Tell us a little about yourself:
Well, I’m a mom, a wife, and I co-own Albion Fit and I don’t think there’s a day that passes where I’m not questioning myself and my success at fulfilling each of those roles to my full potential. It’s an often overwhelming balancing act and I think the hardest part is feeling like everyone I care about is getting only 20% of my love and attention when I wish I could give them 100%, all the time.
Why are you so passionate about this topic? Was there a time when you struggled with loving yourself?
Like a lot of women, my physical appearance is always something I’m very conscious of and I can’t help but compare myself to those around me, which is really hard when you’re in the fashion industry. I’ve always been very passionate about living an active lifestyle because I feel like it’s equally beneficial to my mental health as well as my physical health, and my outlet for the past 15 years has been running. I was running 35-40 miles a week consistently when I found out I was pregnant with my twins at 7 weeks. That day, the doctor said I had to stop running because I was a high risk pregnancy (being 5 feet tall isn’t ideal!). Then 5 months and 70 lbs later, I was put on strict bedrest. I ended up gaining over a 100 lbs with the twins and almost went crazy because all I could do was sit in bed all day and watch Gilmore Girls and the Food Network! Losing the weight became a top priority once I had my healthy girls and it was a long, frustrating journey. I can definitely empathize with women who are struggling to lose weight and battling the depression that comes with not feeling comfortable in your own skin, when jogging for 20 feet is hard, let alone running a mile. It took a solid year to lose the weight but it was an important journey for me emotionally as well as physically and is a huge reason why we started Albion. We knew there was a need for women to be motivated to be active and find happiness in living a healthy lifestyle, and it didn’t take long to see that cute workout clothes was half the battle. Making clothes that make women feel confident and beautiful is the best part of what we do because we help women feel comfortable running around the playground and even get them back in the pool with their kids in a suit they love. It’s very fulfilling and honestly, I feel like it’s a blessing and a responsibility we have to do what we do for a living.
As a mother of two sweet little girls who are growing up in a world where how you look seems to be inextricably connected to your value, it has become of the utmost importance to me to teach them 3 things: 1. They are loved and treasured by a mother and father here on earth who think they are brilliant, and kind, and funny, and sweet and beautiful just as they are 2. They are also beloved children of heavenly parents who also treasure them, and know them and their sweet hearts. They have an immeasurable individual worth and a divine nature and to know that, is to know God and His love for us. 3. There is something beautiful in every single face we see around us.
We all have days when self confidence is low, what do you do to keep those emotions at bay?
What I have to tell myself every day is that I really am trying my best and I think that’s all that I’ve been asked to do. I think I’m really lucky because I’m not the kind of person that every feels guilty per se for not being “perfect” or whatever that means. I’m not worried about letting other people down because I do think I’ve surrounded myself with and am blessed with amazingly supportive and wonderful friends and family who are very forgiving and loving and understanding. However, what I do have to work on, constantly, is being too hard on myself and disappointing myself and letting that get in the way of my progress. So I do have to make an effort to give myself a break and be grateful for what I have and the tools I’ve been given to make a positive impact upon those around me.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’ve been a youth leader for the teenage girls in my church for over 10 years now and the message I try hardest to share and get them to understand is that they are SPECIAL. They are truly special young women who have so much potential and goodness in them. I am amazed and constantly impressed by their strength and their faith and their example and their integrity and they are a wonderful reminder to me of what is good in the world. I also think that although these girls do spend a lot of time on social media, that there is HOPE yet for them! Yes, they do see images of what the world says is beautiful and important, but these girls actually DO listen to families and leaders and friends who tell them what REALLY IS IMPORTANT, too, and even more so. These girls get it and I feel a huge relief and responsibility to keep sharing that message to them because I know it makes a difference to them, and it makes a difference to me, too.