Sunday, March 8, 2015

Breathing Fire


    At my heaviest, 210, I hated myself.  I do not necessarily feel all people over weight must automatically hate themselves.  I think that some people are perfectly content to be overweight, and that is absolutely fine.  So if you are reading this with the intention of getting some body shaming out of me, you are not going to get it.  I feel everyone is beautiful in their own way, and if you feel beautiful you are beautiful.  The problem is...I never felt beautiful.  

210.  Wow.  What a number.  I don't even think I've ever admitted that number to anyone.  Not even my closest confidants, my sister and my mother.  So when they read this, they may be shocked. 210 was a long time ago.  But 210 was a symptom of a cycle of self-hate.  I can remember hating myself all the way back to middle school.  Not smart enough, not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not fast enough, not funny enough, and ultimately, not likable. Not liking yourself becomes a cycle, which ultimately for me ended with food.

 In Education we often use the word Antecedent.

1.      1.
a thing or event that existed before or logically precedes another.

            I could make anything into a antecedent, logically.  I made antecedents out of thin air, for an excuse to binge eat.  I could put anything in my life into this cycle.  Bad night---> food.  Bad relationship ----> food.  No money---->food.  Tough day at work ---->food. General Tso chicken never told me I wasn't smart.  McDonalds never told me I wasn't fast enough.  Pizza never told me that I was unlikable. Realistically, no one ever told me that. However, my head said it often.   In my mind, I was not worthy of love.  Although many people loved me, and I played the part of the happy girl, I was truly never happy.   I played the part rather well, I think.  I was always the happy, funny girl.  No one has ever known in my life how I felt about myself inside. Self-hate became a daily routine starting with the scale in the morning and tears (sometimes) at night.  

It wasn't until I found CrossFit that I began to gain confidence.   Not in that way that in some cases it becomes someone's entire life.  Which is entirely fine, but it has never been like that for me.  I admittedly rarely watch the CrossFit Games, and have no favorite athlete that I follow on Instagram.  My life is about making money.  My dad has always called me a hustler.  And in the wise words of JayZ, I'm a hustler baby.  I can make dollars like nobody’s business.   Everything I have, and every success I've had in life is due to my hard work and perseverance.  Even that however, never made me happy.

          I've done every diet fad known to man.  I've spent approximately 1,000 dollars on fads.    I was like a yo-yo.  I'd be at the top feeling fantastic, and those thoughts of self-hate would bring me way back down to the bottom of the yo-yo.  Only, to find a new fad and be pulled back up again.  It was that self-hate inside of me, which wasn't necessarily because I was overweight that ultimately always drove me back down.  It was like trying to swim to the top of an ocean, when there are weights on your legs (in my case, the weight was in my mind).

I always dress to impress, my clothes are always on point, heels other girls want in their closet, and the smile on my face has been called contagious.  But inside, I sometimes thought what's the point of this life?  After 15 years of feeling inadequate, your brain starts to shut down on you.  Nothing anyone says matters, because your head says differently.  It wasn't until CrossFit that my eyes were opened.  I found there were some things I was good at.  I found, I was strong.  I found, I could do things I never imagined my body could do. And, the weight started to fall off.  10 pounds, 20 pounds, 30 pounds, and finally 40 pounds. Even when I lost almost 50 pounds, I never admitted it to anyone.  I didn't think I deserved to brag about success.  I didn't think I was worth of feeling good about myself.  Not until the day I found the fire.

By breathing fire I mean, I found that fire inside of myself.  I found that I could push way past what my mind was saying was capable.  I found that, if each day I stopped hating myself just a little bit, I could do it.  It wasn't like the book Learning to Breathe Fire either, because I've never read that book.  It was like something came over me.  My mind let me relax a little, and it let my body take charge.  In order to breathe fire into my life, I had to start fixing the way I felt about myself.  

    I started reading more inspirational writings, and I started to see a therapist last year.  Oh no, are we not allowed to admit sometimes we need someone else's help to dig ourselves out of the trenches?  Well I did, and I'll never regret making that choice.  She made me a rock one time, to this day I'm not really sure of the symbolism of this rock?  However, the rock says you are ENOUGH. Each morning I have that reminder that exactly how I am today,  is ENOUGH.  

I am not sure that even did it.  I literally had to stop pussy footing around.  I had to start breathing fire every day in everything I did.  I started waking up each morning, looking at my hectic work calendar, and planning how I would attack each appointment.  I would look at the workout the night before and I would stop saying "No, I can't do those things" and I started saying "today I will try to do those things I could not do before."

Now, I am not Buddha or the Dalai Lama.  Let's not get carried away.  I still struggle each day with new tasks which make me question my own psyche. I sometimes still approach things like I can't, but if I sit and think for a minute, the fire comes back.  The need to love myself comes back.   The need to be successful for my own self, comes back.   

I don't personally know how you feel about the number on the scale...but this is how I feel....

This number, no longer controls how I feel about myself.    The number is just that, a number.  It has no bearing on my feelings of self-worth or on the fire I feel inside