My 21 DF Work in Progress: a Transformative Journey
When I first began this program, I had my reservations. In the end, I suppose – about myself. All of the tools and support I needed were (are) there after all, the rest was up to ME; the biggest (pardon the pun) equation in all of this. As someone who has publicized a sizeable quotient of my life online as a parenting, relationship and food blogger, sharing in my fitness journey should be nothing new, right?
My struggles with body image and weight have been a burden I keep held down low, squashed with shame and confusion. I occasionally talk about them, very lightly and never delve too deep. That had to change. I understand that now. In order for me to fully embrace fitness and food portion control as a lifestyle change, not a diet – and to feel good about doing it, I had to address my dark passenger. I had to (continue to) delve deep and dissect my WHY. Not my WHY for pursuing a better path to nutrition and fitness, but WHY it’s always been such a struggle.
As a child, teen and young adult I used food (and books and art) to escape reality. Food was among one of the few things that brought me comfort growing up the brainy, highly creative and sensitive kid who had more going on at home than any young mind and soul should have to wade through. I forged my path of creating barriers and systems that revolved around self-medicating. Some of them were healthy, some not so much and a couple were destructively dangerous as I entered into my late teens and early adult-hood. For a long time I did not use, or access within myself the tools to live a healthy lifestyle. In part, I wasn’t taught them. It took many years of radical self love and wading through uncountable stages of grief, healing, forgiveness and acceptance that brought me to being the fairly successful, well-rounded woman that I am today. For all of my faults and short-comings.
However, one crutch always remained: food. I tried to turn my crutch into a passion; which, in all honesty I have been mostly successful in. I’ve dedicated years to educating myself on holistic nutrition, various styles of cuisine, forms of cooking, baking and gardening. I try and try yet again to separate my healthy love for food from that of using it as a crutch. My weight has gone up and down over the years, my twenties were (as many can attest to), my thinnest. (Although not necessarily my healthiest.) As I moved into my thirties, real love and motherhood forever changed me, in uncountable ways. I often dissect and analyze where my hang-ups about body image come from and what type of body I am truly comfortable in. It’s not in being over-weight. The feminist in me, (oh! The dreaded F-Word!) used to nod in agreement with others proclaiming that I, a curvy woman should embrace my voluptuous curves and accept myself for who I am. To not buy into what media at every turn is slamming into my face: the image of thigh-gaps and bony limbs. It seems that there are only extremes to choose from and that if I am to be a happy, confident, intelligent, millennial woman … who dares even uttering that she is a feminist in the least … then I better let go of any desire to improve my outer shell. That somehow, if a person wants to loose weight, that’s all they care about. Or that they are obsessed with image and weight becasue of the said historic mind fuckery women have been dealt regarding their bodies. This may be true of some, however this not my story.
So I’m creating my own definition of feminism. As a woman who won’t be crushed by the weight of other people’s ideals and the self-confidence to know myself well enough that my desire to be thinner has nothing to do with wanting to be model thin. That my passion for wanting to become more self-disciplined with having a regular fitness routine has much to do with non-scale victories. Sure, some of them include the numbers on the scale going down. But most of it has to do with caring for my pre-diabetic, under-active thyroid riddled body and YES, also looking damn fine in a swimsuit.
I want to feel better about myself. I want to have more energy, for myself and my children. I want to honour this vessel, this body that I have, right on into old age, the best way I can … with all of the tools I can grasp onto. With such a large part of my life’s work revolving around health and wellness – fitness and body image can’t very well remain my silent demons. I’ve had to step up to the plate in most other ways in my life, it’s about time I loose another crutch that’s keeping me from actualizing my dreams. Resistance is crushed by conquering hope, by convincing whomever I can that either there’s nothing better to work for, or else that it can never be achieved. When we divide our resistance from our hope, we back ourselves into a corner and we lose both; but when we allow ourselves the freedom to imagine more, when we help each other insist that change is possible, that’s when we have the strength to create it. I don’t want to fall back into a rhythm of complacency.
Over this past month I’ve connected with other women who share similar stories to mine and a coach (who I’ve known for a while and actually used to work with for Disney Baby), constantly inspires me to do better. Be better. To KICK ASS. I’ve watched with joy in how my children respond to exercising and their genuine desire to want to take part. This is something I want to teach my children, in the long-term sense. I want to give them those tools. While some of the weight has dropped off and my clothes fit better, not one minute of it has been easy. Muscles ache and the desire to snack at night is real. Worlds are colliding and I’m revisiting my creative side in ways that truly nurture me, body and soul. And I eat (LOVE to eat), to nurture my body and savour the experience as we are meant to.
So I will continue to share in this journey. It helps keep me accountable and if what I’m going though speaks to just one person, then my road to wellness has been truly inspired. And it’s already happening. There is so much value in sharing your story. There is so much power in being heard. We all have our own stories and as personal as we think they might be, we can hear the stories and the history of our ancestors in our words.
So I took some before and current progress photos. Yea, I actually did that. I never thought I would have the courage to, but as the days go on, I start to shed some of the shame and gain more discipline. So there’s that. Self-love is a wondrous thing and not cheesy in the slightest.
If you’re curious about Beachbody, the 21 Day fix or plainly just what in the heck has gotten into me, shoot me a message if we’re friends on FB (feel free to add me!) or email Me. I’ve committed to another round of re-learning how to eat to L I V E and L O V E my body while simultaneously getting my ass kicked in work-outs along-side an amazing group of women who lift me up, keep me strong and support me every step of the way. Want in? Begin by telling me your REAL story. That’s where true transformations begin.