Fitness is a Journey, not a Destination

When I first started my fitness journey, my main motivation was this idea that I was going to get me some washboard abs.

I mean, lets get real – no newbie walks into the gym without an ideal in mind. Habits don’t change just because – habits change because a fire has been lit under your bum and you are working towards something clear in your mind.

So I worked my butt off (literally) and a few months later, this is what I looked like:

I see abs! I mean, they weren’t totally visible – but for hardly having worked that muscle group in my life, I was proud of what I was able to accomplish.

So…. I did it. Now what?

I was proud of how defined I looked but at the same time I began to realize, there wasn’t much to define. I never played sports as a youngin’, and I was new to the fitness game, so there wasn’t much muscle there to show.

It was time to set off on a new mission: gains.

I left my low-carb ways behind and set my sights on a new prize.

Gains central. Actually, I went a bit overboard in my opinion. But just to be clear I’m not saying that because I hated myself or the way I look in this photo – I’m saying that because I developed food sensitivities during this time which caused a lot of inflammation and bloating.

Serious road bump.


A wrench in my plans when it came to dieting again, as it made it damn near impossible to lose a single lb. I may have had abs, and shoulders, and quads, but it was difficult to see them underneath the full body bloat and inflammation.

But, if you’ve been following my blog for a while then you know that I figured that mystery out. The picture above illustrates the transition pretty well, as once I quit all dairy products I slowly deflated, and continued on my journey until the mission was accomplished.

I realize that there are a ton of pictures of me in this post which may seem self-indulgent but I truly am trying to make a point so STAY WITH ME here.

 

This is a pretty good summary of that span of time. On the left: ab central. Middle: gains central. Right: me over the summer, somewhere in between. In each photo I am proud of the girl I see because I know she worked her butt off to get whatever she was working towards.

To my point: when I post a comparison photo like the one below, it can be a little misleading. It makes me look like I accomplished one thing. It makes it look like start to finish. It makes it seem like “beginning” and “end”. But the truth is that my journey has been anything but linear.

It’s been more like a wild loop-de-loop roller coaster, with a few upside-down turns.

A photo like this just doesn’t do my journey justice. It’s an effort to simplify a time in my life that has been anything but simple. It’s been hard work. It’s been dedication. It’s been seeing the scale go up and down, and up and down.

And that is the way it will continue to be.

Many of us start out on our fitness journeys looking to simply get from point A to point B. Those of us who fall in love with the lifestyle have met point C, D, E, and F until they just stopped obsessing about the destination and realized that it’s the process that they love so much.

Current photo.

I’m back to being a bigger, stronger version of myself.

I love me at any shape, at any size, and at any weight. I’m awesome big, and I’m awesome small. Weight gain means nothing, weight loss means nothing, I simply enjoy the working hard towards something, whatever that something may be.

My hope is that you will embrace yourself – no matter where you are at in your journey today.

I heart you all! Thank you for reading this.

 

 

 

 

 

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Body Positivity and the Fit Lifestyle

What I’m going to talk about today may stir up emotions for some of you, so please be forewarned!

This post is all about body positivity and body acceptance. I know this is something a lot of us are striving toward. I myself have been striving towards it for years, but it has only been this past one that I feel working towards it has truly payed off.

I know that the body positivity movement was brought about in support for body types that are marginalized. I am a slim, white female. But you know what? There are a lot of slim white females who struggle to love their bodies. You know why? Because loving your body has nothing to do with weight or aesthetics.

Loving your body comes from the inside. Not all skinny girls love their bodies, not all curvy girls love their bodies. Even the women that you think are beyond gorgeous struggle with body image.

It’s about loving and appreciating your body for all it can do.

But of course if I post a picture preaching about body positivity, everyone will wonder what the hell I’m talking about. If I advocate for it, is it going to resonate with people, or will they brush me off because I’m “toned”? Will everyone just think, “DUH – of course you love yourself. You’re fit”.

Guys, it’s not a given.

Because sadly there are lots of fit chicks out there who have unhealthy relationships with their bodies, and it doesn’t matter how good they look.

So maybe I don’t fit into the movement. But why? I learned how to love myself, from 145 lbs down to 120.  I can look in the mirror with confidence and say I’m cute with softer muscles, and I’m cute with almost abs. I’m cute. I love my body and it loves me. I accept my imperfections, in my skin and my face and my hair and my feet. I look in the mirror and I say good things to myself. I am body positive as fuck.

But I am still me, and therefore always working towards self improvement.

Wait, can I practice body positivity and still want to be “better” ; stronger, bigger?

I’m no expert on the movement, but it seems to me that many people feel that the two are mutually exclusive. You either love yourself just as you are and believe you never need to change, or you strive towards self improvement in a way that promises to change my body forever on?

I can love myself and want to work on myself at the same time. I can, you can. We all can. In my mind, self improvement is part of self love. It’s how I care for me.

In many ways it might seem that the body positivity movement and the fit lifestyle don’t mix. But I want to argue otherwise. If I didn’t appreciate my body for what it could do, I wouldn’t push myself for more. If I didn’t love my body, I wouldn’t fuel it with foods that make me feel good. I can be satisfied with my body yet still never satisfied.

I don’t have to be marginalized to understand what it’s like to not love myself and this body I was given. I know what it’s like and it took a lot of hard work to get out of that place. I am fit AND body positive.

 

I want to open up the floor and ask you guys, what do you think? Can I be a body positivity advocate and maintain my lifestyle? Comment below!

Thanks for reading!

Where the Energy Goes.

We are more visible now to others than we ever were before. Our world is shrinking in a way, thanks to social media. Our daily routines and events can now be followed by people all over the world.

It’s an interesting time to be alive, isn’t it? And to think that this wouldn’t have any effect on us at all is outrageous… Our world has changed dramatically.

When I was a kid, I never dreamed that I would be posting pictures on social media of myself in the underwear equivalent of a bathing suit. But it’s not weird. It’s as normal as washing the dishes.

And so I’ve noticed my energy shifting outward. Has anybody else felt that? The world is watching. Likes are being thrown around. How many people are going to post a picture without first wondering what others are going to think of it? I myself am guilty as charged.

Now, I don’t obsess over what people think of me.

But I do believe that the time and energy I do spend investing in guessing or caring could be better spent on something else.

I think that’s why I’ve noticed such a radical self love movement on social media. People are beginning to proudly display themselves as they actually are, instead of how their ego wants them to be seen.

I’m talking armpit hair, no makeup, food baby hanging out. Zero filters allowed, no flattering angles necessary.

I think it’s beautiful. And challenging. On one hand, it’s challenging because it’s scary to be so vulnerable in front of other people. On the other hand, it’s scary because you are about to scream from the mountain tops “I LOVE MYSELF UNCONDITIONALLY” , and so you have to mean it. That’s the challenge. Not saying it, but meaning it. With your whole being.

It’s not easy to face ourselves and say “I love you no matter what”.

It is freedom though.

And it’s a great way to use the energy that we have.

This is something I will be focusing on for the next couple of weeks, or months. Or however long it takes to feel like I’m finally at that place of radical self love.

 

I dont care what you think of this photo

Where does your energy flow?

Self-Esteem is Work (and it’s worth it)!

We’ve all had those days when we just wake up, and we don’t feel good about ourselves. Maybe it’s your hair, maybe it’s your clothes. Maybe it’s your weight. Or maybe it’s something less physical, like your ability or your strength. Whatever it is, or combination thereof, it’s taken a hit.

You stopped believing you were great.

Where did this self-esteem deficit come from?

It’s different for everyone. And the list is so long. From trying and failing. From feeling overwhelmed. From taking on too much. From comparing ourselves to others. From our culture and our society. From our anxiety and depression. From listening to other people. From letting the negative energy in.

I want to clear the air: no amount of material goods can cure you of a lack of self-esteem. You can buy all the make-up, clothes, electronics, and whatever else you desire. There is no expensive luxury item that can fill that void. There is nothing you can buy.

We tend to go there though. We feel bad so we go shopping. We feel bad so we get our hair done. We feel bad so we hide behind some $50 eyeliner. It can’t fix you. It can definitely give you a boost. It can for sure make you feel good in the moment. But it can’t fix you. And here’s why:

The real problem is inside. A lack of self-esteem truly stems from one thing and one thing only, and it’s this thought:

“I’m not good enough”.

I’m not saying that well-off men and women all suffer from a lack of self-esteem. But if you don’t feel good about yourself unless you have those material things to hide behind, then you’re hurting.

You don’t need to have the best of everything and fit into a size zero to be good enough. You don’t have to spend half your paycheque at Sephora, or almost kill yourself on the treadmill to be good enough. You are good enough. Just as you are.

Once you believe that, once you believe that you are enough, no matter what the scale says, or your crazy hair day says, or your especially hectic and overwhelming day says, then you have self-esteem.

Getting there, unfortunately, doesn’t just happen. I wish it did.

I wish we could just sit in a chair and “dig really deep!” and find that self esteem that we’ve been missing. But like all other good things in life, it takes work. But it’s worth it.

Self-esteem is something you grow. You nurture it and give yourself the love you need.

Take on small challenges and own them. Try something new. Do something you didn’t know you could. That builds self-esteem.

Stop taking people’s shit. Be impermeable to the negative energy from others. Do what’s best for you. That builds self-esteem.

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Look in the mirror and say “I love you no matter what”. This is your body, and it’s the only one you have, so cherish it. Know that you are so much MORE than a body. You’re a mind. You have things to offer. Begin to believe that you are good enough. That builds self-esteem.

When all else fails, put out into the Universe what you desire most. Tell someone you love their sense of humor. Highlight someone’s strength. Let a friend know how much you appreciate them. Make someone else feel good, and wait for the Universe to deliver that energy back to you.

My sister sent me a message yesterday to tell me how much she appreciates my love and support. It meant everything to me. I thought to myself “yes! I did something right. I’m a good sister”. That built up my self-esteem. Highlighting something I’m good at.

I want to end this post by letting you know that you are a miracle. The chances of you being born were so slim, you are inherently a miracle on this earth. Inside of you is boundless potential. And you can do anything., granted you put all of your passion and hardwork into it. No one can live this life the exact same way you will. You will affect others, you are special.

Please don’t forget that!