{FamilySchoolPlaygroundFriendsOther}

{Home
Submit Your Story}


FAMILY

From: Pretty Lynn
This is my story...
 
as a fat child I made fun of inside the classroom, on the playground, just walking through a store, but the most painful words came from my family. I never really understood my mother's thinking, as she was overweight as well, but she delivered the most severe and painful words I've ever gotten. I have memories of sitting on the living room floor watching Saturday morning cartoons, and my mother would walk into the room. I could feel her staring at me with such hatred and disgust before she'd remark "you're so fat. I wouldn't be surprised if you died of a heart attack before you turn 15." she couldn't stop with just that, though. when my body became too large to fit into a pair of shorts, she'd give them to my older, skinny sister, and tell me that it might be a while, but eventually my sister would grow into them. on another occasion, when I was nine years old, I wanted to play softball for my school, so when I approached my mother about the possibility of trying out, I was told that the uniform company didn't make uniforms in my size. I remember overhearing my mother talking to my aunt, laughing at me saying "yeah, she wants to try out for a softball team! can you imagine that?! she'll be out of breath before she makes it to first base!" my mother seemed to enjoy humiliating me. as a child, when given a slice of watermelon on a plate, I'd end up spilling the juice, so I began using Tupperware bowls sense normal bowls were too small for the rind. my mother had my aunt over one day, and they were discussing my weight gain when my mother grabbed one of the large Tupperware bowls and told my aunt that I fill it with cereal every morning and eat it in one sitting. she said it right there with me in the room; I just couldn't believe what I was hearing, so I corrected her and informed her of what I really used them for. she began yelling at me, saying that I was accusing her of lying, and she lifted my shirt high above my head and shouted "look at all that. just look at that! how can you tell me that you're not eating as much as I said? I can barely afford to keep food in your mouth, much less the rest of the family, too!" as I'm writing this so many memories pop into mind. too many to write, really. I'm 21 now, so obviously my mother's prediction of death by 15 was wrong. she denies that any of the above ever happened, but my siblings remember it well. though she doesn't try to hurt me as often, she still refers to my favorite clothing store as "Omar the tent maker". I'm lucky that at this point in my life I've found people who love me despite my weight. my boyfriend makes me feel incredibly special and loved, as well as beautiful. he and my friends have helped me realize that my mother was (and still is) poisoning my life by saying those hurtful things. and now, though her words still hit hard, it's easier for me to shrug them off. I don't want to have to cut off contact with my mother, but I will for the good of my sanity and feeling of self-worth. I've grown so much in the last ten years.


Top

From: David Zelig
This is my story...
 
I do not know when I became a fat child. I have a picture of myself at five, climbing a wooden jungle gym, and I am long and lean. So, after that. I do know that it began over pop tarts, of all things. You see, Kellogg's began making pop tarts, and my family began buying them, and from thence eating them. I liked blueberry. I do not so much now (that is another story), but back then, all things blueberry, I liked. Chiefly pop tarts and muffins. At any rate, one morning my folks suggested that I eat only half a pop tart instead of a whole one. They did not elaborate, and I was confused, naturally; a whole pop tart had been sitting just fine with me. I saw no reason to change an existing food policy, especially one that seemed to be working so well. I remember resisting, but relenting. This half pop tart policy, I did not like so much. "Half" very often ended up being far less than half, with the larger portion returned to the bag so that it would be nice and stale the following morning. I was not aware of my weight, or my looks, and to some extent I still am not. By the seventh grade, however, I was definitely a compulsive overeater. My mother fixed me reasonable meals, and I would sneak food all day long and into the night. Maybe it was the stress of moving from a class of six in a school of maybe a hundred and fifty to a class of two hundred fifty in a school of six hundred. Ah, public school. For whatever reason, my school photograph put on probably thirty pounds between seventh and eighth grades. I developed adolescent asthma, which I have left behind me, and which I suspect may have been psychosomatic. I got sick a lot; to be fair, I feigned illness a lot. But asthma drugs did succeed in making me sick on many occasions. My mother, a nurse in a pediatric practice, ended up taking me with her to work more than I would have liked. Check ups were bad news. My Doctor had a bit of a W. C. Fieldsian attitude towards fat kids. Usually, his diagnosis sounded something like "You're fine. There's just too much of you." My mother obsessed about my weight, and I continued to sneak food. Bagels, mostly, other breads, chicken noodle soup in a cup, Arizona iced tea, and any candy I could get my hands on. My parents hid candy from me, and I never found where. When they brought treat food into the house they could not hide, I devoured it, and got in trouble. They bought a box of thirty ice cream sandwiches. I ate three or four a day for five or six days running. They caught me, obviously. I knew they would catch me, but I convinced myself that turning the box around so that the open flap faced the back of the freezer would allow me to escape detection. The most humiliating repercussion from that episode came the day following, when Oprah featured an obese single mother, her four-hundred pound teen boy and her one-hundred fifty pound seven-year old. Mom called me into the room (I was not an Oprah fan; go figure), pointed to the kid on TV, whose lap was missing (I felt sorry for him. I wondered if he was able to go to school, and hoped so), and announced to me, "that could very easily be you." I stayed awake all night scribbling panicky gibberish with a shaky hand. By my sophomore year in high school, I was two hundred twenty five pounds, easily twenty five pounds heavier than I imagined when I ascended the doctor's scale and announced that it must be broken. The doc pointed to some discolored scar-like skin on the inside of my right arm and told me those were stretch marks, which indicated that I'd put the weight on very fast. Iced tea and cup soup late at night, every night, plus starches all day probably played a major hand in that. Still got'em. I was scared, and I told him that I wanted the weight removed. SO I went on the Atkins diet five years before anybody knew it was the Atkins diet, or as I like to call it, "crazy nightmare diet." Rice was the only one of my favorite foods that made the cut. Everything else was either stuff I wouldn't eat (liver? no. Not liver) or stuff I wasn't crazy about. For months I ate egg whites for breakfast and had yogurt and cold turkey for lunch. Some kind of turkey for dinner, usually, also. I still ate compulsively, something like three to five granny smith apples in a row late at night (they kept better than the other kinds), but I was somehow losing weight. I made it down to, let's say, 185, at just under six feet. Then, of course, I went out of my cotton-picking mind. I began eating raw spaghetti, because anything not prepared, of course, didn't really count, right? Raw spaghetti. Try it once. Grab a bundle, bite off a wad and suck on it 'til it gets soft enough to chew. Only one other time did I eat raw spaghetti, and that was when I came home tired from working all day in college, had nothing else in the house and felt too fatigued to boil the stuff. I do not recommend. When I went away to college, I actually lost weight the first year. Every time I came back from school, everyone told me I had lost weight. This went on even after I gained everything back. I assumed everyone remembered me at my fattest, so that every time they saw me it appeared to them that I had lost. Neat trick, eh? I don't know pound wise, but I do know that at six feet the worst it got was 38-"relaxed" Dockers slacks started getting a bit hard to button in front. I think I'm a bit out of childhood, here, but there's closure to be gotten. By some miracle (I have no idea how I did it), I lost just about the whole enchilada the last semester of college. My family was telling me how good I looked constantly. I was described as a "bean-pole." I was told I should avoid losing any more, even though I still have a bit of a belly and some ass fat. It's probably a good thing I moved away from home, because when I stay with the folks I eat everything that isn't nailed down. Somehow, on my own, I'm more level headed. Still, I can't tell the difference. Except in my face, in which the absence of a double-chin is easy to spot, it's as if my body is invisible to me. It all looks the same. And I am paranoid about gaining back, since I'm not sure how I lost in the first place. I do know that I eat less food now. I also know that there are certain foods it would not be a good idea to keep in the house, because I will simply consume everything in the package in one sitting. I am talking about cheeses, bagels, just about anything that is pre-packaged and requires no preparation. I bought ice cream today. I ate three bowls tonight. I am afraid to buy ice cream again.


Top

From: Lisa Love
This is my story...
 
I always thought I was a fat kid. I was told I was a fat kid. My food was always monitored and it seemed I was always being put on a diet or some food restriction. I grew up being led to believe that being fat was a very bad thing. I didn't understand this because both my mother and my grandmother who I lived with were fat. My grandma WAS fat, but she was FIT. She used to mow an acre and a half of yard with a push mower in her fifties and sixties with no problems at all. She used to garden for hours out on her hands and knees, weeding and planting and reaping her crop. She was my first role model of a fit and fat woman and I thought she was the coolest. In fact, if I hadn't been told that being fat was bad I don't think it ever would have entered my mind. Nobody at school bothered me about it and my friends didn't seem to care. Why was my family so dead set against it? It always baffled me. I grew up thinking I was substandard because I wasn't thin. I was always trying to change my naturally voluptuous body into something it could never be. When I look back on pictures of me growing up now: http://www.lisalove.20m.com/photo4.html I don't even look fat! I think my family meant well. I think they were trying to save me from ever becoming fat (I am fat now) and experiencing the discrimination that goes along with it, but I think their good intentions had tragic consequences. I grew up feeling inadequate. I grew up feeling ugly. I grew up thinking no one would ever love a fat girl. I grew up feeling guilty for nourishing my body with food. I grew up thinking to be fat was to be bad. And when I eventually became fat it translated into my thinking I had finally become bad. Oh what I would give to go back in time and educate my family to teach me to love my body. That my differences made me beautiful and that I was a strong, powerful, beautiful girl capable of anything I wanted in life. Finally after discovering the Size Acceptance community I have found that family who supports what my body looks like and tells me those things I long to hear: I am beautiful, I am special, I am capable, I am good, and I am fat and it is a great thing to be.


Top

From: Mary Ellen
This is my story...
 
My parents spent a lot of time and effort on my weight problem. They tried everything, from diets to rewards, from humiliation to practically begging. They had me checked out at Yale to be sure that nothing was really wrong with me. I will never forget undergoing all these tests, and being so afraid. Nothing was found. When I was thirteen they sent me to a camp for fat girls for the summer. I lost about 40 pounds that summer, but regained it all by the next summer. I was so embarrassed to be "sent away" to this camp. I think embarrassment characterizes my childhood fairly well. I think I was a terrible embarrassment to my parents, even though they never said it. I can remember their friends and relatives saying things like what are you doing about her weight, etc. I feel sorry that my parents had to be subjected to that. I can only imagine what was said behind my back and behind theirs. I think my parents did they best they knew how. I have two "normal" sisters and a brother, and I think I embarrassed them too. I never really was involved in the same activities and things they were, and I remember reading a lot when I was young and doing a lot of solitary things. My siblings sometimes made fun of me, but not too much.


Top

From: Tina
This is my story...
 
I was an overweight child but not an obese one. I grew up in an Italian family where eating was praised: to a point. Weight gain , however was not praised. There were also problems I had with childhood sexual abuse and I think the pounds made me feel somehow safer. My mother did not actually berate me for it that I can remember. She did put my appearance down in general though on occasion. Sometimes she's called me lazy. Sometimes she'd yell at me to get off my fat ass. My father yelled at me once after we went to select clothing and my body image after playing with the other girls and their hipless "dawn dolls" left a lot to be desired. At age 11 I already hated the way I looked. When I look at pictures from childhood I see I was very pretty and not at all obese. I was slightly chubby. I am now an overweight adult. I am 5'6 and weigh 200 pounds. This is the heaviest I've ever been in my adult life. I must be going through something . I gained 40 pounds in the past three years. It seems to have happened when I went back to work after staying home for 9 years with my child. Maybe it's because of the childhood sexual abuse and other issues I've experienced. I am also the parent of a beautiful daughter who is obese. I never tell her this; but doctor s and her school mates do. I sometimes make half hearted comments or suggestions about both of us modifying our diets and getting together an exercise plan but I can't seem to follow through. I am worried about her. Today I noticed stretch marks on her hips. She's about 5'1 and she weighs 153 pounds. She also has emotional problems and school problems. I don't want to be a nag and I don't want to make her feel bad but I would like her to move more and eat a little healthier.


Top

From: Precious
This is my story...
 
Well I guess I can start out this way, you see I used to be very skinny until I got into 3rd grade when I started gaining weight. I didn't really notice it until it was to late I guess, one day I just looked up and it was like this. I think it was because I used to be active and I am not really any more. my family and friends all say I am not fat, but sometimes my cousin does not help. he pretends to make up games but there is always a fat person on there named after me. he laughs and thinks it is funny but really not at all. I am only about 30 lbs overweight. well actually my weight is fine for my age but I would like to get rid of my tummy and a little off the thighs. I am determined and my mom is helping me. I like to play basketball and getting more active again is the best thing for me I guess right now. but I am loosing weight. I've lost two lbs now and would like to keep loosing. my mom bought a treadmill and I am getting on it a few times a week and that is helping me. I try not to go over eating a certain # of calories a day which is really easy if you balance your day out and it works but you can't go having snacks. but basically my family doesn't care how much I weigh. and still since my cousin is skinny he doesn't have to worry about it but it does hurt. I am a strong girl so if it was coming from someone else I could take it and probably wouldn't care but not my cousin.


Top

From: anne
This is my story...
 
When I was a child I was always a little bit overweight. Probably five to ten pounds. Everyone else was normal or skinny so I was the one picked on. I rose above it but the pain will always be there nagging in the back of my mind. My husband is a warm and loving man who never cares how much I weight. My issue now is my beautiful 11 year old daughter. Since the second grade on she has had a tummy that won't go away. She wanted to wear a two piece by her birthday so we started walking a mile in the morning and doing sit-ups - together. We love our time each morning away from everyone else when she tells me all the little things going on in her life. She's in the fifth grade now and still working on her tummy. She's about 15 pounds overweight - all in her stomach area so it's more pronounced. I'm feeling so scared and helpless as her mother to help her. I know if she doesn't get it off - it will be a battle for life. We walk in the morning, she plays fall, winter and spring soccer. We have added running


Top

From: Daddy'sGirl
This is my story...
 
When I was a child, I had a lot of food allergies. So, from the get-go, the foods I could eat were severely restricted to bland, non-sugary (read: boring) foods. In spite of this, I was a fat child. Actually, I think I started out being just slightly chubby -- not the skinny child my older sister had been -- and I took after my Dad's side of the family, who are healthy-built Italians. I remember my mother putting me on my first diet when I was 4. I was in nursery school, and wanted to wear a Strawberry Shortcake dress to my "graduation," but my mother said it wouldn't look as pretty unless I lost a few pounds. I didn't know any better, so I did what she said, and the cycle began. The more restrictive she was, the more I snuck food, and ate compulsively, regardless of what I was eating. My dad never once nagged me about my weight. He died when I was 11. I was chastised all my life by my grandmother, mother and my sister, told "You don't need to eat that," told "I love you no matter what," while telling me I'll never be happy unless I become thin. I suppose, in my mother's mind, she thought she was helping me, trying to change my body so that the merciless teasing at school would stop. But I'm 24 now, and I still haven't gotten over her cruel behavior, the cruel taunts from school kids, or the idea that my happiness is dependent upon my dress size. Maybe, someday, I'll get there.


Top

From: Anonymous
This is my story...
 
I know now, as a 25 year old and 330lb woman, that I have several different metabolic and endocrine disorders. But I didn't know that when I was a child. Nobody knew that. Everyone thought that my problem was that I was lazy and I ate all the time. I didn't though. I remember so much of my life being scared because I couldn't control my body and feeling guilty just for existing. I probably weighed over 200lbs by the time I was 14. I was tall, and that helped, but not enough. School was torture, I wanted to die when I saw the way some people looked at me. I knew, I always knew, that because I was fat I didn't deserve to have friends or, god knows, a boyfriend. It was unthinkable. Something about me was so obviously bad and disgusting, people didn't want to be with me. My name was Blubberbutt for years. In high school the gym teacher used to make me run extra laps after everyone else had finished, because I 'needed to lose the weight.' Even in college, I remember a day when a group of guys followed me all around campus yelling "Jiggle! Jiggle! Jiggle!" with every step I took. From the time I was about 10 years old perfect strangers would stop me on the street. I remember being out to the mall with girlfriends once when I was 15 and a woman ran up to me and yelled, "Why don't you go on a diet!" Worse than that though, was the pain and embarrassment I caused my family. I had been their darling when I was little. Now I definitely was not, and I knew it was because I was fat that they didn't love me any more and were sad when they looked at me. My younger brother was embarrassed to know me, except when he would invite his pre-teen friends over so they could gawk at my 'big tits.' Once I made the mistake of taking the same bus home he rode. I had had a happy day and wanted to see him. No one would come near me on the bus and when my brother boarded, he looked like he wanted to die. Then he pointed at me and the empty seat next to me and yelled, "Hey look! That girl's so fat she takes up two seats!" Everyone laughed but me. My mother told me that I was an embarrassment to her, and she didn't know what to do with me. My grandmother always always always managed to put a comment into everything she said about what I shouldn't eat. My mother informed me in high school that if I kept going, they wouldn't make clothes big enough for me to wear and she didn't know how the family would clothe me. All this time, I was eating less than 10 grams of fat a day and watching my calories. I was active too, but I kept gaining weight. Anyway now I know why, and I can treat it. I'm happy. I moved around a lot, found myself, learned that I wasn't a bad person because of how I looked. I dated models in college and married a gorgeous kind man a year ago who tells me I am beautiful every day. I do a lot of volunteer work, I want to make sure other women with these disorders don't suffer so like I did.


Top

From: Elizabeth
This is my story...
 
When I was a child I use to come home crying because of others picking on me. My mom and grandmother were always there offering me a shoulder to cry on. My grandfather (who is a good person) but made me feel like a whale in a small house. As I grew up I became more verbal which lead to tears (it made him feel bad when I cried). I would get angry and tell him off, not mean or using curse words but just how I felt when he said those things to me. I understand they want to help but to me, but don't. It has to be MY decision not anyone else. He has laid off, but every time I see some slim fast commercial or something, I tense up when he is in the room because I don't want to hear "You need to lose weight". Duh, hello I live with my "problem" 24/7. I know that I am large. Now, I don't hear him say that anymore. I do tense sometimes when the news talks about over-weight children. It is hard for someone to understand the emotional and physical stress of peer pressure. Lose weight, have sex, have a boyfriend etc. etc. I sometimes want to scream. I know that there are health problems associated with being overweight, but so is smoking, drinking and the list goes on. Know what though, I LOVE ME FOR ME. I don't want to change. I like to stick out in a crowd. I will be remembered. I am different. I am a BBB. (Big Beautiful Brunette) who is successful in whatever I do, wherever I go. Here are some hints when you are feeling blue: MAXIMIZE YOUR GOOD POINTS, MINIMIZE THE BAD ONES. NO ONE IS PERFECT. BE HAPPY FOR WHO YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE. Beauty fades in time, what you are inside is there forever. Live life to the fullest and enjoy who you are. There is only one you. No one else can fill those unique shoes.


Top

From: Kelly
This is my story...
 
I have always been "heavy", but I got fat my senior year of high school when I hit `198 lbs and being only 5'2" didn't help at all. Now, add 40 lbs. to that and that's where I'm at now. One memory I can't get out of my mind, I was about 10 years old and me and my 2 skinny cousins were out "running around" we went to one of their friends' house, who was also very skinny along with her older brothers. Well, one of the brothers got out the scale and the "fun" started. They started teasing me about being careful and not break the scales when I got on them and they probably wouldn't go up that high. Well, I just ran out of the house crying, while my cousins and their friends just kept laughing. I'm 33 years old and that was about 23 years ago, I just won't ever forget.


Top

From: LWF
This is my story...
 
I grew up in a home with a heavy father. I didn't think I was a heavy kid at all but was told all the time I was fat. My grandmother used to say it was just "baby fat" and it would go away. I loved her for defending me. I missed her when she died, nobody in my corner anymore! When I look back on my childhood pictures, I still don't see a fat child. I see a normal healthy kid. I am now a "fat" adult. Sometimes I wonder if it was partly because I was always told I was fat? Kind of like telling a kid they are stupid? As soon as I could live on my own, I ate, ate, ate. You see, at our house you could only eat at specified times. Nothing in between meals. I learned how to sneak a few things out of the cabinets while my parents were out on a shopping trip. Maybe a cookie or mini candy bar by moving it ever so slightly out of the package so as not to disturb the box/bag. Finally off on my own, I was still told I was "Too fat" to find a man! Well, I was in the right weight range back then for today's' charts! I was no Alley McBeal. Now, I am in the Woman's' Clothes and accepting myself as a "large person". My husband married me at this weight. He looks all the time at the "Skinnies". Yes, it bothers me, but he did choose me. I lost most of the weight a few times. I can't eat that way forever! The rest of my life could be a long, long time or it could be tomorrow. I don't binge anymore and I stay about the same weight. I wish society could accept us all for who we are inside and not just for who we are outside. I was treated so differently when I lost the weight. Just watch how a "large person" is watched and treated at a buffet! Nobody watches the "skinnies". Let's all keep our heads high, dress nice and keep as good an attitude as possible.


Top

From: Finally Happy
This is my story...
 
When I was a child I was thin up until my mother re-married when I was 11. My step father was an alcoholic and was emotionally abusive to my entire family. He had children from his previous marriage and in his eyes my siblings and I were pond scum, or so it seemed, his children were perfect and could do no wrong. We could do nothing to please him. He wanted me to call him dad, even though I preferred to call him by his real name, Dick! I just couldn't bring myself to accept him as a father figure which I have never really had. My father died from cancer when I was only 4 years old and I felt as if my life was not complete, there was an empty place in my heart. This man was so emotionally abusive he even told me once that I was not allowed to have a picture of my father in my room. It's not like I wanted a billboard of him in the back yard, I just wanted a reminder of who my father was. Dick even told me, "Your father is dead, I'm your father now." OUCH! How was an 11 year old supposed to handle a comment like that? Food of course. That was the one thing in my life that was always there for me. My mother realized that she was in a bad marriage, but with Dick moving into the house that my mother and father had planned on building before he passed away, she was afraid that he would take the house in the divorce. As the next few years went by I started gaining weight. When they married I was a size 6 with a nice pre-teen figure. By the time I was 14 I weighed almost 200 pounds. I tried to lose weight but every time I lost a few pounds, there was Dick picking me apart little by little saying things like, "If you don't lose more weight you will never have a boyfriend." and "You'd be pretty if you were skinny." So what did I do? Eat everything I could find. When I turned 16, like every teenager, I couldn't wait to get my drivers license. My birthday came and went and Dick finally decided that he needed to discuss the driving issue with me. He took my mother and me to a very popular restaurant for dinner and he proceeded to embarrass me to no end. He finally brought up the topic of driving and I couldn't believe what he said. "You are not going to get your drivers license because your weight affects your driving." What? I did my best to hold back the tears and what I couldn't understand is how can my weight affect my driving but his drinking didn't affect his. Before the meal was over a nice gentleman came over to the table and told Dick that he needed to keep his voice down and to stop embarrassing this pretty young lady. Me, a pretty young lady! Wow did that make my day! Needless to say, I didn't get my drivers license until I was 18 and out of high school, against Dick's wishes, but what could he do. By that time I was 250+ pounds. I was like the snowball rolling down hill, I just kept getting bigger. I thought I would die a single fat old lady, if I was lucky. I never had many friends or dated while in high school because I didn't want people to meet Dick and see the life I really lived. Alone in my room with my cat and all the food I could find. As I went off to college my mother filed for divorce and things just got worse. I worried for her safety and couldn't do anything to control the situation. So I ate. By the time I was out of college I weighed 275 - 280 and felt that my life was going no where. One night in college I even took an entire bottle of pills and washed it down with a bottle of vodka hoping that I wouldn't wake up the next morning. Well, I realized the next morning that I really did have friends. They had made me go to the campus clinic the night before and get my stomach pumped. There were people who cared about me! :o) A few years passed and I met the man of my dreams and to my surprise, he thought I was beautiful (who me?) Size didn't matter to him, I tipped the scales at 300 pounds. Believe it or not we actually met in a grocery store. Go figure, food had to be involved in our meeting. We were married after a 2 year engagement and have now been married for 4 years. Just last year I decided that even though I was happier than I had been in years I needed to do something about my weight. I wanted to live a long and happy life with my husband and I was worried that I would end up with serious medical conditions because of the stress that the weight had put on my body. I decided to have my stomach stapled. My husband was concerned about the procedure and how safe it would be, but if that's what I needed to do, he would stand by me. I had the surgery last April (2000) and can proudly say that I have lost almost 115 pounds. I still have about 40 more to go, but with the support of my husband and my family I will lose the remaining weight in no time. I feel better that I have in years and I can honestly say that I was never really happy until I lost this weight. I know what a sad thing to say, but for me it's true. I love my life and wouldn't change a thing. All of those years of being overweight taught me to be proud of who I am, be confident and most of all be myself. It doesn't matter what strangers think of you, it only matters what you think of yourself. If you have the love of family and friends, you really don't need anything else. I finally have a life that doesn't revolve around food, instead I have a life that revolves around living good active life and love that has no boundaries. I am "Finally Happy!" If my family reads this I just want to say thanks for all of your love and support over the years. And to my husband, Doug, I love you more today than I did yesterday and I will love you more tomorrow than I do today! Thanks for showing me what life really is! Wonderful!!!


Top

From: Louise
This is my story...
 
I'm 14 now and STILL overweight! aaaaarrrgggh! My family have always made a big issue out of this. Even when I was really small (like, 3 or 4 years old) I can remember my mum, auntie and grandma looking at me in a swimsuit and saying "Look at the size of her." My mother has never given me sweets or any kind of junk food, even now, because she says I'll put more weight on. When I was younger though she could be really mean, sometimes she just used to say she wasn't making me any lunch/dinner or whatever, because I needed to lose weight so badly, I'd have to start skipping meals. At one point she put me on that diet where you only eat vegetable soup for two weeks, but I was sick after consuming half a bowl, so she said I could stop. When my cousin (who, I might add, is 7 years younger than me) came to visit once, she was going through a stage where she was really fussy about her food. My mum said to me, in front of everyone, at dinner "Why can't you be like Sarah and never eat?" If she ever saw me eat anything she didn't approve of, she would tell me I was an impulsive eater, or whatever it's called. Even now I have to go running in the winter and swimming in the summer, because she makes me. But one day when I'd got really, really sick of her saying all this stuff about my weight, I told her so and she said she'd stop if it bothered me that much but I'd just have to hope to lose it naturally when I'm older. And she's never been really mean again since then.


Top

From: anonymous
This is my story...
 
since I can remember I was a chubby child. I could never understand why it was that out of all my 10 cousins I was the overweight one. My family constantly was on my case telling my mother to put me on a diet. I remember visiting my doctor which always insisted on sending me to visit a dietician. it was utter humiliation. It was hard to understand since I was only 8 years old. Ah finally when I hit my teens I joined a gym and I began to lose the weight. I dropped from 160pounds to 120pounds! I managed to keep the weight for about a year. but unfortunately as I visited the gym less I began to gain the pounds. now I am 20 years old and by battle with the bulge continues. its very hard being overweight but its becoming more accepted now! my advice just be happy with yourself. not everybody was born to fit in a size 3!


Top

From: M-M-
This is my story...
 
I was a fat kid.... yes and I really hated it when I was a child that the fact I am bigger than most kids in my country. I am an Asian and It's really hard growing up when I was fat. My cousins, aunties, mum's friends... they all called me fat. But they also think I am cute too, they said that I had the face but not the body. And when you are a teen and most guys, I mean Asian guys, they are likely to have slim or thin girlfriends. Then I moved to Australia. In Australia the magazines told us to love ourselves and our bodies because we all have different shapes and sizes. Back in my country, the magazines told us to be "always slim". Last year (when I was 15) I used to starved myself and skipped meals. Now I am a mature 16 and even though I am short and very chubby, I really love my body, and my self... There's nothing wrong of being fat, as long as we are fit and healthy and we have good personalities... people will love you for who you are, not what you are.


Top

From: Such a Pretty Face
This is my story...
 
At first I thought I might contribute to the school category. Then I realized that even though the scars I received there have not yet healed (and I am in my 40s), they are in the past...and my family is still very much in the present. I grew up in an extended family, Italian, where food and eating are hugely important. I was of average weight until I had my tonsils out at age 6, and then, I am told, I gained 20 pounds very quickly. (I noticed other people on this site have mentioned weight gain after tonsillectomy...wonder if there's a connection?). Of course, there was the tremendous stress of parents who fought, and an ugly divorce, which probably contributed to my weight gain. When I got fat, there was hand-wringing all around over my size. I don't remember being put on actual diets, but the kinds of food I ate was restricted; we never had "bad" foods in the house (chips, cookies, etc.). However, I remember countless comments, usually made to other relatives, about my weight and how sad it was. I was never taunted, but comments to me were along the lines of "if you could just lose some weight, you could wear such pretty clothes, you wouldn't be made fun of...YOU HAVE SUCH A PRETTY FACE. Every fat girl and woman has heard that one, and cringes every time. I was just tortured at school. My mother didn't know how to deal with it, and I think she was ashamed of the problem. I do not remember receiving a lot of affection or affirmation, since my family was very repressed about expressing these things, and had a generally negative outlook. Of course they loved me, they just weren't very good at showing it in the way that I desperately needed. And then there were the mixed messages, all about food. Eat everything on your plate, even the peas that make you gag. Food as a reward. Food as love. Children are starving in China. You have to eat that because it's good for you. When I was 14, my mother and I went to the family doctor who agreed we could both lose some weight. At that time, I weighed 150 lbs at 5'2". He put both of us on Dexedrine and a diet. This was 1973, and I don't think any doctor would do this now. I dropped 25 lbs so easily. Doctors now just shake their heads when I tell them this...giving speed to a 14-year old!? I was pretty average through high school and college, yo-yoing between 125-150, but always seeing myself as fat, unattractive, and unacceptable. I got down to 114 as a college senior, and felt sexy for the first time. (My diet consisted of yogurt and popcorn, by the way. I was so anemic the doctor debated giving me a blood transfusion, and tested me for leukemia). Once I graduated, I had a tough time surviving financially, and had little direction. I slaved at low-paying jobs and had a hard time adjusting, because I had been a very good student, but now I couldn't seem to succeed. I was gaining weight at this time, and I think that had a negative impact on my job prospects. I had no emotional support from my family because I had left the nest...blasphemous in my close knit Italian family. Many years have passed. I still suffer from weight discrimination, although I have worked myself into a respected job. I have dieted many times, sometimes losing 50 or 60 lbs. Right now I am 265, down from my all-time high of 286. I have accomplished this very slowly, by NOT dieting, but by making a commitment to eating healthier. As my family has aged, food has become even more of an obsession. My mother is a wonderful cook and loves to try new things (so do I). Her invitations always involve meals. When I have a meal at her house, although I am still fat, she urges me constantly to have more. She gives me the bigger cut of meat. She insists that I take leftovers home, even when she knows they are not things I should or want to have in the house. She worries that I don't eat "regular" meals, even though, believe me, I don't look like I've missed a meal in quite some time. My self-image is horrible, and I have been in therapy for a year trying to work out these problems (and others that are related). I go through life in a passive, ghostly way, hoping not to be noticed. I fear the taunts of ignorant, cruel people (I've been humiliated in public, mostly in quiet, subtle ways, but occasionally by loudmouths). I try not to blame my mother. She probably did the best she could with what she had. But I know that my problems stem, in part, from the lack of outward affection, the mixed messages, and the shame of having a fat child. I am still the daughter who "never married," who "lives all alone." Even today, the spin is negative. I wish I could say that I have risen above this. I am trying. My therapy is difficult and draining, but I believe that it will help. I hope to achieve some peace and a better, healthier relationship with food. I hope to repair my self-image and confidence, and believe that I am just as deserving of love and happiness as everyone else. I wish the same to all of you who have contributed your stories here.


Top

From: Why can't you be thin
This is my story...
 
My memories as a fat child are just as hard as everyone else's. The only way that I was ever happy was when I was alone in my room, because there no one could torment my soul. The hardest part was the fact that my own family was executioner. I was always compared to my thin brothers and sister, my thin cousins. All I ever heard from my relatives was "WHY CAN'T YOU BE THIN LIKE" and they would go on giving compliments of achievement to all the thin people in my life. I tried many times to loose weight but always got hurt in the process. It seemed that there was no one who would look at me for who I was inside just the tub of lard that I carried on my body. As a result I grew up and became strong, it made me see the world with a different perspective, it's not the outside that matters. What really matters is what is on the inside. I'm grateful that I was strong enough to overcome the loneliness that I suffered as child. All the teasing in school, and at home only made me tough and ready for anything. Now I myself have a fat child, and now that she started school I can only hope that the world will not be as cruel to her as it was to me, but unlike my parents, I will help her and understand her. This is why I write my story, support your children don't let "FAT" overshadow your kids life and their achievements.


Top

From: Jezzica Rae
This is my story...
 
when I was about 11, I was teased by friends and family about my weight. I was about 5'3 and I weighed 180 lbs. I thought I was average, just a little chubby. I kept up my eating habits, and by the time I was about 14, I weighed about 210, and 5'6. I knew I needed to lose weight, but I never really thought deeply about it. I started getting stretch marks all over my thighs, and hips, and arms, but I didn't really notice them. My parents and friends nagged more, and the only thing that I could use for comfort was food. I knew it wasn't right and my doctor always told me how to lose weight, I just never bothered to care, and just ate more. Clothes were getting harder and harder to find in my size, and jeans definitely weren't in the picture. So I was teased more about my "fashion style" My sophomore year in high school, I was at my peak in weight, weighing about 250 or more lbs. I knew things had to be done, so every morning, and night I would run (or rather walk/jog) about 2 miles. I now am a senior in high school, and I have lost 40 lbs, and hope for about 50 more.


Top

From: Melanie
This is my story...
 
I wasn't always fat. I have the photos to prove it. Prior to starting school, I was a petite child - possibly even underweight. I don't really remember being that thin child. I don't remember going from thin to fat. My awareness of my body began when the children in kindergarten began to call me names like 'fatty boom-sticks'. At that stage, I knew I didn't like being teased and called names, but I hadn't learned to hate myself. That came later. By primary school, I was well and truly aware that I was fat, and that I was, therefore, unacceptable. I had to get the skirt of my school uniform specially made, as the stores didn't stock my size. I wasn't even that big. By the time I was 10 or 11 years old, well meaning friends of my mother suggested that she put me on a diet, so she took me to a nutritionist. Thus began the daily misery of deprivation. I learned that food was 'bad'. I learned that I was 'bad' for wanting to eat, for needing to eat. Perhaps that isn't what the nutritionist and my mother intended, but that was what I learned. I began to skip breakfast and threw my lunch in the bin uneaten (since food was the issue, I was afraid to let people see me eat). By the afternoon, I would be ravenous, but wasn't allowed to snack (since my mother assumed I had eaten well during the day). I remember snitching chicken noodle soup packets from the cupboard, and eating them dry because I was so hungry. My dinner would be restricted to a small, hungry-making size as well. My days were marked by deprivation and hunger. Still I was fat. By the time of our Primary School graduation, I was bulging out of my school uniform. I came Dux of the School (ie. what is known as valedictorian in the US ), but that meant nothing to me. I remember hearing my mother on the phone to one of her friends, bragging about her brainy daughter. Understandable, right? But I started screaming at her: "Coming first in my class is nothing-- it was easy. Why can't you praise me about something that was hard, that was an achievement? Like that I've lost weight recently - can't you see that my skirt is looser? " Talk about screwed up priorities. As I entered high school, I was a mess. I became very withdrawn. I couldn't believe that people, especially boys, could like me. If a boy let me know that he wanted to go out with him, I thought he was having a go at me, and would go back to his friends laughing that I actually thought that he wanted to go out with ME. I rejected them before they rejected me. PE at school was hell. I remember one teacher in particular singling me out to do more laps because I hadn't come in fast enough. I was too fat for her liking. She would do anything she could to make PE hell for me. Oh, I am sure that she thought she was doing the right thing, helping me lose weight, but she was pushing me way beyond my physical capabilities, and all she did was embed a loathing for exercise in my mind. By 15, I had starved, dieted, pummeled and exercised myself to the smallest I ever was (size 12 Australian, which is smaller that the US sizing). But that still wasn't good enough for me, or for those around me. I saw myself as HUGE, elephantine, ugly, hopeless. I felt that I was a failure, because I hadn't attained the magical goal weight that the charts said I should be. Oh, I had lost weight....heaps of it....but it wasn't enough. My perceived lack of success was rubbed in by my stepfather, who bought me a T-shirt that said " I try to lose weight, but it keeps finding me", in puffy fat lettering. He would also say things to me like "you will never be Twiggy". I felt that he was telling me that I wasn't attractive and never would be. The crazy thing is that when I look back on photos from that time, I see a very pretty average sized girl - not fat. At least not as fat as I thought I was. My entire self esteem depended on my weight. It took me a long time before I found myself, and learned to accept myself in my body as it is now. I like my curves. I like the way my belly and butt are rounded and soft. Dieting to me is a four letter word (which is not to say that I don't eat healthily). Please if you have a fat child, be very careful and sensitive about the messages you give him/her. Try to give positive messages to your child - that s/he is loved as s/he is. Try not to embed the FOOD = BAD, YOU EAT, THERFORE YOU = BAD equation. It will do more harm than good.


Top

From: Amanda
This is my story...
 
I, 34, myself was overweight -- still am by 25lb., but my daughter age 10 @ 245lb.is very bad overweight. I try to help her; she wants to lose weight. We just can't find anything that works. The kids @ school are sometimes very mean and family sometimes say things. We need help; to help her . If anyone who read this knows anything that will help please let us know.


Top

From: kixx
This is my story...
 
I'm 12 years old right now and I am currently over weight. Some of my best friends are too. I love shopping with them. But when I have to go shopping with my mom I hate it. that means ill have to go try on pair after pair after pair of pants until we find a big enough pair. I'm 12 and already I weigh 158.5 pounds sad huh? My friends and I came from "Fat families" now my mom weighs about as I do and she's 42. :(


Top

From: April
This is my story...
 
As a child, I used to lay awake at night and fantasize about what it would be like to be skinny. I remember being made fun of by the boys at school for my weight and my mother and grandmother trying to "help" me lose weight. My grandmother was (and still is) always making degrading remarks about my weight, like "No one in our family has ever been as big as you are." She does this even though she is very obese as well and has been as long as I can remember. Like others on this site, when I look back at pictures, I see a healthy girl-child, maybe slightly more chubby than her friends, but not as fat as I always felt I was. The constant pressure to lose weight from my family finally gave way to me just plain starving myself as a teenager, (no breakfast, a glass of tea for lunch, salad or popcorn for supper.) I can remember being so weak one morning after not eating anything for about 3 days, that I couldn't even stand up when I got out of bed. I crawled into the kitchen and ate a couple of cookies, then crawled to the bathroom after I felt stronger and could stand and weighed myself. 103lbs. That is the least I have weighed since then, when I was 13 years old. I also took "speed" on and off for a while, when I could get my hands on it, which really wasn't hard, due to where I lived (not a good place) and who my step-family was (druggies, to put it nicely.) Today, I am 5 foot, two inches, and weigh 205lbs. The biggest I have been is 235 lbs., right after having my youngest child, who is 7 years old. I can eat whatever I want now, for the most part, and I still weigh the same, and have for about 6 years. I am through with yo-yo dieting, as I know the results don't last, and feel that if I had not done so much of it when I was young, I might not even be this big now, since the more you do "fad" diets, the more muscle mass you lose and then the weight comes back quicker and more of it. The problem is, now my youngest daughter, (who looks just like her mother), is talking about how fat she is and how all of her friends are skinny. It hurts deep inside to hear her talk this way, as I know exactly how she feels, but don't know what to do about it. I just keep telling her that she is a very strong girl, with great muscles, who can do cool things like backbends and walkovers (which she learned in gymnastics), and things like that, but it doesn't seem to help, because she still says that she's fat and ugly. My plan, (especially after reading these messages,) is to continue to tell her how great she is, to continue to help her find activities that she enjoys (like her acrobatics) and continue to emphasize how strong her body is and what amazing things it can do. I hope that one day, she will grow up to be an adult who has learned to value herself for being more than a "waif wanna-be", and for being the intelligent, beautiful, strong woman I know she will become. (Maybe I should start by learning to do this myself, eh?)


Top

From: Anonymous
This is my story...
 
When I was around 5 I think my family was outside on the porch around 3:00 and I was hungry so I went inside and got a piece of bread. I came outside and my parents told me in front of my brothers that from now on I had to ask to get food. I know it's not a big deal at all..but my appetite suddenly disappeared and I felt sickly fat (at 5 years old!!) from that day on I've been obsessed w/ weight. I've been dieting since kindergarten. I am now a freshman in high school and am 5'3 and 85 pounds. I weigh myself around 10-15 times a day and am actually feeling fat at this moment. Strange how one comment can change everything....


Top

From: Kari
This is my story...
 
I'm 14 now and a bitter-sweet happiness is finally right around the corner. I can't even say "It all started..." Because it's always been. I've always been the chubby one. My childhood idol was my friend from 1st to 4th grade, she was toothpick thin, and though she only brought up my weight once, she never ever cared if I was fat. My mum never cared, but my father. He was Mr. Health Guy. She always hinted to me that I was chubby, never outright saying it, but those hints hurt. Like, when I was in Gymnastics, I came home and was going to make two corndogs and he said that if I wanted to do better on the bars (In gymnastics) that I should eat less. All my life, I just wanted to be thin, that's all. Shopping was a nightmare, I hated it! At 10, I still hated my weight, but at least I wore what I wanted, not what I looked thinner in. At 12-13, I was 4'11 and 140 lbs. I snapped and starved myself. Got to 133 and stayed there for a while. Then went to a horse show, a girl I, even now, fantasize over being, was there. She's thin and pretty and I was miserable, none of the cloths I brought did I like, my dad told me not to eat too much strawberry shortcake, and, well, my period started, so I really didn't want to ride my horse. When I got home, I starved myself more. Doing this thing I call "Diet week." Starve a week, eat a week...I am now down to 115 (5'0)I'm not scared of weight as much, but I'm semi-satisfied, and trying out for 2002 rodeo queen with confidence. I've always wanted to be an actress and that's finally a possibility. Now, for the BITTER-sweet part of this. I'm still starving, I will NEVER be happy with my weight. My ultimate goal is 95. Though I don't know if I'll get past 105. Don't get me wrong, this is the best thing I've ever done in my entire life and I LOVE my dad with all my heart, he's not the reason for this. It's me. I judged myself too hard, I'm only 14 and I've never really been happy cause anything I like somehow is ruined by me thinking about how fat I am. Please, TO PARENTS EVERYWHERE, if you have a child under 5 who might be showing signs of over-weightiness. Don't bring the subject up, but please please please don't let her turn out like me. Don't let your children get fat or I assure you, they will not be as happy as they can be. I'm slowly learning to love my body, but will I ever be finished?


Top

From: Anonymous
This is my story...
 
As a kid my sister and my mom and dad were the ones who bothered me most about my weight. Once when my sister and me were going to bed, (I sleep on the top cause we had a bunk bed) she always said "hey the boards are bending!" and I said, "oh what am I supposed to do?" then she said "well you could gain less weight fatty!"


Top

From: Anna
This is my story...
 
When I was in the ninth grade I decided to go out for track in hopes of shedding some excess weight. I signed up for the grueling two-mile, and despite weeks of practice, my first race was a disaster. I was lapped by the winner and finished more than a minute behind the second-to-last runner. I will never forget what my mother told me on the way home from the meet. She suggested I pick a sprint instead so I "wouldn't hold up the track meet again" and so "people wouldn't have to watch me run like that." Although now I have dropped seven sizes and wear size 7 jeans, I still feel like that fat, slow girl who was an embarrassment to her track team.


Top

From: Diana
This is my story...
 
Hi, my name is Diana and I am 130lbs. I hate being this way and I know I'm fat and ugly. When I was younger ppl use to call me fatty but they don't anymore cause I guess they've became nice. I'm so fat I can't even do a summersault. my dad always says to me that I need to lose weight and he says this summer he's only gonna buy fruit cause he thinks I'm so big. its so embarrassing being this way cause my sister Victoria is 20 and she weighs 105lbs. I hate being this way and if anyone knows how I could maybe lose some weight please email me. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. :) Diana


Top

From: wanting to be skinny
This is my story...
 
After gaining about 80 lbs due to pregnancy we were at a Christmas dinner, when my oldest brother looked at me and Moooooed like a cow . I was so hurt I cried by myself for weeks. Always remember who and how you can hurt someone just by sound or jestures be kind we're only here on Earth for a short time and you have no right to judge anyone. Love the neighbor but most of all be kind to all. Thank you for reading this.


Top

From: Used to be fat
This is my story...
 
I started gaining weight in third grade. My family pressured me all the time through out my childhood. I had always been the 'bigger' friend. Then, all the pressure collided on me at once, and I became anorexic and lost forty pounds, bringing me down to 110 pounds. I gained back to 125, but I'm 5' 7" now, and I grew out of it. But, all I know is my problems always started with my family.


Top

From: filmguyfa
This is my story...
 
Three vignettes My childhood memories are spotty and random, for the most part. I'm terrible with dates- but images stick out in my mind. Here are a few: The first time I really felt low and unaccepted for being a fat kid took place in my bedroom. I had just returned from summer camp and my dad was doing some laundry. "Hey, look at this!", said my dad from the other room. He came in wearing a pair of shorts with my camp's logo on them. "I can fit into YOUR pants now!" I was shocked. He looked like a moron, but his message was clear. I remember thinking, "Aren't you supposed to be like, on MY side?", or something like that. Maybe I was ten years old. Another instance took place around that time. There was a girl in the neighborhood that had had a huge crush on me when we were both about seven years old. She used to sneak me into her bedroom and we'd hide UNDER her canopy bed. Then she'd give me all these little kisses all over my face. It was kind of fun, but I was too young to really be that into it. Yes, girls mature faster. Since that time I had put on weight. I was walking through the neighborhood and I passed "Becky" and her friend. I heard her whisper something to her friend. Then she said something to me, kind of insulting, don't rememeber what. "Didn't you use to like me?", I said. "Yeah, that was before you got FAT!". Ugh, kids. The final image exists only in a photograph. In the picture, I was 13 and going to camp again. I'm standing in front of my dad's car with my shirt held up so you can see my stomach. I still don't remember it being taken. But I'm pretty sure my father was planning it for a "before and after" picture showing how I'd lost weight at camp. This picture is actually in the scrapbook at my father's house. I think next time I visit, I'll put it on the fridge or something!


Top

From: Polka Dots
This is my story...
 
My compulsive overeating began in early childhood. My Parents weren't happy. My Father worked away and when he was around, he was physically abusive to my Mother. It was the Seventies... My Mother was either too afraid to leave my Dad, or too afraid to be alone in the world. I loved my Dad... I was Daddy's little girl who didn't quite understand that my Mother was being hit by the idol Father whom I loved. My Mother began to resent me. She was chubby, My Mother's Sister was chubby. I ate my little heart out. Sometimes we didn't have enough on the table. I would eat my lunch on the bus ride to school, and then starve the rest of the day. After school I would eat whatever I could find. I began to gain weight. I became the Fat chubby kid who looked different from everybody else. The kids at school never let me live it down. But I wasn't going to give in to their shallow little minds. I was a good girl, who cared if I was fat? (My Mother) My Mother took me and my brothers Swimming at a public school pool. My Mother sat on the bleachers on the other side of the glass. She sat there with other people, while I happily swam in the pool. I did swan dives off of the diving board. It was such a great night! On the way home, my Mother told me that as she was sitting there on the bleachers she listened to teen aged boys point me out and verbally make fun of me. They thought that the Fat girl in the polka dotted swimsuit was hilarious. She wanted me to know that she felt embarrassed, and that she wanted me to seriously consider losing weight. I never told my Mother that she hurt me, more than she could have ever understood. I was her thirteen year old "Chubby" daughter... and she just sat there and let those boys verbally make fun of me in front of her. She didn't stand up for me, she didn't acknowledge that she was my Mother. She didn't say a word. She just sat there. I felt sorry for myself that night. Sorry that I didn't have a Mother that would defend me. I felt more sorry for her though, because even though I would soon forgive her... I would never forget. I never have. I grew bigger through the years... and after high school I ballooned well over 200-250 lbs... I now am over 300lbs. No, it's not my Mother's fault. But I don't have a strong relationship with her, or my Dad... or my Brothers. I'm the Fat Girl... yes, it's true. But this is something that life has to accept. I am beautiful and a very kind hearted and caring individual. And I still long for A Mother's unconditional love. ~Polka Dots


Top

From: All This Pressure
This is my story...
 
MY MOTHER IS ALWAYS PUTTING SO MUCH PRESSURE ON ME ABOUT MY WEIGHT BUT WHAT SHE DOESN'T NOTICE IS THAT THE MORE SHE HURTS MY FEELINGS THE MORE I GAIN WEIGHT. I JUST WANT TO BE A SIZE 10 I'M A SIZE 16-18 IT WOULD MAKE MY LIFE SO MUCH EASIER.


Top

From: Sara Jane
This is my story...
 
I have been chubby for as long as I can remember. I have pictures of me and my identical twin from when we were little babies and we were fat little babies! We sure were cute though.. I grew up with my twin and a few older siblings. We I was the only real chubby one, and I hated it. I got into sports like swimming, diving, biking and soccer when I was in about 6th-8th grade and I lost a lot of weight. I was so thin! I didn't even realize it though. When I look at pictures of me at the pool from my freshman year of high school, I am shocked. You can see the bones in my legs, my totally flat stomach and my thin little arms. How did I think I was fat then?? Now here I am, 24 years old, 5'3" tall and a horrible 170 pounds. I look in the mirror every day and cry. My older sister is gorgeous. She modeled for Abercrombie and Fitch while in college..that is how pretty and perfect she is. She supports me, and knows I am fat, and tells me all the time that she will exercise with me. It is so hard though. I hate it so much. I am not sure if my weight problem is because of the physical and mental abuse I had as a child, or the fact that I was denied things I wanted. I was allowed one Mt. Dew a day growing up. I would try to sneak some in from out of the house, because it was "Bad" for me. I used to nurse a single can all day long in my bedroom. It was such a simple pleasure, but it meant a lot to me know. I don't know why exactly I am so fat, but I want to lose it. I am tired of the back aches. (I kneel in front of my desk at work sometimes instead of sitting in a chair because my tummy is so large and it hurts.) I am tired of sucking in my stomach to fit into a pair of jeans. I want to wear sexy nighties for my husband without turning red in the face. I want somebody to look at my face when I speak instead of my stomach. I dream for the day that somebody will accept me for who I am, whether I am fat or not.


Top

From: Alison
This is my story...
 
I remember being a "normal" sized little girl. I was in gymnastics and other kinds of dance and as I grew a little bit older I remember slowly growing into becoming the largest girl in my dance classes. I was eventually steered away from ballet and gymnastics and placed into jazz classes, where I was picked to play the lion in our production of The Wizard of Oz. I eventually quit when the humiliation and snickering got too intense. I started playing softball at age 10. The coaches would only put me in the outfield because I "didn't have enough speed" to be in the infield, even though I practised constantly to get better. I was called names, poked at, and eventually quit that as well. I became totally inactive and alienated from my body and am still fighting to this day the urge to forget that I live inside my physical body. In the seventh grade, my weight was about 160 at 5'3''. I was constantly ridiculed and the names were thrown at me every day. Two of my friends were about the same size and we bonded in our strength in numbers. We started a guitar band and the kids called us "the orchas" and pushed us down in the hallways. We survived it together and I thank God for them to this day for being there for me to talk me out of my suicidal thoughts, as I also did for them. My mother meant well but she would tell me that I wasn't aloud to eat anything except at mealtime and she would pack my lunch for school with celery and carrots only. If she would catch me sneak a snack she would make remarks in like "Do you want to be fat?!" I eventually turned to hate and pain after being such a happy child. I cried every day, cut myself constantly, began writing dark poetry and withdrawing from family and school. When I got to high school I even took up cocaine because I'd heard it would make me thinner. I eventually stopped eating and would do aerobic tapes over and over again every night before bed until I would pass out on the floor and sleep there all night. This was intentional- I would set my alarm clock for school the next morning before starting the tape. I lost 35 pounds in 3 months this way and was told over and over how great I looked by my friends and classmates and especially my mom. "Keep it up!" I heard again and again as a reminder that I was still not thin enough and that if I ever stopped this pattern I would fall back into the fat. Eventually, I gave up, gained the weight back and learned to live with myself. I went up to 180 pounds by the end of last year (my third year in college) and lost 20 naturally (WITHOUT DIETING) after moving to a city a few months ago and changing into a busy lifestyle. I am again at the weight I hated so much in high school but this time I think I'm just fine. I am still sensitive and feel self conscious and second-best at times but I honestly love myself and my body. I began to do martial arts and even dance again recently- even with a big belly. I actually used it to my advantage last year in a belly dancing course. I'm working this summer with kids and even leading positive body image discussions but I always feel that twinge of self-doubt before I fight it off. It's been a constant struggle but I am currently winning.


Top

From: Depressed1
This is my story...
 
This is my story.......I am a 12-yr-old, 170Ilb somethin girl.I've hated my weight.....since i can remember.My family wasn't and still isn't a big help at all. My brothers would always call me names like fatso and my sister,each time we got in a fight she would say "atleast i'm not the one who weighs more than her mom and sister."That hurt so much to hear. Everyone teased my weight.I didn't like myself or my weight. Everytime someone would say I needed to loose weight they said I'm just trying to help you, and they really weren't. They just criticized me.Once in 5th grade(now I'm a rising 7th grader)my teacher was talking about depression and stuff like that and she said most people who eat a lot are likely the ones to be lonely. SO there I guessed was my answer of why I was so fat, it was b-cuz i was lonely, it kind of made sense except for the fact that I had two younger bros. and 1older sister, but like I told you, they're not a big help.I sometimes regret being born and wishing I had a different family. Everytime I went out w/ my mom,and her friends and my sister all my moms' friends would say to my sister "o my god you lost so much weight,how do u do it?"They say it right in front of me and just look at me in disgust. I feel my parents regret and are disgusted of having a over-weight child.NO guys have liked me because of how big i am and the fact that i'm muslim.That just shows how rasist SOME people can be, others are like family.Except mine. If you have any information for me of how to lose weight.....please tell me!Thank you for reading my story.


Top

From: Pebbles
This is my story...
 
Right now, if I was to say what I think was the thing I heard the most when I was young is "You've got a beautiful face but you have to lose wieght." I was told this my mother about once a week, by my aunt about every weekend, by my father at every deep disscusion we had and by close family friends at every social gathering.I began gaining wieght when I was allowed to select what I wanted to eat, when my mother "loosened the reins". I overate to say the least. By the time I was in fifth grade, I hated my self and the skinny girls who flaunted everything. Most of all, I hated my family life. At home, there was always some ultimately unsuccessful diet. From Wieght Watchers (which I quit by convincing my mother to skip meets escalating to stopping altoghther) to strict meal restrictions. The most painful one was when my mother and I walked from our apartment home to my aunt's about a mile away. I detested that walk, showing off my wieght while watching people comfortably drive in their cars with air conditioning and radio while I trudged along in the South Floridian heat, making forced conversion with my mother. And my God, the pain. My back ached, my feet got blisters, the back of my legs burned and the air polluted by car exhaust caused headaches. Then, on the following Monday, after about a week of this terrible procedure, my mother summoned me onto the scale. After just a week of painfull walking and heavy meal regulation, I lost five pounds. I remember that as one of the happiest moments of my childhood life. The happiest was when I realized that I wasn't only a fat person. I was smart, a good friend and daughter, an espiring writer and a thoughtful person. Being fat was only one part of myself and if there was one bad part, there were thirty other good things.


Top

From: Nomad Soul
This is my story...
 
My story is going to be somewhat different compared to most here. I'm now 19, and have between a slender to average build. However, between the ages of 9 to 15 I was chubby, at one point a fat kid. I never topped any scales though, the heaviest I ever weighed was about 195 lbs at 13. Its very odd, my father's side of the family, well, just my father anyways, had a similar problem. We both began as very thin children, however as puberty begins to set in it seems one of our changes is we gain weight out of nowhere. However I gained extra weight during this time because this was a difficult time for me. My parents had serious financial problems, which took their toll. We had to move many times. I've never once in my life ever lived in a place for more than 2 to 3 years, so I've never had a chance to really settle down, and at one point I became completely enclosed to all others at school. That, and I could sense the apathy within the household often, as my mother and step father went into a deep depression due to their financial failure (which for their sakes I'll keep under wraps). But I love my family, deep down even in my closed off time I still did feverishly. They never have once made fun of me for my weight. My mother would sometimes poke a harmless joke at it, but it was mostly playful stuff that never hurt, I did the same to her often, but never anything traumatizing (looking at how big I was, I can never find the right words to describe my gratitude to them for that) Instead, they offered a much more logical and open minded view of it, they viewed it in a realistic unbiased way. What I mean is that well, my family (both sides) have always had a unique stature, we're an artsy family. ;) All of us believe that the concept of human beauty has been somewhat warped my today's media. While thin people can be beautiful in any form, they can also be ugly. Chubby and fat people can be beautiful as well, but can also be ugly. Its all a matter of perspective, I bet tons of so called "anti-fat" people have a secret admiration for them, but are a afraid to show it due to social pressures. Cowardice, plain and simple. At one point, my parents, although still burdened (though with my father's help over in Japan, they had an even better start), we have a concept that there's no point in toiling and indulging in misery and pessimisim (well, unless you actually like to). Whats the point? So they carried on, a little earlier I did the same. At school, I decided I wanted to get to know people, to make an impression. So I started with one, and through this time I went through so many changes, changes that haven't stopped until last summer. During the first months my natural chub completely dissapeared, just like my father. I had some left over fat still, but neither my mother, step father, or my father ever through negative commentary about it. Instead, they just said that if you want to lose it, just do it. If you don't, or can't, then what does it matter? Just do what you feel is right. I completely forgot about the chub for a while, and naturally took up a love of running and martial arts. Within 3 months, I am as I am now. But I can so see that if I was pressured even more, the battle would have either been much harder, or I'd be heavy still. The point to all this? I felt I was the ugliest thing on earth during this time, and I got my share of "fat ass" and "buhdda boy". But while the world would do whatever, my family supported me with a clear view of myself. They reminded me that I have an artistic gift and am very sharp and optimistic. And chubby guys can be cute in a different way than thin guys, but essentially the idea is the same. But at the same time, they kept it open, by saying the dangers of getting too big, and letting it warp my mind. Essentially, all it is is oil in you're skin, thats it. It can't decide the kind of things you're capable of, only you can do that. Despite hard times, they gave me an irreplacable gift in that while the world may riticule me if I am to be a chubby kid, I was one of them, and wouldn't be treated any different. This put a realistic optimism in my mind that helps me to realize that you can be optimistic and adventurous, while still knowing the dangers and pain that may lie ahead. If I stayed fat, my mind set wouldn't be any different. Remember this with you're children, if you're afraid of them becoming obese or fat, or chubby. Sometimes its natural, sometimes its not. You're job is too keep them safe and strengthen their minds. No matter what variation I'm positive you're child will come out with a powerful heart. Beauty can come in so many different ways, we all deep down know this, however society today is very narrow viewed about that, and only the most daring step out of that. It shouldn't be that way, and I think it could definitely change. But no matter how tolerant society becomes or not, there will always be someone who will riticule you. However, its in the same vein as someone insulting you for you're religion, or you're race, or your attitude. They do it just because it impulses them. Try to change that if you can, if not, then if you know in you're heart that you're a great person, fat or not, then thats all you need. That alone could change people in itself. Remember, plain can be pretty, round can be pretty too. Its all about finding the true perspective of things. This is what my family taught me, my cousin who is 246 lbs at 17 knows this through me as well, and knows this too. When you know this, people will for some reason acknowledge you even if they don't have a high opinion of fat. Thats because he proved himself a worthy person to know, as himself. In the end, while society, ignorant people, and plain idiots may riticule it, through all of that bull it really doesn't matter what you look like as long as you project something from yourself that inspires others, and its not usually solid. Life is so open, there's so many right ways to view things, others, and yourself, you'll know when you truly come to it. Yeah, I talk alot. ^^; Its mostly just ideals, but my family instilled this sense of openess in me. Parents, grand parents, and any family have so much more power over the future than they tend to know. Even if you come from a broken family, keep this in mind and hold on to it when your time comes.


Top

From: southerngirl
This is my story...
 
Here's my story. About age 4, my parents divorced, and I went to live with my grandparents, mother visited occasionally. We are from the south, and my grandmother cooked "southern". I was fed everything from ketchup & mayo sandwiches to sticks of butter. It's what I had learned to eat. I gained weighed quickly. I remember being around 10 years old, playing softball. I knew I was a little heavier than some, but it took seeing the team picture that I realized I was the largest. Weighing about 150 lbs. when I was around 10. But before that, my Dad remarried and my step mother became obsessed with my weight, making it so much more obvious to me. My brother took after my mom, petite, thin no matter what he ate. Me, tall, "big-boned", big appetite. Funny thing, before my weight bothered everyone else, it never bothered me so much. I was very active, but became less active because of depression. I remember so many times, not being able to have a slice of a birthday cake, or having my meals portioned. On the other hand though, I wasn't able to leave the table unless my plate was cleaned. That still baffles me as an adult. I had to eat exactly what I was given, when I was given it, but then was critisized. My Dad and I are so much alike. Tall, big framed, big appetite, he never complained about my weight. When my preteen years came, I was diagnosed with scoliosis and had to wear a back brace. The brace was so tight, I couldn't eat very much. I lost so much weight I looked anorexic. I was told that too. All the time, "you look awful", "you should eat something, you're as skinny as a rail". I battled depression off and on through high school. Gained weight depending on the situation. My looks were always such an importance in my life. If I had gained weight, I was unhappy & depressed. If I lost weight, I was praised & loved more. I learned that love was not unconditional. I believe now, as an overweight adult, that I became a topic to discuss. My weight was in every conversation, every holiday meal, every gathering. Getting dressed in the morning wasn't about fashion, or what looked nice, it was about concealing. Growing up feeling you have to conceal your body is an awful thing to go through. Feeling like your personality was never important, your life events weren't important, only your weight loss or gain. I have being very overweight as a child & adult, and I've also been very thin. I know now that being healthy is important. But I can honestly say that it doesn't matter whether I am thin or fat, my weight will ALWAYS be an issue to my family, and to me. I am 28 years old now, happily married with two children. My husband and I are both overweight, my children are not. I have moved a good distance from my family, and each time I visit them, I feel like I'm being examined, disected. This past Thanksgiving, while standing in line for dinner, I was asked my an aunt, "how much weight have you lost?" It's funny too, everyone wants to discuss with me their weight problems. I still have the desire, as an adult, to lose a lot of weight, and be able to say to them, "look at me now". But I know that isn't the reason to lose the weight. I am facing problems with depression as an adult because of my weight history. Society has made thin beautiful. My 8 year old daughter sees that. My husband sees it too. He's so sweet though, he tells me I'm the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. He says he doesn't see the fat. It even bothers me for us to go sometimes, to eat, to the mall, or to the beach. I know that most places I go, I will be one of the heaviest women there. Thin people stand out so much more to me than they should. I wish I could go back to when I was younger, knowing what I know now. It's funny, I was always told as a child, "learn from your mistakes". The way it should have been told to me, "learn from our mistakes". Thank you for all who listened, and for all who shared. God Bless.


Top

From: Noelle
This is my story...
 
I haven't always been a fat kid. I was pretty skinny until puberty hit me and then I started gaining weight. I'm a natural athelete and was involved in several sports, just as the fat girl. I was in track, basketball, volleyball, golf, etc, but I never could lose the weight. My mother (also a large person) would always tell me that if I just didn't eat as much that I'd be fine. Ha! I only eat 1500 calories a day and I jog 30 minutes everyday just because I enjoy jogging. I'm now 5'4, 190 lbs, 19 years old and can outrun, outhit, out play and out perform most of the "skinny" girls out there. So maybe I can't wear Abercrombie and Finch...so what?! Anywho, my mother has always bothered me about my weight. She even went to far as to encourage me to become anorexic for a while so that I could lose the weight and then I'd be able to keep it at that (my weight is extremely stable). So I tried it, you know, make Mommy happy, and I did lose 40 lbs, but gained it back due to being extremly depressed for about 2 years. Now I'm back, kicking butt, and laughing at my mother because I have a wonderful boyfriend who loves me and could care less about my dress size!


Top

From: BIG BUT BEAUTIFUL
This is my story...
 
Well I come from a Greek family of five girls. In our younger days we were all plump children that always loved to finish off moms cooking; or was it we were forced too? I remember all my other cousins, the kids at school being smaller, and more athletic than I was. My mom began when I was little trying to put me on diets to lose weight. I can remember all the names I was called and how I wasn't as active as I know I could of been because of me being a fat child. There were times where my parents would talk to other parents about me, and I always remember them saying "Don't worry, it is only baby-fat she'll grow out of it"! Little did they know, I didn't. Now, that I am 18, my mom continues to strive for me to be thin. I do not want to be thin, I just want to be happy. I know that the person I am right now is amazing, although I could better myself by losing a few pounds. I always question my self "Am I going to be the same person I am after I lose weight?" While I see others who have gone through changes and not only change their body, they change their personality which isn't pretty. My mom doesn't reliaze that the more she pressures me into lossing weight, the fatter I feel. I go out and get dressed up as thin people do. I get asked out, complimented, and loved. Why is it so hard to understand that being fat isn't as bad as people put it? I feel that I have accomplished a lot within my life even at the age of 18, and I am content with myself. I know that one day in the near future I'll start taking better care of myself and get fit. However, everyone needs to know that people live their own lives for a reason. Not to make others happy, not to impress the world with what they've got, but to accomplish a task that they are here for to complete. I know my mom does it out love, but when your a kid and you get pressured and outcasted so quick, it leaves a scar with you forever. I hope that teens that feel the same way as I do, understand that God gave us what we have for a reason, and God gives all of us a challenge that we can handle and get through.


Top

From: Lia
This is my story...
 
I'm 5'0" and 105 pounds. I've never been much skinnier or much fatter. Medically, I'm not considered overweight. You may not think I know what it’s like to be overweight. But I know what it’s like to be called “fat, fathead, lardbutt, fat pig, etc.” My brother, who has always been underweight, always makes fun of my weight. He’s convinced that I am an obese pig, and he’s starting to convince me, too. He always says that I’m so disgusting I deserve to die. He says I don’t have any friends because I’m so fat and revolting and people want to kill me and so on. When my underweight cousin came to visit me for the summer, he started making fun of me, too. My cousin, this perfect stranger whom I had never met before in m life, was calling me fat. It wasn’t just a kid, like my brother, making fun of me either. This cousin was thirty years old. I told my dad to make him stop, but it didn’t stop. I was tortured all summer. At that time, I was about 110 pounds. Still not overweight medically, but enough to be called fat. No one made fun of me at school, but the torment I received at home was enough to make up for it. My mother, while she never actually made fun of me or anything, always encouraged me to lose weight instead of helping me feel better about myself. After that, I started to diet. I got on this diet roller coaster that I can’t seem to get off of. Dieting is always on my mind. All I ever think about is food and exercise. I’ve been as low as 96 and as high as 112. My weight is constantly going up and down, which can’t be good for my body. Everything reminds me that I’m too fat, and food mocks me. I feel like I’m trapped in a nightmare. And my brother still calls me fat.


Top

From: Stephanie
This is my story...
 
I was never fat as a child. I was not always very skinny though. I have pictures of myself at around 7 or 8 at Disney World and I am amazed at how skinny I look. But ever since I was little I loved to eat and my parent's called me the buddah belly when I was little because my belly was somewhat big. I have no recolection of this except from what I've heard. I've always been a normal sized child and I see that now, but from the time I was about 11 or 12 I've seen myself as fat. There were skinny skinny people in my class whom I wanted to be like. Then one day at a pool party at my aunts house my dad commented that I was getting a bit of a belly. A harmless, perceivably helpful comment, but from that moment on I learned to be disgusted with myself. Even before that I would go on silly diets all the time. My mom and my two aunts were always going on diets and I emulated their behavior. I was not fat, I was not even overweight, I was perfectly normal. But I loathed my body. I started running track in the 8th grade and my body went from normal to slim. After track I gained back the 5 or 10 pounds I had lost and hated myself again. I began to skip meals alot and eat less and less. That wasn't a bad thing until I went too far with it. You see I've alwasy been an extreme person and I never do anything in moderation. I went on fasts and crazy calorie restricting diets where I would sometimes go on only 200 calories a day and then eat nothing the next day. It wasn't healthy and I dropped down from 105 to about 90 pounds in less then 2 weeks. I finally got so weak I couldn't stand because I would get dizzy and light-headed and it scared me so I quit it. Still to this day I'm a calorie counter and I'll go from eating what I want one week to eating bread and water the next. I don't know if I could be clinically classified as anorexic, but I know that this psychological inferiority complex will probably always be with me. Please, don't tell you're children that they're fat. Tell them they're beautiful amd strong. Build they're self-confidence instead of smashing it because anorexia is just as deadly as obesity.


Top

From: Scotianygirl23
This is my story...
 
This is actually a poem that I wrote for my father, describing the way he made me fell as an overweight child. If you have any comments, please feel free to look me up on aol im or yahoo under Scotianygirl23 Father The person you see is different from the person inside. The outside is a front hiding all of the pain and anger. As I say I love you to cover up all the years of mental torture. You don’t recall the things you had said and did; your alcohol abuse helped you not to remember. The hurt, the pain, the ugly person I once saw I see again. The nightmares of the verbal torture that dance and scream in my sleep. The anger and hatred that I hold inside my heart, my soul, and my memory. The rage that swells up inside of me yearning to unleash itself on you, to tell you the three words its been longing to say forever “I hate you”. To let the truth come out and introduce itself to you, to let you feel the verbal torture that you put me through. 19yrs later you would expect it to have gone away, but it’s back and eating at my soul. When I tell you I love you, I can feel my stomach knot as I push back the real way I feel for you. Those days when you came to me just to let me know how fat I was, how I would try to wrap myself into a little ball so you couldn’t see me. How every time you raise your voice I wonder if you are going to come after me with insults. Now when you yell at me I have this feeling in my heart of wanting not to hide myself but of wanting to hit you, to yell at you, to tell you I hate you. I wait that one-day you will decide to leave and never look back. Every night I wish upon a star hoping that bright delicate star in the sky will make everything better. The couple of years or months throughout these 19yrs that were actually good will never make-up for those years of pain that I and my mother have suffered through with you being so close. At night I try and dream the happiest dream. A life without the evilness of you…your demon within drifting away. Wondering if this dream of pure bliss will ever be fulfilled. No one knows the pain I am feeling inside, the pain that has and is eating at the insides of my soul. If I were allowed to tell you one thing, one thing without being punished for it, I would tell you how I have been feeling for the past 19yrs. The one way that my life has been tortured. I hate you, hate you for all the pain, all the anguish, and all of the bad memories I have of my childhood. These are the last words I would ever say to you if I could.


Top

From: osaggie
This is my story...
 
Why do I have to be The One?? Yesterday I read in the NY Times that DNA is probably much more a factor in "overweight" (even more than we already suspected). But oh, the cringing sense of physical discomfort, the desire to disappear...it will never go away. In some terribly way, I seem to be addicted to the sense of detachment or unreality that comes over me when, after having spent a day feeling very able to resist overeating, I end up stuffing myself with whatever isn't nailed down at home, after 7 PM. I seem to be split in two, one part of me helplessly, frightened, while watching the other part of me eat as though there were no such things as calories in whatever I am filling myself -- last night it was handfuls of Animal Crackers, of all things. Usually it is some kind of bread or crackers with peanut butter. Sometimes oatmeal with sugar, butter...the usual substitute for cookie dough, even though I haven't made cookies or cakes or pies in years, decades even. I don't allow myself to have brown sugar in the place, nor potato chips, store-bought cookies, etc. I would become morbidly obese very quickly, I'm sure. And somehow, the eating of sweets is the closest I can come to a sense of love emanating from my mother...that's the only way I could really please her, was by eating her pastries (at which she excelled in baking), even though I knew I would pay the price later. That would be when she was grousing about having to make all my fat clothes because I had no waistline and couldn't wear a skirt and keep a blouse tucked into it. Wore jeans for "chubbies," all the other degradation of not being like the other kids. What was WRONG with me, anyway?? What's wrong with me now? I've had years of therapy, spent thousands, stopped biting my fingernails: but I still haven't isolated the millisecond wherein I let go of myself and go into that split state of my mind just watching my frustrated body feeding itself. I remember my mother taking my waist measurement in front of a friend (I must have been about 10 yrs. old), and announcing that my waistline was 32 inches. Well, once I was thin and pretty -- aged 5 -- but then "something happened," and Mother took me to have all my hair cut off short, started sewing dresses for me that were totally matronly, etc. -- in other words, I was desexualized. It was a painful, eerie experience. The good news is that I managed to rise above it for the most part and not clam up and die socially. There was some part of my intelligence that just kept my chin up and made me keep my spirits up, if only for the sake of others around me, because I knew my pain would only be a huge drag if I expressed it. Mind you, I wasn't a class clown, I just kept my mind on my abilities, to read, make grades, appreciate beauty, etc. Although today I look like a golf ball poised on a tee, I still know to remain cheerful, and then nobody really cares if I'm overweight. But the deal is, I myself care so very much....


Top

From: Large Laura
This is my story...
 
Reading all the stories of the pain inflicted on children by "well meaning" family members makes my heart ache just as real as it was when I too was the victim of this familial theorpy. I have so many stories I could write for days, but I'll just share 1 today. I was a fat kid. I'm sure it had a lot to do with divorced parents who never really understood that there might be a need for some counseling, a philandering father with a god complex due to his position of small town doctor, and a step mother who HATED me because I resembled my mother. I have come to realize in adulthood that I was emotionally abused and neglected as a child. Food was always the easiest target for my father and step monster, so obvious and double the impact because it was a comentary on both my worthlessness and my mother's parenting. My father was embarressed to be seen with me and so the every other weekend I spent with him was a torture wrapped in a nightmere with a frosting of degridation for extra punch. Ironically enough my brother and I were frequently left to our own to scrounge for food, sneak things - Lord forbid you took something from the pantry cause it wasn't ours. More often than not Dad and Step monster would sleep the entire day on a saturday after morning office hours. Breakfast was usually a soda and a hostess treat on the drive in. Lunch was slept through so we didn't get any. Dinner was often as late as 9 because they had slept or fought all day. It's a wonder I didn't loose any weight- maybe that was the plan all along. I would pack/sneak things from home in my weekend case - cooking chocolate, jar of pickle slices, sleeve of crackers- just so I could eat something. I still have a bit of hoarding behavior today. The most degrading single event that I can remember was the Easter I was about 11 or 12. My step siblings were there ( rare since they often visited their father on weekends), we were all excited to get Easter Baskets. Sitting on the table were five baskets ladden with treats and goodies and chocolate and sugar of all sorts. My mind was racing with the glory of it, the trading and exploring, as I approached the table and saw one basket was different. My basket had a stuffed animal like the rest, but no treats or chocolate. My basket was stuffed with raw carrots, a few wilted celery sticks, and a huge bottle of TAB Cola. My Easter was low cal and publicly humiliating. I cried the rest of the morning and I remember that my Dad may have had a hint of remorse for it, but that was soon remedied when we were sent home early because I would ruin the family gathering that night.


Top

From: Amanda
This is my story...
 
I was an incredibly active child - when I was healthy. My mom always referred to me as the "million dollar child" as my immune system seems to have the performance standard of a Yugo. Needless to say, this has lead to more than average time spent sick in bed, and has possibly contributed to the ballooning protrusion that is my backside for more than two decades. (I might, however, note that I have the same body type as my father and his mother...but genetics has apparently become entirely passe in discussing weight ;) ) Needless to say, this left my petite little mother incredibly confused. How could her soccer-playing, tree-climbing, bike-riding, swimming, jumping, hyperactive little Panda Bear get so ridiculously girthy? We never ate out, mom always cooked from scratch and forced veggies down our throats with a voracity that would startle most hyenas. So she did the only thing that she knew how - she took me to the doctor and had them run all sorts of tests on me to figure out what the hell was wrong with my skin that it seemed to retain so much more blubber beneath it than everyone elses. My metabolism was fine, on the low end, but over-all in a normal range. My thyroid was functioning at a normal level. Everything seemed great and dandy. No medical emergencies for this little girl! At long last, I had made a trip to the doctors office and recieved a clean bill of health. Or so I thought. But, upon hearing this in the doctors office, my mother went ballistic on me and screamed that she had known from the beginning that this was my fault - that I was sneaking food and that I was a lazy glutton. Oh, and she had evidence. She had opened a tub of cool-whip to discover that most of it had been eaten. Nevermind that I knew it had been eaten over the top of some strawberry shortcakes that my dad had made for myself, my brother, and the neighbor girls and neglected to tell my mother about. I was eight years old. I started my first diet the next day. Slimfast is disgusting enough when you're 18 and drinking it out of your own desire to defecate you way to thinness. When you're 8 years old and forced to take it to school as your lunch, it is a downright punishment. It's even more of a punishment when your principal takes it away from you and forces you to get "hot lunch" which you then have to go home and explain to your mother. Don't get me wrong. Aside from this incident my mother and I have maintained a great relationship. And lord knows, if she hadn't constantly been at my neck about my weight, I probably wouldn't have pushed myself to work as hard as I did at other things, and I probably wouldn't be in gradschool at the moment. It's best described as a need to feel like my mother thought I was a worthwile person, rather than a lazy glutton with an eating disorder. I'm sure she'd be shocked to hear that. She loves me too much to even stand the thought of me thinking that way. But here's the disturbing part of this wonderfully one-sided tale of an overly plump child. When I actually DID develop an eating disorder, there was never any rush to the hospital. I was rewarded by having $500 of new clothes bought for me. Keep in mind, no one knew for years. But I knew, and that wonderfully mixed message about "good" and "bad" eating disorders formed itself in my head, as I was lauded for being so much "healthier" than I had been. Four years later I have gotten myself back to what I consider a "healthy" point. I'm still overweight by BMI standards, but I work out daily and eat a diet that that has a tendency to really annoy my husband, who has a a bizzare aversion to all things green. I still catch flak from my mom about my weight every now and again, but these days she's more interested in competition dieting with her friends (what IS the baby-boomers obsession with fad diets??) than worrying about me, as she's now ill more often than I am. To parents who may read this, and to parents who have posted here looking for help with their fat children, here is some simple advice: DON'T send your children the message that their life will be magically better if they are thin, or treat weight loss differently than you treat weight gain. If you want your kids to be healthy, then encourage healthy habits. Cook dinner yourself, go for family bike rides, take active vacations. If your kid is still fat, at least you know that they are eating well and are active. When you start to promote thinness as a goal rather than health, you set off all kinds of emotional trauma that children aren't ready to deal with. 12 year olds don't have the emotional stability to realize that you still love them even if you don't like their body. Their body is a part of them, and if you're constantly telling them its not right, they will inevitably believe that THEY are not right. And please please please don't ever send them to school with a can of Slimfast for lunch.


Top

From: kellycoxsemple
This is my story...
 
I read many of the stories on this page, but I reached the point where I couldn't read any more. Is it really possible that my childhood (and in particular, my family) was some sort of fantasy? My family is great. Although nobody ignored weight as a relative concept, nobody insulted or persecuted me for my size. Ever. If I took it upon myself to lose weight (which nearly every girl in America does at one point, whether or not she's "unthin"), my family was supportive and hopeful for my success. But they NEVER urged me to do it, NEVER pestered me about it, NEVER teased or mocked or belittled me. My parents believed in me and everything I was capable of accomplishing, and knew that none of it had anything to do with my body size. I participated in a million activities (my father was the town recreation director -- which means I grew up doing sports of all kinds), and I enjoyed a fruitful and happy childhood all the way into my college years. The world outside my family was harsher. I could certainly write my story in the other categories of this site. Classmates, neighbors, school nurses, family doctors, various rude adults... there's always someone happy to verbally abuse a fat person. It was BECAUSE of my loving, supportive, and nonjudgmental family that I was able to withstand the slings and arrows of life's bullies. I'm still fat. I've been healthy all my life. And I'm fortunate to love and be loved by an incredible family (including the wonderful man who married me nine years ago). Please, please, please tell me that there are others like me out there!


Top

From: Ash
This is my story...
 
I suppose I was never really fat. It didn't click with me until recently. Growing up, my parents always called me beautiful. My friends never called me fat; my guy friends even told me I was hot. I didn't believe them. The one whose opinion I valued above all was my older brother's. Big mistake. I proved to be a very ignorant girl. My brother wasn't the saint I thought he was, and he took to calling me fat. It makes me dumb, i know. A stupid girl. But it got worse. My brothe always told me I needed to lose weight. My clothes were too big. he convinced me that my arms were fat and that I had a double chin--- looking back I had neither. But my blind obedience to my big brother med me to believe that i WAS fat. He told me that mom and dad didn't call me fat to my face because i was their daughter, and they didn't want to hurt me. The same with my friends. My brother manipulated me into believing that everyone in my school called me fat behind my back. This went on for five years. The only time anyone convinced me otherwise was when counceling proved my brother to be mentally unstable. Maybe it makes me that way too, considering how willing i was to believe him. Some thing good came out of all of it though. I have never discriminated against anyone for weight or otherwise. I don't even joke about others weights. Sometimes I look in the mirror and still see what my brother imprinted on my mind. The the ones who really love me tell me the truth.


Top

From: Sara
This is my story...
 
“Come on! It’s just a little bit further- you can do this!” “I just… need to rest for a while.” I say as I stumble off the side of the trail, slinging my pack to the ground and sitting beside it. My father’s face gets fuzzy around the edges as I concentrate on breathing as normally as I can. The scouts are gathering around, staring at us. “We’re almost there! It’s stupid to give up now!” “I’m not giving up…. Just go ahead, I’ll catch up later.” My father looks around at the nine boys standing around, then leads them on up the mountain. I put my arms across my knees and stare at the dirt between my feet, taking tiny sips of air so the others won’t make fun of me. Tears gather in my eyes, and I rub them away with my wrists. Finally my brother catches up, and sits beside me, hanging his arm from my shoulders and glaring at the other boys. After an eternity, the last boy disappears around the bend in the trail. “Okay” Says my brother, and his hand starts rubbing on my back. I lean my head back and concentrate on breathing- trying to force air past the cotton bunched in my windpipe. I wheeze, I cough, I cry, and finally it eases. Still wheezing slightly, I stand up and lift my pack to my shoulders. “Go on ahead, I’ll catch up.” I say to my brother. He puts his hands on my shoulders and stares, concerned, into my eyes; then turns and hurries up the trail. Alone now, I can take my time. I can listen to the forest; the wind, the birds. I can walk, I don’t have to march faster than I am comfortable going. I get to the top and it is a beautiful view. I can see our campsite down by the lake at the base of the valley. My father walks up and stands beside me. “See? It wasn’t that hard.” I smile up at him, then look back at the lake. From up here I can see that it’s crescent shaped, and what we had thought was an island is a peninsula. Two people are fishing on the shore, hoping for trout, probably catching debris, if anything. Our campsite is the only wide part of the shore, twenty tents scattered in a field behind a rocky beach. I can see my mother sitting in a camp chair, her feet propped up on a log by the fire. She didn’t want to come on this hike this morning. Maybe I should have stayed behind with her. My father rounds up all the boys and announces that, as the slowest walker, I am to lead the way back to the camp. All the boys groan and roll their eyes at me. I hurry through the crowd to the head of the trail and start walking. Maybe they won’t see how red my face is. Maybe they won’t see me crying. I set a pace that’s much too fast for me; my boots slip on the path; really it’s more of a controlled fall than a hike. Soon it’s less controlled and more falling, and I end up on my butt, picking rocks out of my palms. Once again, the scouts start to pass me up, until my father shouts at them to stop. He helps me to my feet and leads me to the head of the group again, then returns to the back. My legs hurt, my hands burn. Doesn’t he see how hard this is for me? I just want them to go on ahead of me. I know the way back, there’s only the one trail to follow. I keep walking, staring at the ground, trying to hide the sounds of my breathing. I go at a more comfortable pace this time, trying to ignore the complaints from behind me, just trying to stay upright. My father starts singing a song, some old rock song that everybody knows. Some of the boys join in. He shouts ahead that everyone should sing. I ignore them, concentrating on walking, concentrating on breathing. I’m not trying to hide it anymore, I openly wheeze with every step. I’m now racing my body to the camp. Will I collapse here or in my tent? After about four choruses, the path flattens out, and the camp is visible just around the next bend. The scouts hurry past me, shoving and teasing each other. I skirt around the edge of the campsite and find my tent. I unzip the door and throw my pack inside, then crawl in and curl up on my side. I wake up to someone scratching at the roof of the tent. I peek my head out and smile at my brother. “Hey, it’s dinnertime. We’re gonna have spaghetti.” “Thanks,” I say, then crawl out and stand. “How are you feeling?” I borrow one of my father’s phrases; “Like I’ve been rode hard and put up wet.” He chuckles a little, then asks “Are you sure you’re alright?” “Yeah, I’m fine” I say as we walk toward the fire. I smile at my father and sit beside my mother. She tousles my hair and leans in to kiss my cheek. “Did you have a good time today?” “Yeah, it was alright, but I fell.” I answer her, showing my skinned hands. “You’d better wash up before dinner.” I walk to the edge of the camp, where a jug of water is tied to a tree. I squeeze a little soap from the tube tied to the handle and wash my hands. I go to my tent and get my flashlight and my dinner utensils; a collapsible cup, a plate and a spork. I return to the fire and sit beside my mother again. Dinner is finally ready and we all pass our plates to my father. He spoons rehydrated something into each dish. It tastes like the spaghetti they serve in the school cafeteria- plain noodles and tomato paste, but I eat it. After dinner we rinse our dishes, then hand them off to the boys doing dishes tonight. The rest of us return to the fire. The older boys tell stories and jokes they heard on other camping trips. I’ve heard most of them before, but I still laugh. The dishwashers return and my parents get out the popcorn and the marshmallows. I spear two marshmallows on my skewer and stick it in the hottest part of the fire. I smile as they catch fire and hold my skewer up, admiring the blue flames swirling around them. I blow the flames out when both marshmallows are burned, then wait while they cool. I see my father staring at me across the flames. “Are you sure you want both of those? Don’t you want to share with your brother?” I manage to keep my smile on my face as I shake my head, then I look back at my marshmallows. I quickly pull one off and chew. My mouth’s too dry, it only tastes like charcoal to me. I quickly shove the other one in my mouth and swish some water around to chase the taste away. My mother smiles at me and smoothes my hair. “Do you want some of my popcorn, honey?” I shake my head and lean against her side. Once everybody has what they want, my father sits forward and tells a story to the group. It’s one of my favorites, I’ve read the book he got it from. He’s a great storyteller, his voice rises and falls, finding the rhythm of the words as he speaks them, building tension until he reaches the conclusion. We all smile and clap, then he offers the marshmallow bag around to everybody but me. He doesn’t offer me the bag, but I smile and say “No thank you,” then excuse myself and go back to my tent. I crawl in and take off my boots, then crawl into my sleeping bag and shove the material against my mouth as I cry, as quietly as I can, until I fall asleep.


Top

From: Nike
This is my story...
 
I lucked out, really. I was fiercely independent (still am) which helped with the fat-shaming I got from my mom and brothers, and one of my half-sisters was very supportive. My mom meant well, I know. She didn't want me to go through what she apparently was. I watched her yo-yo diet off and on again for years. She still is. I ate what the rest of the family did and realized that I actually ate less when I found out that both of my brothers and my mom had stashes of sweets (this was when she wasn't on another diet). This didn't stop comments like "If you just lost a few inches from your waist, you could have a perfect hourglass figure" from my mom, nor my brothers from telling me point-blank that the only reason I was voted in as Prom Queen was because no one liked the other girl in the running. When we did the BMI in a junior high health class, I immediately thought it was worthless because another girl I knew very well who was boyish-shaped and got made fun of for being flat-chested (which was a very obvious genetic trait, if you saw her brother, or her mother) was the same height I was and I had recently been told that big breasts ran through my mom's side of the family. If BMI didn't take into account genetic disparities like breast size in women, how accurate could it really be? When my mom suggested I diet, I refused up until college, when I did it mostly because I wanted an excuse to see her every other week at the Weight Watcher's meeting. As soon as she stopped going, I did as well. I honestly hadn't tried very hard at the diet thing, sticking to the upper ranges and trying to fit my favorite foods into the regimen. I actually gained weight after a brief initial loss and didn't care. It took most of college away from my family before I realized that I'm freaking gorgeous. Yes, I'm fat and that's okay. I'm also lucky that I'm genetically inclined to add fat to my breasts and hips first, everywhere else later. When I point out I'm fat, people flounder and say things like, "Oh, no! You're just... pleasingly plump" or "Well, yes, but you carry it so well!" or something else like that. Going home is still a pain, though. Mom's constantly talking about her current weight-loss. My brothers are obsessing about theirs to the point of getting my dad involved (one is husky and the other one can eat anything and everything without gaining a pound and probably isn't bothering to get his blood pressure and other things checked like he should. He sill worries about weight, though, particularly his wife's and brother's). I'm still trying to figure out how to approach them with Health At Every Size.


Top