Sunday, August 16, 2009


If you ask me if I know what I look like, I will answer with certainty that I do. I see myself in photos and I agree with the image. But that's today. What about the past? How accurate was I in the past about what I looked like?
My nickname growing up was Fatty Matty. Kids gave me that name in school. There are very few photos of me from my childhood and early adolescence and none from my high school years. My memory of those times is sketchy because in many ways, those were not the best of times. I know that when I was in elementary school, I wore "chubby" size clothes. At least, that's what I remember.
Someone from elementary school/junior high recently e-mailed me a photo of our class from 1955. I would have been in fifth grade, about eleven years old. I'm sitting in the front row, all dressed in my finest, my hair pulled tightly back in a pony tail. And I'm not fat. Not at all. Not one bit. Not fat. In fact, I'm a normal size (well, not height because I've always been short) girl. I look just like all the other girls. And in those days, there weren't as many fat kids.
So why did the kids call me Fatty Matty? And why did my mother buy me chubby size clothes?
I've gained 50 pounds since my 20s. And I would have described myself as fat when I was 20 years old. Now forty five years later, I still call myself fat. I am fat according to the scale, according to BMI, according to waist measurement, according to the way my clothes fit and the size I wear. I accept that I am indeed fat now. But what was I when I was 20? Just right?

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