I’ve been working in fitness and weight loss for years now, but at times I’ve wondered if it’s where I belonged. I knew I had the smarts, but I never felt I had the body. This 25 days of being grateful project wasn’t an easy one to commit to – honestly, being this open and sharing all my hang ups scared the crap out of me.
Living with someone who every night has his work judged in an instant, I get to see firsthand how brutal your critics can be. Joe has always known its part of the comedy game and he rolls with it day after day…I have a little thinner skin. Getting asked to co-author Ultimate You, on one hand was so exciting and seemed like a great next step for my career – but on the other, it launched me very quickly onto a bigger fitness platform and into the public eye. Lucky for me, our book was met with the highest praise from the big names in fitness which was great, but after all it was a smart, well done book. Things were going great…and then the worst happened: I got called fat. An Amazon reviewer brought about the biggest calamity that I could’ve imagined: I got found out. Now every nasty thought in my head was now on the internet for the world to see. Now what? Do I run and hide? How do I respond to this? Call the review mean (interestingly the writer has since gone back and edited her comments, toning it down a bit) or spiteful or whatever, but it was my worst fear realized. This may have been the biggest stage I’d felt fat on, but it certainly wasn’t the first time. But for all the times I had this body anxiety going on in my head, this review was only the one time that it was ever made public. I’m not going to say it wasn’t hurtful, it was. But it got me to get over myself- the thing I was scared of happened and the world didn’t end. It was time to get over it. The fear of being found out was lifted – hurtful or not, this girl’s nasty comments freed me. With that out in the open, the only thing stopping me now was…well, me. But should I really draw any more attention to this? Perhaps I can try to let the dust settle and pretend this never happened….or I could get over myself and embrace that I’m not perfect, I’m just like the women I work with and hopefully take the “scary” out of this whole body image biz that I’m in. When I wrote my response I had so many readers telling me they related to it, and I realized this was perhaps right where I was supposed to be. Maybe I should be even more honest….but blogs like this one I’m doing now have always felt a little self indulgent to me – I mean do you all really want to hear how much I hate my thighs? Turns out, a lot of you do. With a little encouragement I dared to share these 25 days with all of you. It was scary, but if I’ve inspired even one woman to have a healthier mindset about her body then it was worth it. As for me, it’s made me realize just how much my thoughts on my body affect my every day decisions like what to wear, or my confidence when I have to get up and speak to a group or meet a new patient. It’s helped me realize how unproductive and damaging all those negative thoughts are. Why put in all the effort at the gym and in the kitchen if my own baggage is still going to be – literally- weighing me down? I still have to eat well and work out hard, but I don’t have to feel like I have something to hide. Are you holding back? Are any of your body hang ups stopping you from doing something that would make you happy? Get over yourself! Your journey to a better body just got a lot easier.