This week was a big one for me as I found myself on the verge of accomplishing some personal health goals and I thought it was worth taking both of my posts this week to talk about health, confidence and a little bit of will power. At first, I was hesitant to share with you my personal trial with weight and how it has affected me but some great friends convinced me otherwise: there are so many women who struggle with the same thing, and I could actually encourage others.
Over the past seven months I have been working on my health and losing extra pounds I put on in college. I have always struggled with my weight even when I was a kid, but this time it was different. I lost my heart for the things I loved because I felt I didn’t belong – I saddled up my barrel horses less and stayed away from rodeos because I felt I was no longer worthy of competing. That was devastating. I knew I had to do something but like every other girl like myself, I had tried EVERYTHING with no luck.
I didn’t have money for a special gym membership or a pack of shakes and pills that would magically make me skinny. I started doing the most cliche things – packing salads for lunch and doing a 30 minute home workout six days per week. Let me tell you, results didn’t come fast and it was HARD. In the first week, I actually GAINED weight and I almost accepted my fate of being overweight for the rest of my life. But I kept going. I failed so many times but I kept moving forward, kept modifying my diet, kept finding ways to be active until it stuck.
Over the past seven months I lost 25 pounds and I feel so much better than I did at that higher weight. But here’s the kicker – I’m only HALFWAY THERE. It’s exhausting to think about it honestly, the fact that there is still so much work to be done and lifestyle changes that still have to be made but I’m going to keep moving until I reach my final goal.
Since this is a long term journey, I of course spend a lot of time thinking about my body image and what I am striving to achieve. Is it to look toned? Run faster? Be smaller? When will I reach the point where I say “this is enough. I am happy with this.” The thing about people is this – we are never satisfied. I could obsess over my physique every day, to the point of neglecting my other priorities and still find new insecurities and doubts about my body.
I decided on day one of this journey that I am not trying to simply look better or “fix this flaw” but I am trying to better myself with each new day. I had to make peace with myself on that first day that I wouldn’t criticize or hate my body at any point and I would keep enjoying each small victory, even if it wasn’t the ultimate one. For those of you in the same position, realize what your body is capable of, what God designed it to do. Taking care of yourself shouldn’t be a chore, but a blessing. Being thankful for having a functioning body is something to keep in mind even when you slip up or gain a few pounds back.
We are capable of amazing things at every size and there is so much pressure on us girls to be THAT girl, whoever it is in your mind. Abandon those thoughts and remember that you are here, first and foremost, to love God and people. You don’t need a hot body to do that. Second, remember that your body is your own and will never look exactly like the girl in the picture on your Pinterest board. Accept that and own it. Be the best version of yourself.
I hope I am able to encourage someone from this post to start their journey or feel empowered to be the best version of themselves both mentally and physically. Please don’t be afraid to reach out to me if you need a friend or someone to lean on in this struggle – I am right there with you.
Stay unique, sisters!