When I graduated from elementary school in Taiwan, it was a trend to have all your friends write a few words and leave their contact info in a cute notebook.
When I was in Taiwan visiting family last week, I helped my mom clean out some storage boxes. In one of the boxes was my cutesy little notebook, full of my friends’ 12-year-old writing and mug shots. Ah, how nostalgic…until I started flipping through the pages.
The one common theme of all the well wishes is that all my friends wished I would successfully lose weight. I was repeated referred to as the “fat girl”.
As a chubby 12-year-old, my friends called me “fat girl”. My dad often pointed to obese people on the street and said one day I will become like them. My mom sometimes sent me to school with nothing but steamed vegetables in my lunch box to help me lose weight. It was cemented in my mind at a young age that I am fat. Even if I didn’t think that I was fat, I had enough people telling me I was fat.
I’m not bitter or angry about any of this history, because I choose not to be. I certainly didn’t write this post to cry a sad river about my childhood. I have enough awesome things going on in my life to realize that I’m more than just a fat girl. However, that doesn’t mean it is easy to change the way I think about myself. It takes so much energy to fight the negativity wired in my brain about being fat.
I just wanted to be vulnerable and share this little piece of carefully guarded hurt with you.