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For much of my high school years, I was much “smaller.” By that, I mean I was in a gym constantly because I thought the only way to be happy was to be thin. I went to a “gym” that was geared towards sex appeal. To be honest, sometimes it was so much fun. It felt nice to feel sexy, to do dances and hold poses on a pole. We did all kinds of things, and sometimes I was uncomfortable, but I did it anyway. It made the world seem, to me, like I could only go places in life with sex appeal. I thought that these classes would launch me straight into a great life with money and happiness and romance, but it honestly crushed my soul. The people I surrounded myself with in these classes, unintentionally, were hurting me. They would say how weird it was that one specific person was with me all the time and “Oh, she must be in love with you, how weird.” She was, still is, and we are very happy, but that’s another story.
They made me feel like every part of me was wrong, and I left classes often feeling ashamed of the way my body looked. I didn’t love myself the way I deserve to. There were some women in this place that were just like me, who believed there had to be a better way to make women feel powerful, sexy and able to love themselves. These women, some amazing friends that I am forever grateful to have in my life, made a place just for that. The amazing souls and huge hearts of these women made a place for people to come to for peace, love and healing. It was in this place that I started my journey to self-healing and love. I started going to this haven on a daily basis, and what I saw was life changing. This place gave me the power to feel sexy in a strong, healthy way. I no longer saw a huge fat mass of human when I looked in the mirror, but a woman who had a strong body, a passion for people, and a desire to live my life.
Some days, it’s still hard for me, and everyday I have to wake up and choose to love my body and soul. Sometimes I need to be reminded to tell myself things like you have strong legs or beautiful eyes or a good heart. Even still, I have bad days. I’m still larger than what I would like, and I still look for "get skinny quick" schemes, but more days are good than bad now. I am forever grateful to the women who changed my life, and I have always hoped to change just one person's day. I am a shy person, I am quiet, and it takes time to get me out of my comfort zone. I do my best to push myself to be open with my story. While this is not the whole story, I hope that somebody somewhere reads this and is inspired to look in the mirror and compliment something about themselves. Our body is our temple, and we have nothing if we cannot love and cherish it. We are strong, we are beautiful, and we are worth it.