Based in Frome, somerset, #fitMess is a blog by Joanna Beale. Her posts draw on her work as a personal trainer, as well as her own personal past experience of significant obesity.  Her general focus is overall wellness and body positivity.

Keeping it real

Every day we can learn more. Yesterday I took on some real truthbombs about myself, my authentic self, and the gaps that exist between our projected lives and our real lives. We all struggle with our 'stuff', we all have issues, and we can all overcome them. 

It's really important to me that I don't fall into the 'perfect life' projection, and it's hard when you're constantly trying to promote your business on social media etc, not to look like you're trying to be someone you're not. I love shouting out my client's progress, I love when I take a great selfie, and I really love getting great interaction with my posts.  

So, in the interests of full disclosure, here's my authentic self, baring all on a hot topic:

I'm a bit fat. No big news, right? I've been quite honest about that by simply weighing a bit more and taking up some extra space ;) I have no problem using the word fat; I stopped adding judgement to it many moons ago. It doesn't make me good or bad, it simply reflects the composition of my body's tissues. I used to weigh 21 stone. I used to weigh less than 9 stone. Today I weigh 85kg. Hahaha... did that confuse you? Not huge, but big enough to get that conversation every time I'm at the doctors. But we're not here to talk about that specific issue. We're going to talk about why. 

I could tell you it's because I've had babies and I've had trouble springing back into shape. I could tell you it's because I lack motivation. I could tell you it's because I'm lazy or negatively influenced. Well, it's none of those things. I maintain my weight well, but I still struggle with the concept of being small again. But why? Being thin is The Best Thing, right? Why would someone deliberately not lose weight? For me, it's now conscious; for others, maybe less so. My journey is taking a little bit longer than expected, and it's because I'm afraid of the person I am at a lower weight.

It used to be because she's capable of anything: because when I was at my heaviest, I told her she'd solve all my problems. We cram our minds with these beliefs, that we are failing in certain areas of our lives because of how we look. Then, you reach your 'goal weight' and there's nothing stopping you anymore. Remove every obstacle you thought you had and you have to jump, or you've failed again. You have to accept a world of opportunity presenting itself to you, in a way you never thought possible. You've got no reason to procrastinate anymore. These days I'm less afraid of this. Now I am free to move beyond this particular obstacle. Ten years ago, this was utterly incomprehensible, unexpected, and terrifying. 

She's fragile because she's small, but she finds it impossible to hide. Sometimes excess weight is a protector, a suit of armour, a cloak of invisibility. Like it or not, the world treats the fat and the thin very differently. Strangers talk to you when you're thin, doors are held open, cars give way. 

It is no coincidence that I put on 10 stone after being raped. I stuffed down every possible emotion for the best part of a decade, veering wildly between control and excess, until the point I had made myself untouchable, invisible and completely safe from harm. This is what I need to face up to - an irrational and overwhelming fear of my own thinness. The nagging whispers that I won't be able to keep myself safe from harm. That I won't be able to escape unwanted attention. That I might not be able to recover again. Let me clarify: I know this is irrational; that's why I'm working on it. Part of the problem is that this fear is rooted in my own personal bigotry - the belief that thin women are weak. This is simply not true. It was true of me at a low weight, as I was so unhealthy with it. But otherwise, it is a wild generalisation. Is it any coincidence that my daily work involves helping women become physically strong and mentally confident? In my job, I am working every day to change my own mindset, to be unafraid of every potential version of myself.

This ain't no pity party. And this isn't the excuse marathon or the blame game. I'm glad I know all of this, because every day I get a bit better at addressing it. A few years back, I couldn't have even imagined being able to maintain my weight successfully, and now that part of things is second nature. Every day is progress and I honestly feel fantastic with how I'm doing so far. Take responsibility for your future by regaining control. The thing with self-sabotage is that it's you doing it, nobody else. You want to do something, but it's seemingly always out of your reach. There's one thing I want you to ask yourself if you're struggling to lose weight, you have all the right tools, but you're still finding yourself in a cycle of self-sabotage:

Why are you afraid to change? What is it that frightens you the most about achieving the things that you say you want?

No matter what it is, the answer is in you. Everything you need is in you. Really answer the question and you will be able to start to move forward. Just because it's hard, doesn't mean you won't do it ☆

Here's a terrible selfie of me looking shit and tired on a train #fulldisclosure ;) 

Here's a terrible selfie of me looking shit and tired on a train #fulldisclosure ;) 

Be a reject