I’ve created a lifestyle that I love, am maintaining a lean and healthy weight that is right for me, and have more than enough energy to go after the life of my dreams.
But for most of my life, that wasn’t the case.
My weight and negative self-perception was an issue for almost my entire life. I became self-conscious of my body when I was 5 years old after my father told me I needed to learn how to suck in my stomach.
Now at age 5, I wasn’t fat. And I don’t think my father meant anything more than he wanted to teach me good posture. But how I interpreted his comment was that he was telling me I was fat. Like many women today, I began to believe that there was something wrong with my body.
I was a tomboy who always had scabs on my knees from falls and crashes on my bike. Shortly after that conversation with my father I remember for the first time being embarrassed at how my banged up knees looked and trying to pull my knee socks up as high as they would go to cover them up.
I began hating my body. I focused almost exclusively on its flaws, and what was wrong with me.
My negative self-perception—and my resulting struggle with my weight—raged for more than 35 years. Those negative thoughts bled over into all areas of my life. I was often depressed. I shied away from taking leadership roles at work. I had a hard time making close friends. I didn’t feel sexy or attractive with my husband.
And my struggle with my weight wasn’t because I didn’t know what to do. I taught myself about nutrition and exercise, and several times I got into incredible shape. I ran—finishing one half-marathon and doing all the training for another. I lifted weights. Several times I got down to a size 6. I knew what to do.
Even though I would lose weight, emotionally I didn’t feel any differently. All those problems that I thought would magically be solved by being thinner were still there.
This was because I wasn’t making the changes on the inside. I wasn’t aligning with what I wanted and why I wanted it. I didn’t feel confident in being accepted as the true me, which goes a lot deeper than just how I look. What it boils down to is I didn’t feel lovable because I didn’t love myself.
Because I was making these changes through sheer willpower, it didn’t take much for me to rebound, regaining not only the weight I had just lost, but then some.
In 2008, I got down to a size 8 when some life changes triggered the rebound-weight pattern and I put on 40 pounds and for various reasons I went from a runner to a walker to not doing any exercise at all.
Here I was busting out of my size 14 pants, and starting over with exercise and losing weight—again.
Something had to change.
What ultimately had to change was what was going on the inside. What had to change were my thoughts, emotions and beliefs about myself, what I was capable of, what I deserved.
2009 was a significant turning point for me.
I knew that there had to be another way, and I set out to find it.
So in addition to consistently moving my body and eating healthy foods, I began looking for tools and processes. I tried them all and found what worked to release inaccurate thinking and create new thoughts of appreciation, praise, and support for my body—and myself.
And I began tying this process to my spiritual journey. Accepting the love of All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source Energy, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) laid the foundation of the path that lead to loving myself.
Successfully making these internal changes helped me not only get down to where I am today—between a size 4 and 6—but to keep the weight off now for more than two years.
Not only do I feel vibrant and alive, and have more fulfilling relationships in all areas of my life, but more importantly, those same internal changes have given me the confidence and self-empowerment to go after the life of my dreams.
After discovering what works, I began reaching out to help other women feel slim and sexy on the inside so they can be slim and sexy on the outside. I didn’t want another woman to struggle through this process like I had.
The process of releasing your weight is so worth it because it is a journey of self-discovery. It is reconnecting with your true self. It is embracing your power to create the life of your dreams.
It is being empowered and supported as you become the best possible version of you.
Today I am grateful for all the struggles and challenges—and yes, even pain—that I experienced over all those years. Every moment of it helped me be who I am today, and makes me uniquely able to relate to other women who are using the path of releasing their weight for self-discovery.
If you are in the midst of pain, you may not be able to feel, hear, or believe this right now, but I promise you, the end result is so worth the weight.
This will be true for you, too.
Together we can do it!