When I started my own fitness journey it stemmed from a lot of confusion within me. I realized how unhappy I was. I had been treated poorly, I felt gross in my own skin, and I wanted to be a better athlete. I remember looking in the mirror and feeling disgusted. Some days I didn’t feel this way, which is when it hit me that a HUGE part of my journey was the emotions driving me. It is not that I was super overweight or weak or had chronic health problems. I never could get comfortable in my own skin. I was extremely depressed and had no explanation for that either. I was afraid of myself and I was not proud of my body.
I was aware of the unhealthy choices I had been making that were not only mindless but empty and did not serve me anything except for more emotions. Food was not something I deep down saw as fuel or health, I just saw food I wanted to eat because I was bored or because it was easy to grab or because it was justifiably healthy on the lowest justifiable scale you could have. Basically, it was the easy route to just eat what I could find when I could. Keep in mind I wasn’t eating a ton of junk food all day, I was aware of a lot of my choices but I had no system, I had no deep belief in what food could do for me. I say it wasn’t deep because I never acted on the thoughts in my head saying ‘this is not a smart choice’, ‘this will not serve you’, ‘this will add to your problem’. I only justified my choices.
It was not until I realized how confused and uncomfortable I was in my skin did I decide to change. I really felt like a big lump. I knew I was not necessarily as fat, large, sluggish, gross, as I told myself and believed I was, however, I am glad I changed. I began working out extra outside of Volleyball. I made it a consistent part of my routine to perform HIIT every day. I made sure I was more conscious of my eating habits without necessarily tracking everything that went into my body. I began to see changes. Then I was inspired by the fit, athletic, strong bodies I saw on social media. I was still on my own journey making guesses and seeing what was working for me. I did all my workouts from home and some from the park or outside. I used what I could, since I had no gym membership. I was so proud of myself, I began feeling AMAZING even before my body began changing, I realized, again, I felt more amazing about myself making these changes and taking this responsibility than I felt about my body. I began loving myself and seeing my worth. Even though I was still a bit lost in my mind, changes were happening and I was proud of myself for COMMITTING to me, I truly started feeling love for myself.
I had always known I am a leader, I am strong, I am capable, I am athletic, but I did not always know just what I could truly do for the way I felt. This inspired me, so I began reading every day on methods and choices and benefits of certain foods and harms of certain foods and routines. I began educating myself. With this, came some overwhelm and inspired action. I then hired the woman whose body inspired me the most on social media. Having a coach taught me so much. She was an online trainer, which is ironic because now I am a kick ass online coach. But anyways, she gave me the tools I needed to eat better and exercise properly for my goals. By this time I had gotten a job to pay for my gym membership (seriously the job paid for it).
After I finished her journey with her I had developed this immense love and passion for fitness and following a regimen. I realized it fell more into my patterns of life and the way I operated at my highest level than anything else did like I was functioning through life before. However, I noticed no one ever focused on truly developing the tools needed to love oneself. I began changing my ways, reading about it, learning about it, and getting in touch with myself. Why did I feel how I did? Why was I questioning my worth? Why was I drawing shitty treatment into my life? Why was I unsure of what I wanted? What did I want? Again, even with all the fitness in the world, and all the results I had, and all of the healthy choices I could make, I still struggled with my self-confidence and body image mostly.
I had lost sooo much fat and was feeling awesome, then I started gaining a lot of muscle, and felt strong, then I realized I was still experiencing doubts and feelings of hurt surrounding my body. I did not like feeling this way since I knew how much I was working on changing my body. I knew deep down my body was fine. It was me, my soul, my inner beliefs and workings of the mind that needed help now, they needed development, they needed to be treated differently. I started using affirmations, and positive self-talk. I listened to my thoughts and feelings surrounding my body and learned to address them better. I stopped allowing myself to fall into unhealthy patterns of putting myself down.
AHA fitness is nothing without total wellness. It is about more than building just a body. It is about working on the mind, it is about each of the 7 dimensions of wellness, it is about being in touch with your soul and your mind and your feelings about yourself. Fitness can’t just show up in your life and change everything without you changing your mind. I was incredibly proud of the work I did on my body, I was incredibly proud of the changes I made and still sustain. But the one thing I neglected, was actually me. Deep down, I am me. I am the girl who decided she was worth more, deserved more, and had to be better, and needed to change. I decided I was worth committing time, effort, money, and changes. I decided I was this amazing athlete, with incredible dreams and aspirations, with immense drive and passion, I am not the skin on my bones or the muscles in my body. I am not the speed I can run, or the mountains I can climb, I am not the hair on my head or the polish on my nails.
I am me, I am me regardless of the skin I wear. I am influenced by the choices I make, but they do not make me, I make them and then they help me to grow and learn. My muscular frame doesn’t make me mentally strong, building it did. My keys to fat burn didn’t make me feel empowered, my choice to burn fat and learn empowered me. So all along, it was never truly about having the muscles, or the fat, it was about me, being in touch with me, me loving myself deep down, me deciding I was worth the change.
My inner self, in that moment of complete despair, disgust, disappointment, and disbelief, DECIDED to change, DECIDED I was worthy, DECIDED I deserved more. I did not need muscles or a sexy body to tell me that. I KNEW that committing to better my health, fitness, and wellness would change me, change my life, and change how I saw myself. I was always a bad ass, I was always strong and powerful, I was always full of willpower, I was always able to commit, I was already dedicated, I already had all of this within me. Building my body is what revealed this to me.
Build More than Just a Body is about understanding and being comfortable with yourself at a soul level. It is about trusting who you are without having everything you desire yet. You can’t have abs if you do not feel you deserve them. You can’t have a strong frame if you can’t decide you are worth committing to making one. You just can’t have a nice body and feel good about yourself. One must be inspired by themselves, their current situations, their emotions to decide it is time for a change. Whether that change stems from wanting a hot body or not, it does not matter.
Because building more than just a body is about peeling back the layers. Why do you want to be healthier? 'Because I don’t want x.' Why don’t you want x? 'because of y.' Why is y bothering you? 'Because I don’t feel good in my own skin', ahhh there it is. Why don’t you feel good in your skin? 'Because I look in the mirror and can only see fat, 'because I look in the mirror and see a sad future, because I look in the mirror and feel disgusted, because I look in the mirror and and and…' SO why does it bother you that you feel that way? 'Because that is not ME, that is not WHO I am, that is not who I want to be or who I planned to be, that does not represent ME.' Powerful.
Build More than Just a Body is truly about loving oneself before change occurs, so when change comes it can be received better, it can be sustainable, and it can come without a physical attachment.
Build More than just a Body is truly about Building a Relationship with Yourself and Loving every minute of it. Understanding that the reason you want change, is because you see and believe you deserve it. A better body will make you happier, building it will give you a different level of strength and confidence in your abilities and develop aspects of character which you may not have realized you had within you yet, but accepting and loving your body in all its forms will allow you to continue to build it, chip away at it, add to it, fuel it, work it, and push it, without feeling an attachment only to the aesthetic and physical aspect of it. Tapping in to all levels of your heart, soul, emotion, and energy while committing to what it takes to build your figure and understanding the way it will change you internally and externally and being able to sustain this level of belief in change through loving and appreciating oneself is what Building More than Just a Body is about.