When I entered the Miss BC Pageant, I was drawn to how wonderful it is that the women in the pageant can be their natural selves. There is no limit on weight, no height restrictions, no bathing suit competition, and you aren’t asked if you are a natural born female. This is truly a personal growth pageant that asks the question: are you a leader?

I was so relieved by this. I’m carrying about forty pounds too much. As much as I work out and am committed to being fit, I have a fairly limited commitment to losing fat. And it shows. So – hoorah – the pageant isn’t going to ask me to be a size 2.

[insert thoughtful pause]

So. Yeah. That joy lasted about two weeks. And then I decided my body needed some work.

If you don’t love your face enough to let it show, no amount of makeup will change that.

Now I want to be clear. I’m not crash dieting here so I can fit a mold. I’m not actually crash dieting at all. But a realization hit me and it hit me hard. I’m not being the best ME I can be if I don’t actually put some effort into my body. The pageant isn’t about being “the best you can achieve when you coast,” it’s about being all that you can be. And with that in mind, I’ve been putting in some work.

  1. The first change was my workout. Thankfully our cheer coach had already given us some harder work to do for homework, so that helped with my motivation. I decided to add more walking to my routine as well. I found an article that said sustained walking was better than sustained running for weight loss. (You need oxygen to burn fat and unless you’re a good runner, gasping for air will interfere with your ability to get the oxygen you need.) My workout is now a little more intense. Nothing crazy because I am still working through a gymnastics injury, but more intense.
  2. The next change was my eating habits. A quick review on a food tracking app showed a LOT of extra calories in my day, and if that’s not bad enough, those calories were coming from really bad sources. Sure, I can have a Timbit or two. And fries with my burger? Why not. And it was all adding up to extra weight and none of it doing a thing for my body. So, goodbye junk. Goodbye ALL junk. And goodbye excess calories, even from good sources. My meals are smaller. My snacks are few.
  3. And then I looked at my skin. I have really good skin because I use really good skincare. But it could be better. So off went the make up – and if you’ve watched my last YouTube video, you know it’s true. A little sunshine and fresh air on my unclogged pores is my focus right now. As anyone who loves to wear makeup will tell you: the best canvas for pretty make up is clear skin. So hello sunshine – also hello SPF day creme because I don’t intend to get skin damage. And as an added bonus – it seems to me that every now and again, it does us good to let people know how we really look with the face God gave us. If you don’t love your face enough to let it show, no amount of makeup will change that.

In a lot of ways, this pageant has been eye-opening. How often do I just rest on my “good enough” and “that’ll do” laurels when it comes to my health and body? The fact that I’m 40 lbs overweight is an answer in and of itself. Right now I have a deadline (the pageant) and a goal (be the best me I can be). I have to thank the pageant for this opportunity.

The funny thing is that my ability to compete won’t change if I lose five pounds and my skin lustre isn’t perfect. I will still be overweight. I will still have reasonably good skin. But when I step on that stage, I want to know that I did everything I could do to be my personal best. In the same way we don’t just get on stage and wing it, I want to know that no matter the outcome, I feel like I am the leader I want to be.

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