You know why I cuss on the podcast? Because the most genuine and authentic truth speakers do. I spent YEARS being “politically correct” so I wouldn’t be too loud, too opinionated, too this or too that… I shushed my spirit, my truth, and my feelings so I wouldn’t ruffle up anyone else’s feathers and that’s such a bullshit way of living. I don’t regret any of the experiences that I’ve had over the years, but I sure as hell don’t allow others to dictate the way that I live now. I laugh LOUDLY with my whole heart and definitely with my whole mouth and voice. I speak sincerely, openly, and honestly… I embrace who I genuinely am every single day and actively heal my mind, body, and soul from all the crap that I was put through. I am finally proud of myself again for having the courage to FULLY show up as myself unapologetically, not as the suppressed, stifled version that held back so many words and even tears. Now, after all of that time, growth, and healing, I’m committed to helping you do the same in your journey to show up unapologetically as the unique, amazing individual that you are!”
CEO - Founder & creator
THE BYOC STORY
So here’s a little bit about my story…
I started dancing when I was 16 years old. I thought that I started way too late to pursue it as anything more than just a hobby, but thankfully I was surrounded by some pretty incredible people who encouraged me and pushed me every single day to dream bigger and just go for it!
I auditioned for my high school drill team and made it, and then started to fall in love with the concept of a drill team in general.
The sisterhood, the comradery, the performance, the adrenaline, the pressure of having to memorize choreography (which I was absolutely terrible at)… it was such a new way of living that I was so here for.
When I was thinking about where I wanted to go to college, my first choice was the University of Texas in Austin. I even took an SAT class as an elective my senior year in order to get the best possible score that I could (1450 the first and only time taking it, thank you very much) so that I could potentially get accepted.
But I still attended college fairs with friends because I didn’t live my life closed minded. There was a booth set up for the Tyler Junior College Apache Belles and I just loved the Belle Gold Scout that was recruiting. Long story short, she persuaded me to audition, and I made the team! (On a broken foot and little to no sleep! But that another story…)
While I was on the team, I was encouraged by one of my peers who was a sophomore to audition for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (or DCC for short).
And that’s all she wrote folks!
Just kidding… there’s A LOT more that happened… I didn’t even realize that there was a reality show about the auditioning process until I decided to research what I needed to do in order to make the team!
If you want ALL THE TEA please check out the “Be Your Own Cheerleader Podcast” (BYOC Podcast for short) and follow me on Instagram: @VivianRalena
To sum it all up, I failed… epically… on a reality show that embarrassed me to no end on international television.
The person that I had been up to that point in my life and the person I was always striving to be, was being torn to shreds… and it was for all for the world to see.
There was a lot of cool stuff that happened while I was on the show…
Like being the first ever “Fan Favorite” voted into training camp with 50 thousand votes, which is basically like being “Homecoming Queen” for the Training Camp Candidates… (well kinda..) either way, it was an absolute honor.
And I had the support of every single person that I knew, which meant the absolute world to me! (Seriously you guys gave me strength when I no longer wanted to go on. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.)
But I also went through a lot of terrible stuff throughout my journey of trying to become a DCC… like body dysmorphia, bulimia, massive weight loss then massive weight gain, loss of self-esteem, development of anxiety and depression, the consistent over consumption of alcohol, and my least favorite – the defamation of my character…
There was a lot more that happened in my personal life but we will just keep it at a summary: It freakin’ sucked.
After years of self reflection, soul searching, and massive amounts of research, I now get to use all of those experiences to assist in helping heal other people who need it. And that’s what the BYOC Movement is. That’s what my Podcast is based upon, and what my mission will be: To help those who are hurting with love, lessons, and laughter.
It’s a movement to help people learn how to love and accept themselves for who they are now, today in their present moment!
It encourages people to embody their fullest expression of themselves in this lifetime.
It’s a place where people can feel safe, unjudged, and appreciated for their unique individuality.
I teach people how to be their own damn cheerleader and stop allowing fear, pain, trauma, or any other circumstance stand in the way of finding happiness, love, or living their best life.
When you are your own cheerleader you don’t have to worry about fitting into anyone else’s uniform.
You don’t have to worry about making weight, or doing your hair in a certain way, or being one minute late for a game.
When you are your own cheerleader you learn how to live a life worth cheering for even if you are down in the 4th quarter with 2 minutes left on the clock. Because you DON’T give up on a team that you TRULY BELIEVE IN.
And I want to help you truly believe in yourself.
I went to college to get my degree in journalism, then transitioned to marketing, communications, and writing. All while having a pretty extensive physical training regimen and studying nutrition & fitness.
I juggled being a dance instructor, a professional cheerleader, a full-time college student, a sorority sister, a performance fraternity vice president, and a fitness enthusiast all while trying to be the best sister, daughter, and girlfriend that I could be.
You could say that I bit off way more than I could chew, but that would be a HILARIOUS understatement.
How did I do all of that and still function, you ask? I have no fucking clue.
BUT WHAT I DO KNOW IS THAT I WAS WORKING MY ASS OFF (EVERY SINGLE DAY) WHILE IGNORING ALL THE TRAUMA, PAIN, AND OTHER BULLSHIT THAT WAS HAPPENING TO ME. NEVER FEELING LIKE I WAS EVER DOING ENOUGH, BEING ENOUGH, OR WAS GOOD ENOUGH. WHEN I WAS CLEARLY DOING WAY MORE THAN ENOUGH. BUT I GUESS THAT’S WHAT HIGH ACHIEVERS SOMETIMES FALL VICTIM TO.
(Let me ask you this: Are you bitting off more than you can chew?)
And what happened from being overloaded, overwhelmed, unappreciated and undermined, you ask?
You guessed it: MY LIFE BLEW THE FUCK UP.
It’s like when you shake up a bottle of soda, sooner or later, it’s gonna blow.
I spent years trying to actively IGNORE all that I needed to heal. How did I do that? You guessed it, self medication.
I drank, and drank, and drank… And you want to know a secret to why I also abbreviate “Be Your Own Cheerleader” as BYOC? It’s because you better believe I was Bringing My Own Beer (a.k.a. BYOB) to countless engagements… Or wine, or vodka, or any alcohol to be honest.
My life was a mess… I was a mess, one of my bosses even referred to me as a hot mess once… and even though they were clearly in the right with that statement, I still didn’t deserve to be spoken to in that way. I let people take advantage of me every where, in every way, and in every aspect of my life… It was tragic… and it was only a matter of time until I hit my bottom.
My guardian angels definitely had to work overtime during that season of my life… But hey, it would probably been an interesting Netflix show, because of all the twists, turns, and unsolicited drama!
(LOL I’m just kidding… kind of haha)
“It took a long time and a lot of effort, countless tears, a few relationships, and a lot of shit I’d rather not go into detail about… But, I realized that I had a choice to make. I could be crippled for the rest of my life because of an event that could be considered a failure… or I could change my perspective and look at it as a turning point and catalyst that would propel me into my future.”
So whether or not your life has become a shit show or maybe it was a shit show and now you’re trying to change the channel. I welcome you in becoming the “Game Changer” of your own life and to learn from my show and all the shit that I had to overcome in my journey.
The “Be Your Own Cheerleader Podcast” isn’t about pompoms, showing lots of skin, and sexy dance moves. I mean I could easily make it about that, but no, it’s about learning how to NOT give up on yourself, even when everyone else does, and especially when you want to as well.
It’s about cheering for a team that you actually believe in, and not just a team that you were told to represent.
It’s about waving a flag that shows your unique colors… and looking around to see that even though we all may be waving different flags, with all the different colors of the rainbow, the fact that we are able to even play the game at all is remarkable in itself.
I hope you choose to join me in my new journey as I start this podcast that will encourage you to living a life worth cheering for, cheering for the team that you belong to, YOUR team. Cheering for YOU!
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.”
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."