I'm almost finished with week 3, and so far, things have gone great with the plan. I'm getting my workouts in, and really pushing to max effort. Nutrition is no problem--I was a strict vegan for about five months prior to beginning BFL, so all of the foods I get to eat now seem like delicacies!
When I sat down to write my goals for doing BFL, I had to take an honest look at why I wanted to do this and what I hoped to get out of it. I have been on and off of weight watchers forever, trained for and completed several endurance events, was a vegan. . . a lot of different efforts at changing myself. I wanted this time, BFL, to be different. I had to think about some things that I have not done a good job of dealing with in the past. #1 problem is pretty heavy duty negative body image issues. I could spend hours in therapy working through all of the reasons why I have struggled, since childhood, to feel comfortable with, and accepting of, my body. What I've been doing the past few weeks is some journaling, talking with my husband more openly, and last night I had dinner with two girlfriends (I chose grilled salmon with veggies!) and talked to them a lot about what I'm working through. It has been difficult, but I feel good about finally facing some facts about how my negative self-talk affects so many aspects of my life.
I have three children, our latest addition being our daughter who we adopted 2 years ago; my other two are boys. Now that my daughter is 4 1/2 and starting to take an interest in picking out her clothes, asking to have her hair braided a certain way, etc.--I am realizing how my own early experiences kinda messed me up. I'm becoming more aware of how my own mother's words to me from childhood and beyond impacted how I feel about myself--such as not feeling comfortable accepting any compliment about my physical appearance and not really believing people, even my devoted husband, when they say something nice about how I look. There are many layers of low self-esteem combined with guilt over being taller/thinner than my sister who is very close in age to me. I have memories of being told that it wasn't appropriate for an uncle to call me "Twiggy" when I was 9 years old, like I had intentionally done something to draw attention to myself, and clearly remember starting to wear t-shirts over my bathing suits to hide my body, even though I was a skinny kid with absolutely no curves, lumps or bumps to hide. When I was about 7, I was asked to be in a cousin's wedding and my sister, who was 8, was not asked to be in it. I still have no idea why my parents said 'yes' and let me be in it--I spent weeks before and a lifetime afterward worrying about how that must've made my sister feel, like it was somehow my fault I had been chosen over her. So while all these years I've been telling myself that I need to cover up and hide myself, or feeling like someone couldn't possibly mean anything positive they said about my appearance, the reality is I've been dealing with a lot of guilt or shame, not wanting to draw attention to myself lest I make someone else (my mom, sister, friend, whoever) feel bad about themselves.
Yeah, it's pretty deep and I've got 37 years of doing to undo. I don't want to mess my kids up that way, so, via Body-for-life and some hardcore soul searching, I am hoping to come to a place of acceptance and peace about things that have bothered me for too long.
My friend told me last night that her yoga instructor has a very simple, but meaningful mantra "This is what showed up." She uses it in many settings, but the general notion is that sure, we'd all love to look like Jillian Phillips, dance like Hines Ward. . . whatever--but "this is what showed up". It's not about complacency, it's about accepting what you're given, loving yourself, and taking care of yourself in ways that make you feel better about what you've got. I need to get this mantra into my brain to replace some really negative self-talk, which I'm sure many of you also beat yourselves up with.
Just thought I'd "out" myself here, another step in facing the fact that I've spent a lot of years feeling like I'm just not good enough and sabotaging myself out of fear that if i really did work hard and look good, I might be making someone else close to me feel bad about themselves. Thanks for reading and any wisdom you can share would be most appreciated.
silly slip in there. . .should say Jillian Michaels, not Jillian Phillips--got Bill Phillips on the brain, I suppose!
I too find outing myself here has helped a lot. I wish you great success and contentment with yourself.
hgdaisy - Your story is a mirror of many. And as a mother, we often leave ourselves last, when in reality, a healthy mom is much more valuable to their families.
BFL will help you physically - IMHO that is the easy part. The Mental well being is what I and many others continue to struggle with. The belief that we are worthy of 12 weeks and beyond to continue making our bodies and our heads be in a better place.
You are almost 40. :) The fun is just beginning for you. This is YOUR DECADE lady and dont let anyone tell you otherwise.
The past will always be in you. It is part of you and who you are and helped you get to where you are today. With the help of BFL, you will ADD to your past and ADD different mantras to cover up and squash those hurtful moments. You WILL be stronger - but it takes alot of time in some cases because even those things that took only seconds as a child ... they feel like they lasted forever.
I'm blabbering here ... just wanted you to know you arent alone.
I fight demons every day. Some days are better than others. Make a decision that one day at a time, you will continue with your decision to complete a challenge for YOU this time.
You wont regret it.
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