I was never overweight. I never had a "come to Jesus" moment about not fitting into normal sizes that spurred me to workout and eat healthy. Sure, I've had my struggles with weight and body image issues. When I was 20 I was in a group acting class and the teacher told me, in front of everyone, that I wouldn't get a job with a weight as "high" as mine and that my legs were too big to get work. I've had my share of anxiety about fitting into skinny jeans but most of it is silly vanity and not life threatening. I've always been able to participate in sports and activities and shop in the Junior section. You may be thinking, how then can I be motivational at all? What could I possibly have to say? But let me tell you this – fitness and exercise saved me anyway. Perhaps you can relate?
There are so many things in life that are out of our control, it's scary really. My problems often stem from a feeling of helplessness. I can't always control other people. One day it hit me as I was trying to find the motivation to work out that working out is in my control. I can work out. I can push myself to workout more or less. I can control whether I have a consistent training practice or whether I don't. When I feel something needs to change - I'm tight or I feel over taxed - I can choose to do yoga instead of weights. If I feel weak I can choose to do strength training.
Fitness, working out, training - has given me control, has shown me that I'm in the driver’s seat and the decisions I make, they have results!
Working out consistently is the backbone of my strength as a woman. I make time to train, no matter what it's for, because it's important to me and it's just for me and my well-being. And I've found it has a trickle effect. When I am assertive, when I prove to myself that I am capable in my fitness (and in my nutrition), I am then assertive and capable and proactive in my professional life as well as in my personal life. It became a way to test my character and then to build my character and my internal strength. Because I make the time to train, I have gained respect, learned discipline, and have regard for myself. People usually treat you as you treat yourself. In making time to exercise, I show people that I am valuable, that I'm strong and capable. That value I have found in myself trumps a fear of being "fat" or "ugly." I cherish that capability more then I ever cherished the control I felt from starving myself.
The journey of fitness, the ups and downs, builds my fortitude, patience, and self-acceptance. And because of that I'm committed to it, for the rest of my life, through all of its incarnations.
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