Learning To Appreciate Yourself At Any Size

As I share what I’ve learned and continue to learn on my own transformation journey, one of the things that is most important to me is to be authentic. That means I share the low points and struggles along with the highs and successes.

Getting up on stage in a Master Figure competition at 63 years young in November of 2022 was definitely a high point. Following that “high”, I had to purposely regain weight after spending 40 years trying to lose it! While I did that, very slowly, with the guidance of my coach, I ended up gaining about 15 lbs more than I initially planned.

As those of you who have followed me on Instagram for a while know, as I’ve written about this before, being in my current body has, at times, been a struggle. Even though I know for a fact that I am substantially stronger than I was when I got up on stage AND I’m 2 inches smaller around my waist and hips (and an inch smaller around the thigh), I found myself much more self critical of how my body looked. I had to really spend some time thinking about why I felt that way.

What I realized was that after spending decades chasing that elusive “skinny body”, to finally achieve it, even knowing intellectually that it is not sustainable if I want to be healthy, it was very hard to give up that vision and that reality! That is the emotional response to achieving this “unattainable” goal. The other side, the rational response, is knowing that “stage weight” is not sustainable if you want to have a healthy, strong body. I do want that and know its what is better for me, so I have made a point of focusing on the positives of this larger, stronger, healthier body.

I have now reached a point where I love that I am continuing to get stronger, that I get to eat about double the number of calories I ate, on average, for 4 DECADES, and have still maintained the lowest body weight I’ve maintained as an adult.

My point is this: a transformation is an ongoing process. Its both mental and physical and we continue to grow in both as long as we are open to change and to examining our limiting beliefs.

I can look at the picture above and finally acknowledge I look better now – I am in a healthier stronger body, and I am am grateful. We’ll see how my second cut goes when I start my prep to get back on stage on November to celebrate my 65th birthday. Stay tuned!

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