Thursday, 25 April 2013

Last night a blogger saved my life.....

Hey! So, prompted by a twitter conversation with Lauren and Sara, regarding how important it is to continue to blog in the hope it will help some people with confidence, body issues etc. I just thought it was important to reiterate how blogging has dramatically changed my life, attitude and perceptions.

I know right, another soppy, heartfelt post from Becky, pass the bucket.... but if my experiences help just one person then my job here is done.

I'm one of those funny juxtaposed odd types, I've been plus size all my life and to a certain extent, fat proud, I was ok with who I was, how I looked and the clothes I wore. I love fashion, always have, always will. But there came a point in my life when the name calling, and the out and out abuse regarding my appearance became to much. I bowed to the pressures of society and thought that the only way I could feel good again would be to have weight loss surgery. My Gastric Band Surgery is well documented, I've spoke about it here, on twitter and in SLiNK, but for new readers a quick recap - in 2007 I had a gastric bypass, I lost 7 stone and went from a size 32 to a size 22. At the time I was devastated I wasn't thin, I'd gone through life threatening surgery for what I saw as nothing, I was left with endless health problems that still effect me to this day.

The fact of the matter is, my life in some respects is easier now I'm that little bit thinner. I'm not gripped with fear every time I walk into a pub hoping I can fit my bum in a chair, when going on holiday I don't stop my blood circulation for 4 hours by squeezing the seatbelt over me on the plane because I'm too embarrassed to ask for a seatbelt extension, and when I go to a shopping centre I know I'll have a wider choice of clothing. But what I will never forget is what it feels like to be that person, and how I wish I could change the world to make it more accommodating for everyone who lives there.

There's endless arguments about how fat people shouldn't have separate spaces, nightclub nights, even down to our own psbloggers hashtag on twitter, the reverse discrimination argument of "if we had #slimbloggers there'd be outrage" but the simple fact is slim people have their run of the world. It's yours to sit wherever you like, eat whatever you want without the fear of being verbally abused, hell, I can't even walk down the street without being shouted out. So yes, sometimes we build our own safe spaces, places we can be free, and proud without fear.

Nearly 2 years ago when I discovered Plus Size fashion blogs, I too found my own safe place, a place where I could wear amazing clothes and be fashionable for the sheer fun of it. I don't know about you, but as a fat woman, the amount of times I've been met with shock because I dressed nice. "Oh but you always look so nice" like fat people don't normally look so nice. "You manage to find nice clothes for your size though don't you" like I'm making the best of my shitty fat situation, the endless fat pity. Blogging gave me a place to say "I think I look nice". Full stop.

At the time I discovered this world I was slowly slipping into bad eating habits, I've suffered from eating disorders since my teens, and I found myself trying to starve myself again, punishing myself for not having lost all the weight I should have done when I had the operation, withholding food because I didn't deserve to be happy, but then binging on food because I was a stupid fat cow who didn't deserve to be slim and that I'd fucked up the only chance I had of ever being "normal". Oh that's right folks, I have some pretty deep and dark demons when it comes to food, and me, and my body.

But slowly, by reading blogs and then actually writing a blog my perception of self began to shift, my attitude to life began to change. I started to be thankful for the things around me. I was exposed to a world of confident, stylish, unapologetic women who have taught me that life really is for living and health is not a dress size or a number on a scale.

I still have bad days, I have days when I pick up the flab and excess skin on my belly and dream of it's miraculous disappearance, I honestly don't think I'm human if I'm 100% ok with myself 100% of the time, but what I can say is that I walk with my head held high and a determination in my stride, I wear clothing that I love, not because it's flattering or suits my shape.

I refuse to bring my daughter up to feel the way I did. There are no scales in my house, nor will there ever be. There are no trashy magazines with their endless scrutiny of women's bodies and "helpful" diets tips. We don't talk about size, if she asks me to sit on one of her children's chairs, I make a point of saying I can't because I'm an adult, not because I'm too fat or some such nonsense. I know even now as she starts nursery, the world will try to change and twist everything I've taught her, but I will keep on trying to reinforce the mantra, all bodies are good bodies.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say in my long winded rambling way, is thank you. Thank you to the women who keep me sane, who give me a safe place to go to when the world outside is a bit scary, thank you for reminding me who I was before I was beaten down. It's not always easy being a proud fat person, when everyone around us is trying to shame us into being thin for no other reason than aesthetics. I think every single one of you is beautiful. That includes you.

41 comments:

  1. Love, love, love this post and your work in blogging. Finding this online safe space has sometimes shown me how "unsafe" previous spaces I inhabited were, but because of blogs I am better able to navigate these places and understand that I'm going have days where I get drawn back into the mainstream discussion of fat bodies. I am excited for your daughter, and for any family who decides to stop the cycle of labeling bodies as "good" or "bad". Much love to you (Good job, you turned me into a sap too;))

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    1. You're right, it's all too easy to get dragged back down, but hopefully we can remind each other of our amazingness! X x x thank you for your support these past 2 years, you have been one of my inspirations x x

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  2. I can honestly say this post has made me misty eyed at work... in a good way. Amen to everything you have said. Even though you know I have only been blogging for a very few short months your blog along with lots of others have truly made a difference to me and made me more confident. I too have always to a certain extent been happy with myself as such, but like you say no one is ever 100% happy, but by entering the blogging world it almost feels like, how can I put it.... like we are not alone, if that makes sense?
    I feel extremley proud of myself for embracing my own body so publicly now and its all thanks to the help and support and downright love of ea and everyone of the gorgeous blogs I follow (that's you included Becky ;))and the people that i'm so fortunate that follow me.
    I'm so proud of the #psbloggerschat and truly look forward to sharing fashion and style tips from ladies every week that think the same way as I do..... We can't all pop down to Topshop or Miss Selfridges, people need to realise that and realise we are not being 'thinist' we appriciate the world for what it is and everyone who is in it, big or small, fat or thin, whatever... but like there are certain brands for larger ladies clothes, why the hell can't we have our own hashtag..
    Thank you for this post Becky.
    Once again your blog never fails me, you awesome, thank you for being you <3 <3 x x x

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    1. You should be very proud honey, of the chat and your blog. Thank you for being amazing x x x

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  3. Just have two words to say to you: love you!! ;)
    Mary ;)*

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  4. Your post brought tears to my eyes, what a great example you teaching your daughter.

    I too love this safe place we have created. Since discovering + sized blogs a few years ago my attitude(and bank balance!) has massively changed in the way I perceive myself and it's great that such wonderful women can come together and encourage one another to be the best person they can be without conforming to society's wish of being skinny.

    Thank you so much for having such an inspiring blog.

    Christiana
    xx

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    1. No, thank you for reading Christina, and I'm so glad they and others have helped you x x

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  5. Thanks so much! I had tears in my eyes while reading this.
    Thanks for writing this great blog, I`m reading it in Germany and it makes me happy.

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    1. Hello Germany! :) I'm so glad it makes you happy x x

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  6. Inspiring stuff.

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  7. What a fantastic heartfelt post :) I've felt depressed for the best part of 10 years about being larger than I ideally want to be but finding these brilliant blogs written by strong, confident, beautiful ladies is giving me confidence in myself. I'm now starting to dress the way I wan rather thant how I think I should be dressing & I feel so much happier for doing this.

    I look forward to reading these blogs every day & feel like I'm slowly reclaiming the real me again.

    Thanks so much & keep up the fantastic work!! :)

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    1. That's amazing to hear, I'm so glad you're reclaiming yourself, I love how you put that x x x

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  8. I love this and I love you <3 I wrote a similar (but possibly more ranty haha) post the other day but haven't published it yet because I wasn't sure how it would come across but having read this I'm going to.
    You're genuinely one of the loveliest, kind hearted and positive people I've met and I'm so proud to call you my friend. xxx

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    1. Elena, I'm so lucky to have you in my life, thank you for being you x x

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  9. I adore this post and I adore you. You are every bit as tremendous in the flesh and I am so happy Ive got to know you-rock on Mrs Bebe xx

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    1. Oh my lovely Betty, you too rock my world <3

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  10. Brilliant! I had no idea about your past surgery, that must have been a very scary step to take. I often think about breast reduction surgery but the whole thing seems too scary for me. I was 'thin' until 11 years ago when I fell ill and it took me a looong time to deal with this new body and to feel comfortable in it, it was all so new to me. I'm thankful though that's it's brought an understanding of a whole new world and I'm sure no matter what size I might be in the future, that won't leave me. I agree with you about your daughter, my nephews have said things like 'Aunt Gemma can't do that she's too big/fat' since they were able to speak (not helped by the fact both my sisters are tiny in height and weight!) and I hope if I ever have children I'll bring them up to be much more accepting of anyone and everything.

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    1. You're right, any surgery is scary, you have to be 100% sure before you take the step. It's such a shame that people project the insecurities and prejudices onto children :( x x

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  11. Another corker! Well said Becky! :-) xxx

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  12. Another corker! Well said Becky! :-) xxx

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  13. Fantastic becky with truth comes power xxx

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  14. A fabulous post which resonates deeply with me. Well said, lady. x x x

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  15. This is a brilliant amazing post from a brilliant amazing lady there are bits of this post that I can relate

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    1. To in a way that I try not to acknowledge to myself because I'm not so brave.....not sure if that makes any scenes at all but

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    2. Well done brave beautiful lady x

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    3. We all deal with our demons differently babe, I just blurt mine out all over my blog, lol! If you ever need to talk in private, you know where I am x x x

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  16. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.

    I do not know who you are but definitely you are going
    to a famous blogger if you aren't already ;) Cheers!

    Look into my website handy petite goldendoodle stuff

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  17. A great post, and I too didn't know about your surgery. I started writing too after stubling over some of these blogs and I have found it's really helped with my confidence around the things I want to wear (form fitting dresses and skinny jeans) v's what I think I should wear (tents). You may have given me the courage to one day share my story. Thanks Mrs BeBe.

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    1. That's great to hear! I look forward to hopefully reading it one day x x x

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  18. What a fab post! I totally admire you and love the way in which your bringing your daughter up to accept all, total respect! I don't blog myself but yours is one of the few i do religiously check every day. You are (fairly) local to me and we are the same dress size and age too. I love your style and would absolutely love your wardrobe lol. You are a gorgeous woman (inside and out) total kudos to you x

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    1. Hey Lindsay! Thank you so much for reading, it still blows my mind that people check for my blog and enjoy reading it, so thank you :) you're the second person who's said they're after my wardrobe this week, I don't fancy walking around naked much though ;) lol x x x

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  19. Do you know what? I've been following your blog to get some ideas on how I might make the best of myself, but every time I've seen you rocking a great outfit in a size 22 I've thought to myself that I am a different kind of size 22 and that wouldn't suit me. This post has caused me to have a good think. I think that although I might like to be size 16, I am a 22, and that's OK. There's no point in not making the most of what I've got. I might not look like you, or anyone else, but if I brazen it out and make an effort to feel good I might get a little bit fabulous too. Thanks for the wakeup call.

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    1. It really is all about confidence, and although we might not be brimming with it everyday, we need to try and muster it up from somewhere, bang some awesome clothes on and just get on with it. We're not the same, but we can be be as bloody marvellous as we choose to be and we deserve to be x x

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  20. Wow what a fantastic post, this is fab reading, inspirational and brought an agreeing tear to my eye, thank you for your honesty xx

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  21. I cannot tell you how much I relate with this post. In the short time I have been blogging my attitude has come full circle from "find something to cover me up" to "I'm proud of who I am, why shouldn't I dress well and feel good?"
    More than helping anyone else (with my camp bathroom poses!) I have found that blogging and the ps community has helped me to be more comfortable in my own skin. Whether I loose weight or not, I now know that it is ok to take pride in my appearance and with that, I feel a sense of freedom.
    Some of my co-workers have recently discovered my blog, and rather than be apologetic like I may have been in the past (an instinct I still had to fight a little) I was proud of who I am.
    Thanks for a great post xXx

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Thank you for your comment, I love reading what everyone has to say! B x