#MyBodyStory is a weekly series of reader submitted pieces about what it’s like to live in your body.
If you have a story to share, please email : Story@DoTheHotpants.com
Remember, every body has a story.
Please Note: The opinions expressed in #MyBodyStory articles are the writer’s own.
And now, without further ado,
Here is Louise’s story.
Hello, my name is Louise and I’m fully aware that I have a really big bum!
Good, now we’ve got that out of the way I’ll continue…
One of my earliest body memories is being told by my grandmother at the age of about 10 that I was getting a set of “love handles.” Another memory was her telling me that I’d inherited my big bum from my dad’s side of the family. Both of these things ended up being true, but so what?! With me it’s never mattered if I was a size zero or size sixteen, my bum has always been two sizes bigger than the rest of me. When I was growing up, this always seemed to be a problem for other people who would feel the need to make comments about it or point it out to me in some pretty nasty ways. I will always remember this from high school. I was away on holiday and at an internet café. I logged onto a forum for one of our high school bands, and I saw this message:
“Saw Louise last night, don’t know how she manages to fit her fat arse into those jeans. How does she manage to sit on the toilet without shit spilling out all over it?”
Firstly, who the fuck thinks it’s okay to say this sort of thing about somebody? And Secondly, I was a UK size 10 at the time (a US size 6), so hardly the overweight monster they were implying. Thirdly, who the hell cares how big my bum is? Does it really affect your day/life so badly that you feel the need to comment on it? Apparently so…
I still don’t know who wrote that post but whoever you are I’ve got this to say to you – FUCK YOU!
I let this comment made by someone who wasn’t brave enough to reveal their identity hang over me for far too long; I heard it every time I looked in the mirror. Now I’m 30 and I couldn’t feel less like this, and I wish more than anything I could go back and tell myself to ignore the comment and not let it control my life or how I saw myself. But you know what? I think I needed it to happen to be where I am right now.
I was about to say that when you are a teenager these kinds of comments can have such an effect on you. But it actually doesn’t matter how old you are, because these things hurt.
Anyways back to the story. This definitely wasn’t the last time my weight was an issue or got me down, so when I was 21 my dad suggested I get a Gastric Band. I know it must have been hard for him to see me so upset about how I looked. My mum thought surgery was a drastic measure and instead asked me to try one last thing. She said if it didn’t work, then she would give me her blessing. So she put me in touch with Chris, a client of hers who was a Cambridge Weight Management Plan Consultant (don’t call it a diet).
The first time I met Chris she weighed and measured me and sent me off with my wee box of shakes. I could not believe this was my food for the week! Sitting there, with a box no bigger than a KFC meal…this was to do me for the week!?! The first day (a Thursday) was truly horrific. I think I was convinced that I was gonna die. I was allowed 3 shakes a day but each one I attempted to drink was disgusting. I had no energy, I was cold, dizzy and could not stop crying. I remember my mum bringing me my “dinner,” 120g of chicken and 3 bits of broccoli. It was such a small portion that it fitted on a saucer. My parents kept telling me that I didn’t have to put myself through this and I could stop if I wanted to. But I managed to muddle through Friday by filling myself with water, even though I still felt terrible. By Saturday I went back to see Chris to swap out some of my shakes for ones that weren’t as horrible. When I was there she weighed me; I’d lost 4lbs.
Right okay, it was like chucking a deck chair off the Titanic but it was a start.
And I’m not proud of it but I will admit to this… One day on the shake diet I was standing in the kitchen, opening a tin of dog meat to feed Archie, and I was so hungry I almost licked the spoon! You’d think it had been a piece of steak the way my mouth was watering and the spoon came waaaay closer to passing my lips than it should have. From then on I was so determined to keep going. And I did…for 7 months. I lost 107lbs and went from a dress size 20 (US 16) to a size 6 (US 2) but then another problem arose. I was becoming addicted to it. I started to beg Chris to let me have one more week on the program level I was on, even though it was intended for people classed as morbidly obese with a high BMI, and not intended to be used for any more than 6 weeks without a break, not the 7 months I was using it!
Okay so this is gonna make me sound big headed but I thought I looked AMAZING! I was tall, thin, I had long blonde hair extensions and I was ready to take on the world. And this new world was a very different place to what I had been used to before I lost weight. All I wanted to do was go out and party all the time. I didn’t have to stand in line to get into a club anymore, and I never had to wait at a bar to order. I even stopped having to pay for drinks and I milked it for all it was worth!
I was enjoying my newfound thin privilege, but looking back, I think I just became a total superficial asshole.
I had a wakeup call one night after bumping into a group of the “cool guys” from High School. A couple of them where all over me buying me drinks and flirting. I’d known gone to school with these guys, but at school they never paid attention to me; they didn’t even know me! Then all of a sudden I’m now good enough for them because I looked different? No, not cool! And I wasn’t stupid enough to fall for it. Because of all my drinking and eating out, my weight started to slowly creep up again…as it should when you stop living on 600 calories a day and stop going to 9 high intensity workout classes a week! It was around this time I met my husband Gary.
A doctor once said to me, “I’ll tell you something. I’ve been fat and I’ve been thin, and being thin isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” And he was right.
I’ve been a size 4 and I’ve been a size 20, and it’s taught me that YES, people will treat you differently, but you’ve got to make the most of what you’ve got! You have to find your style and what works for you and just run with it. With my hand on my heart, I can’t tell you the last time I put something on and said to myself “oh I’m not wearing that I look fat.” Here’s the thing, no matter what I wear I’ll look fat because shock horror I AM FAT! But if I’m wearing a pretty dress and have my make up on, then I’ll feel as confident as the next girl and I count myself very lucky to be able to think like that!
I have my own mix of vintage-retro-boho-mish-mash style. I love my tattoo collection and my bleached blonde hair. I love my pale skin with bright red lipstick and a wicked black cat eye with a flick that has taken many a YouTube tutorial to perfect. I have completely revamped my wardrobe because I’ve stopped being afraid to wear things and to stand out.
Yes, people call me fat. But so what? I am fat. Well done, you don’t need to get your eyes tested! But if I’m happy with who I am, then why should how I look bother you? I look in the mirror before I go out and it may surprise most people but after so many years of self-hatred, I’m finally happy with what I see. Do you know why? Cos what I see looking back at me is mine, it’s amazing, it’s unique, it’s me, it’s MY BODY! And I can do with it as I please!
Visit Louise’s Blog: PrettyInInkPlus.wordpress.com