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I Want to be "Skinny"

I do not know how many times I attempted to diet or go on a challenge. I don't want to know! I had "dieted" since I was 11. I had such an obsession with my stomach being only so thick and I thought my ribs had to show for me to be "beautiful." I would sometimes workout until I thought I could "feel" my fat percentage decrease. I would run up and down stairs while my family was gone, or run circles in my room. I would read books models had written about dieting. I was a child, what was I doing reading a book about dieting? I would go shopping with my mother and be so utterly upset when I would look in the mirror because I wasn't "thin" enough! I was 12!

20 pounds and 5'6 and already had the hips I am rocking today, I was a "big" girl for my age (yes, boobies were bad). I was always very active and even counted calories; I would starve myself unaware of the actual damage I was doing to my body. When I looked in the mirror, I didn't see bone structure, I saw ugliness because my shape wasn't in "style" in the early 2000's (my hair wasn't in style either for that matter). I didn't understand why I couldn't be the shape of the 5'10 size 0 model I saw in the magazines! I still shiver when someone says the word Abercrombie. Why wasn't I THAT size? My value was definitely determined by what I WAS NOT. I remember being in middle school and one of my classmates saying "I don't know how anyone could possibly be ok with wearing a size 12". I was size a 12. Why couldn't I starve myself enough to to be a size 0???

As I got older, my priorities shifted and changed and I became less hateful towards myself (thank goodness!). I found joy in focusing on others instead of hating on myself. However, that nagging voice always stayed in the back of my head. I remained active but I still love bread. I don't want cake, I don't want donuts, I don't want pizza - I want all the bread!! And calzones - yum!! I just love them! I stayed active for a while but I ended up in a job where I literally sat for 9 hours. GAH!! The weight! The KNEE PAIN! I was a 24 year old and my knees hurt so much from inactivity. I slowly picked up working out again. Made the Zumba classes I could, I ran when I could, walked when I could, but it was not enough! The doctor gave me super expensive medicine/lotion for my knees which DID NOT work. Sigh.

By the time January of 2016 rolled around I was done. I had tried and failed so many times. I was done failing. My knees hurt and I could barely squat. I knew what my weaknesses were, I knew what I needed to NOT do. I knew what I needed to stay away from. I had a general weight goal, but I just wanted to feel "ok" about myself. I just wanted to wear whatever the heck I wanted! I just wanted to be proud of my hard work. I wasn't looking to become a certain body shape or lose a certain amount of weight.

It is easy to make yourself a plate of chicken or fish with a side of veggies. What ISN'T easy is doing that over 144 times in 12 weeks! But I did it. The secret is to keep going even when you are tired. It is easy to start strong. You just have to keep going! Your body will adjust, your brain will reset and won't crave all the sugar. GIVE IT TIME! The moment you choose to keep going is the magical "bridge". That is when you should know you are doing something right. When you don't want to eat healthily anymore, that is the most crucial moment because that is when you have to keep going! Two more weeks and your body will crave what you feed it! Your skin will look like heaven (hello, veggie vitamins!). YOU WILL FEEL ENERGY. You will sleep. Don't get me wrong, it was hard. My friends would go out and I wouldn't because I knew I would be bad. People would tease me for following a strict diet. My husband and I gave up alcohol together. He did it with me. He kept me accountable. Exercise wise, I walked at the beginning. I walked at 5 am before work, I walked during lunch in the snow and in the rain! Then I would take a cardio class or two! I literally brought two changes of clothes for my lunch walks cause gosh darn it, I would reach those 12,000 steps! There were NO excuses! There couldn't be any! I was done feeling like crap. I was done not liking photos. I was just done.

I participated in several challenges, I didn't win an actual physical or monetary prize. But what I won was much bigger than that!! I won the pride of seeing my before and after pictures. I felt pride in my body for the first time when i saw how far I had come. I could see it!!! You should always take before pictures. Your scale will lie to you. Your very own eyes will lie to you. People will lie to you. Before and after photos and how your clothes fit cannot lie. And my knee pain was gone!! I had spent hundreds trying to ease that pain, but it was actual exercise and eating well that fixed what my doctor could not.

Flash to becoming an instructor: I am about to get very real with you. I have never been good when it comes to not eating my stress and emotions. If I am stressed, I am eating. Boy, I was stressed before MVP Xenia opened and about so many different things. There were so many more important things to worry about than myself! I kept telling myself I would get back on track when MVP Xenia opened (I wish someone would have slapped me!).

A lot of you know what happened next. MVP Xenia was only open 16 days and my sister passed away. She had gone to the hospital two days after MVP Xenia opened and she didn't make it. There are a lot of things I could say here. I could talk about what an amazing person Cole was. I could talk about how I think it should have been me, not her. I could talk about Tanner, her fiance. I could talk about how far away my parents are. I could talk about how floored I still am from the support my fitfam and MVP team showed me. I could talk about how I don't know what to say to so many of you who loved me and embraced me even if you had just met me. I still can't bring myself to read some of your letters.

What I want to talk about is how I have been taking care of my body. I am ashamed of how I have treated my body in the past two months, I am too ashamed to even tell you. I want every single one of you to live the best life possible and one way you can do that is by taking care of your body, and I should empower you to that. How can I tell you to take care of yourself if I won't do the same? What I have put into my body is not a good example and I am ashamed. I am not competing in this challenge, but I am participating in this challenge because I am choosing to stop this path I am going down. I am choosing to take care of my body once more. For myself, for my husband, for my family, and for you.

If you made it this far in this long-winded narrative, I applaud you! Recently I have been failing, but it is now time for me to step up and do something to make myself proud of. I will no longer choose to fail. I invite you to do this challenge with me! Your reasons will probably be different, but if you feel even slightly led to take this challenge, I think it is because you have a reason to step up too.



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