Yes, I’ve gained weight. In 3-years, I’ve gained 50-pounds and 30-lbs were gained over the last 4-months alone. And no, I’m not pregnant.
Believe it or not, I have a harder time looking at the picture on the left than the right. It was taken 3-months after my sister’s passing and I was already starting to feel a significant decline in all of the activities and pursuits that brought me joy. Let me tell you, that girl on the left was feeling an intense amount of guilt and regret. I had spent the prior year obsessively trying to perfect my body and my new vision of health. It required dedication that meant isolation, turning down opportunities to spend time with friends and family, which included my sister. I still question whether or not it was worth it, because I would give it all back in a heartbeat for just one last moment with my sister. As for the girl on the right, would you hire her to help you get into better shape? Would you trust her? I didn’t think so. You’re probably wondering what happened. As a fitness professional, I have the knowledge, the tools and the motivation. How did I gain that much weight so quickly? The answer is simple, yet complicated.
Sometimes we avoid talking about our reality because we feel vulnerable or shameful or we simply don’t want to focus on the negative energy. However, there is important work that needs to happen to overcome our struggles and it starts with awareness and acceptance. It’s starts with admitting that we are simply not happy. Being wounded is a universal event. Everyone is a little broken or damaged in this experience of life; some conceal it better than others. I’m a self-proclaimed master, but I can’t conceal the pain any longer.
Most people don’t realize that your relationship with your body affects your entire life. Why? Because if you’re fighting with your body, you‘re fighting with yourself. And if you’re fighting with yourself, you’re resisting what you truly desire in life at the cost of your personal happiness. I know all too well what it feels like to fight with your body; I’ve been doing it for the past 4-years and the worst battles have taken place over the last few months. And the more I fought with my body for gaining weight, the more weight I actually gained.
Life became a complete disaster this year. On top of being crushed under the weight of grief, I also found myself heart-broken, dealing with a break-up that left me feeling depressed, resentful and frustrated. In addition to teaching 7-days/week with no recovery for my body, I developed a terrible case of insomnia. On a good night, I managed to get 4-hours of sleep. This only led to the rapid deterioration of my health and further weight gain. I was burned out and all of my decision-making energy was used up. I had nothing left to take care of myself. You know the rest of the story — my weight started to increase, the muscles got a little flabby and eventually, my clothing didn’t fit. I hated to look at myself, but the view in the mirror was hardly the worst part; I was ashamed. How could I allow this to happen to me? And the worst part was hearing about it — around gyms, on social media. People can be so ignorant and cruel; I’ve spent more hours crying in the bathroom than I’d like to admit.
It’s no secret that a stressful environment is not conducive for anything positive, yet so many people live each day in a stressed out body, wondering why they can’t release their weight and feel lighter. Then to make matters worse, they obsess over their food and spend hours at the gym without even taking a moment to breathe. Less is more. Sometimes reducing stress, increasing recovery time or improving our physical environment can be just as important as nutrition and exercise. Unfortunately, most information the average person has learned about fitness/wellness is horribly incorrect. And here’s one truth that I know for sure, you cannot get well in the environment that made you sick. So, I’ve recently made some difficult choices to change my schedule; I’ve recommitted to my mental/emotional healing.
When you let yourself be in your body without needing to have a different one, you release the resistance and have the ability to move forward toward a life you truly desire. When you are desperately clinging to a different body with all your might, convinced that this is what will bring you all the happiness, contentment, and love in the world, you will find that an alternate physical appearance simply doesn’t create the internal feelings you are after.
So, this is where I am — on a new journey of self-acceptance, attempting to create the most peaceful environment for my body as possible. And in order for me to find acceptance for myself, I need to feel. I’ve gone so many years feeling completely numb to everything, which makes this a completely terrifying process. When we ignore what we feel, we think we can make it go away. But that logic never serves us; avoidance never serves us. I’m learning that when I can admit that I’m pissed off, frustrated and down right unhappy with my body, I can release the resistance, call off the fight and move toward an overall feeling of lightness. It’s going to be a long, arduous process and I can’t wait to share my story as it unfolds.