66. My Aha Moment

66. My Aha Moment

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident

My Aha Moment

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

~Buddha

I had confidence in myself growing up. I was confident that I was a good friend, good daughter and good sister. I was confident I could get good grades in school and meet expectations. I was confident in my ability to be a good athlete and take my athletic abilities to the next level. I was confident after college that I would navigate my way through the adult world and be responsible. And I was confident that I was a good woman who helped others.

But there was one thing I was not confident about — my body.

I was always tall and curvy but never accepted my shape, the beautiful body I was given, the way it was. The norm seemed to be what I saw on commercials and in the advertisements in all the stores.

Growing up, it was rare to see me in a dress. The few times I did wear one, my friends told me how wonderful I looked, that I was stunning. I didn’t believe them. I thought: I will never look like the girls that get dolled up with make-up and have great dresses, shoes and hair. That’s not me.

Instead, I wore what was comfortable, usually my basketball clothes and sports gear. I knew I wouldn’t be noticed as much or critiqued about my body because it was hidden away under my Nike gear.

Fast forward to my adult life. One Saturday night, a few years ago, my friends asked me to go to a concert. It was my favorite artist but I said I couldn’t make it. Little did they know I declined because I didn’t feel comfortable getting into my little black dress.

Then I had an aha moment. I was depriving myself of fun activities because I didn’t want to be seen in a certain dress? Really? In that moment, I decided not to waste any more time playing the same old tape in my head. I decided that I would go out and do things that made me happy right then and there, not at some future time “when I’m the weight that I want to be.”

I was depriving myself of fun activities because I didn’t want to be seen in a certain dress? Really?

I called my friends and went out. I had the best time and I never looked back.

After that day, I started to wear clothes that hugged my curves and dresses that made me feel great. I was embracing my shape . . . finally! I still loved to lounge around in sports gear and sweats (who doesn’t?) but I wasn’t hiding under layers anymore.

Women even started asking where I got my clothes. They asked me what had changed and how I had found my new confidence. I started telling them my story, from the beginning to end.

“Wow,” they’d say. “I wish I could feel that way about myself.”

But why can’t they? They can.

Today, I make my living as a plus-size model. I’m still no fashionista, but I know my confidence shines through.

I will never again let a negative thought take life’s happy moments away from me.

~Devon Kab

More stories from our partners