It all started in second grade when my best friend at the time told me that "my stomach looked bigger than normal". From that day on my eight-year-old mind was warped into the constant stream of self-consciousness about my weight. After that eventful day, I went home, got on my mom's computer, and looked up how to be skinny. My new goal wasn't to improve my sticker collection, read another chapter of Harry Potter, but only on becoming slimmer. I look back and want to cry. I was eight years old. I should have been playing outside but I was too busy looking at myself in the mirror, embarrassed to go swimming with my family, practicing how I would suck in my stomach the next day at school.

Of course, the constant nagging never left my mind. In middle school I was bullied both in person and online, constantly being called fat. I would brush it off at school but when I would go home, I would always end up crying to my mom. She being an amazing mother told tell me that they were jealous. That those girls didn't have the spark that I had. I couldn't care less about a spark; I just wanted a flat stomach. All through my prepubescent years, I was constantly labeled by my outward appearance.

High school didn't get much better. I was always comparing myself to my friends. In pictures my anxiousness would overflow, and I felt nothing but discomfort posing for pictures. Then came senior year and as prom was approaching no one was asking me to be their date. I asked a friend to bring up the topic of being my date to one of his teammates. I was brutally turned down and when I was crying to my friend about it, she made a comment about my weight with the phrase "I'm not going to lie to you, I'm being a good friend." My heart was broken.

As high school ended, I was finally ready to restart my reputation into college. I met great friends, I had amazing grades, and a stellar waitressing job that let me come home not only with full pockets but also with a free meal. I would sit and eat until I was "satisfied" and by the time I arrived home I was overly full. I hated the feeling of being full. That was the day I started purging. Once I threw up, I felt undefeated and that the food I was eating didn't even count. I was counting calories, eating less and less, and when I would eat to being comfortably full, I would purge. My comfort was the state of being hungry. I truly believed the statement: "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." It was a constant loop that eventually turned into self-punishment. I soon began to completely cut out entire food groups. I strived so hard to be skinny but no matter how hard I tried (in all the wrong ways of course) I could never succeed.

I realized I had gone too far when one day I made myself throw up so hard for so long that I got a bloody nose. I was so ashamed I sat in my bathroom for twenty minutes trying to stop the blood dripping down my face. My new reality became that whenever I would stand, I would feel like passing out. The black dots became more and more common. I was in denial that anything was wrong. I was losing some weight and I felt like I could eat anything I wanted.

I eventually stopped when the nose bleeds became an everyday occurrence. I felt so much shame that I broke down and decided it was time to see someone. After weeks of treatment I still feel guilt when I eat, I still have the urges to go throw up when I eat, and when I get stressed, I binge like there is no tomorrow.

Like the title says, I have never been skinny. I think the last time I was comfortable with my weight was when I was too young to even pay attention. But for the last eleven years it has been a constant battle. A battle with food, a battle with self-love, and a battle with body acceptance. I have never been skinny, and I honestly probably never will. But nothing can take away the progress that I have made with coming to terms with the way that I look and the way that my body carries itself. I may have lost many battles through the years, but it is about damn time that I win the war for myself.