148: Elastic Heart

Lady B struggled to know how to open this blogpost.  Struggled because I wasn't sure how to set the tone, I wasn't sure where it would go... 

Since being diagnosed as a coeliac, Lady B has felt relieved and generally better health wise. The pain has stopped and the dehabilitation that it brought had definitely improved. That said, it's brought a whole other set of new eye-openers; the gluten stuff is in everything, like literally, more stuff than you can even imagine. Buying the gluten-free options is of course just that, an option, but a costly one. The recent little trip to Copenhagen saw Lady B basically eat salad and salad, and more salad. Don't get me wrong, I like a salad as much as the next person but... Anyway, I see that this could be dull, so I'll get to why this is even a topic of blog-worthy conversation. 

I went to London this week to meet with Lady Cashew Sapphire to drink copious amounts of gin and enjoy the city sunshine. *Breathe* here goes; a Lady B innermost insecurity that I have to share with you for this blogpost to have any merit; I don't mind my body but it's never totally rocked my world... Until I was pregnant, and that's when I really embraced it; I loved it, I showed it off, I embodied the body that was growing within. After having Mini B, and with the breastfeeding and the mama stretch, those same insecurities started to creep back in, not to mention, unbeknown to me at the time, I was suffering from a gluten intolerance which was soon to turn into that auto-immune whatsit. The illness was making me lose weight; I wasn't able to gain it or sustain any, and I was struggling to eat anything that didn't upset me. Being told I was coeliac was a huge relief; we can put it down to stress, exhaustion - which sure, some of the time I'm sure it is - but knowing there was something medically going on was a real comfort in a strange way. Since diagnosis, Lady B has been trying to adapt to a new diet - tricky - and to know WHAT to eat, is also tricky. A working mama on the go constantly, who can't just grab a sandwich and suchlike is hard, and so Lady B often finds herself snacking on fruit or Mini B's sultanas because it's just easier. But I digress; back to being in the city. I decided that day to wear a dress  - a bodycon dress-  it's a style of dress I wouldn't originally pick for the reason I stated earlier. However, I bought it online, I wore it round the house a bit, Lord B even said he thought it really suited me and out of the thirteen I had ordered (!) that was his favourite. I even selfie-snapped it to Lady Two Birds before deciding to leave the house in it to make sure I didn't in fact, look too skinny.

And here be the big massive POINT to make note of; I know I'm skinny. I am aware. I see myself everyday. I see that the weight is still struggling to come back onto my body. I do know. I don't necessarily need to be alerted to the fact. 

So, Lady B wore the bodycon. I felt pretty confident. I also felt like people were looking at me, but that point I can't be so sure about, more paranoia maybe. Cutting to the chase; it was brought to my attention in the day that I did in fact, look too skinny. I looked unwell. I looked like this was a "style" I was going for because surely I was doing nothing about it to help myself. 

Brace. Brace. Here comes the rant and the cry.

(NB: I know this is not a "new" or "revolutionary" rant within society, but it is not one I've ever touched on and after feeling pretty affected by it this week, I felt compelled to write on it.)

Should anyone ever say to you "you're looking a little chubby" wouldn't you be somewhat, offended? Wouldn't you feel offended by the fact that someone had taken the time to purvey your body and summarise that you're looking differently and perhaps not your best. It astounds me - ASTOUNDS - me that people find it acceptable and as if it's a compliment to say "you're looking very skinny". It is not. (It is only a compliment if that person has willingly told you they are trying to lose weight, or on a special diet for whatnot.) I wouldn't dare say to anyone they were fat, let alone that they were looking skinny. And to further suggest I do this "style" because I want to LOOK a certain way; even more offensive, given I have a little baby girl whom I long to have a happy, healthy relationship with food. My own relationship with food IS complex, I can not deny that and not really an insecurity I will delve into here, but I shall say this; I work in food, I enjoy food, and I find food a comfort, like most people. 

Needless to say, it's hit me. Hard. I am overly perhaps, sensitive about my weight and how I look. Given the last eighteen months of LIFE, given that I've become a mother who is trying desperately to ensure her child eats well - Mini B LOVES her food - and given that I am a busy human, like most of us, this is not a state of health I long to be in. Although I like food, believe it or not, it doesn't care much for me. Lady B still goes out for dinners but I find the situation can be difficult and tiring especially surrounded in a social situation where not everyone will know my history. The fact I have limited food options and I am struggling to eat better means yes, I give up out of frustration, but I am super low on energy because I struggle to eat and yet have a twice as busy lifestyle as I did say, two years ago. 

image courtesy of the wonder that is the internet through a  tumblr  

image courtesy of the wonder that is the internet through a tumblr 

This rant could be never ending and I could get too wound up to ever stop. I must stop. My point; I've been hurting this week by what was, a fly away comment by someone who thinks they know me. My blogpost, for whoever if anyone reads it, was to say: please don't judge, don't assume you know my story, or anyone's for that matter. It is complex. We are all humans who have complex - and interesting - stories within us. That saying here that I often see pop up on my Instagram: oh too true. Know this; I am sensitive to it and I speculate those in a similar situation desperately need your support, not your judgement on their dress size. 

That fly away comment made me feel unlovable; like being too skinny is a fault. I feel fortunate that there are people around me who don't feel this way about me and accept me for who I am. However, I know I need help to understand my new diet and to try and gain some weight quicker. I'm doing that and for the record, I've always been doing that. 

I'm not sure if or when I will wear that bodycon dress again, but here's hoping I get through this family size bar of Dairy Milk with no trouble, tonight. 

This blog's tune is simply an honest response to my emotions this week and requires no introduction really. 


Be good and bake well, 

Lady Bakewell-Park