This summer’s #CHAARGBOOTYCAMP was officially my sixth FitPlan. Each time, I pump myself up, promising to complete every single workout + bonus burn with the hope that by the last workout I’ll be slimmer + weigh less + finally rock some abs. The CHAARG BOOTYCAMP was no exception.
I usually tough out the first two weeks, but somewhere around week three I manage to start making excuses + my motivation dwindles. I always think that if I just sucked it up + finished, I wouldn’t look so fat // heavy // gross // [insert negative adjectives here]. But this time, it was finally different. After secretly obsessing over how I looked // how much I weighed for so long, I was able to let go of all of these horrible, negative thoughts I’ve always had about myself. ++ it was all due to the end of a lifelong relationship: I broke up with the scale.
Flashback to the third grade. I was sitting on my knees next to my friends + one of my friends had pointed out how much bigger my legs were than hers [you’d never believe me now, but I was a very tall kid back then!]. While my friend had simply stated an observation, it began the downward spiral of comparison that most of us [hopefully never] pick up in our awkward teenage years. I was 8.
Fifth grade. One of the boys in my class was talking about a recent trip to the doctor’s office + mentioned his weight. As kids do, everyone immediately starts shouting out how much they weigh. I was 20 pounds heavier than A BOY + I was horrified. This was the first time I ever lied about my weight.
Seventh grade. While sitting in math class, someone passed me a note. All it said was, “Have you called Jenny yet?” As in Jenny Craig. Despite being an active kid and never a few pounds overweight in my entire life, it shamed me to tears.
High school. Being a dancer, I was hyperaware of my size. While there was no pressure to be skinny where I danced, I still dreaded seeing pictures from competitions + recitals. A double chin here, some stomach rolls there… Add a bad relationship to the mix + you’ve got yourself a recipe for low self-esteem.
But then I found CHAARG. I started to realize what my body was capable of + strived to push my limits. I wish I could say I was immediately cured of all of my self-loathing. Being surrounded by supportive + inspiring + like-minded women definitely helped, but those negative voices never completely went away. They just got a little quieter.
Flash forward to now. A fall on the slopes + a torn ACL. Before my surgery, I was determined to have the fastest recovery ever. [++ my recovery has gone extremely well!] But it took away the only weapon I had against the mean voices. I could no longer respond to the negative voices with a “but look what I can DO” because frankly, I couldn’t do very much. I started measuring my *fitness* by the number on the scale every. single. day. It was the lowest I’ve ever felt about myself + my secret thoughts became so loud that even my boyfriend noticed.
One of the goals I set for CHAARG BOOTYCAMP was one I never thought was that important, but it turned out to be one that completely changed my life – I stopped weighing myself. At first it was hard. I was itching to find out if I was making any *progress* after each workout [the exercise science major in me knows exactly how ridiculous that is]. I started looking forward to sweating every morning with the #7amcrew because it made me feel powerful for the rest of the day, not because I felt guilty for eating pasta or needed punishment for the number at my feet. I started feeling more confident in my clothes [I’m lookin’ at you, crop top]. My skin cleared up. Compliments to myself in the mirror rolled into my head with ease.
Despite my knee, I completed every single workout [except two — I wasn’t comfortable sprinting yet]. In the end, I lost a few pounds + inches, but what I gained far overshadowed that. I can tell myself that I am strong // confident // beautiful // [insert awesome words here]. ++ now, I actually believe it. I learned to love myself.
#CHAARGJourney highlights our members’ amazing journeys through CHAARG — physically, mentally, emotionally. Jackie was one of the three winners of the CHAARG BOOTYCAMP 2015. We could not be more proud of her for BREAKING UP WITH THE SCALE ++ learning to love herself. We cannot wait to follow her journey through CHAARG!
+ Jackie [@jackie_inchaarg], VirtCHAARG from Cleveland