Edit: This is a super emotional post for me and was literally so hard for me to share that I’ve been sitting on it for a YEAR.  I wrote this post in March of 2014 – over a year ago – and I never had the courage to post it. Body issues can effect EVERY size whether “small” or “large”.  It’s not ironic that I’m finally posting this after the buzz about the workout plans I’ve been sharing.  When I first shared my before/after pics last year it literally TERRIFIED me.  I’m modest and I HATE having my body ‘out there’.  The only reason I finally shared was because I believed so much in the program and felt that He and She deserved the credit for creating something so amazing.  Once I posted I couldn’t even bear to read the comments.  Not for fear of the negative… for fear of the POSITIVE.  The positive comments destroyed me.  

Yes… the POSITIVE comments destroyed me.  Why?  Because I couldn’t understand why I could see so much change in the photos, then look in the mirror and be sad.  Why others could praise me… but I would constantly criticize myself.  Why I couldn’t be happy about the progress I made and instead would beat myself up over my other imperfections.  Sharing the workout program again meant I had to put myself out there again…. It took 6 failed attempts of even sharing it on my own personal facebook page because for some reason I felt ‘safer’ sharing it with 17,000 strangers than 300 friends who knew me.  Who saw me.  Who I felt like could bump into me in the grocery store and think to themselves “she sure doesn’t look that fit in person”.   I feared criticism.  I feared compliments.  And the biggest fear?  Hearing someone say “wow you look AMAZING!” – to which I would quickly reply “Looked.  Past tense.  This was last year….”  I can’t even take a damn compliment… I had to make sure they KNEW I didn’t still look like this… I had to protect myself.  

I’m tired of fighting my insecurities. For my close friends it may come as a shock that I have severe body issues and I am severely insecure… but today I’m risking it all because I feel like I NEED to post it… I’m putting myself out there again because I really do believe in the workout programs themselves.  My photos PROVE they work…. My problem is not with my body – it’s with my brain. And at the risk of being selfish – I feel like putting this out there may help me heal.  May help me change the way I view myself.  May help others who do this too… So here it goes:

I took Latin in High School.  Two years to be exact… and I learned VERY little other than how to interpret enough to pass. One thing that stuck with me though, was where the word “Hocus Pocus” came from… you know – the word Magicians say to make MAGIC things happen!  It comes from the Latin words “Hoc est corpus” meaning “This is my body“.

Body issues aren’t just for fat people… they are also for “fat” people. I’m tired of being skinny and thinking I’m “fat”. 

This is insanity and it needs to stop.

This is my body…. and I’ve hated it since the 4th grade.  I was 9…. NINE… when I realized I hated my body.  I wasn’t overweight at all….. um… nope not at all. I just dug up a photo of me at the beach when I was about 10 or 11 and I clearly wasn’t overweight.  Actually, I even remember my mom taking this pic and I distinctly remember feeling the need to suck in my stomach so I looked “skinny”…  you know… be cause I was so “fat”.

I hated my body.

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This is how it all began… I remember my first day of gymnastics and this AMAZING pink and white striped leotard with a belt… and purple on the bottom.  I felt awesome going in.  I walked downstairs to the cubby holes where I put my pink jellies (who remembers those??) and right as I was about to take off my white elastic wasted shorts a 5th grader walked up with legs that were 9 feet long and thin as a rail.  I swear her hips hit right about eye level for me.  And then suddenly my legs felt short and squatty.  I felt insecure for the first time in my life. 

No one taught me to feel that way…. it just happened. Suddenly my amazing leotard didn’t feel so amazing anymore.  All I could think about was my thighs and how they compared to all these other girls.  After that I don’t think one day has gone by where I haven’t thought about my body.  I mean…. where I haven’t thought NEGATIVELY about my body.

This is my body. I’m 5’4″.  I don’t think I’m overly short… definitely not tall though. I have weighed as “much” as 142.5 lbs before I started having babies (first few years after marriage) and I felt depressed… I felt miserable… I was “fat”.  But I’ve also starved myself down to 107lbs… and guess what… I still felt “fat”.  I still hated my thighs.  I would still suck in for pictures and when I wore shorts I would sit with my feet/toes propped against the legs of the chair so that my thighs wouldn’t spread out flat in the seat.  I still do this.

This is my pregnant body. I was pregnant… but I was “fat”.  I weighed 155lbs.  I went to post this pic in my recent gear review, but I saw it and said “gah I look fat”.  I was pregnant.  I was PREGNANT… I gained the proper amount of weight… why was I so hung up on weight?  Why did I critique my arms, my boobs, my back, my legs.  That’s my boy in there!!! My ridiculously handsome son!  I was carrying him and he came out a healthy 7lbs 13oz.  But I saw this picture and was too embarrassed to post it because I didn’t look “perfect”…. so I decided not to post it.

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This is my body. In December 2013 – 2 months after giving birth – I took a “before” picture of myself and I was disgusted.  I JUST had a baby but I was disgusted.  I saw this picture and I wanted to cry….. I did cry.  I obsessed about it – but was too busy with my son and daughter to get back into any sort of workout routine.  So I just criticized myself.  In front of my husband, my daughter, my friends, myself.  I should have eaten better when I was pregnant.  I should have done arm exercises.  I should have done something other than just running.  I weighed roughly 145ish.  I was “fat”.   I would have given anything to just be in the 130s again…. Yeah.. if I can just see 139 on the scale I’ll be happy and I’ll quit obsessing.   I hate my body.

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This is my body. In this photo I’m 5months post partum.  I weigh 130lbs.   Some mornings it’s 134…. some mornings it’s 129.8.  I’m 9lbs less than what was supposed to make me happy…. but I’m “fat”.  I hate my thighs.  I’m currently sitting with my feet propped up on the legs of the chair so my thighs don’t spread out on the seat.  No one is around to evaluate or even see my thighs except my 4 year old daughter singing songs from Frozen.  But it’s habit now.  I took a photo of myself today because I’m ready to lose the last 10lbs. Yes, if I can just get back in the mid 120’s I’ll be happy. I swear.  I took this picture and I was disgusted.  I’m “fat”.

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This is my body. While looking for my 2month pp pics for this post, I found a folder with some other before pictures.  I was 122ish in these photos. I had taken these as my “before” photos mid 2012.  Before what?  I had plans to get smaller…. because I was “fat”.  I hated my thighs.  I was running marathons… I had just run a 4:09 marathon a few months prior …. running almost daily…. but I hated my body.  At 122lbs I was “fat”.

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Smoke and Mirrors. Remember that photo above from when I was pregnant?  The one that was taken literally 4 days before I gave birth? The one I hated?  Well… I have Photoshop… and Photoshop is amazing.  You can edit pretty much anything in or out of photos.  You can distort reality.  All the videos online are true about airbrushing models.  I’m guilty of it.  I’m guilty of not letting people post photos of me unless I approve them to make sure they look ok.  I live for instagram filters (if you haven’t used them they can make fugly look fabulous).

I decided I needed to make my arm in that photo a little less “fat”…. so I pushed it in a touch.  Then I squeezed in my thighs just a hair….. heck lets just carry that down the whole leg.  Now my boobs need a little more fullness… ok a lot more.  Hmmm…. sure do wish there was more separation in the belly under the boob area.  Done.  Then lets lengthen the back a bit… oh and my face and neck look short I can lengthen those just a touch.  And fix my uneven hairline just a touch…. PERFECT.  Yes THIS is how I wanted to look pregnant.  No one will know – this looks good.  I look like a pretty cute pregnant person.

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OOps I forgot – My friend has the original photo on her facebook page (she took the photos)….. let me ask her to take it down so that THIS is the new reality and no one will ever know…. no one except my friend.  Who has been battling the weight loss journey for quite a while now.  Who has busted butt to lose over 100lbs and still on a weight loss journey.  Who is running half marathons and doing cross fit to continue her journey.  Who would think I was INSANE for doing this to myself. Let me message her and tell her I had to edit her artwork because I looked “fat”.  Let me tell her that while I’m full term pregnant, carrying a child and still weighing less than she does… I look “fat”.  I’m sure she will understand. I go to see if she’s on facebook chat pre-composing the message in my head…. “Hey Friend, can you do me a huge favor and take down this pic of me you posted on your page?  I decided to edit it a touch and don’t want the original out there…..” 

Holy. Freaking. Crap.  What am I thinking?????  What am I saying to her?  What am I saying about reality? What am I saying about myself?  What am I saying to women everywhere who have 155 as a goal weight?  I’m saying it’s not good enough.  I’m saying it’s not skinny…. it’s “fat”.  What is wrong with me?  My photos aren’t disgusting… my perception of my body is.

And the crazy thing is – when I look at my friend the LAST thing I EVER think about is her being “fat”.  She is BEAUTIFUL.  Like seriously – one of the most beautiful people I know.  She exudes confidence.  She is freaking hilarious.  She is fun to be around.  She is caring.  She rallies troops for fundraisers.  Yes, she weighs more than me… so why can I look at her and see BEAUTIFUL and look at myself and see “fat”. Seriously… my friend??  She. Is. AWESOME.

THIS is my body!!!! I have wide hips….  I have small boobs…. I have a hernia over my belly button that makes it look puffy…. I have a soft stomach…. I have large thighs……….

I have thighs……….

I have strong thighs that run.  I have a great stomach for just having a baby… I have a hernia that one day I’ll get fixed if it begins to cause me discomfort (but for now who even sees it??)…. I have some magical boobs that can MAKE MILK for my baby despite size (and did make milk for my daughter for 13months!)…. I have the perfect hips for giving birth…. I’m ONLY 130lbs…..

This is MY body – and I am going to OWN IT!

It’s ok to feel uncomfortable at different weights and shapes… I build muscle fast in my quads so even when I’m exercising sometimes my jeans fit tighter in the legs which makes me “uncomfortable” …. not “fat”.

People always say if you aren’t happy with yourself why don’t you do something about it.  And I am.  Today I’m making a change.

I refuse to be a prisoner anymore…. I need to stop being ashamed of what so many people would be thrilled to have.  No – I’m not going on a crazy diet… I’m not counting calories…. I’m not going out for a run or working out today.  Today my change is within my brain.  How I see myself.   How I love myself.  How I plan to show my daughter what is beautiful.

I need to make a promise to myself not to talk down about my body in front of my friends who are bigger than me and who probably want to punch me… or who are smaller than me and could be dealing with body issues of their own.

I need to make a promise to myself not to talk down about my body in front of my hubby who is honestly quite fond of it and has been telling me this our ENTIRE marriage – I just never believed he truly felt that way and even tells me that my “magic” boobs are better and cooler than any fake boobs could ever be (BOOM!) because of what they have provided for our kids.

I need to make a promise to myself not to talk down about my body in front of my daughter who will no doubt face these body issues herself one day and who could one day repeat the words “I look fat” like I’ve said to myself so many times.

Today I’m going to make a conscious effort to remove the words “I feel fat” or “I look fat” or even “I hate my…”   I’m tired of stressing, feeling insecure, and talking negatively about my body.

THIS is my body.  This is MY body.  I will exercise when I can knowing that life can interrupt that at any time.  I will eat as good possible knowing that  I sometimes just enjoy eating junk food because it tastes good.  I will do my best to take care of myself while also realizing that it’s important to have “balance” in my life.  And I will be satisfied with whatever body that produces at the time.

THIS IS MY BODY. 

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