Have you ever wondered, “If my life were a movie, who would play me?” Well if you’re me, you think about this all the time. My friends and I always believed when we were in college that we would have made an amazing teen drama or reality show. Right now, I would wholeheartedly cast Melissa McCarthy to play myself. I think she is the epitome of humor. I honestly think we would be best friends IRL (in real life, duh). She’s fearless and doesn’t apologize for being herself. It would be easy for me to forget my life and cast some skinny bitch but that wouldn’t be real. Someone who would need to play the struggle that is being fat all your life would need to know the struggle that is being fat. Sorry, Melissa, overweight.
That’s right, kids, I’ve been overweight my whole life. I honestly don’t remember what it’s like to weigh under 200 lbs. I can remember being weighed in the 5th grade…side note, why do they do this every year? They call you in and take your stats down and the worst is they weigh you in front of everyone! Well, in the 5th grade, I remember tipping that scale over the 150 lb. mark. Reminder, in the 5th grade you’re eleven. I wasn’t a heavy baby at birth. I was a very normal 8 lbs. 4 ounces, which was a miracle as my older brother, Chris, was a butterball at 11 lbs. 7 ounces. We come from big genes. My mom and I have had many conversations about me being an overweight child. She once started to blame herself and her serial dieting. She was on one where she didn’t eat solid foods for nearly a year when I was 3. She said if she wanted to eat the cookie she would give it to me instead. This is where baby Melissa, I mean Sarah, would be fed an Oreo cookie out of the Winnie the Pooh cookie jar while my mother, as played by Ina Garten, looks on with jealousy. I know what you’re thinking, Ina would never feed her kid Oreo cookies. They would be homemade chocolate chunk cookies with browned butter and sea salt. Yum. Seriously though, Ina Garten, Sarah? But trust me, she and my mom could be doppelgangers. There were no limits on food in my house growing up. We ate family dinners with a meat, vegetable, starchy side and bread and of course dessert every night. Whoever was the last to finish the Kool-Aid was in charge of making the next batch (brother always threw in extra sugar!). I used to eat frozen TV dinners if I had a babysitter and I was always allowed to pick out whatever I wanted at the grocery store. I can remember eating buttered white bread as a snack. Mom says I used to lick off all the butter and come back for more. My favorite meal was homemade chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and green beans. I remember getting so excited when I saw mom break out the deep frying skillet for the nuggs. There was never a shortage of food or treats in our house and there certainly weren’t any limitations.
Another contribution to my expanding waistline is that my dad is in the restaurant business so we dined out for a living. I remember ordering off the adult side of the menu from the time I could read. Chicken Parmigana when dad worked at Olive Garden was my favorite! It’s a tool of his trade to know what’s going on in the biz so when we vacation we travel around food. Oh, we’re going to NYC we gotta go to Shake Shack. Oh, we’re going out tonight as we haven’t been to check out Emeril’s Tchoup Chop and I’ve heard good things. I know this sounds like I’m blaming but I promise I’m not. I loved growing up without aversions to food and I’ve been an adult for quite some time now with the ability to change my habits on my own.
While I am relatively tall for my age now, I was very tall as a child. I’ve been 5’10” since the 7th grade after which I stopped growing, length wise. I’ve been able to ride roller coasters since I was 4 years old because I met the height requirements. Being tall is never an excuse for being a heavier weight but that’s how I rationalized it as a kid. I remember in the 3rd grade being the secret weapon on my class’ field day team. I was going to be first on the tug-of-war line. Normally, someone of my stature would serve as the anchor but my teacher believed that the strength was needed up front to pull the other team directly into the mud. She was right! We creamed every team that day and were the champs. I finally felt like I was useful at something. I can honestly remember thinking to myself that I didn’t want to lose weight because I didn’t want to lose my strength. Oh, silly, little Sarah.