“I had to unlearn everything I knew and prep my mind for change. I knew I needed to love myself, and even more so I knew I needed to let go of my insecurities.
One of the biggest shifts in my mental transition this year has been letting go of my need for instant validation. I was starving for approval from others and in return; I neglected my needs. Instead of looking inside myself, I was looking and needing from people what they weren’t capable of giving me. This had had a major impact on my life. I was unhappy; I didn’t care about my health and well-being and my need for pleasing others was far greater than my need for self-love. Somewhere among all of this, I lost who I was, what I stood for and what I believed in.
That was NOT ok with me. I was living each day with too much confidence in tomorrow’s promise. I needed to get ME back. I needed to live for me, pleasing me, loving me, and taking care of me. It’s not only important it’s 100% necessary. I didn’t know how to fix my heart or my mind, but I knew how to fix my health and the amazing thing is, when I did that, the rest just fell into place.
I found my once lost happiness through taking care of myself, by living for me, and doing what’s right for me.
I came home one day after shopping up a storm, and among the many items in my shopping bags was a pair of denim shorts. I whipped these out to show my mom, put them on and paraded around the house for the entire day with absolute confidence. However, when it came to having to leave the house for the evening, I went back upstairs changed into a pair of leggings, ran for the front door, only to be greeted by my mom’s concerning glare.
“What is wrong with your legs? my mom asked, looking me up and down with concern. “Why did you change? Are you worried about what people will say?” I shrugged my shoulders at her as she walked up, put her arms around me and said “Stop needing acceptance from people who half the time don’t even like themselves!. Go back upstairs and put those shorts back on”
It took that one statement from my mom and I left the house that evening wearing a pair of denim shorts, the shorts I was always too afraid to buy due to my fear of exposing my legs for so many years.
This might not seem like a big deal, but for me, this was a pivotal moment in my life, in the sense that YES everything relating to my entire mindset regarding my body changed the moment I left the house exposing my legs. For years I had major insecurities about showing my legs to anyone other than close friends and some limited family members. I know those closest are reading this, nodding in agreement, because they know! They all know I’ve lived in leggings for long enough, and it’s about time I shut out the noise of the world and did my own damn thing for once. I had to learn how to be gentle with myself while learning to love parts of my body I’ve been at war with for so many years.
So, I packed up my things and moved to Rome. Ah kidding, a girl can dream though.
Nope, no magic formula, I started. These past two months have been the epitome of the phrase Trial and Error. Through all of this, my biggest accomplishment or should I say reward has been my newfound happiness. I am genuinely happy. I did this by changing my mindset and getting out and being active every day; it was then when I found myself again. Exercise helped me become a happier person, no joke. I now feel like I have a purpose, I have goals to work towards. By cleansing my body, I cleansed my mind of all the negativity that held me back in many other aspects of my life.
The reason I wanted to share this post is that; in only two months I have achieved far greater things than I ever could have imagined. I have now excitably seen my vastus lateralis muscle make an appearance (sounds more like a Harry Potter spell, as Thambe my trainer would say). I have 1 ab muscle trying very hard to show face, my strength and fitness have improved and I feel great.
Trust the process, be patient, you will have your off days, educate yourself, you are stronger than what you give yourself credit, be consistent, keep moving every single day, ASK QUESTIONS and always, always celebrate the small wins along your journey.
We are so extremely fortunate and lucky to have an amazing community of like-minded woman doing there thang every day, and the following ladies have been my go to’s when I need that extra push, motivation or simply just someone I can relate to. We’re all out here being someone and working at being better versions of ourselves, your kind words, and helping hand can go along way in changing someone’s life. Thank you.
@candibod , @sugerfreesundays, @adevanheerden, and @fitnessgirl_za
Photography by – Tegan Smith Photogratphy