If you guessed the little one who is feet shorter than all of the girls around her you are right. My entire life I was cute little Tara. Sometimes I liked it and other times I hated it. I was often treated like a baby because I looked like one. I fed into it and found myself playing that part. It worked for me at the time until it didn’t.
When I was a cheerleader in middle school, I tried out for the competition team. Honestly, I was one of the best on the team and my acrobatic skills were incredible. I remember sitting in the lunch room after the try-outs assuming our coach was going to come in and announce that I made the team. I waited for my name to be called. I hard her say everyone else’s name. I finally heard her say my name last. I wouldn’t be a member of the team, but I would be an alternate meaning that I wouldn’t get to perform with my team unless someone got hurt.
I remember a bunch of the other girls who made it look at me like, “What!?!?!”
I held back my tears as I walked out the doors and saw my mom. I was scared to tell her that I didn’t make the team so I just shook my head and ran to the car. My mom was really upset about it and called the coach. I had a phone in my room so I quietly picked it up and eavesdropped on the conversation and I was mortified by what I heard. The coach said something like even though I was one of the best on the team I looked so much more immature than the other girls and I just didn’t fit in.
That day I bought into the belief that I wasn’t perfect, whole and complete exactly as I was. I was flawed. I was different from the other girls and that was bad. AND my size caused me to not get the things I wanted and deserved.
I didn’t have a growth spirt until I was about 16. I went from about 4’10” and wearing training bras to 5’5” and having DD’s. At this time I was a competitive dancer and acrobat. I got a lot of attention from boys all of a sudden which was interesting because I was the same person. At dance I would get in trouble for being fat and was told I would never be able to be a dancer at that size. Again I decided that I was flawed and that my size caused me to not get the things I wanted.
This is me in high school hiding my body in my mom’s oversized t-shirt and men’s jeans.
I’m so lucky I never had a serious eating disorder although I did have a pretty serious case of disordered eating. I would eat no fat at all while eating packages of Snackwells. I would starve myself all day and then eat an entire gallon of ice-cream in my car. I would hide in the closet and eat cookies my mom sent me when I was in college. I would eat nothing but entire loaves of bread dipped in vinegar. I ate only eggs and salad. After I would binge I would go to the gym for hours, run miles and miles or walk excessively.
All I thought about was food and restricting the amount I ate because my body was now too big, but when I did that I always ended up binging on something and then I felt guilty and bad about myself.
In the end I did end up becoming a professional dancer.
And then I had a career ending injury.
After that injury I decided that I would start to listen to and love my body exactly as she was. I discovered what she really wanted and needed. It was hard because I numbed her so much for so long that I didn’t know what she really needed. Slowly I started honoring what my body actually craved and I started to feel really good. I started desiring the foods and activities that left me feeling satisfied and empowered. Instead of going to the gym I took walks in nature where I would make epic playlists and bust out in dance. Sometimes if the mood was right I was do some cartwheels. I took up yoga. I discovered kale and smoothies. I learned what a whole grain was. I ate when I was hungry and I stopped when I felt satisfied. I started to feel at home in my body. I began to love that badass beast I was living in.
I realized that my body has nothing to do with my worth at all. I’m awesome no matter what.
My body is just a meat suit that I wear so people can see me coming.
We all have our stuff. This is some of mine. I’m grateful for all of it because it made me the amazing sparkle fairy I am today. I would love to support you with your stuff. Send me a message >>>here or join the conversation at the bottom of this blog.
The awesome in me sees and bows to the awesome in you,