I hate this picture, but, I feel like I need to share it…
This is a picture that I find so hard to post. I’m uncomfortable that I’m exposed-yes, I’m in my underwear-but I had “let myself go.”
As a trainer, coach, fitness influencer, nationally qualified women’s physique competitor…I looked awful and felt even worse. My body was a stranger to me.
Ugh. My body was a stranger to me.
Who else has ever felt like this?! I know as we age and go through life phases, our bodies are amazing at adapting to all this new stuff. We should be proud of what our bodies can do, marvel at the strength we can possess, be in awe that the female body makes life, and so much more!!
And in that first picture, I was struggling. I was holding water, I was bloated and inflamed, my joints and skin hurt; I was also not eating correctly and I was not exercising. Those last two-I tried to lie to myself about many times! Like, “I didn’t eat that bad” or “I’m exhausted and my body needs rest.” When slowly, I was just becoming a stranger within myself and doing the best to cope with some crazy things being thrown my way.
What did I change?? And the last pic isn’t even the most recent (and I was bloated/on my period!)
I took control of my health; I made the hard decision to be honest with myself and reevaluate what I was going to do. Because, what I was doing, clearly wasn’t working. I also decided, to ignore that negative voice in my own head telling me how I should look for Instagram, or coaching, or just social standards-I left them at the door and started fresh.
Number one change: Mindset
Next I attacked my diet. At this point in time (The first pic taken in November 2019) I had fallen out of love with the gym and nutrition seemed like the next logical step for me. Now, my macros aren’t going to be the same as yours-so I’m not listing those (they are fluid tho and change as my training now changes) but I decided to go plant-based. My first doctor had told me she believed I had PCOS and after a deep dive into Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome, I decided that anti-inflammatory foods were going to be best for me. I added in foods that had once scared me away (like fruits!) and my whole outlook on food changed. (I promise to write about more food/diet stuff involving bodybuilding and the after bodybuilding phase in life-so hang tight!)
Next, leaving that negative mentality at the door, I hit the gym. And the gym hit back.
I wasn’t where I had once been and that first workout back, I definitely had a hard time with. THIS IS NORMAL! I took 3-4 months off! Yes, me…I slacked off for that long and figured my body would catch up! I had some accountability help-a friend making sure that I went at least 3 times per week, took a week off here and there for the first two months back! Now, I’m back at it 4-5 days a week, I allow myself solid rest days (I gotta work on that stress management!) and I have lost 11 pounds so far since November.
Think I’m bragging?? Hell yeah I am! That was a ton of hard work! There’s a quote from Harvey Spector: “I quit everyday, I just never said it out loud. I would never give them the satisfaction of breaking me.” So, yeah-allow yourself to feel it and then to grow through what you are going through!
Harvey also says, “I can’t hear you over how awesome I am.” Its my motto for when that negative voice starts to chime in with her bullshit. I look at that above picture, remember all the shit I went through, and I keep fighting daily! I tell my clients the same things when they have those negative interactions inside their own heads; to cut it out! You’re a queen and you keep celebrating those small wins.
Again, I will deep dive into those issues as I sort them out myself. From negative self talk to strict bodybuilding dieting to reverse dieting gone wrong, PCOS and the whole spectrum…I promise.
Just know that if I can do it, you can do it! I hope that in sharing a picture that I hate and feel so exposed sharing, that it will help you in this fitness journey you are on! You aren’t alone-and if you are reading this, know I consider you part of my tribe.
Stay strong my friends, keep at the journey, and don’t ever feel shame for where you came from because it built what you are now!
Never any artful bullshit and yours in strength,