In 2015, I started my journey with strength training and nutrition.
In an effort to be healthier, physically and mentally, I started to cut certain unhealthy things and people out of my life. One of those unhealthy habits was binge eating, and then regurgitating, Oreos.
Another, was a guy I had been seeing for a couple weeks.
I’ll call him “J.”
Honestly, J wasn’t a good fit.
Other than the fact that he was your typical tall, dark, and handsome, there really wasn’t a lot we agreed on or had in common.
Sometimes that can work in a relationship, but it just didn’t in this one.
During our time together, I disclosed to J that I was struggling with an eating disorder. I told him about the Oreos. I trusted him and, at the time, he seemed worthy of my trust.
It wasn’t until I made the decision that, “No, this isn’t who I want to give my energy to.” that I regretted sharing something so personal.
I broke up with J. It wasn’t terribly awkward.
Like I said, we only dated a few weeks. Never slept together (you know how messy THAT can make things). I don’t think I even told my mom I was seeing him.
So the breakup was pretty painless for both parties.
Or so I thought…
As most summers do, the summer of 2015 lazily slipped away with it’s sweltering afternoons and a sun that was determined never to set in in the evenings. I made the most of those long days. I picked up heavy things and put them down, repeated this, just like you’re doing, 3-4 times per week. I read articles, journals, studies, books, and blogs about nutrition and even started speaking with a therapist about my eating disorder. In a matter of months, I looked and FELT like a new woman.
I had excitedly been posting to Facebook and Instagram about my journey, my transformation (it probably was really annoying if we were Facebook friends back then lol #SorryNotSorry). But as it turned out, J had been keeping up with my progress.
He started leaving nasty, rude comments on my Facebook pictures. But I would always delete them. This happened repeatedly.
Ultimately, I blocked him.
But J was nothing if not persistent. He slid into the Instagram DM only to point out how futile my efforts in weight loss and strength training would be.
I blocked him there, too.
But he pressed on.
He emailed me to tell me
“You looked better when
you were eating Oreos”
Opening old wounds. Twisting the knife. Something so personal I had entrusted him with, my eating disorder, he used against me for no other reason than to get my attention.
I blocked his emails.
Everything went quiet for a few weeks.
THEN J made a second email account just to send one final message, “Too many muscles mama. You look like a running back. Yuck.”
I felt that one. It hurt and I cried. But I moved on. Kept lifting. Kept learning and growing. For the first time in my life I had abs. My legs were half the size they were 8 months prior. Clothes fit me better. Everyone who mattered in my life commented on how healthy I looked. And, frankly, I loved what I was doing.
Luckily, I didn’t hear from J again.
18 months after we “broke up” I was walking down Lexington Avenue. It was hot and I had just come from dance class, I like to think I had that dewy August glisten. I had my head-phones in and short summer shorts on, doing that thing where you walk down the street and pretend you’re in a music video.
C’mon, you’ve done it too.
Then suddenly I was snapped back to reality when I heard the “Thud! Thud! Thud!” of someone running behind me. Defense mode activated, and I whipped around to see who was behind me.
There stood J.
Eyes like an elevator looking me up and down. As he tried to cover his staggered breathing, he slipped his hands deep into his pockets. Sheepishly, a grin crept across his face.
While I was busy changing my body, he had changed jobs. I had, unknowingly, strutted past his new office and that “music video” strut sent him running down the street.
I just looked at him.
Sure, I had forgiven his harsh words and rude opinions long ago. And even though it was August and I was sweating, I’m sure my glare made it icy cold on that street. I wasn’t going to speak first. Finally he broke the silence, “Wow! You look amazing!” Was this really happening? I knew things like this happened in movies, but was I actually getting this moment in real life?
Yep. Sure was.
I took a deep breath, squared my shoulders, summoned my sweetest smile.
“I know, right?” I said with an eyebrow raise.
With that, I turned on my heels and kept walking up the street. But as I turned I caught his jaw drop, aghast that I would just move on like that.
In that moment I won. His opinions, good or bad, held no power over me. His validation meant nothing. I had complete autonomy over my body, my health, my feelings, and my opinions. I felt unstoppable.
I hope you get this moment in your journey. Oh my gosh, it’s the best high imaginable!
I’m going to tell you, there will be haters.
People will not always understand what you’re trying to do and that will manifest negatively.
But do you, babe.
Enjoy the journey but throw a sweet smile or a middle finger when you need to.
Have you ever had a moment like this? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below.