-I have a confession to make and it is a hard one for me to admit. I have trouble with my weight. The past couple months I sort of lost my way and thought if I ate a little bit more, just a little bit of something it wouldn’t count. But eventually those little bits began to add up. I stepped on the scale for the first time in a long time and it wasn’t pretty. I don’t know if I will ever tell you how much I actually weigh (because it’s a little embarrassing for me) but I want to share with you my journey because it is one that has taught me and will continue to teach me a lot about myself.

-For some reason, for as long as I can remember, I associated weight and being skinny with being beautiful. I naturally have a bigger body structure then maybe your average girl, but have always compared myself and wanted to be different. I recently started to accept myself for who I am and have begun to feel more comfortable in my own skin. It just clicked for me that true beauty comes from within, that confidence is beautiful and every person’s personality and body is unique and beautiful in it’s own way.

-Here’s the hardest part: I love food. I love eating. Eating gives me that instant gratification and feeling of comfort. It is the easiest thing to do and it makes me feel good…or at least for a little while. When the numbers started going up I stopped stepping on the scale and started ignoring that there was a problem because it made me feel shitty to know that I was getting “fatter.” I knew how hard it would be to lose those pounds and thought if I didn’t acknowledge it I could avoid it. The thing is I am an athlete who wants to be at the top in her sport and I need to be honest with myself so that I can physically prepare to perform at my best. Also more than being just an athlete, I am a surfer. That means I have to perform in front of people, sometimes thousands of people, in a bathing suit. Feeling good and looking good in a bathing suit is another reason that I want to and need to take care of my body.

-I hate scales. I have had nightmares about scales and stepping on scales. I think this is because I have failed so many times trying to lose and/or maintain my weight that I am afraid of failing again. The scale tells the truth and I don’t want to accept the fact that I need to change and do things differently. I feel vulnerable and weak and I don’t like that. Although the truth can be harsh you need it because that’s how you better yourself. I have had several bad experiences with my weight in the past that still haunt me. Two years ago I started gaining weight and was doing the exact same thing, ignoring it and hoping that no one would notice. My father was the first to say something. It was hard to have the one man in my life who is suppose to always think I’m beautiful no matter what say, “Riss have you stepped on the scale lately?” Of course my dad says those things because he wants the best for me but I have gotten in the tendency of only hearing the negative and that he is dissatisfied. I tried working with a personal trainer which turned out to be a damaging experience as well. I never reached my ultimate goal and I considered myself a failure and became really frustrated. I was given this really horrible, not fun diet of strict protein water, salad, plain oatmeal, and lean meat. It lasted for about a day and a half before I indulged in a tub of frozen yogurt. I was also told to do cardio for at least 40 minutes everyday and I hate hate hate cardio.

-I look back on it now and my approach was all wrong. Instead of looking at loosing weight as a positive challenge and telling myself that I could do it and looked forward to feeling amazing when I reached my goal I struggled at the threshold. I was stuck feeling ugly and upset with myself, intimidated by the long road ahead, and focusing on the sacrifice, hard work and hungry nights that were to be endured before reaching my final destination. I have to stop thinking about it so much. I can’t be afraid of the process but I have to embrace it. I have to be willing to take risks and be vulnerable. So here I go again and I feel like I am finally ready to grab this bull by the horns and lead the charge. I contacted a nutritionist and I am really excited. We are planning to meet sometime next week and I promise to let you know how it goes.

-I want to end with this food for thought (pun intended). It is OK to have those moments when you don’t feel beautiful, to cry and feel sorry for yourself. But most importantly you have to pick yourself up and keep going because that’s what makes you stronger.

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