This is it. This is the year. I am done hiding behind my kids in photos, and pulling at my clothes as I sit down. I am ready for change. But I know now that I have to change the way I see myself, before any real change can happen.
When I was around my oldest daughter’s age, (so that would be around age six), I had two minor surgeries. Then I jumped into my parents’ pool backwards, smacking my chin, resulting in stitches. The years following I had many bouts of strep throat, tonsillitis, pneumonia and mono. Then at the end of high school came the big finish… a tumour on my thyroid resulting in a complete thyroidectomy.
I know right? I am starting to look a little like a thirty-four-year-old quilt.
I was one of four kids, and can’t imagine the worry all of this would have caused my parents. Now as a mother of four, I know how easily you can start placing your child into a certain description or type, even if you shouldn’t. I was the charismatic, sunny, slightly chubby, bubbly, non-athletic one.
My mom was very quick to let me know that I was beautiful the way I was, that I would always find my place in the world because I was not only smart, but had incredible street-smarts, and to not over-do it. I credit this kind upbringing to my current post-four-babies, (including twins), self-love attitude. I do think I am pretty awesome, despite some scars, stretch marks and cellulite I have collected over the years.
But truth be told, I have played the “broken” card one too many times in my life. After having mono, I was able to negotiate a doctor’s note that exempted me from phys-ed for an entire year. I was a smooth talker, and would turn my fear of letting team members down, into a joke about how I don’t play any sports that involves a ball, or a team.
Ahem… this one is still true and I will stand by it. Basically, the idea of me playing volleyball is my worst nightmare.
But when it came to physical exercise and getting in shape, I would attempt my goal for a short time, and then give up.
Finally, in my second year of collage, after ballooning to an all-time high on the scale, I set my mind to it… I would lose the weight and become the fit person I always wanted to be. Guess what, I did it. I reached my goal. I lost almost 30 pounds and became this badass, strong person that I had never met before.
How did I do it? I did the zone diet, (which Jennifer Aniston made cool at the time), I worked out a lot, (I had lots of free time between classes), and I indoor rock climbed, (one of my favourite non-team/ball sports), with my boyfriend at the time, Mike, (he’s now my husband).
I remember that this time in my life was one of my happiest.
This was following one of the darkest times in my life, after having my thyroid out, my family dog dying, family health scares and not yet finding my path to my future career, I had fallen into a depression, which I eventually pulled myself out of with the help of a therapist.
But now I was soaring. I would sometimes come home from a late night indoor climbing workout, or running faster than I thought was possible on the treadmill and be met by family or friends with comments that I was becoming “too thin,” or “too obsessed.”
These comments slowly wore me down. They took roots inside of me, and began to blossom into feelings of guilt about my progress and that maybe everyone liked me a little more as the bubbly, slightly chubby, non-athletic one.
Since the height of my personal physical fitness goal being reached, and the subsequent fall back into old habits of considering a light stroll a workout, resulting in being so weak I pull my neck picking up my kids toys, this idea that I am broken or more liked when out of shape, has haunted me.
Well, that was until I was met with the biggest challenge yet in my life… my twin pregnancy. The mental, physical and emotional toll this challenge took on me has been life changing. I think the fact that I couldn’t just give up and take my belly off was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
Truthfully, I thought my twin pregnancy would break me. I surely wasn’t cut out for that kind of marathon. Every day I would think to myself, “this is it, the day that my body gives out, that it exposes itself for what I always thought it was… a weakling.”
But instead, the opposite happened. My body shocked me at its incredible ability to be an incubator, creating two people at once. Even when I would almost black out when I reached the top of the stairs, or the day I lost my vision while driving. It did it’s job. It was a mighty vessel.
My mind even shocked me. Out of isolation and a feeling of being trapped inside of my body, I was able to eventually push past the fear and create change in my life.
It has taken me a long time to get where I am after having my twins. It has taken a lot of perseverance and hard work. But most of all, it has taken a lot of patience and love for myself.
Rewiring my brain isn’t easy. I know what has held me back and I am slowly chipping away.
I have created a visual in my head, and I am constantly closing my eyes and returning to that vision of strength and determination. A person who isn’t afraid anymore. A person who is going to let go of the comfortable weight and soar again.
I have come so far and have been through so much. It is time to recreate who I see myself as, knowing that although I will be changing some things, that doesn’t mean that I am losing the best parts of me.
I want this change to come from a place of self care and of giving back to my body after everything it has given and created.
I’m not broken, I’ve just been scared. It’s time to let that fear help propel me forward so that I can reach my goals, drop the excuses, be secure within my success and know that wanting to reach the finish line is not selfish, it’s self-love.
What am I doing about it?
I have been researching, reading, sharing, exploring and have been asking for help. I have partnered with a personal trainer who is going to help me stay focused and stand by me when I think that I am not enough.
Rob from Trainers On Site has been working with me, (and Mike), since the beginning of December and already I am feeling stronger and closer to my goals.
I am so excited to start bringing all of you on this journey with me. I will be raw and honest with you along the way, sharing my fears and my triumphs as I peel back the layers of self doubt I have been carrying around with me since childhood.
Progress photos will be posted each week, and I will motivate and inspire you with your goals along the way.
Trainers On Site is an in-home personal training service. Servicing Toronto, West GTA and Halton.
Disclosure: Nesting Story is in partnership with Trainers On Site and has received free services from them.