First of all, let me start by apologizing to MYSELF and my BODY!
You see, I haven't always had a great mindset about my body. I haven't always been kind to myself. I haven't always been nice to my body. There are many reasons why I had this "negative" relationship with myself. Old memories, old tapes playing in my head, things I heard, saw or experienced. Everyone has old tapes! It's what we DO with those old tapes that determine our path. How do we "deal" or not "deal" with them?
So, I want to say I'm sorry for the way that I have treated you, body. I'm sorry for always comparing you to other bodies. I'm sorry for the way that I have spoken to you. I'm sorry for making you think that you weren't "good enough". I'm sorry for thinking you were "too thin" or "too fat". I'm sorry for looking at your skin, pulling or squeezing it and thinking, "Eeeewwww, that doesn't look good!"
Even after I had my babies, I didn't celebrate the fact that you made these perfect little humans that made me a Mom! I didn't appreciate the fact that you were strong and allowed me to run, teach aerobics, lift weights, ride my bikes, take hikes, play with my children and train my clients.
There was a period in my life where I just never felt good in my skin. It didn't matter how many classes I taught or how many miles I ran, I was always going for "better". I compared myself to other fitness professionals, thinking that I needed more defined muscles or needed to have leaner abs. I was checking my weight all the time. I tried some of the crazy detox diets, even though I knew better.
After having a hysterectomy in 2005 that left me extremely thin and weak, not to mention giving me another scar across my belly, I decided to work on my relationship with ME. I wanted to make sure that I took care of myself, not just physically but emotionally. Soon after my I recovery, I learned that my now ex-husband was cheating on me. That tilted my world. I began thinking that I wasn't good enough. I wasn't pretty enough. I wasn't sexy enough. I couldn't understand why he would so this to me! After all, I had worked so hard to make myself look good. Yet, he still chose someone else. In hindsight, I know that was so NOT the case. We had plenty of issues! (Ultimately, we spit up, which led me a few years later to my new and improved husband so, yay!)
I began the journey of working on ME again. Then, on December 5, 2005, I lost my middle sister to domestic violence. I won't go into all of the details, but that changed my life....forever. I started volunteering for the local women's shelter and speaking publicly to bring awareness and education about DV. I spoke to women who had been in violent situations or who were seeking advice on how to get out of a bad relationship. You wouldn't believe the women that I met who were beautiful, smart and accomplished yet had been mentally, emotionally, verbally and physically abused. I knew then that I had a message to deliver and that I wanted more than anything to start helping women feel good in their skin! We should all feel beautiful, strong, empowered, confident, healthy and free from negative self-talk. I knew that I wanted to help heal the wounds that had been inflicted by the world, men, other women, social media and expectations that ARE NOT REAL. I wanted to help women BE REAL.
I'm 53 now, almost 54. I'm finally at a point where I no longer care what others think of my body. I eat healthy because I want to and because I enjoy the food. I also eat pizza, cookies, and drink margaritas and wine, but in moderation!
Don't get me wrong, there are days that I look in the mirror and I still hear that old voice and I still struggle with how I look on camera while filming workouts. But I'm human and I'm okay with the ebbs and flows that my body goes through.
I continue to work towards my goal of helping as many women as I can. Not that I think that I am "All That", but because I think women should be allowed to be who they are, not who we are expected to be. I want to raise strong daughters and grand-daughters. I want to be ME. I want to love and honor my mind, body and soul.
Let's talk about this more often. Let's help young women grow up in a healthy environment, judgement free. Let's work on being healthy in EVERY respect!