This article was originally published in the Spring 2016 print issue of Sass Magazine.
Take a minute to think about your morning routine as you head off to work, you get dressed, do your hair, brush your teeth, add some mascara to your eyelashes, grab your coffee, and run. Now, how would your morning routine be altered if you had no to hair to style? How would your attitude towards life change if you were bald? As women we are all to often caught up in the superficial beauty of life, but Caryn Dayhoff, who is bald herself, is working to empower women with a true sense of inner beauty.
As if middle school was not hard enough, when Caryn entered sixth grade she began to lose her hair in large clumps. After several doctors’ visits she was diagnosed with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes unexplained, and unpredictable hair loss. In a matter of weeks she was completely bald, and would eventually lose her eyelashes and eyebrows as well.
Despite this devastating blow, it was in this dark time that she truly learned to find her inner beauty. Thanks to the help of good friends, Caryn was able to mentally overcome this disease, and become confident in who she was without hair. “Because of dealing with this disease, I feel I am much more confident in myself now.”
Caryn has always considered herself an active person, but a breast cancer scare in 2014 marked a turning point in her life. “Having found several lumps in my breast, I was terrified of the diagnosis.” Fortunately, she did not have breast cancer, but did have a horrible infection that left her ill for several months. After months of illness, she was fed up with feeling poorly, not being able to exercise, and barely having the energy to leave the house. She needed a change.
That change came in the form of a 12-week fitness and nutrition challenge sponsored by Labrada Nutrition. “I was going to do the challenge no matter what. It was all or nothing.” Not only did she complete the challenge, she won the Most Inspirational award for the 2015 Lean Body for Her Challenge.
“As a result of the challenge, I was hooked on fitness and nutrition.” Taking this passion she pursued a certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and in October becoming a certified personal trainer. She now works at Snap Fitness in Mount Airy, MD. Caryn has also formed a group called Caryn’s CREW, (Creatively Renewing Every Woman). Her dream is to train women, especially brides (or the entire bridal party!), instilling in them an outward confidence and inner beauty before they walk down the aisle. The strong sense of determination, pride and beauty that she helps to develop in other women makes Caryn truly an inspiring empowered woman.
You inspire us, what inspires you?
Seeing women live lives with confidence no matter how they look. Inner beauty displayed in confidence is truly one of the most inspiring things to me.
What do you think was the most important decision you made along the way during your journey?
The most important decision I have made in life is to keep going and keep getting back up no matter how hard things get. Sometimes things have looked really dark and almost impossible, the idea of giving up seemed appealing.
How do you feel empowered?
I feel empowered when I am able to help others feel confident or achieve their goals no matter how small they are. Making them smile at their accomplishments makes me feel accomplished.
What advice would you give someone who was going through something similar?
Don’t lose faith. There is a reason for every hardship in life. Surround yourself with friends and family who will lift you up and encourage you. Remember, it can’t rain forever.
Who inspires you?
Local resident [and life coach] Liz King for her work with women in Frederick and how she inspires and empowers them.
What’s next for you?
Starting Caryn’s CREW (Creatively Renewing Every Woman) my personal training business where I hope to inspire and encourage women to reach their potential both inside and out.
What do you think gives you your Sass?
My confidence in who I am in Christ. I like to hold my head high regardless of what others think and live a life that honors God and inspires others to live confidently as well.