Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One Word that Defines You

First of all I must tell you how much FUN I had reading through all your favorite movies!! Many of them I have seen and could have so easily been on my list. Others I can't wait to watch! {Angie, can you believe I have yet to see "The Notebook"? My mom keeps telling me about it...and gotta see "Urban Cowboy"! Like I said John is so dreamy and the soundtrack is great! And Peggy!! "The Final Countdown"...that's so funny!! I saw that with my parents waaaaay back when and remember really loving it. Our local dvd rental place has it in their new releases now and I thought about watching it again. It's been YEARS!}

Today is "Wordy Wednesday". Today let's take a look at one word that defined our childhood. Were you Athletic? Dramatic? Optimistic? Were friends and family always commenting on how Sweet you were?
Of course we're not going to be able to sum up our entire childhood in one word...there are bound to be many.

 So for this particular challenge I want you to think about an incident that happened in your life that had a major impact on you. Something so big it shaped and molded who you are today.

Remember this doesn't have to be a positive experience. In fact, I would guess that many times for an event to have such an effect on our was probably not the best of  times.

In my case this couldn't be more accurate. Most of my childhood I was FAT. Please understand that I absolutely, 100% loathe the word FAT. It's got to be one of the most hurtful words in any language. However, because of what happened to me the word FAT must be used.

All through grade school I was overweight. Consequently I was made fun of  a l l.  t h e.  t i m e. For years I struggled with the insensitive and down right mean words that were often spewed at me. Even after becoming an accomplished athlete in my 30's and wearing a size 9 jean I often looked in the mirror, critiquing every body part. I could still hear my classmates taunting me, almost wishing I'd break down and cry in front of them.

A few years ago "Basic Grey" was sponsoring an album contest. I created one {and entered}called "I Never Imagined". The layout I am sharing today was taken from that album.

That's me in 3rd grade. One of the heaviest periods of my childhood. Most of the ridicule I remember happened here. The title of my page is "fat".

The letters are Basic Grey. I inserted another photo here of me. I remember this time in my life so vividly...I was so unhappy. By the way I am 9 years old and in the 3rd grade.

The inspiration for the entire layout came from an incident that is burned in my memory. It was "weigh" day at school and I was dreading it. I didn't care so much if the adults saw what I weighed but from past experience I knew they would call out my number...and they did. L o u d l y . It was 125. Everyone snickered. I about died. It was the most humiliating thing that has ever happened to me. To this day when I see a group of people laughing I cringe thinking they are laughing at me. Sad.

It was so important for me to have this on my layout somewhere. I used a mini file folder from Hobby Lobby.

There is so much journaling on this layout {i had so much to say-vent}. This is underneath my photo and printed out on a transparency. It says...

"Fat Stats"
Leslie Dawn Jackson
Age 9 Third Grade
Weight 125 pounds
I love to eat! One pan of cinnamon rolls with lots of butter, a whole bag of Doritos, one large pizza with a pitcher of pop and potato chips with sour cream and onion dip.
*When I'm not eating I'm thinking about eating

I housed the main part of my journaling in this envelope I altered.

It reads...

"Here I 1976 at the age of nine. I am so fat. It hurts to look at this photo. At the time this photo was taken I was miserable. My whole world was food. My parents fought constantly...Dad drank. Whenever I heard my parents begin to argue I'd grab a bag of chips and a soda then hide in my room soothing myself with food. Food was my friend. When Dad go drunk and it was just Mom and I we'd walk to the Little Store. She'd let me buy anything. Sometimes it was frozen Charlston Chew candy bars, sometimes we'd share a bag of Taco Doritos. On good days she'd buy me a pan of cinnamon rolls and let me eat the whole thing with half a stick of butter. I weighed 125 pounds here. I remember once the nurse weighed me and yelled out my weight. Everyone including the adult volunteers laughed. I wanted to die. I was embarrassed to go to gym class. It's humiliating when no one wants you on their team. I'd just be left, sitting on the bleachers waiting for Mr. Kamp to put me on a team. All the kids would groan and say...Oh, not her. I was scared to walk to my school that was just 2 blocks from my house. Sometimes the kids that made fun of me would try to pick a fight with me. I was afraid they would beat me up.I rode the bus home in fourth grade. I was still so fat. The older kids wouldn't let me sit down.Almost everyday I'd have to stand all the way home and listen to the boys make fun of my butt. I really, never imagined people could be so cold hearted. One time I overheard my Mom's best friend tell her daughter not to eat so much or else she'd end up fat like me. I'm 39 years old and that still hurts. My classmates never got to see the real me. All they saw was a scared, sad, overweight me. Inside I was kind, I was funny, I was thin. Nobody cared. I wanted so desperately to dress like all the girls in my class. Pretty dresses, cool bell bottoms. Instead I  wore Pretty Plus sizes from Ward's. There was nothing cute about them. On days I thought I looked nice, I'd stand tall, smile and think...okay, today I feel good. Today no one will say anything. Those were the worst days. Those days hurt twice as bad when some kid yelled...hey, hey, hey it's FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT ALBERT. My nickname...Fat Albert. I never imagined they would turn my favorite cartoon into such hurtful words. Oh, God how I hate this time in my life."

Thank you for letting me share this with you. I know it's a downer...but creating this page and writing down the journaling was so theraputic for me.

Now, it's your turn. Can you think of one word  from your childhood that had an impact on you? If you want, share it with us. And if not, if it's too painful please take the time to explore your feelings surrounding this time in your life. Create a page, a journal, anything...just get it down. Not only can it help you but it will give insight to future generations of why you do the things you do. Of how you became you.


  1. kids can be so cruel. It breaks my heart to know that we live in a society that is so fixed on "the perfect weight, or child or job or house" we are who WE are and it's okay that we are not all the same.

    I was teased in elementary school because I walked like a duck(due to the fact I was born with one hip out of joint and the other was not totally formed yet). I worre metal leg braces from teh day I was born until I was almost a year old. It was something I had to over come and I am a much stronger person because of I guess I would say my word would be FIGHTER!
    To this day I am a fughter. I never give up, don't ever tell me I CANT do something, cause I will show in a quick second that I can!

  2. Les . . . I just finished reading your post. With tears in my eyes, I want you to know that I love you. Your honesty in sharing this with all of us is probably one of the bravest things I've ever seen. I just had to tell you that. I, too, had many of these very same experiences while growing up. What is interesting to me is that there we were - young kids - feeling so alone. But in reality, so many people went through the same thing.

    I'm going to think about my word a little bit and might do a post on it. Thanks for always giving of yourself.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Wow Leslie, I had no idea. What a great accomplishment you have made in putting that behind you and no longer letting it define who you are. There are so many people I know who have let tragedy like that consume them and alienate them from society and you didn't! How exciting! Thanks for sharing and showing others that obstacles can be overcome and your life can be great : )

    I also was heavy as a child and into my teens. To this day I battle eating disorders because of it. At 17, when I became anorexic I noticed men paying attention to me and I liked it. I still seek others approval but thanks to my counselor, I'm getting through it. The reason it has helped so much is that it is just nice to vent to someone about it. Every time I start getting upset about my weight my husband gets annoyed so I avoid telling him how I feel. I think it's hard for people who have never had a weight issue to understand why the scale can be such a scary thing. Up is never what you want to see. I may conquer this demon, one day.....

    My word would be LOUD. I still am : )


  5. Well let me start on a lighter note and say YOU NEED to watch the Notebook!! I can't believe you haven't seen it yet!?!? As for your childhood, I don't even know what words to use to express how I feel reading your story. Your Mother may have meant well, letting you eat anything to try to give you some joy but you really didn't have any adult looking out for you. For your emotional well being let alone your health. That makes me really sad. I can assume that it has been tough to overcome all of this BUT that it has only added to your parenting. Made you more aware of your childrens situations in thier lives right? My childhood was horrible to but in a very different way. My word would be FEAR. I lived my entire childhood in fear. I was abused by my Father. Fear has strangled me, made me doubt myself and had a major impact of every decision i've ever made in my life, including parenting. The only good that came from my expierence is I am an AWARE parent. I am involved. I am paying attention. I might not be able to protect them from everything but I will make sure it doesn't negatively shape who they will become.

  6. Les -- what a powerful and moving post! Thank you so much for sharing it. Love, Jenny

  7. Outcast...that would be my word for my youth. I have experienced a lot of that stuff. I was always last...always heard the groans when the captains realized they had the last pick. I had parents who smoked A LOT and I stank. My mom didn't make me bathe and my clothes were few and laundry was only done once a week. I was fat and had very few friends. It's no wonder it is hard for me to accept people in my life as friends. I am so guarded. I hated living that life. We moved around several times, so that meant different schools and all the stuff started all over again. I would sometimes lie to try to fit in with the other kids, they would find out and I would be called a fat dumb lier.
    Cruel...but I wouldn't be the strong person I am today if it weren't for all I went through.

  8. Wow. This page moved me. I want to console the 9-year old girl here. Thank you for sharing.


I appreciate your thoughts and ideas...they inspire me!! I will be visiting you soon. Have a CREATIVE day!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails