I didn’t start my fitness journey to lose weight. I’ve never had an eating disorder. I’ve never felt like I had a true voice in the fitness community because of these two factors. That might sound dramatic to you, but if you’re in the fitness industry you know these are commonly the catalyst for change.
So if you’ve come here looking for the perfect body… SPOILER ALERT. It doesn’t exist. Our bodies are amorphous.
My body is pretty freakin’ incredible (SO IS YOURS.) But I’m 28 now, my metabolism ain’t what it used to be, I get hungover from one glass of wine, the nail lady asks me if I want to wax my lip (ummm.. I don’t think I need to?) and here I am owning the shit out of being a millennial 20 something- with an online side hustle, an equal love for fitness and spirituality, a bad case of wanderlust and a not so traditional journey to a healthy life.
I am proud of my body. I have always had a pretty healthy relationship with my body but I definitely went through a phase in college with the thinner the better mentality. I restricted calories and did boat loads of cardio and thought that’s exactly what it meant to be healthy. I felt like I got judged for being “naturally skinny” and I was definitely influenced by the culture of criticism that women that age have regarding their body. I also abused my body with typical college antics, heavy drinking and late night pizza fests. I didn’t have a good sleep routine or really know why my exercise was such an important component of my life.
Today I am proud of who I am. Yes, I can say openly that means I am proud of what I look like but mostly I am proud of what I feel like. This has not been an easy journey. No I didn’t want to lose weight but I did need to rework my relationship with food, exercise, alcohol and drugs and most importantly my mental health. This year I did the hardest 13 week workout program I have ever done and I shared every step of the journey. Afterward I felt a bit of burn-out and started to question why I started this journey and what level of discipline and commitment I felt was the most suitable for my overall health and happiness. I think we should ALL constantly question ourselves in a few ways. Why am I doing this? Is it making me happy? Am I getting results? Am I enjoying my life?
In June I was gifted an incredible secret location branding photoshoot by a fellow entrepreneur I met in an online blogging community. When I did this photoshoot I was not at my leanest and meanest. It was on the tail end of the 4 months I spent in limbo in America waiting for my visa for the U.K. to be approved.I traveled for 6 weeks straight. I celebrated life. I drank cocktails and ate donuts and I definitely had more than my fair share of treat meals. I won’t lie to you, I went from the physical best shape of my life after the 3 month intense program to a serious “YOLO” period (as I lovingly call it.)
When I got the pictures back I started to pick out flaws and “softer bits.” Man..I used to have muscle there! I’ve had better abs. I just look the same I’m not making gains. Even though I love myself. Even though I know that my physical aesthetic has nothing to do with my actual health and strength and happiness. It is deeply ingrained in us to criticize our perception of our appearance and compare it to our former selves, our #bodygoals or just imaginary ideals we have constructed.
But I quickly stopped and I looked at the strength. The confidence. The lack of makeup. The light in my eyes. It is not my goal or desire to be “stage ready” 365 days a year. It’s not my goal to ever be stage ready. These pictures have captured me doing things I love, being free from what I think I “should” look like for a photoshoot. And please don’t get offended, telling me I look great or you don’t see it. The point is we ALL see the flaws in ourselves that no one else would dream of picking out. We may start to pick them out but we also have the power to stop those thoughts dead in their tracks.
If you’re after the quickest way to lose body fat and shred your stomach… you’ve come to the wrong place. Of course, fitness is a huge part of my life. I am so passionate about it and genuinely enjoy my lifestyle. I love helping others get into a sustainable fitness routine & nutrition plan. But I like wine. I like Netflix. I love traveling. I love family dinners. I love the freedom to eat as I please and not track it. I love choosing a social event instead of staying in and hitting my macros. I love the freedom to put living at the forefront of my to-do list and not just living that looks good on my Instagram feed. Our lives are the moments that don’t make it. The late night chats and the early morning kisses. The baby giggles and the inside jokes. The workouts that bring you to tears and give you the biggest rush of endorphins that make you believe you’re unstoppable. How do you track that?
I didn’t realize how much pressure women put on themselves and their appearance until I started using my social media platforms to share myself and my journey openly. I help women every day to love and accept themselves but that doesn’t mean we all don’t still struggle watching our body take on different forms. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel like I “have to” always be in the best shape of my life. I feel like I have to continually get more toned & build muscle & a booty & get RESULTS. My physical shape is and always will be a byproduct of my commitment to overall health and wellbeing. I don’t want a six pack for my social media photoshoot. I want endurance to climb mountains and chase my niece and nephew. I want strong arms to lift boxes and move things around my apartment without asking for help. I want a big booty because I can fly up flights of stairs without complaining and because let’s be honest… I just feel sexy with some curves. It’s more than okay to have physical goals but try not to make them physical appearance goals. Get to the root of it.
When you reach that dream body and aesthetic, you’ll see it quickly fades, shifts and fluctuates because we are human and that’s what bodies do. From a business standpoint “toning up” sells, “losing weight” attracts but listen, those may very well be the byproduct but I’m not selling you anything. I’m here to SHOW YOU and TEACH YOU a sustainable lifestyle. An open invitation to a COMMUNITY that is focused on self-improvement. I can guarantee physical results if you follow the simple formula but I can also GUARANTEE it will be so much MORE than that. I refuse to chase aesthetic. You WILL see me change and grow muscle, tone up, and occasionally pack on “happy pounds.” My physical form will change a lot but I’m here to remind you that’s natural, beautiful and necessary. If you’re here to make HEALTH the center of your LIFE so you have more life to live, adventures to take, passion to spread and new friends to meet then my friend you have come to the right place.
Our body is a beautiful vessel that houses our true essence– our spirit. When we take care of our insides and outsides together– true health and happiness can occur. You are more than your body and so am I. If you gain anything from this I hope it’s a sense of acceptance for yourself and your ever changing form. It’s nice to look aesthetically fit, toned and strong but it’s more important to actually BE those things and BE the person you know you want to be deep down in your soul. You can do it and I can help. We are all in this thing together.