Running Towards Loving Myself

My entire life is a construction zone.

Not only have Brad and I been working overtime to finish renovating our guest house/apartment so we  can get it rented out, but even my office has undergone an overhaul. Thankfully, I’m not expected to help with the construction in my office building, but there seems to be a thin layer of dust covering almost every aspect of my life. If not dust, then paint. This morning I found white paint on my legs. I haven’t painted with white for about a week now, and I promise I’ve showered since then.

community paintball fight

Like I said, our lives seem to consist solely of completing this renovation project. The goal is to complete everything this weekend. But… we’ll see. It seems that small projects tend to keep popping up exactly at the moment that we’ve glimpsed the finish line.

While we continue to run toward the finish line in our renovation project, we’ve also started running to nowhere.

I. Hate. Running.

jogging is the worst

Does anyone really love running? Or do they just love the smug feeling of knowing that when the zombie apocalypse comes, they’re in the best shape to outrun the walking dead?

walker-herd

Every morning when the alarm goes off and it’s still dark outside, I groan loudly and stuff my face further into the pillow, usually muttering something to the effect “ugghhh I don’t want to GO. I hate THIS. I just want to be SKINNY without DOING ANYTHING.” Brad will say, “I know, I know.” We’ll lay there for about five minutes, contemplating silently how we would eat cookies for every meal if didn’t calories exist, and then we go “running.” But where exactly are we running to? That’s what I can’t figure out.

It’s actually a walk/jog. When people say they go on 10 mile runs, do they really run the entire time? How do they survive? How do they not die of boredom?

Honestly though, I am really really really proud of myself for going running.

I’ve focused on becoming healthier since we moved to Boise in March. It’s harder now that I have a job, but this FitBit strapped to my wrist is really good at making me feel guilty if I spend too much time Netflixing, not enough time moving.

watch-tv-all-day

I started to gain weight right before my wedding last year. Isn’t that just perfect? The day when a girl is supposed to be PERFECT, and my dress was a little too tight. (I’ll write a blog one day about how much stress weddings put on women). When I look at the photos from our wedding day, I do my best not to grimace and overanalyze my body. Instead I focus on my stunning dress and that guy who kept standing next to me.

I gained that weight because I started medication that I needed to combat depression. And honestly, I’d rather be “fat” and happy, than skinny and suicidal.

I’ve often associated my size with happiness or worth. “I’ll lose five pounds before this big event, and then I’ll enjoy it even more.”  “I’ll lose 10 pounds and then this cute boy will think I’m worthy of dating.”

My weight gain in 2014 was a blessing in disguise. I’ve realized that I can be happy and loved, even with some extra inches on my waistline.

Thanks to Facebook’s “On This Day” app, I can revisit that smiling college girl who thought she just needed to look like those girls on TV to be happy and loved. I see a girl who is trying so hard to be something she can never be– a size two. I think the last time I was a size two, I was eleven years old. My ribs wouldn’t even fit inside a size two body. This is my body, I may as well love it.  But, I can outrun a zombie. Maybe?

i wish i was as skinny as when i thought i was fat

I’m learning that I need to love myself no matter what my pants size and that my happiness isn’t intertwined with the numbers on a scale.

The difference between this weight loss journey and my previous ones is that it’s about being healthy, rather than trying to impress anyone or gain acceptance. I’m proving to myself that I can do something I never thought I would be able to: run. And preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

rule 1 cardio zombieland

Some days I still look in the mirror and get angry at my body. I get discouraged and decide that all those early mornings are for nothing. Other days I look in the mirror and give myself grace. I’m doing the best I can do and that’s all I can really ask of myself. That’s what it really boils down to: giving myself grace and loving myself where I am.

self five

So why did I write about this? To self-congratulate myself? Boast about how I get up early in order to torture myself in the hopes that one day I’ll be able to run a mile without feeling like passing out? I’m writing this because I don’t think I’m the only one out there who should be cutting herself some slack. I think most of us could probably afford to give ourselves a little bit more grace and love. And I’m writing this for all those girls out there who compare themselves to the Natalie Portmans or Angelina Jolies of the world. Your body isn’t their body, and that’s completely ok and you still deserve happiness.

We leave for Australia in about three weeks. It would be great if I lost 10 pounds before then so that I could fit into my old summer clothes that are currently packed away. But, that’s a long shot. And I will have fun and love my trip no matter what size I am. I won’t obsess about my weight and how I should have been skinnier. I won’t associate my right to be loved with the size of my pants. And I will try my hardest to feel more comfortable in my own skin, even if I’m the curviest girl on the block.

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4 thoughts on “Running Towards Loving Myself

  1. Hey Bri! Just wanted to say how lovely and touching this blog post was for me. It can be so hard sometimes to look ourselves and not see those flaws society wants to always point out… or worse ourselves. But when that light bulb moment happens when we stop caring about the voices that tell us that we should be a certain size or a different personality, it’s a magical moment. We start really living our life rather than just going through the motions. We stop caring about being the “right” size and taking a happier lifestyle that keeps us healthy mind, body and soul. Wishing you only the best!
    Always your friend,
    Jenn Luna

    Like

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