Friday, May 30, 2014

Bootcamp, Self Esteem, and Body Image

Hey everyone,

Wow, what an incredible 6 weeks!  Bootcamp ended last night and I was filled with SO many emotions.  Last night we did hill runs, walking lunges up hill, and even walking/running backward uphill.  It was hard, probably my hardest workout ever during those 6 weeks.  I pushed myself and groaned and cursed but when the hour was up I felt SO accomplished!  I know many of the girls felt the same.  #FUManhole

Once I got back to my car after we finished training, I was overcome with emotion.  I was so grateful for the women I now call friends and for my Coach, Sandra.  These ladies push each other and cheer each other on, it is so heartwarming.  Thank you for that :)  I also felt so proud of myself (and this is hard to admit because I feel like I am bragging, but I think I need to get over that…), it was a very challenging workout and I paced myself but I never gave up.  I am learning with each passing day that I am strong, mentally and physically.  I can push myself further and harder than I ever thought possible.  I felt like nothing could stop me, I felt like a warrior.

They say that it is your mind that actually stops you from pushing past your comfort zone, not your body.  It is SO true.  My legs were shaking, my knee was tight, and my lungs felt like they might explode; but I was OK.  I could safely push on and give it 100%.  My mind was telling me I should slow down or take a breather, but I knew I was OK.  I guess I am learning to listen to my body, not just my mind. 

Joining Sandra’s bootcamp is easily one of the best decisions I have made on my Health & Fitness Journey.  I have truly learned so much about myself in the last 6 weeks and I am really looking forward to starting up again on June 17th!  I can’t wait to see what goals we can achieve over the summer!

Now, there is another thing I wanted to talk about.  If you follow me on Facebook you may remember I had a “Light bulb Moment” about loving your body.  This was all sparked by a Kickstarter video shared by Taryn Brumfitt.  She shares her story, which is all too familiar, about not loving her body.  It affects her relationships and social life.  Sound familiar?  It does to me.  She thought she was alone, so she decided to ask 100 women to describe their bodies in one word.  The responses brought tears to my eyes… wobbly, imperfect, stumpy, very average, not nice to look at, gross, disgusting, disgusting, disgusting…  Taryn realized that she had an even bigger issue on her hands.  She had a young daughter and she wondered how she would teach that little girl to love her body, if she didn’t even love her own.  She entered herself into a body building competition and achieved the “perfect body” but quickly realized that the outside is only half of the battle.  Nothing changed about the way she looked at herself or how she felt about her body.  It is just as much a mental change as it is physical.  She decided to start a movement; The Body Image Movement.  Taryn wants women to start loving their bodies just as they are right this very moment.  EveryBODY is beautiful.  It starts from within; you need to learn to love, embrace, and accept your body exactly the way it looks and feels right now.  That’s not to say you can’t improve the exterior by going to the gym or doing yoga etc.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It is all up to you, but just remember that it starts on the inside first.  You can achieve the “perfect” body, but if you haven’t spent the time to love yourself, flaws and all, nothing will change.  You will still find something “wrong” with yourself. 

Her video really got me thinking, but it was the comments section of her video that truly lit a fire within me.  There were so many trolls saying that she was promoting an unhealthy lifestyle by telling “fat people” to love themselves.  It crushed me!  Everyone and everyBODY is deserving of love no matter what size, shape, colour, or gender.  Taryn was not suggesting that everyone throw caution to the wind and stuff their faces without regard for their health.  No matter what the scale says, you are beautiful and you should love your body. 

My journey has never been about reaching a certain number on the scale or a certain dress size.  I just want to be healthy and happy and have the outside match the inside.  I am getting there, one day at a time!  It is very exciting and I am having a lot of fun on this ride.  It is hard but it is so worth it :)  I love my body and I am so thankful for it.  I treat my body with respect now; I eat well, exercise, and have realistic expectations and goals.  This is a lifestyle change for me and I have never been happier!

If you take only one thing from this post, I hope it is this… You are beautiful, just as you are.  You don’t need makeup or Spanx to achieve it.  You are already beautiful.  Take a look at yourself and remove the cruel, judgmental lens.  Embrace the body you have, be grateful for it and love it. 


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