My motives for being healthy have changed over the years. I use to strive to just look healthy, honestly. I was so obsessed about achieving success on the scale and getting compliments when I wore shorts and a tanktop, that I gave very little thought to how I felt physically, emotionally or spiritually. I wanted the perfect body. I didn’t really care what I had to do or what it cost.
I remember comparing myself to women ALL THE TIME. Whether it was at the gym, at a party, at the grocery store, on tv, in a magazine - I would pick out the parts of their bodies that I “wanted” and compare it to the inadequacies of my own body. This would be my motivation for my next grueling workout or to push through the hunger pangs of skipping meals, restricting my calories or following through with whatever crazy diet I was doing. It also was a prime motivator in beginning to binge and purge when I was 23. I lived years in a constant state of wanting something more, different, better than what I had physically.
Ugh. I get a sick feeling even writing this. But it’s the truth - and the truth shall make you free.
Deep down, I really think I BELIEVED that if I looked perfect on the outside, that it would fix my brokeness on the inside. I believed that a perfect body could help me avoid my biggest fears - rejection and ultimately not being loved. So as long as I looked great on the outside (even though I was a hot mess on the inside) - I would be the type of person people wanted to be around. I would be the type of person a man would want to marry and be faithful to. I would be the type of women who would get opportunities that others may not get. I would be the type of woman other women would compare themselves to.
Having a healthy and strong body hasn’t saved me from any of the pains of life. Not one.
Let’s get really real right now ladies. Jennifer Aniston has been cheated on. Jennifer Aniston...seriously? I can name countless BEAUTIFUL, THIN, GORGEOUS, RICH, FAMOUS (and not famous) women who have been cheated on, who escape life with pain meds or alcohol, who lock themselves in their homes because of debilitating depression and even some who have felt so alone that they took their own life.
What’s so crazy to me about my person journey is once I began to focus on making my inside beautiful - through love, forgiveness, grace, faith, nutrition, healing, etc. my outside reflected that beauty. I have never been more content and grateful for my physical appearance as I enter my 40’s. It’s not because of a number on the scale or how I look in a bathing suit or what other people think of how I look - it’s because I have let go of comparison and I have fell in love with just being who God created me to be.
I have discovered throughout my life that as I have stood on multiple stages, recorded countless videos, wrote blogs, written books, etc. I have been judged by other women, harshly and quickly. I have had women admit that as I walked onto stage in my black sleeveless dress, revealing my buff arms and pearly white smile they immediately assumed we had nothing in common and I couldn’t possibly understand “their situation, their struggle, their fears, their failures, their disappointment, etc…” I have seen the eye rolls and feel the assumptions that a perfect body means a perfect life, right? I have women look me up and down and in a matter of five seconds they have my whole life figured out.
Then they hear the actual story.
They hear my story of loss - deep human loss. They hear me explain how I used coping mechanisms to numb and avoid the tough situations and emotions of life, just like they do. They hear about my pattern of obsession and bondage that they feel too. They hear my story of rejection - by others and by my own self and they begin to nod in understanding. They hear my story of redemption, power and hope and they begin to think, maybe I can get that too!
All of the sudden, the tears start to roll and I see the shift sweep across the room. I see their pain, loss, heartache, dreams and fears meet mine. And at the moment, it’s not about the make-up, the weight, the clothes, the diet, the story...it’s the sweet reality that our hearts are the same. We all desire to be free, peace-filled, joyful and truly and deeply loved and accepted. That’s the moment every time I speak that I fall in love with every woman in that room.
Today I want you to know that the perfect body will not solve your problems, but a healthy mind, body and spirit will equip you to deal with the ups and downs of life without escaping, numbing or avoiding the inevitable pains of life. My heart is to support women on their personal journey to freedom - from the inside out. If you would like to take your first step and schedule a free coaching session with me, click here. I would be honored to hear your story!