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16 October 2014

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Fat Git

By Steve Bellis
January 2007, Oswestry
A digital story from Capture Wales

Brilliant at Eating

Are Bellis' eyes bigger that his belly?

"Some kids are brilliant at maths, others sport. I was brilliant at eating. A cup of tea, with a packet of rich tea biscuits, dunked in four at a time, crunchy sugar cubes and tomato sauce butties on white bread. My mum used to say that my eyes were bigger than my belly. That wasn't true - my belly was huge! Or at least I thought so.

My parents were brought up in an era when food was scarce. I suppose feeding offspring generously sent out a sign that they were doing okay. That coupled with me being the youngest of three and spoilt rotten, apparently, meant that I rapidly became a fat git. Because that's what my mates called me... I was never 'Jacko', 'Smiffee', or 'Wazza'. Just 'Bellis, you fat git'. Visiting relatives used to refer to me as a 'bonny' lad.

Then, something happened in my teens. My mum got wise and stopped buying biscuits and I developed a passion which kept me away from the kitchen. My waist measurement was the same when I was 18 years old as it had been when I was 12, except I was six inches taller. I really did grow up.

But my memories stayed with me. I always caught myself in reflections to check if my greedy friend had returned and I got really defensive if anyone mentioned my weight... until now.

Looking back through my old photos I realise I wasn't so fat after all, and I seem to have turned out like everyone else. I would have saved myself a lot of pain if I'd realised that 20 years ago."

Steve Bellis

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I was brought up in Wythenshawe, Manchester in the 1970s. I couldn't wait to get out from this huge council estate and in the 1990s started living on a canal boat near Stockport. After 10 years afloat I moved with my work to Oswestry in Shropshire and have lived in my house there with my wife and three kids ever since (seven years). I teach TV production skills at Yale College in Wrexham.

What's your story about?
I ate too much as a child. Negative comments made by other kids made me feel fatter than I really was. It's only now in my 40s that I have stopped worrying about being overweight, despite being 'average size' for my whole adult life.

Why did you choose to tell this particular story?
To rid my demons.

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
The extremely supportive and hugely experienced team from Capture Wales; worth their weight in gold!

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