Honey, she told me, you've got backfat!

About 10 years ago, when I was a curvaceous size 12 on a good day or a lumpy size 14 on a bad one, I went on a business trip to Cornwall with an artist friend. It was a business trip on a budget and we were therefore sharing a room, but at least it was in the Penzance Arts Club where we were both members. It was a very bohemian set-up and always full of colourful characters so it was great fun to have an excuse to spend the weekend there.

One evening we were invited to attend the Private View of an exhibition in nearby St Just which created a flurry of activity in the bottom of our weekend bags. Did we have anything arty enough(her) and dressy enough(me)? The options were limited, and after retreating to bathrooms we regrouped to assess ourselves and each other. Kathy looked her usual understated, cool-artist self. I thought I looked passable, faintly chubby, but at least presentable enough not to have to hide in a dark corner all night. That was until I checked out my rear view in a couple of strategically placed mirrors. "What's going on with the back of my bra line, Kathy?" I asked. It looked decidedly dodgy. To which she replied in her native American drawl "Honeee, you' got baaayckfat!"

This alarming reality had previously gone unnoticed by me due to the lack of awareness of the condition and also the lack of perfect mirror alignment. Belly fat, chubby thighs, moon face (side effect of steroids), massive mammaries (due to over production of milk akin to a dairy parlour whilst breast feeding) - all of these I knew about, but no, not back fat. Apart from spoiling a good evening out (yes, I did actually find a dark corner to lurk in for the duration), it was also a terrible blow to our friendship. How could she have told me? How could she have not? Bugger.

And so began the inevitable search for wunderwear or what our mothers/grandmothers referred to as foundation garments. It soon became apparent to me that the production of this vital configuration of "lingerie" is a massive industry. Once you've discovered that your body has let you down (somewhat literally), the hunt for the easy solution never ends. Lose 10lbs and you still need it, only in a smaller size. Likewise with the post-Christmas gain which suddenly decides to show up, bang on New Year's Eve just as you're trying to squeeze yourself into that silky sheath dress you foolishly imagined you were going to slim into in time for the annual do. You now need all the same items to suck you in and pull you up, only in 2 sizes bigger than normal

You may look at photos of me in my blog and wonder what I've got to complain about? But listen, dropping 3 dress sizes was wonderful (and still is), but it does has a downside. I may be smaller, but there is an element of deflation about my person (remember those sad, wrinkly balloons you find behind the sofa 2 weeks after the children's birthday party?) and these areas, I feel, still have to be coaxed and neatly tidied away to give a smooth outline.

I now possess every combo in every size of Spanx (other brands are also available) long shorts, short longs, all-in-ones with mini letterbox apertures which allegedly allow for bodily functions to continue (a bit of a challenge), skinny vest-type tops which do away with any cleavage/bust definition as well as the desire to fully breathe in, and an amazingly lurid pink number which starts just above my knees and meets the bottom of my bra line. All of these work to a certain degree, but the problem is, and excuse me for stating the obvious, well the problem is that all the excess fat, flesh or in my case skin just gets gathered up and eventually spills out in another location! It seems to me that total mummification is the only complete remedy. Either that, or we all agree not to tell our best friend that she's got back fat.

1 comment

  1. Hahahahahaha!

    Oh my. I feel you. Truly I do.

    I bought my first ever Spanx type thingy last week. I was wondering about the fat dripping out the other ends.

    I did win a Spanx type full body shape wear item at one point which I wrote about here
    http://suzannecarillo.com/and-bandaid-makes-it-better/ I came perilously close to dying while trying to get it off.



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