The year is 1998. I'm in eighth grade health class. We're doing a project that involves charting our growth from infancy to the current day. And I'm embarrassed to turn in my project. I don't want the teacher - or any of my classmates - to know how much I weigh. Or rather, how little I weigh - less than 70 lbs.
I spent a long time being known as "the skinny one" and everyone felt they had the right to comment on my size: "You're so skinny! I hate you!" "You need to eat more!" "How do you do it?" Even Eli believed, when he met me, that I was secretly bulimic.
Three years and thirty more pounds later, I had an identity crisis. No longer "the skinny one," I had no way to stand out. I believed I had failed. I tried to lose the weight - I started a crash diet of 600 calories a day and manic exercising. It worked, for a while - but I was miserable and quit (thank goodness!) and the weight came back.
Flash forward to last week at work. A woman with a clipboard comes by and pulls me aside. They're ordering colored jeans for all the female employees to wear! Fun! She needs to know what size pants I wear. I have no idea. "Eight? Sometimes six...no, Junior's sizes? 9, maybe 11? 13, to be safe?" She looks me up and down skeptically, and after a pause, declares, "I'm marking you down for a 9." I let her do it...and then panic that they won't fit when they come in.
The truth is, I have no idea what size I am. And I really don't care. After two years of self-loathing and blame, I decided I no longer have the energy to devote to worrying about what other people think about my looks. It doesn't matter what they think, it matters what I think!
This is me - ALL of me! 5'8", 129.2 lbs!
I don't think I need to change a thing!
Except my self-timer skills.
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