For years and years, I viewed working out as a punishment. If I ate too many cookies, I had to go to the gym. If I had that extra ice cream, I better go for a run. Health to me was actually about being thin, not about being physically, mentally, and emotionally able to adventure and live life to the fullest.
A few years ago, my mental health took a rough turn--there were some changes in my life that were hard to cope with, and I felt like I was in a dark hole. I didn’t like myself very much, and I knew something had to change. Not because I wanted to lose weight, but because I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin.
I started working with a personal trainer and doing strength training. I remember thinking after my first session “she’s gonna have to step it up a bit.” But, slowly and steadily… I saw my body begin to change. Even more slowly… I saw my mindset begin to change.
Working out was no longer about punishment--it was a lifeline. It was the stable thing in a world of chaos. It was 45 minutes to myself, when I couldn’t do anything else but lift the weight or do the squat. It was blissful. And, all of a sudden how I looked was less important than how I felt, what my body could do. I was able to go snow skiing without being sore. I could chase my little sister around the house without getting winded. I could walk in the mountains of Vermont for hours and just focus on the beauty. I finally felt good about my body and myself.
But, sometimes… the sneaking sense of failure and self-doubt would creep in. I would have a busy week when meals were less than healthy and workouts were non-existent. I would indulge a lot over the holiday and worry about the consequences. I began to get into a mentality of “all of nothing” thinking that left me drained and angry. Instead of doing what I could, when I could and letting good enough be good enough, I got fixated on what I couldn’t do. It was never good enough.
It’s been a hard road to come back from that scary place. Friends, mentors, my trainer and coach have all walked that journey with me… and, continue to encourage and support me today.
This is part of the reason I have decided to become a Sole Mate. Trust me, it’s not because I feel 100% confident that I can run 13.1 miles. Rather, it’s because I want to come alongside the girls of Girls on the Run. I want to help them build foundational habits of health in ALL of the areas of their life. I want them to hear that being healthy is so much more important than being thin. I want them to know that they can set goals and achieve them, and that’s worth celebrating--no matter if it’s “only” one more lap.
My hope through my SoleMates experience is that I can learn to love myself a little better, and that I can help the girls of GOTR to do the same!
Help me empower more girls in our community. Donate to my SoleMate campaign.