I have always thought of myself as a fairly confident individual. I was always sure of who I was and that I could accomplish whatever I put my mind to. I was also confident in my body and looks.

But over the past year or so I have struggled to regain that confidence. I felt fat. I felt that I failed at a lot of things in general. I felt things were beyond my control. I was not happy. I lost most, if not all, of my confidence. I decided to change for the better. I started with what I knew I could change: my health.

I am still struggling with losing weight but I am getting my confidence back. My body isn’t perfect but it is much better. My calf muscles are solid. My waist is more defined. My stomach is flatter (when I watch my wheat and sodium intake). My clothes fit and look better, although most are now too big. You can see I have a shape again. I still have work to do but I love my body again.

And I am realizing what my body is capable of again. I was always confident in dance, volleyball and weight lifting (among other physical activities) but I’ve always struggled to be confident in my running. I hated having to run a mile in gym class. I have exercise induced asthma and didn’t know how to breathe (and of course gym teachers had no clue how to help me except just say, “do what you can”). I sucked. When I quit dance I started running off and on as a way to stay in shape. Over the years I have gotten better at the whole breathing thing but at each new distance I worry I can’t do it. I lose my confidence.

I am training for my first half marathon (even though when I signed up I had never done more than 6 miles at a time). For awhile I thought I was crazy. I kept thinking, “I can’t do this. What was I thinking?” I told myself I had to stick exactly to the training schedule in order to reach this goal.

I was going along really well, feeling great and then I missed two runs in one week due to back issues. I missed my long run. It was to be seven miles. I had never done seven miles. I looked ahead and saw my next long run was eight miles. How could I do eight if I didn’t do seven? I started freaking out, just a tad. I worried I wouldn’t be able to complete all eight. I looked at my run details. It was to be four miles at a slow, steady pace, followed by three at a faster pace and the last back to the slow, steady pace. I decided that mentally I would break the run into three runs. I know I can do four miles, three miles and one mile.

You know what? I did it. I ran the entire eight miles. It was sometimes slower than my target pace but I finished. I don’t know what happened but now I know I can do 13.1 miles. My mind is now saying, “If you can do eight, you can do 13.1” I feel so much confidence in my training now. I feel like I can reach the running goals I set myself.

I am feeling like my old, confident self. And I love it!

Have you ever lost your confidence? How did you get it back? What makes you feel most confident?



Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.