As a teenager, I was quite awkward. I was way too obsessed about how people saw me. I always felt like my peers were judging me on my appearance, which isn’t a rarity in the world of teenagers. Hey, I know, kids can be cruel at that age. My experience was no different. I was bullied about my weight in middle school. Not extremely, but definitely enough to hurt my feelings and make me recede back into whatever shell I’d been working to come out of for as long as I could remember. I felt so alone for a long time. I felt like I couldn’t relate to people around me. I often thought that I didn’t really have a place in my group of friends. I didn’t exactly know how to express it then, but now I am more than sure that the pain made me a stronger person when I learned to cope with it.
For years, I was not happy with the person I saw in the mirror. So, a few years ago, I decided to take some initiative and I joined my first gym. I knew it would be difficult, but I still pressed on. This gym had a women’s section, away from the rest of the gym. I spent most of my time there, secluded from the main area of the gym, because I was so embarrassed to be this overweight woman in a gym, like I was a fish out of water to say the least. And this fish felt even more awkward when there was other people in the room. But, I pressed on because I wanted results. And I did get them, I’d lost some weight, gone down a size or two. But still, my confidence was lacking. And me, this fat woman at the gym, in the midst of all these bodybuilder-looking people, just didn’t feel like I was really welcomed. And in the back of my mind, I knew I was. But my assurance level just wasn’t quite there.
Fast forward a little further, to today. I’ve found myself in a new gym, I have workout partners, and I could care less about what anyone around me has to say. I am the fat girl at the gym. Wait, no. I am the fat girl at the gym who is radiating confidence like no other. And I’ve never felt more welcomed! I think it really has a lot to do with the fact that I’ve surrounded myself with people who are motivating me to keep going, even when I want to give up and go home. Even more, I’ve really begun to focus more on my mental and emotional health, for the sake of my physical health as well. I finally realized that I am not doing it for the “look better” but for the “feel better.”
And so, my main point here today is that if you are going to put your all into something, you have to do it for the right reasons. I wasn’t happy with how I looked, so I tried so hard to change it. But then, I looked bigger picture and realized, I just didn’t feel good about my health and myself in general. So, I took a stand to change it. I surrounded myself with positive energy & took up some new hobbies, like writing and working out, to help keep myself going when things get tough. And so far, that seems to be working for me. You see, fitness isn’t just a physical thing. Mental and emotional health play an important role in our fitness. When we learn to balance ourselves, we become much more successful.
Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t belong. We create our own happiness and we are in charge of our own success. Confidence is key!