Learning to love me

I’ve spent the last few years fluctuating in weight. I guess my stress levels played a big part in this but the biggest obstacle that stopped me for so long was the fact I had no respect for myself any more. Not for my mind and certainly not for my body.

Many people I know really lose their need for food if they go through rough times. Not me. Fuck no, not me. I wish I did but all I do when I’m struggling is eat and not the right things. If I get sad? Food. Anxious? Food. Excited? Fuck it let’s celebrate, food.

A couple of years ago I peaked at 18 and a half stone. I was seriously depressed, unsettled and very bloody fat. I must have avoided the mirror for a few years because one day I just walked by one and honestly cried. I didn’t even recognise myself anymore. There was no way I had let myself slip that bad. Surely it was all a bad dream. At that point I kind of sat back, listing things down that I had let slip from my normal routine. I wasn’t reading as much, spending time with my family or friends as I was so far away, I had stopped travelling altogether, I hadn’t wrote a single line in a blog or on a piece of paper in years. Something had to give.

I was living in Scotland at the time, I promised myself that I would lose weight and never get back to that weight again. I started back at the gym and went religiously. I would walk, run, swim. Shit, anything to just raise my heart rate a little and get me sweating. I did good. Real good. I was losing the pounds consistently. I got to a better place mentally. I started reading again, I love a good book. I even started writing again. I moved back to Wales to be close to my family and friends, I got my space to work on myself finally. I was in a really good place.

I guess since being home for almost two years I have gotten all too comfortable in not being active again. I mean I’m not anywhere near how bad I was before but I’m definitely on pause and have been for a while. I still have a very long way to go before I can be happy with my body.

I’ve always dreamt of travelling, making documentaries and writing. Not as a job but as my life. That’s what I want to do. It’s not a job when you love it that much. Being on the go, meeting new people, being introduced to new cultures and being able to put those experiences into words is something that gives me an adrenaline rush that I simply can not explain. I’ve put this dream on hold for way too long purely out of fear, especially when I got really overweight because who the hell would want to watch videos of my fat face talking absolute shit with zero motivations. Where do you even start to learn about editing videos, working on the go, where do you start? You start by trying and that’s where I’m at right now. What better way than to lose weight but to use that mission alongside your dream of making videos and blogging. I’m fed up of putting things on hold, my time is now. I’m starting small, just trying to make a little following for now while I spend hours on YouTube, learning how to YouTube. I made an instagram account @chubrubjourney just for short videos and pictures of my journey until I get to where I want to be. I can be really funny sometimes, it’s one of the few things I have been able to keep even when I wasn’t ok, so I’d like to be able to showcase that. I think part of my purpose was to make people happy and bring them joy, now it’s my turn to give that to myself and focus on what I need for a while.

I would really love it if you could come on this journey with me. We can all learn from eachother and support eachother to want better and to be better. Loved ones or even strangers, now is a better time than ever to all come together.

Here’s to the start of a new beginning.

Please follow my instagram and subscribe to my youtube channel @chubrubjourney (Chanty Harris). I plan on making silly videos of workouts, adventures, the ups and most importantly the downs because they are what make us stronger.

I hope to see you all when I am eventually ready to upload my first video.

Much love,

Chanty

Being gay in this fucked up world

Sorry in advance for the long winded post but this rant really needs to be heard.

I’ve been struggling with my mental health more severely than usual recently, there has been a lot going on in terms of responsibilities and worries, including needing to defend peoples rights to love who THEY choose and not who other people want them to choose.

I had to physically drag myself out of the house today because I knew I was getting stuck in a really dangerous habit of only feeling safe in the comfort of my room. I don’t want that for myself, or for anybody else.

The day wasn’t so bad at first, I had my brother there we were talking about being gay and being comfortable with it but the risks that come along with being openly gay because not everybody is grown up enough to let you carry on with your day without making you feel like an outcast. We did some shopping, ate some food, watched a movie and me and my girlfriend dropped him off at his bus stop before heading off to ours.

My anxiety was spiked, it always is when I’m out. The noises, the crowds, the craziness that comes with living in a city, you know how it is. We had just sat down at the bus shelter, Sam had her hand loosely around the back of my neck – she knows it comforts me when I’m worrying. This man walked up and sat right beside me, so close our clothes were touching. He said “Why is it that all lesbians are fat and ugly?” I wasn’t sure that I heard him correctly, surely I hadn’t so I politely asked “excuse me?” But there it was again “I said why are lesbians always so fat and ugly every single one I’ve ever seen”

If I’m being honest guys I didn’t know what to say, I’m used to homophobic comments and people not understanding why I am so comfortable in loving a woman rather than a man but this is next level personal shit. How do you even answer such a ridiculous question? All I knew is at that moment in time all of the hurtful things that sprung to my mind begging me to let them slip off the end of my tongue, all the insults, the the mirrored behaviour was not going to help the situation but would only anger me further and to be honest what was the point in all of that? It would have accomplished nothing. I can’t remember word for word how I replied something along the lines of “I really don’t have the energy or time to have this conversation with somebody so small minded today”. He carried on though, of course he did, they always do. “On top of that now homosexual males can take a pill so when they do all those filthy things, all that filth together they don’t get that deadly shit” the way it sounded was as if he was talking about HIV. As if it is only carried in gay men which pissed me off in itself because people are just so fucking stupid. He literally wouldn’t stop, I told him as gay women we found the comment extremely rude and he said “well come on then lets prove it you stand up for me and let me look at you” It takes a lot for me to feel threatened or intimidated because usually in these situations I have the right words but the place my head is at recently I cowered. I felt vulnerable. I just wanted the ground to swallow us so we didn’t need to be in that situation. Just please not today I don’t have it in me to keep fighting. How dare this man think he has the right to tell me to stand up so he can investigate my body. I had to ask him to leave four times before he eventually picked himself up and walked away while muttering “the truth hurts” just to get in that last dig. There were a lot more homophobic comments in the conversation but the whole time I was holding in a few uppercuts if I’m being honest with you. I wanted so bad to just punch his little face in for being so absolutely vile and on top of that because I’m so fed up of people needing to be scared to hold the hand of the person they love in the street in case it offends somebody and they get attacked verbally or physically. A lot of us worry about these things before we even leave the house for work every day.

So many people, not only straight people but also people within our own LGBT+ community ask why we feel we are entitled to a pride. This is why. This is exactly why. Because we are still fighting for our equal rights to love who we want to love, be who we want to be, go where we want to go. We do the same jobs as you, feel the same emotions as you, we are no different so why should we feel different?

I know that nothing I can say will sway the minds of ignorant people like this man but it infuriates me.

How the hell would these people feel if their grandchildren, kids, friends or anybody they loved came home crying because they got abused, attacked or something worse just because of who they are. What if they never came home at all because somebody took their hate too far? People don’t care unless it impacts their own personal lives.

This behaviour is unacceptable and needs to stop. If you don’t understand that’s fine. If you don’t want to understand that’s also fine but stay in your lane. Keep your hurtful behaviour to yourselves and stop ruining people’s lives it is not ok under any circumstances.

This month alone there have been so many attacks on people across the world just because of their sexuality – that does not impact these strangers in any way whatsoever. People who are too afraid to leave their homes because of these worries, it just isn’t right. We should be able to live just as freely as Bill and Carol down the road whether we are of the same sex or not it does not change who we are as people. As human beings.

I’m rocking the fuck up to pride with a squad this year. I don’t usually go because of the crowds but I’m here and I’m queer and that’s just the way it is whether you like it or not.

Don’t let these animals win.

40p could save a life

As many of you who know me will remember in December of 2011, I was accepted to go on a voluntary trip to Sierra Leone, Africa where I would work in Kankaylay Primary School. This would later be known as the fortnight that changed me as a person forever.

This was with a charity called The SAFE Foundation, which is committed to improving the lives of some of the poorest people and communities in the world.

We’ve all heard of hundreds of charities that do similar things. However from the beginning of my journey I knew things were different somehow. Special even. The way things were run here, just felt right. The reasons why these people were doing what they were doing, it was just beautiful. I wanted to be a part of that.

So since then I have worked closely with the SAFE family, with Sierra Leone always having a special place in my heart.

I’m sure many of you haven’t heard of this as it’s not exactly mainstream news but over the last few years there have been many disasters that have taken place in this part of Africa. There was the Ebola outbreak and two years later the devastating landslide disasters.

Due to this many of the already vulnerable children at the school we work with were orphaned.

The school is the hub of the community and a place where children can rehabilitate, find confidence and meaning in their lives. It is not only a sanctuary for education, it is sometimes the only place where they will receive a meal and drinking water for that day in a safe and caring environment.

We are working towards rebuilding the school and making it a safer place for these children, our friends to be in.

I can say first hand I have never seen the willingness of anybody, let alone children to want to better themselves or be good human beings. They enjoy school so much because it’s their safe place and they shine brighter than a million stars on a clear night.

Due to a lot of the children being orphaned after the disasters it’s near impossible for the school to afford meals for everybody. So we are fighting to change this. To improve the lifestyle, the education and the happiness of our friends.

It costs only 40p to feed a child in school per day. This is the only difference between somebody eating or not. Just 40 pence. Can you imagine if only 100 of my friends or people I know could just give away forty small pennies to help somebody we could be feeding 100 hungry pupils. It’s scientifically proven that when we are hungry it is a lot harder for us to learn, to concentrate and to retain information. So if we can feed these children we are giving them a better chance at becoming who they dream of being.

To put a child orphaned from Ebola through school it is just £40 a year. This includes their tuition fees, uniform, their equipment, basic health care and education.

A lot of the teachers in school are unpaid members of staff. Who walk miles to get to the site to then work a crazy amount of hours to give these kids the best shot at life that they can. These people can hardly afford to look after themselves yet they’re so selfless they put the happiness of other people before themselves.

It’s around £800 a year for a teachers salary. That is less than what a teacher in the UK gets per month. We would love to fund these teachers salaries but we need your help.

A lot of us can’t afford to part ways with any money. Which is absolutely fine. There are plenty of ways to help.

We are taking donations for a variety of things to help us on our quest of turning the school around. Even down to old bikes for the teachers to get themselves to school safely.

For more information on this I have included the link to our website below:

https://www.thesafefoundation.co.uk/appeal/re-build-sierra-leone

You may think you can’t help in any way but there are lots of ways to get involved. If you want to be a part of something amazing get in touch with myself or anybody at the charity through the website above.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate each and every one of you and hope we can all work together to absolutely smash this out of the park.

Much love,

Chanty Warrior

Rape or not rape? Not your fucking decision.

I am so pissed off.

FUCK!!! WHAT HAS THIS WORLD COME TO?

I’ve just seen yet another person online get told she was not raped and that she’s a liar. A judge made the decision for her.

We live on a planet where somebody else can make the decision on whether or not a person was abused.

I feel like I need to speak out about something that I never thought I would. But if it changes the way one person thinks, then it’s fucking worth it.

A few years back, when i was 18 i went on a trip to Moldova. To do good stuff for good people. It was such a shit experience from day one. Everything that could’ve went wrong, went wrong. I was alone and scared. Then everything sorted itself out and I found myself with caring people in a place I thought as home for the next while.

Until one night when we were having a drink and these two guys came over. It was fun. We were drunk. One thing led to another and a couple hitched up and i was left with this guy that was so fucking drunk that he didn’t know his name. I told him so many times that wasn’t what I wanted. God I even told the cunt I was gay and I hadn’t even told any of my friends or family. I was so scared that I told a complete stranger my life’s biggest secret. He didn’t give a shit. He threw me around like a ragdoll. Until this day I thought i would never be put in a situation where I couldn’t handle myself, but i was so numb. My body felt limp as if i was paralyzed. For fuck sake I feel the same terror as I did then, even writing this stupid thing. I was in the middle of a country I didn’t know. With people i didn’t know. I contacted my family to get me the fuck out of there. I just wanted home. I didn’t even have a home because i had left all my belongings to move to this place for three months. I took a chance. One that ruined my heart for the rest of my life.

I was brutally raped and all I wanted was the comfort of my loved ones and do you know what i didn’t even want to speak about it I just needed to be held by somebody I knew would never let me hurt again. But to get out of that awful place I knew that I had to. I told people who I thought would have my back no matter what and they didn’t even fucking believe me. I was stranded for days before anybody even gave a fuck. Acting as if it was a lie to get me home. As if they were in the corner watching as I got fucked by a big ugly bastard who didn’t care that I was crying and begging him to stop. As if there was a video of the whole fucked up thing to prove it. I honestly thought i was going to die.

What gives anybody the fucking right to decide that somebody who’s been put in that position is a liar!? How dare anybody take it upon themselves to call somebody who is torn from one side of their heart to the other a liar.

Please keep your fucking mouths shut if you don’t know the truth. It’s not your place to EVER make that asumption you pieces of shit, how dare you!

So many people feel they can’t speak out when they’re in a bad situation like that for the chance that they may not be believed and the situation will get worse.

To any woman, man, girl or boy that has been abused in any way shape or form, please don’t be afraid to speak out. You deserve your closure. You deserve your justice.

To anybody that gets told by somebody they love or even a complete stranger in a fucked up situation… Please listen, and please be kind.

love one another

imageI sat and watched the news before work today and it honestly, for the first time in my life, made me scared of the world we are living in.
The amount of hate-crime, terrorism and natural disasters that unravel around our very lives. Even if we don’t get struck by it first hand, we know hundreds of people else where are having their lives either torn apart or taken away.
But the worst part, in my eyes, is the amount of further blame and confrontation that it causes for innocent people.
Somebody, somewhere feels the need to start a stupid viral rumour… “It’s the Muslims” or “it’s a conspiracy”.
Rather than taking a moment to send hopeful wishes and condolences to people who have lost somebody or something very close to their heart people prefer to cause further aggravation.

PEOPLE ARE HURTING. DYING EVEN.

WE ARE SURROUNDED BY HATE.
WE DO NOT NEED TO SPREAD MORE FEAR, LIES OR NEGATIVE VIBES AT SUCH A CRUCIAL TIME.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER REGARDLESS OF RACE, GENDER, SKIN COLOUR OR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. BECAUSE IT IS TIMES LIKE THESE WHERE WE SHOULD RECOGNISE WE ARE ALL ONE. ON ONE PLANET. WITH ONE GOAL. WHICH IS TO SURVIVE.

SO WHO ARE YOU TO TAKE THE FOCUS AWAY FROM THE PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T SURVIVE?

PLEASE APPRECIATE THE LIFE YOU HAVE AND THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU WHILE YOU STILL HAVE THAT OPTION.

ALWAYS LOVE ONE ANOTHER xxxx

and if you’re going to take to social media please make sure you know facts and have a bit of respect for the grieving.

Sending the most hopeful prayer to all of you brave people across the world xxx

#prayforparis #prayforjapan

Lucy lives on 

Today is definitely one of the biggest days of the year for me and a lot of my friends. 3 years ago today I lost my bestfriend, and you know when people say they feel like they’ve lost a leg? Well for the first time in my life I felt like I had actually lost my heart.
My friends knocked on my door with the biggest pain in their eyes that I can still remember now… and i just knew. 

My heart just paused for a few seconds and I felt this pain. Physically a pain in my chest. A pain that I’ve never really understood but one that has remained inside me every single day since. 
One of the first things I thought was “If we feel this amount of pain, how the hell must her family be coping with a pain 10000 times bigger?” And the thought of their heart break breaks my heart so much. 
Lucy has this family that no words can combine to explain just how much love they carry between themselves. They’re the sort of family you’d see on a TV show that hand out love to everybody they meet just because they can and want to. 

I met them all through the start of my charity experiences, they literally changed my life. Especially Lucy and her twin Hannah. We traveled to Sierra Leone in Africa and my whole life flipped and I started to make improvements in myself from that moment on. 

We shared an experience that will forever be in my heart. I wrote a diary the whole journey which includes funny stories with luc. Like how she squeezed my hand so tight all of the way on the plane that I thought it was going to fall off. 
One of the hardest things I have had to do in my life was to try and let go of a person who literally changed my life. 

Lucy had this thing about her that was just so beautiful. In fact everything about her was beautiful. She was just the most selfless, respectful person I have ever met in my 21 years of breathing. She built an amazing charity out of nothing which is still ongoing and growing every day.(which she would be very proud about) and her whole life was dedicated to helping others. 

Every person she met, whether it be for a minute, a year, or 10 years, she just touched such a special place in their hearts. 
I shared so many brilliant, funny memories with Lucy. She used to have passing conversations with our laminator in the office and also once with a stapler and even after she realised it was a stapler she said something along the lines of “oh shit sorry you’re a stapler I’m really sorry”. 

She did this thing to me EVERY DAY (which at the time I hated) but I can now look back on and laugh… Before I would arrive at the office she would print out pictures of rotten toes and post them all over my desk and it made me cry a lot, because toes were at the time my biggest fear. So disgusting and unusual. But I would get my own back by hiding sticky notes all over the office with the words “moist, tip & shaft” on. Because she absolutely hated those words more than I can describe but it was hilarious because every now and again you’d hear a squeal and “CHANTY WARRIOR I’M GOING TO GET YOU BACK”. 

 

 She was the type of person that you would sit with in silence but she would somehow put a smile on your face. It was priceless. 
What I would do for all of us to be sat in a room together again. 

I kind of just wanted to share the love today and I knew you liked to read my blogs so I wanted to let you know that we all still think about you every day. 
Your legacy will forever live on Lucy Dickenson. 

I am, AND WILL ALWAYS be so proud of you and the things you achieved. 
Rest peacefully angel. 
We all love you tremendous amounts xxxxxx 

  

Where does the line stop?

Sometimes I get angry. So angry that I want to run so far away into the middle of nowhere and scream so loud to just get it all out of my system. That anger, hate or discomfort. I don’t even know what it is sometimes. Just horrible feelings in my heart that will not stop tormenting me.
I never understand why humans do things. Things that they know will hurt the people that they love somewhere down the line.
I know that we all do things, spur of the moment, when we are hurt or mad. But you draw that line. Well at least some people draw that line.
We ask ourselves, when is it too far? Where do I draw that line of respect and when do you know that you’ve over stepped that line?

I know we all hurt somebody at some point in our lives. A lot of people in fact. Whether it be a small drama or a very fucking big one.
But there’s just some things that should be against the law of respect. Things that should never even cross a human mind. Disgusting things that nobody should dream of doing, especially if there’s people that they love involved somehow. People that will get so hurt and angry because of your decisions. But the line goes on. Life is just a vicious circle of anger building up passing it on one by one and I just wish that the circle would stop now. Just stop right here. Please.

voices

Do you ever wonder if you have another person living inside of you?
Not literally… another person… LIVING IN AN ACTUAL HOUSE INSIDE OF YOU, because that would be weird, even for me. But you know, another personality that doesn’t reach the surface?

I often wonder if we all have that inner voice that fights so hard to try and beat through the walls but it never actually reaches the edge of your lips.
If you’re still reading you’re probably as mind boggled as me right now, but anyway. Where was I? Oh yeah, that little guy in my heart. But that’s the thing, is it in our heart or is it in our head? Do we imagine another voice being in there because we are so bored of our own voice? I wish nobody ever got bored of their own voice, because we were born with the ability to speak freely for a reason.

Why is it that when most of the time we speak of our opinions yet they are shut down straight away? By somebody else other than yourself? WHO GAVE ANYBODY THE RIGHT TO TRAP SOMEBODY’S OPINIONS IN THEIR HEART JUST BECAUSE THEY DO NOT PARTICULARLY AGREE WITH WHAT THEY’RE SAYING?

sorry I got angry. No more capital letters.

But seriously. So many people with valid, brilliant, personal opinions get so bored of hearing other people tell them that it isn’t right so they lock them away, even from themselves and then when they hear them trying to crawl out from their heads they assume they’re going crazy. It frustrates me from my eyelashes to my toenails.

Please everybody, you’re not crazy. Maybe in some ways. But good ways. Not actually crazy.

The thought of somebody feeling so sad and scared to voice their feelings makes me so sad, please don’t ever allow somebody to make you feel that way.

Don’t be a rude arrogant arsehole, because that’s not cool at all, but speak freely, you were born with a gift of your mouth, to speak, laugh, share stories and sing until you lose your voice. Don’t lose it.

C x

time

As time moves forward every second of every day something is changing.
So much happens around us even if we don’t notice.
The world is slowly adapting around us, people are growing, we are learning lessons, we are seeing new things.

When we lose something close to our heart it leaves open two paths, you either let it make you a better person, or you allow yourself to lose sight of the right direction.

Three years ago I had to say a very swift goodbye to my great grandmother who sadly passed away in her home.
I couldn’t speak to anybody about it because nobody understood.
Nobody actually got how close we were. The bond we had was so special no words could ever explain. Most of my moment were spent with her. So when she left, I kind of lost myself.
I had too much time spare, was I about to let that time be used wisely? Or was I about to absolutely destroy my whole life?

Some of us are born strong. Others have to learn. I definitely had to learn. I completely allowed my whole life to be negatively effected by the loss of my nana, which was really selfish of me. Because I should have been trying to make her proud.
In the last three years I have lost people, gained loved ones, made mistakes, made great decisions, lost myself, found myself, been stuck in the darkness, gone on adventures, but most of all I have now completely learned my lesson and found out exactly who I am and what I’m about.

I’m not all great. But I’m me and I do that best.

Now every time something happens, good or bad, I always make sure it shapes me in the right way.
Just remember every decision you make can have an impact on your whole life.

Think wisely.

squabbling sisters

From January of this year to March I was living in an orphanage in Western Kenya with three people I was soon to be unconditional friends with.
I was given the opportunity to volunteer in Africa, in a school, orphanage and helping in the community.
This blog isn’t about my trip, it is based on the company I was in and dedicated to a very special girl.
Belle was one of the three volunteers I traveled with, she was very outspoken, she loved to be right, she had a fierce attitude and constantly had something to say.
For the first month of the trip we fought like sisters. One day we were nagging at each other, the next we were crying to each other and supporting one another through the challenge of living smack bang in the middle of poverty.
Although Belle had this major front on, she had such a warm heart, one that was willing to help anybody that needed support. She always spoke so highly of her family, she was such a family person and you could see how proud she was of her siblings. It was nice to have somebody that shared that closeness with their siblings as i did.
It was difficult to form a close friendship with Belle as for the best part of two months she just didn’t want to know, but I thought maybe there was more to it than that. She was struggling, just as we all were. But she refused to open up about it, I guess we’re all like that in our own ways so we had to break down Belle’s walls to help her trust us.
Eventually she did, she became this whole new person, the “real” her. She was full of enthusiasm, wise words, fun and love. We especially made a great friendship one night out partying, I guess alcohol just lets you loose sometimes. We sang, danced, joked about and just loved our night. When we got back to the hotel she was determined to drink more, to the point where I had to carry her back to her room.
She was like a lost star just looking for her way to be bright again, she found that light and I found Belle to be such a caring, amazing individual and although we had our bad days we had mostly amazing days too. We shared the best three months of my life together.
Unfortunately last month my African sister passed away whilst in Africa. When I received a message explaining to me what had happened I couldn’t believe it. I don’t even think it ever will feel real to me.
But I just feel that I need to make people aware. Belle passed doing something her heart was set on, she changed the lives of so many people and families in her last months and that is something special. We need to appreciate just how special that is. Volunteering isn’t just something people do for fun alone. It’s a commitment. You commit yourself to take yourself out of your own life and put yourself into somebody else’s. Every day is a new challenge and it isn’t easy. So many people moan about volunteers who go abroad to help, “there’s people here at home in poverty” bla bla bla.
I’ve had so many negative opinions thrown at me about volunteering but unless you’re a part of it then you wouldn’t understand.
When you wake up every day away from your loved ones, surrounded by a poverty that is so ugly yet so beautiful your life changes instantly.
It’s like this whole new third eye that gets given to you and you see the world from a whole new perspective.
You actually wake up and achieve. You make people smile, feel strong, feel loved and worthy of something.
Death is at a ridiculous level in Africa, especially with problems such as malaria. When people put their lives on the line to save others that isn’t stupidity it’s bravery.
Having the confidence in yourself to leave what you’re comfortable with to take yourself away into an environment where you’re full of worry and fear that is balanced out with happiness and inspiration is so brave. You never know what’s going to happen next. You meet sick people, lonely people, scared people, starving people, homeless people. Yes, you see that at home. But not to the extent where you can embrace it and appreciate how lucky you really are.

People need to open there eyes and respect people like Belle. Beautiful, strong, independent, life changing souls that give up everything for people to just smile an be appreciated.

I love you Belle
May you be up there with the other angels feeling so proud of yourself just like everybody at home is proud of you, if not more.

Sleep tight in our memories! 💚