To those who want to be sexy and successful,
You may have seen the videos on my Instagram or the hashtags in my story. Despite COVID-19 spreading disease, loneliness and financial distress across the globe, my day-to-day focus is on, as I call it, Operation #SexyandSuccessful.
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You might be wondering, “What does that mean exactly?”
Well, I learned the hard way that there is a significant connection between my body and my mind.
More than a decade ago, friends and family packed my parents’ house as we celebrated my high school graduation. I was 17 and getting ready to attend my dream school, Columbia University. Most young people would have felt like they were standing on top of the world, but I was just lucky that I could stand at all.
On the morning of my graduation party, I stepped onto the scale and came in at 113 pounds (I am 5’7), nearly 30 pounds lighter than just one year prior. It is the lightest I have ever weighed in my adult life.
Blackouts, headaches and dizziness became part of my daily life, as I lived with constant stomachaches. I went from being a star soccer player, recruited to play Division 1, to showing up at practice swinging my leg and missing the soccer ball entirely. It was unbelievable. I lost nearly all of my muscle mass.
I couldn’t eat and I didn’t know why.
Years went by without any answers and few remedies. One day, I decided to tell my mother every detail of a sexual assault that happened when I was 16 years old, hoping she could help me shake the guilt that followed me after that fateful night. My mom gave me wisdom and even scientific facts, alleviating a lot of the angst I was unknowingly carrying. After our conversation, practically to the second, my stomach stopped hurting and I quickly returned to my previous weight. I was shocked because I genuinely had no clue the stress I felt in my mind was being expressed through the pain I felt in my stomach.
I had never even cried about my assault and yet, on the inside, it was killing me.
Since that experience, I learned how my mind can subconsciously make my body ill, conversely, my body also can influence my mind.
All of us are impacted in some way or another by the negativity of COVID-19. Only months before the pandemic, I started my own business. As I saw the whole world begin to unravel, I worried my company would follow suit.
I could walk away.
I could take a break.
I could look for a full-time job.
However, instead of focusing on the people I can’t see, the activities I can’t do or the virus and the economic downfall that I fear, I put all my energy toward improving my body and my business.
The idea was that working on my body would serve as a tool to help propel my business.
Several times a week, I skate 6-8 miles, which makes me feel confident, giving me endurance when I reach out to person after person to encourage them to join my company’s community.
I do resistance training, which makes me feel balanced, helping me stay calm when a task doesn’t go as planned.
I push myself during each workout, which reminds me to challenge myself because I am capable of so much more than I know.
Every morning, especially after the days I work out, I wake up and go straight to the mirror to look at my naked and most importantly, healthy, body.
When I look at myself, I transform the pride that working out makes me feel within my body into the confidence that takes over my mind.
That confidence allows me to pursue each day with courage, determination and self-belief, regardless of the circumstances around me.
So, when you see me wear a skimpy bikini or post a picture showing off my curves or stream a sweaty workout, please understand it’s not about getting your attention or encouraging compliments in my comments. It’s a way for me to express how proud I am of the power I possess in every aspect of who and what I am.
Right now, as the damage of this pandemic continues to unfold, there is so much uncertainty in all of our lives. But I am empowered by knowing that when this is all over, I will be sexy because of my strength and I will be successful because of my fight.
And if you want to join me on Operation #SexyandSuccessful, just know that it has nothing to do with what other people see, but everything to do with how you feel.
Let’s get to work!