2017: The Year of Being Fat & Happy
I’ve spoken about my weight a lot on TLP, with the focus ranging from dealing with weight gain and the effect that contraception has had on my weight to how my insecurities about my weight have led to self-sabotage in my relationships. Most recently, however, I uploaded a lingerie shoot that celebrated my in-between chubster body - a body that I don’t see represented anywhere, and a body that doesn’t fit into either the “regular” or “plus-sized” box. It’s no secret that my weight has yo-yo’d throughout my blogging career and generally, whenever I’ve spoken about it the tone has always been negative. The Valentine’s Lingerie for the Belly Conscious post was - surprisingly even for me - a 180 turn in this respect; even though I was covering up a part of myself that I am still self conscious about, I was at the same time saying that I no longer wanted to feel ashamed or guilty.
One super babe named Tori left a comment on that same post which really resonated with me. “Love love love the confidence you have in your body,” she wrote, followed by “treat it with love, it’s your permanent home.” Your permanent home. For a generation that is so patently obsessed with their appearance, it’s incredible how often and how many of us forget this. When we subject ourselves to our own criticisms, we berate our permanent homes - no matter where we run, those insecurities are going to run right alongside with us.
Top - H&M
Blazer - Topshop (sold out, similar Topshop here)
Belt - Saint Laurent (sold out, similar Saint Laurent here)
Jeans - ASOS (cropped myself)
Boots - Zara
Bag - J.W. Anderson
Sass - Models own
To say that I always have confidence in my body is a lie. Of course I have days where I turn my head to the side whilst I mimic conversations in the mirror, trying to judge just how large my double chin is when I laugh. And of course, I sometimes spend 15 minutes holding in my stomach and then pushing it out to the full, trying to figure out what’s my actual weight and what’s me just breathing in. And yes, when I sit down in the bath, I am met with a perpetual sense of disappointment. All of those things are true. I do not whole-heartedly love my body. However, over the past month the way I perceive myself has started to change, and that confidence that so many of you saw in the Valentine’s Lingerie post is starting to become real. Best of all, I know why.
About a month ago, I made a decision. 2017 was going to be the year of being fat and happy. For so many years I have worried and stressed and despaired about my weight. I’ve lost weight, gained weight, lost it and gained even more again. I’ve dieted, exercised and calorie counted to the point where I was simply not a fun person to be around. I made myself miserable. Restricting myself and counting calories still makes me miserable. So I’m not doing it anymore. I’m stopping. I just don’t want to be that person anymore, and the absolutely unparalleled freedom that has come from that is incredible.
I know that so whole-heartedly embracing reckless weight gain may seem unhealthy, and d’you know what, it almost definitely is, but as I said before, I just don’t care. I honestly feel liberated from my own mind - from my own judgement and my own guilt. I no longer feel shit for having a cheese sandwich for lunch because Instagram shows me that I should be having a pine nut salad with a side of lemon water. I expended so much of my emotional energy on obsessing over my weight - even when I wasn’t thinking about it directly it was skulking around in the back of my mind, niggling and nagging and reminding me that I better have something super healthy for lunch or else. But I have a beautiful, beautiful boyfriend, a business, a brother who makes me laugh more than anything else and a group of long suffering friends who all deserve that energy more than my fat thighs and muffin top.
And one of the most liberating things to come out of this new-found philosophy is the self-asserting revelation that what makes me good at my job is my mind and my creativity, not my weight. I can be a successful fashion blogger sporting J.W. Anderson bags and Acne shoes regardless of the size on the label, and if high-end fashion doesn’t have space for a chubby, petite troublemaker, then I’m making space.
So here it is, 2017, the year of being fat and happy. I’m going to eat what I want, when I want, and I’m not going to feel bad about it. If I put on weight, I put on weight (reminder: it is only weight, it can be lost) and if I ever get to the point when I’m unhappy, then I’ll stop. Something fucking fantastic has happened in my mind, and I’ve finally realised that if I don’t hate my body, then just because it doesn’t align with a certain ideal, I shouldn’t feel like I have to change it. This is it, rolls and all. Instead of stressing about stretch lines and the fact that I can’t wear sleeveless tops, I’m going to drink cocktails, eat warm brownie desserts and yes, have a fucking full English. And this is your call to join me - even if only for a month - in letting go of the body punishment and just.being.you. Welcome, queen, let me point in the direction of the cake.