Louise McSharry: It would be silly of me to hate my body because I can’t shop in Zara

The debut author appeared on the Róisín Meets podcast and talked about how cancer and pregnancy taught her to appreciate her body

McSharry has just published her memoir, Fat Chance: My Life in Ups and Downs and Crisp Sandwiches, which is a sometimes eye-wateringly honest personal account

McSharry has just published her memoir, Fat Chance: My Life in Ups and Downs and Crisp Sandwiches, which is a sometimes eye-wateringly honest personal account

 

Having a body that battled cancer without too much complaining is something to be happy about, says Louise McSharry, even if it can’t fit into clothes from Zara.

“How can I possibly continue to hate this body that has just played a blinder through this entire thing? That has made this difficult experience as easy as possible for me? Now, I’m six months pregnant . . . I just feel like it would be absolutely ridiculous of me to ignore all that amazing stuff and instead be pissed off because I can’t shop in Zara”, the author and radio presenter said on the Róisín Meets podcast.

McSharry didn’t always feel that way and school was a hard place to forget it, where idiot 16-year-old boys were always willing to remind her that she wasn’t skinny.

She’s an adult now though and in recent years she confronted a man who taunted her in the smoking area of a pub.

“I think I just reached a point where I was like, this is ridiculous. I have spent my entire life dealing with this crap and it’s not ok for people to do this to me and to make me feel less than everybody else, for what? For a moment of satisfaction on their end? To impress their friends? To feel cool for a second? It’s pathetic”, she said.

McSharry has just published her memoir, Fat Chance: My Life in Ups and Downs and Crisp Sandwiches, which is a sometimes eye-wateringly honest personal account. Her start to life was not ideal – her mother was an alcoholic who put McSharry and her younger brother in dangerous situations, culminating in them being adopted by their uncle and his wife who became her parents.

The relationship she had with her biological mother, Dee, was sometimes non-existent and always strained. Dee died recently and on her deathbed McSharry read her the sections of Fat Chance in which she appeared.

“It felt so wrong but at the same time I’m so glad that I got to do it, because at the end I was able to ask her if she felt like it was fair and if she felt like it was accurate, and she said that it was. If I hadn’t had that from her I think it would have been very difficult for me to put the book out”.

Fat Chance: My Life in Ups and Downs and Crisp Sandwiches, is out now.

To listen to Louise McSharry in conversation with Róisín Ingle or other episodes of the Róisín Meets podcast, go to Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher or irishtimes.com

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