Just Be Yourself
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
For the longest time I have ebbed and flowed with what I blog about, what I post on social media and how I go about doing it all. I talk a lot about not letting social media influence the things you try in life and not to compare yourself to the things you see, but it's hard. The reason why I speak about this so much, is because I was guilty of doing it for so damn long. I am guilty of allowing the opinions of others, as well as what other people were doing, to influence what I was sharing on-line and to be honest, I wasn't being true to myself.
As a result of this, posting on social media, blogging, podcasting, etc... it all became a chore to me. I would stop doing it for weeks on end because I was stuck in a cycle of comparison, trying to make sure I had not only the perfect photo, but also the perfect words to go with it. It became absolutely exhausting and took the joy out of sharing my journey.
Thankfully I finally came to my senses (for the most part) and started to accept myself for who I am.
I muted or unfollowed accounts that made me feel like I wasn't up to par. This wasn't because that person did anything wrong, they were just being true to their path, and I learned that while trying to find mine I have to reduce the amount of noise and outside influence I allowed in. There is nothing wrong with doing this if it means you allow yourself time to find yourself. As a matter of fact, I went back and followed many of these people once I learned more about myself, what I was comfortable with and how to just be myself, and I appreciated their posts a lot more.
Just Be Yourself.
It's a powerful phrase. Who am I? What do I stand for? What do I like? What don't I like? What do I want to achieve? This is all serious food for thought and these are questions that I ask myself often.
After a lot of self-reflecting and years of asking myself these questions, I can say that I am the following:
A resilient woman
A mom who wants to show her children that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.
Someone who has struggled with weight and emotional eating for the majority of my life.
A personal trainer who is not comfortable in a gym setting - to the point that I have made the decision to allow my certification to expire, because it doesn't serve me the way I thought it would.
I am shy and often doubt myself, even though I know I capable of hard things.
I am someone who spends too much time worrying about what other people think of my choices.
I struggle with body image and often still see an overweight person in the mirror, even thought I have lost over 100 pounds, maintained that weight loss for a decade and had a tummy tuck to remove excess skin and repair my abdominal muscles.
I often put the needs of others before my own and feel burnt out because of that.
I am fiercely independent and have a hard time asking for help.
I know that I am destined to do great things and have a purpose in life.
Coffee makes me happy.
I love crisp fall weather and sitting by a fire
Laughter is therapy for my soul.
I want to travel this country, as well as the world, because there is so much to learn and see out there and I don't want to waste that.
Most importantly, I am a work in progress.
Self reflection is not an easy thing to do, but it is necessary if you want to be happy.
After first making this list, I took some time to review my own posts on social media as well as old blog posts and I realized the posts I enjoyed sharing the most were the ones about my personal journey.
I started blogging and posting on social media as a journal for myself. It was a way to document my weightless journey. Fun fact: I never intended for my original blog to be viewed publicly. I shared it with a few people at the time to show them what I was up to and they encouraged me to share it, so others could be inspired by the work I was doing.
I'm not an expert and I do not have degrees in this field, however I do know what has worked for me and what hasn't. By sharing my journey, someone reading or listening to this may relate. My decision to share a post on that particular topic could spark change in that person. That is what I set out to do when I made the decision to make my blog posts public and share my daily journey on social media.
Paying it Forward...
When I started my weight loss journey, I didn't have a coach, an accountability group, a community or anyone to guide me. I couldn't afford a personal trainer and even if I could, I would have been too embarrassed to hire one. I was on my own and that was a scary thing. I also didn't have a lot of outside support, but thankfully I had the support of my family, which is something many people do not have.
My journey was filled with lots of success and lots of failure. It took me a long time to embrace it, but failure is now my thing. It means I'm trying new things and growing as a person. As long as I don't give up and I make sure I take the time to learn the lesson that is within each failure, I come out ahead. #FailForward has become my mantra and it helped to spark a line of merch in my shop.
There were many days when I wanted to give up. I just wanted to go back to sitting on the couch and shovel ice-cream into my face. I am thankful everyday that I didn't do that. I am thankful everyday that I discovered social media and the hashtag for P90X on twitter. That is what helped me to stay motivated during the beginning of my journey and it kept me moving forward. I am thankful I shared my blog with a few people and they told me I should be sharing this with others. Blogging helped me to find my voice, even if it has also left me feeling lost and speechless at times. I am thankful for the relentless push of Daryl Perry from Your Level Fitness, because without him, I never would have started podcasting.
Focus on What Matters.
As I move forward on my journey, I am being mindful to stay focused on what matters to me, and I hope after reading this, the same hold true for you.
That means being true to yourself, sharing your experiences in a way that is true to who you are, so you can hopefully help those who can relate to your story.
This means I will not post or discuss things because I feel like I have to or because everyone else is. I want to focus on sharing things because I feel passionate about them or because I know someone who could benefit from my sharing... or just because it brings me joy and makes me happy to do so!
What other people think can no longer be a concern - their happiness is not more important than mine!
I am making a promise to myself to reclaim my social media space as my own. I want to open up more, continue to be real and share my struggles along with my success. This journey is not all rainbows and unicorns. There is going to be good and there is going to be bad and both should be shared. Are you with me?!
Lastly, remember there is no such thing as perfection.
By trying to create perfection, we rob ourselves of so many amazing experiences. We get caught up in all of our "failures" - but remember, there is magic in failure if you take the time to learn and grow from it. We are all perfectly imperfect, so embrace it!
When you feel like quitting, remember why YOU started.
This little piece of advice can be applied to everything in life. When you know why you are doing something, you become unstoppable!
So shut out the noise, spend some time with yourself to find out who you are, and then just be that! Be you... because you are unique and deserve to shine.
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