Part of this post is taken from a guest post not yet published.
This is my response to the WW app aimed at children as young as 8 years old and what happens when you are constantly under pressure to lose weight.
Reading daily of children who are being ostracised in schools for being above their BMI, this has to stop now, not all bodies are the same, shape, size etc., One size 10 might be a size 14 in a different shaped body, BMI is just bollocks, leave children to be children and let them grow up enjoying food not being told they can’t eat this and that and counting calories. All this will do is lead to an increase in eating disorders and serious mental health issues.
From as young as I can remember other people had issues with my weight, at 11 years old going into secondary school I was a size 12 which in comparison to my friends was enormous.
I distinctly remember my own Grandma berating me for years about how plump I was, and it wasn’t good for my health, she was a very tiny woman 6 stone when she died but never much more than that.
My childhood was full of both my Mum and friends Mum’s constantly striving for their size 10 wedding dress figure, remembering meals where Mum didn’t eat, not sure now whether that was about money or weight, but we never asked, just assumed she had already eaten.
We ate well though I have to say, cooked meals every night with pudding and Sunday dinner every week, even when we had been to Rugby it was all prepared before hand ready to eat when we got home.
When Grandma came for lunch, I still remember her saying there was too much on my plate, I needed to cut down, this was from a young age right up to her death in my 30’s.
At 14 years old I started to really suffer with my bowels, when I got to 16, I was diagnosed with IBS and sent to a dietitian to manage my diet. Bear in mind we paid for this dietitian at a private hospital as this was what was advised by the consultant would benefit me.
I turned up for my first appointment and was asked to stand on the scales, I was 16 and I had this dietitian giving me a weight card and advising me to lose three stone. I don’t remember what I weighed but I would say it was around the 11 stone mark.
She then proceeded to give me a diet sheet that consisted of 800 calories a day and was mostly salad with bran sprinkled on it.
Doing as I was advised we went straight from the first appointment shopping and gathered up all the items on the diet sheet, I distinctly remember having to put bran on my cornflakes with a tablespoon of skimmed milk and have you tried a chicken salad with bran sprinkled all over it? I strongly advise you don’t.
As Mum was being really strict I had to stick to this bloody diet and as expected the weight dropped off me very quickly, but I was so ill, never off the toilet and all I remember was this bloody dietitian praising me because of all the weight I had lost, I was missing work because of it and missed being out and about with my friends.
In the end I went to see my GP and told him this dietitian wasn’t interested in my IBS she was interested in controlling my weight and even he said by controlling my weight it would help my bowel become less lazy.
I was on a losing battle with it and I remember really putting my foot down in the end and saying I was having no more bran and wasn’t going back to the dietitian again.
Working on a market at the time I met a great bunch of girls and I went through the next few years with no one really mentioning my weight much as we were all the same size.
In 1990 I lost my dad very suddenly and the firm I was working for at the time sacked me for having time off for his funeral, how disgraceful eh? After the funeral I had a week off and then set about finding another job.
The first interview I went for I was honest as to why I had been sacked and surprisingly she offered me the job. It was in a car dealership as a receptionist. I really have no idea how heavy I was at the time but probably about 12 stone, I seem to remember being in size 14 clothes, which in Top Shop terms was too big.
Going through the next few years in a job I loved and with the best social life of my life I still had my Grandma pecking away at me, but the one thing that stands out is coming into work one Saturday morning to a picture someone had drawn of me as a whale, I was devastated I thought these people where my friends yet even they thought I was a whale.
What followed was over 20 years of yoyo dieting, I tried weight watchers, lost two stone, stopped it put it back on, then I tried slimming world, lost 3 stone, stopped it and put it back on, and this went on up until 2013 when I had my gallbladder removed and they dropped a stone during removal and I was in absolute agony for 6 months, in this time I had lost two stone and suddenly I was being praised for how good I looked.
Living on Tramadol and paracetamol 4 times a day and still in pain, but hey it was all good as I looked good in my clothes. Once it was removed six months later the pain subsided and I was able to eat again, so yes you guessed it I put the weight back on.
Early 2015 saw me have a long awaited hysterectomy for the chronic endometriosis I had suffered for years, again I was in pain for nearly a year following that and half through the year I was wearing size 12 shorts, so of course looked amazing to everyone, with no consideration of the pain I was in daily which was making it so I couldn’t keep the weight on.
In 2017 when the MS flare, I was bored, I had gone from being a professional business person, seeing customers and suppliers every day to nothing, it was hard to deal with while trying to keep myself and my brain active in some way.
My original diagnosis prior to my MS diagnosis was ME/CFS and through that I found Instagram which gave me a purpose, the purpose of highlighting the lack of understanding and funding for CFS/ME.
While I was scrolling through Instagram, I was finding plus size bloggers and models and one whose blog I had read for a while after seeing her on a Yours Clothing advert on TV was Laura Ferry, What Laura Loves, once I started following Laura, suggestions started coming up for other bloggers to follow.
I quickly found Danielle Vanier, Jess on a Plus Size, Terrible Tumbles who has since become The Em Edit, Emma really resonated with me as she wore the same size as me and looked amazing in every thing she wore,
I then found these women where accessible, these woman where human beings who were happy to respond to your questions/queries etc., and they were all confident in their own skin.
Having spent most of my adult life believing I was the fat one, because I was tall at school and developed boobs and from a very early, I remember my friends brother calling me thunder thighs and while I laughed at the whale picture at the time I was breaking inside at every comment made about my weight
Even various partners pulling me apart because of my size, one even saying when I lost all the weight following my hysterectomy, he would leave me if I put the weight back on. He left me anyway for someone the same size.
These bloggers who I had got used to seeing every day in new outfits or maybe just a newly made up face, they started to make me think about me, about how I had punished myself for years because of my weight, how others had punished me, how it made me so unhappy, how the picture of a whale on my keyboard hurt me so badly, the realisation that this was how my friends saw me, the me that used to spend hours in front of the mirror trying clothes on before I went out and I always seemed to end up under or overdressed there was never a happy medium. I spent years being ruled by label sizes, worried how my nose looked, did I have a double chin, was I ugly.
Now I look in the mirror and I take the outfit shots, I post the face of the day, I feel good in my clothes, I have thrown the scales away and I am no longer ruled by labels.
“This body is a vessel for my awesomeness”
Please sign the petition and I look forward to comments and shares.