I never knew what it felt like to be skinny. From as far back as i remember i was always overweight. I remember in year 4, being only 9 years old, we were doing a weight chart as a class. The teacher asked us to weigh ourselves in front of the whole class so we could add it to our chart and see what the average weight in our class was. I can't even describe the nerves i was feeling. I knew i weighed more than most of my classmates. The thought of everyone knowing my weight absolutely horrified me. The average weight of my fellow female classmates was 30kg. i weighed 45kg. To my greatest relief however, the teacher did say that if you don't want to get weighed, then you don't have to. Nevertheless, i'm sure my classmates knew exactly why I told the teacher straight away that i don't want to get involved.
Primary school sounds fairly innocent. You learn basic English and Maths in addition to some other simple subjects. Life seemed easy. However when other classmates make remarks on your appearance life seemed to be everything but easy. Don't get me wrong, my classmates were all nice, i was friends with most of them. However, children are very honest, and sometimes i became a victim to their honesty. Comments about my weight started emerging when i was around 10, so in year 5. During English lessons we would learn about poetry, which obviously escalated to learning about the literary technique of rhyme. We'd learn that cat rhymes with bat, and bat rhymes with mat, and mat rhymes with fat. Whenever the word fat came up in anything we learnt about, whether it be in poetry or in the book we're reading, my classmates always felt the need to either point at me or say "you." For them it was funny, but to me it was just another incident that dragged my self confidence lower. I vividly remember the feeling of anxiousness i felt every single time i saw that word. I would pray that my classmates would ignore it and not point out my biggest insecurity again. Even my closest friends sometimes, although subtly, would mention my appearance. You know how children are, always bickering over nothing. One day i explicitly remember bickering with my two closest friends. This petty argument about characters in a game turned to another incident which degraded my confidence. In the heat of this petty moment, my friend said "well you're just fat." It had nothing to do with what we were talking about, but the comment was made. As upsetting as it was, i had to 'pretend' to ignore it and change the subject before tears started to invade my eyes.
Looking back at these incidents in my life, completely breaks my heart. At only 9-10 years old, this poor girl was forced to feel anxiousness and insecurity with her own body. At just 9-10 years old. What further breaks my heart, is that the only memories of primary school that i remember vividly, are not the joy-filled exciting ones, but the ones which made me feel like i was not normal.
As bizarre as this may sound, i was always so jealous of the girls in my class who had boyfriends. Now of course, being only around 9-11 years of age meant that no serious relationships were actually formed. However boys still asked girls out that they thought were pretty or cute. Even at that age, crushes were still formed. I've had crushes on some boys too in primary school, however naturally my insecurities deterred me from confessing to a boy even once. Besides, no fellow classmate asked me to be their girlfriend anyway. I knew the exact reason for this. I was fat. No boy liked a 'fat girl' as that's all they saw me as. My other girl friends on the contrary had loads of admirers. Some even dated 4 at a time. Now, although this may seem silly to be jealous of because we were only kids, i envied them a lot. I just wanted at least one person to think that i'm not fat and maybe even pretty. This however, seemed only to be a fantasy.
Don't get me wrong however, this wasn't as frequent as it may have seemed to be. Yes i received the occasional "you're fat" remark from certain people, but my classmates were generally super nice. We were all friends. This meant that sometimes i know they probably restricted themselves from making these comments in order to not upset me. But i know for a fact that they still thought about them. Or did they? Well it's really hard to say. My mentality because of all of those previous comments made me paranoid. I always assumed people were judging me, or staring at me, horrified by my overweight self. How true is this i'll never know. But what i do know is, that because of this, at just 9-10 years old, my weight already had a strong impact on my mentality.
Having said that, school wasn't the only place where my weight was a big issue for my very young self.