Leaving the Race of Perfection for the Journey to Joy
It wasn’t my fastest and it wasn’t my slowest...and I promise this isn’t one of those posts that says “Look at me...tell me how good I am or how proud you are of me or that I am a rockstar!”
Not gonna lie, I do love the LOVE, the accolades and the encouragement (I am human for cryin’ out loud) but hear me out.
This was my 4th half that I have ever ran...this is probably yaaaaaawn fest to some, but for the girl who vividly remembers
running fast walking the Turkey Trot in the 4th grade with her head down so that her bangs wouldn’t get messed up or sweaty...this is progress for me.
An this goes far beyond that. Far beyond the girl that was not the athlete growing up. The girl that never got picked to play on a team in P.E. because well, duh...you just read about my fitness in 4th grade.
This was a mental breakthrough after...
😕 Decades of body image issues.
😕 Decades of restriction issues.
😕 Decades of control issues.
😕 Decades of a lot of extreme with not an inch of wiggle room.
😕 Decades of reaching for perfect but never feeling that I attained it.
I didn’t attain it because NEWS FLASH, ANDREA...it does NOT exist.
I remember the exact day in High School when the stupid boy pointed out my different body.
He pointed out that I was a little "fluffier" than the other 14-year-old girls in class.
Yikes, that stung.
That single moment sat in my brain and heart.
It consumed me. It became a thought that never existed until that point in my life.
And then I fixated on it. I let it control me. I did what I could to change what someone else saw as “less than” or different in their eyes.
It stayed with me for years and years. I would have ebbs and flows but NEVER would I look at myself and see beauty.
I was always the girl that could never accept a compliment. If someone complimented me on how thin or fit I was it was all the more reason, I could not let anything slip or else they would notice if I gained weight too.
This is how a messy head works.
It thinks all the things and most of the time makes no sense at all.
I sat in a mental prison most of the time. Striving to be “perfect.” You know what happens when you reach for that word?
You never get there. You burnout.
I needed to re-learn a lot. I went back to the basics.
🙌 I got a life helper AKA therapist
🙌 I started to journal
🙌 I started to loosen the reigns
I am still not at the finish line with my mind but I have gone distances and this last half marathon proved I had.
👍 I didn’t Mean Girl myself.
👍 I didn’t pick myself apart after seeing finish line pictures.
👍 I didn’t look at my legs and wished them to be thinner.
👍 I didn’t wish my face to be more narrow, my belly to be flatter, my arms to be more toned.
👍 I didn’t deprive myself leading up to the run nor did I control and measure every damn crumb that went into my body.
This time I sat in complete gratitude as I looked at the end of this race.
Every mile proved how strong my body was. My lungs breathed air for 2 hours straight. My legs didn’t give out on me. My arms swung back and forth and my body didn’t fail me. My body and my mind ran together and my heart appreciated the 2 of these powerful entities so much.
You are fully capable of moving past things that consumed you. You are fully able to retrain the way you think. You can take full responsibility of where you are and move to where you want to be.
❓Is it easy?
HELL FREAKIN’ NO!
❓Does it happen overnight?
HELL FREAKIN’ NO!
❓Will you get there?
I want you to realize how amazing you are NOW, and if there are things that consume you in an unhealthy way, YOU are the only one that can move through them.
YOU can ask for help, YOU can change, YOU can evolve. YOU CAN DO THIS.
And your journal is a beautiful guide to helping the process.
It was pivotal and still is for me. To this day, my mind still gets messy but those messy days are less than ever before. The days of loving myself and appreciating what God has given me trump the days that I feel less than or not enough.
Struggles are not always loud. They are often silent. No one knows. Many of us hide it all to be liked and accepted and to keep the image of “perfection” going. It’s a lie and you don’t have to live it.
I see you sweet friend.
I see your tears. I see your worry. I was there.
I am here today, reminding you that you are so much more than your idea of “perfect"
....and I want you to be free.