Growing up, I was bullied a lot for being a big boned, hefty, heavy set, a little husky or any other euphemism for “fat” you can think of. At the age of 9 I found myself hoping, wishing, praying I was just a swan gosling living in a duckling’s world and that puberty would solve everything. I would hatch from that cocoon a new woman with looks, personality, and confidence. 10 years later at 19 years old I still remained that awkward caterpillar.
Weight shouldn’t dictate who you are. I say “shouldn’t” because in my case, growing up overweight influenced my identity quite a bit. Even now I gravitate towards the larger sizes and styles – even though I know they’re too bulky for me. I cover my stomach while at the beach or conceal my body as much as possible in public changing areas – even though I’ve worked hard for my flatter tummy and diminished rolls. In the back of my mind elementary school bullies still linger and their voices still carry. Former fat kid syndrome is something I work through daily and although the confidence issues have improved, sometimes I gaze in that mirror and see my 10 year-old self’s plump, sad face staring back at me.
If you were a former fat kid, I encourage you to reflect on that experience. As much as it’s easier to ignore it, it’s much more important to not forget where you came from. Whether you’re a fitness veteran or just starting out, I bet that your fat kid self is thanking you for taking a step towards self-care and wellness.You might not feel like a butterfly yet, but then again, metamorphosis doesn’t happen overnight. Consistency, work, and a lil’ TLC will have you fluttering in no time.