Big fat issues #2

Golly gosh, I think women (are all refashionistas women?) might love to look at fat photos & read about fat issues. A wardrobe refashion post always generates a bit of traffic to muppinstuff, but the last couple of days have surprised me. Still, that's what attracted me to blogging, a chance to get up on my soapbox & say what's on my mind.

To those who commented, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I also appreciate it's a bit of a minfield for many women. I think it's interesting that two out of three comments came from women that would not be in any way plus size. I am reminded once again that body image issues affect all women, irrespective of size. Often in very serious ways. Sometimes I think that thinner women might also get much more in the way of intrusive comment. If you're big, people tend to tiptoe round the issue for fear of offending but if you're smaller, people feel a lot freer to voice their opinions. I can think of one old friend in particular for whom this was the case. Hmmm.

I would like to share what started my change in thinking about fat issues. I was a thin child (like most kids of the sixties & seventies). As a teenager I thought I was fat, but looking back at photos I now know I mostly wasn't. However for most of my adult life I have been overweight to varying degress. Back in the 1990's when I owned a cafe in partnership with my mum & sister, I had a major depressive episode/nervous breakdown.  This was bought about by the stress of the business, my unhealthy lifestyle habits and an innate tendency towards depression & introspection. After the storm passed & I was on the mend, I had the opportunity to do some extensive counselling with a really kind, smart & tough psychologist. Who also happened to specialise in eating disorders. When I told her that I didn't think I had an eating disorder, she replied that she'd never met a woman who didn't, to a greater or lesser degree.

Over the course of many months these are the things that changed: I learnt to eat regular meals, I started eating breakfast (so very difficult), I learnt to eat good quality healthy food first,  I began to recognize when I was fatbashing myself, I started to accept that I was an OK person. Some habits didn't change until much later; ie going back to exercise & giving up smoking. But that was the turning point for me. Now I think the best course of action is to strive towards healthy meals, regular exercise and positive realtionships, and to get on with life. Life is short & precious and so much more fun if you feel OK about your physical & mental health.

And this is what I've been cooking lately, pea and ham soup. I used to make this a lot in winter when we had the cafe. Did you know the world is divided into pea and ham lovers & haters? Well I think it is. Some people would swoon with delight and others would recoil in disgust. G being a vegetarian is a recoiler so I've had to throw open all the windows & give the house a good old airing. Grace, when first presented with pea and ham for lunch pushed the offered spoon away. Oh no, I thought, my daughter is a recoiler too. But after a few moments she picked up her spoon & fed herself pea and ham soup with her spoon, for the first time ever.

No comments: