How do you identify who you are? How did you become you? What makes you special?
Is it what you do with your life or does it come from what you hear from others?
Are you happy with yourself? Are you growing? Are you stuck? Will you leave a mark in this world.
All questions I’ve asked myself within the past year. They are difficult questions to process. Definitely no clear cut answer.
I’m learning more and more everyday. With all my self doubt there has been many tears. I proclaim that I don’t care how others see me… and in a way I don’t. Physically, I really don’t. I haven’t in a long time. I don’t care if I come across as the big chubby girl or the thin exercise addict. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m not sure what has gotten me to that point. I guess it’s because I know myself better than anyone else does. I know the hard work that I do to keep my body healthy. I fight to stay healthy everyday in order to control my PCOS. I don’t diet. I control my choices. Don’t get me wrong, though, there were many times in my life where I haven’t felt comfortable in my own skin. Society gears women to focus on their body image and it enters every aspect of your life. I, like many women, felt uncomfortable with my body as early as 7th grade… having to weigh in for the nurse in front of all the other girls in my class…. knowing I was the heaviest of the small group. Funny thing was I wasn’t huge. I was taller than most of them but that one day scarred me enough to be self conscious about it. I was a three sport athlete in high school.
Active, but still never feeling up to par. I worked hard for years and couldn’t understand the chub that I had. I was always fully aware of it and compared myself the girls I thought were “healthier” and thinner. Odds are they weren’t healthier because I would see them eating the same as I did. Just good genetics. It still hurt. It caused me to become shy and quiet. I never felt up to par. Some of my male coaches would make a random comment here or there about “getting into shape” and it would sting because I knew I was working harder than most and my body wouldn’t show it. My self worth was based on words. It’s disheartening and I’m determined to protect my own daughters from that pain…. but can I? I can only show them to be proud of their bodies by example. So I do. Everyday. I do it for my son, too. Momma bear trying to protect her cubs.
My journey has lead me through many roads. I’ve studied hard in school and have two college degrees in both Physical Education and Health. Things I’m passionate about but I tell you I did wonder as I taught if I was viewed as the “fat” teacher even though I didn’t feel like it. I was definitely uncomfortable in my own skin daily because I had no idea even with all this endless knowledge why my body didn’t respond the way others would to exercise. Now we fast forward to 25 and I finally learn why… metabolic issues. Suddenly I feel frustrated and relieved all at once. I have no backing from my doctors because they don’t know what to do to help me. I learn and teach myself that following a low-gi diet is the way to go. Essentially treating myself like a diabetic. It helps immensely. I find a personal trainer and I kick some ass. I finally am able to drop some weight and become what has been referred to as “Skinny Ginny”. I used to love that term but after three kids and a struggle to take off weight every time post-pregnancy, it doesn’t mean the same to me as it used to. I longed to be “Skinny Ginny” for a very long time. I’m at a point where I am not even close to my initial goal weight but I am the most comfortable I have been in my own skin. I don’t care anymore if I’m a size 12, 14 or 16. I, for the first time in my life, feel good with my choices. My body feels great. My food is satisfying and tastes divine. “Skinny Ginny” is cool but so is “Ginny Bear”… the one with a little squish. My kids respect my need to exercise and have fun with me. My entire day revolves around food but in a healthy way. I don’t diet. Diets are crap. How do you live your life on a diet? Diets end at some point. My way will carry me through life.
What can you take away from this? Don’t define yourself by your body. Define it by your mind, your soul, your passions, your desires.