Defining My Own Success In A Hyper Successful Family

September 30, 2014

“You have to want success more than you want to breathe.” That’s what she told me when I called her last week in tears. My Mom, so full of inspiration.

I found myself sharing similar tears a day later, after my weekly call with a devout volunteer and ambassador for Topless. For the first time, I started consistently experiencing a side to success that I’d never expected to be true.

My grandfather is a very successful businessman. I had the opportunity to work with him for several years before I started traveling around the world modeling. What Papa taught me–and still teaches me–is tough love (am I giving away the family secret?). He taught me how to confidently lean into big time businessmen and women at a ripe young age. He taught me how to catch someone off-guard by calling them before they were fully prepared for the meeting. He taught me that information is power, and how to lure in the interest of Senators, Governors, Congressman and Presidents for our projects.

It all worked so perfectly. And that’s the recipe I knew. His recipe for success was like eating my french grandmother’s “pizza fish” dinner during my childhood. I always ran the other way when I saw Nanette stuffing the entire fish with broiled tomatoes — the taste of the meal was not much better. Though, at the end of the day, the dish was nourishing and I was successfully fed. Like the pizza fish, Papa’s way to success worked really well, but it always left a neutral taste in my mouth. Like, “Okay, I’m fed, but I’m not fully satiated.”

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Honesty Is My Publicist

September 23, 2014

I was pretty sure that no one in my family was truly aware of what I was working on at My Kind of Life and with Topless. If they did, I was also pretty sure that I had to explain that the latter venture was “a sports bra event.” Even then, I was okay with my family not knowing what projects I was working on, because the shame associated with honesty is so much easier to swallow when you’re speaking with people you’ve only just met.

Much to my surprise, I recently shared some time at my cousin’s wedding with family that I did not have the chance to spend much time with when I was growing up because of distance and divorce. We’re the kind of family that gets together for weddings, babies, and funerals. My Dad’s mother, Maw-Maw, falls under that category, even though we’d both agree that we’d always like to see each other more often. Actually, most of my family that I see on these three occasions I’d like to see more often.

Or at least have an everlasting bond with.

After my cousin’s rehearsal dinner, I learned a lot about what truth has done for me. It brings us closer, bonds us together, even when we’re not around in the flesh. My stories on My Kind of Life and Topless had reached people at the wedding who I had never met, and some that were family members that I assumed would have no idea what I was up to. Mainly because they’re not the first people I’d peg as “proficient” enough online to dig up what I was into.

I was so wrong. And truth travels fast.

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I Was A “Fat” Person That Prayed For Transformation

September 16, 2014

If you want to change, you have to be radically honest about your situation. “My Earth Suit grew into this larger-than-expected image and that is okay. I am a beautiful human with a great big purpose in life. I have a heart that’s fully committed to kindness and love.” Transformation must be approached with honesty and compassion for yourself.

Forget what diet companies tell you about guilt and shame. Wayne Dyer says, “Worrying is like saying little prayers for the things you do not want.” Stop worrying about your weight and start worrying about living out your dreams. Start thinking about how you’re going to take a step towards completing a lifelong goal that you’ve had. Maybe a goal you’ve always wanted, but you could never do because you felt like you were too big, or maybe, too old. Let the goal be something fun–with a focus outside of body image. And just go for it with an unbridled passion.

Let’s face it, a plus-size model talking about how to inspire “fat” people to change is a bit of a loose-footed situation. I’ve tried crossing that rocky, transformational bridge for over 10 years, and every time I tried, the rocks would slip from under my feet and I’d go tumbling down. And then I’d be stuck rebuilding, just so I could get back to where I started my journey. What if I told you that you don’t need to cross any bridge? That you don’t need to risk a fall to find happiness?

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Rogue Model Gets Radically Honest with Body Image (Inspiring Video!)

September 9, 2014

Never in a million years did I imagine that the fear of being radically honest about my violent journey with body image and being courageous enough to take my shirt off outside of the photo studio would birth an event that transformed the way we–and I–truthfully feel about body image.

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Confessions of a Binge Eater. How to Stop.

September 2, 2014

We are always at war with the truths that we are least comfortable with. Many times, and certainly in my own experience, hunger is something we constantly battle. The fewer calories we consume, the better. Three meals a day—no snacking in between meals. We are socially required to feel guilty after “splurging,” on a meal or dessert.

And then, when we follow these “food rules,” we can’t stand it anymore, we “binge” eat and then feel terrible about what we did. How could I have possibly eaten my way through an entire jar of almond butter? Did I seriously just eat the whole box of cereal? You’re totally not alone. In fact, I used to starve myself to the point where I was so hungry and malnourished that I would sleepwalk into the kitchen, eat the entire jar of peanut butter and the box of cereal—and whatever else I could get my hands on.

When questions about binge eating started popping up in my inbox, and in face to face interactions, I knew it was something that I needed to address. Even if it required going back in time and reliving the painful days where I never thought my life would be different; a life where starving and binging was almost all I ever thought about.

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Topless ™ by Emily Nolan

Topless - Emily's Nonprofit Body Empowerment Event

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