#TBT! This post from #sweatpink sister Mallory originally appeared on Fit Approach in February, 2013.
One question that I ask my ninth and tenth grade English students is this: Who do you want to be?
Like most of you reading this, when I was their age, I had no idea who I was. I tried to be someone else each day of my life. Whoever I was with, I tried to adjust my attitude, dress, and everything in between to fit that person/group. I tried everything to please people. I signed up for this and that even when I could have cared less. Eventually, I found the only way I could control my life and feel like I had some kind of power was to diet.
In my mind, my weight was always the thing that stood between me and being all I could be. What a lie! I had no idea at that time, but I was setting myself up for almost a decade of endless dieting, starving, overexercising, and hating myself. For eight years, I delved into just about every eating disorder that existed, and I continued to dislike who I was to the very core of my soul.
One day almost three years ago, however, I decided that I was through and that I had had enough. I was tired of hating myself. I was 23 years old, and I realized that this was my one life and my one body, and if I couldn’t accept love from myself, how was I ever going to have a stable marriage or have happy, lasting friendships? From that moment on, I took control of my weight that I had allowed to skyrocket out of control simply because of emotional eating, and I started appreciating and honoring those quirks that make me different and unique.
Plus, I started exercising shortly after, and I even signed up for a 5k that I would eventually run in May 2011. Since then, I’ve completed over fifteen races including three half marathons and one full marathon. I am now pregnant with my son, and while he has been growing in my belly, I ran two half marathons, a 10k, and a 5k. I want to instill inside of him a sense that happiness and fitness are synonymous, and that it doesn’t matter how good you are at what you’re doing; what matters is that you are pushing yourself to be better than you were before. I will never go back to my old life. Why would I? I wouldn’t trade this happiness for anything.