Sunday 24 February 2013

WEIGHT a Minute and Read This.

 I come from a family of foodies - my mum is a brilliant cook and I grew up on a diet of amazing, rich, Australian/ British food. We were the kind of family that wouldn't compromise on flavour in favour of a lower calorie count but also didn't have a plethora of snack foods lining our cupboards. Dinner time was a pretty important event in our house and I rarely left anything on my plate!

When I'd just turned 20, I had a pretty emotional episode involving an ex boyfriend and some pretty intense bullying that escalated to the point that I felt forced to move away from the safe haven of my hometown and into a flat 45 minutes away.
In this time I literally lived on cups of tea, noodles and soup. It sounds weird but because my stomach was constantly in knots over the whole situation, I felt like these were the only things I could eat. The thought of consuming anything rich or decadent made me want to be sick and the weight fell off me to the point that I lost 11 kilos.

Since then my weight has fluctuated a little and I'm always at my thinnest when I'm stressed about something - it's not that I'm too busy to eat or I eat small amounts to maintain a certain weight- it's because my tummy is doing backflips!

In 2011, a year after I moved to London, I got sick.
It came out of nowhere but basically I started suffering 'blackouts', intense, constant vertigo and dizziness and I stopped going out, only braving the Tube to get to and from work.
Once again, my weight fell off. I need to reiterate that I've never been overweight. My BMI was practically perfect before I started feeling sick, so my weight loss didn't make me look healthy, it made me look a bit like a human lollipop or a Bratz doll.
In Bruges with some Belgian waffles that I actually ate!

Grey jeans - my legs at their skinniest

I was ill, really ill.

The whole point of this rambling article is that whenever I've lost weight like this, people have told me how great I look.
This really disturbs me.

I sort of want to shake them and scream 'wouldn't you rather I felt great and had a bit of meat on my bones?!'

Sadly, at the time it secretly made me feel  scared about being hungry and indulging in great food again.
I love food! Food is awesome and amazing and exciting! But if I ate properly again, I would go back to normal -  no more waif-like figure for me. Clothes wouldn't look good on me any more, would they?

I know that the people who have said this to me in the past meant no harm. But it's a dangerous thing to say to someone who's not at a healthy weight...

A few months ago I started taking a progesterone only contraceptive pill. You know how the pill increases the bust size of some girls?
Well, it turns out I'm one of those girls.
My once barely-there bosoms swelled to a C cup and everyone close to me noticed.
You'd think this would have made me happy and it well may have, if it meant I didn't gain weight everywhere else.
It wasn't a huge weight gain, just a distinct increase in the radius of my bottom and some water retention around my middle.

When my boyfriend affectionately commented on my new shape with sweet nothings like 'Your bum is brilliant' or 'You were too skinny when we first met', I felt disheartened rather than complimented.
I've since gone off the pill (for other reasons) and the water retention has gone and I'm feeling healthier than I have in the past two years.

I look ok. I've got a curvy behind and I no longer look like a praying mantis.
So why am I not overjoyed with what I see in the mirror?

This frame of mind is ridiculous. I'm not a teenager any more, I'm almost 28 years old and my mind is trying to trick me like this?
I see curvy women and skinny women both in the media and on the street and I appreciate them all. I think Monica Belucci is stunning and Beyonce? I have no words.
Both these women have more junk in their respective trunks than me, so why does my brain get all nostalgic about my sickly thin days?
I love vintage, pin-up style - Marilyn Monroe was no waif, neither were Rita Hayworth or Bettie Page. Curves are feminine and gorgeous.
I wasn't unhappy with the way I looked before I got sick, so why is a part of me a little sad that I've gained my weight back?

I guess what I'm trying to say is - if someone you know loses an unhealthy amount of weight, for the love of all things good, do not tell them that they look great. Chances are, it'll stick in their mind. Believe me, I know.

Sorry for the rant, and thanks for reading!

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