This I Believe

Nick - China
Entered on August 22, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe people should take pride in their weight, overweight and underweight alike, even if they are misunderstood and scolded by the public at large.

I am 20 years old. For much of that time, I have been frequently told: “you are so slim!” Or “why you are so thin, Nick?” Or “how can you be so thin? Your father is a chef! ( which is true)” And things like that. My parents keep saying this, my friends, teachers, relatives, other acquaintances, everyone does! There isn’t one single exception, including strangers. As a child, I used to hate it when people kept saying that in the face of me. My mom used be shameful about people saying that about her son so she forced me to eat more, trying to make me look stronger. Before long, I developed a rebellion nature against all. I released my anger at a New Year’s Eve gathering with my relatives. My aunt scolded me in front of the entire family, saying that they are saying so just because they care about me. And I doubted that.

The only one who encouraged me was my grandma. She always said to me, “if you are less thin, you are a beautiful boy. My sweetheart, eat more, do exercise! You are going to be alright!” That I will remember for the rest of my life.

So I decided to make a difference. I spent a whole summer, eating more food, having more sleep, and avoiding the expenditure of my energy intentionally. I just wanted to put on some weight, or some fat, or whatever to make myself look good, at least normal. But in the end of that summer, after everything had been tried, nothing helped. I was still the way I forever was. I was sad, disappointed, frustrated and miserable and didn’t know what to do with my body and my life. Fate wasn’t on my side. Luckily, I come to this realization: I am thin because of some mysterious genetic reasons I don’t need to know. It’s DNA stuff. Nobody is able to change that.

My favorite season is winter because in which I was born with snow, and also in which I wear heavy clothes so that I can prevent the exposure of my body to the people’s sight. The season I hate most is summer. It’s so hot that I just can’t help but wear less clothes, less stuff to cover my body and the scar in my heart. Sometimes late at night, I touch my skinny arms and legs, and I think this is unfair and that maybe I am cursed.

Now after I converted my belief into a Christian 8 months ago, I believe God has his own reasons which I currently aren’t able to reach. But someday I will be. Being underweight and living with it is bad. I can’t sit for too long, walk too long, or stand the heat or cold air too long, they all hurt me. But it isn’t all bad. I am lighter to carry than others are, and need less room, and in winter I am just as common a person as you are.

If I ever had a chance to whisper to that little boy many years ago on the New Year’s Eve, I would tell him: Being underweight is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a blessing that now I come to know who I really am. This I believe.