Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Very Thin Line Between Love and Hate

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.  –Lucille Ball

I’ve been thinking a lot about body image lately and how we judge ourselves.  It's still something I struggle with from time to time.  Some people have no problem believing in what their body can do or how it looks.  Some people talk the talk and then practice such self hate behind closed doors.  And there are other people that recognize their current limitations and make steps towards becoming a better version of themselves.

This blog post has been mulling around in my mind for a while, but this morning it really hit me.

So there’s this machine, or not really because it doesn’t DO anything, at the gym that you do leg raises with.  You’re pretty much working with your body weight and using your core muscles.  For those of you not versed in gym equipment, it looks like this:

About two months ago, Mr. Trainer, put me on it and told me to do 10 reps.  Complete.Disaster.  It was humiliating……I think I got to 3 and then just did a slow motion slide right off.  I just didn’t have the strength.  And to make it worse there’s a wall that you can see your reflection in so you get to watch the fabulousness happen.  We didn’t even discuss it – that’s how bad it was.  So, he took me off and we did them on the floor and have been doing them there ever since.  The workout that followed on that day was certainly not my best because I was focusing on what I couldn’t do.

So today he tells me to get on that dang “machine” again.  He turned around before he could see the epic eye roll.  But guess what?  I got on it and it was a FREAKING.MIRACLE. y’all.  I was able to do 3 full sets of 12 without stopping during the sets.  Now, I know objectively that you get stronger and stronger each time you work out – but I didn’t ever think I’d be one of those people.  It was another reminder of something that I hated on myself for instead of trusting that my body could handle it when it was meant to.

I’m well aware that these issues are not gender specific, but, I’m a chick so I hear and see it with us girls a whole lot more than guys.  And I don’t think we give ourselves nearly enough credit.

I mean the constant self hate talk that comes out of our mouths is terrible.

We, as women LOVE the instagram and selfie movement because you get to cut off the “bad” parts and add all sorts of fancy filters that make us look the best that we can edit.  Trust me, this is not a high-horse speech……I am SO guilty of this too, 100%. 

These pictures were taken on the same night……one’s all pretty with the fancy cropping and filters….the other with the chinny chin chins…..but I’ve lost several in the past year so I’ll take it!  See?  I do it too.

Throughout this journey, I have several friends that have told me to make sure and post before and after pictures so that I can see my progress.  This is difficult for me because of a couple of things:

1) I have VERY few before pictures…..much less full body shots because I avoided them like the plague.
2) This journey of mine is about so much more than physical changes.  If I could take before and after photos of my mental changes I SWEAR it would floor people.
And, I think that’s what gets me.  It’s the unhappiness BEHIND it all that needs to be fixed first.  Instead of celebrating what we CAN do, we give ourselves such crap about what we can’t. 

I remember Baby Sister and I had a conversation a few weeks ago about life and love….you know, as sisters do.  I semi-jokingly asked her why I hadn’t found the REAL Prince Charming yet.  She simply said without hesitation, “I don’t think you’ve ever loved yourself enough until now.”  She probably doesn’t know that her answer struck me as pure truth and still sticks with me today.  Those sister bombs will get you when you least expect it. 

I now make a conscious decision to celebrate little victories in life and remind myself of the things I CAN do.  My own personal “high-fives.” 

-I have a mind that can get the best of me sometimes…..but I choose to celebrate that it has allowed me to learn quickly and be a badass in my career.

-I have a heart that has betrayed me before….but I choose to celebrate that it loves deep and wide and am lucky to have people in my life that are careful with it.

-I have arms that have the jiggle and HATE sleeveless shirts….but I choose to celebrate that they can provide comfort to friends and family when they hug and can lift weights I could never have imagined.

-I have legs that are shorter than average and don’t get me started on thighs…..but I choose to celebrate that they haven’t failed me yet when I just don’t think I can go any further on that dang treadmill and haven’t once needed Mr. Trainer to grab the leg press because I couldn’t take the weight.

Could all of those things look “better?”  Of course they could…..and so help me they will.  But for now, I choose not to hate on any of those things that provide so many joys in my life as well.

So, I would encourage and plead for you….especially the ladies….to take a look in the mirror.  A REAL look and while you inevitably go to the things you HATE…..take those parts and think about the GOOD things they’ve given you.  EVEN the muffin top girls, even the muffin top……..I mean most of you grew and birthed a FREAKING HUMAN BEING inside that thing……I can't even say that!

Your body can and has done so many amazing things, you just have to trust it. 

I am so much stronger than I was yesterday even if I’m not quite to where I want to be….but I can’t wait to find out where I’ll be tomorrow.  Make the choice to celebrate YOU.

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