Saturday, 31 March 2007

The background: 1963-1981

I've been a "chubby girl" for as long as I can remember. I was put on a diet by the doctor when I was still in single figures to get from five stone ten down to five stone; and I did it! How much willpower was that in a child of eight?

I was never huge, but never tiny either; I wanted to be dainty, and pretty, but I was more likely to be complimented on my "nice smile" than anything else. I was chunky, solid, and inactive. I wasn't fit, and I knew I wasn't good at games.

The school reports were boringly good-to-average, but an oft-repeated theme was "good at everything except games..." I entered for swimming galas, and got the round of applause for finishing last every time; was last to be picked for every team; did ballet classes, but was never little and elegant.

By the time I reached 18, the image of myself as somebody who "didn't do sport" was firmly embedded. And at the age of 15, I certainly wasn't happy in a bikini...

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