I’ve been obsessed with dieting since I was 5 years old. I was the girl who taught the other kids in my kindergarten class what a diet was, and how I was on a diet. (At that point, I wasn’t). The 21 years following kindergarten my obsession with dieting (and my size) grew.
Between weight watchers, slim fast, dialing jenny, natural cleanses, trimspa, over exercising, bingeing, under eating, about 25 more programs I didn’t mention, along with some extremely unhealthy habits I picked up along the way… nothing worked. The cycle was vicious…I lost weight, and gained it (and then some) right back. I would immediately find another quick fix, another program offering instant gratification, 3 a days at the gym, hours on the tennis court, and the cycle would repeat itself all over again.
I was fixated with dieting. Obsessed with being skinny. Consumed by a deeply rooted belief that people would love me, or love me more, if there was a smaller number on the scale. I became so rooted in a belief that my self-worth was based on an unattainable and unhealthy number that I lost myself. Instead, I believed myself to be a person of value, a person worth love, if I lost a pound. Yet, if I gained even a tenth of a pound–I was a failure, I was nothing, I was worthless. I became my own abuser, my own worst enemy.
Everything changed four months ago. There was no epiphany, I didn’t have breaking point, or anything along those lines. I can say I was at a point of exhaustion with how I felt physically, I was exhausted with basing any sort of self worth upon a number, and exhausted from my self loathing.
One evening, I had a margarita with my cousin who told me all about crossfit, and encouraged me to find a box (crossfit gym) in Omaha. The next day, there was a groupon for a box: Fit Farm. I ended up calling the number, hopeful for another quick fix, while at the same time hoping this fix would make me skinny, worthy of love, and maybe even beautiful.
I couldn’t pinpoint when things changed. Not overnight by any means, but for me…the change has been radical. Maybe it was when I stopped stepping on the scale, and instead take a weekly picture…maybe it was when I started feeling empowered during and after a hard workout…maybe it was sticking with a Paleo/clean lifestyle…maybe because Crossfit is so much more than a gym or a quick fix, but instead a community–a way of life…or maybe because I was slowly falling in love with the (strong) woman I am becoming.
Through doing crossfit, embracing the culture, and allowing the aforementioned factors to become my lifestyle, I stopped wanting to be skinny. Instead, I began to admire the definition all over my body, the constant improvements in my workouts–whether lifting heavier…learning a new movement…or blowing a past time out of the water. And the pictures I’ve taken prove that I’m transforming my body, but it’s not about being skinny. I’ve come to believe that I am so much more than a number. I’ve started to take care of my body, not so I can be skinny, but because my body allows me to accomplish so much.
It really hit home recently when I was having a conversation with one of my coaches. I thanked him for the remarkable changes in my body, mindset, and some huge PRs on a bunch of different lifts. Instead of taking credit, he informed me none of that was him…I did all the work. It also hits home every single time people seem shocked by the fact that I look so different (and the constant compliment that I look so happy)… and I’m completely oblivious.
I’m (for the first time in my life) proud of my accomplishments, falling in love with who I’m becoming, and I’m excited to see where I can go… It finally stopped being about skinny, stopped being about the number, and stopped my value as a person depending on a number on the scale.
So that’s where I am today. Strong is sexy. Strong has become a way of life, a mindset, a place that I want to be. It’s what I want to embody and what I want to be known for.