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I am 50 Pounds Heavier Than a Vogue Model -- And That's a Problem Because?

My story does not have aending to it. And somehow, I'm still walking upright, happier than I've ever been and grateful beyond measure for my freedom.
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Oh, yoo-hoo. Diet Industry, beauty magazines, Madison Avenue, I've got something to say to you.

I weigh 165 pounds.

That's it. No remorse necessary. I'm not ashamed, perturbed or disturbed in any way. Which is really good news for me, but not so great news for you. Oh, stop sniveling. Yeah, I know, you can't manipulate me anymore. But here's an idea. Maybe you could try and find a more honorable way of making a living.

Not only am I okay with my weight of, I'll say it again, 165 pounds. I'm ecstatic over it. I once weighed 345 pounds. Do you know how this must feel? Of course you don't. If you ever suffered the humiliation of being large in a fat-phobic society, or have known the abject frustration of failing at the maniacally devised human mouse traps and self-esteem crushers known as diets, you would be unable, in good conscience, to continue preying on the misery of others.

It may interest you to know I hoisted the 180-pound monkey off my back through clean eating, listening to my body's hunger cues, exercising regularly and deciding to go head to head with the demons that drove me to binge eat.

Now that I'm free, I know that health and balance is a total mosaic. The number on the scale for me is no longer the ultimate indicator of this. I weigh above what many women, and certainly the modeling and entertainment industry deem acceptable. But I don't care anymore. I could choose to spend considerable energy on getting that number down another 20 or 30 pounds, but it seems I've reached a comfortable place and my body is happy. I workout moderately, eat clean and quite frankly, I'm not interested in being any more rigorous than I am. That's not to say I'll stop accepting challenges, but enough's enough. It's okay to be happy with myself, even if it in no way matches the media images we're all fed ad infinitum.

I know some of you have found peace, love and fitness through a way of living that does not include gimmicks and legalized torture. Have you arrived at a place where you're happy with yourself, or are you constantly wringing your hands because you don't think you look good enough or weigh what you "should" weigh?

My story does not have a Sports Illustrated ending to it. So what? Just because I'll never be whisked away to Bora Bora for a Kleenex-with-straps couture photo shoot doesn't mean my life is bereft of happiness or meaning. My thighs are not smooth as ceramic. The stretch marks were embedded at age 11, the bikini ship has sailed, and I know it. And somehow, I'm still walking upright, happier than I've ever been and grateful beyond measure for my freedom.

Who's with me in the victory charge? If enough of us rally, the ad and diet industry will one day be force to find a more honorable way of making a living.