I have spent an embarrassing amount of time looking at pictures of beautiful women, comparing and critiquing my body to theirs. What did this accomplish? Anxiety, depression, an overwhelming fear of never being good enough. Tear soaked pillows, self threats, mirror staring contests. I was constantly at battle with myself.
I wish I could say I had a grand revelation one day, and realized my body was beautiful. I didn’t. One day, the burden of being uncomfortable in my own skin became too much to bear. My mind was constantly running a loop of mocking voices, convinced the sound of laughter was aimed towards me, terrified that people viewed me the way I viewed myself.
The beast of depression let me breathe for a few minutes one day. At that point, and from that point on, I realized my mindset had to change. I could no longer function with that much anxiety and pressure to fit a certain standard I had set for myself. I began focusing on things that I could control. I started logging my food intake, focusing on getting stronger, and increasing my cardiovascular endurance. After I made this mind shift, I started viewing my body differently, realizing that my body is a pretty amazing thing. As soon as I started loving and respecting my body, it began to transform. Most of the changes were psychological, but my body appreciated my new outlook physically as well.
Changing a mindset is NOT an easy thing to do. It doesn’t happen overnight, or in a few days. It’s reminding yourself, every single day that you deserve to and can feel a certain way. It takes discipline and drive, but it is SO worth it. Once you begin viewing food as fuel, exercise as a privilege, and your body as art, I promise you’ll view the world in a new light.
Do I have body goals now? Yes! First and foremost, I want to be strong, fit, and healthy. Do things I’ve never done before. Push limits. Lift heavy weights, run faster, squat deeper, jump higher, and be proud of what my body can do. Do I have physique goals? Absolutely! It gives me tangible goals that hold me accountable, and something to carry with pride. But I have goals for MY body. While I find inspiration through others, I no longer want someone else’s body. I want my body. And I want to work for my body. There is so much joy in watching hard work transform in front of your eyes. It’s a gift that I refuse to take for granted any longer.
The craziest part of this journey is, I’ve become “body goals” to some. While it is a flattering suggestion, I will not accept that role. I will not be the cause of anyone feeling trapped in their body and mind. I will continuously tell my story, ensuring that not a single person wants to be me. I will encourage others, and share what has worked for me. I will help people to love the process. I will consistently reiterate the strength and power of self love. My hope is, my lifestyle and my story will inspire others to strive for health and fitness, work for the body they want, but most importantly come to truly love themselves. Self love is the only way to obtain #bodygoals.