I was wrong
I was wrong. I have been wrong and I will probably keep being wrong somewhere in my life.
What was I wrong about?
Gosh, where do I start?
Before I get into that, let me tell you a bit of a back story (not a justification either). More of a ‘filler in’…
For years I yo-yo’d with my weight. I tried most diets…Weight Watchers (quite a few times actually, but more on that later I think), read heaps of books and even went to the doctor for meds to drop the weight. I was pretty good at both losing and putting weight on – that shit does work when you follow the steps.
But it was more than that.
When my marriage broke down (8 years ago) I paid for a PT and trained twice a week for nearly a year. During that time I learnt about what I was doing to my body (no more wine on a fri/sat/sun!) and I enjoyed the feeling of getting stronger and leaner…plus my energy levels went through the roof. So essentially all that worked didn’t it?
After my stint with the trainer finished I thought I would increase my knowledge with some study and I took a year to get my Fitness Certificates (Instruction and PT). All the while thinking that it was fun (and it was) and that I remembered that I loved to learn once again. This wasn’t just physical now, it was also brain fitness.
Zumba! came along and I realised that with a strategy I could finish my comfortable Government job and do my own thing. And it worked! I spent a few years teaching Zumba! and taking it to schools, pre-schools, old peoples homes and to workshops. I was being paid to have fun and I sure was!
I was also getting fitter and leaner as the months progressed and I hit my goal weight. But I even didn’t notice that. I was busy, I was having fun. I barely glanced at myself when I got out of the shower.
So lets put this into perspective. I was teaching round 10 Zumba! classes per week, plus my PT clients and early morning Boot Camps.
I was fit. I was lean. I was strong. But I essentially thought I could do better and didn’t really acknowledge the person staring back at me in the mirror. In fact I barely recognised her. I pushed any thoughts to the side when it came to my body (perhaps I didn’t want to acknowledge it?)
I would compare myself to the people I was training. Admiring their small hips and flat stomachs. I would look at people like Michelle Bridges and wonder what it felt like to fit into size 10’s. Because even at my fittest I was still in size 12 outfits thanks to my hips and bum.
Don’t get me wrong. I was super happy in pretty much all areas of my life. Working when I wanted to and having some seriously great fun in the meantime. Money was coming in and running your own business is certainly a great achievement when you can see it growing in front of you.
At the back of my mind, I just thought my body could do better. So I kept pushing it. More classes, more commitments. At one point me and my business partner had a health studio and were running 45 classes a week between us both. Looking back, I can see this was stupid. But honestly we loved what we did and seemed to have the energy to support it. Yes I got injured a lot (all that jumping has now caused lots of issues in my joints) and I even taught after I had an operation on my bowel.
I got sick. My doctor said I could go back to work after the op but he didn’t seem to grasp what ‘work’ was for me. I explained myself numerous times and he kept saying ‘6 weeks’ recovery to me.
After 6 weeks and barely an improvement (I was PT’ing people sitting on the floor) I got really sick. I was in so much pain and I couldn’t work. This put pressure on my business partner and we made a decision for me to pull out and she continued with the studio with her family. It was the only option we had at the time.
So what did I do?
I studied again – this time life coaching and NLP. I took time off to learn and heal. And OMG things took a turn! I coached so many people on their health and in particular two ex-biggest loser contestants.
Shit. It dawned on me. I was wrong. It wasn’t about the fitness sessions and the food they ate. It was so much more. These people had trained the weight off and lived on lettuce leaves – yet they put all the weight back on (and more). This in turn made them feel like total failures and the cycle of self-abuse continued. It was messed up for sure.
It starts with the mind. Not the exercise or food. I was wrong. And I have kept this hush for a few years as I was worried about what people would say.
Not anymore. I have let go of that idea now.
I was also wrong to focus on the outside first. That doesn’t matter, its the inside first.
Its how people feel about themselves before anything. Starting with that is now the obvious choice.
Yes I know I will get lots of opinions on this – and I care less. We have been conditioned to focus on beauty and what is attractive. Women in particular are beating themselves up about their bodies and have less and less respect for themselves…then are creating another generation of messed-up-ness.
Its time to speak up. Its time to apologise, and I am sorry.
So I say this as an awesome mum with curves (I seriously have the best boobs) and a belly that I have grown to love. I am proud to be normal! I am healthy and happy and I won’t kill myself trying to get into the shape I once was… that was in the past and I now only look to the future. I still love to move, to dance and I walk daily. I eat chocolate when I like, cake when I like and do enjoy my veggies. I laugh a lot, I talk a lot and couldn’t give a sh*t about the size of my bum. I have more important things to focus my energy on these days…like enjoying this body and living life to the fullest.
What about you?