Words' weighty impact

By Aimee-Rose Donnell

At school, over a delicious and not so nutritious lunch of fish'n'chips, one of my close friends informed me that his mother thought I'd become a bit "chunky". I looked at him and laughed, but as soon I saw his lips move, I knew that it wasn't meant to be a joke.

At first, I laughed it off, comparing my tummy to a beach ball and complaining about needing two seats to sit down because my rear end took up too much room.

My friends laughed along with me, and the topic was quickly changed to some second-hand gossip going around the school.

The word "chunky" stayed with me all day, right through work and the Friday-night flick of the week. As soon as I was in my bedroom, I started to research. When I looked up "chunky", the definition screamed out as loudly as my stomach did.

Chunky: stout; fat.

As a girl who once dealt with an eating disorder and is only just beginning to feel comfortable in her own skin again, this was a major set back. I began to plan gym visits and all the food I would not be touching again and how I could lose weight as fast as possible. I thought about ways I could skip meals, diet supplements and diets that would make me lose weight fast.

But then, I stopped.

Did I really want to become the girl who weighed herself every night, and looked at food as a death sentence instead of just simple lasagne? Did I want to take myself back down the path of no return, the path that led right back to the self-loathing that I used as my second skin?
I don't want to hide away anymore, and I don't think that anyone else should.

I am beautiful. I have grown to love my curves, and realise God did not make me to be a stick-thin girl, but instead one who had more of herself to love. People throw "chunky" comments at others like leaves fall off trees, without considering the consequences. Judging people only gets you so far in this world, and not to any of the right places.

The comments we make have a bigger impact on people than we may think. I know I have made many off-hand remarks, and later thought, would I be okay if someone said that to me?

Aimee-Rose Donnell, Year 13, Edgewater College

- NZ Herald

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