I was always chubby as a kid. I never thought anything of it until I started school. Even though there were bigger kids than me, I was always the one picked on (it didn’t help that I was also a know it all but that’s another story). The kids would call me heifer and moo whenever I walked by. They would tell me that they didn’t want me at their table during lunch so I would end up eating alone. I was never invited to play with the kids either. Middle school was a living hell. I had no friends until the end of 7th grade, and the kids picked on me mercilessly. I would wear pretty clothes and makeup and they would make fun of me anyway. The bullying got worse – to the point that one girl would tell me she was my friend and then tell everyone everything I told her. Her friends tried to burn my hair off IN CLASS and I was the one who got in trouble for it. Eventually it culminated in my ENTIRE class (and I mean that literally) sexually harassing me and laughing about it. That was when I learned that the only thing I could do was wear my weight like armor. By that time, I wasn’t even what you could consider more than slightly overweight.

After high school, I got married to someone who would turn out to be an abusive asshole. His whole family changed my way of eating and I went from 150 lbs to 180 lbs, and I, having internalized the idea that fat = bad, started feeling depressed. Metabolically I was perfectly healthy but I didn’t see that as worth anything.

Once I had my first child, I got my baby and myself away from my abusive partner and enrolled in nursing school. I was on Medicaid since I had only given birth a few months before, so at my Mom’s urging, I went to a doctor about my thyroid. Thyroid problems run in my family.

The doctor took one look at me and said that my problem wasn’t my thyroid. I asked him to run the test anyway.

“Well, when the test comes back normal, will you admit that you’re just a fat ass?”

Yes, a DOCTOR said that to me. Little did I know that he would be arrested and sent to prison for running a pill mill operation. I feel a little justice for that, anyway.

Nothing ever worked for me, and working 3rd shift didn’t help either. I ended up at nearly 300 lbs and just ready to give up on everything. But I didn’t.

I got remarried, had another baby, and had a lap band placed. Lost 110 lbs…and when insurance ran out, I was unable to see my surgeon and they didn’t bother to help me in any way. No counseling, no checkups. NOTHING. I gained all my weight back and more.

I am a community theatre actress and I tried out for a role I would have loved, only to be told that I’m not “leading lady material” that I’m “more of a funny sidekick” – aka, you’re too fat to be sexy, you should only be the comic relief.

So I settled into the idea that I would never be worth anything.

I ended up being able to have my band removed, a sleeve done, and a hernia fixed. I don’t see that surgeon any more either and Medicaid wouldn’t pay for counseling sessions anyway.

Long story short: doctors dismissed me routinely, people have bullied me, I was passed over for theatre roles, and I have suffered from depression most of my life.

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