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Transformation Tuesday: On Loving Your Body and Leaving Shame

This is one of the scariest and most vulnerable things I’ve ever done.  I never thought I’d share these photos–much less post them to the world wide web, but I know what I want to say is important enough to merit any embarrassment or shame it may cause.

#transformation #transformationtuesday

#transformationtuesday

#transformationtuesday

I took the photos on the left just as I hit a breaking point–a point where I knew I needed change and a sense of control.  This before/after has obvious physical changes, but the most drastic changes between the Kat on the left at Kat on the right aren’t strictly visual.

 

My body image issues stemmed from a lack of understanding of how to fuel my body, a competitive environment, dance, my own perfectionist tendencies, an inability to control emotional eating, a sense of powerlessness and lack of athleticism, and–frankly?–from small, seemingly insignificant comments that are made to girls growing up by all kinds of people that I guarantee don’t think about when they say them.  And I also guarantee that any woman reading this knows exactly what I mean and has had these comments made to her at one point or another. (Boys, I’m aware that you get it too–just the other way around: size = masculinity.  And that’s not any less damaging, I know.)

 

I struggled with body image issues and eating disorders for nearly a decade–beginning around age 12 until I was 21 years old.  This happens to so many girls and affects them long after they become women.  I was a slave to the scale, to what I put in my body, to beating myself up every time I looked in the mirror.  I felt less-than, insecure, and miserable; it is every bit a mental disease as it is physical.  I yo-yod back and forth about 20lbs–which, for someone who is 5’5″, is a lot.  The photos on the left were taken shortly before I graduated from college, when I knew I had to make a definitive change and find a different solution because–honestly–it felt like I was killing myself.  Or–at the very least–living a half-life.

 

I did not enjoy the practice of working out even once I made the change, but I was desperate.  Habits hurt.  Habits are hard to form. I kept going to the gym and I began voraciously reading anything I could find online about health and fitness–fueling your body, building muscles, building performance.  I’m a creator, an entrepreneur, an achiever.  I began to find excitement in increased endurance, the drop of pounds on the scale, the ease with which I began to fit into cute clothing.  I began to enjoy the challenge.  Most importantly–I was enamored of the sense of control I was finding.  My body and I had been at odds with each other for as long as I could remember, and for once we were working in tandem.  I was learning how to fuel it, how to stave off spikes and crashes, how to mold it into something that achieved performance.  I felt like I had cracked some code that I never could unlock before.  I had the tools, the road map, the answers, and could break it down to a science.  Fitness became demystified.

 

That was 5 years ago.  I’ve been described as religious regarding fitness–this is not a deeply inaccurate description.  I believe in joyful physical fitness.  I believe it should be accessible to everyone.  I believe everyone deserves this sense of control, of achievement, of pride in their body.  Does my weight still fluctuate?  Sure.  Do I still have insecure moments?  Absolutely.  But they don’t crush me, and I know how to fix them.  And I genuinely feel pride in the body I have built.  I love my body, and it feels like the most beautiful blessing in the world.

 

This is why I am a personal trainer.  This is why we must inspire confidence and courage in one another.  This is why I must build what I am building.

 

Let’s be kinder to ourselves and to our girls.  Let’s establish a healthy dialogue about what it really is to be strong, healthy, and beautiful.  Let’s change ourselves, and–in turn–change the conversation.

 

xoxo,

Captain Kat

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Looking for resources for disordered eating and positive body image?  I highly recommend the following:

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
www.webiteback.com
www.eatingdisorderhope.com
nedic.ca
Celebrities Promoting Positive Body Image:
Jennifer Lawrence
Amy Schumer
Kate Winslet
Amanda Trusty
Rihanna

Have another resource?  Another favorite positive-body-image role model?  Interested in sharing your #postivebodyimage #transformationtuesday? Email kat@kinektfitness.com or share using the toolbar to the left.

Interested in Captain Kat’s Better Body Challenge?  Visit here.