The old saying ‘I laughed, I cried’ needs updating to ‘I laughed, I cried, and I may have also snorted’.

In case you’ve missed out on Constance, she is an Australian blogger, usually writing about kids, mum stuff, wife stuff, and family life… but she is still relevant to those of us who don’t fit into any of those categories. She’s fierce and feisty, managing to combine 21st century woman and 70’s hippie, with the biggest heart and one of the foulest mouths (I could be describing myself here). Brutally honest at all times, she shares her successes, her failures, the lessons she’s learned, and those she still needs to. In case you’ve not spotted it, I have the biggest crush….

Having seen, and loved, her posts on Facebook for the last a couple of years, when I found out she was writing a book I did a fair amount of unbecoming squealing. I was even debating paying the (exorbitant) shipping charges to get the book from Australia, when a Queen (which is how Constance refers to all women) I know offered to lend me her copy. I wasn’t sure what to expect of it, but I knew I really wanted to read it. I knew I agreed with so many of her views and morals. I knew she loved women, that she sees the strength we have, that our softness is also a strength, and that we are fiercer than anyone would ever believe. I knew that she was the same kind of feminist I am; that men are not lesser, just different. That women’s best allies are other women, and that we should always be pulling each other up, not dragging each other down. That there is always a woman who has been where you are and will support you, help you, and hold your drink whilst you have a wee.

What I didn’t know was that she would change my life.

Now, to say she’s changed my life seems rather overdramatic. Then again, I am overdramatic, so… CONSTANCE HALL CHANGED MY LIFE.

“She’s living proof that the person that knows you best will always be you, and that nobody should ever tell you not be that person.”

Considering that so much of her book revolves around being pregnant, labour, being a mum, and being a wife, somewhere in the back of my mind I’m surprised at the impact it’s had. Saying that, those are all things that women do, and whilst I’m doing none of them currently, I have in the past and hope to in the future (I’ll let you decide which is which). Constance is the queen of doing it your own way, no matter what ‘it’ is. You want to take the kids to the beach to look at the stars? Do it. You want to call your husband every name under the sun for not picking his socks up again? Go for it, he knows who he married. You want to wear denim hot pants and you’re not 13 years old/a size 8? You rock them. She’s living proof that the person that knows you best will always be you, and that nobody should ever tell you not be that person.

The biggest change she’s given me though, is explaining how to love my own body. I fake being confident and happy really well, but underneath, I hate my rolls of fat, my bingo wings, and my cellulite. I’ve been dreading summer this year, as I’ve put some weight on and the never ending wardrobe problem of keeping cool/flashing the flab is fast approaching. Winter is no better as I don’t find the chunky jumpers/extra layers flattering for this larger lady either. However this year, thanks to Constance, no more!

I’m this size because I comfort eat. I have depression and anxiety, and so far 2017 (not to mention 2016) has been really bloody hard. I’m happy I have fat to show off, because it means I survived everything that’s been thrown at me. What’s more, I ate some REALLY nice food whilst surviving. My body is a celebration of every doughnut I ate when I wanted to drink a bottle of cider; every bar of chocolate when I wanted to hurt myself. Being overweight isn’t healthier than drinking alcohol, I’ll grant you, but it’s a damn sight healthier than not being here at all, which at several points felt like the best option.

“I am going to wake up tomorrow with a body that I’m comfortable in, and I’m going to rock it.”

Now obviously, other people might be overweight for different reasons; there are as many valid reasons as types of biscuit. People may be underweight, have scars, stretch marks, you name it. But this is the body you’ve got and it’s the one that tells your story. Your battle with an eating disorder; your self-harming; the babies you’ve carried. Would I like to wake up a size 12 tomorrow rather than my current 16-18? Yes. Am I going to? Highly unlikely (although if my fairy godmother is reading this, feel free, but please alter all my clothes to fit too). I am going to wake up tomorrow with a body that I’m comfortable in, and I’m going to rock it. Like a queen *adjusts crown*.

This book is funny, and sad, honest, and relatable. I would highly recommend you read it… but maybe not whilst drinking.

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