Bullied to a Better Life

Bullied to a Better Life

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Be The Best You Can Be

Bullied to a Better Life

It’s wonderful when you can bring sparkle into people’s lives without fading away from your own true color. Keep the hue in you.

~Dodinsky

I was in third grade and my parents said I was a cute kid with a great personality who loved to laugh. The problem was that I was overweight, and that year the bullying began. A couple of kids at school started picking on me. Before school, after school, at recess, on the bus. “Fatty, Tubbo, Jelly Roll” were names I was called every day. They would throw stuff at me too. I was so scared I wouldn’t ride the bus and my mom had to take me to school. Even when I got to school I would scream and cry, begging my mom not to leave me there.

I didn’t tell my mom and dad why I didn’t want to go to school anymore, so instead I would fake being sick all the time. I just wanted to stay at home where I was safe. My parents talked to my teacher, my principal, and a school counselor. They finally found out I was being bullied and I got to switch to a new class with an awesome teacher, Mrs. Willhoite. There were not any bullies in her class and she would let me bring my lunch to her room and eat with her so I didn’t have to go to recess and be around those mean kids from my old class.

The bullies were still picking on me in fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. I would see them in the halls. They’d be there at recesses. But I had finally been truthful and asked for help. My mom and dad worked with the school to make sure I was in good classes and protected as much as possible. Would the bullying have been so bad if I had asked for help in the very beginning? I don’t know, but I do know that once my parents found out they got me help. And once I got help, I didn’t have to deal with the bullies by myself.

By sixth grade, even though I was hardly being bullied, I started to get sick for real. I weighed 206 pounds by the time I was eleven. I had solved the bullying problem, but now I had to take care of my health. I started drinking water instead of soda, eating fruits and veggies instead of chips and candy. I even put down my Xbox controller and went outside. I got active and started getting healthier. I lost some weight and felt great. I lost some more it was awesome! The harder I worked, the more I lost. The better I felt, the harder I worked. By the time I got to seventh grade I lost 85 pounds! My friends hardly recognized me. The bullies didn’t even think I was the same kid and left me alone. I was back to being what my parents had described when I was in third grade — a cute kid with a great personality who loved to laugh.

I started a project called Strive for 85, since 85 is the magic number of pounds that I lost. I shared my story with 85 important people, including Michelle Obama. I inspired 85 other kids. I hosted or attended 85 events that raised awareness. I’ve been on TV, in magazines, even got to fly to Washington, D.C…. twice. I’ve spent the last year traveling around to schools and telling them bullying is never okay. I was overweight but I didn’t deserve to get picked on.

Here’s what the bullies say to me now: “Can I have your autograph?”

If you are being bullied, get help. You don’t have to deal with this alone. You have to believe in yourself and not let mean kids decide who you will be and what you can do. If you are being the bully, stop! Come run with me instead or go ride a bike, climb a building, hit a punching bag. Do anything other than try to make a kid, like me, feel bad about himself. You never know… the person you’re picking on could turn out to be the president one day.

~Mason Carter Harvey

More stories from our partners