All right you guys.
I finally have some pictures of myself as a young teenager.
I've told you all before that I was 140+ pounds and a size 14 by the time I was in 7th grade. At the time I didn't think I was fat. Well, not until the other kids started making fun of me, right around the time I turned 13.
Also, I really thought I had great hair.
I recall I was not the biggest fan of mirrors. Let this be a PSA: look at your outfit before you leave the house and allow people to photograph you. I hope someone burned all those clothes after I finally stopped wearing them.
Braces? Check. Unruly hair? Check. Ill-fitting tanktop? Oh yeah!
Honestly, though, what upsets me the most is that no one - no pediatrician, no nurses (I went to the ER for asthma attacks semi-regularly until I was 15), no specialists (I had several orthopedic issues) - ever said, "You need to lose weight for your health."
I was obese. My weight was making my asthma and orthopedic issues worse. Why didn't anyone ever sit down with me and say, "You should be more active; go on walks after school, and stop eating an entire bag of Snickers every afternoon, and half a tub of ice cream every night."
I really think it would have made the rest of my life easier. It's always harder to maintain a low body fat percentage when you have held a relatively high proportion of body fat for the majority of your life. Who knows - had I been thin and accepted in middle and high school, maybe I never would have descended into the depths of anorexia.
Who knows. There's not much use speculating about what could have been. On the bright side, I do appreciate the broad spectrum of experiences I have had: I know what it's like to be an obese pre-teen and teen; I know what life as an anoretic teenage girl is like; I know what it's like to gain eighty pounds over the course of a year during the recovery process. I can relate to - and, ultimately, help - a lot of people.
PS: I'm sure everyone has heard about the tragedy in Colorado today. Please join me in giving blood, no matter where you live. My thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families.