Basically this is me…

What doesn't kill you DEFINITELY makes you stronger

Is it actually all in my head?

If you follow my blog on Instagram, you would have seen that this week the heatwave finally made me shred one of my public phobias.

I went outside without covering my arms!

I, like most people I know. Have insecurities about my body. After being so ill and gaining so much weight in the last couple of years my body confidence was at rock bottom.

But after finding the plus size blogger community and seeing Sofie Hagen at the Dave Comedy Festival two years ago. I totally jumped on the body positivity band wagon and started to love my body for what it is and not hate it for what it’s not.

I started wearing what I wanted and I now love dressing up and trying new clothes


However the old insecurities were always there and I still hide my body, especially my arms.

My arms are big, lumpy and flabby. I’ve always felt really self conscious of them and hid them using boleros and cardigans.

Even at my wedding, I had a shrug made as I didn’t feel confident wearing my dress with my arms on show.

I made a beautiful bride 💞

So even though I’ve improved so much and do honestly love my body, how can I still hate my body at the same time?

And I’ve come to the conclusion that it is actually all in my head.

Twice this week I’ve been outside with my arms on show. Once to work and yesterday when I went to see my father in law and brother in law. No one laughed, no one shouted, I went past a group of lads and not one of them said anything about it. I have spent so much time caring what other people think, that I’ve actually deluded myself into believing that they actually care. It has all been in my head, I have been so wrapped up and concerned about what people think of me and what they will say about me that I have almost stopped living the life I want to live.

So here is the lesson I have learnt from all of this… stop caring about what other people think.

And let your arms be free!!!!!


 

 

xVx

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Coming to terms with being a Plus Size Bride.

When my boyfriend (now hubby) proposed to me in April 2012 after 5 years of dating, I was thrilled, shocked and excited to spend the rest of my life with someone who meant the world to me. I was studying to finish my Psychology Degree from University of Leicester and was excited to see what the future brought.

We started planning and decided on our Wedding Date of 6th September 2014 to allow us time to save and have the wedding we wanted.

I have never been one of those girls who have know what there weddings would look like or day dreamed about what their dress would look like, and before I met Phil I honestly thought I would stay single and have lots of cats.

I was excited to go and try on dresses with my mum and the first shop we went to had many plus size dresses I could try on I just couldn’t find the one.

As many brides I decide I was going to lose weight and be thinner for the day, my body however had other ideas. My health deteriorated, I struggled to breath, I was in and out of hospital, I spent a month house bound, 6 months on oral steroids and 18 months with a physiotherapist who had to reteach me how to breath. One of the lovely side effects of being so ill was that I gained so much weight. I spent months trying to lose weight however I would just gain it back again. By January 2014 I had enough and decided to look after myself and not destroy myself by trying to lose weight. I had to come to turns with being a plus size bride.

I had in my head that it was a bad thing to be overweight and a bride, which is ridiculous! However it doesn’t help when all the magazines you see are of thin brides, in gorgeous dress which either didn’t go up to my size or would look ridiculous on me. I also had my own body issues to deal with and my never ending battle with Depression.

The first thing that helped me come to terms with being a plus size bride was our Engagement Shoot, I was terrified of having my pictures taken and thinking ‘oh my god i am going to look like a whale’ I remember sitting in the pub beforehand almost crying telling the photographer how I felt. Once I relaxed and had a giggle with Phil during the shoot, I really enjoyed the experience and was thrilled that there were so many pictures I loved.

pre wedding shoot 4

pre wedding shoot 3

pre wedding shoot 2 prewedding shoot 1

The shoot was around Brindley Place in Birmingham, Phil and I spent a lot of time around that area when we started dating and when asked about an engagement shoot it seemed like a perfect place.

The Dress

Trying to find my dress was a nightmare, one of the low points of my wedding dress hunt was going to shop where they didn’t go past a size 18 and I had to hold the dress next to me to see it. Was crushing.

My mum went on the hunt and found a shop in Coventry which was for plus size brides. IT WAS AMAZING!!!! Every dress fitted me, we had the whole shop to our selves and I finally had my bridal moment and found the dress!!! wedding dress 1wedding dress 1 back

The Dress

It felt gorgeous on and we ordered it there and then. A year before we were going to get married I had my dress and I was thrilled. It was done! No more wedding dress shopping for me… or so I thought.

3 months later I received a text message from the store owner informing me that she was closing down the business and would not be able to complete the order. I was gutted, luckily we got our money back and the dress was still available so I went to another salon to order it, I was thrilled when I was informed they had the dress in my size and I could try it on again. However the dress was faulty, it didn’t fit properly and the jewels on the front were slanted so it made the dress look lopsided,

The store owner informed me that the company had said if I wanted the dress, this would be my dress. This slanted, faulty dress was to be my wedding dress… HELL NO!!!!

I asked her to go back to them with my concerns and she said she would and would call me later in the week with an update, 3 weeks later I still hadn’t heard anything and I was chasing her for an answer. Once I did finally talk to her I was informed that the company had said there was nothing wrong with the dress and if I wanted to order it, that would be my dress, I was crushed, disheartened and felt really let down, I also lost trust in the company and refused to spend a lot of money on a dress which we would most likely have to spend a lot of money to fix- so I walked away.

This left us a couple of months to find a different dress and it was awful. We went to shop after shop in Birmingham, Walsall, Sutton trying to find something. The dresses were either ugly, made me look old, didn’t fit or weren’t right for me. On many occasions I left the shops in tears. I just wanted it to be over and I wanted to have my dress.

As I live in Leicester my mum suggested that we have a look around the wedding shops in Leicester to find my dress, and if that didn’t work we were going to a dressmaker to make me one.

We booked appointments and my mum and sister came down, and then I found my dress.

The first shop, the first dress I tried on and I fell in love.

And what makes me really laugh is that I tried it on as a joke. It was big and puffy and a proper princess dress, something that I had always avoided, I remember coming out and saying ‘ I really shouldn’t like this dress… but I REALLY like this dress,” I felt gorgeous, I looked gorgeous, I made my mum cry. I cried. After all the crap I went through to get it, I finally had my dress.

This dress was from Francesca and I will always be grateful for how they treated me.

IMG_6077

My Gorgeous Gorgeous dress!!!

me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All done up on our wedding day

bouncy castle

Rocking the dress on our Bouncy Castle 

Looking back it makes me feel sad that I felt that way about myself and let it affect my wedding planning and that is why I am writing this incredibly long post, to say to anyone else who feels the way I did … STOP! You are gorgeous, whether you are size 6 or a 36 you are frigging GORGEOUS!!!!! enjoy your day, enjoy your experience, Don’t be afraid of what people think.

I had such a wonderful day, I married the love of my life, had a fabulous day and we will have a fabulous life together

I am fighting an ongoing battle to love myself and be proud of who I am today, but on my wedding day I felt like the most gorgeous girl in the world.

phil and i wedding

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