I met Lindsay Vastola two years ago at a women's networking meeting. She is the founder of Body Project Fitness. At the time Body Project was mainly offering boot camps to help women stay fit and strong. Lindsay was smart, confident, and ready to take on the world with her, "Just Own It" message. Although she was still clarifying for herself what that meant, you could just tell she was chomping at the bit to expand her business into a full-blown lifestyle boutique and multi-faceted empire including public speaking, seminars, workshops, TV appearances, and more!
When I asked Lindsay, "Why now?" she told me she just felt 'ready'! She had spent years honing her message, studying her subject matter, and working with women. And, she was finishing her Invisalign treatment, which gave her just the boost she needed to fully feel at ease smiling and speaking in front of a crowd, or even one-on-one. This was the last "physical" piece of the puzzle for her to feel fully confident!
Anyone who knows me, knows I love to smile. But, not being confident with your smile was something I hadn't thought much about, until Lindsay mentioned it to me that day - what does one do if he or she is just not comfortable with their smile? Confidence must come from within.
And so, Lindsay found her confidence, moved forward, and since then she has been speaking regularly at corporations, small businesses, events, networking meetings, and advocating for juvenile diabetes research in Washington DC! And, to top it off, she just gave birth to her precious little man, Emilio Jr.!
So, when I had the opportunity to work on the Invisalign campaign all about personal growth and transformation, who was the first person I thought of? Lindsay Vastola, naturally!! Kind of crazy how that connection happened?
I sat down with Lindsay for an interview last week - her inner glow shining bright, and she even brought 6 week-old EJ along!! We chatted a bit about life as a new mom, running her businesses, and the ripple effect of her confident smile!
Me: So, you look amazing! You have the new-mommy glow! How are you doing?
LV: Really great. Beyond my expectations, he's such a good baby. And it's really fun to see my husband as a father. He is so fantastic with him, too! Our life has changed in a way I just can't explain!
Me: Now you have Body Project, you're opening a new office for lifestyle coaching and workshops, and you are speaking all over, right? How is that all going?
LV: First, I am grateful for my staff, they really have kept Body Project running smoothly. And I am excited about the physical space, as I told you a couple of years ago, I really wanted to teach seminars and share my "Just Own It" message beyond just fitness, it really is a mentality. We have one life to live - you gotta just own it, and go for what you want, commit to yourself, invest in yourself, so you can be your best self! And doing that allows us to really reach out and 'show up' in the world to help others! You know how passionate I am about that - it's an important mission of my business to do community outreach and fundraisers.
Me: I know! That's one of the things I love about you, is that you definitely are making a difference.
LV: Well, I try! I'm on the board of directors for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, go to DC to meet with legislators to speak on important legislation & funding for research for diabetes. I hosted a Red Carpet event to raise funds & awareness for Enchanted Makeovers, and I partner with lots of local organizations, education foundations, girl scouts...but I know that having the confidence and command in speaking definitely helps me to get out there. I am more confident now - I feel more confident speaking and smiling, having my pictures taken, and it makes a difference to me.
Me: So, that's interesting! You're so confident, I can’t imagine you any other way! But, you say you’re more confident since you had your teeth aligned? When did you first consider it?
LV: I always wanted braces, my brother had braces (our grandparents paid for them). But, when it was time for me, our family just couldn't afford them. When I was little, I wanted them so badly, I would even put foil on my teeth! Of course, when I was in high school, I wanted straight teeth, but didn't want to wear metal braces!
Me: Did your teeth really affect your self-confidence level growing up?
LV: Well, I had a tooth that was pushed so far back, it almost looked like I was missing a tooth, especially in pictures! For my senior portrait, I even asked the photographer to fix the shadow!! This was pre-photoshop, though. Don’t get me wrong, I worked on my building confidence in other ways. I worked out and lived a healthy lifestyle. I studied hard. I had great friendships. I was confident with those aspects of myself and my life, but, even still, yes, I was self-conscious about my teeth even before middle school.
Me: Was it something other people noticed? Why were you self-conscious?
LV: No, I was never teased or anything like that, although my family and friends knew it bothered me. It was just personal self induced self-consciousness because I knew it was there. My 2 front teeth were straight, side teeth were back and bottom were crooked. Like I said, in pictures it looked like I was missing a tooth, and that was all I could see.
Me: I see both pictures, and you’re beautiful in both of course – you do look like you’re really smiling 'from inside' in the recent photo (post-treatment), though! How was your self-esteem overall growing up?
LV: I think I had pretty good self-esteem - being healthy, and taking care of myself has always been important to me. I always loved myself regardless, but my smile was that one thing that I felt super conscious about. And I knew it could be fixed, so it bothered me that we couldn't fix it when I was younger. Although, I always knew at some point, I could fix it. I know it shouldn't matter, but honestly unless you have the issue, you can't understand how much it does matter, at least it did to me!
Me: Hey, we're inside-out beings, I get it! And, no one can really tell us what we should or shouldn't be self-conscious about...I have a tiny gap in the front of my teeth that years ago a dentist tried to convince me to have bonded, but since I was fine with it (and actually like it), I didn't because my teeth are straight otherwise. But, I take care of my teeth both for aesthetic reasons and health reasons. And, when I chipped a tooth in college, I went right to the dentist to have it fixed! I think as long as we work on our inside self as much (or more) as our physical self.
LV: Absolutely! The inside can affect the outside, the outside can affect the inside. I see it every day with my clients - personal transformation is very empowering!
Me: So, when did you finally get the aligners for your teeth?
LV: Well, I remember when Invisalign first came out - I think I was in college - I was excited because I didn't have to wear metal braces as an adult! And then, 10 years later, I started my business, and one of my first clients, Dr. Janhavi Rane, was a leading dentist in Central NJ! I asked her if I was a candidate, and she said "absolutely!" Needless to say, I took the jump, made the investment in myself & my career! I made the commitment in June for my birthday (as sort of a birthday present for myself). My husband knew I was self-conscious so wanted me to go for it! It was very neat to see the transition, and see how quickly my teeth we're transforming. The treatment was done in just 1 year, and it was an easy, natural process. It was crazy, because something that bothered me my entire life, in just one year was fixed. I couldn't believe how differently I felt!
SHE'S HELPING OTHERS...
LV: It's fun to take pictures now, and I have no worries about shadows! Honestly, it helped to take my business to the next level. I even had professional headshots!! I also always wanted do more video blogging, but when I did it before treatment, I was constantly critiquing myself physically, and it inherently dampened my spirits. Isn’t that crazy how we can fixate on those things? Now I can video blog and critique the content, what really matters, so I am more impactful. And, to be honest, freeing myself from the negative energy, the prevailing negative thoughts about my teeth, elevated everything I did because I didn't have to worry or think about it anymore. Now I am spending that energy making people smile, making a difference in people's lives!
Me: You do make a huge difference in so many people's lives! What is your unique gift? How do you use it to serve the world?
LV: I think I have a gift of connection. Whenever I meet someone, I make a purposeful effort to connect with them on some level, regardless of how much we may seem to have or not have in common. Deep down, we all just want to be the best version of ourselves and my goal with each person I connect with is to help them bring out that “best version.”
Me: And lastly, what makes YOU smile?
LV: The crow’s feet I developed before the age of 25 are proof that I do love smiling…so many things inspire me to smile! My husband; the rolls on my new baby’s rolls thighs; emails from clients sharing how I’ve helped to transform their lives and their family; thoughts of the silly, quirky things we did as a family growing up; the list could go on and on!
NOTE: This post is part of a campaign all about inspired living and personal transformation for Invisalign. I am a hired expert content provider for the campaign, which will include a series of blog posts, live chats, and other content all about being happy, healthy, and helping others. All opinions expressed are my own.