Minna is a wellness entrepreneur, digital creator, and certified trainer + nutrition coach. Through her platforms and by sharing her own colorful health history with her autoimmune disease and mental health, she empowers people to dig deeper into their personal growth and to take their health into their own hands with a 360º perspective.
I was a competitive figure skater for 10 years, which was the breeding ground for an eating disorder that I had for over a decade. I also had hip surgery at 23 years old, which subsequently led to my diagnosis of an autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s. It completely wreaked havoc on my body and forced me to reckon with really rebuilding a relationship with my body from a place of respect, rather than neglect. In the five years since then, I’ve cultivated an appreciation and love for my body, inside and out, that I didn’t think was possible 10 years ago.
How would you define confidence?
Confidence is knowing you need nothing else than what is inside of you to feel good in your own skin.
When is your first memory of feeling confident?
My first memory of feeling truly, truly confident was about 3 years ago when I wore a bikini outside all day with friends for the 4th of July and did not think once about how I appeared to others, but rather how good I felt in my own skin.
When is your first memory of feeling insecure?
One of my first sharp memories of this that comes to mind was when one of my skating coaches, who was an Olympic champion, told me how much restriction she put her body through while training for the Olympics. It made me feel like I wasn’t doing enough hardship to myself to be a champion athlete — this is the mentality and one of the moments that set me up for years of an eating disorder.
Why did you feel this way or what made you feel this way?
In my mind back then, my body was a tool for performance; a tool for value, accomplishment, and validation. Growing up as an athlete in a very vicious sport engrained these tentpoles of thought for me.
What makes you feel most confident now? How has this changed?
Standing in my truth. Standing in my true feelings, bad or good, living authentically to what I believe and how I feel and owning my truth of where I currently AM rather than projecting my happiness on where I’d like to go from here; or as I like to say, learning how to embrace mine NOW. This has drastically changed, as I used to dangle happiness and accomplishment as this unhealthy little carrot to drive me towards what I wanted, but always kept it out of reach. It took me a long time to learn that I didn’t need to suffer in order to feel good afterward.
How are you using your platform to make a difference?
Speaking about my struggle with body image, autoimmune disease, relationship with food, relationships, and overall mental health, especially from the perspective of a health coach (I am a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach), has largely been my main way of driving my purpose — to empower people to take charge of their well-being, stand in their truth and live an untethered life. I want to help others help themselves.
What is something you’re most proud of?
My willingness to confront the things that feel scary or uncomfortable.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Take ownership over the things you can control in life, which is only a small fraction of things, but let yourself surrender in the waves of the things you can’t control. And learn how to enjoy the ride.
Minna has her own lovely platform filled with all things wellness — from recipes to lifestyle, Minna takes you through how she lives authentically in wellness and vulnerability. Check out her blog to learn more!
The Campaign for Confidence supports LARK's mission to empower women to feel comfortable in their skin, embrace what makes them one-of-a-kind, and show up as they are -- because we are all beautiful. To learn more, click here.