THIS IS A LONG LETTER BUT IT TOUCHED MY HEART SO I HAD TO SHARE IT WITH YOU THICKETTES!
My name is Chamein. I’ve been a professional wedding planner for more than a decade in New York (Long Island to be specific). I’m also a published author of BBW fiction and nonfiction. I try to stay connected to everything in the plus size/full figured world. Today I received a link for your blog and I love it. You’ve got a terrific platform and a self confidence that I’m sure others are inspired by.
You see I entered this world big from the beginning. I weighed in a few ounces shy of nine pounds and then I spent the rest of my life trying to live down a tiny three lettered word ‘big’. I hated being the big girl. At one point in my life I had so much black in my closet I thought I’d hear the voice of James Earl Jones as Darth Vader at any minute. Despite the fact that the average woman in the United States wears a size 14, finding fashionable clothing was like searching for a fountain in the desert. Many of the clothes available were unattractive to say the least. It was like the world said well you’re fat anyway so here’s some elastic waistbands and shapeless tents, cover up.
Looking back now I realize my body was smoking back then but the fact was I was bigger than most of the girls I went to high school with, even though I had a nice body. However I thought at 5’8 I was supposed to be 115 pounds despite the fact I was the second to shortest woman in my family. I spent so much of my teenage years hating my body and feeling bad about myself that I didn’t know I was beautiful.
We live in a country where bigger is generally better. People don’t usually want a small raise for their hard work, they want a big raise. When it’s time to buy a home or do some improvements most people go bigger. I’ve never heard Pat Sajak say let’s spin the slim wheel and contestants don’t generally shout “Little Money!” when they spin the wheel. Yet the pursuit of the ‘ideal thin’ body remained a focus for me.
Then my life changed. I was diagnosed with uterine cancer at 23 years old. I underwent six years of chemo, biopsies and more surgical procedures than I’d like to remember. To top everything off I was a divorced working mother and sole parental supporter of my sons, so I spent many days going from chemo in the morning straight to work with a supply of, Compazine, airsickness bags, crackers, ginger ale and a very understanding boss. I can’t tell you how many days I spent lying on the bathroom floor green with nausea wondering how on earth anyone could want to make themselves sick just so they won’t gain weight.
For the first time in my life I wasn’t focused on losing something, I was focused on gaining. I wanted more minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years to spend with my children. I was desperate to see my toddler sons grow up and to make it to my 30th birthday. It took a diagnosis of cancer to make me realize what truly counted in life and it wasn’t size; it’s love. However through chemo I met couples going through the depths of illness together and the love they showed one another touched me in the
deepest part of my soul.
There was this one couple that stands out to me, she had breast cancer and as a result she had a double mastectomy. She was also undergoing radiation and lost of all her hair, so her husband shaved his head so she wouldn’t feel any less feminine. I still get choked up when I think about it now. It was a real testament to for better or for worse. It was then I decided to forget my obsession with size.
As a result of cancer I lost a lot. In 1995 I had a hysterectomy after battling the disease in my uterus for years. Yet in a strange way I’m thankful for the lesson having a catastrophic disease taught me. I gained a new respect for life, refocused my life and I followed my dream to become a wedding planner. Still I wanted to bring the insight I learned to my clients so I made it my mission to communicate to brides to be that losing weight was not the key to happiness or being a beautiful bride. The key to feeling and looking beautiful begins with self love; a love that includes body acceptance, setting realistic goals for your body and living a healthy lifestyle. In keeping with my new attitude I wanted to show brides to be how they could work with their bodies to be the most beautiful bride which is how Down That Aisle In Style A Wedding Guide For Full Figured Women (WindRiver Publishing) was born so to speak.
I’m thankful to say that I’ve been cancer free for almost 13 years and I’ve been able to live successfully with multiple sclerosis for the past 12 years. It’s not easy but I embrace every day. Since the release of the book I’ve been lucky enough to appear with the bridal book on The Insider, Get Married, NBC Today in NY and Eyewitness News Sunday Morning. I feel blessed with the opportunities I’ve been given still I wanted to do more and that’s when I got into romance fiction. Not His Type (Indigo) is about what happens when a high profile baseball player falls in love with an average plus size woman. It’s romance with a BBW twist. My second novel Bliss Inc. (Indigo Love Spectrum) is about a plus size planner who find romance with an unexpected person.
I have been sure to bookmark your site and I will be checking in to see what our plus size celebrities are up to. Mostly I wanted to be sure to make sure you knew your efforts aren’t going unnoticed. Thanks for putting it together.
All best to you,
I HIGHLIGHTED SOME OF THE THINGS SHE SAID BECAUSE IT GIVES YOU A BETTERÂ UNDERSTANDING AS TO WHY I CREATED THIS BLOG. IF EVERY THICKETTE COULD COME TO THIS SITE AND LEARN TO LOVE WHO THEY ARE AND THEIR BODIES AND TO NOT BE OBSESS WITH SIZE THEN I KNOW I AM MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
YOU CAN PURCHASE CHAMEIN’S BOOKS AT BARNES AND NOBLE, BORDERS AND AMAZON.
THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR STORY CHAMEIN!