I was a very chubby young girl. It wasn’t so much that I was labeled, but more the fact that I labeled myself. I lacked confidence because of it, I was shy, easily intimidated and naive. Ironically, my weight was something we RARELY talked about. I was ashamed by it and could tell my parents tried to do things to get me to be more active, but I fought it because I was embarrassed by it. I was always too afraid to talk about it or admit it. So I just pretended it didn't exist.
Here's me playing basketball in sixth grade. Notice how much bigger I am the other girls.
I always had a clean plate after a meal.
Some boys teased me and would often remind me when I looked like I had gained weight. Those boys were 'friends' of my brother. Even though he has no recollection of these events, I will never forget how he used to stick up for me when the words pierced my heart. It’s probably one of the very reasons we always have had such a close bond and relationship. He always stuck up for me. I hated being the chubby girl. I HATED IT and he knew it.
In high school, I finally decided to do something about it. At that time, 'doing something about it' didn’t necessarily mean doing something healthy about it. I deeply restricted my calories, lost the weight and then let it become my obsession to lose even more. What I didn’t realize was that I just transferred my emotional over-eating to emotional under-eating. I wasn’t any happier because I was skinny. I was hungry but no food could ever satiate that desire. I was starving to find me, my purpose in my life.
Weight is something I have struggled with my whole life. It has consumed my mind, caused me frustration and regret. Food was my enemy and my best friend. I hated what it did to me, but I wanted it so badly.
I know now that it wasn't food that was making me hungry! I wasn't happy with the way I looked, so instead of doing things to make me healthy, I told myself how horrible I looked and picked at every flaw I had. I failed to see the beauty in myself so I fed it with food instead of feeding it with love and nourishment for my soul.
Today, food is no longer my friend or enemy. Food is my fuel! I made a choice to be in control of my body. I started to run and I couldn’t run without that fuel. Running was so hard initially, but I loved how it made me feel when I finished. That made me want to run even more. I loved feeling healthy and I started to love what it was doing to my body. So I ran a 5K, then an 8-mile race, than a half marathon. Now here I am today, getting ready to run my fourth marathon, and I can proudly say, I love the woman I’ve become.
In what way were you labeled as a child and how did it affect you?