I Can Probably Eat More Than Michael Phelps

My life has been about halves.  I’ve already mentioned about the two cultures that make up who I am, but another aspect of my life that could be broken down into halves is my weight. 

When I was little I was as chubby as can be.  I know it’s hard for some people reading this to believe that, but yeah, I was the “fat kid,” and people weren’t afraid to point it out to me all the time.  I’ve always thought words are powerful, and especially the words you tell a kid.  

I would hear things like “hey fatso” and “why are you so fat?” on a regular basis. Some of you may not have been teased for your weight as a kid, but let me tell you, it’s not a barrel of laughs to be teased about it. It’s so easy for someone to call you “fat” but what they don’t realize is how low it makes you feel to hear it repeatedly.

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People pointed it out to you as if you were unaware what the shape of your body was.  As if you had no lights in your house, and you couldn’t see what was looking back at you in the mirror.  What right do you have to make me feel bad just ‘cause I don’t weigh the same as you?  I’ve never gone up to someone and mentioned anything about their weight when meeting them.

“Oh my goodness!  You’re sooooo massive!  How can you come out in public?”

You know why?  It’s because I believe it doesn’t matter what shape you are!  The last I checked we weren’t robots who were all made in the same mold.  After being teased for a few years, I had decided I wanted to be a pediatrician partly because I wanted to give kids encouragement when they came to me.  I  wanted to help them not just with their physical ailments, but also be a voice of kindness in their life.  Did I become a pediatrician?  No way!  But my heart still goes out to kids (and people in general) who are going through something in their life.  

Up until my teens I was chubby, but due to a health issue I’ve been lean ever since then.  You may be thinking “you’re lean now, that’s great you lost some weight!”  I would tell you it’ s not that great when people feel the need to ask “you’re skinny, are you eating?” time and time again.

I’ve known people of all shapes and sizes in my life, and not once have I made them feel bad for their weight.  After being teased as a kid, I know how hard it is for some people to go through life with a body they might not be comfortable in.  What right do I have to throw their discomfort in their face?   

Do I get along with you?  Great!  What does it matter what you look like on the outside?  As a kid I thought life might be easier when I lost weight, but you know what?  It’s not all hunky dory being thin in my case.  People still feel the need to interject their opinions about how I should look.  

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And for your information, I have quite the appetite!  I don’t count calories, and I will not hesitate to have six slices of french toast!  I can’t help what my body looks like, but you can help making me not feel bad by zipping your lip. We’re all human, and that means none of us are perfect.  

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes when you meet them.  Would you like it if they made fun of your appearance?  Probably not!  So why do you think you can say harmful words when you meet people?  I would give anything to put on a few pounds, and that is something you probably don’t hear many girls say.  Don’t assume I want to be this size just like I won’t assume something about your appearance. 

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