Travelling when you’re the “fat girl”

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Travelling when you’re the “fat girl”

Category : Thoughts

I’ve always been a bit round; soft and doughy in the middle with thick thighs and a wide backside. Sprinters legs, football legs. But as always, thin seems to be in. Despite all the talk about accepting bodies of all shapes and sizes, there’s still a lot of judging and whispering going on. 

Airline seats

It seems all airlines are constantly battling to design the world’s worst torture rack seat. The arm rests are getting closer, and the legroom is continually shrinking. This is hardly a fat girl problem though… this is everyone’s problem. I’m thoroughly convinced this is ploy from airlines to sell you the premium economy seats, or even business class.

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Aboard our flight to Thursday Island. No business class on this flight!

I’ve only flown business class once, with Thai Airways, and it was so glorious it almost ruined travel for me…. What do you mean I have to go back to cattle class?! 

The eye rolling/snorts of derision/loud sighing

Why do some people think us “big girls” are deaf and blind? Why, when we sit down beside them, do they think its appropriate to snort loudly or sigh with annoyance at our presence? I can see you and hear you doing that! Don’t worry, mate, I’m just as uncomfortable as you right now. And I am working hard to keep my errant limbs and love handles from encroaching on your space. 

Its a long haul flight in economy, no one is going to be comfortable. Let’s just agree to be civil and hope our choice in meal isn’t gone by the time the trolley gets to us, okay?

Shopping is both hilarious and traumatic

Shopping for clothes for myself is by far my least favourite activity. Each brand is so different in their sizing that I can run a 16 (Aus) in one brand and a 22 in another. The lack of consistency is infuriating. Getting stuck in high necked, non-stretchy tops and dresses is a common occurrence, and there is much flailing of arms and weird wriggling to get out.


Shopping in Ubud. Found a new shoulder bag I had to have…

In Asia, I hardly bother. Everything is too small. Occasionally, I strike a stall catering for bigger westerners but the pickings can be slim. Those cute patterned mini shorts with the pom poms? I wouldn’t even get them past my knees. That knock off Ralph polo is more like a midriff on me – très chic. And my favourite: “I have big size, wide size for you madam!”

My food choices are critiqued and judged

I love food and I love to eat. There is no calorie counting going on here, just pure enjoyment of the dish (or dishes) in front of me. And yet, I can tell people are judging me and my size as I slurp down my noodles or pick out pieces of bacon at the breakfast buffett. I see them looking, but pretending not to look. Some people even take it upon themselves to pass comment while I eat. ‘You’ll need to work that off later!’ Yeah cheers mate, but I’ve got a date with the beach and the sun. You definitely ain’t invited.


Time to chow down on babi guling (bbq suckling pig) and satay ayam (chicken satay).

Talk at the table often turns to gym work outs or new diets. I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of me enjoying my food (and not counting the carbs)!

People like to stare at the beach

Looks peeps. I’m just here to enjoy the sun and the surf, and I’m not about to apologise to you if you were expecting Miranda Kerr. I can actually see through these sunnies, and I did notice the sideways glances and pointing. Besides, I am here with my husband (and/or friends) enjoying myself. I’m not here for your viewing pleasure – I don’t really care what you think. What I’m wearing on the beach isn’t really any of your damn business!


Sky’s out? Thighs out! At Pink Beach, Lombok.

My biggest worry on the beach is not sizzling myself to a crisp – slip, slop, slap people! 

I look hella cute in my winter gear

Queenstown, New Zealand, was my jam! This bubble butt was built for tights, skinny jeans, boots and fluffy coats. DONE. Watch me strut. 

But you know the saddest part of all this?

In grand scheme of things, I’m really not “that fat”. I’m pretty damn average on the scale of Australian women’s bodies for my height and age. After a long battle with my own self confidence and body image demons, I’ve come to accept myself. To love myself. 


Deliriously happy in Bagan. I could hardly believe where I was.

I love sunbathing by the pool and snorkeling over reefs. I love wading through creeks to waterfalls, riding in tuk tuks and chowing down on delicious street food. These days I hardly give a thought to what others around might be thinking or saying around me. If they are so pre-occupied with judging who I am, then they clearly aren’t enjoying their holiday enough!

Although sometimes, occasionally, I do wish people would just accept me the way I am. 

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