There is a post on this morning's PostSecret that really touched a chord in me:
I had to respond -- so here is the response I sent over to PostSecret:
I used to fear losing the weight I needed to (over 200 lbs) because I thought it would negatively affect my singing performance. Was I ever wrong - my voice and everything about my singing is much improved. But aside from all that, I would say do it for yourself. Seeing myself in the mirror and loving who I am now is a far better gift. And when you love yourself and treat yourself as you deserve, Mr. Right will notice and come your way. Validate yourself, don't rely on someone else.
I really did think that my vocal performance would suffer. I know, crazy isn't it? I somehow thought I would lose something of my strength if I lost my Mama Cass body. (And as an aside for the record, Mama Cass was a gorgeous person, gone too soon, and I weighed LOTS more than her at my peak weight. But I still laugh every time my friend MJ says, "If Mama Cass & Karen Carpenter had shared that ham sandwich, they'd both still be alive.")
And when I did lose the weight, my vocal performance improved dramatically. WAY more breath control, way better ability to hit a note, hold a note, better phrasing, better power, better everything. When I don't work out, my singing suffers. Who'd-a-thunk, right?
The one thing that oddly didn't come into play in losing the weight was "Maybe I'll find Mr. Right." At 28, I went through a breakup with the guy I thought for sure was THE ONE. Turns out I was wrong in many ways. He wasn't THE ONE, I didn't fall apart, and I've learned that I couldn't possibly love him the way he deserved to be loved -- nor could he love me in the way I deserved to be loved -- because I didn't love myself.
I know, it sounds cornier than 40 acres in Iowa, but it's the truth. I didn't love me. I loved many parts of me and I didn't suffer from poor self-esteem. It wasn't the greatest, but I surely wasn't bottom of the barrel. In all my fat years, I had some resilience in me that kept me from sinking too far down, and there was a feistiness in me that would wake me up whenever someone crossed a line. I would get hurt, but I'd be danged if I'd let you utterly destroy me.
Yes, fat is a social insulator. And food is a great blanket in which you can wrap the pain. And it can happen to us whether we weight 128, 234, 408, 194.... emotional pain doesn't care about a number.
But love yourself enough to put yourself first. When you treat yourself the way you deserve, others will notice. Others will want to support you -- some may want to tear you apart because they realize they're lacking and figure they'll bring you back down to their level (or lower). Clear your life of the toxic relationships, whether with food, people, your own demons.
Get healthy. Go for wholeness. Be in love with yourself. Be the person whom you were created to be: a reflection of the divine.