‘I have always had problems with my weight’


Olivia Catalano

For this week’s Kayla’s Korner, PV senior Kayla Barry discusses her struggles with her weight. She goes into her experiences with her weight and how she has begun trying to lose weight.

By Kayla Barry, Pascack Valley High School

Ever since I could remember, I have always had problems with my weight.

When I was little, I remember I used to have to watch what I was eating, as well as go outside as much as I could. This was easy when I was younger as I was very energetic and in club sports all year around.

It started getting worse as I got older. I realized that I had a very slow metabolism and if I didn’t eat right, you could see where it all went. This is very prevalent in a lot of my old family pictures. I was a chubby young girl.

No one had ever called me “fat,” but I knew I was. One day in elementary school, my friend called me “fat”  jokingly, but I knew she wasn’t joking.

Contributed by Kayla Barry
Kayla Barry accepting an award in the auditorium of Meadowbrook Elementary School.

I turned to food to help with my problems. I loved the way that ice cream and candy made me feel. I also loved chicken fingers, french fries, and chocolate milkshakes. Since they tasted so good, I thought they were okay to eat a lot of. I was wrong.

I stopped soccer a little while after middle school. I absolutely hated running and I wasn’t very good at it. That’s when I really got into softball. Even though I did softball, I only did it in the spring, and occasionally, I did a fall team.

Although softball is a form of exercise, it didn’t really involve that much running, especially when I was younger. I mostly just stood in the outfield and waited. That didn’t really help in me getting exercise.

Contributed by Kayla Barry
Kayla Barry and friends posing for a picture in their softball T-shirts.

I didn’t really see my weight as a big problem until around the end of middle school. I started seeing that I wasn’t like most of the other girls and I felt like I was hungry all the time.

My friends at the time were all very skinny. I saw myself as the biggest of all of us. I began feeling very insecure. Every time I would eat, I felt as though all of my friends were judging each bite I took.

During this time, I was also called chubby again. I remember the day like it was yesterday, as these types of comments never really leave your mind.

My dad had taken my sister and me to a professional basketball game and we had both went to the bathroom together. She came out first and a woman was talking to her and just made conversation as they both washed their hands.

When I came out of the stall to wash my hands, the woman turned to me and smiled. She then said to both of us, “Are you twins?”

We both nodded and then I began washing my hands. The woman then said, “Oh, I see. She is the skinny twin and you’re the chubby one.”

I just nodded and gave her a smile as I fought back tears. We then left the bathroom and I kept my composure and acted like it did not affect me, but it affected me so much.

My sister was very concerned. She kept asking me if I was okay and apologizing. She kept telling me that I wasn’t chubby and to not listen to what other people say.

This situations really stuck with me and still does to this day.

Going into high school and throughout the first couple of years, I really fell off the wagon. I didn’t care what I ate — I just ate what I wanted. With the variety at school mostly being unhealthy, I mostly ventured towards the fried and salty foods. I never even touched the salad bar.

I continued to feel insecure as my depression and anxiety really started worsening. I wanted to be skinny so badly that I started every diet I could. I always broke, though. The diets usually only lasted a day or a few days. I always hated myself after I broke them.

I didn’t really exercise during school either. I did softball freshman and sophomore year, but I stopped due to conflicts during the next two years. I tried exercising with my sister during the fall and winter and even during the summer, but I couldn’t keep up. She had been doing sports all year round and was in good shape.

We even had a gym membership for a while, but we both stopped using it as we got really busy and it just wasn’t worth the money to us.

Then, I started my first medication that the psychiatrist prescribed. This made me gain weight like crazy. Although, the psychiatrist said it was only a small side effect. I went on to gain over 10 pounds in just over a month. I hated the way I looked and eventually changed that medication since it wasn’t working for me.

Fast forward to this year, I really started trying to take care of myself. I have been on a more healthy eating lifestyle that my mom helps me with. I also have been exercising almost every day with my friend.

I have been a lot happier and proud of myself on how I’m working on myself. Despite this, I still constantly think of myself as ‘the fat girl’ and don’t know when I will stop thinking that.

Each day, I take a step forward in loving my body and loving myself for who I am. It is hard, but I am working equally as hard. If you are struggling with your weight, I hope this helps you in knowing that you can do it.

Since starting my healthy lifestyle and exercising, I have lost over five pounds. This might not seem like much, but I am so proud myself. Every pound counts.

Even if you aren’t trying to lose weight, you should still try to exercise regularly and eat healthy as it will give you more energy as well as help you in the long run.

Coming next: Kayla’s Korner will be continuing with weekly articles. Next week, Kayla Barry will discuss what mental health is and isn’t to her.

This story was originally published on The Smoke Signal on March 3, 2019.