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The Best Type of Love: Self Love

I wrote this on Saturday night after my 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 downI 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 the 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 placed. #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, as well as 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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