My name is Kailey Haight and I’m a Colorado native that grew up in a tiny town on the Eastern Plains. I was raised in a loving home by my parents, and I always idolized my older brother.

However, from a very young age I noticed that I didn’t look like her friends.

The girls in my class were all very small and petite while I was still carrying around my baby fat and chubby cheeks. As years passed, I became more and more insecure, and despite being active in sports my whole life, I never could shake the extra fluff that separated me from my friends.

People didn’t make comments often, but the ones I heard stuck to me like glue. They replayed in my head with every glance I took at the mirror. It was in 6th grade that the “healthy” eating rollercoaster began… between every fad diet, inconsistent eating habits, and hours of rigorous exercise through sports, I never saw the results that I longed for. My inner struggles with self-esteem impacted my personality and relationships until one day when I decided to make a change. It was January 1st of my junior year that I told myself it was time to take things seriously. I discovered the world of fitness on Instagram and became obsessed with learning everything I could about weight lifting, eating healthy and making it a lifestyle…not just a diet. My family was supportive and did everything they could to aid in this transition.

Hours of work, months of dedication, and now, years of failing and starting over, I have started to understand just what living a healthy lifestyle means. It is not a number on a scale, it isn’t the amount of calories you consume in a day, and it is not making your body fit society’s expectations. Being healthy is eating foods that are good for you, being active daily and knowing when to push harder and when to rest. This change of mindset impacted more than just my body; it improved my mental health and relationships as well.

Despite the hard work that I had been putting in, I was embarrassed of this new found love of weight lifting. I knew that even though you won’t get bulky from lifting weights, lifting wasn’t a typically girls’ activity. I thought people would mock me and judge me, claiming I was just all talk, no game. So I silently worked hard day in and day out. Sure, there were days that I fell off track…but I picked myself right back up. Once I got to college, I began to notice how few girls would lift weights. It was like there was this sign that said, “Guys only. Girls stick to cardio!” I faced the intimidating, testosterone filled room head on and never looked back, but found it sad that so many girls were too worried about being judged to take that first step. I, myself, could vouch that it was well worth it!

That was when it hit me. I, too, was worried about what others thought when it came to fitness. But I began to see that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Why not be excited to lift right next to a guy so much larger than you and be able to hold your own?!

I remembered seeing an Instagram account for fit college students and thought maybe I should look into it. At first, I followed them for ideas because let’s face it, staying healthy in college is challenging! Now though, I looked at it as a possibility. “What if I could inspire other girls to push past their comfort zone and start to lift?” So despite my own insecurities, I put in an application for an organization called Fit University. I applied to be an ambassador and thought, “I don’t look super fit but I think I have what it takes to help others…” and with that I pressed send! A few weeks later, I got an email that I was accepted as a Fit U. ambassador, and I was thrilled to pieces! Now I have the chance to share my story and inspire others.

Clearly taking leaps of faith pays off in the end.

About The Author

Kailey Haight is a small town girl that has a passion for food, fitness and travel. She loves weightlifting and being active but also has a passion for reading and writing. Kailey is currently a Sophomore in college, she is studying Forensic Psychology and hopes to work with the judicial system in the future. Kailey is originally from Colorado where she has a small dog named Bella and an incredible family supporting her as she chases her dreams.

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