These are just a few words I frequently used to describe myself. I have had this mentality for as long as I can remember — I’m not enough nor will I ever be. My freshman year of college was brutal, to say the least. I lived off campus, had hardly any friends + of course, the freshman 15. I was also diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, arthritis, + a herniated + torn disc in my back. My body needed rest + that’s just what I was told — NO physical activity other than therapy four times a week. I was lucky if I could get out of bed to get to class for the day.
After 2 +1/2 years of PT, I was finally released + allowed to work out again. I was so relieved to be able to move like a not-even-twenty year old should! I lost 30 lbs + was feeling like I never had before, then — Italy. 7 months in that place, well, let’s just say I packed on a few pounds [or all of them]. I didn’t want to come home heavy again. HOW could I lose all that weight + then just gain it back in a flash? I felt like a loser.
Then — I found CHAARG. My CHAARG journey has been more than I could ever ask for thus far, but a journey none-the-less. Before this FitPlan, I was at a strange place. I didn’t *feel * anything. I was tired of trying + failing. I was angry, but over it. I felt sorry for myself. I wanted to go back to ‘pre- Italy’ Kaitlyn. Yeah, I had won a chapter at GV [yay!] but I felt undeserving. I signed up for the FitPlan, but didn’t want to start it. In fact, I dreaded it. How would I get through this one without my #LakerLadies? I could never motivate myself to do a workout alone. If I didn’t see results, I knew it would just be another reason to beat myself up.
The first week was no walk in the park. “Why can’t you get through this work out? Because you’re too fat + weak. How are you ever going to be a role model//inspiration, especially as an ambassador?” I laid on my mat sweating + sobbing. I grabbed my stuff to head in + at that very moment I received a text from a friend, it read:
“KAITLYN, YOU ARE SUCH AN INSPIRATION TO ME. I WOULD NEVER BE WHERE I AM TODAY, DOING THIS FITPLAN, IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU. THANK YOU.”
The words I could never give myself were right in front of my face at the EXACT moment I needed them most. Someone looked up to me + I made a positive difference in someone’s life. At that moment, I decided I needed a change. I would stop constantly body shaming myself into self- hatred + love my body for what it’s been through yet still capable of. I realized there was so much more to me than a number on a scale or how I looked in the mirror. Those simple words got me through the rest of my workout + would be the start of a *new* me.
I made it a point that I am the ONLY one who could change my mentality + if I wanted to improve, only I could do it for me. But changing is never easy. Every day of the FitPlan I strived for progress — not in terms of pounds lost, but mental progress. If I said something bad about myself, I made myself say three good things. When I wanted to give up, I dug deeper + celebrated every sweat bead that fell from my face. I pushed myself to limits I never thought possible + even surprised myself with how fast I could sprint.
I realized that I was alive + given another chance. That I could go back at any moment to being in physical pain, so why not relieve myself of the mental suffering. I realized that life isn’t measured by BMI or by your day’s calorie intake. ++ everyday, I looked in the mirror + I started to smile. I saw a change in my physical beauty that reflected what I was feeling inside + I found a new word to describe myself— Unstoppable. Not embarrassed. Not uncomfortable. Not ashamed, lost or fat. Unstoppable.
#CHAARGJourney highlights our members’ amazing journeys through CHAARG — physically, mentally, emotionally. Kaitlyn was one of the three winners of the CHAARG BOOTYCAMP 2015. We could not be more proud of her for truly believing in herself ++ for starting a CHAARG Chapter at GVSU. We can’t wait to see what’s in store as we follow her journey through becoming a CHAARG Ambassador!
Kaitlyn [@kaitb_inchaarg], GVSU CHAARG