WhyIFight Dahlia: “THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOMEONE THINNER THAN ME, STRONGER THAN ME, FASTER THAN ME, AND THAT’S OK.”
Dahlia has struggled with her weight for almost twenty years. Her fight has been to find the right balance of exercise and eating, for a healthy weight specific to her body, and to ultimately develop a positive body image.
We know that she is certainly not alone, as this is a battle that many of us face our entire lives. Dahlia has been fighting for acceptance, not necessarily from others, but of herself. Going from one extreme of exercise and weight loss to another, she has finally found herself part of the community of Everyday Fighters who support her in this fight.
Dahlia, we applaud you and thank you for sharing your story with us, as we know it will inspire others to develop a healthy body image and find that balance. You took your fight head on and made us all proud. We’re so glad you’re part of the Everybodyfights community!
I don’t think it sunk in that I was overweight until high school. Sure, I had plenty of self-conscious moments about my weight and body in middle school, but it wasn’t until high school that I realized; 1) I was chunkier than many of my classmates, 2) I had become an emotional eater and, 3) I was no longer playing sports or dancing daily after school. I did the “no eating/binge eating yo-yo game” for a while, but it never took over my life. I was confident as ever, super social, had lots of friends, held steady jobs, did fine in school, etc.
I hit my all-time low the summer after I turned 18. I was a counselor at a summer camp, and I was feeling unbelievably bad about myself – how I looked and how I felt. At 5’1″ I was almost 165lbs and it was paralyzing. I called my mom, crying. My mom, being the amazing and strong woman/best mother that she is, signed us both up for Weight Watchers and started power walking with me everyday (or almost everyday). I lost some weight that summer and felt as though I had gained some control, however old habits crept back in during the school year.
This up-and-down, on-and-off Weight Watchers or other diets, run/walk exercise routines continued for the next few years. It wasn’t until I was 25 that I finally got to a healthy weight (125lbs) and was able to stay within 10lbs of it for years. Are you sensing a theme here yet? The number on the scale dictated, and in some way still does dictate, my body image and how it makes me feel.
WhyIFight Dahlia – At age 29, I decided I wanted to enter my 30s healthy and at a happy place with my weight. I began exercising almost daily, doing Crossfit-like workouts. As great as that sounds, I took it to the extreme. My life revolved around my workouts, and I became obsessed with the scale, seeing how low I could get the numbers to go (I never got lower than 112lbs.) My looks became my sole focus, and I lost all connection with how I felt. I was always sore and at the chiropractor multiple times per week. However, I was skinny. Skinnier than I’ve ever been, and probably ever will be. You know it’s bad when your Jewish mother starts telling you to gain weight. That’s how thin I was.
Fast-forward several years. I had put the extreme exercise/weight loss plan behind me and tried to normalize my exercise routine. It was really hard, and I found myself in a workout rut. Although I was going to The Club several times per week and running once or twice a week on top of that, it was inconsistent and I definitely wasn’t pushing myself to my limits. In fact, I felt weaker, slower and less motivated than I had in years. I could blame it on having a desk job or having multiple evening work events per week. But here’s the reality: I wasn’t making exercise a priority and it was showing in my energy levels, food choices, sleep schedule and overall attitude.
I decided to try The Club’s FIIT 30 Challenge, as it seemed like the perfect remedy to push myself past this plateau. Knowing that I would be on vacation for the first few days of July, I had no excuse to skip workouts or make unhealthy choices during that time.
Ok, so I didn’t exactly complete the FIIT 30 Challenge the way I was supposed to. But I don’t feel as though I failed.
Due to my work schedule, I only made it to one of Keryn’s bootcamps and didn’t run twice the last week of the challenge, as was recommended. That said I did something active every day for 30 days. Regardless of the fact that I didn’t complete the challenge the way that it was designed, I haven’t felt this good in years! I tried new classes, dropped 3lbs, and gained noticeable definition.
Pushing through mental roadblocks that I had been facing helped me find physical strength and endurance I didn’t know I had. I’ve also been sleeping better and have more energy during the day. I think twice about what I’m putting into my body.
The best part is that almost 3 weeks later I’m still reaping the benefits and haven’t found a single excuse yet to skip a workout. I’ve also found an inner strength that pushes me when I’m not in class; this little voice has allowed me to shave 30 seconds off my per/minute mile pace in the last week, and I totally attribute to the Challenge.
I am so excited for whatever the next FIIT 30 Challenge is. Being part of a community of people committed to completing this together kept me motivated and excited. Thank you again! I promise myself (and Keryn) that next time, I WILL complete the whole thing.
(WhyIFight – Dahlia) I’m 34, 124lbs and happy. Yes happy. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Do I still get on the scale everyday and want to lose a couple lbs/tone up in some places? Absolutely. Do I love how every part of me looks in a bikini? Not really. But I’ve found balance. I watch what I eat because certain foods make me feel gross (as in they upset my stomach or make me sluggish). I workout 5-6x per week because I love it and I can. Not a day goes by that I’m not thankful for what my body is able to do, and how I’ve built the mental and physical strength to push myself beyond my limits. I eat well and exercise regularly because at the end of the day I’m a better person when I do. I’m not perfect. There will always be someone thinner than me, stronger than me, faster than me, and that’s ok. There will be days when I eat junk and sit on the couch all day, and that’s ok. It’s ok because I know how far I’ve come and that it’s all about striving to find balance. And that’s what matters.