I have a confession to make...a couple, really. I'm not perfect. In fact, I'm far from it. (gasp!) And I'm tired of wishing I was. Ever since Dianne and I decided to make Lifetime Wellness Challenge a business, I've put too much pressure on myself to look perfect...and for the last year and a half, the stress has slowly destroyed me. I've felt like I needed to be the picture perfect model of healthy living, but as the scale not only refused to cooperate with what I felt I had to be, it's taken me in the opposite direction. This is not easy for me to admit, but in the last 2 years, I've gained 17 pounds. Just writing that and knowing that someone might actually read it makes me cringe. But why? Why do I feel like I have to look a certain way in order to help others discover their best selves?
We are all on a journey that takes us down good roads and bad. Sometimes, we're struggling while climbing a mountain. Other times, things seem easy and routine like we've crested the climb and are enjoying the view from on top. There are moments when we're slipping and sliding back down the mountainside as our lives tumble out of control. But right now, I'm lost...in a valley...in darkness...walking in circles...alone...and I'm tired.
I'm tired of hating my body while telling you to love yours. I'm tired of the pressure I put on myself to be perfect at everything. The perfect friend. The perfect mom and wife with the perfectly neat home. And above all else, the perfect body. I feel like a hypocrite when I tell you that being fit is possible, when it's not something I've mastered yet. I'm embarrassed when I see local participants around town and I'm not back in my size 8 jeans...and the size 12's I'm wearing now are far more snug than I'd like. (cringing again). I tell myself that I'll be happy and love my body WHEN I reach a certain number on the scale, but that number is so far away right now that I live with constant anxiety about what I'm eating...how much I'm eating...how long I'm exercising...how many calories are in the foods I eat...if I've burned enough calories during a workout...etc. If I have a great eating/exercise day and wake up the next morning to find the scale has not taken notice of my one day of hard work, I'm depressed and defeated and I tell myself that I'm a failure. And it hurts. And I have to stop hurting myself and allowing a NUMBER on a scale or in my jeans to determine my mood and my worth.
The time has come for the self-abuse to end, and I'm spilling my guts so grossly so that you can hold me accountable. My goal for this challenge is to stop focusing on weight and to learn to appreciate my body despite its size or firmness. I want to regain control of my journey and start back up the moutain with confidence and no shame. I'm going to focus on changing my head instead of my body, because my head and my heart are what's hurting right now. Yes, my body needs work, but I'm fairly certain that changing the outside is not going to make a difference unless I fix what's broken inside. And I have a plan...
1. I'm getting rid of my scale. You might think this would be a simple one, but I made this decision 3 days ago and I've weighed myself every single day since then...and been disappointed in myself every single day since then. So, the scale is leaving my home. That stupid little piece of equipment is ruining my happiness and I must stop letting a number determine my self-worth. So, bye, bye scale. I'm not sad to see you go. (My husband will be so glad to see it go...he's been telling me to throw it out for years).
2. I'm going to start journaling...TO myself...about the things I like about myself. I'm going to be positive and encouraging and grateful for the many MANY things my body is capable of.
3. I'm going to stop comparing myself to others. No good has ever come from that. I always fall short and am left feeling inadequate and defeated. I love this quote that I saw the other day on Facebook, "Confidence isn't walking into a room thinking you're better than everyone else, it's walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone at all."
4. Finally - I'm going to stop ALL negative talk about my body. No more self-deprecating humor. No more pointing out my flaws because I want to be sure that the person I'm talking to knows that I KNOW I'm not good enough. This is a lie. I am good enough. The people I love don't care what size I am. My kids think I'm amazing and have never once told me I'd be cooler if I was skinny. My husband loves me more than I can fathom and thinks I'm beautiful no matter what size my jeans are (he's just happy when I actually wear jeans...instead of yoga pants). No one cares, but me...and that is soon to change.
And so my journey begins...out of the valley...and into the light. If you are lost in the darkness of self-loathing, come join me. Get rid of your scale, your comparisons and your negativity. Let's climb this mountain together.
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