Your daughter needs to eat more salads.”
My nine year old self heard the doctor’s stern words and took to heart that he was calling me fat. I was an active child and my family mostly ate nutritious foods. But when we ate, we ate a lot.
In high school, my drive to be thin led to disordered eating: starving, bingeing, purging, cutting out whole food groups, and subsisting on sole food groups. Nothing got me closer to fitting into smaller jeans. After days or weeks of trying to lose weight I always gave up. There seemed no point in trying to reach always-unattainable weight goals.
At the time, I wondered why my body wasn’t considered good enough by societal measures and my doctor’s opinion when I could outswim and outrun my peers. Technically, I was healthy. Blood pressure? Perfect! Cholesterol? Perfect! Fitness? I had that, too. But my weight gave my doctor reason to believe I was headed for doom and gloom.