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When I was a teenager, I had quite the affinity for facial piercings.

My mother hated them and told me I’d end up with scarring,  something about writing me out of the will, and something else about them being ugly.

I did what a normal 16 year old would do, smiled, and ignored her.

Once I took my piercings out, at the ripe old age of 20, I noticed I had a bit of scar tissue in my upper lip, that made my smile look like a mild smirk.

At the ripe old age of 30, I noticed that this smirk had increased significantly – whether as a result of a sarcastic life well lived, or age changing my face, who really knows.

So my already reasonably thin upper lip began to fade into obscurity every time I smiled (thanks to random dudes on Instagram who pointed this out more than once), and my, comparatively,  full bottom lip hung around like a nigel no mates wondering where his buddy had gone.

When I decided to have chat with my local Caci about my options, I was sold on giving lip fillers a try.  I booked it in.  And then two days before my appoitment, when I got my reminder text message, I cancelled. Mostly because I had looked at pictures of women with thin lips who got fillers, and their lips looked like sausages, all rounded and curved away from their face. And I thought nope nope nope, not for me.

A few weeks later my own Beauty Therapist at Caci Orewa,  Sheridyn, decided to get her lips done, and I was stuck by how subtle (I didn’t even notice she had them done) they were and how natural.  So I spoke to Caci about re-booking in and I was back in line to have mine done, with the goal that my Mother wouldn’t notice that I’d had fillers.

The experience with Caroline, the nurse at Caci was fantastic.  I told her what I didn’t want, and we had a look through random photos I had pulled off of Instagram.  We talked at length about what technique she would use to even out the appearance of my upper lip, and covered what she wouldn’t do to avoid what we called “slug lips”.  She covered the potential side effects and risks, and we discussed bruising.  I am a bruiser, so I knew chances were pretty high I would bruise. We also talked about how long the filler would last – which really depends on your metabolism – many people get 6-9 months out of the product but it would very likely be less than a year.

The procedure itself was stress-free, the product Caci use, Juvederm, contains lidocaine, which numbs the lips.  So I laid back with my eyes closed while Caroline counted down and told me to breathe (I always forget) and inserted the needle while I exhaled.  After the first prick on each side, I felt almost nothing.  Caroline was incredibly calm and reassuring and checked in on me before each injection (there were about four each side on the top, and three each side on the bottom).  We were correcting asymmetry so she was careful not to go too far one way, and decided to err on the side of caution because we had a second appointment in ten days to keep going if required.  After each set of injections, she’d give me a mirror to check out what I thought… so it was a slow and very chilled out process, no hurry, no rush.

Immediately after my lips were ever so slightly swollen, and looked very pink and felt ridiculously large – but I was super happy with the result – so much more even looking!

Ten days later I went back for my second appointment where we used up the remaining Juvederm, and did a few more injections in my upper lip, this time not in the lip itself but the flesh part above my lip where the asymmetry was coming from as well as my bottom lip.

It was interesting sharing the process over on  Instagram where the procedure was met with such an interesting range of views.  There was definitely some strong backlash from women who felt it was unnatural or fake or not “body positive” to change my appearance with fillers…. but who didn’t seem to care that I colour my hair, or tattoo on my eyebrows and regularly talk about makeup and skincare.

And then there were a whole bunch of you who messaged me saying you also get your lips done or botox on the regular and were incredibly supportive.  And a whole lot of curious questions, mostly about the pain and bruising (because yes unfortunately, I AM a bruiser!)

Once my bruising disappeared I went to visit my Mother, and success – she didn’t notice.

However she had some choice words to say when I told her about my lips (something about the Kardashians) which I countered with a question regarding how much she liked my tattooed on eyebrows… and in a somewhat accusatory tone told me she noticed I looked more glam.  I think that was a compliment maybe?

Overall I couldn’t be happier with the result – and a random side effect of the Juvederm is that your lips are more moisturised… as a dry often chapped lip sufferer, this has been awesome!

If you’re based in New Zealand & interested in appearance medicine, definitely book a consult with your local Caci team.

The Juvederm treatment in this post was provided by my friends at Caci but this post, as always, is entirely my honest opinion.

The post Caci: That time I got my lips done appeared first on Rachel Gee Bee.

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A few weeks ago the photo of a woman with a surfboard on Facebook caught my eye. I commented, longingly, something about wanting to surf but the longing was a bit more than that, this woman looked so happy and carefree and present, in the moment.  Turns out that woman, Senka, was the owner of Adventure Girls, and she replied enthusiastically inviting me to a women only beginner’s surf lesson.  So before I could over think it but after asking if she had any wetsuits in my size, (she laughed and said yes of course) I signed up.  And a few days later had managed to rope in a friend too.

If you follow me on Instagram you will be familiar with my recent posts about feeling anxious.  Last year I made a massive life change, deciding to become self employed because I was struggling and feeling stifled in a toxic environment. And it’s no surprise that by simply removing myself from that environment, my mental health improved bucketloads.  However I am naturally anxious and it is getting worse as I get older.  Often if I can’t control a situation, I feel anxious. For no real reason.

Any one who has suffered anxious feelings knows that it’s easy to sign up to stuff and say yes, but the actual DOING IT is quite a lot harder. As someone who often wants to say yes (or who says yes but then bails) I began to regret my decision to book into this class, so far out of my comfort zone. So I decided that as long as I got in the water and gave it a go, that was all anyone could expect from me. I am a bit of a walking contradiction…. I don’t feel any need to conform to other people’s standards. I don’t really care if anyone else thinks I’m shit, but I put myself under a lot of pressure to succeed. 

So I gave myself permission to be a bit crap.

I have cruised through life being naturally pretty good, or great at quite a few things. Great at skills that allowed me to secure awesome jobs, and great at things that allow me to work for myself building a new business from scratch.  I regularly joke that I have a life motto –  “If I can’t be good at something within ten minutes then I don’t want to know about it” and it’s not too far from the truth.

We are pushed our whole lives toward the things we show natural ability for, the things we find easiest because those are our strengths.  But as we get older, and we have less exposure to new experiences, what does that mean for our ability to adapt and to grow and to be resilient?  I’m reminded of the saying that as we age we become more like ourselves.  I guess this is why. Our whole lives are funnelled toward sticking to the few things we’re good at.  And we become more sheltered and a bit more afraid of the things that are hard.  And I am afraid of things that are hard.

What I have realised is that I am completely out of practice at being shit at something. It’s not like I expect to be good without hard work, practice or giving it a few tries, but being shit at something has begun to feel unnatural and horrible. 

So, I embraced that this was going to be hard and I gave myself full permission to be crap.

And mate, I was terrible.   But terrible in the best way.  And by pushing myself out of my comfort zone I learned so much.

Surfing taught me that my shoulder injury (13 months of pain) is now healed, it felt amazing after surfing (although weak and trembly after about 40mins in the sea) and it’s time to get my strength back.

Surfing reminded to look after myself.  I know that my hip flexors are extremely tight and I must continue addressing that through yoga and pilates and stretching. You can’t surf with tight hips my friends!

Surfing taught me how to switch my brain off.  I struggle to turn my mind off, I am always thinking a hundred things all at once. I want to stop but my brain keeps going.  You know those memes about women’s brains being like Google Chrome with too many tabs open? That is real in both senses for me.  Surfing allowed me to think about nothing but surfing.  I don’t remember the last time I had a mental holiday like that.

Surfing taught me that I am 33 and that it’s not too late to try new things.  What other new things can I try, what other changes could I make in my life?  It’s ridiculous that somewhere in my mind I had stopped believing that I could do things, become too afraid of being shit at new things to want to even try. But surfing reminded me that there is so much life ahead of me, and I can do whatever I want, as long as I am ok at potentially being shit at it!

Surfing taught me that it’s totally ok to be shit at something. There is more value in knowing you did your personal best, than being effortlessly amazing at something.  

So I was terrible, but the day was amazing.  There were six of us all ready to give it a bash and I don’t think any of us stopped smiling the whole lesson.  I felt safe and looked after, the two male instructors from Murawai Surf School were kind, compassionate, supportive and understanding. And even when I bailed after 45 minutes because I was tired and my shoulder was having a bit of a wobble, sitting on the beach exhausted with my board, watching the others was awesome.   

If you’re game to try something new, and are based in/around Auckland, then go check out Adventure Girls and their next events, I promise you will not regret it.

The post What I learned from surfing with Adventure Girls appeared first on Rachel Gee Bee.

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If you follow me on Instagram you may reminder that way back in December 2016, I purchased a menstrual cup.  I promised to let you all know how I felt about it after I had used it for a little while.  And this, over a year later is my comprehensive personal run down on using a cup! If you don’t like period talk, I suggest you skip this post.

I want to preface my thoughts and experience using a cup by saying whatever you choose to use during your period is an incredibly personal decision, and while I am enthusiastic about using a menstrual cup, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right method for you.  But if you are thinking of trying a cup hopefully this will give you the confidence to make that decision for yourself.

What was I doing before using a cup?

Prior to trying a cup I was using applicator tampons. I’ve only recently heard the theory from non-applicator users that apparently us applicator-preferrers don’t like touching our bodies, which is why we use applicators…. which I find a little odd but I guess might be true for some women?  For me, I consider my period to be heavy and I find applicator tampons to do a better job versus a non applicator.

When it comes to my period, it is incredibly regular.  It always lasts four-five days and I consider it to be heavy during day one-two and light-medium the rest of the time.  When using tampons, I use Super or Super Plus Tampax during the first two days of my period, and Regular for the remainder.  However I have not used a tampon (or other collection method) in almost 10 months.  Early on in my transition to cups, I tried to switch back to tampons because I felt lazy but I found it really uncomfortable, I cramped a lot and it was the end of using tampons for me.

How did I choose my cup?

At the time I purchased my cup there were no retailers in New Zealand selling them.  Instead I headed to Put A Cup In It and found there was a cup that came in a make up-esque compact.  I was sold.  This is NOT the way I recommend you make the decision about what type of cup to use FYI.  And I do think I may be better off trying a different cup made from a softer silicone. 

This is probably the part that is the most off-putting for women  – you are going to have to figure out for yourself through trial and error which cup is right for you.  However there are tonnes of recommendations on Reddit and various websites and YouTube videos that you can definitely start with the most common/popular shapes and go from there.  I recommend this quiz to start.

My first time using my menstrual cup

My period arrived the day after my cup did. It happened to be my birthday and the middle of summer and I wanted to go for a swim…. no time like the present.

The Lily Cup Compact comes with a tonne of info and guidance of how to insert, and I just followed those instructions and off I went to the beach.  It felt a little bit weird, and crampy (I think the suction on your cervix the first few times, on day one, can be a bit full on) but swimming was great.  I kept standing up in the sea and looking down to check for leaks (much to my husband’s amusement) but no issues there.

The thing about using a cup for the first time is that you have no awareness of what a full cup feels like…. so I kept trying to take it out because I wasn’t sure how full it was.  I do not recommend doing that…. you will get REALLY over the cup if you keep taking it out and then have to re-insert. 

The first time I tried to take my cup out (two hours or so after insertion), I couldn’t.  I was tugging and tugging on the stem of the cup and the suction would not release.  It took me about four hours to figure out how to break the suction and during this time I made  the mistake of I googling why I couldn’t just tug this thing out, and stumbled across an article about a woman who got her cup stuck to her cervix and had to go to the ER…. and I FREAKED OUT.

Turns out you merely have to break the suction on your cup by squeezing the bottom to get it out, but I decided that the crampy feeling, the newness, the freaking out about it getting stuck was enough for today and that considering I was going out for dinner I would go back to collection method that was more familiar!    In hind sight all I had done was to put the cup in perfectly the first time, and that suction is what is preventing leaks.

And then I didn’t touch my cup for five months. I think it was just easier to rely on old faithful tampons, and it was too new and I didn’t know what I was doing and I wasn’t sure if I could rely on my cup or my insertion of my cup so it was just too hard.

Making my menstrual cup my number #1

In April we headed overseas on an awesome holiday, where I happened to get my period (early) during the 14 hour flight.  Yay. 

I read about these women who could use a menstrual cup for an entire flight and I regretted not continuing to use mine.  So once we were back in May I decided I need to try this cup thing again, and that I didn’t want to spend $20 a month on tampons anymore.

And ironically I could not seem to perfect that suction of the first time around. 

There are loads of tips on how to know if your cup is in correctly, but basically it needs to be fully open so that the mouth of the cup can create suction.  The design of my cup means it is a bit harder to open it fully due to the collapsable nature of the compact. So I don’t recommend this style of cup for an anxious beginner!

Real talk – you do have to get quite intimate with yourself to figure out how to use a cup.  I have learned a lot about the position of my cervix.  It’s important to know because it impacts how full your cup is… if your cervix dips down into your cup during your period, the cup will hold less and appear to leak without actually being full.  This issue doesn’t affect every woman, but it certainly is good to know that your cervix moves up and down during your cycle.

But how do you change your cup/does it leak/how do you know it’s full?

Generally I can get through a full working day without emptying my cup but I have emptied it in public bathrooms.  Of all the unclean things human beings do, I don’t think wiping out a cup with wipes or toilet paper and reinserting it with clean hands is any more gross than inserting a tampon in the same conditions.  It’s something I don’t really think about anymore.

Leaks – yes I have had a few.  Before I started using my cup, I experienced a lot of clotting during day two.  I felt like the majority of my period happened on day two and those clots were big.  But within the realms of normal apparently, but sometimes alarmingly large and long.  Clots and cups don’t really work together – the clot would displace the contents of the cup and cause leaks, or try and sneak around the outside of the cup. 

However after three months of using only my cup, I haven’t had any clots at all. So this issue no longer occurs. I believe my tampon use (particularly the high absorbancy of a Super Tampax) was exacerbating my clotting and flow generally. I have no proof but I haven’t always experienced clots, and there is a correlation.

I’ve also had leaks from simply leaving my cup in too long and it being full.  One day I tested how long I could leave my cup (obviously a day I was at home). FYI on my heaviest days it is 6-7 hours, on my light days it is 12-15. I have left my cup in for 24 hours before and it was great  – you are going to have to find out what works for you.

The most common cause of leaks is not creating suction, so once you figure out what cup works for you and how to insert it, you shouldn’t experience too many leaks.  One thing that is key to know is that your cup usually has three or four tiny little holes along the mouth of the cup, to create suction. If those holes are not big enough, or aren’t clean you will struggle to create suction.  I suggest checking the holes everytime you remove your cup.

As I mentioned I have tested how long I can leave my cup in but the cup does become a little heavier and you may feel the sensation of a full cup as it sitting slightly lower.  If the cup has a stem you may feel the stem is no longer fully inside you when your cup is full.  You will learn what a full cup feels like for you – or you just set a baseline experiment like I describe above – I recommend a quiet weekend, where you leave your cup in for X hours to see how long you can go without leaks and get used to that feeling of a full cup.

Doesn’t a menstrual cup feel weird?

No – I don’t feel it until it’s full.  For the first few months I struggled to pee with a full bladder with my cup in, I think the cup was pushing against my bladder and confusing me.  But that sensation stopped.

I swim wearing my cup (and no rushing off to the bathroom after to change a tampon), I’ve done high intensity core work via pilates and yoga while wearing my cup, I’ve run wearing my cup.  No issues, no sensation of feeling it, no slippage, no cramping.

What is the best part of using a cup?

Not carrying tampons.  Leaving it in for 12 hours on light days.  Not buying tampons. 

Shorter periods –   I can’t find an official answer on why this would be but I have a theory that tampons prolong my period because they dry everything out, the absorbency stopped my period in its tracks sometimes for half a day at a time, and then it would come back… it was very annoying – not an issue anymore!

Easy cleaning – boiling water once a month, or a cleaning solution (bought or home made). Space in my bathroom cabinet no longer full of boxes of tampons.

Less period related, leakage anxiety (is that sweat or is my tampon leaking…. you know what I mean!)

Now what?

The menstrual cup has exploded into the mainstream in the last year, with two New Zealand retailers and one producer of cups now in the market.  I love the marketing of The Hello Cup and the ethos of My Cup NZ who donate cups to women in need. I personally want to get a hold of a Lena Sensitive Cup because I find my current cup a touch firm, and I find the ribbed shape challenging to create suction.  When I bought my Lily Cup Compact, my biggest fear was people seeing my cup, me carrying this huge cup around, and the lack of discretion… now after a year, I am a total convert and I don’t care who knows about my cup… so my priority is the right fit.

Would you be keen to try a menstrual cup?  Have you tried one? Let me know!

The post The long awaited menstrual cup review appeared first on Rachel Gee Bee.

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Just sliding in before the end of their 40% off Black Friday sale, this eShakti review hopefully will help you take the leap into customisable clothing, or online shopping in general.

eShakti offers a huge range of sizes – 0 – 36 – and you can alter the length, neckline and sleeves of most items – brilliant!   Watch my video below to see my thoughts and approach to buying customisable clothing.

Eshakti Haul with Rachel GeeBee| Plus Size Fashion Review - YouTube

The post Customised Clothing – eShakti Review Video appeared first on Rachel Gee Bee.

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I decided to mix things up this week and create a very short video of my latest ASOS Curve purchases, partially because I have always intended to get into video and also because I receive a lot of feedback from you that when it comes to purchasing bodycon or fitted items, you feel as though you can’t wear it because of the shape of your body.

It’s really difficult to judge a what someone really looks like in an Instagram post, or a series of from the front photos, so the 360 degree view of these two items hopefully will help illustrate that yes, you can wear fitted items, and no, no one is going to die because they saw the outline of your stomach.

Wear things that make you happy, but dig deep and consider whether you are dressing for other people or for yourself.

ASOS Curve Mini Haul with Rachel GeeBee - YouTube

Post contains affiliate links – you pay the same price but ASOS throws a few pennies my way to say thanks. 

The post ASOS Curve Mini-Haul Video| Bodycon, Scuba Skirt appeared first on Rachel Gee Bee.

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I remember my Mother telling me how lucky I was as a teen when it came to my skin.  I literally can remember only one time I had a pimple and I was 14 and it was before the school dance so I was gutted.  However the older I got, the more my skin begin to change; by 25 my reaction to stress and hormones was to break out – particularly around my chin and jawline in hard cystic acne deep below the skin.

At 29 we moved to Vancouver for a year and the dry air completely changed my skin again.  Coming from New Zealand where it significantly more tropical (read: wet and humid), my skin dried out and the cystic acne was even worse – every month it appeared. To add to my issues, I am a pimple popper, which meant I had both cystic acne (lumps you can’t really hide from a texture perspective) and dry, flaking, healing skin from where I was squeezing.

I began wearing a lot more foundation and carrying a concealer wand everywhere I went.  I tried to find photo evidence how bad my skin was during this period but all you can see is that I am wearing a lot of foundation and some slight discolouration around the left side of my chin and jaw – but really I had just become great at covering up – you can see a telltale bump in my jawline in the photo below… just imagine a tonne of those running along my jaw and under my chin.

At 30 I was back in New Zealand and my skin was not still not happy.  And now I had fine lines appearing around my eyes and forehead which at that point horrified me more than the breakouts which I had resigned myself to having each month.

After spending months buying expensive (but useless) drugstore brand retinols, I made an appointment with my local Caci Clinic to see what they could offer. At my consultation, I remember requesting we focus on the fine lines around my eyes, with a secondary focus on my breakouts …I had come to terms with the fact that breakouts were my life now and I had given up on having clear skin because I knew it was hormonal and facials can’t fix hormones right?

My fantastic therapist, Helen,  checked out my skin, told me it was really pretty good and recommended regular treatments that would either be microdermabrasion or sonophoresis-infusion (a tool that uses a current to push applied product further into the skin).  I signed up for a year of treatment on one of Caci’s programmes so I would have a facial each month, some free product and a computer analysis of my skin.

Helen and I discussed the products I had been using and why – retinols which would clear my acne for a few days or weeks and then it would come back.  A common issue apparently.  And we decided that each time I finished a product I would try and replace it with Murad, the range that Caci stock.  I have to admit I was thinking “mmhmm sure I’ll let you know when I run out which will be never”.

I was really focused on my fine lines and ageing overall, so Helen recommended a Murad eye cream.  I was prepared to buy an eye cream because I wasn’t using one and as it was my number one issue I felt justified in taking a risk on this range I had never heard about before.

Not going to lie, it was possibly the most money I have spent on a single beauty product.  I used the eye cream every night and within 10 days my fine lines were gone… this big issue was completely gone with the use of the right product.  And for a cynic like me, my interest in Murad was suddenly piqued….you mean it does what it says it will?! No!

When I went to my second appointment I was happy to trust Helen’s recommendation for products to improve my breakouts. Helen explained to me that she believed my breakouts were hormonal and we should address that first and recommend a moisturizer that contained phytoestrogens (from plants) which would help regulate the hormonal balance of my skin.  I was pretty surprised that we were going with a moisturizer to stop me breaking out, but Helen hadn’t let me astray so far. So off I went with my next product –Age-Balancing Moisture with SPF30.

Over the next four-six weeks my skin improved; I still had breakouts but they were smaller, more contained to one area, only one painful cystic pimple rather than five.   After six months (and having received six facials in that time) I stopped carrying makeup in my handbag.  I didn’t need to use concealer at all.

Even now months after my last facial, I no longer break out – not even before or during my period.  Not even a normal pimple and certainly not the cystic acne I was suffering from.  I often go without foundation at all, I don’t feel that it’s necessary to cover up my skin… something I never thought I would feel ok doing.

Makeup free and hair on fleek thanks to @sarahmck_theavenue_hairstudio

A post shared by Rachel (@rachelgeebee) on Jun 1, 2017 at 9:09pm PDT

I have also recommended Murad to anyone who will listen and have had friends fall in love with the range as well – I know Ella from Miss Victory Violet has been trying Murad products after my suggestion and is going to post an update in the coming weeks about her experience.

For my animal loving friends – Murad products are cruelty-free, do not sell in China and were developed by a Dermatologist (Dr Murad!).  Some Murad products do contain possible ingredients derived from animals so you may want to check if they are vegan.

Let me know what skincare you love and whether you’ve tried Caci or Murad before!

The post How I Corrected My Problem Skin appeared first on Rachel Gee Bee.

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Way back in December, my work place gifted me a pass to my local Peak Pilates & Physiotherapy.  And I knew I to share my experience with fellow plus size women who may be intimidated by the plethora of uber flexible (small) bodies that come up in any Google search.

Pilates is a real change of pace – my preferred form of exercise has been weight lifting or smashing out a circuit as quickly as possible, you know something (hugely modified) like CrossFit, to get it over with ASAP!

Because who enjoys working out really? Don’t lie to me, the after-effects are wonderful, but during? No. Not fun.     Below are my tips to beginning Pilates, particularly as a plus size woman.

How do I pick a good Pilates studio?

A good Pilates studio will get you in for an hour prior to your first class to show you the basics, talk about any injuries you have and give you a good idea of what a beginner class will be like…. and if you’re plus size I recommend telling the instructor that you are concerned about things like holding your full weight on your hands (think like during a press up), or modifications for your tummy or boobs.

If you are going to begin classes on a reformer (more on that below) you may need to check what the weight limits are for that particular studio’s equipment.   A reputable studio’s reformers will generally hold up to 160kg (roughly 350lb) but if this is something that is causing you anxiety, flick your local studio a question via email or social media to ensure they have the appropriate equipment.

Remember not all studios are created equal and if you do happen to contact a studio who is using flimsy (read: cheap) equipment, that won’t support your weight, it is not a reflection on you.

What does a Pilates class entail?

There are normally two types of classes – mat and reformer.   I recommend beginning with reformer classes, they are slightly easier for a plus size body and there is no getting up and down from the floor as the whole workout is done on a bench.  Once you have the basics learned you can easily switch between the two types of classes if both are offered at your studio.

This video is a good example of what a class can contain – but the words I hear most often from my instructor’s mouth is “just as far as you can go, just as far as you are comfortable, I’d rather you did it correctly with the smallest of movement, than to do it incorrectly” so don’t feel as though you will be expected to have the same range of motion as anyone else in the room.

Pilates Reformer Workout (beginner/prenatal friendly) - YouTube

What do I wear?

Anything you can move and bend in – leggings and a t-shirt are ideal.  I personally wear a crop top with no underwire, under a tank top, because I can move more freely that in a standard sports bra.  At my studio, we wear socks on the reformer, and you can buy barre socks with sticky bottoms especially for classes (but I don’t see too much difference versus normal socks).

Interested in trying Pilates but a bit anxious because of past experiences?

So if Pilates is something you’ve considered doing but you’ve been put off by your past experience as a fat woman in an exercise class, I recommend:

  • Going with a friend – makes anything easier!
  • Attend classes with instructors who request you come in for an assessment first – and be matter of fact when it comes to saying “so what should I do in this position if my belly is in the way?”  or “shall I move my arms wider to accommodate my boobs?”  or just let them know you are not comfortable in the standard position and that they need to recommend a variation
  • If you are able to, request one-on-one or small group sessions – it’s nice to build up confidence in a small session before attending classes with strangers (most Pilates reformer classes are 4-8 people anyway)
  • Stick to beginner classes  if that’s where you’re happy
  • Don’t compare yourself to anyone else – you’re only there to compete with yourself

The post Trying something new – plus size Pilates appeared first on Rachel Gee Bee.

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I’ve sat down to write this post so many times – there are a hundred ways to cut it, a hundred things I could say about the whole experience, and its difficult to articulate in equal measure the good and the bad.   I’ve also considered making a video but if you think I ramble in blog format, you’ve seen nothing…

In November I was asked to help craft diversion terms for the man charged with harassing me.  I believe in a restorative justice process and I do not believe that a jail term, or criminal conviction is the ideal solution in every situation.   And as the victim, I get to make that choice for myself, but I am aware that my decision disappointed some people.

The terms we agreed to:

  • 24 month term of diversion.
  • No contact with victim.
  • Complete a sex offender evaluation prior to acceptance into diversion program.
  • Attend sex offender treatment.
  • Defendant is not allowed to transmit or receive and review any intimate body parts, especially his penis.
  • Defendant is not allowed to post on social media anything with a sexual content; including, but not limited to, photos, messages, solicitations/propositions, comments, or videos.
  • A commissioned law enforcement officer is allowed access to his computer and phone at any time requested, to search for obscene, rude, lascivious, filthy or indecent sexual content.
  • And at some point, it was meant to include an apology to me.  Which was removed without anyone advising me.  Victims eh… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In January the diversion conditions were accepted and he agreed that his actions toward me were sexually motivated.  Prior to accepting the conditions my harasser could not help but show me once again what kind of person he is, by writing a faux-apology on Facebook and asking me to read it.   At the time I couldn’t believe he had the audacity to tag his victim in a post on social media while he was in the middle of a criminal process.  Silly me!

Clearly he is living in a fantasy world where “taking responsibility” only happens after you are caught with irrefutable proof that you’ve been harassing NUMEROUS women online.

But as a wise man said to me at the time:

“Rachel, right from the start he has demonstrated that he is a complete piece of shit. And with all that’s gone on, he will still be a piece of shit. You’re measuring his behaviour based on what is reasonable for “normal” people (like us). You will never get satisfaction from his behaviour – because he is, and will always be, a disrespectful arrogant piece of shit”

Words carved into my heart.

I will never be able to articulate the impact Kalim and this experience has had on my life.  That I was not free to do what I wanted to do online because of him, because of his friends, because of his family, because of the people who sent me awful messages, reported my social media, tried to hack my accounts for months.

Because of raising my head above the parapet, and becoming a target for ignorant and angry teenage boys of Lawrence Kansas.

Because of boys at Veritas Christian School who shared my blog on anti-women websites (Thanks Andrew Burger, your parents must be so proud).

My work was impacted, my ability to do my job, and essentially my freedom was curtailed because I spoke up against a man who COMMITTED A CRIME.  Let that sink in.

From a personal perspective, this experience ate up huge mental and emotional space in my life. And it had a significant part in me resigning from the job I was doing at the time of the harassment, generally I was a very stressed and anxious person as a result of pursuing this.   As the criminal case moved forward, most of the additional harassment died down,  and I could get back to my normal life and my stress and anxiety improved as time went by.

Thankfully I have a job now that I love, with an employer who stands behind me on this 110%.    And whenever someone needs help with being harassed online, people know they can come to me for help and support.   And I haven’t received a dick pic in over a year.   Small victories.

The post Being a woman on the internet – tying up the loose ends appeared first on Rachel Gee Bee.

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Eloquii is one of those brands I have been watching for a while, but never quite brave enough to take the plunge and buy – possibly because as a premium brand, the risk is always a bit higher – a $40 ASOS fail doesn’t sting quite as much as a $150 dress fail right?

My end to end shopping experience was very pleasant; there were plenty of options for sales codes on the day I shopped, and I went with an option that essentially made my second dress free, which made the $25USD shipping completely worth it.    And my order turned up within 3 working days to my office in New Zealand.  Consider me impressed.

One of the things I really like about Eloquii is the fact they are independent and owned by the original creators of the brand.  This lends an integrity and point of difference to their brand, that is often missing in the semi-swell of plus size options that are appearing on the horizon (online at least).

Another thing that always impresses me is that their designs are always just a little bit different, a little bit flamboyant, the style may be classic but there will always be a design element that is not.    Also they have some awesome sizing options – viola for those with bigger hips and bums, and petite for you small statured plus size ladies.

Eloquii sizing runs between a US14-US24, and both items I purchased were a size US16, I possibly could have sized down due to scuba material of this particular dress but I think it’s beautifully cut and fits well as is.

Dress: Studio Flare Sleeve Dress in Plum, US16 – $99 (I paid $49 with a discount code I found online)

The post Online shopping with Eloquii appeared first on Rachel Gee Bee.

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