I feel like I've started every one of these blogs this year talking about how busy the month has been, but the same definitely goes for August. Luckily, a lot of the stuff keeping me busy this month are good things and a lot of changes, which have got me fairly excited. In fact, I've found it hard to pick just ten things that are putting a smile on my face, but here they are:
Those who have been following my blog will know that I've been struggling with fertility issues and that this was the main factor behind me deciding to undergo my gastric band operation. We were due to start our fertility this month after I had been losing weight for the last year, but unfortunately, not everything has gone to plan and I've been trying to work through how I feel about it all.
We initially got referred to the fertility clinic last year, but the appointment came about after I had my gastric band and so it wasn't the best time to start anything, especially as I needed to lose weight to improve my health. The last year I have pushed myself, learned to love exercise and have lost just shy of eight stone while dropping from a size 26 to a size 14.
When the year anniversary of getting my band had passed, I did as I was told and went to the GP to see if we could re-referred to the clinic to start our fertility treatment. I was told that everything looked great and that we could indeed make a start on the next stage, so I got the appointment and had to wait five weeks to get to the clinic.
Unfortunately, despite the GP's assurances that we were on track, it turns out I haven't quite lost enough weight to be able to start treatment, which was absolutely devastating. Despite losing so much weight, dropping I don't know how many inches and generally drastically improving my health, I don't quite qualify for treatment due to my body mass index (BMI) not quite being where it needs to be.
One thing that I have really noticed over the last year of losing weight is just how much needs to be done in the world of plus size fashion. Granted, we've come a long way compared to even five years ago in terms of the number of brands offering clothing above a UK size 20, but there is still room for drastic improvement.
Going from a size 26 to a size 16 has meant that I've had to buy clothes in so many sizes in a short space of time and it has really highlighted the flaws in plus size clothing design. Even now as a size 16 in most things - I've not quite made it into jeans in this size and I'm okay with that - I've found that I've really struggled to find styles that are flattering, fit well and work with my idea of what my body should look like.
As part of the Design Blogger Competition organised by CGTrader, I started considering what designing for plus size people really means, where it needs to go and why more fashion brands should put extra effort into this section of their market. So here's where I think the future of plus size design needs to go:
This month has been a bit of a mixed bag due to my anxiety, but there has been plenty of good stuff going on. I've spent a lot of time with lovely people, have had a lot of fun and have ended it by making sure that I have some time to myself to relax.
I may be hoping that August isn't quite as mad - although the fact that we have a visit from my parents and a wedding to attend means it probably will be - I have had plenty of things to smile about in July. So, to keep my blog positive after being fairly rubbish at keeping up with it over the last few weeks - I'm trying to get back into the swing of things - here's my monthly roundup of lovely things.
The fact that there has been so much going on already this year has been both good and bad. It's good because it has been exciting, but it's bad because everything happening within such a short space of time has been exhausting and it has left me struggling with my mental health.
Since taking some time to deal with my mental health at the start of last year and feeling so much better after having my operation, I've been doing really well. I thought that I had it all under control, but allowing myself to get run down and yet still heaping more onto my plate has really started to take its toll, which I had to admit this week. While I fight anxiety and depression a daily basis, they do sometimes get the best of me and this is what has been happening more often recently.
I've started to let things slide a bit, including my blog, which isn't ideal as this is something that proved so helpful the last time I was really struggling with my mental health. I've been putting the focus on what is good for other people rather than what would be helpful for myself, which is exactly what made me so ill previously.
Even though I've known that I was starting to struggle again, it took a huge anxiety attack on Monday for me to actually admit it and realise that I need to deal with it. Previously, I wouldn't have been so open about it and would have quietly tried to do things to make it better, but this doesn't help. With recent events in the news, I think it shows that it is important to have an open and honest conversation about mental health, so I thought putting it down in a blog was probably the best option.