I’ve never been one of the skinny girls.

The women on both sides of my family have big builds. Broad shoulders, big ribs and child-bearing hips. I struggled a lot with it as a teenager, pretending to accept my body shape while trying not to stare at the models in the magazines.

When I was 20, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder, but to the people on the outside, I just looked good because I’d lost weight. At my lightest, I was 9 stone 7 pounds (60kg).

To some people, that’s fine. Some of the girls I’ve known freak out if they get anywhere near 9 stone and call themselves fat.

6 years later, I’m shopping with 3 friends on a girls weekend to Byron Bay. They’re going to vintage shops and boutiques and trying everything on. I found the most beautiful peach faux leather pencil skirt but the biggest size they had was a size 12. I’m currently between sizes 14 and 16 and 85kg.

Some mornings, I wake up, stroke my stomach and thighs and thank God that I’m even alive. Some mornings, I feel sick when I see myself in the mirror. It’s a constant struggle that I’ll never get over.

Moving to Australia has really kicked me in my chunky bum. I can’t find any underwear shops that stock my size so I’ll have to order online from an English shop, but I suspect they don’t have the same stock available for international shipping.

So if you’re the girl who feels out of place because she has skinny friends, just remember that you’re beautiful. You’re perfect the way you are. If you want to become healthier, then do it the right way. Please don’t cut out entire food groups, it probably won’t end well.

I’ve just signed up for a gym that I pass every day so I have no excuse not to go, and it’s time to start treating my body the way it deserves. Plenty of fruit and vegetables, less Mud Cake (there will still be mud cake though, don’t worry about that!) and regular exercise to keep my organs in tip-top shape.

Who knows, I might even end up on the #gymselfie hashtag on Instagram!

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