Guest Post: The Reality Of Learning To Love Yourself

Good morning!! How was your weekend?? I promise I will be back to regular posting tomorrow (and with some pics). The houseboat vacation on the lake was amazing though!

By the way, our giveaway winners are:

#37, #10, #42 and #16

Andrea P, [email protected], [email protected] and Alex @RunWithin. Congrats!! (All winners will be emailed today).

Alright, in the meantime, I have another amazing lady here for you :) Here is Theresa!

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The Reality of Learning to Love Yourself

Hi Everyone! I feel so honored to be writing a guest post for Annette! I love her blog so much because of her honesty and infectious positivity. Its hard not to smile whenever I read one of her posts. :)

I relate to her posts so much because I also have struggled with eating disorders and over-exercising but I’m recovered and in such a happier place now! It was a LONG journey to get there though…and I’ve experienced extremes in many different ways.

{Theresa}

I was very overweight for most of my life; it felt like it was all I knew for so long. I hit my highest weight at 22, when I realized that I was almost 400 pounds. I was an emotional eater and I had no clue when it came to proper nutrition/exercise. I was so unhappy that I didn’t care and it was a vicious cycle of eating because I was sad and sad that I was so overweight.

{before, on the left}

I dreamt of one day being skinny, fitting into “normal” people clothes and having confidence about my body. I was convinced I would love myself if I could just lose all of my weight. I thought being skinny would be the thing to make me truly happy.

I decided enough was enough and that I was determined to lose all of my weight. I started off on the treadmill in my parents basement, walking for an hour each day. I also began paying closer attention to what I was eating and those simple changes at first showed results, weight starting falling off pretty quickly!

After 2 months of doing that, I signed back up at my local gym and began doing different cardio and weight machines. I kept seeing the weight fall off and it made me more motivated to keep at it. In the first year, I had dropped over 100 pounds.

Obviously, as I got smaller, my weight loss was slowing down. I began exercising more and eating less and less. No matter how hard I worked and how much weight I lost, I couldn’t look in the mirror and be happy. I just kept seeing how much MORE weight I had to lose (even though I was starting to look VERY thin). It got to the point where I’d get dizzy spells from not eating enough, I wasn’t getting my period regularly and I was obsessed with every calorie I was putting into my mouth—I had crazy food rules for myself. I can honestly say that I was just as unhappy at my skinniest as I was at my heaviest.

My weight loss stalled and as I started doing more and more research, I realized this was because I was under-nourishing myself. I was starting to get more and more into running but I quickly discovered I did not have the energy to sustain those kinds of workouts without changing my diet. I began slowly adding more and more calories and my body was thankful :)

I eventually put back on around 10 pounds and that was OK with me…it was obvious my body needed it! I felt more energetic, my cycle stabilized and I didn’t feel like I was starving constantly. Even though I was finally letting go of some of my food issues, I was still so unhappy emotionally and I couldn’t figure out why. I was engaged to a man that I had been with for several years already—he was with me at my biggest and at my smallest. But deep down, I knew that he was not the one I was supposed to be with. I beat up on myself so much and he just…didn’t care. I finally broke it off with him but felt myself slipping into emotional turmoil. I was still running and although it helped, I was depressed.

I met Kevin during that time and he was in a dark place too, albeit with different issues involving drinking. I was able to actually let loose with him, in that I wasn’t AS obsessed with my workouts and my eating. I think I really needed that in a way.

Eventually, we were both able to conquer our demons together.  I stopped counting calories completely. I instead have learned to just rely on eating when I’m hungry and making sure that my choices are balanced. Are some days better then others? Sure! But as long as I eat healthy more then unhealthy, I know that I’m fine. I’m still a passionate runner to this day, but I don’t run for the calorie burning aspect of it…I run because I LOVE it!

{now}

Two and a half years later, Kevin and I are still together. He quit drinking and I began to learn to love myself, taking it day by day. I’ve learned so many things throughout my journey so far but that has been the hardest one. Loving yourself is something that I think we all struggle with.

For me, loving myself has been embracing the fact that I will never be perfect and that the image of perfection that we might have in our heads is not the key to our happiness. In fact, that image is distorted because of what society tells us is perfect. I love my curves. I love nourishing myself with healthy and sometimes unhealthy foods. 😉

I love running because it makes me feel mentally, emotionally and physically strong. I don’t see the point in wasting my days looking in the mirror and being negative about myself. I won’t lie, I still struggle sometimes. Of course there are times that negative voice pops up in my head telling me that “I’m too fat, I’ll never be good enough”, but I quickly tell myself to shush. I let my positive voice take over and say to myself “I am beautiful, I am strong, and I am AWESOME!”

Let your positive voice take over…because we are all so wonderful and unique in our own ways. Give yourself some love every single day, I promise, life is so much happier and full of joy that way :)

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Beautiful! Thank YOU Theresa! Check this lady out. She is inspiring :)

Have a great day, you all!

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Comments

  1. Great story! Glad to hear you are doing so well now! :)

  2. You have an amazing and inspiring story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  3. Beautiful story, can’t believe i won!

  4. What an inspirational story! So excited I won!!

  5. Congrats on all of your accomplishments!!! 😀 You are amazing! Thank you for sharing this beautify story of triumph!

  6. Very inspirational story

  7. Kudos to you for being healthy and gorgeous!

  8. Runtothefinish says:

    Runnung has definitely helped me love my body. It makes me proud of what it am do

  9. kristle says:

    this is a really inspiring story, as i deal with the same issues. thank you so much for sharing! the end made me tear up a little bit. congratulations on finding that happy place, i will think of your advice when i’m struggling to love myself day to day!

  10. WOW! Such a GREAT GREAT testimony, Theresa! I never really knew this much in-depth information about your story, but I’m so thankful that I caught up on Annette’s posts! You’re a gorgeous woman, inside and out! Keep up the great work :)

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