DO NOT even ask me where I come up with my titles, lol. I can't even begin to write until there's a title up there. Anyone else? Sometimes I try to just write and tell myself, "I can come back to a title later." But it OCD's the hell out of me out if it doesn't go in order. So the general outline I'm going with here today is that I wanted to share a little story about WHY I share all this overly TMI stuff in regards to my food and fitness journey. I know for sure there are people out there who probably wonder, "WHAT THE HELL is her deal?!" I realize that I do treat my Instagram as a bit of a diary (not really though, if you read my diary it's waaaay less entertaining) and it is weird, okay...I know that, but there's a reason why.
So sure, I could be on this health journey all by myself, privately, completely offline...and maybe I would be okay. But maybe not. In fact, probably not. Not saying that it's impossible, but I think it's rare. (Maybe not the online part, but rare that you can do it alone.) I started documenting mine online because A) I have a blog where I write about my feelings and my life, so duh. And B) because I joined a group of girls where we connected through social media to do it together and cheer each other on. (Internet for the win, lol.) So it only made sense to. AND no it wasn't easy at first. It still isn't. It might never be. That first day I talked on Instagram about how I was joining Beachbody and why, I felt like a huge and total loser. I felt like I was admitting that I wasn't okay. Which doesn't feel okay, you know? But at the same time, it also felt really freeing to be able to admit that. I wasn't okay. And I wasn't pretending to be anymore. I joked around a lot, here and there, about being addicted to sugar and things like that because for some reason that makes it feel not real. If we all joke around about how bad we eat, it's like we're not really admitting if it's true or not? (Does that make sense?) So in a way I was admitting I had a problem long ago, I just disguised those admissions as jokes. (See here for a perfect example.)
Surprisingly, I got feedback almost immediately from people about how they could relate. (I also got a lot of "but what are you trying to fix?" jabs, but that's not what I'm focusing on here today.) And I was like, "wow...maybe I'm not alone in this?" Because for the longest time, I kept alllll my little demons a secret. I felt like everyone else was fine and I must be the only one in the world who had food issues and couldn't make myself go to the gym and felt crazy unhealthy inside my seemingly healthy body. But turns out, that's not the truth. There are plenty of other people who were in the same boat as me, just no one talks about it. Which is probably normal, lol. Who in their right mind goes around talking about their problems all the time online? BUT, I think it's good that some of us do...
And here's why. So I ran a clean eating group a while back, some of you may have even been in it, but it had like, 30 something people in it. Some were active and engaged in the group, and some weren't. (It was really fun by the way I plan to do another one soon!) This was...back in April, so I was really surprised to get a message from a friend - two months later! - who was in that group, basically thanking me for changing her life. NOT KIDDING. I was like, "um wait what, me??" And the reason I was so surprised was because she was one of the ones who wasn't posting in the group so I assumed she probably didn't participate, or that I was completely unhelpful to her. A lot of people asked to be in the group and then I never heard from them again, so I also sort of assumed some people were there just to secretly make fun of me or something. Which I'm okay with, it's fine lol. But she said this to me completely out of nowhere and made my heart just about burst...
"I've started to eat better and live healthier, and for that I am so thankful."
You guys. I couldn't believe someone would thank ME for doing that. ME?! Who's just figuring all this stuff out myself. Me, who is NOT NOT NOT an expert in anything. Me, who rambles on and on about my own life and my own problems...kind of selfishly. Me, who panics every time before I post something like, "why am I even sharing this? No one gets it. I'll never help anyone." But this is why. People are watching and people do get it and maybe we're all just looking for someone to open up first and lead the way like, "hey I don't know how all the answers, but I'm gonna try so let's do this." Maybe that sounds a little like "would you jump off a bridge if _______ did?" But I know I had the courage to start out on this journey because I watched someone else go first, so that's why I keep going. That's why it's important to me to keep sharing, even if it borders on being seriously TMI.
AND not only that, but I got two other messages the same week of girls thanking me too. One was a complete and total stranger. It blows my mind that someone would take the time to thank me for being a total weirdo and admitting that eating is hard. And not only am I getting these messages, but I've also become like everyones "person" to talk about food and fitness with. I have friends now who will snapchat me pictures of them running because they hate it too, but they're doing it anyways. Or of them packing their food because they work at a resturuant and they need to be prepared or else they'll eat the dessert tray. I am in contact ALL DAMN DAY with so many girls cheering them on, or just listening to their problems and telling them IT'S OK.
It's honestly the most incredible and most fulling "job" I've ever had. Job is in quotations because while yes, I have a tiny little title now as a "coach," it seems crazy to call it a job because I'm doing it because I want to, not because I need to. (Although I do need it for myself.) AND yes, I have made some money from it and I'd love love love to make this coaching thing into a sustainable career, but I am NOT in it for the money. Half the people I "coach" have not paid me a dime and I am more than cool with that. If you emailed me right now admitting your struggles, I'd stop everything and write you a novel back telling you IT'S OK. I think I've always naturally been this way, but I never had a way to USE it. So this whole coaching thing is, I feel is just like in my DNA and I'm SUPER into it.
Gonna stop now before this post goes in a whole other direction lol, but the point is. Yes it's very awkward and uncomfortable at times to open up about myself and my past and my journey, but it's allowing others to have the courage to begin theirs, so it's all more than worth it. So if you've ever wondered what the hell my deal is, that's it.
What I've realized through this experience so far, is that no one can do this alone. You just can't. Whether you go to crossfit (lots of crossfit friends here) or you have a running buddy, or you workout at home alone with an online accountability group, we all need back up. And a lot of us need an example to follow. A leader to say "let's do this" and a tribe behind us cheering us on while we go. I never ever in a million years would have considered myself the leader type before this - I've even answered no to this question many times in interviews - but in this case I will be. I can't explain it, but I have this deep instinctive feeling that I need to be. Which is really crazy because given my history I should not be leading ANYONE on anything food or fitness related, I also know that it's the exact reason I can be.
And is it hard to keep posting weird shit? Yes. But I think it's important. I decided it's a "movement" I want to be a part of and I keep getting these little signs that I'm onto something so I'm going to keep going. Just yesterday this same girl sent me a picture of herself and said, "before I would never wear shorts! Thanks to you now I do!!" (+ emojis of hearts, lol.) I have done nothing for her to be thanking me for besides being vulnerable in my postings and trying to spread positivity and lead by example. Truly, nothing has ever made my heart feel so full.
I know I said I was going to focus this week on telling "my story" but honestly, I haven't even started yet because it's going to be hard. So fair warning (no one cares, but just in case) I might have to unplug a bit to really get it out. It's 28 years of suppressed feelings and memories and emotions to sort though, and it'll feel so good to let out...but the process of figuring out how certain things got to certain points is going to be a lot emotionally. And it's going to be REALLY scary to share. If I panic before posting a paragraph on Instagram about how upset I am over eating ice cream, then writing about how I ate half a carton of ice cream one time, threw it up into a bag while John was in the shower and then walked it out to the dumpster is going to really throw me into a panic. My heart's beating a million miles a minute just typing that sentence, but I'm going to fight the urge to delete it. It's a start..
SO, I'm going to get working on that. Not only for myself and my own therapy, but for others because it turns out being vulnerable about our own struggles opens up the door and invites others to safely say..."hey, me too." (Going back to make that my cover photo ASAP.)