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Gabriella Halikas Proves Her Confidence Isn’t Tied to Body Size

The 2021 SI Swim Search finalist posted about her inner transformation on Instagram.

A picture is worth a thousand words but sometimes 1,001 are needed to give the full story. Gabriella Halikas recently posted a series of photos of herself from 2020 next to pictures of herself from 2022. At first, the differences seem superficial, but something deeper is present. Two years ago, Halikas says she was the thinnest she’d ever been, but she was also at her lowest point emotionally.

gabriella "ella" halikas runway

Gabriella Athena Halikas walks the runway for VDM The Label Fashion Show during Paraiso Miami Beach at The Paraiso Tent on July 17, 2022 in Miami Beach, Florida. 

“Early 2020 I was living at home, working at a restaurant and just overall miserable. I was dealing with family stuff, self image issues, lack of purpose and motivation, etc. I was constantly trying to make myself smaller with the hopes of becoming more confident and beautiful. Well, that surely didn’t happen. January 2020 I was the smallest I had been in probably 4-5 years and yet the most insecure, unhealthy, and miserable I've been, too. I was constantly weighing myself, eating less, working out more, skipping meals, and really just wanted to feel whole again. Well, let me tell you: weight loss will not fill that void and happiness you’re trying to find,” the 2021 SI Swim Search finalist shares.

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Now, Halikas says that while she’s close to her heaviest weight, she’s also the happiest and most confident she’s ever been. “I’m not here to tell you that being smaller is a bad thing, or losing weight is terrible. I’m just here to share my story on how I was chasing the wrong things, and found myself in a worse situation. 2.5 years later, I’m probably close to the biggest I’ve been physically and yet the happiest and most confident. I feel love, light, happiness, strength, power, peace, and I feel whole now.” Want proof? Her inner glow was certainly shimmering when she walked in multiple runway shows at Miami Swim Week last month.

Her authenticity struck a chord with several models, including 2022 SI Swimsuit model and fitness entrepreneur, Katie Austin. Austin commented on the post saying, “You are amazing ❤️❤️❤️” While fellow model Nicki Andrea responded saying, “Beautiful always but I can see your true happiness shine through now!!”

Halikas continues to inspire women to love themselves and not measure their worthiness, beauty or anything for that matter based upon their outer appearance. Halikas ended her post with a beautiful sentiment to her followers.

“I hope this helps one person on here, that you give your body and mind grace. To understand our bodies change all the time, and for us to release that pressure of being thin just to feel accepted and worthy. You are worthy the way you are now. Never dim your light just trying to chase society’s unrealistic beauty standards and fighting to “fit in”. Just be YOU. That’s what’s beautiful. ❤️”