As the L.A. Marathon approaches I was reflecting on my experience last year. I ran and finished the marathon at 190lbs (I have never shared this number before!)- the only other time I’d ever been close to this weight was when I was about to give birth to my daughter, and I quickly lost all my baby weight soon after. However, when my daughter was around 3, I started gaining weight: it was a combination of lifestyle changes, lack of exercise, and stress. Soon I was too embarrassed to go to my usual yoga class, too embarrassed to run, and so my exercising slowly came to a halt which, of course, led to more weight gain.
For so long I equated my physical appearance with self-esteem, how people liked me, how social I was, and when I no longer looked like my idea of my perfect self, I began to fall into a deep spiral of self hate. I would wake up in the morning and hate the person staring back at me, I felt ugly, unattractive, and worthless. I would profess self-love, and how amazing and unique we all are, but I felt like a total fraud. Why couldn’t I take my own advice? The person I was starting to turn into wasn’t me and I was utterly miserable.
This all changed during the marathon at mile 22. Suddenly, I was overcome with emotion as I realized that this BEAUTIFUL, STRONG body had taken me through 22 miles without injury, aches or pains, but with sheer determination. I thought back to how hard I’d been with myself over the past years, and how horrible I felt about my body, and yet, it still came through for me when I needed it the most. Overcome with gratitude and love, I began to cry. I made a promise, at that precise moment that I would love myself no matter what, and that I would always treat my body with the respect and care it deserved. Last November I ran the NYC Marathon and loved it. My time wasn’t that great but I was faster and stronger than before, I was also 20lbs lighter 😉
I refuse to let a silly number on a scale determine my self-worth. Whether I’m 160lbs or 120lbs, I’m still me, and I am healthier, happier, and more at peace with myself than I’ve ever been before.
Always remember that you are beautiful, unique, incredibly courageous, and deeply loved.
Here’s a pic from the 2014 marathon 😉