I'm proud of her...because she's me...

I have been working on many marketing pieces these last few weeks and spending more time than any one person should for their own mental well-being. As I got into marketing more on Instagram, I found that there are many more photos of very cut, muscular, almost-naked people on there than almost anywhere else on the internet. Considering that is the social media the younger generation uses, it's a bit disheartening- especially as the mom of a tween. Although that was bothersome, it is not why I decided to blog.

I am constantly posting about how I live a healthy lifestyle, and be certain that I am showing you the best of me most times. I want to show people how I do healthy things so they can join me on this side of physical health. It was life-changing for me in multiple ways and I want you to experience a piece of that, but my story isn't your story. Maybe choosing to live a healthier life is part of that, and maybe it isn't. That's only for you to decide. But if you are only recently following me, you may not know fully who I am. This woman right here is who I am to my core:

She had the guts to make a commitment to run a half marathon and then another when she was overweight. She was confident enough to squeeze into her spandex, lace up her shoes, and let all of the ripples in her body shake in front of the world. The photo above is me finishing my second, very slow half marathon at Disneyland with a smile on my face because I was so relieved I didn't have to run on my plantar fascitis foot any longer! But that 188lb, 5'8" woman is me. She got me to my 150lb self and even down to 145lb (until she realized it was too low). I'm grateful she had courage that I, ironically, don't always have in this body.

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This woman above...she is still insecure, she still overeats regularly and beats herself up over poor choices. She lives in a place of fear that one day she is going to wake up and be the size of the other woman. She obsessively weighs herself because she believes if she stays thin, she still has value. And somehow if she gained weight, she would be of no use to her clients. Or worse yet, everyone who find out she really is a phony who over-eats and practices unhealthy habits.

It's true the struggle is real everyday. Even living a fit, active, healthy lifestyle, I struggle with body image that is ingrained from 31 years of feeling inadequate because I was overweight and "big-boned". Just because I'm in a smaller body doesn't mean that goes away. I don't know if it ever will, but I am getting more OK with that. I'm proud of 188lb LJ for all she accomplished- 2 half marathons, running businesses, graduating from college after being a Marine, a wife and a mom. She did the best she knew how, and right now as I sit here and write this, I am so grateful she had the courage to tackle all of those things regardless of the lies her mind was telling her.

I think we all need to take a few cues from my strong, enduring, "I don't care what you think" and, yes, heavier past self. Tell those lies in your own head to "SHUT UP!" and starting doing it anyway! The lies we tell ourselves are just that, lies! Don't believe everything you hear in that head. Take a moment to evaluate what you are hearing. Is it true?

I don't know who you are reading this or why you chose to stick it out, but I can tell you this one thing. God placed you on this earth for a special purpose He has JUST FOR YOU! No one else can accomplish your purpose, and no one else will! You have beauty, talent, and a passion for a reason, don't let anyone take that away from you- ESPECIALLY YOU!

I'm proud of LJ then and now...because she's me!

Thanks for listening!
LJ Eastmead
lj@infinitely-fit.com