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Fifteen Year Flashback

During the recent closet excavation I unearthed a worksheet I filled out in the 5th grade. It’s some sort of “this is my life” type exercise where you tell about what you like. I suppose this is a good idea because if there’s one thing I learned after hanging out with my single-digit-aged cousins over the Christmas weekend, it’s that kids love to talk about themselves. I could just be sitting on the couch watching a movie and they’d come up and tell me about their toy collections and pets with no provocation. I was once at a library browsing books when a kid came up to me and asked if I owned a push lawn mower and then preceded to talk about his own family’s lawn equipment. I wasn’t even in the agriculture section! Kids are so weird.

There is one page on the worksheet where they ask you what you could change about various things in your life. (You can probably guess where I’m heading here and it’s not going to be wishing my teeth were whiter.) My answer to the prompt If you could change one thing about your appearance, it would be: was sadly “I would be thinner.”

Ack! According to this worksheet I was only 10 when I filled this out. 10! Barely a decade on this earth and I was already unhappy with my weight. Has this really been going on for that long? I thought I was at least 12 or 13 before I started to hate my flab. It’s even sadder considering I wasn’t even that fat back then.

However, my answer to the prompt If you could change one thing about your food, it would be: was “I’d have more junk food.” And when I am asked What do you usually do after school? I respond with “play video games and watch TV and read.” Oh, you silly girl! There does seem to be a big disconnect between my wishes and my behavior, doesn’t there? Watching TV isn’t exactly going to elevate my heart rate for 30 minutes, is it? Well, uh, it might if it was late night Cinemax :) But I was only 10 and we didn’t have the pay channels or the world wide web, so no dice.

It just makes me sad to think I’ve spent 15 years disliking my body. What a waste of time! The funny thing is that right now, I like my body a lot even though I’m still very fat. I’ve worked so hard to get here that I feel proud whenever I look in the mirror. I actually look forward to going to ladies room during the day so I can check myself out.

But like I said, I’m still really fat and I can finally see how stupid of me it was to hate my body for all these years. I suppose I have a better sense of perspective now. I’ll look at pictures of myself from middle school, when I felt super fat, and think “You are so thin!” What was wrong with me? I’d really like to go back in time and smack some sense into that little 5th grader. Though I probably shouldn’t, since that would be child abuse. Or would it be masochism? I guess it would only be masochism if I enjoyed it. Man, if I ever invent this time machine it’s going to present some very interesting problems for the judicial system.

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Saffy • January 6, 2006 at 9:27 am


Just wanted to chime in and say i can totally relate. I used to competitively figure skate as a kid (until i was 17) and i felt huge compared to my stick-like peers. I look back at the pictures and my body looks awesome, and i would do anything to have it now, but i felt so bad about myself the entire time because i wasn’t a stick.

I think the appreciation of progress is key in this journey. As big as i still am (269#), i’m way less big than i used to be and that feels really good.

thanks for this and lots of your other great posts…


Lainey • January 6, 2006 at 10:26 am

Hi There

Just came across your sight via a link from Kathryn at idiet. Loving your sight loads! You have done such a great job! I especially love the 3d images. I’m struggling with any images as I am crap with technology.

Keep up the good work!



Kathryn • January 6, 2006 at 4:00 pm

I don’t think I’d have written that I wanted to thinner on a thing for school. Not because I didn’t think it but because it might draw attention to my fat. Even though I got teased about it all the time, I never mentioned it and hoped that people would kind of forget.


Ros • February 5, 2006 at 3:34 pm

Hahaha.. that me laughing out loud at your time machine, I want one :D

Its funny, sad and true. We all need to appreciate all the good things that we have :D guess its Joni Mitchell syndrome, don’t know what we’ve got till its gone.

Thanks for helping me gain some perspective.


Newbaku • May 19, 2008 at 10:04 pm

I’m currently binging on your blog, from the oldest posts foreward. This one struck a loud gong in my heart. I am so happy for you that you are catching on to this in your 20s! I just turned 51 and have been at war with my body since I was 12 tender years old. When I was 11, my mother turned around one day and laughed at me. She said, “You have a big butt, just like your father,” in a chuckley, gosh-look-what-I-just-discovered voice. Mom wasn’t a cruel person, but that comment stunned me and stuck with me. I had a fat butt? I had never ever thought about myself in such terms before. I was just entering puberty, that was all. I was a perfectly proportioned young girl, probably about 85 lbs or so. But that was the day the first shot was fired, and I’ve been in the trenches of that particular battle ever since.


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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