i did a thing today.

so i did a thing today.

a thing that scared me absolutely sh*tless.

today, i agreed to bare it all. well, basically. i mean, might as well have been naked!

today, i agreed to be on film, on camera, in front of others and eventually in front of strangers…in my sportsbra. yep. me and my sports bra. (and shorts of course.)

if you know me more intimately, which you probably don’t, then you know, i suffer an insane amount from body issues. most people don’t know that about me. most people don’t expect that from me.

but i have spent the better part of 30+ years hating myself. hating my body. hating the unique things that make me me. it isn’t fun. and i’m over it. the last 4+ years of my life have been the most positive to say the least. i slowly have started to make peace with the hand God dealt me. in the past 3 months, i’ve made strides in just that by beginning yoga and working on “grace” and “acceptance” and being happy and proud with ANY sort of movement I am allowed for the day.

but is it such an easy flip of the switch and change of perspective? Not even close. just yesterday, i spent an hour of yoga fighting tears. mad because i couldn’t turn my brain off. because i couldnt be happy with the movement i was doing. mad because my sweaty legs wouldn’t allow me to get deeper into a pose. mad because i knew i should be feeling stronger. mad because these thoughts wouldn’t disappear. mad because i couldnt enjoy my savansana.

telling myself i am beautiful and enough makes me cry. it hurts. because i still dont believe it. trust me, I WANT TO. i want to so badly have the confidence everyone else has. i want to be proud of my body. i want to look in the mirror and see me!  i want to be so freaking proud of how far i have come. easier said than done. i see my broad, rectangular shape. i see what i looked like 60 lbs ago.

but today was a step in the right direction. today i did something empowering. today i was scared and brave at the same time. today i took a chance to make a difference…in my world and in other women’s world. today i was not embarresed of the body i am in. i embraced it. i was proud of it. because, i have worked my ass off to get here…to show this off. i will never be tiny…it’s not in my dna…and that is OK. i eat healthy, i work my ass off and this woman is a bad ass chick who is kicking butt in so many ways. i no longer starve myself. i am trying to turn the negative self talk OFF. i am working on reminding myself that people look up to me and that i need to be the best version of myself for me and them.

while some days i feel so weak and like i have so much work today, today i feel strong. and proud. and happy. who knew someone would ask me to be in a sportsbra video…that someone was admiring my strength and work ethic. that someone thought i would be great for this project.

and by being around other amazing women who have found peace with who they are, it makes me want to be that way too.

i feel blessed constantly for what has been put on my plate. today i was reminded how lucky i am to be doing what i do. the unique, niche things i do. and i am so happy i get to be that person. i get to be in front of a camera. i get to show up and smile. i get to talk to people who want to hear what i say. i get to shine. how lucky am i?!

now if only i can get the mind to get on board…i think good things are in store.

i’m working on it. i’m getting there. i know i can and i will.

like i always have shared, i know i’m a late bloomer, and this will come too. life has gotten me this far and taught me all of these things, there is more in store for me, and i know i have great things in my future.

until then, i’m going be proud of what i accomplished today. and let that be enough.

xox.

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my world.

where do i begin?

it’s september. and i haven’t been writing. but constantly have a voice in my head urging me to find a computer stat or pen and paper and let the words just flow. but by the time i get there, it’s too late. i’m tired or worn out or already emotionally drained and don’t have enough left to put it all into words.

i need to be more intentional. set one day a week at least where i write. i need it. but for now, i”m here…and let’s just see what comes out.

today i find myself in a bit of an emotional bind. a bit stressed and unhappy with several things in my life. actually, we could go across the board and pick a topic and i can argue one thing i’m not exactly satisfied with in that realm. i hate that. i hate being negative. but deep down, i naturally have that tendency to dwell on bad stuff. that tendency to let life pull me down. and usually right when i begin to lose my breathe and i can’t tread water any more, i snap out of it or find a grand reason that keeps me grateful.

let’s see if i can break anything down. i might just use this space as a makeshift therapy sesh if you all don’t mind.

i hung out with a guy a bit ago. a guy who i was sure despised me. literally. yet, the night we found ourselves in the same space he kept talking to me and spurring the conversation. until hours later it was him and i chatting about all the things. life, depression, what makes us tick, political affiliations, hopes, goals, dreams…everything. this guy i assumed hated me seemed to have some sort of a soft spot for me. and after he told me he “knew” where i lived, i felt like he had been watching from afar…which was weird because i rarely saw him..like never. well life happens and he seemed to not be very interested…until today i saw him driving in front of me as i turned onto my street to go home. his ex and daughter live next door to me. how’s that for ironic. maybe that causes some hesitation…although either way, he could have not disappeared the way he did. which then only makes me wonder what is so wrong with me that someone could do that?! c’est la vie.

next.

so i started yoga. it’s been great. and there are a bunch of reasons i am so glad to be doing it, and mainly the big ones — my body could use some extra love; i didn’t realize how well my body would react to the core and strength training that didn’t involve weights (think: easily lost 6 lbs without even trying); then there’s the whole “accepting and appreciating your body and what it has to offer day in and day out;” oh and the “no comparing to others” thing…yea, those. Those might be bigger reasons why I threw myself into yoga. Practicing 3-4 times a week. Because lord only knows how badly i need to love myself and my body. but here’s the thing…the more i am told to accept it and love it…the more frustrated i get. why wasn’t i dealt different genes. why do my feet supinate so extreme? why is it that i don’t know what it is like to live without hip pain. why does my body actually hurt monday through friday (on a good week!)?! why can i lift all the weights but not my body a graceful position? ok. so why? because God gave me all this to work with. and it’s my mission to make peace with it. but how easy is that after literally hating my body for 30+ years. literally. it’s not an easy thing to end a 30 year war. it’s extremely hard to change perspective and mindspace and change the thoughts. I am slowly, but it’s not easy. it’s an internal fight. it’s tough to be nice to myself when i still don’t like what i see. will i ever like her? jeez, i hope so.

lately i’m trying SO SO hard to work on me. to find the tools i need. to be the best version of me. to stay in my lane and look inward and know i’m on the right path. but somedays i feel it gets even worst.

the voice in my head somedays sounds louder. or the obsession with food and working out is there more often. if i didnt sweat for 3 hours, it’s not enough. 3 hours?! that’s how much i worked out as a top athlete. my body is starving for time off but my mind refuses to entertain that idea. days off..hah! you’re sore…run it off…you’re tired, get in the gym. yet when a friend comes to me tired, sore and injured — i tell them to listen to their body and be ok to take some time off.

it’s exhausting.

i think that’s why it’s so tough to me  to get back here and write. it’s literally exhausting. exhausting justifying it in my head. if i eat that, will it be ok if i just hit the gym ONCE today?! can i get away with just a few miles of a run…what if i didn’t get cardio in?! my head is a mess.

i was talking to a friend the other day and it all started coming out. how i’m trying so hard to make peace with my body but sometimes it just feels like all i’ve done is illuminated my weaknesses. and then i get frustrated.

i had so much more to say but i think this is where i end it today.

be the change. appreciate what you hate. trade expectation for gratitude. your body is a blessing…try and remember that.

xox.

your opinion of me.

i wish i could get on my soap box and preach that your opinion of me doesn’t matter to me. it shouldn’t. but it does.

i know, i know…no one’s opinion of me should change how i think or act or what i do or make me feel better or worst about myself. but come on. we all know it effects us a little here and there.

one of my biggest goals is to let go of what people think of me. and i go through phases where i really am good about letting it go and not giving a sh*t. but i also go through phases where i am obsessed with what people think or say about me.

and it makes no sense, but lately the positive comments have had negative effects on me.

recently, i got some positive feedback on my physical appearance. now, mind you, i’m no stranger to comments about my body. however, most of the time they are incredibly hurtful and negative. while those ones always sting, it’s been over 10 years of having people talk about my physical appearance in a negative way, so it’s become something i just get upset about and move on. don’t get me wrong, that shit hurts and i remember most of the bad ones, but i guess me being me has come to realize it happens and people are assholes.

however, it wasn’t until i got some positive comments on my physical appearance that i realized…it’s none of your damn business what i look like. after reading through some comments, from men nonetheless, about me looking fit and like i’ve dropped weight, i initially was proud…and then my head started processing it all…so i looked like a fat hippo to you before now? they asked how my workouts had changed and all i wanted to say was, “they haven’t. i work my ass off day in and day out and have been doing so for the past 3 years.” I wanted to say, “I’ve never actually looked like this in my life…and i’m 34 and a has been top athlete and i’ve never worked this hard in my life.” I wanted to say, “i am in the gym sweating 5 or 6 days a week. running 4 or 5 days a week. hiking. playing tennis. sprinting. and trying to keep my body glued together between all that.” i wanted to say i’m one of the hardest workers you’ll ever meet. but i didn’t. i didn’t say anything. because they don’t understand and they don’t know me…and they don’t realize how their comments on what i look like actually sent me deeper into an obsessiveness i pretend to have control over.

a week later, i found myself binging and eating uncontrollably. and all i kept thinking was, “shit. they’re going to watch the video from this week and remind me i’m actually a cow. and ask how did i put 20 lbs on so fast.” i went through a week where i wasn’t motivated and couldn’t discipline my diet. it went straight to my head. and i hate it. i had just come off about a month of avoiding added sugar in anything and i kept starting my new count over every other day because i couldn’t help from shoving sugar in my mouth.  call it sabotage. call it being human. call it what you want, but it really messed with me.

so this week, i snapped it back into gear. but i consciously am realizing how with each day, the more obsessed i am becoming with my workouts. i freak out on the inside if i am not sure i can get a full hour in the gym. this morning i ran 5.5 miles, played 90 mins of tennis and went to the gym for an hour. and i still feel like it wasn’t enough. i’m back on the discipline train with my eating (I’ve NEVER been good with the whole moderation thing…most things in my life are all or nothing…food has kind of been that way too). tomorrow will be day 3 of no added sugar and i set some goals for the end of the month to keep me on track.

so as i try to add some sort of balance into my life again…i also will be working on not letting people’s thoughts about me effect me deep down. because for my own health, i need to be ok knowing at the end of the day, i did everything i could to be the best version of me and have the best day…and somedays that might mean skipping the gym or eating a cupcake…or running 6 miles before work and following it with leg day…just as long as i’m doing it for me, it will be ok.

Happier Fat?

Ok, that’s a vague title.

I’ve had a bit of an off week. I haven’t been writing for whatever reason. I haven’t found…scratch that, made the time. That’s the actual reason. Which is kind of a bummer because over the past few weeks I’ve thought of a lot of things to write on. But either way, not beating myself too much about it…here I am.

So aside from not writing, the past week or so has also handed me a few challenges. I strained my calf (the same spot that I tore almost 4 years ago when I was over exercising). I came down with a nasty cold (maybe the flu?). And yea, that was enough to throw me off. The calf thing had been building up and bothering me now for well over a month. And I had been run down and exhausted so I guess getting sick was also imminent. So I battled this week.

Monday, I wasn’t feeling great, but as I almost always do, I told my head to stop complaining, suck it up, and deal with it. I dealt with it in a way almost no one else in the world would. I ran 2 miles then hit the gym to do 100 thrusters and 100 hand release push ups. Normal, right? My head was killing me by 4pm and I dragged myself home and into bed where I remained for the next 24 hours.

I allowed myself a sick day, loaded with sleeping and rest and fluids and then gave myself said pep talk on Wednesday and got myself back into work. And back into the gym.

Despite not being able to breathe. Or taste. Or function without a throbbing headache, Thursday ran about the same as Wednesday.

By Friday, I was so excited I made it through the week. Went for a mile run to test my calf for the big run I had planned all week for Saturday and hit the gym hard, blowing my nose every 5 minutes, but completed my WOD and accessory work and was proud to have successfully made it through a tough week only giving up one day off.

And by Friday I felt like I had some swag back. I also felt like I was leaning out and doing good work in the gym and since I’d been sick, I was proud I didn’t really eat too poorly. Except by Saturday, I realized I didn’t really eat at all.

So let’s fast forward to today. Saturday. After taking almost 2 weeks off from any long runs, I was so excited to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement. It has been raining, so I planned this one perfect. Post-rain, it would still be wet but not too cold. I woke up without my alarm, made coffee, drank a glass of water, ate some eggs and got dressed. Threw on an ankle brace, compression sock and calf sleeve and was stoked to get going. I parked, picked my pandora station and I was off! The goal was between 5 and 6 miles, but I was hoping my body would be able to handle 6 no problem. I hit 3 miles and was ecstatic to turn around. Until, bam. I gingerly stopped. My right hamstring just balled up into a tiny pretzel before my eyes. Wait a minute?! What?! My fucking right hamstring is now giving me issues? You have got to be kidding me. I stopped then and there, unsure of what to do, with tears welling in my eyes not from the pain but the mere fact that I might be facing another injury. Unsure what to do, I crossed the street and started pounding my hamstring with my fist — I probably looked insane, but I have pretty tight legs and my mere pounding wasn’t even beginning to loosen them up. I started going through every hamstring stretch I knew…as sweat is pouring from my body. And then it hit me. It’s 85% humidity right now. I didn’t drink nearly enough water yesterday, let alone this morning and I sure as hell sweat most of it out in my first 3 miles….

I stretched and started my walk home. I figured I would be fine if I could somehow lengthen the muscle and get it to unknot. Jog. Stop. Stretch. Walk. Jog. Stop. Stretch. Walk…By the time I was a .75 mile away from my car, I jogged and told myself I could make it, I’d be fine and the faster I got to my car the faster I could hydrate and ice.

I made it to my car and inhaled 40 ounces of water like it was nothing. And my body wasn’t full. Then and there I realized despite all the warning signs to slow down and take care of myself all week hadn’t worked. Then I realized that eating one solid meal a day for the past week hadn’t worked. Then I realized forcing myself into a day off hadn’t worked. And then I realized how my head has been a bit more of a mess than I thought lately.

What’s the point of telling you all this? All morning I had been so proud of the “baby abs” I am starting to sprout. And how lean, but strong, my legs are looking. And how I did 5 pull-ups without assistance this week on a week I was sick. And how I felt like my core has been tightening. And my boobs might be shrinking. And my shoulders are looking stronger. And how I hadn’t over indulged at all all week. These are all the things I was so proud of. And yet my body was screaming at me.

I had a conversation with my sister the other day explaining to her how I hadn’t had anything pumpkin yet because of how many carbs and sugars are in everything. I love pumpkin. I love fall flavors. She said “I don’t care about carbs.” Is it bad that somedays, for some moments, I wish I didn’t either. I wish I could eat that brownie without feeling guilt. With remembering that life is a balance. I wish I could remember the last time I had a sandwich, with bread. I wish I knew the last time I had ice cream that didn’t have sugar alcohols in them. The only pumpkin items I’ve had have been sugar free. I swear I wasn’t like this a year ago. But I also swear I didn’t have “baby abs” a year ago too.

It’s frustrating. There are many days my head obsesses over what I will eat, when, where, what happens if I go out, what if I want to drink and no one has sugar free mixers, what if there is only beer and I don’t want all the carbs, what if we order pizza and that’s all there is to eat, and more importantly, what if i DO eat a cupcake or cookie or brownie?!…these are things that constantly rotate in my head. And then the next day it’s all about how many miles do I need to run to fix that mistake I made by eating that brownie, and is that going to be a hard enough or long enough workout, and how do I get my cardio in if I can’t run, and how many miles can I run after work, or should I hike, or maybe a trail run or HIIT sprints might be good, but I can’t tonight how will I fit that in if I have an obligation at 6pm. It’s exhausting.

While I know I wouldn’t be happier where I was 60+ pounds ago, somedays I wish my inner fat kid could just take over without my inner fit fanatic always being present. And the thing is, I know I need to find the balance, and I know that takes work. It doesn’t just happen one day. I need to practice it. One cookie won’t ruin a workout. One brownie won’t ruin a month of hard work. Run because you love to run, because you love the time alone and you love the sweat. Not because you ate pizza last night. Or had a beer. Or three. Hit the gym because that’s your version of therapy. And you love growing new muscles and being strong and looking strong. Not because you need to punish yourself for a day or two off. Or for not eating clean the day before.

Time to work on letting go a little because truth is…

Life is a mother fucking balance.

xx

life.

I’m excited to get the ball rolling. Entry one has been added and I feel like I have freedom to write what I want from here on out.

While I struggle most days to find enough hours in the day, I think this will be an important task I will want to find time for. Because four years ago…my blog was what kept me going.

Now, why should you listen to me? Well…I’m not saying you should. But I’ve lived life and experienced a whole helluva a lot. A lot more than I think most have. And here’s what I know and what I can expand on…Life is amazing. Yes, it does eventually all make sense and even the darkest times do have a light at the end of the tunnel. You may feel alone, but you aren’t. Some days suck…for no reason at all. People can be assholes. Some days are amazing…for no reason at all, but you just find yourself smiling and laughing and in it. Some people will always get it. Several never will. The people who are there through the ups and downs are your tribe. Don’t open up to everyone, most people don’t care. Life is too short not to be living it how you want. Do what you love, no matter what it is. No man ever has the right to abuse the woman he claims to care about — mentally, physically or emotionally. Hate and jealousy is an ugly emotion. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. Dreams do come true but sometimes dreams change. March to the beat of your own drum. No one said it would be easy. Enjoy every minute of your world. Life is short, tell the people you love that you care about them. You are worth it. Life is a balance. Nothing toxic comes from genuine love. You never know who you are inspiring.

I could go on 🙂 and I will…

You could say four years ago I hit rock bottom. Ironically enough, now looking back…I probably hit it before…although thought I was downward spiralling when in actuality, I may have been rebounding back.

Four years ago, I hated myself. I was lost. I literally cried every day. I had just moved home with my mom after my contract wasn’t renewed and I was lied to and I lost my “dream job.” I had no friends (granted, I had no friends in albuquerque either so this wasnt new). My emotionally abusive narcissistic ex boyfriend broke up with me after saying he would do anything to move to be with me. I was fat and hadn’t worked out (like seriously worked out, sure 30 minutes on the elliptical here and there) in years. I had no passion. I had no direction. I was sad. Every day was painful.

Now I have to preface this story ALWAYS by saying thank GOD for my support system. Which consists of my mom and my sister. No joke, without those two, there is no way I’d be where I am today. I may not even be here…let alone living my dreams.

That being said, thankfully my Mom had found a gym she loved and saw results at and dragged me along. Me, being cloudy and foggy and angry at the world was convinced it was dumb because after all, I had been a top athlete and could have been a pro tennis player and they couldn’t train me. Little did I realize I had been abusing my body for years and hadnt actually consistently worked since I had stopped competing several years ago. For some reason, I was convinced that as a D1 tennis coach, working out only was necessary for the players. Did I mention my then boyfriend tried to snap me out of that by letting me know I was “fat” and “should go to the gym?!”

So, at 29 years old I found myself unemployed, overweight and living with my Mom…far from any dream I had ever dreamt. I had been diagnosed with “severe depression and anxiety” months before and was on one of the heaviest, legal doses of anti-depressants (which after doing extensive research, I learned would be a bitch to ween myself off). I struggled almost daily with self harm. So much so that every time I had an incident, my Mom made me promise her I’d never do it again. I never could make that promise. And each time it got worst. But it took some of the pain away from my head…it made no sense logically…but in my world, I deserved it and I hated myself that much.

So, I did what any other person in my shoes would do. I threw myself into the gym and got to sweating. Yes, the story goes I definitely almost puked doing burpees outside on day 1. God, I had no idea how out of shape I had gotten. And as I applied to every tennis job under the sun, I quickly realized I was in a bad spot and life wasn’t working out. I flew all over the country for interviews just to be “runner up” due to political reasons. The more rejections, the worst I felt…the more time I spent at the gym. Finally, I was bored with it all and began my blog.

Back then, my day literally consisted of going to the gym. Getting coffee. Applying to jobs. Blogging.

Now if you know me today, you have to question this. My schedule today looks something like this — wake up at 6am go to work, hit the gym, play some tennis, work a bit more, go to the beach, get a 5k run in, quick trip to the store, make some dinner, watch a show and bed. Throw in softball games, hikes, 6am 10k runs, volleyball, game nights, concerts, friday nights (say what? yes! I now have a thriving social life!), etc. Like I said, I need more hours in the day!

So what happened in those months. Honestly…for six months I cried a lot. I felt hopeless and sorry for myself. There were many days when I came home and lost it. One day in particular stands out. Maybe I self abused, maybe I didn’t that day. But what I remember was crying and being in so much pain and I said, “Nothing in this world will ever make THIS make sense.” And I believed it. *SPOILER ALERT* Something in this world made it all make sense. And I tear up just writing that. Because honestly, despite always having goals and dreams, I don’t think I ever saw myself where I am today…and maybe that was part of the problem…maybe I never believed enough or maybe I didn’t have enough faith. But I remember on my 30th birthday saying, wow…it all does make sense and it was all worth it and I couldn’t be more thankful for my journey and my struggle if this is where it led me and it makes me so insanely grateful and thankful for every day before me.

I feel like there are so many little stories within a story. And my head is a big jumble of it all. And while some of it really isn’t valid, it all leads me to here.

And I haven’t even hit on why I wanted to start writing again.

I work for a company that is in a word…amazing. They have taken me in like their own and I’m a part of the family. My position allows me to be and thrive as who I am. And my opinion is valued. Like people all over the world actually care about what I have to say about things and value it and even lean on it! With that said, naming myself as a quasi celeb in the tennis world is outright ridiculous. But…truth be told, that’s kind of what we are. As I type, our newest video was uploaded just an hour or two ago and quickly is gaining comments by the minute and will have over 1,000 views by midnight…it’s slightly daunting. With that being said, there are people in this world who suck. Who are insecure and instead of dealing with it, pull other people down. There are some real assholes out there. And lately, those assholes have been getting in my head.

I’ve been called fat. A bitch. A beast. Huge. Ugly. “She has the most talent but is the fattest player I’ve ever seen.” Chubby. Chunky. You name it…I’ve been called it. Most recently I’ve been told I need to stop eating ben and jerrys and that my workouts clearly arent working.

Yea…that shit stays with you. It’s easy for anyone to say those people are just straight up losers or assholes, but that doesn’t erase their words.

So in all honestly, I’ve been noticing that I have been relapsing mentally a bit the past year…that sounds vague. I’ve been dealing with a lot of internal voices and trying to fall in love with the person I am, inside and out. Long story short, I’ve always dealt with disordered eating and body dysmorphia. Ironically, as I dug up some old blog entries, I had documented that at the age of 7 I wrote New Year’s resolutions about “losing weight,” “snacking healthier,” and “exercising more.” At 7.

About a year and a half ago, I met my weight goal I had set. A weight I hadn’t seen since I was 18 when I was spending 4 hours on the court, an hour in the gym and consuming maybe 1000 calories. However, this time when that weight showed on the scale, I had something to go with it — strong, powerful legs that could carry me miles, broad shoulders that could work for hours lifting in the gym, a core that has tightened and experiences that mentally and physically made me stronger.

But, lately, I can’t finish the day unless I’ve sweated through 2 sports bras. My goal weight that I hit is way in the past and I have a new number I’m working toward. Despite dropping well over several sizes in clothes, I want more. So, I’ve always been a hard worker in life and that’s how I go about conquering things. That means, two a days are a norm for me. I spend an hour in the gym and then either another hour on the court and/or an hour or so running or hiking. I try to eat as paleo as possible and as clean as I can most days. I avoid simple carbs, I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a sandwich, I claim not to eat bread…or pasta…I refuse to have flour or sugar in my cabinets. I avoid the bad stuff as much as humanly possible. And after all that, I hate to admit it…but I still don’t like my body. It’s a struggle. And when I have strangers, or people I know make comments about my body, it really doesn’t hurt and I’m desperately searching in my mind for the next thing I can do to somehow “look” fitter, skinnier, better.

I could go on and on about this topic, and I will. It no doubt haunts me on a daily basis. I am consumed with when and what I will do for my workouts and what and when I can eat…it sucks. Somedays I want to give it up, but I refuse to ever go back to someone who weighted well over 250 lbs and thought then she was still an athlete. I am the leanest and strongest I have ever been and I refuse to give up the fight to get leaner and stronger, just some days it isn’t healthy and some days it sucks and some days it’s exhausting, but some days aren’t bad and some days I am proud of myself. But with each day, I know the battle I’m going against and am working on righting my wrongs and making peace with what God has given me to work with. And one day I will find myself to be beautiful. Until then, I will keep moving forward and allowing myself to be human and keep working on being better with each passing day.

I’ll just leave all of that right here for now.

xox