A story worth sharing...and how FUELhouse has been a big part of the healing & strengthening process for one very special lady in a sea of humans who we call Family.
Molly & crew,
I’m getting married in a month. In a very tight wedding dress. In a very tight, very white wedding dress. A few years ago, or maybe even months, the thought of that would absolutely terrify me, cause some very un-nice thoughts about myself and results in some kind of diet or 2-a-day workout plan. I might have been fitter or skinnier back when the thought of a wedding dress was paralyzing but, damn, did I hate myself.
I have been actively trying to shut down that negative girl with body image issues for some time now. The one who obsessively shopped for clothes that made her look “skinnier”, the one who tried on 20+ outfits before leaving the house, the one who was scared to walk into a room of people alone because of their judgement, the one who didn’t wear shorts for 10+ years because she didn’t want to offend people with her cellulite. The one who worked out 7 days a week and blamed in on being “competitive”. Tried every South Beach, Atkins, Whole30, Paleo, keto diet she could find and blamed on on food allergies…never weight loss.
Let’s stop here. I am not and have never been fat, overweight, or pudgy. Never. But if I ever admitted to anyone that I worked out psychotically and dieted because I fucking hated myself and my body – no one believed it. “You’re crazy”. They had NO idea.
Fast forward through my agonizing 20s and a couple of things have happened. I met my now fiancé who loves me so goddamn much and tells me I’m perfect the way I am so often that I’ve actually started to believe it. I’ve found some peace within myself about my body through a lot of talking & work. I quit working out at places that fueled my self-hate by shoving shirtless, muscle-bulging, highly-competitive people obsessed with exercise and diet in my face. I found balance in my diet and with my actual food allergies. I joined Fuelhouse gym.
Fuelhouse has been a major part of my emotional and mental transformation. I am coached by men and women who are fucking strong as hell but never brag about it or show off their bodies or challenge me to beat their times or weights. They challenge me to be strong, but safely, and be competitive, but safely. I never feel like I have to beat the person next to me. I am genuinely happy for the people around me who bell-up or get their first pull-up.
The Fuelhouse community radiates self-love and self-care. We all have different bodies. AND IT DOESN’T MATTER. No one cares what I look like. They high-five me. They ask me about PRs and in the same breath tell me it’s ok to not PR. They tell me they’re proud of me.
No one at this gym has EVER made a comment to me about my body – negative or positive- and I can’t stress ENOUGH how important that has been to me. I spent years looking for gratification from coaches and others in my life to prove that I was good enough. Now I know I don’t need that, and I especially know it’s a trigger for me. Telling me I “look skinny” or asking if I’ve “lost weight”-or on the contrary, telling me those things and then NOT telling me those things again, have led me down very serious spirals of self-hate.
Last night I had my final wedding dress fitting. I had it shortened and some other little details changed. When the woman recommended she “take it out” in the hips and butt area, I laughed and agreed, making a comment about “lots of squats”. That recommendation would have RUINED the old Leslie. Ruined her.
My dress looked great, they said, and I actually believed them. And I didn’t diet. I didn’t do 2-a-days. I showed up at Fuelhouse for my usual workouts. I got stronger. I signed up for RunClub and a ½ marathon because having goals are important to me. I have even ENOYED running because I am not trying to beat my workout times or race others or “get my heart rate up” so I feel like I “got a workout” so I can feel “skinny”.
I know that is a lot to unload on you - and the healing is a process- and we all have some demons. But the bottom line is, I feel healthy – mentally and physically. And I can’t help but recognize you guys as a BIG piece of that puzzle.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
With love & gratitude,