It's not about how strong you are when you are carrying weight that isn't yours.
I was addicted to spanx! No...listen...100 degree Florida weather and I have on shorts, tank top and SPANX! After my second c-section my stomach and body were not the greatest (see image one) and I discovered spanx. Wearing them so much I felt I had created an expectation that I had this “body” and felt a pressure to maintain that image when around my ex husband’s friends. One day my ex asked to go to the beach, my favorite place, and I was excited until he said all our friends were going and I knew I couldn’t hide my body anymore. Sad to admit that the only thing that made me feel comforted was that the other women weren’t “ideal” ether. That was the moment that I had enough of hating my body and decided I was going to take matters into my own hands. I was shredded. A six pack and body fat that ranged as low as 12% (image 2). A discipline that left most people amazed at the motivation I had to eat green beans and chicken six times a day. My arms were the only conversational piece that left even men envious. I spent an hour on shoulders, an hour on biceps and triceps, an hour on back and tried to fit in as many leg days a week as possible. I was strong. I had to be. The load I carried at home required it. Motivation? Please. The only time I could step out of my home that had childcare and gave me a break from people was the gym. It was seriously a therapeutic release to maintain my sanity. No matter how strong I’d get or how fat my bicep vein got, I’d push to lift heavier. If I tried the whole “more reps less weight” concept, I’d feel like a little bitch and would leave unsatisfied. I was a beast and when I looked in the mirror and saw the definition in my side delts I knew I could carry the world on my shoulders. Why not? I was already carrying a house hold of five and a business. A lot of friends had asked to workout with me or for me to train them, every time the answer was no. I didn’t want someone to hold me down or hold me back from what I was trying to do. What I failed to realize was that the weights were holding me down. That my attempt to carry everything was making me weaker day after day. So the more I tried to pick up, the harder it would be to sustain my situation. The beast I saw in the mirror wasn’t the girl I saw when I looked into my reflection. One day I was training with someone on leg day. When I broke parallel and began to squat low they explained that I should be lifting for functionality and not for looks. That’s when it hit me that strength without agility and endurance wasn’t going to help me maneuver when need be. Truth is I was striving for what I couldn’t maintain and he was teaching me healthy practices to last a lifetime. That the physical appearance that left so many people to believe I had it all together isn’t what matters if in twenty years I wouldn’t be able to walk. We cannot paralyze our present by what happened in our past. It’s time to stop holding onto the things that have held us back. It’s time to put down the weights. That last image is me today, and I am very happy with her. “God can only bless the real you, not who you pretend to be”