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You mean, I’m beautiful too?

August 5, 2010

In commemoration of Caitlin’s book release (CLICK HERE!), she has asked her readers to write their own Operation Beautiful blog post. Seeing as how I’m in the very beginning stages of my blog, I thought this would be a great way to introduce myself a bit better and show you just where I’m coming from. (And also, Caitlin was the reason I started this blog in the first place!)

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I’ve made it known that I’m currently in my senior year in college but this isn’t where my story begins. Let’s take a flashback to my senior year in high school, that’s where my journey to discovering my own beauty really began.

It’s hard for me to look back on that time in my life because, although in some aspects it was one of the most memorable years of my life (graduating, finding a new beginning) it was also one of the hardest and darkest moments I’ve ever experienced. I’m such an upbeat and outgoing person that it’s hard for me to talk about it but I feel that if I can help someone else out, then maybe, just maybe this blog is worth it after all.

Here we go.

Looking back, as much as I like to sugar coat it when talking with my friends, it was one of the toughest years of my life. Growing up, I had always been a little on the bigger side. I participated in every sport known to man, and was good at them all, but although I was active, my passion for food always seemed to be a little bit bigger than my passion for volleyball. I never really admitted to myself that I was heavier than all of my other friends and would make excuses when stepping on the scale like, “Well, you don’t LOOK like you weigh that much” or “It’s not a big deal, I’m still HEALTHY.” But to be totally honest with you, deep down I was always looking for a way to slim down. I wanted to be that girl that all of the boys wanted to take out on a date, not the one they wanted to shoot hoops with. I kept my normal, cool exterior for the most part but inside I was miserable.

If that wasn’t enough, about 6 months before my senior year started, I tore my ACL during a non-conference basketball game… 3 weeks before softball started, which happened to be my favorite sport. Softball was my saving grace. When I was out on the field, nothing else mattered. It was the one place where I wasn’t constantly thinking about whether or not my uniform made me look fat or worried about what other people were saying in regards to me. When I got the news from the doctor, I was devastated. It felt like my whole world at the time had come crashing down. And soon after, as much as it’s hard to admit it, I did go into a bit of a depression. I always prided myself on being this strong and positive person and all of the sudden, there I was, sad and just completely downtrodden over my recent news. So, naturally, I turned to food. Unfortunately, that food wasn’t very forgiving and before I knew it, I was at the heaviest weight of my entire life—220 lbs. I’m still ashamed of that today and rarely tell my college friends about it but it’s a time in my life that has made me who I am today.

So, the question is… what changed? What jumpstarted my journey and how did I get to where I am today?

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had won the senior superlative of “Most Athletic” and couldn’t be happier. After everything that had happened with my knee, I had fought back and won something that had really meant a lot to me. And then I saw the picture that was going to be put into the yearbook. I didn’t look like the “Most Athletic” girl in my senior class… I looked like the girl “Most Likely to Eat an Entire Box of Pizza in One Sitting”. And you know what? Right then and there, something clicked inside me. I can’t even explain it.. but I knew then that I was going to get off of my butt and start MOVING. And I did.

Slowly but surely I began running and working out on a regular basis, cutting out fast food, and just generally eating better. And before I knew it, pounds starting coming off and my confidence starting going up. I began realizing that I was beautiful on the inside AND out. I can’t take all of the credit for my transformation.. my friends in college and my family certainly helped and for that I’m forever grateful. They always accepted me for who I was and when I had those days where I was dealing with the thoughts of “I’m too big to wear this” or “I’m too fat for that” they were always right there telling me that I was fine just the way I was. Their acceptance of me helped ME accept myself. Imagine that.

Flash forward to today, I’m  a senior in college, and the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life. I’m surrounded by a great support system, I no longer care what others think of me, and I’m in LOVE… with LIFE! Through discovering my own beauty I’ve learned and experienced so much more than I could have ever hoped for. And not only that, Operation Beautiful has motivated me to help others see their own beauty as well. It’s such a wonderful movement I’m so happy I was lucky enough to discover it.

I encourage all of you to take part in your own Operation Beautiful movement. It will change your life.

Before.

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I’m #33, to the right of the taller girl. I don’t have many pictures from this time because I deleted most of them sadly. As much as I loved volleyball, I hated those uniforms.

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Softball was my saving grace!

Now.

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(If you look closely, you can see my ACL scar!)

Bachelorette Party 033

Bachelorette Party 302

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