Stray Dog Revolution
My posts on Facebook and IG are like anyone else's... they're meant to inspire and motivate and help others on their health and fitness journey. I'm usually smiling, all "yay, fitness!" Or talking about results I've gotten. Or sharing something I've learned along the way. It's all true, mind you. I have learned things and there are things that work and most days I feel pretty damn good about that part of my life. But I have a secret that's about to not be anymore. Not an end of the world secret, not a mouth-gaping secret, not a secret that anyone other than me probably cares about... but it's something I don't advertise. Because it feels superficial and stupid and I clearly judge myself harshly for it.
Ready? Here it is: I run a business focused on helping people get fit and healthy. And? I'm not very fit. I'm not obese or anything. I mean, that really is me in the Stray Dog photo on FB. But it's me over the summer. I've gained weight since then. And I seem to keep gaining.
So basically, what I tell people to do isn't really working for me anymore. And if I'm totally honest, it hasn't worked for a while. I eat right most of the time. I don't drink a lot of alcohol. I exercise regularly and I change it up all the time. But my body still doesn't look like I want it to look. My husband the other day assured me that if he did the things that I do, he would be ripped. I? Just look like your average 40-something.
It bugs me more than I want it to bug me. I know my bigger goals are health and mobility into old age, that I want to feel good in my skin and have energy in abundance, but my bagel belly and fatty thighs make me feel, well, sad. There's really no other word.
And yeah, go ahead, tell me about how there are so many other important things going on in the world right now and it's pathetic that I'm choosing to care about this and can't I just get over myself and love my body and be less narcissistic and quit getting my panties in a twist about something so trivial and that I'm so vain and really, you look "fine", and I'd love to be where you are so you have issues and seriously, if that's what you think matters in life then you need help and I feel sorry for your daughter because she's gonna end up with an eating disorder and maybe if you started focusing your energy on things that were more important then you'd get over yourself already.
I've heard it all before. And those are just the voices in my own head. So if you were thinking those things as you read, go away. I'm hard enough on myself as it is. This message isn't for you.
And yet, here I am anyway. Just a girl, standing in front of the mirror, naked, asking it to love her. And feeling as if it never will.
And no matter what I seem to do, no matter how clean I eat, how much (or little) I exercise, what supplements I take... I just keep gaining and looking... worse. I've plant-based and paleo'd and eaten fat and eaten no fat and ditched sugar and carbs and dairy and eggs and supplemented and oiled and meditated and walked and HIIT and danced and pilate'd and kick-boxed and lifted heavy and still, I can't sit without feeling my stomach fat.
And, you can shame me for this if you want, but I want to look like a lean, fit athlete. Period. I just do. You can read into that all you want, the cultural messages that I've been exposed to since childhood and how sexism and the objectification of women have brainwashed me into wanting this type of body, any type of body, anything other than what I have. Save it. I've been beating myself up my whole life not for not looking the way I want, but just for wanting it in the first place. I'm so over caring anymore. I want to look the way I want to look. Period. I'm done apologizing for the things I want in life. Anyway, I remember what it feels like to have this kind of body because I've been there before in my life and I refuse to believe I can't get there again. I'm not talking about the oiled up, photo-shopped fitness model, mind you, but I want it to be obvious that I am "in" fitness. I want to look at myself and see muscle and strength and health, not extra fat.
So, are all my products a sham? No. I truly believe in them and have seen them work for most people. The average person will find great results if they follow the programs. But for some of us? Something else is at play. Do I know what this is? Nope. But I'm about to take an important step towards figuring it out.
I made an appointment with a doctor. Not any doctor, because several years ago when I told my regular doctor (who is overweight) that I was struggling to lose weight, she basically looked at me with disdain and told me that I was getting older now and I should just deal. Or try running. Because runners seemed to be skinny. 🙄 I pushed her to do some tests anyway, and found out my vitamins D and B12 were super low. I've supplemented ever since. And stopped going to see her.
This doctor is different. She's a doctor of functional medicine. She runs all kinds of tests with the goal being to get your body back in perfect running condition. At her seminar, she talked about how supplements are just that: supplements. Not something you need to stay on forever, but something that supports your body while it heals itself so that it can function normally again.
I've been experimenting now for over two years, trying different things to heal myself, and nothing has helped in the long-term. So I'm finally spending the time and money and giving myself over to a professional. It's worth it to me.
Is there a positive in this? I think so. The fact that I haven't given up. That I didn't believe what that other doctor told me and I've kept looking for answers. And neither should you. Whatever your health and fitness goals happen to be, keep looking for a solution. And trust that there's one out there. And remember... getting healthy is a revolutionary act.