Tag: Confidence

Living Real

Wow this road has been an interesting one for me. I did not get into health and fitness because it sounded cool…because exercise was always my thing…because I’ve always just been that healthy girl and wanted to share. I got into health and fitness because I struggled so damn hard for so damn long.

We all have our story. It is so important to remember where you came from…to remember your why. I took such solace in food as a kid. The first half of my life was all about avoiding pain. Sounds dark, I know. It was. And I know there are plenty of people walking around like “normal” but are oh so broken. My journey has just downright sucked at times. And…it has been so full of hope I’ve felt like my heart could burst at times. There has never been a straight line because, well, that’s not how it works, is it?

I didn’t want to get too deep but, I guess it’s too late! There are so many people struggling deep in their heart and feel there is no way out. We all have our own ways of coping with life, don’t we? It’s our human nature to numb out at times…and depending on the time in our lives and what is going on…some times more than others. I lived a very numbed out life for years. Years. I had no tools for coping and just wanted things to always feel more “normal” and so I turned to my drug. Mine was food. That’s why I’m here in this health and fitness world. My struggle might not look like yours, but I likely understand more than you think.

I used to try hard to make people happy and had no sense of me. Wow there are so many many girls out there like that these days I’m afraid. But, instead of trying to figure out who they are, they think selling themselves short and trying to compete for attention by compromising who they are is somehow their truth. It breaks my heart. That is not strength my sweet sisters. It’s just not. Not even close. The people who love you for what you truly have to offer this world and for your uniqueness will not even want to be a part of you sacrificing your truth for attention.

It took me what felt like eons of holding so tight to God, sitting through storms, feeling lost and totally alone and getting good counseling, seeking wise words from books, people I saw truth in…letting certain people in who showed me that they had “been there” too, to get to where I am. Not perfect, but genuine and so much healthier. I failed at times. I let people in I shouldn’t have. But over time I’ve learned to be truer to me; to who I believe God made me to be; to who I think my son needs as a mom; to who I would’ve wanted as an example to me when I needed one.

Why am I even spewing out my guts on my little health and fitness site? Because we all know that these things we struggle with on the surface have deep, deep roots. I wasn’t able to really let go of my food issues and my eating disorder until I was good with me. God was always good with me. I was the one who needed to get my head out of my rear. I needed to realize no one would do it for me and that God loving me fiercely never meant He would do it all for me. No. In fact, it meant quite the opposite. And why? Because He loves me that much. And He loves YOU that much. He wants us to grow through our struggle rather than protect us so much that we end up safe and oh so very weak.

I’ll end here having poured out enough for tonight. Just know YOU have more to offer than you even know and it has NOTHING to do with how you think the world needs you to be. The expectations we think we need to live up to are SHALLOW. Be who you are meant to be. If not for you, for the girl who will cross paths with you (perhaps your own daughter) who needs you to be that example for her.

You are loved.

My “WHY” & believing in more

Today I heard something on a podcast I was listening to that went something along the lines of “it’s not just about fitting into your jeans, it’s about being happy”. So simple and so true. It made me think of my why, which is very simple, and yet very multidimensional and super personal at the same time.

This “before” picture is me probably middle school aged right before I went on my “first” diet. I was miserable growing up. I always felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere whether that was with my family or peers. My family was a mess. Never did I feel anyone believed in me. They didn’t even believe in themselves. I was painfully shy and would just melt into the wall hoping to go unnoticed. I really had no confidence whatsoever and could not relate to the girls my age. I was too shy to act out and rebel against my dramatic and unstable surroundings and yet I didn’t know how to deal with it in a positive way. And so I ate.

Food was my comfort. I was always the quiet girl either tagged as “nice” or “snobby” depending upon how my shyness and lack of confidence was interpreted. One night, my mom sat me down on my bed and told me I was getting fat. Well, she didn’t say it, she just said, “you’re getting…” and she puffed up her cheeks and held her arms out to paint the picture of a fat person. Hmmm. What a moment. Burned into my heart. Although there are far more loving and tactful ways of addressing such a topic, I took it seriously. I lost 20 pounds on my first diet. I was in the 7th grade.

I will say that I ended up gaining confidence through taking control of my weight. I followed a diet that allowed me dry toast and plain peppermint tea for breakfast, cottage cheese, pineapple and walnuts for lunch…I think chicken and veggies for dinner… I remember getting candy from friends at Christmastime and just saving it all up in my room, proud that I didn’t touch even one piece. And so the cycle began.

My weight went up and down over the years and so did my family. I had already been in therapy and continued, participating in group and individual therapy. (I HIGHLY recommend this and will talk more about it in a later post). Fast forward on this crazy journey. I realized that food was my drug of choice. I ended up struggling hard with an eating disorder for many years. Food offers you that substance that is not only legal, but necessary. I was able to hide my abuse of it by keeping my actions secret and using exercise and not strict dieting to cover up the damage I was doing. I could go days hardly eating a thing because of the binging I would do. Exercise became my saving grace. It was another addiction, though. If I didn’t get in my certain amount of minutes/days each week I felt out of control. I irrationally thought everything would unravel and I would turn back into that girl sitting on my bed when my mom told me I was fat. That was my nightmare.

In the midst of this, though, began my relationship with God. I knew that I was made for more. I knew that, I was more than the dysfunction I was born into. I knew I was more than my struggle with food. I knew I was more than my struggle with self-esteem. I knew that somehow, my life had purpose. What that was…I had know idea. But, I was determined to find it.

So, on life went, very touch and go with my disorder, always working on myself in therapy, a strong relationship with exercise, dysfunctional choices in men…and on and on. However, my faith has always been my true saving grace. God has truly been my rock, even when I felt that I was just flat on my face. There has always been an underlying, undying belief that there is meaning even in my pain, despite so many mistakes…

So, here I am. I have a nine year old son who I consider a miracle, simply because children are just that. I have been a single mom since he was 2. During these single mom years I have earned a masters degree in Health Psychology, gotten certified as a Health Coach and as a Fitness Instructor. Life is often far too busy for my own taste, but I am so very thankful. I finally can say that I believe in myself.

My “why” when it comes to health and fitness is about fighting. I refuse to be the person I believed I was growing up. It is never too late to become who you know you can be. It doesn’t happen overnight, but the journey is a beautiful thing. This is why I love doing what I do. Sure, it’s thrilling to see people lose weight and fit into their jeans. But, what I live for is those moments you see tears in someones eyes because they have found hope again. I have watched people get back in touch with this belief in themselves and I am SO honored to be a part of it. It takes great courage to “go there” and be that real with yourself and others. It is incredibly worth it, my friends!

So much love to you this Chirstmas!