Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Very Very Single

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Very Very Single

Article excerpt

PARDON?" I was in the middle of a medical. Now I'm sat staring at a nurse, confident I must have misheard what she just said to me.

Because it's the only possible explanation.

"I said, it's okay I won't tell you out loud how much you weigh, I'll just write it down."

I think anyone as overworked as an NHS nurse, who still manages to find time to make a person feel comfortable, is clearly a wonderful person. There's really no question of that.

But there are scores of questions I would like to ask her now. Some feel a bit rude, such as "if I were a man, would you ask me that?" So I scan through the ones that feel too confrontational, and go for a less inflammatory one: "Do you know what my height is?" She admits that no, she doesn't have a clue how tall I am. I tell her that whilst I am far from a medical expert, wouldn't it be prudent to find this out first, before deciding whether the number on the scales is a cause for concern? She exclaims that I'm actually quite tall, so my weight is honestly fine. I tell her I'm aware I'm quite tall, that I've been quite tall for as long as I can remember. But that I still don't understand why it would automatically upset me to know how much I weigh...

These days I find it incredible that I ever thought skinny was a lofty goal to achieve. But I did. As a teenager and in my early twenties, I would look at everyone thinner than me, and attach to them character attributes that rarely existed.

These woman who took up less space in the world than I did. Whose clothing sizes boasted solely single digits. I envied them. Assumed their lives were carefree places. That they commanded attention from all men, and had figures coveted by all women.

Then I got poorly. Really quite poorly, for a long time. And one result of this was that I went down to weighing six stone. …

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