G’day. I’m Ezza – otherwise known as Honey Bunny. Pleased to make your acquaintance.
A few basic facts: I’m currently working as a journalist in a small, sleepy, but otherwise perfectly livable New Zealand town. I finished in the top three of my journalism class, and won the award for Best News Writer – and am shortly to officially graduate with a Diploma in Multimedia Journalism, from one of the country’s most respected institutions.
I’d consider myself a reasonable writer. A short story I wrote is now being turned into a short film by a small indie film company in Wellington. I have also won a national playwright’s award, was published in a book of short stories for teenagers and I won the Katherine Mansfield Young Writer’s Award in high school. I’ve been writing poetry since I was knee high to a weta, and plan to start on a novel later this year.
I am a fairly decent knitter – mainly of berets, shawls and fingerless gloves. My proudest knitting achievements would be this mobile for my baby sister, and half of my wedding. Well, all the bouquets, most of our decorations and our cake toppers. I can also cook pretty good. My husband is particularly fond of my veggie nachos and butter chicken pizza. I also quite enjoy a good cheesecake.
In my life, I have done Irish dancing, belly dance and salsa, sung in front of a crowd, acted in several musicals, sung in a Celtic band, played bass, done poetry readings and had my own indie radio show with my hubby.
I am a loving and devoted wife, a proud big sister, a doting daughter and a fiercely loyal friend.
And…I am fat. And it wasn’t too long ago that the size of my body was enough to overshadow all my achievements, talents and good qualities
I have been overweight since the age of 12 (after my parents split up), and have struggled with crappy self-image since…well, sometime before that. I vividly remember telling my Mum, when I was nine, that I hated my dark hair, and wished it was golden, like the princesses’ in my books. As I got older, however, my hair was the least of my worries.
As a teen, I was all too aware that my body didn’t look like those belonging to my school chums, or my fellow Irish dancers, or the girls in my Top Of The Pops and Creme magazines. As a Uni student, when I actually did become interested in dating, I realised that it was the willowy, slender girls, with teeny waists and ever teenier thighs (but still with ridiculously big boobs) that were getting the dudes’ numbers – not me. And, as a adult, I did a lot of reading – and I read that I’d get diabetes and my legs would get hacked off. Or, I’d die of a heart attack by the time I was 30. Or, I’d need everything from my knees to my collarbone replaced. Or that I wouldn’t be able to have children, EVER. And so…I was scared. And depressed. And felt very, very alone.
From my very early teens to well into my twenties, I tried to lose the weight. Oh, man, did I try. I did Atkins and Weight Watchers: twice each. I joined gyms. I did thousands of laps of the pool. I took up running, even though it did not agree with my body. I did sit-ups and press-ups. I jiggled my feet, after reading it burned calories. I kept food diaries. I read self-help books. I searched the web for tips. I cut out chocolate, avoided cheese, shunned takeaways, work morning teas and birthday cakes. I stood on the scales, four times a day if I had to. And…I fell off the wagon every single damn time.
Those were hard times. There were tears. There was guilt, and shame, and self-flagellation. There were the days when I’d look in the mirror and want to smash the glass to bits with a crowbar – or catch my reflection in a car window and want to vomit. There were the times even having a bath or a shower was an ordeal, as I couldn’t bear to look at myself naked. There were the days where I consumed nothing but carrots and coffee, and was proud of myself for skipping meals. There were the taunts from some family members, the tearful hand-wringing from others, and the well-meaning, but still unwelcome, advice from friends. There were the times I prayed to get sick so I could lose heaps of weight (like my ex-flatmate, when he had glandular fever), or prayed for the motivation to starve myself. There were the times I wished I had the guts to stick my fingers down my throat. And, there were the times I considered suicide. Because, well, who would miss me, really?
Fast forward to 2011. Husbo and I were in full-throttle wedding planning mode, and I was beating myself up for having failed at every attempt that year to lose weight for the wedding. Seeing that I was struggling, a very dear friend introduced me to the concept of Health At Every Size and the Fat Acceptance movement. She showed me some posts from Ragen Chastain of Dances With Fat…and, though I was skeptical at first, I shortly became hooked. I began reading her blog first thing every morning and, along with my morning espresso, her essays became my daily dose of sanity, especially amidst all my pre-wedding body blues. Eventually, my shoulders began to feel a little lighter, and the world got some of its colour back. I then went on to discover some other incredible FA gurus, such as Golda Poretsky, Fat Heffalump and The Fat Nutritionist. And the world got brighter still.
Thanks to the FA movement and these incredible women, I learned that diets do not work – and that weight cycling is more destructive to your health than being overweight.
I learned that fat is much more complicated than “garbage in – garbage out”.
I learned that, in order to be healthy, I did not need to live on cabbage soup and drop five dress sizes. And that healthy habits make healthy bodies, regardless of weight.
I learned that, through Health At Every Size, nutritious food and movement of my body did not need to be punishments, or a means to making my body smaller – but were there to be enjoyed.
I learned that my happiness did not have to be dependent on my dress-size, the number on the scale and whether or not I was attractive to others.
I learned that I did not owe anyone conventional attractiveness or a socially-acceptable thin body.
Above all, I learned that my body is awesome, and it is worthy of care, protection, respect and love – ESPECIALLY from me.
So now, here I am. I still struggle, don’t get me wrong. I still have my down days. I still, on occasion, wish I could click my heels together three times, and wake up skinny. But, thanks to FA and HAES, the amazing women I mentioned up top, and my brilliant husband, each day is a little easier and I’m liking myself a little more.
And so, I decided it was time to start up my own Size Acceptance and Body Love blog. Because, well, I have too much to say on the topic to keep it quiet. And, more importantly, to pay it forward. The FA/HAES movement has given me so much. And if, through this blog, I can help and inspire even *one* woman, fat or thin, struggling with her self-image in the same way I was…then I’ll have done a bloody good job.
So…welcome to my little blog. 🙂 I hope that you’ll come here and feel inspired, empowered and supported just as you are, right where you’re at. My plan is to give you your own little corner of the interweb where you feel fabulous and gorgeous. So, drop by and say hi…and I hope you get as much out of the Size Acceptance movement as I have.
Oh, and here’s me. With my husband, who is my rock and my Great Love.