Okay, so this has been on my mind a lot lately. I've wanted to write a blog post about it, but I don't know how it needs to be worded. Sorry if I sound crazy or wordy. This is mostly for me.
So it all started with my freckles. When I was growing up I hated them. I got called "freckle face" just enough times for me to feel lousy about myself. I buried that feeling deep inside myself, smiled, and kept going. Life went on, I went through middle school and high school. I never really had trouble making friends. No, that wasn't my struggle. My struggle was deep within myself- nobody could see it. Not even my parents knew the feelings I had.
Ever since I was a little girl, I compared myself to others. I felt like my freckles were a curse and I didn't even come close to the beauty of all my friends. (I know it's silly, but it's how I felt.) That's just where it started though. When you start comparing yourself to others, you'll never be satisfied with anything about yourself. But I was good at burying my feelings. I went to college and made amazing friends.
Then I met Travis.
He was head over heels for me and I couldn't understand why. I thought that I was the luckiest person in the world to have him in my life. He was (and still is) a great person inside and out. So we got married. That's when I found out the disease I had. He would look at me and whistle (you know... that "you're super sexy" whistle) and I would blow him off. He'd compliment me and I would ignore him or even sometimes get upset with him. I didn't believe him. I continued on with life, not believing Travis when he told me how beautiful I was. It's really sad all the time I wasted feeling this way. And it wasn't like a constant feeling. I would bury it deep inside. It came and went. I was an overall happy person, but that feeling would creep up on me every once in a while.
Then I got pregnant. Such a happy and amazing experience. What's weird is it was probably the time in my life where I felt the most beautiful. There was no pressure to be skinny or a certain shape. I was growing a human inside me and that's all that mattered.
When Hailey entered this world, I felt a love I've never felt before-the love of a mother. It was and still is amazing. I love Hailey with all my heart and would do anything for her. She's so perfect. Every inch of her is beautiful. And I want her to know that. I want her to know that God made her just the way she is. And God doesn't make mistakes.
So the struggle within myself came to surface full force post pregnancy. My body was in the worst condition of my life so far. haha. Sounds intense. What I mean is I had a body that was super loose and flabby. I would take my old body back any day.
Travis and I made a goal to do a half marathon. Travis wanted to do it because it would be an awesome accomplishment. I wanted to do it for a different reason. I thought training for a half marathon would get me that perfect body that I always wanted. So the training began. And it was HARD. After having Hailey, my body was not in the same active condition that it was in before. Even running 10 minutes straight was impossible for me. I didn't think I could do it. I cried. A lot. I started to doubt my abilities and the dream I had of having the perfect body seemed unreachable. But I'm so blessed. Travis stayed by my side. He walked with me when I needed to walk. He didn't complain. He just stayed with me as I struggled to get back into shape. And it definitely was a struggle.
Training for this half marathon has been an amazing blessing. I wasn't losing the weight and magically turning into this skinny, perfect person. But I began to get stronger and stronger each week. Eventually I didn't need to walk at all anymore. I started to feel proud of myself. We increased our mileage and I kept trying and struggling to keep going. I realized doubt was my enemy. It's what stops me from achieving amazing things. I can't doubt myself. Instead, I learned that I need to believe in myself. I can do hard things.
My body isn't as flabby and loose as it was six months ago, but it's far from perfect. But that doesn't matter. I've learned a lot about myself while training for this half marathon. I've learned that weight doesn't matter ONE BIT. My weight has fluctuated so much in the last few months, but I can run ten miles straight (we'll be doing eleven this weekend.. eeek!) The biggest secret to discovering self worth is being your best self and doing something for you. For me, I feel happiest when I'm exercising frequently and being the best mother and wife I can be. Also, having a good relationship with Heavenly Father makes the biggest difference in my feelings about myself. Instead of feeling lousy about myself, I've taken an active role at being my best self and being okay with that person. I haven't been blessed with "the perfect body" that I originally thought would make me happiest. Instead I've been blessed with pride (the good kind), a good relationship with my Heavenly Father, and an amazing family. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and created me just the way I am. And I know I'm beautiful.