Being Fat Isn’t the Worst Thing a Person Can Be, Y’unno | #ThisGirlEats

There’s a disturbing narrative that exists today, and we just can’t seem to shake it. It’s simple, really: Fat = Bad. It’s everywhere; we see with advertising selling us slimming products, the press fat-shaming celebrities, and people bombarding social media with before vs. after photos. No matter where we might find it, the message is always the same – being fat is the worst thing you can be.

And I’m so sick of it.

My most recent encounter with this was watching the latest TV ad for Weight Watchers. I can’t remember the exact words and, annoyingly, can’t find the advert anywhere online, but I distinctly remember the spokeswoman telling people to sign up on the basis that it will make them a “better version of themselves” – come to think of it, she might’ve even said the best version of yourself.

Weight Watchers: Wellness that Works (umm…)

Because apparently, thinner ALWAYS equals better.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, especially when it’s affecting your health and you think you could be in better shape; hell, I could stand to lose a few pounds myself! But the idea that being slimmer automatically makes you a better person – and, in turn, being bigger somehow detracts from you as an overall human being – is total bullshit.

Not only is it a load of rubbish, but it’s incredibly damaging. Pushing the “fat = bad, thin = good” narrative is bound to have a negative impact, particularly where eating disorders and mental health are concerned. Imagine telling someone with anorexia, for example, that being the thinnest version of themselves makes them the best version of themselves. Or how this could easily recycle that feeling of guilt in someone with bulimia to the point that they experience dangerous symptoms such as binging and purging. It seems so obviously dangerous to me in this context, I’m amazed we allow it to continue.

It’s clearly designed to make us feel terrible about ourselves. Telling us that we’re better when we’re thinner makes those of us whose bodies don’t fit these very particular – and sometimes unobtainable – specifications feel worthless, unattractive and uncomfortable in our own skin. It also strips us of our identities as people; it ignores all other aspects of our personalities and achievements, reducing how we measure up on the “good vs. bad scale” to nothing more than our weight.

I look at photos of myself from a few years back, before I gained the weight I now carry around with me (mostly in my lil’ tummy pooch), and sometimes I’m swept up in that narrative. I look at photos like the one below and think, “Wow, how did I let this version of myself slip away?!” And literally the ONLY reason I think that is because I’m thinner in those photos. That’s it. It’s not based on where I was at that point in my life, or how happy I was, or what I’d achieved. It’s because I was thinner – so I must’ve been better, right?


NO, SAM! Of course not! That’s just such a ridiculous notion, I can’t believe I bought it for even a second! I look at what’s happened in my life since those photos and almost laugh at how absurd I’m being when I think I’m worse off now simply because of my weight. I’ve achieved bucket loads since then; I’m in a happy, committed relationship, moved out, learnt to drive, started (and ended!) my own music publication, created my blog and worked my way up to my dream job. I’m more accomplished, level-headed, hard-working, ambitious, sociable and confident than the person in that photo. I’m more comfortable with my body and appearance than I’ve ever been, regardless of my size.

I’m a better person for so, so many reasons right now, and it all has absolutely zilch to do with my weight.

I’m lucky enough that I can see that, despite falling down the rabbit hole every now and again. But all the while we give into this narrative that being fat is the worst thing you can be, and the only way to make yourself a better person is to lose weight, then this narrative will continue to win and companies like Weight Watchers will keep making these shitty adverts.



Embrace Yourself: Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared of Being Alone | #ThisGirlEats

I don’t know if it’s having an independent personality that makes it easy for me to say this, or if it’s just because I’ve always been a natural introvert, but I’ve always felt it’s so important to embrace being alone instead of being afraid of it.

I’d like to point out right away that being alone is very different to being lonely; you can be alone and still feel support from a strong, loving network of family, friends and co-workers around you. Being lonely sucks and can wreck havoc on your mental health, and I don’t think there’s a soul out there who likes to feel lonely.

But feeling comfortable and confident enough to be happy left alone with just yourself for company is, for me, one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever given myself.

Standing alone on Santa Monica Pier 
Standing on Santa Monica Pier

I think growing up an only child really planted the seed. I didn’t have siblings to play – or fight! – with. I didn’t have an older brother to sneak me out and take me to cool places when I was too young to go on my own, or a little sister to fuss over and take care of. I spent hours as a kid making up my own imaginary games or reading quietly to myself and it taught me to be totally cool with my own company.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being a social butterfly either; I often wish I was more extroverted and there have definitely been situations where this “only child syndrome” has held me back.

But throughout my life I’ve met so many people who, for whatever reason – insecurity, anxiety, uncertainty, instability, dependency – think that being alone is the worst thing that could happen. I’ve known people who have put themselves in dangerous situations just because they’d rather be with someone who isn’t good for them than no-one at all.

It’s hard to admit. It’s even harder to overcome. Sometimes it’s damn near impossible to actually realise you’re in that predicament in the first place, because being in a bubble with someone, even if it’s an unhappy bubble, is easier than bursting out and facing the world alone.

And, hey, that’s a legitimate fear. The world is a scary place, especially when you’re braving it on your own. The last person you’d want to be left out here alone with is someone you don’t trust, understand or love – and what do you do if that person is yourself?

But the first step towards embracing who you are is getting to know yourself when it’s just you. Alone. No facade, no showing off, no pretending. When you can just sit quietly by yourself and feel at home, that’s when you really get to know who you are.

Standing alone at the entrance to Disneyland Paris
Standing at the entrance to Disneyland Paris

There are loads of reasons people don’t like being alone, and that’s fine. But if you’re scared of being alone, I’m here to tell you that you really don’t need to be. No-one knows you better than you, no-one can guide and support you better than you, no-one knows how to care for you better than you.

Stepping out into the big, wide world alone is super daunting but, trust me, YOU GOT THIS. Have faith in you.

5 Things I Do Every Day to Help Me Love Myself | #ThisGirlEats

It might not look like much, but I try my best to do these five things every day because they genuinely push me to bring out my positive side.

We all know that learning to love yourself is a tough journey, but doing just a lil’ something every day towards achieving that is a step in the right direction.

1. Reflect – literally!

It’s not always fun, but I make sure I look in the mirror every damn day. I stand there, even if it’s just for a few seconds before bed or a quick check before I rush out of the house before work, and look at myself.

I do it because it’s a practise. It takes discipline, after years of abusively picking apart my reflection, to stand in front of the mirror and appreciate what is staring back at me. I might not be head over heels in love with it every day – let’s be real, who is?! – but I always take a moment to look at every lump and bump, every freckle, every stretch mark, think positive thoughts and shove that inner saboteur (thanks RuPaul 😉) out of my mind.

2. Tidy space, tidy mind.

If you’ve ever surprised me with an unexpected visit to my flat, you might not believe this next one. But I genuinely do feel that – when I’ve got the time! – having a neat, clean, tidy environment helps me thrive creatively and keep a clear head.

It’s hard to keep on top of chores and no-one wants to waste their free time doing housework, myself included. But I do make a conscious effort to do some kind of tidying up every day. Even something simple like finally getting to the bottom of the washing up, clearing away long-lost clutter, putting laundry away instead of just letting it pile up.. the list is, unfortunately, endless. But just doing a little something to organise my home really feels like I’ve got my shit together.

3. Make a list, check it twice.

I find lists incredibly therapeutic. Whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I always write down whatever’s on my mind in a list that I can tackle bit by bit. It makes things feel more manageable and gives me a chance to stop suffocating and start breathing again.

The one list I check every single day is my ‘2019 GOALS’ list. It’s got several broad, open-ended goals – “Improve blog content and engagement”, “Learn to love yourself and your body” and “Save money and get out of your overdraft“, for example – to achieve this year. Every night, before bed, I ask myself what I’ve done that day to help towards any one of those bullet points. As long as I’ve helped myself get one step – even a teeny tiny baby step – closer to any one of those goals, I feel like I’ve done a good job for the day.

My '2019 GOALS' list
My ‘2019 GOALS’ list

4. Smile for the camera.

It sounds very stereotypical of the social media selfie generation but I do try, as much as possible, to take photos of myself. I know that makes me sound very “millennial” but it’s really not ’bout that – it ain’t all full face paint and insta model, let me tell ya!

The reason for this is to make sure I step up and be seen every day. It’s easy to let yourself fade into the background and shy away, especially if you’re introverted like me. But if you force yourself to point the camera in front of your face every day it means you have no choice but to really look at yourself. I don’t often do anything with these photos, they’re not necessarily for anyone else to see, but I can flick back through them anytime as a reminder of each day. I try to take photos of me, for me, as much as I can.


5. Make friends with food.

Girl, if I could count the hours I wasted stressing over what I ate… Well, I can’t find a funny way to finish that sentence but, trust me, it’s A LOT.

It’s been a long, long, loooong process, but these days I try to make food my friend instead of my enemy. It’s not always easy, and I definitely hear that lil’ devil creeping up on my shoulder trying to dupe me into feeling guilty, worried or anxious when I’m eating – that bitch just won’t back off! But I can honestly say that forcing my negative thoughts to change track when it comes to food has brought me closer than I’ve ever been to loving and accepting myself. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.



Feeling the Positive Effects of Social Media (Yes, They Do Exist!) | #ThisGirlEats

Social media can be a scary place. Trolls, cyber bullies, hate groups – it’s no wonder most of our parents are technophobes and the older generations boast about how things were “better in my day!”.

Well of course it was better in your day Susan, the bank was handing out zero deposit mortgages like nobody’s business, the planet wasn’t dying at a catastrophic rate and you could buy two pints down the pub with a fiver and still get change!

I digress…

Anyway, yes, social media can be a breeding ground for negativity. One minute you’re bombarded by online slanging matches between strangers on Twitter, the next you’re stewing in a pit of jealousy over beautiful influencers showing off their perfect(-ly filtered) lives on Instagram. It’s a minefield.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. These sites give us the option to mute, block or unfollow people that make us feel, well, shit – and that’s brilliant! But what’s even better is finding people who make social media a bearable – maybe even positive – place to hang out.

I’ve enjoyed scrolling through my phone so much more since I made a conscious effort to erase the trashbags and put some bright, affirmative, supportive women at the forefront of my feed.

Now whenever I flick between my apps (the modern day equivalent of channel hopping while the ads are on, right?) I’m confronted by educated words of self-love and self-confidence, photos of women who are happy in their own skin and promote body positivity and blog posts bursting with advice and encouragement and reassurance.

I know social media is always going to be dangerous to navigate – you can never be sure when a bigoted idiot will pop up spouting nonsense and retweeting Piers Morgan with the caption “He just has the balls to say what the rest of us were thinking!” You can’t win ‘em all.

But by just filling my timeline with people who make me feel good about myself, inspire me to do better and brighten my day I’ve found my phone a much more pleasant companion.

Let’s be honest, we spend half our lives with our heads buried in social media so we might as well make it half decent place to be!

If you want to check out some of the awesome people I follow, here are my top picks!

  • Lucy Mountain – calling out fake diets and making fun of fitness fads (@thefashionfitnessfoodie)
  • Stephanie Yeboah – plus-size blogger advocating fat acceptance (@nerdabouttown)
  • Helen Anderson – all about that self-love life! (@helenanderz)
  • Amy Kennedy – vegan food at budget prices (@amythevegan)
  • Jen Brett – stamping out diet culture and promoting positive body image (@jenbretty)
  • Emily Clarkson – straight-talking blogger who oozes confidence (@EmilyClarkson)
  • Jameela Jamil – star of ‘The Good Place’, creator of the @i_weigh movement and voice for loving the skin your in (@jameelajamil)
  • Carrie Hope Fletcher – musical theatre star and general ray of sunshine (@CarrieHFletcher)

Taking the Time to Look After Yourself Isn’t Selfish, It’s Essential | #ThisGirlEats

Life is full of responsibilities. As we grow up, we convince ourselves it’s just part of “adult life” but, when you think about it, it’s not really at all.

Think about the crippling insecurities you experienced as a teenager and how “fitting in” felt like an exhausting daily chore. Think of the immense pressure of exams, especially when getting into uni or college depended on them. Responsibilities are always there, no matter how “grown up” you are, or aren’t – even if they seem trivial later on (for example, I honestly don’t think anyone has ever asked me about my GCSE results. Or my degree, for that matter).

It’s easy to get wrapped up in responsibilities – and not just the big, scary ones. I can’t count the hours I’ve spent washing up, replying to emails, waiting for a bus.. all the little things that seem so banal, but need doing. Our lives wouldn’t function without them. They seem like little things but, believe me, they take their toll. Just because you’re not a high-flying CEO, parent to quadruplets and Mother freakin’ Teresa doesn’t mean you don’t get worn down. It’s all relative, right?

go to bed gif

Taking time for yourself gives you a chance to stop, breathe and let go of that non-stop mental To Do list. It’s not selfish to look after yourself, it’s bloody vital! And it’s different for everyone, too. There is no “right” way to self-care and you shouldn’t let anyone else’s perceptions of what you do to unwind make you feel bad. You’re not selfish, you’re not reckless, you’re not lazy. You’re human, and you deserve a break.

So go online shopping and splurge until you’ve spent more than your weekly food shop. Run a bath and hog the bathroom until someone bangs on the door busting for a wee. Dye your hair, even if everyone says turquoise will never suit you. Wander off for hours in the sunshine, stay cuddled up in your duvet, book that spontaneous holiday, organise your kitchen utensils (just me? okay). Whatever you want, just grab a few hours to yourself and do it.

Me? I’m going to buy a load of cosmetics that I definitely can’t afford, cook up some new recipes and play The Sims for a solid three hours. Peace out ✌🏻


Pobody’s Nerfect – You Ain’t No Princess, But You Ain’t a Pauper Either. Stop Putting Yourself Down! | #ThisGirlEats

Sometimes, you just have to be honest with yourself.

Our own perspectives can be so bloody warped; some people delude themselves with a sense of self-importance and entitlement, overstepping the boundaries of self-love into totally fucking annoying. Others beat themselves down so much that it doesn’t matter how many lovely, wonderful qualities they possess, they’ve clouded their own reflection beyond repair.

You might be at either end of the spectrum, but the reality is that most of us are somewhere in between. You might think you’re the bees knees, or you might have rock-bottom self-esteem, but truth is you’re actually probably somewhere in the middle.

We’re all drama queens at heart and like to think we’re only ever one extreme or the other, but I’ve decided now is the time to make myself face up to the cold, hard truth.

And this is it: You’re alright.


That’s it. I might not be some spectacular, all-singing, all-dancing superstar. I might not be totally happy with everything I see when I look in the mirror. I might still be stumbling around at the bottom of the career ladder without really knowing which rung to start climbing. I might not have much money, or the most exciting social life, or own my flat, or have millions of blog views. But it’s time I got over myself, because I really don’t have it all that bad.

I’m healthy. When I look in the mirror, yes, I moan, but I know it’s just superficial shit. I’m lucky enough to just be “normal”. Some people wake up every day wishing they could be “normal”. It’s a privilege and certainly not to be sniffed at.

My career is still something of a question mark but, with my generation, I’m sure as hell not alone there! I managed to escape from a job I hated last year, which was a big, big step. And at least I have a job! I should be counting my lucky stars for that.

I’m a bit skint, but I’m hardly living in poverty.

I’ve got lovely friends and family, and with that lot there’s definitely enough going on to keep me busy!

I don’t own my home, but at least I’m paying rent to a landlord and not my parents – independence is invaluable to me.

And, damn it, I’m proud of the content I create. I have faith that my blog will be good enough to eventually bring in the views on its own merit, without having to create a fake Instagram life for fake followers.

I’d be lying if I said I was going to wake up every morning with some newfound confidence and live out every day totally and wholly loving myself. It’s just not realistic. But whenever I’m feeling low or having doubts, I’ll repeat the wise words of Eleanor Shellstrop. Honey, pobody’s nerfect. You’re alright, and that is alright.

pobodys nerfect.gif

Little Bursts of Self-Care That I Deserve in 2018 | #ThisGirlEats

Self-care is different for everyone. Some people use their ambitious nature as self-care to quench their insatiable thirst to climb the ladder while, for others, self-care is all about soaking in bubblebath and relaxing to the max. It’s a personal thing, and only you know what form of self-care works for you.

As I’ve already said, I spent last year driving towards practical, “adult-y” things – and achieved a hell of a lot! But, because of that, I’m taking more than just a personal day – I’m taking a personal year! 2018 is going to be the year when I focus on myself and, on that note, I’m starting off with my own little ‘To-Do’ list of self-care.

I’m not saying I’ll be keeping these up religiously for the next twelve months, but I am going to try to remind myself that these things, while they may seem small and a bit random, could be exactly what I need to really make this year all about me, me, me.

1. Do a cleansing face mask once a week.

2. Spend more time on dental hygiene – interdental brushes, mouthwash, anything to fix this stereotypically dodgy British smile!

big book british smiles

3. Moisturise my face, hands and feet properly every night before bed.

4. Use nourishing product on my hair after every wash.

monica humidity.gif

5. Keep nails painted and filed as much as possible. And stop biting the damn things!

6. Get hair cut more regularly, and keep up the colour on it.

7. Use medicinal lip balm every night before bedtime to stop them cracking, especially when it’s cold.

8. Spend at least an hour a week reading.

hermione gif

9. Go on a couple of walks each week – and no, the walk to and from work doesn’t count!

10. Get into bed one hour than usual one day every week – get a real early night!

sleep gif

11. Give to a charity that I don’t already donate to once in a while. Even if it’s just remembering to put some change in the charity pot by the supermarket till, or actually stopping in the street for a charity worker and making a quick donation. I won’t miss a few pennies here and there.

12. Find more excuses to wear a dress – get out of those skinny jeans and actually wear something different from your fit-to-burst wardrobe!

13. Light a scented candle in the bedroom when unwinding before going to sleep (but for God’s sake blow it out before you nod off!).

boo gif