From ugly duckling to clumsy swan

I imagine many people go through an ugly duckling phase at some point in their lives. Not me though. I didn’t go through a single ugly duckling phase…I went through many!

I think I was a pretty cute little girl until about the age of 12. That’s when I first got glasses, a perm and started to get a bit rounder in all sorts of areas.

I don't think my outfit was helping my case...

I don’t think my outfit was helping my case…

I had the “pleasure” of enduring all sorts of lovely nicknames during that stage including “Feefee” “Blondie” (for the curly hair) and worst of all “Misery” after Kathy Bates in the movie Misery. Fortunately, I started horseback riding when I was 13 and that, along with puberty being nice to me, helped me blossom into an attractive young woman.

My senior ball which also happened to be my 18th birthday.

My senior ball which also happened to be my 18th birthday.

My lowest weight was 128 pounds when I was 18 and even then, I still felt like the awkward, overweight girl from my past. I gained weight after high school and was around 160 when I got married at 21. During the first few years of married bliss, I pretty much ate anything I wanted, didn’t exercise and I gained another 20 pounds. A healthy weight for my height of 5’5″ inches is between 114-144 pounds (114?? Seriously?!) so I was overweight and didn’t wear it well.

I was around 180 when I got pregnant with Jordan and to me, pregnancy was the perfect time to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted! I was around 220 when I gave birth and that definitely wasn’t all baby weight!

Over a year after having Jordan. I was around 200 pounds

Over a year after having Jordan. I was around 200 pounds


I knew I wasn’t a healthy weight and I wasn’t happy with my appearance but I didn’t have the energy or desire to try losing weight. I’m not an athletic person and I hated gym class growing up so the idea of exercise didn’t thrill me. I tried diet pills and shakes, anything that didn’t involve breaking a sweat or changing my diet but those things never work, no matter what the stupid commercials say.

My wake up call came when my father had his first stroke. He’d had diabetes for years but wasn’t taking it seriously. He didn’t eat right and he didn’t exercise and one horrible day when Jordan was still a toddler, he had a stroke. Seeing that happen to my father and watching what it did to him was sad and terrifying. I knew that if I didn’t get my rear in gear, the same thing could happen to me. I didn’t have diabetes and still don’t but I was at a higher risk for it being obese.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I worked out twice a day to DVDs and changed my diet to lose over 40 pounds. I kicked, punched, walked, jumped, weight lifted and did step aerobics until I got down to a healthier weight. I learned to be okay with sweating and I discovered that the more I worked out, the better I felt and the less I wanted to shove unhealthy food in my mouth. I put weight on again when I was pregnant with Jaycie and went through yet another ugly duckling phase, though this one was shorter because I knew how to take the weight off.

Shortly after Jaycie was born.

Shortly after Jaycie was born in July, 2006.

Still one of my fave pictures. October, 2010

Still one of my fave pictures. October, 2010

I’m still not at my goal weight of 140 pounds. I’ve been stuck at 155 for a few years now and according to all those lovely BMI calculators and height and weight charts, I’m overweight. As I think is true of a lot of people who were once heavier, quite often I still feel like that “fat girl” I see when I look at old pictures. I can’t compete with today’s skinny standards and while I know I’m beautiful, sometimes my belief falters.

When Ed Justen from Workspace 36 asked me at the Wolf Meadow Farm grand opening event in February if I’d model for him to help him with his photography portfolio, I immediately and enthusiastically said yes! It wasn’t because I have a big ego, it was because I was thrilled that someone thought I was attractive enough to model. I’d done several at-home photo shoots but the idea of someone else taking my picture sounded like much more fun!

The photo shoot for Koobis Photography & Media was fun and helped remind me that I’m a pretty darn attractive woman. While I’m still not at my goal weight, I do know that I’m not an ugly duckling anymore. Considering the number of times I trip over air pockets, stumble into walls, slip on ice, whack my head on car doors and that I even bonked my head on the stair railing during the photo shoot, I’m more of a clumsy swan these days…

One of the many photos taken by Ed Justen


About Lidancie Arts

I am a single mother of two daughters and I am a tough, independent woman. My creative passion carries into my writing and jewelry design. Through blogging, I share my experience, perspective, and how I hope to improve the world one word at a time.

2 thoughts on “From ugly duckling to clumsy swan

  1. Karen Soutar says:

    Great post – good for you for putting up honest photos of a real life. And that last one is beautiful, as are you. xx

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