As I gaze around my Wellness Coaching class. I see a room full of white, privileged students. I’ve been in this situation before when I earned my bachelor’s degree from Seattle University. Back then, however, I didn’t really fit in, I was a miserable 388 lbs. I was withdrawn and afraid to speak up in class. The students were running circles around me, intellectually and physically.
No longer. The only thing separating me now from the others in class, is the color of my brown skin. Otherwise, I’m right there with them. I pack healthful snacks: mini peppers, apples, carrots. I tote a SIGG water bottle. I sport athletic attire too. I’m alert. I ask questions. I’m engaged in thought and in conversation. I’m healthy, fit and the more I think about it, I realize how privileged I am.
I am a product – and now a survivor – of childhood obesity. As a child, my family always told me that my extra weight was merely baby fat and I’d eventually grow out of it. I never did. Instead, my childhood is filled with memories of not being able to ride a bike, flattening its training wheels from being over the recommended weight, and avoiding P.E. classes by any means necessary. For years, I wore my fatness like a wounded soldier wears a Purple Heart - with pride. I owned the look. I dressed it up. I worked the room. There wasn't a skinny girl who intimidated me. I made sure my hair was laid just right. Nails polished. Outfits coordinated to the tee. Accessories to compliment every outfit. But everyone has a breaking point, and mine came in the spring of 2004 when I tipped the scale at nearly 400 pounds 388 to be exact. I was MISERABLE trapped inside of that body. I no longer wore my Purple Heart with pride. Rather, I was ashamed and frightened. Ashamed that I had allowed food to become my everything – frightened I would die because of it. Drastic times called for drastic measures...
Today, I’m bound and determined to live a better, healthier, active lifestyle. I realize I’m no longer a passenger in my life, I’m the driver. I’m overcoming my inhibitions and I’m slowly but surely saying farewell to my old childhood nemesis, obesity. For once and for all, Farewell Fatso!