The post I hate to write.

Welcome to the billiontieth draft of the post I hate to write. It should be no surprise to anyone that I struggle with my self-esteem. Sometimes on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s hard to talk about. I have struggled with my weight since I graduated from college – and my health has suffered greatly. I’ve lost weight, gained it back, lost more and have gained some back more recently. I swore I would never go back, yet, life happened and I did. Sometimes I wish I could start over and never get “that way” to begin with.

With the start of 2012, I became a FitFluential Ambassador, which has been an amazing opportunity that I am just beginning to explore. I have met so many wonderful, encouraging, inspiring, admirable – and more than beautiful – people. I was immediately excited to be a part of the FitFluenital community, but upon seeing my colleagues, I also immediately felt like I didn’t “fit in.” And, please understand, no one made me feel that way. In fact, the other Ambassadors have been nothing but kind, supportive, helpful and passionate about their (and my!) role in the fitness community.

I started thinking about why I felt like I didn’t fit in – and I realized it was because of the way I think I look. Fat and Ugly. Ew. That is just unpleasant to even say. For me, it is solely based on my looks, yet when I think about other people that I know or have seen pictures of, their looks are not foremost in my mind. Things like their personality, kind-heartedness, dedication, attitude and intelligence are. So, what is different about me?

I went back to read about what a FitFluential Ambassador really is. I was pretty sure Fat and Ugly people were not accepted. It says, “We choose our FitFluential Ambassadors based on myriad factors, but, we are looking for the best of the best. We hand pick our Ambassadors based on their content, attitude, audience and potential. We encourage our Ambassadors to be active on as many social media platforms as possible, and we take that into consideration when evaluating an application. However, we know that everyone starts somewhere. A solid positive attitude, great personality and compelling content will get you started.”

Nothing about looks. Everyone does have to start somewhere. 

I kept reading. I knew it had to be there somewhere.

“We will not only choose our FitFluential Ambassadors based on audience reach and content quality, but also on attitude.” And “We want fitness fanatics of all kinds. If you are just starting your fitness journey or have been pursuing a healthy lifestyle for years, we want to hear from you. Is your passion running? Yoga? Kettlebells? Crossfit? Pilates? Zumba? Spinning? Triathlons? Marathons? Dirty Mud Races? Mountain Climbing? – whatever gets you moving and sweating, that’s fine by us.”

Still nothing. My passion is running. 

Bottom line? “Be Yourself. There are no rules here, other than: ‘Be Nice, Be Positive’.”

Nothing about looks. Not one thing. Be positive.

Still, why am I so obsessed with the fact that I don’t “look like I should?” And what the hell should I look like anyway? I know it involves skinny. It should involve healthy. I hate being so centered on my looks.

With the Arnold Sports Festival coming up this weekend, I am hoping to have the opportunity to meet some fellow Ambassadors in person. How awesome will that be?! Awesome, I’m sure. Except I don’t look like an Ambassador should. There it is again. My self-doubt. Front and center in my mind. Maybe I shouldn’t go? I might be an embarrassment – to myself maybe?

I am trying. I love running, coaching and what both have done for me. Believe it or not, I am better than I was. It’s the weight I don’tlike. I can lose it, I know, but what to do until then? Beating myself up everyday of my life is not working so far.

Lord knows (and everyone else) that I don’t look like a runner. I always look the same, as a matter of fact:


I need to get over this. I need to see myself as beautiful again. My husband does (he has to?). My dad does (he has to?). My sister does (I think). My mom thought I was beautiful. My friends do (I think some might). Ugh.

Truth is, it’s more than looks, I think. I don’t believe in myself. I don’t believe I can be pretty or beautiful or athletic or fit.

Last night, I did something to change that.

I got my hair done! Cut! They took off more than six inches. Color! Dark brown with rich, caramel highlights. Style! Okay, I’m having trouble replicating the lose curls, but I’m working on it!

Everyone does have to start somewhere. My passion is running. Be positive.

I love like it. There, I said it. Out loud. About myself. I think it is pretty, even.

Does it make me look like an Ambassador? No. Why does that matter?! I DON’T KNOW!

Do I feel a little bit better about myself? Yes. Does that count for something? Absolutely. 

What do you think? Can you relate? Do you struggle with self esteem, but write a fitness, running, health or weight-loss blog? Am I out my mind? Do you like my hair?

Until the next mile marker,


  1. Sara! (can you tell I am yelling at you?) You ARE an ambassador and you DO fit in. You have such an amazing, inspirational story to tell. Go to the Arnold (I am jealous, btw) and have a ball with your fellow ambassadors! Rock that hair while you’re at it!

  2. STOP THE SELF HATE! Looking forward to meeting you this weekend!!! =)

  3. You ARE beautiful, Sara! And your husband, parents, friends don’t HAVE to think it, they truly mean it! And so do I. The FitFluential world is full of all types and interests and sizes and passions. And I can guarantee that if you’re feeling that way about meeting people at the Arnold that others are too – even people you might not think “need” to feel that way. We all get insecure and there is always a more fit, active body than us out there. But we’re a family and community, and we support each other so we can in turn go out and inspire others. And that’s what you’re doing!

    Thanks for being you – for loving to run (me too!), for being so honest (so refreshing!), and for being (active, present tense) an Ambassador. 🙂 …and great haircut, by the way. 😉

  4. Please know, you more than fit in! You are an amazing woman. You ran how many miles of the Goofy Challenge last month?!!!! I don’t know many people that can do that. You are incredibly inspiring and that is why they chose YOU. And please know, you aren’t the only one who comes down hard on their appearance. I have had a rough week myself, but know that I am beautiful and that I am special, just like YOU. Hugs to you Sara!

  5. Dear Dear Sara! You are most FITFLUENTIAL person I have ‘met’ since I started blogging almost a year ago. You not only coach, report, inspire, educate, share and influence, you DO! I cannot imagine that you might think you do not FIT IN! You lead the pack… in so many many ways.

    I hope you will go to the Arnold and have a great time. I just know it will show you why you are a wonderful FFA.

  6. You *do* look the same in every picture – your warm smile shows your spirit and makes you look like someone I would like to know! Not blech, beautiful! And now with a sassy haircut, to boot! (Exclamation point, exclamation point, you get the idea.)

  7. I think you are the epitome of what a Fitfluential ambassador should be. You are perseverance, you’re active in the running community and you’ve done so much! Please don’t let those negative voices in your head tell you that you aren’t.

    All that said, I can totally relate. I waffle about signing up to be selected as a Fitfluential ambassador because I don’t feel like I’d be picked.

    You’re not crazy and I love the hair. 🙂

  8. runningperseverance says

    Oh friend. Self-esteem has been my biggest battle throughout my entire life. I remember my friend told me at like age 12 that she was getting me a box of self-esteem for my birthday. I was devastated and have worked hard since then to at least appear more confident. I do also feel more confident but I ALWAYS worry about not being good enough. It drives me crazy.

    I agree with Elle. You are definitely one of the most fitfluential, genuine and inspiring people i have met in the blogging community. I look forward to your posts because you are REAL and always YOU no matter what. And I am GLAD that runners/ambassadors/whatever else don’t have a certain look about them because it would take away what is uniquely YOU. Who would want to do something where everyone looks the same right!?! I think what defines these things come from the inside…not the outside. And you are one of the most beautiful, motivating and fitfluential people from the inside I have ever met! When you have it on the inside…I think it translates outward and that is what counts because it is LASTING and GENUINE. i love that Elle said you lead in the pack in so many ways! I AGREE SO MUCH WITH THAT!

  9. OH MY GOSH! I struggle every DAY. You’ve given me courage to post about why I skipped out on Last Chance for Boston. If you get the time to check it out later-feel free to read my blog 🙂

  10. I completely relate. I’ve been running almost a year, recently started triathlon training, and I’ve lost a whopping 5 pounds. Sometimes it feels like it will never come off. And it’s ok to have a mental breakdown now and then. I have them all the time!! 😉 The most important thing to remember about being a FitFluential Ambassador is how much you inspire so many people, and that is why you fit in. Some of which you may not have ever met. Let me tell you, that I relate to you more than any other blogger I follow. I can’t relate to the skinny people that run 8-9 minute miles and call themselves slow. Seriously? You are the person who is brave enough to put voice to what all of us feel most of the time. It is hard, but it’s even harder to share the struggles out loud. You give the rest of us courage too.

    PS: Your hair is very cute!

  11. Sara!!!! You are awesome 🙂 you motivate people more than you know! Heck we all do! When I announced I was running Cap City, my older brother decided he was too. If I could do it, he could it (and of course, there was no way HE was going to let his little sister beat him!!!) I see people every day out running/jogging/walking. Heavy, skinny, slow fast, whatever. You inspire people, Sara. and yes, the negative head talk is hard to get rid of. 🙁 So be kind to yourself! Love your butt, boobs, thighs, arms, all of you 🙂 It’s what makes you, YOU!!! And we love you for being YOU!

  12. SARA!

    First of all you are beautiful on the inside and out.

    Secondly, yes. I can relate. I’m often beating myself up, for food choices and whatnot.

    I know it’s hard but every time you hear one negative thought enter your mind you need to put up a big ‘ol stop sign to it and change course… For every negative, combat it with a positive…

    Your legs are strong to carry you. Your feet are sturdy to support you. Your arms propel you, your hips give it all a little wink and wiggle…

    Honor and appreciate your body instead of shaming it. It’s the only one you’ve got!!

    Who is to say what an ambassador should or should not look like – you’re a real woman with a real woman’s body and real woman struggles – you are a marathoner and motivator to all of us “real women” (no matter their size!) out there.

    Keep inspiring Sara and thank you for bravely sharing this.

  13. Clare @ Fittingitallin says

    Great post. and important to remember – looks are not WHO WE ARE! and i think fitfluential is incredible for saying nothing about “looking” fit in the description. you’re wonderful and beautiful and DEFINITELY fitfluential!

  14. Michel Martin says

    I didn’t apply for “Fitfluential” because of all the things you wrote about yourself is what I feel about myself. So let you know that we are our own worse critics. I don’t know how to find the “love myself” button. If I could I would give it to everyone I know. Lot’s of hugs Sarah.

  15. Kimberly Turner Bouldin says

    Sara – You are gorgeous! I think you are an amazing person, coach, runner, ambassador – anything you put your mind to! Kick that negative talk to the curb! I am glad that you shared this with us, so that we know how best to support you.

    Have a blast at the Arnold – I can’t wait to hear all about it!

    Love you, girl! ((HUGS))


  16. Alicia Hansen says

    I understand where you are coming from – I think there are many days when we all question if we are playing our roles “appropriately”. But what I love about being a FitFluential Ambassador is that we are accepted exactly as we are. We are all different, bringing our strengths to the table in our various activities – but all in the name of good health and wellness. As long as you are keeping true to yourself in that, I think you’re a perfect fit!

  17. Great post and you ARE beautiful…you’re strong, determined and you are YOU! you rock

  18. Tina @ Best Body Fitness says

    The fact that you put yourself out there and stay committed to your goals make you unbelievably “fitfluential”. And you are a woman of power, strength, and determination. That is the look I would want to exude…and you DO! Own it! 🙂

  19. Your attitude qualifies you to be an ambassador, a coach, a friend and more. Thank you for just being you!

  20. Running While Mommy says

    Oh, Sara, you are beautiful, inside and out! I am far from looking like a runner but I am a runner none the less. One of the reasons I started writing Running While Mommy was because I was being motivated by so many other blogs, including yours. If you weren’t Fitfluential worthy, than they wouldn’t of hired you. You should absolutely go to that festival this weekend and hold your head up high! You are not out of your mind, and your hair looks fantastic!

  21. RunningMandy says

    I can relate to this post in so many ways. Self-doubt is a cruel, cruel thing. Do not doubt yourself Sara. I love your new hair cut – very beautiful.

  22. Kyna Taylor says

    I think you are so brave and awesome to be writing so openly and honestly. I’m in your shoes, I love running but I struggle with my weight. Thanks for being sharing your feelings. I think it shows you have more confidence than you think!

  23. Sara, I can totally relate to this. I don’t look like a runner, either. When I ran my first 1/2 marathon, I finished just a few minutes before a coworker, and when our other colleague found this out he was surprised and actually said, “Wow, you beat M? But she’s built like an athlete.” Gee, thanks.

    A runner is a runner, no matter how fast or far you go, or how you are built. It’s taken me some time to be able to accept this about myself, and I still struggle with this sometimes. Just know you are not alone, and that likely you are the only one having these thoughts about yourself – everyone else is focused on his or her self!

    Thank you for being so open and honest about this. 🙂

  24. Your honesty and candor are what make you one of the BEST FitFluential Ambassador! Many of us feel that way on a daily basis. I am sure even the “skinny” ambassadors feel the same way you do, they just don’t express it. We are all working on trying to better ourselves in one form or another. I am what most people consider average size and I struggle with these same issue and have since I was a child. I am getting better at appreciating all the things my body does for me instead of the way it looks to me. When I am out for a run, I focus on how very GRATEFUL I am that my feet are holding me up, my legs are propelling me forward and my lungs filling with air. I never thought I could be a runner. Even as a child running was a challenge, but I started small 6 months ago and ran my first half marathon at age 41. You were one of my INSPIRATIONS for not quitting. I read your post about Disney and I was so inspired by your determination to finish that race I forwarded your post everyone I knew who needed the same inspiration. I was so sore and tired of running at mile 12, I could see the finish line and contemplated sitting down for a break and then running to the finish line, but I didn’t sit down and I owe part of that to your WONDERFUL post! YOU ARE AMAZING!!!

  25. I think we all have something that makes us doubt ourselves. My flat chestedness had always crippled my self esteem, why don’t I have more than a AA chest? I don’t get it 🙁 but I have as I have got older learned to love myself and accept the things I can’t change and work on the things I can. Point here being no one is perfect! You were selected to be a FFA because you deserve it and are wonderful Keep it up 🙂

  26. Your hair is beautiful. And so are you. We believe in you. You should listen to us– we’re wicked smart 🙂

  27. Danielle Liss says

    I was about to take too much space in your comments. So I wrote this for you instead.

  28. Stephaniegoetz says

    You write the words of a million voices. Thanks for sharing the truth so many of us share!!!!

  29. lauriewalksfast says

    I can definitely relate to this post! I think we all struggle with similar things – whether it be privately or in public. You are awesome for writing about it and sharing! Love the new hair! Why is it our hairdressers can get our hair to do things we can’t? I’ve asked mine if she could come over every day and help me out!! Beautiful post! Enjoy the Arnold this weekend!

  30. Sole Sister on the Run says

    This is so great to read. I have struggled with this as I am sure many others have. Thank you for sharing!

  31. KymberlyFunFit says

    You’ve got Danielle Liss in your corner, and (as Robin Elton pointed out) she’s wicked smart! So believe her as she speaks the truth. If it helps add perspective, I’d love to be able to run but two knee surgeries and soccer injuries prevent that. So run for me, will ya??!

  32. I like your haircut too. It (and you) are both pretty. I think we all have self-esteem issues on one topic or another. And I do not know what a runner “should” look like, but in those pictures above, you are in running gear, so to my mind that means you are a runner. As to your husband saying you’re beautiful, and you having a hard time believing that, may I say that he does NOT have to say that. He chooses to. And you wouldn’t want to insult his good taste would you? Of all the choices in the world, he chose you for a reason. Actually, probably for many reasons. Perhaps you could write down all those reasons and put them in front of your mirror to block out the negative thoughts. I’m glad you’re an ambassador as you raise the bar for all of us!

  33. Suzanne Westenhofer says

    Your haircut is gorgeous Sara and so are you! If you run you are a runner. If you were chosen to be a FFA then you are! You can be and do whatever you want!

  34. Emily @FamilyNLifeLV says

    In many ways I have felt what you felt. Been where you are, and am still working on making the changes that need to be made in my daily attitude. However, they don’t just take FFAs to take FFAs you are and continue to be an inspiration to anyone who stops by this blog. One of the things that has helped me in so many ways is to correct myself everytime I hear the negative thoughts in my head. “You aren’t Good ENOUGH” becomes, “You are really great at XYZ” “You aren’t Pretty ENOUGH” becomes, “You have a great smile, and are loved by many.” Try it, it really does help!! If there was a “FFA body-type” I certainly wouldn’t have it but I know I have the FFA heart and I am sure it will take me exactly where I need to go. And for what it’s worth, I saw nothing but a strong and beautiful woman in those pictures up there! You are awesome!

  35. This is such an amazing post. Believe me when I say that I know exactly how you feel. Before starting my weight loss, I struggled with self esteem issues on a daily basis. But throughout my journey, I realized that self image has SO much to do with what’s on the inside, how you treat others, and how you chose to behave/react. You are beautiful. Believe me when I say that too. 🙂

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