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The Best Type of Love: Self Love

I wrote this on Saturday night after my bikini competition. I've been debating on whether or not to post it. I guess I'm going to let it fly.

I'm sitting here wide awake after a hellacious week of discipline. Ben is sound asleep on one side of me and Lisa sound asleep on the other bed in the room. #collegeroomiesforever Both of these people have played a HUGE role in my courage and success the past 2.5 years, more than they will both ever realize. #sothankfultothem #butthatsanotherstory

I'm still wide awake, because I'm just so happy. Maybe it's the two glasses of wine or the frosting, donuts, Swedish fish, orange slices, neon worms.... But deep down, I know it's a whole lot more than food making me happy.

Two years ago, I was in California for the 21 Day Fix informercial for my transformation. It was a HUGE privilege being invited there, but I felt SO insecure and inadequate compared to the other transformation stories. I mentally tore every part of myself & body apart while I was there. It wasn't a competition, but I didn't feel like I was good enough to be there. I felt less than. I actually cried on multiple occasions that weekend. I knew then that I had a lot of internal work to do on myself and who I was. I even shared about it on FB after I left LA that weekend:

Two years later, I entered into my first bikini competition. A competition based on who is the most beautiful and who has the most desirable/fit/model-worthy body (literally, that's what it is based upon). If anything should challenge my security in who I am and what I look like, this was it.

Not only did I not place - I didn't even get called up to be compared with the girls who did place. #truestory I lost by a really, really, really, really long shot.

But guess what? I won in an even bigger way tonight.

When I look at my photos I am beyond proud of what I look like, what I stand for, what I believe in, and who I have become. For the first 28 years of my life, I tore myself, with my red hair & body, apart. I never felt pretty enough. Skinny enough. Good enough. Wealthy enough. Smart enough. Successful enough.

Today, almost a month before I turn 31, I compete in a beauty/ bikini competition and I'm not even remotely competitive in the eyes of the judges (I'm not exaggerating).

BUT... it DOESN'T shake me. I stand so, so, so proud. I stand so happy. I look at my photos to see so much beauty. I look at my photos and know that I AM ENOUGH.

For those of you who think I'm being arrogant - I'm not. Self-acceptance is something I've struggled with for 30 years. And, today, after massively failing in a beauty/ bikini competition, I'm still SO proud of what I see and who I am. It's just an indescribable feeling.

I see what God has done in my life and I call it gorgeous. Powerful. Indestructible.

This type of confidence... This type of self love....

I worked for it by...

  • risking public failure.

  • positive self-talk every, single day - even when it sounded like a lie.

  • doing things that scared the crazy out of me.

  • sharing my journey.

I mentally made myself believe in me even before I truly did. Before long, my mind couldn't distinguish the lie from the truth and my mind actually started to believe in me too. #thatshowitworks #tryit

And then the rest of you rallied behind me, and that was just the best dang FROSTING EVER to be put on the cake. ;)

I'm glad I lost. It proved to me that I don't need validation to love me. I love me even when I'm told that I'm not good enough. That's the best win there is.

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