I’ve Got News!
I have some exciting news to share with you all! Exciting for me, anyway!
Next week I am starting a new job!
It’s another library job, which is brilliant, but it’s a promotion from the job I’m currently doing, and it’s in a university library.
But why am I sharing this news with you?
Because it means that my 33 hours a week job at the moment, will be changing to 36 hours a week plus I’ll be adding 4 hours to my commute too. Which, sadly means that I’m going to have less time to read and blog.
While I do not want to blog or read less, I am just letting you all know in advance that it might happen. Especially now that the weather is getting nicer so when I can read on the bus, I will probably opt for walking instead!
So just in case you wonder why I’m not posting as much, now you know.
So… here’s to something new, eh?
A Day Without Speaking
I’m here today to share with you all how difficult I would find it to spend a day without speaking. The reason I’m doing this is to help spread the light on Selective Mutism which is a severe anxiety disorder and is also what Steffi in A Quiet Kind of Thunder suffers from.
So before I begin, here’s some more information on the book!
About the Book
Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn’t a lightning strike, it’s the rumbling roll of thunder.
Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.
From the bestselling author of Beautiful Broken Things comes a love story about the times when a whisper is as good as a shout.
A Day Without Speaking
When I first thought about how difficult it would be to not be able to speak, I thought about the amount of times a day people speak to you and expect an answer back. Strangers that have never met you who you may accidentally bump into in the street. People who ask you for directions or the time or for your help with something. This would be tricky – and something that I also think would be also be incredibly hard for a deaf person too – but then I dived a little further and realised that I talk… a lot. I used to think of myself as a quiet girl. A girl who kept to herself and spoke only when she felt she needed to and in part, I am still that person but I also talk a lot more than I even knew.
The second thing to come from this thought process was the thought that I would not be able to work in the job I am currently doing. A large part of my job is talking to customers. It would be impossible to do my job if I was incapable of talking – and of course, how would I have interviewed for the job in the first place? On an average day I talk to maybe 100 people. Sometimes all I say is hello. Sometimes I just have a quick interaction while I sign them up to the library and other times I have to have a more in depth conversation so that I can help the customer in the best way possible. Then there is all of the essential talking that happens between myself, my colleagues and my superiors. Words of discussion, of explanations, of tasks that have or need to be completed. Without this communication, it would be a disaster. How would my colleagues communicate to customers the reason there are less books is because I am creating a nicer area for them if I hadn’t told them this first?
So without a doubt, my job would not be there. So what would I do for a living instead? I cannot even fathom a job where there is no talking at all. I’m sure that there is probably something. Maybe something in crafts or art, but even then you have to have the talent for it and how would you sell it without words?
Then I thought about eating out. I do this more often than I probably should. But eating out means ordering. Ordering is very difficult without words. I presume in a restaurant you might be able to point at the dish on the menu but what if you needed something changing? Or what if you’re in a coffee shop or somewhere like McDonalds or Subway? At least if you go food shopping, these days you can get by without words because in most larger stores you can either self-scan your items or do a scan and shop but if you need help or a staff member asks you something, how would you go about answering them?
There is so much about my day to day life that requires speech or words of some kind that the idea of being physically incapable of doing it, scares me. I’ve always been petrified of losing my sight or my hearing but never really thought about speech. Until now. And it is now something that I am grateful for and will treasure from now on.
As someone who suffers from anxiety, I can understand that fear. I can understand the worry that must go through the mind when it comes to being unable to speak. I know that when I suffer from panic attacks, I can barely talk. I need to get myself to a safe space but telling someone that isn’t possible. I’m usually just about dealing from not being able to breathe. And I also know that the fear of certain situations has stopped me from going places or trying new things. So, I can see how it is possible to deal with this fear by not speaking.
And knowing how tough this would make life, I can only hope that the people they love understands that and accepts them as they are. Because they’re going to need every last ounce of support they can get.
As well as A Quiet Kind of Thunder, I would also highly recommend, What I Couldn’t Say by Faye Bird as another UKYA book to read which features a main protagonist with selective mutism.
How Would It Affect Your Day?
Father’s Day Treat
As mentioned yesterday, this is the second post in my Father’s Day Weekend series and today I’m here with another exciting post – which ends with money off for you!
Amazon Discount Codes and Amazon Free Delivery Codes
So today is the big day and if you’re really behind then you might still be without a present for your father but that is a-ok because I am here with some Amazon Discount Codes, including Amazon Free Delivery Codes so that you can buy him something or offer him the money off codes too!
The codes are perfect to save money on a wide variety of things on Amazon, including but not limited to, clothing and homeware. All you need to do to Get Amazon promo codes & vouchers is click! Have a look through what is on offer, get the code and enter it at the checkout – simple!
But if all of that isn’t enough, you can also get yourself a nice little present too with the Amazon Discount Codes and Amazon Free Delivery Codes.
And before you finish reading, I also want to say that these codes AREN’T being supplied by Amazon, they are being supplied by My Favourite Voucher Codes who are a small company working hard behind the scenes to bring you the most relevant and useful discount codes from hundreds of different suppliers. They also give 20% of their profits to charity!
So why not do something nice today, and get you or your father a treat at a discounted rate.
*This is a collaborative post written by myself*
Today I’m here to talk to you about a rather personal and sensitive topic that has been shadowing me for many, many years. I think it is time to share my thoughts. Today I want to talk to you all about what may just be my own paranoid thoughts but how I believe that people take one look at me and my size and instantly judge my lifestyle and how I live.
And the first thing I want to let you all know, because it bugs me to no end is this;
Fat and Fit are not mutually connected
It is quite possible to be fat and fit or thin and unfit. Just because you are one, does not mean that you are automatically the other. And the reason I know this is because I am fat and fit, and have been for most of my life.
But when people see me, I am certain that they believe I;
a) need more exercise
b) should eat less
c) eat more of the “right” food
And I’m a little bit fed up of how damaging these thoughts and comments can be, especially when I already feel like I am trying my hardest to “look better”.
This is me. This is what I look like. It is more or less, how I have always looked – with a little bit of extra padding. Yes, I have had moments in my life where I’ve been slimmer and moments in my life when I’ve been bigger but for the most part, this is a good average representation of how I have always looked. I have not, and doubt I will ever be, incredibly skinny. The best I have to hope for is to fit into a size 12. But that is totally okay. Because even at the size I am now, I know that I am fit and active and that makes me incredibly happy with myself.
I have always been active
Ever since I was a young girl, I liked to run around. From what I’m told, I would run around the playground, ride my bike, going for long walks and get involved with sports. I didn’t care that I wasn’t any good or very fast because I enjoyed it. And I still do. I have this slight problem wherein I can find it very difficult to sit still for long periods of time. (Anyone who has sat next to me in the cinema will know this for certain and often hates me for all my fidgeting!)
What this essentially means is that I rather enjoy being physically active and find it hard to not do some sort of exercise from time to time. In fact, I know there is a link to my moods and how often I exercise. Whenever I get too low, I try and force myself to go and be active for a little while.
So, when I was in primary school, I was always running around at breaktime, playing hopscotch, doing handstands over and over, playing football and even participating in gymnastics. At secondary school I walked thirty (eventually twenty when I kept waking up late) to school every morning, loved PE and was on the school rounders and netball team. I went to Guides where at camp we did Kayaking, Rockclimbing, Absailing, Hiking, and various other activities that I enjoyed. At fourteen I got a paper-round where every morning I would cycle for thirty minutes with heavy bags of papers. Then when I went to college I would walk fourty-five minutes to the train station and then walk up the largest hill for another twenty minutes (and back again in the evening). I would play badminton in the evenings, went swimming every Friday afternoon and I also joined a ten pin bowling club on Saturday mornings. (You may not think ten pin bowling is a lot of effort but it is when you do it for three hours without stopping and you’re the only one in your lane).
Then I went to Canada for six months and went skiing twice a week, every week. It was during this part of my life that I lost the most weight I ever have. The problem being that I did so because I got the flu. On my return, I went to university and one of the first things I did was sign up to the Waterpolo team. This was also the year that I first started running for charity so I started training to run my first 5K. I did another 5K run a year later and stayed with the Waterpolo team which included vigorous training three times a week. Admittedly in my third year of university I stopped doing Waterpolo training but I did keep my running up and still went swimming regularly. While finishing university has been tough as I haven’t found another team to join, I do have an active job which involves going up and down four flights of stairs, shelving books, carrying heavy items and generally almost always being on the go. And now I’m running and swimming again too.
Looking at all of that, would you believe that I’m a size 18-22 dress size?
But what about food?
Obviously, you are thinking, well, if she’s THAT active then she must be eating very badly. I will admit that I have moments in time when I do eat badly. I know growing up we did eat a fair amount of junk food because it was a lot cheaper to feed six kids at McDonalds than at a posh restaurant (cheaper and easier), but as I’ve gotten older, my diet has changed dramatically. I now cook all of my own foods, although, I am only just starting to cook everything from scratch after finding out about all the hidden sugars in ready-made sauces like Dolmio. But I still occasionally like to have cake, and ice cream and chocolate. I don’t think this should ever be denied to me just because I’m a little chunky round the middle. And I honestly want to stop feeling guilty every time I eat these comfort foods.
Food is probably the reason I’ve never fully lost weight and is probably the reason I will never go past being a size 12 but food will never be the reason that I am not a fit individual. I am learning a lot of new things about food lately and sharing my new recipes on this very blog, recipes that are low in sugar, carbs and fat. I’ve learnt that some fats are good for you (the right fats) and sugar is only bad if you don’t use the energy it provides. And I’m finding everything I am learning fascinating and definitely noticing changes in my body and my cravings, but even with all these changes, I still allow myself the cake, ice cream and chocolate on occasion without feeling guilty or judged because I know that I am fit and well on my way to being healthy too.
Think Before You Speak
My story is one of being fat and fit without knowing a true underlying cause for it, aside from potentially the years of eating slightly badly, but there are many others out there who are fat and fit because of medical issues. There are many illnesses out there that cause people to gain weight, those who may be on steroids, people who have bodies that refuse to ingest nutrients correctly, people with other underlying causes. So the next time you see someone with a few extra pounds, don’t instantly judge them for it.
But it’s also a two-way street. Just because someone is thin, does not mean that they are necessarily fit. There are many reasons why they may be thin such as illnesses that make it difficult to absorb food correctly, high metabolisms and hidden dangers. They also could just be naturally thin, unfit and completely healthy. But just as I don’t want people telling me I need to lose weight, it’s not fair to tell skinny people that a) they should put on weight or b) they don’t need to diet/get fit because they look great. Everyone has their own personal reasons for what they do and just because you may not think they look fat, does not mean they don’t feel that way and want to do something about it. It may be difficult to understand, and this is something I personally struggle with and am trying to work on, but it is their body not yours. I would never tell anyone not to diet or gain fitness or vice versa, but I will admit to feeling jealous sometimes but I am only human, afterall.
Personally, I think everyone should just stop telling other people what to do but most importantly can we please stop judging people on their size? If you don’t know, don’t judge/speak.
Everyone is beautiful, unique, and will live how ever they want whether you open your mouth to intrude or not.
I’m really hoping this doesn’t sound like I’m moaning about my weight and how there are people skinnier than me who are less active than me because I’m really not. I’m just fed up of society placing me in a stereotypical pigeon hole and always looking at me incredulously when I tell them that I’m an active person. (I swear my doctor thought I was lying to her and that is so not okay).
I don’t want to live in a world where, when I tell people I ran 10K without stopping, they think, “I’ll believe that when I see it.”. And maybe they aren’t thinking this, maybe this is just my paranoid brain but it feels like they do because that is how society has trained my brain with their constant diet advertisements and television programs like “You are What you Eat.”
But enough about my ramblings.
What do you think?
Woah. Sorry. Didn’t mean to shout there but I’ve got a rather important thing to tell you today that will affect the future of this blog.
So for a long while now I’ve been feeling a little deflated when it comes to this blog and I’ve tried SO MANY different things to try and spice up my enthusiasm and motivation and it never seems to stick.
WAIT. DON’T PANIC.
I didn’t, however, ever want to just stop this blog and so I’ve been trying to come up with a solution that might actually work and I think I’ve finally worked out what will work for me.
I am going to change this into a
This means that this blog will still have a high focus on books – because lets face it, I love them to the ends of the earth and back. But it will also contain lots of other different types of posts. I hope to bring you recipes, fitness tips, movie reviews, restaurant reviews, day out information… just anything that’s going on in my life that I want to talk about will be found right here on this blog.
So all I really want to say now is…