Wait…my weight is too great?!

I’ve always been a little bit fat.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve known it. In my close friendship groups I’ve always been the chubbiest, even as a child when my friends were bean poles, I was more of a plant pot. Not that my weight particularly bothered me.

I was friendly, good at sports, and clever, so it never really crossed my mind that it was an issue, though I distinctly remember the school nurse coming into primary school to take our height and weight and feeling dread fill me to the brim. How is it, that age 10, I should have been scared? I was tall for my age, proudly the tallest in the school for some time, until Emma Selby had a growth spurt and overtook me, meany! Yet, taking home a letter saying I was on higher percentiles than my closest friends is still something that stuck in my memory.

In another memory, age 12, when we were checking our weight at home, I cried because my brother called me a fat for weighing 8 stone. Bizarre when I was already about 5ft 4 and wasn’t really even fat fat, just a little bit chubby.

Now I’m twice that age, not that many stone from twice the weight, but still fully aware that the “O” word is banded around whenever I get on the scales somewhere professional.

Because I am obese.

There, I said it. It’s a word that gets stuck in your throat a bit and nobody ever really wants to mention it.

To save you some rapid nosy googling, for a woman of my height, the “healthy” weight BMI range is from 8st 10lb – 11st 11lb. To be “overweight” is then up to 14st 1lb and anything over that is classed as obese.

Now before you jump in and interrupt with accusations about how rubbish BMI actually is at showing how healthy a person is, I KNOW.

Trust me, I know.

You see, though it does shock me to think that I’m one of the ever increasing population who are sitting in the fat section, categorized into those deemed as medically “unhealthy” due to their weight (this is just what the WHO have decided), I also know that despite carrying a little more junk in my trunk, I am generally quite a healthy person.

I tend to do vigorous exercise 3-4 times a week, playing Badminton, attending 2 HIIT classes and going for a run at weekends, I eat mostly fresh, home prepared food with a really varied and balanced diet. I don’t smoke, take drugs, eat that much junk food, takeaways or even actually drink that much alcohol. Yet I fully well know I’m partial to eating big portions, and I have a really sweet tooth.

Trust me, bane of my life.

I often wish I was one of those people who eat to live, rather than live to eat. As in, they enjoy some meals, but most of the time eat because its fuel your body needs and otherwise you’d be really tired all the time. I however, am the opposite. I live to eat. Hence my size 16 self knowing full well I should be thinner. In less complicated terms:


I really enjoy cooking, which is a blessing, but I also just really enjoy eating. Trying new recipes, or restaurants, or ingredients and cuisines is literally one of my favourite things.

When I read back through my childhood holiday diaries, in between where we visited and what we saw, there will almost certainly be a daily infill of what we ate. Food being the most important thing in life, for as long as I can remember.

As I grew older, the thought of being really hungry and unable to eat scared me. I’d take snacks on journeys, plan my next meal and keep the fridge and cupboards stocked, just in case. As much as food and flavor brings me a lot of joy, without it, unknowingly, I get incredible hanger and my mood seriously shifts. This is to the point where if I’m grumpy or start to have a short fuse, Adam will instantly give me something to eat, which usually melts away any animosity and instantly lifts how I’m feeling. The problem is that I just don’t notice.

At one point recently I even went to the doctor about it, thinking there might be something more significantly wrong. Struggling to lose weight, combined with erratic body temperature, dry skin and tiredness, I suspected I had an under-active thyroid. Either that, or I was worried my family history of diabetes might have become an issue. For the first and only blood test in my life, the doctor said he’d test for everything he could, making his way down the long list of tick boxes.

My results came back negative for all.

Everything was fine – thyroid, diabetes, liver, kidneys, cholesterol, electrolytes, blood count. I wasn’t pregnant, didn’t have AIDS and nothing else was apparent.

Turns out the doctor wasn’t worried whatsoever and it was most likely I just had a low metabolism. Great…

At the beginning of my weekly HIIT class, my weight is recorded, which is good in itself as there have been points during my life where burying my head in the sand and ignoring the issue have definitely been preferable. I’d got to the heaviest I’d ever been and it was depressing me that some of my favourite wardrobe pieces were feeling snug . So with a fresh mindset, I started to sort it out.

On another crusade to lose weight, joining Slimming World and paying £5 a week to get weighed and sit listening to moany ladies complain. People, who in one breath couldn’t understand how they hadn’t lost any weight, and then in the next say how they’d had 3 takeaways that week and had never even heard of a butternut squash.

How are they still thinner than me?!

I like the ideas behind Slimming World, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t like the other people that went there, I didn’t find the talks very helpful, I didn’t like the encouragement to eat processed food or artificial sugar, and I resented spending an extra hour and a half each week with people who hadn’t a clue about healthy eating.

So my colleague and I decided to do it ourselves, weighing in front of each other on the same scales, at the same time on a Tuesday afternoon, and if one of us puts on weight, they have to pay the other the £5 we would have otherwise spent. It’s actually pretty good incentive, we’ve just both been a bit static recently and I’ve more or less plateaued for about 2 months.

I’m a stone down from the end of 2015, and it still feels good, but this is also just the start of the journey and there’s a fair bit more to go.

I’ve always been lucky when it comes to weight as I carry it evenly, meaning that even at 3 stone heavier than I was  in my late teens as a size 12, I can still comfortably wear a size 16 now. Which, according to some googling, is the UK average. Curvy, plus-size, whatever you want to call it – I used to be good ballast as a gig rower.

You see, I’m heavy, but I’m also strong (as in, really strong in terms of your typical woman) which has both been a negative and a positive in my life thus far.

Negative is that i’m muscly and I have my Dad’s legs, which, as great as bulging thighs look on him, it’s not the most feminine of looks for me.

Positive is that when doing DIY, being strong is really helpful as you can carry a lot, lift things high up and do a lot more than if I were tiny. Plus, when I used to row it was quite possibly the first time in my life where being a super strong woman was a major plus point. I sometimes now just need to check myself so as not to emasculate anyone. I mean, I’m no body builder, but I’m also not joking about the former.

I love my body, and despite having occasional moments of shear horror at my wobbly tummy, I’ve been lucky enough to have body confidence woven into my personality, which I’m sure is as a result of an incredibly supportive upbringing where both my parents instilled pride in ourselves for what we can do and who we are as well as what we look like. My best friends used to joke that I had CNV which stands for comfortable naked vibes (meaning that I’m both comfortable naked around them, and they’re the same back – a body is a body basically so why be embarrassed about it?!).

I’m proud that I can push my body to it’s physical limits, that I enjoy exercise and can keep up with the fittest woman in our HIIT class (who, quite honestly, is pretty much half my weight). Hell, I even ran the equivalent of a marathon last month! Goodness knows I didn’t expect to achieve that.

Today I feel like I’ve used this post as a platform, for no immediately apparent reason.

I guess it’s cathartic, accepting your flaws and basically stating that YES, I’M FAT, but it’s also my issue, I’m trying to do something about it, and so therefore, it shouldn’t matter to you.

I wanted to write it down mostly to admit to myself that something needs to change, to get myself back into that driven mindset where food can still be enjoyed without being an obsession, and my relationship with sugar is healthy and occasional, rather than a crux to rely on whenever I’m sad, bored, tired, lonely, happy, angry, shocked…the list goes on.

I’m not requesting any particular advice, or definitely not seeking attention or fishing for compliments, I’m just trying to be honest, to myself more than anything, and if that’s achieved by publishing it on the internet, then maybe this blog post has served its purpose.

My weight, size or any numerical value do not define me.

However, to find the motivation that only I can muster to break the feeling that my love of food is a negative thing and instead turn it into a positive, perhaps the weight problem I’ve faced my whole life just needed to be addressed and discussed so that the step towards a solution can be found.



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