Hi, my name's Georgina, and I'm fat.

I've been fat my entire life. I came into this world weighing a whopping twelve pounds. I slimmed down once I started walking, but by the time I was in third grade, I was fat again. My clothes came from the husky section of Sears or Penny's. 

I remember my godmother telling my mom that she should really do something about my weight. I remember my mom putting me on a diet, but it only lasted a few days. 

I was signed up for kid's nutrition classes as a kid. I would even walk to them on my own. I remember hating PE, especially when I had to do sit ups because I couldn't even do one. There was that one time in sixth grade where that kid counted them anyway. When he told Coach I'd done 30, she didn't even question him. I still wonder why he did that. 

I remember going to a doctor, when I was in 7th grade, who told me that if I kept going the way I was, I wouldn't be able to walk through the door when I turned 18. Then, as I was walking out, he and his fat wife were scarfing down a pizza. He was also fat. 

After said visit, I took up biking. I would ride my bike against the wind and uphill in hopes of getting him to shut his mouth. I dreaded going to the doctor after that. In fact, I went to see him once more until I was able to convince my mom to take me back to the clinic where I took the nutrition classes.

Sometime in high school, I went to see a nutritionist. She taught me a lot about eating healthy and exercising. I kept up with the plan for her sake. That didn't last long. 

After high school, I really got into fitness. At first, it was because I thought it would gain me male attention. Then, it became a kind of obsession. I started working out--walking and Tae Bo. Then, my mom convinced me to join a gym. The gym membership came with a few sessions with a trainer. I learned a little bit about weight lifting. My obsession grew. I stopped eating full meals, limiting my intake to a PB & J sandwich and an orange a day. I worked out five to six days a week. I had 1,200 calorie days and 800 calorie days which meant I couldn't move on from cardio until I burnt that number of calories. 

During my gym days, I could bench 65 lbs, leg press 260 lbs, calf raise 300 lbs...I felt like a bad ass. I would run, stair climb, bike, row. I remember one day, one of the trainers came by while I was on the stair climber after some time on the treadmill and said, "Wow, you're really fit." I went five minutes longer that day.

And yet, the smallest I ever got to was 190 lbs, a size 16. That's still 50 lbs overweight according to the BMI chart. 

I ended up getting sick--gallbladder. It screwed everything up. Also, I got a full time job which didn't allow me to work out as much. Then, I moved away for college which caused some weight gain. And when I started teaching, I got fat again. 

Throughout all of this, I was never comfortable in my own skin. Even when I was my thinnest, I would pull and prod at my belly thinking if only I could lose x more pounds. Why? Because I was so trained to think that fat=bad.

Now, I'm 36. I'm 5'8" and I weight 278 lbs. And you know what? I don't care. As long as my doc is good with my lab work, I don't fret about the number on the scale. 

These days, I eat better because it makes me feel good. I exercise because I like feeling agile. I wear clothes that I think look good on me and make me feel confident. So, if someone doesn't like my fat body, they can look elsewhere.


Year Eleven: The Year of the Marigold

Today marks the end of my eleventh year teaching. If you had told me during my first year that I would still be teaching after eleven years, I don’t know that I would have believed you.