Seeing Differently: 5 years in

By Monica C. Voskamp

Please don’t see me. That’s how I felt. I didn’t want to see me and I didn’t want others too. I wanted to somehow hide the entirety of 248 pound me. Try imagine adding 100 pounds to your size..(keep breathing!).. and think you can be invisible. It’s like being 2 people…seriously. Try fitting in a cafe booth!! That struggle was real.

Please don’t see me.” It was a lot of self thinking. I gave too much energy and anxiety over fear of people judging me and trying to reduce that fear. Yet I also had a message beating in my heart: Someone, anyone see me, hear me? But I couldn’t voice this well. I really couldn’t. It was a scary thought to be vulnerable, to express the true needs of myself. Here I was, adult age & body…yet struggling with the past 28 some years. I was carrying a childhood complex and past insecurities. Stuck.

Surrendering and taking ownership for myself ( the physical fatness) actually became the gateway to opening my whole self to health. You see, the more you confront and expose fears, lies, unhealthy mindsets and behaviors, the more you are opening yourself to freedom.


Me in 2013

It’s 5 years since that “Me in 2013.”  Yes, I still have issues to work through…but this past 1/2 of decade has held so much growth in becoming my individual self, and being okay with me as me…me as a person, as a woman.

I am a woman. I know…it sounds like a gender statement haha.  Yes, I AM a female. 🙂 But I mean it in the way, that I’ve discovered, I am no longer a little girl; I am a woman. It’s been a journey of empowerment to discover I am MORE.  More than a helpless little girl.

This is me claiming who I am, not the little girl I knew, not the childhood fears, not the ghosts of the past. I am a woman. It is liberating to realize who I was then,  who I am now, and who I am becoming.

I am a woman. I’m capable of making my own choices, independent to make my own decisions, and responsible for the life I lead.  That’s a very simple and seemingly obvious statement for adulthood, but it’s something I’d never realized was mine.


Me in 2018

There are many things I haven’t been taught I wish I had been. I can’t change that. My doctor was the first person to verbalize belief in me. I was stunned. She really believed I could do or become anything I wanted! My brother was the second person that spoke the same confidence. Then, I was the third. I suddenly realized I could make excuses for a million years of the things not in my favor and only see the odds…childhood trauma, messed up religious teachings, life impacting illnesses, 100 pounds extra… blah blah blah. 😛 Or I could flip the coin and embrace my coin.

As an adult, as a woman, it is now up to me to decide, learn, grow and be.  I have that choice, that’s quite the opportunity!

I do believe one should acknowledge the messiness. Sometimes that takes a LONG time.  (Example: me) But there’s more than acknowledging.  Action is the tough but also the best part. Plodding through and not letting any of the “messiness” hold you back leads

5 years later I’m in a very different place.

The bonuses of embarking on loving me are many. I see:

…I no longer hate or despise myself!

-Seeing me.  I don’t wish to be invisible 🙂

-Enjoying me for me.

-Believing I am cut out to be a leader. Belief in myself!

-Wanting to take on challenges and opening to new approaches.

-Realizing it’s not all about me! I’m not alone in struggles, pain. This was an eye-opener. It’s an obvious fact of life…but something that finally hit me more.

And, remember that desperate inner “Someone, anyone hear me??”

-Finding a voice. I can speak up for myself, and for others.  Ironically, (lol), it does take *speaking* to be heard. 😉

My brother’s been my huge coach in encouraging me to express my thoughts freely and say what’s on my mind, instead of being fearful of people’s reaction or speaking to please them.  It’s called learning to be my own person, me. 🙂

In all those growths, there are still glitches! But as I heard recently, life is about “progress not perfection.” 🙂

5 years later..I see differently and I’m glad. I see a woman who is in the becoming.

I see love is action. It’s been a lot of brave, courage, fight, discomfort, joys…and commitment. Love doesn’t give up. Five years ago, it was a resolute heart decision: I’m committed to healthy living for the rest of my life. I knew I had to take action; it was enough of me praying for God to fix things, when He’s made me capable.  I’m on a wildly imperfect journey, but one of love.  And I’ve decided, love is the best vow you can ever make. For yourself…your whole self.., for your friends, family and for this life. ❤












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