I get excited at the end of every year. I love love love looking back over the previous year at all of the lessons, events and people. It is always way more than I counted on…even having lived through it.. and a meaningful time.
2012 was a huge year for growth for me. I joined up with Jill Coleman and her Best of You coaching group. I was a bit of a wreck about it. I was going to have to stay check in and present to a coach and a group of women for A WHOLE YEAR?!?! I am not sure I am capable of that. (Turns out, I was!!) But it was the involvement with Jill and that coaching group that helped me with my biggest lesson this year (and perhaps my whole life.)
Lesson #1 from 2012: I am not my physique. (My self worth is not dependent on my body fat percentage or if I have six pack abs or not.)
Some of you may be thinking ‘uh, yeah’ but this was a huge deal for me to REALLY get. I have spent so much time chasing a low body fat percentage. I have declared year after year “the year of the abs” and was sure each time that I would get it. It was so important to me. It consumed me, taking much of time. As much time I spent eating healthy and being in the gym, I spent even more time beating the crap out of myself for not having it.
I truly believed that I was not ok as a person unless I could get to 15%-18% body fat.
If I wasn’t there than I was less than enough. I was scared that my husband would eventually leave me over it and my friends would think I wasn’t good enough to be friends with if I wasn’t that. I realize that doesn’t sound logical but since when are all those stories we have in our heads logical?! I think I felt that if I could just have the six pack, some thing would change and I would finally be happy or satisfied with myself. The reality of that though is that I would still be me, just at a lower body fat percentage or with visible abs. I would still just. be. me.
I declared that I was giving it up. No longer chasing abs or low body fat. It terrified me. I some how assumed that if I was not doing that than my only other option was to be crazily over weight and never leave the couch. I found myself trying to justify my decision to my friends and family (I am not sure they were looking for any reasoning, again it was just the stories in my head). I did have a very tearful conversation with my husband about this. (I am tearing up just thinking about it) where I asked him if I was ok if I give up chasing that goal. He stopped me (we were walking), looked deeply at me and said I love you for exactly who you are right now, not because you keep working towards a six pack. And he hugged me. I felt a huge weight lifted from me.
I am happier now. I spend less (almost none!) time beating myself up for not being looking a certain way. I go to the gym because I simply love lifting weights. Lifting heavy is bliss for me. I eat nourishing meals made from whole food because I really like do to that, it makes me feel good and fuels me for my life. Honestly, the outcome for me is the same. My weight has gone up a little and has gone down a little. I still get to the gym and I still eat well. But the motivation and mindset are completely different. To be free from that heavy burden is something I can practically physically feel on a daily basis. I may decide that some day I want to hit a certain body fat percentage but it will be because I am choosing to for the challenge or to meet a goal. Not because I am less than the way I am now.
If nothing else from 2012, I am deeply grateful to have learned that lesson and internalize it in such a way that it changed my daily outlook and inspired me to share with others and really even create this website.
Why do I want to help you learn this lesson?
1. Beating yourself up is wasted time in life. Time is precious and not to be wasted
2. It frees you up to be doing what you really love and enjoy
3. Knowing you are ok exactly as you are right now is freeing beyond measure
4. Positive motivation works so much more effectively than moving from a negative space.
If you want to learn more about loving who you are and getting peace with your body but aren’t sure how to do that, let Zen Barbell help you! Check out the 30 Days to Stop Hating Your Body program here.