I’ve carried this around this thing with me for as long as I can remember. It has held me back. I often second guess things with it around. It won’t seem to go away and I can’t take it anymore. My stomach has caused me nothing but trouble since I became overweight at a young age. As a healthy person that works out frequently and maintained a Vegan diet for nearly a year, it amazes me that I still carry the weight of bad food choices past. I can’t get over it.

Working out has always been fun for me! Sadly, I didn’t take it quite so seriously until I had a serious surgery at 17 and the doctors were concerned about my health and going under. Although I was technically healthy for a smoking teen, I was overweight. I am 5’3 and weighed in at 230lbs. My mother thought the scale was broken. It was bad. After I had a successful head surgery, when I recovered, I started my journey towards a healthy life! My vanity took the reigns early on and my only focus was to lose weight and ‘look good’. It took a long time to alter my thinking and perception of what a healthy lifestyle was.

Working off years of processed foods, alcohol and chips has been an adventure, to say the least. My lower half had always been incredibly solid. Weightlifting was something I’ve always enjoyed and felt good doing. Can’t say much for the upper half of my body. My arms were weak and my core was soft. My solution was essentially avoiding it or dedicating limited gym time to it. Thankfully, when I found yoga, my upper body found strength and my abdominals became less gelatinous. Still, I lacked a smooth core and there were no lines, despite the thousands of crunches and leg lifts I did. I was still unhappy.

There was a dark time in my life where I was so desperate to get a flat stomach that I didn’t eat potatoes, bread or pasta for over a year. It did nothing. When I changed my diet to Vegan, I figured that this was what I had been waiting for. This was going to be that glorious time in my life where I finally felt amazing in a bikini for those two weeks of summer that Milwaukee has. Nope. I’m nearly a year and some change in and sometimes I feel like I’ve expanded. That being said, I have opened myself up to going out to eat more and trying to not let my lifestyle dictate my personal life, which has played a factor in the way I look today. Enjoying my city, friends and food makes me happy and I do not regret my outings. Excepting occasional times when I eat dairy and feel sick for a day or two, but it’s life. I’m also not as young as I used to be and it feels like I’m gaining weight at lightening speed and it’s coming off slower than a slug.

So, what am I doing wrong? I ask myself this question on days I walk past my full length in a sports bra and undies. What can I do to shed this burden? I even spent a day emailing clinics for quotes on tummy tucks because I got so sick of it. I’ve dedicated two sessions a day to the gym and given up chips and sweets for it. Torturing myself to get something that I simply don’t think I can alone acquire or at all, if I’m being honest. I’ll spend days loving myself so fully until I disrobe and see that pooch. But, why? I’m healthy, for the most part, I really am. Yes, I have excess weight around my middle but, who doesn’t? Why is something that so many people have so bothersome to me? I’m a self loving individual but I couldn’t get past this.

I’ve strived for that beach body forever but, I have it! Its hard for me to accept this but it really is true. I wear a bikini at the beach and no one dies, not even me. As a woman, it can be difficult to be happy with yourself, especially with all the ads, social media and standards the world holds our bodies too. Clearly, I am a perfect example of how skewed my perception can be when I am being saturated with supermodel and actress figures, daily. I try to be thankful for how far I’ve come since I weighed so much and how drastically my lifestyle has changed. We all, men and women alike, need to take that into consideration. Loving yourself and your body can be hard but it is so important for your physical and metal being.  If we are taking those steps and are being conscious of the choices we make, that’s all we can do. Eat solid, healthy food from the Earth. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Move your body often.

Your body is a temple and it is the only one you have. We are not all created the same and we do not have a cookie cutter guideline for how we are suppose to look. Regardless of what the fashion and marketing world try to make us believe. We are all beautiful. Treat your body as such. Forget social norms, the ads you see and don’t ever compare yourself to anyone! You are unique. Your body is capable of amazing things. Just make sure that you feel good! Treat your body right. Fuel it with all the good things that will keep you adventuring and exploring as long as you can! Self love. My excess is NOT a burden. Remember that.



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