My Body Transformation


So I have never really came out on my blog and mentioned that since April 2015, I have been working towards a transformation.

This is a transformation of my health, my body, and my life.

The reason I never truly brought this up, is because people tend to focus on the differences in my body. Focus on the weight I have lost, and focus on the physical characteristics about it. If you focus on this part of my journey, then it completely contradicts everything I believe in.
I have said before, I believe that all people are beautiful, all bodies are perfect, and no one needs to change. With the large change in my appearance it would seem like I don't practice what I preach. However, I have also said I believe if you want to change then you can do it, and that the only reason to change anything about yourself is for you and no one else.

Well, for me this has nothing to do with my body changes, nothing to do with becoming "skinnier" but for my health.

So I don't normally talk about my health, however I feel it is time to share some stuff. In 2012 I was diagnosed with Sinus Venous Thrombosis, blood clots in my brain, as well as Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension. In 2014 my clots dissolved and I have been blood clot free ever since, however my hypertension remains. It is a condition that I will have for the rest of my life, however, it is also one I can help.

Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension is common in overweight females, in their 20's, who are on birth control. (It can also be called Pseudotumor cerebri) For me, I was on 4 pills a day just for this condition alone. The medication was affecting my hair, affecting my body and truly something that will forever affect my life.

My neurologists have alway mentioned that losing weight will help with my condition, but it was not something I had chosen for myself. In April 2015, I was done with the medication. Done with the condition and ready to make a change in my life.

So for everyone who thinks I decided to lose weight because I "hated my body" "hated being fat" "thought I was ugly" it is completely untrue. I decided to start on a journey of health, not weight loss. A health journey that has reduced my medication from 4 pills a day to 1, and soon possibly none at all. A health journey that has improved my heart condition, that has changed my life.

Regardless which side of the before and after picture I am looking at, I believe that I am beautiful. I wanted to write this post for a while because I think it is extremely important to be transparent with my readers.

I would love to talk about what I changed in my life, how it has effected my mood, my self-esteem, my energy. Talk about workouts, or answer any questions you have. If you want me to write a post in the future about that, just leave a comment below on on Social Media.

However, for now I just want to share that I am extremely proud of myself. I am about 4lbs away from losing 100lbs and am so close to my goal. I have changed so much in my life and it has been extremely hard work.

People ask me "what pill are you taking" "what program are you on" "what shake are you using" and my answer to all of the above is, none. I did an immense amount of research, learned about the food I am putting in my body, learned about the exercises I am completing. I have put all my will power and effort into this, not for beauty, but for health.

I truly believe that all humans are beautiful, and all bodies are perfect. I wanted this change for me, and no one else, and I know that if any of you want this, or an other goal you set you mind to, you can achieve it.


Made With Love



When I was a kid I remember thinking I was the coolest because I had custom made pants. I mean, I got to pick the jean colour, mine were sparkly, I could pink the thread and even put whatever patches I wanted on it!

However, what I didn't know as a kid, was I had custom pants made by my grandma not because I was cool, but because they didn't make plus size children's clothing.

If you think about it, I was too short for adult women's clothing, but too big for the children's clothing that was out there. Jeans were especially difficult. I could get away with a simple t-shirt from the women's section, but not the jeans they were just too long. Therefore, my grandma made the pants. Still I am so happy at the time I thought it was because I was just awesome and because my grandma loved me.

I was thinking about this recently, and decided to see if this was still the case in today's society. Is there still a huge void for children who are a bit bigger than kid's clothes?

I was so incredibly happy to see that the void has in fact been filled! In Canada and the US!



In Canada Old Navy has a plus size children's section and all of the clothing is kid appropriate. They also have plus size versions of all the school uniform essentials they sell for kids who have a dress code at school. Now granted this selection isn't very large, but the fact that it exists warms my heart. The only thing that I personally would have loved to see is a larger girl in the advertisement photos. Still, this is a huge accomplishment in my opinion!



If you think that more selection is necessary you should see what JCPenny is doing! Some of their stuff is only available online, but a lot is apparently in store too! They sell full outfits and have a huge selection of all sorts of styles. They are a bit pricey but at the same time, at least the option is there!

I wouldn't change my childhood for anything, and I love the fact that my grandma made my jeans. I have amazing memories about going to Fabricland with her and picking out the material. Finding all of those cool patches, and being able to tell my friends that I had them made for me! However, when I got a bit older, I stopped telling my friends, and really just wanted to shop where my friends did, and fit in like any other kid.

Myself, My Sister, My Grandma
Once my grandma took me shopping and we went into this store I had never heard of before, Warehouse One. I actually just looked them up and they are still a company even though the one near me closed. They had larger clothing, and extended sizes, but it was very age appropriate. My grandma took me in three and bought me all sorts of stuff because I finally fit. It was an amazing feeling. I remember this one sweater, it was black and had a pink fairy on it. It was my favourite sweater.

Stores like this promote inclusion. I could go shopping with my friend who was a size 2 and still be bale to buy matching shirts. I hope that one day the same goes for children's clothing and all plus size clothing in general.

One day it will stop being labeled as "plus" and simply be clothing. One day the numbers wont matter and we will all just be us. Not a size, or a weight, or a number. Just a person.

At least that's what I hope for.


You Can Do Anything! - Giveaway!



It is that time of year again, the holiday season! Now I love the holidays, in fact I am one of those people that get annoying with the amount they enjoy the holidays. Now I do celebrate Christmas, but I mean no offence by it and am so happy whenever anyone wishes me a happy holiday season! Whatever holiday you yourself celebrate, live it up!

For me though this is my first year in my own apartment and I got to decorate it myself. Now I am a broke university student so my decorating is mostly dollar store things but it still makes me feel amazing. I have my own tree this year (thanks to an amazing friend who surprised me by buying me a christmas tree for a present" and it is decorated blue, purple and silver. I also have been making cookies non stop, downloaded a christmas radio app, and even have started going from country to country on hola watching all of Netflix's holiday films!

However, after Christmas comes, or whatever you happen to celebrate, comes New Years!

New Years is one of those things people always plan for and never actually works out the way you planned, both New Years Eve and the Resolutions that come after! Instead of thinking about my resolutions this year, I thought I would think about all that I have accomplished in 2015 that really stuck with me. So here are my top 10!

1. Got my own apartment and moved to Toronto
2. Traveled to London England
3. Graduated College
4. Got into University
5. Purchased my first vehicle
6. Traveled to New York City
7. Saw a Broadway Musical
8. Got my first pet (Jeffery my cornsnake)
9. Completed my first (and second) obstacle course (Badass Dash)
10. Improved my health and got my meds reduced

These are all things that I have always wanted to do, and it got me thinking. Why make a new years resolution? Why pick one thing that is going to be the "most important thing" to do in 2016. Why not just work on completing my bucket list, one thing at a time!

For me my bucket list is hundreds of lines long, but I plan on completing all of them in my lifetime! And 2016 is going to start off with a bang! On my bucket list I have do the polar bear dip, and come January 1, 2016 that is exactly what i'll be doing!

So that is what I want to focus on today, doing things not because you made some deal with yourself, but because they make you smile. You are never "too old", "too inexperienced", "too big" , "too young" to do anything. Anyone can do anything if you set you mind to it! Remember that if it is something you really want to do, have or experience in life the only limit you have is yourself.

Starting today I am launching a brand new Life of a Fat Girl Giveaway! This one is all about conquering your fears, dreams, and doing everything you set your mind to! Now of course it will be a little gift box including some great Life of a Fat Girl swag, but the main giveaway here is this amazing book! "Do Epic Shit: Kicking butt before kicking the bucket." By Sara Ruthnum. This book is about your bucket list, all the things you want to do in life, and how you can accomplish them!

So make sure you head over to the Life of a Fat Girl giveaway page and enter because January 1, 2016 the winner will be chosen! Or you can enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
More importantly, always remember that if you set your mind to it anything is possible!

Here is to a great holiday season, an amazing 2015, and an even better 2016!


Can a Haircut Change Everything?


If you have followed my blog at all, or you're just stopping by, you'll notice a picture of myself to the right. (I know I am so self absorbed that I have a picture of me on every page of my blog) In that photo I have long hair, and since then I had not cut it. So recently it was a lot longer, almost half way down my back at the longest part. 

Well, all of that changed this past week and I got a huge transformation. Now I did need someone to come with me, and I had to psych myself up for it since I have never cut my hair this way in my life! I was so scared to cut my hair because I had spent so much time growing it out. Then, in all my panic I realized, it's just hair. If I don't like it, well everyone has a haircut they don't like once in their life, and if I love it, then great!

I sat there thinking about how much pressure people put on appearances, and how something as simple as getting a hair cut, something tons of people do regularly, can be traumatizing. I was done with letting my hair control me, so I made a deal with my friend.

If we were to walk past a salon, then I was meant to get my hair cut...and we did. I walked in, sat down in the chair, and waiting for that ominous question. "So what are we doing today."

Cameron Esposito
Before I knew it I had replied with "Chopping all my hair off." The stylist looked shocked, and asked if I was sure. Then I thought about it. I don't really see myself as having a short short hair style, but I don't see me with this long hair either. That is when I remembered one of my favourite comedians, Cameron Esposito.

Cameron has, what she calls, a side mullet. Completely short on one side, long on the other. I saw Cameron in a show a few days before the hair cut and I thought, I would love to try that. So why not right? It's just hair, it will grow back! That being said I didn't want it quite so drastic, and wanted it to kind of slowly angle to the long side. So I described it to the hair stylist as a "side mullet, but more like a side bob?"

Now this stylist, wasn't the nicest. She did tell me that she wasn't sure it would look good because of my "round" face, she said it might make my face look bigger, said my hair was dull and should be coloured, essentially insulted me for a solid 10 minutes before even agreeing to do the hair cut. But I stuck with it and stayed strong.

When she did that first chop it was completely terrifying and liberating at the same time! And when she was done, well, I fell in love at first sight! I have never felt so completely confident in a hair style, and this is something I am extremely happy I did. 

So since I haven't shown you yet, I figure I have built up enough anticipation! Here it is! 


My question still remains though, can a haircut change everything? I mean since getting this hair cut people have treated me so different. I have been asked at least a dozen times if I am a lesbian, or into girls. I have people looking at me inquisitively trying to "figure me out" and I have been asked "did you get confused? I mean do you want a boy haircut or a girl haircut?"

I would just like to point out that there are no such things as boy hair cuts and girl hair cuts. There are just various hairstyles for various humans. Who labeled short hair as "for boys" and long hair "for girls" I mean does having short hair make you any less of a woman? Does having long hair make you any less of a man? No. So why do people feel the need to label hair as such. It's hair for goodness sake.

That being said, I am wondering, since getting this hair cut people have been treating me different but at the same time, I just don't care. I feel so much more confident, I love going out and people asking me about my hair (again I am completely self absorbed sometimes but that is completely okay, everyone is allowed to be sometimes) and really it has changed the way I am seeing myself.

I have been losing weight recently, not for my looks but for a health condition, and it is something I have been struggling with. The weight loss is not the issue, but the way my body is changing. Nothing fits the same and I don't know how to dress myself anymore. It caused me to lose a bit of my confidence and feel completely muddled. However, since getting this hair cut, I feel empowered. I feel liberated, and I feel damn good. 

So what do you think, can a haircut change everything? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or on the Life of a Fat Girl Facebook Page!

Changing Seasons, Changing Outlooks


This is the time of year that the world gets split into two categories...

1. The people who love winter and can't wait for the snow
2. The people who deny winter until the last possible second and when it get's here instantaneously want summer back

I fall somewhere in both categories depending on the day. For example...these have been my outfits over the past week.


That's right! Skirts, dresses, summer wardrobe because I refuse to admit it is winter. That being said this morning I awoke to a surprise. Well I guess it shouldn't have been a surprise because well it has been snowing everywhere else. I awoke to frost all over the ground. 

Now snow and I, we don't really get along. But frost is something I love! I find it so incredibly beautiful and just love that part of winter. That being said, my outlook on the chilly seasons has always been a little bleak.

Usually winter comes and I deny, deny, deny. I've never truly embraced the cold weather. I mean, I don't skate much, never really was a tobogganing fan, don't ski or snowboard, so what is there for me during winter? People always say "well what about the holidays" and don't get me wrong I love the holiday season, and I mean whatever holiday you celebrate I am all for it! I have nothing against the holidays and personally love the festivities...it's just the cold I dislike. I find that the winter seasons does not mean the holiday season, they just happen to coincide.

Well this year I have decided to change that! I have decided to change my outlook on not only the winter season but the cold all together, starting this week! I figure why not combine a few things I like with the cold to see if that improves my mood on the whole "winter" thing.

So for starters I would love to mention a wonderful non-profit called Cameronhelps. Cameronhelps works towards helping youth to feel "unbreakable" and through that they do many activity and community based programs! More so than their goal (which I have listed to the right!) they have community based events, one of which I will be participating in this weekend!

This weekend I will be completing a 5k run, the Bold and Cold. I am mixing my love of helping out agencies, my passion for social advocacy and social work, with the unbearable aspects of winter. I am happy to be involved in the event, but this is just my first step towards winter domination and my changing outlook!

On top of the run I am participating in another Toronto event, one I have thought about for years. So I have mentioned before, I can't swim, and the idea of going into a body of water scares me beyond anything else. I mean I have panic attack when I am still standing in the water and its only up to my ankles, hence why I don't like baths too much and am more of a shower person. Well I will be starting 2016 off with a bang by participating in the Toronto Polar Bear Club Dip in support of habitat for humanity! That's right! I am signed up to not only go into the cold in a bathing suit, but to then run into the freezing water!

I will be conquering my fears of the water, and my dislike of the cold all in one shot! That or I will push myself to an anxiety attack and forever hate winter, but we are being optimistic! In all honesty though, these events are for amazing causes and I am raiding money in support of them if anyone is interested in donating just click here to head to my donation page. Now with that little promotion out of the way.

The cold is something I can't avoid, and sometimes in life there are things, people events, dates, that just aren't avoidable. So instead of letting it affect me in those negative ways I have decided to change my outlook, something all of us can do! Whether it is a season, a temperature, or an anniversary ate you'd rather forget, an event thats annual, or simply a person you're forced to see every day or week. Find something that you enjoy, like helping out charities, and focus on those aspects. Find ways to change your outlook. New things to associate these negative things with and just tell yourself "bring it on world!"

I would love to hear about some of the things that you guys love about winter, maybe i'll even try a few! And if you're like me and hate winter, well tell me about why!

And as always, keep being your beautiful, slightly colder, selves!



Our Chosen Family


Family is something extremely important to me. Something that reminds me each day that I am undoubtably loved.

People say you can't choose your family, but I don't think that is completely 100% true. There are people, who I consider family, that I am not blood or marriage related too.

These people have entered my life in so many ways. Some I have known for years upon years, some I just met a couple years ago, and some have only been in my life for a few months. It is not about the quantity of time that these people have spent with me. It is not about them messaging me everyday, or living in the same city.

In fact, the time apart is what truly means the most to me. The times I spend away from them, the times we don't talk, and then can pick up right where we left off because we both know just how much the other means in our life.

These people have helped me so much recently because I have been going through an extremely tough time. I have been having a lot of ups and downs with moving to Toronto, especially since I was not expecting to live here alone. Regardless how I got here though, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

The other day I was having a very hard time. A time that was full of sadness. I try to be as happy as possible, but I think we all know that as human sometimes things just break down. Sometimes we go into crisis mode, and that is completely okay. It is so fine that I am going through a tough time, it is fine that I have my days, it is how I choose to react to them.

Well on the days that I cant find the strength to react in a positive light, these people, my chosen family, they are here for me.

Now I am not saying my blood family is not, they definitely are as well! In so many ways, and I know my mom would drive to Toronto in an instant if I asked. However, these friends, my chosen family, what is really special to me is that not only did I choose them, but they chose me as well.

We choose to be there for each other, and be in each others lives. We choose to help each other, to message every now and then, to make plans when possible, and understand when we can't. We choose to be this big a part of each other's world. That is what this post is about, I want to thank you. All of you.

I am going to place them in the order we met, from the furthest back, to the most recent. Now this doesn't mean any of you mean any more or less than any other, and I am so happy to introduce you all!

Paul

Paul and I met when I was in grade 9. In undoubtably one of the strangest ways. That being said, we have had times, even years apart where we barely spoke. At the same time, whenever I go home, even for a few days I make sure we see each other. We go on sushi dates together, and Paul is my brother in every sense of the word. Paul was there through my craziness, my calm, and helped me through every event in my life. Paul is one of the kindest men I have met in my entire life, and I am so honoured to have had you in my life these past 7 years, and many more to come!

Brittany

Brittany was my college roommate my first year in the Social Service Worker Program, well her and 4 other girls, however we created a bond that I don't think I will ever recreate. Brittany protected me, helped me through tough times, shared in some of the best times i've had. Britt it's hard to explain you without talking to you, so I am going to write this part to you. We may not talk as much since we graduated, and time definitely has passed, but you are still one of the biggest impacts I have ever had on my life. You are a friend unlike any other, and one that I treasure more than I can put into words. You are my family, not my "Belleville Family" but my family. No matter where we are, or where we go, you are always with me.

Robert

Rob and I actually met through Paul! On New years a few years ago now. At first it was just an intoxicated meeting, but as time went on we became close friends. I trust Rob with so much, and just having him around brings a smile to my face. Rob is literally the perfect guy. He is ambitious, talented smart, kind, funny, sarcastic, kind, and did I mention how kind and sweet he is? We haven't known each other too long, but the time we spend together is some of the greatest i've had, and I know that if I ever need someone to make me smile, cheer me up, or just to be there for me, Rob is my #1 call.

Cassandra

Cassandra (aka Cass) and I met out by some dumpsters, at the back of my apartment building, during a fire alarm a few days after I moved in. Cass was moving in at the time, and the fire alarm caused me to head downstairs where we met. We exchanged numbers and when she actually messaged me, I was dumbfounded. Since moving to Toronto I haven't really had much support due to the not really knowing where things are, where i'm going, or anyone in the area. Cass, and her boyfriend Jake, are always there. There to text, there for me to come down and hang out with, there no matter what. Honestly, it has been a few months but the time means nothing because the quality of the time we have spent is remarkable. She is a fantastic woman, a beautiful person, and an amazing friend. Jake is the luckiest man on earth to have her.

So there you have it, from 7 years to 3 months. Time doesn't put limits on the impacts people make on your life, and your heart. I know that without these 4 people, my life wouldn't be the same today. I I want to thank you all for being there for me, and know that I will always be there for you.

I hope all of you have people in your lives like these 4, and if not, well then when you meet them it will mean even more.

I would love to hear some stories, or a bit about your chosen family in the comments below of on the Life of a Fat Girl Facebook Page!

Keep Being Your Beautiful Selves!



I Know My Rights


I know there are formal, federal documents about rights, and freedoms. I know that there is legislation that speaks to what I can and cannot do. However, there are some things that I want to say.

These are the rights that I want you all to know that I have. Not as a bigger person, but as a human. These are rights that each and every one of us, male or female, tall or short, big or small, adult or child, and anywhere in between, all have. 

I may have these rights federally, legally, or whatever the term may be, but I believe these are things I morally and ethically deserve each and every day.

My Personal Bill of Rights


I have the right to...


(1) Be treated with respect
(2) Love my body
(3) Dislike my body some days
(4) Wear what I want, when I want
(5) Break every fashion rule you can set for me
(6) Attempt anything and everything I want to
(7) Change me mind 
(8) Express my feelings, whether they are positive or negative
(9) Speak my mind
(10) Make mistakes and not have to be perfect
(11) Determine my own future
(12) Like whatever and whoever I want to, regardless what you think
(13) Believe their is good in all people, despite what you might think
(14) Be treated as an equal
(15) Be completely confused and have no idea what is going one
(16) Not know where I am going in life
(17) Be in a non-abusive environment
(18) Say no, to anything, and have it respected
(19) Be uniquely myself
(20) Have my needs and wants respected by others
(21) Make time for myself
(22) Be sad some days, and know that it is okay
(23) Be distinctly happy
(24) Believe I can do anything
(25) Be anything I want to be

There are ton's more I could say, but I don't want to overwhelm you all at once!

These are 25 things everyone has the right to, but these ones are something that particularly mean a lot to me. In my life, things are always changing. I may not know where I am going, or what is happening around me every second of every day, but I know my rights, and I know what I deserve. 

Me in 2010 with my black hair.
I deserve the best in life, and so do all of you. We are all distinctly beautiful, and that is something that no one can take from you, except for yourself. Which brings my to the most important point...don't give away your rights to anyone else. 

I have been in relationships before where I determined my future based on them, where I based my beauty on what they liked without thinking about if I liked it. (That led to some god awful black hair) Those were rights I gave away. But I have reclaimed them now. I am not saying don't take your partner, your parents, your friends, or whoever is important to you's opinion to heart, but don't base the decisions solely on them. You have every right to love yourself, decide for yourself, and be yourself. 

So keep being your beautiful selves, and let me know some of the rights that are important in your life!