Obsessive dieting and self-hate, compulsive eating and body dysmorphobia – all the handcuffs women placed on themselves and assumed, Houdini-like, they had to escape on their own. We weren’t just weak-minded, greedy, ill-disciplined; there were specific realities to the conditions of both fat and thin that we were all chasing or escaping through our eating. Being fat was a protection against sexual attention, but also against being marketed to, having one’s body appropriated as a commercial space. Fat was a statement of solidity in the face of motherhood. It was a defence against competition, a way to dance around the painful establishment of hierarchy within your own gender. Fat meant so much more than calories in and calories out. As did thin, which carried its own freight: that you would be seen as superior and cold; that you would be overcome by your own promiscuity; that you would be perceived as selfish; that there would be no buffer between you and the world.