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I am being very vulnerable right now.

This is something I don’t talk a lot about.

For years I was bullied for my weight all through school; I have been made to feel like I was not worthy because I was not a size 2.

I have tried every diet known to man; I have been to Dr’s that have looked at my weight and height, and BMI and said you qualify for gastric surgery, without even asking me questions about how I got to this weight.

I have allowed myself to play small for years because I didn’t think I mattered.

I let my weight hold me back and not do things or put myself out there because I knew people would judge me and say cruel things.

After spending time in prayer, meditation, coaching, and surrounding myself with the RIGHT people, I can honestly say I LOVE MYSELF.

I no longer feel repulsed when I look in the mirror. I am confident; I put myself out there more and more. I share my story because I know people out there feel the same way I have; they had people belittle them because they don’t live up to their expectations of what their bodies should be like to be accepted in society.

I have been in a charity fashion show as a model in the last couple of years, something I never thought I would ever do in a million years. And you know what, it felt great!

My friend and fantastic photographer, Trish Roberts, made me feel special and brought another layer out of me on my wedding day. I looked at these pictures and thought, damn, I am beautiful. I don’t say that in a boasting way; people would tell me for years, but I never believed them. I see it now.

When Trish did my photoshoot for my book a year later, I felt even more confident. At that moment, I was like, damn, I would love to do this more: me, the person who hid from the camera because she didn’t like what she saw. I would love to do more of this; it felt incredible.

Then last week, as I was waiting for a prescription, I saw Health magazine and saw Hunter McGrady on the front cover. Something else clicked inside me; this should be the norm—plus-size models on the cover of magazines. People are just being themselves and not conforming to what society says about them and their bodies. Not to feel wrong about who they are because they are not a size two.

It took me years to get to a place where I love myself; I can look at my body and not cringe and, more important, not care what others think.

Am I in the process of transforming myself once again and being a healthier me? Yes.

I am doing it for me, though; I am losing the weight because I want to run and not have sore knees, and with the health issues in my family, weight has always been an issue.

I had to learn to love myself first, the way I am now, because, for years, I made myself wrong for the size I was because of allowing people to make me feel like I was wrong for it.

I am choosing to lose the weight for good this time. Emotional eating is under control; I have people surrounding me to encourage me the right way, not make me wrong if I decide to have something, not on the plan, to help get me back on track if I slip up.

I am choosing me for me, not for society!

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