“The bigger I got, the more invisible I became. People wouldn’t engage with me; they wouldn’t make eye contact. Umm, I’m here, right? I’ve always smiled at everyone. The difference now? They smile back.”
"People used to tell me all the time, “You have a beautiful face.” In a way, they broke me up into parts: my smile, my eyes, my boobs, my laugh. When I met my now-husband, I didn’t feel like anyone could love someone as big as me so fully and completely as he does. Growing up, I was constantly compared to my sister, who had more of an athletic build. Family members would say, “If only you were like your sister…” I internalized that as, “You’d be better, you’d be more worthy of our love.” I started to think, “If I don’t look like her, then I’m constantly imperfect.” So when my husband said he loved me inside out and from head to toe, he sparked something within me. He loved my entire being, and that helped me love myself."
"When I joined Weight Watchers and started making changes, I started to enjoy seeing the new shape of my body. I wanted to keep going, I wanted to see how my body was going to transform. The moment when I realized how much my life had changed was when I was using a public restroom. After I closed the door, I realized that I had just walked into the bathroom without hesitation, not even stopping to check if I would fit. My body wasn’t touching the walls, there was no handrail—and I cried. There’s so much freedom in my weight loss. I feel as though I’m able to do so many things that I couldn’t do before, like paint my toenails, sit in plastic chairs, fit in a restaurant booth. My husband wants to travel; I don’t think about needing a seat-belt extender anymore—instead, I worry about how I’m going to fit all my fabulous clothes into my suitcase."