My best friend started doing yoga in our college apartment in the final semester before we graduated. After doing one of the videos with her, I decided that I would try the whole challenge. I started it back at the beginning of April and just finished it today near the end of July.
It took me almost 4 months to complete the 30 days. But I completed it.
I started out doing 30 days of Yoga with Adriene. And it kicked my butt. I have been trying to get into good shape for almost two years now.
Two summers ago I started out a size 8, and honestly tights and yoga pants where the only things that felt good on my body. I felt horrible about myself. I decided I needed to make a few changes. My mom let me use her personal trainer, which kick started my core workout. I took all the advice she gave me and started applying it to my workouts.
I cut sugar out of my diet for 30 days, I lost almost two inches off my stomach. I was by no means ‘fat’, just a little pudgy. I went through my pantry and threw away all the processed foods. I spent hours online learning the difference between cane sugar, refined, brown sugar, etc. I sat around and learned the difference between monounsaturated, unsaturated, and saturated fats until I understood what I was putting into my body. I amped up my water drinking and cut out powerades (I was never much of a soda drinker). And started eating less fast food, cooking more, and paying attention to what I was ordering.
I did all of this and started to see my body changing. I still wasn’t ready to wear a bathing suit around anyone yet, but I started getting comfortable with myself again.
And then as life goes I fell off. I got a boyfriend. I got lazy. I started eating more like he did. I stopped going to the gym every other day. I got complacent and got heavier again. Then I got dumped. Then I got mono. One year had gone by.
What I haven’t actually been able to say to people about that time that I was sick and dropped down to weighing almost 130 lbs, (currently I weigh about 150 lbs, but you’d never guess it) was that I actually felt okay to be in a bikini again, I was happy that I was thin and weighed as much as all the other girls. I finally wasn’t a tall heavy freak that weighed over 120 lbs.
I was basically just skin and bones. honestly it made me feel pretty and good enough for the first time since I became aware of body image. I started buying new clothes, only a few still fit now, and started going to the pool with my friends.
And then I stopped being sick. I started to gain back the healthy weight. And again I started to feel horrible about my body. But this time I was trying, trying not to feel so sad and down that I wasn’t the image of perfection I had in my mind.
I kept working out over the winter and into the spring. I went on a sailing trip with my family to the BVI over my final spring break. Neither my mom or my sister are stick thin, they are both healthy. They both have a butt, something the gene pool missed me on. Neither are Victoria Secret model impossible to achieve with out photoshop thin. But they are comfortable with their bodies, and beautiful.
I tried to imitate them and be confident with myself. I felt fine changing in front of my mom and sister. I even felt okay wearing a bathing suit in front of my dad, mom, sister, and brother. But I struggled around other people, am still struggling.
In some twisted way I think that people who don’t know me very well will only like me if I am thin. And not just thin, what I imagine other people must think thin on me looks like. Kinda fucked up right?
I find it hard to be confident, something that people tell me I radiate, when I think too much about my body size.
I can look down and see the city of stretch marks on my thighs and the random ones that pop up on my hips and arms. I can physically see the difference I have made in my body in the past two years.
I can feel the difference in my body after completing the 30 day challenge. I can feel how my muscles aren’t so tight. I can feel how much better my breathing feels.
On the final day of the challenge Adriene tells you that she will be taking off her mic and doing her own thing. She invites you to either do your own thing or follow her.
I started off following her. But after about a minute in, I started doing my own practice. All the things she had taught me I applied to my practice. I didn’t need a coach to tell me what to do anymore. I felt empowered enough to take it into my own hands.
Right after the music stopped playing and that little heart on the screen stared up at me I started to cry happy tears. For the first time since I was kid standing in my grandparents house in Corpus Christi being told by one of their friends that I looked chunkier than the last time he saw me, I felt good about where I am at.
I’m not ready to stop here. I want to keep pushing my body, I want to get in better shape. I’m by no means accepting where I am at today. But I am not resentful of myself or body today.