Several years ago (and this is no secret to anyone now, or anyone back then who’d seen pictures of me that I had irresponsibly posted), I had struggled with overdoing it on the cardio machines and simultaneously losing too much weight which then spiraled into a full-blown, raging exercise addiction and path of self-destruction. I still to this day have to fight off demons that tell me I don’t do enough somedays, but more often than not, now, I am at peace with my life in that aspect with the occasional rotten thought that pops up (typically on my rest days or days when working out just isn’t in the cards for me). I also have some pretty damn cool people in my life that will absolutely call me out on my B.S. and give me a swift kick in the ass if need be, I know a lot of people can relate to this phenomenon of never doing enough or not being able to keep up with the mold that society is trying to fit us all in. Next time you’re in the checkout lane at the grocery store, check out the cover of about 70% of magazines – or better yet, don’t. If you do, be prepared to be brainwashed into thinking that the “Formula To 6-pack Abs” and saying “Goodbye to Your Love Handles” is the secret sauce to the perfect body thus the perfect life. Your body is the vessel for your soul, do you really think that trying to attain outward perfection will grant you a perfect life as well? Yeah, I definitely used to and there are still times I compare myself to others, it’s normal, it’s ok, it’s human. It wasn’t until I discovered that my reasons for working out back then were not my own, but something that I had assumed would give me satisfaction in all the wrong ways, that I began to heal. I literally want to grab these magazines that I see, roll them up and beat all of the inanimate objects within a 20-ft radius of me. On the other hand, I still read some of them for the fashion and beauty advice; I only wish Women’s Health Mag had told me sooner that peppermint soap does not belong anywhere around your vagina unless you’re trying to have an in-shower Miley Cyrus-style dance flash mob. Excuse me while I take advantage of that BOGO deal on fire extinguishers at ACE Hardware.
The more and more I worked out and tried to control my body because it was the only thing – at that time – that I felt I COULD control, the more and more stressed out, manic, weak and defeated I felt. Both physically and mentally. Things in life that we can’t control aren’t going to magically work themselves out if we ignore them or (literally) run away from them. I began to let go of what was literally killing me and took the advice, love and support from the people in my life that deserved more of my energy, and stopped looking in the wrong places for ways to control my life. I had to take responsibility for my stressors instead of projecting them onto other things. Life is really effing hard sometimes, and even harder when you’re plastered with the highlight reel of others’ lives and seemingly perfect lives at that. Sorry, but they’re human just as much as I am, and I’m guilty of not realizing that sooner. I’m also guilty of shelling out advice and portraying exclusively the highlight reels of my life as well as being irresponsible in the way I shared my life. I don’t know what God has in store for me and the moment I let go of that desire to take constant control, humbling myself and admitting to my faults, things changed. You should never be embarrassed for struggling or dealing with life in a really screwed up way; we all do this at some point or another and this is ultimately how we strengthen ourselves, grow and learn not to suck so much. Humble yourself in front of God, admit your mistakes and move on. I’m not sharing this because I think I deal with my stress and life situations perfectly now, because I definitely don’t, I’m sharing this because I do still struggle and I know that others do too, but you are well-equipped with tactics to fight and strengthen yourself. Do not let your past hold you back. Let that be a place of reference, not presence.
At this moment in time – although I do plan on competing again in the future – my plans are simply to continue to explore myself and my body in terms of strength, confidence and fulfillment. Within the past year or so, a lot of things have changed in my life which has literally forced me to let go of a lot of things, including the control around my routine. I am grateful for this, my life is full and it’s exciting, but also makes me want to crap my pants at times, too. When I get into the gym, it’s typically for no longer than an hour and I do take 2-3 rest days a week depending on my schedule, sometimes more if I have a lot going on. I can post my workout split if anyone is interested, although I do share most of my lifts on Instagram. I sometimes ask myself how people I see on Instagram – or any social media for that matter – have as much time on their hands as they do to worry about such miniscule things as they do, or if they actually have five more hours in the day than I do lol; I have to also remember in those moments that its none of my business, really, and I should be grateful for the full, sometimes crazy life that I was blessed with, regardless of where I am being lead to place my energy. Instead of getting frustrated and talking sh!t about them (as much as my sinful soul wants to), I pray for them because I know they need God just as much as I do. Remember that you were not put on this earth to attain a body so that you can “love yourself”, you were put on this earth to respect a body that houses your soul so that you can share it with others, love them and live on purpose. Life is a beautiful mess yo, share that goodness, all of it. Matthew 22:37-39.
Any input is welcome, as always!
ps seriously, I know you want to wash your vagina with peppermint soap now, because you’re a human and humans are curious. But please, just don’t.