Megan Leitch Kovanen Just Turned Forty and She is Loving Life!

Photograph of Dan and Megan Kovanen

First, let me begin by telling you what an incredible treat this is to be asked to be a part of Angela and Elizabeth’s amazing journey. Thank you! I am in awe of your grace, talent, and beauty both inside and out!

You most likely are wondering who I am. Well, to most I am nobody. I’m a face at the market or a face in a theater. I may look familiar, and I may even blend into the fabric of life. However, to a handful of very wonderful people I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and community volunteer. My name is Megan Leitch Kovanen and I am a plus sized woman.

I love food. I love to eat it, cook it, and serve it to my friends. Food is central in events in our lives. Recently a dear friends mother passed away and in her last few visits with her Mom, she told her daughter – “You know honey, if I had to do it over again I would have had a few more sweets.” I love that!

I turned 40 years old yesterday and I am so excited! I am finally in a place in my life that I am comfortable in my own skin. Will I be doing swimsuit work anytime soon or ever? Nope! I feel good about who I am. I am in the process of working on being healthier, eating healthier, getting out, and moving. The numbers on my scale are inconsequential if my health is not in order.

As far back as I can remember I was “bigger” than the other girls were in my age group. Taller for sure and thicker, but not what people would call “fat”. When I look back at childhood photos, I see a happy and vibrant child – I owe that leg up to my family. I came from a family that continually instilled in us that we were smart, funny, kind, and beautiful or handsome depending on which child was being nurtured at the time.

I think the love my parents gave me helped buffer and in many cases helped lesson the blow of a handful of mean kids throughout my childhood. My parents instilled in all of us that we are all an amazing gift and that kept me pretty strong when a few kids and adults were not always kind. My parents also instilled in us that only you control your emotions. That you and only you control how you feel. That if someone said something mean to me — I had the ability to tune it out. Easier said than done on occasion, yet still powerful and an invaluable life tool. I have to admit all these decades later the times that children made cruel remarks, I rarely told my family because I was embarrassed and did not want to draw attention to it.

As a young child, I was obsessed with clothing, high fashion magazines, and design. My Mom still chuckles. When I was a child, she came into my room, and I had just pulled up all of the carpeting in my bedroom, I knew there was a hardwood floor. What eight year old would not want hardwood floors? I designed and redesigned clothing, painted and repainted rooms, made artwork for my walls, and my parents let me.

As kids, we would travel during the summer months and I would spend all of my money on European and Japanese fashion magazines. I could not get enough of them. It was not lost on me that I did not look like the high fashion models of the 70’s and 80’s. Nor is it lost on me that I do not resemble the high fashion models of today. What is that saying from Sesame Street? One of these things is not like the others.

Today I have an amazing family. A husband who makes me feel beautiful and two beautiful boys I waited my entire life to have. These three men are my life. My goal is to be healthier. To live healthier, to see my boys grow into men, and to live a long and plentiful life with the man I adore.

I do not see myself as a size. I see myself as a force, no, not the Star Wars variety, but a human being with energy, power, love, forgiveness, acceptance, and the capacity to care for and change the lives of those who I come in contact with for the better. Now, how did I get to this point in my journey? I think it is a combination of many things: life lessons, age, and my family. My parents, Richard and Joanne Leitch, my brothers, and sister. My amazing boys Jack and Emerson. Dan, the best husband a girl could muster. Do not get me wrong — I do not live in a world with rose-colored glasses nor do I expect my world to deliver golden eggs on cue. Although, that does sound lovely.

I am completely biased when I say I have the best friends in the world. I surround myself with people who enhance my life, who challenge me, who define excellence, and expect the same of me. I find great peace in my husband and my children’s love, my faith in God, and my faith in myself. And, one heck of a sexy high heel pump never hurts!

Angela and Liz, this blog and your attention to people is a gift. You are embarking on uncharted waters and I am thankful for your hard work. Your encouragement make me feel as if I am standing on the shoulders of giants and that because of your efforts, my view will surely be amazing. Thank you!

*Megan, thank you for your story and your kind words! Happy Birthday!

We would love to hear from our readers! What do you think about Megan’s story? When and how did you become comfortable in your own skin? Was there a particular event or relationship that helped you to love yourself more? What advice do you have for women who still struggle to love themselves?

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8 Responses to “Megan Leitch Kovanen Just Turned Forty and She is Loving Life!”

  1. Megan Leitch Kovanen Says:

    My day was like a John Hughes film – Murphy’s Law was in full swing. The Blog I participated in was posted yesterday afternoon. Here in the Northwest we had a bit of a wind storm yesterday and long story short, my computer went south. I am just now getting to respond to the actual blog. I did get a glimpse of it on my phone via face book but could not access the blog.

    Your kind words are humbling. The blog was not to fish for accolades – I wanted to let other women know that for me true love and friendships do not come in a size.

    Do I need to move my body, work my lungs, and be healthy in every sense of the word – ABSOLUTELY. Careers, possessions, and people will come in and out of our lives. Our jobs and more specifically my job and duty as a human being, a wife and a mother is to care for myself and my family. To do that I must first and foremost be healthy. Healthy in mind, body and spirit. Will I be this size forever? No, not if I want to live a long and healthy life. The human being inside this body is happy. I think working on being healthier will be easier because I have a good attitude.
    Recently I went on a walk with a few girlfriends – these ladies are the epitome of fit. They are gorgeous both inside and out. What first drew me to them was they included me. They are filled with amazing energy and love for life. They liked me for me. That and I make a great gin and tonic. I do not see them as sizes. I do not see any of my friends as sizes. I see them as friends, as mothers, educated women who challenge me and make me laugh out loud. Who celebrate with me and laugh with me when I am not on my game. I made it to the top of the hill. Celebrate yourself. Celebrate your friendships. I did it. I still feel the effects of that walk but have kept moving each day since. I am worth it and so are you!

    • Megan I find your story so uplifting to me. Your an amazing person and I always hear that when you turn 40 you really tend to come into your own. I learn to love yourself. I don’t love myself because of my size and I really just want to get to a place where I can own it. You have encouraged me and im very grateful for you and your story.

  2. Megan, you are amazing! I LOVE how you are so positive, uplifting, kind, generous, and there must be so many more adjectives that I can’t think of right now! I’m so privileged to call you my friend. I want to feel as comfortable in my skin as you do in yours. You are truly beautiful in every way!

  3. Anna (Kirsten Wiese) Monfils Says:

    Megan,

    Beautiful words from a beautiful women.

  4. Lindy Johnson Says:

    Hello – I have to say I love all your great wisdom ! Congrats on bringing light to “Healthy- bigger- sizes” it is possible ! So Happy to meet Megan this yr & love her positive vibe ! Beautiful pictures ladies …..

  5. kim lee Says:

    Megan……for the first time, maybe ever, you’ve left me speechless with your grace! You are such an amazing lady and I feel so lucky to have been able to get to know you in the last year and look forward to more years of that! Your attitude is so amazing and one could learn so much from that! You are such a positive person and you rave about your boys(as you should) but they are the lucky ones! You are so gorgeous inside and out and I’m in love with your family for raising such an amazing person. BTW, about the swimsuit….I saw pics from you bday weekend and you rocked it! I heart you beautiful Megan!

  6. Megan,
    I loved hearing your story. I am a mother of 3 young girls and I loved reading the things your parents did to instill self worth. I am 31 and feeling more and more comfortable with who I am as I get older. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I don’t want to look back and say “I wish I would’ve…” I feel sometimes I haven’t done certain things because of my body image issues etc. I want to live life and enjoy it no matter what shape I am in.

  7. Megan, you are beautiful and your story makes me proud to call you my friend. 😉 I am proud of you! I, too, am working on becoming healthier every day and believing in my beauty inside and out. Thanks for your story – I have been looking forward to it.

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