I’ve recently had to confess to someone why I’m such a nag. I’ve owned up to my feelings of inadequacy and why, to this day, I still don’t feel like I measure up. I can freely admit I have never felt beautiful.
I grew up the little fat girl. It’s embarrassing to say this still, but I need to speak my truth. I was fat, chubby, chunky. And I heard about it all the time. I was teased and called names and shamed – from a tiny child until adulthood. Being fat was never out of my reach. And I still feel it. I still feel like it.
Once I was old enough to figure out I could do something about my weight, I tried. I did my best. But, I was a teenager and I didn’t think things through and I took the “easy” route – resorting to eating disorders. Starving, purging, non-binge purging, excessive exercise. I damn near killed myself and ended up hurting the people around me. I screwed up my body, my health, and my mental well-being. I spent a lot of time getting better. A lot of wasted time that could have been better spent for a 16, 17, 18 year old girl.
And then I was fat again.
Fast forward to years later and finally really figuring it out – for real – the fitness and nutrition part – and losing that weight and feeling better about myself. BUT, I’m still the fat girl. I still feel like the fat girl. I can’t shake it. Dammit! I am still often focused on what’s wrong with me rather than what’s right with me.
And so, I often feel inadequate. I feel like I don’t measure up to the standards some people have, and I nag them. I NAG them. I pester. And it’s shitty. Because, I’m not a jerk. I’m not an asshole. I just wear my heart on my sleep and I think the worst and I worry. I still feel like a little (fat) girl.
And it’s even shittier because I’m an adult. I have a good job, and I’m funny, and I have a wonderful social circle of friends and family; but I feel bad. I feel like I’m hurting my relationships with people because of my pestering nature and I’m screwing up friendships before they even happen. Because I still feel like the fat girl and I feel like I have to earn my way.
When my clients tell me they are struggling with their fitness or their nutrition or their self-esteem, I can tell them I can relate – because I’ve been in their shoes (and often still feel like I am). And what’s really important is that I remind them of their self worth. I have to remind myself sometimes of mine.
Being overweight or lackadaisical with our exercise habits or nutrition doesn’t make us worth less or worthless. Yet, we continue to put so much emphasis on what we look like, rather than how we feel and on our physical and mental health. This may seem hypocritical coming from a fitness and nutritional professional, but being healthy is as much mental as it is physical, and the aesthetic side of it should just be a bonus (rather than the main focal point).
Finding out the root of personal issues (like my feeling inadequate) can often help us let go of whatever is holding us back so that we can move forward with a better, healthier life. Letting go of what hurts us and hinders us so that we can become fit – mentally, physically, and emotionally.