How Being Underestimated Taught Me To Love Myself

This post originally appeared in The Tab.

By Amber Callahan

Living in a society that feeds off of your own self degradation, it isn't an easy feat to truly be accepting of ourselves. And for me, learning to really love and accept all aspects of myself has undoubtedly been a long journey. However, this last year has come with a lot of changes.

I've never really been the kind of person that was very self-confident, and I've always been extremely hard on myself. But having been underestimated, and at times under appreciated, especially within this last year, has become my driving force to prove to myself and everyone else that I am capable of shattering all expectations. Pushing past my own built up boundaries has shown that I, as well as anyone else, can be strong even when we feel our weakest.

2016-06-08-1465419008-769812-amber1.jpeg
Me about a year ago

Fueling my body and mind with both physical strength and overall positivity, I've been able to transform my lifestyle and help to better that of others. In changing the way that I have thought of myself, I've influenced my family and friends to do the same. To stop focusing on the negative aspects that our society thrives off of and start focusing on being happy, healthy, and accepting of ourselves no matter our insecurities.

Starting to transform and push my body to all new levels by lifting and beginning to plan my own workout routines, I gained the positive mindset and motivation to strive towards all of my goals. Having never really tested the limits of my body and mind in such ways, this change in intense physical activity and the feeling of fulfillment that came along with my hard work continued to transform my overall self image. Pushing these limits, I proved to others - but most importantly to myself - that I am stronger than meets the eye, and that I am beyond capable of kicking major butt.

In fueling me to continue feeling the best I ever have, this motivation and new found self confidence helped me to also make significant changes to my now healthy diet. Eliminating fast, fried and processed foods - as well as red meat - and making the switch to eating organic whole foods, this huge change once again tested my mental strength and proved to be a driving force in opening my mind to a happier and healthier lifestyle.

2016-06-08-1465419035-2444928-amber2.jpeg
Lifting and finally getting into a happy and healthy lifestyle

Recognizing and accepting my flaws, and pushing well past limiting self perceptions, these changes in diet, fitness, and overall work management have taught me that our bodies are beyond capable of doing the previously unimaginable.

With this positive and healthy outlook now engrained within my mind, I have achieved the greatest success in my life thus far. Transforming from a mindset that lacked self confidence to a lifestyle that appreciates both my strengths and weaknesses, I have without a doubt become the happiest that I have ever been.

2016-06-08-1465419062-5555241-amber3.jpeg
Keeping on the positive grind

Earning my greatest academic success in university thus far during this past semester, to achieving my best physical condition to date, I owe this all to the changes that those who once underestimated my worth or ability have evoked within me. Without their influence in my want to spread self love and confidence, I never wouldn't have realized how amazing it is to be given the choice to be whoever you want to be, and always choosing to just be yourself.

2016-06-08-1465419083-8673965-amber4.jpeg
My progress to date

So to life's underestimat-ers and self-doubters, all I have left to say is never underestimate the strength of a little self love.

This post originally appeared in The Tab.