Body Dysmorphia And Me

While getting ready to go to dinner last week I looked in mirror and felt great, I loved my dress, my make up and my hair. It’s crazy to me that there was a time where I could barely face looking in the mirror and when I did, I hated everything that glanced back. Changing an outfit 75 times wouldn’t be uncommon.

Why was it that all I could see was my “flaws”, all the bits that I didn’t like? In those moments, I had a lightbulb moment -if I was skinner my life will be perfect! Genius right? This led me to obsess about everything I ate and as I lost weight did my life magically transform? No, if anything it made me worse, I was full of hate towards myself for not being “perfect”.

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Speaking Up

I felt so guilty all the time. I had a great upbringing, full of love and support so I hated that I felt the way I did about myself. I knew there were people with much bigger problems. My parents separated 3 years previously (when I was 14) so I guess that affected me more than I believed. There’s a lot of uncertainty that surrounds you when a family breaks down. As a teenager you’re dealing with so many changes as it is, throw a separation into the mix and you are bound to retaliate in some way . I don’t dwell on those times though, I’m a stronger person because of it today, and I’m grateful to still have my family close to me.

I’ve read stories of Body Dysmorphia sufferers, that they can become very introverted and uncomfortable leaving the house. I was singing in bands at the time, so I believe this played a great part in building my confidence up (though it took me years to realise this) and I had a great circle of friends who supported me. I remember one of my friends telling me to write a daily journal of my emotions (way before its time, right?) I’d let him read it and we would talk about it! I would advise anyone feeling this way to be vocal, there is no shame in these things!

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I know age is a big factor in this. I turned 30 this year, so I naturally felt more confident than 18 year old Aimee. I have the most supportive “partner in crime” who stands by every decision I make and constantly pushes me to give my all, whether that be in my day job or training/fitness.

I’ve said it many times but immersing myself into the world of health and fitness played a big part. Lifting weights was a huge breakthrough for me. It allowed me to celebrate the great things my body can do! It helped me see myself in a different light. I no longer focused on shape or size, I just wanted the numbers on the barbell to rise. Crossfit and Weightlifting gave me the confidence I spent years searching for.

My best advice; find something you love, something that makes you feel alive and repeat it. That dance class you loved as a kid or surprise yourself with something you never had the confidence to try. Just do things that make YOU happy!

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Moving Forward

People comment on my positivity a lot, and I feel when you’ve had dark days in your life, it’s not a negative, they don’t define you, they’re just life lessons. It’s important to look back and appreciate the journey you’ve had. The steps that have taken you to the present.

There are days when self doubt may try to worm its way in and that’s OK, it doesn’t mean you’re back to square one. When it happens treat yourself to something nice, show yourself some self-appreciation.

Every step forward starts with self-belief. In this digital age we can easily compare ourselves to others and feel less worthy, but that needs to stop. Have you ever looked back and reminded yourself of all the great experiences you’ve had, great times with family and friends? All that can be forgotten about when you constantly compare yourself to others.

When you grow to accept yourself (warts and all) there is a beautiful sense of peace that comes with it. It takes time, love and nourishment. It’s important not to chase the finish line, take baby steps daily and remember to breathe.

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One of my most honest musings I hope you enjoyed, if you ever want to talk to me on this subject I’m always available on any of my pages or pop me an email: primalpiggy@gmail.com.

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What You See Is What You Get…

Have you ever looked at someone else and wished to be like them? Looked at how they work a crowd, how successful they are or even how fit? In some cases people change their true selves just to impress people, to fit in and hope that they’ll be liked in return! What is wrong with the human way that we struggle so much to be confident in who we are?

Take me for example, what you see is what you get! I’m a no nonsense, honest person who sees the best in everyone, but this has ended with some negative situations over the years! In the past I struggled to speak my mind, I always wanted to be “that person” who would tell people where to go or how I don’t agree with their views etc. I mean I could play out the whole conversation in my head and when it came to it? SILENCE! I’d get so frustrated, why should I give the power to someone else, I’m a strong individual myself! I had friends who could stand up for their beliefs and to be honest most people thought I was like that, It wasn’t that I lacked confidence, I just couldn’t face the confrontation!

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Over the years I’ve gotten better, I guess that’s normal with age too! Mr. Piggy has helped inspire me on so many occasions and standing up for yourself feels so good! But why do we have to? Why should we feel bad because of someone else’s instability? We shouldn’t! It’s time to love and accept ourselves and stand up for our own beliefs, even if it means stepping outside of your comfort zone! I promise you, it will feel good!

Life has many ups and downs and this is something I have experienced closely over the last few months. There will be tough days, even tears but all these difficult experiences make us stronger in time! It’s these times that will help us understand who we are and what we want in our lives!

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Don’t EVER change who you are just to impress someone, learn to laugh at yourself and in the difficult situations, stand up for everything you believe in!

Namaste xx

 

Time to Inspire: Jola Nowosada

I still remember the first time I met Jola – It was after the first WOD at the Waterford Throwdown and I was hiding in the changing room feeling pretty defeated (it was my first competition and that first WOD floored me). We started talking about where we trained and lived etc, and Jola gave me some inspiring words, got me up off the seat and we went out to stretch and get some snacks. Throughout that day she inspired me to keep going; “you can do this” she kept saying (even when I felt I couldn’t), and she reminded me of my strengths and not to give up! Meeting Jola that day really helped me stay positive and keep going. I was so happy to see her finish up in 3rd place, she is a great athlete and never stops pushing herself! Unfortunately she got injured after the filthy 150 last year and I know first hand how tough it’s been for her, but I know we will see her back in action very soon! I asked Jola 2 questions in this weeks series.

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I asked Jola: What does being healthy mean to you?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease”. Health is also the condition of being well and free from disease.

To me health means being content with yourself, with your body and mind regardless of how you look or what you do. Once you can accept your little flaws, you’ll feel good mentally and physically! Never let any negative thoughts or people get into your life and make you feel bad. Keep going strong throughout your life following your dreams and you won’t regret anything! So don’t worry, be happy and be grateful for every single thing!

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My second question: How did you keep a positive mindset throughout your Injury?

It was horrible, a really tough time for me. I was never in that much pain before. It was after competing in The Filthy150 last September, I was left badly injured. Moving around hurt, I couldn’t take deep breaths, never mind laughing. Even getting up from the bed was excruciating. At first I thought I had just pulled a muscle. Stupidly, I continued training with the injury, hoping that it would go away but it just made it worse. Over a month later, I went for an MRI scan and discovered I had badly fractured ribs, this came as a huge shock to me. Especially as it meant only one thing – REST!!! All that ran through my head was no training, no gymnastics, no weightlifting, no CrossFit; not being able to do what I love most was like the end of the world for me! It was tough seeing everyone smashing WODS, I was really upset and even left the box with tears in my eyes on a few occasions. I  rested for a few weeks and went back training hoping I’d be fine. Unfortunately the pain in my side came back. I was frustrated at this stage but after talking to Jamie our coach I decided to concentrate on the stuff that I could do – LEGS!

Fast forward 4 weeks and a big part of me wanted to give up as the pain just wasn’t going away. I thought, maybe CrossFit isn’t for me? Should I just quit? I ran these questions over and over in my head all the time. My confidence as an athlete was gone. One day I was sitting at home watching videos on YouTube of CrossFitters doing WODs, and I said to myself: I can feel sorry for myself all day long but where this is gonna get me?? Is is gonna help me recover? Is it going to make me feel better? The answer was NO, of course not! I decided to work around my injury, do as much as I could without hurting myself. I began to concentrate on isometric movements for my legs and arms and work on my core strength (this was always one of the weakest part of my body). Because of this, I managed to get single arm handstands and even freestanding handstands within 2 weeks!

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I was absolutely delighted, and I realised that having an Injury made me work on my weak points which I hadn’t made time for previously. From that time I started looking at my situation from a different perspective; there was a lot of things that I could still actually do. I wasn’t completely at a standstill and I should be grateful for that!

Injury taught me one other thing which I think is the most important point – CrossFit isn’t only about competing, it should be about enjoying training with other people as well. I’m naturally a very competitive person, I always have been and that’s probably why I got injured. Not taking enough rest, ignoring signals from my body and a poor diet put me in that situation. I look at things differently now. I learned to really enjoy training now that I’m more relaxed. At the end of the day CrossFit is only a sport like many others, one day you’re winning, the next day you may be losing but that’s still OK. It’s not all about a big score on the white board, it’s about improving yourself every single day, taking one step at a time and trying to be better then you were yesterday.

So if you’re in a similar situation going through hard times, dealing with injury – don’t ignore it. Listen to your body and rest if you have to. Don’t give up on your dreams, keep fighting and doing stuff that makes you happy because things will get better in the end. Injury will not only make you wiser but a better and mentally stronger athlete!

I’m not fully back to CrossFit training yet but I’m feeling better and stronger every day, and I will be back to the grind very soon, so watch this space!

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Time to Inspire: Odharnait Ryan Kiernan

I met Odharnait when she joined Ronin Crossfit, and she just radiates good energy. With her amazing sense of humour there has never been a class where she hasn’t made me laugh. Odharnait is someone who wants the best for everyone and always give out great advice, for me especially! She has always supported me on my journey and I’ll always be grateful for that. What I love about Odharnait is that she is such a great Mam, the love she has for her kids is so beautiful and organic, I love hearing all about them in the gym. I wanted to celebrate what Odharnait has achieved, and it seemed natural to include her in the “Time To Inspire” series!

Fun Times at the Christmas Party!

Fun Times at the Christmas Party!

I asked Odharnait: As a mother, what does you time in the gym mean to you?

When I joined Ronin I was the usual me; awkward and pretty uncomfortable, and by trying to force myself to act in a confident way it made me even more awkward. By my second WOD at Ronin everything changed; I felt calm in the environment and it became so much more then a gym.  As time has passed I’m more confident, self assured, value myself more and have made incredible friends.  Everyone fits in at Ronin; There are no groups or types of people.  Everyone is a Ronin and everyone is equal.

I’m the classic misfit. Socially awkward at first, never quite fit into any groups but wasn’t an outsider either. When I became a mother I devoted everything I have to my kids, I still do and always will! At times I kinda lost myself. I’ve dipped in and out of darkness and thank God I know enough to recognize it and react. I wouldn’t have massive confidence, and can be a bit of an introvert at times. All of the above is why I NEED to exercise. The same reason I’ve always exercised until I found Ronin Crossfit. I go to the gym now 3 to 4 times a week on a good week. I’m aiming for 5 but Jacko’s not mastered sleeping through the night as of yet!

Winning her Achievement award!

Proud moment: Winning awards from Ronin Crossfit!

My hour at the gym is my social outing, my counselling and my confidence builder. I love seeing my progress, and regardless of whether it’s just surviving a tough WOD or getting closer to my ever elusive pull-up everything is positive and celebrated. I love the chats with the girls and I get to be me. Not a Mam or wife or anything else, just me! This is so important for me as I want my kids to see a confident independent woman in their Mam. I want for Elvie to be strong and confident, so I gotta lead by example 🙂 This directly impacts my life and how I interact with everyone in it.  I’m happier and healthier because I go to Ronin and everyone benefits. I surround myself with gorgeous positive people at the gym and feel so privileged to be part of it.

Plus after three kids I kinda like that the gym kicks my ass, challenges me and makes me feel good about myself and my body.

Fit-fam Weekly Specials

With so many options and the Fitness market more competitive than ever, there are some decent budget products to be found. I am going to make a regular list of some of the things I have found that may be of interest to all you Health and Fitness addicts. If you see anything you think is amazing and great value be sure to share and I will add them in.

Debenhams-Crepe Maker €26

Hands up who loves crepes/pancakes? Silly questions but how amazing is this crepe maker? Perfect crepes every time! You will become the brunch king or queen with this in your home! (Lidl will have one in from the 12th Feb for €24.99, Click here)

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DEALZ- Mens/Womans Weightlifting Gloves- €1.49

I don’t know about you but my hands are pretty bad these days. In fact Mr PP told be recently my hands are like knuckles lol It maybe time to book in for a manicure!  If you want to save your hands, try out some lifting gloves. These ones are ridicously cheap so even if the quality is terrible and they only last for one day, you have still gotten your monies worth!

424579795LIDL-Kettlebells €4.99-€14.99 (12th February)

When I started weight training it was with a sandbag that weighed 3kg (and that was tough) It amazed me still to this day how the body adapts and you get stronger by the day. Don’t make excuses about why you can’t lift weights or that you have no strength, start somewhere! It could be with the 2.5kg kettlebell here and that could be the best €5 you ever spent. Fast forward a year and you could be hitting workouts with a hell of lot more! Lidl will have a whole range of fitness clothing/equipment from this date.

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That’s all for now, will get searching to bring you more amazing deals!!

Thanks for reading x