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Name: Shawna
Birthday: December 23rd, 1979
Height: 6'3"
Location: USA

Height and Happiness

Watching my personal transformation through the years of my life is something I now appreciate and celebrate. However, like most women who grow up tall accepting my body and height was not easy. I was 6 feet tall by the time I was in fifth grade and continued to grow until I reached my peak at 6 feet 4 inches around twenty two. During the younger years I was either admired or feared. It is now generally accepted by most that I am a gentle giant like my father who stood 6 foot 8 inches at one point. I still get interesting looks from strangers to whom I respond with a smile.

shawna1

The school years were tough, but they were just one facet of my transformation. I learned very quickly that I was unique and came to an understanding that it was a gift to be unique not a curse. I remember the male junior high basketball teams stare in awe as they watched me practice my 85% free throw shot. One of the most joyous moments of my high school years was when I found out that Lane Bryant had started carrying tall pants. Having chapped legs because of the short pants you had to wear during Chicago winters was uncomfortable to say the least. It would be easy for me to write about the horrible things kids put tall girls through, but I found my strength through the good and bad times.

shawna2

Over the years I have seen many of my female friends struggle with body and height insecurities. It is difficult to see fellow women you admire so much not enjoying the unique and beautiful people they are. The fact that I find my uniqueness a point of pride and beauty has saved me from the pain I see many of my friends go through. Every time I hear a fellow woman cut themselves down, I feel like putting them in front of the mirror and saying "look at all the beauties you possess".

shawna3

I always like to say that I am a work in progress. In June, 2008 I was at my heaviest weight wise at 375 pounds. During that time I was not upset about my looks, but I could not stand that the extra weight kept me from doing what I enjoyed. Since then I have worked by eating mostly at home and walking and doing light yoga. At the present time I now weigh 296 lbs and am still losing every month. The fact that I can enjoy an active lifestyle is the best feeling for me. Some would think I am absolutely crazy for telling everyone my weight, but to me it is just a number just like my height.

shawna4

It is so easy to get yourself in a struggle with the negative thoughts people send your way. The journey to my happiness has been realizing if those people really knew who I was they would see otherwise. I grew up an outsider, goth girl, and I am proud today that I remained true to myself and no one else.

Love yourself first and the others will follow your lead. Height is beauty. For all of those who need help at the grocery store, just ask!