I Remember: My Journey through Fatness, Skinniness, and Healthiness

People can be monsters, and I don’t mean in the Lady Gaga sense. They can be downright vicious to others without even realizing the irreversible damage they cause in the process. Though I keep it hidden away in a corner of my mind, I have a lot of memories of this kind of often subtle ruthlessness. I spent most of my young life as “the fat girl.” This is what I remember.

I remember the rough cobblestone steps leading up to my grade school. I sat on them clinging my green vinyl lunchbox for all of recess when my classmates didn’t want to play with the fat new girl.

I remember how my first grade teacher would scowl and scrunch up her dark eyes when she watched me trying to tie my shoes. “How you struggle!” She sneered. She didn’t realize how much.

I remember how other kids in the school would pass me in the hallway and say, quite simply, “You’re fat.” Cue my self-consciousness forever.

I remember how my teachers would pass out school pictures to the class when they came back from the photographer. I knew I was about to get mine when they tightened their lips and dropped their eyes. Then they’d hand my pictures to me with the clear cellophane window face-down. They were that bad.

I remember how I would bury those pictures in my Jansport backpacks and sneak them in my bedroom. I’d hide them under my bed. So many times I suppressed the urge to tear them to pieces; I would think of how my mother paid for them and feel guilty. Then I would feel guilty that my mother didn’t have a pretty daughter who she could proudly pass pictures of to friends and family.  A couple weeks later, she would find them, a little crumbled up compared to when I got them. I don’t know where most of them are now.

I remember my mother taking me to Sears for new jeans to wear to my fifth grade dance. They were one of the only stores that sold Girls’ size 18.  I remember she bought me a swishy purple top that changed color in the light. Some eyeshadow and lip gloss to match. I remember feeling the excitement that only naïve little girls experience, before their hopes get dashed.

I remember the only boy that danced with me that night — his chaperoning mother made him. He shimmied next to me a few times, always scooting further and further away across the dark gym floor.

I remember the magic of being at my first dance suddenly died.

I don’t remember going to anymore dances after that. They never seemed like fun to me.

I remember I hated clothes shopping.

I remember being  11 or 12-years-old and going to Fashion Bug with my mother. Anytime I tried on anything sleeveless or with tiny sleeves, I’d slide back the lock on the dressing room door hesitantly. “That would look good with a jacket over the top,” my mother insisted. That was her way of telling me my arms were too fat.

I remember just about breaking into a sweat the week before doctor’s appointments and how I counted down the days with dread. I hated stepping foot on the scale.

I remember that my doctors never addressed my problem. “Eat right,” they told me as I slid off the paper on the exam table. Highly effective, to be sure.

I don’t remember how young I was when I tried fad diets like the Hollywood 48 Hour Miracle Diet and Herbal Slimming Tea, but it was too young. Any age is the wrong age for that stuff.
I remember that they didn’t work. At all.

I remember being 5’5” and 199 pounds when I entered high school. I wasn’t big enough to be antagonized by classmates, but I was big enough to be completely invisible.

That’s not entirely true. I remember being in a study hall, trying to help someone with Geometry homework, when I suddenly became conscious of some of the grungy-cool boys making fun of me in the back of the room. They were pretty terrible to me. No one defended me, not even the skinny, preppy teacher. I felt like a trapped animal.

I don’t remember a day passing after that where I felt completely safe or comfortable in school.

I remember for the rest of my high school career I walked through the halls with my head down, fearing everyone’s reproach. I remember how badly the popular people and the badass boys scared me after that encounter. Whenever I heard any snickering whatsoever, my heart went into spasms.

I remember having “friends.” They usually weren’t the other fat kids. They were skinny kids who wanted a fat friend to make them feel better about themselves. Or they were kids who wanted to take advantage of a straight-A student.

I remember pouring my heart into friendships, always generous with gifts, goodwill, and limitless gratitude. I remember most of my friendships ended when I was no longer useful in some way. Then I would be invisible again.

I remember how that would mess with my mind and my heart.

I remember looking at beautiful fields filled with blue skies and tall trees. I wondered how someone as ugly and unwanted as myself ended up in such a place. Why? I asked myself. Why did I continue to exist when everyday people better loved than me were dying?

I remember asking myself that question a lot. In the car. In bed at night. In classrooms filled with whispered conversations and spastic giggling. I didn’t get an answer for a long time.

I remember hating gym class. I wasn’t fast or agile or a jock. I got very red very easily and it was embarrassing.

I remember I would never change in the locker room in front of other girls. I would go hide in a shower stall or a bathroom stall. I imagined how they would harass me as they stood in their sports bras and boxer shorts. To me, everyone’s body was better than mine.

I remember how I tried to change my body from the outside in. I stuffed myself into multiple body shapers, sports bras, and camis before I put on my clothes. The red grooves they would leave on my body day after day were terrible.

I remember when I tried to change my body from the inside out my senior year of high school. I remember I succeeded. Everyone thinks that getting skinny is the fat girl’s happy ending, but it’s not; it’s the second act of a tragedy.

I remember trying on my first pair of Size 1 jeans in front of the mirror. I still thought my arms were too big and my hips were too wide.

I remember all of the people at home who assured me, “You never had to change,” after I lost 80 pounds. I wanted to spit in their eyes.

I remember meeting new people at college, far away from home.

I remember one of my new friends — a fashion major — telling me, “You have a great body.” I almost cried. Whether out of happiness or anguish, I’ll never know.

I remember new friends expressing their jealousy of my size. That never made me feel good.

I don’t remember the exact day I realized using a girl’s weight to extrapolate anything else about her is ridiculous, but I assure you it is.

I remember releasing my forehead to my mat in yoga class and offering up my weight turmoil to a higher power. I couldn’t grapple with it anymore.

I remember when I stopped watching every morsel of food I put in my mouth. A little bit of cream cheese was less detrimental to my health than all of the anxiety I created about being skinny was.

I remember realizing there is so much more to life than worrying about food, but I think the questions of when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat will recur throughout my life. I don’t think my old anxieties can ever go away entirely.

I remember realizing being skinny didn’t matter to me anymore, but being healthy did. Then I realized they are not one in the same, but that I never wanted to go back to the way I was before. That wasn’t healthy, either.

I remember a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body, and I let myself put a few needed pounds back on.

I remember when I realized I was beautiful, and even if I didn’t have a flawless body, I had a totally functional one. I liked that better.

I remember when I finally realized that I have the power to make my own happiness, and I haven’t stopped since.

I remember finally getting the long-awaited answer to the question of why I am privileged to live in this world: it’s to tell you that you, too, are beautiful. Never let anyone get into your peace of mind. It’s incredibly difficult to get them out without destroying it.

Though the people that caused my anxiety over the years probably don’t remember what they have said or did, I can never forget. What sort of memories are you leaving behind?



  1. Summer says:

    The first 2/3 could be my diary

  2. dot says:

    This was beautifully written. I'm glad you're healthy and happy now Holly!

  3. dcsdasda says:

    That was very moving and inspiring. Thank you for sharing that.

  4. Emily says:

    Beautiful article! It would be great to see more uplifting articles like this on CC. Holly, wonderful job!

  5. suzy pepper says:

    wonderful article. good for you.

  6. lola says:

    this is beautiful. thank Holly for sharing this with all of us.

  7. Linda says:

    Love this, probably because I identify with so much of it.

    Thanks for sharing this & glad you're at a healthy place right now.

  8. ana says:

    This was so hearfelt and beautifully written. Even more so because not a single thing you said was made up or overdone, to those of us who have had this type of struggle we have thought those same exact things. Its a great inspiration knowing that your more worried about being healthy not skinny, I would like to reach that mentallty soon! : )

  9. Dominique says:

    This is so amazing. I've never had to deal with being overweight, but I have family memebers who have and feeling helpless when they were upset about them. I've always preached to my friends and family that they should care about their body not because they need to be thin but because they need to be healthy.

    In a size six, even I feel overweight compared to other girls. And then I remember that I eat healthy and take good care of my body, and that helps. c:

    Gread job being honest and open!

  10. Ashley says:

    Thank you. Seriously, from the bottom of my heart.

  11. P says:

    That was a beautiful article.

  12. Anna says:

    this is the most beautiful thing collegecandy has ever posted.

  13. kate says:

    wow this hit home. im crying. the best online read ive ever read. EVER.

  14. K says:

    I loved it, it was amazing to read. I can definitely relate. I grew up being a pudgy kid and remember being called Miss Piggy by a kid I had a crush on. It totally broke my spirits and I still live with the scars of other instances from growing up being the heavier girl. I wish you nothing but the best.

  15. Miriam says:

    This is so beautiful. I'm happy to see that among the usual array of drunken one-night-stand stories and celebrity gossip, College Candy has published something that really speaks to almost every girl and that everyone should read.

  16. Pamela says:

    Thank you for writing this. Thank you. Thank you.

  17. Kelsey says:

    This was so wonderful. The women in my family have always had weight issues, especially my sister. I watched as her classmates taunted her throughout school and it hurt me just as much to see her hurt so badly. This was so beautifully written and truly captures your struggle.

  18. Samantha says:

    This a wonderful article! I really appreciate you writing this. I think so many of us can relate to this, or at least I can. I understand the anxieties and self-confidence problems that come from being an overweight child. It take so long to realize that you are beautiful, that children can just be mean, and that a person is so much more than how small their waist is. Thank you again for sharing your story, there is something comforting about reading what you're feeling in someone else's writing.

  19. Meg says:

    Thank you.

  20. Ella says:

    That was beautiful and heartbreaking to read. Its something that so many girls can understand, whether it's because they were fat when they were younger (me) or because they were made fun of for some other reason.

    It was heartbreakingly beautiful.

  21. Allison says:

    Last summer I could relate to this 100%. I gained 30 lbs the year after I got my period and it was horrible. I would sit in front of the mirror and cry about how 'fat' I was. Thank you for this, it was beautifully written.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! While a lot of girls can relate to being obese as a child, not many can relate to a turn to anorexia. I was obese in elementary school and dangerously under-weight in middle school. This story hits really close to home and you a brave person for sharing. Not many people can understand what it means to go from overweight to anorexic, and in my case, back.

  23. Eimear says:

    Thank you for having the courage to write this. It is always nice to know that we're not alone in the way we feel about ourselves. People don't realise how much their comments can affect how a person feels even years later. I wish you every success in the future and thank you for the motivation to worry about my health rather than wanting to be skinny.

  24. EA says:

    I can't thank you enough for sharing this. It made my day.

  25. Shauna says:

    This was an amazing article. I feel like I could have written it myself. I've always been overweight and it's taken me 6 years to figure out the healthy way to lose weight. And now it's finally working.

  26. kerry says:

    This was a fantastic article. I went through something similar and wasn't really happy until I realized I wanted to be healthy, not only skinny. Thank you for putting the idea out there in such a personal, inspirational way.

  27. The Raisin Girl says:

    I remember I begged and begged for a My Size Barbie for Christmas, because I was always jealous of how my friend Jennifer could dress up in her Barbie's clothes and look just like a princess. Jennifer was blond and skinny. I was brunette, and leggy, and boxy. Not chubby, just big for my age. Broad shoulders. Long torso. Wide hips. Turns out I was destined for curves. But when I got a My Size Barbie, finally…she wasn't my size at all. She was too short, and her clothes wouldn't fit me. And I was so disappointed. I remember worrying about my weight before I was out of second grade.

    You weren't alone. If only we had all banded together somehow. Maybe telepathically. I felt like the only big girl in the entire world for the first ten years of my life or more. I felt like a freak, because obviously if none of the other girls were my size, there must just be something wrong with me, right?

    I'm glad I was bigger now. When another girl started to gain weight, I remember being the only kid in school who didn't make fun of her. I befriended her. So on the whole, I think I was a much prettier person than most of my classmates, even if not externally.

  28. G says:


    Your story was beautifully written. I have struggled tremendously with finding a regular and stable weight. After battling with anorexia, I'm finally getting back on track. However, my anxiety with my new weight and around food continues to torment me. Its comforting to know that I'm not alone in these struggles. I hope you continue to battle your anxieties with food as well. I try to remind myself that a "smidge" of unexpected peanut butter on a piece of food won't ruin my day.

    These anxieties seem so bizarre to anyone who hasn't struggled with anorexia and eating disorders.

    Thank you again, it takes so much courage to post such an honest story.

  29. Summer says:

    It was incredibly honest, amazingly moving, and inside-out beautiful from the beginning to the end.

    Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU for writing this <33

  30. harper says:

    Thank You.Really, THANK YOU.

  31. Ilana says:

    Thank you

  32. […] I Remember: My Journal Through Fatness, Skinniness, and Healthiness – College Candy […]

  33. Lesley says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  34. Golda Poretsky, H.H. says:

    This is a gorgeous piece. I'm so glad I read it, and I'm so glad you wrote it and shared it! Your story is the reason that I do the work I do and just published a book called Stop Dieting Now.

  35. Lucy says:

    That was wonderful and it is great to see all the comments from girls on this site that can relate to one another.

  36. Savannah says:

    That was so moving, thank you so much for writing this. Everyone is too caught up in being 'skinny', healthy is what I think we should all be. Size 00 is not healthy.

  37. candy says:

    Wow. I can relate but the other way around. I went from being skinny in high school to fat in college and notice the difference in how people treat you once your fat.

  38. Ginger says:

    This article made me cry; this was my life as a child, and sometimes is my life today.

  39. carissa Weidman says:

    This made me cry. I was 5'5 and about 200 pounds at my heaviest at the beginning of my sophomore year in high school. I lost 70 pounds and I'm much healthier, but the pain doesn't go away. It never will.

  40. Erinn says:

    This is by far the most beautiful thing I've ever read on collegecandy.

  41. Lily says:

    That was amazing. Beautiful. <3

  42. Candice says:

    Wow, I have rarely related to something I've read online as I relate to this. I still assume I'm being laughed at if I hear snickering as I walk past a group of people. I don't know if that trauma ever completely disappears.

  43. […] post originally appeared at CollegeCandy. Republished with […]

  44. Betherann says:

    Thank you for being brave and bold enough to put these truths to “paper.”

  45. Nan says:

    This is an amazing article, and I'm so happy you wrote it because I don't really know anyone that would be as courageous to write this. Where I live, I'm considered "fat" – yet I'm only 120 pounds. My mom was always telling me I was skinny, yet I would scream at her if she told me my face was rounder or I looked plumper or something. But like you said, the most important thing is to stay healthy, which I now realize.

  46. sunshine says:

    This made me cry. You are so strong.

  47. erin Feldman says:

    Dude story of my life, except I was always real lucky to have a bunch of good friends. I sorry you didn't, I would have been your friend<3

  48. Heather Caudill says:

    Beautiful writing, so poignant.

  49. kate says:

    i loved this.

  50. Jen says:

    Thank you for writing this. Those experiences are so similar to my own and I'm still dealing with them. It's nice to think that if someone else can get through them and be happy, I might be able to do so too.

  51. Alissa says:

    Wow. This is me exactly. I spent my entire childhood and highschool years as "the fat girl". I know the feeling of the doctor's office, the dread of changing in the locker room, and how it felt like everyone was staring at the mention of America's obesity epidemic. I too, through rigorous dieting, lost tons of weight right before college. My new friends don't know how big I used to be. I got involved in college athletics and am now an All American in a D1 sport and its weird. It almost like I'm in a stranger's body. Its been near 3 years since I was anywhere near the 200's but I still feel that way. Its so strange to me to be able to wear mediums and size 6's, which doesn't sound small but at 6' tall, that's not anywhere near the 18 i wore senior year of highschool. Compliments don't feel good either. Its weird to see people who knew me at my heaviest because I always wonder if the weight is like the elephant in the room or the "you look great!" what did I look like before? Oh goodness. So much stuff. lol. But its refreshing to read this because it is exactly how I feel.

  52. […] heart-wrenching account of a woman who grew up fat and is now skinny.  She remembers, and you’ll remember too, as I did.  I’m the girl who started coloring her hair with […]

  53. Beautiful my friend…I nodded my head at every single memory…all of them. I don't think people realize how their hurtful comments affect others or how long the comments stick with you. I will never forget being made fun of for being overweight. Gym class, the shopping, the dances – torture! I so relate to everything you wrote, and the ending was so perfect. PERFECT! :)

  54. […] – Once CC writer takes us through her personal journey about being overweight.  Read and be inspired. […]

  55. carol says:

    i can so relate to you. and im sure so many other people can. its nice to know that there are other people who have gone threw the same things and have asked them selfs the same questions.

  56. […] Remember” was a surprisingly touching post this week at College Candy. Just when I thought they could only make me laugh, they go and make me […]

  57. […] I Remember: My Journey Through Fatness, Skinniness, and Healthiness literally made me tear up. No excerpt, because I can’t even choose a segment… just read it. […]

  58. alex says:

    thank you. compact this into the past 5 years, and this is what i've been going through. i've finally reached healthy, but i still look in the mirror sometimes and think that maybe i should be too skinny again, even though i know i'm better off now.

  59. Commenter says:

    But …

    It is horrible to be mean to anyone for no reason having to do with their personality. But sexual attraction is sexual attraction, especially at that age (14-30). So if boys were not attracted to you or girls did not want to link up with you in pursuit of boys, that's not cruel. It's quite right that personality is more important in friendships (and marriage eventually), but that is not what romance is, is it? That is the difference. A romantic partner is someone whose personality you like, at it's best, of course, AND, to whom you are sexually attracted. You like their face and body. I don't think people are cruel necessarily (unless they were as in several of your examples – but not all); sexual attraction is what it is, formed over years of evolution. I mean, were there not other fat people for you to seek out somewhere? Yes is the answer. Did you? Was that not good enough for you? I sympathize, but also would wonder what hypocrisy there is in this situation of yours, too.

  60. Commenter says:

    I'm wary of this "healthy" talk as well. Any doctor will tell you if you are "fat" you are unhealthy (5'5" and 199 is way into the unhealthy category, 150 tops and even that is far above the healthy ideal) and nearly all so called "skinny" ladies are healthy. Those models on runways (other than the bikini models who look very healthy) may have too boyishly low body fat for their health, but heterosexual men will tell you they are not sexy either. The ideal is a Jessica Alba, Jennifer Anniston, or Miranda Kerr type (she is slim, but very healthy). They are all slim (hater-women might call them skinny or too skinny) but very healthy.

  61. Anna says:

    If you're referring to Carissa, she said "healthier," which I'm sure you'll agree she is.

  62. steph says:

    this article is amazing. it mirrored so much of my own feelings and experiences. you emerged victorious from a life-long battle for self acceptance, and that is an incredible accomplishment- you should be so proud of yourself. your writing will serve as inspiration to other girls out there who are still struggling to do the same.

  63. Mandy says:

    I can't say how much this article hits home. I grew up the same way and the same thing happened to me in my later years of high school, I am finally trying to be healthy again; I can't describe how much I appreciate this article. Keep on spreading the word of self acceptance, love, and good health. These reminders are needed in everyone's lives every day. It is so easy to lose sight of what is really important.

  64. deb3 says:

    kids are cruel. it's scarring the way others treat you when you are in elemenatry/middle school…it sticks. luckily i had really good friends all throughout the hard years. There are many parts to this that I can relate to…almost verbatim…I'm not done struggling. I don't think I'll ever be done. Worrying about my weight and my image is almost to hard to handle. I exercise a lot. My food choices aren't horrid, but could be better. I'm tired of worrying what others are thinking about my body. Tired.

  65. land animal says:

    I remember sitting on the playground everyday at recess and looking at the normal sized girls and wondering WHY I didn't look like them.

    I remember being on a diet my whole life.

    I remember crying after seeing my first picture of myself after losing 40lbs bc it was the first time in my life that I actually liked how I looked in a photo.

    I remember falling to my knees and crying more a few weeks later when I realized that the extra pounds had been shed, but the deep insecurities hadn't.

  66. Rain says:

    In elementary and middle school I was teased and tortured endlessly–for being skinny. They called me “toothpick” and a bunch of other insults like they were my name.

    Just goes to show that nothing’s as cruel as schoolchildren–if they’re not making of you for one thing, it’s another.

  67. karen says:

    hi,nice to meet you

  68. Dee says:

    Thank you for this. I went through a similar pattern- I was overweight and tormented for my entire childhood, trying as hard as I could to gain just one friend. At 16 I lost weight and spiralled down into anorexia.

    Even though I consider myself better now, it's so nice to know I wasn't alone.

  69. Molly says:

    I think there are a lot of girls out there that can identify with this, I know I can. Dedicate this to all the little jerks that picked on you, anybody who has ever made you feel unwelcome or ashamed of who you are. You are definitely in a better place than they are right now.

  70. ivanskie says:

    great post! i have been looking for helpful ideas on how to gain weight in a healthy manner and i think your posts are relevant. i also found another useful website that has a lot of great information.

  71. […] let’s face it, most of this country cannot fit into the small sizes designers produce. Even more, it seems that sizes are getting smaller and smaller and what once fit you as a size […]

  72. Faith says:

    Wow, this is incredibly moving. There are so many thoughts that go through a woman's mind regarding her weight, and we have to stop letting them dictate the rest of our lives. Beautifully written post.

  73. Beth says:

    This made me cry…I can relate to this so much. My elementary classmates were so cruel.

    At 20, I'm finally losing weight. I don't want to be skinny, I want to be healthy.

  74. Shauna says:

    I remember being the girl with my skinny friends who was overlooked at clubs and left to remain on the sidelines while guys went up to them and asked them to dance.

  75. Renee says:

    I don’t know what is it about our culture that allows for people to be cruel over weight issues. If the cruelty factor and the shame didn’t exist with being overweight it would likely be easier to get people to a healthier weight. At least I know for me the cruelty did nothing but keep me depressed, which I had to have treated before I could embark on becoming physically healthier. Anyhow, boy oh boy can I relate to this. I remember my worst/most cruel experience with being fat was when I went to planned parenthood for a “ladies checkup.” I was 23, depressed (I would later find out that I was clinically depressed), and overweight. Well anyhow I had gone there for an itching issue as I was uncomfortable, scared, and I had no clue what was going on with my body. That might me TMI, but hey we are adults here. Well I left planned parenthood that day with the same problem without any remedy to what I had come there for and a bonus lecture on how I needed to loose weight and eat a salad sometimes (because being overweight must somehow mean fat people and I specifically never ever ate a salad!).

    Now, I personally do not have a problem with a health care professional addressing weight issues. More of them need to be seriously concerned with it and later a very good health professional aided me with becoming mentally and physically healthy. However, I had an IMMEDIATE health issue that this so called health professional never addressed. Something that I could have been helped with right then, my weight could not immediately be treated. I literally left there in the same, no worst state, without any medicine and I was told nothing was wrong with me but I was overweight. I knew there was something wrong with me, so I ended up having to go see another doctor to get a diagnosis and get medicine for what was a “yeast” issue. So basically I went to planned parenthood for an issue that millions of women have been treated for and most women will get treated for at some point in life, but because I was fat this so called health care professional thought I did not deserve to be cared for. And I actually had to pay for that office visit to planned parenthood! To make it all worst this was a WOMAN who treated me this way. As you can imagine I left that facility in tears and it is something that I never forget about. I can never understand how a woman could treat another woman this way…. That’s what I remember.

  76. Anonymous says:

    I was never really “fat.” Not really, but I felt like I was. Last year, my “best friend” was a girl who lived to put people down to make herself feel better. She was the kind of girl who would whine and complain about how “my thighs don’t rub against eachother.” Always fishing for a compliment. Always sliding little insults into conversation, “Lara, your hair is so thin, I’m jealous!” “Lara, your butt is so big, you’re lucky, I have no butt.” So at the end of my 8th grade year, I started eating less. Way less. About 1,000-1,200 calories a day. Add that to an active lifestyle (I played sports and was always outdoors) and you’ve got a dramatic weight loss in about 2 months. From a healthy 5’8″ and 135 lbs, to 119 lbs. I wasn’t happy. At all. I got a knee injury and spent most of the summer on bedrest or in physical therapy. When I went to the doctors for a sports physical, my mom was concerned. She told me I would be too weak to play high school soccer. She would call me to remind me to eat. But I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. And for what reason– to show my “best friend” that I was skinnier than her? I was pathetic. I started gaining weight, slowly. I started the winter basketball season at 130 lbs. I stepped foot on that scale and saw a 3 after the one, I started again. By Christmas I was down to 121 lbs. My dad would look at me with concern and say, “you need a cheeseburger.” around the middle of January, I came to my senses. I felt gross. I felt hurt. I was somewhat depressed. By this time, I had cut my “best friend” out of my life, and I was hanging out with a group of people that didn’t put me down. They had no time for drama, no time for fakeness. They were my true friends. Today, I am 138 lbs. Healthy. But that number scares me. I can’t help but think that I’d be happier at 130. Then I think, if I can do 130, why not 125? Then I’m scared again. I guess what I’m trying to say is— other people really influence these things. I like to think that I’m stronger than those girls, but I’m not. NO ONE can tell you any truths about YOU. Only YOU know the truth about you.

    Sorry this turned into crazy psycho babble. It’s the first time I’ve ever admitted I had a problem… But this feels good.

  77. andrea says:

    your strength inspires me.

    everything has beauty but not everyone sees it -confucious

  78. Genny says:

    This was incredible. Seriously inspiring, thank you!

  79. Starr says:

    Thanks for this article. I cannot even imagine what it will be like when I figure out its okay to be me…and the day every time I put any amount of food I put into my body won't make me feel gross.

  80. laura says:

    This is beautiful. I'm glad you feel comfortable with yourself now.

    I used to be naturally skinny until middle school. I'm very petite, so even though I didn't gain that much weight, it was enough to be labeled as 'ew' by every boy. So the summer before high school I lost weight and got to a healthy weight.. but I still felt 'ew.' Eventually I got down to the upper 80's. Recently I've let myself go.. and I'm 115 now. I wish I could be at peace with it. But I don't know if I ever will. :/

  81. Crystal says:

    This is very inspiring. I've been a fat kid all my life and this is my last year in highschool. I've always seen weight loss as getting skinny and looking good so my parents aren't dissapointed in me and I can make friends who like me for who I am. Now I realize it's not… it's about being healthy, inside and out. Could you please help me? I want to become healthy but i don't know how and it feels like a dark abyss that I'm constantly in. Could you please tell me how you became healthy? I know it's a little pathetic to ask in the comments section but I'm desperate. Please e-mail me at

  82. jen says:

    this was so moving and inspiring. thank you for sharing your story.

  83. M. Car says:

    I'm really struggling not to cry right now, because I can relate to this so much. Thank you.

  84. Cat says:

    I think nearly every woman struggles with her weight/body in some way, no matter how much they weigh. I have always been naturally slim, but it was never good enough for me. I whittled myself down to only 95 lbs in 7th grade and still it was never good enough. It took a horribly long time to get myself to realize that being the right size for ME is more important than being the right size for a supermodel. I still struggle with that, and I'm in college now. Every time I see someone who is skinnier than me, I feel horribly jealous and unhappy with myself, and it takes a lot of positive self-talk to get me out of it.

    Thank you so much for being brave enough to say this, and to inspire others with your story. It takes so much to be honest and put yourself out there, and I really admire that.

  85. LeAnne says:

    You wrote down my life right there. Thank you.

  86. Steph S says:

    I'm not sure how many ladies are going to read a comment so far down from the post, but I think it'd worthwhile to mention that discovering that you're beautiful calls for some rejoicing.

    Being beautiful is different than being pretty, or being cute. It starts on the inside.

    For all of you ladies out there, I recommend a song called Beautiful by Group 1 Crew. You can listen to it here:
    God bless!

  87. Kaitlin says:

    This really hit home for me. Thank you for making me feel less alone.

  88. Sandrina says:

    Than you for your article; it is wonderful to read someone who doesn't simply say "big is beautiful" or "being skinny makes you happier" but knows the pros and cons of every size and just tells her story.

    I have something similar in my past. When I was 12, my mostly female classmates hit puberty extremely bad. They started to bully me in all ways possible and I only understood the reason for that when I was nearly an adult: I started to grow breasts and the leading girl who started all the bullying never did; not even when we graduated. When I realized that I was completely shocked because all that bullying destroyed me, caused depression and, I still don't know why, made me become a binge eater. When I finished school (all of that time friendless, only in the last years I had a few close friends), I was about 100 kilograms.

    I never stepped on a scale but I guess that it was around that much, maybe even a little more. After school, I moved away to go to university and my eating disorder changed into the opposite. I would refrain from eating for 2 or 3 days and when I was about to collapse, I would eat just a little snack. It was definitely not healthy but I saw the effects; I was losing weight fast. Then my body couldn't take it any more and I collapsed. This made me change my eating habits a little.

    Now I am 24, have lost a lot of that extra weight and learned to accept myself. My moving to a new town was the best thing that ever happened to me because I met many people who like me for who I am, which was a new experience for me.

    It took me some time to accept that I will never be a skinny girl (I have a very feminine body with a big cup size and pretty wide hips), but I realized that my measurement ratio is as good as it can get (breasts and hips have the same circumference, the waist is 2/3 of it). I have learned to listen to my body telling me what it needs and eat accordingly. I live a healthy lifestyle, cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and realized that in order to be attractive for other people, I have to feel that way myself.

  89. Rene' says:

    I don't cry. Ever…It has been a rule of mine for a long time. Your article made me cry for the girl you used to be, the woman I am now, and for how happy I am that you can be happy now and feel beautiful. Thank you for this article. It made me feel beautifyl too.

  90. […] dished on all sorts of stuff this summer: my radical lifestyle change, what it’s like to be unhealthy, and even a few tips on how to stay healthy. But there’s one big topic I missed: how to stay […]

  91. […] really upsets me that Jessica has been such a victim. Yeah, she looks different than she did when she first appeared on the scene, but who hasn’t […]

  92. Georgina says:

    I cried. Literally balled and shook uncontrollably as i read the first 2/3 of this. It was things I didn't realize even happened in high school because I thought it was just normal to happen.


    "I remember pouring my heart into friendships, always generous with gifts, goodwill, and limitless gratitude. I remember most of my friendships ended when I was no longer useful in some way. Then I would be invisible again."

    because I still do it today to try to earn a loyal friendship

  93. Sam says:

    You didnt say how u lost all the weight

  94. Bella says:

    Wow. this seriously is the the story of my life. I've been overweight my entire life until recently. I was hideous. People didn't like me. Even my parents were ashamed of me. It ruined my childhood. It wasn't until high school, when people finally stopped nagging me about it, that I did something. I thought once I was thin I would be happy. But I wasn't. People would judge me. They thought I had an eating disorder. That just made things worse. It took away all the credit I deserved for losing weight the healthy way. Now that I'm thin, it isn't good enough for people either. They always comment on it. Most people don't know of my past. They don't understand. I hate when people tell me I'm skinny. It makes me feel like crap. I just want to be a healthy person. I have also lost 80 pounds.Now I try to eat as healthy as I can most of the time and workout. I know I should feel great about it. But it's hard when people say comments that just make me feel horrible.

  95. wiwo94 says:

    I used to and still am being called "twig", "Stick". My best friend, who has been my best friend since kindergarten is on the chubby side. She used to call me skinny and stick, too, saying she wish she looked like me. there was once we were in art and the shelf was scooted up a little more than usual and she said " Hey, I bet you could squeeze back there." I almost cried, but I wouldn't let her see that. the opening was only like 2"…. Were still friends, and i wish she would loose a lil weight.I don't say that to be mean. Idc how she looks, shell always be my best friend. Im just scared for her. shes 5"5 too, but she weighs alot more than 180… I just want her to be healthy, Im 5'5" too. I weigh 110. I wish I could gain a lil weight, but I metabolize too fast. I have imperfections. I hate when people say im pretty, cause I know everything they dont. I know the thighs that dont match my body from me trying to gain weight, the awkward curves under my hips. The scars on my body… I just want to thank everyone on here for sharing their story and reading mine.

  96. Abby says:

    I can't wait to get to a place where my weight doesn't define me, where I don't have to cry every time I look at my body in the mirror, where I don't have to hate myself every second of the day. It's nice to know that there's a light at the end of the long tunnel of body issues.

  97. virginia says:

    this is one of my favourite posts ever on collegecandy. i always keep coming back to it. thank you <3

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  99. Cat says:

    I was a very skinny kid – I had severe anxiety, and I wouldn't eat in public. I binged a lot at home (5 slices of pizza in a sitting – I would never eat 5 slices of pizza at once as an adult), but before puberty, I never gained weight from overeating. I put on 10 pounds in grade 9, and all of a sudden, I went from being called anorexic to being called fat. Actually, girls started to call me fat in middle school, because I developed breasts early. My classmates were cruel – they threw stuff at me, said I had lice, and picked over my looks in microscopic detail. I was the girl who no boy was ever interested in, unless they were setting me up to humiliate me. I still kept binging at home – I wouldn't eat lunch, and I would overeat after school because I was hungry. I dropped down to a size 2 in my first year of university (my anxiety was so bad that I was nauseated a lot of the time, and not hungry), and I should have been overjoyed that at my smallest weight since middle school. I still felt ugly as hell.

    I don't have a good relationship with my body. I do emotional eating (I don't binge eat much anymore, not compared to the way I binged when I was younger), I obsess over how I look, I obsess about the next "treat" I can have, I've stopped wearing some of my favorite clothes because I think they make my stomach look too big. My mom is on Weight Watchers right now, and she constantly talks about unhealthy food, and even lectures me if I take more than one cookie at a time. So that's made me really paranoid about eating. I beat myself up a lot for not exercising, or eating too much. There's a lot of days where I don't feel like I "deserve" to feel beautiful. I don't see the point in dressing up just for me, I don't see the point in trying to feel good about myself when I have nothing to feel good about. Positive self-talk seems like a total crock of shit to me.

    I'd love to know when this self-hating crap is supposed to go away, because I'm 24 and it hasn't happened for me. There have been points where I've felt happier about my body (and my self-image as a whole), and I think that I've kicked the negative body image and self-esteem crap for good. But then the positive feelings disappear, and I feel like I'm back to being that insecure little girl who couldn't eat in public because of what people might say.

    Sorry for the rambling – what I meant to say was that this article was beautifully written, and it meant a lot to me. This page is going in my firefox bookmarks.

  100. Smith Bill says:

    Pls !! you should join Gym and do morning work……..

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  103. sharath says:

    Beautiful article!! am fat and embarassing in my college life now! it sure is hell! treated like shit by friends,family and strangers! Not telling a girl I like her coz u already know what’s ahead and how they look down on you! not even talking to girls coz u feel like shit!!! But this article has inspired me for good and thanks a lot am determined to be fit in 6 months time to answer all those who belittle me! I was depressed and searching for some light,someone i can relate to and you are the one! Thank you collegecandy

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