Fat Doni’s Story

Well folks, I was a fat kid, the kind that had candy bar wrappers hidden in every pocket I wore. I didn’t start that way though.  I was a normal sized baby, in fact, for a while there I wore sizes that had slim following the number. But that changed around 3rd grade, when I became the kid that was called “jelly roll” by my siblings because my belly closely resembled the tasty blonde pastry.

While it may be more acceptable to write that I was chubby, fluffy, or big boned when I was young, that isn’t the way others saw me. Others saw me as fat and that meant that I saw myself the same way.  But I’m not ashamed of my over consumption of my youth.  I’ve changed from my fat days and ways.

I was big until late high school, but as a positive slant, one could say I was a highly functional fat kid- whatever that means. I guess to me it means I was always involved in sports and I was always  a decent athlete. For the most part  I could find clothes at the normal stores, as long as I got men’s jeans, and fortunately I was fat in the 1990s when the style was big and baggy.  For those that haven’t known me since my youth,  I was more fat than muscular  until around the start of my junior year of high school. I still remember stepping on a scale and topping 200 lbs. and literally thinking “I need to turn this bus around.”

16 years-old before I turned bus around

I turned the bus around mostly because I changed my body composition with weight training.  Weight training made me stronger and helped me lose the identity of a fat girl. There seemed to be a direct relationship: the more weight I could lift the more confidence I carried.

Of course, at times, I wonder what I may have experienced if I wasn’t fat at such a young age.  I remember not trying out for things, I remember being the bully, and there were times when I didn’t like my body.  I also know that I was fat because I found temporary happiness, like a band-aid,  in food. Food was my escape from reality; when I needed an escape I ate and in those bites I felt good again.

At present I know I am a product of my past, but not limited because of it.  I’m certain that my continual desire for self improvement is rooted in knowing I can change. I did change. In other words, my life has played out in such specific ways as a result of being big during my youth into adolescence and then making a change.

Professionally,  when I worked as a personal trainer and strength coach,  and now as a teacher and coach I’ve always worked in fields where I’ve reveled in being part of personal change and improvement.  In all of these forums I worked to help others, all the while trying my best to lead by example.  Never could I give to others without fueling my own improvement first. I left behind the fat girl stigma years ago, but at some level I owe her. The fat girl inspired the changes that created the product I am today. All of us have excuses for not getting the most out of life, but I hope we never let the person in the rear view mirror be that excuse.  In fact, if you look closely, that former self may be your biggest inspiration.


4 thoughts on “Fat Doni’s Story

  1. Well written and wonderfully said. We all have our self image or past selves that can indeed serve as our inspiration, good or bad. Thank you for writing and sharing!


  2. This is so inspiring Donielle! So glad I got to know you a little better through this. Sometimes I do feel like difficult life experiences make us stronger later in life- hats off to you for making positive changes in your life! 😘


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