Today’s guest post comes to us from Alaina at The Jogging Concierge. She lives in the Boston area and is a concierge for a four-star hotel. Alaina blogs about running, life, her husband’s deployment to Afghanistan and her experiences as a concierge. Alaina and I became friends through the blog world last fall and love keeping up with each other. I hope you enjoy her story. I appreciate her honesty in sharing her journey to self-acceptance.
Hello! My name is Alaina and I blog over at The Jogging Concierge. I’m relatively new to the blogging scene (since August of ’10) and I’ve met some amazing people because of it. Like Jen! When I told her I wanted to do a guest post, I was so glad that she wanted to take me up on it. I felt like I had a lot to talk about: what exercising meant to me, what my job was about, foods I like to eat, etc…so it took me a bit to figure out what I wanted to write. But then I thought about talking about how I got to where I am today. What my path to “Bliss” was. (My maiden name was Bliss…I miss it 😛 )
I won’t get into the roller coaster that was my life in high school or early college; most of my transformation started when I was senior, up until today. When I was a senior, it should have been the best year of college. I was living in a townhouse, only had 3 classes my last semester and I had great roommates who loved to have fun. But I was hardly into having fun. And it was all because of how I felt about myself. I wallowed in my own self-pity and I rarely participated, if at all, in the fun. I would go out to parties and put on a brave face, but deep down, I was hurting.
With having the low self-esteem that I did, I would get into meaningless relationships when a guy would have even the slightest interest in me. I thought “if he likes me, I’d better do whatever I can to keep them around.” That was definitely a low point for me in my life. I truly didn’t feel that I had a whole lot of self-worth and I would do anything to just make people like me.
When I graduated, I wasn’t in any relationships and I really wanted to begin to get my life back on track. I ended up doing a lot of online dating for those last months of college and ended up meeting David through “Yahoo! Personals” in July of ’06. I said that I wanted to get back in shape and was looking to find someone who could possibly motivate me even further. His profile indicated that he was a hiker, training for his first marathon and that he was “fit”. Perfect. I winked and he wrote back.
We dated for about nine months and I thought he was a great guy. But I was still hung up on the way that I looked. At one point, I was crying about every little imperfection on my body and David tried and tried to comfort me, but it never really helped. He could say I was beautiful all he wanted to, but I didn’t believe it. So, we broke up. And I did some soul searching. I continued to exercise (hiking, running) and just doing what I could to lose more weight and build up confidence.
After a month or so, I realized that I didn’t need someone to dictate how I feel. I needed to love myself and after that time apart, I did. We ended up getting back together and we hiked, ran races, and just continued to enjoy each other’s company. The weight came off and my confidence grew.
And for once, throughout our engagement, my weight was not an issue of concern. I knew that I was happy and healthy and that I would feel great and look great on my wedding day. On my loooooong list of to-do’s before the big day, “learn to love myself” wasn’t on there. Because I already did. I was finally happy in my skin and happy with where my life ended up. I never thought that I would be married at 24 years old. And to someone who thought so highly of me, because of how highly I thought of myself.
Even over the last few years, I have become more and more comfortable with myself, whether it’s at my job or in a social setting. I’m not constantly thinking about what other people think of me, nor do I really care anymore. I tell a joke and no one laughs? Not the end of the world anymore. I just keep on talking. I do what makes me happy and in turn, those around me see how happy I am and tend to gravitate towards that. It took me so long to figure that out.
I’m at a point in my life that I never thought I would get to: I’m happy and I love myself. And I love the man in those pictures who helped me see just how special and amazing I really am: my husband, David, who is currently serving with the Army National Guard in Afghanistan. He is my rock and my soldier.
What did you guys think? I think Alaina’s story is something that we can all relate to on some level. How have you overcome feelings of “I’m not good enough” and worries about how others perceive you to find self-acceptance and confidence?