When it came to how I felt about myself, it was never positive. I always felt that I needed to be better and that people wouldn’t love me because I wasn’t good enough.
Growing up, I was always terrified to talk to new people. I could (at least believed I could) feel them judging me as I walked up. I could just hear them thinking “why does this weird girl think it’s okay to talk to me?” Although that is absolutely nonsense, it lasted all the way through high school and even flared up in college. I wasn’t happy with who I was and was projecting that on others.
I dove in to every activity I could get my hands on, thinking if I could impress those around me they’d want to be friends. I started with golf and choir and then added class office, the school musical, cheerleading, sports medicine, etc. Although I had many friends, I still didn’t know why. I rarely talked and merely observed in the conversations of those around me.
Flash forward a few years…. The trip that changed my life and my outlook on myself was a study away in Europe my senior year of college. For some reason, something flipped in my brain and I realized how ridiculous I had been. Nobody was judging me and if they were, they weren’t worth my time. I came back with a fresh outlook and a fierce determination to be the person I’d always dreamed to be.
I’ve yo-yo dieted for as long as I can remember. I recall trying the Adkins diet in middle school as well as Jenny Craig, Weightwatchers, and pretty much everything imaginable. At my highest weight I saw the scale at 212 pounds. Not okay. I finally realized I needed to make a change because I love myself, not out of hatred. Once I came to this realization, the weight started to come off. I’m about 40 pounds down now and more determined than ever.
I’m at a point in my life where I really feel like I’m starting to get it together. I’ve got a job that I love substitute teaching while working on my dream of becoming an elementary school teacher. I’m engaged to the man of my dreams and we’re designing a life that we love together. I’ve run three half marathons and have many more planned in my future as well as the big goal of my very first full marathon and triathlon.
Through the use of a calories in-calories out philosophy, as well as a weight lifting regiment, I’m continuing to see progress. Join me on this journey of healing and self-love. Change won’t happen until you find that place of acceptance within.