“I am not my figure”

Project Description:

When I look in the mirror all I see is FAT. Or, at least that’s what I used to see. I have spent my entire life being morbidly obese. I had been on almost every fad diet by the time I was eight years old. I have been teased, bullied, abused, ignored, and disrespected by peers and strangers… Any negative emotion a child could endure, I did. I felt worthless and as if I wasn’t even allowed to like the things I liked because being fat was just THAT HORRIBLE.

When I was twenty-two my thought process shifted. I started getting healthy, losing weight and getting strong- emotionally and physically. Now people smile at me more, men notice me, I’ve even gotten a phone number or two. I thought my generation was growing up and getting nicer but I realized what it actually was is that people responded better to the smaller me. It didn’t matter that my heart and soul were the same, what mattered is that I did not take up as much space on this earth and that’s what dictated how I was treated.

That realization made me uncomfortable and upset. I am certainly not small or thin, but I am not obese anymore either. I love the healthier version of myself. But, I love the girl I used to be. She was strong enough and loved herself enough to make the decision to change and that’s the bravest thing she or I have ever done. I didn’t realize the social impact I would see when I started on my journey and it saddens me. That people could treat the same person so differently just based on their size blew my mind.

Now when I look in the mirror, I don’t know what to think. I like who I am and how I look but the second I encounter a person who is kind to me, my brain can’t help but think that if they had met me four years ago they wouldn’t be so kind.