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A Reflection changes when the lenses are cleaner

She stood in a quiet dressing room staring at her reflection with the jeans so tight that they couldn’t be zipped up. The price tag appears as though at any moment, it will snap off and shoot off from the bulge. Her head down and watching the fat pockets she tried to stuff into every inch of crevice, slowly seep back outwards. She wipes her cheek as the single tear tickled her slightly and looks back up to her reflection through the now glossy lenses.


“I just want to feel pretty. I just want for once to not cry in this dressing room. For once I want to just walk outside with my head high and smile on my face and be able to do things I never thought possible.”


“And more importantly, I hate how much I hate my reflection”


I can’t tell you how many times that toxic conversation took place inside of countless dressing rooms and mirrors my entire life.


When I decided to make a change and have bariatric surgery, I didn’t have any gauge of what it would look like, feel like or be like. At the time, I just wanted to be able to put on pants and zip them up. I just wanted to be able to be on my feet without being in pain. I wanted the faint whispers to dissipate.


“Wow she really let herself go.”

“Shame cuz she has such a pretty face”

“Wow, she put on even more weight since last time.”


Almost 8 years ago, I made the decision that enough was enough and I put everything I had into the program because I truly believed it was my last chance to extent my life expectancy.


When you start seeing results and you start becoming motivated, it is truly remarkable to see your strength increasing before your very eyes. You slowly try things out, see if you can do it, and when you do, if gives you a euphoria unlike anything you have ever experienced. Something shifts and you want more of it. Like a drug, you crave success, you crave results, you crave crushing goals.


First it was self publishing a book on my own from the ground up.


Then it was starting a clothing line from the ground up.


Then you are close to your weight goal again and you are thirsty for the potential.

So you do a 75 Hard Challenge. And now you are closer to your goal.


So you do the phase 1 challenge and you put your body through hell and fire because the end results you are visualizing is so damn close you can almost taste it.


And then you hit that goal and you are on that mountain, feeling the energy of the sunlight on your head as it pierces into your soul.


You have been doing things you once dreamed of from a once barely visible reflection in a dressing room. You look back in time and you stand next to her.


“Don’t worry, we got this!”


You want to take it further. You want to start putting yourself out there in public to show people that it can be done. If I can do it, anyone can. If I can find confidence from the rocky ocean waves of the past, then the diamonds are in there for you to find as well.


You see a context from Maxim Magazine. Looking for the next covergirl. Based on votes, each year, they hold a contest to find a grand prize winner to grace the cover. A regular, every day person. I’ve applied in the past for Wilhelmina or other modeling agencies but I never got so much of even a response back, so I knew there was no chance but once again, I had nothing to lose, right?


So I applied.


I was accepted to compete. I remember staring at the email in disbelief. I don’t get chosen for these kinds of things. I used to make jokes about being a model for car covers and Snuggies.


So like the book, clothing, and weightloss challenges, I said eff it and let’s see what we are made of.


The contest is made up of multiple groups. Each group has over 50 beautiful women competing for the top spot in their group. First round was just to make it in the top 20. At first I just wanted to have fun with it, toy with the possibility, but no serious thought.

At the end of the first week, I was in 4th place and cinched my place in the Top 20!


Again, that deep rooted insecurity screamed out, “How is this possible?! You aren’t nearly good enough as these other women. It must be a fluke.”


It’s amazing how loud decades of words can yell at you. Sometimes it’s so mentally draining to deal with your own toxicity but like everything else, I put my head down and went to grind out what I could. Each week the group was dwindling. Top 20, Top 15, Top 10


I just made Top 5!


Immediately after the results were announced that I advanced in LITERALLY the 11th hour, I screamed to myself alone in the house. Text messages flying out everywhere and feeling the lightness of the 9th cloud appearing beneath my feet.


You go from that euphoria to immediately after thinking, “That was a hell of a run because I know damn well I won’t make it to first.”


Why do we do this? Why do we self harm our souls so much to second guess constantly that we are un worthy of success, happiness or crushing goals?


I want 1st place. I have worked my ass off to get where I am and I am not going to lie, I want it bad! I want what it represents to me personally.


It represents a woman over 350 lbs who dreamed bigger

It represents a young girl desperate for love and attention

It represents how mindset plays the biggest role in your future self

It represents that it doesn’t matter how many times you fall behind, you can still get up

It represents that NO dream is not achievable. It’s solely up to you alone.

It represents that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, from loose skin to airbrushed.


My biggest motivation in this challenge is that I want to represent the Bariatric community and show them that we can do things like this.


To that girl with the oxygen in her nose and weaning anesthesia from having WLS, look at your capable of!


To that girl who was told she cheated or took the easy way out, see how soft those voices are heard when you are on top of that friggen mountain!

Do not ever think that you are not good enough to fight for what you want in life.

I have just as good a chance as any other woman in this contest and this week I am going to fight harder than ever before and show the world that IT CAN BE DONE!


Here is the link to vote for me! It takes 2 seconds and you can vote for free once a day. There are other options to vote, but I am okay with the free votes!


Please, spread the word, share my posts, ask for votes and let’s make history!


The Grand Prize winner is announced on 8/18 this year which just HAPPENS to be my birthday. Talk about potentially the greatest gift you can give to yourself; being able to say aloud, “I FRIGGEN DID IT!”

And to that former self whose tears glossed over the reflection. It’s okay! It will happen again but THIS time, those tears will be glossed in a fancy dressing room in Paris!

Vote.maxim.com/2022/sheri-arcuria






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