It’s November in Northern Nevada and the weather has just started getting wet and cranky. I’m standing outside my gym in the rain. My body is hot, and I can see steam floating up off my arms as I lean against the wet wall and let allow myself 1 minute to cry. I had been pushing all of my built up emotions down and down and down, as far as I could, throughout the whole workout. I finally had to step out so that I wouldn’t choke on my own feelings lodged in my throat. “1 minute, that’s all you get.” I tell myself.
Pushing yourself physically in a workout will ALWAYS break down those walls we work so hard to put up. It exposes you, makes you feel vulnerable and you cannot hide. That is part of why working out is so uncomfortable for most people at first, and we don’t like to do it! But eventually, it turns into a magical, victorious, HIGH, that us weird fitness people chase like a drug. That feeling when you’ve conquered the initial discomfort and you start to feel stronger, faster, BETTER. Suddenly there is NOTHING you cant face out in the world, once you’ve faced yourself in the gym.
But…starting over is SO HARD.
“I am so tired of feeling this way. Is this ALWAYS going to be how it feels? Why did I do this to myself? Why did I stop??! Will I ever get where I want to be?” I think to myself, as I struggle to catch my breath.
So MANY valid excuses…that mean absolutely NOTHING in this moment, because I feel defeated and robbed of all my confidence I had worked so hard for. I lean over with my hands on my knees. I take in deep breaths and let the rain fall on my back, and my mind race. Tears rolling down my face. “Here I am, eating my own words.” I say out loud to no one, and laugh.
I stand up, wipe my face with shirt and head back in to the session to finish, because even though I fell off my wagon for a bit, I CANNOT quit. Too many people are counting on me to BELIEVE in what I talk about everyday.
So here I am, walking my talk.
My 9 year old daughter has been asking everyone in our family if she is fat.
It’s been very subtle, but I have discovered that she has been privately polling multiple family members at different times and it shatters my heart. She is NOT fat, though I know there have been kids at school who have called her fat, and she has become sensitive to it. I recognize those feeling all too well.
I worry, is it because of ME? Because her mom is in THIS body? And her mom was in another body before that? And working on another body still? Has she, despite my best efforts, inherited my shame? Has her being present and aware of my weight loss journey/body image journey/self acceptance journey, done the opposite of what I had hoped? I wanted to show her that despite everything and ANYTHING, I am capable of AWESOME…so that she could KNOW that she is too?
Even just typing this, I can feel my insides start to ache with the thoughts of her not knowing how beautiful and magical she is.
I watch her when she doesn’t know I’m looking, and wonder how I made this human. Her little 9 year old girl face. Her nose is freckled like mine. Her hair is thick, blond and short. She likes it just long enough to tuck behind her ears. She is a tomboy who loves to fight and wrestle and get dirty. She LOVES karate. She hates pink and loves black and green. But she also thinks boys are SO CUTE (especially Justin Bieber and her 20 year old karate instructor, AJ).
She is in love with love. She thinks shes going to grow up and marry her dad. She loves to hug and kiss and crawl ALL over us, and declare her love for everyone, much to the dismay of her big brother. She’s obsessed with all kinds of animals (except creepy crawly ones) and her heart is so tender, she cries instantly if an animal is lost, hurt or wounded in movies. She loves to crank her music up and sing at the top of her lungs…but gets embarrassed and shrinks all the way down to the floor if she catches us listening. She loves to laugh. Once she starts up its hard to get her to settle down.
She is our favorite girl in the world!! My ladybug.
And some asshole kid called her fat?
Who could ever know the depths of how wonderful she is just by looking at her?
But isn’t that true for all of us? How do we so quickly forget that we are harboring all the BEST parts of ourselves inside of these bodies, and not the other way around??
Coming home from our conference in September was a climatic whirlwind. There was an overload of praise, contentment, pride and satisfaction with ALL THE THINGS!! And there was also recovery from being dehydrated, and off of my regular routine of steady workouts and usual diet. I happily let myself enjoy it ALL, and honestly never quite made it back to “normal” before going on another trip and adding insult to injury. Slowly and surely I started to make excuse after excuse and feel like crap. Days turned into weeks, weeks turn into months and lbs turn into more lbs. I gained some weight back, and started to spiral downward and feel out of control and lose heart.
The good news is, it is my job everyday at my club, to convince people that no matter how far they have fallen off the wagon…they can get back up and try again. It is my job to assure people that even though it SUCKS in the beginning…it turns into magic when you start to love yourself. It is also my job to continue to KEEP IT REAL. All along, sharing this journey, with all of its ups and downs.
And my most IMPORTANT job, is showing my little girl that my value as a woman is not defined by the state of my body, but the state of my heart!
So, I had to begin again.
And, however many times I have to start over, I will. Again and again, I HAVE TO. Because I have to show my girl that there is so much more that makes a person special than what their body looks like!!
And, for those of us who continue to get back up and keep trying, despite seeing the results we want to see immediately, and despite all of the doubts, fears and setbacks…KEEP GOING.
Push through, until it is magic again.