Nagamori Minami Middle School
I want to eat, but I want to lose weight. I want to lose weight, but I want to eat. I donft want to grow stout, even if I pig-out! But these cravings!
Since I started junior high, I've been getting thicker and thicker. It won't stop! Mom's cooking isn't helping either. With so many mouth-watering choices, it's like coming home to a buffet! So I pig-out in happiness, and then sink... into a self-hating, sad, fat, pig.
My mom always says, "What a nice body you have! So healthy! I'm jealous!" She's trying to make me smile. But I'm not smiling. Yeah, maybe I'm smaller than a middle-aged woman, but I'm a teenager! I want my friends to admire me, especially the boys! I really want to catch their attention - like a fashion model. I buy fashion magazines and stare with envy at the models. "Ok, that's it!h I thought. gIfm going on a diet!h
First I gave up dinner. That worked pretty well. I lost 3 kilos. And I kept it off for a few weeks. But while studying, I thought about hamburgers, barbeque, pizza, spaghetti. Wait. What was I studying!? One day, I caught a cold and my grandpa came to see me. He brought a box of beautiful little cakes, each one more delicious than the last! Cake heaven! The next morning, I had gained 3 kilos! Life without dinner became hell. I looked online for new diets: cabbage for dinner, yogurt for breakfast. And actually, it wasn't so bad. They tasted good, and filled me up. But the weight wasn't coming off! Why not? Well, I admit I cheated: a snack here and there. Oh, itfs hopeless!
I finally gave up. I had to accept it. This is my body. It's stout. And it's round. But it's me. One day, at a shopping mall, I sat, gazing at all the other young girls. Each was very different. Tall, short, thick, thin. There were some girls fatter than me, but they were wearing mini-skirts! They were enjoying their fashion! They looked happy and confident. Then it clicked. Being different is cool. We're all unique. A bathroom scale canft measure our worth.
I love eating. And sometimes I can't control my appetite. But that's ok. That's who I am. Wefre all different. And that's a wonderful thing. You, be the best you, and I'll be the best me. I'll keep trying to eat healthy. Sometimes I'm going to cheat. But never again, will a bathroom scale measure my self-esteem. Bon appetit!
(2-19 Speech in 63rd Contest, 2011)
(C)JNSA FUND/the Yomiuri Shimbun
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