Growing up I was always quite chunky – I had chunky legs, chunky thighs and was quite broad all over. I realised in my late teens that I had stopped growing taller too so I was 5 foot 3 and pretty… dense. Just quite heavy for a short teenage girl.
But then life happened. I moved out of home, ate less, worked constantly and found myself, at nineteen, pretty slim, too slim – and still short. But, back then, flares and baggy jeans were in fashion. Although I wore midriff exposing tops and had my navel piercing on show constantly, my jeans were always too long and I wore clothes that were comfortable rather than fitting perfectly.
But then I met Dave and got into that content phase of dating, going for meals out or just sitting on the sofa with a sharing bag of crisps each and big bags of chocolate – after eating a takeaway. The weight piled on and I became chunkier – but happy.
Then we had children. I ate for six through my first pregnancy and ballooned up to nearly 15 stone the day after my daughter was born. It took me just under a year to lose it and get down to my weight watchers goal weight of 10 stone before finding out I was pregnant again – and the weight crept back on.
This time, it’s taken me until Little Man was three to fully lose the baby weight. I am now at the lowest weight I even remember being – 9st 9lb – and have been going shopping, trying on clothes and trying to have a wardrobe of clothes that actually fit me properly. How hard can that be?
But, at 5ft 3 all of the jeans I bought were miles too long for me. Standard lengths would need me to wear heels and on the school run I just want to wear my Converse and a hoodie. I couldn’t find many places that did short leg lengths but then people online suggested petite ranges which I discounted immediately. You see, petite means…
pəˈtiːt/adjective (of a woman) attractively small and dainty.”she was petite and vivacious”
I have never in my life been small and dainty. I still have chunky legs, chunky thighs and size seven feet. Although my top half is incredibly slim my bottom half is anything but dainty. So petite jeans just aren’t something I would ever consider trying.
But then on a whim, I raided the Next clearance section online and bought four pairs of petite jeans. When they arrived the next day I held them up and laughed – they looked like kids’ jeans. About half the size of my typical jeans.
But, when I tried them on – they fitted. They were the perfect length to wear with trainers and they were comfortable. I was so surprised but so happy that I could wear jeans and flats again. Jeans that actually fit me too – rather than being a size too big or inches too long and scuffing on the floor.
So, at the age of very nearly 32 I have discovered that I’m petite. That actually, I’m probably not that squat, heavy teenager anymore and in fact, I am small and I have lost a lot of weight. I can finally buy clothes that fit me and that is a pretty amazing feeling.
32 and petite. Who’d have thought it?!