Road to 26.2
Friday, January 31st- 2 weeks and 1 day until I get to run the Austin Marathon
I have written a few articles, along with more than a few social media posts about body image. I am incredibly passionate about this topic because I recently came through the other side of an abusive relationship with myself. I did not know how negative my self-image was, how incredibly toxic I was treating myself, until I came through that long tunnel last year.
I first knew I was fat in the third grade. I skipped my fifth grade graduation party because I knew I was too fat to be in a swimsuit in public. I had an eating disorder at 18. For almost thirteen years, I would look at our wedding photos and only see how big my arms and stomach were. I have gained and lost a lot of weight and done every single diet and program available. I would walk through every day and look with envy at anyone I deemed smaller (aka better). Y’all, none of this is acceptable. Yet, it is rampant, especially in women.
So, how did I get through the self-hatred body image struggle? It has taken a lot of work to get to this point, a lot of work, babe. Here’s the short answer; I had to learn what stories I was currently telling myself and why, I had to learn to trust my body through grueling physical challenges, I had to have help with coaches and trainers, I had to learn how to eat to fuel my life instead of diet.
Here’s the longer answer;
My healing started slow. It started with me working with a holistic health coach, and a running coach. She asked questions, and helped me see a few things about the current habits and mindset that shaped by fuel and fitness decisions. Through working with my coaches, and starting my own business, I began reading a lot of self-development books. I very slowly began to trust my body and let in more gratitude. I began journaling affirmations and intentions.
Several months after I began running again and having a healthier relationship with food, I began working with a personal trainer. He was not only an incredibly knowledgeable trainer, but he was also wonderful with helping me work through my limits. I cried a lot, I told him, “I can’t,” and persevered. I ran races and lifted weight that I could not even imagine. I trusted my body, I respected my own strength. When you push yourself, your physical boundaries and abilities, you learn to view your body differently. You learn to see yourself differently.
I stopped wasting energy on picking myself apart. I started celebrating my body differently. I started helping myself get stronger and happier, instead of reinforcing all the negative things that had been rattling around in my head for so long.
Another main part in how I changed my self-image in truly learning how to eat, how to fuel, what nutrition really means. My trainer sat me down one day and asked me to trust him. I said ok, because I truly trusted him and we had a great relationship. He talked to me about nutrition and how I could really propel my performance by tracking and eating my macronutrients. Y’all, I cried. I had a panic attack. Counting calories has been a trigger for me, I was terrified that I would go down a very unhealthy track. He talked about how tracking macros (protein, carbs, fat) is different than calories. He thought that I was significantly undereating, and I thought he was drunk! I have always been a big eater! However, when we sat down and worked out all the numbers, I was astonished at how much more food I actually needed. I told him that I would give it a try.
A few days later, I go back to workout with him, and tell him my gripping fear of all the carbs that I am supposed to eat. I was so scared of getting FAT. He told me to trust him, eat the macros, for a month and let’s reevaluate then. I told him I would kick his ass if I gained weight.
A month later, I knew so much more about how to accurately fuel myself and fully changed my relationship with food.
Last Memorial Day weekend, I wore a bikini on our boat and drank expensive champagne. I had not worn a two-piece suit in over a decade. I’m different now, I have different priorities, I view myself and the world in different ways. The flatness of my stomach or amount of cellulite is no longer any of my concern. I have survived, thrived, raced, lifted, cried, and laughed my way into loving the hell out of my body because that bitch is strong.
Sis, get right with yourself. You deserve to love the shit out of YOU and spend your days LIVING life instead of hating your body. Get your mind, fuel, and fitness together so you can LOVE life.