I was and still am the fat girl. I have thick thighs and a belly. My arms giggle and I can form multiple chins when I want to. People are always trying to tell me to accept my body, to love myself, however, there are times where I just can't.

I remember when I was little I never thought anything was wrong with my body. I was a happy little girl that had a good life and a great family. As I got older, the boys began to pick on me. My teachers would say they were doing that because they liked me, but I was skeptical even then. Once I was in the seventh grade, it became girls who were picking on me. As many know, girls are vicious and cruel when they want to be. They made me HATE my body and I never felt comfortable in my body.

I am 19 years old, and I still struggle with my body image, and I probably always will. No one is ever truly happy with their body whether they are 110 pounds or 200 pounds. However, the number does not matter, but to some it does. When people get on that scale and they see that they have gained five pounds, it dampens their spirit. They do not realize that muscle weighs more than fat, so the more muscle you gain, the larger the number is. At my last doctors visit, my doctor made a comment about my number and she started on the Freshman Fifteen. Which I responded with, "Do I look like I am fat to you? No, I don’t, because I went to the gym every day to not gain that dreaded fifteen pounds. Instead, I did gain it, just in muscle."

Every day is a struggle. You never know how your body is going to react to what you ate the previous day. You never know if you are going to love your body today and just own. You...never...know. That is the one thing I have learned in the last year or two. Some days I do love my body and I feel so confident. Then there are other days when I don't. I can have those ups and downs because they make me human. It's the days where you are either in a great mood or the worst and then someone comes and ruins. Whether you love your body or hate it that day, when someone says "It's fine, you're fat anyway"…that ruins you. Any confidence you had previously, has gone out the window. I only know this, because it happened to me a few days ago. Once I read that word fat, my heart sank. No one has outright said that to me in years and I forgot just how much it can break a person. My initial response to that was "Where is the candy I can drown my sorrows in?" However, now I'm thinking, yeah I do have some fat on my body and you know what, I do not care what you have to think about it.

It does not matter whether you are a size 2 or size 18, whether you are constantly looking out in the crowd to see if there is someone bigger that you or scared to eat at a buffet in the fears that some random stranger is going to judge you, whether you think someone else's opinions matter more than your own. This is your body and you need to learn to love and cherish it. It is your temple. You can overcome anything life hands you if you can do that. I know I should take my own advice and I am trying to, however, all of those past years of constantly looking down on myself has done some damage. Yes, I was the fat girl, and that title shaped me to be the person I am today.