I am still working on wrapping my head around my FitBloggin experience almost a couple of weeks ago, but during my run a couple nights ago, I made it official: I quit.
Backing it up a bit…Before heading to Portland, there was plenty of chatter amongst the bloggers about logistics, packing, etc. My friend Alan commented that he wasn’t going to be packing any of his “safe” clothes. If you’ve lost any amount of weight, you know what that means. Yes, even with my 20 pound loss, I totally get it. He has made amazing progress and I was proud of him to not only put that bit of anxiousness out there, but for choosing to take the riskier route.
Later over the weekend, I pretty much chased down the amazing Kelly O, better known as Aunt Kelly to our FitFluential family. She cuts to the chase and is always reminding us to know our worth, be who we are, and is the biggest cheerleader, defender, and mama bear to our family.
After her return from Portland, she gave us another strong exhortation to be ourselves. Go read her post here and you can thank me later. The kick in the butt love that I need to remind myself of. Daily.
When you can shake off looking to others for approval, for advice on everything, for acceptance, for praise, for feeling happy– you will discover that you can head into your future fearlessly.
So back to my quitting on Monday night. I met up with the girls for our usual run at the park. It’s been toasty out – yes, I know I’m a total SoCal sissy when it comes to the weather, but 80+ at 5:30pm does nothing to make me want to run outside. I dropped Mr. Running It off at the gym and considered sticking with a run on the ‘mill, but knew that wasn’t the better choice, so I headed to the park and off we went for our run.
Mid way through my run, it clicked. All the people I got to meet at FitBloggin, all the lessons I’ve learned about myself over the past couple of years, all the progress I’ve made both physcially & mentally. I quit. I quit caring about about anyone else’s opinions of me. I quit caring about how much progress I have yet to make. I quit caring about what others think a “fit” body should look like. I quit thinking about my stretch marks that I have no control over. I quit thinking about the loose skin and the layer of fat I could feel bouncing with every step.
This progression has come slowly. Last year, I
quietly submitted a photo of What a Mother Runner Looks Like. Mini me snapped it in our bathroom, in the privacy of our home. At FitBloggin, I worked the runway all kinds of awkward strutted my stuff for a fashion show. Go figure, the outfit I was given exposed the one part of my body that I am most self conscious of.
Even with the kind words I heard, I had the continual gut suck going on. All. Day. Long.
On my run Monday night, however, I gave up. I shed my tank top and while I made sure to keep a tight core for my run, I was over it. I realized people were not turning away in nausea as I passed them by (dramatic much?). In fact, I was pretty invisible. Meh, maybe a few head turns, but I figured I either looked hot, or just looked hot. 🙂 Either way, ditching the tank was like shedding another layer of baggage. Seriously. I took a mile off my pace for each of the next two miles of our run. It was completely freeing and made for a glorious run in spite of the muggy air. This is me, unfiltered, and I have nothing to hide
other than my need for a tan to even out the many colors of the United Nations my body represents.
I came back and tried to explain my rambling thoughts to the girls, and put the challenge out there for them to either snap a sports bra picture to post, or go with me on a sports bra run. Some laughed, some considered, and some committed. My hope is that each of them – and you – will quit as well. Quit being self conscious, self deprecating, self loathing. Instead, celebrate the progress we’ve made in our respective journeys rather than getting stuck with how much further we hope to travel. Encourage one another rather than compare. See that YOU ARE WORTH IT. You are worth the effort, the work, the love – you are worth whatever the IT is that you think you don’t deserve. Stop looking so far into the future at your goals that you miss the beauty of how far you’ve come. TODAY. As cliche as it may sound, embrace who you are. You are uniquely you. You have a story, and it’s worth sharing.
Hi, my name is Melissa. I’m done hiding, so here I am looking exactly how I should. For today. Like you, I am a work in progress. This isn’t a fish-for-compliments-or-affirmations post. This is my journey and my life. I am running it, what about you?