Friday, 21 June 2013


I'm a bit of a 'big girl': 'cuddly', 'motherly', 'chunky'; say what you will (by the way, I don't mean that; if it's mean, don't bother), and I'm not thrilled about it, but I'm not concerned enough to stop eating cake either.

The big girl, beautiful, smart, funny, a great singer,
a little bit shy, and definitely not fat!
My kids have noticed that I'm chubby. The boy is learning that calling people 'fat' can be hurtful, and he's rather interested in the power of that. He and the big girl haven't been getting on too well of late, and the other day I caught him calling her 'fat'. That is a ridiculous thing to call her.  The big girl is totally not fat.  She and her Daddy are in the skinny camp in the family, and seem to have a different relationship to food than the other kids and I.  In fact I remarked the other day 'how are you so slim?', to which she replied that she didn't eat too much. And she doesn't.  If she's had enough to eat, she stops eating.  Even if there's cheesecake right there!  I know people say you should only eat if you're hungry, and stop eating when you've had enough, but come on people, it's cheesecake! (or chocolate/ice cream/pizza etc).

Hmm, cheesecake... What was I talking about?  Oh yes, the boy called her fat, and she went mad. She was really upset. So was I!  He was clearly calling her fat just to annoy her, because he knew it would work, even though she isn't fat, and even though it wouldn't matter if she was... Obviously we're somehow managing to tell the kids that it would matter if she was, and that people who look normal might be fat.  As a chubby mummy, it's probably me that's giving the kids most of their fat hangups.  Time to examine what I do!

When food is this good, you've got to have seconds!
BTW it's Spinach risotto with blue cheese and walnuts.
I tell my kids they're perfect, gorgeous, and lovely the way they are, but I remark on the big girl's slim figure (see above), and on the little girl's lovely squishy tummy, and the boy's chubby cheeks, and his being solidly built.  But I dont' think anything negative about any of the children's bodies, and I don't think I say anything negative.  But the same can't be said for myself!  They know that I get upset when called 'fat', even though I am fat.  That to me, fat is an insult.  I've always been chunky, but I did lose weight in the past, and then put it all back on, with a little sprinkling on the top after a horrible pregnancy and birth with my youngest (and last) child.  The body I had after that didn't even feel like mine, and it didn't look like something I wanted to live with.  I despaired for a while, and I still feel pretty bad about it, but things have got better (and my friend, Helen, really helped talk me down when I was in a really dark place about it).  Things will keep changing.  I might get slimmer, but I've got to learn to love my body for what it's doing now.  Because I've got to live in here.

My photo for the You! prompt - the little girl is
sitting on me, you can just see her.
As you may know, I take part in the fantastic Fat Mum Slim photo a day challenge. One of the benefits for me about being behind the camera is that I don't have to be in front of the camera!  The other day the prompt was 'You!' Turns out I wasn't the only one who felt uncomfortable being photographed; who felt too fat to be in the picture. One woman told us that she had lost her mother, and had hardly any photos of her, so even though she felt fat she got in photos with her kids, because she didn't want them to look back and not see their mother enjoying life with them.  She linked into this fantastic blog post about feeling to fat to be photographed... and doing it anyway.

Me and the boy

I want to teach my kids that even if their bodies don't look quite as they want them to, they can still be beautiful, they can still have fun, and they can still be happy.  I need to show them that myself, so I'm trying to be a bit less self conscious, and take pictures having fun with them. I hope that if I stop hiding so much I can help take some of the power away from fat, as an insult.  But I am a bit scared!  See how you only get my face in the photos? Sigh.

Are you happy to be photographed? What can help boost your confidence?