My name is Lauren. I’m a thirty-something wife and mother from Johannesburg, South-Africa and I’m a “FAT” chick!
I’ve been a “fat chick” most of my life and lived with self-hatred because of it. I measured my worth by the number on the scale, every time it increased, so did the self-hate. In 2005 I went for weight-loss surgery and in the year following my op I went from 120 kgs to 70 kgs (265 pounds to 155 pounds). I was finally “skinny”, I was finally “normal” (by my standards) but I was SICK!!!
I was told that my weight-loss would stall when I was at an ‘ideal’ weight but that never happened. I kept losing weight and eventually got down to 40kgs (88 pounds). I ended up in ICU a few times, had my gall bladder removed and in 2007 went paralyzed. Tests revealed that my electrolytes were severely depleted and I was at risk of going into cardiac arrest. This caused all my muscles in my body to spasm, similar to seizures.
I couldn’t walk or talk and it was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced.
Doctors recommended I have the operation reversed as soon as possible because I was dying but at the same time, no doctor was willing to do the reversal because they were afraid that my body wouldn’t make it through surgery – none of them were willing to take that risk. I was forced to go back to the doctor who did the initial op.
I remember, the night before the reversal was scheduled, I sat in my car, and cried. Not because I was afraid of dying, NO, but because I was afraid that I’d gain weight again! I was THAT obsessed with being skinny!?!?!?!
I had the reversal done but recovery was tough, I was weak and there were some complications but through God’s grace I recovered.
Needless to say, I gained back most of the weight I had lost. My body had been severely starved for five years and was holding onto everything I put into it. Soon I was right back where I started. Fat and depressed.
The turning point…
One day, while chatting to my husband about seeing a dietitian to help me lose weight, my daughter overheard our conversation and went into a panic. She begged me not to lose weight and it was then that I learned that she associated me being skinny with hospitals and constantly being sick. That’s when something shifted. I realized the damage I was causing and I was forced to do some introspection, for my daughters sake as well as mine.
I’m learning to accept and love my body for what it is rather than focusing on everything it’s not and constantly wishing it were different. I’m getting to know myself on such a level that I’m often surprised at my own strengths and abilities. And most of all I’m taking better care of my body since I’m not spending all my time hating it.
I started this blog to help women like myself. To inspire them to find their beauty within. To own who they are and do so with confidence because you’re going to be inside this skin your whole life, might as well love it and use it the best way you can. I’ve learned that it’s impossible to take care of your body when you’re hating on it. I have gone from fat to thin and every size in between but I’ve never been more comfortable in my own skin than I am right now. “Beauty and style has no size!” – I live by these words and I believe them to be true. It’s just a matter of changing the way you see things.
Another aim for this blog is hopefully to get retailers and designers to pay attention to the plus size community and realize that we love to be stylish too. It’s so hard to find stylish plus size clothing in South-Africa.
So that’s who I am and that’s why I’m here. I hope my story helps you to change the way you look at yourself.