It is through fitness that I found my lion’s heart, the kind of heart that has learned there are only bad days, not a bad life.
Fitness was always something I attempted and strived for as a means to feel better about my body. To be healthier meant to be skinnier and to be skinnier would result in being wanted, the root desire of all of my “problems”. This flawed philosophy resulted in hours of running and years of yo-yo dieting. I’ve done it all, the calorie counting, the binging, and the over-exercising. You name it, I’ve tried it. Not rare am I, having heard the same story from most women I become close too, however, I feel it’s my duty to share my body positive breakthrough or as I like to refer to it, my new and imperative bad bitch mentality.
My love for it no longer stems from an ability to run ten miles without stopping or the dreams of a bikini shopping spree that doesn’t make me want to break all three mirrors in the Nordstrom fitting room; neither of which, are true for me today. My love for fitness comes from a place brand new, and imperfectly perfect. This place signifies the battle with, and the triumph over, life’s many pains. The addiction isn’t in those extrinsic motivators embodied by the boys I thought did me wrong, the pictures I could post if only I looked skinny enough, or the idea that until I was as small as I could possibly get I would never be as happy as I could potentially be. The addiction – and I use that word in its healthiest possible form, if there is one – is in a newfound feeling of strength that reaches beyond what my body is capable of and into my lazy, often negative mind.
Mental endurance has never been my forte but slow and steady I am learning to overcome the roadblocks I tend to toss in my own way. The feelings of fear, insecurity, and shame that used to derail me now act as my fuel day in and day out. With a no-quitting approach to each workout and each day I’ve learned to dive in head first to those things that scare me. I’ve learned how to outrun and outlast the physical pain and found that my relationship with my workouts also happens to be a metaphor for my life.
Some days may drag on. Some days you might feel like you’ve failed. Some days it’s as if you’ve forgotten everything you’ve learned thus far. You’ll ask yourself why you’re here and what’s the point. You’ll have those days you pop three melatonin and crawl into bed before the sun goes down just to say sayonara to the day you’ve had. It’s inevitable. But you have a choice. You can give in to it; say its too hard, its too uncomfortable and quit. Or you can refuse to be beaten. Refuse to be beaten by the voices inside telling you you’ll never be good enough, by the love lost, the injustices you face, and any of the odds stacked against you.
My life has been a competition between my confidence and my crippling insecurities, a bloodbath if you will. Both feelings come from within. It’s just up to me to decide whose team I’m on.
– Naturally inspired. Locally aware. Universally beautiful. With love, Rachael.