Do You!

Ok, quick disclaimer, this post pertains mostly to ladies, but stick around, I’m hoping you guys will get something out of this as well. So lets go back a few years…decades to my youth, I am Portuguese, and us Portuguese folk love to eat. (Some of you who have witnessed me wolf down a burger can attest to this). As a kid, I ate all the time and I ate whatever I wanted! I loved food! People would make comments like “where do you put it all?” or “wow, that metabolism won’t last forever.” I started to become prideful in the fact that I could eat whatever I wanted and still be skinny. That all came to a halt my Junior year of High School. As I started gaining weight, I no longer felt comfortable in my body. I fell into so many of the aesthetic traps that are in place today and prey on women. I would look at the women on TV or in magazines and covet their bodies. Having not been educated on how to eat healthy growing up, I turned to whatever “fad” diet was in at the time. This struggle went on through college, I battled briefly with bulimia and anorexia, and still was unhappy with what I saw in the mirror. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with melanoma at the age of 22 that I realized I was not being kind to my body and something needed to change. From there, I began exercising and educating myself on how to feed by body properly, but I found I was still comparing myself to other women.

Comparison. This is one of the biggest pitfalls women can fall into, which can breed rivalry. It wasn’t until I started doing CrossFit, and changed my aesthetic based goals to strength based goals, that I finally got rid of comparing myself to others. I knew the goals I wanted to hit and it didn’t matter what I looked like to get there. Without realizing, my body changed completely. Once my perspective changed to focus on numbers other than the scale, I was finally freed to love and appreciate by body for what it could do.

One thing I hope I can teach my daughter Camille is to love her body, and give her the tools to lead a healthy lifestyle. She turns two tomorrow, and she already loves helping me in the kitchen. I pray that she sees her strong mama and is inspired and empowered knowing she can do the same. At the end of the day, I choose to love my body and what it has walked me through. So do you! Don’t let comparison bring you down.

4 replies
  1. Tara Swarts
    Tara Swarts says:

    Very powerful words Rene! Self image and that number on the scale can be so darn damaging to folks! Enjoyed this article very much!

  2. Danielle
    Danielle says:

    Growing up I was a part of a culture where to be cast in a performance how you looked and fit into a costume was just as important as ability and flexibility. We were constantly compared and evaluated against each other. I had parents who would shield me from the negativity as much as possible, but I watched my friends around me struggle with body image.

    After ballet I turned to competitive and cheer (be small enough to be thrown around) and recreational running (gotta stay light, right?)- when I started at Sweatshop I had never touch a barbell and was 20 pounds lighter. I am constantly surprised by my own strength and it is incredibly freeing to not be concerned with my physical shape- the only person I am competing with is myself. There are amazing athletes in our gym- and so many women I get the privilege to work out with who inspire me to be stronger then I was yesterday.

    I get to look in the mirror every day and remind myself that I have built what I see- screw the number on the scale, it fun as hell to be strong!


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