Lying to You, Her, Him, and Myself

December 11, 2011
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I lied to myself for years.

You see I used to be that girl that chilled around with the “cool kids.” Don’t pretend like you don’t know whom I am talking about. I mean, everyone knew that the kid who sat in the back with the bottle glasses and constantly runny nose was just, well, not in “our circle.”
I used to glance his way a lot when we would sit at the lunch tables outside in the open playground area. He always wore these ripped jeans and stained t-shirts that looked like they belonged in a trash bin on the other side of the jungle gym. His name was James.
I guess I got lost in the sea of my popularity when I hit middle school. I had the button nose and high-cheekbones from my father’s side, where I was graced with long legs and powder blue eyes from my mom’s. Due to my genes I thought I was set throughout my school years.
I was completely wrong.
One day, I was sitting at home and eating the cookies my nanny had made for me when I noticed I had gained a little weight. I was only in seventh grade, so I thought a little weight would be good for me, and maybe give me breasts early, but I went about it the wrong way.
I started to devour my weight in food, not realizing the ramifications of my disturbing eating habits until about two years later. The girls who used to say, “Oh I love that outfit. Any chance I can borrow it,” now looked at me warily when I would practically waddle through the door. I would hear choked back laughter as I walked past the girls I had been “friends” with for years.
To say I was shocked at the reaction would be an understatement, but I brushed it off.
A few months into my seventh grade year I walked into the forest green bathroom, because I felt nauseous. The teacher had just rolled her eyes when I asked so I took it as my cue to depart before she could truly answer.
I opened the door and stopped. For some reason, that to this day I still don’t know, when I heard my best friend, Cassie’s, laughter I didn’t walk straight in to greet her.
“She’s becoming a pig. God, I can’t believe we still let her think she’s our friend. I mean how can that size sixteen girl possibly think WE would be friends with her humongous self. I think we should beg her parents to send her to fat camp or something. She’s ruining the school’s image,” she said.
I was shocked, to say the least. I never expected her to be so cruel to someone, I mean who could she possibly… No, it’s not me is it?
“Kaleigh just needs to get a grip, or a trainer. Whichever comes quicker.”
I started to let loose a few tears and I quietly shut the door. Physically I shut the door to the bathroom, as well as the door to my previous life.
No longer would I, Kaleigh Simone, ever be somebody’s pity friend, or laughing stock, or… Well I guess a lot of things really.
I went back to my class and acted like I’d heard nothing, and nothing had happened, but when I got home I was, quite simply, a mess. I tore my clothes from their hangers and ripped up any of the size sixteens’ I could find, and a few tears stained the corpses of my remaining articles.
I wish I was only a size sixteen.
I found myself feeling totally alone. Don’t get me wrong, food was not my way of comfort or a remedy for all my wounds. I just wanted my friends, or the ones who I had thought for so long were my friends anyway.
That day I made a choice. No longer did I want to be one of the vapid and shallow girls in my class. I wanted to have substance, and a sense of self-respect.

Later, in the following years, I changed my life around. I got involved in sports (yes, I totally sucked at first,) I became involved in clubs, and I lost a lot of weight, but healthily.

I’m no longer the size double zero I was when I was that girl in elementary school who couldn’t get enough invites to social events. That ship has sailed. I’m no longer the oblivious heavy weight I was in middle school, that ship has sunk.

I’m the perfectly healthy, normal girl in high school who has made a difference. Whether it be in myself, or when I first sat with the people I used to consider “uncool” just because of their wealth, looks, and/or background.

I guess you could say I made my own life difficult because of my choices, but my choices have made me who I am today. Sure, I’m not going to lie. It gets hard when I open up a magazine and see a stick thin figure, and I, even if for only a second, feel compelled to want to be, or look like her. Yes, it is very difficult to see a chocolate raspberry cake, filled to the brim with decadent raspberry frosting. And yes, it is difficult to tell others about my problems, but that’s why I wrote this.

I guess I really never thought it could be this easy, pouring my heart and soul out, I mean. I just wish you could see just how happy I am living my life, because I know I wish you to be happy in yours.

To tie this up, many of you might be wondering why I brought up the kid in the beginning of my story, and then completely dismissed him to talk about my troubles. Well, let me tell you, he has no issues anymore.

James and I have been together for a solid three years, following a heavy decrease in my weight and increase in my confidence. James is really the one who pushed me to lose those final pounds when all I wanted to do was stop and give in. He’s been my rock.

He no longer looks like the stereotypical nerd from elementary school, he looks more dark, but definitely not nerdy in any way. His soft brown hair is now dyed a jet black, and his ear is pierced. Not something a mother would usually enjoy, but my mom is pretty cool about me and my choices.

He’s sweet and kind, and well… I won’t bore you.

Just know that I’m doing well now, and so can you. I hope everything you have on your mind can be compared to the “soap opera of my life,” and maybe yours won’t seem so bad.

Remember to keep your chin up and your eyes on the prize, because sometimes, even if you feel like you’ve lost, the greatest gift of it all was the knowledge you gained from the experience.

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