Would that I had served my God the way I had watched my waistline – Thomas Wolsey
“Fitness saved me.”
“Personal development saved me.”
“This business saved me.”
But the one thing that kept ticking in the back of my head was, why wasn’t it God? Or was it? Did He give me all these things? I don’t feel him.
Let me back track a bit in case you don’t know my story…
I’d never been on a diet in my entire life until I got it in my head to do a bikini competition a year after my second child.
I had spent the last 10 years loving health and fitness, being in damn good shape and having never counted a single calorie or ever recall hating my body much or worrying about what I should and shouldn’t eat. The diet world and calorie counting was totally foreign to me.
I was just shy of top 1o out of 200 people in my competition and I still felt I had inches to lose, areas to improve on. I look back and think … what on earth did I see!? What did I think was so awful?
But it’s called body dysmorphia, and your flaws are crippling even if they’re made up.
Fast forward to now, not quite 15 lbs heavier, a year and a few months post competition and I’m finally falling in love with myself again. I hope you can see the softness in my smile, the bits of joy flecked across my face, because it’s there.
It took until probably 8 months post competition for me to hit true burnout. I was trying so hard to maintain my fitness, to maintain my body, it was slipping away from me and I was too tired to hold on.
And so then I was left with this post partum body that was supposed to be gone forever. My happiness was tied up in the fit body I created and then it was gone. And I was left with this … with this message that said fitness and personal development had saved me, but that salvation was temporary and based solely on my high performance, and as soon as I couldn’t perform any longer, well I was ruined.
I was more depressed than ever, and before all you thin body shamers start freaking out because I’m still small and how can a thin person talk about their pain in weight gain etc etc just hold your plus size horses for a second and let me talk.
I was more depressed than ever. My body was slow. Weak. I felt it in every movement. I wasn’t working out anymore, I was eating food I didn’t even LIKE like sugary junk food (the body does weird things to recover from famine) and I felt like a failure. I felt embarrassed to see anyone who knew me, because I was now that mom who let herself go. I see this photo now and am shocked at how differently I saw myself then.
Disgusting. Fat. Ugly. Whale.
I can’t begin to describe to you how I saw myself entirely different then, then I do now. Now? Just a woman wearing a bikini that’s too small for her. But perfectly beautiful regardless.
I was tortured by my mind, by societies rules, by my weight and my pants that taunted me for not fitting anymore.
I’m better now you know.
I haven’t lost the weight, I don’t lift weights or do HIIT workouts anymore.
That is all.
Well and I walk my dog. Hardly a rigorous fitness regime by today’s standards.
How dare I be happy?
And yet, here I stand. A little beaten, a little bruised, but happy.
And I’m haunted by this quote … would that I had served my God the way I had watched my waistline …
Imagine a world where we focus inward, and upward.
Imagine women with the freed up mental space where they aren’t worrying about their bodies, and instead are moving forward in their dreams as fully aware and present beings.
Hell imagine MEN that way too because Lord knows the assault on men’s body image is here too.
So let’s commit together; no more chasing the perfect body. Acknowledge your cellulite as apart of you. Acknowledge that new dip at the bottom of your stomach where your pants dip into. Acknowledge you can’t get even one thigh into your old pants. Acknowledge your weary dark circles under your eyes, and with all of that choose to believe you are worthy of loving yourself.
Let’s not just say it, let’s spend time sitting with our current circumstance. Our goal is to be confident in our body and who we are, so spend time actually feeling into what that feels like. Work up those feelings in your body. Get excited. Picture yourself walking down the street and drum up the feeling of confidence. How do you walk? Head high? Smile on your face?
And then start doing that.
You can live that right now, in the body you are in, and then spend that extra time on your relationship with God, with your family, with yourself. Learn, grow, chase dreams. Your weight should never hold you back.
I am 15lbs heavier, and I have never felt lighter.