Dealing with Triggers

Fitness has always been a triggering topic for me. If anyone were to ever bring up fitness or nutrition, I shut down–I became completely defensive.

Who knew as word as simple as “treadmill” could illicit such a response?

It’s not that I didn’t need help, of course I did. I was spiraling out of control with addiction to food and negative thoughts. My fear was letting someone in, telling them my goals and aspirations and then failing. Fitness always held such a negative place in my heart that it was such a struggle to even think of letting someone else down.

I kept track of my weight on my own without advertising it to the world, the only person who knew my weight was my family doctor. I remember when I had my 2nd child, I was labelled as “obese”, to have that on my chart was one of the most embarrassing things for me.

I can vividly remember the day I realized I could no longer go into any store to purchase clothing; their largest size would not fit any longer. I was ashamed to shop in the plus-size section in the store, what if someone saw me? I would hide the bags from the stores and cut the tags out of my clothes in fear that someone would know I shopped there. The highest I can recall the scale being is 307 lbs, I spend that night crying and eating because what else do you do at that time? How do you even attempt to fix that?

When I first started in the gym, I refused to look at the scale and discuss my measurements. I knew how far I had gone and that it was bad, that is all I needed to know. Weigh-in days were always a struggle for me in the beginning–my heart would race, I would spend the day worrying and become nauseated. If I let my thoughts get away from me, I would literally throw a temper tantrum when it was time to stand on the scale. The best thing I ever did for myself was hire a personal trainer, I needed someone who did not let me do what I wanted to; I needed someone who I was comfortable with and who would push my boundaries.

Recently I spent the day celebrating the fact I am in the 100’s with my weight; that is right I made it to 198 lbs. However my first thought was to be ashamed and then the thoughts started creeping in

“That’s not small enough” “I am a girl–I should be smaller”

Just as quickly as those thoughts came, I pushed them away. Funny enough when I go to a job interview, go on a date or meet a new friend, no one asks me how much I weigh. THAT IS BECAUSE IT DOES NOT MATTER! My value is not measured by a number on a scale; a number that in itself can fluctuate +/- 10 lbs throughout the day.

Many people ask me how I have become brave enough to share my weight or my struggles. The answer is quite simple, by sharing it, I am taking away it’s power. I spent so many years struggling by myself in silence, but that just resulting in hating myself.

In order to destigmatize these triggering words or events, we must share it with someone. I am not saying you need to start posting in a blog or make an Instagram post, but tell a friend or keep a journal.

By doing so you are allowing yourself to feel, you are acknowledging your struggles and letting it out. Then you can move forward–I encourage you to to share 1 thing with a friend or write 1 thing down. Share a thought or a worry; overtime it becomes habit and you eventually feel that weight lift off your shoulders.

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