Thursday, July 11, 2013

Facing Another Fear

Um, I’m speaking about fat/body acceptance in a class at the University of Georgia. Just the words make me want to weep. Speaking in front of a group is…oh my god. Panic attack bad. But it blows my mind that someone would include my writing in their syllabus and then ask me to come in and discuss it. It’ll be a Q&A type deal, which is way less scary but still.

I can’t do public speaking. Can’t. The terror is unbelievable. I’ve dropped classes that had a public speaking requirement. I’ve intentionally taken lower grades because I just couldn’t do it. To give you an idea of how bad it is… It took me a year to be able to talk in staff meetings. I would shake and turn red and stumble over words. The best part? THERE WERE FOUR OF US!

My immediate reaction was, no. No no no no. But I’ve been talking so much about fear and shame and not letting them take over my life as I have in the past. So I said yes. Because public speaking makes me want to die. Old Heidi would say no. Immediately. But I’m trying to do the things I don’t do. And this is something I need to face. So if I shake and turn red and stumble and forget what the hell I’m saying mid-sentence…it’s okay. Because I did it. Even if I’m awful at it, I still faced a fear. My biggest fear. And I’ll have survived.


  1. You'll be great! Imagine you're dictating answers to the questions in your blog.

  2. I bet you will be so surprised at the reception you get once you have spoken. What an honor to be asked in the first place! I know you can do it. Maybe type it out and if you get too overwhelmed, ask if someone else would read your words. But I really think you will push through it and do very well. Good luck. I can't wait to hear all about this new challenge you have conquered.

  3. That is fucking awesome and inspiring. Go you.

  4. As a student who was privileged enough to hear you speak today, YOU WERE AWESOME!!!! You spoke with such grace and poise; I felt like I was hearing from the older sister I never had. Your honesty is inspiring, and narratives such as your own are some of the only raw material we have in the studies of fatphobia and fat oppression.

    You didn't just speak to a class today, you engaged and created academic discourse with us, allowing us to expand and analyze theory in ways that we could not have without your input. Your life has value, and you shared that with us. I can't thank you enough.

    Hope you enjoy your stay in Athens! <3