Today’s story is an extra special one for us! Alex is a young woman whose dream of starting a non-profit to help empower young people has become a reality. However, it has not been without it’s ups and downs. Alex has gone through a lot of self-reflection, and through this process, understands what it means to truly want to live a healthy lifestyle. Naturally, this was a perfect fit with Fairburn it Off’s mission of helping others turn clean eating, exercise, and taking care of yourself into a lifestyle, versus a diet or a necessary evil. So without further ado, we are sharing the start of Alex’s journey, and the importance of self-love with all of you:

🔥🔥🔥

2017 is officially here! 

When the new year started, I was feeling energetic and ready to go. I may not be a new me, but I was definitely feeling like it was time to get into some better habits. So, like my fellow resoluntioners, I decided to take advantage of the new year and use it as motivation to get back on a solid gym routine. 

I signed up to my local gym just before the new year, and was surprised to see how easy it was for me to get back there! I was an avid gym-goer when I was younger, but temporarily fell off the wagon (for about 2 years). I was nervous to begin a new routine, and was hoping I wouldn’t get too discouraged too quickly. Turns out, getting back into an old routine was a little like riding a bicycle and I am feeling as motivated as ever to keep up with this new habit. 

But, why had I failed so many times in the past?

What was it that made this time different? 

Well, my friends, I love myself now. 

When I say I love myself, I don’t mean it lightly. 

When I think back to my younger years of being an angsty teenager, it’s easy to remember the struggles with my body. Thinking I was inadequate, equating my worth to my body, obsessing over how “fat” I was, comparing myself to all the other girls at school–the whole nine. These thoughts and actions lead to really destructive behaviors and I always left the gym feeling even worse than when I went in (what do you mean you only burned 1,000 calories today? Yesterday you stayed on the elliptical until you burned 1,200. You’re so pathetic.) And what’s heartbreaking is realizing how many young women feel this way. From the ages of 13-18, I talked to myself like that almost daily. 

Here are some pictures from my insecure days: 

I’m the one on the right
One of my senior pictures

I mean, look at me! I was beautiful and had absolutely no idea. 

It wasn’t until I went to college that I realized I could actually have a positive relationship with myself. I didn’t have to hate myself. Honestly, this was revolutionary. And hard. 

I cried a lot. I didn’t even believe myself when I said “you don’t look fat today, you can totally wear this outfit!”. But, I told myself anyway. And I kept telling myself. Almost everyday. Even when I was on the bathroom floor crying, I continued to tell myself. 

It took me a long time to love this big ‘ole body of mine. Today, I have stretch marks like no other. I have fat rolls. I am 50 pounds heavier than I was in the pictures above. My hair is wild and sometimes I find it unmanageable. 

But, because I am all about #bodypositivity, I try to spend my energy focusing on the positive. Instead of just telling myself that I was beautiful, I got a little more specific. My legs are thick, but they carried this body 13.1 miles in my first half marathon. My arms are big, and they give the best hugs. My stomach is soft and squishy and great for cuddling. 

As my relationship with myself began to develop, I realized that I wanted to nurture myself to the best of my ability. Last year, nurturance meant that I didn’t beat myself up for not working out. I was working 10 hour days for below minimum wage. I didn’t have the time or energy to be consistent at the gym. So, I practiced being kind instead. 

Today, nurturance means being as healthy as I can be. I eat a lot more green things now. I have been consistent at the gym for over two weeks now because this is my #yearofme and I realized that I deserve to take care of myself, even when I don’t always feel like it. When I am able to frame my intentions in this way, I am more consistently motivated to keep up with what I am doing.

When my alarm goes off at 5:30 in the morning after a day of full-time teaching, full-time Master’s program, and working as an Executive Director for a nonprofit, you better believe I am tempted to hit “snooze” with all my might. But then a quiet voice in my head says “you deserve this. You deserve to take care of yourself.” And so I get my butt up and I go. Because that quiet voice is right. 

Skinny is not my goal. Will I lose some weight in the process of being healthier? Maybe. That tends to just be a natural consequence from adjusting your lifestyle. But I don’t workout for that outcome. I workout and eat right because this body deserves the very best.

A long time ago, I worked out for almost 5 hours everyday. I hated myself. I barely ate. And I couldn’t stop the burning desire to be skinnier. All so I could love what I saw when I looked at myself in the mirror. 

What I didn’t realize was that I didn’t need to change to love myself. I could love who I was right now in that very moment. And when I began to love myself, I began to realize that I truly want what’s best for myself. 

I love this big, fat, beautiful body. 

I also want this big, fat, beautiful body to keep up with me and the hectic lifestyle I live. That’s why I began taking more steps to be healthier. 

Skinny is not my goal. Will I lose some weight in the process of being healthier? Maybe. That tends to just be a natural consequence from adjusting your lifestyle. But I don’t workout for that outcome. I workout and eat right because this body deserves the very best. 

So, I challenge you, fellow readers, to think about what you’re going to do for yourself today, this month, and for 2017. What does YOUR magnificent body deserve? Does it deserve to be nourished? Have you been pushing too hard and it deserves a break? Maybe it needs some mindfulness or just a moment to be acknowledged for all that it does. 

Whatever it is, give yourself space to do that thing. You deserve it, my friend. 

🔥🔥🔥

Share a smiling photo of yourself today or of something in your life that you love, and use the hashtags #fairburnitoff, #FIOselflove, and #FLY. 

Alexandria King is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of First Love Yourself, Inc.–a developing nonprofit whose mission is to empower young people to build a strong foundation of self-love through a 12-week educational program. When able to develop a foundation in self-love, individuals not only have acceptance for themselves, but they are able to think of themselves and others as radiant and magnificent beings. Find out more information about First Love Yourself, Inc. at www.firstloveyourselffly.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *