Emergency fat dress at the ready

RIGHT, it’s time to face up to it. I have put on a few pounds, several actually. This has not been an overnight occurrence, more a gradual increase, which began soon after my wedding day last June.

For months and months before our big day, I was so focused on making sure that I could squeeze into my wedding dress that I did not eat anything unhealthy. The chocolate pots, chocolate bars, even Easter eggs were abandoned. I still ate my usual five meals a day (yes five), but I cut out all the crap in between. I had willpower of steel.

There had been a moment of panic just after Christmas last year when the dress I’d ordered was actually a bit snug. I’d made the mistake of being measured for it while I was whippet-thin training for the Great North Run. I had to take action because there was no way I was walking down the aisle showing all my lumps and bumps in a too-tight frock.

Without the chocolate, the weight dropped off. On the day of my wedding I was eight stone 13 pounds. ‘You need to eat something,’ my dad said.

‘Don’t worry,’ I said. ‘I’m on it.’

I happily tucked into the wedding breakfast, three courses and three puddings. Then we went on honeymoon and I munched my way through the buffet and the room full of puddings (amazing!). I put on a few pounds but that was okay because I needed to.

Between August and September, my weight was okay but then towards the end of the year, when I wasn’t running as much, the pounds started creeping back on. I didn’t panic. I thought I’d get back on my healthy eating regime come the new year, but I was so fed up with the dark and cold January days that I just carried on eating. In fact, it picked up pace. I ate more bags of crisps in January than I think I’ve actually eaten in my life.

I was aware that I’d gained a bit of weight, but not enough to bother me, until Thursday, when I had an important work event and needed to dress to impress. My usual power dress was a bit snug. Too snug to actually wear. It was time to get the scales out and face up to the fatness.

I stepped on, saw 9 stone 9.5 lbs flash across the screen, and immediately stepped off. I reset them and tried again. It flashed 9 stone 10lbs. I stepped back off and on again. This time, 9 stone 9lbs. Better, but still not good, and there was still the problem of the power dress being too small.

I had only one option: my emergency fat dress. It’s a lovely red frock that is usually far too big to wear, but hangs in the wardrobe waiting for moments like these. It was perfect for the work event, although was possibly just a little tiny bit too tight. Not that anyone noticed. In fact, people kept telling me how well I looked.

‘It’s because I’m fat.’ I told Chris. ‘No one ever says anything nice about me when I’m thin.’

‘Enjoy it,’ he said.

‘But I’m fat,’ I said. ‘Even the emergency fat dress is too tight.’

Last night, we met some friends for a pub meal. I’ve not seen them since Christmas.

‘You look really well,’ they said.

‘Fat!’ I said.

They nodded. ‘You look better for it. Your face looks better.’

‘But I can’t run fast.’

‘It’s power,’ they said, ‘you can.’

So, we all happily tucked into a three-course meal.

I went to bed last night feeling full, but also less panicked about my weight gain. I don’t do diets really, and I’m still not over the trauma of having to manage my weight for the wedding. It was an ordeal. And not one I want to repeat (the diet not the wedding).

There will be no signing up to fat club. Instead I will try to make healthy choices wherever possible and run when I can. And, as for the emergency fat dress, I’ll order another.


  1. 17th February 2018 / 12:31 pm

    You looked vibrant last night Liz. Good decision, forget the scales and just eat healthy….most of the time 😉 Your weight will sort itself out to what is healthiest for you. There is more and more evidence that female athlete are far healthier and actually run quicker by letting their weight stay at its natural level. Some may look slim others may look powerful, but that’s normal as we are all different

  2. 9th March 2018 / 1:44 am

    Your plan is a good one! Making healthy food choices beats diet any time. Loved your description of your “emergency fat dress”! 🙂

    • 9th March 2018 / 12:57 pm

      Thanks for your comment Laurie. Yes, definitely no diets.

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