Victoria’s secret runway show, models, actresses, photoshop, filters, social media.
All of these things dictate to us what society finds “beautiful”. And for as long as I can remember, I compared myself to these unrealistic, and fake, standards. I Longed for a perfect body, smile, eyes, hair etc. which caused me to never really be confident. I did crash diets, cleanses, diet pills. You name it, I tried it. And nothing worked. But why? Because the problem wasn’t with my body or my weight. The problem was with ME. You see, I had no self-confidence. I sought outside approval to tell me I was good enough, skinny enough or pretty enough. So, no matter what amount of weight I lost, I NEVER would have been satisfied because I still always compared myself to others. But as soon as I learned to take the focus OFF what other thought and turned it inward, amazing things started to happen.
A year ago, I was planning my wedding and was obsessed with getting fit for the dress and the honeymoon. This is when fitness really became a huge part in my life. I started eating clean, working out, and sharing my journey with a community of others doing the same. The positivity I received empowered and inspired me to develop myself even further and really dive into the reasons WHY I was so fixated on my outward appearance. This decision to really dive deep took me to places I hadn’t been in years. And I don’t mean a physical destination, but events that occurred in my life that on some level stuck with me.
In middle school I was teased constantly. I was told I was too skinny, my bones jut out, I was pigeon toed and not pretty. Those are some pretty harsh words for a 12-year-old to hear. Fast forward a few years and the change in lifestyle after college took a toll on my body and I gained about 20lbs. Now I was the “thick” girl. My entire life, I was judged by my body and my looks so of course, I never saw myself as anything other than that. And now, how do I get over it?
It’s not easy. And it’s still something I struggle with from time to time but at the end of the day, your mindset, your thoughts, your attitude, your happiness and your confidence is a decision. I DECIDED that I was going to be a strong, confident, happy, successful woman who OWNS who she is and helps others do the same. I DECIDED that I would be someone who makes fitness a priority, not because I care about the physical, but because I love the change that happens to me internally when I am living a healthy lifestyle. I learned to battle negative thoughts with positivity and kindness. I learned to do more of what makes me happy and to not only be kind to others, but to be kind to myself. I learned to surround myself with positive people and positive things and ditch all the negativity which meant cutting ties with some people who used to be “friends” but were really just negative energy bringing me down.
Making that decision was the best thing I could have ever done. It has brought me more confidence than I ever thought possible. I am finally comfortable in my own skin, I feel as though I found my voice and am no longer afraid to share who I am. It set me FREE.
YOU are in control too. Whatever it is that you are struggling with, make a decision to beat it. You are strong. You are worthy. You are enough.
Alaina is a special education teacher, wife, yoga instructor, health & fitness coach and personal development junkie. She has spent her 31 years, chasing dreams and learning lessons the hard way. She has made it her life’s mission to share the lessons she learned and help others avoid her mistakes so they can find the confidence and feel empowered to live the life they deserve.