Thanks to Adidas for sponsoring this post! 

I’ve always been very transparent on this blog about my struggle with body image issues. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to have the “perfectly thin” body.

Now, we all know that perfectionism does not exist, but it still can be hard to not compare ourselves to other people who seem pretty darn close, especially in the media-consumed world that we live in. I’ve totally been there and done that….whether it’s wanting to look like the girl you’re friends with on Facebook, the celebrity, or the Instagram model.  Let’s be real….we can be pretty dang hard on ourselves at times. Unfortunately, we often strive to look like something that is fake or something that often does not exist. (From a blogger’s perspective, I’ll be honest. For every gorgeous image you see on Instagram, there are about 40 images that had to be taken prior to finding the “perfect” image!)

I am and have ALWAYS been a die-hard perfectionist…..and when I want something, I WILL get it. So in my quest to have the “perfect” body, I partook in some unhealthy eating and fitness habits throughout the years, including binge eating, being a relentless cardio bunny for 2 hours straight, to nearly starving myself.

Friends, it has literally taken YEARS to ditch the old habits and replace them with healthy habits, and quite honestly, I didn’t find success until I looked for professional help.

A few weeks ago, I shared my life-changing journey with hiring a nutrition coach and how my coach has successfully worked with me to change my self-destructive habits to form new, healthier habits . I have always viewed food as the enemy rather than fuel, and I used to look at working out as something I needed to do to stay thin rather than be healthy.  I recently also started going to therapy, because I knew that I still had lots of unpacking to do around my body image bagage. I share this information not for pity or for attention, but because I truly believe body image is a mental health issue that needs to be addressed more often. Today’s blog is going to piggy-back off my nutrition coaching blog post and talk a little bit about fitness rather than nutrition and eating habits.

Choosing to be STRONG vs. SKINNY

With starting my nutrition coaching, I also started to notice a shift in my fitness regime. Not only was I obviously working out more, but I started to fall back in love with working out again. I used to work out mostly because I was trying to look a certain way, but now, I do it for myself. Because I feel HEALTHY, STRONG, and IN CONTROL.

I’m a firm believer that it is completely possible for everyone to LOVE working out. You just have to find what works for you! For me, I LOVE lifting weights and resistance training. Freaking love it. I’m an occasional runner also, but I mostly love walking. My fitness goals are currently to lift 4 days a week, and get in 10K steps 4-5 days a week. And I’ve been doing pretty dang well. My key to my success has been finding a routine that works for me, which has been getting up early to squeeze in 30 minutes of lifting before work. Then after work, I go for a 20-30 minute walk with my dog.

The strong vs. skinny movement touches me because for so long, I put my physical appearance over my health. For obvious reasons, this is not okay; we should never neglect our health because we want to look a certain way. I remember the days where I was too afraid to lift because I didn’t want to get “bulky.” I also remember the days where I wouldn’t drink water because I didn’t want to look “bloated.” This seems so silly now, as I write this. It’s also sad for me to reflect on the days when I was emotionally unstable and that insecure.

Choosing to trust the process

I’m proud to admit that I feel stronger and more mentally stable than ever. Funny story: I took these photos this past weekend after taking a 5 day hiatus from counting macros and working out. (thanks, 4959394 Christmas parties!!) I definitely wasn’t feeling my best in that sports bra, and I almost didn’t want to post this blog because I didn’t feel I had “reached my goal body” yet. However, my nutrition coach reminded me that fitness is a PROCESS. I now realize that I will never reach my end goal, because I am continuously striving to be a healthier, stronger version of myself.

Fitness has always been a form of therapy for me. I truly love pushing my body to its limit and watching myself get physically stronger as the weeks go by. I love the progress and feeling in control of my health and wellbeing. For me, being strong is so much more important than feeling skinny. (And let me be clear: I would NEVER purposefully bash anyone that is skinny. No matter WHAT your body type is, you are beautiful!!! Some people are born very skinny and that is perfectly okay. In this post, I am referring to the fact that I would rather focus on being healthy and strong vs. depriving my body of the nutrients it needs to healthy in order to have a skinny aesthetic.)

So, this is me, in the raw.

I’m not always perfect. I’m definitely no fitness model. And I have a whole lot of work left to do.

But dang, am I proud of the obstacles I have overcome to be here. I am the strongest, healthiest I have ever been.

I appreciate you all reading and being so supportive. I enjoy sharing general fitness updates on this blog of where I am at in my journey- physically and mentally. I appreciate you guys reading along and sharing you thoughts.

So stay with me on this journey- because I’m just getting started, baby!

So tell me, friends – where are you at in your fitness journey? What are your latest wins? Your current struggles? Let’s chat.

Thanks to Adidas for sponsoring this post! I seriously will always this brand- they are my go-to for ALL of my cute workout essentials!! To shop my look: Sports Bra | Leggings

Have an amazing week! Let’s crush it before Christmas and try to stay on track with our goals.