Searching for Self-Love
This is a guest post from Lucy Hendricks, who I had the pleasure of meeting at a dinner party at PaleoFX in Austin, TX this past spring. She recently posted some before and after photos of herself on social media, and I was really moved by them. The “before” is when she was lighter, yet emotionally unstable. The after she is clearly stronger and full of self-love. I asked her to write this post so that more people could learn from her journey. I too was much thinner a few years ago, but am much more at peace, emotinally speaking, at my current weight. Life is short. Enjoy yourself. Love yourself. – Diana
My Search for Self-Love
I had a really emotional moment the other day when the song “Beautiful” by Bethany Dillon came on my Pandora station. Seven years ago, I related to that song so much that I would listen to it on repeat. I was so hungry for love, but, not love from others; what I was missing was self-love.
Here are some of the lyrics to that song:
Sometimes I wish I was someone other than me
Fighting to make the mirror happy
Trying to find whatever is missing
Won’t you help me back to glory
I want to be beautiful make you stand in awe
Look inside my heart and be amazed
I want to hear you say who I am is quite enough
Just want to be worthy of love
The reason I went into a personal training program was because I was tired of hating myself. I dealt with an eating disorder throughout high school. I never felt like I was good enough; in the back of my mind I always thought if I could get in-shape and become skinny again, I would finally love myself. Becoming a personal trainer sounded like the answer to all my body image issues.
And so, I did it. I took the steps society made me think were necessary to be healthy. I started eating LESS and doing MORE…and it worked.
By “worked”, I mean I got smaller. I went from an unhealthy 145/148lbs to an unhealthy 117lbs.
I know…I look sooo happy.
But, what my weight didn’t tell people was that I was hurting inside; physically and emotionally. Everything I ate made my stomach hurt. My whole body ached. It became so common that sometimes I was afraid it wasn’t real, that my brain was making it up.
Let’s not dwell on my painful past though, let me show you some lyrics that describe my life right now, and then I’ll tell you how I got here.
“Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do”
Most people are annoyed with this song, but, I LOVE it. It really is exactly how I feel. I am filled with self-love, which allows me to give love to others, as well as accept love in return. I am back to 145lbs with some fat around my belly and I couldn’t be happier!
117lbs to 145lbs!
I want everyone to be able to feel the way I feel and be able to get to this happy place!
Here’s how I did it:
1. Smart Training
In order to look good and feel good you don’t have to run your body down to the ground. I didn’t used to know that, that wasn’t what society had me believing.
Luckily, I ended up meeting Jim Laird (my current boss), who showed me a different side of the fitness industry, a side of the industry that opposes harming the body. I learned the importance of going back to the basics, building a solid foundation and then getting stronger in ways that work ith your body instead of against it.
2. Eating Real Food…But, Not Going Crazy.
I had to ditch wheat and all the processed junk. I stick to delicious meats and veggies most of the time. If my boyfriend is in town for the weekend I don’t worry about it if I eat ice-cream four nights in a row. Eat healthy as often as possible, but don’t get mad at yourself if you need to indulge every once and awhile.
If I could, I would lock all of my friends in a room and make them read these books. They have both had a huge impact on my life. Order them now! They will teach so much about self love!
And, that’s how I got here. I decided I was going to love myself no matter what I looked like. I look good, but just as importantly, I feel good. I may not be the leanest trainer out there. But, being the thinnest isn’t my goal anymore; it’s being healthy and happy with me. Personally, it wouldn’t be worth it if I couldn’t go out with my friends on the weekends and get a few drinks or gluten free pizzas 😉
It is totally possible to want to change the way you look and love yourself at the same time. Once you can accept yourself as you are, the road to a healthier you will be a lot easier. Trust me <3
I am one happy duck. I’ve never been this comfortable in my own skin.