Hello, it’s me: that girl in the room who is heavier than you. I’m laughing with my friends, but on the inside I am aware of the space my body takes. 
I am the girl who, at times, wakes up dreading public eyes, wanting to crawl in a hole and not be seen by the world.
I am the one you engage with half-heartedly or with judgment because you assume my weight is solely because of my choices. It’s on my own head.
I am the one who has to shop for clothes based on my size not my style. I’m not able to step foot in some clothing stores because I can’t wear their clothes, even though I’d love to.
I am the girl on the airplane who is uncomfortable because she is always aware that her body takes up more space in the seat than it was made for, trying to shift so her neighbor is not too uncomfortable.
Yes, that’s me.
But here are the things you don’t know about me, some ways in which we may be alike. 
Being the fat girl in the room has taught me empathy. I see you, women, with your unspoken burdens, your struggles. Not being acknowledged has its perks. It means you have more of your senses available to see, to feel. I know that things aren’t always as they seem. You can’t judge someone’s situation until you know the full story.
Living in this body has expanded my view of beauty. It’s more holistic. I appreciate a wide range of body types, notice details and have become in awe of the diversity in God’s creation.
Living in this body has taught me perseverance and self-discipline. After a decade of gaining weight, losing weight, gaining again, beating my body with workouts, and being conscientious and strict at every meal, I recognize that the outcomes of good choices are not always what I want, but the benefit is that I can live with myself. I know I am doing my best.
Being the fat woman in the room has meant I’ve learned to give even when I’m hurt or broken. I know what it’s like to be hurt by words or stares or by not being acknowledged, so I know the importance of generosity of spirit, of presence, of love.
Some of my extra layers come from two little humans beings fully forming within me. This weight is a testament to the most amazing gifts I’ve ever received and it reminds me of the honor of motherhood.
I don’t know why my body is the way that it is. It just….is. We all learn through different kinds of struggles. Just like you, my body is part of who I am. And although I am still a work in progress, I have learned so much about the world because of it. I am the fat girl in the room and I am thankful. 

Allison Graber

Allison Graber is a Nashville writer and lover of Jesus. She is 13-years married to Lynn, a mix engineer with quiet ways and a loyal spirit. Her two little girls, Ellis and Adeleine, daily coax delight out of her heart. The paradigm through which she sees the world has been built brick-by-brick from her experiences with her Jesus, her love of people, through loss, curiosity, Holy words, and through the surprising joy of motherhood. She writes about these things at allisongraber.com. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram.