On finding your ‘happy place’ and befriending the mirror

For those of you who don’t know Erin from The Healthy Apron – first of all, you should – she has a great blog with lots of awesome recipes and insights into living a healthy, happy lifestyle. But second of all, she’s just kicked off an awesome series called “Share your Scale Relationship.” It’s all about finding confidence – with or without the scale, and how we got there. I was thrilled to take part in her series, mostly because I’m just now at a point where I’m finally finding that “happy place” – and I’m proud to say I’ve done that without a scale anywhere near me.

Since that post was such fun to write, I thought I’d capture bits of it here for you – but please do hop on over to Erin’s blog to check out the rest of this post and the rest of the series. It’s an awesome idea!

On how I got to my “happy place…”

Well, I’ll let you in on my secret: it all came down to a real focus on building mental strength. It started out as a way for me to focus on training for my next half marathon in a way that would leave me feeling proud of the race I run vs. focusing on making a certain PR time (and yet another number!). And that focus on mental strength was also applied to a new style of working out (for me) that I’ve since fallen in love with – because, aside from running, it’s the only workout that has built up not only my physical strength but my mental strength and endurance at the same time.

Enter barre n9ne…. something that has paired nicely with my half marathon training – and focusing on believing that my body can and will carry me all 13.1 miles to that finish line…and with a smile on my face. That’s my goal – to finish what I started, and with a smile, not a wimper.

On finding confidence without a scale…

It’s through this experience of mine…that has given me confidence and mental strength. In me. And it’s because I’ve grown to trust my body that I’ve grown to love that body that gets me through as many tough workouts as I can possibly throw at it. No body is perfect – least of all mine. But it’s my body – one that I work hard to strengthen; one that doesn’t let me down; one that I can trust. And THAT gives me confidence. A scale could never give me that level of comfort in my own skin that I’ve always wanted. But finding something I love and focusing on mental strength? It’s given me more confidence than I ever had before. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.

And, my advice on ways to find comfort in your own skin…

Find a workout you love, and make it your own. (for me, it was finding barre n9ne and pairing that with an existing love in running)

…Every single time you workout, focus on trusting your body versus just going through the motions or giving up (on a move, on a new distance, etc.) for fear of your body letting you down. Guess what? If you push through, I can almost guarantee that you’ll surprise yourself and go farther than you think your body is capable of. Do me a favor – next time you face a daunting workout, give this a whirl: When you think you can’t possibly take another step, lift another rep, spin that wheel anymore. Try. Feel your body working hard. Trust it. The feeling of trusting yourself is indescribable.

Embrace the mirror; toss the scale. Next time you look in that mirror, pick out two or three things you love about your body and celebrate it. And the next time you take a peek, pick out two more. The freckles on your nose. The way your nose is just a little bit crooked, perfectly imperfect. The strong arms that carry you through a series of pushups. These are the things about you that make you uniquely you. A scale, a number – it says nothing about who YOU are. Focusing less on that and more on you, the you that you are today, the you that you can trust, mind and body? It’s priceless – and no number could ever properly quantify that fact.