Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Afraid to be Fit

Blog Post #1
September 12, 2016

This is a before and after 1 year on Thrive and when I can say
I truly started healing my relationship with food and my body.

My nick name was “bloated porpoise”. In fact, I even had a scientific name along with that “bloatious porpious”. Pronounced bloat-ee-ous porp-ee-ous. It was all fun and games back then, you see. No one knew how badly that cut me to my soul. Not my brother or his friends. Not my mother. I just smiled and laughed right along with them.
That is, until I was alone in my room in front of the huge mirror and ballet bar my parents had put in my room. It was there I would pick myself apart. Silently critiquing my every curve, pimple, pore, cellulite spot—all less than “perfection” and all proof that I was never going to be good enough.
“Suck your stomach in, Ashley.”
“Stand up straight.”
“Maybe you should walk a few more times up this hill.”
“Are you really going to eat all of that?”
…all statements that I can still hear and more importantly can feel how I felt back then. Statements from loved ones that had no idea the profound affect they would have on me even now, 20 years later.
My body wasn’t the only thing that was targeted in this “constructive criticism”...
This is Aug. 2008--4 months
after giving birth to my
youngest kiddo.
My grades.
My “grandiose dreams”.
The “wrongness” of my love to be on stage and entertaining others.
My outbursts of anger.
My lack of self love.
“Ashley—the world is your oyster. You can be anything you want” was one breath, and in the next “Ashley, suck your stomach in! Stand up straight! Take better care of your things! Stop drawing attention to yourself! Stop being the center of attention! Stop being so bossy!”
And in conversations with others I was introduced like this: “And this--this is my very strong willed child.”
I grew up in a very sarcastic and highly critical family that placed a great deal of importance on image and what “other people” would see or think. Perfection was the standard and there was a “right way” and a “wrong way” to do everything right down to vacuuming the floor and folding the towels.
Not being “good enough” was a thing and failures just weren’t talked about. Feelings weren’t really talked about either, and when you did something “right” or accomplished something, you got a “good job” and life moved on….
But, when you “fell short”…
When you “failed”…
Or when, God forbid, you “disappointed” or “embarrassed” the family—
Yeah that was something you could and never would live down.
Can you see the mixed messages?
“You’re so beautiful—tone it down!”
“You’re so talented and well spoken—you really need to pay attention to how you intimidate people!”
Maybe you experienced something similar?
Maybe you longed deep in your soul like I have for you family to just love and accept you as you are?
Maybe, just maybe, you’ve cried and asked yourself over and over why you could never be enough yet too much at the same time?
Maybe you were the black sheep of your family, like me, that rebelled against all the bullshit yet found yourself on a crazy roller coaster because of self-criticism?
Maybe, like me, you’ve beaten yourself up for all the ways you “failed”?
All of that laid the foundation for how I’ve treated myself for years. Chain smoking and not eating then binge eating then feeling guilty then forcing my body to lose weight with diet pills, crazy diets—I’d even use super hard workouts as a way to abuse myself. Up and down on the scale I went over and over and over again. Hating myself when I was “fat” or “chunky” or “heavy”. Feeling scared out of my mind when I was getting toned and sexy because of all the attention—sexually charged from men and hate-filled stares from women--that brought up all the criticisms from my family growing up.
It brought up something else, too. When men would look at me with this predator look, suddenly I was
Dec. 2008--starting to drop
the baby-weight.
back at a fraternity house—surrounded by 7 men—scared out of my mind, wanting to scream but unable to get any words but a quiet “please stop” out of my mouth.
And this has been my roller coaster: getting so much extra weight that I was sick of it and did something drastic to lose weight. Started feeling great and then I’d get “in shape” or “fit enough” that men would start looking at me or coming on to me (insert the subconscious belief that skinny=rape) and so I would start gaining weight again.
Up and down and up and down and up and down again.
That was the physical cycle that manifested from this internal battle of “not enough-ness and too much-ness” along with “skinny=rape” that was compounded by the further effect of me beating myself up for something being “wrong with me” that I couldn’t just stay the same weight—wanting to ask for help. Wanting to break the cycle, but all the while hiding because of fear of what other people would think.
Know what is really interesting about this though? I’m far from the only one with this struggle, but I know I have reached the point where I’ve decided enough is enough and I worthy of happiness and health and breaking this old destructive cycle. It’s taken a long time to get here and I know there will be bumps along the road, but thanks to inspirational women, friends and mentors that have come into
May-ish 2013. Starting to
get skinny enough that I was
scaring myself because of all
the male attention.
myself, I know I will succeed, and my sharing the naked truth with you along with journey is meant to inspire you to succeed and heal even faster than I have been able to. It is meant to let you know that even people on “stage” or that have “a platform” or “a following” have things they struggle with and are working to heal—it’s part of this incredible journey we call life and it doesn’t make you flawed or wrong or a failure, it makes you human. The sooner we are all brave and courageous enough to step into our own magnificence and vulnerability to share our truth, the faster we will all heal together.
Join me on this awesome journey to heal our pain—giving it a new and powerful meaning/purpose that will ignite our passion and transform our lives. It’s what I call “Pain Metamorphosis”—it’s what has allowed me to release the old blockages and no longer be afraid to be a fit, fabulous, flamboyant and slightly famous me.
YOU can do the same!

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Me September 12, 2016. I'm 205 pounds,
size 12 and loving who I am NOW as I
continue on my healing journey!

Meet Mike--the love of my life. He helps
me to see me through his eyes every day.