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.

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