When I was in eighth grade, my mom bought me a book titled The Cat ate my Gymsuit by Paula Danziger. It’s about Marcy Lewis, a young girl on the verge of adolescence who struggles with her weight and self-esteem.
She is always inventing reasons to be excused from gym class so she doesn’t have to be subjected to jokes about her weight. Through a series of events, and with the help of an English teacher, Marcy learns to accept her body and stand up for herself.
Mom bought me this book because she thought I could identify with Marcy, and she was right. Not only did I have weight and self-esteem issues, I made excuses to be dismissed from gym class for the same reason. The words of my peers hurt, and I let it define who I was.
I never did possess any amount of athletic abilities, and the days I did participate in gym, usually ended in humiliation.