Growing up I never seemed to find somewhere that I was accepted. I was the odd looking one, the overweight girl, the nerd, the band geek, the socially awkward girl. As I got older I would find sometimes a few friends who would befriend me but there was always something that I could never get over- my weight.
First you have to understand something about me, growing up I was picked on because of my weight. In 4th grade I was in ballet and I loved it so much. I asked my mom to continue but she said I was to heavy to do it anymore. Weight was always a big issue. It was “try this diet Kaela” or “You shouldn’t eat that Kaela” but nothing in the house seemed to change. I joined swimming, which in itself was a step of confidence because, well lets face it I was the largest girl on the team and swimming isn’t a sport for the heavyweights. But I loved it, I was passionate about it.But still, I didn’t fit in.
When I started going to youth group I connected with a few girls, but the hardest thing for me then was sleep overs. I watched as other girls would share clothes and they would all go through this exchange always knowing that there was someone else in the group they could share clothes with because they were all similar sizes. But not me.
High school went by fast. I began criticizing myself and trying to watch my weight. And by watch it, I mean watch it not gain by not eating. I began this process of picking which meals I would eat. It got down to where I’d eat one meal a day. On days that I would eat more, I’d be cautious. Then there was the cycle of overeating and purging myself. None of it ever worked.
College started. New kid on a new campus. I slowly began making friends. Guess where I ended up? On the swim team. I thought I was doing fine. I had suppressed my cycles of not eating and purging. Until I started feeling like I didn’t fit in anymore. I had one really hard week of where I barely ate and purged most of what I ate. It was the week before a swim meet and I had lied to my friend saying I was just sick. Well some other stuff happened and in the end I didn’t swim that meet even though I tried to. I let my secret out that night. I thought I was ok after that. But in the end I wasn’t.
Yup, Sophomore year started. Fall term was rough, with home issues going on, adjusting to a new job with lots of responsibility and dealing with not having some friends around. I started to fall into my cycles again. This time, when Short term came i was back to square one. I increased my workouts, ate very little, and purged when I ate more than what I thought I should. I still had no results. Soon a friend noticed my behaviors and we finally talked. I spilled. The next week was break and I vowed that when we got back I’d start counseling. And I did.
It’s been almost a month now since I have not purged or starved myself. Sure I have days when I am tempted beyond belief but I know it doesn’t help me. I’m still the largest girl in my group of friends, but I’ve come to learn that they love me for who I am. Yes I still want to change who I see in the mirror, but I”m not going to kill myself in the process. I’m surrounded by girls who care about who I am on the inside and who see me for who I am. I still don’t fit in with the whole sharing clothes, I’m still the big girl on the team(although I am slowly dropping that), but none of that seems to matter to me anymore.
I’ve learned that I must accept who I am before others can ever truly accept me.