Beautiful Like You

I’ve debated about writing this post. I’ve written it, deleted it, re-written it, saved it as a draft, and deleted it about a dozen times over the past several days. Even now I don’t exactly know how to start or how to get out everything I feel like sharing. As I type this I don’t even have a title yet! I started this blog to hold myself accountable. I’ve used it as sort of a fitness journal. Along the way, I’ve been told by my readers how my honesty has helped motivate them. Gradually my focus has been on inspiring others, even just one reader, while also writing for myself.

Life isn’t a fairytale, and we aren’t surrounded by rainbows, butterflies, and “fluff.” That isn’t to say that we don’t have moments that feel like everything is magical. But, rarely does anyone (including myself) truly talk about the bad days. After having Connor in 2007, I suffered from postpartum depression. Prior to my pregnancy, I was in excellent shape- if you looked at me. I was slender, hadย a flat stomach, a dark tan, huge blue eyes and long, blonde hair. Isn’t that what all the songs are about? Isn’t that how “girls” are supposed to look? Was I a strong woman? Not hardly. After Connor’s birth, I kept gaining weight. I started out at 145, weighed 186 the day of his delivery and years later my maximum weight was 216. I heard what people said about me, even if I pretended I didn’t. I do not have a problem with my hearing. I overheard many “whispered” conversations regarding my appearance. Some people were bold enough to say it to my face. I was asked if I was pregnant by strangers (5 years after having Connor). I’d tell family I was on a diet. Eye rolling would ensue and then brownies, cakes and pies would be baked to test me. I would fail every time. I had enough in 2012. I focused on me and became the person I knew was somewhere hidden under the weight, extra skin, cellulite and stretch marks. I wasn’t the tiny girl I formerly was either. Within a few, short months I was strong. I ran distances that I never thought possible. I was able to bench press, take fitness classes and lift heavy furniture with ease and without losing my breath.

ymca

The day I set my 5K PR. I weighed 155 pounds. When I started running I weighed 216 pounds.

You know what? Even then people had things to say about my body. “Whispered” conversations took place right in front of me. “She’s too little,” “She’s changed her looks for her husband” – ย folks, I heard it all. Again people would even say things to my face. “So and so is catching up to you” was probably my favorite. Another good one was people asking me what I weighed. I had no problem telling people because I wanted to show people that weight loss could be done without pills, pyramid schemes, starving yourself, etc. I’d tell people what they weighed only to hear what they weighed too, how they were trying to weigh my weight, and almost apologizing because they weren’t quite there. I got pregnant with Dawson in January of 2014. I gained 30 pounds and 6 months later it is all gone. Want to know what is crazy? People STILL have things to say about my body! I’m pretty happy that I’ve accomplished losing my baby weight in that amount of time. I was determined not to go down the same path I did with Connor-and I didn’t. My body has provided security and sustained the life of my babies. I have been near tears over the hurtful, horrible things that I’ve heard people say recently.

But, then I consider the source. I give them a smile and chuckle to myself because I remember that they have their own demons that they are fighting. People like to deflect so that they can temporarily ย forget their insecurities. Let’s face it, there are many people out there (especially women) who don’t like to see other people be happy.

mud run

I worked my butt off to get in shape for a local mud run. I had a blast an proved to myself what I strong woman I am!

I write this post to tell my readers that I know that people will be ugly to you. They will compete with you. Don’t give in to people with ugly hearts and dirty mouths. Be your own success story. Remember how far you have come and where you are trying to go.

better

Left: 2 weeks postpartum. Right: 6 months postpartum, weighing 40 pounds less.

I am happy in my skin. I am thrilled that I’ve lost my baby weight, am receiving sponsorships and have countless opportunities coming my way because of this blog. Those opportunities happen because not only do I have faith in myself, others have faith in me. Readers, I have faith in you. When people are ugly to you and say hurtful things, don’t get discouraged. DO NOT stop being you. Give them a reason to be envious. Make them want your self-esteem. Maybe then hearts will change, and instead of becoming ugly like them, they will become beautiful like you!

QOTD: What do you do when you hear people discussing your looks and weight? How do you stay motivated an self confident?

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2 thoughts on “Beautiful Like You

  1. I love this post for so many reasons, Lesley. As we’ve talked about off of our blogs, you know I appreciate honesty and not writing what we think others want to hear. And you’re right, we’re all our worst enemies, and we should never listen to the snarky comments that others have. Constructive criticism is one thing, but rude comments are an entirely different ballgame.

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