Being Plus Size
This is something that I don’t talk about but it’s something that has always been in the back of my mind. It’s not easy to talk about because these are real feelings that I’ve faced all of my life, but I know that there are other people out there that feel the same way.
Growing up riding horses, I was always the big girl. It didn’t come easy for me. I had to work hard and dig deep but I always felt that when I entered that show ring on a horse that I had trained myself and won a ribbon, no matter what place, I knew I had earned it. I rode horses everyday of my life. I rode the bus to the barn in middle school and all the way through high school just so I could be out there everyday. I started teaching lessons when I was twelve years old and I competed in Hunter/Jumpers, Dressage, and Combined Training all the way through college. I fed horses just so I could take lessons. I wanted it so badly. I never let my weight get in the way but I always felt like I was judged for it. Sometimes it can mess with your mind when you are younger because you don’t understand why people don’t want to be friends with you. I felt like I always had to make up for my body size with my personality. I learned to make fun of myself so I could beat everyone to the punch. But I never let it stop me from reaching my goals.
Being a plus sized equestrian in college was even harder. I had to push and ride as much as I could. My first year on the team I pointed out of my division and moved up, I became secretary the start of my second year and felt like I really found my place. I had to work four part time jobs in college so I could afford to show. Going to some of the colleges where we showed, we were a small team, those schools rode several times a day. Our team was made up of all different level riders and different sizes but we held ourselves in the middle of the pack against some really tough schools because we worked our butts off. But I never let it stop me from reaching my goals.
Even as an adult I still face these challenges. Being in the photography world is another challenge. Sometimes I’ve had comments made to me at rodeos or shoots I’ve shown up but I don’t let that stop me. I’ve had people ask if I’m ok to walk that far. It just blows my mind that people automatically assume just because I’m bigger I just sit around and don’t do anything. I’m constantly walking, riding horses and getting outside as much as I can. I even ran cross country and played soccer in high school and people are always surprised when I tell them that. Sometimes I feel like I’m judged by my outer skin before they even get to know me as a person. But I never let it stop me from reaching my goals.
Yes I’m a bigger girl, but I know how to work. I’m on the farm all the time, lifting hay bales, and feed bags. I can drive a tractor, a truck and trailer, and a manual transmission. I’ve ridden horses my entire life and know how to ride. I’ve even had people comment to my face, “Well you can ride for a bigger girl.” I work my ass off all the time and I don’t expect handout of any kind. I was even in the hayfield on my due date with Lyza driving the tractor and unloading hay. I just wish this world was not so caught up on looks but whats on the inside. I’ve even had friends that didn’t want to hang out with me because of my size and that hurts. Some past friends of mine would only hang out with me in certain situations if they wouldn’t be seen with me in public. At the time I wasn’t aware of what was going on but I caught on quickly. Other friends would just use me for photography and move on when they got what they wanted. It sucks but it’s a reality that some people don’t see.
I’m not writing this for sympathy but just a way for people to see that plus sized people are human. Don’t treat us any differently. We work just as hard as everyone else. I would give anyone the shirt off my back or that last few dollars in my checking account. I love making friends from all over and getting to know people and their stories. I try to be upbeat most of the time, we all have bad days, because I love to see people smile. Just remember its whats on the inside that matters not the outside.