I recently posted a little collage of my before & afters and to be completely honest I really struggled with putting the pictures up. Not because I was embarrassed with how I looked before or worried about what people would think. I was really unsure because I didn’t want it to be about how I looked or how much weight I lost. Those are both undeniably a part of the transformation that I have made, but they can’t (for me) be what it is all about.
I really struggle with this obsession on looks. Maybe because I was doing it myself not too long ago. I was pinning and liking all of the “motivational” pictures that showed only portions of women’s bodies with quotes about pushing through the pain (don’t deny you know the ones I am talking about). We all need to find our own avenues of inspiration, and I am be no means saying that they don’t work for some people But at what cost? Are we actually getting healthier? Or just trying to achieve a perfect body type? What about those of us that aren’t built to have “that” body?
Body Image Issues
I have had a distorted boy image probably going back to middle school. Here I was this strong athletic girl that was still taller than most of the boys in the class and I just didnt “fit”. If I knew then what I know now I would have appreciated and treated my body so much differently. I was so insecure in my own skin and that began a pattern of poor athletic performance spreading out to other aspects of my life.
After a car accident during my senior year of high school I really did think it was the end of my athletic career. All through college and after, I continued to struggle with my body image and became exactly what I always thought I was before- overweight and out of shape. I lived up to the prophesy that I created for myself.
I cant say the one moment that it all changed. There were several contributing factors and not all of them were physical- in fact most were mental influences.
I began to love myself ( it may sound cheesy but it’s true)
I began to let go of being a perfectionist and pleasing others (believe me STILL a work in progress)
I found a job where I was truly appreciated and loved for my abilities
I surrounded myself with people that always had believed in me and began to believe in myself and let go of relationships that were destructive
I started to believe that I could do something to change how I felt and looked
I started to change to a Paleo style of eating to try and sort out my allergic reactions to food
I stepped into GunxCrossfit for the first time and realized that I still could be the athlete that was always there
I let go of social stigmas about how we should look and took the leap to shave my head for St. Baldrick’s foundation
I attribute most of the changes over the last two years to this list but most importantly I made a decisions to get healthy again and didn’t give up.
Not After, Just Now…
When I shared my before and “after” picture with friends on facebook I also shared these words with them:
I wanted other people to realize that anything is possible. Don’t just focus on the pictures- look at the words too. In the first pictures I could barely walk extended periods of time let alone run or do what I’m doing now. It’s not about the numbers or sizes I just wanted people to see that those numbers shouldn’t dictate how you feel. I know a lot of women that would freak about seeing 175 on the scale. I’m ecstatic with where I am because of what my healthy body can do for me now! I’m proud of myself both physically and mentally- I’ve changed my relationship with food and myself. I truly can say I love me! Can you say that? I hope so because its a wonderful feeling.
Where does that leave me? Certainly not finished with all of this. I have found my athletic passion again and began training and competing in Olympic Weightlifting. I competed in several small local and state meets last year. This weekend I am attending the Arnold Weighltifting Championships for me first larger meet. It is daunting but exciting. I need to keep challenging myself. I am really excited to meet some other amazing athletes there and share that with you.
Weightlifting Meet October 2012