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Nagina Lane

Source: Self-Portraits by Nagina Lane

For as long as Nagina Lane could remember, she was never fully in love with herself. Her big brown hair frames her face like a bloomed sunflower and you can feel her energy through her smile. Yet, her struggle to find beauty in her imperfections, combined with the recent death of her mother and closest friend, left her depressed. She found herself gasping for air amidst the most challenging two years of her life. Desperate for relief, she embarked on a lifestyle journey to combat her biggest insecurities — her acne and weight.

“I felt hopeless,” she admitted while discussing the dark time after her mother’s passing. “Losing my mother caused me to lose a part of myself.”

The self-taught photographer and visual artist hid behind her computer and even turned down financial opportunities. She ate fast food everyday, which led to uncontrolled weight gain. She felt “horrible.” Then came the breakup with her ex. Her crutch was gone. That and a potential health scare forced Nagina to look within herself to find new strength.

Much of Lane’s career in media centers around appearance so she fully understands the power of presentation. And she wasn’t putting her best self forward. “I was unhappy with how I felt and how I looked,” she admitted.

In March, she reached out to a personal trainer, Irv, she found on social media. “We did an assessment and that’s when my fitness/health journey began.” An ember began to glow inside where smothered smoke had taken over

“My workout regimen includes 6 workouts a week, gym or home. Once a week, I attend a high intensity interval training boot camp led by my personal trainer and an hour private training session. My daily independent workouts are sent to me by my trainer, who also tracks my food intake.” Nagina credits her trainer and friends with keeping her accountable. “We check in with each other to make sure we’re staying on the right path,” she said. It led to their hashtag and private movement, #weoutside.

After losing 80 pounds in eight months, she celebrated her 30th birthday with a self-portrait shoot that displayed everything she once tried to hide.

“I wanted a way to celebrate me because I’ve come so far. I’ve worked so hard and I’m still working to be a better, more healthier and happier version of myself. I was inspired by a Savage Fenty Instagram post to do a photo shoot. I’m usually the one behind the camera and not in front of it, so I was super nervous about “modeling.” Instead of hiring a photographer, I decided to take my own images and did so right in my bedroom. It was the hardest shoot I’ve ever done. All I kept thinking was ‘dis tew much.'”

It was challenging, but she pushed through.

Nagina Lane

Source: Self-Portraits of Nagina Lane

Still, the deeply engrained affects of years-long insecurities left her fearful of sharing the photos. “My friends and colleagues who cheered me on, gave me the courage to share my photos. I’m still shooketh about it!”

But walking in her purpose encouraged her to take the leap of faith and post images on Instagram. “I was told that sharing them with some of my story may help someone else in their journey.

Nagina is still falling in love with herself but encourages anyone seeking a change to take the leap. “If I can do it, literally anyone can.”

Follow Nagina Lane’s journey, here.

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