I Used to Be Fat

By Mikayla Santana, Staff Writer

Whenever someone tells a story about being fat they talk about the bullying and the judgment. Something that people leave out is the aftermath of it all.  No one talks about how it affects you in the future; even after seven years, 45 pounds gone and growing a few inches in height I’m still terrified. I’m scared to wear certain clothes; I’m scared that if I raise my arms by accident or move the wrong way people will see the stretch marks on my stomach and laugh at me like they did when I was little.

When I was in third grade teachers made me go to the counselors because I wasn’t talking and others were teasing me. This is when I became really aware that others saw me differently.  Then when I got into fifth grade I started to grow taller and started to slim out. I started to run because they would make us run in gym and I thought it was fun to beat people to finish first. I started to gain true friends. My mom started to buy me new clothes. My life had started to change for the better. I work out and watch what I eat. I recently gave up soda for a year and my mom makes sure I avoid junk food because she is a fitness freak now.

Pants shopping almost makes me cry. I will try on a pair of pants and look in the mirror and stare at myself and feel depressed because I know I’ll never be thin and have a perfect stomach like most girls at school. And if I have to get a bigger size than I normally wear I will freak out and panic; my brain automatically goes to “you’re getting fat again”. I am forever in fear that I will go back to the fat little girl no one wanted be friends with.

I used to think it was my fault and thought I was eating too much, so I started skipping meals. Once, I went three weeks without eating breakfast or lunch, only eating small stuff at home. When I was younger going through that middle school phase, I had small eating disorder; it wasn’t an everyday thing but it was there. It’s gone now but I have the urge from time to time.

I have always hated pool parties. Pretty girls in pretty two piece bathing suits is something I don’t want to be anywhere near. I guess I don’t want to be judged for my pudge. Everybody tries to give their opinions like “wear a one piece” or “no one will judge you”. Trust me, I have thought about these suggestions; I have spent lots of time online looking for a cute one piece, but there truly aren’t any as cute as two pieces that are different colors and have sparkles and jewels on them. Plus, everyone gives their opinions and judges people even when they don’t mean to. It’s a way of life. Sometimes they do this to feel better about themselves. On the occasion that I do go swimming, I wear shorts over my swim suit, cover my stomach and wait until no one is looking or until they’re doing something else that’s distracting them before I jump in.

Over the past few years I’ve grown more comfortable with myself, gaining really good friends who don’t really care what I look like and think I look perfect. When I go with my friends and family I don’t really think about what people think about me. I’ve grown more comfortable in the world and grown out of some of my fear. What I’m trying to say is that even though I look completely different and look confident, being bullied because I was fat had a big effect on me. It hurt me for years and still does from time to time. I have overcome a lot, but being bullied for being fat will always affect me; I hope to overcome it completely someday.