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Fat and happy at the beach
16th June 2016

Some collective madness seems to take over when we think about beach holidays. We imagine ourselves in our swimsuits walking down the local high street while everyone else gawps on aghast from behind their winter coats. Like the first time you have a baby and worry about getting naked in front of strangers before discovering that nudity is the least of your problems.

A great friend ROARS with laughter when she recounts neatly packing her bikini top before squeezing out her 10lb 10oz baby.

Imagine you meet me at the beach on holiday, both of us in bikinis. Do you honestly care how fat I am? Think about it. How fat do you want me to be? Let me guess. How about, just a little bit fatter than you but with a magnificent, dimpled mummy-tummy? Hmm… funny that!

The humdrum reality is that everyone else at the beach also has a swimsuit on and is staring at the glittering sea and their own half-drowned kids, not our arses. Yes a few people are eyeing up the 18-year old in the string bikini but she’s far too busy flirting with the lifeguard and trying to look cool to notice us or middle aged dad. If we’re aspiring to compete with her then sure, bring on the 5:2, Paleo, South Beach, SlimFast, ProPoints, Atkins and the rest. But it still won’t work as a pre-holiday diet: more a lifestyle that needed to start at least decade ago.

When you do arrive at the beach it is – as in the maternity ward – boringly normal to expose far more milky (blue top) flesh than usual. Trust me, no one – absolutely no one – is looking at us mums playing bat and ball and wondering why we didn’t liquidate a mountain of cabbage to shift a few pounds before we boarded the plane. The other mums are more likely to looking over and thinking ‘she looks fun, I’ll have a chat with her next time we’re both hauling our toddlers out of the surf’. So if you’re feeling nervous, put your energy into finding a good swim suit or picking up some blingy sunnies instead.

But, if you’re still not convinced, how about a frock that doubles as a towel?