something that I will enjoy a little more, somewhere in the near future.

I sometimes save doing things I don’t enjoy until tomorrow. Messaging someone about something important that I really don’t want to discuss, sorting out my wardrobe, less enjoyable things.

I didn’t really realise until this week how much and often I really do do this. With finding out these past couple of days that my Grandad is unwell with Cancer, I found myself laying in bed wondering how many things he may wish he would have done, that he kept saving until tomorrow. I hope nothing. I hope he’s done everything he ever wanted to do and more.

In another sense, I put myself into his position, and then I think of my life 50, 60, 70 years down the line and I wonder. How many of these things that I’m saving, will I really be grateful to myself, for doing so? When I’m old, will I be grateful for that time I saved my best makeup idea until the best possible day. That I saved doing more photography until I felt I had more time. I wonder, if when I’m older, I will remember all of these things that I put into tomorrow, and never got around to doing. From the mundane everyday, to the things that challenge me the most. I don’t want to be old, sitting in a chair, thinking back to a time and wondering why I didn’t do it then. 

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Dear Victoria’s Secret, Cardiff

Dear Victoria’s Secret, Cardiff.

I am a very open minded person. I rarely jump to conclusions first before trying something out for myself. I am more than happy with myself, although there are some things that I would like to change, I’m in no particular rush to look any certain way.

The bags. The signature bags. All pink and striped and fluffed-up with luxurious, pink tissue paper. So cute!

In all honesty, having not even looked at the VS website before, let alone going to the actual store, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I’d definitely seen ‘plus size’ Victoria’s Secret hauls on YouTube, but had never actually clicked on a video.

Tempted by a friend, we walked in.

I didn’t go into Victoria’s Secret looking for anything in particular, I just sort of wandered into one section and into another until something caught my eye, where I’d scour the hanger for a big, old XL, and when one wasn’t in sight, I was on my way to the next cute bed shorts that caught my eye. At this point, I wasn’t bothered at all. I believe, after looking once getting home that their size L is a size 12-14, way out of my sizing zone, anyway, which is fine. I obviously did not go in with the intent of picking something up, smaller than I’d usually wear, and have it fit me. It’s the same with any store, when they don’t have your size, you forget about the item and move on. Which I was very happily doing at this point, may I add.

Stores like this don’t intimidate me. Walking around this store is the same as walking around the next. I didn’t feel uncomfortable by the lack of XL’s (I actually don’t believe that I saw one in that size, anyway), nor by the 5 X-Smalls, 4 Smalls, 2 Medium, 1 Large and 0 X-Large ratio that seemed to be a common theme on the rails around the store. It wasn’t even that, that had bothered me.

I met again with my friend, after separating in the store, her going one way, me the other, and we both spotted the exact same lacy-pink, dreamy bed shorts. they were stunning. I flicked through with determination this time, looking for an XL and flicking through again for a L when the XL was clearly one of those ‘order online’ sizes. I found my L, (the only L on the rail, may I add) and turned around to see my friend a few meters away, wandering around the bra’s.

The sales assistant, a very important looking and tall lady, walked straight past my friend and stood a meter or two away from me.

I turned around with the large lacy, pink, baggy, elasticated bed shorts in hand, and went to head for my friend to show her my ‘might-fit-me-might-be-tight-but-worth-it’ bed shorts, when..

“Hi.. Are you aware of the sizing in this store?”

Silence.

“Yes, fine, thanks..”

She smiled, and it just all of a sudden looked so fake. And she had a headset on that made her look so important, and the way she stood about a meter or two away from me, made me feel like she didn’t genuinely want to help me. It was only once I had gotten home and replayed the happenings in my head that I realised, had she have said that to someone weaker, or someone who couldn’t take it, or someone who genuinely went into VS to buy something to make them feel special, things could have been different.

And I shuffled away, with my tail between my legs. I didn’t even want to hold the shorts anymore. I walked over to my friend, who was being helped by a lovely lady, and I stood there in silence for about 10 seconds. Before walking back over to the rail that I picked up the cutest bed shorts ever from, and I put them back down.

My friend knew there was something wrong, but I laughed it off. I actually said the words “It doesn’t even matter, I’m literally fine.” But it seemed that this hadn’t only mildly affected me. My friend, upon discussion once leaving the shop after making her purchase, was livid. Her experience also ruined. She wanted to ring their head office, or go back into the store to make a complaint. At the time, it hadn’t really sunk in, and I didn’t feel it was her battle, it was mine. The lady wasn’t stand-offish with her, she was with me! I didn’t want to go back to complain, I didn’t feel welcome.

I understand, working in retail myself, that things can be difficult. But if she was having a difficult day and didn’t feel like she was communicating well with customers that day, then why not just ask a colleague to approach and offer help instead? Not that any help was offered to me, anyway.

I just think that it’s important that it happened to me and not anyone else. Who knows what could have happened if this passing comment from her, had been said to someone with extremely low self-esteem, someone who couldn’t handle it?

And now I’m confused, as I write this, I’m on YouTube, watching a VS haul from a well known plus sized YouTuber, and she looks great. And more importantly, she has things in her size. Have I missed a memo?

Maybe it’s just the attitude of the staff member herself, and not necessarily the Cardiff store or even VS. But even so, why after looking at their website does it seem some stuff should have fit me? Is it because I left in such a hurry once I’d been spoken to, that it was just by chance I found nothing in my size? Why was I questioned? My friend wasn’t questioned, and we were basically the only two in the store at that time, bar one or two others.

So, just to let you know Victoria’s Secret Cardiff, I spent £100 in Ann Summers that exact day, and probably got double what £100 would have got me in VS. And besides that, besides the money which doesn’t really matter, the staff in there were so lovely and kind, and no one questioned my size once, or my friends. They were helpful and informative and actually did what they could to help. They made me feel comfortable.

I don’t actually know what the sales assistant meant by her comment, but surely theres no two ways about it. I can’t even imagine another sentence that she could have tried to say.

“Are you aware of the sizing in this store?”

I certainly am now, thanks for shedding some light.

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fat; the anti-struggle

Why I’m okay with being ‘fat’: the anti-struggle

Okay, disclaimer.

We’re not here to talk about weight comparisons, give advise about diet, or shame anybody, for anything, ever. This is purely a notebook of my thoughts pulled together to create a half n half kind of approach to this whole blogging thing. That being said, I give you,

FAT – A YEAR TO SAVE YOUR LIFE.

hilariously, un-punnily titled, I know.

As you may have already guessed, this is not about how to save your life with regards to how much fat your body stores, or how many pounds you can potentially lose this week. NOR is this, may I add, about gaining weight for fun (if you’re looking for this you may be in the wrong place). Here we will not be mentioning bullying (a very real issue), or that time we never got picked in p.e, or the day our trousers just magically never fit again.

This is about perspective. Putting everything else aside. Everything apart from you, yourself, right here and right now.

The problem, I can assure you, is not because ‘you will look 20 times better 2 stone lighter’, the problem, is the fact that you don’t see yourself as ‘good enough’ right now. If you tell yourself you will look better with an inch or two off the waist, you won’t feel better until you’ve got there, and that mindset is very, very unsettling.

I’m not here to tell anyone not to have goals. What I’m trying to say is to do what is right for you, you need only one thing, yourself. Your own opinion. And your own mindset. Anything else to this is secondary. And contrary to popular belief, in this case, yep even your mothers. And your best friends, for that sake.

I have been very unhappy with myself for many years. I taught myself that I just wasn’t good enough for anyone or anything. People driving past on the street whilst I was walking alone would literally make me boil with tears. In school, I always felt uncontrollably larger than everyone else. Wider. Like I was sticking out like a sore thumb. I was always so afraid to get my hair cut short, incase it didn’t hide the side of my face anymore and my neck, my chin and my cheeks were exposed.

I felt like no one could take me seriously. And that in reality, I didn’t really deserve to be taken seriously. 

Not once, and I honestly believe this, have I ever looked at someone and instantly categorised them into ‘fat’ ‘slim’ ‘skinny’ etc etc. Why would I? Why would anyone? The majority of people are consumed with their own personal lives, they have jobs, they have a car that needs washing, a house that needs cleaning, shopping that needs to be shopped. Believe it or not, the human race is a very self-indulgent mob, and most people’s primary priority is numero uno. Very rarely, is it a ‘thing’ to be oh so very concerned with the number on the tag of your dress (18, in case you were wondering).

I’m very much now accustomed to shopping on the ‘plus size’ tab of asos. I’m very much accustomed to going straight to the back of a rail of hanging clothes in a shop, in search of my size. It is just a given now, and not once have I ever second guessed my daily doings. I’ve never been embarrassed to ask if they stock that top in a size or two up. Or worry about my double chin.  Tell a lie. I did, for a long period of time, very much worry about my double chin. I did chin exercises for christs sake. CHIN EXERCISES!! Would you believe! But do you think anyone ever commented on it? Not at all. Not even when I asked. A comment from a friend at the time was ‘no I hadn’t noticed, it’s not really something you look at. Is it? A chin? I wouldn’t really look at someone’s chin. I don’t know. Do I have a double chin?’ And then everyone around the table suddenly decided they all had a double chin, people my size, people bigger, people smaller. That’s probably when I realised.

WHEN HAVE I EVER IN MY LIFE INSPECTED SOMEBODY’S CHIN?

”Ooh, look there, you have a bit of excess skin on your chin there”

”What a charming chin you have there”

No. Nuh. Doesn’t happen. And when I looked around that table of people, I saw not wobbling, hilarious double chins, but faces and individual human beings doing individual human being stuff. Not really giving a stuff about a piece of flesh on the underneath of my face, but all very much inspecting their own, and not one of them inspected another’s.

It’s human nature to be paranoid about appearance. We all want to look good. But I really believe that it gets to a point where you need to make a decision between material and immaterial things. Which gets me on to MIND/MATTER.

MIND/MATTER

I promise it’s more than just a typographic tattoo that floats about the Internet.

Your mental state, mental wellbeing and mental health determines absolutely everything. From the way you exert your personality to the way you slump over on the settee. If you’re not healthy up there, then how can you expect to look healthy anywhere else? (And no, I don’t mean by your size or your weight, but by your smile and the way you naturally glow).

Negative, self loathing thoughts will eat into your face and you will honestly look negative… And self loathing.

IMG_4585

A photo of me, about two years ago, taken by my mother on her camera on a walk with my family. God, did I look miserable. Even with my makeup, hair done, decent clothes etc I sit in this photograph, slumped and hiding behind my own camera as I hope to dear god these photos go no further than the lens.

IMG_4591

Then, a photo, from last year, posing in the mirror in my swimsuit (that pout though, why). giving not a single care in the world. And it is bliss.

The difference?

My mind state.

We have all heard the classic, trolling comment ‘but what about your health, you are killing yourself’ (not true, you can actually be overweight AND healthy). But in reality, life is much more complex than this. I spent a lot of my life worrying about my weight and how people see me. And guess what? I still ended up doing the same jobs I envisioned and doing what makes me happy

So therefore, I bring you to the conclusion.

If you are happy, and want to make changes. Cool, do it. But don’t make it your main focus. Make it a side project. And if you don’t? Also cool, don’t feel obliged to do anything.

I have learnt to accept my body as it is, as cheesy and disbelieving as it sounds. of course, I still have my down days, but more often than not I now tell myself everyday that other people, they have other fish to fry and bigger things to worry about.

I now realise I no longer need to explain myself to anyone.

And trust me, you can lay on that beach looking any way you like.

 

 

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