Thursday, February 24, 2011

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Dear 16-year-old Me,
I know you won’t believe me. But here goes anyway. I certainly remember what it felt like to be 16. It was a long time ago (feels like a different lifetime), but I promise I remember. I was moody and overflowing with early nineties angst. The style of the day suited my self image. Baggy Levi’s, size way too big. Huge T-shirt, practically hanging down to my knees layered over a long-sleeve thermal shirt or t-shirt of some kind. All topped off by a grungy flannel shirt which I am sure was a men’s extra-large or bigger. I am not sure why you teen-agers do this. Why did you hide under all those layers? I beg you to please find the smallest size of anything you can. If you don’t have anything smaller than men’s extra-large than go borrow your little sisters shirt or better yet, just take off all those dumb clothes. I implore you to go in front of the mirror and appreciate yourself. Take a good long look at your body. Take it all in. I need you to hear me. Listen carefully. Appreciate your body. Love your body. It may not look like all the other girls, but it belongs to you and only you.

I know it feels like the world is going to  end and life sucks and you are certainly not thinking about the future, but please, please think about the future. You will need your body for the rest of forever. This same body you look at in the mirror will be the same body you see when you are a 33-year-old woman but if you do not begin to appreciate it now it will be scarred and damaged. Your body that you hate so much right now will not let you down if you begin to love and appreciate it. It will forgive you if you ignore it, but there will be reminders of your lack of care. There will be irreparable damage. Your body will do amazing things for you. It will give you the greatest gifts. You will have two beautiful healthy babies. The stretch marks they will give you should be a badge of honor, but if you do not begin to love your body now those stripes of honor will be overshadowed by the scars of weighing 320 lbs. I beg you to take care of yourself now. Make it so the only “imperfection” is the perfect stretch marks from the miracle of your boys.

Get active and stop destroying your beautiful body. I know you hate exercise, but I also know you love dance. You feel awkward and out of place when you try and I am sorry. Unfortunately you will never have the grace and rhythm that others have. But I implore you to forget about your insecurities as hard as it may be. It really doesn’t matter if you are a beat behind the music or your arms flail wildly. Just find a way to dance and keep on doing it. I promise you that if you do you will change the course of your life forever. Be free. Let your body move. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and enjoy the strong, beautiful 16-year-old body that you have. And for god’s sake throw away those darn baggy pants and flannel shirt and give your brother back his t-shirts!
The New You


  1. Dear Fat Girl Gone Skinny:

    Thanks for putting pictures up. I think that will really make a big impact to see you then and now and in between.

    I love you and am so glad that we get to be sisters.

    Much love,


  2. heart-breaking-heart-affriming :-) Yay you..

  3. Hmmm..don't know why it says "drhoades" except that I'm commenting from my work computer..shhhh!

  4. I was wondering who Dr. Hoades was... :-)

  5. Elly, You amaze me! I am so proud of you, you look amazing! You are a master of words and I love reading the things you write. I remember telling you a long time ago that I adored your vocabulary. Your rhythm and writing is poetic. I think you should write a book!! (or two) Jana

  6. Oh, Jana. That is the nicest thing I have heard in a long time. I worry that I ramble and I want to write so bad. :-) You made my day.

  7. Hi Ellynore,
    I'm a friend of your sister Melynda's. This blog is amazing. I am a former fat girl too. I come from 2 very over weight people so I do know that it can be a lifetime battle. I have seen my parents gain and lose the same 100 pounds several times. I have seen the dissapointment as they gained. I hope you don't mind that i shared your blog with them, it is an inspiration.

  8. Hi Jeanette! Any friend of Melynda's is a friend of mine! I don't mind that you shared my blog at all. In fact I hope that through my "letters to the old me" others can find inspiration and hope in getting the process moving.