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Who Could Love a Fat Girl?

Oct 04, 2021

I was in the 5th grade, and there was a really cute boy at my house. About five of us were sitting in a circle outside. We were playing all kinds of games.

“Ok,” said one of the girls. “I will shout out a name, and you have to scream the first word that comes to mind!”

We all sat up a little straighter, exited to play the game.

“Julia!” she yelled.

My friend (or was she?) Sam, a short girl with strawberry blonde hair, yelled out first.


Everyone paused.

“Oh, I meant to say funny,” said Sam, looking around.

I stood up and ran away from the group, wiping tears from my eyes. I just wanted to go home. Here I was, hoping that this boy would have a moment with me. That I might have a chance with him. He was a football player and a popular boy in school. And this was my shot. But… what was I thinking?

Who could love a fat girl? I thought to myself.

This question haunted me for years to come.

Flash forward about seven years. I was in a relationship with a man who I didn’t want to be with. He had a temper and a bit of a drinking problem. Every time we would get into a fight, he would tell me how fat I was. He would tell me that no one would ever want me.

I’ve always been strong-willed, outspoken, confident, and goofy. But, eventually, these words broke me down and really started to hurt. I began questioning everything about who I was. There were months, maybe even years, that I stayed in that relationship when I didn’t want to. I stayed far longer than I ever should have. None of my friends or family understood why. They tried to talk me into leaving several times. But deep down, there was a little voice inside me saying, “Who could love a fat girl?”

See, the way I saw it, I’d rather be with him than with nobody at all for the rest of my life. Because there’s no way in hell that anyone would ever want me. I mean, God, even though he causes me all sorts of pain, I’m lucky he’s willing to stick it out with me. Better than being alone.

This continued until one day my sister came to visit. She and my boyfriend got in a fight, and he really hurt her feelings. At that moment, I knew in my gut that I was done. Years later, I reflected back on this with my therapist. She explained that I loved my sister far more than I loved myself. I would tolerate all of the relationship garbage, but if my sister got hurt, I would give up the world. I’d give up anything. I’d be alone forever.

So, that was the big question. If I could do the right thing for her, why couldn’t I do it for me?

And then it hit me.

Who could love a fat girl?

If that was the mantra that I told myself, no wonder I couldn’t make the right decisions. I could never love myself in the way that I needed to be loved as long as this was my story.

So, in the end, guess who decided to “love the fat girl?”


I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t know how. But I fucking loved her anyway.

“I like myself!” I said out loud, all day long, like a complete weirdo.

I started buying myself clothes. I started being gentler with myself and less mean. I became aware of my inner monologue. And slowly but surely, I started on my journey of self-love.

I became so in love with this journey that leaving this man was liberating. I started to enjoy working on myself, growing, and becoming my own best friend.

It’s crazy because when I look back and think about this pivotal moment in my life, it brings tears to my eyes. That girl was so afraid. She didn’t feel like she was capable of being loved. She didn’t feel worthy. She had the biggest heart, and she was terrified to let anyone in. Until she made the decision one day to love herself.

When I look at my life now, I see the incredible blessings I have. My healthy, fit body. My successful business. My husband, who walked straight out of a fairy tale. And I know that I wouldn’t be sitting here with any of this if I hadn’t chosen to be brave.

So, who could love a fat girl?

Everybody. She just had to love herself first.

Love, Julia

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