In 2013, I moved from my home state of Western Australia (where my family had been struggling with the escalating costs of living under a Conservative State government hellbent on squandering a resources boom on vanity projects and crony capitalism) to north eastern Tasmania, seeking a quiet country “tree change”.

Settling in the remote township of Mathinna, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to become a broadcaster on the “world’s best community radio station”, starfm.org.au

Based in St Helens, Tasmania, supported by an engaged regional, national and international listening audience, Star FM is awesome.

Most of the announcers had a cool on-air name.  I decided mine would be Mama Duck.

It was an homage to the great female voices like Big Mama Thornton & Mama Cass I wanted to air on my radio programmes whilst having sly tongue-in-cheek dig at my own image – a waddly mother-of-six whose poultry were habitual escape artists.

Being an announcer on Star Fm for two years was one of the best experiences of my life – writing, presenting, collating music to share with other people who enjoyed my shows was thrilling and fulfilling.

To promote my radio shows, I adopted the twitter handle @mamaduck9370 and commenced to tweet.

Once in the Twittersphere around the time of the Australian Federal Election, I started to become more engaged online and started writing again.

In the late 1990s through to early 2000s I was a newspaper reporter, as well as publishing occasional poetry & fiction, but Life took me in another direction.

Writing is the one thing to which I always return.

Blogging and social media is a mixed bag of fringe lunatics, ordinary people’s stories, academia, new and sometimes dangerous ideas. With an inordinate amount of kitten pictures and overnight oatmeal recipes.

I’m adding my voice to the bedlam.  The 21st century offers me instant publishing gratification.

I hope in particular that blogging about three decades of suffering undiagnosed lipoedema and lymphoedema will raise awareness of the condition and give hope to other sufferers.

(To Lippy Ladies, or those sufferers wondering why they are so pearshaped, why they bruise so easily, why it hurts to touch “fat” bits, why diet and exercise never shifts weight from your lower limbs…

Lipoedema is not your fault and it can be corrected by complex liposuction surgery, if you want. 

Print out information about lipedema, then take it to your GP.  Then get a second opinion if your GP doesn’t accept that his antiquated BMI rubric and notions around calories are harmful to his patients.  Remind him his Hippocratic Oath demands he do no further harm.  Ignorance of fat disorders, refusing to treat female patients “until they diet”, convincing healthy women they are “obese” and refusing to believe their life experience is a betrayal of that oath)

Don’t give up, there are people who love you even though it’s really hard to love yourself at times.)

I let undiagnosed Lipedema (American spelling) define my adult existence – it doesn’t anymore.

I moved to Ireland in 2016, mainly to avail myself of the services of excellent cosmetic surgeon Anne Dancey, only an 90 minute flight away in Birmingham, England.

Anne removed over 35 litres of abnormal fat and fluid from my feet, legs and butt over three operations (August & December 2016, June 2017).

The operations were not an easy option.

I had almost completely lost my mobility because lipedema had progressed to where I was in constant chronic pain, dependent on family members for physical assistance for everyday tasks, bedridden.

Liposuction was never about aesthetics, (although the joy of being able to wear boots for the first time in 25 years was indescribable) it was about regaining my health and being able to participate fully in life, especially spending quality time with my family.

Quite frankly, I’m going to enjoy the time I have left on this planet, I invite those who don’t like seeing a curvy woman of a certain age laughing or naked, to look away.

You can follow me on Instagram: @mamaduck9370

tweet: @mamaduckofmayo

or YouTube: youtube.com/user/TheMsFatboy