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Archive for the ‘Big Girl Problems’ Category

In January 2010 I knew I had an Eating Disorder. I’d lost 3 stone on the second round of LighterLife, binged on several bowls of cereal and gone to the University counsellor, where I learned I might have a problem with binge-eating. I stopped doing LighterLife, hoping beyond hope I wouldn’t put weight on whilst I was sorting out therapy options. I went home for Christmas and binged for 2 weeks on anything and everything I could find. Despite this, I was still a lot slimmer, and the glimmer of hope LighterLife gave me – that I would lose weight – was still alight. I didn’t know how severe my bingeing was, or would get, but I thought I’d probably lose weight each week in therapy.

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So in the January sales I purchased a size 12 (UK) pair of jeans. My size 14 jeans were getting looser, and on LighterLife you learn to buy clothes quickly because your body changes quickly. I’d never bought a pair of size 12 jeans before, nor had I ever been able to fit into them. My top half was already a size 8 – I told you my bum was big – as I lost my weight quickly from my waist, so size 12 jeans meant I my thighs were finally catching up and I was well on my way to the body I’d always wanted.

Life didn’t really go to plan, as it rarely does, and I gained weight after stopping LighterLife . I continued to gain weight during therapy, as I started to realise how skewed my view of food and weight really was. I was never going to be happy unless I was an all over size 8. It didn’t matter what my body wanted, it only mattered that I get there and stay there, because then everything would be fine.

I’ve still got the size 12 pair of jeans. They don’t mean so much to me anymore. I was devastated when I gained weight, the dream of being able to pull the jeans over my thighs and do up the buttons slowly ebbing away. I don’t want to let the pair of jeans go, size 12 is an achievable size for my thighs, but instead of believing that size 8 was the only size for me, I’m going to let my body choose what size it wants to be when I’ve sorted my mind out. It’ll be a long, long time before I can get into those jeans, but having opened the wardrobe and seen them sitting there, I can safely say my attitude to my body isn’t perfect, but has changed drastically.

Hayley Emma

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This formerly bigger girl completely gets how ‘fat chicks’ are portrayed and, subsequently, feel. Katie is brilliant and funny, and this post gets a big fat thumbs up from me. (See what I did there?! Wit is my middle name. Sort of.)
Hayley Emma

Sass & Balderdash

I’ve been everywhere on the overweight spectrum; I’ve ranged from being chubby to being obese for most of my life. It’s only within the past year that I’ve lost weight and fought, scratched, and clawed my way into smaller proportions. I’m all too familiar with the fruitless pursuit of reasonably cute XL-sized shirts, the rummaging for jeans that fit well everywhere, and the struggle to feel confident in the paltry amount of clothes I found that actually fit. Such is the plight of a fat chick.

Apparently, I’m not fat anymore. The number on the scale is telling me this. My friends, family, and co-workers have likewise made me aware of this, too. I know they’re all right. Rationally, I’m cognizant of the fact that for the first time in my life, I’m at a healthy, average weight, but I don’t think I’ll ever truly stop being a fat…

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What I’ve already done is yo-yo dieting.

I was 13 when I first stopped bingeing and cut out all snacks. 3 meals a day, nothing else. I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t want anything else, and I did a very old and hilarious workout video, the mother of all workout videos… Jane Fonda. I can remember the songs, the frequent “woo”s and “yeah!”s, and the men who were very into skin-tight workout wear.

(Update – I’ve looked for this on YouTube for years since we lost the video, and I finally found it! Uploaded 2 months ago, this little gem. Me and my mum are going to do this tonight!)

That was a good time. I lost 1 ½ stone, people complimented me and it was the first time I noticed a difference in how people treat you when you’re bigger compared to when you’re smaller.

I remember getting home from school in the days before and after this period – because it didn’t last – and eat small 5,7,10 chocolate bars in one go, hurriedly stuffing them into my mouth and hiding the wrappers down the back of the sofa or in different bins in the house. Hardly a vomit-inducing binge but I felt a sense of compulsion, a loss of control. (People with Binge-eating Disorder will know that stages of not bingeing would be temporary. (Dr Fairburn explains this in Overcoming Binge Eating))

The feeling of being free from your Eating Disorder, although I didn’t know I was disordered at the time, is incredible. I knew I was controlling what I was eating, I was exercising and enjoying it rather than using it as a punishment, and saying no to food I’d usually binge on was empowering. I felt slightly superior. I was taking control of my life (As much as you can at 13).

This is how I felt during every diet that resulted in weight loss, especially LighterLife. But this feeling was short-lived. Something would click back into place.

After all, a disorder does not come and go, the symptoms can fade or evolve.

The periods of control would worsen the bingeing, and I’d gain the weight I’d lost as well as some more for good measure. If anything proves that restrictive dieting doesn’t work, it’s yo-yo dieting. If you have lost weight and you have every reason to be happier with your body, and then as soon as you finish the diet you put the weight back on? I’m pretty sure that’s a major hint that the method of weight loss didn’t work. It could be an emotional attachment to food or being overly restrictive and therefore the results are unsustainable.

Right now, I’m learning how to eat ‘normally’. Regular meals which minimise the risk of bingeing and healthier meals that don’t upset my blood sugar levels. Exercise is less punishing and more enjoyable, laughing when I make a mistake is an important part of realising that it’s my health and well-being I’m trying to improve, rather than aesthetics.

I know this is the right way forward, but the urge to diet and go back to my old ways are creeping back in. I have to keep reminding myself that I’ve done that before, it didn’t lead me to permanent weight loss, and it’s my attitude that needs to change, rather than the diet.

I’m gritting my teeth and sticking with baby steps to success. When I think of re-learning how to eat properly I think I should be moving faster, but since planning 3 meals a day is overwhelming, let alone incorporating regular healthy snacks, it’s necessary.

Are you doing things you aren’t comfortable with? Do you have the urge to go back to what you were doing before, in the hopes that it’ll turn out differently this time? Tell me I’m not the only one who’s fallen into this trap!

Emma

P.s. If anyone decides to do the Jane Fonda or Pump It Up workout please let me know which one if your favourite, both are on YouTube (the Pump It Up workout has a few more parts).

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I know I made Mondays the Well-I’m-beautiful-why-do-I-give-a-fuck day of the week, but this week has been a bit pants. I haven’t felt very well and haven’t been very positive at all. Which means I’m going to study my post-it notes and take some pictures of inspiration so I can do a positive, progressive post for Monday.

Life story over, I have a video to share with you. I am subscribed to Project Lifesize, a video blog on YouTube where this vlogger posts. Now I have to confess, I haven’t watched Project Lifesize in a little while. However, I saw this video the other day, and I thought it is the perfect video to all of the people who think it’s ok to abuse bigger people.

First off, her name is Meghan Tonjes.

She’s gorgeous.

I love her glasses.

She’s lost 60lbs which is 4 stone and 2 pounds, which is pretty impressive!

Secondly, she’s so, so right. People use health as a reason to goad fat people and criticise them, yet in most cases what they have a problem with is the aesthetic. Health rarely comes into it with bullies and ‘haters’ because they just want to hurt you.

And it’s fine to dislike a certain aesthetic. I’m not a big fan of the skinny look, as in Kate Moss. Her body is beautiful to some people, photographers call it art, designers love clothing her body. In my opinion, I wouldn’t like to have her body, because I like my own figure complete with bigger breasts and bum. However, I don’t judge Kate Moss.

She might be unhealthy for all I know, but she might have a completely normal relationship with food. She might exercise everyday for 6 hours but she might never go to the gym. I don’t know, honestly, and it doesn’t matter, because I would never be bitchy and horrible about her let alone bully her on twitter to purposely make her feel bad about her body. There is no point to that.

I love this video, especially the part where she says:

You never know where someone is in their journey with their weight, and you never know how someone feels about themselves.

That is so true. I’m at my biggest, and a couple of months ago I hit rock bottom. People may assume I’m greedy and lazy, but it’s so much more than that. I’m not healthy, no, but I’m trying hard to become healthy. And just because I’m not healthy, does that give people a right to chastise me? I don’t think so.

Do you think she’s got a point? Also, do you love the part where she says “fuck you”? I do. I like it very much.

Emma

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I went to a dress fitting the other day and it’s kind of, ever so slightly… diminished my confidence. I mean, what little confidence I had built up from making big improvements in shoving my Eating Disorder out of the forefront of my mind. I’m aware that someone I know and love very much might read this , as she’s directly involved, and I hope she won’t take offence. This is a blog about Eating Disorders and body image, and I have to write about this particular problem a) I’ve got to get it off my chest and b) I’m sure I’m not alone.

I went for a bridesmaid’s dress fitting, and me and a pregnant woman swapped dresses – I’m not even kidding. The depressing thing is most of my weight isn’t even on my stomach. Truth be told my dress was too big up top, so we swapped and it fit in some areas but has to be altered on my thighs. I was stood in the shop, people walking around, in a strapless dress, showing my upper arms in front of people I’ve never met – something I have never done because my arms are horrendously fat – and I felt like the ugliest duckling in a room full of swans.

To make it worse, when me and one of the bridesmaid’s swapped dresses, in order to save time the seamstress took 2 of us in the changing room and whipped both of our dresses off. She, the pregnant woman, had leggings on (why the fuck didn’t I think of that?!) but I didn’t. I stood in my underwear, waiting for a dress to be put over my head and shimmied down.

We both laughed at the situation – she has no idea of my Eating Disorder or body image issues – and I jokingly tried to cover up as much of myself as I possibly could. At the time the only thing I could have done is laugh, and it lightened the mood, but inside I was panicking.

“Enough. Too much. I am done with this.” I wanted to run out of the shop, into a newsagent, grab some grade a binge food and get as far away from reality as possible. I couldn’t be happy for the bride or the other bridesmaid and I lost sight of the what we were there for. My friend, who is wonderful, is getting married to the guy she loves and it’s lovely. I’m so happy for her, I want her day to be perfect and I want to shut my mouth, shut off my thoughts, and enjoy the process of being a bridesmaid. I want to ensure that my friend gets everything she’s worked so hard for, and most importantly, witness a beautiful day where she marries the person she’s going to be with for the rest of her life.

I want to be ‘relaxed’ like Annie from Bridesmaids.

I wish more than anything, more than being slim for the wedding (!!) that I could stop worrying about my body and do this. Unfortunately, I can’t shut off my thoughts. I can, however, work hard to lose just a bit of weight before the wedding, especially on my arms which might possibly (oh my god, the thought makes me cringe with shame) be on show. I can get a fake tan, get a mani/pedi and get eyelash extensions… in other words, I can try to make myself feel as beautiful as possible… despite my horrific body.

I know this isn’t just an Eating Disorder thing: how severe is your negative body image?

Emma

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A couple of days ago I read an article online where Karl Lagerfelds called Adele “a little bit too fat.” The article predicted this would cause a media frenzy so I held back on writing about it to watch it all unfold.

Yeah… people can get pretty pissed off.

I particularly loved Fuller Figure Fuller Bust’s tweet ‘Adele? Fat? And? Some people are fat, some people are twats *shrugs*’ and Miss Mary Mcgill’s post about these issues. In commenting on this post I found a quote of Adele’s that I absolutely adore:

‘I love seeing Lady Gaga’s boobs and bum. I love seeing Katy Perry’s boobs and bum. Love it. But that’s not what my music is about. I don’t make music for eyes, I make music for ears.’

I found this quote on Skinny Vs Curvy and looked down at the trolls comments and my God, every time I look at the comment section I lose my faith in human compassion.

Trolls and innocent commenters alike tear apart celebrities and ridicule every part of them. Are we really that surprised that he considers Adele fat when he deals with underweight, unhealthy looking models? We really shouldn’t be.

Some commenters on Skinny Vs Curvy erupted with praise for Adele. Anyone who’s seen an interview with Adele knows she has this London I-don’t-give-a-fack! attitude about her, which is brilliant. If I had a voice like Adele’s, I still wouldn’t be able to get on stage because I would be too embarrassed by my figure. Adele just went and did it. The girl has balls.

And then the trolls came by and shat on everything, as they do. They referred to her not caring about her looks being contradictory because she wears designer clothes and make-up. A girl can care about showing her individual style without caring about what people will inevitably say about her weight. They criticise that she doesn’t go to the gym so she doesn’t care about her health. So, everyone goes to the gym for health, do they? Really, because when I see girls in tight leggings and tiny sports tops showing off their polished abs and guys watching themselves in the mirrors as they heave weights up to their chins, I don’t think ‘picture of health’. I think ‘vain much?’.

My argument is this – if she was skinny, would anyone give a damn about her not going to the gym? Nope. We’d complain that she’s skinny and she doesn’t have to go to the gym. We wouldn’t call her unhealthy. People criticise her for not caring about her weight and claim it must be down to laziness, did anyone consider that maybe she is paying homage to a different kind of beauty?

Lately I’ve heard a lot of talk about excuses. My counselor pointed out how harsh I am to myself, and then I scroll down the comment section of 1 website and it’s like it’s black and white, fact for some people “you have a problem, you’re making excuses.”

Maybe she’s not making excuses. Maybe she just doesn’t give a fack.

She smokes. Did anyone mention that unhealthy habit of hers? Nope. Because it’s not physical; we can’t see the effects yet. Her weight we can see, so we can judge. We feel we can judge her by what people consider to be her flaws. I don’t see her body as a flaw. She has a gorgeous face and she has a beautiful body. I don’t invest my time in being revolted by fat anymore. My fat revolts me, but when I look at Adele, Ashley Graham and Nigella Lawson I see sex appeal, I see the feminine body and I see them challenging the mainstream concept of beauty. When I look at Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Anniston, I accept that they are beautiful. They own a different kind of beauty, where I can see their collar bones and nobbly knees.

Until we accept different types of beauty in our lives, then our self-esteem will continue to be diminished by comments made by insignificant people such as ‘does fatty want some cake?’

I would love some cake, but right now I have to go troll. Ciao bella!

Emma

🙂

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Heels. They’re so pretty.

The Classic Heel

 

They look nice, they can make a boring outfit much more feminine, they can elongate the legs. They make you feel better, they look better and there are so many to choose from.

The Lady Gaga Heel

The only negative is that … they hurt. They hurt bad. When I was slimmer they hurt my feet but I could stand it. Now I’m bigger… heels are like my Everest. My confidence is saying “put them on” my fashion side is pining “look how beautiful they are” and then my actual feet are screaming “no, not again, please not again!”

The Statement Heel

Women, do you feel my pain on this one?! For anyone who’s fluxated in weight you must be able to tell the different. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you weigh more there is more weight pressing on the ball of your foot. You don’t look good if you’re hobbling to seats. When wearing heels I travel with a minimum of 10 plasters – if girls see you have plasters, they circle round you like vultures. How can you deny a fellow drunken girl with pained expression and blisters on her feet a plaster or 2?

The Hooker Heel (Which We All Secretly Own)

So here I pay homage to the beautiful shoe that is the heel.

The Wedged Heel

But as for the big girl problem…

The Mouthwatering Heel

Midi-heels and thicker heels, particularly the wedged heel is going to be the safest option. It’ll cut down the pain therefore cutting down the chance of you looking constipated as you cross the dancefloor.

The Getting-You-Through-The-Night Heel

 

Emma

🙂

 

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