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You’re really pretty but…

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I wanted to write about all the things. It’s not that they haven’t been at the forefront of my brain since, well, forever. But I guess more recently I reached that breaking point that led me to a path of genuine self-love and self-discovery. This process has necessarily meant that I need to write these things out. It’s my outlet.

When I was a teenage, my grandfather told me that he would buy me a brand new car – literally any car I wanted – if I lost weight. I think the goal was 50 pounds or so. It was tempting….so very tempting. What 16 year old doesn’t want a new car? I fantasized about what I would get, cruising around with my friends blasting music and laughing our heads off. But at the same time, I knew I would never lose that weight.

I remember going to Weight Watchers meetings with my mom when I was younger than that. I remember the feelings of having my graduation dress made because I didn’t fit in the one at the store. I remember being told “boys don’t like fat girls”. I have so many stories like these that it would seem my life has become defined by them.

I’ve always been larger-bodied. I’ve also always been athletic, smart, funny and social. But for some reason, I never perceived those as my defining characteristic…it was weight.

My entire life, I’ve been told some variation of the following:

You’re really pretty, but if you lost weight, you’d be gorgeous .

I’ve been told this by family, colleagues, strangers, friends, teachers, coaches. I don’t think the intention behind their words was to shame me or make me feel not good enough, but of course that’s what happened. In all of my 37 years, I have felt not good enough. Not deserving of love, attention, happiness, joy, security. My sense of self-worth was dwarfed by a loud and persistent voice, fueled by all of these experiences, telling me I was in fact worth very little.

This summer, everything changed. All it took was an epic breakup, struggling at work and a one-week stay at the hospital (more on those another time). As I got home from the hospital and started my recovery, I also started to unpack the trauma of the past few weeks, months – and even the past few years and decades. I started asking myself what I really wanted and what was going to make me happy. I got turned on to a few podcasts about body kindness, mindfulness, intuitive eating and health at every size. I had NO idea that there are people out there who have had the same experiences as me! It was such a foreign concept to think there were all these people I could relate to and who were out there speaking my truth while I was digesting it at the same time.

And that’s why I’m writing this. Knowing that there were others who had lived the same things as me, and then healed from them and were trying to help others heal, well I thought that was fantastic. My hope is that there are people out there who can read this and see themselves reflected in my words, and begin/persist in/take back up their own healing journey.

I’m really pretty but nothing. It’s irrelevant. Your comments on my body have no place in my story so from here on out, it’s positive vibes only. I hope you’re down for that because I’d love to have you along for the ride. 


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