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‘Ugh, you’d be so much prettier if you just lose some weight.’ I was only allowed to drink water. I felt like I’d been punched in the gut.’: Woman finds confidence after lifetime of body shaming, ‘I set MY OWN beauty standards now’

“At 14 years old, I tried to end my life by downing a whole bottle of antidepressants. I dropped out of high school and was ‘promiscuous’ at every opportunity. The bullying was relentless. I just wanted to crawl into a hole and cry. When I went to the doctor to get my weight checked, she looked at me with disgust. ‘How did you get so big? Why are you so overweight? Your body is mostly fat!’ I was speechless. I couldn’t even look her in the eye.”

‘People went out of their way to ignore me, as if being fat was contagious. Others used me as a lesson for their kids. ‘Look! This is what happens when you don’t eat right!’ I couldn’t find happiness, so food was my escape.’

“My weight got to the point where standing was painful. My wife got used to my answer being ‘no’ to everything. The panic set in. Was my weight ruining her life? Was I trapping her? Did she resent me for that? Did she still find me attractive or fun to be around?”

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