One of my mentors once told me "When in doubt, act as if." He was prepping me to go out in the real world and do some job interviews, and I don't think he knew how much impact that line would have in so many life situations since. Growing up (and through college) I was always one of the quiet Asian girls in class who just showed up, got good grades and tried not to bring too much attention to myself. At home I was the total opposite - I'm the oldest of five and I'm sure 'bossy' is my family's favorite word to describe me. It wasn't 'til my job as events director (which was the same phase of my life when I started this blog) that I finally found my backbone and confidence solidified itself in my self-esteem.
Working out has so many benefits - after you get over that big hump of psyching yourself out. I used to be the person who had to muster up the courage just to go to 24Hr. Fitness by myself. How much has changed since then!
I started to write about my fitness experience here on the blog, and share photos as I normally do on social media. Somewhere along the line, my friends, family, readers and others started to say things like "You look amazing!", "You're so toned" and "Your skin is glowing!" A little while later, I also started to hear "You're so inspiring." Finally, I started to see and meet other girls who started working out and eating well regularly, who said they were motivated to do so because of me. In class now, they tell me they want to "be at my level" someday.
I start to tear up when I think I had a small part to play in other women making the choice to better themselves. It's not easy to stick to this lifestyle, and I have more than my fair share of eating bad, fighting my own inner demons spouting excuses not to work out, and juggling a ton of responsibility. These women have encouraged me to own my confidence, and even on days when I feel fat, bloated and other awful things I let my internal dialogue tell me - they remind me to 'act as if.' They remind me I've come a long way. That committing to something every day is how to get results - not every once in awhile or when it fits into your supposedly 'busy' schedule. That confidence comes from consistency, and that I don't have to stay in that rut of negativity. I know where to look for 'the light' - and how to take action towards it. They inspire me to keep going, and that's how my confidence and self-esteem levels stay high.
For some reason, women weren't allowed to 'own' their confidence. Even today, you see a woman who knows and shows her self-worth, and you have people (including other women) cutting her down. Calling her cocky, boastful and abrasive. Or worse, not 'girly' or 'feminine' (-looking) enough. FUCK that. Taking care of your body and mind means having a healthy sense of self. Do that for you and for no one else - and then find the people who support you. Sometimes I think of the awful women who judged me when Richard Sherman posted one of my Seahawks selfies. I see you hateful bitches, but you're only doing wrong to yourself. Sorry I'm not sorry! During those painful last rounds of tabata and HIIT, I think of you and your attempt at hurtful words. (When I'm not thinking "What would Beyonce or Ronda Rousey do?", that is.) I remember you're probably still in bed or trolling on the internet while I'm up puttin in work at 6:00a.m. So you can call me whatever you want.
I'm still over here loving myself, and loving the community of beautiful, powerful and strong women I have the honor of standing (and burpee-ing) by.