The first thing you learn about Lizzie is that she’s different. Her looks are inevitably a part of that, because Lizzie was born with an extremely rare genetic condition which prevents her from gaining weight.
Yes, that does mean she can eat whatever she wants—as she once joked in her multi-million viewed TEDx talk, “it’s exactly as good as it sounds.”
But being unique poses inevitable challenges, and Lizzie’s story proves that you don’t have to let your circumstances define you. Since finding a distressing online video of herself at the age of 17, she has moved on to become a highly successful motivational speaker, an anti-bullying activist, an author and a YouTube star.
In anticipation of tonight’s Australian premiere of The Lizzie Velasquez Story, we sat down to catch up with Lizzie to get a glimpse into her life. (She shared even more with our audience in this Q&A chat on our Facebook page.)
What’s a day in the life of Lizzie Velasquez like?
Every day is different. Some days are full of travel to go to speaking events and some days I work from home and film my YouTube videos.
You say that you haven’t always been so optimistic, and had to learn ‘tricks’ to become as positive as you are. How does one learn such things?
One of the biggest lessons I had to learn was to stop comparing myself to others. It’s so easy to fall into a hole of doubt but if you stay on top of it and remind yourself of something you do like about yourself, eventually it will become second nature.
You’ve mentioned that your family is a huge support network for you. What would be your advice to people who don’t have supportive families?
It only takes one person to make a difference. If you have a friend, a relative, or someone at school that you can trust and feel safe with, I’d encourage you to reach out to them.
What’s the next big goal in your career?
Later this year I’ll be releasing my new book called Dare to be Kind. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever written before. It’s geared to an older audience. I’m really looking forward to sharing it with my readers.
Don’t miss The Lizzie Velasquez Story tonight at 6.30pm AEST on NatGeo People!