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My Story: From Homeless and Abused to TEDx Speaker, Best-Selling Author and Fierce Fatty!

Hi, it's Victoria here from Fierce Fatty and today I'm telling my story.

So big content warning, before we start, I'm going to be talking about some deep shit that evolves. Abuse, sexual abuse, alcoholism, homelessness, poverty, abuse on a minor, self esteem issues and eating disorders. So pretty big one. If you think that any of that stuff might trigger you, then maybe don't watch. But if not, let's get into work.

So I'm Victoria Welsby and I am fat and I am fabulous, but I haven't always been this way. No. So I'm currently someone who loves their body. I'm super confident. I think that I am the mutts nuts, the bee's knees, the cat's pyjamas, all of those things. But I started out very different. And because of the way that I started out in life. I did things like worked in shitty jobs, had really loser boyfriends. I was scared to wear what I wanted. I constantly think about the way that I look to that. It wasn't good enough. I'd be on diets that were really extreme, et cetera, et cetera et cetera.

So I was born in a place called Peterborough, which is in the UK, voted the worst city in the UK to live. Yes, I was brought up in poverty. My Dad was an alcoholic. My Mom worked part time in the corner store so really, really poor. So we had a lack of food in our house because we were poor, but also we had dieting type behaviours that were passed down from my Mom. And so I really believed that I was some greedy, most of it, cause I was always looking forward to food and having food because we didn't really have that much of it, which is normal behaviour. But I took that as that I was some sort of greedy monster. I was targeted by a local pedophile that would come to my garden and indecently exposed himself.

I remember one time playing with my kitten and looking up and seeing this adult man. And that happened a few times and that wasn't unique to me. A lot of the children in the neighbourhood was targeted by this guy as well. Because of that, I became terrified. I was very shy already, but I became this really scared child, scared to be in my house, scared to be alone. It was really difficult for me. So my mom is a very small person. She's short and petite and she would always talk about her body as being too big. And I am naturally at taller person. So now as an adult, I'm five, seven and I'm a bigger person. And as I was growing, I looked at her body and I thought, if she thinks that her body is not beautiful, is not wonderful, then what does that make mine really disgusting.

So I stopped eating lunch. I would hide in the library all lunch times and no one would notice that I wasn't eating and questioned me. I would run up and down the corridor in my house hundreds of times, I would eat only bland food because I thought bland food meant that it was better or healthier for me. And then I developed and diagnosed binge eating disorder. I so desperately wanted to be thin and looking back I was Chubby, but I wasn't fat. And now I wish I could go back and be like, listen Victoria, you're amazing. Even if I was fat, I would be amazing. Right? So when I was 16 my mum moved to Ireland, which is where she's from, and I realize that I didn't have anywhere to live. I convinced my mom, I said, don't worry about me. I'll be fine.

I'll find somewhere to live, blah, blah, blah. What I didn't realize was that you had to be 18 to rent a place and my salary working part time as a cleaner after school wasn't gonna cut it. So by the age of 17 I was homeless and living in a shelter for young homeless children. At that same time, I met this 30 year old guy at the club. He said to me when we met, instead of can I buy you a drink, he said, can I buy you a lollipop? If that wasn't like red flag, creepy level, then I don't know what is, but he was 30 year old. He was 13 years older than me. He was an alcoholic. He turned out to be abusive physically and emotionally. He did things like put me on a diet, a.k.a. starve me. He decided he wanted my body to be smaller and so controlled everything that I ate and so I ate hardly any food and have you ever caught me eating anything which was off the plan.

Then he would obviously show some consequences to me. He eventually raped me. Even at the time I didn't know that this was not okay, that you know that it was not okay for your boyfriend to do things like this because I thought I have a fat body. Therefore, how worthy am I? I'm lucky that someone's even dating me even if he is abusive. Eventually I managed to get away from him and I left him. He said if I ever left him, he would do all these terrible things to me and he carried out all of the threats. So he did things like threw a brick through my family's window. He went to my place of work and punched my boss. I got a restraining order against him, but that didn't stop him. Leaving and abuser, is actually really difficult and dangerous time.

Luckily I got out of that situation and I carried on with my life and a few years later I met this guy that I was like, oh my God, he's a man of my dreams.

He's amazing. He's so good. I think I'm going to marry him. And then I caught him with three other girlfriends, that was interesting and I'm so thankful that actually happened because these three other girlfriends, they were smart, funny, and beautiful and quirky and all of these wonderful things. And I looked at me and I was like, what the hell is he doing with me? Then I realized he's not dating me to be charitable because he's a scumbag. Right? You know, he has like 50 billion girlfriends. He's dating me because I'm also his type. I'm also beautiful and smart and funny and all of those things. But I realised in that moment I couldn't recognize that and so there was something wrong in my brain. I said, that was my catalyst for change. I began therapy and I'm sitting in therapy to this day, many years later, and that helped me see all of these negative beliefs that I had.

It helped me overcome my PTSD from my relationship and all the different types of trauma I already experienced in my life. But still with therapy I was still like, why can't I just think myself thin? And that's when I discovered body positivity and fat positivity and everything changed because I heard someone say, it's okay to be fat. You have not failed by not succeeding at dieting. It's dieting that's failed to you. You're all right and your body. And so now it's my mission to tell everyone it's okay to be fat. Your body is fine, your body shouldn't stop you from doing all of the wonderful things that you want to do in life. So after I got all this confidence, I did things like I went to the police and reported my ex. Unfortunately, he wasn't charged because there wasn't enough evidence. Many years passed. But just the act was incredible.

I did things like ask for pay rises at jobs. And so one time I asked for a pay rise, I asked for a 2k pay rise and my boss said, you're not worth 2k Victoria. And the old Victoria would have said, yeah, you're probably right. Maybe I'm not worth 2k. But the new Victoria went out and found another job that paid 12k more because I didn't take them word of this man as truth.

I stopped dating creepy dudes. I started wearing things I wanted to wear, doing things like dancing in a public market in my bikini, even dancing on a TEDX stage in my bikini because now I don't give zero fucks what people think about me or my body. I now set boundaries with people and stick to them. I'm no longer a doormat and my pervasive negative thoughts that I had about myself have gone because of all of the work that the I've done.

So if you want to know more about my story, you can grab my book Fierce Fatty, it's on Amazon, you can get it worldwide. You can get the physical copy or a digital copy. Follow me on Instagram, follow me on Facebook and just join this community of fierce fatties that have said, fuck that shit. I'm going to live my life and be fabulous. And it doesn't matter what my body looks like. If you enjoyed this video, make sure that you give me a, like, share it with people that you think will enjoy it and subscribe to my youtube channel so you get more shit like this in your life. Okay. Until next time.

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