Mammy bribes (rant alert)

Yesterday, myself and my Mam went over IKEA, Ballymun. My previous IKEA experiences have always left me depressed and wanting to break in to the place at night so I can live there; a pretty normal reaction, I think. Mam seldom lets me drive, which would be fine if she wasn’t so obvious about trying to trap me in her car so she can drive really slow and force ‘the chats’ on me. Normally, I wouldn’t admit this but you’ve got to hand it to her, she’s nifty when she needs to be.

This time the chat was about my weight – surprise, surprise – with college finishing in May and my routine soon to be shattered, Mam thought my new goal could be to lose weight in my free time. (Is that why I’m fat, because I don’t have much free time?!) I didn’t have much of an argument for her; yes it would benefit my health – what can you say to that? At least she’s consistent and always comes armed and ready to bribe me. Conversations like this with my Mam are generally quite funny with a sour after taste. It’s only when I get home I realise how much time and money my parents are willing to throw at me to motivate my weight loss. Yes, I’m relatively happy the way I am but I’m also very good at ignoring things like my diabetes tests last summer and how my thyroid/ovaries affect my organs and my health. If I’m not suffering with hot flashes or headaches, well, I’m a class A pretender.

Do any of you guys feel pressure from parents/family/friends to lose weight for your health?

Anyway, the conversation lead on to one of my 2011 resolutions – learn to sew and make a dress – Mam suggested I would have no need to learn if I lost weight. Absolutely not. I’m still Amazonian in height, proved perfectly well by my black, croc dress from Forever 21 Plus Sizes. (Will post as an outfit soon) It’s so short, the slit on the back lines up with another slit, that’s as subtle as I get. Literally could not wear it without thick leggings or I’d be scaring children everywhere I went. The whole exchange got me thinking about blogging and my desire to sew/be crafty. What would happen if I did lose weight? Say I was a size 14, in fashion terms I’m still plus size, but in the real world I’m not. Could I still write about plus size issues and fashion without feeling like a total hypocrite? I’d be healthier and live longer, but some might view it as turning my back on curves. I know I’d still be curvier than your average bear, but it still worries me. And then there’s my sewing dreams – why aren’t more plus size girls making clothes for themselves instead of depending on stores to produce them for us? I mean, I’m not always happy with high street stock, so my plan is to try make something myself.

I think I mentioned before, I have this innate desire to have my life set in stone and every so often niggling questions like this come along and trip me up. Thinking about making a dress (I have no idea what it really entails so I’m sure my daydreams are hilarious to a seasoned sewer) really gets me excited. In fact, I’m excited about finishing college so I can get started. That can’t be a bad thing, can it?


5 thoughts on “Mammy bribes (rant alert)

  1. First off, I have been reading your blog since I first came to Ireland to do grad school at TCD. It’s easy to feel like the only fat girl in Dublin sometimes and your blog brightens my day and makes me feel like I can walk tall.

    I’m from the US and fat phobia is incredibly prevalent and vocal right now. Even Michelle Obama is getting in on the act (I love the Obamas but people who have never been fat have no idea how to go about dealing with weight). I had a chance to have weight loss surgery and my insurance was prepared to pay for it but I backed out near the end of the approval process. There were too many issues like the ones you’ve raised. What if suddenly I wasn’t actually plus size anymore? What if I had to shop at straight sized places and had to come to terms with my body in a whole new way? What if men flirted with me more aggressively or my friends thought I was prettier now that I was thin? It’s a whole raft of shit to deal with and I was not prepared to handle it.

    That said, I have sleep apnea and asthma, both of which are supposed to improve with weight loss so I am in a position, like you, where I know that weight loss will be beneficial to my health. I’m a size 26/28 US right now and I am trying to get back to a size 20 and then re-evaluate and see if that’s a size I’m happy and healthy at. I have basically made a limit in my mind and am wholly unwilling to be smaller than a size 14/16. That was one of the reasons weight loss surgery was not for me. I did not want to be a size 10/12 ever.

    You are perfectly enchanting and sparkly just as you are. I know what it’s like to feel that subtle and sometimes overt pressure from friends and family to lose weight. My parents have layed off with it, but there’s still the occasional comment about eating certain things or eating after a certain time at night. Unless you lose weight on your own terms you’ll just feel resentful (and probably rightfully so). Your parents and everyone else are inundated with messages from the media that fat means an early grave so I can understand why those that love us want us to lose weight, even if they do so wrongly.

    Sorry, this is turning into a ridiculously long and rambling post but I just wanted to say that you are not alone and I know how devastating and strange those conversations can be.

    PS: sewing is awesome, just time consuming and tricky. I was actually thinking, you could probably make an awesome tea skirt yourself! All satin, tulle, and chiffon!

    • Hey Megan,
      Thanks a million for your amazing comment. Been trying to write a response all day that would do your comment justice! Thanks for being so honest, and for reading. It’s really comforting knowing there’s someone else dealing with the same mental dilemmas.

      I think I’m so anxious about my weight because I’ve been dealing with it for the last 7 years. I can’t remember what it was like to be smaller. I also put too much emphasis on being happier when I was smaller, but in reality, it had nothing to do with my weight – I was convinced I was overweight when I wasn’t – it’s more about my personal circumstances. Back then I was in school, fairly carefree, constantly surrounded by my friends and enjoying myself. My life was much more innocent! Whereas now I’m about to finish college and am constantly worried about getting a job etc. These things have nothing to do with my weight yet I convince myself if my weight changes, I’ll be happier. Sounds so ridiculous.

      I have to admit, I have no idea how popular weight loss surgery is in Ireland. It’s something I can’t even fathom. I’m really glad you didn’t go through with it. You’re right, you wouldn’t have the same control over your life or you size. You’ll be a stronger person for saying no. It’s really very inspiring, you should be so proud of yourself.

      I just don’t understand why I cant commit to something as simple as losing weight for my health. It makes perfect sense. It must just be a fear of the unknown. I’m glad you’re giving it a go, especially knowing you have sleep apnea. I can’t image how scary that must feel. This response is a little all over the place, so sorry! Just thank you for being so honest. I think that’s the first step to dealing with these kind of issues. You can’t figure them out alone, it’s impossible! I’m definitely going to try and lose some weight and document the changes. What’s the worst that could happen?!

      On a slightly lighter note: How are you finding your time in Ireland? The shopping definitely isn’t the same as in the U.S, but thankfully most of the online retailers deliver here. Sometimes I find the Irish weather can be a factor in my chronic lack of motivation, but Trinity is so lovely (and large) you must be doing lots of walking?! Also, if you’re looking for some more plus size inspiration in Ireland, Rhona, the other girl who commented writes a lovely blog ( about being a curvy girl (and how it doesn’t get in her way) and then there’s Dee, who I think is originally from the States. She writes, one of my favourite plus size blogs.

      Thanks again for your lovely comment. I wish my response could do it justice. Really means a lot that you would share that with me x

  2. One day (about two years ago) my mum turned to me and told me I could stand losing some weight. I was really hurt but now I’m nearly a stone and a half lighter and so glad that she pushed me to do it…

    I am also a size 14/16, sometimes I don’t feel I should call my blog a plus-size blog… I don’t even shop in plus-size shops. But I’m still very curvy and in the real world I would never consider myself a small girl, so what category do I fit into?

    And on the last bit (the dressmaking) I actually had this talk with my friend who is a costume designer and she figures the reason loads of people made their clothes way back when was because it was cheaper than buying the clothes (according to her gran she could get a yard of silk for 10p!). She tells me that decent material is really expensive and from seeing her work dress making is bloody time-consuming as well…

    But I plan to make a dress this year too, my sis bought me a vintage dress makers booklet for one of those full skirted dresses… Can’t wait!

    • Thanks for this, Rho. I think I’m going to do it. Like I said to Megan, what’s the worst that could happen? Plus, hearing that in the end you were happy your Mam said it to you has kind of made me rethink things a little. Most of the time I get really irritated whenever anyone mentions it, but they wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t for my own good, right?!

      You should check out Messy Carla. She’s a babe, has the most incredible wardrobe and most importantly writes about being a size 16. I think being heavier makes you appreciate how hard it is to find clothes in your size, and even if you lose weight, you will never lose that appreciation. Well, I hope!

      Re: dressmaking. I want it to be time consuming! Lol. Will be finished college soon with nothing to do except apply for jobs. May as well use my time well! Would love to make something like the Tulle skirts in my 2011 resolutions post. nom, nom.

  3. I love that you’re so honest Sara. There’s nothing more hurtful than mummy comments. I know I’m no plus size but finding curvy clothes for us people who are short isn’t too easy either. Anyways. Mummy comments. My mum is like a beanpole and I will never forget her hurtful comment when I was 16 and had warn out all my pants between the thighs. She said; Annika, seriously only fat girls’ thighs rub against eachother when they walk. Grrrreat. Thanks alot mum. And thanks dad for giving me your genes. Shit happens. I just wished that comments like that motivated me into trying to do something about my weight. Instead I get upset and eat. It’s an evil circle. Will you teach me to make a skirt?! Love you<3

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s