Sarah reached out to me on Instagram after seeing my search for new contributors to Curves and a Carry On! I am so excited to have her story here on the blog, but even more excited to see what the future has in store for her after all of the amazing discoveries she has made about herself in recent months. -S
On March 31, 2017 I married the most amazing person in a blush Cinderella gown on a mountain with all my closest friends and family, I never wanted it to end, but two days later I had to go back to work my restaurant management job and work 50 hours that week. The high of my wedding was gone, it was back to yelp reviews and being concerned about ticket times and upselling. No honeymoon for us. I knew we were going to take a late one…but when?
That summer I fell into a slight depression, I watched tv, went to work, ate, watched tv , went to work, ate, repeat. It wasn’t until January 2018 I made a change. I stepped down from my manager position, dyed my hair pink and went down to server. I thought this was the answer to my self love but it was just the stepping stone. March came and we got our taxes back so we officially booked a 17 day trip in August 2018 to Costa Rica that changed my life forever.
Before this trip, I helped plan a beautiful wedding for my amazing sister in 3 months time, dyed my hair red, gained all my wedding weight back and then some, got fat shamed by a family member who was very close to me (who is now estranged) and somehow was still working 5 days a week at the restaurant. I was tired, overworked, and once again depressed. Then August came it was time for Costa Rica!!!
As soon as we got on the plane I felt different, see I HATE flying but I love traveling. If there is minor turbulence I’m having an anxiety attack on the inside but masking it with a smile on the outside. On the way there, there was lots of turbulence and I was calm, cool, collected and even slept! We got our rental and began driving to our first destination: Quepos. This land was so beautiful, it was straight up Jurassic park and we couldn’t stop gasping at the beauty, and we weren’t even there yet. We got to our hotel and immediately heard monkeys howling, it was a dream come true. We relaxed the first night and went swimming in our hotel and drank pina coladas and imperials (the nations beer).
And the first night…my one piece swimsuit broke.
I was concerned because the only swimsuit I had left was a string bikini to tan in only and my other two piece to just get some pictures of my best angles, not to have another 16 day adventure in! The self hate had already kicked in and it was day one in paradise. How could I fake a self confidence for 16 more days? Every day I learned to loved myself a little more, I didn’t wear makeup or curl my hair, just sunscreen and saltwater. Now if you know me this is shocking, I have been wearing makeup every day since I was 11. I fell in love with my makeup free face as much as I love my dolled up face. What was happening? I was truly beginning to love myself for me, the way my husband loves me. And it was amazing.
In Quepos, we happened to stumble on this little island where all the roads were dirt, and people sold beer and tacos out of their homes made of dirt floors and sheet metal, and no one wore shoes. We thought this was normal and really met the people, they were so nice and generous, and come to find out we spent the day in the poorest most dangerous island of Costa Rica, we had no idea. I’m so thankful for this day because you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
We then went to playa de coco, monte verde, playa samara, and la fortuna. In these magical cities I faced ALL my fears! I walked over 15 suspension bridges, zip lined through the rainforest, jumped in a waterfall off a 30 foot cliff, ate a whole fish including the eyeball, and climbed over 1000 steps to see the most beautiful waterfall known to humankind.
At the beginning of my trip I was so anxious about how my pictures would turn out because I didn’t have my makeup, or my one piece, and my hair was always a mess, until I decided to really ask myself, “ Sarah you are in literal paradise with your Prince Charming why the heck do you care what you look like?!” And something just clicked in me. It didn’t matter that I was at my heaviest weight in my life, it didn’t matter that my estranged family member said I blew up like a whale and couldn’t believe how disgustingly fat I got, it didn’t matter that my overtweezed eyebrows weren’t filled in and on “fleek”, the only thing that mattered was looking at this beautiful waterfall with my life partner that I hiked over 1000 steps to see. My body did that. My beautiful 220 lb 5’10, Double HH bra size, size 10 foot, pale, stretched marked body did that.
After hiking the 1000 steps to this waterfall in La Fortuna, just being in awe of its beauty and so proud of myself for hiking all that way, a beautiful local woman approached me. She said to me that she had been admiring how beautiful and happy I looked in my (rainbow two piece) bathing suit and that my tattoos and skin and swimsuit just all looked so beautiful together. This brought tears to my eyes then and even now writing this, because after 29 years of weight up and downs, eating disorders, crash diets, trying to hide my body, even strangers could feel that I finally TRULY loved myself. After coming back to real life from Costa Rica I was changed forever and there was a goal in sight. Fast forward 4 months through the holidays and the week before my 30th birthday I quit my job of 5 years to pursue my lifelong passion of acting and makeup and it is going better than I could have imagined. Within the first two weeks, I booked my first modeling gig for the inclusive bra company, Thirdlove and had 8 auditions.
By truly falling in love with myself honestly for the first time, AND NOT A FAKE CONFIDENCE, I was able to take a leap of faith and go after my dreams and passion. And I was able to love my husband (even more!) in such a strong profound way.
In the words of Mama RuPaul “If you can’t love yourself, then how in the hell you gonna love somebody else, can I get an Amen!?”
Want to see more #CurvesandaCollab posts from amazing people like YOU? You can find all of these articles, plus packing tips and travel guides on my Pinterest page!