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Me, Myself, and I!

Growing up was brutal! I’ve always been very overweight from a young age. Some studies will tell you it’s because I wasn’t fed properly in my formidable years. Others speculate that it’s a glandular problem. And still others accuse that it’s just that I can’t stop eating and use food as a “crutch” when I’m depressed or unhappy in any way. At any rate, I’ve always been a curvy, plus-sized girl/woman.

It goes without saying that school was no picnic, either. High school, in particular. I had to endure the other kids’ hurtful remarks, like – “You’re too fat to date,” “You’re pretty… for a big girl,” “What do you expect? You’re fat!” And, of course, the boys just wanted to be “friends”. Heaven forbid they be seen dating a fat girl and the ridicule that would bring onto them!

Did I try and ignore it? I tried. Did it make me cry? Absolutely. But overall, those words helped me become the person I am today – a strong, independent woman who’s ready for love.

I’ve never been skinny. I’ve never cared until people made it a “thing.” Let’s go back in time for a second… imagine being 9 years old and dealing with the already-present pressures of “growing up”. Add to that, having a classroom full of kids oinking at you. Kids can be SO cruel! When I started public school for the first time, I quickly learned that image is everything. It didn’t matter that I sang beautifully at my audition for the school musical or that I got a perfect score on my vocabulary test. I was fat and that’s all kids/people saw. I had no face — just a big butt.

It didn’t help matters that my poor fashion choices probably didn’t help – blue leopard tops and flowers in my hair — I wasn’t exactly helping matters. I figured my personality would get me through, but I was wrong. I wasn’t cool enough to be invited to parties, thin enough to have a boyfriend, and to top it off, I was sad all of the time. I thought, “Surely when I’m an adult, things will change.”

Wrong again! When I got older, the oinks turned into resounding questions like: “Are you going to eat all of that?” I stopped wanting to eat in public, thanks to the too many stares. I rarely wanted to go out, either. I was passed over for roles I auditioned for because I didn’t have the “right” look. And no one wanted to date me. I once had a guy tell me that he liked me, but he had never been with someone “my size” and “what if I’m turned off by your body”? That couldn’t have hurt more if he had just plunged a knife into my heart!

After losing my job, I gained 100 pounds. Someone took a picture of me at a party and when I saw it on social media, I cried. I quickly looked at old pictures and realized that I had fooled myself into thinking that I was never fat. That I was just “more shapely” than the other girls. At almost 380 pounds, now I was fat. I stopped and thought about all the time and emotions I wasted being depressed. I let the world around me dictate who I am and how I should look.

From that moment on, “fat” didn’t mean anything. It was just a word. I finally found a love for myself that I never had and I spread this same love to every woman whose path I crossed. I tell strangers that their hair looks nice or that their smile brightens the room, because those simple comments might make their whole day. My experiences taught me that we spend too much time bashing what we visually see instead of promoting what we love.

Now, life is much, much better. I feel more beautiful than I’ve ever felt. This “fat girl” loves herself. Every curve and every stretch mark. I welcome each day with my head held high and a smile on my face. And you know what? I am going to eat that! 

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