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I used to feel fat.

It used to hurt so much. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror it hurt so badly. I saw every flaw, every unattractive quality, and in the back of my mind I knew I was being unreasonable but in the front I couldn’t help but always criticize. I’d have tried anything, diets, workouts, anything that would help me feel better about myself. I couldn’t get past this, no matter how many times anybody else told me that I was wrong, that I really am beautiful, and that I shouldn’t worry. But I did worry. It felt like I was being lied to, like all they’re trying to do is make me feel better. And it never worked. It felt like they’re required to say it. And I knew it was probably bad that I always obsessed over it, that I should feel comfortable, and beautiful, and everything else that everyone says.

You know that I couldn’t even walk around in public without sucking my stomach in? I’d done it so much for so long that it was like second nature to me. I didn’t even realize I did it. I just wanted to feel beautiful- was that too much to ask? I had tried so hard, for so long, to just feel better- but I couldn’t! I hated wearing tight clothing because I felt like everybody else would see that I’m not very thin, like there’s something wrong with me. I felt ugly, and- and honestly, I felt fat. I couldn’t feel good about anything, even the fact that I had ‘curves’. Really? What good are curves when all everybody thinks is beautiful are angles and stick thin? That’s what models showcase, that’s what books and movies portray. I even felt myself comparing my body to other girls, even ones that I hate, because I felt like they looked better- like they are better just because of that. Add my weight on top of my nerdiness and BAM: You get chunky nerd.

It hurt like no other when I saw this myself, but when others commented or said something, or make fun, I felt like- like I could die. It just cut right to the bone, like I was a patient and they’re doctors, and they’re examining me so closely. Ever so close, and then they’ll laugh when they find my faults. I knew that no one is perfect, that I should just accept myself for who I am and what I am. But it’s just words. To act on that is so much harder, and I felt like I don’t have the strength to do it. I was jealous, plain and simple. I didn’t like being who I was, and it felt like I wanted to look- be- something different.

But then I read this book. It was called Life in the Fat Lane by Cherie Bennet. On the cover, it said, “Sure to strike a nerve!” I opened the book, and half way through I’m sobbing my eyes out. It’s about this pageant queen who weighs less than 120 pounds and she’s 17! But then she gets this medication that makes her gain weight really fast, and even after stopping it, she continues to gain weight until it’s to the point where she’s 180 pounds in a couple of months.

All the girls in the book are like, “EW! You’re so ugly, you’re so fat!” And even before she gets heavier, they make fun of her best friend, who weighs a normal 130- 140 pounds for a 17 year old. She gets so desperate she just stops eating. Completely. She tries to be bulimic, tries to diet, but then just stops eating. This book raises the issue of bulimia and anorexia and all sorts of things, and I had to put down the book before I finished it. But once I did finish it, I realized, I don’t want to be anything like this. I don’t want to obsess so much that I get these disorders, that I push everyone away with my pursuit of thinness.

That ‘desired’ weight is such a lie. I had to stop and think a long time, but I came to one conclusion- it’s just not worth it. Models, movies, it’s all an image of false reality, because that is not the world that I live in. I’d rather look like a real person that all those skinny bones- I don’t want those problems. Do I want to be obese? No. But I don’t want to be so skinny it’s painful. I want to enjoy food and be healthy in my life. I don’t want to be those models. I am okay with my 130 pound weight now. Because you know what?

I want to be real.





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