The first time I picked up a pole vault pole I had no idea how it would change my life for the better + for the worst. Pole-vaulting was hands down the highlight of my high school career + I still miss it every day. However, it taught me that I needed to be + remain at a certain weight.
Every meet we had to step onto a scale + confirm that our weight was acceptable for the poles we wanted to use. In order to assure that I was at my lightest weight come meet days I would not eat the entire day, force myself to go to the bathroom excessively, + then stuff my face excessively after weigh in.
That small number on the scale controlled me for four years. It determined if I would compete that day + that was the most important thing at the time.
Fast forward through my four years of college where I had less than stellar eating habits + struggled to make it to the gym on a regular basis. Even though I was no longer vaulting I had a dangerous relationship with the scale. I would weigh myself almost every day + sometimes multiple times a day. I would see the number slowly creeping up + it destroyed my self-esteem. I began a consistent cycle of gaining weight at college + then making sure I lost it over the summer.
This cycle continued for every single year for me…until I hit graduation. I knew I had gained some weight + I could see a physical difference, but it was senior year so who cared? I didn’t until I saw my graduation photos. I cried. I told my parents not to order them. That I never wanted it to be posted to social media. It was hands down the lowest point for my self-esteem + self-love.
Luckily for me, I discovered CHAARG about three weeks later! I participated in CHAARG Bootycamp + finally felt what a supportive group of women was! In the middle of CHAARG Bootycamp, I became an offical VirtCHAARG member + it honestly has changed my life. The outpour of love + support from a community of young women about fitness, health, + everything in between shocked me. I finally felt that I had a reason to stop my vicious cycling pattern + to take control of my health + body self-esteem once + for all.
During my second FitPlan in the fall, I thrived off of the support + positivity. I felt like I was actually starting to get to a good place with my health + body love. However, when I compared my before + after pictures I was so disappointed. There was not an obvious difference. The scale hadn’t changed. It was heartbreaking — until I realized that I had changed in my mentality. The amount of positive days + thoughts had skyrocketed. I felt strong. I was in control. I had realized that a scale could measure not all health + fitness progress.
Then the CHAARG Spring Break FitPlan rolled around + I was in a more positive place than I have ever been. However, I still wanted to lose that *last five pounds* during it. I pushed through the workouts, logged all my bolts [++ then some!], but the scale did not budge. Not one pound. ++ at that moment I wasn’t upset, angry, or disappointed. I realized that I was okay, happy even. I had seen some of the biggest physical + mental changes throughout my time as a member of CHAARG + no number on the scale could take that away from me.
I now measure my success with how my clothes fit, how I feel during my workouts ++ most importantly — the love I feel for myself.
There are so many ways to celebrate your body + all it can do! So I encourage you to let go of the scale for a bit + see how you feel! Embrace the non-scale victories + your body as it is. Every body is a perfect body. CHAARG has changed my perspective on what it means to be healthy + for that I’m forever grateful.
A scale can only tell you your gravitational pull to the Earth. It cannot measure how beautiful you are, how positive your life is, or how much you are inspiring others.
#CHAARGJourney highlights our members’ amazing journeys through CHAARG — physically, mentally, emotionally. Emily was one of the three winners of the CHAARG Spring Break FitPlan 2016. We could not be more proud of her for fully celebrating her body + saying PEACE OUT to the scale! : ) We can’t wait to continue following her journey!
Emily [@tritt_inchaarg], Virt CHAARG