I am ten kilograms overweight. That’s according to all these little charts and graphs that tell you what you should weigh, how you should look, what you should eat and whether or not that packet of Flings in the cupboard you’re eyeballing is worth it or not.

Here’s the thing though – in all my life, as I raced through the teen years, bounced through my twenties, bloomed into pregnancy with all its curves and bumps, survived a near-death kidney infection that left me at my thinnest and weakest, and jettisoned into my thirties where my ass seems to be settling out…I’ve never been happier.

I can pinpoint the happiest times of my life - at the times where my curves were the most round, that was where I was happiest, where I felt sexy – where I felt the most myself.

So it irked me a little when I saw someone recently who said: “Gosh, Cath, you’ve gone a little chubby”. Really? You know me. You know my story.

I’ve spent the past year working myself into the ether, doing what I believe in, creating things I never dreamed possible, writing the words I was always meant to, loving this family that is beyond-what-I-ever-imagined and…you lead with commentary on my ass?

Thanks, really, for you inspired me to write this.

I’d like to think that, especially among friends, we don’t lead with the “let’s be a bitch first” rule. To not lead with the “let’s be a bitch first” rule is hard, sometimes, because life and societal “norms” force us to be competitive towards each other.

We’re almost trained to compare stories of how rich we are, how thin we are and whether or not we’re being swept off our feet by some guy we once met in a nightclub, and how we intend on furnishing our joint home that we’ve just mortgaged off for the 2nd time, but it’s okay, we’ll buy a new car and plough more money into looking like we know what we’re doing.

Fact is – most of the time - we’re winging it. You’ll admit that to yourself, and maybe your best mate, but to the rest of the world, it often feels like you have to project this aura of “yeah, I have a five year life plan and it’s going on great”, even when it’s taking all we have to cobble together some semblance of a life and smack on a grin for the Instagrams that we’ll share.

The next time you see a friend, try lead with the “don’t be a bitch first” rule. Forget your friend’s apparent failings - focus on celebrating her successes.

Sometimes that success is just that she survived a hell of a year, sometimes it is that she popped out a kid and has kept it alive, sometimes she’ll have written a mind-blowing book, got the job of her dreams or found fulfillment in her art. Whatever it is – celebrate it first.

As for me, those extra ten kilos are a strange success. My mother was a diagnosed anorexic and a dear friend battled it too - so that little curve on my hip is a success to me. It’s a sign that I’m happy.

A true friend that knows my life story would know that. She wouldn’t be a bitch first.

Would you?

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