“I weighed 13 pounds when I was born, so I guess I’ve always been overweight. In preschool, I got teased so miserably that I would pretend to pass out so that I could go home. I would practice how to fall because I didn’t want to hurt myself. My mom thought there was something seriously wrong with me. I didn’t want to go outside. I found solace in my room, where I could paint, draw, and write stories. I was alone a lot. My father abandoned me, my mom was always working, and my step-dad made it clear that I was just his step child. When I started high school, I found a way to pretend that I was OK with being in my shell by always being the first to joke about my weight. It got to a point where I was making jokes when nobody was even thinking about it. My confidence was fake. To cloak how I was never comfortable in my skin, I would pack on layers. My mom got me to have gastric bypass surgery when I graduated, which is why I have a big scar above my belly button. I lost 100 pounds, but losing weight is an easy thing, it’s the mental weight that’s hard to lose. You have to be able to see yourself. Only now am I able to look in the mirror and think: You’re dope, you’re alright. I’m a work-in-progress, and I’m OK with loving myself in the meantime.”
– Stacy Barthe in today’s new episode of the What’s Underneath Project! For her full story, watch her video!