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My Summers At 'Fat Camp'

"I chose not to tell the story of <em>Moose</em> in quips and witty puns," Stephanie Klein writes in her memoir, "because that's not what adolescence is. It's awkward and tender, vulnerable and angry. It doesn't always make sense." Above, a page from Klein's fat camp scrapbook.
"I chose not to tell the story of Moose in quips and witty puns," Stephanie Klein writes in her memoir, "because that's not what adolescence is. It's awkward and tender, vulnerable and angry. It doesn't always make sense." Above, a page from Klein's fat camp scrapbook.
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Stephanie Klein, author of Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp, describes her life as a chubby teenager and her struggle to be accepted by her peers. Drawing from her childhood diaries, she recounts her adolescent summers spent at weight-loss camps trying to slim down.

"I hated school. I hated the reflection in the mirror," Klein tells guest host Lynn Neary. "I wanted so much to be someone else. ... I thought that if I was thinner, the rest of my life would change."

Klein reflects on fat camp experiences — getting weighed on a meat scale and "chunky dunking" in the lake — and recalls the camaraderie she felt with her fellow campers.

"All of us were, you know, ridiculed ... whether it was [by] our parents or our peers." Klein says. "Once we got to camp, we realized that we had that commonality — not just the weight, but how we were received."

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