ME AS A CHILD 1 Red Shorts Me at Jean's party.

I was a skinny, stick of a child; so skinny that I asked my Mam to buy me a swimming costume because I thought my ribs stuck out as though I was suffering from malnutrition when I wearing my bikini!

I was always a good eater and used to fight with my three brothers for the biggest portion or last piece of cake. Comfort eating has been a sweet, satisfying solution to most of my problems most of my life, so it was no wonder that when my first boyfriend ‘chucked me’ at 16, I sought solace in the warm embrace of a Mars bar. In my teens I didn’t drink, but that soon changed when I went to Manchester to study. I started off drinking half a pint of orange juice in the Students Union, but there is only so much orange juice that a person can stomach in one night. I have always liked apples, apple juice and then cider. They are all the same, aren’t they? So drinking cider was the start of another sticky downward slide. Before long I was drinking pints of cider.

To cut a long story short, ‘Lanky Legs’ (a nickname at secondary school) soon became more rounded. I was probably ‘normal size’ when I was a student, if size 12 is what you call normal (as in the middle picture above). Well it is when you are 5ft 7inches and weigh 10 stones 8 ounces. I had low self-esteem and didn’t realise I looked normal. I thought I had a big bum then and lacked the confidence to wear clothes to show off my figure. Now I how have the confidence to wear what I want to, but lack the figure as I have piled on the pounds over the recent years (see third picture above)! Hopefully, all that is about to change!

See my assignment for a national newspaper


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