Monday, February 27, 2012

Accepting Ourselves & Wanting More

I was part of an amazing call last night...sorry men this one was all for the ladies! This was one of the calls in The Ladies RX discussion series put on by Stephanie Vincent at Radical Hateloss.
Here's a quick overview: 
"Last night women from all over the country gathered to talk about an important topic that impacts women who CrossFit but also women in general- Accepting Ourselves & Wanting More with Special Guest Sarah Wilson of Fashletics.

We talked about the difference between acceptance and resignation, the struggle to accept and about how acceptance helps us reach our goals, possibilities, and brings the experience of joy and ease.  It was a rich conversation that could have gone on way longer than the hour of the call!
If you missed the call you can listen to below or download it here."
This topic is very near and dear to my heart. As women we have a lot of pressure to conform to what society declares as beauty. Growing up as a chubby kid I never felt like I was skinny enough to be loved. I have struggled with body image since I can remember.  Even when I lost 30lbs in High School, I still felt like the chubby girl.  In middle school, high school and  the early part of college I experimented with bulimia, anorexia and a lot of unhealthy extreme diets and diet pills. I was obsessed with getting skinny.  During my sophomore year in college, when I had gained back my 30lbs I decided to change. I started researching how to become a personal trainer so that I could learn the healthy way to "stay thin" I became AFFA certified and landed my first personal training job. In comes a new obsession:  cardio and counting calories. I replaced my extreme unhealthy ways with extreme healthy...after all I was a personal trainer now...I needed to "look" the part. As a personal trainer, I struggled with body image even more than I did before. I was lost. I wanted so bad to have the 6pack abs that I saw in the magazines. I felt like a scam, there I was coaching others on how to live happy and healthy and I was dying inside. Flash forward a few years...I hear about CrossFit. What is this?
The beginning of my CrossFit journey
 For the first time in my adult life I was proud of my body. My hands were torn, my legs were bruised and I was so proud of what my body could accomplish. In an instant my idea of body image changed. I no longer saw my body for what it physically looked like, I saw it for the first time as an amazing machine that could accomplish great things. I was happy. I accepted my body, my fitness and myself completely and I was proud of where I was and excited about where I was going... Then I got pregnant. Even through my entire pregnancy I felt great about what my body was accomplishing. I mean really I was growing a human and I was still crossfitting!  Flash forward to a month after I gave birth to my first son:

One month after and 2 months after
In my last post I talked about my struggles with being at the bottom of our CrossFit gym in terms of athletic abilities since I have been back post-pregnancy. In my head I was going to be back putting up the top times in the gym by now...almost 4 months later.  I still have baby weight to lose..my jeans don't fit and I cried during a WOD last week because I felt so bad about my times. I was back to my old ways of negative body image and crazy thinking. When the CrossFit Opens started last week, I knew I was going to compete...but I wasn't sure how I was going to handle the competition. During that WOD that I cried through...I had a major breakthrough. Well, my husband helped me have a breakthrough,  he was there to witness the hot mess that I was that day... later that night he said something  that changed me. He said " you have to stop defeating yourself every time you walk into that gym." He was right, in my head I was already beating myself up before I even started. I was not accepting myself at all. Now it would be a lie if I said that those thoughts don't come back into my head, I'm still working on it. When I saw this call I was excited to share and listen. I'm so glad that I did! At the end of the call they challenged us to write "self-acceptance principles"
"Think about what you want to accept—about your body, about your fitness, about yourself in general and then write a principle for each.

For each aspect you will accept ask yourself,

What are your accepting?
What will acceptance allow you to focus on?
What will acceptance bring?

Each principle can go something like this..

I accept ________, which allows me to ________ so that I ___________.
Here are mine:

Body: I accept my left over baby fat, which allows me to spend every ounce of mental energy on being present to my son and husband so that I can truly experience life as a new mother.

Fitness: I accept my level of athletic ability post-postpartum, which allows me to focus on every WOD, every rep, every breath so that I can truly give it my very best in that moment.

Business Success: I accept where I am financially, which allows me to be fully available to help and coach others so that I can be a very successful and inspiring CrossFit coach and AdvoCare Advisor.

That is powerful! Ladies, I can't tell you how awesome it feels to accept yourself. You just need to try this.

2 comments:

  1. Shanna, this is amazing! Thank you so much for being a part of the call and for writing such a beautiful blog. I would love to feature you as the March Fashlete of the Month! I couldn't find your contact info so please email me at sarah@fashletics.com I would love to share your blog with our community AND you get a customized necklace :)

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    1. WOW! I'm so honored! Thank you Sarah!

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