How I learned to love myself.

Tonight, I did 150 pushups on my toes. That’s no knees for this lady. I used to worry about saying that. I didn’t want to upset someone or feel like I was bragging. But, you know what, fuck it. I did one hundred and fifty fucking pushups on my fucking toes. It wasn’t all at once, but it was within a half hour’s time span. (p90x3 The Challenge)

So, why am I telling you this?

Because, I am proud of myself. I have reached the point in my life, where I can openly acknowledge my accomplishments and tell myself I did well. This wasn’t always the case though. There are many things I can attribute this to in my life, but I won’t get into all of them. But, I will say, there has to come a point in each of our lives when we gauge our progress on little things that are important instead of focusing on the monumental things we think we need.

Five years ago, I wore a size sixteen and sometimes eighteen. I weighed almost two hundred pounds. No one seemed to believe that though, because I’m a tall girl, standing at five foot nine inches. But, I was turning thirty that year and I set a goal of losing thirty by thirty. So, around March, we started exercising and really focusing and being aware of our foods that we ate. I lost about twenty pounds by my birthday in May and then I continued to lose weight. I became obsessed with the scale. If I wasn’t losing anymore I felt defeated. So, I would work out more, push my bike rides more. Until, one day I made it down to 143 pounds. That was the lowest I had weighed since I was in junior high. But, I wasn’t healthy. Mentality or physically.

Something that is never really spoken of when people lose that much weight is how it makes you feel inside. I had lost fifty pounds and I expected at that point I would feel fantastic. I would be more attractive, I would look cuter in clothes, and then I would just feel better about myself all around.

But, I didn’t.

I felt like shit to be honest. I felt like it was never good enough, no matter what I did, it wasn’t good enough, yet, because I hadn’t started feeling better. I was skinny, but I wasn’t strong. I was weak mentally and physically.

So, what did it take to change my thoughts? It took me getting rid of the fucking scale. I stopped measuring myself by the numbers the scale told me. But, what worked more than that? WRITING. Chasing the one thing in my life, I knew I was supposed to be doing, but wasn’t, was the catalyst.

Throughout my life I had depended upon other people. Yes, we should help each other out, but we cannot depend upon someone else for our happiness.  The flip side of depending so much on other people for our approval is that we tend to base our emotional stability on what they say as well. In my childhood, I blamed how I felt about myself on other people. They didn’t like me. Boys didn’t like me. He called me fat. She told me I should take diet pills. She told me not to eat this. Sure, words can hurt when people say them, but what we do with those words is important. But, we can’t learn to not listen to their words of disapproval or judgement if we are still listening to our own words of disapproval and judgement.

So, what does this have to do with writing? Well, when I began to write, there was no one else telling me to do it. There was no one else telling me how to write the story. There was no one but me.

It was fucking liberating.

I realized, that just as it was only me doing it, it was only me that control my thoughts and emotions. Sure, there are always outside influences, but INSIDE is all me.

This mentality began to move into my workouts as well. Just as I focused on growing stronger mentally and emotionally, I saw how I needed to focus on my strength physically. So instead of the scale being the basis for my achievement, I did one more pushup on my knees each time, until one day, I moved to my fucking toes.

Now, I push myself to do just one more pushup, one more rep at lifting and one more lap at running. I’ve even started up martial arts classes now. This is something I’ve always wanted to learn how to do, so we are.

I say it all the fucking time, but I will continue to say it–chase the shit out of your passion. Find what it is that makes you feel alive and do it! There will be so much more that comes from it. You may not realize it at the time, but it will happen.

There has been so much talk lately of body image and how others see us. But, the most important person is YOU. Find your strength within and move from there. Fuck everyone else and what they say about you. But, also fuck that little voice inside you that says, “you can’t do it.” That voice is an asshole and a liar.

The most important thing you can ever do in your life is learn to love yourself. Everything else will stem from that. Trust me. It’s true. When you learn to love yourself and your accomplishments and focus on your own personal growth–everything else becomes a little easier. When you stand firm in your foundation of individuality, you are a fucking superhero and don’t listen to that little voice or the loud voices of haters. You are a fucking superhero.

I had this epiphany the other day while in my martial arts class. We had to do ten sets of twenty kicks in a row. So it ended up being 200 kicks, plus the cartwheel/shoulder roll between. Before that, I had done my p90x workout and 120 pushups and 90 squats in the pre-kick portion of our Kuk Sool martial arts class. I was spent, but I did those 200 kicks and cartwheel/shoulder rolls. Halfway through those kicks I said to myself, “Look at you. Thirteen years ago you were diagnosed with a chronic disease and could barely walk without pain. Look at you, now.”

I’m tearing up as I think about that, because it felt so good to acknowledge that accomplishment in myself. Don’t be afraid of that. Whatever your accomplishment is, do not be afraid of loving yourself.

I’m no longer afraid to love myself and say I’m my own fucking superhero. 🙂

 

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