My name is Sam, and I’m the fat friend.

Let me put this in perspective for you.

When everyone else was pairing their nails at a sleepover, I was the one eating the bean dip.

In the pictures, I’m always on the end and never in the middle.

The reassurance of “you’re so skinny” from my “so skinny” friends never made me feel comfortable.

Boys always befriended me and talked about my beautiful friends with me.

Getting rejected was always followed by “you have a great personality”.

Being fitted for a band uniform meant closing my eyes and hearing the commentary about a bigger size every year.

Shame is having your friends order water with chicken salads while you order coke and a veggie burger.

Sometimes I lost friends because my bitter attitude about yourself poured out into our friendship.

I was designated to hold all the shopping bags while my friends tried on bathing suits.

During the Fitnessgram, I was always the first to finish the Pacer while everyone cheered my friends on.

Whenever my friends came over, my mom would buy so much pizza we’d have leftovers for days.

Prom dress shopping with my friends who were size zero and size five meant avoiding them and hiding in the plus size section.

Finding someone who loved me meant losing weight and gaining it back once they found someone else.

My name is Sam, and I’m the fat friend.

Let me give you a new perspective.

I’m the friend that everyone comes to for advice.

Going out to eat means joking and talking and sometimes having fries fly over the table.

Taking road trips with my friends means singing Young the Giant’s “Cough Syrup” at the top of our lungs.

When I talk to my friends about my weight, they give me food tips and offer to be my gym partner.

Talking to boys is much easier when I focus on my smile.

I designate my friends to hold my shopping bags when I’m crate digging at the record store.

Focusing on my uniform and working my “assets” is more important than the number on the pants.

Watching my friends not being able to touch their toes and having them watch you be able to put your feet behind your head.

I outside just to walk around, and am able to meet new people without thinking of anything else.

My friends telling me “you’re so skinny” only makes me roll my eyes and laugh; I know I’m not, they don’t have to tell me.

I force myself in the middle of pictures to make everyone laugh and be the center of attention.

Finding someone who loves me for who I am has helped to make me the best version of myself.

My name is Sam, and I’m the fat friend.

Sometimes I don’t like the way I look and other times I’m on top of the world.

Whatever I weigh, whatever I say, and whatever the day, to my friends I am only “the friend”.