When you scroll my social media pages it’s pretty obvious that I am all about loving your body which makes it hard to believe that not long ago, I couldn’t stand to be in my own skin.
In this blog post I’m going to share with you how fitness helped me go from overweight and self loathing to being very comfortable in who I am within my body.
It’s a messy long story that I will go into detail about one day when I get my book deal (speaking it into reality) but today I’ll try to keep it short and share how fitness saved my life and the three mindshifts I made that changed my relationship with my body. I invite you to apply these to your life if you are finding it challenging to be within your own body right now.
I was doing it all wrong.
As a chubby, dark skinned young girl with really low self esteem, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be skinny. I already struggled with my body image and not feeling beautiful but a sexual assault experience right out of high school that was the beginning of a downward spiral for me.
Wanting to lose weight was enough pressure by societies beauty standards but I literally wanted to escape from my body because it didn’t feel safe to be in it. I either had to make sure my body was so perfect that no one would ever want to “hurt me again” or I had to make sure it was so imperfect that no one would ever find it attractive again (another concept for another day).
I got really skinny then gained 15kg (about 30lbs) in a short span of time and there began my love/hate relationship with my body. I fluctuated between my thinnest and heaviest as I tried EVERY diet you’ve ever heard of for a couple of years.
The cycle went like this: I’d get depressed, when I’m depressed guess who became the victim of my self defeating thoughts? My body! I’d pick my body apart and bully myself into going on another diet.
I thought if my body was perfect then surely I would find joy, love and finally feel like I was enough. Ironically at my smallest I was also my unhappiest.
It’s about way more than weight loss
I numbed, restricted and hated my body to my lowest weight ever but no joy, no love, and I felt even more unworthy because not only was I making terrible choices for my body, I was making terrible choices for my mental and emotional well-being too.
It took a lot of falling and failing to realize that my body wasn’t the problem, how I felt about myself was.
I was terrible to myself.
My internal dialogue was a bully and I kept betraying myself for the validation of people who kept proving to me that my wellbeing was not a priority to them.
A self love approach to fitness
I finally arrived at the realization that It is no one else’s job to love me but my own.
I’ve used fitness to lift myself up many times. Fitness got me through my homesickness when I was living alone in a foreign country, through my divorce, through the opening and closure of my first fitness studio and fitness gets me through the battlegrounds of daily life.
I had to learn to love my body and I had to learn to love myself so that my choices were in alignment with my personal value.
3 Mind shifts that changed my relationship with fitness and allowed me to reach my body goals.
- You can not hate yourself to a perfect body: Start making wellness choices from a place of love. You can’t hate your body and expect it to ever feel good (yes even at your goal). The energy you are emitting when you are eating or exercising is exactly what you are putting into your body. Change your thoughts from “I hate exercise” to “I love moving my body is ways that allow me to feel strong and confident”
- Food is not the enemy: I teach my clients how to track calories and for the first 90 days that we work together I do require that they keep an online food log. Why? Because food has energetic value and the amount of food you take in does reflect in our body size. Those are just facts. How we interact with food is what matters when it comes to physically changing your body. You can still have a slice of pizza and reach your body goal. Once you understand what food is you can use it to not only reach your body goal but enjoy it in its many forms.
- Live like you are already in the body of your dreams: You know how they say you should dress for the job you want? Live like you are already in the body of your dreams. How would you dress? How would you eat? How would you walk? Do you sway your hips like “can’t nobody touch this” You need to do all that right now. Feel gratitude for your body and what it has done for you up until this point and you will inevitably start taking more actions and making lifestyle choices that make you feel good. The more you love yourself the more self-loving lifestyle choices you will make.
Fitness is not just about losing weight (I actually hate the term weight loss but we will talk about that another time). Weight loss is an amazing bonus but really, my wish for each and everyone who embarks on a 90 day body transformation journey with me is this:
I want you to feel mentally and emotionally stronger; to feel capable of conquering anything life throws at them (I legit make baby gun sounds at the curve-ball situations life throws at us like pew pew!)
I want you to have ten times the confidence you came in with. I literally want you to be that person that checks themselves out when they walk past mirrors and windows. (Yes on my good days you best believe I be walking past mirrors like “Eyyy who dat!?”)
I want you to be able to pass the habits, tools, knowledge and mindset shifts you learn to your kids, family and future generations. Living healthy isn’t just for other people. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t grow up this way, the holistically healthy cycle can start with you. (My child’s first meal will probably be a green smoothie. Please pray for the man that knocks me up)
Lastly and most importantly I want you to fall in the deepest of love with yourself. That self love hit different Sis. How you feel about yourself reflects in every other relationship you have and It reflects in the choices you make for yourself and your life.
I’m not perfect but because of my fitness routine I continue to grow physically, mentally and emotionally as I keep my body challenged.
My fitness and lifestyle routine is how I show love for myself. I’m thankful for my body and for all that it allows me to do.
Fitness saves my life daily as I commit to getting stronger, faster, more flexible and more resilient each and every day of my life.
P.s I just started a 90 day project with one of my favorite coaches, Karen Powell. The goal is to focus on one project within a 90 day container of time, taking daily action steps towards that goal for which we will be held accountable in a group of other people doing their own 90 day projects. My focus for the 90 days is to make one blog post entry for the next 90 days.
The reason I’m doing this is to release myself from the limiting belief that my work has to be perfect before I can share it.
So for the next 90 days I will post something here, every day. To relieve my anxiety I’ve given myself permission to post anything, a picture, even just a sentence, the goal is that I post something. I invite you to join me on this journey, come visit me here for the next 90 days to see what I post or subscribe to my email community where I will share an invite to only what I think is my best post of the week.
This is my first post. It is now 1:47 am but I told myself I will not go to bed until I complete this task. Technically it’s day 2 now but I’m still counting it as day 1 because I haven’t gone to bed yet.
My ending question for you is, what would you like to do more of for your well being that you have not been doing? Are you up for a challenge to do it every day for the next 90 Days? Comment below and I invite you to consider starting your own 90 day project!