I Was Fat And Bullied But Never Needed Counseling

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I remembered talking a while back with my boyfriend, Connor, about our teenage days after he showed me his favorite movie, The Revenge of the Nerds. He said that bullying the nerds was extremely common in his school back in the day. However, no one dared to bully anyone in front of him because they knew that he would not put up with it.

At that moment, I felt proud of my man. I had always known that Connor stood up for everything right, but I never knew how far he could go to ensure that nobody got humiliated for being whoever they were under his watch.

While I was swooning, though, Connor asked, “Did you witness any bullying when you were a teenager?”

My immediate answer was no. “I was technically a part of the nerdy group because I was in a special science program. We were set apart from the rest of the school, and you would honestly not find a nerd bullying another nerd. If anything like that happened outside of our little bubble, I would not have been aware of it,” I explained in length.

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Although Connor and I moved on to other fun topics afterward, his question got stuck in my head the entire day. I found my explanation a bit odd, even to my ears. I mean, regardless of what school you went to or what program you joined, there would forever be bullies in the mix. So, how could I not have witnessed a single bullying incident when I was a teenager?

We were already in bed when the answer hit me. I received some pretty harsh words from my schoolmates because of my weight back then. I would walk around the pavilion and see some boys and girls snickering behind their hands while looking at me. Other bolder kids would call out, “Hey, Ms. Piggy!”

How Could I Forget That?

First of all, let me inform you that it was not a repressive technique many people use when they go through traumatic experiences. I learned about that when I took basic psychology classes in college. I knew that bullied kids tend to handle the matter this way, but I could assure you that I did not find my experience traumatizing at all.

The primary reason was that I was well aware of the truth about my weight. Yes, I was far from being a size 0 like those cheerleaders and other popular girls. Even I would agree that I was in the oversized group of teenagers. Still, you could not expect anything different from a tall kid trying to get into the wrestling team.

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During that phase of my life, being a bit into the hefty side was an advantage. The snooty kids might have been disgusted by it, but I got to play my favorite sport because of my weight.

Since I came from a long line of big-boned Irish women, my family pretty much prepared me early on to accept my size, too. While they all encouraged us to eat healthily and do more physical activities, everyone was curvy, so it never felt like I did not belong. I only realized that other families did not eat more than one serving every meal when I started going to school.

How Can You Be Bullied And Never Need Counseling?

I am no counseling expert, but I can say from experience that it all comes down to the words we allow to stick to us for life. Every person can act as a magnet for comments from other people, you see. Wherever you go, whatever you do or look like, someone will have something to say about you.

As I mentioned above, I got a lot of comments regarding my body size. They went past my shield and hit me well sometimes, yes. But before those words got comfortable and permanently attached to me, I shook them off. Hard. Because of that, there was nothing to wear me down.

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Another critical factor is self-awareness. I knew I was bigger than the average American girl, and many people only liked extra-large when it came to food, salary, and products – not other people. Being aware of that gave me enough time to accept that I would meet bullies in this lifetime. I was not wrong, and I was prepared for their attacks.

Furthermore, you need to seek support from your family. While I was not the only fat girl at school, I had the enormous confidence to ignore my bullies because I knew that my parents loved me. Unfortunately, I also learned about some big girls whose families poked fun at them. The bullying at school and at home (albeit indirectly) pushed them to get counseling later.

Final Thoughts

All I’m saying is that I forgot about the bullies in high school because their antics did not affect me too much. I did not need anyone to save me like the nerds in my boyfriend’s old school because paying no attention to the bullies was the worst comeback for them.

If you ever get bullied, you should try what I did, too.


How To Get Through High School Without Counseling When You’re A “Big Girl”

In life, you tend to go through some situations that may always be impossible to evade. For instance, in my case, my father was a chef, so we often had fantastic food in the house. They technically count as healthy, but then I also have an Italian mother who usually said that we looked too thin for her liking. As a result, I turned out to be one of the biggest girls in class.

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What’s It Like To Be A “Big Girl” Growing Up?

Being considered a “big girl” had its ups and downs, of course. The primary advantage that I noticed was that I was often the first pick in contact sports, especially when it’s dodgeball or rugby, and you needed brute force to win the game. Others might have been offended by it, but I was not.

Another perk was that people would typically think twice before making fun of me. Although I had never bullied anyone, I got that my size could be pretty intimidating. Some kids might have thought of joking about it, but the moment our eyes would meet, they would shut up.

Despite that, it did not mean that I did not leave high school emotionally unscathed. While most bullies did not dare to go against me, I came across some popular – read model-like girls – who made it their lives’ work to belittle anyone who did not look like them. And since we were practically opposites, they always tried to find a way to get their snarky remarks through my kindness shield.

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I must admit that the mean girls succeeded a few times. They would never call me fat, but they tend to toy around words like walking refrigerator, talking 12-wheeler, etc. Those things made me conscious about my body and want to eat less than usual.

Luckily, I had parents who seemed very aware when my confidence level would take a dip. They used to say, “Did the body-shaming bugs try to get to you again? Pay them no mind, honey. Such girls act mean towards others because there’s a part of them that’s jealous of you for being able to eat anything you want.”

My parents’ wise words sounded like an actual counselor was a genuine treat for me. They got me through high school, and there was never a time when I felt the need to keep my head down low. For sure, the bullies lurked in the corners – sometimes, they’d be brave enough to come right in front of me – but their antics never bothered me too much.

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How Can You Make It Happen, Too?

Gosh, I wish I could tell you that there was an exact formula to ensure that the bullies could never get to you. I also wish I could say that the bullies would leave you alone forever once you showed them that you did not care for their words. However, that’s not possible since there would always be a denser person than others in this lifetime, and their job was to challenge your emotional stability.

If you really want to get through high school like a big girl without needing counseling, though, I would suggest accepting yourself from the beginning. Accept your size; accept that you will never be size 0. That is so much easier than using drastic measures to lose weight immediately.

Also, remember what my parents told me: some people could behave ugly because they were jealous of you. Back in the day, I observed what the mean girls ate during lunch: three sticks of baby carrots or a lettuce leaf. No, they were not actual rabbits, but they ate like one. Meanwhile, my dad would always pack healthy gourmet meals that I could share with at least three kids. Once I realized the massive difference, I felt sorry for my bullies.

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It would not hurt to gain your family’s support either. Especially when you come from a family like mine where being big is expected, you will undoubtedly find someone who had been made fun of due to their body. In that case, you could hear their perspective on the matter and learn from their experiences. But even if you are the only oversized family member, knowing that your parents and siblings were proud of you could do so much to boost your confidence.

Final Thoughts

I understood that I got somewhat lucky in the bully department because my bullies only tried to hurt me verbally. As I grew older, I found out that some mean kids went as far as shoving their victims against lockers or hitting them physically. In such instances, I would genuinely encourage you to get counseling because those experiences could be super traumatizing.

Still, assuming your high school bullies were more like mine, try my tips above. The change in your heart would not happen overnight, yes, but building your confidence and resilience would help you get through life even when high school is over.