Weight Loss Body Battles – A story from the Trenches

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I witter on a lot, about a lot of different things.

You might have noticed.

I’ve talked about body image and dress sizing in the past, but it occurs to me that although I have alluded to my own body battles I’ve never really told you about them. So today it’s all about me (that makes a change, I’m sure you’re all thinking)

Starting right at the beginning, being a teenager is a pretty rotten time for most people. Like most teenagers I was convinced my size 8, 8 1/2 stone frame was fat. So, I spent most of my teens throwing away my lunch time sandwiches and counting calories. I once ate a clove of garlic out of a still life at school because I was so hungry after throwing away my lunch. Yum. Skinny AND reeking of garlic.

Fast forward a few years and in my early 20s, at university, I stabilised around the 10 stone mark. Sometimes I’d go up a bit, then down a bit, but it was all pretty stable.

Then I left college, got a job that paid me actual money to sit down all day, got married, went on a food stuffed honeymoon and before I’d even noticed it I ended up here.

I weighed 13 1/2 stone, giving me a BM1 of 31.9, officially obese and very miserable. I don’t know what my waist measured, and I didn’t even know what clothes size I wore. I would order things and they were too big, or too small, and High Street shopping was a perpetual misery. Throughout 2006 I tried slim fast, I tried cereal diets and every other thing I could think of, but I pretty much stayed the same size. My hour glass shape meant that I at least still went in and out, but in a way this made it harder as most plus size clothes are made for modern thickening waists, not spreading hips and arms.

Then in late 2006 I got a new job. It made me hellishly miserable (another, quite long, story!) but one of my impossibly slim and blonde colleagues told me she was a member of Weight Watchers. In fact she still attended meetings. It was a bit of a revelation to me, because I’d refused to join a group. In my head Weight Watchers was for middle aged housewives who ate too many biscuits while watching Jeremy Kyle of a morning, not women in their mid 20s.

So in February 2007 I joined a meeting. 5 months later I was 2 stone lighter and decided to take humorous photos of myself like a diet ad in the trousers I used to wear to work.

I got that silly little gold key they give you when you reach target in the middle of 2008, when I got to 10 1/2 stone. Though I secretly wanted to lose another half stone, and I did lose another 4 lb before my Sisters wedding in February 2009.


So why is this on my mind now?

Well, over the last year I’ve gradually put back on a little weight. Ok, as of the beginning of this month it was a stone, so not so little.

I like food, and I like to eat nice food. Special occasions to me are about nice dinners, picnics in the park, and nibbles with a movie. Not carrot sticks and low fat hummus, but olives in olive oil, cheese and biscuits and cake. Anniversaries, Christmas, Valentines Day, Birthdays, each one added a few pounds and I never lost them,

Then in March I got a comment on this outfit saying it made me look “heavier than I am” and I was really upset


But it wasn’t even true. I was exactly that heavy! My lovely clothes were all too tight and I realised I had to do something about it. My BMI had gone over 25 again, not the end of the world, but surely an indicator to take action to keep myself healthy and happy.

So what did I do?

I initially tried the Atkins diet. I lost 4 lb in 2 months. Woop.

If you eat too many calories it makes not one jot of difference how many carbs you eat, and I’ve had to teach myself all over again that I can’t eat the same amount of food as my husband and expect to lose weight. So I’m back to counting Weight Watchers points. Like I should have done in the first place. The thing about Weight Watchers is it hands you a set of tools that you can use to retrain yourself about how much food your body actually needs. Eventually you stop counting, but you know how much you can eat, and you know that high fat foods are higher in points, you learn that trade off between volume and tastiness. Do I want a Mars Bar or a huge bowl of strawberries? Actually I want the Mars Bar, and that’s fine.

After 2 weeks of that I’m just a couple of pounds off 10 1/2 stone again, and fully expect to be back to my happy place within a month.

The weight you feel happy at is different for every one. I’ll never claim you can’t be over weight and happy, or even healthy, but I believe that being aware of your body is important for health and happiness.

It’s important to be realistic about who you are. My goal isn’t to be a size 8, it’s to be the best me I can be and still enjoy my life. I’m curvy, there is an 11″ difference between my waist and hip measurement and I can’t change that without losing bits of bone. It’s just the way I am. I also know that I’m not happy, healthy, and I don’t look my best when I’m over weight. Some people can carry it and look truly stunning. I can’t. I’m not happy and it shows in the way I dress, the way I hold myself and the way I feel. The love yourself, love others challenge I took part in is about exactly that. It’s about knowing yourself, loving those bits about you that make you unique and acknowledging the things you love in others, whether they’re possible for you or not.

As a Fashion Blogger posting outfit posts you put yourself out there and open yourself up to criticism, which can sometimes be vicious (I’ve not had much, but someone slagged off my harem pants last year too!)

The key to dealing with it is confidence.

I’ve learnt a lot from my weight battles, but the main tip I would pass on is to be confident, and if you’re not, fake it till you are. Confident people know their body, for all it’s positives as well as it’s flaws and failings, and when they’re criticised they know whether that criticism is valid or not. They take it as a call to action, or they ignore it, they don’t dwell on it and let it eat away at their self worth.

Do you struggle with your weight? Are you realistic about your body and it’s potentials? Do you feel confident or do you think you let others knock you down?

Tell me your stories!

header image by chrisphoto
44 Responses
  • Fiona - Notorious Kitsch
    July 15, 2010

    Do I struggle with my weight? all my life! But I don’t often win and as I’ve got older I win less. But to be fair I don’t try as hard which depresses me more!

    I have beautiful clothes which don’t fit me yet what do I do? Nothing much….

    It might be time for WW again…

    • Retro Chick
      July 15, 2010

      I honestly love WW.

      It really taught me that it’s ok to have an Indian takeaway, but not with pizza for lunch and a full english 😉

  • Frankie - Swell Vintage
    July 15, 2010

    This post is so honest and brave, Gemma. Kudos to you for being so open.

    When I was a kid, I definitely had puppy fat issues. Being called “chubby” on a couple of occasions still haunt me to this day. When I was at uni I lost a lot of weight and developed a really bad relationship with food. It was stupid and unhealthy, but it’s so easily done.

    Now I’m a size 10, and although I’m not quite at my goal weight, I think I’m happy. I don’t think my skeletal structure will ever allow me to be smaller than that. I still get those days where I feel obscenely fat and repulsive, but my boyfriend loves my body and I’m starting to think I should too.

    Thanks for posting this, Gemma. You are a legend.


    • Retro Chick
      July 15, 2010

      A legend! Is there a plaque? 😀

      I think women have such a warped realtionship with food sometimes that it’s easy to forget we need to eat and that it should still be enjoyable!

      I think we all have fat days!

  • Clare
    July 15, 2010

    This is such a great post, well done for getting to your happy place! I need to find where mine is, I just know I’m not there at the moment…

    Need to put the cakes down…

    Clare x

  • Miss Peelpants
    July 15, 2010

    Sometimes I’ve wondered about doing a blog about how much criticism I get for being ‘skinny’, but then I figure that would open me up to a bombardment of resentment and criticism that I just don’t need right now. Maybe I should just be brave and do it.

    People seem to delight in making me feel uncomfortable about it, in much the same way as I’m sure they do about curvier girls. Certain kinds of people just like to make other people feel bad, and they’ll use anything they can to achieve that.

    I used to cry myself to sleep over my lack of curves sometimes, and once made a concerted effort to gain weight when I left school. Unfortunately, I have the opposite problem to a ‘comfort eater’ that when I’m stressed that I CANNOT eat at all. Feel sick at the sight of food. So any stress just makes me lose weight.

    I think you look fabulous in the photos you post. It helps that you are stunning but also that happiness and elegance are more important than what dress size Topshop have deemed you to be.

    I really envy people who can wear an hourglass Fifties frock, but I’m also happy that I’ve found my ‘era’ (i.e Seventies) which suits my shape too.

    • Retro Chick
      July 15, 2010

      It’s brilliant to hear people on the other side of the coin too. I think you look amazing, and have never been struck by your “lack of curves”, but again, I think that’s all down to how critical we are of ourselves. We pick out perceived flaws and focus on them!

      Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could all accept ourselves and others for what we are!?

  • Gemma
    July 15, 2010

    Absolutely fantastic post. I think it’s all about finding your happy weight, and dieting for *you*, not other people. Some women feel their best as a size 6, others as a 16.

    I’ve always been ‘chubby’. My weight has yo-yo’d throughout my late teens and 20s, but I’ve never been less than a size 12 (in 2006 after losing loads on Weight Watchers). I know I’ll never be tiny, I’m just not built that way and the maintenance of being a size 8 or 10 would make me boring and miserable. I’ve got used to being curvaceous and I like that, I just want to fit into all the clothes I’ve acquired!

    I’m back on WW at the moment because I realised in April that I was the heaviest I’d ever been (thanks, Wii fit). Half my clothes didn’t fit and I wanted to be able to get back into them comfortably for Summer. I’m only half a stone away from my goal now, things that haven’t fit for years now zip up, and I haven’t really felt like I’ve missed out on much save the odd pub lunch. Some days I don’t count points and allow myself a bit more wine or a restaurant meal…I just get back on the wagon the next day! What I like about WW is the good habits it teaches you – moderation, balance, portion size.

  • Pixie
    July 15, 2010

    Great great great post lady.

    I am one of the many women all over the world that has constant weight issues.

    Being comfortable in your own skin is so important.

    I have to say though (and I guess this is the power of the internet lens) you’ve never looked anything but radiant and confident on your pictures. I love how you can turn a fairly simple outfit into something that looks fab – and that’s not just putting together styles, the camera really does love you.

    Good luck with your challenge!

  • Abilu
    July 15, 2010

    Wow! A really heart felt post Gemma – that actually brings tears to my eyes! You are so not alone – I felt like you were telling my life story with battling with weight, well I did not do weight watchers but Carol vordamans detox – which is essentialy about eating healthy and the Cook yourself thin range is good too. Iv’e just finished a workout DVD with Davina and yes my weight is over a stone heavier than when I got married 2 years ago, Ok a stone and half. I try to tell myself that being skinny tastes better than cake or what ever it is but I too Love my food and beer too.

    I think you look stunning and Vintage clothing seems to lend itself to a curvy figure which I too have and over the years I have just tried to learn and understand what suits me and what does not – the tom boy tall skinny look is never going to work on my figure – but then a 1950’s busty dress would never work on there’s – I guess you have to be happy with what you have and realise that most people are never happy with what they have.

    Thank-you Xx :0)

    • Retro Chick
      July 15, 2010

      Oh absolutely. There were times before I discovered vintage that I’ve been in real tears about how “fat” I must be as I couldn’t get dresses over my hips, but it’s not me, it’s the cut of the dresses! Todays sizing cuts dresses with about an 8″ difference from hips to waist, so to fit my waist they’ll be 4″ too small on my hips, and that’s a lot!

      • Hannah
        July 15, 2010

        Today’s high street shops just don’t cut for curvy hips! My stats are 32-26-38 (i think) so not only am i very pear-shaped, i too have the major size difference between my waist and hips. I find it really hard to find dresses which aren’t the fitted-on-top-flared-on-bottom style to fit me, which made me so cross when i had to buy an outfit for a wedding this summer. All figure-hugging dresses seem to be made for perfectly-proportioned people and i was almost in tears after trying on the majority of ‘occasion’ dresses on the high street.

        I was also one of those 8.5 stone, size 8 teenagers who thought i was ‘flabby’, ha. I struggled for years with the fact that when i hit 19 or so, i started to ‘lay down fat’ as it were.

  • Cassie
    July 15, 2010

    Nice post, missy.

    Did you go to WW classes, or did you do it online?

    I might give it a go. WW is about the only diest which lets you drink booze still 🙂

    • Retro Chick
      July 15, 2010

      I went to classes as I’m perfectly capable of lying to myself if I get on the scales at home! I needed that motivation of having someone else know if I gained weight, plus I’m super competitive and wanted to lose more than everyone else 😀

      The booze is a big thing, because you can still live your life, but you have to learn that booze has calories!!

  • Natasha
    July 15, 2010

    Great post Gemma!
    I felt so relieved reading this as I have such a warped emotional relationship with food and you are totally right about calling yourself out about it. I had to read this post because I need to motivate myself to sort it out. I am a size 10/12 and I think I am fat…this is ridiculous. I just cannot help but feel guilty about eating treats…I don’t know if it’s magazines, tv, celebrity or my head…but feeling guilty is where my cycle ends and begins.

    • Retro Chick
      July 15, 2010

      Guilt is the worst thing. It takes away all the pleasure in what you eat!

      Women are just so critical of their appearance.

  • Fleur
    July 15, 2010

    Great post lady! My weight has fluctuated a lot since I was a teenager – between 11.5 stone, where I looked and felt podgy and 9.5 stone where I looked and felt like a bag of bones! I’m now somewhere in between, and fairly happy. A colleague at my old job had great success with Slimming World, which I understand to be like WW. I think you look smashing, but I am glad you’re getting back to your ‘happy place’ 🙂

  • Clare B
    July 15, 2010

    Wow! that was amazing! really well written too!!!
    I think everyone struggle with their weight a bit. For me, I use to be tiny and I had NO idea. Then I moved from Aus to London and along with that came the beer, pub meals, more beer, more wine, more pub meals, compared to my aussie intake of fresh fruit and veg plus warmer weather to exercise in. I couldn’t understand why I was putting on wieght and now no matter how hard I try I cant get rid of it 🙁 But on the otherhand, i have a huge social life and I am enjoy my food so much! so how do I find a balance? When I think about my lifestyle in Aus, my secret to staying skinny is exercise. exercise exercise exercise! and dont overdo the chocolate, crisps and sweets.

    I think there’s a perfect size for every body and a way to get there, we just have to work out what works for each of us 🙂 x

  • Nimue
    July 15, 2010

    I wish I would get an € everytime someone tells me “You could be so beautiful if yiu loose weight”. I would be as rich as Bill Gates.

    But I dont get the money. All I got ist a bad bodyimage, selfhatred, more overweight and 15 years without a relationship. I dont even try.

    If loosing lots of weight would be easy, there wouldnt be fat people.

    And it is not easy when you are suffering from chronical pain and CFS.

  • Ang
    July 15, 2010

    Fantastic blog and bravo for taking on a tricky topic with grace and honesty. I’ve pretty well gotten away from bothering with reading/looking at fashion blogs because they simply depress me…..I certainly don’t need any more reminder than going into my vintage shop every day that I’m not the thin girl I dream of being and that I can’t wear the clothes I so passionately love. Looking at happy girls in beautiful clothes depresses me most of the time (not a healthy way to view an industry I depend on for a living, is it?)

    So thank you for this lovely post…..your blog will be one I take time to visit from now on! Maybe I’ll even try to follow your lead and work away at some of these lbs. making me so miserable…..

  • foodiebyname
    July 15, 2010

    a great post, I am sure there are so many peeps out there with food issues, I have spent most of my life ‘joking’ about my body! well done for getting into the nity-grity of it. :0)

  • Shelley Jones
    July 15, 2010

    So glad I read this, i have been following you on facebook for quite a while now and have always thought and wished i could look as good as you do. I have been struggling with my weight for 5 years now! I have been on both lighterlife and the Cambridge diet – which i lost lots on both but put every pound back on eventually because there was no after care support! I started weight watchers at the beginning of the year and was doing so so so so well, but i have anxiety issues and found it a bit of a struggle going to the classes, i tried to stick to it at home but again not having much support i gave up (i have no family or friends near where i live at all)! I feel down almost all of the time but reading stories like yours gives me the inspiration to give it another go at home – although i know the exercise will drive my absolutely mad eventually – I feel so good when i loose weight and much more confident and i helps a little with my anxiety too so i know i have to do it!x

  • Lynsey
    July 15, 2010

    Gemma, thank you for your honesty and candidness about what is essentially the majority of women’s experience…and not the least my own. I have done WW, Paul Mckenna and plenty more diets, they work then it creeps back up again. I think I’m at the stage now, where you were after putting it on after being married etc. It’s inspiring to see your positive journey..because although I ’embrace’ curviness, it’s about how I feel, and my current weight is not the best I’ve ever felt. Thank you so much for sharing this. xxx

  • Angel
    July 15, 2010

    As we’ve talked about on Twitter I used to be anorexic.

    While I might not starve myself anymore I still find it hard to analyse my body the way I should. And I still don’t like myself some days. But the good thing is is that now I can tell when I’m losing and putting on with my gorgeous 1950’s and 1940’s dresses that are getting a bit tight in the waist… so I’m going to start exercising… and keep eating the way I do.

  • Rhona Nolan
    July 15, 2010

    I do struggle with my weight… I used to row which didn’t make my skinny but I was a shapely and somewhat toned girl but then I gave it up and didn’t change my eating habits enough.

    At my heaviest I was just over 85 kilos (technically obese) in my first year of college… I didn’t realise how much weight I had gained until my mum suggested I might do something about my weight. It hurt but she was only looking out for me and I’m glad she did.

    I changed how I ate (and used some slender sleep stuff) and tried to be more active with walking and the odd swimming and stuff (and had a bad bout of tonsillitis).

    Now a year and a half later I am much happier having lost almost 10 kilos! I am still doing my best to just be healthy and hopefully lose a little more…

    That was such an honest post Gemma…

    Thank you for it.

  • LandGirl1980
    July 15, 2010

    I used to – but since getting into the 1940’s and realising that the styling of the era makes the best of my curves- I am a happier chicka! Also – since joining Slimming World in Feb and loosing nearly 2 st so far (another 2 to go… another 2 to go!!!.. ignore the Cornish fudge in the office… ignore the Cornish Fudge in the office….)I am a MUCH happier chicka!!

    I feel I am lucky enough to carry my weight well (people are usually distracted by the long hair, red lips and big boobs!) and I find that dresses hide a multitude of sins!

    As a gender we constantly worry about our weight. We eat ourselves in and out of depression and PMT our whole lives. I am under no illusions that once I have reached my goal weight (by my 30th in Dec), that I won’t scoff all the cake and cream I can lay my hands on – washed down with spoonfulls of Nutella. But for me, Slimming World has worked alot better than Weight Watchers ever did. That is NOT to poo-poo WW – it DID work for me about 10 years ago – but then i gained it all back (that’ll be the aforementioned spoonfulls of nutty goodness!!)

    You are bang on about the confidence thing. Since dressing the way I do – or at least having as 40’s hair as I have the time for on a daily basis, it does bring ALOT of attention. And I have had to get alot more confident with dressing in this vintage style – because people DO stare (sometimes so hard they walk into other people) I went through a huge phase of being convinced that I looked like I was wearing fancy dress and covering up my lovely dresses with a modest trench coat. But now – thanks more than anything to the weight loss – I stride down the street with pride, Victory Rolls held high!

    Great post (as always)
    Charly x

  • Len
    July 15, 2010

    Do I struggle with my weight? Yes, 100% I was thin when I was a teenager so I struggled to gain weight. After giving birth in 1994 I’ve struggled to lose weight and still do to this day. I admire you for posting something very personal for you and for being quite honest about your feelings to your readers. I think we can all relate to what you are saying. Gem, people will always say something, not all people will be nice. Even the ones nice in front of you could be saying nasty things behind your back. I’ve experienced this kind of thing when I was working in an office about 10 years ago. One colleague looked at me from behind and told another colleague who happened to be someone very close to me and said how horribly big I was and that she thinks I will never ever be slim again! It hurt. Because that person was always nice to me. Didn’t know she can be vicious behind my back. With a blog like yours, a lot of women learn from it. It’s knowing what clothes we find ourselves confident in. Thanks so much for you! x x x

  • Len
    July 15, 2010

    By the way, the March outfit and the harem pants, I honestly think you look great in them!

    I also love your skin and your pearly white teeth! You are beautiful! If you remember when we were working together, I used to tell you how pretty you were in your dresses and you are! x

  • kerry
    July 15, 2010

    That was a really interesting read. What I really *love* about your blog is that you have a wonderful ability to ‘share’ your thoughts/opinions rather than ‘give’ your thoughts/opinions.

    Do you know what I mean? At 33, whilst not at all ‘big'(what does that even mean? I’m sure lots of people would actually consider my 12/14 frame ‘big’??? ) I am still at the heavier end of the scale of my weight fluctation over the years. However I am so much more confidence than I ever have right now.

    Now all I need to do is work out what I want to do when I grow up and everything will be sorted!!

  • lindsey bluff
    July 15, 2010

    I am also following the ww plan at the moment, I’ve lost 2 stone since febuary and have another 2 to go, hoping to be at target by next January lol.

  • Fi Phillips
    July 15, 2010

    Since having children (and ballooning two dresses sizes, almost three, before getting down to a size 14/16), I’ve come to realise what a realistic, healthy, womanly figure is. For me, it’s not size 10, it’s not 9 stone (which I’m apparently supposed to weigh for my height) and it’s not looking like anyone else. I would be more comfortable to be a size 14 again but I’m working on that healthily, not yoyo dieting or starving myself. I don’t want to be obsessed with my weight like my mum was and I don’t want to end up with diabetes like she did either.

    Great article, RC. Your confidence and style are what make you the beautiful woman we love to read about.

  • Heather
    July 15, 2010

    Wow, that was an incredibly brave and honest post! I agree that it’s being comfortable with yourself that is most important. My weight problems stem from being “too” skinny. I’m natural thin thanks to mum’s genes, but I lost tons of weight at uni and never gained it back. I’m at 7.5 stone now and go through periods of rapidly gaining and losing weight.
    I think Miss Peelpants made a good point above about how skinny people are a target for criticism. It’s unfortunate that talking about being plus-sized and curvy is gaining much more empowerment but being skinny will still get either comments about anorexia or people gushing about how “lucky” you are. I would rather be a healthy weight, whatever that is, than unhealthily thin.

  • Diane Cooper
    July 15, 2010

    I was another teenager that was convinced I was fat and ugly. My way of dealing with it was Jelly Babies however. At 15 I could get away with it. At 35, and after 2 kids, I no longer can.
    Most of my weight gain has been to do with my fight against depression which started 14 years ago when I had my first son and got worse after I had my second son three years later. I did lose quite a bit of weight 2 years ago and went down to a size 12/14, but that has gradually crept back up and now I’m closer to a size 16.
    I don’t think I’ve been 8 stone since I’ve been able to measure my age in double digits, but then at 5 foot 1 on a good day and when I can get away with standing slightly on tiptoe, that is the weight I’m told I should be. Even if my mood and motivation improved 10 times and I lost all my excess weight, then I would never get down to that size. My body and bone structure just wouldn’t be able to. Yes, I would love to lose weight, but at the moment I’m concentrating on loving the body I’m in right now, gorgeous curves, stretch marks and all.

  • Emma at Daily Clothes Fix
    July 15, 2010

    Thanks for sharing in such an honest way. 12 months ago I lost 1.5 stone (the French women don’t get fat way) so I know all about the weight battle having failed on Weight Watchers (twice).

    I think you look great and I love how you push the boundaries of what you “should” be able to wear. BTW, those harem pants look great – I went and checked.

  • Nikki
    July 15, 2010

    I think you are really brave for being open & honest about something that plagues a lot of women.
    I have had an up and down relationship with food since I was in my teens and sometimes I still really struggle.
    A couple of years ago I put on quite a bit of weight & I did WW to loose weight. It really worked for me because I realised that I didn’t have to starve myself to get slim, and I did take away a healthier relationship with food.
    Thankyou for this post, it really made me feel less alone xx

  • vicky
    July 15, 2010

    Well done Gemma.

    I have decided this year is my year. I am fed up with the way I look and how it makes me feel. I am fed up with trying and failing with this diet and that diet and the only thing that will work long term is for me to eat less, eat better and exercise more.

    At school I was the fat one, but popular so it was never an issue but then when I went to college after having my son it was all new and I went down to a 10 and stayed there for a while however studying full time with a toddler and comuting and working on assignments meant my weight stayed down because I hardly had time to eat and was constantly on the move.

    By the time I was at work I slipped easily up to an 18 as I was at a desk all day, then have sent the past 10 years going from 14 stone to 11 stone back to 14 stone and back to 11 stone and now I am at 12 1/2 stone.

    I have finally realised only I can change me. I do not intend to have the same battles with my weight as I have through my 20s.

    I have lived with a mother who has been on a diet for 30 years and I know the huge impact it has had on my life and my self image and that is not what I want to pass on to my daughter so I will loose the weight and live a healthy lifestyle and set that as the example for her not the constant diet trap my mum instilled into me.

  • Ellie Di
    July 15, 2010

    First: Thank you so much for sharing the story of your journey through weight gain and loss. This can be terrifying to write and you’re very courageous to tell it.

    Second: I’ve had two periods in my life where I’ve gained a noticeable and uncomfortable amount of weight. Not for vanity purposes, but for energy and healthy-me purposes. The first was when I was 21ish and went from a 28″ waist to a 36″ waist in six months. My SO at the time and I went on Atkins and I lost it ALL. I’m in the middle of the second period now. I’m not entirely sure how to get out of it – I’ve been 10-15lbs more than I’m happy at for nearly two years. I’ve tried a few things (gym, calorie counting) and it’s not helping. We shall see. Maybe someday I’ll write my story out, too.

  • Naina Haria
    July 15, 2010

    Fab blog Gemma. I dip in and out when I have time, but this caught my eye tonight and I had to read it.

    I used to be skinny, hated being skinny, slowly grew curves, was a nice weight, got an office job and it all went downhill…

    Then I had my son, worked from home, and despite working from home, ate less and drank less fizzy drinks. Recently found an office job and within a month noticed my trousers were getting really tight… all those fizzy drinks and chocolates and sweets, and unhealthy food I was eating.

    I know people will say I could take a healthy lunch to work, but I feel so stressed and under pressure I go for the quick hit make feel good until sugar rush fades fixes…

    Well done to you Gemma on getting to a place where you are happy with your figure. I am not happy with mine but only I can fix that. x

  • @markieboyuk
    July 16, 2010

    I doff my cap to you young lady for sharing this with us all…

    I too have suffered a similar fate, despite being a guy. Aged 24 I was 6ft4 and 9st I was often referred to as ‘Skeletor’ by my friends and took it upon myself to build up my weight to avoid such remarks…

    Come 27 I had hit the dizzy heights of 20st and looked ridiculous, but I found it amusing at the time..

    Then it dawned on me that I was having real trouble finding clothes to fit me and I fell very badly out of love with myself..

    I tried diets and stuff, but nothing really worked that well.. So joined a gym temporarily, which helped a bit, but I really couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t shift especially given that I’ve been vegetarian for over 20 years…

    After a few years of being careful with what I eat I managed to get down to the 17st 7 that I am now, which still sounds a hell of a lot, but my friends are always telling me that I don’t look anywhere near that weight (which is why they are my friends I guess!) and are always complimentary about my physique and the way I dress, despite me having a BMI of 29.8, a mere 0.2 from being ‘obese’..

    The issue of my weight always starts to concern me around summertime, as the fear of donning a wetsuit in public again suddenly dawns on me.. Unfortunately this time is upon me once more and I will probably end up hitting WW again, as it’s the only thing that has every truly worked for me.

    As for you my dear, regardless of what other people say about you or your weight, you are gorgeous and you remember that.

    M xx

  • Lin Farey
    July 16, 2010

    I’d like to talk about how WW has affected my husbands health. The whole of my husbands family are obeastly over weight and not just by pounds, some up to 7 stone over their ideal weight. My sister in law has been on a diet the whole of the 35 years I have known her and she is still at least 6 stone over weight, they all suffer from heart problems, gall bladder problems, back problems and diabetes.
    Late last year my husband joined WW and amazingly apart from losing weight, his blood sugar level dropped to normal, he is slowly losing weight and is obviously delighted, but the bonus for him is the effect it’s having on his diabetes. Earlier this year he had to have some chemotherapy and was advised to come off the WW diet during treatment, his suger level shot back up to dangerous levels within days, he returned to WW last week and again his suger level dropped to normal…so for him te benefit of losing weight have been life changing.
    I’m 7.7 stone and I am constantly being told I should put on weight, I’d love to, but it’s just are hard for some people to gain weight as it is for others to lose it. Thank you for this blog Gemma x

  • rings90
    July 16, 2010

    My mom went from a size 18/20 to a size 6/8 using weight watchers.
    It took about 2 1/2 yrs. for her to do so & she has kept it off for about 7yrs now.
    I am so proud of her but ticked that she gets to wear all the cute styles now. She has so much fun shopping & showing what she’s found though I can’t stay upset for long.
    She has found a healthy balance between maintaining her weight & enjoying life, that it has taught me not to be afraid to eat & enjoy myself.

    at 5 “7” I am tall enough & because of that my wieght is a bit more hard to tell. I have never had a HUGE battle with it, altho now being in my 30’s I am realizing that I need to start caring a bit more as it doesn’t come off as easily anymore. I thank the Lord everyday that I had a great teacher in my mom on how to enjoy a balanced life when it comes to eating food.

    My biggest regret is that I hapen to have NO CURVES… and eating doesn’t really give you them eiher…

  • Rachel
    July 16, 2010

    Thanks for the article. I’m struggling with my grown-up body, too. As a teen, I was anorexic and had next to zero body fat. Now that I don’t have the time or energy for constant workouts (as I did in college) and am eating more healthily, I’ve put on a little weight. I’m struggling to make my body more muscular but am fighting lethargy and depression that keep me from going to the gym. And I hate my “soft” belly, even if my husband says that’s how a woman should look. Oddly enough, though I wanted to weigh 130 pounds in college, but now that has shifted to me being okay with weighing 140 (though part of me still wants to be 135). Silliness.

  • Helen
    July 19, 2010

    This is a great piece of writing. I’m currently doing Slimming World. I started the year at 16st 3lbs, I’m now 12st 10lbs. I still have some way to go but I’m getting there. I’ve been writing my blog for about 18 months but it’s only in the last few weeks that I’ve finally felt comfortable enough to post outfit photos and talk about my weight loss.

  • victoria price
    July 20, 2010

    You’re the first vintage blogger I’ve come across to address this and bravo to you, I doth my cap! I’ve always struggled with my weight, I’m a solid 14 at the moment and it’s not sitting right, I like to be the bendier side of a 14 not the ‘nearly 16’ size-it’s just how I like to be. I recently did a ‘modelling’ job for a lady i met at a 1940s w/end and when I turned up realised I was the ‘bigger girl’ model-I haven’t been the same since because in my head no one else can see how I feel about myself and in these photos it really showed.. I have at least 2/3rds of my wardrobe unworn simply because I can’t fit into it-ridiculous. I do however have you as inspiration and a trampoline in my flat-I’m off to bounce! xx