So the other day I was listening to Shaun T’s podcast and there was a lady who was talking about women and body image, how we use food as emotional crutches and more often than not when we look in the mirror we do not like who is starring back at us. Got me really thinking about my journey and life long struggle with body image.
Starting as a young girl, I struggled with my body image. In my late teens I suffered anorexia, I would go days with very little to eat. I was a swimmer so I always had a very athletic build. At the height of my disorder I weighed 108 lbs and was a size 0! Now I am 5’6″, and my weight should be around 145-150 for my build. At this low weight when I looked in the mirror I still saw a person who I deemed overweight and hated the way I looked. I found flaws in everything! Years of abuse on my body took its toll.
Once I got healthy from the eating disorder I was well in my 20’s so hard core drinking and eating became my go to thing to do. Still all the while struggling with who I saw in the mirror. After the party life I got married and had a child. I took this opportunity to eat everything in sight!! When I delivered I weighed 208 lbs! I was miserable!! About two years after the birth of my son I was still hanging on to some weight! I was up late one night watching infomercials and this ad came on for this crazy looking workout, the people in it were digging deep, and the trainer was pretty easy on the eyes. I always loved a good hard cardio workout so I ordered it. When it came I feel in love with Shaun T and Insanity!! I lost about 40 pounds and was healthier than I had been in my entire life. I felt great, and for the first time in my life I actually liked who I was looking at in the mirror.
Then in May of 2011 I was delivered the worst news I had ever been given. My mom, the woman who was my rock, my mentor, and best friend, was diagnosed with stage 4 rectal cancer. My entire world was turned upside down!
From that moment on I became a caregiver to her and my grandmother. I had a full time job, family, going to and from cancer treatments. My life and world was crazy! We lived on fast food, and stress was through the roof! Eleven months after my mom’s diagnosis she passed away. It was the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my entire life. The next few months were filled with lots of sadness and depression. I sunk into this dark place and got through my sadness with alcohol to numb the pain of my mom being gone. There were some other issues that came about after her death that compounded her death, I had to find a home for my grandmother, as she was not able to live on her own, and I continued to eat healthy and sit around sad and depressed.
One day I was sitting around feeling awful and it was time for my yearly physical. When I went I was hit with some pretty scary and dark health news of my own. I was 40 plus pounds overweight, pre menopausal, and border line diabetic. If I didn’t change my ways I was going to become insulin dependent in a very short time. So here I was looking in the mirror sad and disgusted at the person looking back at me. I had a decision to make, continue on my path of unhealthy eating and lack of exercise and maybe not be around for my son, or take charge of my health and make a serious change. So I was scrolling through facebook and found an ad for a 10 day challenge with this meal replacement. I messaged the administrator and signed up. In 10 days I lost 6 lbs, and felt so much better than I had in quite some time! I then starting speaking to the admin of the page and we talked about my goals and what I wanted to accomplish. I told her I wanted to continue to drink Shakeology, she asked what kind of workouts I liked and I signed up as a coach, and the company was the same one who several years prior gave me Shaun T and Insanity. I ordered Turbo Fire, it had great music, great moves, and a spunky trainer who I instantly loved! I was hooked! I lost 40 lbs, and felt amazing!
I could go on and on for days about the workouts and the shakes, but that has me off track… My body image was back, I felt more confidant than I ever had in my entire life! I went back to the doctor and there was no sign of diabetes, and she said I was a picture of health.
My entire life has been an up and down struggle. When I have bad times, I get depressed, I eat bad, don’t workout much and hate who I see in the mirror. Its self sabotage really. We are always harder on ourselves than anyone else around us. Why is that? Why do we all have body image issues? In the day and age of photo shop, and all you see in ads and on television is tall thin women who don’t actually represent the average woman. No wonder we have body image issues. We have to first and foremost love ourselves before we can become fit and healthy. How do we do that? Look in that mirror and speak to yourself in a positive manner. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We are our own worst enemy and we need to stop! If we can’t love ourselves then how can we expect anyone else to?
Starting today go to the mirror and tell yourself you are amazing and you deserve to be happy and healthy, then go out and life that! Treat your body and mind with love and respect, feed it well, read, take a bath, exercise, do the things that you love and make you feel good. Change that body image today!
Need help reach out to me, know you are never in this alone. Stay fit and healthy my friends.