The Beginning of a New Journey

Very few people know this, but I wouldn’t consider myself to be extremely self-confident, especially when it comes to my body and how I appear. I’ve never felt very comfortable sharing just because I never want people to think that I’m just complaining or trying to make the world all about me. I’ve always wished to have the confidence that so many people I know seem to have and I just find it embarrassing that I’m not in that place. I’m also not typically the type of person to share a lot about myself because my entire life, I’ve strived to be perfect and I’ve never wanted people to see a sad, frustrated, or defeated side of me. I’ve been working on accepting that perfection is truly unobtainable, but it’s hard and has been a rough journey!

I recently decided that I’m sharing my struggles because I’ve decided to invest some time and energy into improving my physical state. It’s not good to bottle up all those negative feelings and emotions and so I’ve decided to do something about it. Being injured throughout high school resulted in a lot of inactivity for me, which was very unusual. I went from dancing competitively, playing volleyball on a competitive team, and also playing tennis at a very competitive level to sitting and doing absolutely nothing faster than you can blink when I found out I fractured my sesamoid. I continued to eat as if I was trying to maintain my three-sport lifestyle but since I wasn’t actually burning all of the calories I was used to burning, I gained quite a bit of weight. When I was finally cleared after my ankle surgery about a year-and-a-half later, I was decently more heavy than when I entered high school and my self-confidence had tanked.

Yes, I had the ability to play tennis, but everything else had been wiped off the table. Things were slow and in my opinion, they felt too slow. Fast forward to freshman year of college- I was still struggling with my weight but I received the opportunity to compete at the Miss Colorado USA pageant. I saw this as an opportunity to better myself, physically and mentally, and see how much I could do to prepare my body for the competition. There is a swimsuit competition, as many of you know that keep up with the Miss Universe Organization and its pageants, so you would be familiar with this. Even before my freshman year of college, I decided to dedicate my time to working on my fitness. And I did! I worked out a decent amount and ate cleaner (which was hard in the dorms), and I managed to lose about 15 pounds, which I was pretty proud of. By the time the Miss Colorado USA pageant rolled around, I was in a place where progress had been made, but I still wasn’t happy with myself.

Following the pageant, I still worked out a decent amount, but there wasn’t the same motivation I had for the pageant. I relaxed a bit but was proud to see that I hadn’t gained any weight back. Now let’s move on to the beginning of sophomore year. Same situation. Again, I prepped for the Miss Colorado USA pageant, as I did the year before. This time, I picked up kickboxing and started working out more on a treadmill. I really came to love and enjoy kickboxing actually, so that’s something I’d like to continue to incorporate into my fitness routine. Anyway, pageant time rolls around and I had decided to wear a two-piece suit this year instead of a one-piece. I thought I had made decent progress and so I made the move to wear a cute golden yellow two piece by Gianni Bini. It was a pretty cute swimsuit, but I don’t think I’ll ever truly wear it again.

As we got ready for the swimsuit competition in the dressing room, I realized how big of a mistake that was. One of the girls in front of me stared down at herself and commented, “Oh my goodness I feel so fat next to all of these-” I looked around and noticed all the toned thighs and tight tummies and shrank into myself. This girl looked up at me and then around the room and that’s when she stopped talking. Me, in that moment, thought that she suddenly felt better about herself because she looked at me and saw that she had much fewer problems than I did. Looking back on that, that was a REALLY unhealthy and sad thought for me to have. I tried to shake off the thoughts I had and when I walked out on stage, I felt pretty good about myself. However, all confidence or self-assurance I had was lost the second I got my pictures back.

I looked at myself and was honestly disgusted. I started crying. I saw stretch marks on my big, strange thighs. I saw the extra fat I have hanging slightly over the bottoms of my swimsuit. My false lashes looked horrible and my smile looked fake. The person I saw on my computer screen was not the person I had felt like. In that moment, I felt like I couldn’t trust the confidence I thought I was building anymore. Since that moment, I’ve had a really, really, really hard time finding any confidence in myself, especially in the way I appear. I’ve tried to wear more loose clothing to conceal my dislikes and as I write this and reflect on everything now, it’s really sad that I’ve felt like this about myself.

Things weren’t too great for my self-confidence when we all went into lockdown either. I couldn’t go to the gym and I couldn’t play tennis either. Any work I had done and any progress I had made was seriously lost. Currently, I’m sitting at an unhealthy, overweight BMI and yes I find frustration with it and I’m upset by it and how I appear, but I’ve decided to do something about it.

I recently found a gym in my area that only operates through personal trainers. After speaking with the director of the gym, he matched me with one of his personal trainers and I start on Tuesday. I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now, because I’m at a place now where I really just feel like I can’t be my own cheerleader and supporter, so I need someone else to be there for me and to help me out. From this, I hope to find confidence in myself and mostly, I hope to be kinder to myself. I hope that I find solutions and build habits for the long-term. I was tired of feeling so upset and frustrated with myself, so I decided it was time to make a change. Let’s hope it’s for the better!

If you’re interested in following the fitness journey, let me know! I’d love to share the progress (hopefully there is some) and the things I learn along the way. This could be interesting. Be kind to each other and yourselves this week. See you all next Sunday.

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