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Screw your New Year diet

In 2015, I decided to stop dieting. I’d been on a diet for 10 years. 10 YEARS!!!! And it was the shittest diet ever because year on year, I started January heavier than the year before.

I went through cycles of starving and binging, salad obsessions and chocolate gorging.  I’d lose weight, lose interest and gain the weight back along with a few more pounds.

Well last year, I decided my poor old body had had just about enough. I’d had 3 surgeries in 18 months, a Stoma, a Jpouch, 2 hernias and a lot of meds and treatment. I decided that it was pretty wonderful that I was even still standing and so I should give it a break from messing with food.

Diets don’t work. You follow the rules and lose weight, but any short term food deprivation only leads to temporary weight loss.  If you loosen the reins and return back to your former ways, you will gain it all back.

I started thinking about why I was dieting. Did I want to be thinner, or was it just what is expected of me as a woman?  The more I thought about it, the more I realised that I’m actually very happy in my skin.  I like my big body, I think I’m soft and beautiful and hella sexy.


But we aren’t meant to say that are we? Especially not if we are ‘plus size’. We’re meant to be ashamed and apologetic. We’re meant to strive to be ‘better’. But what if ‘better’ has fuck all to do with the number in the back of your dress?  What if ‘better’ isn’t about being a size 6?

Humans are all different sizes and shapes, yet we strive to be like a very narrow, Western ideal of beauty that comes from fashion and media. It comes from air brushing, the use of very young models, the use of extremely thin models.  The pressure on women to conform is HUGE.  To look more like a tiny percentage of women. Isn’t that silly?

The funny thing is that my lack of dieting last year, means I start this year lighter than I was at the start of 2015.  It’s the first year that my weight hasn’t gone up and I truly believe this is because I took the pressure off myself, I refused to diet but that doesn’t mean that I decided to eat everything in sight!

When I diet, I am constantly thinking about food. I think about calories and my next meal, I dream of food and look longingly at cheese boards.  This year my focus was on other things, I don’t want to waste time thinking about food when there is a whole world of awesome to be thinking about!  My lack of dieting made me more in touch with my body, eating when I’m hungry and stopping when I’m full. Never denying myself of food but enjoying it and savouring it.

sam cleasby the poo lady

I’m learning all the time to love my body. It’s not easy, I do cave in sometimes and see photos of myself where I’m surprised by my size. But that’s usually because I’m viewing myself through someone else’s eyes. My confidence is dented when I think that someone else is looking at me and thinking about my shape.  In my head, I am Beyoncé. And Zooey Dechanelle. And Thandie Newton. And Superwoman. And Marilyn Monroe.

I’m a bad ass version of all those women blended into one shit hot mega babe.

And so it surprises me sometimes when I see a fat, 34 year old mum in gardening gear.

But you know, I do love my body. Are there things I would change? Yes. Do I want to be healthier? Yes. Will I diet ever again? No fucking way!

Healthy eating and exercise are wonderful, I think we should all eat delicious, unprocessed, bright, colourful, mouth watering food.  I think we should all move our bodies and take part in exercise that is fun and makes us happy.

We only have this one body and so it is really important that we take care of it by giving it the fuel it needs and working our muscles to keep us mobile.  Our physical health is vital.

But so is our emotional health, so take a moment and think about making your mind and spirit healthy too.  Acceptance and self love.  Celebrating not demonising. Give yourself the affirmation that you are beautiful.  Because beauty isn’t about looking the same as a 14 year old size 0 fashion model, it’s about your unique and bloody brilliant self. It’s about kindness and humour and confidence and love whether you’re a size 0 or a size 32+!!

This new year, you will be bombarded by adverts telling you that you aren’t enough. That you need to buy their products to change yourself to fit in.

Fuck fitting in.

sam cleasby the poo lady plus size eff your beauty standards

If you want to make a healthy change to your lifestyle, then go for it! But think about the long term lifestyle changes you might want to make, be aware that short term diets DONT WORK LONGTERM.  Find a physical activity that you want to do, do it with friends, make it fun, enjoy it!

If you don’t want to diet, don’t be led to believe that you must.  Enjoy your body, celebrate your brilliance and love yourself.

Sam X

Sheffield Live TV!

I was invited onto Sheffield Live TV again to talk about this blog, Crohns and Colitis UK, Scope and the work I do.

I LOVE doing TV and radio, I used to get SO nervous but nowadays, I just really enjoy the experience.

Take a look!

Talking Sheffield 01.12.2015 part 2 from Sheffield Live on Vimeo.

 

Sam x

So Bad Ass on The Wright Stuff! 

This morning I got a message from a Facebook follower letting me know that she’d just seen me on The Wright Stuff!

I popped on channel 5 +1 and hit record and saw that in a discussion about whether able bodied people should use accessible toilets, that my open letter was mentioned along with a photo of my big face! How exciting!! 

  

He does stumble of the name, saying IBS then Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  I think it’s a genuine slip of the tongue but always good to clarify that there is a difference between IBS and IBD. 

Others have commented that he says I sometimes use a colostomy bag, and feel annoyed that this is incorrect.  

I used to have an ostomy, I currently have a Jpouch but I’m going back to an ostomy, so it’s fair to say that I have times of using an ostomy bag.  I know it could be read as though it’s something you pop on and off but if you think about it, though some ostomies are permanent, others are temporary. 

It’s easy to get angry when you feel incorrect terms are used, but this is why it’s so great that we are having these discussions in the media! 

A few years ago, this was all SO TABOO! I think things are getting tons better and we are having more conversations.  Yes, the correct terms are really important, but let’s educate society on an illness that for so long was secretive! 

I tweeted Matthew and he responded telling me his friend has an ostomy and wishing me well with my surgery. 

Things are tough when you’re a poo blogger! There are some media outlets who simply don’t have any desire to talk about poo! When people are happy to have the discussion, let’s celebrate and use it as an opportunity to talk shit! 

Thank Matthew Wright for sharing my story and getting people talking.  If he’d ever like me on the show, I would be more than happy to be #thepoolady and talk shit on TV! 
Sam X

Wheelchairs are not a fashion accessory Kylie Jenner…

Kylie Jenner, you dick, a wheelchair is not a fashion accessory or a way to show how quirky you are.  Shot by Steven Klein for Interview Magazine, the star of Keeping Up With The Kardashians is on the cover sitting in a wheelchair.

As if this is OK? Disability isn’t something to play at, it isn’t a prop or a way to show ‘another side of you’.  It is a reality that affects millions of people, not a joke or a fashion shoot.

Beth Grossman, Head of Policy at disability charity Scope, told The Independent: “If Interview Magazine wanted a glamorous, sexy wheelchair user on its front cover it’s a shame they couldn’t use someone disabled.”

“Having a non-disabled person in a wheelchair, as a provocative fashion prop, will offend many disabled people. It’s rare that we see aspirational and authentic reflections of disabled people in advertising and the media.

“If we’re going to challenge assumptions about disability, particularly about sex and disability, we need to share real-life depictions and experiences.”

There is a HUGE lack of people with disability in the media when you think that around 15 per cent of the world’s population, or estimated 1 billion people, live with disabilities. They are the world’s largest minority. (According to the UN).

15% of the population… So where are the 15% of TV presenters, models, politicians, movie stars with a disability? Yes, things are improving but it is still a problem that we don’t see a proper representation in our media and this needs to change.

What doesnt help is people with such celebrity status playing at having a disability.  It is offensive, it is wrong, it is not OK.  What bothers me is that this image will have gone through so many people’s hands before making it onto the cover and they either didn’t think it could offend, weren’t bothered, or hoped it would be controversial and increase sales. Interview has since told E! that their intention was to “create a powerful set of pictures” and “certainly not to offend anyone.”

I know this won’t offend everyone, there will be those who say it doesn’t upset them in the slightest and that it is “PC gorrrnnnn mad” but I know I am not alone in being pretty appalled that this happened.

kylie jenner wheelchair

kylie jenner wheelchair

Ablism is rife and I think it important to stand up against the use of disability as a prop for able bodied people to promote themselves as something different.

 

Sam x

 

 

 

The best films I have never seen

I’m not feeling very well this week, I’m on day two of sofa dwelling with a hot water bottle and painkillers. I’m waiting to see what the hospital think but I’m dropping weight quite quickly without trying, I have stomach pains and feeling exhausted and sorry for myself. 

ANYWAY, I have very little headspace and I’m watching a lot of Netflix and it got me thinking about all the ‘classic’ films I have have never seen. You know the ones, those that when mentioned in the pub, everyone goes ‘Ohhhhhhhhhh that’s a CLASSIC mate!’

So here’s my list. Let me know if I really should watch them or if they are over-rated cack!

1. Rocky. Any of the Rockys…

“Aaaaaadddrrrrriiiaaaaaannnnnn!”, the steps, Sly Stalone… I am aware of all this yet have never seen any of them.    

2. The Princess Bride

Literally no idea what this is even about but people talk about it alllll the time. 

  

3. Labrynth 

A friend recently told me he was abandoning our friendship because I haven’t seen this movie!  I am tempted, I do love Bowie but now it’s almost fun to see the shocked faces of people when I tell them I haven’t seen this weird 80’s classic.

  

4. To Kill a Mockingbird

I’ve read the book and I have tried to watch the film several times and just can’t get past the first half am hour of dullness.  Sorry (not sorry!)

  

5. The Matrix

Started it probably 10 times. Fall asleep as he chooses which pill every time. Every time. 

Turns out I don’t care whether he takes the red or blue pill. 

  

6. Casablanca 

Here’s looking at you kid… Nope. Never. 

  

7. Gone With The Wind

I’ve seen Wind in the Willows, does that count?

  

8. Dirty Harry

Is it a bit shooty? I don’t know. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve seen any Clint Eastwood films. 

  
9. Planet of the Apes

Not the old ones, not the new ones. 

Not Dawn of the Rise of the Fall of the Zoo of the Forest of the Planet of the Apes. 

  
10. Blade Runner

Is it about roller blading? See that sounds fun, but I don’t think it is, is it?

  
11. Breakfast at Tiffany’s

This is such a classic that I feel that I have seen it but I just haven’t. Though I do like breakfast and the name Tiffany so maybe I should try.

  
12. Die Hard

I love Bruce Willis so I’m not entirely sure how I have missed this series of films, it almost feels too late now to get into them. 

Yippy ki yay motherfuckers…

  
13. Citizen Kane

Nope. No idea. 

  
14. Alien. Or Aliens

I do have actual regret at not seeing these films. I will put them on my to do list. 

  
15. It’s a Wonderful Life

Is it? Is it??!! I don’t know. This film is on every Christmas but I’m too busy watching Elf on repeat. 

  
So there’s my list of the best movies I’ve never seen. What’s yours? 
Sam x

When you can’t hold it…

I have seen two stories today about different situations where institutions have put rules in place regarding toilet breaks and it really got me thinking about how distressing this can be for those who can’t just hold it.

The first was regarding comedian Frankie Boyle and how his shows have put restrictions on people leaving the auditorium during his 70 minute show.  Security staff at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow were ordered to escort fans to another part of the building until the performance was over if they left to use the bathroom.  According to the Mirror, the general manager James Howarth said “The show is only 70 minutes long so it’s not an unreasonable request.”

The second story was about St Teilo’s Church in Wales High School in Cardiff that sent out text messages telling parents their children must have a doctor’s note if they want to go to the toilet regularly during lessons.  It said: ‘If your child needs to be allowed out of lessons to go to the toilet then please provide a medical note in the next week so they can be issued with a pass.’

public toilet sign

 

Now I understand that disruption of shows or classes can be annoying to others, but as a person who regularly has to use the toilet and can’t always hold it, believe me, it is more annoying to me than anyone else! I have two different view points on the two stories though.

Regarding the show, it is just so disheartening to know that these rules are in place, though it isn’t great to disturb a show, it is sometimes a necessity.  There is nothing that sets more fear into my heart than the idea of being unable to get to a loo in time.  Take off and landing during flights make me sweat because as soon as I hear the words that the toilets are out of bounds, my stomach churns, my guts cramp and my body panics!

Rules like this exclude people with bowel or bladder conditions from these social occasions.  They increase anxiety and add to isolation.  If you struggle with toilet issues and need to go regularly, then it can be very difficult to mentally deal with being out in public and if you cannot access toilets with ease then it can rule out certain events altogether.  The quote from the manager REALLY pissed me off. It IS an unreasonable request to expect some people to not be able to use the loos for over an hour.  Every theatre/comedy/music show I have been to also tend to have huge queues so leaving it as long as possible just isn’t an option when you know you could end up in a 20 minute queue afterwards.

Invisible disability is everywhere and there are many people with needs and issues that can’t be seen easily and these people shouldn’t have to explain to a theatre attendant their complex medical needs.  Places need to be more inclusive not be excluding people based on disability.

The school story initially upset me a lot more.  The idea of kids having toilet access restricted was quite disturbing as children with bowel or bladder issues have a hard enough time as it is let alone having to produce a doctor’s note.  But in reading the story I think it was just a badly worded text with a genuinely caring message at heart.

The school appears to be putting into place a system where those who have genuine medical issues can have the ability to go to the toilet unchallenged as the school will know which kids have a need to go.  It must be very difficult for teachers to know who is really needing to go and who is doing it to waste time/mess about.  I remember when I was at school that a toilet break was often used to go for a wander/grab a drink/raid the chocolate machine/chat to my boyfriend… (Don’t tell on me!!!)

I suppose the problem with this is that some kids may develop symptoms of illness and need to suddenly go often and without a doctors note they may not be believed.  Children, especially teens tend to hide symptoms of what they deem as embarrassing illnesses.  They may have not even told their parents, let alone been to the doctors yet!

ibd blogger office loo toilet ulcerative colitis

 

The other problem is that sometimes it takes a long time for doctors to correctly diagnose these illnesses, I speak to so many people with IBD who were initially fobbed off with a diagnoses’ of everything from piles to anxiety.  Perhaps we just need to trust that some students will sometimes need to go to the toilet more often than others in order to not isolate, embarrass and upset those who have a genuine need.

If you have ever soiled yourself in public you will know that this isn’t a joke.  It is mortifying and can make you feel that you should stay home forever, it can make you feel embarrassed, humiliated and inhuman.  It can make you feel life isn’t worth living.

Are these things worth it to stop some minor disruption to classes and social events?

I think not.

 

Sam

Rosie Batty: Silencing those who speak out

In February 2014, 11-year-old son Luke Batty was murdered by his father, Greg Anderson at cricket practice in Melbourne, Australia.  It made worldwide news and society was shocked and appalled at the violent attack from a father towards a son.

His mum Rosie Batty became an advocate for female domestic violence victims and campaigner for making changes to government processes relating to the protection of women and children and she established the Luke Batty Foundation and Never Alone to assist women and children impacted by domestic violence.  Her courage, strength and bad ass spirit helped her to become the 2015 Australian of the Year.

She speaks out at events and to the media about the horrific experience of losing her son and is a domestic violence campaigner.  She uses her life to bring the conversation of domestic violence into the limelight and I think her selfless efforts are inspirational.  She is using her pain from an experience that many couldn’t even imagine to make a positive difference to others.  What a hero!

So why is Mark Latham, a former Prime Ministerial candidate trying to shame her into silence?

In his column for the Australian Financial Review, Mark Latham said of Rosie’s public speaking events;

“How did Batty immerse herself in such company, wheeled out at business functions to retell the story of her son’s murder in February 2014? There was a time, in the dignity of working class life, when grieving was conducted in private”.

How dare he!

What Rosie has done isn’t about a lack of dignity or respect to her son, the fact that this man feels he can silence a woman says more about him than her.  Her decision to speak out and make a difference is saving lives.

With her words other woman may find the strength to ask for help, mothers may leave abusive partners for her children as well as herself, she is teaching society about the warning signs and is publicly telling the government that more support is needed.

But when Mark Latham comments saying that this is a ‘private issue’ and ‘undignified’ he is creating a conspiracy of shame and silence and putting lives at risk.

This story struck a chord with me as I write about illnesses and treatment that can be embarrassing and ‘impolite’ to discuss in public, I spend most of my life either writing or speaking about poo and have faced others who believe it is undignified and should be kept private.  I never thought as a child that I would have a career in talking about poo, but this is where I am.

The experiences of Rosie Batty are incomparable, I am not putting losing a child in the same league as having an illness or surgeries, but the act of speaking out about something that others believe should stay private is similar.  I write, I speak out, I do all this to make a difference and help others.  I use my pain and suffering to reach out to those who are suffering and to break the taboo of embarrassing illnesses in the same way that Rosie uses her pain to help victims of domestic violence.

And so to see a fellow ‘sharer’ be shamed and silenced by a politician is just abhorrent.

When you go through a terrible experience, whether it be loss, illness or a life event that just knocks you for six, the shock and pain can make you feel so isolated.  It can feel like your life is crumbling and everything has changed forever.  How each person deals with that pain is personal and unique.  Some will keep it private and deal with it quietly and on their own, others may access the support of a wider circle and some may choose to use the experience to make a difference.

sam cleasby ibd blogger

There is no right way and people like Mark Latham don’t have the right to judge, shame and silence.

That judgement isn’t just affecting one person, the ripples spread so much further and you can hurt so many more.  Encouraging a culture of silence affects vulnerable people who need support and cements the shame and embarrassment into a person’s mind. I strongly and passionately believe that we should not fear speaking out about issues that are uncomfortable.

It takes courage to write or speak about things that are not socially acceptable or polite to discuss in public.  No matter how confident I may seem, every time I hit ‘post’, I fear the response I may get.  I worry that it will change the way people see me, I worry people will laugh at me or judge me.  But I keep doing it because I know I am helping, I know I am making a difference.

Rosie Batty is a true hero.  She is doing something amazing and helping so many when I am sure there are times when it is the last thing she wants.  I am sure she would give it all up in a second to have her boy back.  I am sure she is privately grieving and dealing with this in a personal way.  Her public persona and work doesn’t hinder her private grief.  She is amazing.

Please share this post and support Rosie using the hashtag #IStandWithRosie on Twitter.

Sam x

 

 

'Mummy Tummy' F**k that!

Firstly, yuk, ‘mummy tummy’?? Are we 6?

I came across this story on twitter about the Queen’s eldest grandchild Zara Phillips and how she had attended an event and been photographed wearing a dress that showed she was carrying some weight around her middle, the media speculated that she was ‘up to 5 months pregnant’ and the womankind sighed a big sigh and realised that she was a woman who gave birth 18 months ago and now her body has changed.

They used this cringe inducing term ‘mummy tummy’ as if leading with a cutesy term negates from the fact they are shaming a woman for her body shape in a national newspaper and propagating ideals of negative body image for women.

The fact that this is news at all says a lot about the times we live in.  There are children fleeing murder and drowning in our oceans, tens of thousands of animals being slaughtered and sacrificed, people in the UK living in poverty and using food banks, people with disabilities being failed by the government, yet the news in our papers tells of a woman whose body looks different post birth.

They compare her to Kate, Duchess of Cambridge who was pictured 6 weeks after the birth of her daughter looking pretty much as she had before pregnancy and speculated on whether Zara had a medical condition where her stomach muscles had split.

Because what every woman wants is to be asked if she is pregnant and then compared to someone slimmer than them!  Zara was forced to make an official announcement to tell the world she isn’t pregnant. Pregnancy, labour, childbirth and those first years of your child’s life are bloody tough on the body, you gain weight, your body changes more than you could imagine, you become the perfect incubator for your baby, then you push a human being out of your vagina. Perhaps you then feed them from your breasts, your sleep pattern changed wildly and frankly, everything that you thought was important before pales into insignificance when you look at your wonderful offspring.  Ladies, give yourself a break!

love your body mummy tummy body confidence

A friend of mine is pregnant with twins and I visited her along with another pal, the three of us have been friends for over 20 years.  Preggers friend asked the two of us (5 kids between us) how long it takes for your tummy to go back.  My pal answered ‘about 6 weeks’, my answer? ’14 years and counting…’

Because we are all so different, my friend isn’t any better than I am for losing weight straight away, genetics and lifestyle make the difference and I don’t feel any shame for not looking the way I did before I gave birth to a total of 28 pounds of (three) children over 4 and a half years.

Society assumes that we all give a shit.  That we all are dreaming of a size 6 body.  Dudes, I was a size 8 before the bambinos, I am now a 16 and despite years of dieting, always stay around this size.  Could I lose weight? Yes, probably. But I love food, eat too big portions and spend a good proportion of my days sat on my bum writing stuff for blogs/magazines/books.  I also really like booze.  Beer, wine, cocktails… Yup! And I love food and booze more than I care about being thin.

My family are mostly all big women, I honestly think I am predisposed to be chunkier, we tend to be slim till mid twenties/early thirties and then gain weight.  Sometimes I think I would like to be smaller, generally when I see a ton of women body shaming or when I go shopping and can’t find my size.  Right now I am a mum of three and run a photography business, I’m starting a new career and working for the bloody awesome Responsible Fishing as an artist/writer.  Life is pretty full and I like to enjoy big dinners with awesome family and friends.  These aren’t excuses, I fully accept that it is because of these things (too many calories and too little exercise) that I stay the weight I am.

My body has been through so much in the past 18 months (not to mention the ten years of medication previously), three surgeries and two hernias in 18 months make exercise difficult, I felt like I was always waiting to be out of recovery mode!

ibd body confidence colostomy bag ileostomy women self esteem chronic illness

But mentally and emotionally, I am learning so much.  After everything I have been through I have a new respect and love for my body.  Yes, it has stretch marks, scars and illness but it has carried me through these battles and still holds me strong.

There is so much pressure on women, especially once you have had children and I just wish there was more love and positivity shown towards post natal women.  Mamas you are wonderful! You made a human being!!! You are goddesses!

When you see your stretch marks, know that your wonderful body got bigger to enclose and home your baby, your stomach may be softer because it’s missing the 9 months it held that baby inside.  When your breasts change shape (and nipples, no one tells you about the nipple changes do they?! Yes, they are huge now!) it is because of the milk your body created and the hormones that make your body baby ready.

Your body may have changed, but so has everything else! Aren’t you more filled with love? Don’t you feel different in your head than before you had children? Don’t your priorities change? We accept all these mental and emotional changes for the better yet assume that physical changes are for the worse.

Some women naturally just ping back into the same shape as they were pre pregnancy, some change completely.  Neither is right or wrong, it is just nature.

We need to band together and refuse to see our fellow woman shamed for being ‘too’ anything.  Too thin, too fat, too muscly, too wobbly.

No one gets to tell you that you are ‘too’ anything.

You are more than your dress size.  More than the size of your waist.  More than your stretch marks.  More than your scars.

You are an awesome human being and those who judge you for your physical appearance are not the folk to be listening to.

I judge on kindness, on humour, loyalty, love.  The people I want around me are ones who are interesting, loving, awesome, funny, wonderful, caring.  And I don’t give a fuck what dress size they are.

 

Love Sam xxxx

Suicide Girls…

Devoted to changing your idea of what makes a lady beautiful… As long as you are thin and white?

So there’s this website called Suicide Girls, they’ve been going a few years but I rediscovered them on Instagram recently. Their tagline of being “devoted to changing your idea of what makes a lady beautiful” caught my eye and upon looking through I saw a variety pin up girls sporting tattoos and piercings.

I love tattoos. A lot. If I had more money, I’d be covered!! And so a site and social media portraying so called alternative women with ink and metal made me happy.

That slogan of changing ideas of beauty also appealed to me and so I hit follow, looking forward to some awesome women coming up in my Instagram feed.

And they do. But after a week, a bloody annoying pattern emerges. Yes, there are lots of beautiful, interesting and inked up women. But the HUUUUUUGE majority are both thin and white.

Ok, it’s great to promote tattooed women as beautiful, but thin white women don’t usually have that many issues being portrayed in the media. And as tats become commonplace in society, it’s really not that alternative.

So where are the bigger women? Where are the women of colour?

In the first 100 posts on the Instagram feed there are 6 women of colour.

And one woman who looks bigger than a size 10. And that post is filled with fat shaming comments.

What’s going on Suicide Girls? I love the idea of promoting an alternative view to traditional beauty, but surely you could bring yourself to show some larger ladies to your audience?

As the average size of women is around a UK 16, why don’t you show more average sized women?

Or does the idea of “what makes a lady beautiful” only apply to the thin white ones…

Though progress is being made with more and more plus size women as models and most recently the wonderful Tess Holliday I just wish we could see more of this.

What do you think?

Sam x

BIG NEWS!!!!

And so after weeks of annoyingly vague Facebook and twitter status’ of secretive meetings in London (sorry about that!!!), I can announce my big news!

I have signed with wonderful agents Peters, Fraser and Dunlop and I am writing a book!!!

Since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed of being a writer.  This was squashed out of me when my English teacher at school told me I would fail all my exams and would never be a writer. (I went and told her my great GCSE results grinning, thinking she would congratulate me.  She didn’t.)

My self belief and confidence took a battering when I became a teenage mum, I became convinced that everyone looked down on me and that the teachers at school would be laughing “I told you so” to one another.  As my friends went on to University, my life became a never ending cycle of nappies, feeding and sleepless nights.  With a husband who worked away for nine months a year and three kids under 5, my career choices felt extremely limited.  I also LOVED being a stay at home mum when my bambinos were little and so the dreams of being an author drifted further and further away.

The success of this blog has astounded me and pushed me forward, it gave me the confidence to put myself out there and through the help of friends I met with the bloody brilliant Nelle Andrew, who after a few meetings decided she would like to represent me and took me on as a client!  I am blown away, I can’t believe that I am getting this opportunity and I will grab it firmly with both hands!!

So what next?  My book proposal is being edited, rearranged and critiqued by Nelle and I am working my socks off to perfect it before we start sending it off to publishers.  Really excitingly, there are a couple of publishers already VERY interested and so life as an author begins!

Peters, Fraser and Dunlop is one of the longest-established literary and talent agencies in London and I am thrilled to be working with both Nelle as a literary agent but also the Media and Public Speaking departments and so I hope that the So Bad Ass message will spread wide and far and that I can make a real difference. (I think TV needs more bolshy, northern, plus size bad asses, don’t you?!!)

I want to thank you all so much for your support, love and messages.  The reason I write is to make a difference and to help others and the book will be an extension of this, I can’t give too much away right now but it will be a book about love, kindness and battles and it will be dedicated to every one of you that are So Bad Ass.

 

Love Sam xxxxx

 

 

 

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