A Lifetime Spent Worrying About My Weight


This pink ‘vision’ was me on my 18th birthday.

There appears to be a trend of people writing to their body. Yes, you read that right.

Cherry Healy’s book ‘Letter’s To My Fanny‘ is all over Instagram – I haven’t read it yet, but apparently it’s well funny. Also they had cakes that looked like fanny’s at the book-launch which is a strong start…

Lena Dunham’s also shared an ode to her body on her podcast: ‘Woman of the Hour’. Listening to it was moving, because she was able to be so kind to the body she was given.

Like most women, I have a dubious relationship with my bod – so I thought I’d have a go at dedicating a list to it. See if perhaps it’d help me find some peace.

Here’s how I feel about the skin that I am in:

  • I was the fat girl at school.

  • It made me really unhappy.

  • People said ‘she’s got such a pretty face’. That made me unhappy too.

  • I went to slimming club as a teenage. It didn’t work.

  • One perk of carrying a few extra pounds is getting boobs early. This meant being able to get served fags and alcohol under-age. Massive bonus.

  • When I started smoking (a 10-pack of Sovereign bought with my lunch money) I lost weight. For the first time I felt like the ‘me’ inside.

  • Around the same time I had a light-bulb moment. I realised you couldn’t just eat whatever you wanted. Those thinner girls were stopping and thinking about what they ate. Not in an eating disorder way. They just exercised some restrain, something I’d never known you were suppose to do.

  • Since then I’ve more or less stayed within a healthy BMI. But it takes effort.

  • If I don’t exercise I get fat. It’s a fact.

  • When I am happy I put on weight.

  • When I am sad I put on weight.

  • Those people who ‘forget to eat?’ – not me. Food is never far from my thoughts. Why the hell not? Good food is amazing. I am a foodie and proud of it.

  • I have spent my life wishing I was a naturally thin person. Trying to picture what it would be like ‘not to worry.’

  • I am the largest member of my family. Genetics can be cruel.

  • The lightest I have ever been as an adult was 9.2lb. On my wedding day. Try as I might I could never get down to that elusive 8.13.

  • These days my average weight is 10.4lb. Which, rationally, I know isn’t huge. But even typing it makes me feel uncomfortable. Why?! The magazine industry has taught me to view those double figures at the beginning as a horror show.

  • I have recently accepted that these days I am size 12 (not the size 10 I’ve been trying to squeeze back into). What a game-changer. It’s really liberating to pick-up/ order clothes online and have them fit you.

  • I am learning that I will never be skinny but I am strong.

  • The day I gave birth to Woody at home without pain-relief I felt truly invincible.

  • My body is good at being pregnant. I have had two straight forward pregnancies. I do not underestimate how fortunate that makes me.

  • I now have ‘Mummy strength’ too.

  • Recently I carried both boys back from the train station. One in each arm. Plus a back pack FULL of stuff. That’s easily an extra 4 stone. A (sweaty) impressive achievement.

  • Yet, despite all this, I am still so desperate for those scale to give me ‘the right answer’ each day that I have been known to: A) re-weigh after a big poo b) move the scales to a certain ‘favourable’ spot on the bathroom floor c) only weigh myself in the morning, naked, before consuming so much as a drop of liquid.

  • Yup its mental. Deep-down I know there’s so much good stuff those scales can’t tell me. Such as:

  • My skin tone. I love it.  I tan easily. Which was a major trump card in the 90s/early 2000. I never look properly pale even after a winter in London.

  • My ears are brillaintly (and laughably) small.

  • My bone structure means all sunglasses suit me. Daft but a positive none-the-less.

  • I have green eyes which I like (yet spent my twenties experimenting with cheap blue contact lenses. Why? Just why?) My husband has green eyes too. He thinks his are greener than mine. I disagree.

  • I like my hair colour. Though, of course, I’ve experimented. One disastrous time I persuaded a mate to dye it peroxide blonde the morning before flying to Amsterdam.  Not a good idea.  In my stoned haze I freaked out every time I caught sight of myself in a reflective surface.

  • I’ve always wanted a brace though never needed one. At school I fashioned one out of paperclip and tried to pretend it was real.

  • I have 8 tattoos. Some of them I don’t like that much anymore. But they remind me exactly how I felt at the time I had them done, which I LOVE.

  • My feet are hideous, they’ve earned me the nickname ‘Gandhi feet’. Blame a lifetime of trying to cram my feet into shoes into smaller sizes.

  • BUT  big feet (size 7) means big pelvic floor: it’s relative you know, in this instance ugly feet = easier labours.

  • My hands are good. As are my legs.

  • Big boobs. So admired? They are a blinking pain. A perk of breastfeeding is they are now bedraggled but signficantly smaller.

  • My forehead is wrinkled. It comes from doing ALL my expressions with my eye brows. Something both boys have inherited and an endless source of amusement.

  • I am guilty of having judged other people: she’s put on a few pounds, she’s looking greyer etc … It’s a habit I want to stop. Our bodies are our only true constant, they are utter miracles.

  • My body grew me the 2 humans that I love more than anything in the world. How sad to spend so much time measuring it, comparing it, disapproving of it. Time to give it the praise it deserves.

  • I am Clemmie and I am a size 12. I have good hair, good skin, a creative mind and good collar bones.

  • Yes I am bigger at the age of 34 than I was at 24. But I like myself so much more than I did then. Time to chuck away the clothes I am never going to get back into, cut myself some slack and focus on the good stuff.

  • Hell, I ain’t going to get another body, so I might as well learn to get on with the one I’ve got. And, if in doubt, have a mani-pedi: in my experience that makes EVERYTHING better.

    I have deliberated long and hard about whether to put this post up. I worried that it was too navel-gazing. As I said at the beginning this was an exercise for myself. And it’s been a therapeutic one.  I highly recommend writing down the good points about your body; it didn’t come easy, but it has made me feel better about myself….


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  • Reply snippetsfromlifelately May 6, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    So honest! Love it… And yes, hurrah for fanny cakes indeed!!! It’s weird, I too weigh a similar weight (I don’t actually own scales anymore) but I have ZERO chest (sadly) I don’t think anyone is truly happy in their own skin… Apart from the kardashians of course 😂😂😂

  • Reply Madabouttheboys May 6, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    God that made me laugh. Shit, I must have gandhi feet too – I didnt realise that a size 7 was giant but i guess I’ve never been able to borrow any of my friends shoes.. like ever, which means that they are all petite footed ladies and I am bigfoot. The battle is real – each day I have a little chat with myself, no to cakes and yes to exercise. This weather is lovely but the panic (I live one road from a beach and tomorrow everyone will be in their swimsuits… bit late now) about swimsuits happens each year and probably to everyone!

  • Reply CHEZZ2 May 6, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    So glad you put this up. For years I’ve battled every food and body demon going. It’s so hard man and sometimes you feel like you’re the only one thinking these things and feeling all the emotions. I’m still learning to accept/love my body but so glad you are just about there. Well done sweets! Xxxx

  • Reply Jill May 9, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    The points on weighing after big poo / ensuring the scales are in the best spot / before any drop of anything passes lips in the morning is an exact version of my mornings! Made me laugh but also cry a little….gotta stop this body critiquing madness. Thanks for sharing and making us feel normal 🙂

  • Reply saltandsandblog May 12, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    I’m sure so many women will agree, it feels like you’ve written it for me. As much as am desperate at times with regards to losing weight I rarely stop and actually think about what it’s done for me as opposed to what it’s not doing. Thankyou for reminding me!
    R x

  • Reply 30 and beyond May 12, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    I think the internet is stalking my brain…I’m staying away for work and took a long look in the freakishly huge mirror in my hotel room.

    And then I said, out loud, it’s not a bad body. I have strong legs (good for yoga), a bit more of a tum and hips than I’d like but with exercise I know I can reduce that a bit, good shoulders and I have really nice hair. And the wide hips and big feet, all the better when I have a small person to grow and birth.

    It’s just a body…it gets me places and gives good hugs to Husband. It’s comforted friends and small children by squeezing them tight and holding hands.

    Thanks for internet brain stalking Clemmie. Hurrah for big feet, never knew about the old pelvic floor connection!

    • Reply Peckham_Mamma May 13, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      How spooky! But brilliant… That’s the universe telling you to listen up and start being kinder to yourself xx

  • Reply Hannah May 15, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    As a pregnant 26 year old this put an immensely huge smile on my face and made me think about starting to appreciate the bits of myself that I like.

    Thank you,

  • Reply Cadence Pearson Lane May 17, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    So absolutely brilliant and poignant and funny. Love it! Wish my pelvic floor matched my feet! When I used to walk into ballet class everyone would start singing the theme song to the TV show “The Love Boat” (about a cruise ship), my feet are so big! However, labour was another story entirely. . . . my body may have birthed naturally, but definitely NOT easily. . 😉
    Thank you for writing this amazing post! More women should be honest and open about their bodies in this way. . it might finally strip away the veneer of the media

  • Reply Candy May 27, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    This is wonderful! Thanks for your honesty-I was wetting myself at some bits (weighing yourself after big poo 😂😂😂 not gonna lie been there…plus still won’t weigh myself in run up to period!) why do we feel we have to fit this mould!?

    Thanks for sharing!! Xxx

  • Reply anyapilates April 17, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    God I basically could have written exactly this. The revelation about people exercising restraint around food, and the people who forget to eat…my best friend died when we were 28 and another friend from school went into full forget to eat mode and lost half her body weight as part of her grief…it just seemed counterintuitive to me. Food is definitely linked with my life force. I would never, ever forget to eat 😂 But it pisses me off that I wouldn’t. But I have nice ankles and big strong shoulders and I’m gradually appreciating how fucking amazing my body is even if it’s “imperfect”: what the hell is perfect anyway. When I was smaller I didn’t high five myself enough. What a waste..😘👏❤️

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