When I was fourteen years old, I weighed 194 pounds. I was only five and a half feet tall, but my size-12 jeans left prints on my belly, and there was no way I could ever shop at any of the same stores as my friends. I hated going to school because there was never any doubt I’d be the token fat girl in class, and as soon as I came home each day, I went straight to the pantry or the fridge to find some comfort. I was in a bad, dangerous place with no hope of finding a way out.
The scary thing was, I didn’t understand why it had happened. I knew I was big when I went to the doctor’s office and weighed in at 143 pounds as a 12-year-old, so I started battling. Mom bought me a “Slim Kids” membership and told me I’d get a prize for every five pounds I lost. I ate only whole-grain bread that my mom baked from scratch. I ate brown rice with chicken because it was healthy and good for me. I ate so much of every diet food that I managed to gain fifty more pounds in two years and was absolutely baffled as to where I went wrong.