WSB_BlogButton_squareB_300x300This post is part of Whose Shoes Blog Tour which I am excited to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more and to join us as we tell the world how we walk boldly in our own shoes, CLICK HERE!  

When I was a young girl, I had a few self-esteem issues. I was overweight. I remember a group of boys in middle school calling me Miss Piggy everyday. The thing is, I had friends and I was a pretty social kid, but that group of boys would not let up. At that age, having people make fun of my body on an almost daily basis was pretty hurtful. I couldn’t stand them.

And as if my weight wasn’t enough for me to worry about, I also felt like I had big feet. I remember wearing my mom’s size 10 shoes at the age of 10. I was 5’1” at the time and having size 10 feet just felt so unfair. My self-esteem suffered as I watched all my thinner friends and wondered why I had to deal with this burden of being fat with big feet. I shed my share of tears about it.

As I entered high school, I still felt uneasy about my body and uncomfortable in my skin. Luckily, baggy clothes were in style so I just covered myself up. It didn’t feel too bad because the jerks who called me Miss Piggy in middle school didn’t follow me to high school, so now I had to only deal with the occasional rude comment about my size. It was bearable.

Finally, I started to feel more comfortable about my body when I left home to go to college. I realized that I was beautiful, outside and in, and that I didn’t need anyone’s approval to make me feel like I was worthy. I think my confidence began to grow because of my involvement in school activities, my academic excellence, and my excitement about the future. I started to understand what God wanted for my life, and I realized it had nothing to do with my size.

By the time I was a senior in college, I successfully dropped 40 pounds from my 5’8” frame, and I can attribute a large part of my success to the fact that my motivation to lose weight was about my health and wellness — not about wearing a particular dress size.

I walked into my twenties with style and grace, feeling like a beautiful confident woman. I know that confidence has led to all of my greatest life decisions. The man I married, the kind of mother I am, the impact I have had on students, and the courage I found to pursue my writing career—these things are all inextricably linked to my ability to love myself just as I am.

Am I currently the weight I was when I lost those 40 pounds years ago? No, I’m not (two kids and life can do that to you). Do I feel confident and do I love myself? Absolutely! So much so, I started running a few months ago to get my health back to where it needs to be. I’m down 12 pounds and I am determined to get to a place where I feel stronger, more energetic, happier and healthier.

A few weeks ago, I completed a half marathon with a pair of size 11 sneakers my husband got me for Christmas (yep, my feet grew one more size in my twenties and I am not ashamed to say it!). Finishing that race felt incredible. When I crossed the finish line, I felt so great I said a prayer of gratitude in my heart, realizing that if I had to live my life all over again, I wouldn’t want to do it in anyone’s shoes but my own.

Are you happy with the shoes you’re wearing?

Christine K. St.Vil (founder of Moms ‘N Charge) & Julian B. Kiganda (founder of Bold & Fearless) are two sisters who decided to get together and write a book about gaining powerful insights from a spiritual perspective on why it’s important to find and fit into your own God-given shoes. They know this book has the power to change lives. You can grab your copy HERE.