Updated: Mar 31, 2020
This is my inner Brené Brown speaking right now because this isn’t anywhere close to being easy to talk about. This is me unfiltered. I could just say I did this, and not share the raw part, but I wouldn’t feel right. I committed to sharing ALL of my journey, authentically.
My “before” photo is on the left; and on the right is my “during”: 6.5 lbs lighter and stronger. I am calling it my during photo rather than my after photo because I am not done yet!
Sharing this much of me is not easy. In fact, it’s a little terrifying. When I first compared the images, it was a total mind-f*ck. And if it’s true that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour, this would be the beginning of the end for me.
Fortunately, I’m not playing that game anymore. I feel amazing. I feel my body changing daily. I feel the improved focus in my day and the mental stability that feeling physically fit brings. But, if I’m being totally honest, and I am because that’s how I’m rolling, I feel the picture doesn’t represent “the change” I feel inside, or on the outside. Which is what I mean by mind-f*ck. I’m not going to pretend I’m in love with this picture, because I’m not. I’m showing the real and raw me...No clothing to hide behind or enhance the way I look. Just me. And though I’m not in love with this picture right now - it’s just a picture, and I do love her...And she deserves my love, and my gratitude. Just as she is.
She is living her truth. She is showing up each day to work on herself, to continuously improve. She is not depriving or punishing herself if she enjoys something a little less healthy. She is truly loving life right now - hard as it may be right now in the throes of 2020’s drop-kicking the human collective into ascension.
She is making small but mighty choices each day. She is getting stronger in every way and believes in her worth, without having to prove anything to anyone, including herself. I am proud of her, truly.
This isn’t about being perfect; it’s about being real and authentic. That while I use all the courage I have to brave through it, I can feel good about. If we’ve learned anything from 2020 so far, it’s that there’s no more pretending. No more masks. Who we are at the core of our being is what matters more than anything. We don’t want the filtered, artificially enhanced or altered version of anything anymore. Or, at least I know I don’t.
I want to see the unfiltered versions of everyone. Raw and unfiltered. (ok, filters are sometimes fun on social media, but I’m taking grander scale here). I want to see raw emotion, especially in spaces where it has previously been pegged as taboo. We are here for such a very short time as it is, and while I am choosing to move away from lack-mentality on the whole, time is one thing that is limited from the moment we arrive here. There is no time to be wasted with covering up our imperfections, in any way. It isn’t easy to be so “naked” in front of the world. But we are all imperfect in some way, and most of us in many ways. So why can’t we just be and show up as we are, and brave through that fear?
Part of my growth has been to let go of the need for approval, from anyone. I lived much of my life to the standard - of achievement, success and life stages - that society agreed was acceptable, because somewhere I agreed to that too. But in hindsight I realize now that standard never aligned with my inner desires for myself. It never aligned with what lit me up, partially because I never learned to be guided in that way, and many of us haven’t. And by the way, that is no one fault; not our own or someone else’s. It really is a result of our programming that we don’t even realize is happening. But once you do know, you have a choice to either let it continue, or create a new path.
So as I have made my way along this path of self-acceptance, I have been acting from a place of courage in being transparent with my reality and how I’m feeling or what I’m going through. I can’t pretend something feels good or right if it doesn’t. I can’t pretend to be someone I’m not. I can’t pretend things are easy when they aren’t. I can’t pretend I am perfect when I’m not, and I can’t pretend that I am making no mistakes on this journey because I am. And while screwing up doesn’t feel good, it plays large role in my growth. Everything we aspire to be or goal we strive for comes with risk. Being myself and speaking my truth comes with risk. I’ve felt the burn of that risk many times, but it won’t stop me from being true to me. Without risk there is no failure, but there is also no success.
Through my own experience I’ve come to understand why many of us pretend to be someone we are not. Essentially, or perhaps, it is because we feel a sense of unworthiness around succeeding at life as we are naturally, our unfiltered versions, so we act and pretend to be someone we are not and jump through all the hoops even when we don’t want to and 20 years later (or more) we realize we aren’t even happy because we are so detached from who we really are. We mask to cover up the pain of that detachment, with consumption: shopping, food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, our phones, etc., and we become dependent on those things to cope with our day to day; this mask we created by tuning out and away from who we truly are in order to be accepted and prove our worthiness.
I, myself, am done with all of that. I’m done having to prove anything, to anyone, including myself. Living my life with various masks has done some damage to my body that it didn’t deserve. I am repairing. I am restoring. I am coming home to my self... and I am worthy.
So why am I even doing this you may ask? I’m doing this because I get to choose how I show up in this evolving world. I’m doing this because I deserve to care for myself in this nurturing way; feeding and strengthening my physical body, this vessel that is method of travel on this journey so I can have the means and the foundation to express myself in my truest form and live my purpose. I’m doing this because I want to help others who are realizing they too want to make a different choice in how they show up, I’m how they care for their body, mind and spirit. I’m helping others as I learn myself, and like I said at the begging, it’s not always going to be pretty, but it’s going to be real. We are all in this together.