I remember one of my first meltdowns. I was working out with my trainer alongside another woman about my age. She had been training for several years and was chatting away while I was huffing and puffing. I had on a hoodie and I remember feeling like I was just bursting the seams of that sweatshirt. And I was HOT. But I was not going to take that layer off and reveal what I felt like was disgusting me. Especially after seeing her toned arms and thin waist. I started getting really upset during the workout as my self esteem meltdown began to envelop my thinking and I couldn't imagine a day when I wouldn't feel so bad about myself.
Looking back, I realize that the spirit of comparison that I was bringing to the party was wrecking me. And that woman's arms triggered my worst feelings about my body to come right up to the surface. That wasn't her fault, although I wanted so badly to find things about her to dislike. (This wasn't easy, she's a great person.) Having these feelings triggered and brought to the light was extremely uncomfortable. But it was one of the biggest gifts on my journey to health and fitness.
I wasn't able to do it the day I had the meltdown, but eventually I began to own and understand my comparisons. They revealed many of the false beliefs I was carrying around with me. I will never be good enough as long as I'm fat. I'll never be truly loved as long as I'm fat. My weight determines my worth as a person. I will be accepted once I get thin. Toned arms must equal happy life. Look at her, she is fit so she must be accepted, loved, worthy.
If I could go back in time and tell myself one thing only, it would be this. "Beautiful girl, you are accepted, loved and worthy right now. Just as you are. No matter what weight, body fat percent, size of clothing or amount of arm jiggle. You do not have to do anything to earn love. It is a gift. And you can't become unworthy of it by being overweight, out of shape, or anything else we believe damages us."
My healing came not as I lost weight, but as I learned the truth. The better I felt about myself, the more likely I was to honor that by making a healthy choice. The more I understood my worth as something I was born with that couldn't be ruined by bad choices, the more I affirmed that by showing up for walks and workouts.
I am on a mission to convince every single woman I have contact with that her worth is not in any way determined by her weight. This is the truth and without belief in it, we will always (subconsciously) find a way to prove ourselves right. Yes, we are sent this false message from many sources, often very trusted sources. But if someone spoke this lie to you and you're struggling to believe you are accepted, it is time to come out of agreement with that lie. You do not have to live your life in its grip.
Freedom comes when you claim the truth at the core of your being, then walk it out. Prove it right. So every time I take a walk, I'm honoring the belief that I'm worth it. Every time I lift a weight, I'm affirming the truth that I am worthy of love and respect and care. You have to take the walks and lift the weights to be healthy and fit. But it must be done as an expression of the truth to create lasting change.
Next time you are standing at the bathroom mirror and the voice starts berating you with words like fat, disgusting, jiggle, rolls, cottage cheese, flab or anything else- I want you to claim the truth right then and there. Say "no!" out loud if you need, but do not allow the voice to keep attacking. What is the truth? Are you really not as good of a human being because you store 5, 10, 50, 100 extra pounds of fat on your body? That's ridiculous. This is the moment of change. Take radical responsibility and state your worth. Claim who you are: a fabulous, beautiful, kind, loving woman with unique talents, passions and gifts to share with the world. Keep telling THAT to the woman in the mirror and watch your life change.