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Little pickers wear bigger knickers…

August 28, 2009

My battle with my weight is well known in my circle of friends and family. I wasn’t always ‘big’. In fact until I went to uni aged 18 I was a wee slip of a thing. With big hips. Oh boy, my hips. Even as a teenage waif of around 7 stone I was still a good size 14 because of the enormous child bearing hips by 6 foot paternal grandmother had bestowed on me.

I went to an all girls grammar school which was ridiculously competitive as you can imagine. We all had to (or you weren’t ‘cool’) roll our skirts up to pelmet length, secured by money belts which hadn’t seen a whiff of cash since those naive days of Year 7 . As we all had to wear the same style of skirt (a second style wouldn’t be introduced until 1997) we all suffered the same indignity of said skirt sticking out at a particularly bad angle, making us all look rather bottom heavy. Think the most A line skirt you’ve ever seen in your life.

During one unforgettable Physics class our teacher, an iron haired, iron fisted battleaxe called Mrs Stafford gave me possibly the most humiliating dressing down I’ve ever had. Waltzing into the lab full of confidence that my overly A line skirt was showing my legs off to the best potential (I had lovely legs back then, not the sausages I have now) Mrs Stafford collared me in front of the class for the length of my skirt. Bodily, I was dragged to the front of the class & my skirt pulled to a more respectable length and repined in place by my money belt. Mrs Stafford then stood back & in her booming harridan voice said ‘There, your hips aren’t THAT big after all’.

Fast forward 12 years & I’m 2 weeks post baby weighing approximately 4 stone heavier than my over 6 foot husband and more than double my 17 year old glory days. I’ve done Weight Watchers, Slimming World (just before my wedding & after my final dress fitting which meant I had to pack back on ½ stone in a week or my dress wouldn’t fit. Happy days.) I’ve exercised (a little bit), starved myself (a lot) and used the humiliation diet (my Dad telling me how fat I looked) quite a lot. It’s not my Dad’s fault he has an issue with my weight. He’s 6 ft 3 & weighs about the same as one of Girls Aloud. It’s his metabolism. One I didn’t inherit. I look at a piece of cake or a curry & bang goes on half a stone. He looks at them & drops half a stone as his metabolism has kicked in already. He looks like a matchstick.

My Mum is thin too, and my sister. H & I used to stuff our faces at McDonald’s on a regular basis. I got fatter, she didn’t. If I didn’t resemble my family so much I’d get suspicious.

I remember when I started putting weight on (not a thyroid or hormonal problem, I just ate like a pig & drank lager like the student I was) I wasn’t bothered. I wasn’t very happy during 6th form & now I was living away I was having the time of my life. Happier than I had been in a long time. My then boyfriend wasn’t too impressed though. I put on 2 stone in a year. He told me he wasn’t sexually attracted to me because of my size. I still carried on going out with him though. My confidence was shot by then. I did eventually end after a holiday romance made me realise I wasn’t the heifer he’d made me out to be. I ended up putting on almost 5 stone in the 4 years I was at uni. The lager & takeaway curried were *that* good. My half hearted efforts to lose weight were just that. I wasn’t overly bothered even when I was getting married. My husband loved me ‘just the way I was’.

After I had Sam though I was enormous. I ate McDonald’s almost solidly for 9 months, it was my main craving. There’s photos from my sisters leaving do in January and, if I had dark hair, I could have mistaken myself for Dawn French. I thought I looked great. In March I finally decided to do something about it. My Mum had heard of a diet called the Cambridge Diet. She’ had a friend who’d lost over a stone in a month. The only thing was, it was a meal replacement diet – shakes & bars all day every day. I refused. The next day it was boiling hot. I had to wear my jeans with a strappy top & big cardi over the top as nothing fitted & I felt disgusting. I had my first appointment with my Cambridge counsellor 2 days later.

So, 3 months down the line here I am. Almost 3 stone down, the lightest I’ve been since uni. A lot happier than I was. Friends & family comment every time they see me , telling me how my pretty face is coming back again, I have a waist once more! I should be a bit angry that they didn’t think I was attractive before but I’m too busy basking in compliments I haven’t heard in many years. I revel in their words. Hardly eating for months is harder than I ever thought it would be but after all these years, when I hear my Dad tell me I look stunning, it’s so worth it.

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