by Lauren Terveen
Since fourth grade, I have been the “fat girl”.
That was my title. I don’t remember a day when I was really “skinny.” I hated it; I mean, hated it. I never got to wear cute clothes, and I never felt pretty or believed that guys would ever like me. So I hid behind food, my weight, and being loud.
In junior high and high school, my struggle with my weight grew. I was sad, lonely and depressed, and food was the only thing that was always there for me. I had nobody encouraging me to lose weight in a loving manner. Friends and family would say things like, “Hey Lauren, are you sure you really want to eat that? I mean, there are better choices. You don’t want to gain anymore weight.” So I would diet and I would hate dieting because I wasn’t doing it for me– I was doing it to please everybody else. I hated who I was and where I was going. I hated my body, I hated my mind. I just hated the world. I hid though; I never showed anybody what was really going on, because I was supposed to be happy all the time. I was supposed to always be laughing, even when the jokes were pointed at me. I remember one of my “good friends” nicknamed me fatty, and man, did it bug me. Instead of saying anything though, I joked it off and thought, “It’s okay, she is only joking.” But my heart hurt every time I heard it knowing that all she saw me as was fat.
I hoped that college would be a new start and a new experience. It didn’t take long though to realize I was still the “fat girl.” Even worse, though, grew my belief that no guy could ever love me for being fat, so I found no harm in getting drunk and messing around with men. “Better than dying alone,” I told myself. I then fell into the pattern of believing that a man would only love me or want to be with me if he was drunk. I never thought I was pretty or gorgeous– I just felt ugly and fat. My depression grew and controlled me, and I never wanted to get out of it.
In May of 2011, my life changed for the better. I stepped on a scale and saw a number that I never wanted to see at the age of twenty-two– 298 pounds. I began to work out thanks to a new internship, and by the time Fall came I had lost 48 pounds. Despite my progress, I still found myself being loud, acting happy and outgoing, and still hating it. I then decided to take a semester off to better take care of myself. I joined a weight loss group in my church and I lost another 52 pounds.
I may be down 100 pounds total now, but a lot of my insecurities still exist. For example, I have stretch marks all over my body now. I also have a lot of extra skin. These are not the most attractive things, but they show how far I have come. The biggest insecurities I still struggle with is the way I look at food, and wondering if a guy will ever love me. The truth is, the men in my life do not define my worth anymore, and neither does my weight. My worth is more than that number on the scale, more than the men that I have messed around with, and deeper than this beauty that is outward.
So whether you are 120 pounds or 220 pounds, embrace your beauty. You are beautiful and you are fearfully made! Do not allow society to tell you otherwise. I have taken back my worth, will you?