Quitting like a Fat Babe does.

 

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Babes. I fucking quit my job. A job I loved. A job I was good at, that I think made a tiny difference. And, let’s be real, a job that paid half the bills and meant that we could have fancy cheese sometimes.

That is some messed up, holy shit, mid life mother fucking crisis business, no?

Rhetorical question – IT IS OBVI WILDLY RECKLESS. Especially for a fat babe with a protestant prairie work ethic. YOU NEVER QUIT A JOB WITHOUT ANOTHER JOB. It is the middle class mantra of prairie people since time immemorial. But I totally fucking did. So there.

Welcome to the party. Confession: by party I mean the exact opposite.

I am fucking exhausted. Babes I’m tired. The kind of tired that makes me want to sleep for days. The kind of tired that makes nothing seem worth getting up for. The kind of tired that often requires expensive therapy and significant life changes. And, y’all, I have been tired for a while. So I quit.

Look it was either quit or lose everything, so the choice was a no brainer. I mean, babes, I pretty much have it all : partner that I love and that I still think is a total babe who is kind and patient and knows how to fix shit, a scrappy kid that is pretty much the best thing that ever happened to me, a couple dirt bag dogs, a mostly un-fucked up family that loves me, enough disposable income to ensure that I look sick as fuck, and a place to lay my head every night – not the worst life. In fact, kind of the best life.

And then there was a moment in time (my fucking birthday if we are going to be specific – which I am) where my S.O. was all ‘get your head out of your ass and engage with the people who love you like you love them back or I am outta here’ – Babes that is the kind of sentence that you fucking pay attention to. And then you fix it.

The reality of my life is that my anxiety has always been a tricky little fucker. And the other truth is that the kind of work that I do is deeply impactful – in all the good ways and all the really fucking bad ways. And then this other shitty thing happened where my crazy went and tied itself to land and humanity and the ways that this planet and her people are so sick. Babes, there is no escape from a sick planet. A lover once said to me ‘i don’t know how you can manage your anxiety when the world is so full of hurt’. She nailed it, babes, how do we manage in a sick world? How do those of us with giant hearts who feel things hard and long and deep stay afloat?

The hard truth is I have no fucking clue. I can’t tell when I am sick and when I am just anxious. I feel like I am dying every single day. I can’t turn off my worry about dying and leaving my little girl, I can’t stop being afraid that she will turn out like her mama, hurting in a world that needs more love and heart and peace than we can give. I can’t stop wondering whether today will be the day when my partner has just had enough of it and walks out the door.

Honestly, babes, anxiety has pretty much meant that I can’t have nice things (or maybe, secret confession, that I don’t deserve them). Or at least that’s how it feels. A lot.

That is why I had to quit the ever loving hell out of my job. Cause this is the kind of wonky brain stuff that fucking destroys lives and I may be crazy but I am not stupid and I was not gonna go down like that. Hell to the fucking no. Cause babes, on my clear days, I know that we are all worth fighting for, I’m worth fighting for fer crissakes. My people and community and this planet deserve a fat, kind hearted, blaspheming warrior femme to bring the noise, the chaos and the motherfucking style.

Now I get that quitting a damn job is maybe a large-ish gesture and that many people just hire a life coach or do yoga or something less, well, drastic. But I am a babe that tends to lean towards the dramatic, the hysterical, the ‘burn it with fire’ approaches to significant life problems. I mean why do anything halfway, amiright?

K, and to be clear i am also fully aware that quitting a job the same day you first think about quitting said job is not just born out of enormous balls and recklessness, but also privilege and a partner who works, so I get that I sound actually ridiculous. But here is the goddamn lowdown: I have until mid February to figure out what the fuck do with myself that will give me energy instead of suck the life out of me. I gotta figure out how to live in this world in a good way for my family and my community.

So the current plan is to start by doing myself a solid and taking some time to chill the fuck out. And from there, I am banking on the fact that adventure awaits.

So I quit. I worked my last day Friday. So that I can live.

First Day at No Work:

Post Work Out:

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My new work has an even more casual dress code than the clinic!

My New Co-Workers and Office:

 

The bar for efficiency and work ethic is extremely low here. Like, if I stay awake and don’t pee on the couch I will have surpassed my colleagues by significant amounts.

 

 

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‘Dressing for my body type’ like a fat babe does.

I am on a tear today. Trust when I say there is a lot to be on a tear about. Babes, honestly I see myself as a positively oriented person. I do. I really feel like a glass half full kind of babe. And today is no different; its just that my glass is half full of bullshit. Kay fine, its totally full. Whatever, haters gonna hate.

Here is the deal. The internet is ablaze with some real world shit – my social media is currently packed with badass activism. The kind of activism I want to put my energy into: harm reduction, prison and justice reform, calling out rape culture, and decolonizing the ever loving hell out of healthcare. That’s what’s up for me and the people I love right now. And of course I’m also trying to be the least amount of racist i possibly can as a white settler here on Turtle Island (which is to say still pretty racist, but hopefully a little less all the time). So y’know I’ve got some shit on my mind.

And then today. Today, babes, I learned that my college put together a learning module about professionalism that asks that I wear clothes that flatter my body type and infers that I think twice about piercings, tattoos, and eye rolls.

**EYE ROLL**

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

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does this ring make me look fat?

I can’t even babes. I will say right now that I am gonna be real real for a sec about some gender shit. By now most of you should have gathered that my fat babe utopia is for fat babes of all genders, but today I need to address some motherfucking lady business. I work in a gendered profession so when I read things like I did today all I can think is ‘how have we let ourselves use up so much goddamn energy on hating ourselves and fatphobia?’. And then I remember that our capitalist and colonial system has brilliantly co-opted women’s bodies(especially BIPOC bodies) as a first line of defense against those of us thinking about rising up. It is devastatingly unsurprising that my colleagues feel that this is the pressing issue on the table for my profession. It is because it is also the pressing issue in most women’s minds. The average woman spends an entire month a year worrying about appearance. A goddamn month babes. That’s 12 hours a week. Of that, 1 hour and 45 minutes is spent on worrying about being/getting fat (the rest is a more generalized ‘i look the worst and everything is terrible about me’ kind of worry). No wonder we have no time to smash the state, we are too busy destroying ourselves. That is how this system works to keep us separate, judgmental, and cold. Body policing babes. It is sapping our goddamn energy and taking away from the work that needs doing.

So, to get a little social work-y for a sec – lets unpack some of the ways we are fucking with each other – cause I believe that it has to start with fat babes, those of us who are already on our way to flipping tables about this stuff while also looking as babely as we wanna. Fat Babes can handle the duality of our lives – we get that we can care about how we look at the same time as we challenge how we think about how we look. Fat Babes, yall, we are complex motherfuckers.

Maggie’s Top Three Fat Hating Phrases That Keep Us All Down.

1. ‘Flattering’.

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Clearly I’m not the first genius to come up with this thought.    Naturally there is a crop top. #croptopsforalloccassions
 First off fucking fuck flattering straight to fucking hell. What the hell does flattering even mean? It is just another way that we have learned to hate on each other. I have been told wearing stripes is unflattering…so is showing a little belly, so are tight mini-skirts, same for bikinis, and shorts. Too bad all of these things figure prominently in my spring/summer 2016 fashion game. Reality check. I know a million hot fat babes who buck these trends every. single. day. And they look like righteous babes in their sick threads. So what are we actually saying when we talk about ‘flattering’? Well first off, if we are talking about fat women, we are saying they are not covered up enough in billowy clothes to hide their fat- basically it isn’t flattering to wear clothes that make fat more visible. In general though, we are saying there are rules to follow – especially if you are fat and woman identified- and if you don’t follow them then we will put you in your place. We say ‘why can’t she just wear clothes that are more flattering for her body’ which means ‘i would never ever wear that because I know the rules and I would never break them because then other women would judge me too’. It is a vicious cycle of nonsense where no one quite knows the rules, and we really dont wanna break em so we distract from our lack of knowing by judging and assessing everyone around us and the beat goes on. This is some classic white people comedy of manners realness. And it will never end unless we all just stop using the word flattering forever. FUCK FLATTERING.

2. ‘Dressing for your body type’.

Let me just tell you how to do this once and for all. Find clothes you like. Put them on your body. Ask yourself ‘does this fit comfortably? do I feel hot?’. If the answer is yes to both then you have successfully dressed for your body type. Bravo.

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Can you even with this hot fat babe model from http://www.readytostare.com        And also that sick tee – beyond babes, just beyond.

If you feel amazing in what you are wearing where do the rest of us get off having a shitty attitude about whether you should wear that crop top with those leggings (you totally fucking should, btw.)? Stop policing each other, stop having an opinion about what we can and cannot wear. Guess what? If it is on my body, I can wear it. The ‘dressing for your body type’ trope is just another way of making women feel like they can’t wear what they love. Wear. What. You. Love. Life is too short babes. People are gonna hate us no matter what we wear; especially if we choose to be unapolagetically fat in the world and you know what? Better them than us. That’s not about dressing for your type, their shit is about body hatred and fatphobia, straight up, served ice  cold.

 

 

3. ‘Does she think she is getting away with that?’

Get away with what exactly? Wearing clothes other people don’t like to see on bodies like mine? Easy. I just get dressed.

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Cage bras, babes. Pretty sure we should all be ‘getting away with this’.

When we wear clothes others don’t think fat people should wear, we never ‘get away with it’, we just don’t give a shit, or at least not enough to cave. Believe me, I know that when I wear a bikini to the beach that people are gonna have a thing to say. And babes, trust me, I spend time harnessing my inner fat babe bitch to get ready for whatever other women wanna throw at me. For real though babes I’d rather not-it would be way easier if women just stopped shit talking my steaze and *actually* let me ‘get away with it’.

These types of phrases are coded body policing. Most women experience it at some point in their lives and fat women live with it on the daily. This is on top of the month a year many of us spend doing it to ourselves. We spend so much time hating fat that we don’t even realize that we are wasting our lives on something that doesn’t even matter.

Fat.

Babes, it’s not a dirty word unless we make it one. Even fat activism has been diluted by body positivity. I’m all for loving our bodies, but my personal feeling is that until we get right with fat, we aren’t gonna get anywhere with another love yourself anthem. We need a fucking fat revolution so we can get to the actual revolution.

Cause babes, imagine if we all just stopped.

Imagine if my college put all that energy about appearance into integrating the TRC health recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Comission into nursing.

Imagine if all the fat phobic body hating clatter in our minds just quieted down.

Imagine if we could stop worrying about the giggling group of teens at the beach or the mothers cluck clucking at the school, or the women working out next to us at the gym.

Imagine never having to hear someone berate themselves for enjoying a piece of cheese before they eat said cheese.

Babes in this version of the world we could get some goddamn work done. We would have an entire month of spare time to give capitalist, racist and colonial systems the shit kicking they so richly deserve. We could stand in solidarity with fat babes fighting deep injustice on the frontlines; we could love each other so fiercely.

It would be so beautifully quiet. We would suddenly have time and space and peace to think. So much beautiful fat babe energy to focus on creating a just and kind and loving world. A world where we gather in the streets to honour, resist, celebrate, love, acknowledge, and engage with one another. In booty shorts, if we want.

Smooches.

Fat Babe Armor – suit up like a fat babe does

 So I was in the locker room at the YMCA today. Now for whatever reason (like, I don’t know, cis, white privilege?) even as a fat babe, locker rooms rarely bother me. I have an exibitionist streak and am fine dropping trow on a dime. So I don’t mind whipping off my bra in front of a gaggle of teenagers or my thighs jiggling in the midst of a team of moms wrestling their kids into bathing suits. My fat bod takes up naked space on the daily, no big deal. But today. Babes, today was not an easy day for my fat babe bod or my fat babe heart.

I walked into the locker room sweaty after a run and made my way to my locker where there were two people chatting. Strangers, but they had bonded in that change room. A young person, teenager maybe and another person in their 30’s, somewhere near my own age.

Connecting on a deeply personal level over how much they hated their bodies.

Teenager: My mom wanted to buy me this winter coat in an extra-large, but i made her buy it for me in a size large – It will fit me next year.

Thirty something – Of course it will, you keep coming to the gym and you will see changes. I used to be 250lbs and in one year I had lost one hundred pounds. I’ve hit a plateau here though and I just need to lose 10 more pounds and I will be good.

Teenager – What size are you?

Thirty something – small.

Teenager: I just want to be a large…or a medium.

Babes, I withered. I felt my heart crack and i withered. My mind raced for a way to interject, to figure out the words i needed, to let that teenager know that she was fucking perfect all ready, to let that thirty something know that those last 10lbs are not going to change the friendly way she talks to everyone. How do I tell them the world may not have heart for fat babes, but I do.

But i had nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. I could not think of a way to interrupt the conversation, to get in the way of that rhetoric, the idea that hating ourselves is a casual conversation to have with strangers. That we always just need to lose ten more pounds. Instead I took off my sweaty clothes piece by piece and got dressed holding on to their agony and desire and feelings of not being enough. I left. I walked out, my eyes a little damp.

And isn’t that the goddamn reality of this fatphobic, capitalist, western narrative about bodies? That we just need a little more to be good. Lose a little more weight, work out a little more, have a little more will power. That little more is what is killing us, babes. A little more is asking too damn much. My fat body is not a commodity for capitalism. Not today, babes.

I know too damn well that a little more just leaves us with a whole lot less, but, sweet mother, it is damn near impossible to wedge our fat bodies into that conversation at all. At least this afternoon it was. And all through dinner. And while I was putting my own little girl to sleep after reading her a barbie princess book she had stolen from daycare. And then babes it wasn’t. It wasn’t impossible because fuck that. If I need an unmovable mass of a babe to serve as a wedge and take up some fucking room in a conversation, well hell, might as well be me.

I cried today because listening to those two babes in the locker room reminded me that most people live that way-spending so much energy and time on what could be/real talk: what never will be, that they miss out on putting their energy elsewhere: love affairs, discovery, friends, changing the world.

I had forgotten for a second that this is real life standard practice for many a fat babe. And I hate that and I felt helpless, sad and heartsick for any babe who is stuck in the wrong conversation. And I don’t like that feeling so the crying came for me. But then so did my anger and my rage and my heart and that is why I poured out this post. Because my rage fueled by heart has helped me survive.

And maybe that is the conversation we should be having in the lunch room.

So Babes, lets armor up cause if we are gonna go out there and kick it fat babe style we need some goddamn reinforcements. Now I’m not usually one for affirmational statements but when times get tough fat babes need some spirit to fall back on. First step is some emotional armor to get us all started. Something to take us away from that ‘little more’ mantra that is embedded over and over in our minds, our skin, our fat. Words that help us stick in people’s craw, that allow us to live huge in a world that vilifies big.

 

 A Fat Babe’s Armored Affirmations for Living Life Like a Bad Ass Bitch

  1. The world we live in is a bag of dicks, but we don’t have to suck. You feel me? We can be better than we have been taught. We can love with an open heart and we can choose to turn that love inward before we let it pour out.
  2. Take care of each other. We live in a world that thinks there is such a thing as being ‘too nice’. THAT IS NOT A THING. Love the fat babes around you.Tell them that their strength makes you stronger. That together we are both better and fatter.
  3. Just cause you are the bomb doesn’t mean you always have to feel that way. Give yourself permission to be pissed off, upset, angry. We live in a world where shit talking our bodies is the accepted way to bond in the lunch room. If that isn’t a reason to flip a table, I don’t know what is (and if your version of flipping a table is putting on sweats and calling in sick then so be it).
  4. Love what you put in your body. Whether it is a big mac, kale, or a danish in the gym parking lot (mmmmm parking lot danish), it is ok. You do not owe anyone an explanation for how you nourish your self. If you want to carb load before watching TV that is fan fucking tastic – you don’t need to apologize to a goddamn soul.
  5. Your body has helped you survive the harshness of the world you live in. Your strong fat bod has held you when you were hurt, scared, unsafe, anxious, sad. Honour your body for keeping you alive, for giving you exactly what you needed in that moment.
  6. You are deserving of love and joy and deep connection. Your body deserves to be touched in a way that makes you feel alive and desired – by others and by you. Your fat body deserves some love, yall.
  7. Some days we just don’t feel it. That is not because we are fat, it is because we are alive. Some days our outfits don’t work, or things don’t look right. Those days are hard. It’s ok to curl into yourselves. Do what you need to do to get through it.
  8. Just cause the world we live in does not always hold us kindly doesn’t mean we can’t hold ourselves in kindness. Can you hold space to care for yourself? Be gentle with that body of yours. Tell yourself that’s what fat babes deserve. Cause it is.
  9. You are not too much. That is some fucked up shit that people say to fat babes and it plays on some deep level insecurities around being big in a world that constantly wants us smaller. Asking for what we want is not too much. Setting boundaries about what kind of body talk you will tolerate is not too much. Fuck ‘too much’.
  10. You don’t have to be any way besides the way you are. You are enough.

So, let’s crack this conversation open and blow it to pieces like the sexy hot babes we are. Everyone else can thank us later.

Smooches.

healthcare providing like a fat babe does

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Don’t let the nurse-y side eye get you down.

Babes. I have a confession. I try not to tell people unless they already know me and think i’m not the actual worst. I’m four posts in to this blog so I’m thinking if you are still with me that you are ready. Here it is: I am a health care provider, a nurse to be specific. A fat one, but still. And on behalf of healthcare providers I would like to offer you fat babes my sincerest apologies for our dickish behaviour towards fat. We, as a group, are deeply uninformed, thoroughly incompetent, and essentially body phobic assholes. Its not you, it is so totally us.

We don’t read the articles about health(if you want that) at any size, we don’t see the journal articles about how fat people live longer, we have never heard of the ‘obesity paradox’, we don’t go out of our way to learn about how to make space for fat bodies in healthcare. And for this i am deeply sorry.

We consume the same epic bullshit media as the rest of the world and it makes us bad at our jobs. You know what i mean, yeah? Oprah talking about bread and weight watchers in the same breath, vogue cosmo marie claire who do a ‘size issue’ once a year (as if that gets them off the hook for the other 11 months), celebrity magazines dedicated to dissecting celebrity bodies (too thin, too fat, what not), and shame-y public health campaigns that, for some reason, love to use exactly no evidence for their social marketing. Healthcare providers have been trained in the same way that  all of us have – to hate our bodies and to believe that changing our physical appearance is the answer to living life to the fullest (Fun Fact: it’s not).

Then your friendly wannabe docs and nurses et al go to healthcare school. In the beginning it’s ok. We learn that there is no magic bullet in healthcare, that healing is complex. So far so good.

Unfortunately for fat babes everywhere, eventually shit gets really real in healthcare school and we learn the most messed up logic fail in medicine:

That ‘lifestyle changes’ are the solution to it all- wait, what? Especially for fatties – oh hell no.

Suddenly, despite that earlier training about how there is no magic bullet in healthcare, we are taught that, for fat people, there is and that bullet is a diet. It is this moment where everything goes sideways and all of a sudden losing 20 pounds will cure cancer.

And so this begins our training in talking out of both sides of our mouths; learning to say things like ‘dieting doesn’t work’ at the same time as we tell you that ‘losing ten pounds will cure whatever ails you’. It is nonsensical at best, and, actually, harmful at worst. Yay.

We are totally and hopelessly fucked up when it comes to taking care of fat babes.

I am not going to get into it with anyone about whether losing weight is or isn’t good for you – perhaps another blog I will just post an epic list of journal articles backing up my shit, but not today. BECAUSE THE POINT IS MOOT. The fact is that all of this conditioning and weird health care training has lead healthcare providers to believe that we get to have an opinion about someone else’s body. The straight up truth is: no, we fucking don’t.

We don’t need to weigh you at every check up to do our jobs, we don’t need to lecture you about your food choices, we certainly don’t need to give you gowns that barely cover your hot asses, and we definitely don’t need to prescribe weight loss as a cure all. Doing these things is not healing, it is not sound medicine, and it is not trauma informed. It is about punishing you for being a hot fat babe that believes you have a right to be cared for by the healthcare system (which you completely do, FYI). Ima say it again to be totally clear: none of this stuff is about true healing nor is it about health. It is about being a massive douchebag.

You have the right to come and see us with a flu, or a sexually transmitted infection, or a broken bone without hearing about how your body needs to change. You have the right to talk about post partum depression without being told to lose weight. Hell, you have the right to see us about high blood pressure, diabetes, and sore backs (you know ‘fat people problems’) without us talking to you about how your body needs to change. Unsolicited advice, lectures and shame are not acceptable healthcare interventions nor are they effective.

And yet. And yet.

So many fat babes see their healthcare providers with dread in their hearts. Or they don’t go at all. We are denied healthcare(however subtly) because of how healthcare providers talk to us, or we get healthcare that doesn’t actually get at the heart of healing. And we internalize it – we blame our fat, or our lack of strength, our confidence or our motivation. We turn it inwards instead of looking at why we feel these ways.

So, i would like to say a few things as a healthcare provider. The poor care and cruelty we display in serving fat people is not your fault. Your dread and fear and avoidance are brilliant goddamn survival strategies. You have adapted to shaming and problematic healthcare in the most reasonable and honest way. You are protecting yourself in the best way that you can from a system that is far from kind. Fat babes deserve better. We deserve healthcare providers that honour how our bodies have gotten us this far, that see that fat babes are the strongest survivors, and that our fat bodies have carried us through life, have created life, have survived trauma, and have made us the fierce hot babes that we are.

I know that most of us don’t get that kind of care. I know because I don’t get it either. So, fat babes, survive healthcare providers, survive us however you have to: by stepping on that scale or by refusing to, by demanding better care from your provider or by quietly searching for someone new. However you navigate your way among us is the right way. Your glorious bodies are not any of our business unless you want them to be.

You are beautiful and you are fine. Your soft bellies and strong thighs are getting you through this world, not us.

Smooches.

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That tank top says ‘blah blah blah blah’. Im not saying i wear it to the doctor’s, and im not saying i dont. 😉

So babes I’m a gym rat. I go nearly everyday. I elliptical mostly, but I also try to do a circuit once a week and I mix it up with the stationary bike. Surprise, I’m still fat-the fattest I have ever been. Can we all take a moment to let the fact that a solid fat babe like me goes to the gym everyday sink in.

Now, if there was ever a place a fat babe needs armour it is at the gym which is like a honing beacon for body dysmorphic dieters- I just don’t have the heart to tell them that exercise doesn’t make you thin. Not begrudging the skinnies their hangout- it’s cool you are welcome in my gym. Just stop looking surprised to see me here. And I’m not fucking leaving so get into my sweaty fat face already. I stake my ground at the gym because y’all we have a right to be here (if we want) and also because it has become a place that makes me feel really good. 45 minutes out of the day that are gloriously mine and where people aren’t all wanting a piece of me. Fat babes need breaks from the world too and for me I have randomly found it in the gym. Weird.

I love the gym for the following reasons:

1. It keeps my crazy at bay. My near daily gym regimen over the past year has been the single greatest intervention for managing my anxiety-and I have tried a lot of stuff.

2. There is cable tv at the gym. I am obsessed with television to the point where I can’t have it in my home or I would never do anything else. So learning that I can watch reruns of Modern Family (which I know is problematic in nearly every way possible, but hey still funny so what evs) while working out was a goddamn revelation.

3. I have a semi legitimate reason to buy active wear. And I only need semi legitimacy to buy clothes. Let me show you what has me all excited these days:

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On the  model.
 On me: This slouchy top makes me feel like I’m in Fame. I may break into dance at.any.moment.

Also this:

 Those are turquoise and black stripes.Reversible. Here is the pattern on the other side:

 Apparently it’s a bra, but I’m pretty sure it’s a top. Additionelle, we can agree to disagree.

Anyhow, I got these after getting a gajillion gift certificates after buying a winter coat. The lace top (from a previous post), two of these bra things, and the peach shirt cost me 50 bucks total. All these things were regular price so in my opinion overpriced. I don’t believe you should ever pay full price for clothes and additionelle is no exception. Holding out for the buy one get two free or at least a 40%off sale is the way to go.

K, babes a quick caveat: I spent the bulk of this year wearing the same pair of leopard print leggings and tank top to the gym every damn day. And I only just replaced my old hospital nurse runners with a pair that don’t have blood and superbugs all over em. You don’t need activewear to be active- I am just a ridiculous clothes horse who will jump on any excuse to buy shit I don’t need. And well, this is a shameless fashion blog so y’know, grain of salt and all that.

Anyways fat babes, let’s keep taking up space and if you wanna come to my gym with me, I’m down for that, just don’t interrupt me during Ellen.