Today was SUPPOSED to be my first Ironman race.
I dedicated 6.5 months, hundreds of hours, and thousands of dollars training for this race, only for this Saturday to be a pretty ordinary day here in CO.
We humans have a tendency to be attached to permanence.
When that permanence and control is stripped away, we suffer.
This blog is written to let you know that we don’t have to.
This blog is my story of transcending suffering when my "should" was taken from me.
If this pandemic has taught me anything, it is that anything external that I would dare try to place my worth into, it is almost guaranteed that the universe will may take it away from me just to invite me closer to myself.
The Paradox of Weight
I gained about 6 pounds training for this Ironman.
I was totally out of sorts as my body started to shift.
When I signed up for this race, I thought for sure I would turn into a lean, mean running machine.
Boy was I wrong.
I gained weight during this triathalon training, but I lost about 21 years of toxic, body shaming narratives.
That to me is a massive blessing.
Here's my story:
What my body did well: PERFORM
Even with the help of coaches and a nutrition team, my body was holding onto fat more than it ever has in my life.
Month after month I kept gaining weight.
We think it may have been a hormonal response to a brand new training stimulus (mind you, I had never run more than 5 miles prior to this training...I was a strength athlete through and through), or it was just the bodies attempt to get me through longer endurance sessions, but by peak time, I felt heavier than I ever had in my life.
BUT...my performance was out of this world.
My training times were great, my body, joints, and muscles felt amazing.
I was too far into my training to focus on weight loss. I couldn't cut my nutrition intake with the training the distances I was completing. So my only option was to honor the process, my body and it's messages and heal the relationship with my body.
What my mind did well: HEAL
I wish someone would've told me when I was young that the body is a constantly changing organism and there is no way that you could be the same person today that you were yesterday.
When I was younger, I wish I understood that my worth was not in what I looked like on the outside.
When I was younger, I wish that I knew the right words to say to myself when I felt negatively about my body.
When I was younger, I wish I had acceptance for myself...but I didn't, so I spent most of my adult life striving for acceptance of my physical appearance.
As an adult with an underdeveloped ego, I found acceptance through beating my body to a pulp in the gym, restricting my food, over exercising, and avoiding all of the hard conversations that brought those behaviors to light.
I realize now that those behaviors were my abandoned inner child crying out for attention and acceptance.
4 years later, as an adult with a more mature ego, I now know that I can provide my inner child with the comfort, acceptance, and understanding that I need.
Throughout the last year,
I taught her that I accept all of her, in all different shapes and sizes.
I taught her that her body was a miracle and a blessing.
I taught her how her body can adapt to different stimuli and provide her with what she needs to stay alive.
I taught her how to be sexy in different shapes and sizes.
I taught her that sometimes it's okay to feel sad and angry, but we can sit with it together instead of me abandoning her for a quick fix in the gym.
I had truly shown myself that I could STAY in the discomfort of my body changing without sabotaging myself. The power of compassion that I gained for myself over the last 8 months was beautiful.
Currently, since the race has been cancelled and I have been focusing on my strength training again. I'm making positive changes and feeling more like myself in my skin.
I GET to take 2 rest days away from the gym and I get to explore Colorado and the beauty it holds for me outside of the gym walls.
The lesson above was and is a hard one for me and I know it is something I will continue to heal for years to come. I also know that many people struggle with this issue.
The relationships we form with the our body is intimate and it forms when we are very young. Often times the reinforcement that we receive is not one of support and self acceptance, it is one of sabotage, achievement, and transformation.
Working hard for me wasn't the problem. The problem was learning to the stay and get comfortable in my discomfort. Rewiring the brain is a PAINFUL process and in that process you will go through many deaths of many versions of you, but just know that whatever life is presenting to you OR taking away from you, it is an invitation to become closer to yourSelf and your true compassionate being.
If this resonated with you, have some grace for yourself in your personal struggle and know that you are in the company of many who struggle along side you in silence.
When it feels right for you, shine some light onto the parts of you that feel the most shame, as they are the parts that are seeking your compassion the most!
Sending all the love,