Updated: Oct 5
I hate using the word “fat”, what does it even mean? Overall I find it grotesque and insulting, mostly because as women we are all unique in our shape and sizes and we are all equally beautiful.
Weight has been something I’ve struggled with my entire life. SAY WHAT? You say. I had what the doctors call body dysmorphia. Ever since I was a little girl I would always compare my body to others, I’d notice my friends would have these flat stomachs and there I was with this large belly even though my legs and arms were thin. I remember asking my mom why my body looked like this and she would always assure me I’d grow out of it. I never did.
In elementary school I loved participating in sports and considered myself moderately athletic. I played on the basketball team and was part of the track and field team. I would always compare my body to those of other girls and hated the way my figure was shaped. I idealized the thought of being sporty and wished I could be one of those super athletes with incredibly powerful bodies.
Puberty hit, High School hit and the hate for my “ugly” body continued. I had no ass, big boobs and a big gut, in my opinion. I went to an upper middle class all girl school, the majority of the girls there were beautiful, thin, fit, athletic and their parents could afford to put them in extra circulars that helped them maintain their beautiful physiques. There I was this awkwardly shaped girl, who came from a poor family, who wanted to be athletic but didn’t know where to start and didn’t have the family or financial support. My immigrant parents worked their asses off and had no idea how to even get me involved in sports let alone have the time or resources to even know where to start.
The hate for my body yoyo’ed through High School and it was something I struggled with severely. Looking back it really had everything to do with lack of self love, lack of self acceptance and a shit ton of depression I went through, but I’ll save that story for another another day.
I think I was 16 or 17 when I met my dear friend Chris, he was super athletic, played competitive soccer and lived down the street. We became friends and he vowed to help me with my fitness goals. I’ll never forget the first day he took me running around our neighbourhood. I didn’t last more than 2 minutes before feeling like I was going to die and puke my brains out. I cursed him through the entire run that probably lasted 15 minutes. We still laugh about it to this day. I’m grateful Chris would drag me out to run and play tennis, because of him I started the process of understanding fitness and health.
Once college hit I was on a role. I’d go to the gym regularly at Humber Lakeshore Campus, I’d run outside and focused on learning what it meant to be psychically active regularly. I still had no idea how healthy eating played a role in weight loss however. I remember going for runs and then hitting up McDonald’s for a happy meal after. Counter productive much? My love for fitness continued but my self love was nowhere to be found.
When I was 19 I started dating someone who wasn’t really into fitness and soon all the hard work I had put into loosing weight and taking care of my body went out the window. In two years I probably hit my heaviest which was 140lbs, I was 21 back then. All the clothes I had bought for myself when I was thinner didn’t fit, I remember sitting in my closet crying hysterically, scratching at my stomach, ripping at it, because I hated the body I had. The relationship with that guy ended, for a bunch of reasons, and I went back to focusing on my health and fitness.
I would run outside and do work outs like crazy. I would buy fitness magazines, like Women’s Health, Oxygen etc. I became obsessed with eating very little and before I knew it I was down to 114lbs. It wasn’t a healthy 114lbs though, I would over exercise and under eat. I was skinny fat, I’d run on the treadmill for an hour and a half and then when my body couldn’t handle the little food I would give it, I’d binge and eat like crazy. I’d feel guilty and well the vicious cycle of under eating and working out too much would continue. I was never happy with my body, I never loved my body, there was always something wrong with it, something that needed to be fixed or changed and I became fixated on that.
When I hit my mid twenties I went through what I call my quarter life crisis. I got into drugs that helped me stay thin, like super thin and well an obsession was formed with those drugs because it would allow me to eat junk food without gaining weight, would help me not feel hungry for days at a time and the drug helped me stay thin all the time. I’d like to eventually share that story because it was such a dark period in my life, but it was also a time in my life where I hit rock bottom. That addiction showed me how little I loved myself, it showed me how much damage I had done to my body and it propelled me into a journey of self love and self discovery.
The gym and fitness became my friend again, but my relationship with it changed. I started to learn balance and the importance of nutrition. I got into yoga, and I’ll say this forever, Susan, John and Power Yoga Canada saved my life. I started reading self help books and before I knew it I was fit, healthy and totally in love with myself, 70% of the time. The other 30% I’d look at my body and wish I had a bigger ass, wish I didn’t have acne scars, wish I had better abs, or that I had a bigger thigh gap etc etc. I was 27 and weighing in at 118lbs, I was content but not totally in love with my body.
When I was 28 I started dating someone who had different fitness goals than I did. I had learned my lesson from my previous relationship so I vowed to continue on my fitness journey regardless of my partners fitness goals. I let a few pounds creep on me, enough for me to not feel comfortable wearing a bikini and enough for me to complain about my body, but not enough to do something about it. There goes that whole self love and self care thing again. A year later I got pregnant with Charlie and gained 60lbs in my pregnancy. I was 128lbs when Charlie was conceived and tipped the scale at 188lbs when Charlie was born. I genuinely hated my pregnant body, my boobs went from a B34 to a D38, my legs rubbed, I was massive and felt so uncomfortable. I could sit here and blame situations or people for my ridiculous weight gain, but through all my healing work I’ve realized I allowed myself to gain that much weight because I genuinely didn’t love myself back then. I used pregnancy cravings and food to mask my unhappiness. Some cruel shit about my weight gain was said to me during my pregnancy and shortly after giving birth to Charlie. Words and phrases that really hurt my feelings and self worth. It did however make me realize that people who I thought loved, cared and respected me, where really just toxic hurtful individuals.
After getting the green light from the doctors I went back to Goodlife Fitness on a mission to return to what I perceived as the best version of myself back then. That 118lbs gal that only loved herself 70% of the time. In a year I went from 185lbs to 127lbs, but that self love was still lacking. I hated my flabby stomach, I hated the stretch marks on my butt and resorted to only wearing one pieces, because I only felt comfortable that way. Thank you Lululemon for my black one piece bathing suit that hugged me in all the right places and made me feel good on the outside even when I didn’t feel good on the inside.
In 2017 Charlie’s dad and I went our separate ways and I went on a journey to become the best version of myself. The real true best version, the version that loved herself 1000% of the time. With the help of my Life Coach, Karla, I started learning about real self love and self care. I went back to reading self development books extensively and made a promise to myself that I would become a role model to Charlie. I would teach him the importance of balance, health, nutrition, fitness and above all else self love. I went on a journey to understand the importance that food has on our bodies, especially as we start to age. I started educating myself on muscle development and weight training to help me be the best version of me.
I’m 123lbs now, but honestly I could give two shits what the scale says. I’ve learned the number on the scale is irrelevant. What matters is how I feel when I wake up in the morning. What matters is the energy I have through out the day because I feed my body nutritious food. What matters is how I feel in my own skin. What matters is I'm teaching Charlie the importance of self love and self care. I’m finally at a point in my life where I can look at my body in the mirror naked and give myself a high five. I’m learning how to exercise to achieve strength and endurance, not to have a bigger butt or a six pack. I’m learning what self love is all about. I’ve learned that moderation and balance is key. Do I deny myself chocolate if I’m craving it? Hell no! I just won’t eat a whole chocolate bar, I’ll have a piece of dark chocolate. Do I work out for 4/5 hours a day? Obviously not, 'cause I’m a single mom, building my empire and I need to sleep sometimes. But, I do make sure that my 1.5 hours to 2 hours at the gym a day are spent purposefully. I’ve also learned that rest is equally important.
I can’t wait to see how my physique and my mental state will continue to evolve and benefit from the healthy changes I’ve made in my life. However, what matters most to me is that I’m leading by example for my son. Charlie will always know how to love himself, he will always have a mom who will support him, educate him and help him understand the importance of healthy food and exercise. I want to be an inspiration for Charlie, I want to be the mom that can keep up with him throughout his teenage years. I want to be the grandma that can keep up with her grandkids. Most importantly, I want Charlie to know that he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to.
Being healthy and fit doesn’t boil down to a certain pant size, waist size or number on the scale. It boils down to how we feel inside. If you are looking to start your fitness journey check out my youtube video, where I share 4 Fit Tips for Women and Moms.
I’ve also shared a few of my favourite spots and classes around the city below if you are feeling stuck or bored with your regular work out routine.
I hope you know no matter what you weigh or how you see yourself in the mirror, you are beautiful. Never let anyone tell you any different. Once we love ourselves from the core of our being, it radiates outward. It’s never too late to start becoming the best version of yourself, whatever your dreams or fitness goals are in life, just believe you can achieve them, work for them and you will receive them.
My fav spots to work out:
If you are looking for the best Yoga Studio in the city! Hands down head over Power Yoga Canada. I can't say enough amazing things about the people, the culture and the classes.
If you are looking for an all female killer work out, hit up Lara and Jaclyn's classes on Sundays. You can get more info on Jaclyn's website right here. Also, stay tuned because I'll be writing a blog about Lara and Jaclyn's classes real soon.
If you are into Muay Thai, Boxing, MMA and strength conditioning, go say hi to Joey for me at Kombat Arts. They will kick your ass all while treating you like family.
If you love the gym, I totally recommend Goodlife Fitness. They are by far my fav. Not only are they affordable, but they are convenient, flexible and offer a multitude of different fitness classes.