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NEVER KNOWINGLY CONCISE // THIS IS ME

THIS IS ME

Where do I even begin with this?

Right, DEEP BREATH. Here we go!

I have always been small, in height, the smallest at school… the smallest in every single friendship group since then. The smallest in the family. When I was working at Eli’s school last year, there were even children almost my height, and they were pushing age 8 (!!), if that. I was often mocked as a child because of my height, “short arse” and “little legs” are the nicer of the names I was referred to. It made me feel ‘picked on’, and singled out to be referred to because of my height. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I know I shouldn’t, but I actually really DO care what other people think – to my own detriment.

I had the familiar pang of sadness, that I’d had so many times as a child, when Eli came along. He’s on the shorter side of “the chart” for his age – he’s always followed the same line on the chart. He was born with several conditions too (Talipes, Torticollis, Hypermobility) which in turn could have some kind of effect on his growth. He’s actually only just below average height for his age. Most kids are ABOVE AVERAGE in height; making him look smaller. I became/become hyper-sensitive when we get adults proclaim  “Oh isn’t he small!” “Eli is so tiny for his age isn’t he!” “My son is 3 years younger than him and already his height!”. Why are you even referring to his height? Why is it such a BIG THING for you to point out? I’m totally digressing from my own issues here because I’m being defensive and protective of him; but just wanted to point out that your throwaway comments about something like height (and I’ll get onto this now, but also, weight) can actually hit someone in such a bad way, especially when they’re already mega conscious of what you’re pointing out. Instead of referring to my son’s height, how about you refer to how agile and strong and clever and cheeky and funny and how unbelievably caring and creative he is?

ANYWAY…

Back to it.

My height I cannot do anything about and I wholly accept that. So why oh why have I found body-acceptance so damn difficult?

I’m a complete little bit ginger (which again, I was cruelly bullied for as a child), I have a gazillion freckles, I have a rather large nose (which I do now accept and got pierced later in life because I was learning to embrace it… not embraced enough for me to tell my parents I’d had it pierced however!). I didn’t grow up with a good self image. At all. I’ve always struggled to look in the mirror.

I’m ‘petite’ – I’m quite literally 5 foot nothing. I have big old Mothering hips and a bust. I had a big arse well before it was in fash-un. I distinctly remember being told I had a ‘duck bum’ (that protruded as I walked), as a child. Putting on the odd pound here or there makes me look massive because of my height and stature.  My body shape is TOTALLY different to how it was when I was 8, when I was 15, when I was 21, heck, when I was pregnant with Eli at 26 and it’s even different to the months and years following the birth of Eli.

When I became a parent, I KNEW, I had to let go of the self-conscious me. I KNEW I had to let go of the cringing in the mirror. I KNEW I had to let go of the posing at my best angle and just live in the now and be the natural me in photographs.

I knew all this and still continued through life with the same mindset – just now being extra careful not to project any of my feelings onto Eli directly. I’m ALWAYS the one behind the camera. Never in front – unless my body is cropped – or unless I take a mirror selfie (the one I post is usually out of around 2000 that I take and cry over before eventually posting). It makes me so bloody sad going through our photos from our recent holiday to Florida; I’m barely in any of them. There’s probably 3 that I let James take of me and I would never ever post them. (He would be the first to admit that he is just awful at taking candid photos – so theres no point wasting phone memory on taking any of me at all). The confidence issue doesn’t stop with the photo-taking though.  I also walked around in 40c heat in Florida with my arms covered every single day. I was sweating like I never even imagined I could sweat, but still, I refused to take of the kimono or the jacket or the long sleeved dress. WHY? Because all of these strangers would see my bare arms?! GOD FORBID LASS. It’s nuts isn’t it? It’s actually nuts. I am my own worst enemy.

Since having Eli 6 years ago, my body has changed drastically. I put on 4 stone whilst pregnant with him. It came off quite slowly. I did every diet possible – but in the end I stuck to slim fast and the 5:2. Within a few months, I had gone down to a size 8-10. And I was still miserable. I was still unhappy with my body. The scars, the stretch marks, the wobbly bits. My dumpy little legs and my zero torso cos Petite. I still didn’t want to have my photograph taken. I still didn’t want to look in the mirror.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m now 32 and I’m only truly learning what it means to have ‘self-love’. I had a tough time following my miscarriage last year – not just because of the obvious. But because I was blaming this sack of a body I had to get around in. I blamed by body for failing to protect that baby that was so wanted. But my body wasn’t to blame at all. My body did what it needed to. When I realised that, I realised and understood how strong my body really is. How amazing my body actually is. But still, I couldn’t get that emotional response to project onto the outside and transfer into true body confidence.

For years I have watched and admired the confidence of so many amazing women across the media. (REAL women, like you and I). People like @StyleMeSunday and her Body Confidence campaigns – instantly jump to mind. For years I have wished I had just an ounce of that confidence. To be able to dress to my size, to not hide behind the floaty dresses (I will still love my floaty dresses, but not for playing hide & seek in!) , at jaunty angles and to actually feel comfortable within my own skin. To allow photographs to be taken of me… photos of me and my boy.  After all, when we’re gone, the only thing that will remain are these photographs of precious times and now all I can think about is the lack of any photographic evidence of us all together. It’s really just so sad, isn’t it? It’s terrible.

So? What’s your point? Well, stranger on the internet, I have began to finally feel better about my body.  More recently, folk like @mollyjforbes, @Inpolife, @life_with_Ivycoco, and of course, @CharliHoward@Erica_Davies & @HannahfGale – have all posted such amazing content with such honesty, how can I not take just a little bit of it on board? How can I not think better of my own body and bones?

About a month ago I went to a gathering organised by @MidsizeCollective – I almost didn’t go. I felt massive. I was beyond nervous. I was going on my own (I did meet up with long-time IG pal @i0wen in the end!). It all felt too much. I didn’t want anxiety to get the better of me.

I’m so bloody glad I went. It was exceptionally inspiring to be in a room with other women who understood me and my body shape. To be able to chat and share in our shopping woes of being ‘middle sized’ women. Because, you know what, we are the forgotten women. Not skinny… but not plus size. We’re NORMAL sized women. But why does it feel like we’re invisible? Why is it so difficult to find clothing that fits us? Why, oh, why, do we find body confidence so damn hard to work with?! Why are we not represented within the Fashion industry… within shops and their marketing? WHY OH WHY OH WHY?

I just want to feel comfortable in the skin that I have. To be comfortable with the skin that I’m in; whatever my size. To have appreciation for my body; and confidence in where my body takes me. We ALL have a body, whatever shape or size or height or colour(s) it may well be. So that’s our NORMAL. No more, definitely, no less. We’re all NORMAL.

And you know what? I heard that THICK THIGHS, SAVE LIVES. So it must be ok!

I also just wanted to give  a shout out to @annacarsarina, who has also set up her new account all about Mid-Size and Mid-Age style – she has carefully curated such a beautiful feed full of body happiness and inspiration. So thank you Anna – and thank you to all the other women mentioned above (and to those beyond this blog post) who have shown true and honest versions of themselves in a bid to normalise body confidence. THANK YOU. You are wonderful women and it’s also kind of ridiculous that we’re even having to write about this in 2018, isn’t it? Anyway, again, thank you for being YOU. I wouldn’t be sat here typing this out, without you.

So from this day forward, I swear I’m going to be happier in my own skin – I’m going to ALLOW photographs to be taken of me, candid or otherwise. I’m not about to jump into a bikini and show off all my bits… but I promise that I’m going to beat these bloody body confidence blues and get on with my life. Because you know what? Life is too hard and too tiring and it’s just too damn short to be fussing over what you look like in a pair of skinny jeans or with your arms out… or ON THE DAMN BEACH. Yes I could do with loosing a few more pounds (I cycle every day for almost 2 hours, but I also love crisps and chips and gravy), but importantly, I’m giving up on feeling body-shame and I’m going to embrace what I have, in the now and at the minute. And I would urge you to do the very same.

I cannot imagine what life must be like for those who are bringing up daughters. The pressure must just be so immense surrounding body positivity. I find it difficult enough bringing up a son in this world and talk endlessly to Eli about how we’re all different shapes and sizes and colours and that’s what makes us all so cool! The fact we’re all different and truly unique and diverse. The more we educate and understand and share the honesty, then the more NORMAL this whole movement will become. Hopefully, it won’t even BE a movement any longer – because, we’re all just out there living our best lives.

Additionally, I’m going to be using my social media platforms as a place to shout about Petite styles and fashion and inspiration because no, there isn’t enough of it out there. I’ve always tried to be inclusive of my styling tips/recommendations, but the industry definitely isn’t inclusive of people like me and my size. So sod the industry, and PETITE WOMEN, LET’S UNITE! #PetiteWomenUnite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there we have it.  My body confidence post, DONE.

Peace & Love

C
✖✖✖

 

 

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Is my body playing tricks on me? [Update #2]

Apologies for the lack of posts really. Life took over. The pregnancy symptoms dwindled…. until this week.

My new cycle was due to start on Wednesday 16th. Nothing happened. No cramping. Not a single spot of dark brown, NOTHING. Fast forward and today is Saturday 19th November. I’m 4 days late. I’m NEVER late. We did a pregnancy test on Sunday 13th and got yet another BFN. I haven’t felt particularly pregnant since then… Aside from not sleeping very well, waking up drenched in sweat, being absolutely BOILING throughout the day, I wouldn’t really say I’ve had any specific pregnancy symptoms! I’ve been REALLY hungry and felt lightheaded at times; my heart was racing yesterday. I also noted that on Wednesday 16th my boobs felt HUGE (still do) and I had really sharp, stabbing pains going from my right armpit through my breast. But that’s literally about it! So with this all in mind, we’re going to do a pregnancy test tomorrow – I’ll be 5 days late at that point.

Desperately trying not to get excited, but it’s SO DIFFICULT! I literally cannot contain my massive, beaming smile!  So will obviously report back tomorrow post test. FINGERS CROSSED! Let’s hope it’s not my body playing tricks on me, yet again!

MM.

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Is my body playing tricks on me? [Update #1]

Since my previous ‘Is my body playing tricks on me?’ post, I have more bodily confusion! I had the strange period… this lasted 6 days. I had dark, dark brown discharge. It was a very, very light flow. This was also accompanied by what I would say was ‘prune juice’, and spits and spots of pinkish blood. I had absolutely zero pain – I can’t emphasise this enough, as I’m usually in AGONY!

On Monday I awoke with a sour taste in my mouth – so I brushed my teeth straight away. I could still taste this awful bitter taste… I used mouth wash and chewed gum on the commute to work. Could not get rid of it. Then it dawned on me… this *must* but that ‘metallic taste’ that women complain of! Hurrah, I *must* be pregnant. MUST be. I ate chewing gum all day. Still had this taste. It just did not go. I woke up yesterday morning and JUST LIKE THAT, the taste had gone. It was as though I imagined it. The discharge was also gone, nothing overnight.

I did another pregnancy test this morning. Yet again, another BFN. I just don’t understand. How can I feel THIS pregnant and not actually be pregnant? My boobs are at least a cup size bigger, I also have a really dark blue vein cutting across my entire left breast, finishing at the nipple. My tummy is rounded and hard. Could it be possible that the hormones just aren’t strong enough for a cheapie HPT? Or IS MY BODY PLAYING TRICKS ON ME?!

Anyone else experienced this? It’s driving me crazy!!

MM.

 

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Is my body playing tricks on me?

So time for a quick update on how the TTC is going…

Since I was about 16, I’ve had extremely regular periods – 28 day cycle with A LOT of pain. To the point where on occasion, I have thrown up due to the tremendous amount of pain I’ve experienced. I normally battle my period pains with Feminax Ultra. My periods are generally on the heavier side, lasting 5 days. LIKE CLOCKWORK.

At the beginning of this cycle, at the start of this month, I experienced nausea, exhaustion, dizziness, (massive) clumsiness, headaches, joint aches… and oddly, stomach cramps; like period style cramps. On the 11th of the month, I had really bad wrist pain – it came out of nowhere, followed by (and I apologise for TMI) one big thick streak of mucus lined with dark brown blood. This has never ever happened before. So we did a pregnancy test on the morning of the 12th – it was a BFN. All the wild ‘pregnancy’ style symptoms subsided about a week or so ago… Period was due on 20th of the month.

On the morning of period due date I had some brown discharge when I wiped… kind of like the end of a period. Then NOTHING again until the next morning. I’m now on day 4 of my period; STILL I have the brown discharge. It’s infrequent and only really when I wipe. This is the even stranger thing though, I have absolutely ZERO pain. Nothing. No discomfort. The discharge is extremely light in flow, but very dark brown in colour.

After doing a little bit of forum research I’ve since found out that dark brown blood usually means ‘old blood’ and would circumstantially insinuate ‘implantation bleeding‘.

So I’m just going to have to see what happens! I just can’t believe I have no cramping or anything. I feel so weird – just hoping that my body isn’t playing tricks on me!!

Update to follow> Fingers crossed!

MM.