ONE shirt almost undid 7 weeks of hard work.
As I slid the beautiful white and blue plaid shirt, made of silk like material, I was delighted it fit. Sometimes it did, sometimes it did not. Today it did! This was a favorite shirt of mine and made me feel very pretty. I turned to look in the mirror and as my eyes looked at my trendy, super cute top and my heart plummeted to the floor.
My stomach was less than flattering. It looked as if the buttons were separating because of my well endowed chest. My backside, let’s not even mention the unpleasant action happening there.
The reality that 7 weeks of hard work was not making any progress on my physical shape was devastating. Throughout my 7 weeks of dedication I had good and bad days. I never beat myself up, it’s a normal part of the journey. The most important thing for me was to NOT give up on the workouts. To show up every week and get them done. I kept telling myself I would see progress.
Unfortunately I had painted a story in my head of what that “progress” would look like. As I stared in the mirror and saw a body STILL full of all the same unwanted curves, my world came crashing down. Water leaked from my eyes and feelings of complete and utter failure washed over me.
“I will never be healthy.”
“All my hard work was useless.”
“If I can’t do this, how can I teach my kids?”
My kids deserve better.
My husband deserves better.
What’s the point…..
…..and then. Yes. And then the thought I work SO hard to fight back every single day came crashing into my brain. “It would just be easier if….”
About 10 seconds later I began my mantra, “Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Not true. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it.” Yeah, it’s not very eloquent or pretty. But when I’m in the emotional throes of negative self talk, fancy, well thought out, classic words of inspiration are not for me. I need a seasoned, ruthless boxer to come in and KNOCKOUT my opponent, Satan.
There is no time for pretty quotes on well designed graphics, I’m in the fight for my life and I get scrappy.
While this moment would not have led to any life eliminating decisions that day; however, if I had let the conversation continue seeds of doubt and insecurity would have taken root next to the ones I’m already working to get rid of. My garden is full of unseen weeds, it’s important for me to boldly eliminate the ones I do see.
And all of this started with a shirt. A simple, cute, trendy shirt from Target.
My spiral happened so unexpectedly I knew it was important to be proactive about the next time. I took the shirt and put it on an open shelf in my closet and said, “One month. In one month I will try you on. Any other shirts that threaten my calm will go here too.”
Some of you may be thinking I should have gotten rid of it, and in two months if it doesn’t fit well, I will. (Update: I waited 6 months to try it on again. There was no way I was taking a chance with my mental heart.) I’ve already purged my closet twice and what is left are pieces that have fit sometime in the last three months. Working out does change your body and I’m in the first 6 months of consistent workouts, I must be kind and patient with myself. What fits well today may not fit well tomorrow and now I have a safe response if I am disappointed. Instead of being weary of the shirts in my closet I have a plan to navigate my wardrobe logically. This short term plan has taken the pressure off of making long term decisions over the 10 shirts I’ve chosen to be in my closet. This is not a perfect solution for all situations; however, for me, I am going to test it.
Articles of clothing should not have so much power. My expectations for a healthy physical appearance is a new trigger and I am in the process of developing a healthier response.
If you battle negative self talk I hope you found this note encouraging. Unexpected objects, words, and situations can trigger demons lying dormant inside of us. While I have hope that one day all these demons will be slain, let’s choose to stay vigilant and #fightforhope, everyday, everywhere; so that we may bounce back quicker and stronger when the attacks do come our way.
You’re not alone and while it takes work, it’s worth it to #fightforhope. We have a choice to RECLAIM our health journey. It does take commitment, I won’t lie, but the hopeful truth is the choice is OURS.
Before you go, let’s take one step together to reclaim our health. Wherever you are in your journey, pick ONE thing about your appearance you appreciate (nope, I didn’t say like, that means something else). What do you appreciate? Now fill in this sentence: In this moment I appreciate my body because _________________.