When I Learned That It Wasn't My Body


I use to exercise to be to look like a fitness model. I had it in my head that being super fit equals beautiful and growing up, I never felt beautiful. Now, I was the ugly duckling with really bad hair and buck teeth. the awkward teenage years were horrible to me.

I was picked on at school and never fit in and it was very isolating.. I remember being in grade 6 and there were 2 girls and they would rip me apart nearly every day. One even told me that she was making fun of me because I was ugly.

As you can imagine, being a pre-teen---an awkward one like I was, was a defining moment. I felt like I was not worthy of being loved.

My earliest memory of feeling ashamed of my body when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I was with my grandma (who I love dearly!) and her friend and they were comparing me to my cousin. My cousin is beautiful and smart but also petite. This wasn't anything she had to work for. It was her body. OF course, I didn't understand that at the time. I thought it was a measure of her worth.

As my grandma and her friend were talking about mine and my cousins bodies, my grandma said "Terrell is just big boned and her cousin is skinny"

This was how my loved ones referred to my body. I was a bit taller than most girls my age and I know now that I wasn't being called fat by the people I loved. The fact was that they couldn't take these words back either. I heard them and that was it.

GASP!

From being picked on in school and hearing my loved ones describe my body as "big boned", I slipped into deep insecurity. I had no self-confidence.

For years into my adulthood, I didn't like my body. It didn't matter where my weight was at, I didn't like my body. At one point, I even accepted the fact that I was meant to be fat. I ate what ever I felt like eating and drank like a fish. I didn't care!

It wasn't until I moved to Florida (with my now husband) and we had easy access to some of the most amazing beaches and in the Sunshine State, going to any pool is kind of the law. My boyfriend took the picture below. When I had seen it, it made me sick inside. This picture changed me. I had never hated my body more than I did in that moment. It took 10 years for me to find peace with my body.

To the left is a picture of me in 2004. came This was the beginning of my diet trap. I obsessed with quick fixes. For the 5 years that followed, I was out of control.

I followed every celebrity diet plan, fitness plan (hello Jillian Michaels!) and had seen some results but I never looked like what was being sold. I tried detoxes, diet pills and cleanses-again with success but failure because I could never sustain long term. When I wasn't seeing results, I gave up and my ugly pattern would repeat itself.

I moved back to Canada and my weight was climbing up again. I gave up completely. Figuring that I was going to get pregnant (which didn't happen for another 3 years), I was going to get fat anyway. Why put in all of that work if I was just going to get fat??? I sing a very different tune now

Fast forward a bit....I joined a gym after a lot of convincing, decided that I was needed to make exercise a regular part of my life and not just something I did to lose weight got certified as a personal trainer, and became pregnant after years of trying.

During my first pregnancy, I worked out so that I wouldn't gain the weight (I put on 50 pounds! ). I ate well and exercised nearly 2 hours a day (I was working at a gym at the time). My body was doing what it needed to do and I was fighting it.

After my son was born, I went back to that obsessive behaviour. Nursing my son between sets and dragging him out at nap time because the thought of missing a workout made me anxious.

I was an emotional wreck but hey, I looked fantastic so I should have been good with that right?

I was almost 2 years postpartum and had exercised for

nearly 2 hours a day since my 6-week clearance. This

was the beginning of my realization that looking like

a fitness model may not be all what i's cracked up to be.

I got down to 8.3% body fat which is dangerously low. I binged on my birthday cake 4 days later.

I was an emotional wreck but hey, I looked fantastic so I should have been good with that right?

My postpartum body took me back to that little girl felt and I did everything I could to not feel that pain again. Only, I was in a much worse place. I watched everything I ate and exercised like a mad woman. I would drag my poor infant son to they gym and left him in the care of someone else so that I could look good. I was trying to cope by getting my "pre-baby" body back. If I lost the weight, I would love myself again. The thing was that I never loved myself to begin with.

The truth is that my issue weren't about my body at all. I needed to heal that little girl who didn't like herself that much. She needed to know that she was worthy of being loved and that she mattered. She needed someone to ask her if she was okay and have that same someone listen. She needed to hear that she was beautiful and special just the way she was.

It didn't matter how much weight I lost or how fit and ripped I was.

This is how I look now and I'm honestly much happier!

Why am I telling you this? Most of the time when we want to lose weight it isn't about our body, it's something much deeper. It is just as important to do the internal work and for me, that little girl needed to heal and have a little self-compassion.

I know this is going to look different and your story may not be the same but if you find yourself struggling with your body-image then ask yourself, why?

Love your baby body,

Terrell

Are you ready to get a little balance back into your life? Join a group of moms and a panel of experts in this one of a kind and free 6-week challenge. This includes weekly self-care challenges, healthy recipes, workouts and a Facebook group for support. Start your Vibrant & Balanced in Motherhood 6-Week Challenge by clicking here.


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