The thing about: being worthy

Over the weekend, I read this post by Mama Laughlin.
Then this morning, I read this post by Chris McCombs.

Two very different people.
Two very different fitness goals and levels.
Both having the same point: sometimes, our outward appearance is directly correlated to what we feel our worth is.

I’ve touched on this before, but I think that it’s really important to touch on it again. I’ve never felt like I’m pretty. Ever. Of course, my wonderful mother told me everyday that I was her beautiful baby, but I always felt like, “she’s my mother. She has to tell me that.” In high school, like a lot of girls, I felt like I was fat. I constantly compared myself to other girls and wondered why I couldn’t just be like them. 

There were things I never admitted to myself, much less other people. 

When I got to college and started gaining weight, I became even harder on myself. Like Mama Laughlin, I started trying to build myself in other areas because I felt deficient in the appearance areas. I tried to be a really great girlfriend because I felt badly that my college boyfriend had to be with someone that looked like me and weighed what I weighed. I tried to compensate by being the funny one, the smart one, the whatever one. 

I didn’t feel worthy of being loved. 
I would run away from love because I would tell myself, “they don’t know what they’re doing.”
I, honestly, didn’t love myself. I couldn’t show my own body that I loved it by treating it right, how could someone else love me?

Cliche as it sounds, I didn’t really feel confident until I started working out and losing weight. I was putting so much time and energy into my body–and myself–that I began being proud of how it looked.
I dressed differently.
I acted differently.
Even more importantly, I began treating people differently. I stopped tolerating people who weren’t respecting me. I stopped trying to make myself acceptable to them by lowering my standards.
I stopped thinking I had to settle for someone who would tolerate me.

Throughout this past year long journey, my ability to love other has changed because I finally feel capable of loving myself.
Sometimes, there are still days that I hate my thighs or my one dimple on my left cheek or my tummy.
But I’m not someone that has to be tolerated anymore.
I am worthy.
The journey I’m on may be difficult.
I often have set backs.
I sometimes fall off the wagon.
But I always love me.
Every second of everyday.

My Own Worst Enemy

Day 16 of the #blogeverydayinmay challenge.

“Something difficult about your ‘lot in life’ and how you’re working to overcome it.”

My most difficult “lot in life” has been my weight and body image. “I’m shocked to hear that,” said no one ever.

But before I delve into all of that, I think it’s really important to identify all the wonderful lots in life that I have been dealt. 

A mama that supports me and loves me through everything I do.

A daddy that teaches me how to live a full and simple life.
Siblings that are just as crazy as I am and are also fiercely protective. 
A grandmother who loved me with her whole heart.
Friends that I am lucky enough to also call family.
A passion for reading.
A love for state history.
A very distinct birthmark on my left ankle and right foot.
A penchant for tattoos.
Well-shaped eyebrows.
Small feet. Big ears.
An inquisitive nature.
A smart mouth.

But I’d say the one thing that I’ve always struggled with is my weight and how I view myself.

The first thing you should know: my mama is gorgeous and petite. She is the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen. She’s a teeny 102 lbs and when you see her, you just wanna pick her up and carry her in your pocket. 

I want to just hug her all the time. 

I am built like my aunt. My aunt is 5’10. Unlike my aunt, I am 5′ tall. 

So I don’t exactly have a lot of space for all these hips and back and thighs and shoulders. I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly. And where as my aunt can gain 10 lbs and no one notices, I gain 3 pounds and look like I gained a 2nd grader.

I spent a whole lot of time in high school (and college) wishing that I had a different body type. I wished I was skinny and slim. I wished my thighs didn’t touch and that I didn’t have a butt. I wanted to cut paper with my collarbone and see all of my cheekbone. I just wanted to wear the 00 size jeans from Abercrombie like all the cool girls! A lot of my self image problem came from me. I used negative self talk to bring myself down. And that shit sucks. 

A lot of people have trouble with other people talking crap about them. Nothing anyone said could be worse than what I said to myself. Ever. When I talked to myself, I was never pretty, funny, smart, outgoing, or {insert any positive adjective here}. 

As self talk got worse, I felt worthless and feeling worthless only did terrible things for my body and health.

So then the question is: how did I fix it?

The answer is: I didn’t.

There’s no easy fix for crappy self image. But things changed for me when I started CrossFit. All of a sudden, I was a part of a community of people that admired strong legs and thighs that touched. Being strong is cool to them. So I work harder to be strong.

Will I ever be a size 00 and look like my adorable mom? No, probably not. I’m just not built to look that way. 

Can I work harder to be in shape and fit? Yes. I can. I can be healthy and healthy for me does not mean being a size 00. 

Everyday is different. Some days, I’m great with my progress and want to keep pushing. Other days are harder on me and it’s a struggle to suppress that negative voice. But everyday, it seems, I am able to keep that voice at bay a little bit longer and achieve a little more. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to suppress it for good.