OK, time to go back in time. The year? 1997. I was a freshman in high school. I wasn't what you considered "popular" but I also wasn't a person that lacked in the friendship department. I pretty much always had a boyfriend, had a great group of friends that I spent my time with, and overall life was pretty good.
So, why did I pick high school to talk about? Well, despite the fact that life was pretty good through my high school years - I did suffer with a problem. Any guesses on what that problem might be? Yep, my weight. I weighed about 140lbs. I was 5'6" tall - so I wasn't exactly HUGE. Compared to the cheerleaders and the "popular" girls, I was still carrying around 40-50lbs more than them. I'm happy to report that my weight didn't effect me to the point where I did anything to harm myself - like starve myself, or take dieting pills (which were popular back then), or develop an eating disorder. I just lived with the issue, probably better than most people in my situation - but it doesn't take away the fact that it hurt to be "the fat girl".
My weight never really became an issue during every day life, but there were several occasions that I was reminded how much bigger I was. During my Freshman year, I had a huge crush on a popular guy. I'm not going to use any names - but man, was I in love with him. I can't tell a horrible sob story about how mean he was to me, or how he constantly called me names - he just wasn't like that. We were friends. We chatted during class, we occasionally saw each other outside of school - but it was something he said to me one night that really made me realize how much my weight can affect me. We had grown pretty close, started hanging out more, talking to each other on the phone - and I had started thinking "wow, this is it, I'm going to get to date my dream guy". I really thought he liked me, and loved our long phone conversations. Then one night, he said something to me that has stuck with me ever since. He told me that he liked me, he really liked me - but there's no way he could date me. He explained that his friends would make fun of him if he dated the "fat girl". I wish I could explain this without him sounding like an a**hole, cause he really wasn't. He was a high school kid, a guy that counted on his sporty reputation to keep him popular but never became a jerk about it. He was friendly with everyone - and that's what I loved about him. He explained that he'd liked me for a long time, loved having phone conversations with me - cause we could flirt around like we were boyfriend and girlfriend - but that we could never actually become that...his reputation wouldn't allow it. It was the first time in my high school life that my weight had become an issue.
It was that phone conversation that ultimately led to a complete make-over on who I was. Up to that point, I enjoyed wearing the latest fads, trying to look cute as possible - like the other girls did - until I realized that people thought of me as "the fat girl". Things began changing. I began wearing baggier clothes. I started "hanging out" with guys, rather than trying to date them. I began twisting my girly lifestyle and transforming into a tom boy. I would discuss sports, music, even girls with the guys I hung out with. My girl friends remained my girl friends - but I became a tool for them to hunt down the guys they liked and help hook them up. Don't get me wrong, I still had boyfriends, but rather than trying to date the popular guys - I stuck to dating guys that were under the radar...the band nerds if you will. I don't say that out of disrespect to them, because I was also a band nerd. I just basically gave up on trying to be like the popular kids, or becoming one of them - I knew my weight would never allow it.
It just blows me away now, looking back, how a 140lb girl could be the fat girl. Now, I'd give my right arm and leg to be that weight again. I haven't gotten any taller - I've just gotten wider since then. Wondering what I'd look like now as 140lbs requires looking in an old high school year book. I looked amazing!! Sure, in pictures with other girls - I was obviously the bigger girl - but now...wow, it would feel so good to look like that. 140lbs isn't even my goal weight - my goal weight is 150lbs. Getting down to my high school weight would be great, but not something I will dwell on.
The reason I shared this story is because despite it having an impact on my high school life, I have a daughter that is starting to reach into this world. She's in 5th grade, and that's just like the equivalent of high school nowadays. She's already ga-ga over boys. She's already self-conscious about her weight. She already deals with name calling and teasing because she's not 4ft tall and 65lbs like the other girls in her grade. Prairie Dawn is beautiful - she's a mini me (LOL). Unfortunately for her, she has my body structure. She's extremely tall for her age - over 5ft tall!! Unlike her mother, though, she constantly frets over being bigger than the other girls. It's easy for me to tell her not to worry, but after recalling my story - I know where she's coming from. This, my dear friends, is why this story is so important. While we try to make ourselves healthier, thinner, and fitter - we MUST remember our kids in all of this. They have to be a part of the lifestyle. Kids are never too young to exercise, eat healthy foods, and life a healthy lifestyle. Our positive actions send out a massive message to our offspring. Prairie Dawn has already started seeing results. Without "dieting" my beautiful daughter is becoming leaner, stronger, fitting into the clothes she so desperately wants to wear. It's changing her mood, she's happy - enjoying life a lot more - and at the end of the day, raising happy, healthy kids is a huge motivator in our own journeys.
Well, time to get back to the present time - and ready to head off into the world.
Starting today, I will be sharing my POSITIVE NOTE of the day:
Results require hard work - something you are great at!!
This will be posted on my Post-It note next to my desk today. What is yours going to say?
Till next time. ;)