Wednesday, 24 August 2016

A Tribute to Anne

Hey Ragers and Ragettes.  I know I posted yesterday but I was given news about something from my family and it has been rattling around my head for the last 24 hours.

I received news that there was a death back home in the town where I was raised.  Her name was Anne.  (I am going to give her the dignity of using just her first name)  When Mama Rage told me, I burst into tears.

Why you may ask.

Anne was a lovely woman.  She was very active in the church and in the community.  And twice in my life, she acted as a glowing light when I felt sad.

The first time I met Anne was when I was in Girl Scouts.  I was only 8 years old.  My troop was lead by the mom of a girl that was in my class.  They didn’t have loads of money and the troop leader used to be bully me because she perceived that my family was rich (my family weren't rich!!  My mama made the best of everything that she had.) and the fact that my family were foreign. I hated going to Girl Scouts meetings. 

I would be polite (as I was taught from my parents) and ask if she needed help with anything and she would retort, imitating my Mama's accent, I don’t want you to get your princess hands dirty, darling.  On Girl Scouts trips, she would be little me in front of everyone.  I would get blamed for everything that went wrong.

I remember one trip we had to do as a troop.   I didn’t want to go.  My mama had to pull me out of my bedroom and get me into the car.  I remember crying that I didn’t want to go.  

When we pulled up to the troop leader's home, she was sat outside along with Anne.  Anne introduced herself and said that she was the troop leader’s cousin and that she was chaperoning this trip. She saw my tear stained face and asked me my name.  Well on that trip, Anne stayed next to me.  When we were driving to the activity Anne picked me, my 2 friends from my class and 2 other girls that I got along with ok to go in her car.

Anne let me sit in the passenger seat of her car.  She chatted to me, asked me about my family.  She listened.  She told me about her cats and how she volunteers at the local soup kitchen at the weekend.  She had an infectious laugh that made everyone laugh too.

During the trip, I stayed next to her and the troop leader didn’t say one nasty word to me.  Anne protected me.  Anne made a point of being kind and treating me with respect.  She was straight and to the point, no messing about. 

Our paths didn’t cross again until 8 years later. 

My parents decided to switch churches because the choir director (My mama and I used to sing in the choir and I would sometimes play the piano) made some inappropriate comments to me (It came out later that he was caught pants down balls deep into a 12 year old girl. I had a near miss on that one!)

The new church was on the older part of town.  The houses weren’t brightly painted like in the old church neighbourhood.  The congregation was older.  They weren’t wearing the latest clothes.

Of course Mama signed us up for the choir.  I remember our first choir practice.  I walked in, and who should catch my eye?  Anne. 

I don’t if she recognised me but that same warm smile greeted my Mama and me.  She walked over and asked us what we sang. 

Mama proudly said Betty and I sing alto.

Anne replied, well so do I.

Anne helped us get our music and the music that we didn’t have, she offered to lend my mama and I her copy.  She would share off of someone else.  She stood next as we sang.  After a few pieces of music, she winked at me and said, I’m standing next to you because you sing the notes perfectly.

When I was 16, I was going through so much shit.  Regular turbulent high school shit but also I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Most days I didn’t want to get out of bed and face the world.  My relationship with my parents were at an all time low.

I would burst into tears at weird times, once I burst into tears at church.  Anne, saw what happened, guided me into the bathroom.  She didn’t ask if I was ok (I was sick and tired of people asking me if I was ok) she handed me some tissues and let me cry.  She hugged me and said, let’s go back and sing.

To most people these would just be little moments in life that were everyday occurrences.  But at times of sadness, Anne was there. 

Mama yesterday told me that Anne not only was kind to me, but she often went without to help others.  She would give her car to someone who needed it, and would walk 3 miles in the rain to church. 

Anne volunteered for St Vincent De Paul society.  She visited the sick and the lonely.  She had a job as a teacher but had very little time to herself, to the detriment of her health.

She has a big family and my Mama told me that she would call them asking to look in on Anne and see if she was ok.  I got the impression that Anne’s family weren’t too helpful.

I wept yesterday, Ragers and Ragettes, because in Anne’s death, the world lost a selfless, loving, caring woman.  Yes, those small moments in my life where she shone her light may seem small but they were in reality huge beacons of light in a dark world.  She made me feel human in those times.  

In this day in age, people like Anne are a rarity.  Giving of their time and the little that they have to help strangers.  Truly selfless, good people.

I don’t understand why God decided to take Anne and let the scumbags of this world live.  I have questioned my faith many times.  I call myself agnostic now because of shit like this.  Why take someone as loving and wonderful as Anne away from the world?  Why does he let the drug dealers, child abusers, rapists and murderers live?

I don’t know the answer but all I know is last night there was a new and very bright star in the sky.

RIP, Anne.  Thank you for teaching us kindness, selflessness and love.  You will be missed.

Lots of Love

The Fabulous Betty Rage xxxxx

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

On Going on a Night Out

Good Morning Ragers and Ragettes!!  I must say that it is a glorious day in St Helens!  The sun is shining, it’s warm and so I drove my convertible into work today with the top down.  The only issue was the fact my straightened my hair became a tangly mess (my hair is at the awkward in between phase of growing out.  It’s now between chin and shoulder length and because my hair is fine, it tangles to easily.)

Today’s outfit is my favourite vintage sundress.  It is navy blue, sky blue, lime green, yellow, and white with spaghetti straps, a blue ribbon around the waist and the skirt flares out and lands right at the knee.  I have teamed this dress with my tan platform wooden sandals and my red lippy.  A lot of people have commented on my dress today.  I do feel, well, rather pretty.  And the best bit is when I got Simon to zip the dress up, there were no grunts, swearing or squeezing me into the dress.  Yes, I am wearing this dress and my back boobs are not creeping up to under my armpits!  Result!

I am feeling quite good.  I am now at 200 pounds.  I know that my actions this week will determine whether or not I get into “onederland” but I am confident that I will.  My body is shrinking and I am feeling good. 

I'm feeling so good about my body that when my beauty therapist messaged me last night about going out for drinks for her boyfriend’s birthday (her boyfriend works for us) I felt quite happy!  Usually I get a bit depressed because I feel too ugly to go out.   I went to my wardrobe last night and found a dress that I bought last year from River Island that was too small.

I tentatively slipped it over my head (while wearing a cotton camisole and big knickers) and well, it fits!  I will have to put some shapewear on underneath but yes, it fits!!  This little dress is a satin cocktail dress that sits about 3 inches above my knee.  It is navy blue, beige, and red and is asymmetric. The sleeve is kimono style and falls to the left elbow.  I am excited to wear it!!!

Now comes the hard part....What will I wear with it?  How will I do my hair and makeup?  Yes, these questions are stressful but are exciting too!!

Simon and I don’t socialise much because of work.  It is one thing that I miss about my old life.  I love getting glammed up.   When I was dating, I enjoyed putting on my dresses, doing my makeup and the excitement of what the night would hold for me.

I used to have a ritual.  First the music would come on.  This is a must.  It’s always upbeat music.  I get my shower, wash my hair.  I then go and pour a glass of red wine. 

Body dried off, then body lotion is applied (I love body lotion!!!!!  I go through a big bottle of cocoa butter every 2-3 weeks.) hair up in a towel.

Then I blow dry my hair and put my hair mousse in for volume.  Once my fine hair is dried, then it’s make up time!!

Now, depending on how big of a night out this is, I might have fake individual eyelashes put on.  This is my favourite beauty accessory.  False eyelashes are fabulous.  If I have my false eyelashes on, I tend to do a bold red lip and leave my eyes very plain.  Or if I don’t have my false eyelashes on, I will attempt a smokey eye which usually looks like a big smudgy mess (A resolution for me is to take a makeup artist course.  I might ask for that for my birthday.....) with a neutral lip.

After my makeup is done, I then put my outfit on.  I put a scarf over my face if I have to pull a dress over my head so I don’t smudge my makeup.  I then finish styling my hair.  Spurred by fab music and a glass or 2 of wine, I am usually ready to go out and enjoy the night!!!

This whole routine takes about an hour.  I hate being rushed when I am doing my getting ready to go out routine. 

Now for Saturday, I am excited because I get to do my routine (minus the wine). I have the dress and now I have to plan the makeup and hair. 

I am thinking of curling my hair.  This will involve me sleeping in hair rollers.  The curls will go crazy.  I will tame them by pulling them back in a headband and the result is usually a faux afro.

Which leaves me with the lips with false eyelashes or smokey eyes with a neutral lip?  Suzanne (who always gets it right) suggests smokey eye with neutral lips, I think that I will do that as it is out of my comfort zone.  Plus it will give me opportunity to try out my new Too Faced (I love this brand!!!) liquid eyeliner.   So I will need to start watching smokey eye Youtube tutorials!!!

Then there is the shoes and handbag shoes with my red clutch bag or gold sandals with my leopard print and gold clutch?  Suzanne says gold sandals.  And I think that she is right.  That means gold accessories, simple gold hoops I think and my vintage gold bangle. 

Yes, there is the big possibility that I will change my mind and change my outfit last minute...that has been known to happen.  But that is what happens with the excitement of going on a night out! 

With my body shrinking, my confidence is growing and I am feeling better about myself.  The key is to keep going on the path that I am.  Keep pushing because seeing the results of my hard work is spurring me on.

But in all the excitement, there is one thing that needs to be factored in.  My alcohol tolerance is down and I don’t particularly want to be hungover on Sunday so it looks like I will be alcohol free on Saturday night.  I have only done this once in my life and it is difficult. I just don’t want to screw up all the hard work I have put into getting my body back on track.  So here is to being boring, sober but fabulous looking!!!

Until next time, Ragers and Ragettes, keep your head and standards high and your heels even higher!

Lots of love,

The Fabulous Betty Rage xxxx

P.S.  I need to give a shout out to my girl, Suzanne.  She’s going through a hard time this week.   Suzanne,  a always here if you need me.  I love you and am blessed to have you in my life!!!  xxxx

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

On Motivation

Hey Ragers and Ragettes!!  It’s a very, very, very, very sunny day here in St Helens.  I am not complaining in the slightest.  The sun is out and everyone seems to be in a great mood. 

Today I am breaking out of my comfort zone and wearing a burgundy, black and cream strappy playsuit with my black and gold gladiator sandals plus my trusty black cardigan as Simon loves to run the air conditioning on sub zero degree temperatures.  I love jumpsuits, as you all know, but playsuits are a bit different.  That means legs are on display and plus you have the issue that the playsuit can wedge up into your crotch.  That is not a good look when you have to keep picking your jumpsuit out of your flange. But it is liberating having the breeze on your legs. 

Which brings me to motivation. 

As you all know I have been struggling to lose weight.  I do well, and then I relax and the weight comes back on.  This time I am actually doing it!!!  I have lost in total 16 pounds.  It’s been hell.  Some weeks I lose 2 pounds and then I will have weeks where I don’t lose at all.  Then I will gain and then lose.  I am very close to clearing my first hurdle.  The place called “Onederland”.  Onederland is a magical place.  It is a place where normal people are.  It’s a hurdle that I have been trying to clear for 2 and a half years now.   I get very close.  Very, very, very, very close and then I snap, relax and then go the other way.

I have decided that enough is enough.  So I have become the food Nazi.  I am now the most boring woman in the world.  Why?  Because I am tired of being a fattie.  And before anyone says, oh no you are not a fattie, I say shut your fucking cakehole, I am a fattie.  Right now I weigh in at 203 pounds and when you are 5 foot 5, yeah, I am a fattie. 

But I am doing something about it properly.  What have I done?   I have cut my alcohol down to nothing.  I am eating 3 meals a day and 2 snacks.  All clean, all healthy.  I am busting my ass at the gym 5-6 days a week.  I do yoga one day a week.  I also have stopped apologising for taking care of myself.  For example Rita wants to meet up this weekend and I have told her that if we do, there will be NO alcohol consumed. (She hasn't responded to confirm that she wants to meet up) And instead of waiting for Simon to get home, I eat 60 minutes after my workout.  I cook Simon dinner separately.  Fuck everyone else.  I am focusing on me and my goals.

I will be going home for Christmas this year, not only to Ohio, but Simon and I are flying in Miami.  Yes, Miami.  One of the plastic surgery capitals of the USA.  Where there is sunshine pretty much 365 days a year.  So I will be surrounded by fit, sexy women and I don’t want to look longingly at their toned fit bodies thinking, oh I am so fat.  No I want to join to hottie brigade.  I am tired of being the funny fat one. 

Yes, I have written about this before but the thought of turning 35 and being a fattie makes me sick.  So I have swapped coffee for hot lemon water or peppermint tea.   Sandwiches for Chicken and Broccoli.  The hardest part for me is the weekend.  I usually have a “treat” on the weekend but I have now cut down on treats.  I do give myself one treat and it is my post workout meal on a Saturday morning.  I treat myself to a pastry and a cup of coffee.  My dinner usually a steak with homemade sweet potato chips or a salad. 

I am training with my personal trainer twice a week.  We hit the weights and I am lifting heavy.  I am squatting 110 kilos, deadlifting 105 kilos, bench pressing 80 kilos and military pressing 40 kilos.  On days that I don’t train with personal trainer, I do cardio circuits.  It hurts.  My face is purple afterwards.  I feel like I am going to die. 

But it is getting me closer to my goal.  It may be 1-2 pounds a week but I am getting closer to clearing my first hurdle.  Onederland.  I have got to clear Onederland.  Once I have cleared Onederland, it is a mental roadblock that is lifted.  I am then back into the normal club. 

Suzanne has been so supportive.  I check in with her and my personal trainer once a week with my measurements and my weight.  She cheers me on.  She puts me in my place if I don’t perform and there have been times when I have been training that I want to give up I message her and she pushes me and tells me to keep going.  Keep pushing.  Eye on the prize.

The hardest thing for me has been motivation though. 

What I am about to say, I am going to apologise for because I do not condone at all what I am about to say as I believe in building people up and not breaking them down.

My biggest motivation, though, has been Keith’s girlfriend.  She is a horrible person.  She is controlling him.  She has moved him away from his friends and family.  He doesn’t go out on lads nights out anymore.  She has made him delete all his friends that are girls (including me) on social media (but she has male strippers on her friends list?) and basically she is controlling every aspect of his life. 

And she is a big fat, fattie.  She is huge.  When I was kind of friendly with her she would complain about being fat but said that she couldn’t exercise.  BULLSHIT.  Everyone can exercise.  Hell, I have good friend of mine in a wheelchair with a debilitating bone disease and she exercises.  There is a guy with cerebral palsy that is wheelchair bound that goes to the gym and works out.  And there is an old guy that has a respirator who works out that the gym.  What is your fucking excuse?  Going for a walk, getting on an exercise bike, lifting arm weights, yoga, horseback riding....there are so many activities to do!  I know that there are some people that hate gyms, that is totally ok.  I get it.  The gym isn’t for everyone but the weather is glorious outside.  Walk outside.  Or you can get free workouts on Instagram (That’s what I do for my cardio but I do them in the gym), workout DVD's, workouts on YouTube that you can do in the comfort of your own home.  Just get up and move!!!!

She is my biggest motivator.  I do NOT want to be like her at all.  Ever.  In anyway.  I don’t want to be fat like her.  I don’t want to be horrible like her.  I am insecure as a person but I don’t want to ostracise Simon from his friends and family.  I don’t want to tell lies, shit stir and cause harm.  Again, I feel bad about what I have written but she is a lesson for everyone to learn from.

To me, my motivation is not only to look fit in Miami but for her to see me slim, fitting into a UK size 10-12 pair of jeans or a bodycon looking fit.  I have snuck a photo of hers off of her facebook and put it on my desktop to look at if I smell a bacon sandwich or see a cake.  I DO NOT WANT TO BE LIKE HER....

I also want to fit into a certain jumpsuit for the flight to Miami.  I bought this jumpsuit from Primark back in 2011 when I was thinner.  I feel in love with it when I first saw it.  It is strapless with a sweet heart top.  It is navy blue with cream and tan with a tan belt and wide legs.  Very flattering.  The label said size 14.  I tried it on in the Primark in Manchester and it fit and I couldn’t afford it at the time (it was the week before payday!!)  and the next weekend I found the same jumpsuit, size 14, in the Primark in Liverpool, I didn’t try it on.  I went to wear it and there is no way that I gained 20 pounds in one week!!!  Talk about a mind fuck!!!  This jumpsuit (after measuring it) is a UK size 12 (USA size 8)  Not a UK size 14 (USA size 10).  So it has sat in my wardrobe waiting for me to wear it.  And I will wear it on the flight over to Miami with my tan tasselled sandals.   It is hanging up on the outside of my wardrobe so I see it EVERYDAY.  It is a reminder that I need to remember to exercise, eat properly and treat myself better.

I think that the main message from all this is that if you want to lose weight, motivation and accountability is the key.  I have exactly 48 days (Just under 7 weeks) until my birthday and 118 days (Under 17 weeks) until I board the flight to Miami.  I am fighting every day, every fucking day, to get into that jumpsuit.  And I will get into it. 

So, it’s time for another peppermint tea and some walnuts and until next time, Ragers and Ragettes, keep your head and standards high and your heels even higher

Lots of love

The Fabulous Betty Rage xxxx