Beauty In The Breakdown–Four Years Later

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Another year…another anniversary of me leaving a country I called home, a man I referred to as my husband, and the only adult life I had ever known.

It’s hard to imagine that it’s been four years already (time surely does fly when you’re working on rebuilding yourself, creating a life that’s worth living, and reassuring yourself at least one hundred times that you’re going to be ok).

Each year I’ve written a blog on this anniversary (the anniversary of leaving my husband). For now, it’s the one I hold closest to my heart…I can’t remember the exact date I got married, or the day I moved to Germany, but I will always remember the day I moved “home.” In the past, this particular blog has gotten thousands of views and I accredit that to the title of 1. Why Leaving My Husband Was the Best Thing I’ve Ever Done, and 2.Why Leaving My Husband Is Still the Best Thing I’ve Ever Done — Three Years Later Although it’s clearly a popular title and it intrigues people to read what is on my heart, I’ve decided to switch things up for my fourth year anniversary.

That was my story then, and it will always be a part of my ongoing journey throughout life, but as it remains that’s no longer my present, simply a chapter (a rather long chapter) that I’ll now refer to as “Beauty in the Breakdown.” It’s a story about who you thought you once were vs. who you choose to become.

Do you remember growing up and listening to your parents tell you that you could be anything you wanted? Well, that’s still true to some degree. But, we do grow up, we get hurt, we get knocked down, and as a result we become fearful and even more vulnerable. In today’s society there’s more people telling us what we can’t do, rather that what we can.

As I’ve grown up, and continue to do so I find that my truest form of beauty comes from reinvention and the ongoing choice to continuously re-write, re-create, and change my proposed purpose.

Throughout the past four years, my exterior has certainly changed but it’s more about my interior and how it’s made the most improvement. A year ago, I had a difficult time attending weddings of friends that I hold dear to me, a year before that I wasn’t always able to process my feelings an in turn did everything humanly possible to mask the pain; I worked out way too much, had one to many drinks (ok, four or five) too many drinks at the bar while out with friends, I sobbed in the middle of the day for no reason asking myself “why me?” There were days when I felt empowered, and days when I literally wanted to quit life. I remember sitting on the couch across from my therapist asking when I’d get mad instead of sad, wondering if the immense amount of pain and confusion I was feeling would ever subside or if I’d just have to accept the overwhelming feeling of anxiety forever. Although she wasn’t able to answer my question with utmost certainty, she told me that as time went on, I’d begin to heal in various ways.

As I write this years anniversary blog, I still wholeheartedly believe that leaving my husband was the best thing I’ve ever done, but this year I’ve also come to the realization that there’s SO much more ahead of me; more struggles, more failures, more setbacks, more heartache — and as a result those hurdles may in fact become the best thing I’ve ever done…

I firmly believe that leaving a situation that I was so unhappy in, that ate away at me both mentally and physically, and that didn’t fill up my tank the way it needed to be filled was the best choice at the time, despite it feeling like the most gut-wrenching one.

Honestly, I didn’t know if I’d be ok, I didn’t know if I’d make it out alive, and I didn’t know what life after divorce would look like for me…if anything. Well, it’s been four years and I’m here to tell you that I’m better than ok. Yes, I’m human and have my days (even months) where I’m not 100% clear where I’m going or what direction I should be heading in, but I’ve never been so sure of my purpose, or my ability to create this magical space, and continue to share my story, to allow someone, anyone to see that they’re not alone.

I was afraid of the unknown, of uncertainty, of judgement of not being enough for him before, or myself after.  I was afraid to share any piece of my story, but I’m so, so glad I did, and I do. Similar to fitness; I didn’t know what was real and what was fake. Yet through the process of self-acceptance and self exploration, I stopped believing the myths that leaving behind the title of Mrs. would somehow make me less than, when in fact it made me more than– more than I ever thought possible.

If you think about it, we’re all in this together. So thank you (yes you), for having my back, I appreciate it, and I’ll continue to have yours by sharing my truths no matter how uncomfortable it may make me, in hopes that it will comfort someone else’s pain.

Let’s cut the bullshit and be honest about ourselves and our stories because once we do, we realize that our stories are what make us human, they’re what connect us to one another on a greater scale, and allow us to see just a glimpse of our potential purpose in this great big world we call home.

Sometimes, the most beautiful form of creativity comes from suffering. For me, each beautiful piece of artwork was birthed by failure, defeat, heartache and loss.

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Secrets Keep You Sick

MH-21It’s no secret that the health and fitness industry isn’t all healthy. We have a tendency to continually ask our bodies to not only perform, but to perform better, harder, faster, and ultimately stronger.

What we fail to ask ourselves is – “What are doing for it?”

We (as a society) use negative talk, self doubt, have a false sense of reality, and pick apart every single thing we don’t like- yet we put no attention on the things we do like. We get mad when people belittle us, yet we do it to ourselves on a daily basis and somehow view it as acceptable.

Although I put a lot of blame on the media (especially social media), gender dominant roles, the ads we view on a regular basis (and believe to be true), I also blame us. We’ve allowed these outside influencers to put so much pressure on whom we should be, what we should look like, and how we should feel, yet in that moment, we forget how powerful our inner voice is.

We’re doing something wrong here.

From the girl that’s suffered from an eating disorder for years but fears speaking the truth about her struggles will make her seem weak, to the gym junkie that is truly addicted to the gym for all the wrong reasons because they aren’t dealing with the real problem at hand…we’re failing to embrace honesty time and time again.

Being honest with others is one thing, but being honest with ourselves takes effort, heart, and requires a lot of work. Instead of feeding into all the other “stories” that surround us, lets learn how to own our own.

We have a tendency to embrace the struggles others are suffering from, but don’t think we’re worthy of accepting our own.

It doesn’t matter what your story is- what matters is that its yours; to tell, to share, to embrace, to nurture, and to grow. By starting a conversation we begin to put ourselves on a much more positive path. A path that others will believe in- not because someone is telling them to, but because it’s raw, it’s honest, and it shows vulnerability.

That’s what people want.

That’s what people need.

EveryBODY has a story.  

 

Perception is a Bitch

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The way people perceive you will always be just that…the way that they perceive you. As I get older, I like to think that I’m becoming wiser, that the opinions others have formed about me don’t hold value, and that I am able to do it all. If only that were the case. When someone sees you, they view you from the outside looking in, they have no idea what it takes to be you on a daily basis. They see a glossy picture that they begin to create in their head of who you are, and at times we have a tendency to mirror that image–for various reasons. We want people to see us as having it all together, as being able to pull it off, and as picture perfect. The fact is that in that moment we’re given several options. We can continue to allow others to think that our life is as they see it, or we can begin to allow people to see us for who we really are.

Nowadays people are slowly becoming more authentic. Not that it wasn’t always there, but it’s something I think people struggle with; the truth. For both themselves and others. We all struggle with something, whether or not we choose to admit it. A few years ago people viewed my life as picture perfect, it was far from that, but yet I was trying my hardest to make it feel picture perfect. I had so much pressure coming from (none other than myself) to be in this magical relationship, to live a life others would dream of living, to smile at every possible thing I could, and yet, inside I was dying. My soul was unnourished, my heart was broken, and my story that I was portraying was no longer mine, it no longer belonged to me. It belonged to everyone else because they created it, and I allowed it to be my reality. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized I had a voice. That I was just as guilty as everyone else for allowing them to paint a picture of me, that in fact, didn’t resemble me at all. I realized that although my voice may have been muted for awhile, it still existed. It may not have been the loudest in the room, but it was mine. It didn’t always make sense, and it wasn’t always pretty, but it was still mine. Learning I had a voice, was me also learning that at any given moment, I had the ability to rewrite my own story, and thats when I began to be authentic. I didn’t care if people were listening, but it was something I needed to speak into life on my own.

For as long as I can remember I always held my feelings in, I didn’t know how to express them. I always kept quiet about the things that really bothered me, but that changed. It wasn’t until my world got turned upside down that I realized it was OK to discuss my feelings, both positive and negative.

At first it’s scary. You believe that you’re  supposed to be someone that has their shit together. For me, as a fitness professional, I felt I had to always be on, and I thought that allowing people to see that I wasn’t showed vulnerability, and that was something I didn’t like. It was a feeling that I wasn’t fully comfortable with. Hell, I still struggle with it. I thought about how sharing my weaknesses would discredit me, how opening up would leave room for someone, or something else to hurt me. I thought that people wouldn’t take me seriously, and would allow me to be less than. Yet I knew that I couldn’t live a lie forever.

People aren’t dumb. They know (at some point) when you’re faking it. When you’re pretending, when you’re no longer being your true self. I was the one to call myself out on my own bullshit, and I thank God I did. Authenticity is something you can’t fake, and as it turns out- people don’t want to connect to someone that they don’t view as real. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be one way or the other, when in reality we have to learn how to just be – whatever that may mean, and begin to not allow others to define us, because at the end of the day what will really happen if we don’t meet those preset expectations? Nothing.

Disclaimer; This is something that I must work on consistently, and be reminded of on a daily basis. This is not easy.

By being you and being the authentic you, you begin to create a better relationship with others, but more importantly yourself.

Less perfection, more authenticity.

Who Run the World?…Girls

IMG_4895_2Health and fitness became a part of my life at a very young age. It started with sports and through different experiences it evolved into a lifestyle I choose to live by and one that empowers me.

I am incredibly blessed to have parents who set an example of an equal partnership and a mother who has shown me that it is okay to demand respect, to be confident, to never let the fear of failure deter my ambition, to acknowledge my flaws, and most importantly to embrace my flaws. They make me who I am. They help me grow. They are a part of the choices I’ve made in my past and the ones I’m making now in the present. To me, the most important thing a woman can do is surround herself with other women who support her strength, individuality, and happiness.

As women, we have a tendency to hold on to people, to not let go when we should because we want them to live up to the potential we see in them. We’ll change our entire lives to make someone else happy, and that can affect our health. I’m definitely guilty of holding on to people and things that may not be in my best interest and there was a time that I really struggled. I didn’t know who I was. I wasn’t living healthily or happily and I just couldn’t seem to find my way. I felt tired and anxious and sluggish and every day was an uphill battle. I’ve learned over the last few years to only accept the positive people and things in my life, and to be okay with letting the rest go and it helped my health and fitness journey infinitely. It became a lifestyle choice and not a diet. It became internal motivation and not external motivation. I was doing things for myself and not others anymore. I decided to get my Spin instructor certification so that I could inspire all people to feel empowered, like I had become. When I teach Spin classes, I feel like I’m directly contributing to the healthy lifestyle and happiness of others, and knowing that makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.

 

DSCF3489Empowering women has become my personal goal in life. Taking from my own insecurities and experiences in my past and even now, I want to do everything I can to show others that there should never be a day that they wake up feeling anything less than amazing. My business partner, Ashley, and I created Chakra Fitwear this past year. It is a workout apparel company that creates leggings from recycled plastic bottles. One of our main initiatives is to use our business to inspire and empower women everywhere.

I know that health and fitness is an industry dominated by eating right and hitting the gym hard, and that’s very important to me. But my main focus will never be Paleo versus Vegan versus Vegetarian eating, or how many days I should lift versus run on the treadmill. My focus is health and fitness in the overall sense of things, like loving and respecting my body and myself and surrounding myself with other women who do the same. Eating right and working out and staying fit all contribute, but they’re just parts of the whole bigger picture.

Health and fitness means so much more than having a strong physique or a good meal plan or “making gains” in the gym. Health and fitness is the lifestyle you create for yourself and the lifestyle you live according to because you want to be the best version of yourself. So to my beautiful, sexy, independent ladies out there: never let anything deter you from your journey, whatever it may be. It is unique and special and should never airbrushed, just like you.

 

Submitted by: Erin Moffitt