Over the past 12 years of my life, I have probably tried to lose weight 10-15 times. So, naturally, people want to know what has made this time different – why am I suddenly able to do it now? 

Aside from the fact that I am better educated in proper nutrition and exercise, there is one other factor that I hadn’t considered until recently. But before I tell you what that is, let’s rewind a little…

Last week, my sister’s boyfriend Sheldon agreed to do a mini photo shoot with me – as a young woman hoping to get ‘noticed’ by the big boys of the industry, I figured I should prepare myself with a few decent photos – so, one night he came over to my condo gym with his fancy camera and proceeded to capture me in the moment. 

As I pushed through my regular workout routine, Sheldon snapped multiple pictures. The photo shoot was going great, but with each flash of the camera, I grew increasingly aware of all the eyes that were glaring at me - what I hadn’t considered was that there would be other people trying to ‘get their sweat on’ at that same time.

Now, I’m sure some gym-goers thought I was crazy, or maybe some even thought I wasn’t ‘fit’ enough to have a photo shoot, but guess what? 

I didn’t care!

I was having fun taking pictures, that for the first time in my life, I wasn’t ashamed of. I was enjoying that fact that I could curl 25lbs on each bicep and have pictures to prove it. And, I was finally aware of why I have been so successful this time around; because I am doing it for me. 

You see, in the past, losing weight wasn’t about me; losing weight was about looking great in the eyes of others. All I ever wanted as I young girl was to be considered by others as ‘beautiful’ or ‘pretty’, and I truly thought that becoming skinny (a word I now hate) would do that for me.  

Well, I was wrong.

Today I do feel beautiful, and today I do feel pretty, but not because I am 37lbs lighter than I was 8 months ago, and not because other people may think I look great.  

Instead, I feel beautiful because I finally let go of the image I was trying to live up to, and I finally let go of the idea that I had to be skinny to be accepted and loved by others.

What truly matters is that I accept myself for who I am.  

I’m not a stick thin girl, I don’t ‘fit in’ with standards, and I won’t get intimidated by other’s judgments. 

Instead, I am a woman who loves a little muscle.
I am a woman who longs to be different. And,  
I am a woman who wants to achieve what others think is impossible.

And that is ok with me.
Picture
25lb curls