The woman you see in this picture was a broken-down, insecure person that was lost. I’ve never been the confident girl. I was picked on for being too skinny, too flat-chested, too whatever. Fast-forward to my 30’s, add a whooooooole (that’s legit, right?) of stress and drama (maybe I’ll talk about that sometime in the future) and you get this. 108 pounds of Hot. Freakin. Mess. I never ate. I drank a LOT. I lived off coffee and cigarettes; I’m shocked I’m still here today. Yet HERE I AM!! By the grace of God, a lot of soul-searching and self-realization (man that’s a lot of hyphens), here I am.
You would be surprised at the effects working out can have in your body. I always thought people were full of it when they said “endorphins! Sunshine and rainbows!” Blah blah blah. Eating crow has never tasted so good, let me tell you. I used to suffer from anxiety and depression. I was even on medication for it. I’m not knocking medication. It served its purpose in my life. But now, I’m medication-free. I have been for a while, even before I started working out. The symptoms didn’t go away, I just had to find a new coping mechanism. You see, several months ago, I hit my emotional rock bottom. I was driving home one night and I feel like I’d had enough. Too much stress piling up, amongst other heartaches. Major heartaches y’all. Not just simple ones. Anyway. All I could think about was driving straight into a tree. God kept me safe that night because something else captured my thoughts that night and I made it home. I woke up the next morning not feeling any better but something forced me to get up off my sad and flat (hahaa) butt and go for a run. Not to lose weight, but to gain perspective. I felt refreshed afterwards. My head was clear and my heart was pounding and I was covered in sweat. I felt accomplished. Everyday that I ran, I started to feel a little better. Then I got the crazy idea to start lifting weights. Like actual weights y’all. Heavy stuff. I felt so weak! I could barely squat just the bar on the squat rack. My form was horrible. But I didn’t give up. I kept going and kept pushing. You see, in order to be successful (at anything) but especially working out, you have to have drive and be self-motivated. We live in such an instant-gratification world and exercise takes time. Patience. Dedication. Loyalty. Persistence. Even when it hurts and you feel like you can’t squeeze out another rep, do it anyway. Arnold said “the mind gives up before the body does.” This is truth. You will cry. You will sweat. You might bleed if you squeeze your finger between two 45 lb. plates (guilty). But it’s worth it.
Now I wear a size 6 in jeans and a medium in tops. I have all of these muscles that are round and strong. And that makes me feel like Wonder Woman. I have more confidence than I’ve ever had before. Did I mention I’m stronger?? That old bar on the squat rack that I could barely squat in the beginning is now loaded up with 145 lbs that I can squat clean on my own. My PR is 185. I even got a little something to commemorate it. 😏
So ladies!! I see you. I see you putting in the work. I see the sweat and the selfies and the progress pictures you’re taking. Don’t give up. Keep pushing. Whether it’s to gain weight or lose it. Stay focused. You’ve got this 💪🏽😘
Jess the Haute Mess