I still write baby even though you’d be almost grown now. You’d be pretty much a man, which is very scary. I bet you’d be amazing, though. I picture you as tall & sensitive & just a tiny bit reckless. I know we’d have butted heads, but I’d love your fire.
I’m feeling pretty raw this year. You have another sibling who didn’t make it to life. I have another reason to cry. I have reasons to smile too. I’m doing ok.
I’d be better if I was buying cake & wrapping presents, but life had other plans for us. I had to learn to be strong & you were destined for somewhere more beautiful than this world.
I’m ready now. Love, loss, life, I can take it all in my stride. I am ready to to mother a child I can hold in my arms as well as my heart. I have wonderful new little people to cherish, I have hope & I will always carry you with me. That’s enough for now.
Wow, it’s hot. This little heatwave we’ve been having is just what I needed. Sunshine puts a little spring in everyone’s step & it’s certainly lifted my mood. Part of the fun of summer is shedding some clothes & indulging in some flirty fashion. In years gone by I’ve missed this pleasure due to ALL the things I felt I had to hide. So, once again I want to celebrate the beautiful freedom the body positive community has brought to my life.
For so many years I believed that my body was ugly. I had completely internalised the fat phobia that society is drenched in. I felt ashamed of my scars & my flab & my uber pale skin & often unshaven parts. I’ve always had a healthy disregard for other people’s judgements, but aspects of my physicality were weak spots. I did what many women do; hid the shameful bits. I protected myself with loose fitting clothing, long sleeves & maxi hemlines. Additionally I built a wall of false, self depreciating confidence. I was always the first person to make a fat joke at my expense because it hurt so much less if I got in there first.
I often doubted why romantic partners would want me. I felt huge & unattractive when socialising with slimmer friends. Shopping was a battleground of anxieties. So many special occasions were ruined because I never felt comfortable or even worthy. I missed events because I couldn’t find anything cool to wear that covered all the things I was scared to show. Countless opportunities to capture significant moments were lost because I hated how fat I looked in photographs. Most of all, I felt trapped. I was caged by the standards society told me I had meet.
Then came bopo. This idea that I was enough swept into my life & blew away a lifetime of bullshit. Immersing myself in a community who told me I was enough changed me. Actually seeing other fat bodies portrayed in a positive light was magnificent. I realised that when I looked at these women wearing amazing clothes, doing exciting things & generally rocking their lives, I saw beauty.
From there is has been a gradual acceptance of myself. A growing appreciation of how my body looks. These last few days of scorching heat have made me realise that I might have reached peak self love. Not once have I worried about flashing my flesh. In fact, I have loved selecting outfits & enjoyed wearing them even more. Stares don’t phase me because I feel fantastic. I am sexy & cool & deserving of respect. Anyone who feels differently can kiss my fat arse.
I find myself truly taking pleasure in my body. Be it snapping pics because my butt looks cute, being unabashedly naked with my boyfriend or feeling the fresh breeze on my scarred arms; I feel free. And it is joyous.
On my way to Dublin last week something happened that not so long ago would have been a massive issue for me. The fact that it didn’t really phase me proved to me how far I’ve come.
The incident was an airplane seat belt that didn’t fit. This is something that I actually used to fear. A while back every time I boarded a plane I braced myself for the humiliation of being too fat to fit. It turned out to be no big deal. I had a brief moment of panic, my thoughts raced through all the seat belts that had fitted & how big I was then. Then it dawned on me that I didn’t care. It didn’t matter if I was bigger or this particular seat belt was smaller. It just didn’t fit & there was an easy rememdy for that. I asked for an extender & stopped thinking about.
Until yesterday when it dawned on me what that meant. I wasn’t embarassed to ask for the extender meaning I wasn’t ashamed to acknowledge my fat body. That is incredible. Being a part of the body positivity community has led me to a place where I can genuinely appreciate my body. Once I realised that I started thinking about all the little things that marked real progress.
It recently occurred to me that I had gained some weight on my bum. The marvellous part was I liked it. I’ve found myself dressing to show off my bigger arse & I am so chuffed about that.
Then on Saturday as I was dressing I automatically tucked my top into my skirt. Not a very momentous act except that I spent years of my life ensuring that my top always covered my stomach. I was that person tugging at my clothes to ensure I was hiding flabby bits. Now I just wear what I feel nice in & here’s the kicker, I look better tucked in or in clingy vests.
Along the same lines whilst out with my sister I asked her to take blog photos. I am usually a pain the arse about pictures. Never happy with who I look, probably because I wasn’t happy with my body. In the past I have ducked out of pictures at big events & special moments, which I’ve come to regret. So, in recent times I have made a conscious effort to push through my discomfort & mark significant times. I was however still dissatisfied with my appearance in the photographs. This weekend was different. My sister snapped pics of me in various poses & I loved them all. Break through!
The last and probably most obvious symbol of acceptance of myself is how comfortable I am naked. I run about my house in the buff all the time. I look at myself in a full length mirror whilst I dry my hair and I do not feel critical. I have no desire to hide. I notice the parts of my body that look amazing rather than hating my stomach or chubby arms. This carries through to being naked with others. I no longer feel worried about comparisons when changing with female friends. In the same vein I confidently show my body to anyone I get jiggy with.
This may strike a lot of people as unremarkable, but it’s a life changing shift. Immersing myself in the body positive has helped me alter how I think & feel about my body. I’ve gone from yo yo dieting, disordered eating & choosing clothes to specfically hide ‘problem’ areas to being a woman who no longer believes there are any bad body parts. I like me. I like my curves, my wobbly bits & everything else. Body positivity works. Women supporting & encouraging each other moves mountains. So, I owe a big thank you to all of you who read, comment & create fat friendly content. High five, ladies, we’re changing the world.
Part of my body positivity journey ( how cringey does that sound? ) has been reclaiming the word fat. Fat is not an insult. It’s merely a descriptor. I am fat. I am also fucking amazing. Once I realised that, fat lost all its power to hurt me. In recognition of this I created this little beauty.
It’s from a Primark range called style your own. The chain comes with the 26 letters of the alphabet & you make your own message. I had to buy two in order to get all the letters I needed, but at £2.99 that wasn’t really an issue.
Radical, funky & pretty much unique jewellery for under a tenner, result.
B.I.T.C.H Meredith Brooks