Self Respect is Self Love

Self Love. Self Respect.

I’m fluffy and I know it. Knowing it isn’t the same as accepting it. It’s realizing that self respect is self love. And part of that self respect happens when we come to terms with where we are in our actual journey.

Self Respect is Self Love
Baby Dan and Baby Susanna at the Tallahassee Turkey Trot
November 2010

There’s absolutely nothing special about my story of chub. Life got busy, I got stressed, health didn’t remain a priority. Oddly enough I never felt super different and was *still am* always surprised when I couldn’t squeeze my way through smaller spaces. Think navigating a crowded restaurant. I would see pictures of myself and stare in wonder. My brain had never morphed to fit my body. Some would say what a blessing, but for me it meant an endless cycle of denial even though I knew something was off.

Dissatisfaction hit at an all time high back in 2015 so I tried extreme and non extreme measures alike. All ending in defeat because, to be honest, I hadn’t had that AHA moment.

Choose Your Hard

There’s a quote running around the internets about choosing your hard. It goes a little something like this: “Losing weight is hard. Being overweight is hard. Choose your hard.” You can’t miss it. It’s plastered all over Pinterest, FB, Insta, and the media sources that be. It’s a war cry of sorts.

I’m a long time chooser of buttery popcorn with a side of Netflix so that quote didn’t do it for me. I choose hard every day waiting for the moment to have a moment. When that blessed moment comes… choosing to continue hardness isn’t all that appealing. Tell me I’m not alone?!  

I wish I had a super cool story involving something dramatic to share, but there was no life-changing-mind-blowing moment that occurred. I just woke up one morning and knew I could do better. Not to sport a smaller pair of jeans or so that people wouldn’t stare at my cellulite. Not even to help increase my chances of motherhood (more on that later). But because I knew I was limiting myself by settling for the easy-hard. I wasn’t actually choosing anything… I was letting all the choices choose for me. I wasn’t practicing self love or self respect. I just was.

Self Love. Self Respect.

When You Know You Know

When you know that you know it’s a shame not to act- and I knew. Since I’m not one for shaming myself when I know better, off I went to the magical land of Orange Theory Fitness. A place I had heard about several times. Two years ago a good friend of mine mentioned how much she loved OTF and how it allowed her to eat whatever she wanted… and I was drawn to that.

Eat popcorn with Netflix AND get fit? Sign me UP.

Ok ok, I’m being slightly extra. Which is actually a pretty big part of my personality. There was A LOT more that appealed to me about OTF. It was in a group setting, which I love. As a former player of sports I knew I excelled having teammates and coaches and loud music. It provided me the drive I don’t naturally have. Why on earth I had thought watching videos, going to the gym solo, or youtubeing my way to health is beyond me. No wonder I failed. Too much energy spent fighting my personality instead of embracing it.

I fixed my eye on this OTF thing in Little Rock but never got around to it. Wait that’s not completely accurate. It was expensive so I didn’t make it a priority. I wasn’t fixin’ to give up weekly happy hours at Boulevard Bread Company or Taco Tuesday at Heights Taco and Tamale. There. That’s wayyyyyyy more honest.

Fast Forward

Fast forward to June 2019 and our relocation to the great city of Charlotte, NC which also brought on the great wide world of unemployment. Now I had more time BUT way less money. However, I also had no favorite restaurants or friends. Before any of that started to happen I ran to the closest OTF and said LET ME IN. 

Lord Almighty. I knew I was out of shape. I just didn’t know how out of shape. My booty was kicked all over the floor and I wasn’t sure if laughing or crying was in order. So I settled on this serious face instead.

I know I’ve just made all of that sound horrifying, but it truly wasn’t. It was, and is, so much fun! No two days are the same. You schedule a time that works for you, show up, show out, and you’re done. The treadmills are shock resistant, the rowers are water based not gear based, and there is no jumping or jolting in several directions which my joints are ever thankful for. You will burn at least 500 calories and leave feeling like you’ve conquered epicness.

Self Love Self Respect

You’re Not Alone

Keep in mind this is the perspective of a 32 year old, 55% body fat, 223 pound woman with joint problems whose only form of excersie for the past 3 years has been walking her dog round the block. If you’re already super fit and stuff, I’m not sure what to tell you except that there are beefed up dudes and super toned chicks of all ages (teens to mid 60’s) in every class. There’s also a handful of us fluffy folks who are constantly being encouraged and pushed to our limits, NOT someone else’s idea of what our limits should be. 

The perks go on and on as far as I’m concerned. You can freeze your month to month membership for $15 per month. You can increase or decrease your level of membership month to month. You can visit and workout at any OTF studio around the world for no additional cost. When you work out on a Tuesday everyone doing OTF that same Tuesday is getting the exact same workout. This means I can text my friends about our workouts even though they live in Florida, Arkansas, and Georgia. How thankful I am to have friends who also pursue self love through self respect. Friends who help keep me accountable… not to working out, but to achieving the goals I’ve set for myself.

I also love that it’s not a cult. Like, people are excited and pumped to be there and all but they also do normal things that don’t involve fitness. It doesn’t follow them around like a badge of honor or consume every conversation. Personally, I don’t love anything so much that it’s all I talk about… so it’s refreshing to be with fitness people who haven’t let that define them. It’s just a part of who they are, not all of who they are! 

This IS A Plug

Self Respect is Self Love

This is not a plug for Orange Theory. They don’t even know who I am.

This IS a plug for respecting yourself and for not delaying what you know is right. Whatever that might be. 

I knew this was the right thing to do over 2 years ago. And here I am, just now, doing it. What would my life look like if I “had just”  when I knew better? There’s no way of knowing. But 2 years from now I won’t be wondering, I’ll be living it. Now that. Right there. Is exciting! 

It’s been one month folks so I don’t have any of those crazy before and after photos yet. They’ll make their way up eventually, but I don’t need photos to encourage you! They don’t define me and they certainly don’t define you. What I do have though is a series of Posties-post workout selfies which is a word I’m completely misusing, but I dig it so I’m using it. Essentially it’s my way of checking off progress without comparing or complaining about my body.

If I don’t respect my effort, if I don’t love my body, if I don’t love who I am now- how in the world can I expect others to?  Self respect is self love. NOW would be a fab moment to check in with yourself. What do you know that you know you should be doing? Go make it happen! I’m here to cheer you on!

Hugs, because handshakes are awkward~

One Comment

  1. Samantha Denefe

    You are amazing.

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