Because I was that girl, sobbing in the mirror because I thought I was fat and my jeans, which looked cute in the store, didn’t quite fit right once I got home. Where did this weight come from and why won’t it go away, no matter how much I exercise?! I wanted desperately to be loved (by ALL the men), but I didn’t even love myself. With every new year came a new ‘commitment ’to lose 5 lbs (or ‘lean out’ or get fit), but my body rarely changed. I thought if only I could low-carb harder, commit more, not give into my cravings, just not eat carbs, sugar, chocolate, etc, THEN I could lose the weight, and THAT would finally make me happy. It would make me worthy… Worthy of love, praise, acceptance.
But the truth is, I was stuck in this HAVE – DO – BE cycle. I kept waiting to ‘HAVE’ the thing before I could BE the person. And when I was honest with myself, that’s what I wanted anyways – to be sexy, attractive, generous, confident, proud, successful. I just thought that in order to get there, I had to change something (or several things) about myself first.
I didn’t know how to love my body, especially when I wanted to change it. I didn’t know how to stop the negative self-talk, or not be so self-conscious, or to ask for what I wanted.
My worthiness was wrapped up in how I looked, how much money I made, how fast I could run, and other such accomplishments. I was constantly in competition with other women and myself – life was a zero sum game and I sure as hell wasn’t going to lose – but striving for perfection and never being good enough? That sh*t’s f*cking exhausting.
The reality is that I didn’t love the person I was BEING when I was striving for body ‘perfection’ and obsessed with food and exercise.
On the outside, I looked dedicated, committed. People envied me, but they didn’t see the real me. The scared little girl inside who was calling all the shots, making decisions, not out of dedication or a love of ‘being healthy’ (which was my fave excuse at the time), but because I was terrified of gaining more weight, gaining the weight back, not losing any weight at all… which meant I was destined to be alone, hating my body, jealous of all the skinny girls, never being good enough.
But you know what I realized?
The antidote wasn’t simply losing weight. It wasn’t having a flat stomach or looking great naked or fitting into clothes from years ago (although those things did come)…
It was learning how to BE the woman I wanted to be. Being confident, sexy, playful, loving, lovable, generous, fun. After all, that’s what I really wanted anyways. I wanted to lose weight, so that I could be happy, confident, attractive. I wanted more money so that I could be generous, adventurous and fun.
When I stopped focusing so much on needing to ‘have’ a specific thing first, I learned how to get what I truly wanted.
And the funniest thing of all?
I learned how to love myself, my body, and my value, not because of how I looked, how much money I made or how fast I could run, but because of the woman I AM.
And I am a damn good woman!