I’ll be honest I have asked myself this question “Can I be a good trainer and have extra body fat, stretch marks and cellulite?”
And the answer is a massive “YEP”!!
Because my body tells a story AND because I am more than just my body.
Chapter 1: BEK’S CHILDHOOD BODY –
Like you and everyone else, my body changed from the moment it came into this world. My body is different every day, every week and every year in some way.
My body has been through childhood accidents, illnesses and hospitalisations. I had stitches in my chin after a fall in the bath. I have a scar from having my appendix out. I had stitches in my scalp because I split my head open after playing ‘chasies’ around the coffee table (thanks sis). I was in a hospital isolation ward for a while with a stomach bug and I’ve had other short hospital admissions for things like concussions and viruses.
When I got to my later teen years I was punched and physically assaulted by an unknown female which resulted in some minor physical injuries (but left many emotional scars).
Chapter 2: BEK’S BABY & BODYBUILDING BODY –
My body has been through different challenges after my teens. My body experienced illnesses, infections, a broken nose due to passing out, it has been through love, marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, competitive bodybuilding, depression, loss, separation and heartache.
I became more active in my uni days and met my future husband at the gym. The gym became something I enjoyed and my physical activity increased. I mainly lifted weights but also enjoyed road cycling.
My body grew with pregnancy as it made another small human (bodies are utterly fascinating aren’t they?) However my baby decided it wanted arrive in this world 11 weeks before he was meant to. This meant my body had to birth a baby when it wasn’t ready.
My body went through a pretty traumatic time physically (getting bigger during pregnancy and smaller afterwards) but also emotionally. Despite the trauma of having a premature baby just shy of a kilo, my body knew what it had to do and it produced milk so after almost 11 weeks of expressing milk, I breastfed my son for 12 months.
Three (3) years later, my body changed again as I pushed it to the extreme point for a bodybuilding competition. It became leaner as it increased in strength and lost body fat. I followed a strict diet and did not let my body eat or enjoy certain foods for 12 months and I think I was close to 46kg on the day of the comp. After the competition (I ended up winning both categories I entered) I gained some body fat back again…which is normal and healthy.
During this chapter, my body experienced hormonal fluctuations due to pregnancy, breastfeeding and also not menstruating for a time after my competition because of my low body fat levels.
Chapter 3: BEK’S BROKEN BODY –
I lost weight unintentionally last year when my 10 year marriage ended unexpectedly. My body didn’t sleep or eat properly for months. It struggled. It experienced physical pain and emptiness that comes with grief. It screamed, cried itself to sleep, cursed, did not eat for days, binged with alcohol, had low immunity and inevitably suffered illnesses, migraines and viruses.
My body has been through a lot of emotional eating in various forms.
It felt betrayal, shock, anger, anxiety, resentment, disbelief, grief and loss.
My body has not moved much over the last 18 months in comparison to the 15 years prior when I was with my husband. And it shows on my body. How can it not?
To be honest, I associate fitness with the chapter of my life that has now ended. There are so many memories and it makes participation in some activities difficult, painful and sometimes downright impossible.
Chapter 4: BEK’S HEALING BODY
I still deal with shock, grief, resentment, anger, anxiety but now it is tempered with more love, happiness, newness, joy, self-compassion and mindfulness.
I am discovering new and different physical activities I enjoy. I am building my self-esteem again for reasons that are important to ME and only me.
I am a work in progress, like all of us.
I am imperfect, like all of us.
My body tells a story and now I am in the part of the story that deals with recovery.
I am not the same person as I was last year, the year before that or 10 years before that. And I won’t be the same person in 10 years as I am now.
My body tells a story and yes, some of that story depicts visible battle wounds…belly fat, cellulite, stretch marks and all!
My experience in this body makes me who I am, not just the ‘shell’.
I am more than my body.
My body tells a story and because I am only part way through the whole thing I don’t know how it is going to be!
For now, I am allowing my body to recover and heal while I am building new and joyful experiences for it so it can take me to many more chapters.