I have been extremely privileged to meet some incredible people through work and have some really important and inspiring conversations lately. These conversations concerning size inclusivity has had me thinking about my own place in this world. I haven't always fought for my place, I spent years thinking that my size dictated my worth - how absolutely wrong I was.
It's starts early doesn't it? You have to look a certain way to be a part of certain cliques at school, you have to look a certain way for the cute boy or girl to notice and like you. As the chubby girl I was often friend zoned immediately, not always of course, I had a high school boyfriend, but during that time I told myself he was out of my league, that it was a total fluke. To be clear not once in the six years that we dated did this boy say or do anything to support these feelings, our breakup had zero to do with my weight or social standings and he is one of my closest friends to this day. But boy oh boy the feeling of walking the halls of high school, eyes of other girls watching, judging, knowing they felt I wasn't good enough or as good as they were. If I could go back and tell myself one thing it would be to walk tall. I deserved the adventure, the boy, the friends then and I deserve what I have now - and so do you!
I know there are still people who watch and judge; they judge my life, my friends, my relationship and so much of it is based on my size. I know there are so many of them thinking I shouldn't wear this or that, I shouldn't post some photos, don't I know what I look like. Here's the thing I've learned though - my size does not make me any more or less qualified for my job, my size doesn't automatically mean I'm unhealthy or lazy or unattractive, my size does not mean I'm less of a wife, it doesn't make me less of a friend or daughter or sister. It has taken years to push the judgement of others aside. It has taken years to be confident in who I am inside and out. The years have been worth it, I'm proud of what I've accomplished in my career, my relationships, in myself and how I've grown. I'm excited about the races I've run, the trips I've taken, the adventures I finally let myself have because I finally understood that I deserved them. I'm not thin, I'll never be thin, I'll never be tall, I prefer my hair short, I have a large Italian nose and an even larger rear end, but these are not negatives, this is just part of who I am. Also part of who I am are my big brown eyes, my pretty great memory, my cute shoulder dimple, and my confidence to pose for pictures and post about my life on the internet.
My advice to you - don't let anyone tell you what you deserve especially based on how you look. We deserve love, we deserve adventure, we deserve every great thing the world has to offer and you are amazing no matter the size or shape of your body. You can wear the dress, run the race, take the trip, hang upside from a hoop, that is up to you! Go out and be amazing and if you need an adventure buddy give me a call!