So, my prayers were answered: I did not win Miss Florida USA.
"Huh?" ... "What?" ... "Your prayers were answered? But, you worked so hard! You wanted this title so bad," they said. "You lived and breathed it, Whit. You should've won!" ...
While I did work hard and while I did want the credibility from the title, that's not what I set out to do and that's certainly not what I prayed for.
A little over two years ago and long before pageantry, I was a disaster. I was all over the place ... with my feelings, my thoughts, my actions ... I'm still a little wacky, but it was much more detrimental than it is now. I expressed too much too soon to too many people and it damaged me in so many ways. So, throughout my journey towards competing in the Miss Florida USA pageant, I set personal goals ... and to accomplish those goals, I prayed ... for happiness and financial security, for God to keep me, my family and all the other contestants safe and from harm and temptation, for motivation to stay on track towards, quite possibly, my biggest goal of stepping on that stage with my personal best package and to give nothing but my best during the duration of the pageant, for true love, and maybe the most selfless and important prayer--for the most deserving person to win ... even if that person wasn't me. And I am relieved and at peace to say that every single prayer of mine was answered.
Through pageantry, I became my ideal self. I set out to become the best possible version of me that I could ever be and through becoming that, I wanted to inspire others. I'm confident in saying that's what I did and who I now am ... an inspiration leader with abs, a nice booty and a make-up kit as good as Beyonce's.
I am healthier than I've ever been, feel more beautiful on the inside and outside than I ever have and I am so freaking happy! I built friendships with some amazing people that I know will last a lifetime and I now have no problem with commitment to goals or staying on track towards achieving a goal. I have more time to really invest in my career, which will ultimately result in financial security, and I have more time to travel home to spend with family and friends. The loss gives me more availability to continue my projects with my non-profit affiliations, my website, my fitness routines and meal plans and with all the millions of things I want to accomplish before I have children ... which is also in the future because I am certain that my prayer for true love is in the process of being answered, as I am falling in love with my best friend every single day.
Aside from my life, though, the most deserving contestant won the title and that's how I know that everything I preached about, still preach about and believe in wholeheartedly, is 100% accurate ... Dreams don't work unless you do ... and after five attempts, the beautiful Brie Gabrielle won the title! ... THAT is what this whole journey was, is and forever will be about ... working hard for what you want so you can be the person you were created to be and so you can add meaning to your own life, as well as the lives of others.
Every person I met at the pageant, whether they were competing or working behind the scenes, reassured me I was right where I needed to be.
"Whitney, I love your posts! You're so inspirational!" ...
"OMG, you're so refreshing!" ...
"Your transformation is amazing! How did you do it!?" ...
... THAT'S what I did this for ... for people to see that if the 5-foot-5, chubby, muscle-bound, slightly annoying, over-the-top, hyper, attention-chasing, Ohio-Pittsburgh-wherever-she's-from-girl can do it, so can YOU! And whether you go home with a title or not, if you work as hard as you possibly can, with no excuses, no slacking and no hatred towards others, you'll have no regrets and everything you lose will not be a loss ... just like your chub. Instead, you will feel as though you've gained so much more ... like a waist line and collar bones.
So ladies and gents, cheers to hard work! And when others may not crown you for your dedication, know that through prayer and staying true to your vision, you can change the world, change yourself and earn the right to rock your invisible crown!
Thank you soooooo very much, again, for the countless amounts of support throughout this journey. Stay tuned ... it's only just beginning!