When You're Too Fat to Succeed

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For much of my adolescent life, I was active, healthy, and my body reflected this. This changed in my early 20's when my weight increased dramatically, all of a sudden. I grew uncomfortable in my body and became very self-conscious. I had one experience at a moment when I hadn't realized how much weight I'd gained, where a guy at church said that I looked like I was "busting out of my clothes." Suffice to say, I was thoroughly embarrassed. And I don't get embarrassed easily. I actually think more than feeling embarrassed, I felt ashamed.

This shame tries to loom over me today. I am very proactive in practicing self-love, self-compassion, and creating a space for me to process those feelings and put them where they belong [read: toss them in the trash]. But I definitely have to put a ton of intentionality behind this.

I love singing and to honest, I'm good at it. I could sing before I could talk. I love music and being able to audibly express myself in this way. I've been encouraged, with the increased popularity of reality television, to audition for American Idol and The Voice by everyone that I know, at some point. I don't want to sing competitively because that isn't inspiring for me but although I'm in the process of releasing my EP on 11/1/17, I still don't feel ready.

Somewhere, I began to believe the lie that I couldn't be a successful singer because I was overweight. Hearing people that I love berate themselves because of their bodies and the thoughts that come to me about my own body in the wake of their self-assault, left me feeling incapable and defective.

There is a lot about my body that I can't control. I have PCOS. I've also had a baby. And although I may need to work harder than the average person to achieve optimal physical health, I am actively reminding myself that I am not the sum of the number on the scale, my pants size, or my dress size. My value and the gifts that I have to offer this world is not determined by what I look like.

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When I sing, I feel alive. When I share or hear stories of overcoming, I am inspired to live. When I get to walk through a challenging situation with other beautiful humans, I feel immense gratitude for community and an increased faith in humanity.

These are the things that truly matter. 

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