One year on…

Sunday 8th March 2020

Only I would have a heart…not an attack but something grim that has not yet been officially named…on International Women’s Day. Go me! Seriously body, we could have celebrated some other way…maybe lunch?!

Anyway, one thing that really struck me in the weeks and months leading up to 8th March 2019 was how many compliments I received from other women (not men) because I had reached my lowest weight of adulthood. Not through choice. Not through diet. Not through exercise. Nothing in my life had changed. I was still doing my best to eat my five a day and moderate the more pleasurable stuff. Plus, I was running and playing netball, several times a week, as I had done for many years.

“Wow Sue! You look soooo slim.”

“Skinny Minnie! You look really great!”

If by “great” you mean…dodgy heart, dodgy bladder, probably a dodgy thyroid (as I’m now discovering), kidney stones, topped off with anemia and an almost positive diagnosis of sarcoidosis – a rare, debilitating disease for which there is no cure – then YES, I looked completely and utterly fabulous!

The worst thing is I thought I looked pretty incredible too.

However, I’ve learnt over the past year that when my weight tips under a certain number on the scale it’s not usually something to be proud of. It often indicates there is evil at work. My body is fighting illness. I need to rest. Eat a bit more.

I guess what I’m trying to say…and what better way to do it than on International Women’s Day… is: Women, please stop judging others, and more importantly yourself, by the way they/you look. It doesn’t always indicate good health.

I’ve been skinny through worry, by eating ridiculous, tasteless meals on faddy diet sheets, from over-exercising, by saving all my “allowed” calories for boozy nights out…I mean seriously?!? What is wrong with us? Food for thought I hope.

So, Happy International Women’s Day to you and Happy One Year On to me! This woman – fat, thin or anywhere in between – ain’t going down without a fight! My body is pretty bloody brilliant given the shit it has had to put up with.

PS I’m off the morphine and have got an urgent cystoscopy appointment on Tuesday. I look forward to the day I don’t feel anxious if there is not a loo or an abundant supply of water nearby.

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