Happiness Comes From Within
On this episode, I had a chat with Miryah Scott, a 3x World Champion Fitness Model. We had a powerful conversation about how true happiness comes from within.
About Our Guest - Miryah Scott, 3x World Champion
Miryah has been active for most of her life, however in her 20’s after transitioning from a student and a waitress into a corporate role with an expense account she (like so many others) struggled with balance and experienced significant weight gain.
Low self image and depression lead her to numbing the pain with short term satisfactions like food, alcohol and fake friends. She was on a downward spiral, but there was a voice within her that said, “You are going through this for a reason”. It was when she decided to hire a personal trainer that this chapter closed and transitioned to the next. Miryah lost significant amount of weight, found confidence, balance and happiness again. It was then that she was encouraged to participate in her first fitness competition.
Fast forward Miryah retired as a 3x undefeated World Champion Fitness Model, with four international magazine covers, and several sponsorships, all while maintaining a full time job. Despite the accolades, accomplishments and praise of being called the best body in the world three times over, Miryah was still alone, depressed and unsatisfied. This was the realization that there is so much more to life than being the perfect person society says you “should” be. After a long, challenging journey to self love, Miryah has found that freedom, balance, and authentic connection are what truly matter and that happiness comes from within. This led her to create Freedom Fit Pass.
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Important Discussion Points
Happiness Comes From Within | Question 1 - Where did your journey with fitness begin and why and how did you decide to compete?
Oh gosh, I would have to say I started working out pretty young. I was probably around 16 years old and I tried out for a whole bunch of sports teams. And I kept getting cut from them because I had like no coordination. I can't catch, I can't throw, I can't do any of that. So, I still wanted to be fit because, I was hanging out with people that were active and so I decided to take to the gym. And so, I started working at a really young age. And, I bought all the magazines and I was self-taught, and I always had a gym membership. And, that was kind of it worked for a really, really long time. And I was just active that way until I hit about my mid-twenties and it didn't work anymore.
I went from being a waitress where you're running around carrying things and a student to a full-time desk job with an expense account. And, I gained about 30 pounds in three years. It was, the donut Fridays. There weren't just one, there was like three. There was sitting at a sedentary job all day long, going out for lunches, networking events and I'm partying on the weekend and I wasn't necessarily really happy. So, I was filling my life with a bunch of short-term satisfactions. And it ended up leading to a lot of weight gain. And I was never obese. My curves just got out of control. It got to a point where my girlfriends would invite me out and I would say no to them. Not because I didn't want to go, but because nothing in my closet fit. You know even my Lulus wouldn't fit anymore. And I remember that was a time when the voices in my head were so, so loud. That, like I would have constant headaches. I couldn't even hear myself think. And, there, was one voice though that they whispered you're going through this for a reason. And I think that was probably the voice that got me through and the voice that inspired me to change.
Happiness Comes From Within | Question 2 - So, aside from that one very, very positive voice that spoke to you, would you mind sharing some of the more negative messages that you were giving yourself?
They were hurtful, they were really hurtful. And they were things I would never let a human say to me, but there were things that I would readily say to myself. And I feel like that's a huge gauge on what we allow. We will treat ourselves and say worse things to ourselves than we'll let others say to us. But that is a gauge of the treatment that we allow in our life. Yeah, they're pretty dark, like it's just the committee of jerks in your head.
Happiness Comes From Within | Question 3 - How did you go from being bombarded with these negative messages to deciding to take the grand stage and competing?
It was that one voice that I kind of held on to that gave me hope and I started actually wanting to take control of my life again. I took before pictures, I hunted down a trainer. I remember I was at a gym and I was still trying to work out, but I had no clue what I was doing. I thought I knew after years of reading the magazines, and I didn't.
I couldn't get myself out, so I knew I needed help and I picked this one trainer who I'd been watching for a while. I'd watch him with other people and I really respected the kind of training that he did. And, it was a really neat story actually. I called him and I was like I don't think you know who I am. He's like “no, I know exactly who you are”.
And I was thrown back. He's like “I’ve been waiting for your call”. He had a six-month wait list and was like “you start Monday”. And I said okay, what can I do to be ready for Monday and he told me to watch "The Secret”.
And, I remember bawling my face off watching that movie and it had two sides to it. I was bawling my face off because I realized I had gotten myself there. But simultaneously, as we all know, I also had the power to get myself out. And then that was the kickoff to my training. It was a year with him, and I lost 20 pounds in a year, changed my life slowly and it was adapting to the lifestyle of just, you know, I started a party less. I started to hang with those friends a little bit less. I started to pick healthier things more and that was over the duration of the year with him.
Happiness Comes From Within | Question 4 - So, you decided to get a little bit of help is that something that you would recommend to somebody else?
Absolutely, absolutely. Like I did a lot of the work while I was getting help as well. I think you can do some of the work on yourself, like there's journaling, there's reading. But then you can almost, like the amount of self-help books you can read can almost give you an issue. You have to kind of go out there and the external guidance is so valuable. The accountability, the knowing that you're not alone, I think is a huge part of it. Like trying to fix something alone where you don't know where to start, too embarrassed to share that that's what you're going through.
And when the voices are that loud, telling you you're not worthy, they're also telling you can't share. They’re saying you're always going to be alone in this. You don't deserve help, nobody wants to help you. Name all the bad things it can say. So, when you do get help and you feel that external support, it helps quiet them.
Happiness Comes From Within | Question 5 - Would you mind talking about the slow progression through your competition?
Okay, so it took a year for me to lose the twenty pounds and then my trainer at the time had asked me, have you ever thought of doing a show? And I'd always been the one that had bought like Oxygen Magazine and put it on my treadmill to run and I was like, do you mean like those girls in the magazine? He's like, yeah. Like, oh gosh. I don’t know. He’s like think about it, you got the shape they look for.
So, I waited, and I decided why not. I wasn't doing much, I wasn't really satisfied with my job, I needed a goal. And so, I had some extra time on my hands and I just kind of took it on like that. Like hey, I'll try this thing. And, it was really, it started out being something that I could just apply my energy to that I felt good doing. Because we can either stay in a space and struggle with staying still or we can struggle trying to progress ourselves to somewhere new. And, I love growth. I'm like addicted to growth. I'm addicted to learning, I'm addicted to becoming a better person. So, that first show was really me pushing the boundaries on what I thought it was capable of. I never thought I could like diet like that or train that hard or I'd never thought I could push through soreness like that. I never thought my body could do those things. So, I ended up having a better body after my first show than I did when I was 18. It was awesome. And, I was just so excited that I discovered this new part of myself. Very unbalanced mind you. It was obsessive, it was for sure obsessive.
So, I did my first show and I've never even seen one before. It was just a cool goal. I didn't even know. But I went and I was so happy to be there. I was just standing for these judges didn't care, did not even care what they thought. And I think that's probably why I won. Because, I just didn't give a crap what they had to say. I was just confident and happy in my body and the energy just like glue on stage, it was like a magnet and that's what attracted it.
Happiness Comes From Within | Question 6 - Did you ever think that one day you were going to be at the pinnacle of the fitness world?
No, not at all. I was just totally in the moment, I didn't even think about winning. I didn't even know that was possible. I didn't even know what winning would do. And then, like to God's grace, I ended up winning this thing they called a pro card. And the pro card is like where they have all the winners and the pro card then awarded me the ability to go to the World Championships. That was probably like three, four months later after that. And then so, when I decided I was going to go I then realized I was going to be on stage next to all the girls that were on the magazines that I used to be inspired by.
It was nuts.
Happiness Comes From Within | Question 7 - So, this is really the meat of the conversation that I want to get into. Three-time world champion, multiple magazine covers, best body in the world. But somewhere along that journey your emotions took a toll and there was a very much a disconnect between this pinnacle that you were on, but the emotional sadness, if you will, that you felt inside. Would you mind getting into that?
Yeah, absolutely. My first World Championship, I had no idea what was going on and then the magazine's kept coming and the photo shoots kept coming. And then, I was gonna do the second world championship and that's when I could tell my ego kicked in. Because a lot of them called me a fluke. They said she's a fluke, she can't do it twice. And so, I was driven to prove them wrong and that was probably my hardest show. That was where the voices started to come back. Because it wasn't for me anymore, it was about wanting external validation. I wanted them to accept that I deserved it.
So, I was proving something to someone. And so, it was really funny. During that prep, I remember being overweight on my living room floor crying because the voices my head were so loud. And I remember prepping for a show being called best body in the world alone on my living room floor crying, both unhappy. One overweight, one best body in the world. I mean the body didn't define my happiness and that was the biggest struggle of a show that I ended up doing. But it was beating that voice, it was finding a different reason that I think actually got me through. But it was just, it was such a huge lesson when the whisper before said you're going through this for a reason and then I heard that exact same thing again when I was at the pinnacle of my physicality. And it was the same feeling lonely, depressed, sad, and the body had nothing to do with it.
Happiness Comes From Within | Question 8 - Even though you went through a dark phase with this competition, you still learned. You took away some very, very valuable lessons. Which of those lessons would you say was the most important?
I would have to say that when you live a life aligned with your values, and mine at that time was growth, that there's nothing in the world you can't do. And when you live a life that's in line with your values, that instills a confidence that is magnetic that everybody around may want it. But, if you are just organically attached to what's true to you, you can, and be, and do anything you want. I mean it just, then it just plays in, all the things happen for you. It doesn't become hard.
So, whether it's getting the body that you want or starting a company or getting in a relationship that you feel you're deserving of. If you're in line with what matters to you, like your true values, you're not affected by the external, then things just happen for you. Then the world just comes into play and there's nothing you can't do.
Happiness Comes From Within | Question 9 - So, taking away these learnings, taking away your values and this growth mindset, how do you approach your body today?
It was such a mess to get to the spot that I'm in now like, oh God, when you, when you're in something for five, six years and how much of your abs are showing are directly tied to your self-worth, it takes a long time to get out of that. Like I probably I had eating issues, I had body-dysmorphia for sure. I didn't know how to do anything because my entire life was calculated, like how much you sleep, what you eat. Somebody told me what to eat for five six years. Like literally on a spreadsheet, I didn't know what to do. Like calories out was calculated, restaurants were a black hole, I couldn't go out and socialize with friends. I had to relearn everything.
So, I have an issue with all-in and balance. I mean it's a value of mine. But I still believe that values can be things that we're striving for and balance, I mean you're always striving to stay on balance, right? So, I swung the other way again for a bit, you know, went out and partying too much for a while, definitely like just I was still trying to work out, got lost again. Like it probably took another, like five years to kind of get like back out. I left in 2011. So, I finally started to like rediscover myself at around like four years and I think I'm hummin’ now. I think I finally have balance. The obsessions gone, the validation of the way the body looks is gone, you know, a lot of my friends say I’m on a “guy-et”. Like I don't focus on what I eat ever, like I don't obsess about it at all.
You will never catch me counting calories ever again and I don't think I can ever eat cucumbers anymore either, I’ve eaten way too many in life. Fish and cucumbers, I can't handle them anymore. But I think it took me a long time to find where I am right now.