Three digits. 120 is a number that haunts me in my sleep and rings through my ears long after I’ve left my physical. It has been slapped on my forehead and refuses to budge even with my most triumphant attempts and the strongest of soap. I am not 120 lbs but that is the weight that is considered healthy for my age and height.I am 190 lbs and wear clothes in the size medium and large but have been dubbed by society as being Morbidly Obese simply due to my small stature and the number that appears on the scale.

I am more than just a number

My doctor might see a number on a scale and see that otherwise I’m perfectly healthy but I have been conditioned by society to see myself as “fat” “heavy” and “gross.” I don’t see myself this way though because I’ve refused to let the number on the scale and my doctors words of advice to lose weight bring me down.

I eat approximately 1300 calories a day and exercise regularly. I'm sorry that my body simply stores fat differently than yours. That doesn’t make me any less of a person. I am still beautiful on the inside and out regardless the number that pops up when I weigh myself. What you don’t see on the scale is the struggles I’ve faced; the pep talks I’ve had with myself late at night, the medication I was on which made me gain 50 lbs in 6 months, or the choices I make on a daily basis.

The number isn’t me. The scale doesn’t take into consideration lifestyle choices, actions I make on a daily basis and the exercise I get. My doctor only sees me in terms of how I rank on a chart, which I think, is pretty horrible.

I want to reach out and say that you are beautiful. Yes, you, the boy who was Told he couldn’t be a ballerina because he didn’t “fit well” into a leotard. Or the girl who was told to save some pizza for others because she took two slices instead of one. This one is for me and for you: For the ones who have been spoon-fed their worth by a chart, a doctor or by others.

Why I'm not so scary after all

You’ve been told to avoid people who “look like me” simply because I’m not skinny. You’ve been taught to look the other way when I eat my meals because I’m viewed as a pig when I consume what’s on my plate. You’ve been conditioned to avoid me simply because I appear to be “unhealthy.” Instead of avoiding me, come up and say hi.

I am Irina. I am 190 lbs and you know what? I’ve worked relentlessly to see this number on the scale. So if that isn’t good enough for you, then you can go on your merry way. I don’t need for my weight to dictate the way you view me.

My weight, my problem. My weight isn’t an issue though !I’ve been told I’m healthy and that is through blood tests, the food choices I make and the 3 to 4 times a week I exercise .I’m sorry that my weight is what you use to pinpoint me. That number is nothing more than a three digit code. I am here to say that regardless of your weight or the struggles you face that you are beautiful, worthy and loved.

Sincerely,

A "fat girl" who is using your mean comments about my weight to fuel my desire to think more positively about the way I view myself, my health and my life.

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