Life Opens Up

Life opens up.

Before I lost close to 100lbs, people described me as nice. I always smiled, was always happy and had a positive disposition. I was nice. Over the past few  years, the depth of my existence has opened up. My healthiness journey has not only been a transformation of me losing weight but also me learning who I am.

I was looking at some photos a couple weeks ago and  noticed something. I never realized it but before I lost weight, I smiled but never SMILED. I was nice  but never really opened up. I was positive but never real – life was good because it was all I had ever known. I did not know what I did not know. I realize it now, my mouth is the gateway to my healthiness journey. I said I was happy before but I never really knew what happiness felt like. Full circle health all started with my mouth:

I put healthy foods into my mouth.
I feel healthy and confident beyond what I ever knew was possible.
I act confident, smile more and show my teeth!
I am proud to show the biggest smile I can in pictures.

The past few years of my journey have been the most difficult I’ve ever experienced. Through losing weight & fighting to be healthy, accepting two new jobs, the tornado and the death of mom, I’ve had to face devastation, frustration and learn how to pick myself back up again. Having a healthy mouth in every sense of the definition has helped my life to open up.

I never knew it before, but I was in a shell – and when life opened up, I came out of my shell and have found a life beyond what I ever thought imaginable.

I am a PriorFatGirl

 Now it’s your turn – share how YOUR life has opened up.

Your mouth is more than just teeth and gums, it’s your most important feature when it comes to expressing yourself and engaging with the world.  The Crest  & Oral-B Life Opens Up Project will highlight individual stories that showcase how a healthy mouth has played a role in opening up to life and to the world.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Crest & Oral-B via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Crest & Oral-B



  1. Smiling is the gateway to ones soul. I would say you can always tell if I smile is genuine if it’s in their eyes as well. In those pictures of you, you smile is as genuine as they get……I love to smile!!!

    • Jen, a priorfatgirl says:

      You are so right, a smile says a lot! I often don’t stop long enough to truly pay attention to someones smile — your comment is a good reminder that I need to slow down more and really pay attention!

  2. My life opened up when I started running. I always thought I could not do it with my asthma and my funky hip problem. Now here I am running up to 8 miles! I can’t believe I am a runner!!

  3. Like you, people always used to describe me as “nice”. What I realized though, after losing my extra weight, was that I wasn’t nice…I just let others take advantage of me. I felt that, because I was fat, I didn’t want to be “that fat B****” so I went above and beyond for people who didn’t always deserve it.

    Now I’m afraid I’m not nice enough, though :-(. I show my friends and family lots of love, but I think because of all the years I let myself be a doormat I’m a little too quick to temper in some situations. I know I just need to find a balance 🙂

    • Oh boy can I relate to this! I definitely didn’t want to be the fat and mean girl either…so tried to always go along with everything. Plus that way it was easier to not stand out and be able to blend in and not draw attention to myself. I don’t think I even had opinions on anything until about 5 years ago in my later 20’s…just because before that, I would have NEVER dreamed of voicing what I thought so why bother having opinions at all. You are both so right…beyond the weight loss, the great thing about this healthiness journey we are on is that it allows us to find out who we really are without the mask of fat to hide our true selves!

  4. I have learned to open up about what I need. I use to be the “everything’s fine” girl. I now know that if something is not “fine” that I need to speak up. That doesn’t mean that I always get my way, but at least I know that my opinion is heard.

  5. Oh my. I will need a while to think about this one but I have a feeling it will inspire a blog of my own. Yes, yes, and yes. You are so right. When I stopped the flow of food into my mouth, or became more intentional and mindful about it, I found that I had there was a voice there just waiting for its turn to speak. And to smile!

  6. I love that last picture Jen. You’re beaming, and that shirt says everything! I can’t wait until the day I can wear the same shirt and the same smile.

    It’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen this year. Thanks for the inspiration.


  7. Beautiful smile, Jen!

    My life opened up when I started running. I’ve gains such an amazing support system (IRL and online) and have gone from slogging a 5k to now training for my first marathon. I’ve also dropped 30 pounds in the process 🙂 That’s definitely something to smile about!


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