From Frugivore — Running like my life depended on it, I circled around my middle school building with fifty other girls determined to make our school’s track and field team. Personally, I was not hell bent on being a track star. However, all my friends were going out for the team and I certainly was not going to be the lone star taking the regular bus home directly after school. I never had played a sport beyond gym class and church picnics. Thus, consistently running laps for over an hour almost made me pass out. Not only was I overweight, but also the majority of my excess fat sat on my abdomen, an integral muscle for speed and agility. After years of Happy Meals, minimal exercise, and a pregnant-looking belly, I finally decided to get fit at age twelve.

While the decision primarily stemmed from the desire to be near my friends, I grew up listening to snide jokes about my chubby stomach, from both adults and children. I had been called everything from the Pillsbury Doughgirl, with people poking my belly for an extra laugh, to adults insisting that I must be pregnant even though I had not even experienced my first kiss. Thankfully, my family never tolerated or participated in the sarcasm. In fact, I credit my family with my body image confidence throughout the majority of my life. I remember being a young girl and wearing a size 6X, yet having no clue that X sizes were made for chubbier girls. I just assumed it was a regular size between 6 and 7. No one pressed my weight issue or forced me to exercise.


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