My Story

I don't remember if there was ever a day I woke up and realized I was fat. I had always been a big kid. I don't ever remember being 'stand out' overweight at primary school, but sure, I wasn't small, I probably wasn't even 'average' sized [whatever that is]. I suppose what I mean is that I don't remember ever being the fat kid, or ever being picked on by other kids because of my size. Looking back at the images, I know I was overweight, but I suppose the naivety of being a child, the fact that I played sports, did dancing and because it seemingly didn't effect my life in any way, I never realized it was a problem.

I remember the first day I realized I was overweight. I was 11 years old and I was the subject of some pretty nasty bullying from two older girls at my school. They followed me home, they called me fat, and they did something I will never forget. They spat at me. I guess 11 was a turning point, because the bullying continued up until the time I was about 14. It came and went in varying turns, sometimes it was little things, weak names being hurtled in my direction, sometimes it was bigger things, things being thrown at me while I walked through the corridors at school. I realized pretty quickly that in order to combat these people, I needed to be smarter than them. I learnt to make the jokes before they did, I learnt to be one step ahead, I learnt to leave my Physical Education gear at home so I didn't have to join in, and then drop the subject as soon as I could, and I taught myself that I really didn't enjoy netball that much anyway, so it didn't matter if I gave it up.

As college progressed, I made some incredible friends, who never saw me as the overweight girl, who loved me for who I was and never treated me as anything different, I suppose in essence my weight became part of my identity, I wasn't overwhelmed by it, I sort of accepted it. Over the next few years my weight escalated. I dealt with stress and anxiety by finding comfort in food, and I suppose I used the weight that I had collected to shield myself from getting hurt and having to be emotionally vulnerable with anyone.

Over the next 5 years I yo-yo'd with diets, weight watchers, and other various things. I would lose a bit, I would gain a bit, I would lose a bit more and I would gain a lot more. My weight steadily gained to my heaviest point. I am still pretty self conscious about that number, so right now it is remaining private, in fact I rarely talk about numbers at all, maybe that is a hurdle I need to get over. I will work on it. Food became a crutch. The relationship I had with it, was not healthy by any means. But it was always there, and I become one of those girls who had 15 handbags and 20 pairs of shoes, because they always fit, and I didn't have to worry about feeling embarrassed that I couldn't shop at the same stores that all my other friends did, because the clothes didn't fit.

It got to the point where I gave up. I resigned myself to the fact that this was my life. I rationalized it by the fact that the women in my family are big and by telling myself that I wasn't 'that' fat, it could be worse right? I started to shy away from the camera, sure, there are hundreds of photos of me on Facebook, If you have seen any of them, you will probably notice that the majority of them are only of my face and chest. Easy to hide the rest of whats happening. You know. I actually struggled to find any photos of myself by myself, head to toe for this post. I saw a photo of myself from Christmas 2012. I looked so sad. I had't just given up on my body, I had given up on myself. I knew something had to change.

In January 2013. I joined a workout group that was run out of a crossfit gym in wellington. It was the hardest exercise I had ever done. It was rapid, it was intense, and it was not only physically but mentally challenging. The night I started I was terrified. We did a 400m run and I could only just finish it. It was embarrassing. But the culture of those women, inspired me. So after the first 5 weeks, I signed up for the next intake. This is where I was first introduced to a primal/paleo, and where I learnt the foundations of the lifestyle. After finishing off the 10 weeks, I continued to work on it myself. I fluctuated, as I learnt more, I worked hard and then I slacked off. My weight went down and then crept a little bit back up. Fast forward to November 2013, the month leading up to a huge change in my life, my boyfriend and I began to prepare for our much anticipated move to Melbourne, and now we are finally here. We have settled in to our own little house, found some great local spots, and enjoyed the last month of being a little touristy. I am refocused, I have goals, and this time I am going to achieve them.


  1. I want to spank those little girls, and you can bet your buttons that I will teach Fern not only to not bully, but to stand up for other kids who are bullied, and love everyone regardless. (and if she's the one being bullied, maybe I won't be so hard on her when she punches somebody in the nose? oops)

    I read a great article the other day on facebook about how to talk to your daughter about her weight. The answer in short was- you don't. you don't tell her she's looking big, you don't tell her to go on a diet, you don't even tell her she looks beautiful when she's perfectly skinny. You feed her the correct foods, and you tell her when she's looking HEALTHY.
    Although- I'll always tell my baby she's beautiful, I thought this article was so profound, and I LOVED it.
    because really there's no magic number that makes you beautiful.. What you weigh, how many inches your waist is.. BUT. To have healthy eating habits that lead to a healthy mind, body, and spirit. YES. That's important AND beautiful. I want her to know THAT.

    1. I couldn't agree with your comments more Mrs Cornett. You are such an excellent mother. It is so much more about being healthy than skinny. My role models in all of this are woman who are strong, who can lift 150lbs (or more) with ammaculate technique. Health comes in so many different ways other than measurements. And you nailed it in those last 3 sentences. That is it right there lady. Thank you for your encouragement.

  2. Well done Tillie.I hope your new life is Melbourne rocks. New photos soon to share?

    I'm spasmodically going to a traditional women's gym at present doing a circuit, but am bored!! Where is the Crossfit box in Welly? From what I have read about Crossfit, I feel scared but would like to give it a go.,

  3. Hey Marilyn! Thanks for your words of encouragement! There are a couple of boxes in Wellington. I went to Crossfit Central Wellington ( but I actually worked out through a group fitness programme called Fitter Faster Stronger ran from the box ( if you are looking to see whether crossfit is for you, meet some incredible women, get wasted workouts and get totally inspired, FFS is for you! It changed my life that's for sure

  4. You're awesome Tillie! I know we can both do it! Do you have Instagram? I'm deerdonna on there! Add me :) x

  5. Through the magic of Facebook stalking I've come across your blog Tille :) We were in the same class at Maidstone. Infact... was I even with you walking to Gerrys after school when those girls were bullying you? Or was that another circumstance :( Kids can be cruel. I wish you all the best on your journey. Everyone has a story and challenges - I hope 2014 is the year you can overcome yours and inspire other women to do the same - Olivia x

  6. Hi Tillie,

    Have just discovered your blog through the Aussie Bloggers facebook group and enjoying reading your insights so far. I did some guest blogs for the Skin Deep Project 2014 (last year now!) that touch on some of the size icky stuff you've talked about here that I feel like reading this, you'd probably relate to. I think we're on a different but similar journey with the whole body love shebang.

    PS - I love your display photo in the sidebar. Was first thing I noticed and admired before reading anything. You look fun. x


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