All of our lives, we are lied to. We are lied to by society, we are lied to by our family, by our friends and by ourselves. We believe these lies. We respect them. We live and breathe by them and they become part of us, they become who we are. They shape our passions. They shape our interactions. They shape our path. They shape our relationships.
But some amazing news is that you can let them go. You can change these lies. You can find the truth. You don’t have to live these lies. You can choose to let them go and change who you are, how you live and the relationships you have with these lies.
Think of something that you’ve always known to be true. You are not enough. So you studied hard in school, did really well in college and followed your path like you were supposed to. And now you don’t have any passion for your job. You aren’t as happy as you think you could be. Think about that path you took - might it have looked different if you had known that you, in fact, ARE enough? Maybe you would have followed your passion, instead of money or instead of what’s “right.” Maybe you would have followed your dreams instead of someone else's.
Or maybe the lie you tell yourself is that you are not accepted. You always feel like an outsider in social situations. Or maybe you feel like people never invite you places. And well, with an attitude like that, you’re right! But think about going to that next social networking luncheon with the attitude that you are welcome and you are loved! It makes it easier to sit down at that table and just strike up a conversation with the person next to you! It’s only awkward if you make it awkward.
Another lie that we tell ourselves is that we’re alone. We tell ourselves that other people won’t understand. That they don’t know what we’re going through. We ignore OPE - other people’s experiences - because our situation is completely different. Totally different. No one else will understand. But when you learn to become a little vulnerable, and when you reach out to another person a little bit and let them in, it’s amazing how quickly you find out that your shit is the same. It boils down to the same feelings - fear, loneliness, abandonment, guilt, judgement, confusion… And that’s when the lie changes. You are not alone. You are loved.
So what’s the biggest lie that I tell myself and how has that shaped my life?
I AM FAT.
Growing up in the ballet world, in an all-girls school, with a tiny mother, with an endearing nickname ("fat-kid" I mean look at those cheeks and those legs, I was adorable!), with a family full of fat-shaming, fat pinching, amazing cooks, constant dieting and required second helpings… it lead me to lie to myself. To tell myself that I am fat. And damn I believed that.
Then I went to college. I lived in the gym. I counted calories instead of ingredients. I believed that I was fat. That “fat” was a way of being, it was my way of being. But it exhausted me. I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. But I kept working out. I kept running. I kept going.
And then I went to Australia for a semester in college and didn’t work out. I gained about 15 pounds from drinking too much goon and eating too much food. And I didn’t work it off when I got home. I didn't have to. I didn't try to. The extra weight just fell off. Weight had never just fallen off like that before. I had been working all my life to lose weight and it just disappeared. I was back to my normal eating patterns and I felt good. I felt strong when I came back to the gym. It all felt so easy. I actually wanted to go to the gym. I didn’t have to force it. I actually wanted to eat well because it made me feel good. I stopped counting. I started listening to my body.
I found some forgiveness in Australia. I found some ease. I found some grace.
And that’s when the lie took the backseat to the truth - I am strong. I am powerful. I am enough.
In October, I opened up GetFit615 in Nashville because this life-long lie that “I am fat” led me to find the truth and led me to my passion. I want other people to find their truth and I want to help them any way that I can. I want for you to start learning that fat is not a feeling. Fat is not something that you can actually be. You have fat in your body. You have to have it to survive. You have skin, but you are not skin. You have muscles but you are not muscles. You have fingernails, but you are not fingernails. Our society has put this bizarre cap on the amount of fat that we are supposed to have in our bodies. But not all bodies are created equally - in fact, no bodies are created equally. So why do we let other people decide what our bodies are supposed to look like. That's so silly. So imagine how beautiful we would all be if we really lived in our bodies, and followed our passions… instead of living in our fat and running after the skinny train.
“I am fat” still exists for me. But when it creeps up, I recognize it. I smile at it and I tell it to f*** off.
We are all different. We are all talented in different ways. And you are meant to contribute to the world in your own particular way! So who are you not to shine?! The world needs you! Step up and do YOU! Be authentic. It’s one of the least selfish things you will ever do.
So what lie have you been telling yourself? Shake it. Change it. Be authentic.