The Beginning of Something Beautiful
Traveling overseas seemed like an unattainable dream. I talked about it, but it was just another one in a long list of things I’d only do if I lost weight. At least that’s what I always told myself.
To clarify, I've never not traveled.
Quite a chunk of my childhood was spent sitting in the backseat of the car playing travel games with my brother as my daddy drove us north on I-75 to Michigan to visit my mama's family. I still have a rock I collected in Canada the day we crossed the border, just so we could say we’d been to another country. Other family vacations consisted of week-long getaways in the Great Smoky Mountains or Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We were always going somewhere as I was growing up, and for that, I was grateful.
I’m from North Carolina, but I ended up marrying a Texan, which has resulted in us taking frequent trips further south at least once a year to see my in-laws. After ten years of marriage and moving across country a few times (we lived in Texas and Tennessee before settling back in my hometown of Asheville, North Carolina), we’re pretty well-versed in the art of road trippin’.
But I still craved that trip of a lifetime.
My husband Ty and I married young and practically penniless, so we didn't have an official honeymoon. For 10 years we dreamed of traveling somewhere extra special, and those dreams usually focused on London. It wasn't just a question of whether or not we could afford it, but neither one of us are particularly adventurous. In fact, having been diagnosed with PCOS several years ago and gaining weight from that condition, my self-esteem had been shot. It’s not uncommon for overweight women to get into this mindset that they’ll fulfill their dreams when they lose so many pounds, and that’s the rut I was stuck in.
Things started to change when I turned 30.
I’d spent much of my twenties dreaming big dreams, but being held back by my own insecurities. Had I wasted the best years of my life? I’d like to say my mindset changed overnight, but it wasn't until I hit 32 that I began doing all those things I’d said I’d do if I lost weight . . . only I hadn't lost any weight. In fact, I was close to the biggest I’d ever been.
There’s a shift that comes when you actively seek out positivity. I began reading plus-size fashion blogs (I’m not a fashionista, unfortunately), following body positive pages on social media, and making small changes in my life like being more active and eating more nutritious food because they made me feel good, not because I needed to do them to lose weight. With PCOS, it’s likely that my body will remain heavy no matter the changes I make to my lifestyle. It may decide to settle at a weight slightly lighter than my current one, but I don’t expect to look like I did in college again, and that’s okay.
That's why I bit the bullet and said, you know what, let's do this! Let's go to London!
We're counting down the days to May 26th when we leave for London, but in the meantime, we'll be spending a long weekend in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee next week. There will be plenty of photos, stories, and travel tips coming up, and hopefully many more trips to come, so I hope you stay tuned!