Re-experiencing childhood obesity

Inspired by Lesley at Fatshionista’s post about childhood obesity as a onetime obese child, I lost a few hours sleep last night locating and digging through boxes to find my junior high school journal. I found a few other things along the way, and I may scan these souvenirs in and share them over the next couple of weeks.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to be “me” here — me, as in, connected with my identity in the “real world.” I have some fear of other things I’ve written out in the world before I was “out” coming back to haunt me, hence this space isn’t connected with those spaces, however, I’m sure it’s possible to connect dots and tie it all together. I can only proceed on the idea that maybe five people in the world would care enough to suss it out.

Without any further adieu, here is the entry from my journal I kept for 7th grade English and Composition, with my absolutely beautiful, fabulous, caring, fat teacher Nan commenting below.

For reference, here are two pictures of me at that age (please do not submit the picture with the cake to cake wrecks, as I’m not a professional decorator. The cakes — two whole cakes! — were for a family party celebrating my aunt and uncle’s marriage, an informal reception about 350 miles south of where they got married).

To the 1981 version of me…

Nan is right.

I think you are very pretty, and lots of other people think so too.



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5 responses to “Re-experiencing childhood obesity

  1. This is awesome. I love seeing these documents of the past. It’s personal, but it’s also very important to know how many of us had similar experiences — of feeling that our bodies were somehow “wrong,” and then looking back and realizing how utterly untrue that was.

  2. Amy Herskowitz

    It’s sad that there are probably millions of exact replicas of this journal entry the world over – with my own childhood diary included. How long did it take before you actually believed your teacher’s comments?

    • Amy — I know, this really could be anyone’s journal entry. How long has it taken me before I actually believed what Nan wrote? Uh, until about a month ago, I didn’t believe it 🙂

  3. Well, Nan and adult you are certainly right. The child in the pictures is pretty and not even fat by any rational standard. I was looking at a Sophia Loren film last night – she was fatter than you and was also an international sex symbol. I’m so glad you grew up and realized how beautiful you are.

    • Thanks, I’m really glad I grew up and have moments when I realize how beautiful I was then and how beautiful I am now. Beautiful in the most holistic sense, then and now.

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