FeelGoodInc.

Get your ‘Fat Girl’ halloween costume from Walmart

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Walmart made an oopsie today – they labelled their plus size halloween section as “Fat Girl Costumes.” I’m not sure whether it was a prank going wrong, an excitable intern on glue or a genuine label for their new subsection, but Walmart took the page down immediately after someone Tweeted about it. I for one am quite glad about the section – I have a halloween party coming up on Friday and being a fat chambermaid is only like my dream come true.

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This reminds me of the time when Target labelled their plus-size grey dress as “Manatee Grey” instead of “Dark Heather Grey” for the normal size. People these days…

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Do you feel guilty for being fat? Does it help?

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I wrote a jokey article a couple of weeks ago about the perils of fat people when it comes to summer… not only do we have to battle with our boobs in the heat, but we also have to sit alongside beautiful people with bodies to die for – read it here.

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Yes, the post was jokey but the response from my readers made me feel unexpectedly proud and I wanted to write another blog post based on it. The vast majority of responses were from people telling me their experiences of body-shame on the beach and how they’ve learned to cope with the feeling of guilt about being fat in a judgemental society.

This leads me to my first question – are you guilty about being fat? Do you feel guilty whenever you go to pick up a piece of cake? I know for sure that I do. I have two types of guilt – guilt for my own health and guilt from other peoples judgement. Guilt for my own health is usually (and annoyingly) pretty late to the party. Grabbing another piece of cake is a balance between willpower and short-term blissful happiness of feeling creamy sugary buttercream go into your mouth (mmmm buttercream), but guilt usually makes a late appearance. Late, but long-lasting unfortunately.

It’s the guilt from other peoples judgement which is the interesting one. I think, for me anyway, the main evidence of this is whether or not I secret eat. Guilt from other people wouldn’t exist if the other people weren’t there. If I got locked in a supermarket by myself overnight salad would not even enter my mind. However, it’s the looks from my friends/family whenever I go to eat a piece of cake which makes me feel incredibly guilty. It almost sometimes makes me feel that it’s not even worth it. However, where this becomes dangerous as it’s more often than not that I’ll find myself sticking my fingers into a jar of peanut butter when I get home.

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Second question – does the guilt help you? I’m undecided on this one. Guilt has evolved because it helped us in the past. The more guilty you felt for doing something wrong (and potentially harmful – i.e. eating a piece of cake), the less you did it and the more you survived. Makes perfect sense. However, we’re not living in a simple world any more with a couple of animals to kill for meat and a bush to grab berries from. We live in a complex society of thousands of yummy restaurants on our doorstep and a happy-to-judge society. Guilt, for me, can be a positive and a negative. The positive is that I know in myself that if i truly didn’t give a shit I would eat like there’s no tomorrow. The element of guilt, whilst sucky, actually keeps me from becoming super obese. However, the negative end of the spectrum makes me feel sad, and we all know what being sad does to my eating habits… Cream, cream city bitch.

I think feeling guilty is fine balance. You need a little bit there to keep you on track from not getting too fat, but you don’t want too much to feel constantly bad about yourself.

What do you think readers? I’d love to hear from you all 🙂

BJOD x

Sarah Millican and her ugly BAFTA dress – STOP THE PRESS

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Sarah Millican has been in the press today about her awful experience at the BAFTAs last year after people ripped her to shreds over the dress she was wearing. She says “I’m sorry. I thought I had been invited to such an illustrious event because I am good at my job… Why does it matter so much what I was wearing? I felt wonderful in that dress. And surely that’s all that counts.” I love the statement Sarah makes – she’s a comedian who was invited to the BAFTAs and felt uncomfortable on the red carpet but did it anyway, only to have her evening ruined by trolls on Twitter. It’s stories like this which absolutely need a big shout out on my blog. Hands up for being the person who loved what they were wearing to the party but got made fun of.

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I think it’s so easy for us to forget how vulnerable people can be. When I saw this picture all I thought of was my mum and how upset she’d be if she had the same response. We’ve all become too used to slagging people off behind the anonymity of the computer screen. It relates back to my previous post pretty hurts, we’re piling too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. It’s stories like this which remind me of why this is. It’s become way too easy to put someone down over the internet and the people who are getting put down lash out to other people – it’s a nasty cycle of put-downs. It’s making everyone unnecessarily self conscious. I’ve looked at some of the Twitter users who slagged off Sarah… not to add to the cycle myself, but actually they’re all pretty average-looking girls too.

Next time you think about putting someone down (over the internet or not) remember that they’re just as vulnerable as you. They hate their stomach just as much as you. Not to get too gay over it, but I actually think she looked lovely. I’m proud of her 🙂

Read more here

BJOD x

Pretty Hurts

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Are you happy with the way you look?

By far my most popular post has been Fat people are gross – The fat stigma – a post all about how fat people are often looked down upon and ostracised for being overweight. The replies highlighted the fact that our society has gotten pretty used to alienating people for many different imperfections, not just being overweight. It seems that the annorexic and obese have quite a bit in common – they both aren’t ‘perfect.’ What’s more similar is the fact that the more someone obsesses about being underweight, the more they restrict themselves of food. It’s a strikingly similar mentality issue with an opposite, yet equally dangerous reaction to over-eaters. I’ve been thin and fat and it was incredible how many more friends I got when I became thin and sexy… But I became so obsessed with keeping my weight off that I developed pretty bad anxiety. How many people do you know who’ve gone that one bit too far on a diet? It’s ridiculously common.

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Beyonce’s new song Pretty Hurts speaks of perfection being the disease of a nation. Even if you’re not a fan of Beyonce (although I don’t think that’s possible) you need to go on YouTube and watch her video of Pretty Hurts. It makes you look deep inside yourself and ask if you’re 100% truly happy with who you are. Take away all the witty banter, the male bravado, the fake eyelashes, spray-tan… are you happy and comfortable with what you’re left with? It sounds bloody cheesy but actually it’s so true. I know for sure I’m not always happy with how I’ve dealt with a situation or how I over-eat at any damn given opportunity.

I think the thing we need to start asking ourselves is what matters more – the way we look or how we treat people? What is someone going to remember when you die: how fat you were or how much of a good friend you were? Does anyone remember John Candy as a horrible human being? No they remember him as being one of our best goddam actors we’ve ever had. He puts our 21st century bullshit-sexy-Justin Bieber talent to shame.

Thoughts?

Stop for a minute and appreciate life

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It’s funny how society has made our lives so busy and stressful that we forget about how lucky we are to be here in the first place. It’s human nature to just survive. I doubt our ancestors spent every waking minute appreciating how they currently weren’t being eaten by a dinosaur. That’s fine for them, but it’s not just a simple dinosaur in today’s world that threatens our happiness. No, it’s a horrible boss, a mean weight comment, a downpayment in a terrible economic climate… the list goes on. There’s so many elements to what we think is a ‘successful life’ that we spend most of our time trying to get there.

There was a ‘bomb’ planted outside my building at work the other day. It turned out to be a bloody gym kit (giving me even MORE reason to not like going to the gym). The point is, for about 3 hours the loudspeaker at work was telling us to ‘stay put, keep calm, emergency servicing are in attendance.’ The city became a ghost town with one lonely bomb squad robot (like Wall-E) undertaking a controlled explosion.

I looked around my office and I could see panic and worry in peoples eyes. Colleagues were getting calls of their other husbands, wives, parents, kids checking they were ok. I was sitting there thinking how I’ve spent too much time worrying about my weight over the past month. I know that worrying is there to serve us evolutionarily, but clearly worry about my weight isn’t working productively for me as I’m still fat and could NO-WAY outrun a hungry wooly mammoth.

All of a sudden I hear “Emergency services have now left the area – everything is fine.”

I tell my team to sit back and appreciate life for a moment. They look at me like I’m a nutter and all rush off to their meetings staring down at their Blackberrys. What I found most interesting about this whole experience is not how quickly we became worried for our lives… but how even MORE quickly we forgot what that feeling of life-appreciation was like. Not me – I went downstairs and I sat outside (alongside the smokers who weren’t able to have a cigarette for 3 hours.. you can tell how much they were appreciating a good puff) and I thought to myself how lucky I was to be outside.

It took me about 20 minutes to join everyone back in their normal routines, as I started worrying about my weight again.

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How often do you think about how fat you are?

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Today I woke up and had a brief second where I forgot I was fat – it was bliss. It was like the moment when Carry got a text saying “John” in the Sex and the City finale. Then I realised it was Easter weekend and I probably won’t be able to hold back on the chocolate, leading me to have another week of not seeing any results on the scales. Then I got pissed off.

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A couple of thoughts on this one:

1) How often do you think about how fat you are? Isn’t it sad that we think about our figures so often? I wonder if our ancestors spent half as much time thinking about their bodies as we do? Back when I was 21 stone I used to think about my weight every hour… every time I would walk somewhere, every time the weather would get hot outside, every time there was a non-sturdy looking chair, every time there was an amazing Jewish spread on at a Shiva (that Jackie Ash has done it again!!)… the list goes on. The funny thing is, when I got down to my previous goal weight I didn’t exactly stop thinking about my weight, but actually became even more conscious due to my intense vanity (due to being sexy for the first time ever in my life). However, I was really happy about my weight, I thought it was one thing I I’d never have to worry about again. I can’t describe how incredible that feeling was when I stopped thinking about the things I’d been worrying about for 18 years (yes, I was a weight conscious baby). The reason I’m writing about this is that I’m finding myself getting into that dangerous territory again where all I think about is my weight – it’s not a healthy place to be in.

2) Is there ever a good time to be on a diet? This society has done a pretty great job at keeping us all fat. I reckon if you looked at the calendar there would be an event every week that gives you an excuse to eat shit. Oh I can’t be on a diet next week… it’s my best friend’s cousin’s dog’s birthday party. Life has become increasingly more about stuffing our faces. Back on my diet I remember just ‘switching off’ from all of the festivities. Holidays used to be about seeing family, friends and stuffing my face with the available fruits and vegetables. I can’t seem to get that will power back, but i’ll keep on trying.

3) Are you happy? I’ve been a bit grumpy the past couple of weeks and I thought it was other things (work etc.) but actually it’s become quite clear to me today that it’s because of the weight. If I woke up happy because I forgot I was fat… well then it’s probably telling me something. Last time I lost weight there was this switch in my head. One random Wednesday it happened and I didn’t even THINK about bread or chocolate again for 2 years – it just didn’t occur to me. I wonder when that switch will come again? It’s almost as if it needs to get to a point where it’s so terrible it needs to happen. I find it incredibly difficult to lose weight when I know I’ve only got a couple stone to go, but it’s exactly that state of mind that has made me continue to put on weight since I lost 8 stone 4 years ago.

What are your thoughts guys? Cheer me up someone!

6 month ‘Stop Smokerversary’

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Today marks 6 months from when I broke up with my lifelong partner. Not a day goes by without me missing him, but I know in the long run he wasn’t good for me. I still remember the way he’d make me feel confident, the way he’d fill me with goodness and how I could smell him on my pillow for days after he had gone. However I also remember how he’d need to call me every 40 minutes and if I tried to ignore him it would only get worse. I also remember how he hated me going on planes and in the cinema… and I also remember how my parents and friends hated him being around. I’m talking about my love affair with cigarettes. I went from smoking about 25 cigs a day to 0. I know this blog is about dieting, but it’s important to remember how I became a fat shit in the first place. In the 4 months after I quit I had put on about 2 stone.

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Why I quit smoking: 

This one was simple… I read this article here about a 33 year old dying of lung cancer. Immediately it hit home that smoking doesn’t just kill people in their 50’s and 60’s (although that’s bad enough)… but it could begin to affect me in about 5 years! I’m 24 and there is no way in hell I’d let smoking kill me.

How I stopped smoking: 

People ask me this one the whole time… I guess it’s unusual to see a heavy smoker quit for the first time and never smoke again. The secrets to my success are:

1) www.whyquit.com – So much of my success I put down to reading through this random website I found. In the first few days when I couldn’t sleep from withdrawal symptoms I would read this site. It’s incredible – it explains how the addiction starts and how you can stop it. Every time I see a smoker now I see them as an addict. I still look back at smoking as if I loved it but the simple fact is that no one loves a cigarette when they first put it in their mouths. Nicotine is an INCREDIBLY addictive substance and will do all sorts of tricks to make you THINK you love it. Well, this site will educate you about how to stop this love affair.

2) Get that turkey nice and COLD. Cold turkey is the way forward… you’re trying to quit NICOTINE not smoking… I have always had an issue with willpower and I knew that if I didn’t eliminate nicotine from my system completely, then at some point I wouldn’t have been able to resist a cig at some point during my quit. Cutting down doesn’t work either…. ONE cigarette gives you enough nicotine each day to make your body/mind crave a cigarette for yet another day. Even if you cut down to 1, you’re still dragging the quitting process on… it’s not fair on your body. I quit cold turkey and yes the 3/4 first days were a f*cking nightmare but it gets significantly better as time goes on. It’s actually quite interesting to see how your body begins to get over the addiction. Furthermore, e-cigs haven’t been regulated and we don’t know the negative side effects of them either yet… also everyone I know who used them to quit are not addicted to them… It’s all about breaking away from that nicotine addiction.

3) Constant reminders. List ALL the reasons you want to quit on your notes App on your phone… take a screenshot and put it as your background. This will act as a constant reminder to why you want to quit.

4) STUFF YOUR FAT FACE. Yes I know this is what got me into this weight gain in the first place, but I truly think I wouldn’t have quit without being able to eat what I want… especially in the first couple of weeks. A short-term weight gain is so much healthier than a long-term smoking habit. Yes I know neither of them are ideal, but I got myself in this mess in the first place so I needed to try my hardest to get myself out of it.

5) Support. This site is amazing – it’s for all people who are trying to quit smoking – http://www.reddit.com/r/stopsmoking. I still read it now!

Do I miss it? Yes, but do I feel better for it? Fuck yes. Words can’t describe how good I feel.

 

The Unhealthy Assassins

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Unhealthy assassins: n. Unhealthy foods which pretend to be healthy – the sneaky snacks! 

It’s a tough world out there for food obsessed fatties. 90% of my day involves me avoiding stuffing my face with oily, sweet, buttery, salty food… and that’s a good day! One negative comment at work and hello binge binge city bitch.

I usually successfully avoid eating the unhealthy originals… chocolate, sweets, cream, crisps… I know better not to gorge on them. However, just to make things more difficult for fatties like me, there are HUNDREDS of foods which are JUST AS BAD for us, but dress themselves up as healthy. The sneaky moms.

What’s a girl to do? I’m not going to spend the rest of my days eating celery and salsa… that’s no life to live.

Here are a few unhealthy assassins:

Frozen Yoghurt or Froyo

Froyo…. I mean… it has the word yogurt in the title! The calories in an average froyo is literally the same as having a Ben and Jerrys scoop of ice-cream. What’s worse is that the cooking process of popular frozen yogurts kills all the goodness out of it. To be honest, I’ll still fool myself and eat it. No one judges me when I get a froyo (at least I don’t think they do?!)

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Granola

Granola is a big gra-No-la. It sounds really healthy… and it looks really healthy. But when you put it in your mouth that taste of butter and sugar reminds me that it’s not actually healthy 😦

Cous Cous

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I cried when I found this one out. I wouldn’t GO NEAR a bowl of pasta. However, after looking into the facts about the sneaky cous cous, it’s basically the same as pasta. Both cous cous and pasta are made from the same durum wheat flour, just pasta is made into bigger pieces. There are very slight differences in nutritional value – cous cous 20 less calories per cup, but also 1 less gram of protein. Take a look here for more info

Popcorn

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Popcorn tastes so light that it’s difficult to believe it contains any calories. Unfortunately most popcorn is covered in oil with sugar/salt. The other problem with popcorn is that because it’s so light we tend to eat more. A large cinema box of popcorn is 1,800 calories! You may as well eat a whole vat of

Are there any other unhealthy assassins that you know of? Please save BJOD from a heart attack and share your knowledge below 🙂 

Breathing air causes cancer….

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We live in an information-overloaded world. Everyday I’m reading about something new which causes cancer. Apparently getting up to use the loo in the middle of the night causes cancer. The only thing dangerous about these articles are the articles themselves. They wrongly inform us, and they make us feel guilty for eating almost anything. Why do we need to feel more guilty? Why do we need to pile even more pressure on ourselves to eat ‘right’? It’s one thing to feel guilty about a McDonalds, but don’t make me feel guilty about eating a chicken breast.

The Telegraph published an article yesterday claiming a high-protein diet is ‘as bad for you as smoking’ (read the bullshit here). However, after looking through the research it has become clear that their claims are unsupported (read why it’s bullshit here). You can find details of why it’s wrong below, but for now I want to concentrate on the PR aspect.

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Perhaps the holy grail of PR scaremongering is this link here – the Daily Mail cancer list. It’s a list which shows the number of items which the Daily Mail has claimed causes cancer. As you can see, the list is huge.

What annoys me the most is the fact that I really needed to do my research to find out that the original article was wrong. What if I didn’t have time to read up on it? What about the people (including me) who mostly read the top headlines and nothing more? Well, I’d be left with the thought that I shouldn’t eat too much protein. Or I’d feel guilty about eating protein.The last thing we need today is more confusing information. We also don’t need to feel more guilty. We’re piling so much pressure on ourselves to be perfectly healthy and protein is actually a great way to get our calories in… much better than carbohydrates. Newspapers are just trying to find new ways to catch peoples attention and I’m getting sick of it.

If you’ve made it through the post so far, great, here are the main reasons why the original story is wrong:

  • The effects show those between 50-65 had an increased risk from cancer, but those over 65 actually showed a reduced risk. Therefore, all effects were cancelled out. The sample sizes were also too small.
  • There was no scientific evidence of how eating meat vs. smoking affected someones life span or risk of cancer. The original paper doesn’t assess the risk of smoking at all… it doesn’t even compare protein eating to smoking. The Telegraph just made up the link on the spot to scare people. We need protein, we don’t need smoking.
  • Do you eat the same type of food every day for your whole life? Well this study wrongly assumes we do. Food information in the study was only collected over a 24-hour period. This isn’t really true to life as many people change their eating habits over time.

So, read everything with a pinch of salt.

Complacency killed the cat

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So I’ve been blogging/dieting now for about 6 weeks and it’s been such great fun. What I love the most is the fact that I can be completely open and honest. For many years I would secretly eat in the kitchen and feel horribly guilty about it… Usually driving me to eat more. In keeping with the honesty theme, I want to come clean and tell you that I’ve gained a pound this week. I went to Manchester to visit some old friends and unfortunately also visited some old habits.

You might remember from this post here that I went for tea last Sunday… Well for some reason it set a precedent to eat bad the whole week. It’s interesting how when we’re on a diet we tend to throw the baby out with the bath water… Meaning just because we have one bad day we feel it’s an excuse to have a bad week. The resultant guilt is horrible and that can drive us to completely throw the towel in.

In reality it’s only 1 pound… I must remember to get back on the wagon and limit my damage to just this 1 pound. What doesn’t help the fact is that I’m going on holiday next week to here:

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With these buffet options:

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God help me!