I’m 33 years old and I love who I am. I haven’t always been able to say that. I hated who I was for many years. Battled with self esteem issues of all kinds. A friend asked me the other day how I was so confident. I had a quick answer, but there is a lot deeper of one too.

Confidence comes in a few different forms. Confidence in how you look, confidence in your job, confidence as a friend of family member, etc. I’m not going to try to cover all there is involved to be a confident human being, but I want to cover the things that I have struggled with.

I’ve never been a size 2 super model. Hell, I haven’t been a size 12 since like 7th grade. I’ve always been a bigger girl. At 5’11, I towered over the boys more most of my formative years, well and frankly still do. I was awkward and didn’t like my body. Most teenagers go through this faze too, so I know I’m not alone. But in high school some how boys started noticing me and my confidence grew, but it wasn’t real. I didn’t feel it deep down. By being insecure deep down about how I looked, I got into some bad situations mixed with mania, it was a mess. As I grew up and had relationships and was around other men, I found my self believing that I was an attractive woman to other people. But it was all shallow. It wasn’t real. I never really believed it.

In 2011, I lost 70lbs and was feeling fantastic. I felt healthy and strong and could look in the mirror and be happy with what I saw. After that I unfortunately, had a pretty big abandonment issue, and I got super manic. Something kicked in and I felt like I was the most beautiful woman in the world. Now a lot of us feel super sexual during mania, but this was different. I honestly felt beautiful. And to prove that I was taking my power back. Men thought I was gorgeous and they lavished me with compliments, but that didn’t even matter. I felt it deep down inside. For once I felt like I loved my body no matter what size I am. To celebrate this feeling and well because I was manic, I did a pinup photo shoot to show that curves can be beautiful and to celebrate myself. The mania eventually died down, but my confidence about my body did not. I realized that it didn’t matter what size I was, that as long as I feel beautiful no one else’s opinions mattered. Today I’m a gorgeous size 22 and I rock it! I feel strong and confident and beautiful. I’m able to look at my curvy womanly body not perfect after babies and scars, but see myself as a beautiful strong woman. But I also have to feel beautiful on the inside to show it on the outside.

After battling for so long with finding who I feel that I am today, the other part is the confidence of who I am. I have fought so many years dealing with self hatred and doubt. Coming close to suicide and hating my self. This would be too long of a post it I told you all the details so I’m going to sum it up. I worked my ass off to accept who I am. I know I have my hard times. I know I’m not perfect. I know I screw up royally sometimes, but damn it I’m pretty awesome! I have realized over the years that I am a great friend, a loving person, a positive motivational person, funny, and caring. You should always be able to count on one hand 5 positive qualities about yourself no matter how you are feeling. It’s good practice. I have my down days, but those down times have taught me to see my inner strengths. To dig down deep and see the good inside myself, even when I hate my self and life.

Today make that list. Name 5 good things that you love about yourself. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful no matter what anyone else thinks. That you shine from the inside out! And don’t forget to smile friends. I’m here cheering for you!!!

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