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Part One: I wish I had a better memory...

The pictures tell me that in second grade I began to get “chubby”.
By fourth grade I was overweight and in fifth grade I was considered "obese".
I guess I should be careful what I wish for because in reality the memories I have from fourth grade until now are painful enough, I don’t really need those few previous years to know the depth of my journey, seriously....

!Facts about where I come from!
Fourth Grade – I wore the same six outfits the entire school year. They were the only clothes that I felt I could bare to be seen in. My young mind was convinced that each person that I came in contact with judged me as harshly as I judged myself.
Fifth Grade – My aunt purchased a swim suit and a cover up for me to wear to the end of the year pool party because I did not own a single bathing suit. Imagine living in FLORIDA and not owning a swim suit! I was astonished at how bright and attractive the fabric was. The cover up was so pale, delicate and fashionable. For days I looked at the suit hoping that I would have the courage to put it on and show off my gift! Well I did – but I never took the cover up off. I never went into the pool. I sat at an un-shaded table for hours in the summer heat with all the parents while my peers enjoyed their last summer before entering middle school to become a teenager.
Sixth Grade – I bought every single piece of my school clothes from the Target “B.U.M” clothing line because it was the only place where I could find clothes that fit my size and were age appropriate. Imagine the variety I had to choose from 6 whole racks! :sigh:
Middle school as a whole was harsh and morbid. Every single day was a struggle – I skipped so many days because I felt like I needed a break from the torment. My mom always was comforting. She rarely questioned my absence from school. To be honest I believe she enjoyed the company. I invested a lot of energy into being a well behaved honor roll student. It was the only way I felt like someone would recognize me. Not a single person, not even my best good friend who I told everything to, knew how deep the jealousy and envy ran – I guess I was good at pretending. When all you’ve known is to want to be someone else there is no foundation or selfworth. I didn’t see it as being fake I was just trying to be the person that I thought would make me more likeable. I wanted to be a “normal girl” with a boyfriend. I wanted to be invited to a dance. I wanted to be liked….

Fast forward to the summer before going into high school (2002) – This is when I first realized that I’m not as helpless as I had thought. It began with my next door neighbor (Tara) inviting me to start Weight Watchers with her. I remember it so well, we weighted in on Wednesday nights and EVERY week we would stop for Chinese food on the way home, major LOLs. We lived just a few steps from each other so most nights we would walk briskly for 30 minutes to get some activity in. I started to eat breakfast and pack a sandwich for lunch each day. I didn’t focus on nutrition or eating balanced. I wanted to lose weight and I was easily by just changing a few things. I got to a size 7/9 about 145-150 pounds while on the Weight Watchers program. At that point I decided I wanted to stop and just be a teenager. So I did and everything started to fall into place, in my eyes. The girls that I wanted to be friends with welcomed me. I finally had a real boyfriend – A VERY manly popular senior one to be exact when I was just a newbie freshman. I could shop where my peers shopped! I was living the good life, the only thing I wanted to change was living at home. Oh, So naive!

To be continued…

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