Throw Your Chains Away and Be Well!

As I was going through my computer, I found this that I wrote in 2012. Please take a few minutes and read it. It speaks so true to so many women.

Throw Your Chains Away

No carbs. No sugar. Counting calories. Counting points. P90X. Sweatin’ to the Oldies (ha!). Supplements. Slim Fast. At some point in your life, I’m sure you’ve tried something to try to drop a few pounds – a diet, the newest workout fad, the latest get-fit-quick trend. I’ve done it. Keep reading.
When I really think back, my weight issues began at an early age. I remember back to elementary school and I was the one who would only wear one-piece bathing suits at the pool while my friends walked around fearlessly in their cute, two-piece swimsuits. I longed for the day that I could go try one on and feel good in it. I was always a normal, healthy weight and never considered medically “overweight,” but in my mind I was constantly telling myself that I was.

Then middle school and all the things that come along with puberty. Everything got bigger…and so did my clothes. Even though I was active in multiple sports, I couldn’t take the weight off. My mom would try diets and I would follow her lead. I would do 100 crunches in my bedroom just hoping I would be ready for the two-piece swimsuit by summer. Going to sports physicals with my friends was mortifying when I was step on the scale and my number was higher than my best friends number. It wasn’t that I was overweight or obese, but I was bigger than most of my girlfriends. I was bound and chained down to comparison.
High school rolled around and I was still trying to lose weight. I thought I had to cut out a certain food group or run until I puked (I hated running), basically I just thought I had to follow a certain plan to drop the pounds. When I wasn’t dropping pounds I would get frustrated, I even tried using not-so-safe supplements and was on the path to a dangerous eating disorder. My self-esteem was at the bottom of the barrel. Then, one day, it clicked. I started running with a friend, enjoying the sport I was involved in, packing healthy lunches, and just eating better in general. I felt better, I looked better, and I was healthy inside and out. I was free. I was free from the bondage of feeling bound to a diet or an exercise program I didn’t enjoy. I was free from the number on the scale. My chains were starting to fall off.
In college, I took up running and strength training and actually enjoyed it, so I decided to train for a half-marathon. Who would’ve thought that girl whose only goal all through grade school was to fit into a two-piece bathing suit would be able to take control of her life and run a half-marathon? Well, I did it! And I cried at the finish line because in that moment I felt all of those years of low self-esteem and hating myself fall from my shoulders. I was in control and I was a strong, healthy woman who could conquer anything.
I’ve told you my story because I don’t want you to be in bondage to comparison, a strict diet, an exercise program you hate, or to dangerous supplements. Empower yourself by learning ways to eat right and do it. Find an exercise that you enjoy and do it. Don’t compare yourself to others because you are YOU, unique and wonderfully made. Love and respect yourself and your body enough to live healthy. Whatever is holding you back or keeping you from really living…throw those chains away. Freedom is wellness.

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