The year was 2005. As kids in blue uniforms tumbled into the classroom, I paused, looking at a couple of my classmates, who were joking about body weight and looking pointedly in my direction, referring to how a few of our contemporaries are a little on the heavier side. I found myself zoning out of the conversation, trying to protect my sanity as a spiral of thoughts took over.
A few months later, I would be a part of a dance troupe at school, practicing choreographed steps for an event and looking nonchalant as a girl walked up to me and suggested that I try a certain dance move again, indicating that it looked super odd on me.
Meanwhile, at home, my parents kept me going with encouraging words, insisting that I don’t skip my meals and simply incorporate more physical activity into my daily routine. I was starting to take the comments seriously and telling myself I needed to drop the excess weight to be at my best.
Being bullied is hard. You hear someone’s taunts a few times and you start to question yourself, fighting your inner monologue that tells you they’re right and you need to change as soon as you can in order to fit in.