A few times per month, I send out an email to the people on my list and I share things that I don’t typically post on the blog or on Facebook. Lots of free stuff like recipes, workouts, and lots of personal things as well…
Last month my husband and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary and I wrote an email about it….
I was blown away by the responses I received to that email. I figured if it can make even one more person change the way they think about certain things, I have to share it here as well…so here goes:
(This email was sent out a day or two after my anniversary)
Tuesday was my 9th wedding anniversary. We put the boys to bed, got take-out (sushi) drank wine, watched our wedding video, and looked through our photo album. It’s something we do every year and every year the video gets even funnier! You wouldn’t even believe the shananagans….hilarious. Anyway…
In the back of our wedding album was a picture of us that was taken on our first anniversary at a restaurant in the North End. I remember HATING how I looked in the picture (the reason why it’s tucked away in the back of an album). You know those times when you actually think you look kinda hot and then you see a picture of yourself and you’re like “huh?”….Yeah, it was one of those.
So, back to the story (sorry jumping around here) we watched the video, looked at the pics, laughed our asses off and went to sleep.
Wednesday morning, as I was thinking about the video, the people at my wedding who I don’t see nearly enough of anymore, and the pictures, I realized that this was honestly the very first time that while watching the video, I didn’t say (or think) anything negative about myself.
In 9 years, it was the first time I didn’t say “my arms look fat” or “my face is so round” or “I wish I worked out harder so I looked better”. Nope. None of it even crossed my mind. I didn’t even think anything about it until the next morning as I was driving.
So why am I telling you all of this? What big change did I make?
The pictures are the same. The video is the same. So what changed?
My MINDSET. My THOUGHTS. My PERSPECTIVE.
I honestly think it is because I’m no longer completely obsessed with how much I weigh, when I’m going to workout, and how much longer before I have to eat, what everyone else is doing, what the latest and greatest program, cleanse, diet is….
Focusing so much on all of those things just kept me in this tunnel of negativity. It wasn’t like I was saying “you GO girl, you are awesome for eating to feel great and fuel your busy body”. Oh no. It was more like “OMG, you FAT SHIT run faster” or “she doesn’t even workout and she looks better than you”….
So what did I do? What should YOU do if you are the “old” me?
I think it’s the same with mindset as it is with diet. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another.
Here’s what I did. I stopped following all of the women on Facebook and Instagram who constantly posted about their abs, their carb free diets, their “cheat” meals (not that there is anything wrong with ANY of that, it just didn’t serve me. at all) and started reading more about self-acceptance, the power of positive thinking and more mindset stuff. Stuff that I “poo-poo’d” before because I had no time for it. I was too busy taking measurements and weighing myself.
I realized, as I was driving in my car, that this was the first time that I watched my HUSBAND during our wedding video. It was the first time that I paid any attention to how he looked at me during our vows and during our first dance. The past 8 years, I really never noticed. Sad, but true.
I know that may sound awful and very self-centered, but the truth is that I was always so self-conscious about MYSELF that I would be thinking things like “I wish I didn’t wear my hair like that” or “I should have lifted my arm away from my side so it didn’t look so wide in these pictures”.
But watching it the other night wasn’t like that at all. I wasn’t sitting there annoying the shit out of Ed complaining that I thought I was so fat, or beating myself up for not working harder to look “better” on my wedding day.
I actually watched the video and looked at the pictures for exactly what they were, a reminder of an incredible day that created awesome memories!
I know that there are a lot of women who are in the same boat as I was. Super critical of their bodies, always thinking that someone else has the answer. I get it. I was one. For YEARS.
But what I truly believe now, is that real lasting change has to start from the inside. It just does. Because no matter how far you get, you’re never going to be truly happy if you don’t love yourself first….and I don’t mean you have to think you’re Giselle. I just mean that you start talking to yourself and treating yourself as you would your best friend, your mom, or your sister, hell, even your dog! You start suffocating the voices that say that you don’t look good because you’re not skinny enough or tall enough or pretty enough or fit enough or that you ate mac n cheese from the hot bar at Whole Foods and washed it down with a cookie and “healthy” Swedish fish.
SAYS WHO? Seriously. Question that shit because – It’s. Not. True. And if you believe it is, it’s because you are CHOOSING to. <— hate to say it but it’s true.
If you’re like me, right about now you’re thinking “But I AM fat”. You don’t understand. I DO feel this way. My jeans ARE tight.”
I know you feel that way, and that’s frustrating and is sucks. But what I want you to think about is this: Is telling yourself those mean things doing you ANY good? Like, any good? At all?
Do you think that maybe it will somehow motivate you? I know that’s what I thought. Call myself a fat shit will make me run faster…ummmm, no. It may have made me run faster but it also made me eat more….and like myself less.
What I think (and what do I know? But I’ll tell you my thoughts anyway) is that usually the ones who don’t really “get it”, just don’t buy into it yet. They don’t believe they can change. They don’t know how to or they just don’t want to.
And that is totally fine. I didn’t buy into it for years. We all have to find out own way, I completely understand that.
What I want for anyone reading this, who maybe feeling this way, is to just be a little bit nicer to yourself. I was such a bully to myself for so long, thinking that it would somehow make me do “better”. And for me, it just never worked. Try to catch yourself when you are being super negative and mean. Start to second guess those negative thoughts. Start to be AWARE of the conversations you have with yourself when you do things like look in the mirror, or get dressed….
I’m still a work in progress when it comes to this whole self- acceptance thing, but I can say with all honesty that I’ve done at least a 180 in the last year. I have a lot more compassion (instead of judgement) towards others, as well as myself, and I’m just overall a lot more aware and happier in my own skin.
I continue to read and educate myself so that I can hopefully pass along some insights to my clients and to you guys….my latest obsession? Erin Brown. I met Erin last week at the first ever Women’s Fitness Summit, but I had been a Facebook follower of her for some time. She is AMAZING…and she just came out with a book, which I bought immediately and then geeked out and sent her an email professing my obsession for her (totally normal, right?)…but, I’m gonna leave you with this from Erin’s book:
“Any habits you create in an effort to change your body so that you can elevate your worth, will come from a place of self-hate. Self-hate will not go away if you make a physical change (i.e., lose weight). What grows from love, though, remains in love.”
Pretty much sums it up right there, whether we want to admit it or not.
Thanks for reading my ramblings! Please feel free to email me if any of this resonates with you!
Talk to you soon!
I just want to say thank you again to everyone who took the time to email me, it really meant a lot!
***If you would like to be added to my email list, just enter your email below. As a Thank You, I will send you “Keri’s Kit” to living the lean life 🙂