Medium? …more of a large, actually.

As I sit here on this independence day, I think of all the days prior when I looked in the mirror only to think: Ugh. If I could be a size 4, I’d be successful. If I just watch every single thing I eat and run every single day, I will make it in the film industry. I’d walk down the halls of my college theatre department getting a “wow, you look great” or “you’ve gotten so skinny!”, and I’d smile with a polite “thanks” because exerting more energy on conversation was energy I didn’t have. This is what I wanted. This is what would give me meaning. This is how people saw me.

It came with a price and at the time I was willing to pay. I was willing to feel inadequate and unseen. I was willing to feel invisible and unworthy. Because even though I was 4 sizes smaller than I am now I still felt that way.

Yes, I can’t fit into those shorts I wore back in 2006. Yes, God Knows, I can never fit into that dress I donned in early ’07. Eating a carrot and cabbage salad without any bells or whistles (or dressing) as my one meal each day was not only unfilling — but unfulfilling. This was my life for years. Feeling ashamed to have one bite of anything that could lead me down that slippery slope of, well, having more bites. They always warn you of the ‘Freshman 15’. I, on the other hand, lost the ‘Freshman 35’. “Good on you!”, some might say. “You look great”, “Wow, you’ve gotten so skinny.” While on the inside I was crying, trying to keep myself awake with endless caffeine and a smile on my face.

As I sit here on this independence day, I feel a freedom I never have before: I feel absolutely comfortable in my skin. I am happy. I am healthy. I have stretch marks. I have a tummy. I have a double chin if I don’t tilt my head down in photos. I am a comfortable size 10. But I eat without shame. I still count carbs as we all do (as much as pizza everyday sounds like a valid ‘treat-yo-self’). This time it’s for me though.

I am free to be myself. I look in the mirror and I say: Wow. I’ve come so far. I’m a writer. I’m an actor. I’m a woman. I’m a creative force.

And I am so proud.