My Own Transformation Tuesday
I’ve thought about sharing this for a while. But the fear of putting an incredibly unflattering photo of myself up on the Internet — where it can live forever and ever — got the best fo me.
Then last week, I stood up in front of a huge room of professionals at Life Time and watched as my ‘before’ photo came up on a huge projector in the front of the room.
I’m kidding, of course they didn’t.
But I kind of thought they might. Because my connection to that 'person’ was so distorted, so damaged. My connection to my body and my weight, the history of that is way too long to go into in a blog post (I’m thinking of recording a podcast this week about it). But I have been pretty unkind to my body over the years. Not just physically but mentally, too. And it is a daily battle. Anyone who has struggled with distorted body image, unhealthy eating habits, over-exercising knows how quickly ‘being good’ can go down the drain.
I’m 33 years old and I’ve accepted that this is a battle I’ll deal with for my entire life. You know what has helped? Finally being honest about it. I’m in therapy. I talk about it with my friends, my family, my boyfriend. I talk about it on social media. Because I know I’m not alone.
A friend recently confided in me her own issues with food, with her body. That she connected to what I was sharing. That it helped her to know she had someone she could talk to, someone who would understand. Do you know how powerful that is? To know you have someone who gets it. I take that responsibility seriously. And I hope my journey helps you, if you need it.
So let’s break down these two people. The problems in my before photos haven’t changed. I just changed how I deal with them. Instead of isolating myself, I have opened up about my problems. I’m incredibly hard on myself. And I use food as a punishment. At the same time, I’m incredibly driven and I use food as a reward. Food to celebrate, food to ease the pain. It’s a vicious cycle that I’m sure many of you can relate to.
Besides therapy (please go!), I also started weight lifting. It is something I avoided for so long, mostly because I had convinced myself I wouldn’t like it. But let me tell ya, throwing around heavy things does wonders for your brain. Besides those powerful endorphins, there is something incredibly empowering about feeling strong. With seeing your body change. I’m not talking about losing weight. Focusing on those numbers is dangerous for me. But truly seeing how your body changes when you treat it well. When you move it. When you move it in ways you enjoy.
I’m working on balance. I’m working on being kind to myself. I’m working on committing to what makes me feel good and cutting out what doesn’t. It is a challenge, every single day. Unpacking decades worth of hate directed at yourself, at your body… it is an undertaking. But it can be done. Even with our schedules, our families, our jobs working against us.
Here’s to healthy, strong bodies. And healthy, strong minds. One day at a time.