The Bucket List

I think its safe to say that most of us are aware what is meant by a bucket-list, but for those who don’t, a bucket list as defined by bucketlist journey is  a list of things you want to do, see or achieve before you die” . So where did the term bucket – list comes from? Well according to macmillan dictionary online, Bucket list comes from the phrase ‘to kick the bucket’ which is a figure of speech meaning ‘to die’.

I am afraid of dying but to be honest, Im much more afraid to let life pass by without living. I often question the meaning behind bucket list sometimes. Is a bucket-list something we only do when life circumstances put us in a position where we feel the need to do it or is it much deeper than that?….perhaps we are needing fulfillment in our lives or maybe a life well lived is only validated by the things we do during the time we have here in this world. I have been on on a quest to 1.write a bucket list and 2. to complete it since 2015. Having experience trauma, growing up poor, close family deaths & missed opportunities, I craved a life of experience. I wanted to experience what is war really like to live life and my bucket list was designed around that ideology.

So what does a bucket list have to do with it ? Well , i wanted to write down all the things I have wanted to do, things that make me happy and the things I would love to have. The list made me more accountable and as the saying goes…..

In March 2016, I was struggling with depression and even getting out of bed was a struggle. I was struggling with how I was feeling but I kept going for the sake of my daughter, One day, while on an afternoon out to the library, this bright orange book that stood out amongst thousands of others… I carefully menovered it out from being forcefully wedged between others books on the shelf and flipped it over to see “The Last Lecture” in big bold writing.

I went home with it, curious as to what the book was about. And that night, things for me began to change. You can find a brief synopsis of what the book is based on in the video below but i do highly recommend that you read the book !!

After reading the book in a short couple of days, I was inspired to take action and appreciate the life that I had. I began creating a bucket list that gave me goals to achieve that ultimately gave me purpose to get out of bed. I wanted to strive for greatness, I wanted to be the best mom for my daughter, I wanted to feel free, I wanted to feel me again or create this new persona that was me but with a new approach to life. So one day as my daughter slept, i found a piece of paper and began to write all the things I wanted to do…… (here is some of what was on my list )

  1. Go back to college and get my degree
  2. Get my honours degree
  3. buy a car
  4. learn to swim
  5. Go to venice and experienced a gondola…….

(all of the above are completed by the way….woooohoooooooo)

Although these may simple to some, to me these were huge and the probability of achievement were unrealistic at the time. But having these goals wrote down gave me something to strive for, it made me work hard and appreciate more. It gave me my life back, when it was overtaken by depression and crappy circumstances !

Initially, I wanted to achieve my 101 things to do before i turned 30 but i put myself under too much pressure. I have set myself a goal to pack as much as I can in before 35, I’m now 31. So that’s 4 years. I’m not racing to complete these but I have given myself a time-frame because life should never be taken for granted nor should time!!

If you have any suggestions on what you think should be included on my list, feel free to leave a comment below or on my social media platforms !! Here’s one final short clip to enjoy !!

Media Owned by TedX Melbourne and Travis Bell

Learning to Love Myself

I am a big girl. I always have been despite trying to change my appearance on numerous occasions. I have fasted, I have skipped meals, I have done gyms, I have done diets…I have done it all. No matter how many times i have lost weight, i find myself back to being a big girl. Is this how I’m suppose to be ? I have been body shamed, I’ve been bullied, I have been called fat, ugly, disgusting, I was even called a mongrel.  I was told that I could not do adventure races, climb mountains or run a 10k race. Well I did go on to do those things and to be honest, the majority of activities i competed in was to prove to others that I ( a plus size person) could. I guess, in a sense, I was seeking approval that I could be a plus size person and still do what others do. I may be fat but I am worthy of inclusion. I have accomplished so many other wonderful things in life but i often feel my achievements are often overlooked and forgotten about because I am not the perfect size 10 with loads of friends with a perfect social life.

I have spent years trying to create happiness based upon societal opinions of what lives should be like in order to be worthy or acknowledged as perfect. But constantly trying to conform with other peoples definition of happiness and love divided a wedge between who I thought I was and who I want to be.

I was the fun one to be around always making jokes but inside my heart was filled with sadness. I was always considered the confident one but the truth is, I do not have any of self-esteem. I was masking. The reality was I was creating a noise to drown out people’s hurtful opinions about how I look and my own self-criticism.

At the weekend, was shown a picture of myself that was taken recently. I looked at the photograph for what seemed an eternity and all I could see was this woman and all the changes she would have to make for society to deem her eligible for acceptance. I see someone who does not like themselves because society said its not ok to be fat and that fat is ugly.  I seen a woman in the picture who would need to lose weight, get a tan, put makeup on, get their hair and nails done just to be on the bottom step of the pretty ladder. I see someone who was hurt, who endured sadness, who had to fight to get where they are. I also see someone who just wishes that she could tell herself look beyond the exterior of her own body and love herself just the way she was, but I could not.

That night I cried. I cried a lot. I just could not believe that the woman in the photograph was me. It was a realisation that I was not happy despite smiling and laughing and having fun with friends. I realised that happiness and love would only happen if it began with myself.  

And like peeling an onion, these past few days I have been asking myself questions like what makes me happy and how can I learn to love myself? Although it may not seem difficult for some to find such answers, I’m finding it hard.

Its going to take a while but I have trust in myself that If someday, I see a photograph of myself, I’ll  realise that the woman I see in the picture is who she is suppose to be and I love her because of that.

Bridget x

Welcome !!

Its become quite evident that in a world of influencers, paid collaborations and hashtagged ads, we have become too consumed by the ability to generate social media likes & follows to perhaps subconsciously validate ourselves. My plus size life and I blog has many aims. 1. To share with you my world as a plus size person. 2. To create a platform where plus size people can share their journey and stories and 3. To empower and encourage.

I have always been a big girl. I was the fat kid, the chubby one, the big boned one. I have been called the ugly one and the one that no-one liked. I was always judged and people always seemed to automatically assume I was big because I ate alot .

Throughout my teen years my weight fluctuated, I had gone from a size 16 to a size 10 and back up to a size 20. After the tragic death of my mother, having a baby , dealing with depression, going back to college, being diagnosed with PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) i’m finally realising that size has nothing to do with happiness, its how much we love ourselves that brings true joy to our lives.

So a brief introduction to my blog, I will talk more through more of my life in the next post… Thanks again for all the support, and i do hope this blog will bring some comfort to you. Remember, your happiness does not come from other peoples opinion of how beautiful you look, happiness comes from kindness, happiness comes your ability to love beyond looks , happiness comes being your true authentic self.. whether we are plus size or not…

Stay Home, Stay Safe x

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Mental Health Awareness Week

Everyone has a story to tell when it comes to Mental Health. If you asked anyone who knows me what are my most identifiable characteristics they would probably say confidence, fun, i’m outgoing and a bubbly personality. And although that’s what you may see, what people don’t know is that behind that smile and laughter i was masking sadness, struggles and depression. Here is my story:

It was March 2016. I had just come out of the shower and went straight to my room to dry off. I distinctly remember standing at the side of the bed where the dresser and mirror was. Having dried off i turned towards the mirror and caught a glimpse of my naked self. It was like time had stood still. I just stared at myself and thought how ugly I am, how fat i had got and how useless i felt. I touched the stretchmarks across my stomach from my pregnancy with Lily, i touched my nose and face, I looked down at my body and I cried. Thinking about it now, it was never about how i looked, i think it was at that moment, I was bare and exposed and could no longer hide from myself and the truth of having depression. The days that followed I became more tired, i couldn’t find the motivation to shower myself, i hid my body under layers of clothes and i struggled to even get out of bed.

I had to go to the doctor for a lump I was feeling in my throat. She examined me, took a step back, just looked at me and asked me “Are you OK”?. I couldn’t help but blurt out crying. She asked me several times to talk to her and tell her what was going on but I couldn’t. She asked if i would be comfortable writing it down on a piece of paper and she promised she would shred it afterwards. She put me in a private room for a short while to write down what i was feeling and what i was going through. Although I didn’t disclose everything, I wrote how I was struggling financially…I was accumulating such debt…on a €173 euro weekly income I had to pay €175 childcare fees (yes i was starting the week -€2), there was times when I would have to decide if i would pay for the bus ticket to college or eat that day, I was working on a mandatory college placement for free because i had no other option, I was primary carer for my grandmother who was diagnosed with dementia, I was having problems with my daughters dad, I was struggling coming to terms with my mum’s death and the trauma of finding her dead when I was just 19 (I never talked about that day to anyone. Even now as i type this, i still haven’t been able to talk about it properly). I was having several panic attacks a week that completed drained me physically and severely impacted my sleep at night. My GP read the note on her own, came and got me, asked me some questions and within minutes I was diagnosed with Clinical Moderate Depression.

My GP was fantastic. She implemented a treatment plan asap and told me to come back on a weekly basis for check ups. I was referred to counselling and prescribed medication. I was relunctant to talk at first because I could never explain my depression until I came across a video one day…

After watching the video , I was finally able understand how I was feeling and what it was. When i finally understood what it was, I began to tell my very close friends. At first, they were shocked. “But your always smiling and laughing and having fun” was pretty much the reaction I got from a lot of people. But as i sat and talked , they listened and supported me through what was a very difficult time in my life. Whilst on my college placement, I had to tell my manager I had to leave for counselling. I was scared to tell her directly so I sent it in an email. After reading it, she came out to my desk and told me that she has battled depression as well , that i should never have to be alone and that she was always there to talk should I need to. I was shocked to know that the people i thought were living great lives had struggled too. I guess in a sense, when people seen me smile & laugh, they too had no idea that someone who seemed so externally happy was struggling with internal battles.

I guess in a sense I believed it too. I was so busy trying to look happy and be happy that when i finally had that moment in March 2016, there was nothing but me and the truth, I couldn’t hide from it any longer. Having watched yet another youtube video, I found a focus living with my depression. My focus everyday was to do 1 thing, and that was to make my bed…

As my mood started to improve, I was starting to feel a bit better in myself. I wanted more from life. I didn’t want my depression to dictate how i should live so i booked myself on a one day workshop on the 19th March 2016 in Galway, Ireland hosted by Pat Divilly after reading his blog “101 things to do before 30”.

I learned so much about myself that day. I learned that circumstance does not limit my ability to make the most of my life. Since that day I have gone on to get two degrees from college BBS & BBS (Hons) in Tourism. I have completed a full Tough Mudder, I have climbed mountains, ran mud runs, I learned to swim, I have done things that i have always wanted to do ..

I’m still living with depression, some days are fantastic and some days I feel low. Some days I’m tired and other days I can run a 10k but I still get up every morning and make my bed.

We all have different coping mechanisms and although it may seem very basic and simplistic, having to make my bed got me up in the morning when all i wanted to do was hide away from the world.

Love & Light to you all finding it hard

Bridget x

____________________________________________________________________

If you or someone you know is struggling please talk to someone. Reaching out is hard but there is a hand there to help guide you and support you

For (Ireland based) mental health supports check out:

https://www2.hse.ie/services/mental-health/services-search/

For services in the United Kingdom check out :

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

Thank you to everyone who has supported me through the dark days, you all were my shining light. x

Happy 1st Birthday “My Plus Size life and I ” Blog

WOW, WHAT A QUICK YEAR ! TO BE HONEST, I DIDNT EVEN REALISE IT WAS A YEAR SINCE THE BLOG WENT LIVE UNTIL I CHECKED MY BANK BALANCE AND WORDPRESS TOOK A PAYMENT (HAHAHA) SO IT LOOKS LIKE IM ANOTHER YEAR DEDICATED. I JUST WANT TO SAY A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS TAKEN THE TIME TO LIKE , SHARE AND COMMENT ON MY SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS AND WHO TOOK THE TIME TO READ MY BLOG POSTS.

I ALSO WISH TO THANK MY FAMILY FOR BEING SO SUPPORTIVE OF ME AND FOR COMING ALONG ON THIS AMAZING JOURNEY.

i HAVE DECIDED TO TAKE A FEW WEEKS OFF TO REASSESS THE WEBSITE AND BLOG AND CONCENTRATE ON GIVVING YOU TOP QUALITY CONTENT ON BOTH SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS AND OF COURSE THE BLOG.

2020 WAS A CHALLENGING YEAR FOR ME, FOR ALL OF US !! AND WHILE I WANTED TO DEDICATE 2020 FULL TIME TO THE BLOG, NUMEROUS LOCKDOWNS , HOME SCHOOLING, COLLEGE RESEARCH AND WORKING FROM HOME HAD KIND OF STEPPED IN THE WAY. SO FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS , FROM MAY 1ST, THERE WILL BE:

  • 1 NEW BLOG POST A WEEK (FRIDAYS) **Starting April 30th
  • NEW PODCAST IN THE WORKS (SOOOOOOO EXCITED)
  • NEW CONTENT ON MY INSTAGRAM , FACEBOOK AND TWITTER
  • WEEKLY VIDEOS ON MY NEW YOUTUBE CHANNEL **STARTING MAY 3RD
  • NEW END OF MONTH NEWSLETTERS COMMENCING IN MAY

AS ALWAYS, IF YOU HAVE SUGGESTIONS ON WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE FEATURED OR DISCUSSED YOU CAN EMAIL ME AT : myplussizelifeandi@gmail.com or via my contact page BY CLICKING HERE OR VIA MY SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS HIGHLIGHTED ABOVE.

HAVE A GREAT APRIL, CANT WAIT TO SHOW YOU ALL THE NEW CONTENT

B xxx