These photos were taken during the summer around 35 pounds (heavier) ago. I had NO intention to actually post them because I was embarrassed by them. Often times I feel like I can’t be proud of my hard work until I get to my six pack. This whole post is a little step forward in an exercise to love myself at any size, past or present.
The past two weeks of my fitness journey have been the hardest for me mentally, harder than I’ve ever experienced. Feelings of frustration with myself in my performance, my (in)ability and insecurity with how my body looks are leaving me feeling depressed and not good enough. I know the feelings stem from my childhood, constantly being told and believing I was “too fat” had “elephant legs” or some-other mean variation about my weight. As a teenager, I would hear backhanded comments about my weight like “you’d be so gorgeous… if you lost a few pounds.” As an adult, a guy I met on line said “you looked smaller in your profile picture” the first day we met, what a jerk! Don’t worry, I broke things off with him real quick… I would think to myself that I didn’t care about those comments and that it never got to me, but inside I was completely crushed, exploding my own self doubt 1000% EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I know I’m completely responsible for my thoughts (mind over matter), but I’ve honestly have never looked in the mirror (at any given moment in my life) and loved everything I saw. There was always some critical comment to follow a compliment or good thought.
Eight months ago I started boxing and following a healthy diet, I’m down 55 pounds compared to this time last year, which I attribute to my lifestyle change. I realize that its a huge accomplishment and I feel stronger than I ever have, but its still not enough.
Yesterday I hit another low, while sparring with my coach (who is exceptionally talented at boxing) I got my first bloody nose during the first round. Some would say its a right of passage in the boxing world, but I was totally embarrassed. I could feel hundreds of insecurities flooding my mind as the blood ran down my face into my mouth. I felt stupid, pathetic and weak. After six rounds, I game out of the ring and couldn’t hold back my tears of defeat. I felt like all of the months of sparring and sweating it out workout, after workout, after workout were for nothing. And all because I couldn’t get any kind of response from him. No matter how hard I hit, or how many combinations I threw, he was always two seconds ahead, faster, stronger, calmer. I must sound CRAZY to think that I could have something on an 8 year professional boxer, but I just wanted something… ANY emotion , a”nice punch” or “ouch, that hurt!” would have been REALLY encouraging. But no. Nothing, he gave me absolutely nothing. I’m totally jealous that I don’t have that ability in the ring yet.
I came home and cried even more to my poor husband, who is supportive but not interested in fitness and health the same way I am, so I feel like he doesn’t really get it. And also because he’s blinded by unconditional love, which is really a blessing. I’ve decided to start seeing my therapist again to help me work through some of the mental struggles and self loathing practices that seem to be a constant struggle. In my mind I think about if I treated or talked to anyone else as badly as I do myself, I would’n’t have a single friend. I still need to work on the loving myself unconditionally part and I wish this post had a happier ending. But for now, I feel like writing and reciting a meaningful and powerful mantra in the mirror everyday would be very helpful. Here’s what I’ve written so far, your input would be GREATLY appreciated! Please comment suggestions below.
MY MANTRA (a work in progress)
- I am strong. I choose who I become. Eating for comfort, mean comments, my physical appearance, the appearance of my possessions or house do not define me.
- I am kind. I only speak word of happiness, health, prosperity and love everyone I come into contact with. I love myself unconditionally, now. Hate has no room in my heart.
- I am a fighter. Whether I’m in the ring or out, I will keep my mind open and learn all I can from the teachers and coaches in my life. Failure is an opportunity to grow.
- I am a work in progress. I am becoming the best version of myself. I will learn from my mistakes and continue to grow into the woman I want. I am modeling healthy self love for my daughter and all women come in contact with.
- I won’t give up. I’ll do my best everyday, in all that I do, even if my best is just being.
I know a lot of you are true friends and I can’t imagine my life without your example and love! Xo