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Candice Huffine is a plus-size model and founder of Project Start, which inspires women to run marathons. The 2017 TODAY Style Hero shared her road to finding inner confidence.
I love my determination.
I set what I thought was an impossible goal this year to run the Boston Marathon. People would comment that maybe I had gotten smaller or some people would comment that I didn't look smaller. They would say something like, "Wow, you're really running? You don't look any different" and I'm like, "What does that have to do with anything?"
I still have a tummy. I still have rolls when I sit down. My body is still the same. How I feel about it is different. I feel like a stronger, more well-rounded, better version of myself because of running.
When I was 15 years old, I had an option to sign with an agency if I lost 20 pounds or sign a contract as a plus-size model. All I wanted to be was a model. It was my biggest dream.
I had no other plan and my younger self knew exactly what to do with that option, and she knew she was going to go toward the direction that honored her for the person she was already. I'm so proud of that younger me for making the right choice.
The fact that I can walk down the street and look into a store and see that I'm on the cover of a magazine is amazing. I'm never waking up from this dream. Just don't pinch me. I'm not waking up!