Miss Indiana: Reflection on my Year

This past Saturday I crowned our amazing new Miss Indiana 2019, Tiarra Taylor!

Can you tell I adore her?! So proud and excited ❤️

If you asked me two weeks ago how I thought I would feel a few days removed from the job, you would’ve received a sad face and an unsure response. It’s no secret this job has meant the world to me. I wasn’t sure how this transition would hit me, honestly. I struggled a lot Miss Indiana week because I was overcome with so much gratitude for the year I had. I couldn’t believe it flew by and wasn’t sure how that would resonate with me come Saturday night.

But as I took my final walk and saw all of the board members that gave me the most amazing year of my life and all of the support the volunteers of the organization had for me in the audience, I felt the surprising emotion of peace. I was overcome with a feeling of complete gratitude for the opportunity I was given.

All the good vibes! So thankful.

After having the last 76 hours to reflect and settle back into life as a former, I truly can’t get over how thankful I am for what this year did for me. I know I just recently talked about the main ways it changed my life, but now I want to reflect on how it changed Lydia. Aside scholarships, experience in new things, and self worth – it gave me a support system that truly changed me.

When I was crowned a year ago and when I dreamed of holding this title, I had no clue the biggest take away for me would be the relationship I gained with indiana’s board of directors.

Not just because they helped me prepare for Miss America, set up amazing appearances for me, or even supported my year of service the way they did. It was the support they had for me in my personal life and for me as a person that truly has me leaving this year with so much gratitude that I can’t even begin to articulate what it has meant to me but I’ll try.

The best board of directors there is, though. 👏🏻

There was daily Marco Polo updates with Michael and Jenna about life, constantly talking to Jenna/serving together, getting a supportive text from Marietta, encouragement from Bre, Macy visits with Frank, funny and uplifting chats with the Shulls, laughs with Co, social media and theatre chats with Marni, late nights/talks and endless memories made with the Straiger’s aka second parents, dinners with Terry, fun times with the Munks and support and love being sent often from every dang one of them.

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I was struggling a year ago a lot with self doubt outside of being a competitor. Of course that’s an on going struggle in life, but these people who give so much to us titleholders every year made sure I felt loved and supported every step of the way. Not that I needed their validation, there was just an evident authenticity to the support and belief in me that went a long way for my confidence. It takes a village, and I will forever be humbled for this village of people that loved me in every way.

These people have my heart.

I realized especially Sunday morning that the best part is that these individuals will always be my family and that support for one another doesn’t have to come to an end. I can just transition out of this exciting chapter knowing I have a new family that loves me for Lydia. That is priceless and I will carry what I’ve learned through each of them the rest of my life.

I am thankful this job gave me grit, flexibility, a full ride, speaking skills I didn’t know were possible, and confidence. But it is these friendships above all that changed my life the most and I’m especially grateful.

Talk to you all soon!

Lydia Tremaine

– A proud and thankful former Miss Indiana

3 Ways Being Miss Indiana Changed My Life

It’s no secret I have loved this organization for the last ten years. I have gone on and on to you all about the opportunities it’s given me over the last decade. But being Miss Indiana this past year has changed my life on a whole other level. Now that I have just over a week left with the job, I wanted to share this life changing year I’ve had with you.

1. Scholarships

I haven’t always had an easy time when it comes to college. I tried out a semester at IUPUI and felt I would be better off working full time instead. Fast forward a year later and I decide to do online school while working full time in Fort Wayne. I did this to save money because I didn’t want to be in debt.

The night I won Miss Indiana, that all changed! I was informed that I was awarded a full ride to trine university. On top of that, I won 11,000 to any school I wanted. I was also awarded 6,000 more at Miss America. Not only will I be going to school without paying tuition, but I’ll be able to live on campus absolutely free with my excess scholarships! This opportunity makes me so motivated to give college my all since I have the blessing on going for free.

2. Finding my Passions

It’s interesting how life is full circle. I think it’s important to mention when I was in my early teens, I was dead set on going into psychology. Over the years, I had a lot of noise in my ear about other choices and doubted myself as a student to make that a reality. So I decided to play it safe with Education, knowing I had a passion for students and people. But a beautiful thing happened during my year of service this year. In the last 4 months especially, I have realized I still have a deep passion for helping others work through their mental health. I have struggled with mindset, depression, and other mental health issues and know first hand how difficult that can be to work through. I went to many school visits and events where I would tell my story of music helping me overcome those issues. I would have so many young people and adults come up to me afterwards or even message me after the fact to grab advice on overcoming that in their own lives. I realized nothing fulfilled me more than encouraging others and helping others work through a hard time. Because I wanted to make this decision completely myself, I sat on it quietly for two weeks without consulting anything but my heart. I called last week and changed my major to psychology and will be getting a minor in music. That’s a decision I wouldn’t have been confident enough to make a year ago and I’m so thankful.

3. Self-Worth and Humility

I know those two words may seem contradicting, but I developed both in a whole new way while traveling the state. Although I had become confident as a competitor and developed self worth as a titleholder, I feel it’s important that I am honest with you all about the fact I did not have self worth in other aspects of my personal life. Thankfully, this job came with an event nearly everyday. Every time I went to an event and stayed true to Lydia, told my story, and did my best to make an impact – I developed more self worth in every area in my life. This self worth led to me making really healthy decisions for my own mental health I fear I wouldn’t have without the job.

I also saw really hard things during my year. Students who expressed abuse in their home lives, students who were struggling emotionally, and even students who couldn’t afford new clothes or food. What was inspiring is the fact that these children were so resilient and positive anyway. It was the most humbling thing to witness and I am thankful everyday to remind myself of them when I find myself slipping into negativity.

I have so much more to convey about my year of service in the future and can’t wait to tell you all so soon about all of my favorite appearances I had all year.

Talk to you all soon!

Lydia Tremaine

Social Media: Things to Avoid

HI IM BACK FRIENDS! I have wanted to express my thoughts on this subject for awhile, so that’s why this blog took me a whole month to articulate. I really wanted to take a step back and observe the good and the bad.

To be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with social media. Becoming a state titleholder has put me in a unique situation where social media is a huge aspect of my job. I have had Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for years but never had to put much thought into it like I do now.

Nearly everyone has some form of it in their lives, and it’s easy to be consumed in it all. I mean, i am the first to admit that I love that I am able to connect with so many people, organizations, and businesses via social media. I stay connected with friends, family, and Miss America sisters across the country. I am even able to share my passions with people.

Although it has all these perks, it comes with some major downsides as well. It’s important to know that and avoid bad social media habits.

4 Things To Avoid on Social Media:

1. I’ve talked about it before, but here I am saying it again for the people in the back. Do. Not. Compare. Yourself. It’s so easy to see other people with “perfect” lives or bodies and want that life they’re displaying on social media. We all do it, but it is toxic. But try to remember everyone struggles and no one is “perfect” regardless of how they present themselves on media platforms. It is so important to recognize when social media is bringing you down and not lifting you up. My favorite thing is taking much needed break from it when I notice I am having the tendency to compare.

2. Taking things personally! I often hear people get paranoid based off of who is and who isn’t following them, liking their pictures, or seeing friends hang with other people. It’s easy to get FOMO or easily read into little things on social media. This isn’t helping you and it’s not helping your relationships with people.

3. Only posting “picture perfect” photos. It’s okay to be vulnerable, genuine, and even silly with your followers or friends. Show other young men and women that they can be themselves by leading with this example. He your best authentic self on and off social media.

4. Don’t let it consume you! So much easier said than done, I know. It’s genuinely addicting at times and becomes a habit. Make sure you’re balancing it and still focusing on who you are while growing outside of your accounts and handles. Social media has great tools to promote yourself and make connections, but it doesn’t need to define you.

At the end of the day, it’s all about balance and doing what’s best for your mental health. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of the benefits as long as you are cautious of the downsides.

Love you guys and talk to you soon!

Lydia Tremaine

Overcoming A Negative Mindset

I’m often asked how I improved my mindset. My negative mindset led to so much defeat for me in all areas of my life, and I finally decided to do something about it. There’s not a simple answer or just one way to conquer negative thoughts. It is a lot of hard work. I hope a few of these things help you in your road to a positive mindset.

5 Steps Towards A Positive Mindset

• First, I want to encourage you to not only work on this for pageants or just for one aspect of your life. Don’t only fix your mindset for certain things. You really need to implement a good mindset to every aspect of your life and consistently. I often found myself only trying to hype myself for the stuff I really wanted or was failing at, and therefore found more failure. You have to believe in yourself as a whole and have positivity in other areas to get anywhere.

• As simple as this is going to sound, I know first hand how hard it is to implement in your own life. When you find yourself thinking negatively, replace that with a positive thought instead. I know, I know. It’s way easier to dwell on the fear, the “what if”, and the negativity. But find something to be thankful for instead. Even if it’s small. A few examples I first hand dealt with.

When I thought of how I looked compared to other girls, instead I forced myself to think of how I could love my body and show other women how to do the same.

– When I thought of how I doubted my ability, I instead did a mental inventory or wrote down my positive accomplishments and my hard work to remind myself I was worthy.

• If you’re having a hard time thinking of the positive, talk to a loved one to help get you out of your own head. Sometimes the reason negativity consumes us is because we keep it bottled in and convince ourselves that negativity has to be our truth. Once you verbalize all of those fears and thoughts to someone, sometimes even saying it out loud makes you realize it’s irrational.

• You know that thing we all do when we’re sad and decide to listen to really depressing music? High key don’t recommend. Maybe once in a blue moon when you need a good healthy cry but this can be a really bad habit. I have a playlist of positive uplifting music in genres I enjoy to get me back on track towards more positive vibes. Music really can benefit your mood so go through your music and make a happy little playlist.

• Last but not least, words of affirmation. Go write down 10 things you’re genuinely thankful for and 10 things you admire in yourself. When you’re having really bad days where none of the above are helping, go to these lists and remind yourself you are enough. Because you are. Especially if you believe you are and allow yourself that affirmation.

Before I conclude, I want you to know it’s okay to fail. It’s okay to lose track of this mindset you want to achieve. Just make sure you keep trying, keep believing in yourself, and work daily to overcome it. Little by little and day by day it becomes easier. There will be set backs. There will be bad days. But you’re capable of overcoming all of it and kicking those bad days in the booty. You can reach your goals and do the dang thing. Don’t let that pesky mindset get you down.

Talk to you all soon!

Lydia Tremaine

Competition Advice Part 2: Talent & Evening Gown

Really excited to conclude my advice on phases of competition for you all today! Last time we talked all about interview and on stage interview, but let’s dive into talent and evening gown.

fave inspirational quote

Evening Gown/Social Impact Statement

Evening Gown at Miss America

Summary: This phase is an opportunity to give an 8 second statement about your platform/social Impact initiative. You also get to show off an evening attire of your choice.


– Pick a gown that reflects your personality and style!! It’s most important to stay true to what you are comfortable and confident in. It will show on stage.

The statement should be stating what you want to do with your platform, why it’s important, or maybe even a statistic about it. Whichever you choose, focus on one so it’s concise!

– Make sure you’ve practiced your poses and walking in your heels so it comes natural once your on stage and you don’t have to think about it.


Singing “That’s Life” at Miss A

Preliminary Talent Winner

Summary: A 90 second display of a talent of your choice. This could be a fine arts talent like singing, dancing or playing an instrument, etc. It can also be something such as monologues, poetry, or spoken word.


– Find out what the best talent is for you. Consult some honest family members are friends about what talent you could best display in 90 seconds! It’s totally ok if that’s not traditionally singing or dancing. Whatever is best for you.

– Once you have figured that out, song choice is everything. With nearly any talent you’re going to have a song to dance, sing, or speak/perform too. I recommended finding one that reflects your heart and something you can connect with the judges/audience on. With the new format giving us such a beautiful opportunity to highlight our platforms in multiple ways already, I personally recommend a talent that has a story or other message behind it so you’re giving judges variety.

– After you’ve chosen that and cut it down to 90 seconds, staging is another thing that is really important. Make sure you’ve really planned out how to perform your piece on a stage. Incorporate looking at the judges at some point to acknowledge them but not too much.

– Of course, like everything else, be confident! Everyone’s talents are different so don’t compare yours to anyone else’s.

If you have any further questions on any phase of competition, feel free to reach out to me on social media.

Talk to you all soon!

Lydia Tremaine

6 Pageant Girl Hacks

Before I conclude my competition advice next week, I thought it would be fun to bring my pageant girls some life hacks for pageantland.


6. Small storage bins for pageant day will help keep you organized!! To be honest ladies, I’m not the most organized pageant girl. So these things save my life. AND REMEMBER TO LABEL EVERYTHING! Either with your initials or title. You’ll thank yourself later.

5. Bring an extra mirror of some kind (handheld or full length, whichever works for you) just in case there’s a lack of mirror space in the dressing rooms.

4. Have you heard of Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs? Well if not I’m about to bless your life. As someone who is always getting scarred up and has pale legs that never tan, this stuff is life changing. Walmart or Walgreens. You’re welcome.

3. Make a pump up playlist specifically for pageant days. This will look different for everyone. I am a musical theatre dork so I literally put 35 broadway tunes about chasing your dreams on a Spotify playlist for Miss Indiana and Miss America. This really had me pumped up for competition!

2. Ask your friends and family to write you notes and cards of encouragement. When you find yourself doubting, comparing, or being negative…open one of those instead. It’ll bring your mindset back to where it should be.

1. If you’re having a hard time expanding your platform, reach out to after care programs in your local community. I’ve found they’re always looking for more ways to entertain or give opportunity to the kiddos!

Hopefully this helps you for your next competition day 🙂

Talk to you all soon!

Lydia Tremaine

Competition Advice Part 1: Interview & On Stage Interview

LOVE this quote. Pageantry is truly harder than it sounds/looks.

Sorry for the delay this week, friends! I have asked you all what you wanted me to cover, and I was messaged repeatedly about advice I have on competing. It took me awhile to narrow down what I thought the most important things to talk about were and decided I’d write a blog for each phase of competition. Today’s edition will be highlighting interview and on stage interview.


My look for Miss Indiana 2018

Preliminary Interview Winner


This is the first phase of competition and counts for 25% of your score. I truly believe it is the most important phase as well because as a titleholder you are constantly talking to people. This is your opportunity to sell yourself and your plan for the title to the five judges in a ten minute private interview. They will formulate questions based off of your resume and platform statement as well as ask current events.


– Have someone check out your paperwork!! This is your true first impression and where judges decide what they want to ask you. Take advantage of that and make sure you get deep in your paperwork. It’s never a bad idea to have friends, family, or even coaches/volunteers of the organization take a look to see if you could take your paperwork to the next level.

– I have said it before but here I am saying it again…BE YOURSELF. The Judges want to like you and have a conversation with you. They don’t want you rehearsed. They just want the best version of you! Tell them why you want the job and that you’re ready for it.

Practice, practice, and PRACTICE! Obvious, but true. For some, this may mean mock interviews with friends and panels. I think the most effective thing that helped me was just talking to people all the time and intentionally bringing up current events, hot topics, and my platform. This gave me real life practice on how to articulate what I believed in and what I was passionate about. Mocks are great, but be careful that you don’t sound rehearsed by over practicing in that format. Interview is just a conversation, so practice talking to people of all backgrounds and your communication skills will truly flourish.

– There will be a 30 second closing at the end of your interview, and this is your last chance to say why it should be you. This can go in a lot of different directions, but I think it’s important to ask yourself very seriously exactly why you want the title, why you are ready for it, and what you plan to do with it. Think of a handful of reasons and take a look at all of them. Choose the ones that set you apart the most. The more unique and personal to you, the more that will stand out. Have an idea what you’ll say so you don’t blank when it gets there, but don’t have it obviously rehearsed either.

On Stage Interview:

On stage question at Miss America 2019

Peep Miss America 2017 Savvy, one of my literal idols ❤️


This phase is 20% of your score and is an on stage extension of your private interview. This year this phase of competition was changed from being random questions being asked to judges now writing a question at the conclusion of your interview. This question will then be asked to you on stage In front of the audience.


Again, this is an extension of Interview. So just think of it as one more question! To be honest, It’s going to feel more intimidating because it’s in front of an entire audience and you don’t know what may be asked. Just be prepared so you don’t have to worry.

– If you’re at the local or state level, you’re more than likely not timed. I wouldn’t give a super short answer, but I wouldn’t speak more than 30-45 seconds. Just give your answer, back it up, and conclude it. Be confident and clear. At the national level, you’ll have 20 seconds. It’s kinda nerve racking so just try and take one moment to breathe and then be short and concise.

With the new way this phase is formatted, I’ve seen a lot of girls try and guess what the judges will ask them based off of what happened/what was talked about in their interview. Do not do this. The judges can still ask you anything. I’ve seen girls go on thinking they’ll get asked one thing and focus on their interview earlier, then completely be thrown off by the question they’re asked. Be ready for anything and stay focused on what is being asked to you. I firmly believe in not dwelling on your last phase and instead focusing and preparing for the next one.

I hope this helped some of you! PM me if you have anymore questions. In two weeks, I’ll drop my advice on the new Evening Gown format and talent!

Talk to you all soon!

Lydia Tremaine

How To Deal With “Failure”: My Journey in the Miss America Organization

Throwback to my very first outstanding teen local that started it all! – 1RU to Miss Limberlost OT 2014

Fun Fact! It took me 3 locals to win my first teen title, and 12 local competitions to win my first Miss Title. I started competing my sophomore year of high school, and I thought I would just do one. But the pageant bug had officially bit me. I went on to win the last teen title of the 2014 year and finally punch my ticket to state for the first time. Going to Miss Indiana OT week changed my life, and I quickly fell in love with this organization.

I had one more year of teen eligibility and wanted to be Miss Indiana’s Outstanding Teen so bad. I won the first teen local of the year, giving me much more prep time than the year prior. I hit the ground running in my preparation but the latter half of my time leading up to state was filled with a lot of issues in my personal life. This led to my mindset being off, and my confidence being damaged. When Miss Indiana week rolled around, I knew my dream wouldn’t become a reality because I just wasn’t ready.

First Miss Local – 2RU at Miss Northeast 2016

As devastating as losing that dream felt at the time, I decided to jump right into the miss program just a month after competing at Miss Indiana’s Outstanding Teen. It was something I was honestly fearful of doing. I was young. I wasn’t familiar with the differences in competition quite yet. Yet again, the pageant bug bit. I was hooked that first local!

But like I said earlier, it took me TWELVE locals until I won my first title. I did 6 my first year and didn’t even make it to state. I almost convinced myself this organization wasn’t for me anymore, but decided to persevere through it. It then took me 6 more locals in 2017 to win my first title of Miss Southern Heartland.

I didn’t place at Miss Indiana 2017 but I had a great time and realized I wanted to be Miss Indiana more than I ever wanted anything else. This was my dream, and I wanted to do what needed to be done to make that a reality.

Miss Indiana 2017! Loved competing with my sister. #tremaineDuo

Then it was that time again! Local season of 2018. Little did I know this would be my last local season ever! But guess what? I didn’t win my first local…or second…or third!! I won Miss Fort Wayne 2018 and it was my fourth local of the dang season. Not a fun feeling when you want to do well at state. So I decided 2018 would be the year I self reflected and really worked on myself all around. As I said in my blog about mindset, I had a director and coach that believed in me and were kindly honest about what I needed to do to be the best Lydia.

I realized by biggest downfall all these years of competing was my mindset, focusing on the wrong things, and comparison. It was time I stopped focusing on all my past failures and all the past results of local or state. The saying Different day, different judges, different outcome is one of the truest.

If you go into a competition thinking the girl who did well last year will take it, then she will. If you go into it comparing yourself to someone or thinking negatively, you won’t be in the right mindset. If you let past results of your own get you down, that won’t get you where you need to be.

If you go in confidently and focused on yourself, you will perform well. If you are at peace with your preparation and the outcome, nothing can hold you back. If you allow yourself to work hard and believe in yourself, you can do it.

“Each time I find myself flat on my face, I pick myself up and get back in the race” – Frank Sinatra

Peep my talent lyrics ^^

After years of “failure”, my dream finally came true. I genuinely didn’t expect to win Miss Indiana when I did. I always thought IF I ever won, it would be my last year of eligibility. Thankfully, the timing of my journey couldn’t have been more perfect. I look back on all of my losses and I’m thankful. Each local gave me experience, growth, and tools that have made me who I am today. Had I won Miss Indiana any sooner, I would’ve competed in swimsuit at Miss America and not placed as high as I did or felt comfortable. But my journey happened how it was supposed to and I was able to compete at nationals in a format that played to my strengths. Everything happens for a reason. As hard as it may seem, just trust that. If you’re having a hard time winning a local, or a hard time accomplishing your goals, just keep positive and don’t give up. It will all work out how it is supposed to! I went from being fourth runner up at a local, to winning talent and placing top 15 at Miss America 10 months later! Don’t give up on yourself. Believe you can. Keep positive vibes and improve to the best of your ability. That’s all you can ask of yourself.

Talk to you all soon!

Lydia Tremaine

Embarrassing Moments in Pageantland

Preteen pageant days automatically = embarrassing.

Miss Limberlost Pre Teen 2009

Do you ever have a moment you think back on and literally cringe about? Same. Except this happens for me frequently because I’m constantly embarrassing myself. I am so clumsy and a bit of an over thinker so it causes many awkward moments. But I’ve truly come to love this about myself, because it makes for some funny stories. Especially in my time competing in pageants. After such a serious discussion last week, I thought I could lighten it up and let you know my top embarrassing pageant moments.

3 Embarrassing Pageant Stories:

3. My second year competing as a Miss, I competed at Miss South Central 2017. I hadn’t won a miss title yet, and this was my 10th try. I was pretty solid on my current events but I was only reading the skimm and not digging much deeper than that. MISTAKE. I had a good interview, slayed talent, tolerated swimsuit, but then came on stage question. I was asked how I felt about affirmative action and what did I do? COMPLETELY BLANKED. Basically had one of those “I don’t know sorry” answers and walked off devastated. Upon research, I knew exactly what this was!! Just not the terminology. I was so disappointed in myself and embarrassed. But looking back on it, I chuckle every time. We all have our moments. Safe to say I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t place.

2. Falling in a bikini at Miss Limberlost rehearsal. Imagine the picture above but IN A SWIMSUIT AND HEELS IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. Gahhhhh it was terrible. Thank heavens this was only at a rehearsal and no pics were being taken but I was still extremely uncomfortable. Honestly still don’t think this was very funny, but it sure was embarrassing. Whoops.

1. Many of you knew this was coming. But for those of you who may not know of this infamous moment….do I have a story for you! It was my very first time competing at the state level at Miss Indiana’s Outstanding Teen 2014. I had forgotten my sports bra at the hotel for my Active Wear Prelim and decided to use my adhesive bra as backup. There was a production number and 8 girls to go before me, so by the time I went up to do the routine I was already sweating really badly. In the middle of my jumping jack, my sticky boobs Ka Plopped right onto the ground. It was the most horrific moment of my life. My judges even laughed! I was high key devastated at the time but it’s honestly a story that has never been forgotten in Indiana and something I crack up over now. I’ll forever be that girl. Note to teens: no sticky boobs. Just sports bras. TRUST ME!

As cringey as these moments were at the time, I love looking back on the good and bad moments I had as a competitor. We all have bad days! It’s okay to laugh at yourself and just move forward. ✨

Talk to you all soon!

Lydia Tremaine

Stop Comparing and Start Conquering!

In a society where social media is at the forefront of everything we do, it is so easy to fall into a pattern of comparison. Whether you’re comparing yourself to other people who have the same interests as you, people who seem to have Instagram perfect lives, or even comparing yourself to successful friends or family! It is imperative that when we start to compare ourselves to instead shift our focus into positively viewing who we are and what we have to offer! This is a lesson I implemented into my life over the past year and it has truly changed my life.

Two Times Comparison Kicked Me Down and How I Picked Myself Back Up:

1. Don’t you just love that awkward middle school phase you went through? Nope? Me either!!! Middle school was where my obsession with comparison started. Like any other pre teen, I wanted to fit in with the cool kids. As someone who was hyperactive, non athletic, and kinda dorky… that wasn’t my reality. Which looking back on it, that’s totally fine. But at the time, I compared myself to everyone. I tried too hard and pushed people away. Then I became resentful and really negative because I was constantly trying to be something I wasn’t with no success. Not good for anyone! It just led to people feeling I wasn’t authentic and then I went on a down hill spiral. I mean, just look at this wanna be goth chick below. Sweet girl is lost and has so much maturing to do and I just want to hug her and tell her to stop comparing herself to others.

Yikes. Thank heavens for maturity and a good glo up.

2. Thankfully, I traded the scene phase for a theatre obsession in high school and stopped comparing myself socially. Transitioning to adult life was even better as I realized I needed to mature emotionally. I became more aware and really started appreciating who I was, and what I had to offer! Although it was a big step in the right direction, I just couldn’t stop comparing myself to others physically. I understand part of this was my choice to compare, but a lot of hurtful words were said to me in my time competing for lifestyle and fitness. When I was a teen competitor, I was unhealthy and underweight at first. I was told to gain muscle if I wanted to get anywhere. Then when I transitioned to being a miss, I gained a lot of weight after learning I had celiacs disease and it took a long time until I got that under control. There were rumors spread about how and why I gained weight, I was constantly told I wasn’t winning solely because of my weight, and I was even told I wouldn’t be Miss Indiana if I didn’t get “bikini ready”. With my natural tendency to already compare, I allowed these comments to put me in another rut. In fact, I competed at Miss Indiana 2017 and didn’t even make finals. But guess what I did all week? Let those negative thoughts consume me. That’s why I bombed. Not because of my weight, but because of my mindset.

Fast forward to a year later, and I won Miss Indiana. Not in a bikini or bikini bod. Not as a size 0, 2, 4, or even 6. It was as a healthy average sized woman that wasn’t comparing herself.

Healthy looks different on everyone. So proud to be the first Miss IN in over 20 years to win in a one piece swimsuit!

Picture: @digitaldadindy

So how did I kick that mindset back down? Thankfully, I had an amazing local director Kim that believed in me for ME. I told her my goal was finals but she made me feel like I could go for the whole thing. So that’s what we did! We started preparing and even road tripped all the way to Nebraska to work with Megan Swanson, my pageant coach with Powerhouse Pageantry. Megan helped me recognize that my mindset was in the wrong place. It was my choice to let others words affect me. It was my choice to compare. All I could do was take that energy and be authentically me instead. When I worked with Megan, we had that breakthrough where I communicated all of this insecurity and comparison about swimsuit out loud for the first time. I was broken in that moment. I had never seen someone like me win my dream title and it was just around the corner. But she made me realize there was so much about myself to love. The words she spoke into my life were truly life changing and I haven’t looked back since. For that, I am forever grateful to her. I went from broken to empowered because Megan taught me a skill that every person needs to hear.

When you have negative thoughts about yourself, replace them instead with positive ones. It sounds simple, I know. But seriously. This mindset changed everything for me. I did go on to accomplish my goals (and even surpass them), not because of a size I was or wasn’t, but because I wasn’t comparing myself or viewing myself in a negative manner.

Guys, I’ve been there. It’s so much easier said than done to not compare yourself or think negatively. But do yourself a favor and give yourself positive affirmations. You, the people in your life, and your future deserve it. It’ll change your life. Stop comparing your life so you can start conquering it.

Talk to you all soon!

Lydia Tremaine

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