Growing up having a label before labels – I was known as “The Fat Kid”. I was constantly treated differently, and made fun of to my face as well as behind my back. Kids at school would tease me to the point of hiding in the bathroom, and laying in bed pretending to be sick so I wouldn’t have to go to school. Some would throw themselves on the ground when I walked by yelling “EARTHQUAKE.” But there wasn’t one. It was just me. I would go home and cry and pray to God that I would lose weight, that I could wake up one morning and not be “fat” anymore.
The jokes and jeering brought me closer to thoughts of suicide and half-hearted attempts more than anything else had. I didn’t want to be different, but I was. I don’t want to be different, but I am. I always put off a front of confidence and a fake facade of peace of mind, but my “friends” and society pushed me into a state of negative self reflection that to this day I still can’t get over.
A girl I had a crush on in junior high told me one time that liking someone was 50% looks and 50% personality. She then told me “Farris, you have a great personality.” It’s never stopped, and never will. Try being generally unattractive and wanting a dating life. Good luck. People don’t really understand what it’s like. The looks I get at the gym when I go to work out. I can see people thinking “what is that fat guy doing here lifting weights?” I wish they could just understand that I’m trying to better my life. I wish they could understand that I’m trying to change. But to them, I threw my life away eating crappy food and laying around the house all day playing video games and watching television. I don’t watch TV, and seldom play video games.
I have the genetics of a fat person. I have made bad decisions when it comes to my health in the past, yes. But the “Curse of the Cheeseburger” is not what I have become. I have lived my entire life living in the shadow of an insecurity I can not hide from, nor will ever be able to. When you’re a kid, or a teenager, or hell, a 20 year old adult, being anything but ordinary is the worst thing possible. And I was different. I always have been. But no longer does what the scale says dictate who I am and what I mean to this world. I am fat, but my fat is not me.