The Demons of Body Image



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This past week I came to a realization. For a personal trainer who has a blog and a Facebook page I sure don’t take many pictures of myself.

Why is that?

I pondered and I pondered. I prayed. I did some soul-searching and I realized something I never really considered before now.

I write and talk quite a bit about body image and how we should love ourselves as the awesome creations that we are. God LOVES us just the way we are and so should we. Yes, we are on a journey for better health but that is no reason why we should not love the body God gave us.

Well, I have a harsh confession. This is hard for me to say.

I did not believe that for myself. *sigh* In the deepest part of my heart I did not believe the very words I was saying to you for myself.

For some awful reason, I thought that I was an exception to the rule. I thought I could look a woman in the eyes and tell her that she is beautiful just the way she is because GOD created her but I was different. My body was NOT worthy of praise. I was broken and not worth mentioning.

This is not easy for me to write. Part of me is afraid that everyone will run away, calling me a fraud. But, then I think, How can you trust me if I am not honest with you?

So, this is me being totally open, honest, and raw with you. I battle body image demons just like so many women. It is a rough road to travel. I know. I get it.

I now know why I have been fighting so hard for women to love themselves as God’s creation for so long. I was fighting against my own inclinations. I was speaking to myself without even knowing it.

So, after all these realizations I went to the gym last Friday. I decided to do a little Self-Love. I totally stepped out of my comfort zone and I took pictures of myself. I entered the world of “selfies.” HA HA!!

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This collage of pictures was taken on April 5, 2014. Let me share my BEFORE picture from April 22, 2011.

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I am so thankful for my husband who forced me to take this BEFORE picture when I made the decision to actually change my future by starting my fitness journey. If he gave in to my protests that I can’t stand the idea of having him take my picture like this, I wouldn’t have a BEFORE picture to share.

When I look at these pictures side by side I am amazed. I have come so far. I have battled countless demons on this journey.

When I look at my current pictures I still see my flaws. 😦 I still shudder a bit when thinking about sharing my pictures because they are not “perfect.”

But, I proclaim right here and right now that I will FIGHT this battle. I will accept this body for the awesomeness that it is. WHY? Because God MADE me awesome.

I look at those pictures and I also see hard work. I see strength. I see passion. And I see a mission to help other women too.

From this point forward I will be sharing more pictures of MYSELF on my Facebook page. 🙂 I will share my pictures even if it hurts. I will be IN the pictures for once. Want to learn more about ME? Go there.



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The Demons of Body Image

Performance-Based Training



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Ever since I started my fitness journey I have been trying to change my appearance. I’m not fussing about that because, honestly, it was my appearance that prompted me to make a change. I didn’t like how I looked in the mirror. I didn’t like how my clothes fit. I didn’t like that I never felt confident in the clothes I wore.

This motivation has kept me going for a very long time. I chose my workouts based on how I wanted to look. I manipulated my food for the goal of fat loss and/or muscle gain. I have had great progress over the last couple years and I am happy with it.

But, you know what?

I am tired of Appearance-Based Training.

I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong with Appearance-Based training. I’m just tired of drawing my motivation from there.

Do you want to know why?

It is because I was never satisfied. There was always something wrong with my body. I always had too much fat in the middle. My thighs were too wide. My butt was too flat. My shoulders weren’t round enough.

Even though I KNEW I had made awesome progress I was always reaching for more. When someone complimented me on my physique I struggled with believing them. I just couldn’t see what they saw.

So, I worked harder. I trained harder and I restricted my food more. I tried different kinds of what I now know to be fad diets. It’s okay. I fell for them too. I figured my “failure” was because I didn’t have enough self-control. I would train harder and restrict food more trying to find the magic bullet for self-control. And you know what happened? You can probably figure it out. I would just lose control because what I was trying to do just isn’t sustainable. I’d quit training programs and I’d binge on all the foods I was restricting.

I just couldn’t be content.

Well, I finally said, “ENOUGH!!!!”

I need something that will keep me motivated.

I need something that will make me feel good about my progress.

I need something that will help me be PROUD of my body.

Enter PERFORMANCE-BASED TRAINING

With Performance-Based Training I focus on my Performance. Shocking, I know.

I focus on how much weight I am lifting.

I focus on my form and that I am lifting the weight correctly.

When I have achieved a new personal record I pat myself on the back and say, “YOU ROCK! Your body just lifted THAT? You are a BEAST! You Freakin’ just lifted a couch, BABY!”

Then I say, “Now go home and EAT so you can go back tomorrow and lift MORE than the couch.”

Do you see the difference in self-talk?

I go from criticism to praise. Switching to Performance-Based Training has completely changed my attitude towards exercise and food. I can’t wait to get to the gym each day to see what I can do and I am enjoy my food because it will FUEL those awesome workouts.

My confidence has grown because, you know what, I AM STRONG! By GOLLY! I am not the leanest girl in the gym by any stretch of the imagination but God gave me muscles for a reason. It is my intention to USE them and see what they can do.

And here’s the really cool thing. Now that my focus is turned towards Performance and not Appearance, every so often I walk by a mirror and see that I am getting the body I’ve always wanted after all.

Huh. Who woulda thought?

Performance. Try it sometime.

LIFT ON!

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Performance-Based Training

The Advocare 24 Day Challenge: A Story Told in Video



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I have decided to participate in the Advocare 24 Day Challenge along with a small group of friends. I have been a big fan of Advocare for quite awhile but I have never done the 24 Day Challenge for myself before now. After some time of stalled progress in my performance goals I figured it was time to dive in head first and see where this takes me.

My goals for this Advocare 24 Day Challenge is to basically give my body a reboot and build it back up so that it is ready to progress in performance. Body Recomposition will possibly be an added bonus. 🙂

I will be keeping a daily video diary of my experience throughout this process. These videos will be shot with my phone and then uploaded directly to YouTube. They will be uncut, unedited, and very real. You’ll be coming along the ride right there with me.

Here are the first two videos I posted yesterday.

Day One of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge




Advocare 24 Day Challenge Overview





From this point forward I’ll be posting on a separate page. You can look up the videos up top under the tab Advocare 24 Day Challenge Video Diary.” I might do weekly roundups as a weekly blog post too to get you caught up.

I’m excited about doing this and I look forward to taking you on the journey!!


To YOUR Journey,
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The Advocare 24 Day Challenge: A Story Told in Video