The Power of Believing in Yourself

Project Healthy Sharla

Every day feels like the first day of the rest of my life. I’m grateful for each day. Those are words that I never would’ve uttered this time last year. I was overweight, unhappy, hiding out from the world as well as my emotions and I didn’t feel I deserved anything better. I dreaded each day because it just meant another day of tight, uncomfortable clothes, having no energy, and disliking being in my own skin. I couldn’t go on like I was, where outwardly I put on a show that everything was perfect, but inside I hated myself. I was a few weeks from turning 49 so with 50 looming, I knew I had to change.

Sharla4One of the dreams I dared to dream a year ago, besides simply liking myself before age 50, was to go to Maui for our 30th anniversary on August 8th and wear a sundress. I say I dared to dream it because although I voiced it, I didn’t really believe it. The thought of me in a sundress with my arms and legs showing was so foreign to me. I didn’t even like to show my arms and legs at home! But in Maui last week, I wore a sundress!

Sharla in cave (003)I have to admit, I felt naked and not because the wind kept blowing the dress up but because this was the fewest amount of clothes I’ve worn in public in decades! I also felt empowered! I still have a long way to go on my journey but I’m not letting that stop me from enjoying where I’m at right now. My body may not be cover girl ideal but I no longer focus on any flaws. I’m healthy, I’m strong, and I worked hard to get to where I’m at and I’m not going to hide from anything! I’m not waiting to live life any longer! I even conquered a fear of being in a dark cave by going 1/3 of a mile into the Hana Lava Tube!

Sharla & JaimeAccepting myself as I am is something that I don’t recall ever experiencing before. As long as I can remember, I’ve been absent from photos of events and experiences, basically my life, because I always dodged the camera. This trip was the first time I ever said the words ‘take my picture’ over and over again. My husband still looks like a deer in headlights when I say that! At one stop where we were taking photos, a couple came up and asked if we’d like a photo of us together. In the past my answer to this was always ‘no, that’s okay but thanks anyway’. This time my husband said I practically threw the camera at them as I emphatically said ‘YES’!

I’m still amazed how far I’ve come in just a year. I didn’t believe in myself back then but I believed in Jennifer and the PHB philosophy until I was able to finally believe in myself several months into the process. I turned 50 today, and I’m living my best life. I look at my photos now and see the joy, happiness and pride in my face. I believe my husband when he tells me I’m beautiful. I know I deserve to be happy and to do anything I choose to do. I believe this. I believe in myself. I know I’m worth it!


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