Do you ever wonder about the power of words in the ears of a child?  Words are more powerful than many imagine.  Especially the negative ones!

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!”  If you’re from my ‘era’, you heard that growing up – right?  Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s a lie!

Today, it’s called bullying, and it appears to be rampant.  But, it was ‘back in the day,’ too!  It’s just that no one made such a big deal out of it – perhaps we should have done more than just recite that little ditty about sticks and stones!

Fast forward, and I’ll explain. I had a real wake up call the other day.  It was my birthday, and my cousin from Washington – several years younger than me – posted an old picture of me on Facebook when she wished me a Happy Birthday.  It was a blast from my past, for sure.  And, it haunted me! It REALLY haunted me!  I revisited that picture many times in the next several hours, as people commented on it. And, what I saw was life changing!

You see, I’m in the midst of a lifestyle change, and I’m making progress to lose some unwanted pounds – once and for all!  It’s a struggle, but I want to improve my health!  It’s been a battle – me against pounds – all my life.  I grew up seeing myself (and hearing others refer to me) as being fat! If you’d have asked me last week, I would have said “I’ve been overweight my whole life.”  My first memory of it being an ‘issue’ was in elementary school when some kid made a rhyming nickname for me – “York the Pork!”

I really don’t remember hearing it over and over.  It was probably just a couple times, but it surely STUCK.  I really did have a great childhood, and I really did enjoy my years in elementary school.  Still have friends from that era, even though I moved away.

Even now, 50-some years later, I remember being “York the Pork”!  All my life, I’ve been affected by it.  It’s been who I am!  Fat! Overweight!

A friend of mine commented that she, too, had been impacted by one comment – “Are you eating AGAIN?” It shaped a similar battle in her life. Words DO impact us!  Choose yours wisely!

That picture…it was from 9th grade.  One of my favorite school pictures, actually.  I loved the dress, and still remember it.  It was navy blue with tiny polka dots, had a white collar, and a red scarf.  Loved that dress.  And, yes, this was the late 1960s when girls wore dresses for school picture day!


But, wait…that girl in the picture!  She wasn’t fat!  Not at ALL! She had a slim face, a pronounced jawline and chin, and a slender neck. She wasn’t fat at all!

It was REALLY a big deal when I realized that! Too bad it was decades too late! It was enough to make me rethink my whole childhood and younger years.  Had I grown up, my entire childhood and youth THINKING I was fat because of words, idly spoken, when in reality, I wasn’t!  But, it’s the reality I knew, all my life!  A false reality! Did that set me up for a lifetime – later in life – of a battle with weight? Was I living out what I’d been branded with? The truth of that really astounded me, and was never made more real to me than in the posting of that picture! (Thanks, Deb!)

So….from here on out, I’m contradicting those words that shaped me (literally) my past…I am NOT fat!

I am healthy and getting healthier day by day.

I am fit.

I am strong.

I am ready for life.

And, I am a force to be reckoned with!

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