I have identified myself as fat my entire life.
I was no older than seven when this first was a realization. Everyone in my family was big, and a lot of this identity for myself had to do with their own self-image problems and years of shaming being passed down. I was on diets from a very early age, and remember keenly always being conscious of how far from the doctor's BMI chart I actually was. Struggling, ongoing, with health issues that reduced my ability to be active compounded the issue. Emotionally, by the end of high school, these contributed to a complete social shut down, where I didn't bother trying to build intimate relationships because of my own lack of self worth, based mostly on my size.
At age 28, I first discovered the reality of body-love, and the fact that years of believing that no one liked fat bodies was just flat out wrong. I've come to appreciate my body and the fact that I am a beautiful woman. I've let myself come out of my shell without fear of what others think. I've discovered an adoration for fashion and expressing myself through my body.
While I still have my struggles with my health, and the emotional relapses that come with rediscovering physical limitations, I try to remind myself that I can be healthy at my own level, and that it is not a failing to anyone for my body to work differently.