While we wait for anything at all to happen within the recesses of my person, I thought I had better write that post I’d been carefully putting off, about the size of my arse. A couple of weeks ago, I made notes and everything. So. But because I am incapable of organising my thoughts into anything cohesive, I have made no improvement on the notes and shall present them in all their bullet-pointed glory. With rambling addenda. Of course!

  • I find talking about my weight boring and embarrassing. Very very boring, and very very embarrassing. If I am going to diet and exercise, I shall do so quite quietly, and absolutely avoid any and all advice about exercise plans, good and bad foods, and vitamin supplements. I certainly hate getting into discussions with people about diets and exercise, most particularly when the other person snivelling about their squashiness weighs a good two stone less than I do. In fact, all you people out there who like to discuss your fat arse at length in the office canteen, etc., for the love of God, look at your conversational partner. Is she fatter than you? Yes? Then SHUT THE FUCK UP. Save it for blogging, where those who can’t take it can escape and those who can will actually be interested. Thank you.
  • Context: I am the only Fatty in a Skinny family. A Skinny family who, bless them and all their tormenting little ways, have an infuriating habit of ‘suggesting’ diets and exercise regimes (all involving seaweed, brown rice, and extreme mortification of the flesh), while feeding me chocolate biscuits and second helpings. And then we have ridiculous coversations along the line of: ‘Well, have you tried eating only raw food? It’s so detoxing and healthy, and then if you do yoga every day and avoid yeast it’ll be so good for you, have some more roast potatoes, what do you mean, you don’t want more potatoes? They’re good! And it’s silly to leave only a teeny bit. And then we can have chocolate hobnobs for tea – oh, you and your silly fancies, not liking biscuits, have one, go on, and have you read this book on the 1000-calorie-a-day diet? Do you eat too much bread? I bet you eat too much bread.’
  • I think they like having a token Fatty around. You can’t feel properly Skinny-smug without a Fatty to patronise. I am perfectly aware most slim people do not go around sneering at fat people, by the way. My family are not most people. My family are a bunch of neurotic, self-obsessed, competitive, rivalrous, snobbish, judgemental and low-self-esteem-afflicted loud-mouths. Feel that your marriage is cracking up? Hey, at least you’re not as fat as May! Unable to keep a job? But you’re skinnier than May! Children driving you batshit? Hey, May is twice your size, go and stand next to her for an hour, you’ll feel marvellous!
  • Also, oh, the raging irony of having a biscuit-obsessed 10 stone mother, whereas I hate biscuits and weigh 14 stone 7. Rage, rage.
  • It has taken me years to get to a place where I have stopped equating my wobbly tummy and over-ripe thighs with sheer hideousness, where I am comfortable in my skin, where I do not automatically equate slimness with beauty and moral worth. I do not want to go back to a place where food is the enemy and I am the enemy too for eating it.
  • When I was a teenager, I was very thin. Yes, I was. Ribs. Hands like bird-claws. I did it by Not Eating. I was a bit depressed, you see. I also had  a side-line in self-harming. But hey! I was thin!
  • And I was also very ill. I had glandular fever, badly, which turned into post-viral fatigue syndrome just in time for A-levels, and I had a giant ovarian cyst that was slowly twisting my left ovary into a pretzel and caused me constant pain, deeply whacked out cycles, outbreaks of haemorrhage and a fetching moustache. I had to have emergency surgery in the end, because I collapsed shrieking in agony, my ovary beginning to actually tear itself in half. I now have a scar that runs from hip to hip along my knicker line. The cyst was 18 cm across when they removed it (and the ovary. And most of the fallopian tube, which had also got tangled up in the action).
  • I now, neurotically, associate being thin with, perhaps, looking good and being virtuous, but also with pain, depression, hospitals, scars, being neglected by the medical establishment (‘Oh, all teenage girls get painful irregular periods! There’s nothing wrong with you! Have some Femin.ax!’). I am scared of being thin.
  • But being fat is making me barren. And is preventing me from doing IVF. And, frankly, makes wearing skirts in the summer uncomfortably rubby in the thigh area.
  • So I must diet and exercise.
  • Being fat is a big fertility issue, and my fertility, lack of, is a big fat issue, so I am getting it off my chest (Hah hah. Bwahahahah, in fact). I am only venting about the issue and why I find it difficult and saddening. Only venting.
  • Therefore I’d like everyone to seriously resist the temptation to give advice and tips. Please. Be considerate. Remember that you don’t actually know that much about my eating habits and exercise regimes. Remember that ‘just relax’ and ‘have you tried cough medicine/ pineapple/ propping your hips up/ a vacation?’ are craptastic things to say to an infertile person. Well, ‘have you tried the South Beach Diet/ smaller plates/ larger plates/ Pilates/ colonic irrigation?’ are craptastic things to say to a fat person.

17 responses to “Fat

  • Helen

    I echo you in the former not-eating with a sideline in self-harm. The irony is when you see a doctor and they say, pushing up their glasses and looking down their noses at you, that all that starving screwed up your metabolism. Life will suck now.

    Which is so helpful, really.

    I offer no advice, because that’s rubbish. I offer you sympathy, though. As well as the following-my sister (of whom I do not speak to) eats anything and everything. With extra cheese. And how about some fudge on that too. She’s a US size 0 (size 4). I got it my whole life, that “Why can’t your figure be like hers?”

    I say you, me, let’s go grab some marshmallows and forcefeed the Skinnies.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    Sweetheart, I am currently 14 stone 11, also suffer from summer rubby-thigh and also have family with Tormenting Little Food Offering Ways. It’s me you need to be standing next to, as we could therefore both happily drink ourselves thin.

    I was never thin, but was slim. I never self-harmed under stress, but preferred instead to harm other people. Does that count?

    18cm?! Fuck.

  • Nina

    Here’s wishing you good luck in whatever you decide to do/not do as the case may be!

  • Nina

    And wishing you the strength not to kill your condescending, pissy family. I just think that’s rude!

  • deanna

    Also throwing my good wishes into the bucket on the difficult road that you have ahead of you.

    (and wanting to toss your family and their unkind, nasty, intrusive comments into one giant burlap bag and off they go, into the Chesapeake Bay….)

  • geohde

    Ah, May.

    I’m a skinny so I wouldn’t presume to offer you assvice, let alone laced with biscuit. That would be rude.

    The closest I have come to Clothing Issues is a p-word related gaining of an obscene amount of weight (more than half my starting body weight), but I lost it again. So I am absolutely an annoying skinny.

    But. Your description of being Thin And Miserable and weight discussions being so fraught did make me want to offer you a very hot cuppa tea and some company. If you’ll take a virtual cuppa from a stick insect,

    much love,


  • katie


    That’s me not saying anything.

  • a

    “fetching mustache” – While I cringe at the mental picture, the turn of phrase is quite hilarious.

    My wish for you is to just be healthy and comfortable and to reach your goals…

  • Rachel

    I really wish that fertility was never linked to (let alone dependent on) weight – as if we didn’t feel bad enough about our bodies failings? I love the image of your family serving you cookies and potatoes while suggesting crazy diets. Mine tends to go the other way – you need to lose some weight? We will scrutinize every bite that crosses your mouth while you are in our presence. I have been known to sneak candy bars (an item I never eat normally, really) into my bags when visiting my mother so that I will have a little something to make up for the inevitable calorie deficit as she feeds me such delectable snacks as 8 cashews in a mini-ziploc bag. Or 1/2 ounce of hard cheese – and yes, she weighs it on her kitchen scale. So very satisfying.

  • Artblog

    In all seriousness, because I know this is a touchy subject, but have you consulted with a dietician?

    A specialist rather than a GP. Its the first thing I would do if my weight were preventing me from doing fertility treatment.

    There is no secret to losing weight, just the right diet, some sport and strong will but you probably know all that already 🙂

    HUGS xxx

  • womb for improvement

    Don’t you worry love. If I had the answer I wouldn’t let it go for free on a comment anyway, I’d start a website complete with images of leotard-clad women and flashing signs saying – ‘Introductory offer get emailed this revolutionary new diet plan for an incredible $27.98 a month.’

    In fact, I might do that anyway and just make up so shit about eating one colour of food for 8 weeks.

  • Heather

    Me (and my mother’s family) are all short and dumpy. We all serve copious amounts of food while we all complain about our weight.

    I’ve been exercising again. But I do it secretly – that way if someone notices I have lost then I can glow. If they don’t notice or more likely if I don’t lose any weight – then no one knows I failed – yet again.

    I hate PCOS. I hate that our fertility hinges (along with our self esteem) on our bathroom scales. It is miserable. Which makes it harder to be motivated.

    Yes, I was thin once too. I was also being beaten by my “high school sweetheart”. The only thing anyone noticed is that I was thin – finally.

  • May

    Dear Artblog, yes, of COURSE I’ve seen a dietician. I’ve seen three, each more fucking useless than the last. Which is why I said: ‘I’d like everyone to seriously resist the temptation to give advice and tips. Please. Be considerate. Remember that you don’t actually know that much about my eating habits and exercise regimes.’ It was meant to warn my gentle readers that any advice, however kindly meant and sweetly delivered, was likely to crash into the FAIL barrier of ‘Been there done that have the tee-shirt and the stretch-marks to show for it.’

  • piquantmolly

    Oh dearest.

    It is true, isn’t it, that fat is one of the last socially acceptable prejudices — and that we’ve come to equate body size and shape with content of character. It is so sad.

    I’ll be thinking of you.

  • Betty M

    Thinking of you too. I confess when I was younger and stick insect thin I was condescending to the less insect thin types thinking it was a will power issue. I am way less of an ignorant bitch now. Cecily at Uppercase Woman has some interesting things to say on this topic if you don’t know her already.

  • shinejil

    Going through IF has actually saved me from my own self-righteousness and tendency to give advice that hurts. I agree: giving tips unasked and unwanted is usually just a recipe for hurting the other person.

    I hope you find your way, find a new way to health and your goals, one that is a happy break with the difficult, painful past.

  • MsPrufrock

    Whenever I found myself being moderately happy with my body, my in-laws would say something to me along the lines of, “Mainly large people have big boobs!”, or even the apparently harmless, “You look like you’ve lost loads of weight!”, when in fact I’d lost absolutely nothing. I knew they were only saying it to fill the silence, and in the end it just made me feel like a fat cow again.

    I think it’s funny that people make suggestions as to how to lose weight. Recently I’ve been reading threads about weight loss on a forum (non-IF, non-parenting) I haunt, and oh, the revelations that exist there! Apparently if you stop drinking soda and biscuits, you’ll lose 10lbs a month. However, if you don’t have those in your diet anyway, then everyone is at a bit of a loss as to what you can do.

    Again, apologies for the delay in commenting, as if you’ve missed me. Slowly, ever so slowly working through my feeds.

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