Showing posts with label happy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label happy. Show all posts

25 September 2017

Taking The Time to Take Care Of Your Mind

A few years ago it was my good friend Shona's birthday and she wanted to go to a spa for the day and stay over at night.  As it was her 30th birthday, I could not say no, but I was dreading it. 

The whole process and (to be honest), the thought of walking around wearing a swimsuit, did not appeal at all.  I bought a swim dress which eased my nerves a lot and steeled myself for what was ahead.  I cared so much about what other people thought back then.  I worried that it would ruin the day for me.

It turned out to be a revelation.  By the end of a day of relaxing, laying back in the jacuzzi, steam rooms and swimming a few lengths in the pool, my mind was calmer and clearer than it had been for a long time.

Fast forward a few years and I am now a member of my local thermal spa.  I started by going a few times with my friend and then one day, I decided to go it alone for the first time.  This was a huge thing for me, but my mind became so clear and calm every time I went to the spa, that I knew that I needed to try.

Each step that I accomplished sounds so small, but for me, it was a huge leap.  Going on my own in the first place, sitting on my own in the jacuzzi, getting a cocktail, having a meal midday.  The first few times were hard, but the calmness in my mind that followed was worth every step.

Do you like my new swimsuit?  It is the first swimsuit that I have worn in 15 years. Probably more. I have finally gotten to a place in my life where I accept my anxiety issues and am in a better place in my confidence that I have ever been.

Previously on this blog I have posted many photographs of myself.  My dresses that I wear 24/7 do not hide the fact that I am fat, but have always been flattering, cut to diminish size sometimes and whilst always honest, have never left me feeling completely exposed.

Today, here I am.  I have a belly, I have wobbly thighs.  This is me.  Exposed.

I own my body, in every form that it takes.  My legs are thinner than they used to be due to walking my puppa, but do I care if my body does not change further? No.

My body is my own and I accept it whether I remain the size I am now forever, or lose weight.  My weight is unimportant to me.  My self worth, my self confidence and my happiness mean everything.  I am happy.

Now I can sit alone and not feel exposed.  I can sit and have a meal or a drink and not wonder if people are staring at me.  All I care about is that I can go to a place where I can put my feet on the side of the pool and float, looking at the stars in the ceiling above and reach calm.  Wipe my anxiety filled head and feel like me again.

This is a massive step for me, showing myself so exposed on this blog; and it makes me happier than you will ever know.

Last shot of the puppa who wanted to be involved in the photographs today and for someone so cute, who was I to deny him?

*This swimsuit was gifted to me by UK Swimwear but all opinions are my own

13 July 2017

Getting The Confidence To Enjoy Being On Your Own

I have the week off from work this week.  My mum is away on holiday and my little puppa is in the kennels.  I was fretting that he would not take to it, but having rung the kennels up this morning; I hear that he is ruling the roost and all the staff have fallen in love with him.  No surprises there.

I have been looking forward to this week off for so long now.  I have been desperate to have some time on my own and relax.  I wanted a week to clear my head with no distractions, no commitments and time to clear my head.

The only thing that I booked this week was a day at the local spa for the thermal experience.  I am a member and usually go 4-5 times a year.  Usually with the girls, but sometimes, like this week, alone.

Having the confidence to do things on your own can be, and is, intimidating.  It takes confidence and the ability to not look around and wonder what people are thinking about you and concentrate on enjoying yourself.

As I have said in a previous post, next year, I would really like to go on holiday on my own or even travel a little.  This means building up my confidence to do things on my own and not worry about others.

I have been to the spa a couple of times on my own and each time, I felt self conscious and spent more time wondering if people were looking at me, judging me for being on my own and feeling sorry for me than I spent actually enjoying myself.

When you are fat you are more visible.  When you have large breasts that no swimsuit will properly cover so you end up with a massive cleavage you are visible.  When you are alone and all of these things, you are more visible.

Yesterday though, I decided that it would be different.  I would think about nobody other than myself.  I wanted to lose myself in my own thoughts and enjoy myself.  That is exactly what I did and it was wonderful.

I cleared my pores (and my head!) in the salt steam room.  I went in the outdoor jacuzzi and let the bubbles and the sunshine wash over me.  I swam in the swimming pool.  I floated in the relaxation pool with stars on the ceiling and soft music playing.

Half way through my day I decided that a cocktail was in order.  On my way to the terrace bar I bumped into an old work colleague.  This would have been my worst nightmare before.  Bumping into someone gorgeous and confident, surrounded by her friends and me, alone.

I didn't feel embarrassed for being on my own.  She asked if I was on my own and I was not ashamed to say yes.  I said that I was enjoying some me time and she replied, saying that she wished that she was confident enough to that too.  It was a genuine statement and it made me remember that we all struggle with confidence sometimes.

I enjoyed my cocktail in the sunshine on a comfortable settee and headed back to the relaxation room.  There are loungers surrounding the relaxation pool that I always see people reading on or having a snooze.  I always wanted to do the same on my own, but before, I would have worried too much to do it on my own.  This time, I had a 45 minute nap and then headed back out to the swimming pool, before getting ready for home.

I left feeling more confident, happier and clearer in my head than I had done in a long time.  I am getting there with enjoying myself on my own.  We should all be able to enjoy ourselves alone without thinking about others.  I think I have taken a giant leap in that direction.

How do you feel doing things on your own?

4 July 2017

Rainy Days & Mondays

I have always had a love/hate relationship with rain.  99% of the time rain is an irritating and frustrating thing if you are caught out in it.  It comes down when you want sunshine, it gets you soaked on your way to work, it makes you have to change your complete outfit at the last minute; too much of it causes floods…  The list is infinite.

But then, there is the 1% that I love.

Last night the air was warm and my senses were tingling in that way when you know that it is about to absolutely pour down with rain. The kind that you could almost take a shower in.  I watched out of my window, waiting for it to happen.  Everything seemed to be on a pause, the wind was still and everything was waiting for the first drop to fall.  Then suddenly, it starts and it’s raining so heavily it’s like someone is pouring a bucket of water over the world.

I felt that inexplicable pull to go outside and stand there in the rain.  The thought in my head sounded ridiculous.  Why would I want to go outside and get soaked?  But I did.  I wanted to.  So before I knew it, I was opening the front door and stepping out into the pouring rain.   

I wandered out onto the path, moving away from the cover of trees right out into the open.  The neighbours probably thought I had gone insane.  In my head I knew I was being stupid, standing out there, purposely getting wet.  But somehow I was loving it and dancing around it in.  I felt so unbelievably alive, happy and completely at peace.     

I’m not an at one with nature person or especially into the environment.  I’m not someone who has raptures over scenery and I don’t see the point in walking up hills and dales for a view.  You only have to walk back down again.  

Why I suddenly had the urge to go outside in the rain last night I don’t know.  But it made me inexplicably happy and that is really all that counts.

Does the rain ever lure you in?

19 May 2016

Good Memories

Clothes, are not just clothes.  They hold memories.  Good ones, bad ones, great ones, momentous ones.  

A first kiss, a last kiss; a great night out with the girls, a New Years Eve to remember; the day that even a scathing laugh at your size could not kill the "I feel fabulous in this dress".  

Every night I go through my wardrobe (ok, two wardrobes) and choose what dress I want to wear to work the next day.  Tonight, I came across this dress.

This dress has wonderful memories for me.  It is the first dress I ever wore (in my adult years when I had a choice) that was patterned.  Had bright colours.  Was feminine and floaty and beautiful.  

Up until that point, my entire wardrobe was black.  I remember choosing to wear it for a party, terrified that everyone was going to be looking at me, the wrong way.  I took forever to get ready; changing accessories, changes cardigan; changing my hair,; changing my makeup.

I had decided to use the dress for a blog post, seen here, and you can see the joy on my face when I wore this dress.  The wonderment that I was even wearing it.  I went to the party and felt amazing.  After the initial shock of seeing me in something that was not all black, my friends loved it.

That was just over three years ago now.  Although years in time, it feels like decades.  I wish it wish.

I have changed into a different person in that time.  Someone who isn't afraid of wearing what I want.  Someone who wears a dress every day, so different from the black pants, black top girl that was invisible.  I am not invisible anymore, certainly not in the different pattern I wear every single day.

But is more than that, I no longer want to be invisible.  I want to be seen.  This is part of who I am.  I would not have it any other way.

Don't wait, like I did until you are 33 to wear the clothes you want.  To feel that you are allowed to.  To feel confident.  To say "to hell with what (some) others think".  

Clothes are not just clothes.  They are a physical manifestation of our personalities.  You have one.  Let it SHINE.

7 July 2015

Life Through a Gif

Bit of a random post tonight.

Late to the party as always, I have fallen a little bit in love with the animated gif.  

More than one of these endless "50 questions" type quizzes that go around and that I have completed in the past, a gif can perfectly express who you are and what you are feeling.  They say a picture can tell a thousand words, so I am having a go with a gif series!

I decided to share a little story that takes me from before I started blogging to now.  If anyone else wants to join in with this, feel free!

Before I started blogging

How I felt wearing anything other than black

When I read my first plus size fashion blog 
and realised that fat people are allowed to be happy too

Accepting a compliment

The Exact Moment I realised that I was now happy in my own skin

What I do now when someone tries to put me down
(because no one does it like The Rock)

I  put a shout out on my Facebook page and Twitter recently asking for people to guest post and share their own stories and perspectives,  First one up tomorrow!

Vicky xx

18 March 2015

The Right to Love

There are seven billion people on this planet.  Seven billion sounds like such a large number and yet, each one of those seven billion are unique to themselves.  There is no one else exactly like they are in the world.

Everything from our physical appearance, the way that we dress, our personalities; our views; our political leanings and our likes and dislikes all come together to shape someone who is one of a kind.

In turn, the ways in which we choose our prospective partners works in a similar way.  We are complex creatures and we all want different things, be it purely on a physical or a deeper level.

Beauty however is only skin deep.  You may meet someone who ticks every box when it comes to the physical aspects that you find appealing, but when you learn their personality, their character traits; this can change your original opinion completely.

I could meet, for example, the twin of my celebrity crush George Clooney but if he was a member of the English Defence League, I would be off running in a different direction.   Because someone like that is not my type, regardless of how they look.

Physically, we are all attracted to different things.  Tall, short, average height, blonde, brunette, red head, long legs, large breasts, small breasts, broad shoulders, lean, a great smile, tattoos, piercings, fat, thin; the list could go on forever.

Given that we all like different physical traits, different personalities and opinions; can you imagine how ridiculous it would be if we did try to impose our preference choices on others?  Not only would it not work, but what you would essentially be saying is that everyone apart from your own preferred type did not deserve love.

Sounds absurd doesn't it.  Yet it happens every day.   Because girls grow up being told that in order to "get a boyfriend", in order to "be attractive", in order to be loved, they have to be thin.  If you are not thin, you are the booby prize.  You are the one night stand they will never admit to.  You are a fetish. Men who like you are labelled chubby chasers.

Can you imagine it happening to any other physical characteristic?  "Were you drunk last night?  You pulled a girl with brown hair".  Sounds ridiculous doesn't.

Well enough is bloody well enough.  I've had it.  People and their narrow opinions can quite frankly stick themselves and their bigoted asses where the sun does not shine.  I  refuse to be told that I am not "good enough" to be dated, that I do not deserve to be loved because I am fat.

The shape of my body may not appeal to some but it does to others and guess what?  That works the same way for everyone.  BECAUSE WE ALL LIKE DIFFERENT THINGS!!!!

Fat, happy, deserves love and is damn well going to find it.
Screw you Daily Mail Readers.

22 July 2014

A Little Update

I want to do a little update post today.
I haven’t been myself for the past four months or so.  It has shown in my daily life, my work; my blog and in my general temperament.  I felt like I was on a downward spiral of sadness that I couldn’t seem to break.  Tears would come from nowhere, all the time and the blues were firmly in residence.
I have always used this blog as a means of sorting through my feelings and it has always helped in the past; but my love for blogging disappeared and the writing just didn’t help.  I decided that I wanted to look into counselling, something that I have wanted to do for years but not plucked up the courage to try.
The thing is, the very last thing I wanted to do was go to my GP.  Having been told once before “lose weight and you’ll be happier” I knew that I would either get the same response again or alternatively offered anti-depressants which I didn’t want.
What I was happy to find out however is that you don’t need to be referred by your GP for counselling.  You don’t need to involve them at all.  I went along to my local Women’s Centre and am now in the middle of my NHS funded eight sessions (I think that this can be extended to twelve if needed).

If you are looking for a non judgemental environment that can offer the services that you need, I highly recommend that you check out your local alternatives.
My session last week was a real break through moment for me but it isn’t until today that I have noticed any change in how I have been feeling.  Today though, the happiness has returned.  I feel invigorated and excited to see what is ahead of me.  The smile that has been missing so much lately is back and I don’t need to put up a happy fa├žade.
I had forgotten just how happy that I was prior to my downward period and to feel like that again makes me want to dance around the room to Pharell Williams' "Happy".
So top tips of the day:
  • You don’t need to go to your GP for help, there are other ways.
  • Skeletons in your closet take up too much room and need letting out.
  • There is always light at the end of the tunnel, even if some days it is just a tiny dot, it is always there.

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11 February 2014

Sister Act

They say that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family.  They also say that blood is thicker than water.  Both of those sayings are equally true.

The difference between friends and family however is that you can break off a friendship, but the breakdown of a relationship with a family member will take a little piece of your soul with it.  Grudges are held in the heart rather than in the head and something you can forgive in a friend, hurts ten times more when it’s family.

I have a sister.  She is twelve years older than me and we haven’t lived in the same house together since I was seven and she was nineteen. 

We have always had complicated lives.  A combination of a twelve year age gap, misinformation, misconceptions and a lack of proper communication between the both of us led to a fractured relationship.

Each thought the incorrect things about the other and with each passing year, a wall was built between us that was so thick and high that it was starting to resemble Fort Knox.  Impenetrable.  The thing with families though is that with a friend you would have abandoned the relationship long ago, but blood ties keep you in the relationship because you “have to”, except you are both still hurting and it gets worse all the time.

Why am I telling you this?  Because that wall has been destroyed.  It took twenty years to build it and a conversation to demolish it.  I’m telling you because it might spur you on to fix what you thought was irretrievable too.

So what do you do?  You start by honesty; brutal honesty.  The kind of honesty that you can really only have with your family.  You each tell the other what you don’t like about them, what you don’t understand and what hurts the most.  You hold nothing back.  You each admit your faults.  You discover that they are hurting just as much as you are.

The good thing about families is that you might sometimes be on different paths, far away from where you started, but somewhere along that path is always a bridge that leads you back to one another. 

I have my big sister back and it has made me so happy.  The gap in my heart I wouldn’t admit to is filled again.

Build those bridges!  The gap between isn’t as far as you think xx

15 October 2013

I Feel Good 2

Today is the second outing of a challenge that I thought up a while ago now.  I was so happy with the first posting went out last month.  Just a wave of women putting up photographs of themselves that they felt great in.  I found the posts really inspiring and couldn't wait for this month.

Here is the premis of the challenge:

You know sometimes when you spend ages getting ready for a night out, an event or even just a blog post, and the reflection in mirror isn't what you hoped?  This challenge is for those times when you look in the mirror, no pre planning involved, and think "I look good today".  

We all have our good days and our bad, but this challenge is to record those good days and to remember that confidence, at any size, is beautiful.

For today's photograph I am using something that was taken a couple of years ago on a girl's night out.  I chose this one in particular to highlight the example of what confidence levels can do for you.

When this photograph was taken, I hated it.  All I could see were the faults.  I was completely focused on my arms which I don't like, my left eye which looked wonky, my breasts which looked weird.   These are all the reasons why I told my friend I didn't want it uploaded anywhere.   She told me I was crazy.

Roll on two years and I found this photo again, discarded in my Not Uploading file.  I look at it now and I don't see all the faults that I once did.  I see me, looking happy and you know what?  I think I look good.  So today it's going on my Facebook profile picture.

Times change, for the better.

18 September 2013

Model Behaviour

I have been waiting to do this post until I managed to collate a few photographs together of me on the catwalk for Plus North.  I only have a few here which I have managed to grab from other people, but I love them all.  If I get more at a later stage I will add them on.

Courtesy of Becca Simmons

 Image Courtesy of Yours Clothing

It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life walking down the catwalk for Yours Clothing, Curvissa and Evans and is certainly something I will never forgot.

There is one thing that I have been waiting for to happen since Plus North ended which hasn’t happened yet.  I hope it never does.  The come down.

Plus North has boosted me so much, in so many ways that I feel like one person walked into Plus North and another walked out.

For one thing; getting changed.  I had four outfits to model on the day.  There was a side room to get changed in with all the other models, or the disabled toilet if you wanted more privacy.  I hadn’t got changed in front of people like that, even my best friends for more years than I can even count. 

Inspired by the other girls who were just happily getting changed all around me, I threw off my inhibitions and by the second outfit (changed into a millisecond as I was number 12 and 14 on the catwalk!) I didn’t give it a second thought.

The other thing that I have kept with me since Plus North is that I no longer worry about what strangers think of me.  I am me, this is the way that I look and if people don’t like it, they can go to hell.   The first thing my best friend asked me when I called up after the day event was “Please tell me that you were yourself?”  She knows only too well the front that I normally put up in public. 

I am so used to being judged, silently or verbally by strangers about the way that I look that when in public there is always a self preservation wall that I put up.  That wall was torn down within the first ten minutes of being at Plus North.  All thanks to the AMAZING people there.

The sparkle that I felt when modelling has stayed with me.  I even smiled at the cute guy walking down the street this morning.  Unheard of for the girl who always looks down at the floor.

I cannot wait for next year.


17 July 2013

10 Things That Make You Happy

Day 14: Ten things that make you really happy
  1. Catching that song on the radio when you are alone that makes you turn up the volume and dance around like a wild thing. Typically the guilty pleasure ones.
  1. Sunshine. The weather is tied to my mood and I find that it is impossible for me to feel down or sad when it is blazing with sunshine like it is today. Maybe I should move to warmer climes?
  1. Books. I absolutely love to completely immerse myself in a good book. No romance books for me, I prefer true crime, sci-fi and horror. Many times I have picked up a book with the intention of reading the first few chapters and have emerged hours later, 700 pages finished.
  1. Going out with my mum. We are both as silly as each other and usually end up in fits of giggles no matter what we do.
  1. Being with my friends. A guaranteed great time no matter where we are and what we are doing.
  1. My blog. It makes me immeasurably happy.
  1. A good banter. I think that is one of the reasons I like Twitter. Diverse opinions that (most of the time) you can have an interesting discussion with. I don’t like “yes” people who agree with everything you say.
  1. Opening parcels. Most of the time it is something that I have remembered ordering so I already know what it is inside, but occasionally I forget and I am react like a six year old at Christmas.
  1. When a plan comes together. Sorry, A-Team quote in there. If I have spent a great deal of time planning something, be it a event, a night away or something smaller, when everything works out just as I planned it, that makes me really happy. Geek.
  1. My blog post for the Flash the Flesh Challenge – Swimwear. I talked myself out of doing that post more times than I can count but in the end, I had to do it and I’m proud of myself. I have come a long way from the girl who detagged herself from nearly every picture.
So there you go, ten things that make me happy.  What about you?

3 June 2013

Best Friends

I recently saw a post on the lovely Leah’s blog, Just Me, Leah about her best friends and she has kindly allowed me to use her idea.

I’m not the type of person to have lots and lots of friends.  I have, and I prefer to have a few close friends.  I feel incredibly lucky that my really close friends are like family to me.  We are quite a diverse group and when you actually listen to how many differing opinions we have on everything, it is amazing that we all get on, but we fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.  None of us the same but fitting together perfectly.

My oldest friend is my best friend Vicky.  Being of the same name we always used to introduce ourselves as “Double Trouble”.  I have known Vicky since secondary school and she is the most unbelievable friend.

She is a rock when I need her, always supportive and knows me, inside and outside.   Vicky has known me through depressed times, slightly wild and crazy times, through reflection and into happiness.  All the while she has stood by my side, letting me carve my own path as she knows I prefer to do, cheering me on from the sideline and generally being bloody awesome.

My other best friend I met through Vicky’s husband, who is also brilliant.  Shona and I had an unusual start in that neither particularly liked the other on first meeting, or second meeting come to that!  It took a night out with mutual friends for us both to realise that in fact we actually could be really good friends. 

Shona is an incredibly loyal friend and someone who will always have your back.  The trait I love most in Shona that is that she shoots straight from the hip.  You will always get the honest opinion from her.  I rate honesty and loyalty very highly when it comes to friends and you couldn’t get someone more loyal or honest than Shona.

Here are a few photos of me and my lovely girls.

Midnight on New Year's Eve - Portugal


I'm a lucky girl!


20 May 2013

52 Lists - Week 4

This is a series of weekly posts. The idea does not belong to me and I have borrowed from Moorea Seal I have also seen that @boo_brown is also doing these lists and her blog inspires me too.

The idea is to post a different list each week to share with your readers and each other.

List your Current & Future Goals & Dreams

Hug more. 

Criticise less.

Be happy. 

Help my mum to continue to feel as young as she looks

Cherish the ones I love.

Find love.

Continue to gain and maintain confidence

Promote confidence in others

Remember that there are always others worse off than I and to celebrate how lucky I am.

Try to become less patronising when making a point!  (Yes Vicky, you know you do!)

Take an online course.

Say yes more.

Hesitate before saying no.

Find love (yes I’ve written that twice)

Laugh more.

See a Formula One race in a foreign country.

Go to visit the Tiger Temple in Thailand.

Try not to worry about things I can’t change and focus instead on the things that I can.

15 April 2013

Emerging from a Puff of Smoke!

The thing about achievements is that when I actually have an achievement to celebrate, I suddenly come over all British and self deprecating. 

One of unspoken rules of bring British is “don’t flaunt yourself, be modest”.  Well today, Britain, my modesty is being thrown to the winds and I’m flaunting like a showgirl at the Folies Bergere.  Take that British reserve!

Today is one year to the day that I decided to quit smoking.  It has been a long and sometimes onerous process, but the benefits make it worth it. 

I am, believe it or not, a cheerier person in the morning now.  I’ll never be a “morning person” but now at least I am safe for people to be around before 10.30am.  Also, the coughing my guts up in the morning isn’t something I miss.

There are also obviously the financial gains.  I don’t even want to think about how much I spent on cigarettes previously.  Around 18 years of 20 a day.  But I’m not a believer in looking at where you have been; I like to concentrate on the road ahead. tells me that I am now at 50% less at risk of having heart disease after this first year and the benefits will only increase from here.

If you are reading this and want to quit smoking, I would highly recommend Allen Carr’s “The Easy Way to Quit Smoking”.  It is the method that I used and for me, it worked.

I am also happy to inform you that I haven’t turned into one of those evangelical ex smokers.  You know the kind.  The kind that when I was a smoker, I wanted to poke in the eye.  In fact, I still do.  I loved smoking and yes, I still miss it. 

All the diseased lungs photographs and health warnings and cost statistics in the world could not have convinced me to quit until I was ready.  The only way you will ever quit is if you truly want to.  I reached that point, and I have.

So today I have reached my one year anniversary and it’s something I am truly proud of.  The journey isn’t over, but I think I am can safely say that I can pin on an ex smoker badge. 

I couldn’t have done it without the support of my friends and family.  You need a support system around you, and thankfully mine are absolutely fantastic.  To say thank you for the help I am taking my mum and step dad out for a lovely Italian meal and my best friends to a restaurant for lunch and wine.  Now that’s a better use of my money ;)

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6 March 2013

What is a Real Woman?

There is a phrase “One man's trash is another man's treasure”.  Whilst I don’t particularly like the wording used, the meaning behind it stands true.

Not everyone’s version of perfect is the same.  There is not one standard for how people should look, behave, be.  We are all different because we were meant to be.  Striving to be perfect is pointless but in fact, there is no such thing.

I have seen a lot of arguing and debating on Twitter and other forums lately, which has been spurred on a lot by the media.  The “real women” argument and what that statement means.  For me, there is no argument.  WE ARE ALL REAL WOMEN!!

Whether you are fat, skinny, tall or short we are all women.  We are all different and there is no perfect example of what we should be.  Creating camps of fat v skinny is just ridiculous.

Even in today’s world woman still face challenges.  In many countries of the world women are still second class citizens.  We still fight for the rights to our own bodies and the phrase “She was asking for it” is still bandied about.  We face enough challenges in life without fighting between ourselves over who is thin and who is fat.

As long as you are happy with yourself, no one has the right to judge you.  Happiness isn’t something that comes as standard and if you can attain it, then you are already winning.  I don’t care if someone I meet is fat or thin.  If they are happy in themselves, that is what shines through.

I’ll end my little mini rant with a quote from Dita Von Teese which is rather apt

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”