It’s true. I love myself and my body.
For the longest time I couldn’t say those words. I did not love myself. I did not love my body. I did not love the choices I was making about the foods going into my body. I would assess if I was the heaviest person in the room. I would compare myself to my sisters and think, “why can’t I look like them?”
Around Christmastime I saw myself in the back of a snapchat and I was like OH MY GOSH WHO IS THAT WHALE? WHO IS THAT VIOLET BEAUREGARD? (you know the girl who blows up like a blueberry in Willy Wonka) I went promptly to the bathroom and considered purging and just ended up crying instead.
I did not recognize myself at all.
This is the story of so many women. We don’t like what we see in the mirror, or in photos, or we hate how we feel. We feel sluggish and disgusting.
This is not a promo or an #ad, I’m not selling you anything. There is no magic formula, or a quick fix. I just want to tell you about how I came to love myself, because I know I’m not the only one that has those negative thoughts about themselves. If that’s you right now, you’re not alone.
Not too long after Christmas, I came across a Facebook post from a friend from church. It went on about how she had similar feelings to mine and then she tried this program with another lady that goes to our church and she’d never need another program . I was like “What?! I didn’t know Christina did that, and man that sounds incredible.”
So, I somewhat secretly signed up. I didn’t tell my siblings or friends until a couple weeks in. I felt a little skeptical. I’ve tried to lose weight and tried certain health and fitness programs in the past, so I didn’t want to tell anyone. In the back of my mind I thought “well I probably won’t be able to maintain this, so I better not tell anyone.” I didn’t want anyone to know I had failed before I even started. A little backwards right?
Here’s what was so great. Yes there was a focus on clean eating, workouts, and I wore a pedometer. BUT the third magical part Christina incorporates is a spiritual aspect. Working on my heart and my thoughts was something I had never considered when it came to health. I learned how to change my mindset.
Negative body image is something most girls and a lot of men struggle with. We see ourselves differently than others do. We would never speak to our friends and loved ones or any of God’s creation the way we speak to ourselves. Disgusting, gross, and hate, are all words that should NEVER be used to describe yourself.
I learned to speak kind words to myself. I declared things over my life in the present tense such as “I have self confidence” and “I make healthy choices for myself and my future children.” These declarations were so important. Whatever you think or say about yourself, will be. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. When I declare these things and truths over myself, I continue to move forward and make healthy choices because my mindset is healthy. When I hear those harsh words spoken now, my heart hurts because I know the freedom that is on the other side.
Also, guess what? My body reacts SUPER positively to vegetables, more water, and less sugar. When my body started tightening up, I noticed a huge difference. Not just physically, but I had more energy, and I was even more confident. Brad noticed too and I can’t say it was the worst thing to ever happen.
Do you know what you can accomplish when you feel confident? Oh so much friends. I was knocking it out, just bopping through life because there was nothing I couldn’t handle. It was like I finally found my old self. My mom noticed and said, “you just have a glow about you.”
Other people noticed too. I went to my favorite store and tried on dresses for Easter. I found this adorable gingham off the shoulder dress, but something was off about it. Me, feeling like I could do anything, whipped open the curtains and asked the sales associate what she thought and what was off about it. I said, “I feel like this is cute, but like, is it also frumpy?” She immediately said, “yeah it’s cute, but it’s too big on you, you need a smaller size.” Just then, the clouds opened up and the angels sang a hallelujah chorus. Okay not really, but do you know what I mean? Are there any better words when trying on clothes?! I was floored.
Another cool thing was eating so clean and adding things back in, I got to see how my body reacted to certain foods. I quickly learned dairy, grains, and alcohol made me blow up like a balloon. Not cool. I never knew what bloating was because I was eating these things all of the time. Now I totally get it, yikes. But how cool to see what is best for my body, and how it reacts.
Throughout this eight week program Christina walked with me hand in hand. She kept me accountable and she reminded me of God’s words when HE describes me. She gave advice and encouraged me. I never once felt guilty for eating something I knew I shouldn’t have. Instead she looked for the positives, and gently challenged me to take more steps or eat more veggies. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “you’re doing so awesome,” even when I felt like I wasn’t. She told me, look for ways God is changing you and not just physically. I already told you about the self confidence, but would you believe that during this time is when I finally launched my podcast? God was orchestrating things all along and it’s just really cool how it lined up. I am so so grateful for her guidance. I cannot thank her enough. (sidebar: she is coming on the podcast this week to share more about herself and health and wellness and I am so so excited for everyone to hear)
So here I am at the end of the 8 weeks. (Well a little after) I am 16 lbs down, 21 overall inches lost, and down 2.4% body fat. I have more self confidence and I am proud of myself. I still have so much more I want to do and lose physically, but I am so grateful for what I have gained mentally in the process.
Did I do it perfectly? no. Was it hard? yeah a little. But oh so worth it. It was something anyone could do.
It may not look like much, but I imagine myself holding two 8 lb bowling balls. That is what came off of me! So here are some super vulnerable photos that I almost didn’t post. But if it helps someone, it’s worth it. Like I said, I love myself, but I still recognize I can go further. The girl on the left was fine and happy for the most part. But the girl on the right has so much self confidence, is less puffy in her face, and arms, and belly, and she worked hard for it. I used to think it was bad to be proud of yourself, because I didn’t want to come off cocky. But I am proud of myself, not because I think I’m better than anyone else. But, because I’ve seen myself grow and allow God to make a true change in me and I’m better than my old self.
Again this is not a sales pitch or a magic trendy product, but If this post tugged at your heart please reach out to me or chat with Christina and check out the program at loveyourselffitness.net . There is a lot more information on her website and several before and after pictures as well!
AND check out episode 9 of The Strong and Beautiful Women Podcast coming out this Thursday 5/3 to hear more.