How I Gained Weight and Got Healthier Over 10 Years

Photos: Clockwise from Top left – At my thinnest, Top right – At least my arms are a bit stronger, Bottom right – Doing well but tummy bloated from gluten, Bottom left – Curvy, healthy and happy!

Hello lovely people! Someone suggested it might be a nice idea to share my weight gain and consequent health journey with you.

The reality of me being so thin and also unhealthy in my late 20’s early 30’s:

I was ALWAYS cold; if I got ill I’d become under weight and weak so easily; if I fell down (which I am prone to do when fatigued/not concentrating) I’d get really hurt because I had no padding over my bones; I struggled carrying my heavy boobs around on such a narrow frame and always had a bad back. I was so pale and not olive skinned like I should naturally be (which I covered up with fake tan).

BUT I was constantly told by people that I looked amazing and should feel grateful that I was ‘so skinny’.

I honestly thought through my 20’s and early 30’s that it was normal for young people to be over-worked, slightly stressed and to push their body to it’s limits and then prop it up with caffeine, sugar and beer/cocktails because that seemed the social norm at the time.

How I got healthy in my 30’s:

I mostly cut out foods containing gluten and dairy as I have an intolerance to them (meaning the body doesn’t absorb nutrients from those foods as it can’t digest them properly but it can, confusingly, make people look fat/bloated in places). I eat regular balanced meals with enough protein. I priorities sleep (even though that means saying no to morning invites). I don’t push myself to the limit of my strength and energy for fear of missing out (using up all of my body’s resources). I got a full blood work-up and found I was totally lacking in B12 and Vit D (no wonder I was so weak, brain fogged and grey!).

Even though I have MS now, I still feel healthier overall these days!

Has wanting to gain or loose weight prompted you to start a health journey? Let me know what you think in the comments!

✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨

International Women’s Day 2021 Which Women Have Personally Inspired You?

It’s been International Women’s Day today. Have you done anything nice or supportive for a special women or yourself today?

I’ve done lots of little selfcare things. 😌

Even if you don’t have any women in your life, you can support women’s charities or RT important feminist issues and news (both good and bad) on your social media to spread awareness.

I’m also looking to buy more auto-biographies by inspiring women with powerful and wonderful life stories. The last autobiography I read was by Tina Turner, who has had to deal with abuse and chronic illness but who has also had an amazing career and has found love later in life.

Any suggestions for autobiographies?

I have to give a shout out to the character of Tank Girl who, back in the day, was the only young woman (fictional or IRL) who’s style and attitude I could identify with. She taught me it was okay to not act ‘girly’ and look ‘pretty’ and that it was also okay to be confident, or blunt and to kick-ass sometimes!

Which strong women have inspired you in your life?

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨

How Depression Crept Up on Me and Advice

This time two years ago I posted the photo below to Instagram and said I was having a girly-night to myself and made it sound so positive.

What I didn’t say was that I’d had to go on Just Eat to find somewhere local which sold food and beer/wine because it felt like an overwhelming physical AND mental impossibility to go to the local shops. I was so hungry and really needed something to cheer myself up too.

I’d gotten into the habit of not getting (dragging myself) out of bed until 4.00pm (sadly after it had gone dark) so I hadn’t seen daylight for five days. I’d stopped being bothered to get dressed or comb my wildly frizzy hair or to tidy up.

The bloke had to be elsewhere and he was so stressed and busy he really needed to get on with it and I was trying to be as supportive as poss. But I was on my own all week, until weekend and felt really lonely. But I also felt guilty and silly bothering him.

I realise looking back that the Depression had crept back but at the time I was kidding myself that I was having fun enjoying not having any responsibilities or structure.

Ironically that is exactly what helps me, as it stops the endless days and nights all blending together. Plus someone to bounce my thoughts off so they aren’t swimming around in my head and growing more negative and repetitive is vital for me.

I wish I’d put an honest caption on Insta about how I was feeling at the time or told my Dad or my bloke how I felt. BUT I’d been fighting for decades to have my disabilities and chronic illness recognised and to get on ESA benefit so I could rest at home all day. I felt guilty that I wasn’t now happy and thought I must be being ungrateful or overly-dramatic. But actually, when you can’t or aren’t doing much, whole days and nights alone can seem like an eternity.

After doing this on repeat for about a month (literally just living for the weekend when my bloke would be able to come back basically) I phoned him in floods of tears.

We talked for an hour and worked out a better way of doing things and it made a vast amount of difference to my mental health.

———-

There isn’t always a reason though. Sometimes clinical depression can hit you for no reason at all and that’s perfectly normal, not your fault and just as valid.

If you are feeling crappy or apathetic to stuff you normally love doing or are struggling to keep your head above water, please don’t fool yourself you are ‘fine’. Admit to yourself that you aren’t feeling okay and then tell someone else, even if it’s just one other person (i.e. a considerate family member, a friend, an empathetic friend of a friend or your GP for instance) IRL or online.

You don’t have to be fine all of the time and forcing yourself to try can do more damage than good. Being open and honest about your feelings can lift a huge weight.

It’s ok not to be ok 🙃

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨

7 of the Best Tinted Lipbalms and Lip Oils

Fruu Colour Balm in Peach Perfect £5.00

This has quite a thick consistency but still glides on easily. Soothing Aloe and Banana extracts. Good colour payoff but I should have chosen Cherry as it’s too pale for me. My lips are really happy with it and so is my purse!

Organic / Vegan

Badger Lip Tint in Garnet £5.25

This doesn’t glide on easily but it is hydrating and moisturising with Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter. Sensibly priced for something you would use everyday. The Garnet shade would be a moody sort of nude for people with olive – darker skin tones.

BUAV (leaping bunny) approved cruelty free

Revolution London Good Vibes Lip Balm in Euphoria £5.00

Sadly, the colour of this balm is incredibly sheer. Not quite as long-lasting as some other lip balms but it is a very purse friendly fiver. Cannabis Sativa extract to soothes chapped lips.

Vegan

Glossier Mango Balm.com £10.00

Anyone else hate the title of this, just me?! The colour of this balm only shows up on the palest part of my wrist, it’s that sheer. It works wonders on dull, dry, dehydrated skin. I apply this on my lips, my cheekbones, the tip of my nose and my chin to instantly make me look fresh and awake too.

Paw Paw Rich Mocha Balm £3.95

A tube full of air! I was half way down the tube, squeezing with both hands before any of it came out. I love the colour but it’s too thick to spread consistently. This felt great on my lips at first but when it wore off (rather quickly) my lips felt dryer than they were before!? More like lipstick than a balm. Contains active ingredients of Olive Oil, Paw Paw and Aloe.

Vegan

e.l.f. Mocha Kiss Lip Oil £7.00

This is like the lip gloss you’ve been dreaming off. Glides on easily, with a sheer but noticeable tint and shine. The Jojoba, apricot and Vit E ingredients stopped my lips from drying out.

Vegan

Lottie London Lip Oil in Extra Cherries £4.17

This oil (with Almond Oil with extracts of Cherry) works well and stays put, without feeling too thick or goopy. I love the retro packaging but sadly there isn’t any colour pay off, just a very subtle iridescent shine.

*In the above image I called this colour ‘Sugar’ by mistake*

Vegan

———————————

Which one’s would you use? Do you have any recommendations?

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨

Vegan and Cruelty free Winter Skincare Saviours

Hello lovely people! Between the wind, rain, cold and central heating it’s no wonder our skin can become sensitive, dehydrated and dry, or like mine, freak out and become oily and dry in different places.

Here are my winter skin saviours!

e.l.f. Holy Hydration Face Cream

A really light, easily absorbed daily moisturiser which can be layered with serums and balms. This moisturiser contains (plant based) Squalane to improve moisture balance and elasticity, Peptides to protect skin, B3 to brighten and even the complexion and Hyaluronic Acid to help the other ingredients sink deep into the skin.

UpCircle Organic Face Serum

This serum uses repurposed coffee extract, which is rich in antioxidants and rosehip and jojoba oils to brighten and care for dry, dehydrated skin. I apply this serum and before it sinks in completely I apply moisturiser, which helps the moisturiser to sink in easily. It does have a tiny tingly sensation at first but doesn’t make my skin flush or react.

Wild Tree Skincare Organic Body Scrub Melt

This has the most delicious chocolate scent! It also has the most amount of oil (cacao seed butter and Shea butter) and scrubby bits (cacao seed powder) in anything I’ve ever used before. It’s really easy to hold in your palm and one melt covered my whole body. I don’t think I’ll have dry skin again for the next year! Okay, a slight exaggeration there.

Lucky Cloud Soothing Super Balm

This balm contains Oat Oil, Evening Primrose Oil and Sweet Almond Oil to calm dry, sensitive, itchy skin. The Lavender and Geranium Oils also calm body and mind. It’s a little miracle in a pot!

Balade En Provence Solid Night Cream

I normally have very cold hands so I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to use this but it melted into my palms straight away! Containing Cocoa Butter and Apricot Kernel Oil, this cream is both hydrating and moisturising, without clogging pours or creating an oil slick on your pillow.

Quite the dream team and all plant based!

Feel free to Like, comment (ask questions), follow and share.

✨🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤✨

My Hero Beauty Products of 2020

These are the products I’ve been using and purchasing repeatedly over the past year. They have been perfect for balancing my combination-type skin and hair.

Skincare

Haircare

General

I hope you’ve found this helpful and, as always lovely people, leave any questions or comments.

Extra…

Over the next couple of months I’ll be reviewing more skincare and beauty (including tinted lip balms and super moisturising lipsticks), as well as self-care and pampering products. Keep an eye on my Insta for a heads up!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

A Wonderful 2021 Diary by Pepper and Cute

This Pepper and Cute 2021 diary (£19.95) is a diary, organiser, planner and journal. With extra pages for TV, book and music lists, motivational illustrations, a zip-lock keepsake pocket, pretty post-it notes and stickers it’s a fun combination!

There are four different covers so I chose this one as it seems rather apt for someone living with disabilities and chronic illness like myself. I’m just that much of a diamond!

The lettering is rose gold, violet, sparkly rose gold or rainbow sparkly depending on how you tilt it. How clever is that!

Some of the Serious Bits

Some of the Fun Bits

CUTE LITTLE DETACHABLE BOOKMARK

My only complaint is that, even though this diary comes with several sheets per theme, you can’t buy extra refills so you have to be selective/frugal with how you use some parts of it.

This would make such a lovely, thoughtful present for someone. I’ve not been as excited to start a diary since my Smash Hits Magazine one which I got for ‘Crimbo’ as a teen in the 90’s, hehee!

🌟✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨🌟

Monthly Roundup – August

I’ve taken screen shots from my Instagram to remind me, and show you what I’ve been up to this month.

Skincare and Haircare

I cut my curly hair using tips from Brad Mondo and tips from various natural hair vloggers to style my 2C curls.

I changed my contraception so got quite a few hormonal spots and this Body Shop Tea Tree, Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner was invaluable; as was The Ordinary, Lactic Acid which very gently and naturally exfoliates.

Now it’s the end of August and my skin has settled so I’m using Neal’s Yard Remedies Orange Flower Toner and Orange Flower Moisturiser everyday to keep my skin all glowy and nourished (along with the The Ordinary Lactic Acid twice a week).

Food, glorious food!

Me and my bloke spent our Tesco vouchers on Pizza Express (who will be going into liquidation next month apparently) and order two ‘new’ veggie pizzas and all of the salad.

To take advantage of the governments ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme we went to Ruyi Vegetarian Restaurant. Amazing!

I’ve gotten back into the fake meat brand Vivera and have been making simple stir-fries. Like these Vivera Shwarma Kebab strips with rice and pea and sweet corn and Jamaican Jerk BBQ sauce.

The hot weather made really reduced my appetite so these mezze/tapas style bowls were great to nibble on.

Style

I’ve had purchasing a Nirvana tee at the back of my mind for decades and this month I found an official pale pink one. Cute and grungy!

I got sick of buying summer shoes that were either too flat and bad for my shitty joints or too heavy or that flew off my feet going down stairs. I bit the bullet and bought Crocs. I actually think these look pretty bad-ass as they remind me of late 80’s/early 90’s street style. Here’s my full review of Crocs.

I still think the simplest thing to wear is a maxi dress. Hides a ton of sins and all you have to choose are shoes and then a jacket/cardigan for evening.

Lifestyle

In the crazy hot weather I’ve been wearing these sandals from Newlook, drinking Rockstar blueberry energy drink, using this light and fruity perfume from Eden and ( even with my limited concentration span) flew through My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

The households charity shop donations for the second quarter of the year: A crazy wide pair of linen trousers, a face scrub you have to mix from powder (I managed to spill the first pot everywhere), vest I’m now too big for, too small jeans, a teeny-tiny dress from Japan, shoes which I’ve had over a decade and worn out.

Tips on How Not To Be Constantly Late and a fun checklist to see How Basic Are You?

Listened to

80’s pop and bluesy rock.

Watched

Snowfall about the start of the crack epidemic in early 80’s LA, like a mixture of Breaking Bad, The Getdown and The Wire.

Canada’s Drag Race, love Priyanka!

Galdem (on BBC iPlayer) about women making it in the UK grime scene.

Read

My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

Don’t forget to like, comment or subscribe! Xxx

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

How Not To Be Late All Of The Time

  • I’ve struggled terribly for years with keeping track of time, planning my time and executive functioning (getting around to doing tasks). For me, this is due to my Autism and Dyspraxia but I know it’s a general problem for so many people. Do you often get so (hyper) focussed on doing a single task that you loose all sense of time or often get too distracted by irrelevant tasks?
  • Here are the coping strategies for being on time, that I’ve learned over 30+ years:

  • Get everything ready the night before by putting all of the essentials in your bag or together in a pile (which you have to walk past on the way out).
  • Plan your outfit and/or make sure your shoes/bag/coat are clean and presentable beforehand.
  • To figure how long it will take to get ready break down your daily routine into tasks, then assume each task is going to take a few minutes longer than you would think.
  • At the start, factor in ten extra minutes for zoning out or hyper-focussing on something or for one of those ‘Oh crap, I’ve properly arsed this up’ sort of moments.
  • If you are able, get into the habit of agreeing on a time to meet up a bit later – even though (in your head) you are still aiming for the original time – to give yourself a margin.
  • Set an alarm or a timer to go off half way through the time you have left to get ready, to give you some perspective on how you are doing.
  • Don’t rely on public transport/a lift/taxis to be on time either and allow for rush hour traffic.
  • Now you should fall into the middle of the time slot you’ve mentally and socially allocated yourself.
  • If you are still late sometimes? Try not to stress. Shit happens.
  • 🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤
  • Cutting My Own Hair & Bringing Out Natural Waves/Curls

    Before

    As you can see it has an undefined frizzy shape and then it’s gone crazy at the bottom where it’s been twisted up overnight. As it’s thick and long, it tends to sit around my shoulders like a very warm cape.

    Cutting My Own Hair

    I used a technique for cutting your own hair by Brad Mondo, which is simple and effective. Basically, you divide your hair into quarters, two at the front, two at the back and put little hair bands at the length you want to cut. Do not lift or pull the hair at the back around to the front when cutting, instead keep it straight and behind your shoulder. Cut below the hair band. Please do watch the vid, don’t take it from me!

    The sensible style

    I look so much like my Mum here, it’s uncanny!

    The 2000’s Bone Straight Style

    I used to wear this style to look a bit edgy for clubbing (so much product) but then that flat, straight look became the norm!?

    After

    Big chunky waves and curls!

    The easiest way to bring out natural curls & waves

    1. When you come out of the shower, tip your hair upside down and gently scrunch with a flat pile towel or thick T-shirt to remove excess water.
    2. This also lift the roots of your hair allowing for more movement.
    3. While hair is still very wet (but not dripping) and your hair is still clumped into curls/waves apply a lot of curl cream. Don’t rake it through but squish it into the individual curls/waves.
    4. Warning: If you let it get too dry before applying products, it will split and go stringy and/or frizzy. Then you have to soak it all over again.
    5. Apply any hair oil afterward. Oil acts as a barrier and will seal in the moisture you just added.

    Would you/have you cut your own hair? Do you think you could bring out any natural movement in your own hair? Let me know in the comments!

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤