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“You are worthy of love, support and treatment.”

What do your friends call you?

Friends call me Cin. They also call me BEAUTIFUL followed by INSPIRATIONAL, gutsy, and a bonus from my bestie – resourceful.

When did you first suspect you had Lipoedema?

It wasn’t until my late 40s that I knew something was wrong with my legs. Looking back this condition was noticeable in my early teens around puberty with heavy thighs and tree trunk legs. I was told I was just fat. I spent 30 years dysfunctional eating and hating my body. My father always called me “Ten-Ton Tessie” and that was devastating. It still haunts me to this day, and I suffer with severe body dysmorphia.

What words of support or hope can you share with women living with Lipoedema?

You are not your Lipoedema! You are worthy of love, support and treatment. Taking the best care of yourself and finding one thing to love about yourself daily is the best “lipo” hack I can give. You are your best friend, the one you spend all your time with and you loving yourself is going to get you through the hardest days.

What’s your best Lipoedema tip?

Concentrate on the things you can do daily. If that just means moving out of bed to the couch, then that’s great.

What’s your favourite self-care tip?

Create daily mini routines that allow for you time. Don’t take on others expectations of you. That includes medical stuff. You know what you’re capable of and no one else can or “should” talk you into pushing yourself into a bad day. Feel your emotions, they are valid.

What do you wish you knew at the beginning of your Lipoedema journey?

To prepare for the cost of being chronically ill, not just financially but emotionally and physically. We take our good health days for granted. If I had been diagnosed earlier I would have attended to the surgeries earlier to prevent the progression of the disease.

What’s something that people often don’t know about Lipoedema?

It can be lonely, isolating and cruel. We need to plan even going out to dinner with friends to make sure there is appropriate seating, accessibility to the venue, adequate parking and we can wear comfortable clothing. If we turn down an initiation it is nothing personal.

Meet Jodie