I asked, no -- TOLD the wedding photographer to take pictures of the kids, not me. I told her to only take photos where I was standing behind my partner so no one could see how big I was. How she took a photo is beyond me.
I was big at my wedding. I wanted, NEEDED, HAD TO KNOW, I was loved big and fat. I didn't trust anyone truly loved me if I were thin. I needed to know my person would love me no matter what.
I could hear my Mom judging other women at church when she said, "Why would she wear that sleeveless top with those arms?"
I heard my co-teacher at school saying, "You better get that weight off while you are young or you never will!"
I wanted to show them that NO ONE is going to tell me what to do and I am no one's pet project. And if I couldn't find someone to love me and not FIX me - I would rather be alone.
"You Aren't Cut Out to be a Cheerleader"
"We need a mascot! You have such a happy personality!"
I told them no. I didn't want to be a bulldog mascot.
They came back a few days later and said I could be a cheerleader.
I told them to, in my "happy" voice, "No, thanks."
What if I told you I HAVE BEEN THERE. More than once.
I have kept over 100 lbs. weight loss for over ten years.
Wait. I'm getting ahead of myself.
Let me tell you about the Eeyore. Yeah, the one from Winnie the Pooh.
Eeyore seems like he's down, but really he is HAPPY! Why? Because being away from people, critics, feeling out of place IS A SAFE PLACE!
When I am treated less than for weight, or any other reason - the first thing I wanna do is RUN AWAY as fast as I can. Isolating myself IS where I felt the most myself.
No fake smiles, I could be mad, sad, and anything in between.
So much so, I spent one entire Thanksgiving break writing songs ALL BY MYSELF!
I think Eeyore is BRAVE because he SHOWS how he FEELS! He doesn't put on fake airs of "all is okay." Eeyore doesn't avoid talking about how things just freaking suck sometimes!
AND that's me - I didn't wanna FAKE life that LOOKS perfect all the time because that's just a bunch of crap!
People drained me. My own energy, music, and self-studies were my companions.
My solace was ice cream - at the end of the day. It froze and numbed my pain. My friend was Bluebell Ice Cream - peanut butter and chocolate, by the 1/2 gallon.
I got tired and freakin' scared.
My family members have more stents (it's this crazy procedure for blocked arteries that's eventually doesn't last) if no lifestyle changes are made) then all the nachos at Chili's on a weekend.
Real scared. I was in my early 30's and riding the "young and healthy" gene was slipping away. My mortality stared me in the face.
What the heck was I doing with my life? Was I capable of a life I loved or a life to just barely get by? Was I destined to be on meds for things I could control myself?
I was 306 lbs. Those pictures of my early journey show so much change outside, but the REAL change was INSIDE and the commitment I made to myself when NO ONE was around, saw, or cared.
I made a decision.
I honest don't know where these commitments came from, but I have held them close to this day.
I will lose this weight.
I will do it in a way that is sustainable.
I will do the emotional work as to why I am using food this way.
I will not worry about gaining back the weight.
A sample of Stephanie's teaching...
Once you've worked with me, you will...
Wake up appreciating yourself on the inside AND the outside
Super magic trick to see your weight as helping you. Okay- that may not happen overnight - but let's face it. We catch more flies with honey, baby.
Let go of that guilt baby. Did you know most of my clients carry weight because they carry guilt? We don't have to rehash the story - but I get it and how to deal with it. We don't have to say it again, let's just MUTE that word from here on out. Trust when I say I have a question for that one too that will blow you away!
Oh, you know that girl you envied in yoga class? Or was that just me? Well, girlfriend, I can help you with that too! That's right - with a question and hold space for you like a big old body pillow!
Let's give you a makeover that doesn't require going under the knife or needle!
You'll wake up one morning saying, "Oh my gosh. I CAN do this."
When you get married, when you want to be a cheerleader, when you want to date - YOU get to be the Capitan of your ship - from the deck to the hull. I want this for you.
In my head were people who didn't like me. No amount of people-pleasing wouldn't touch them. No matter who liked me, I never liked myself more.
I searched for approval left and right - even though I thought I was super independent. My thoughts were riding on the opinions of others.
I had many sleepless nights, anger at little things, wondering where or how I would ever lose weight, and then not even get to the part where I "had" to KEEP it off? And then back to people-pleasing - wondering what on earth you could ever do about so and so and how they treated you?
Your questions made me think a lot about putting other people on a pedestal.
In this online marketing world or the plant-based world, I have floundered. I didn't see myself as knowledgeable, credible. Often felt I didn't know what the hell I was doing. I saw others thriving and didn't realize I could learn to do the same.
I now see how we have TONS of useful experience in the plant-based world that can help others. And I have training, expertise, and help to get me going in the online marketing world. I need to set my intentions, point myself in that direction, and work to make it happen every day.
HUGE - I can enjoy the process and do it in a way that feels good. I will get there. I am on the path. I can enjoy it. Our time together boosted my self-confidence and I see myself as an EQUAL.