On Courage and Labels

When I decided to tackle my food issues, it came with a lot of shame. I was also fighting the inward battle of having a label. The only label I wanted to attach myself too, was my name. If I admitted I had a problem with emotional eating and took the steps to deal with this publicly (because it’s pretty tricky to hide when you decide to change your whole lifestyle), I not only feared I would fail miserably at it, but also didn’t want those around me to have any verbal opinion about my weight. The knowledge that others noticed my weight gain was embarrassing to me, it was something I wish I could have hidden. I masked it with humour and sarcasm.

This was my inward struggle, only I carried the evidence of it on the outside. I wanted my privacy as I dealt with it all. I hermitted as much as possible, and shut myself off from the world. I remember after a few months, and down 50 pounds…I ran into a friend while shopping. She was visibly stunned and asked if I was OK. By this time, I had worked on my inner confidence and was ready to share this experience with others. But it took a whole lot of emotional work to get there. It’s hard to describe the range of emotions that surface when you make any huge life change. But if you are reading this, I’m sure you can relate in someway, because it really is part of the human condition.

It was actually pretty self-indulgent to believe that I was the only one who was dealing with inward struggles; if only I had shared more I could have softened or removed the shame label from it. Hind sight is a funny thingy however, and I can only see that now that I’ve put in the work. Which is why I openly share…which is prettttty uncomfortable at times. I’ve committed to living whole-heartedly, so I will use my voice to share just in case there are others out there who feel alone within their struggles too (even if my voice isn’t always one of confidence).

Here’s the thing, change is (and should be) an integral part of life. There is nothing to fear my friends! Embrace the uncomfortable. Have the courage to be vulnerable within it. Share. Find like-minded people who are also striving to be better and grow. If you surround yourself with people who don’t put value on personal growth, it can give you permission to also be complacent. Sorry, but that’s true. Find your tribe! 😉

Growth is inevitable when you decide to work on your issues.

I still struggle with labels. Single mother. Obese. Fit. 40. Divorced. Personal Trainer.

I struggle with it because I don’t want to live within a box. Check here for category you fit within. In thinking more on this, I realize that judgement of any kind (which hitches a ride with labels), inhibits us from actually getting to know others because we go into it with a preconceived idea of who another is based on their check-box.

When you put yourself in a box, it’s hard to evolve within it.

So as New Year’s approaches and I look ahead with excitement to work on new goals and challenges, I want to be mindful to live outside of labels and self-imposed limitations.

I don’t really identify with being a “single Mom” because I have a huge circle of support. My village of love. I realized I had so much help if I let go of my pride and simply ask.

Ok, I am 40. ha! This is a number I’ve come to adore. I levelled up to a new decade of wisdom.

As for fitness and the category I fall within that, I look at it as a quest to feel my best physically, mentally and spiritually. When I run, I feel alive and free. When I lift, I feel strong and empowered. When I stretch I feel centered and so verrrry zen.

For me, it’s about using exercise for clarity, inner pride, and peace of mind.  It’s about viewing food as fuel. Pick your fuel. It’s about finding those elements that bring pride and joy into my life.  A world of positive, I cans, and I wills. It’s about authentic relationships built on acceptance and support. When I train, it’s really about encouraging another to push outside of their comfort zone and not only reach their potential but surpass it. How amazing is that?

Rather than setting a New Year’s Resolution of losing weight, I’m going to shift focus onto personal attributes I want to work on. Character traits:

Integrity

Strength (of both mind and body)

Inspiration…setting an example of healthy lifestyle for my children

Courage to live whole-heartedly

Who do I want to be? It’s completely within my power to be exactly that.

A life of balance, happiness, health, pride.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and go into the New Year with excitement to tackle some goals of your own. 🙂

I have grown so much as woman this year within the forced changes of life. And this photo below is empowering for me; a visual representation because I know how I was feeling in both photos (the small photo right was Christmas Eve one year ago, and the other Christmas Eve this year). Last year at this time, I was full of fear of the unknown. This year, I’m excited about the unknown and it’s possibilities.

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From my heart to yours,

Christine

 

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