Happy Halloween! There are lots of scary costumes out and about today. I find not too much scares me nowadays, except maybe my mirror image.

I’ve never been mistaken for a supermodel, but back when I was younger, I did get told I looked like Kelly McGillis (The Flying Instructor in Top Gun). At the age of fifteen, I was 5 foot 7, a size 8 with long blonde hair and had curves in all the right places, so I was quite well liked among the fickle boys. 

My 80s lookalike

Then, at the age of sixteen, I got told that my knees where knackered from playing too much netball.  I played five or six times a week, so my poor old knees had just had enough.  I had to stop immediately or potentially be wheelchair bound by the time I was forty.  

Stopping playing that much sport every week, was the start of my long and ongoing battle with my weight.  Although I grew 3 inches taller, I grew many more inches wider too.  By the time I was eighteen I was a size 16 and pretty unhappy. 

After being called a nasty name at my eighteenth birthday party, I decided to diet and lost over 2 stone and 2 dress sizes.  I then spent my college years between the pub and the gym, with an occasional lecture thrown in to keep me from being expelled. 

I manged to keep the weight off through college, but after a summer working in America and eating grilled cheese sandwiches and tootsie rolls, my weight starting creeping back on.  As every bit of me expanded my boobs became very competitive and developed more cups that an ICA coffee morning.

I always kid myself that I was thin for years, but in reality, I have only spent roughly 3 years of my adult life with a BMI below the holy grail of 25.  My varying waistline has caused me considerable stress over the years and I have tried every diet under the sun. 

Back in the days when I thought I was too fat – oh if only.

I did a torturous six-week detox before my wedding and lost 20lbs, only to have put half of it back on by the end of the first dance. 

I was then devastated when, at 35 weeks pregnant with Saoirse, my GP felt my stomach and told me “there’s a lot more you than there is baby.”  I was not however devastated enough, to stop eating for triplets.

Despite trying so many different diets over the years, Slimming World, Sugar Free, C9 Aloe Vera, I never manage to keep the weight off.  This story is the story of billions of women and is what keeps the diet industry alive and thriving – with not only the slimmer’s waistlines growing, but the multi-billion-dollar bank balances of the diet companies too. 

I know the magic formula for maintaining a healthy weight is really very simple,‘eat less, move more’ The theory may be simple but the practical most certainly is not. 

I’ve gained most of my weight in the last 3 years.  I try to convince myself that it because of the medication I take and whilst that probably does have some impact, it’s more likely the way I self-medicate that is the biggest factor.  Chocolate is my drug of choice, I would eat Nutella off a spoon! 

My friend recently bought me some of those Butlers Hot Chocolate pieces, but did I enjoy family time making them with my children?  Nope, I enjoyed me time, by eating them whole as if they were a box of chocolates. I am a regular user and as I am a stress/comfort eater, it is fair to say, Autism made me fat(ter).

I have heard people say that sugar is more addictive than cocaine, I’ve never had to detox from cocaine, but detoxing from sugar is beyond vicious.  The last time I did it, I experienced flu-like symptoms for a three full weeks.

My negative body image led me to actually feel delighted, when I recently got diagnosed with an under active thyroid.  Because, although I was still fat, at least I had a genuine medical reason for it.

The biggest challenge in my anatomy is without a doubt my boobs.   I was doomed from the start.  My Nana always had what she called “bosoms” and was well endowed in that area.  My poor Mum, despite being 5 feet 2 wears a J cup bra, her boobs walk into a room five minutes before she does. 

At least I have height on my side to help me balance my knockers, but having breast-fed three babies has caused them to lose any elasticity they used to have and now if I go braless my nipples line up with my belly button.  Except of course if I’m lying down!  When I wake up the morning, I am never sure if I’ve slept on my back or my front because by boobs have lost all sense of direction and have to be coaxed out of my armpits.

I know we should promote positive body image, especially around young girls and to be fair I do try.  I never complain about my weight or size in front of my children or others, and I stopped buying magazines when Saoirse was a toddler as I didn’t want her to get into the idea of what the so-called ‘perfect’ body looks like. 

But I do want to be healthy, so my new fit-bit is fully charged and raring to go, now if only my metabolism would feel the same, but having recently discovered the low-carb keto diet, I’m hoping to be a size 10 by Christmas!  Or at least fit into the, two sizes too small, overpriced dress I bought for my husband’s work Ball!  I’ll bloody have to or I won’t be going as everything else in my wardrobe is at least 2 sizes too small aswell!

Someone pass the spanx!

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