Dear Me (As you start your fitness journey),
Hey! Believe it or not, but this is YOU from the future!! Crazy, huh?! It is about five years into the future and I have so much to tell you about what’s coming up for you. I have learned so much over the last five years and just wish I could come back and share in your victories and help you through the failures.
You are in such a lovely time right now. Your son is 3 and full of so much love of life and discovery. Your love for him and your husband is so intense that in many ways you have lost yourself in your efforts to give all of YOU to them. Don’t worry. They love you too and they know how much you love them.
I see what has happened too. I see you looking in the mirror wondering where you went. Your newly-wed body is long gone and you feel frumpy and dumpy. You did lose that baby weight but ever so slowly it has crept back on over the last three years. How in the world did that happen?! I will tell you. You loved others so hard that you forgot to love yourself. You forgot to remember that YOU matter too and YOU deserve to take care of yourself.
I see that twinkle in your eye right now. You know it is time to do something about this. You can’t keep going down this path. You need to eat better and exercise for no other reason than to be there for your family. Don’t let that spark go, Honey. That mustard seed of a spark is going to take you on a very exciting journey. Trust me.
I was looking at your half-marathon medals the other day. I still have them and I pull them out every so often and smile. Did you know you ran two half-marathons? Well, you did. They weren’t fast by any means but you finished and you finished with a smile on your face. That sense of accomplishment is impossible to beat. You trained in the rain. You trained in the heat. You sprained your ankle and walked 3 miles home because you were too stubborn to call for a ride back. You even ran twelve miles on a treadmill one Saturday while your family played so you could fulfill this dream. I also distinctly remember how one race had you run right past the cemetery where Mom is buried and you shed a few tears. That same race your right thigh for whatever reason had a searing pain shoot up every time your foot hit the ground but that same race had you run past many churches and you could hear the people worshiping inside. You ran two half-marathons. Remember that.
As you are considering this journey you are about to embark on you are going to make some mistakes that only time makes clear. Do you mind if I share some wisdom with you? This wisdom is hard earned because I have climbed those mountains and I have fallen in those ditches.
Your desire for knowledge is going to be insatiable pretty soon. That is just how we work. When a spark is lit there is no stopping your desire for more information. You will spend countless hours online reading articles and who knows how much money on fitness magazines. Learning is such a wonderful thing. But, if I could go back in time I would tell you to be more discerning about where you get your knowledge. At the time you just did not know how to discern healthy information and unhealthy information. You did not know that many of the articles you are reading now are going to push down the rabbit hole of disordered eating.
Let me tell you right now that extreme measures are not the answer to weight loss or even that athletic body you no so desperately desire. Giving up entire food groups will not give you abs or cut muscles. All it will do is make you crave those foods even more and ultimately lead to binges that then leave you feeling guilty and worthless.
Those pictures that you see posted on Pinterest and Facebook all the time are not reality. You know the ones you put on YOUR FB feed for everyone else to see. Yeah, the ones with the perfectly cut girls and the phrases that say “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” or “#noexcuses”. I will go ahead and apologize to your friends now for flooding their newsfeed with that crap. It is okay. You didn’t know.
I KNOW it isn’t glamorous to talk about moderation and habits right now because you are diving into this head first. You have NO EXCUSES. You WILL have that bikini body you saw in the magazine. When you have a slip up that just means you are weak and you will diet harder, or paleo harder, or vegan harder, or exercise harder. It is all your fault and has nothing to do with the misinformation you are being fed.
Just take it from a girl who has been in those trenches and has climbed out of them. Moderation and following healthy habits really are the answer. The slow and steady route really is the way to do it. And guess what? Moderation does not mean eating ALL the cookies. It means eating a cookie here and there knowing that they won’t kill you. Vegetables make you feel better but cookies baked with your son sure do taste delicious. Memories are so much more important than worrying about extra calories.
You know what? I could go on and and on and on about how to eat and how to exercise and how to truly find balance in it all. I could keep going on about how to wade the crazy waves of life that are going to happen soon. Put your seat belt on, Honey. It is about to get pretty crazy for a few years.
There is something that is much more important than all that. When it is all said and done it all boils down to the FACT that you are WORTH IT.
You are beautiful just the way are.
You don’t believe it. I remember. I could jump through the portal of time and shake you and shake you but you won’t believe it. I guess this is one of those things you just need to learn on your own. Just know that learning to love yourself like God loves you will save you so much heartache over the next five years. It will protect you from all the deceptive things you will hear, follow, quit, and hate yourself over. It will save you a lot of time.
Not only that. Your husband and your son deserve a Wife and Mom who loves herself.
Let me tell you a little secret. That body you are dreaming about right now? Yeah, that body never happens. WHAT?! You put in all that work and you never ever look like the girl in the magazine? Nope. You look better because you look like you. Once you learn to love YOUR body you realize all the awesomeness that is contained in that body. Five years later you really don’t weigh that much less than you do right now as you stare in that mirror. But, you are two sizes smaller and far more muscular. Your clothes fit better and you can do far more fun things. You feel better all around and the future is very bright.
Five years in the future your passion has grown to be a strong desire to lift women up so that they too can love themselves enough to do what’s best for THEM and not fall victim to society. But, I guess the first thing I should do is write myself. I sure do hope the letter finds you well.
Sssssshhhhh. Please don’t cry. YOU CAN DO THIS!
I LOVE YOU!
But, remember that God LOVES you more.