More of Me to Love By, Nick Tarantino (Age 17)

Nick PhotoAll my life I’ve been a big kid. I was born a whopping 8 lbs 6 oz at a length of “I don’t remember” inches. I also come from a large family; I am ITALIAN, meaning we love our lasagna and meatballs, and every other excuse in the metaphorical book of “Excuses for Being Large.” Ever since about 6 or 7 years old, I’ve been overall bigger than all the other kids, what I like to call… well-ROUNDed.

I was called names throughout my entire grade school experience and my family taught me not to get emotional, because if I did, I would show weakness, and weakness meant more taunting. But, by trying to keep a stone facade in front of the enemies, I felt like I was hurting myself, by not really showing who I was, and still am today, an overly sensitive kid looking to make some close friends.

As I went through middle school I felt totally alone, lost in a sea of over 250 classmates. Learning about obesity and healthy lifestyles made it seem like the elephant in the room (aka ME) needed to be constantly addressed. I would always try to suck in my gut and appear thin but it would never work, and the great slopes of my stomach would spill over the husky waistband of my shorts.

Now you might be thinking that the beginning of this post is depressing and the more you read it… the more depressing it gets. Read it again, feel bad for me, and cry too while you’re at it. I’m only joking, I want you to now read this next paragraph and realize where I’ve arrived over the years.

The only reason I was able to write the saddening soap-opera of my childhood, is because I have come to accept the fact that I am LARGE. I don’t care that I may only be able to shop online for clothes because of my odd pants size, or that I exceed the weight limit on certain things. I don’t care because I fall for the stupid sayings like “I may be big, but it only means there’s more of me to love” and other nonsense. I’ve also realized that none of it matters in the long run. Of course my weight can lead to other restrictions in my life down the road, and my weight IS something I am trying to change, but who cares what somebody says to you, it’s only a scratch on the surface compared the person underneath. If it’s a peer or teacher who says mean things, curse them out in your head, but move on. The impulse for anger lasts only two seconds. After that, you decide whether to stay angry. By the way, chances are, after graduation… you won’t ever see them again. Hurray!

If you are looking for a way to escape, talk about whatever you are going through. YouTube is something I am trying to pursue, and I hope to touch the lives of kids all over the place, giving them a laugh while I’m at it. Find some really close friends to have and to hold until death do you part; don’t marry them, just keep them REALLY REALLY close. Try a blog of your own, or start a group at school. Talking about it is the best way to release and also learn at the same time.

I hope this post helps all the people out there going through a hard time with self-consciousness. I still have my moments where I can hardly walk out the house because I feel like a beached whale, but those moments are thankfully minuscule. Just remember, Don’t Hide It, FLAUNT IT!!!


To read Nick’s post on Scholastic’s TeenBeing blog, click here!

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