Anorexia to Womanhood
"Betty big boobs" - that was my nickname at school as by the time I was 12 years old I was a C cup - and menstruating. I developed very early...and hated it.
I was often groped by boys pretending to need something from my top shirt pocket. But I laughed it off as just something that happened to everyone as they gave them a fly hard squeeze.
Covering them up at every opportunity just seemed the right thing to do as I was often aware of them.
Much to my delight as my anorexia kicked in and I started to shrink the happier I seemed to feel.
The more by hips, boobs, periods left and the more layers I piled on, the younger in my head I became.
Unbeknown to me at the time my anorexia was trying to regress me back to a time where I was carefree and cared for - not having to face harsh realities of life like my parents' catastrophic divorce or becoming a young lady.
I even began buying Punch and Judy toothpaste for my baby sized toothbrush.
Mental illness was dragging me back the way - and I was putting up no fight whatsoever.
I was so happy if I ever looked at my body and it was all skeletal and flat. It made me feel like I had achieved something in a strange way.
In my early twenties as I started to recover from several years of extremely complex anorexia. I started to gain weight.
One of my biggest concerns for me and one I was trying to avoid at all costs was embracing womanhood. It terrified me on so many levels.
However it was also my body's physical way of telling me I was getting better and that I was becoming a woman.
I secretly hoped that once the weight went on perhaps the boobs would stay small as I had potentially ruined my body with malnutrition...
But as my waist line grew so did they...
It was not easy and I often - in rebellion and denial I went without a bra or wore very tight sports bras to flatten them - but there was no escape.
They came back with a vengeance.
It took me a further 16 years to be content in my skin and liberated to be who I am today.
Now as a 47 year old mother I fully embrace my womanhood - bumps and all.
I've never been happier in my life even though I'm the biggest size all over I've ever been - this is because our shape and size does not define us. It is not who we are. Our true happiness comes from within. Until you make peace with yourself inside you will never be happy or be able to fully love your incredible body outside - big or small.
Let me leave you with a couple of quotes from two amazing ladies I admire - Taryn Brumfitt creator of the movie "Embrace" says "A desire to teach not only her children, but the world, the invaluable lesson that loving your body can bring about happiness and change your life forever"
Amanda De Cadenet also suffered years of media abuse of her shape now happily believes "If I want to eat a cookie that my kid bakes, I'm gonna eat the f***king cookie"
I could not agree more.
Author's own photos