Being a woman, hormones, plus size clothing and bikini clasps

20 November marks 6 months since my open myomectomy.

I won’t be celebrating it in any way. I suppose just being alive after any major surgery is worthy of celebration itself. It, along with the progesterone only pill, solved many of the problems I was having but there is one large issue I cannot seem to shift.

My belly, it still feels huge. The reason I had the operation was primarily because of intermenstrual bleeding, which when I was single was a problem but manageable but then I entered a relationship and it began to ruin everything. I have had fibroids for at least 6 years but suddenly they became large, one was around 7cm alone and causing my uterus to expand. If I lied down and you touched my abdomen an area that should be soft was rock hard, that hardness was my uterus.

Seven fibroids of varying sizes were removed. I was even given a picture (Not for the faint-hearted) and I commenced recovery, with 8 weeks off work and lots of R&R. I hadn’t expected a flat stomach but I expected it to be a lot flatter than it is now. I am also incredibly self-conscious of it. I look pregnant, bloated and have resorted to ‘dieting’ as well laxatives in a misplaced belief that I am just full of shit.

I’ve been oversensitive about comments I take to be about my weight, the final straw being my mum using the words “I am surprised you took more cake”, which I took to mean “You are so fat, what are you doing eating more cake”

One of the things intermenstrual bleeding ruined was holidays so I am looking forward to my first post-op holiday to the Canaries in early 2018. I am and I am also not. Holiday shops tell you that it is all about bikinis (I can’t swim), short shorts and other skin-revealing outfits. I am also a 14, with this belly not going down. However inspired by  and other campaigns that say “Have a body, where what the hell you like” I decide to buy a bikini, a tankini with high waisted briefs/swim skirts plus I will invest in cover-ups and shorts. So far, so hope this weird clasping doesn’t undo itself in the local Spa.


I’ve increasingly been looking at plus-sized shops like Simply Be and in many ways they are just as bad as shops using tiny, tiny women to advertise their items because I know no women that Amazonian shape. Broad but toned women who can inexplicably wear crop tops when most larger women have a belly. I recently went to a show hosted in an art gallery and saw, for the first time in my nearly 30 years, a woman who was that shape (and who was stunning so must have been a model) she looked fabulous in a yellow 3/4 length jumpsuit and whilst I understand clothes need to hang off models it creates an unrealistic expectation. I will never see a model my shape, I will probably never another person my shape because it is my shape but is it any wonder girls and women resort to drastic action to be these ideal shapes. We live in a world that doesn’t consider that you may be overweight because of illness or hormones, a fashion industry that prides itself on producing as many products that look better without a bra. Can ‘cold shoulders’ please go away now. Where breasts are admired but reviled for not being big enough, small enough, pert enough for whatever fashion some man has probably designed.

As I approach my 30th I hope I will be less hard myself about my belly or whatever body part has annoyed me that day but it is damn hard when you are surrounded by this idea of perfection you can never meet



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