Tuesday, June 2, 2015

This one's for you...

This one's for you.

This blog post is for all the people who are unhappy.
...for everyone who is scared to go to the gym.
...for everyone that thinks it is hopeless.
...for anyone who is sad, lonely, or depressed.
...for the person who wants to feel good.
...for the 8 year old inside of you that loved to swim, but you're not sure if they're still there.
...for the kids who loved to ride bikes outside in the summer, but haven't in a long time.
...for the person that doesn't think they can run, but desperately wants to.
...for the person that is on their journey.
...for the person that has journeyed before.
...for every person.

This blog post is for you.

I've found on my weight loss journey that there have been many ups and downs that I go through. But there is always a similar pattern. I want to share something with you from about 17 years ago.

When I was 14 our eighth grade class trip was to Washington D.C. Growing up I was very insecure about my body. We were required to wear nice clothes on the trip and I can remember going to Kohls and getting a pair of black khaki pants that were size 7. And I felt larger than any of the other girls in my class. I don't know that I felt fat or even overweight, I just felt like I didn't fit in with everyone else. And I proceeded to feel not good about my body right into college. And then I decided to do something about it. So I got moving. But the midst of my collegiate healthy awakening, I came across the picture of me in eighth grade and I remembered how I felt at the time. And you know what? I looked at that picture in college the same I view it today, I look like a pretty standard 14 year old girl.

But isn't that one of the huge hurdles in any sort of weight-loss or fitness journey? It doesn't always matter what the reality looks like if your head is some place else.

Here's the truth. First and foremost, who you are is beautiful, regardless of the size that you are. You are where you are in life right now because that's where God needs you to be. You are beautiful and special because God made you who you are and He doesn't make mistakes.

Do you remember the TLC show What Not to Wear with Stacy and Clinton? Many of the participants said they dressed the way they did was because they were planning on losing weight and were just biding time. The thing that Stacy and Clinton always responded with was that it is important for you to dress your body as it is right now, not as it could possibly be six month from now. I always thought that was good advice, but I think there's something more to it now that I didn't understand before. You dress your body now for success because it makes you feel better, which puts you in a better position to be successful in other aspects of your life (health, relationships, work, etc.). If we live in a state of constant self loathing, it is very difficult to take any steps in a positive direction.

So stop criticizing yourself! That's not going to get you anywhere besides BummedOutsville. (Go back up two paragraphs and re-read.) So now you feel good about your insides, but you want your outsides to match? Here's my encouragement to you...take a step. Take one step forward. Steps forward don't have to always be big steps. Make your big goal, and then put several smaller goals in between where you are now and the larger goal laid out in front of you.

You want to run? Start tomorrow with a walk. It's the same as running. Just one foot in front of the other.
You want to swim? Buy a suit and don't get a rat's patootie about what other people think because you're there and we're all a work in progress.
You want to bike? Find a place to rent one in your city for a day so you can fall back in love with the freedom that those two wheels can offer.
You want to go to the gym? Go. The only person stopping you is you. They will be happy to have you (and your moola).
You want to feel good? Turn on the 80's cardio station on Pandora and have your own private dance party at home. I have yet to find anyone who doesn't feel awesome after rocking out to Livin' On a Prayer.

Life is too short to deprive ourselves of everything it has to offer. Make tomorrow a great one!

Live. Laugh. Love.

*Editor's Note: The author of this blogpost also has to give herself this pep talk on a fairly regular basis. Nobody is perfect. We're all a work in progress trying to make tomorrow better than it was today. High five, fellow people. Go forth and be awesome.

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