My Big Fat Appetite | HuffPost

“Gabi likes meat, Yvette likes vegetables.” Growing up, this is what my Chinese relatives always used to say about my sister and me. I was the little sister with the huge appetite and round but healthy body, while my older sister was delicate and elegant. When my grandma said that most kids eat 10 dumplings in one meal, I would take it as a personal challenge to pass that number with 12, 15, heck even 20. I have always had a voracious appetite, always ate quickly, enjoying every bite as I scarfed down my food. People often say that food is more enjoyable when you eat slowly, but I never found that to be true. When my sister and I got Baskin-Robbins ice cream cones after school, she would methodically lick it in a pattern so that it lasted as long as possible. I tried so hard to do this every single time but never could. My cone would always be gone within a few minutes.

And I loved this about myself. As a young girl, I was proud of my appetite. My appetite for food was the same as my appetite for life. I was a kid with very strong emotions, whether they be sadness, joy, or anger. Sometimes my emotions got the best of me, like the day I lost for president of the student council in 8th grade and sat in the hallway with tears streaming down my face as I used the F-word for the first time and stress-ate Oreos, legitimately feeling that my life was over. One year my class put on a show of Macbeth, and while others just wanted a passing grade, I aimed to make it a masterpiece – a Tony-winning performance as I dramatically enacted and reenacted my death scene, each time with a little more gusto and a little more flair, more grunting and groaning as I stumbled to the ground in agony. If you asked anybody, I was a drama queen. While that word may have a negative connotation, I think of it now in a very different light – I just absolutely loved and savored every bit of life.

During the period of time (1 year before I halted it) when my body began to develop curves,…

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