Authenticity: My Journey
So, this is a blog about authenticity but I have to apologize, because I don’t think I’ve been very up-front with you! When I read a blog, I like to know who’s writing it, and why. How do they know what they know?
I thought I’d give you a little background on how I got to where I am and why I chose this path of striving to live my life in a way that feels free to me.
First of all, I was a big kid. We’re talking a ten-pound baby and a toddler twice the size of other kids her own age. I wasn’t fat, but I was tall and stocky like a little line-backer. I was stinkin’ cute though. Just throwing that out there.
I had a great family life and my best friends in the world were my cousins, who, unlike me, were very thin and took dance lessons while I always had my nose stuck in a book. My closest cousin was a full head shorter than me and half my weight and I always compared myself to her, and while neither she nor anyone else in my family did anything to perpetuate the idea, I grew up believing the way I was- artistic, introverted and big- was wrong.
Finally, I entered junior high a total wreck and hating everything about who I was. I dreamed about losing weight, wearing the cute clothes everyone else wore and being a cheerleader or dancer or something cool like that. In the eighth grade, I went on my first diet. Granola bar for breakfast, lettuce and fat-free Italian (blegh) for lunch, and a bit of whatever mom made for dinner. Throw in the same Tae-bo tape every day, and I lost forty pounds in three months. I was the exact same person, and that wasn’t good enough. I bought a ton of clothes that I hoped looked like everyone else’s even though I was miserable at putting outfits together. I tried styling my stick-straight hair, applying make-up with a paint roller, swearing like everyone else did, etc. Didn’t work. Boys still didn’t like me and I still had no friends, so I while I still restricted my food intake, I gave up on trying to act like everyone else, so I went back to drawing and writing. Oh yeah, the weight came back too.
Finally, I started high school and literally stumbled into the theater program. Actually, I fell down the auditorium stairs, dislocated my shoulder and the drama kids saved me. That’s also how I met my husband, but that’s another story.
Finally, I had a group of friends who appreciated me for who I was, all 185 pounds of me, all the weirdness. Also, they appreciated what I could do. I’d always been terrified of performing, but acting gave me so much confidence and I realized that I could act. I even took voice lessons and sang in front of hundreds of people. I love theater, I love my friends, and I loved my life. I gradually dropped weight too.
In college, I dumped my theater scholarships to study art, then changed my major to English. I married Sam, one of my best friends from high school when I was nineteen, changed jobs, majors, moved and went on birth control all in a few months and developed an anxiety disorder and starting restricting again. Then, I discovered intuitive eating, which opened up a whole new world to me.
I realized, my life needed an overhaul. I’d wasted so much time trying to be something I’m not. I discovered the blogosphere and read about how other people overcame their self-esteem issues, eating issues, and restrictive mindsets. I read about unschooling, food production, lifestyle design, unjobbing and minimalism. I decided I didn’t want my life to be controlled by anything outside myself. I needed to take back my body, my ideas, and my potential. I want to be McKella, and this blog is my journey, and hopefully it will help you with yours.
So this is me: writer, book-worm, art and music lover, non-dancer, adult unschooler and size 8. And I’m happy with that.