You are what you eat?

‘I’m just a four waffle fatty!’ This was my sister’s response to the news she’s gained half a stone and has now split three pairs of very nice pants. She has always been one of those lucky cows who can eat like a Trojan and still maintain a ridiculously enviable figure. She is known for eating more than her fair share of potato waffles hence the self deprecating nick name. Fish fingers are another favourite.
In the last few months though, her eating habits have crept up on her, starting with the button pinging off a pair of tight fitting Topshop cigarette pants whilst still in a restaurant. This then led to her standing in front of me minutes from leaving the house to go out and me saying ‘you do know there’s a massive split up your arse’ to which she slapped her hand on the backside of a gorgeous pair of River Island leather trousers and wailed in mortified tones when she realised they were now destined for the size 6 scrap heap. Now a third pair of pants has bitten the dust and she has stepped on the scales and realised the waffle truth; she’s just like the rest of us!
I’m not mocking her marginally more rounded tum, I’m really not. She’s still a waif who has never experienced the embarrassment of buying Bridget Jones tummy tucker knickers for four quid from Primark. The prospect of a body con dress does not break her out in lump-&bump-obsessed sweat unlike me who manically necks water in a bid to banish the tiniest sign of bloating. No, her attitude to her body is completely refreshing and one I wish more of us could adopt.bridget-jones-knickers-300x225
I’m the first to admit that on fairly regular occasions I stand in the mirror analysing myself in minute detail and concluding I need to exercise more. I fret a stupid amount before a summer holiday and work out like a lunatic for a few weeks prior to putting on a bikini. The most annoying thing? I, myself am only a size six to eight. I have no logical reason whatsoever to feel in any way inadequate. I’m not as taut and toned as a catwalk of Victoria Secret models and I could probably give up Dominoes if I wanted my belly to be a bit less doughy but really I ain’t half bad. I know, quite conclusively, that whining about a few belly rolls is disgustingly self indulgent and a horrible 21st century spoilt girl problem. Yet I still do it, grrrr.
Recently I’ve been made aware of Kate Upton, an American model who does not subscribe to the stick thin stereo type and is really bloody beautiful. The reason I think she is beautiful is not because of how she looks (though she is a stunner) but rather that you can just tell how at ease she is with her body. She wouldn’t turn away a beer in fear of gaining half a pound or whinge about her skinny jeans feeling a bit too tight when they’ve actually just been in the wash. She looks like the kind of girl who can pinch an inch with pride.
That said, I don’t agree with being overweight. Magazines that celebrate obesity with the synonym ‘curvy’ whilst deriding women who look painfully thin are abhorrent to me. There are two ends on a scale and, to me, being heavily overweight is as worrying as being incredibly skinny. There’s a balance and the ideal is that we all strike it; for once this is when middle of the road can be considered a good thing.
I’ve no intention of gorging on takeaways in a solo protest over female body image but I think what I would like to do, is carry on doing what I’m doing; eating healthy Monday to Friday, pigging out at the weekend and exercising a few times a week. And instead of spinning myself into a blind panic about my tummy not being flat even when I lie down, I’m going to try and embrace it. My younger sister’s attitude has inspired me to not get so hung up on my love handles, because whilst she might be momentarily disheartened by her waffle induced weigh gain her ability to laugh about it will always make her a four-waffle-fittie.


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