Good morning from sunny San Diego! It's very weird to be home. Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly happy to be here with my family and friends but there's something about coming back here that brings so much of my past forward.
There is so much I like to believe I have gone through and then left in my past. As if I said to myself, "that was fun I am just going to place it in yesterday and forget all about it because it's in the past." But those things never truly go away. Here's what I mean. I can not tell you how many times I have heard friends and strangers criticize their bodies or someone else's body since I landed on Friday night. The little, "I'm fat" or "I am such a fatty" comments. They kill me. I try to change the subject or blatantly say I can't with the fat shaming. But everyone laughs because it's socially accepted that we criticize the way we look in a bathing suit or make excuses for that extra donut or slice of cake by making a joke at your own expense.
I developed bulimia after I lost my weight. I had spent 6 months on a strict diet and exercise routine and when I was able to incorporate more options into my diet, I would panic. I was terrified the weight was going to come back. If I didn't get a chance to get to the gym, for some reason, it made sense for me to just expel the foods. Or if I ate something I thought I wasn't supposed to I would make myself throw up. I spent 2 years clinging to this idea that it was the only way and I spent so much effort hiding it from people.
Running really was the only thing that helped me shed that way of thinking. And I realize the fine line between a healthy exercise habit and relentless exercise but I have found a happy balance. There is something about being here in Southern California that just puts a GIANT microscope on your body and all those thoughts are slowly creeping back in. It's terrifying! For one, you walk around in a bikini. I've spent almost every single day at the beach and you look around and see these 40-50 year old women with six packs! At first I think, how is this possible?!? Why is everyone so gorgeous?! Looks are a very big deal here. It's not about keeping up with the Jones's but really competing with them. And it's one of the reasons I moved away. In New York, looks are equally important. Everyone looks very chic and important but it's in a different way. There is so much more vanity here. And it brings back all the years I spent drowning in my skin right back.
Conceal, don't feel. If I don't go to the beach or the pool, I don't have to be in a bikini. I spent years thinking that. I am at a point in my life where I couldn't be prouder of my body and honestly I can't believe it's finally happened. I am a size 8 and I look nothing like my size 4 sister but for once I don't stand next to her and think, "if only there was something I could do to shed these 20 pounds then I would be happier," because it's all bullshit. Every single time I feel those little, "I look different" thoughts creep up I just shake them off and think, "Let go of that. Whatever "that" thing that you are thinking, just let that go. It's a lie."
I just hope all of you take a minute to really see yourself for what you are. If you do feel like you need to change something, I hope you are doing it for your health and not because everyone looks a certain way. It's your differences that make you stand out and you should always strive for individuality. Be that outlier. I have never been one to blend into the crowd so why I wanted so badly to look like everyone else is beyond me. Love yourself. Take care of yourself. Because you already are the best that you can be. There's no where to go but up.
NOW, I didn't get the chance to plop down at a computer yesterday so I have 2 winners of my 19 days of September giveaways! Enjoy your hottie hunting hats ladies! Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.