What is the definition of “chubby”?
Why do we use it to describe others, and who said it was okay to have it in our vocabulary in the first place? The receiving end of this insult doesn’t feel good or nice or spectacular or, in any way, shape, or form, positive.
Since the day I came into this world, I was “chubby.” Chubby was a 10-pound baby, a large woman’s t-shirt, and a double-digit jean size. Chubby was–is–me. To my disadvantage, the teasing and bullying for my size throughout elementary, middle and high school got into my head, and manifested itself into 5 years of a relentless eating disorder.
My 13th year was the start of a battle, and my 18th year was the triumph of the war. It took me too long to realize I needed help, but, finally, help is exactly what I got. I spent four long months in Intensive Outpatient Care, and once discharged became an Outpatient as I am today. Those four months took away my senior year of high school, my dance career, and my social life. I spent 15 hours a week at a recovery center an hour away from my school, while my grades quickly plummeted from my time spent away from my studies. I was miserable on a daily basis, and quickly became a recluse (the complete opposite of my natural personality). I thought I’d never get out of that place.
However, to my surprise, that semester of terrible isolation built my mental foundation from the ground up, after it had been struck down and destroyed all these years. The last month or so of my high school career was unforgettable, as I experienced what it was like to live in a beautifully chubby body and know that who I am is how I act, speak and think, not my reflection.
I became an advocate for myself.
I worked hard in school, committed to a college, became actively involved in the school choir and ultimately smoothed over my relationships at school. And being considered “chubby” didn’t hold me back from any of that. But could chubby be… beautiful? She must be kidding, right? Nope. That word may describe me in some people’s mind, but my heart tells me my body has a purpose. My chubby legs get me from Point A to Point B, while my chubby arms help me pick up my dog for a cuddle and a kiss every morning. My chubby stomach houses all of my precious organs, while my chubby backside provides me with a comfortable seat.
I’ve learned to respect my body.
Although I may not be completely obsessed or in love with it, I can still appreciate what it does for me and learn what I can do for it. No one looks at my jean size, or asks how much I weighed when I was born, so what’s wrong with being okay with how I look, and even feel beautiful?
You don’t have to make a comeback from an eating disorder, or lose a ton of weight, or do anything heroic whatsoever to love or just respect yourself. You also don’t have to shout to the world, “I’M BEAUTIFUL!” Or walk around with a sign that says, “I’M OKAY WITH MY BODY!” All you have to do is smile, look at yourself in the mirror, and see you for you. See yourself for the laughter in your eyes, the knowledge in your brain and the love in your heart. Yes, it sounds cheesy, but hey, who doesn’t love a cheesy writer from time to time?
I can’t explain the relief I’ve discovered and felt this past year with finally being able to buy clothes and be proud of my “chubbiness,” and eat delicious food without feeling guilty, and allowing myself to feel beautiful overall. I can’t explain the relief I’ve felt from being who I am, Chubby and Proud.