My 20th high school reunion is this weekend. Twenty years! I can hardly get my mind around that; I’m 38 years old, but feel ten years younger at least. I’m anxious to see my classmates in person (I’ve seen quite a few of them online, but that’s not the same).
When you think about a reunion, what’s the the first thing that comes to mind? While you might wonder who got divorced and who’s gone bald, you probably first think: Who got fat?
I haven’t weighed myself in five years. Really! I got rid of the scale because I hated the power it had over me. Those numbers defined and consumed me. As I don’t know what I weigh, I can’t really tell you if I’m fatter or thinner than I was in high school.
For the most part, I liked high school. I enjoyed my classes, especially French and English, and I had a great group of friends. What I didn’t enjoy was never having a date to a dance, or to homecoming, or to the prom. I didn’t like being mocked and bullied for being fat. The culprits were mostly boys – I distinctly remember this one guy pretending that the ground was shaking from me walking down the hall.
I’m not bitter about those times (well, a little bitter about the lack of dates). Being picked on and bullied for being fat helped me to develop the thick skin necessary for being a writer and a creative person, who puts herself and her work out for public display. It helped me to be kind and understanding of people different than me.
I’ll walk into that reunion this weekend not knowing what I weigh, but knowing that I make wellness a part of my life every day, that I feed and move my body in ways that make me healthy and happy. I wonder what my classmates will see.