Ten years ago, I was a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and in the best shape of my life. I had never looked better on the outside, but I had no idea who I was on the inside. I fell in love (or so I thought) with a personal trainer and a few months later it ended in violence.
He stripped me of every ounce of power I had and left me full of shame on the bathroom floor of a fitness center. It left me broken, traumatized and alone. Every cell in my body was full of shame. The thoughts in my mind all turned toward self-blame and a feeling of unworthiness. How did I let this happen? Did I make him so mad that he had to do this to me? I made a vow to never date again and cut myself off from the outside world. You can read more about the decade I took off from dating here. I also experienced denial for years and didn’t want to let myself believe this even happened.
I stopped teaching group fitness, isolated myself from the world, and gained 40-plus pounds. I threw myself into my business and detached from my body completely. My body was no longer a safe place for me to be. I was violated in the worst way a woman can be by someone I had thought I loved. I spent the next five years working on myself on the inside while still completely abusing myself on the outside. Food became my best friend and the medication I used to numb the pain from the world. My weight became the shield that I used to keep myself from true connection with men and kept me isolated from pain.
I knew exactly what to do to get the weight off. I had dozens of fitness certifications, but being in shape and looking good became scary for my subconscious brain. Every time I would start to do well and exercise, the fear-based voices in my mind became louder and louder. Less than two years ago, I worked really hard to get to my goal weight; however, when I got there, I became consumed with fear. Within 90 days, all the weight I had lost was back on my body.
Looking back, these are the kinds of subconscious conversations my ego-mind would create to keep me from being healthy:
Eating unhealthy food is a great idea. I love pizza. Here, my subconscious mind truly believed I should gain weight. The heavier I am, the more safety I have.
I look too stupid or out-of-shape to go to the gym. In other words, getting in shape felt very unsafe for me.
I will never look good, so what's the point? The reason I was starting anew 100 times and fail every new regime or weight-loss plan because being sexy equaled danger in my subconscious vocabulary.
I deserve awful experiences because I abuse my body. I look and feel terrible. I was filling my life with distractions and addictions because I don't deserve to come out on the other side after all of this.
As I write this article, I actually I have nothing but love for all that I have been through. I may have lost my power that day on the floor of that fitness center, but today I have found a power far greater than that within my own soul. The healthier I eat and the more I take care of myself, the more I am connected to a power within me.
This power keeps me safe from danger and pain. I truly have nothing but love for the man that stripped me of my dignity and my soul because he helped me to find a part of myself that loves me unconditionally.
Although I have a ton of work to do, here are the things I am doing daily to help myself take back my power and say goodbye to the negative stories in my own mind that keep me isolated and alone. I pray that they help you take back yours as well.