Please don’t put me on a pedestal.
I was chatting with a girlfriend the other day. She shared with me some struggles that she was having with regard to her self-esteem and that she was working on overcoming these issues. With her permission, this is how the conversation went:
Friend: I've been in counseling, been working on the whole self-esteem thing, and it has been good. It was a lot of my problem, the acceptance that "I am worth it". It's a work in progress...for sure. Not quite sure how I got side-tracked into not thinking great things about myself, and always thinking other people could do this stuff, but not me...I'm glad to just be finally working my way through the issues!
Me: Damn self esteem issues... I gottem too. Hate that negative crap that tries to rule my brain... sounds like you are going in the right direction.
Friend: It's looking up for sure, a lot better than a few months ago! Lol
Friend: It's hard for me to see you even having that kind of problems! You are a great inspiration of mine. I brag on your efforts ALL the time. Just think it's so awesome how you strive for better and better from your body!
That was brag...haha!
Me: Glad to hear you're doing better. This is a truth that you need to hear... WE ALL have that kind of problem. If people say they don't .... well, I think they are lying
So this conversation with a friend got me thinking about things. I wanted to write this blog to help others overcome some of the stumbling blocks I have faced on my journey from fat to fit, but also to help keep me accountable and gain a support network of my own to keep me on track on my health and wellness journey.
Truth: I haven’t posted a blog entry for nearly six months. I look at my blog “boneyard”…. the control panel where dead blog entries accumulate, and there are nearly twenty entries that I have begun and not finished. When I look inside for an answer to the “why”, my truth is that I don’t always feel so healthy on the inside and that is a roadblock for me. How can I preach self-esteem and healthy choices when my brain is trying to convince me to self-destruct? There it is… I feel like a fraud.
Above you can see my “before” and “after” shots. Along the journey from fat to fit, I have undergone emotional and mental changes. For the most part, I am much happier, and my self-hatred is in check…. for the most part. Here is the thing, The physical transformation does help with the emotional and spiritual aspect, but it does NOT HEAL THEM AUTOMATICALLY. So, for those of you who are telling yourselves, that if you only lost weight, then life would be perfect. I have to break it to you, that it is not that simple.
I have huge issues with food. My natural tendency is to eat for comfort, for boredom, to relieve stress, to celebrate, to hide, and even to punish myself. There are times when I just HATE food. If I could forego this “healthy choices” crap, and just take an injection every day with the proper nutrients, I would totally go for it. This is a big part of why I feel that even though I have training in proper diet and exercise, I am a fraud. My relationship with myself, my self-love, my relationship with food, and even my relationship with exercise feels at times completely and totally insane. I do not have all of the answers. I suffer from self doubt. I have negative self talk. I still see a fat girl when I look in the mirror.
I look at the current “love your body” movement that seems to be taking the world by storm, and I wonder… do these people really have self-love for their bodies? Regardless of size? Do these people really have this apparent monumental amount of self esteem? Do these people never doubt themselves? Do they never question their own motives and always make the right and healthy choices? Do they never say things they regret? Do they ever think thoughts that are self destructive or negative? I believe that I/we, hold ourselves up to an impossible standard. Whether we are comparing our bodies to the photoshopped and eating disordered models that bombard our consciousness constantly, or we are comparing ourselves to those wonderful writers in this new age of healthy bloggers… I hold myself (and maybe you do too) to this fantasy image of always making the right choices, always having good motives, always striving to be better, always accepting and loving ourselves the way we are. Well, I for one, CANNOT freaking do it. I just can’t. I wish I could, but I can’t. I am not perfect, and I judge myself.
So I’m feeling that I need to make a positive spin on the above emotional regurgitation, so here goes… Most days I am winning the battle. Key point, for me, it is a battle. I applaud those of you who can successfully eat intuitively and enjoy sweets and treats in moderation. Unfortunately, today, I cannot successfully and healthfully employ that strategy. For me today, it is a battle. For me today, I must be mindful of every item that I put in my mouth. If you are fighting and if you struggle, I want you to know, that you are not alone. How often do we look at another person, whether it be a friend, relative, or even a fitness professional, and judge our insides against their outsides?
I have been at my goal weight for over two years. I am fit and live a fun and active lifestyle. From the outside, I am sure to some folks, it looks like I have all the answers and have everything all figured out. Truthfully, I do have a lot of great information and I’m sure that it helps me stay on track, but even today, the biggest stumbling block in my fitness journey, is me.
I understand the benefit of staying positive, but life is real, raw, and painful, and sometimes I just don’t feel positive. So, please don’t envy me. Pray for me, encourage me, pat me on the back… but don’t make the mistake of thinking I am any better than you are, regardless of where you are on your journey toward fitness and health. We all suffer, we all feel pain, and if we lift each other up and support one another, we may be able to lighten the load.
This is me. This is real. Today, I am not a fraud.