I don’t want to sound obnoxious, but I think I’m really really lucky that I’ve never suffered from any form of disordered eating*. My family have always been larger, and I grew up with my mum & sister dieting all the time, but I just didn’t apply those thoughts to myself (despite being on the larger side). My sister used to tell me I was fat, and I just thought she was being horrible & ignored her.
I went to an all-girls school where many of the girls had anorexia or other EDs, and I just felt pity for them. Personally, I wasn’t into boys or fashion, so I didn’t really care that I was a size 14 (which was HUGE compared to my classmates). I did feel proud to have big boobs, though!
When I was 18 and had just finished my A-levels, I went to a mixed party and one of the boys called me a heifer to my face. I was upset, but my reaction was to thank $deity that school was over and I’d be at college & away from these people very soon.
At university I lost a lot of weight due to not eating much (the canteen food was horrible) and I enjoyed being relatively skinny (I was a small size 12 at my lightest) but I wasn’t so bothered when the weight went back on again.
In my 20s I lost about 25lbs in a year by dieting, which made me miserable, but I was quite pleased with the results (again, I was a size 12 at my smallest). However, one more I wasn’t do bothered when the weight went on again.
I realise I’m super-lucky. At my largest, when I was a 16/18, I felt sexy. I was single & dating a lot, and had no trouble finding men to date. It was only in my mid-20s when I lost that 25lbs, that I LOST confidence in my body.
I have no idea how I managed to not be affected by the weight-loss messages I was subjected to at school and from my sister & mother. I guess it helps that I have never looked up to my mum as a role model (and still don’t). I love my mum, but she’s not someone I want to emulate.
I feel a bit like a fake when I follow people like Go Kaleo and just can’t relate at all to a lifetime of dieting & hating my body. I know I’m lucky – I’m not crowing (I swear!). If only more girls could grow up as I did – not necessarily confident in themselves, but just really not giving a flying fuck what people think.
* Save for a tendency, in the past, to just not eat if I didn’t have anything I wanted in the house. But I’m over that now – nowadays if I don’t fancy what I have in, I just drink milk and/or a protein shake.