I am six years old. My brother and I dawdle in the bathroom of our grandparents’ home. We’re too interested in hopping on and off the rickety old scale to play with our toys. We watch the needle ricochet from one side to the other, a blur of red and white.
I weighed six years of love, wonder, and daring.
I am twelve years old. I stare at my reflection, frowning at the flat plane that is meant to grow into breasts.
I weighed two and a half years of embarrassment.
I am fourteen years old. I dance with my friends, too aware of the way my belly jiggles with every move.
I weighed three years of self-consciousness.
I am fifteen years old. I feel the strength of my body with every move, though my muscles are not quite tight I am content. But when I watch the other girls pass by, I notice that my legs aren’t as thin and my waist isn’t slim.
I weighed three years of discomfort and one year of desperation.
I am sixteen years old. I’ve finally kissed a boy. He thinks I’m beautiful. But my body is not yet my home.
I weighed two years of disdain, three years of confusion, and one month of pressure.
I am seventeen years old. My body is the strongest it’s ever been and I have curves in all the right places. I don’t eat as I should but that’s not the point.
I weighed one year of confidence and three years of hunger.
I am eighteen years old. My reflection angers me. I was supposed to look perfect by now.
I weighed eight years of depression, five years of anxiety, and ten years of hating my body. I lost four years of friends and gained two years of isolation.
I am nineteen years old. My body feels foreign in every way. I pinch the fat around my tummy and arms.
I weighed nine months of guilt and three months of cautious hope.
I am twenty years old. I don’t hide my body the way I used to but I cannot help my distaste for the way my fat jiggles.
I weighed six months of fighting.
I am twenty-one years old. I am still self-conscious but brave in spite of my struggles. I look in the mirror and smile at every bump and curve of my body. It’s not perfect. But it’s here and it’s mine.
I weigh one year of loving my body and reclaiming it as my own.
This body is my home, eternally mine.