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Blog Series: The Many Faces of Perseverance Featuring Lauren Jennings

The Many Faces Of Perseverance Blog Series. I thought it would be nice to take the filter out of our daily lives and to be able to relate to many different people about struggles that we each face. I am learning everyday to embrace the struggles we go through, instead of fearing them. I am learning that everything we go through is putting us on our path and helping us grow. I am learning that even when its uncomfortable and hard that we are learning so much about ourselves and that our struggles are shaping us into a better version of ourselves. I hope you gain guidance, inspiration, and support from this series – Alexa

Lauren, what made you want to share your story?

I share my story every single day. Not to boast or to brag, but to uplift and inspire. To remind women of their worth and potential. To give others the encouragement to go for their dreams and to be the biggest source of positivity I can possibly be. My ultimate goal with this? To NEVER let any woman nor man feel like they are alone in this unpredictable yet miraculous mess of a life.

I was flattered when Alexa thought to ask me to take part her new blog series. Yet when I sat down to write my story I thought, “Crap, what IS my story?  I’m not anything special, I haven’t experienced anything considerably life changing or monumental.  Nobody will be interested in what I have to talk about.” And in that instance I realized, THAT is what I’m going to write my blog post about.

Knowing your WORTH. Understanding your VALUE. Oftentimes, as females especially, we underestimate just how much we have to offer – in our talents, skills, knowledge, and experiences. We convince ourselves we just aren’t anything special, that our story really doesn’t matter. When in fact, our story could be the shining light for someone else; the inspiration for someone to change their lives for the better, or a way out for a peer who feels stuck.

All throughout my teen years, I considered myself a confident person. I excelled in school, I had a stable group of friends, a big family that supported me… Life was GOOD! Deep down though, the insecurities were real. I was always the bigger friend, I wasn’t pretty or funny enough, my family couldn’t always afford the latest trends. These thoughts were the norm for me, so my ability to mask them was pretty strong and I had no problem faking the confidence when needed.

But it wasn’t GENUINE. I wasn’t truly happy with myself and therefore, it was a constant internal battle to try and shape myself to fit in.

The insecurities only worsened in college. What was supposed to be a time of freedom and self-discovery turned out to be the worst time of my life. I skipped class constantly and slept the day away, I was failing the class that I was majoring in, and I drank several nights a week with the few friends I had. One semester of that and I was back at my parents’ house crying to come back home.

After living back at home for a while I ended up going through a really rough breakup with my long-term boyfriend. My life again revolved around drinking just to have a good time and turning to food for comfort. Needless to say, I hit my heaviest weight ever.  After months of self-sabotage, I decided it was time for a change. It was time to do something I could be proud of.

Nearly 3 years later I hardly recognize the person I was before. I went from the girl who worked out in the privacy of her own basement, to a bikini competitor strutting her stuff on stage. The Lauren you see today WANTS to move somewhere else completely and totally new. I will confidently start a conversation with any random stranger. I freaking LOVE who I am. Undoubtedly, wholeheartedly, genuinely.  

Lauren Jennings

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