The Other Side of The Coin: Guest Blog By Holly Ashcroft

Not a “Real” Woman

Hi I’m Holly.  I am 32, a mum to 3 little girls and I weigh 48kgs. I’m about 5 foot 4, so technically classed as underweight by Doctors, nurses, most medical practitioners and the like. I’ve actually put on about 3kgs recently too!

I have spent my entire life being accused of having an eating disorder by my Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, and everyday people. I’ve been told I look like a boy, or to “eat a burger” or that I’m “not a real woman” because I don’t have curves. Someone even once told me I looked like a cancer patient (they were obviously just a d*ck). I have even been threatened with being admitted to a unit for people with eating disorders, if I lost anymore weight. And, in all honesty, that is really not even half of the things that have been said or done to me just because I am slim.

Here’s the thing though, I have ALWAYS been skinny. It’s not like it happened all of a sudden, this has been going on for my entire life, it’s laughable really. It’s not something I have tried to do, it really is just what I am. However it is not who I am.

Not Enough…

Now,  I’m not going to tell you I haven’t struggled with being small framed. And that I didn’t struggle to adjust when I started to gain weight recently, because that would be a complete lie. I hated my body for so long and always felt I wasn’t enough, my boobs were too small and my curves weren’t sexy (and,  contrary to some beliefs,  I do have curves they’re just small like me).  However, I do honestly believe a lot of that is rooted in the fact that I have spent my entire life being told I am not “big enough”, or I’m ” a skinny b*tch” (which really isn’t a compliment or remotely funny when you’re constantly accused of being sick) or ultimately that there must be something wrong with me because my BMI is low.

Someone FINALLY Hears Me!

So about 18 months ago I kind of went on a bit of a rant at a Doctor that I hadn’t seen before. This was because for the umpteenth time I was asked, “Do you eat?” , “are your periods regular?” (TMI they have always been regular insert eye roll here).

And then a bloody miracle… I was finally listened to! He offered to refer me to a dietician and do a bunch of tests (the tests I’ve had before and they always come back fine btw), but for nearly two decades I’ve been asking to see a specialist because I felt there was something broken within me, like how can so many people say the same thing and it not be true, right?

Blah, Blah, Blahhhhh!

So I go to the dietician they ask me what I eat “blah blah blah”, give me a prescription for dietary complete shakes as the Docs have constantly moaned about me being skinny etc and send me on my way for 6 months. I felt defeated at this point because it didn’t really feel like it helped. It was like “have some shakes, put on some weight, now off you pop”. Yeah thanks for that.

Six months go by and I am not really gaining any weight, so I’m at about 43kgs even with the extra calories. I go back to the dietician lady and she basically says “I don’t know what everybody’s issue is you’re obviously supposed to be this size, I’m going to tell your GP there are no concerns regarding your weight.” Huh? What’s that you say now???

Acceptance

At first I was pretty hurt by it tbh, I spent so long being told I was wrong, in one way or another, even though nobody could actually find anything. Only to find out that actually I’m absolutely fine the way I am. After a while it settled in and since then I’ve been an awful lot happier with myself and my body, then I started to gain weight funnily enough!

At 48kgs ish now and I’m the heaviest I’ve been except when I was pregnant. For a while I felt weird about that aswell unbelievably! It’s took a little time to adjust to the little bit of jigglyness I have now, but I’m happy, I’m healthy in that aspect and I finally don’t have this knot inside me telling me there must be something wrong because I’m too thin. And that is amazing!

It’s hard not to compare yourself to others or see these images in the media that portray a different body to what you have and not let it bother you, it’s hard to be told you shouldn’t be the way you are by friends, family and professionals and anybody else that decides they have an opinion (and there are a lot of those in the world). But if you take anything from what I’m saying please, please take this. You are who you are and nobody else, if you’re skinny and healthy Great! If you’re big and healthy great! If you’re somewhere in between, great!

As long as you are healthy and happy that’s all that matters, we all look different and that’s okay, that’s the way it should be. DO NOT spend your life, a year or two decades (like I did) allowing people to make you feel like you’re not enough. You don’t deserve it and you are fine just the way you are. ❤️

Holly as illustrated by the Uber talented Ticky Hambly @ticksdraws

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1 comment

  1. I could have written this. I look in the mirror and I feel too skinny. Only it’s my body’s default setting and after my last two pregnancies being nearly back to back I got used to the bigger me. I need to be more like Holly and just accept myself and ditch the loose clothes. ❤

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