I feel like I’m repeating myself over and over and over again, but I guess when you’re sorting through things and making changes, the same feelings are going to manifest themselves over and over and over again… just in different forms.
I’m about to get very honest and raw with you guys…
For years, decades even, I’ve struggled with body image issues. Now, I’m not saying I think I’m crazy obese or anything like that, but I know I’m not “small” by “conventional” standards. I’ve never been super skinny. I can’t even remember the last time I weighed less than 150 pounds. MAYBE high school?
Having broad shoulders and wide hips runs in my family… so I’d always resigned myself to the fact that I am a relatively “curvy” girl. But, for the most part, I always felt relatively comfortable in my own skin… but there was also a huge part of me that struggled when I looked in the mirror every day wishing I was about six sizes smaller.
And then, having a blog, a style blog nonetheless, made me even more conscious when it came to my weight and clothing size. I know how to dress for my body and I like the way I dress and I like my style… BUT, being a size 14 and a size XL in most women’s clothing makes shopping the cute boutiques quite difficult… especially when a large or a 10 is the largest size they carry. It’s pretty embarrassing when I’m working with a shop or something and realize they offer nothing in my size.
And then there’s the inevitable comparison game. I am usually pretty good at not comparing myself to others and being confident in myself and the work I produce… but there are a few times where I’ve really been down on myself.
What do I mean? I have to back up for a second in order to move forward… Let me say, I am PROUD of this blog. I work really hard on it and it’s something I’m incredibly passionate about. I’ve blogged for almost NINE years… and about half of that time I’ve blogged 5-7 days a week. I work hard on creating quality content. I work hard on finding interesting things to share. I work hard on improving my photography and sharing pretty, beautiful, and inspiring things.
But when I pitch a collaboration idea to a dream partner or company and they tell me no, it’s hard not to think it’s because of my size.
I don’t want this to come off sounding wrong, but the truth is, I know I have a great readership (I am totally biased and think I have the BEST readers in the world because you guys are amazing, dedicated, loyal, and so so so encouraging of me AND of one another). I know I have strong blog stats, and I know I share great, high quality content. So when I get turned down and told that it’s because I’m not “on brand,” it’s hard not to think it’s because of my size. Because I’m not pitching a company I don’t already know and love… if that makes sense. And then I see that same company working with someone who’s barely blogged for a year… but they’re a size 2 and drop dead gorgeous. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Women of ALL shapes and sizes are beautiful! I really believe that… I’m just sharing my feelings…)
It’s so hard not to compare when it happens time and time again.
What the heck does “on brand” mean, anyway?
I told you guys I was going to get raw and honest.
All that being said, my struggle with my body image has only gotten worse in the last few years.
I gained so much weight with Lilly… despite eating well and working out almost daily during my pregnancy, I gained 60+ pounds. I felt huge. I WAS huge.
While I lost the first 30-40 pounds rather quickly, the last 20+ pounds have refused to leave. No matter what I do.
I’ve totally changed my eating habits in the last year. I track my steps with my Jawbone. I have worked on getting more sleep… but exercise has, honestly, been the hardest part. Getting to the gym regularly with a toddler is so hard.
And I knew what honestly needed to be done. I KNEW what I needed to do. I knew that post-partum weight was no longer an excuse. Enough is enough.
I knew I needed a personal trainer.
I needed someone to KICK ME IN MY BUTT and get me moving. I needed someone to TELL me what to do and show me how to do it properly. I needed someone to give me a plan, a schedule, and action steps to achieving my goals.
I sat down and seriously began praying about it. I realize that sounds silly… like WHY would I pray about something like this? But I did. I said, “Lord, I need your help with this one. I know I need to make a change. I know enough is enough. But how am I going to make this work?”
Not an hour after I said that prayer, an old friend sent me a message.
My friend Rachel and I used to sing together on our church’s worship team! We hadn’t seen each other in awhile because she’d gotten married and was going to a new church… but she sent me a message letting me know about her new fitness and personal training business and she wanted to see if we could work together!
It LITERALLY was an answer to a prayer… almost immediately. I said, ABSOLUTELY and we scheduled a time to get together to chat.
When we got together, it was like we were able to pick up right where we left off. We chatted, caught up about life and marriage and my daughter Lilly… and we talked about her business and all that she’s doing! It was awesome. It was just the rejuvenation I needed. It was just the thing I needed. She was so encouraging and I told her all about how I’d been feeling and how I’d been praying about a change needing to take place.
So we set a schedule and a plan and we’re hopping right to it.
I’m meeting with her every Monday to work out for an hour and then she gives me my workout homework for the week… one day focusing on upper body and the other day focusing on lower body… with some cardio built in. We’re really focusing on strength training because she really believes that’s where I’m going to see a huge change and difference in my body and in my health! AND Lilly gets to come with me! Haha! She’s the cutest workout partner… EVER.
For the first time in YEARS, I really feel like things are happening. I feel like the pendulum is swinging in the other direction. I feel like I’m making a dent in something I’ve been chopping at for far too long.
I will say, I know I am incredibly fortunate. I do not and WILL not ever take that for granted. EVER. This blog that I work so hard on has afforded me some amazing opportunities and I am so appreciative to Rachel and Shape Fitness Durham for wanting to work with me in the first place! I’m also so thankful that it’s reconnected me with an old friend!
I really want y’all to know how much I appreciate YOU GUYS coming back here day after day… because if it weren’t for y’all, I don’t know what I’d do!
And in the meantime, I could totally use y’alls encouragement as I really embark on this MAJOR shift in my fitness journey. I KNOW it is not going to come easy and I know it’s going to take a lot of focus, dedication, and hard work… but I’m ready. I’m determined.
If you live in and around the Durham, North Carolina area and you’re looking for awesome fitness classes or a personal trainer, I can’t say enough good things about Rachel at Shape Fitness. Seriously. She’s amazing. She’s so encouraging, so real, so honest, and will KICK YOUR BUTT (in a good way! haha!). Thank you, Rachel. Thank you for believing in me that I CAN make a change!!
*this is not a paid / sponsored post. I’m working with Rachel at Shape Fitness in exchange for sharing my thoughts on my experience! All opinions and thoughts expressed here are 100% my own!