My Puffy Face Moment
Before I share my moment, I just want to say that collecting these stories is a beautiful thing. THANK YOU! Let’s show and share and read and … CHANGE for goodness sake.
I have a few (of course … don’t we all?) but the one that most stands out happened when I was eight. My Dad (who is a good man and loves me dearly and wouldn’t ever intentionally do anything to harm me) had taken some snapshots of my brother and me around the farm to use up a roll of film so we could get it developed. When we got the photos back, my Dad was flipping through them and called me over to look at one of the photos.
In the photo, I was standing in the middle of the garden holding my pet rabbit, Pepper.
"Look at this picture," my Dad told me. "Do you see that?" He asked, pointing at my belly. "You’re getting a little fat. You need to go outside and play more. You don’t want to grow up and look like Aunt Mae, do you?"
My Dad probably thought he was doing me a favor. That just being frank and open about it would be the best thing and that this way we could “fix” my “problem.”
Before that moment, it had never occurred to me that I might or might not be fat. I was blissfully unaware. Not even for a second. And after that … I was hyper aware of my physicality.
But … I had only been told about this “problem” I had, and wasn’t given any tools for really dealing with it. I didn’t know how to exercise. I didn’t know how to eat more healthfully. I just knew that there was now this thing that was wrong with me. And I had to walk around with it every day not knowing how to fix it.
When I was 16, I was looking through family photos and I came across that snapshot. And without even thinking twice, I tore it to shreds and threw it away.