Changing self-image

Torch staffer shares her story of weight-loss and transformation

I think it’s safe to say many of us have our own insecurities.

It could be the way you think your voice sounds recorded on video. Or maybe, you wish you were a little taller. Whatever your insecurity is, we all have them — no matter how big or small.

Growing up, I’ve always seen myself as the “bigger girl.” Not because I was super overweight, but because I was the tallest kid in my grade until the boys caught up. I was also taller than most girls my age and possessed a not-so-petite frame. Unfortunately, I allowed my larger body type make me feel insecure and unsure of how to fit in with the other girls my age.

Throughout my life I’ve always struggled with my weight. I usually blamed my love for sweets, slow metabolism and busy schedule as the cause of my stuggle. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always felt confident about myself; however, I wasn’t the person I truly wanted to be.

Last January, I moved to Indianapolis for the entire spring semester for an internship and instantly knew my life was about to change in a very positive way. Not only did I see the opportunity to transform into a young professional, but I also saw the opportunity to make some changes in the way I live my life as a young adult.

I was no longer happy with the young woman I saw in the mirror and was tired of my negative self-image. Sure, I always believed in myself as a person, but I never truly accepted my body type for what it was. I finally realized it was time to give myself a long overdue boost of self-esteem.

As a public relations student, I’ve learned confidence is key to a successful PR career. I knew by the time I’d begin my job search, I’d want to possess the confidence needed to feel great about myself as a young professional. This is why I decided to embrace a healthier lifestyle as a college student.

Just to fill you in, I had lost a substantial amount of weight prior to my freshman year of college. However, during my sophomore and junior years, I gained back nearly half of the weight I had lost. After moving to Indianapolis, this was when my transformation began. I immediately stopped being the typical college student who constantly ate out, deprived herself of sleep and rarely exercised.

First, I started running at least five times a week for 30 minutes. As I became more fit, I increased my time and milage. The first foods to be eliminated form my diet were sugary drinks, sweets and junk food. At first it was difficult to make these changes, but after the habits were created, it was amazing to see my body and lifestyle transform before my eyes.

Since January I have lost more than 30 pounds. This was possible because I learned how to eat in moderation, exercised at least four to five times per week and also removed excess sugar from my diet.

You’re probably thinking “great advice, Olivia, but I don’t have the time or money to be healthy as a college student.” Well let me tell you something. We have just as many hours in our day as Beyoncé; and she’s one incredible human being. If she can make the time to work out every day, you can too! You have the ability to be the person you want to be, you just have to want it badly enough to go after it.

Last spring, I made a permanent change. I decided to change my lifestyle and transform myself into the person I’ve always dreamed of being.

Our college years are priceless and are truly meant for self-discovery. It’s time to start living a healthier lifestyle and working toward becoming the person you want to be.