Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chubby Girl

They say we are all products of our childhood. I’m not really sure who ‘they’ refers to, but if there is truth to this, my childhood has a very direct correlation to the woman I am today.

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.

I am so glad that I was the chubby girl. I needed her to help guide me to serve my higher purpose today. I have such a deep passion for helping people who struggle with weight, because I know what they are feeling and what they are yearning to be.

We can learn from our past, but we do not have to be a product of it.  When we learn, we make a choice for a better life.  We cannot change our mistakes, but we can use them as a tool for our future.  If you're struggling with something and want to make a change, make the choice to make today the first day of the rest of your healthy life.

This post is inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.
In what way were you labeled as a child and how did it affect you?
Mama's Losin' It


Anonymous said...

Rhonda, Thanks for sharing your story ! What an inspiration you are !!! I love stopping by to read your recent post ! It always has substance.

MJ Rodriguez said...

i always love reading stories of triumph...and this is one of them.

stopping by from Mama Kat's.

Jessica said...

Good for you! What an accomplishment! Curious, do you recall THE day you changed your focus? I feel I'm on the brink of that day, but haven't gotten there yet, amazingly. I was also the chubby kid in school and HATED it.
Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from MamaKat's

cathy said...

Rhonda, I think this is one of your best posts ever. Thanks for sharing!!

Rebecca Jo said...

That was so inspiring!!!!!!!

I was/am that chubby girl... BUT I've started running myself - got 2 half marathons & a number of 5K's & 10k's under my belt... I'll get there!

stopping by from mama Kat's

Booyah's Momma said...

Always love reading your stories, Rhonda. But after all this time, I had no idea you were on your 4th marathon. Amazing!

And I love how your brother always had your back. It's my hope that my own kids stand by each other and have a relationship like that.

Leah said...

Found you through Mama Kats Workshop.
Amen girl! Yes, sometimes we need to go through this shitty periods in our lives to really make us wake and realize what we are capable of. I've always been overweight but this past year I've picked up running and I'm finding that I love it. I love the feeling afterwards. I ran a half marathon in September and am planning on running the full LA Marathon in March! Whew! Food is certainly our fuel when we are running those long distances! Man, if i don't eat enough healthy foods of course, i can't run long. Great post! Check out my blog at

CrazyLittleB_tch said...

Hey! Now you're the HOT GIRL!
My best friend and I, growing up, she was the chubby one and I was the stick figure.
Then she was the anorexic one and I went thru what I call my 2nd puberty... I got hippy and booby.
Now she's the health conscious vegan, and I'm 185lbs of meat-eating mommy fat.
I don't know, maybe in the future, we'll both be the healthy eating athletic powerhouses you appear to be! Good going girl!

DB said...

Apparently you were inspired to lose weight and do something about that lovely hairdo. Anyway, as someone already posted, this is a great testament that we sometimes need to go through things in order to shape us or change us for something even better. Great post!

Write Chick said...

I stopped in from MamaKats and this was so inspiring. I also grew up with a completely horrible self esteem. I wasn't big, but I always thought I was. I wasn't ugly, but I always thought I was.
I'm so glad I lost that baggage a long time ago. Now I just accept who I am, and I exercise and eat healthy.
Loved your post! Related to it so well. :-)

M.Jay. said...

Not there is one more thing on my list that nees conquering. I have been the chubby child for all my life and have taught myself to have a quick comeback when people comment on my wieght. Hopefull one day I can say the same thing about my weight. I will be starting up Weigh in Monday on the 25th again because this time I am determined to beat the flab. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Glenn Jones said...

Great post!

The Project Author said...

I think you speak for how so many of us ex-chubby girls felt and how hard it was to be that girl!

Mama Kat said...

This is so inspiring! I love that you took a negative name and let it drive you to live a better life. Way to go!!

cooperl788 said...

Stopping by from Mama Kat's - this story rings true for me as well! I was the heaviest one in my family for as long as I can remember. My mom and dad didn't have any idea what to do with me. It wasn't until just the last few months that I've finally reached a healthy weight for me and am excited about who I am! I'm your newest follower!

Jennifer said...

Stopping in from Mama Kat's... what an inspiration you are! You look great! I was always the skinny girl and even when I got pregnant for the first time at 30, I only gained 25 pounds and it came right off after my son was born. But in the three months post partum, I gained everything back and weighed what I had weighed 9 months pregnant with him. I have struggled with weight ever since ( my son is now 7). I see how much people that run get addicted to it and I want to do it so badly, but every time I try, I get discouraged and quit. I went to the gym last week, got on the elliptical full of energy, and less than 5 minutes in, I was so out of breath and my legs hurt so bad.. I was embarrassed. And I haven't been back.

John said...

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