Hey! Thanks for stopping by.

Hey!  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Growing up fat

I taught classes at a high school in Cincinnati last week. English classes, of all things, not drama or music, as some of my former teachers might have expected. The classes were working on revisions, and so am I, working on revising my fat child years into a "meaningful and motivational book" which is not easy when it all seemed so bleak for so long. But as I do, I digressed, and the classes wanted to hear my stories, which I told with gusto. I, for the day, was the teacher we all loved to get off track.

The first thing I said to them, was "Do not be decieved by the adult me, the flashy Broadway credits, the fact that I live in Manhattan, that I'm married with a child, that I'm wearing groovy pink shoes, and that I'm a reasonable weight (not thin, not really fat). It's all smoke and mirrors. In reality, I was you. When I was a student in high school, I sat in the back of the class, I weighed somewhing over 220 pounds (I stopped weighing myself...who wants to know any more than that?) and I graduated 120th out of a class of 124." The kids thought that was a riot, that I was such a rotten student, and I explained how thrilled I was not to be 124th out of 124. A huge accomplishment, considering my senior year grades. I told them about my troubles, not my triumphs, the fighting parents, the lying, the cheating, the things I did that seemed to prevent any success in my future. I told them, life is the choices you make, and just because you might feel rotten now, at this moment in your desk, I'm here to tell you that I felt rotten a lot of the time too. A different generation, but the same feelings.

I urged them to make choices. Choose to do more, not less, choose to go big, not small, choose to try.

I got a post back from a student that day, and she told me her troubles, some of them, and I hope that my book helps her. I tried to write her back, but I'm limited to this blog. So listen up. You will be okay. What your parents say to you (or don't say to you) is not the only stuff about you that is true. Find the true stuff, the good stuff about you, and hang onto it. That's your job. Oh, and do your homework, I wish I'd done a little more of mine!

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Overture

Tell me your stories.

I want to hear from people who were teased as a kid. I know that covers a lot of people, but I want the kids who suffered for it, you know who you are, tell me your stories.

These are the stories I like to tell, and those are the stories I like to hear.

Tell me how you got beyond it, over it, through it, I want to know. I want to help the kids who are still there, being teased in the classroom, and feeling awful in about 97 different ways. The kids who think they have nothing to offer. I want to hear from the adults who still feel a zing in their stomach when they hear the word "fat" and wonder if it is being directed at them.

My story goes like this....Once upon a time I weighed over 220 pounds and I thought I'd either grow up to work at the Hostess Cupcake store and have to be lifted out of my house with a crane because I was so huge, or become a nun so I could wear a shapeless black frock that covered my hugeness from head to toe. I was neither. Instead, amazingly, I became a dancing Cat on Broadway. That's the story I tell. More soon.

Sophomore Year

Sophomore Year
My weight was going up and up...

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine
I guess I'm about 3 or so? Nice tan!