We don't like fat women being confident.

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We don't like fat women being confident.

It's not a question, it's not an opinion, it's true. When fat women become visible to us, when fat women have their voices heard, we are appalled.

"How dare this fat woman upload a selfie to Instagram in her bikini? She's promoting obesity! Think about her followers! How disgusting, she's so unhealthy, she needs to diet"

I mean, wow. Telling anyone they need to diet is never really a polite thing to do as it is, but when it's done on social media, under a photo a fat woman has uploaded because she thinks she looks great, it's just ten times more venomous.

This is not an "unpopular opinion" by any means, and is not an uncommon post either. I see at least one tweet a day that looks like this.

Of course, the discussion of visible fat women and body positivity has really become more prominent since Tess Holliday made it onto this month's cover of Cosmopolitan magazine - and, in my opinion, she looks great. I don't actually like Tess all too much - there was some scandal a while back about her taking money she was supposed to have raised for charity blah blah, and so I've never followed her or anything like that, so I am totally not biased towards her at all. Regardless, I've never given her weight a second thought.

Once people saw the Cosmo cover, we got what you always get when fat women become visible in mainstream media - nasty, critical people fat shaming but disguising it as being "concerned about health". Because that's what always happens, isn't it? We see a fat woman being given a platform and people immediately become concerned with her "health" - when really, they just can't stand seeing someone who isn't typically attractive on a poster, a billboard, a magazine cover. I think Em Clarkson summed it up best in her blog post when she made the comparison between smoking and obesity; we put smokers, drinkers, even drug addicts on the cover of magazines and at the forefront of ad campaigns and no one bats an eyelid, because they're slim, pretty, desirable. Yet put a fat woman in the same position and suddenly everyone is concerned about health - and everyone just so happens to be a health expert, too. It could almost be funny if people weren't so nasty about it.

And it's definitely a problem specifically with women, too. Think about it - think about all the overweight and even "obese" men we see in mainstream media; James Corden, Michael McIntyre, Jonah Hill, Chris Moyles, DJ Khaled... the list goes on. All of these men are significantly overweight (although the likes of Michael and Jonah do fluctuate) and all have brilliant, successful careers that involve them being thrust into the limelight time and time again. Do we ever bat an eyelid? Demand to know their daily diet, question their health, tell them they're disgusting, overweight and a bad example to their fans? Do we hell. We do nothing but praise and support their careers with absolutely no questions asked.

It's undoubtedly an issue with fat women, as opposed to fat people. The world hates a confident woman, let alone a fat confident woman! Honestly, how dare someone love themselves and be bigger than a size 14? 

My favourite example of a "healthy fat woman" is Ashley Graham. A famous, gorgeous plus sized model, people often use her as the "acceptable" example of a plus size woman. Want to know why?

It's because she's sexy. In comparison with other plus sized girls, Ashley Graham's tummy is relatively flat in most of her photos. She has curves in all the right places and is sexy, desirable - and therefore, the perfect example of a plus sized woman we're more than happy to see on the cover of a magazine. She's big, but not too big. Society can accept that.

The other week a fantastic article was published via Huffington Post titled "Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong". After you've read this post, or maybe even right now, read this article, because it will enlighten you on so many things and blow your mind.

The article talked about how fat people are treated in society as well as in doctors surgeries, where one woman talked about an experience where she was congratulated for having an eating disorder as it meant she was losing weight. In a world where being thin seems to be the only goal for most, apparently having an eating disorder that makes you lose weight is totally okay.

The article also goes on to talk about how being skinny doesn't necessarily mean fit or, more importantly, healthy by any means, which is something I preach all the time. Skinny doesn't equal healthy by any means whatsoever, and we should never look at a skinny person and assume they're healthy in the same way we need to stop looking at fat people and assuming they're unhealthy. We need to stop judging a book by its cover. Skinny doesn't equal healthy. Skinny doesn't equal healthy. Skinny doesn't equal healthy!!!

Let's talk about that word promoting...
When we see a fat woman in the media, a lot of people suddenly get very upset. We see a lot of "She's promoting obesity!!! How dare she! Think of the young viewers who will see this!" I'm sorry, but unless she's wearing a sparkling banner and waving a flag over her head that says "Obesity is great, we should all be obese. Yay, obesity!", then she's not promoting obesity.

In the same way that the Kardashians don't promote plastic surgery just by getting a boob job when we see them on a magazine cover, in the same way that divorced celebs aren't promoting break ups, in the same way people who take drugs aren't promoting going out and doing a line of coke... a fat woman isn't promoting obesity by being fat.

When we talk about women promoting obesity, we reduce them to nothing more than their weight, their size, their physical appearance. We don't care about what they've achieved or why they're being given a mainstream platform - be it for business success, an important campaign or whatever else - we just care about what they look like. And, their health, apparently.

But where is their concern when a smoker is on the cover of a mag, in a movie, in an advert? Where is their concern when an abuser is cast in a TV series or film? Where is their concern when a drug addict is being interviewed? Somehow this concern just magically disappears...until a fat woman appears, and then suddenly these health activists are out in full force! And again, these health activists never appear when there's an obese man around... only when there's a fat woman. Amazing, isn't it?

And let's talk about the NHS...
One thing that comes up time and time again when a fat woman is being seen in mainstream media is the topic of the NHS, and how much this singular fat person must be costing the NHS. According to a BBC article from 29th April 2018, obesity costs the NHS around £6.1bn a year. That's obviously a huge figure and one that people love to push at obese people, reminding them of their cost to the tax payer. But let's throw a few more facts out there, because whilst obesity is costing £6.1bn...

  • According to this article in The Independent, in 2015 the government provided funding of £150 million for young people with eating disorders. 
  • The same article cited that obesity costs the NHS around £6.1bn a year, eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia cost more than £15bn a year.
  • According to this article from 2017, the NHS spend anything from £2bn to £6bn a year on smoking related diseases. The article also goes on to explain that tax payers don't just foot the NHS fees either - tax money is spent sweeping up cigarette butts from the streets and also on the fire brigade, putting out fires that are started by cigarettes.
  • This article in The Guardian shared the stats that claimed the NHS spend £3.5bn on alcohol-related conditions and an additional £3.4m writing out 195,000 prescriptions for alcohol-related conditions.
  • An NHS stats sheet shared that in 2015/2016 there were 15,074 hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of poisoning by illicit drugs whereas in 2016/2017 there were 10,705 admissions with obesity recorded as the main cause.

Take a look at those stats... and it's still only fat women you want to get mad at? So what if we have a celeb who smokes promoting products and talking about their successful life, we don't because they're thin! Who cares if she costs the NHS up to £6bn a year and wastes fire services time? She's thin! It's okay! 

Put a fat woman in that same position and suddenly people want to talk about the cost to the NHS and the tax payer. Okay then! People are so concerned about how much these obese women are costing, but look how much is spent on people who are anorexic and bulimic? Disorders that often (but by no means always - they can happen to ANYONE) lead you to being dangerously thin...yet we don't care when someone slim graces a magazine cover because the world has told us that to be thin is to be desirable. That being thin is the end goal. It's a disgusting message to preach and it's sad. Very, very sad.

It's also worth noting that not all obese people end up going to hospital for all the obesity-related illnesses you can think of. When I was 17-21 I was classed as obese because of my height to weight ratio and in those four years never had a problem other than eczema - a health problem I've had since birth. When you're obese your risk of getting certain illnesses and diseases is increased, but it's not a certainty.

Fat women aren't being glorified - they're being celebrated!
Finally, we are starting to celebrate fat women. Pretty Little Thing just collaborated with Ashley Graham to bring out a collection that goes from size 4-24, Nasty Gal just expanded their clothing range to include a range of bigger sizes and to be more inclusive, Tess Halliday has been on the cover of Cosmo. The world is changing, and whilst a lot of people still aren't being very receptive to it, enough of us are for brands to be paying attention. Fat women are being given the same platforms and opportunities thin women are and I am here for it - but there's no denying that there's still a long way to go.

We're not asking for obesity to be promoted. We're not asking for everyone to live their life with the aim of being a size 28. We're just asking that you let these women live their lives the way anyone else is allowed to live theirs - without comment, without criticism and without judgement. Let them post photos of themselves and be confident without being screenshot and mocked on Twitter. Let them wear bikinis to the beach without making a bitchy comment. Let them eat a burger without you lecturing them about their health or their diet. 

Fat women - and fat people, for that matter - deserve to live their life without constantly being judged, being the subject of bullying and abuse. They deserve to do exactly as they please they way everyone else does without being questioned by masses of trolls on social media, without having to answer to people pretending to be concerned with their health.

It's time more of us were more body positive and also embraced more women who are confident, no matter their size. Let's not drag them down, try and belittle them, just because they might be more confident than us. Let's not drag fat women down because they're doing what we've been told over and over only a thin woman can do. Let's celebrate them instead! Let's celebrate all women, of course - but let's make sure that "all women" includes fat women too!

Love from,
Florence Grace

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Body Positivity, Self Love and Weight Loss

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It's no secret that I'm a huge advocate of body positivity and self love.

What that means is that I celebrate people with bodies of all shapes and sizes, I don't hate or discriminate against people of a certain size and I encourage people to do the same. I also encourage people, particularly women, to learn their value and worth and fall in love with themselves for who they are and the traits they possess, rather than based solely on physical appearance.

However, it's no secret that I have spent a lot of this year documenting a weight loss journey. It started in March, ended in July and then restarted again this month. Understandably I receive a lot of questions about how I can advocate body positivity and self love whilst actively losing weight and sharing my progress on social media, so I thought I'd use this space to explain it in more detail than anyone cares to read in an Instagram caption.


Am I trying to lose weight?
Yes, I am. However, I'm not trying to be set size or weight - in fact, I don't weight or measure myself at all because I think it's unhealthy. Our bodies change every single day, women's bodies change at every point of their hormonal cycle, you're slimmer and lighter in the morning than you are before you go to bed... there's all sorts of variances that can affect the number on the scales or the tape measure.

Instead, I go by how I feel, physically, emotionally and mentally, and also simply how I look in photos and in the mirror. I also go by how my clothes fit.

Why am I trying to lose weight?
Back in January, I had a really low point. I mean, really bad. I lost all motivation for anything, I did absolutely no exercise, I didn't want to see anyone, I binge ate... it was a really hard time for me. I ended up putting on a lot of weight which resulted in none of my clothes fitting comfortably and something new. Eczema.

I've had eczema my whole life, but only on my joints (inner elbows, wrists, back of knee) when it gets hot. That's normal for me. However 2018 brought a whole new bout of eczema to my life - big, sore, angry red patches that were bigger than any patches of eczema I'd had before, in places I hadn't had before either, such as between my thighs, on my boobs, on my feet and other places. I was honestly so stressed about this because it had never happened before - and the stress meant the eczema was getting worse.

I used steroid cream, I used a moisturiser that went viral and claimed to "clear up" psoriasis, I used other over the counter creams for eczema and nothing worked. So of course I turned to Dr Google, who recommended that a change in diet - specifically, cutting out dairy - could sometimes help. I also read that a change in lifestyle could also help. I didn't want to cut out dairy (I bloody love cheese!) and so I decided to get fitter and eat better. The eating better was not a problem but the exercise I just couldn't deal with. I bloody hated it.

The final straw came in March when I was still covered in eczema and my wonderful boyfriend wanted to take me out on a date. I went to get changed into something nice and discovered that literally none of my clothes in my wardrobe fit me. I had a breakdown, literally sobbing my heart out into his arms because I just felt so awful about myself - and I realised I had hit rock bottom.

"I still had Dominos on almost a weekly basis, and a McDonald's too... and for the most part, ate exactly what I wanted"

So what did I do?
Monday came around (Monday's are always great for fresh starts, aren't they?) and I took my before photo and put a plan in place. I hate dieting, I don't like calorie counting and don't like weight loss plans either. Using guidance from my Mum, who is a qualified nutritionist and PT, I decided to eat around 1,800 calories a day (instead of the approx 2,500+ I was eating) and walk 10,000 steps a day, every day - which seemed mammoth to me but I knew my Mum did it, and so did several other people, so I could too.

I still had Dominos on almost a weekly basis, and a McDonald's too (lol) and for the most part, ate exactly what I wanted. I just controlled my portion sizes a bit more and exercised.

In addition to the 10,000 steps I begun doing this mini seven minute workout in the morning before work by a fitness instructor called Lucy Wyndham-Read, which claimed to reduce your waistline/belly by two inches in just seven days! It seemed to have worked for a blogger I followed, Sophie, so I chose to give it a go - and guess what? It worked!

I didn't do the workouts religiously for seven days as Lucy instructs - I usually did them on weekdays then didn't do them at the weekend, but I still got the results I wanted. I was soon fitting back into my clothes, with some even being a little looser than before, and best of all? My eczema cleared up. I was absolutely over the moon.

I've no idea how many inches or how much weight I loss, because I didn't count. But the proof is in my before and after pictures, taken approximately three months apart.

Then what happened?
I went on holiday, came back and kind of fell out of my habit of exercising every day and doing 10,000 steps. We were eating pasta and pizza for quick and easy meals most days.
 Weight started to creep back on without me noticing and then my clothes began to get tight. Suddenly, I found eczema creeping back up again, in the same places as before. "No", I thought to myself, "not again!" and so I've jumped back into exactly what I was doing before. This time, Jonny is doing it with me!

We eat better than ever before, trying new foods and recipes, eating more fruit and vegetable and just generally living better. He does 7,500 steps a day and I do 10,000 - which means we go for nice walk together most evenings. We also attend my mums circuit class once a week which I honestly thought I'd despise (I hate exercising in front of people!) but turned out to love. I actually look forward to going each week, which seems crazy to me!

I'm starting to get fitter and stronger - I am definitely significantly less breathless when I go for a walk which is amazing, I feel better within myself and my eczema is clearing up again, which is great!

Why share my journey?
I share my journey online via my Instagram page and also a private food-only Instagram page for two reasons. One is to hold myself accountable, so I can see if I'm starting to eat nothing but pasta every day again and the other reason is to help people.

I share my journey to present myself as living proof that it really is possible to eat exactly what you want to and stay at the weight/shape you want to be if you exercise in proportion to what you eat! Obviously, not everyone is bothered by this or interested in it - but I know from the comments I get and the DM's I receive on a very regular basis that enough people are interested for it to be worthwhile for me to share my journey and experiences.

Better still, my journey isn't coming from someone who is already slim and losing weight. It's not coming from someone who is plus sized and losing weight. It's coming from someone who is comfortably midsized, a size that a lot of people can relate to, and so I feel like this is part of the reasons so many people find my posts helpful - I have a relatable body size and go through relatable struggles, which helps them with their own.

Losing weight for the sake of my personal health and wellbeing does not mean that I am not body positive. I don't care what size a person is - and if it didn't have such a negative effect on my physical health, I wouldn't care about my size either! If you're fit, healthy and above all else happy, that's all that matters! Even when I'm trying to lose weight, my opinion on body positivity and inclusivity when it comes to people of all sizes does not change.

Losing weight doesn't mean I don't love myself either. I loved myself at the start of this year (not in January when I was at my lowest, but from February) when I was bigger and I love myself now, when I'm smaller - because self love is more than just how you look physically. Self love is about embracing every part of you, is about learning to love yourself no matter what society tells you about yourself - and this is something I try to shout from the rooftops everyday. Everyone is worthy of being loved and everyone deserves to love themselves, no matter what.

Wow, I think my fingers are ready to fall off after all that. I hope it's cleared some things up and answered some of the questions I receive on a regular basis! If you're interested in my food/fitness page, you can follow it here and don't forget to follow my ordinary Insta here too!

What do you think about weight loss? Have you struggled with it, does it affect how you feel about yourself? Let's chat about it.

Love from,
Florence Grace

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Why I Don't Fit Into The Blogosphere


I've been blogging for over four years now and I must say it's become abundantly clear that I just don't fit into the blogosphere. Never have done, probably never will do.

This isn't a bad thing, by the way. Let me explain.

I get on with a tonne of bloggers. I have more friends online than in real life, let me tell you that now! I have regular conversations with them and really have some very close friends, all who I've met through blogging. When I say I don't fit into the blogosphere, it's not about the people or how I'm treated - because for the most part, the people are great! Absolute gems. The problem actually lies with me.

I'm just not 'blogger material', you see? I wear skimpy clothes and giant hoop earrings, I go to clubs, festivals, wild gigs that end in huge mosh pits... I listen predominantly to R&B, rap and dance music, I share every single detail of my life online and don't have an Instagram theme by any means. I went to an all girls grammar school and have a number of qualifications under my belt - I'm educated and well spoken - yet to some extent, I can be regarded as a "chav" with the words I use, the music I like and the way in which I dress. I haven't started blogging and allowed myself to be moulded by the industry so that I fit in. I've defined my own path.

How many "chavvy" bloggers do you know?  How many bloggers do you know that are like me?

I don't know any. In my four years of blogging I don't think I've come across one blogger who I've thought "wow, she dresses like me!" or "Yessss, can so relate to her music taste" or "omg YES look at the realness she's sharing right now, her writing is just like mine!" and for so long I've thought that was a hugely negative thing. I stick out like a sore thumb when comparing other bloggers to me.

But - and this is not something I say often - I think I might be wrong. The fact that I don't relate to anyone else in the industry, the fact that I haven't found anyone remotely like me is surely only a good thing, no? I have a USP - a unique selling point. I'm different, I stand out. There is literally no one in the industry like me.

If you come across my blog or my social media platforms, you're not going to see what you'd see on an ordinary blogger's pages. I really am completely different. 

This is really something I want to be able to celebrate more.

"There is literally no one in the 
industry like me"

No, you might not catch me eating a perfectly iced cake outside Peggy Porschen's or posing in front of that neon sign at Tonight Josephine's but you will see me flaunting my curves at every occasion and getting real about body positivity and self love. You will see the delicious foods I eat (usually a Dominos!), you'll see me fighting for feminism and trying to educate people on important topics like racism and sexism. You'll see the wonderful places I travel to and plenty to do with my gorgeous boyfriend. 

There will rarely be cute, candid photos and there certainly won't be any staged photos - there will only be real life, in the moment snapshots that enable me to curate a feed of memories I can look back on and reminisce over. My tweets will be mouthy, opinionated but honest. I will always be real and speak my mind - it's just how I am, and this comes through on my social media feeds, something I rarely see across the feeds of some of the most successful bloggers.

I feel like I'm truly one of a kind, and I don't think that's anything to be ashamed of.

I'm not like other bloggers - I'm me. And it's time I stopped seeing that as a negative when it comes to blogging, and worked with it instead. I always look to others for inspiration and fail to find it - maybe it's about time I paved the way and tried to inspire others instead.

Love from,
Florence Grace

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The Muller Light Yogurt Scandal


Slimming World. 

Those two words really make me cringe. It's 2018 and people are still buying into what I believe to be one of the biggest diet scams to exist. Group weigh in sessions? Classing foods as "syns" (read: sins, ie bad)? Giving out leaflets that advise you not to hang out with overweight friends? Yeah, it's a no from me. 

Slimming World has always been a fairly tenacious subject in the press, but there's been another blow up recently, when the company announced that Muller Light yoghurts would no longer be "syn free" and would now contain 1 syn. The nutritional content of the yoghurt hasn't changed at all - it contains exactly what it did before - so how is this yogurt now magically a "syn"? Nothing has changed, nothing at all, and it literally proves that Slimming World make this stuff up as they go along. And yet people are still buying into it. As someone who has struggled with food and body image for so much of her life, it makes me so sad that people are actually paying to be told to act in a way that my brain made me act when I was at one of my lowest points in life.

Mark my words, Slimming World will be pushing their own "syn free" yogurt to replace this Muller Light yogurt soon... 

Because it's all a marketing scam.

Paying to go and get shamed into eating less, calling foods "syns" and being told to only eat X amount of them - it's disgusting. And whilst it might be a quick fix in the short term, it's not going to work in the long term. There is nothing healthy about categorising foods into "bad" and "good", into "syns" and "free". There is nothing good about having a group weigh in, being made to feel like you're not doing it right if you don't lose as much as someone else. It actually amazes me that it's 2018 and people are still buying into this. And it's not just Slimming World, either. Weight Watchers, Herbalife, Jane's Plan, Cambridge... they're all marketing scams! It's the diet industry's way of making money off you

There is a proven way to lose weight/maintain a healthy weight and lead a healthy lifestyle, and it doesn't involve paying a company to tell you what you can and can't eat. It's called a balance diet and exercise. 

Seriously! All you have to do is eat well, and move often. Eat what you like, when you like. If you're conscious about weight, make sure when you eat a bit more, you exercise a bit more! Do it all in proportion, if you're trying to lose weight. If you're just aiming for a healthy lifestyle, eating a full, balanced diet and exercising around three times a week should be enough. 

Of course, it depends on every individual situation and lifestyle - but I can tell you now, Slimming World isn't the healthy answer for anyone. Calling food 'syns' and limiting how many 'syns' you can have in a week encourages guilt and shame around food, just like the rest of the dieting industry - and Slimming World (and all the other diet plans/groups) are no exception to that. There's nothing healthy about constantly counting how many "syns" something has, and as qualified nutritionist, Rhiannon Lambert said in her piece for the Independent:

"An obsession over which foods are good and bad is an impossible, rule-driven way of eating that is familiar to so many eating disordered people, a behaviour that I see in my clinic every single day... diet culture is seen everywhere, from restaurant menus to supermarkets, and I believe that if we perceive what we eat as good or bad, it is often an extension of how we see ourselves"

And that's the tea, sis.

But what do Slimming World say?
And whilst Slimming World often argue that the word "syn" is short for "synergy" and relates directly to nutrition and food, you know as well as I do that they've nicknamed 'bad' foods "syns" because of the delightful play on words it has. They want you to feel bad for eating a chocolate bar because then you keep going back to the groups for "help" and "advice", and they make their money. They want you to keep avoiding "normal" foods so they can offer you a branded Slimming World alternative - and again, that's how they make their money. 

I mean, kudos to those who have used Slimming World and have lost weight and now feel happy and content in their life. I have a number of friends who have used Slimming World and look fantastic! I always tell them how proud I am of them, because I know how far they've come, and it's so important to support your friends. But that doesn't change my feelings towards the company and I'm always very open about that. Whilst I've been tempted a couple of times in the past to join, I never have - and I never would. It just doesn't sit right with me, paying a corporation to tell me what foods I can and can't eat.

I've managed to lose weight, a considerable amount of weight, simply by having a more balanced diet, drinking more water and exercising more. I walk 10,000 steps a day, and I have an 8-hour a day office job where I'm glued to a desk - if I can do that, anyone can. If you're aiming to lose weight, then pay attention to the nutritional advice for what you're eating. Look at fat content, research how many calories you need to consume - because eating too much or not enough both have a negative impact on your weight! - and make sure you're having enough of each food group. Don't cut carbs, don't cut sugar - eat everything in moderation. That, or exercise in proportion to how much you eat. I'm not a health professional but both my Mum and my Dad's girlfriend are personal trainers, so I think I have some clue with what I'm talking about. 

The diet industry is toxic. 

From the way gym's target us in the New Year about getting a "bikini body" to the way health stores stock meal replacement shakes, from pushing a slim, size zero ideal body type to us in mainstream media, to promoting plans like Slimming World. It's all toxic and it's all to make money from us. Every time we feel bad about ourselves and buy into any element of the diet industry, we're lining some fat cat's pockets who, in truth, does not give a stuff about how anyone feels, anyone's health or dieting. They're in it for the cash and nothing else. 

Love yourself at all shapes and sizes. Enjoy all the food you want to enjoy, exercise because it's fun or because it makes you feel good, not just because you want to be slim. Skinny doesn't equal happy or healthy, so make sure you feel happy and healthy, no matter what size you are. 

Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Cambridge, Jane's Plan and everything else can all get in the bin - and I hope that this Muller Light yogurt scandal opens a few more people's eyes to how much of a scam the diet industry is. Go enjoy your yogurts, hun! 

Love from,
Florence Grace

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