I am a mom of two beautiful, giggly toddler girls. The older they get, the more they copy me: what I say, what I do, what I eat, how I dress… everything. While it’s adorable, it’s also a bit uncomfortable being forced to look in a mirror all day long, and has motivated me to face some things that needed to change.
I want to show my girls how to be strong women, who love themselves and thus, love others. I don’t want to show them a woman who complains, who gets down on herself, needs perfection to be happy, or succumbs to guilt, peer pressure, or any sort of outside influences. I decided that in order to be a better example to them, I needed to pay closer attention to my actions, and become intentional about what my girls see. I am their biggest influence, and my choices will shape them to be amazing women one day. No pressure, right?
So, I’ve made some changes. I stopped watching TV, spent less time on social media, stopped reading magazines that weren’t uplifting (you can only be told to lose 10 pounds so many times), and I stopped talking negatively about my body (especially around my kids and even with friends). I stopped filling my body with junk food, and began to eat healthy things that made me feel good and gave me energy. I started questioning my personal standard of beauty and what it meant to love and appreciate who I am and how I look. And after a while, I noticed all these changes were beginning to make a huge difference.
However, it wasn’t until I worked with Eliz that I realized I was just getting started.
When Eliz first talked to me about personal training, I figured it would be a great way to invest in myself and work on some body confidence. So, I said yes right away and scheduled an appointment with her. At our first session, she asked, “What are your goals?” And I sort of stared at her blankly. I couldn’t answer. Thanks to all these changes I’ve been making, I didn’t want my goal to be “lose weight” or “look good in a bikini.” I honestly wasn’t sure that I needed to lose weight or look a certain way in a bikini! I didn’t want to set up unrealistic goals that catered to someone else’s standard of beauty. I wanted to be healthy and feel good about my choices, and let my body tell me where it wanted to be on the scale (not that the scale matters). I wanted to feel strong and discover what my body was capable of doing. I wanted to show my girls how to appreciate their body, and how to love it.
I finally said to Eliz, “My goal is to commit to working hard for 12 weeks, and see what my body can do.”
And yes, it was hard, but I kicked ass for those 12 weeks, and haven’t stopped! I did what I said I would do, and I felt great! The investment was beyond worth it. I stopped drinking coffee because I had so much energy. I was surprised to find that I could stop caring about how my clothes fit me, and could just pick them based on what I wanted to wear. I felt strong. I started to truly appreciate my body for being mine. I started to simply enjoy it, cellulite, stretch marks, bumps, bruises, and all. Those things make me, well… me! My body is uniquely mine, why would I want someone else’s? (And if you’re dying to know my stats: I lost 12 pounds and almost 2 inches in my arms, legs, and waist).
Working out with Eliz helped me to understand my strength on a whole different level. I am so much more capable - stronger - than I’ve ever realized. Self-love and acceptance is not just a mental struggle, but also a physical one. Having a strong body reinforces strong thoughts, and having strong thoughts reinforces a strong body.
Thanks to all my hard work, when I’m forced to look in that proverbial (and literal) mirror, I find I’ve replaced old, negative thoughts with positive ones. They are intentionally strong and affirming: “dang my arms are jacked!” or “girl, your legs kicked ass at spin class (and didn’t fall off even though you thought they definitely would)!” I thank my body for killin’ it at racquetball every week against strong, athletic guys (and girls!). I remind myself that my body made humans! I’m thankful I can show my husband some love without pesky hangups about my appearance distracting me. I’m grateful my back can support my girls when I need to carry them or need to rock them to sleep.
Now, I have the tools, the confidence, and the strength to fight for my daughters and teach them how to fight for themselves in a world that wants them to conform and fit in. I talk to my daughters about how strong I am and how strong they are. I honestly tell them how much I love myself, and how much I love them. And I confidently know they can see it.
LOST: 12lbs + 2in IN 12 WEEKS
GAINED: A NEW LIFE