Requested by @BWN_7
  1. A ballet class when I was 10.
  2. Before I felt the stage could no longer accommodate the weight of me.
  3. Before I was taller than the other girls, sticking out like a thick brown weed among slight blades of grass.
  4. Before the girls compared thigh gaps in the dressing room.
  5. Before I threw up the lunches my mother packed so carefully for me.
  6. Before my classmate pinched my hips, called me Muffin Top, and the other girls laughed.
  7. Before my mother's father told me girls don't go back for seconds at dinner time and praised my brother's hearty appetite in the same breath.
  8. Before I sucked in my stomach every time a camera shutter clicked.
  9. Before I cried myself to sleep wishing I were thin and small, before I apologized for the space I take up in this world.
  10. When my body was a vessel for joy and music without shame.
  11. When I leaped high into the air, arms high, smile wide, my heart soaring.
  12. The lightest I've ever felt.