Monday, August 17, 2009
You know the drill. We were at our first seventh grade sock hop. My friend asked a boy I had a crush on if he would ask me to dance. He politely said "no." My friend pushed the dreaded question and asked, "Why not?"
He really was a nice boy, because he didn't want to hurt my feelings. My well-meaning, but pushy friend claimed he said three times he didn't know why he wouldn't dance with, until he finally broke down under pressure. "I don't mean any harm," he said. "She's really nice and I like her as a friend, but she's just too fat to dance with."
Again, I don't think he meant to be nasty. He was just being honest---brutally honest. I mean, come on, we were at the ever-so-awkward age of 13. We were greasy haired adolescents who wanted desperately to fit in or blend in with the nervous crowd at our first dance that day.
But no matter what age, when you're fat, you don't blend in. Remember you're FAT, right? So you stick out (literally) in places other (skinny) kids don't. So I really do understand why dancing with the fattest girl in the class was not at the top of his list.
But the truth hurts! It was then that I began to admit to myself that not only was I fat, but my weight was negatively impacting my life, my relations with others, and how I felt about myself.
I was too fat to dance with? I was.
And those truthful words left painful scars on my budding self esteem and tender body image I still carry with me today.
Today? Yes, believe it or not, today. I still have those 31 year-old scars after all these years! And, thankfully today, these scars help me more than hurt me.
How? There is nothing stronger than scar tissue! Just like your muscles need to be broken down to increase your muscle mass, my battles with weight gain and a fragile body image make me passionate about being healthy and motivating others to do the same.
Jess Krauser is a certified group exercise instructor at the Wheaton Sport Center, and a certified personal trainer. Jess is also a seasoned running coach, who developed and implemented Marathon training programs for the Wheaton Sport Center.