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  • "Some kids are making fun of me because of how much I way."
    I wrote that note to a teacher when I was in second grade. How old was I? How old are second graders? Older than 6, younger than 12 right? Fucked if I remember.

    I remember the teacher. Mrs. Ellis. She had me name the names of all the kids making fun of me. It was all boys. She took them out of the classroom one day and talked to them. When they came back I felt stupid and glad at once. "There." I thought. "That'll fix it all." I was proud of myself. One kid. Phil. He actually came up to me later that day and apologized. He had brown hair and looked super german. On the back of his head his his hair he had a random blond patch. Like the pigment in his hair was albino in that one quarter sized spot. That's all I remember about him.

    Things pretty much got worse after second grade in regards to getting picked on.
    I'd cry to my mom at night and tell her how kids were picking on me. I'd bring something of hers in my school bag so that in the middle of the day I could go smell it when I felt sad. I'd write "I love mom" and "i love dad" in the windows on the school bus. Man I was a nerd.

    I thought they knew what it meant when I said kids were picking on me. It wasn't until I was sixteen and in a therapists office with my dad that the truth all came out.
    "How was school for you Esther?" The therapist asked, wanting to get a feel for my general experience.
    "I got beat up a lot." This was not said with any great horror. It was just the facts. I had been beaten almost daily since day #2 of fourth grade. Kicked in the lunch room. (I never ate there. I'd just sit). Some kid broke my arm. One kid punched me in the chest while I was walking in the hallway. There was some seventh grade kid wait for me at my bus stop. As soon as the bus rounded the corner he'd wail on me. One day I got home early and I stood looking out my living room window. i watched him get to my bus stop and wait between these two pine trees for my bus. I won that day.
    On a different day I lost. He and a buddy of his were waiting for me with hockey sticks.

    Have scar tissue right next to my spine from that one. When my mom saw it about eight years later she freaked out and made me get an mri, thinking it was cancer.

    Anyway in the therapist office my dad turned to me and goes,
    "You mean they hit you?"
    "Every single day dad."

    I'd never seen that look on my dad's face. He had no idea.
    I had no idea they didn't know. I thought they knew what it meant when I said I was getting picked on.
    Lesson? When your kids say something like that. Ask more fucking questions.

    Anyway. So I was a fat kid. I was fat and I wore weird hippie clothes. I wore a John Lennon shirt to school when I was in sixth grade and people asked me who it was.
    I never tried to attempt anything in gym class and the teachers just kind of let it slide.
    I was "sick" all the time. I was terrified of school.
    Tried to kill myself when I was fifteen. I was super into cutting myself up. Anyway. This is starting to sound depressing.


    In seventh grade I changed some stuff up. Some kid... he was a popular kid. His name was Matt. He talked some shit.. Half hour later I found him and tapped him on the shoulder and then sucker punched him in the nose. He fell backward and blood just fucking gushed out. It was kind of awesome.
    Poor kid got several years of my revenge in a single right cross.

    I remember this popular came up to me later and said "Violence isn't the answer."
    Dumb bitch. She had no idea the violence I had endured.

    Ok really though this is a happy story.

    So school sucked but I had some good friends. We laughed a lot and I was over all pretty happy by the time I graduated I guess.
    I got in a relationship with some girl (surprise surprise) and had a job and all that shit. But I was fat.
    I think I topped out around 250 or so.. maybe 260? Hard to tell as I avoided the scale at all times.

    I tried to be anorexic and bulemic. I figured out what food was the easiest to hork (Mac and cheese folks) and I found tricks to ignore being hungry. I hated working out or almost any physical movement. I hated sex. I worked really hard to live in this reality that I built that I wasn't fat. That people needed to see the inner beauty. And don't get me wrong I still think that - but.. I was fat. And I hated myself.

    I never worried about what anyone said about me or thought about me because it was nothing in comparison to what I thought about myself. Nothing could be as bad as what I felt. What I thought. I could laugh at their attempts. One day I didn't go into work because I couldn't get over how guilty I felt that people had to look at me.

    Ok so let's move forward to when things got better.When I got better.
    My ex and I had broken up and I was back to men. Man I had missed cock. I sort of just went nuts and fucked a bunch of guys (sorry honey, don't read that). It was a cliche need to validate I was lovable and blah blah. When these guys kept not calling back I would get frustrated and angry and I was talking to my ex about it.
    Her response?
    "They aren't calling you back because you are fat."

    Damn.

    I was so mad. So mad that I wanted to break shit. Wanted to DESTROY stuff. So I went to the elliptical in my dad's office and worked out. I went one mile on the elliptical and it took me seventeen minutes. I hated it. I hated every minute of it. i hated myself every minute of it.

    My little world was crashing down. There was a reflection in a cabinet while I worked out and I could see myself in it. My stomach was out past my boobs. I sweat so hard my face started to bleach out. My body didn't want to sweat because it didn't know how. I just got red. One mile in seventeen minutes. On an elliptical.

    The next day I went through the hell again. Seventeen minutes of hell. That's all I could do.
    Day. After day. I faced what I had done to myself. I faced every single horrid thing I said about myself. Faced every single person that beat me and every single person that tore me down. But every time it came back to me.

    I broke up with guys that weren't able to support me through it. I refused to work out anywhere but my dad's office for the first year. I wouldn't go outside or to a gym. i didn't want anyone to see the abomination of me - fighting myself. I was so angry I was scared of myself and now that I had started all this I had to keep doing it. I had to keep working out the anger until I had no energy left to feel it.

    Finally I got a job at a gym. It worked out because then I got a free membership. The first workout I was so terrified. I figured people would look at me and think "look at the fat girl trying to run. She'll never make it." or like someone would come up to me and say "Essie you look ridiculous, get out of here." My clothes didn't match and my shoes were old. My total outfit probably totaled the same dollar amount as the skinny bitch's head band. I didn't have an ipod.
    I was scared that someone was going to come beat me.

    It was silly. Stupid. Whatever.

    I wanted to look good naked so guys would call me back. That's how it started. By this point it was way beyond that.
    Redemption through transformation.

    I had to redeem myself to myself.

    In the summer I started walking on the path. Then when no one was looking I'd jog a little bit.

    I met Cara at the gym. She turned into my guardian angel. I'll tell you all about her some other time.

    I worked out with personal trainers. They all taught me different stuff. I eventually got bold enough to invade the weights area of the gym where all the meat heads were.

    I've lost like 80 lbs.

    I remember when I got "the pinch" test to see what my body fat % was. When I started all this it was 52%. I had a personal trainer do it then. it was at 20%.
    I cried.

    I have ran 6 miles without stopping.
    I wrote cheesy things on Facebook to try to encourage others.

    At the gym I'd see big people come in. People that were on day #1. They'd be walking on the treadmill at a snails pace. I went up to them and got on the treadmill next to them. I talked to them.
    I wanted them to come back. i'd pray they'd come back.

    I don't really know how to describe it. When I was fat people would say things like "Well it's not like losing weight would make you happy." It was their way of encouraging me to say it was ok to be fat. That I was still lovable and capable of happiness.

    Man I get it - but they were so wrong.
    I don't think horrible thoughts about myself. When i go to the gym i am proud of myself. i feel like i belong. I feel like i won myself back, ya know? my head and my heart and my body aren't constantly at war. I beat my body up so bad before. just abused it constantly by not taking care. and it was begging me for help. begging. My head just did what every single bully did to me. It talked shit. it convinced it that it deserved it.

    so I told my head to shut the fuck up. every time my head screamed at me to stop. to just stop trying and go hide. i told it to shut the fuck up. and once i did that, i turned and listened so intently to my body. i listened to it's pain and it's needs. i pushed it. it pushed me.

    it is amazing what your body can do if you let it.

    one of my cousins reached out to me. in fact a lot of people reached out to me. asking me for help. i met my cousin once a week at the gym and worked out with her. my other cousin started coming too. i have talked to people on the phone when they asked me to help them.

    i will always. always. always make time to help people. want to know who deserves help? anyone that asks.

    i don't think bad thoughts about myself much anymore.

    Anyway. if anyone anywhere reads this - all four of you. (ha). if you need help. or want to ask me something. or just need someone to be scared to. Essie Ames. Facebook me. I'll make the time.
    No one should have to live with the fear and hate and anger.

    Yep.
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