Tubby. Fatty. Butterball. Elephant. Fatass. Jelly rolls. These are the names I’ve been taunted with. These are the titles I associated myself with rather than smart, funny, good friend, good listener, kind, and supportive. I was miserable. I felt undesirable as a friend, a girlfriend, and a future wife. Why would anyone want a fat girl? How could anyone love someone so ugly? 5 years ago, when I was 15, I reached my highest weight at 190lbs. At 5’7″, this was simply my breaking point. I decided to make a change. I was sick and tired of being tormented by my classmates. I wanted to be happy, to be healthy. I became a vegetarian on August 12th, 2007. I also watched my portions and counted calories. In 6 months, I went from 190lbs to 130lbs. In that time frame, I had my first real boyfriend, was noticed and complimented by my peers, and suddenly wasn’t being attacked anymore. It lead me to believe that, in order to have friends or a boyfriend, I had to be thin.
This realization sent me into a whirlwind of food deprivation, self-hate, and mood swings. I began to notice every stretch mark, any bit of skin that wasn’t as tight as it could me. I weighed myself 10 times a day to see if I had managed to lose a pound or 2 more. I wanted so badly to be like a model in a magazine. It killed me to know that I didn’t look like them and probably never would. After I graduated high school and broke up with the guy I had been with for 2 years, I found myself lost and unsure of myself. I relied on attention from guys to make myself feel better, even if that meant I was with someone who didn’t treat me how I deserved. After many failed relationships with guys who didn’t appreciate me, cheated on me, or put me down, I finally found a man who supports me and loves me for who I am. He knows I still struggle on a daily basis about food and body image, but he is there for me and will not give up on me.
Everyday is different for me. Sometimes, I wake up and see a beautiful woman in the mirror. Others, I only see skin that has not caught up from my weight loss, cellulite, and a small chest. I want so desperately to feel beautiful everyday, but sometimes, it feels hopeless. I feel that only time can heal the wounds of my past, along with support from my friends and loved ones.