If you have ever watched a Turbo Jam video, you would recognize Mindy Lawhorne’s smiling face. She is the modifier (makes adjustments to the routine to help beginners). She connects with the viewer and you feel like regardless of the fitness level, everyone can follow along. Mindy’s magnetic connection and her friendly disposition make her a natural for being on camera. She seems confident and that makes anyone watching feel the same.
This wasn’t always the case for Mindy. In a Podcast with Chalene Johnson, she shares her very personal story. Mindy talks about growing up in a family where she was the biggest kid, not necessarily just in weight, but also in height. Comments made to her while growing up by a well-meaning Aunt and by family members impacted her body-image. When she was younger she didn’t see herself the way others did and didn’t realize that she wasn’t like everyone else until people around her started telling her she was different.
In the interview, Mindy talks about picture day when she went into her older sister’s closet and looked for an outfit only to realize that the clothes were all too small. The disappointment of not fitting into clothes could weigh heavily on anyone’s heart and yet Mindy didn’t let it definer her. She used her bubbly personality and positive attitude to lift others up around her through laughter. Mindy is a very spiritual person and her faith and prayers gave inner support to the challenges she faced.
In high school, there was a turning point where she began a diet and exercise plan. Her hard work paid off and eventually she joined the cheerleading squad. This was an incredible accomplishment and yet girls made negative remarks about her new, size 4 clothing. Through it all Mindy kept looking forward and her story is not only inspirational but relatable for so many of us who may have heard the same words or felt the same way as the “biggest” girl.
Listening to Mindy’s story, it is hard not to get teary-eyed at least once as she recounts so authentically her trials and triumphs of her life. At one point Chalene asks her “Do you see yourself as beautiful?” Her response is an affirmation that when we hear negative descriptions of ourselves growing up, it can be hard to see ourselves as others see us. Mindy, in fact, is a beautiful, generous and amazing woman.
For more about Mindy, check out an incredible program she and her husband have started, Hope in Struggle. We are not an affiliate; we just like to share great programs to support you and loved ones on your journey.
Girl ImPowered is dedicated to helping young girls feel good and believe in themselves. Do you have a story like Mindy’s? Your words may be just what someone needs to inspire them to believe in themselves.