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A page from Stephanie Klein's "fat camp" scrapbook. ()

My Summers At 'Fat Camp'

Jul 31, 2008 (Talk of the Nation)

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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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