Confessions of a Used-to-be Chubby Kid

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Written by Mary-Todd. Media by Jack Dawdy.[divide]
Growing up as the chubby kid, you know you’re the chubby kid. It’s almost as if people assume that you’re oblivious to the fact that you’re overweight. I can promise you that he or she is fully aware. Having been overweight as a kid, I can speak from experience. I remember the very first time I became aware of my weight. During a routine school physical, I stepped on the scale not giving it much thought until I looked down and saw the number: 100 lbs. I was in 3rd grade. That moment in time instantly triggered my fear of the scale, and I was made aware that I was “fat” in the eyes of my friends and the BMI charts. Thankfully, I was never “bullied” for my weight, but I was never made to forget that I was the chubby one of the group. “You can’t sit there, you know you’re too big.”
Trust me I know…

My oversensitivity of my weight became burdensome. I was overly anxious about going places with my “skinny friends.” If the activity my friends and I were doing involved food, I would purposely eat picturesmaller portions, lest they call me unhealthy. Sometimes, I wouldn’t eat at all. Pool parties were the worst because it meant I had to wear a swimsuit. I specifically remember begging my mom to let me wear shorts over my bathing suit to cover up my “thunder thighs.” The extra measures I took to cover up the undesirable parts of my body still weren’t enough to keep someone from making a comment. Those awkward years began to fade out when I started high school. Having played sports to combat the weight, I had slimmed up, but was never fully comfortable in my own skin. Even now a healthy 20-year-old, people still make remarks to me about how I used to be chunky. “You’ve slimmed up! I remember when you used to be fat!” Thanks…? What I learned after coming through that particular season is that I am still recovering from the negative memories (please understand that I don’t write this asking for sympathy, rather, I simply want light to an issue that pertains to us all). Our past negative experiences can and will affect our lives in the present, but we do not have to let those experiences define us.
Here are some truths that I think are good reminders, not just for the post-chubby kids, but everyone.
1. Your value does not rest on who you once were. 
This is a concept that I continue to struggle with daily. So often I look at old pictures of myself and still see that overweight 3rd grader. I constantly have to remind myself that I am created in the image of God and that is not who I am anymore. We are a new creation in Christ. Do not allow yourself to be bound by your past struggles.
2. We cannot shame ourselves.
I went through a stage where I would make fun of myself. Before someone else could make a comment about my weight, I would soften the blow by beating him or her to the punch. This defense mechanism led into my later teen and young adult years. WE CANNOT  DO THIS. This only allows for more pain, and it makes peoplethink that it’s okay to say hurtful comments. This is not okay and will only hurt yourspirit even more. Do not contribute to your own pain.
3. We have to stop comparing ourselves.
Another issue that I combat daily is comparing myself to others. I constantly need to be reminded that Creator of the universe designed me. Every detail of my being was woven together, and purposely made they way they were for a reason. With that being said, no person is the same, and no person’s story is the same. We have to get to the point where we can say, “Their story is not my story, and I’m okay with that.”
I am well aware that our individual struggles cannot be overcome in one night. Your experiences may be very different from mine, but each of us has the choice of how to respond to those negative memories. While these truths may not be new for many of you, I still hope you find encouragement, and are reminded that you are more than what you once were. You are truly a new creation.



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